• Fall Mobile Resolutions
    "You need a vacation, Dad," says my daughter. "Knock it off or I will write about you in the next column," I reply. "Fine," my daughter says. "And don't forget to tell them what a crank you are because you spent all summer down in that cave of yours writing about media and programming conferences where other people talk even more about media." Consider it done. Since I now have been sworn to a new resolution that summers must include a vacation, let's spread the joy around. The one thing I have learned after all of these months here in …
  • Zippo: From Branded App To Branded Entertainment
    Trying to explain a Zippo lighter to a child born in 1992 is a bit like describing TV before cable and remote controls. She just doesn't understand how we did it. I was showing her the Zippo that mobile marketing company Moderati had sent me months ago as a reminder that its Virtual Zippo Lighter for the iPhone was the most successful branded app ever.
  • Getting Media To My Fingertips
    My daughter on the Palm Pre: "I don't know what to do with it. I can't figure it out." I can't tell if the new Palm is just inscrutable to her or if she is just being 17. I have been tossing new phones at this kid since she was 10. She essentially taught me how to use a cell phone. But one of the things she also taught me was that content matters first and foremost with the mobile generation.
  • Mixed Messages: Basic Text Education
    f I had some way to automate my text messages to my daughter, I could create a macro that sent my initial message and followed it up with "Answer me, please" about an hour later. SMS used to be the most direct route to my seventeen-year-old. She will never return a call, and email apparently is for old people.
  • Coming In For A Hard Landing
    As the platform lurches forward, the unevenness of the mobile ad experience often comes in the all-important landing page. It seems to me that a brand would want to ensure that a prospective customer gets something more than a three word call to action and then, "plunk," a hard landing on a forms page with no real explanation of what you are getting.
  • Oh, Knock It Off And Pony Up!
    I don't usually jump to the defense of publishers when they make the argument for online subscription walls and try to demonize users as "freeloaders" who don't appreciate the high cost of content. Blaming the consumer generally is not a good marketing tactic. Just ask the recording industry.
  • Apps Potpourri: Brands Climb The Learning Curve
    My home screen runneth over. My iPhone deck is starting to look like the merit badge sash of an overzealous Eagle Boy Scout. As I download app after app in order to keep track of all the brands I plan to critique, the famously navigable iPhone home screen is feeling like my old RAZR. Instead of clicking five times to get to an app, I have to swipe five times. Is there a difference there? Just like the old days, I find many apps just become invisible over time.
  • Tell Me A Person
    I know that others in Asia and Europe have tried to create "SMS novels" out of a series of short messages over time, but why aren't media companies jumping at the chance to craft daily stories or character sidelines? I know we have seen reality shows put some of their "characters" on separate SMS feeds to work as parallel commentary on a show, and this is promising. But the best example we have of this short-short form personality theater working effectively are the fictional character feeds now popping up on Twitter.
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