Weekly Wrap: Chegg Battle of the Bands, Oprah's Leno-CoCo PollGate, Social Data Revolution, Mattel Looks to AR, Gen X Stereotypes, Real Time UX, Rowling on Imagination & Failure, Mowtown Content Strategy & More!

Barking.robot.iconChegg Joins College Battle of the Bands: College Battle of the Bands is proud to announce its partnership with textbook rental service Chegg.com! Student bands and musicians can sign up for FREE and promote their music for a chance to play great venues and win amazing gear and cash prizes as part of the national series of events. [Chegg.com]

Conan-Leno Mudslinging Continues With Oprah.com Poll Allegations: So how exactly does the source close to NBC figure that Team Coco flooded Oprah’s ballot box? By good old-fashioned ballot box stuffing, thanks to software designed by die hard Coco fans and advertised on one of the many Team Coco Facebook pages. (Really Team Jay? Why would Ms. Winfrey, or Conan for that matter, want to do that?) Related: Conan, Leno & The Tonight Show Debacle [MovieLine] [Barking Robot}

Augmented Reality Gives Lift to Kids Digital Space: Mattel was at the head of the line as the first major consumer products player to incorporate AR into a retail toy product. As the master toy licensee for James Cameron's film Avatar, the California-based toyco teamed up with an AR software solutions house Total Immersion to create a line of action figures. [Kidscreen]

The Social Data Revolution(s): In 2009, more data will be generated by individuals than in the entire history of mankind through 2008. Information overload is more serious than ever. [Harvard Business Review]

Free Reality TV Show Debuts on Your PlayStation 3: Sony Computer Entertainment America is making good on its promise to expand original content offerings on its PlayStation Network distribution service. It will be bringing an original reality television series, The Tester, to PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable consoles via the PSN as a free downloadable series starting February 18. [Mashable]

Study Finds Podcasts Reach Unreachable Consumers: Although podcasting has shown to be quite popular in niche markets, many marketers have not jumped into the fray. The results of a recent Edison Research and Association for Downloadable Media (ADM) study could change some marketers minds, however, because apparently consumers being reached by podcasting are unreachable in other formats. [Junta 42]

Tweet O' the Week: "At Chateau Marmont on a gorgeous day. Everyone here looks like they're on the verge of famous." via @TVBlogster

Get Real About Gen X Stereotypes: Much laudatory ink has been spilled on the Baby Boomers...usually by Boomers themselves. As for the Millennials, those born between 1982 and 1998, the quantity of reportage lauding their public-spiritedness has quickly become tiresome. But a new report casts doubt on the widely accepted stereotype of Gen X-ers as inferior to these other groups. [New Geography]

The Case for Content Strategy, Mowtown Style: how do you start humming the content strategy tune to your own team and to your prospective clients? Listen up and heed Aretha Franklin. No, really. [A List Apart]

UX of the Real Time Web: A major thing done by users on the real time web is the posting and recommending of external links. These links will often go to a story, website, picture, or video that could be of interest to people right now. One problem is that there is so much sharing being done on the real time web that it can become difficult to differentiate the legitimate links from the noise. [instantShift]

The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination: J.K. Rowling, author of the best-selling Harry Potter book series, delivers her Commencement Address, “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination,” at the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association. [Harvard Magazine]

Global Youth: What Youth Think | 2010 Youth Trends Report

Partnering with youth marketers, culture and trend experts from around the world, Graham Brown (the force behind mobileYouth) have crowd-sourced an impressive amount of research on global youth trends and shared his findings in a series of three presentations.

What Youth Think: 2010 Youth Trends Report presentations are a must see for youth marketers, media planners, educators, youth pastors and anyone else who works in the youth space.

So sit back, take notes and enjoy. Then let's all meet up at the Carrot Mob!

Get Away from Technology, Experience the World

Route 66 | Photograph by Derek E. Baird "It’s important to get away from technology and experience the world. You’ve got to see your world, see your community, see what’s not being said that needs to be said. That’s probably the best way to figure out what you’re going to say.

For me at least, it’s impossible to have any good ideas while sitting behind a computer. Ideas come from life. As Hemingway said, “I have to live to work."

    -Jonathan Harris, Beyond Flash (via Amanda Mooney)

Millennials: The Gen Y Tsunami is Here


"For marketers, the Millennials represent a multifaceted challenge that defies easy categorization. Beyond their demographic diversity, marketers need to recognize distinct behaviors, preferences, attitudes, and values that set this group apart from the rest.

We need to realize that consumer-driven marketing integration is not a dream but a critical reality. And this starts with understanding who these young adults really are."

--DMW Direct Consumer Insights,"Millennials"

Related: 2010 Ypulse Youth Marketing Mashup

Dan Rosensweig becomes CEO of Textbook Rental Service Chegg.com

Chegg Dan Rosensweig is leaving his job overseeing Activision's Guitar Hero video game franchise to run Chegg. Chegg.com has been trying to shake up the college textbook industry by allowing students to rent the material required for their courses. The hiring was announced Tuesday.

Rosensweig is best known for his four-year stint as Yahoo's chief operating officer, where he worked closely with the Internet company's former CEO, Terry Semel. Rosensweig left Yahoo! after a management reshuffling in 2006.

This isn't Mr. Rosenweig's first foray into the education technology space. While at Yahoo! he was actively involved with my team on the Yahoo! For Teachers project. You can catch Dan's cameo in this promo video for Yahoo! Teachers. Dan is also current member of the DonorsChoose National Advisory Board.

Apple's secret iPad weapon: Marvel Comics?

It's easy to imagine why Apple would want to bring comics to the iPad – and thanks to Steve Jobs, it has an inside track to make that happen.

When Jobs needed movies for iTunes, Apple got them from Disney. When he needed TV shows? Disney (which owns ABC) was among the first to sign up. Why all the Disney love? Remember, Steve Jobs was the CEO of Pixar, which had a very lucrative movie distribution deal with Disney.

But wait, you say. Disney isn’t exactly a major book publisher. Oh, yes it is. Disney just bought Marvel, remember?

With Marvel comes Spider-Man, X-Men, Hulk, and all manner of other classic superheroes. Lately, much of the value from those characters has come through movies and TV. It’s easy to forget that these characters first came to life through full-color artwork on the printed page – a format that never translated very well to the digital realm.

Until the iPad, that is. The iPad will be the first mainstream computing device with the interface, the power, the battery, and the gorgeous color screen to truly bring comic books to life.

via brainstormtech.blogs.fortune.cnn.com

CauseWorld: A Location Aware Mobile App for Social Change


CauseWorld is the latest in a flurry of new location-based mobile apps that allow users to 'check in', connect with friends and earn badges. The free app comes in two flavors--iPhone and Android.

The downside of many location-aware mobile apps is that they tend to serve only as fuel for the "look at me" aspect of the social web. One of my Tweep's coined a great term for this trend: "geonarcissism."

Unlike other location-based social networks that put the focus on 'You', CauseWorld provides their community with an opportunity to focus on doing good, funding social change and benefiting others all with a few clicks (or taps) on their phone.

Here's how it works. All you need to do is walk into one of the many stores you most likely frequent anyway, such as common groceries, hardware stores, department stores, and many others. Pull out your phone, open the app, and check in. No purchase is required. When you 'check in' you earn "Karma Points." 

Your 'Karma Points' can then be converted into real dollars and donated, thanks to corporate sponsors Kraft Foods & Citi, to nine potential causes including Support A Classroom, Give Clean Water, Donate A Book or Provide Relief for Haiti. The CauseWorld community has already earned $6 million Karma's for Haiti. Like other location-aware games, you also earn badges for your 'Karma.'

This is also a perfect example of how brands can combine current trends like location-aware games, social media, cause marketing and mobile devices to deliver a unified experience for their customers.

Foursquare Teams With Bravo TV

Bravo TV and Foursquare will announce a new partnership on Monday that will integrate Bravo TV shows with the game aspects of Foursquare, a social networking site that encourages people to interact in the real world.

The partnership hopes to engage viewers long after they turn off the television, close their laptops and stop watching Bravo’s TV shows.

Starting Monday, Bravo will begin offering Foursquare players “badges” and special prizes when viewers visit more than 500 Bravo locations.

The locations will be picked by Bravo to correspond with select Bravo shows including “The Real Housewives,” “The Millionaire Matchmaker,” “Top Chef,” “Kell on Earth,” “Top Chef Masters” and “Shear Genius.”

via bits.blogs.nytimes.com

Trend Watch: The 'Free Love' Generation Turns to Sexting

image from www.summeroflove.org When Roger gets to an intimate stage with a woman these days, it usually doesn't take long until the sexy photos start.

His dating partners either request that he send them a suggestive—or downright explicit—photo from his cell phone to theirs, or they just send one themselves, completely unsolicited.

The catch is, Roger isn't a teenager—or even a 20-something. He's a 59-year-old divorcé, and, thanks to his cell phone and a slew of sassy ladies, his love life is more interesting than ever.

Shocked? Don't be. More and more of the 50+ set, both single and married, are using text messaging to spice up their sex lives.

Boomers, often sandwiched between teenagers, aging parents, and busy work schedules, are taking advantage of the new technology because it's fast, easy, and fun.

via  www.aarp.org

Why Lady Gaga Is A Role Model for Girls

image from si.wsj.net
Unlike other celebrities who are fond of sharing their diet and workout tips, and proliferating the notion that the “ideal” body is just one squat away, she doesn’t talk about her body.  Her physical appearance is, as it should be, less important than her music.

I love that Lady Gaga is not afraid to be weird. As I explained in my blog about Halloween costumes, teenage girls have a hard time being goofy. Remaining cozy and nestled between the Os of “cool” feels safe.

Venturing beyond our narrow definition of cool isn’t easy when, as a girl, you’re pretty sure everyone is watching and judging you at all times. Lady Gaga thinks outside of the box and lives outside of those double Os.

From her crazy hair to the odd visuals of her music videos, she does whatever the crack she wants. And what she wants to do is be weird. But paradoxically, because she is so un-cool, Lady Gaga is….cool.

She is an oxymoron; the jumbo shrimp of coolness.  If that’s not reason enough to view her as a role model, I don’t know what will convince you people.

via www.rachelsimmons.com

Related: Lady Gaga Sits Down with Oprah

Weekly Wrap: Slacktivism, Open Source Social Innovation, Boomers & Social Media, Helping Google Get Social, Sundance 2010 Round-Up, Texting Party in the USA, Steve Jobs' Wardrobe & More!

Barking.robot.iconA Time and Place for 'Slacktivism': Slacktivism; (v.) action 4 social change w/o much effort beyond a click/text. Known causes: social media, cellphones. [Ypulse]

Baby Boomers Get Connected with Social Media: Boomers are turning to social media, where they keep up their offline social connections and make new ones. Online marketing messages that help them build on their connections—and foster other online relationships—will get their interest. [eMarketer]

Lady GaGa's Lessons for the Music Business: Underneath Gaga's haystack wigs is a case study of what it takes to succeed in the music business today. Gaga, 23 years old, has made shrewd use of new digital platforms, while still leveraging the clout of a major label, an institution deemed obsolete by many proponents of DIY culture (Thanks Ypulse!). [WSJ]

Conan O'Brien's Fate a Sign of the Times: While the "Tonight Show" ratings fell under O'Brien's tenure as a whole, ratings amongst the younger demographics were better than those of Jay Leno's "Tonight Show." According to the New York Times, the median age of "Tonight Show" viewers fell by 10 years, from 55 to 45, in O'Brien's first month alone. [Colorado Daily]

Social Media Marketing, How Pepsi Got it Right: Social media marketing campaigns are proving to be goldmines rich with customer engagement and insight that companies wouldn’t likely have otherwise. Companies like PepsiCo are going to extensive lengths to foster this type of collaboration with fans, and the payoff has been big. [Mashable]

Will Creating a SWAT Team Help Google Get Social?: As successful as Google has been with plenty of other things — including a little thing called search-related advertising — it has struck out big-time in virtually every attempt at the social side of the web. [GigaOM]

Reflections from the Sundance Film Festival: Lois Vossen, ITVS vice president and Independent Lens series producer, shares her reflections on this year’s festival, which wraps up this weekend. [Beyond the Box]

College Students Hate Email: In fact, the student joked that she only uses her email to “communicate with her boss and adults.” She uses Facebook as her preferred method of peer-to-peer communication – she has had a Facebook thread running between the three of them for three years now. [Off Campus Media]

Tweet O' the Week: Can someone please buy Steve Jobs a new outfit! The man has more money than God and Oprah! A simple button down will do!" (via Scott Nevins) [Twitter]

Americans Sending 4 Times as Many Texts as Brits:There was a turning point a couple of years ago when it was suddenly undeniable: It was either text message or be left behind. If you were paying for it by the message, you suddenly had to find a plan, because you started having more and more friends that wouldn't talk any other way. Well, we're wondering if it has finally reached that point in the U.K. - or if it's yet to come. [ReadWriteWeb]

Teen Drinking May Cause Irreversible Brain Damage: For teenagers, the effects of a drunken night out may linger long after the hangover wears off. A recent study led by neuroscientist Susan Tapert of the University of California, San Diego compared the brain scans of teens who drink heavily with the scans of teens who don't. [NPR]

Open Source Social Innovation: Last week Bill Gates entered the digital publishing world by establishing the Gates Notes - an online evolution of his now annual January letter sharing his thoughts on the progress of the issues central to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It’s interesting and symbolic that the next chapter of his life story would include an “open source” platform for sharing IP on social innovation. [Cheskin]

Social Media is a Gen Y Battlefield: Conan, Leno & 'The Tonight Show' Debacle

I'm with CoCoI just finished watching Oprah Winfrey's interview with Jay Leno as well as  her after the show discussion with her audience in Chicago.

As I watched the episode, I found myself taking notes (dork alert!) and thought I'd share a couple few thoughts on the role social media & youth played in the whole The Tonight Show debacle.

  • After watching this mess unfold the last couple weeks and after watching Ms. Winfrey's discussion with her audience, I think it's interesting how Team Jay and Team CoCo fans seem to fall largely along generational lines. Why? I think that many Gen X/Gen Y look at Conan and think "he's like me" whereas Jay Leno is "that guy that their Boomer parents and grandparents watch."
  • Also, at a time in our history where Gen Y are feeling the brunt of the recession more than other demographic groups, I feel that they looked at this situation and identified with a storyline where someone their age was "getting screwed" over by corporate America. I'm not saying this viewpoint is rooted in reality, just that this NBC drama resonated because it was a mirror of what is happening in their own lives.
  • Conan's fans were more effective at using social media to self-organize on Twitter, Facebook and other online communities to tell CoCo's side of the story. Look no further than Facebook: Jay Leno (17, 642 fans) vs. Conan O'Brien (871,825 fans). In the end, Conan's staff and fans were able to use social media to connect with their fan base, share his story and take this situation out of NBC's control and ultimately turn the court of public opinion against Jay Leno.
  • During her interview, Ms. Winfrey pointed to an Oprah.com poll that showed something like 96% of the people who voted were on Team Conan. Here again I think Conan fans and social media played a role in skewing the numbers in the Oprah.com 'Tonight Show' poll. I can't tell you how many Tweets, texts and Facebook messages I got last weekend from other Conan fans urging people to vote for "Team Conan" on Oprah's poll.

One thing is clear: If NBC wants to rehabilitate Jay Leno's burnished image, they are going to have to jump into the social media trenches and tell their own story--before someone else does. They also need to face the cold reality that they don't have absolute control over the message anymore.

I may be wrong, I may be right. What do you think?

Either way, given the situation in Haiti, this seems like a really silly discussion. This is a point that Conan made every night during his final week: Forget about us (Jay & Conan) and donate to something that really matters--Haiti Relief.

I think that's something that we can all agree on. If you haven't already, here's how you can help the people of Haiti.

And oh, apologies to Pat Benatar.....

Image Credit: Mike Mitchell Illustration

Study: Facebook and MySpace Enhance the Positive Relationships Kids Already Have

Social.montage When the Morgan Stanley Report on Youth Media Consumption was released last summer, it unleashed a flurry of media reports on the plague of "internet addicted" youth.

Since the Morgan Stanley report, we've continued to see a steady stream of news reports on internet addiction and youth. So it wasn't too much of a surprise that last weeks release of the Kaiser Family Foundation 'Generation M' study was met with a variation on the internet addiction theme.

While there are indeed negative aspects to digital media, along with kids who spend way too much time playing video games and texting, there are also lots of young people using social and digital media in positive and inspiring ways.

As Meredith at Ypulse points out, most media outlets and parenting guru's focus solely on the negative effects of digital and social media. More often than not, the positive effects of social and digital media in the lives of tweens, teens and twentysomethings are left out of the 'youth and digtal media' conversation. I couldn't agree more.

A new study in the January issue of Developmental Psychology conducted by psychologists at the University of Virginia suggests that well-adapted youth with positive friendships will use social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace to enhance the positive relationships they already have.

Researchers assessed the friendship quality and popularity of 172 13- to 14-year-olds, and then, eight years later, "friended" the study participants on their Facebook and MySpace pages to examine their interactions and friendship quality in those domains.

The entire report is locked up behind a pay wall (but well worth the 11 bucks), but here are some of the key findings:

  • The research team found that the youths who were better adjusted in their early teens were more likely to use social media in their early 20s, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or parental income, and that, overall, the patterns of friendship quality and behavioral adjustment as early teens continued into early adulthood;
  • The interactions young adults are having on their Facebook and MySpace pages are more similar to than different from the interactions they have in their face-to-face relationships;
  • Parents of well-adjusted teens may have little to worry about regarding the way their children behave when using social media. It's likely to be similar positive behavior;
  • 86% of the youth in the study used the social media sites like Facebook, MySpace or Twitter, which parallels the national average;
  • Use of Facebook and MySpace is really pervasive among this age group, so it's understandable that young people would want to be connected with their peers in this way; it's an extension of the relationships they already share;
  • Parents should try to stay involved with their children and make an attempt to understand their online world in the same way they would want to understand any other aspect of their lives.