A New Media Inauguration

•January 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Barack ObamaAmericans have been waiting for January 20, 2009 and the inauguration of President Barack Obama for weeks, months and, in many cases, years.   Obama comes to the White House with not only a new outlook on American government (what it can and should be) but also with an interest in communicating with the American people through the use of new media. Makes sense for an election campaign won partly by encouraging young people to get out and vote via the Internet.

At the same time Obama was being declared President, his administration took control of the White House Web site, with the simple words “Change has come to America” and also introduced the official White House blog.

Throughout the inauguration excitable bloggers such as Ann Althouse were blogging about topics ranging from what Michelle Obama was wearing to their thoughts on Obama’s speech.  In fact, Google Blog Search shows 176 blog posts about the inauguration of Obama.  Althouse’s blog titled, “The sun rises on the Obama presidency… in Washington… here, from my outpost in Madison, Wisconsin, I’m live-blogging” gave a “play-by-play” account of the days events.  She even included descriptions of the Obama girls outfits, the diversity represented by the people in the crowd and the fact that Ted Kennedy looked good (must have been before he suffered a seizure)!

Social network sites were were also buzzing with the excitement of the days events.  For example, CNN.com provided a live video streaming platform for Facebook users to interact with the inauguration ceremony by updating their status as they watched proceedings.  And, on Twitter, “Tweeple” (Twitter people) posted ‘tweets’ on everything from their opinion of the inaugural speech to their celebrity spots.

This is just the beginning for new media…I can’t even begin to imagine how much more powerful it will become as Obama and the U.S. government continue to utilize it to communicate with the American people.


What’s age got to do with it?

•January 17, 2009 • 1 Comment

mom-gets-macbookThink new media and social networking are just for young people?

Think again.

Although they are usually late adopters to sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, baby boomers find social media sites just as useful, and entertaining, as their younger counterparts.  It is imperative advertisers keep this in mind not only when developing online/viral campaigns but also when determining their target markets.  Market Research firm NPD Group reports that 41 percent of  baby boomers have visited social networks (e.g., Linked-In, Facebook, and MySpace).  “There’s an ongoing misperception that certain Web activities are the exclusive domain of young people,”said Russ Crupnick, entertainment industry analyst for The NPD Group. “That misperception could cost the entertainment industry, in terms of lost opportunities to target valuable consumers.”

Advertisers need to realize that as more people, of all ages, spend  time online they are spending less and less time watching television, listening to radio and reading newspapers and magazines.  It may be more beneficial for advertisers to set up Facebook pages for their products as opposed to just using “old-school” banner ads.  For example, Burger King recently launched an online campaign to help promote and gain awareness for their new Angry Whopper.  Users install the Whopper Sacrifice Facebook Application on their Facebook profile and Burger King rewards them with a free flame-broiled Whopper Sandwich – but only when they unfriend/defriend/remove 10 Facebook friends.

Whatever the future of new media may be advertisers must remember that people, of all ages, want information about products and services interesting to them and they are willing to learn to use new media in order to obtain it.

Image: LexnGer

I feel so old, but I am SO not!

•January 12, 2009 • 1 Comment

I completed my undergrad at Michigan State just over 6 years ago and have been working in the advertising industry since that time.  I considered myself to be hip, in-the-know- and up-to-date on new media trends until I sat through my first New Media Drivers License course, taught by Derek Mehraban, CEO Ingenex Digital Marketing, last Saturday.  I have never felt so old and out of touch as I did on that day.  Granted, it is partially my own fault as I have been pretty resistant to joining social networking sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, for some time.  I guess I felt that I had kept in touch with the people I wanted to and the rest sort of fell by the wayside for a reason.  I didn’t feel a need or see the point in talking to people I have not talked to in several years…what could we possibly have in common after all these years?  And then….I joined Facebook and became obsessed, in fact, I enjoyed Facebook so much that I instantly wanted to learn how to use other social and professional networking sites.  So it was fate when MSU announced they would be offering this course as part of the graduate program this semester.  We will be learning about LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, blogging, SEO and so much more.  I know the knowledge I obtain from this course will not only help me in my future advertising endeavors but will also help me regain my youth…if only for a semester!