• Great Premise, Good Production Values, BUT...
    "Don't talk to him. He ruins movies." This is my daughter's lament whenever we leave the theater. To her it is no family secret that you shouldn't ask how I liked a movie -- because I will tell you. "Professor Dad" has grabbed the podium. I am in a particularly bad state right now. The restored, pristine and nigh-perfect "Godfather" collection came out on Blu-ray this week, so things have been especially tough on my family, with a lot of scene-by-scene analysis going on. So maybe my film criticism bar has been set a little high lately, but the best …
  • Can They Hear Us Now?
    No one knows (or should know) the value of crowd-sourcing more than a trade conference programmer. Some of the best panel ideas and panel questions for the various OMMA shows I plan have come from industry folks. And we need your insights now: What issues are critical to you?
  • Catch Us If You Can
    My friends at comScore/M:Metrics were nice enough to pass along a deck they have been using lately to illustrate the mobile habits of teens. But on one level, I didn't need research to know how teens embrace this device as an extension of themselves, and even do so in an idiosyncratic way. As always, my one-girl traveling research panel gives me as much insight as reams of data. As she came out of her anesthetic stupor at the oral surgeon last week, my daughter's first move was to grab my iPhone. Her mouth was filled with cotton bales, so her …
  • Enough Video, Already
    As I was holding the Samsung Instinct at countless angles near my third-floor window to maximize signal strength, the '70s flashback hit me. I had been here before. Trying to get TV reception at a hippie college on a Vermont mountain in 1978 was just about this tough. Positioning the TV near a window, getting that old FM T-antenna thumb-tacked to the ceiling in just the right configuration, was a ritual that separated the humanities bumpkins from the science dweebs. Perhaps I am in a bad zone for video services from all three major carriers. But here in 2008, I …
  • Flirting With Obscurity
    There are a number of fine and interesting mobile projects out there that barely get noticed. Quietly, slowly, several major online and offline brands are iterating their services and sites without issuing the press releases that usually pass for news in the mobile marketing eco-system. I like to bookmark and check back on these guys, because someone had better keep an eye on them -- just in case some innovation breaks out.
  • All Singing, All Dancing
    In Web years it seems like a lifetime ago that all of us suffered those annoying animated overlays running, crashing, driving across our displays. Oh, those were the days, when Web surfing truly was a Forrest Gump adventure. Open a Web site and you never knew what you were going to get. And so when PointRoll and Millennial Media announced rich media units for smart phones at CTIA this week, I was braced for the worst. But my first encounters with the new units from both companies were positive, suggesting where mobile advertising can better serve the consumer.
  • Brand Mutations
    "Have you mated yet?" "Several times, Dad, several times," my daughter says with exasperation. I can't quite tell if she is just being impatient with lame-o-Dad's attempts at double entendre or reminding me that she is not a child and knows how to get beyond the first level of "Spore," the new evolution sim we played all weekend.
  • WAP Overnights
    It is good to see the mobile industry fall into a steady schedule of metrics reports. In advance of CTIA, Bango issued some comparative worldwide numbers last week showing that the U.S. share of mobile Web browsing (18.88%) is about to eclipse the U.K.'s 19.35%. "It's not only an increase in unique visitors but also the amount of browsing individuals are doing," Bango's Vice President of North America, Adam Kerr, told me last week. "Once someone discovers the mobile Web, they are keen on finding more and better sites."
  • Playing The Loyalty Card
    Am I the only one who feels like an interloper in most mall retailers? Whenever I accompany my daughter into one of her trendy, youthful clothing stores, the 20-something clerks are clustered around the cash register loudly trading personal stories, gossiping and generally conducting their social lives. Their connection to the customers is oblique at best. Work, serving customers, appears to be getting in the way of their socializing. As my daughter is quick to point out, this is just another sign I am getting old and cranky. Well, I am old and cranky, but that is beside the point. …
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