Oscar 'All Access Pass' Gives Viewers A Rare Peek Behind the Scenes Look at Hollywood's Biggest Night

image from www.flickr.com Here in SoCal, we have five seasons: Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall and Award Season. The grand finale of 'Award Season' are the Academy Awards.

This year the ceremony takes place on February 27, 2011 at the Kodak Theatre and will be hosted by Gen Y stars James Franco and Anne Hathaway.

It's been a rough couple years for the annual telecast with ratings taking a bit of a hit---especially among Millennials. However, last year the Academy Awards made a concerted effort to attract youth to the show and it paid off with a 14% boost to Oscar TV ratings among 18-49 year olds.

The 2010 Oscars youth strategy included a more social media experience, the inclusion of teen friendly stars like Miley Cyrus, Zac Effron and Taylor Lautner as presenters, two original Oscars web series (Behind the Dress & The Road to the Oscars), extra video features and live streaming of the Red Carpet arrivals.


This year The Academy of Motion Picture Art & Sciences is once again rolling out the red carpet in a bid to attract a more youthful and technically savvy demographic with a new interactive technology that gives online Oscar fans the ultimate insider's view of Hollywood's biggest night.

Revised map show The new premium feature is called Oscar All Access, and gives fans an insider’s view of the evening from the Red Carpet all the way through the Governor’s Ball.

Members (signing up is $4.99) actually will have the ability to control their own experience using the groundbreaking “360 cam” technology to control multiple cameras along the Red Carpet, at the Awards show, and afterwards at the Governor’s Ball.


In addition to Oscar All Access experience, the Academy also has an official Backstage Pass iPhone and iPad App that allow you to have a more interactive social entertainment experience with the Academy Awards show. Hopefully next year they will expand the Backstage Pass to include all types of Android mobile devices.

It's great to see The Academy embracing new media and providing fans with a more interactive experience. Last year was a step in the right direction and hopefully their social TV friendly approach will pay off in big ratings boost among younger and tech savvy demographic groups.

You can also connect with the Oscars on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

P.S. As long as I have your attention, if you haven't already--go see Oscar host James Franco in his Oscar nominated role for the film 127 Hours. The story, the acting, the cinematography are amazing. Go James! Go Danny Boyle!


Learning: Is There An iPad App For That?

Joan.ganz.cooney.logo A new report by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center takes a look at the mobile media revolution that is changing the lives of adults, and now children of all ages, under way across the globe.

This report focuses on how new forms of digital media are influencing very young children and their families in the United States and how we can deploy smart mobile devices and applications-apps, for short-in particular, to help advance their education.

It does so in three parts: Part One discusses new trends in smart mobile devices, specifically the pass-back effect, which is when an adult passes his or her own device to a child.

Part Two presents the results of three new studies that were undertaken to explore the feasibility and effectiveness of using apps to promote learning among preschool- and early-elementary-aged children. Though designed to complement one another, each study approached mobile learning from a different angle.

Finally, Part Three discusses the implications these findings have for industry, education, and research.

Learning. Is There An App for That?

Download the PDF

Infographic: Meet iPad's Competition

This infographic, created by Section Design for the Japanese publication Courier Japon, is just a wee bit visually confusing, but it does add a very important insight about the way Apple sees innovation.

Looking at the data from the bottom of the infographic, apparently 68% of people plan to use it for Web surfing, while only 28% plan on using it for reading magazines.

That's astounding: You'd think either of those uses would be better served on another specialty device. But, through design and marketing, Apple makes all those products look as if they're somehow lacking. Magic, indeed.

via www.fastcodesign.com| View LARGE

Trend Watch: Vinyl Records Back in Vogue Among Teens

vinylinvogueamo-250421-001.jpg Yes, like cropped tops and high-waisted Levis, vinyl records are making a comeback.

Why, when we have such lightweight, simple technology at the tip of our fingers, are teenagers fascinated by these oversized, nearly obsolete discs?

Perhaps it is the fact that most of us, used to having all our music stored in iPods that fit in the palm of our hands, completely missed out on the tangibility of records.

Even “vintage” music is becoming popular again. Shows such as “Glee,” in which the characters perform songs from every genre and era, are drumming up interest by teenagers in songs from America’s yesterdays

In this digital age kids are growing up in, songs skip around and change with the simple click of a button. Young people never physically see the music playing, and it doesn’t matter, so long as they hear what they want. But, there is a certain wonder to watching a record spin on a turntable and maneuvering the long, fragile needle.

Another possibility, of course, is that today’s teens are in awe of the amazing art displayed on the album covers. Sure, CD cases show interesting pictures, and occasionally album covers are displayed on iTunes, but there seems to be no comparison to looking at a 12-by-12 picture that adds a certain depth to the music.

Read more over on www.buffalonews.com

Mr. President, sign my iPad

At a rally in Seattle on Thursday, Sylvester Cann decided, like many, to ask the president for his signature. Unlike hundreds of other clamoring supporters, Cann asked President Obama to go digital.

He asked him to sign his iPad. Using the Adobe Ideas app, Cann scrawled "Mr. President, sign my iPad" onto his screen.

Obama obliged.

Check out the YouTube video of the electronic signing.

via latimesblogs.latimes.com

ABC Introduces Social TV iPad App for "My Generation"

As more and more people get iPads and other multiplatform devices that allow them to sit on the couch and socialize with friends while watching their favorite TV shows, traditional broadcast media outlets are looking for new and interesting ways to connect viewers to their programming and make it a more social experience.

Earlier today, Disney/ABC Television Group and The Nielsen Company announced the debut of ABC’s first-of-its-kind “My Generation” Sync iPad App that is designed to enhance the experience of watching ABC’s new show, “My Generation.” My_GEN_iPad_app

Completely free to download and use, this innovative app makes watching “My Generation,” which premieres next Thursday, September 23rd at 8pm ET/PT on ABC an interactive experience.  

The “My Generation” Sync app provides exclusive content and social media functionality on the iPad in real time as viewers watch the show – whether they watch it live or on DVR.


Using Nielson’s Media-Sync Platform and audio watermarks, the app automatically synchronizes with the television show and allows viewers to unlock content such as polls, trivia, behind-the-scenes info and more.

As we look to the future of TV, consumers can expect more interactivity, personalization and portability that allow viewers to easily consume TV entertainment on devices other than the glowing box in their living room.

For younger viewers, television is a much more interesting and socially interactive experience when they can watch a show and discuss it in real time online with their friends. So it makes sense that ABC is looking at this trend and created this iPad app to provide younger viewers with a social tv experience.

The app also allows users to interact with other viewers through their various social networks as they watch the show. The app is free and available to download in the App Store on iPad.

Trend Watch: Is Starling the Future of Social TV?


Let's face it. The shift away from traditional broadcast media to the web isn't the only sign that social media is here to stay. Consider the changes in content development and distribution, audience measurement models and advertising.

As more and more people get iPads and other devices that allow them to sit on the couch and socialize with friends while watching their favorite TV shows, traditional broadcast media outlets will have to find new and interesting ways to connect viewers to their programming.

As we look to the future of TV, consumers can expect more interactivity, personalization and portability that allow viewers to easily consume TV entertainment on devices other than the idiot box in their living room. The implication of these changes is so strong that its time to begin considering the future of TV.

In this video Kevin Slavin, president of Starling, talks about how they are enabling social TV and how they expect this trend to impact both consumers and traditional broadcast TV/media companies.

Yahoo! Style Guide: Writing, Editing, and Creating Content for the Digital World

Yahoo.styleguide To help writers, editors, and content creators write effectively for the Web, Yahoo! has published "The Yahoo! Style Guide: The Ultimate Sourcebook for Writing, Editing, and Creating Content for the Digital World," the first guide of its kind to focus on the specific issues associated with developing content for the online medium.

The Yahoo! Style Guide takes the best of the decades-old AP Stylebook and combines it with the new grammar rules that apply - or should be applied - in today’s online content world.

Yahoo! editors discuss effective writing and editing for an online audience, techniques for streamlining copy, basic Web codes, Internet law, search engine optimization, content strategy and more.

The Yahoo! Style Guide shows how to write for an international audience, an audience that has no borders, significant because the Web has become a one-stop shop for people communicating with others around the globe. The guide is an essential tool for anyone who must write for the Internet with clarity and precision.

The companion website not only features content excerpted from the book but also offers more help and resources from Yahoo! editors. The Yahoo! Style Guide is available in print and digital versions, such as those for iPad, Nook and Kindle.

Follow Yahoo! Style Guide on Twitter.

Weekly Wrap: NBC's Social TV, Blocking Bieber, Will.I.Am on the Music Industry, Google TV Roundup, Facebook's Influence on Girls, Age of Curation, Aussie Gen Z's & More!

Barking.robot.iconNBC Turns Television into a Social Media Game: The endeavor is a network-wide initiative designed to leverage the presence of show fans on social networks and incentivize them with points for engaging with content — i.e. watching videos on NBC.com, Liking shows, chatting and recruiting friends.

Points can be redeemed for goodies like NBC merchandise, show previews, virtual goods, badges and sweepstakes entries. [Mashable] 

Creating a Content Driven Community: When you create a content-driven community, don't forget to set measurable goals, establish meaningful benchmarks, evaluate results, and document what moves the needle for the business. Every business already has an organic community: its employees, partners, and, depending on its degree of involvement, its customers. [Conversation Agent]

Will.I.Am: "The Music Industry is Gone": “The band of the future is not going to be a singer, a guitarist and a bass player. It will be a singer, a guitarist, a bass player and a code writer – the guy who does apps, computer animation. That is a group. It is going to be about self-contained content-providers.” [Harlem Loves]

Google TV Round Up

Guide to Google TV's Ecosystem [TechCrunch] | What We Know So Far About Google TV [Search Engine Land]| Google TV Has Arrived [Mashable] | Here's What Google TV Looks Like [BI] | Google TV Explained [Logitech]

Overwhelmed? Welcome the Age of Curation: Still don’t believe we live in the Age of Curation, of which the iPad is just a recent manifestation? Go save everything you run across to read later using Instapaper, even from your Twitter and newsreader feeds (themselves forms of curation), which you can then read on the functionality-curating iPad and Kindle devices. Related: Trend Watch | Content Computing [Video] [Wired] [Barking Robot]

Study: Facebook Is a Major Influence on Girls: A study of eight to 15-year-olds for National Family Week found 40% of girls identified Facebook as one of the most important things in their lives - compared with 6% of boys.

Parents were found to underestimate the significance of technology. Asked to name the three most important things in their lives, the most popular choices for girls were friends, family and then Facebook and MSN. [BBC]

Connecting with Generation Z: Meet Generation Z, otherwise known as The Naturals. Give them any label you like, but you better make sure your business understands this powerful new generation of consumers that has never known life without the internet. Related: Those Digital Natives? Not So Savvy. [nineMSN] [BarkingRobot]

Why Twitter Radically Reworked Its Trending Topics Algorithm: How to keep Twitter from seeming like "an inane playground for hormonally cracked-out tweens." Related: Blocking Justin Bieber > New Tweetdeck version allows you to block all Justin Bieber related Tweets. [AdAge] [Mashable]

Trend Watch: Curated Computing

In this video Forrester Research Analyst Sarah Rotman Epps talks about how Apple's iPad and other tablet devices will usher in a new era of personal computing. Forrester calls this "Curated Computing"-- a mode of computing where choice is constrained to deliver less complex, more relevant experiences. 

There's more at stake here than just tablets: Curated Computing will be the dominant design principle behind future form factors like wearable devices.

Product strategists that don't want to cede the future of devices to Apple should start thinking like museum curators and editors: Sometimes less is more.

Weekly Wrap: iPad Demographics, Geolocation Wars, Twitter + Blackbird Pie, Facebook Privacy Translated, TED TV, Nintendo DS Glucose Meter, iPad Apps for Kids & More!

Barking.robot.iconApple iPad User Analysis: Just a week after the iPad’s launch, we began to analyze the behavior of the first iPad users on the Yahoo! network. While some of the findings were expected, there were a few surprises that popped. Related: US Twitter Demographics & Stats [Yahoo! Mobile] [Barking Robot]

Facebook Set to Add Geolocation Features: Watch out Foursquare, information has leaked that Facebook is set to roll out location-based features for users and brands as soon as this month. According to Advertising Age, users could see location options any day now. [Mashable]

What is Twitter Really Up to With Blackbird Pie?: Following a bit of online buzz yesterday around embeddable Twitter quotes for online publishers, Twitter Media made it official today by unveiling a new tool dubbed 'Blackbird Pie'. [Social Media Today]

Facebook-to-English Translator: Despite the voluminous buzz, many commentators have missed the most confusing announcement of all — new Facebook jargon. So, in the interests of helping users understand what's going on, we've put together a rough Facebook-to-English translator. Think of it as a handy phrase-book that could help you navigate through the more common situations you'll find yourself in. [Electronic Freedom Foundation]

Kids Blood Glucose Meter Attaches to Nintendo DS: Every time a kid uses Didget to check his blood glucose level, it awards points that can be used to buy items and unravel new game levels within an associated game. The idea behind Didget is to encourage kids manage their diabetes by rewarding them for regular blood glucose testing. [BoingBoing]

Why Does the BBC Want to Send Its Readers Away?: The BBC aims to double the number outbound clicks from its site by 2013. That’s double the number of people sent away from the BBC site — intentionally. [Nieman Journalism Lab]

TED TV: The new initiative will allow television broadcasters around the world to air the talks for free as well as create programming around them. One of the primary goals behind the project is to extend the reach of TED’s idea-spreading mission into the developing world. [JED] 

Millennials Tech-Dependent, But Not Necessarily Tech-Savvy: One of the biggest myths about Millennials is that they are all digital natives, blogging and tweeting their way through life.  The truth is a bit more nuanced. Related: The Myth of the Digital Native [Millennial Marketing] [Barking Robot]

Teenage Homelessness on the Rise: In Minnesota, the number of 18- to 21-year-olds in shelters more than doubled in the past three years. [StarTribune.com]

Top 10 Entertainment iPad Apps for Kids: Sure, the new gadget isn’t perfect, but not to worry—techie geniuses have been up since its release, working through the kinks and quirks. Nothing left to do but the fun stuff; grab your kids and try out some of the latest entertainment apps, adapted or created for the iPad. [Kideos]

2010 Totally Wired Teacher Award: After listening to feedback from our friends in the educator community, we've made some important changes to this year's Totally Wired Teacher Award provided by Dell. Please help us spread the word to any public school teachers you are in contact with. [Ypulse]