Weekly Wrap: Yahoo's Social Strategy, TweSMS for South Africa, Little Passports, 3D TV Hype, 25 UX Videos, Brands As Media, Power of the Social Experience, Mobile Apps & More!

Derek.baird.barking.robotNielsen Preps TV, Online Video Report: Nielsen has set its schedule for reporting integrated TV and online audience viewing data. The initiative is called TVandPC, and the first "extended screen" estimates of the combined audiences will be available for the month of September as evaluation data, delivered to clients sometime in fourth quarter. The evaluation period will end in Feb. 2011.[Brand Week]

The 'Connect Wars': Not content to control only their own domains, social web sites are trying to conquer those of everyone else — by becoming the dominant log-in system for the web. Facebook, of course, is off to a quick and convincing start. [GigaOM] 

Yahoo's Social Strategy Takes Root in Asia: A series of deals with major social networks shows Yahoo moving away from its origins as a traditional portal, as it sets its sights on becoming a content-rich destination where people can interact with and navigate to all their favorite sites. [Asia Media Journal]

Twitter SMS Notifications for South Africa: TweSMS is a third party application that allows you to receive your twitter notifications and updates delivered straight to you phone via SMS message. [TweSMS]

Create Your Own Android or iPhone App in Minutes: Creating a self-branded iPhone or Android app just got a lot more accessible. iSites, a new service launching today, allows you to take your website’s RSS feed and data and quickly transform it into a full-fledged iPhone app. [Mashable]

Global Youth: Turn Kids Into Globetrotters: In an era dominated by electronic communication, people are embracing concepts from a slower age, like the company that transforms emails into paper letters and one that resurrected the classic telegram. Little Passports combines that nostalgia for 'real' mail and combines it with the convenience of a subscription service. [Little Passports] 

3D TV Is 'Mostly Hype': 3D has been getting boatloads of attention, especially during this week at CES where major electronics firms are unveiling their new 3D TVs, but while Sony and others would like you to believe that we'll all be playing video games and watching movies in glorious 3D this year, Forrester Research would tell you otherwise. Related: CES and Vegas 2010: Supersized Vulgarity [Industry Gamers] [Collaborative Creativity]

The Power of the Social Experience: This is why both employers and marketers interested in Generation Y need to realise that, while social technology is the new thing, just being on Facebook and Twitter won’t be as effective in attracting and retaining this cohort, as inviting Generation Y to experience the potential of what you have to offer with a friend or two. [Naked Generations] 

Social Marketing in Twenty Ten: As I believe, Social Media is not owned by any one department. The entire company will eventually socialize represented by each division that warrants an outward and participatory voice. Conversations always map to the activity that exists across multiple networks, spanning a multitude of subjects and potential outcomes. [Brian Solis]

All Brands Are Media: Why are brands choosing to become media companies? Because they can. Blogs, Web publishing, smartphones, tablets, e-book readers, netbooks and other tools providing access to the Internet allow firms to create media sites as easily as old-line publishers can. [IP Carrier]

Oprah's No Texing & Driving Campaign: It's the show that started Oprah's No Phone Zone movement. Watch a 15 minute clip or the entire episode about the dangers of distracted driving, then sign the No Phone Zone Pledge. Related: Buck Hollywood > No More Texting and Driving [Oprah Winfrey] [Buck Hollywood]

25 User Experience Videos That Are Worth Your Time: Rare are the opportunities to attend conferences or watch live shows on subjects that we’re interested in. That’s why we are presenting here phenomenal videos and related resources on the topic of user experience (UX) by different presenters at different events. [Smashing Magazine]

Barking Robot Mini: Be sure to also check out my Tumblr, Barking Robot Mini, for links, pictures and other stuff I've stumbled across during my digital walkabout!

Weekly Wrap: Mobile Donations, Neglecting Gen X, Facebook Marketing, Gen Y Goes GaGa, More Kids Go Mobile, Social TV, Google's China "Problem" & More!


Mobile Donations Make Giving Easier: Text message donations to Haiti are in the millions. Katya Andresen, chief operating officer at Network for Good, talks with American Public Media's Kai Ryssdal about why this type of giving is growing in popularity and how big of a role it will have in helping Haiti. [American Public Media]

10 Musts for Marketing to Women on Facebook: There are over 56 million women using Facebook in the United States, and for marketers this means one very important thing –- if you have a brand, product or company that targets women, Facebook is the place to be. [Mashable]

Why Millennials Are Going Gaga for Lady GaGa: She’s funky. She’s weird. She’s different. She’s who we all are on the inside. Unless you were a cheerleader (a thin one) or a mildly attractive quarterback, chances are you felt out of place in high school.

Whether you were called a freak, a basket case, a fag, or a fat ass to your face or behind your back, secondary education, and everything leading up to it, is a playground for ostracizing as many of your peers as possible. [Next Great Generation] Related: 10 Things Brands Can Learn From Lady GaGa

Spot411: A social TV platform that tells you what and when your friends and family are watching. Hmm. Looks interesting. Anyone tried this? [Spot411]

Google's Social Media Plans for 2010: Google plans to expose and elicit more of the social network built into the tools that many of us already use — Gmail, Google Talk, etc. If you use Google products, the company already knows who your most important contacts are, what your core interests are, and where your default locations are. [GigaOm]

I'll Tumblr for Ya: Do you use Tumblr? Be sure to check out the new Tumblr backup mac desktop app! Speaking of Tumblr, be sure to check out MiniRobot! [Tumblr] 

Couch Potatoes May Have Shorter Life Spans: The researchers suggest this link between TV-time and early death could be partly due to the fact that sitting in front of the tube may take away from time a person might otherwise spend moving about, engaging in light activity, which has been shown to reduce the risk of developing certain biological indicators of cardiovascular disease. [Yahoo! News]

Why No One Cares About Gen X: Financial institutions are falling all over each other trying to attract Gen-Y consumers. But what about Gen X? It doesn’t seem like financial institutions care all that much about Gen X. Why is that? Here’s the explanation. [The Financial Brand]

Are American Kids Crazy or What?: American teenagers are rebellious thrill-seekers who revel in immediate gratification and relinquish autonomy to peer pressure. But is it just the devil of biology that makes them do it? Or is American culture an accessory to the fact? [Miller McCune]

Why Google Wasn't Winning China Anyway: Google's decision to pull out of China unless the authorities will allow uncensored search results -- an unlikely outcome -- probably does stem from moral outrage over the government's heavy-handed tactics. But it could be a face-saving way to exit a market where Google has made surprisingly little progress. [AdAge]

Hallmark Launches Augmented Reality Cards: Hallmark Cards has announced the release of webcam greetings, new cards that use augmented reality technology to bring the card to life on a computer screen. [Shopping Blog]

Child Mobile Ownership Up: More than one-third of 10-to-11-year-olds in the US owned a mobile phone in 2009, compared with 20% in 2005. Ownership among kids ages 6 to 11 rose from 11.9% to 20% over the same time period. Thanks Graham! [eMarketer]

Meet the NEXT: Get the low-down on this new section that embraces a down-and-dirty style of filmmaking. If a filmmaker wants to create his or her own idiosyncratic vision, it’s often not worth looking around for a big budget, waiting for others to say it’s ok to make it. [Sundance Film Festival 2010]

Trend Watch: CES 2010 Television Recap

There were a ton of TV related hardware and content announcements at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held this week in Las Vegas. Here's a round-up of what you may have missed.

  • As the world's largest online media company, Yahoo! maintains the largest news, sports, finance, and entertainment websites, offering significant scale that will allow Electus to take its content to audiences everywhere.
  • Future of TV? Content Everywhere: In the not-too-distant future, at least the one Microsoft subscribes to, TV consumption will be more portable than ever before as consumers see fewer and fewer differences between the screens belonging to their TV, the ones on their laptops and the ones on their mobile devices. [AdAge]
  • Panasonic announced that its VieraCast service will also get Netflix streaming, the capability to place and receive video phone calls via Skype along with access to Pandora, Twitter, and Fox Sports news.


  • There were lots of big announcements on the 3D TV content and hardware fronts at CES. As I blogged earlier in the week Discovery, IMAX and Sony have struck a partnership to develop 3D programming.
  • Also jumping into the 3D content pool is ESPN who announced their plans to launch a 3D network in June.
  • RealD, a company who makes 3D eye wear, announced at CES that it has enlisted a raft of prominent partners in the TV including, Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba, JVC, Samsung, and DirecTV.
  • Is 3D TV going to save the fledgling TV industry? Some think so.


  • Mobile TV Multiplies: This year at CES, early mobile-TV announcements included a USB dongle that plugs into computers and pulls down a signal; a portable DVD player by LG; and a Dell Inspiron Mini 10 netbook with Mobile DTV. [Wall Street Journal]

Related: Trend Watch: TV 2.0 & Social Television & Mobile TV

Weekly Wrap: Twitter Revolution, How TV Can Save the World, Ford's Twitter Cars, Future of Content, Understanding Social Networks, Twitter Spam & More!


The Twitter Revolution: While the use of social media in the Iranian protests quickly garnered the label “Twitter Revolution,” the real revolution was the use of mobile phones, which allowed the original protesters to broadcast their actions to other citizens and to the wider world with remarkable speed and immediacy. This characteristic, of a rapidly assembling and self-documenting public, is more than just a new slogan. Related: Iranian Gen Y on Revolution 2.0 [Prospect Magazine] [Collaborative Creativity]  [Barking Robot]

Understanding Users of Social Networks: People just love to look at pictures. That's the killer app of all online social networks. Seventy percent of all actions are related to viewing pictures or viewing other people's profiles. [Harvard Business School]

Revolution in a Box: It's not Twitter or Facebook that's reinventing the planet. Eighty years after the first commercial broadcast crackled to life, television still rules our world. And let's hear it for the growing legions of couch potatoes: All those soap operas might be the ticket to a better future after all. [Foreign Policy]

Ford Adding Tweets: Ford Motor Co. is adding Twitter messages and Internet radio to its in-car entertainment and communication service, known as Sync, and suggests that the voice-activated system is safer for drivers than trying to manipulate applications on their cell phones. [Yahoo!]

Irish Software Helps Prevent Cyberbullying: The Bully Stop technology allows parents to monitor callers and access abusive text messages before their offspring read them. The Irish-designed product is the first off-the-shelf application to specifically tackle mobile phone bullying and can be downloaded by computer before being transferred to a child's handset. [Breaking News Ireland]

The Rise of the Post Digital World: The world is going increasingly digital but the majority of media and marketing is analog and the majority of people are analog. [India Times]

U.S. Virtual Economy is Booming: When a lot of people think of gamers, they automatically think of mostly male teens who sit around a game console or computer screen all day playing alone. The reality is that the average gamers today are in their 30’s and have a significant disposable income to support the expensive hobby. [InsideTech]

Detecting Spam in a Twitter Network: Spam becomes a problem as soon as an online communication medium becomes popular. Twitter’s behavioral and structural properties make it a fertile breeding ground for spammers to proliferate. [FirstMonday]

The Future of Content Without Walls: From their in-home television and entertainment networks, consumers have grown accustomed to an on-demand culture. The combination of always-on devices and networks is helping extend that culture outside the home.

For the transition to be successful, devices must provide a good user experience, and content delivery needs to be immediate and seamless. [eMarketer] 

Ooh la la! Lady GaGa is Polaroid’s New Brand Ambassador: Yesterday in Vegas, the Lady herself appeared at the Consumer Electronic Show to discuss her new role as creative director for a line of new Polaroid products. Related: 10 Things Brands Can Learn From Lady GaGa [Mediaite] [Barking Robot]

Music Downloads Up as Album Sales Drop: Album sales in the UK fell by 3.5% in 2009 to 128.9 million despite a growth in digital downloads. [BBC]

Demographics of Teen Content Creators

The information in this presentation examines how teens create and communicate, both in school and in their personal lives.

These slides were shown at the public forum The Power of Youth Voice: What Kids Learn When They Create With Digital Media, a public forum presented by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the National Writing Project, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, on November 18, 2009.

2010 Ypulse Youth Marketing Mashup Registration Now Open!

The registration is now officially open for the 2010 Ypulse Youth Marketing Mashup in San Francisco!

The Ypulse Mashup is being held May 24-25 at the Hotel Nikko in SF where for the fourth year running it will bring together the top brand, corporate and social marketers, media professionals, educators and non-profit organizations to share best practices, research and latest strategies on marketing to youth with technology.

For more information on the event as well as sponsorship and exhibiting opportunities, go to the Mashup site.

Related: Ruminations on the 2009 Ypulse Mashup Boston

Report: Facebook Has Potential To Be A Platform for the Mobile Internet

image from www.debaird.net Morgan Stanley has released "The Mobile Internet Report," providing an overview of the rapidly changing mobile internet and mobile social networking authored by its technology and telecom analysts.

Here are some of the key findings related to mobile content, mobile social networking/entertainment & mobile user adoption:

  • The mobile Internet is ramping faster than desktop Internet did, and we believe more users may connect to the Internet via mobile devices than desktop PCs within five years;
  • Apple + Facebook platforms serving to raise the bar for how users connect / communicate - their respective ramps in user and developer engagement may be unprecedented;
  • Facebook has the potential to serve as a communications platform /engine of one-to-one, one-to-some and one-to-many (and visa versa) for the mobile Internet;
  • Apple iPhone / iTouch –Facebook is Most Downloaded of Top Free Apps;
  • Massive mobile data growth and demand for mobile content is driving transitions for carriers and equipment providers;
  • Apple is in the pole position for high-end handsets for the next few years but the game is not over as carriers, handset manufacturers, and software providers endeavor to trump Apple’s application / ecosystem leadership, especially in non-English speaking markets;
  • In technology, companies that create innovative applications / services / content that capitalize on new computing platforms have opportunities to build large user bases (often with recurring revenue) – note success of companies like Google, Amazon.com, eBay, Yahoo!, Oracle, SAP and Adobe.
Related: Morgan Stanley Report | How Teens Consume Digital Media

Purple Acts of Kindness: Charity Water

This holiday season, Yahoo! For Good wants to start a ripple of kindness around the world.  Like Yahoo! I believe that it doesn’t necessarily take a great deal of money or time to spread happiness – sometimes it can be the simplest things like providing people with clean water.

This holiday season I want to help Charity Water build wells to provide clean water in developing nations. Join me and help create a ripple of good around the world with random acts of kindness. 

If you're like me, you don't spend too much time thinking about water - it's everywhere we go. When we're thirsty, we flip a handle or push a button. When we're dirty, we twist a shower knob. When our garden needs watering, when our pasta needs to be boiled, when we use the bathroom - water's just there for the taking.

But for a billion people on the planet, it's not. Millions of women and children have to walk hours each day to get water from muddy ponds and rivers. And much of that water is infested with parasites and leeches. In fact, 80% of all diseases in the world are caused by unsafe drinking water and lack of sanitation.

When I learned that only $20 can give someone clean, safe water for two decades, I decided to start a campaign to help. Now, my goal is to raise $1000 to build wells in developing nations. A $1000 can provide 10 families with clean drinking water.

And the cool thing about charity: water is that they spend 100% of the money I raise directly on the water projects. Even better, when projects are complete, every dollar is tied to village and all the wells are posted on Google Earth.

Together, we can make a dent in the global water crisis. I hope you'll consider helping by making a donation to Charity Water. It doesn't take a lot to make a world of difference. Yahoo! has generously  provided me with some seed money to get my Charity Water project going.

So here's the part where I make a pitch.

Please donate what you can, but keep in mind that even $5.00 can make the difference between life and death. So skip that pumpkin latte for just one day and instead help provide clean water for kids on the other side of the planet. 

Yahoo! and I are in. Are you? (Yodeling optional.)

Yahoo! Music: Did Adam Lambert Blow It On The AMAs?

Adam Lambert @ 2009 American Music Awards (AMA)

Idol is over, and Adam's been letting his fully unfurled freak-flag fly high ever since, whether he's gluing rhinestones on his eyelids, dodging airborne brassieres and adult novelties onstage, making out with women in the pages of Details, or granting shockingly frank interviews about his personal life that'd render even Cowell speechless.

Season 8 of Idol wrapped up in May, but people haven't stopped talking about Adam Lambert since. And they'll certainly be talking about his AMAs sexed-up spectacle tomorrow (seriously, it made "Ring Of Fire" look like a David Archuleta performance)...but will they be saying positive things? I am not so sure.

via Lyndsey Parker, Yahoo! Music

Weekly Wrap: Shoppers Hit Social Networks, Future of TV, John Mayer & Internet Rule 17, InStyle Augmented Reality Issue, Entertainment Subscriptions Hold Up & More!

Barking.robot.iconMobile Will Become the Hub of Multichannel Consumer Relationship: Marketers seeking to sprint out of the recession need to become multichannel-friendly and completely consumer-focused, and get over themselves.

The need to construct data-rich profiles of customers, personalize responses to their needs and smartly play in their social, mobile digital sandbox are themes that resonated in the opening-day keynote addresses and discussions at Forrester Research's annual Consumer Forum in Chicago Tuesday. [MediaPost]

Making the Connection Between Social and Mobile: A recent study by eMarketer predicts the number of mobile users accessing social networks from their mobile devices will reach 607.5 million worldwide by 2013, representing 43% of global mobile Internet users. In the US, mobile users accessing social networks will total 56.2 million by 2013, accounting for 45% of the mobile Internet user population. [VisInsights]

Holiday Web Shoppers Hit Social Networks: Sixty percent of consumers who plan to use social media in their holiday shopping will be looking for discounts, coupons and sales, according to Deloitte, while just over one-half will research gift ideas and check out friends’ and family members’ wish lists. [eMarketer]

InStyle Tries Augmented Reality Too: Fresh off the heals of the Esquire augmented reality experiment, InStyle Magazine has decided to also give it a go. Can augmented reality save traditional publishing? Doubtful, but it sure is fun! [Fishbowl NY]

Despite Economy, Entertainment Subscriptions Hold Up: While fewer Americans subscribe to newspapers and magazines, the subscription model continues to either maintain popularity or grow in areas including television, music, games and mobile services, according to a report from market research firm NPD Group. [Digital Media Wire]

Future is TV-shaped, says Intel: By 2015 more than 12 billion devices will be capable of connecting to 500 billion hours of TV and video content, says chip giant Intel. It said its vision of TV everywhere will be more personal, social, ubiquitous and informative. [BBC]

Sundance Announces 2010 New Frontier Artists: A fully immersive media lounge environment will present a collection of digital art, film screenings, multimedia performances, site-specific installations and video presentations. [The Wrap]

Gossip Girl: A Real NYU Student Grades This Season: This season on "Gossip Girl," Blair, Vanessa, and Dan began their college careers at New York University. But from the very moment Queen Waldorf stepped into her dorm room, something felt a little off. As a seasoned (and current) student of school, I like to think that I know a little more about NYU than the TV producer. So let's review the truth behind the gossip. [Yahoo! TV]

Twitter, John Mayer & The Importance Of Internet Rule 17On my Facebook wall this week, a friend posted what, in my opinion, was probably the most pertinent album review I’ve ever read. The final line: Merely by existing, “Battle Studies” violates Internet Rule 17: Never let your Twitter account be more interesting than you are. [Ypulse.com]

Introduction to Using Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright.

The Commons provides free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof.

This printable guide provides an overview of how to use Creative Commons along with additional information regarding technical implementation on the Web. Introduction to Using Creative Commons

Additional Resources

Weekly Wrap: Privacy is Dead, Guide to Social Media and Kids, Yahoo Music Video Search, Millennial TV Stereotypes & More!

Barking.robot.iconPrivacy is Dead: Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare, Twitter, Fitbit and the SenseCam give us a simple choice: participate or fade into a lonely obscurity. The last method, the SenseCam, can be worn around your neck, and takes a photo of your life every 30 seconds. This post gives an in depth explanation as to how the high price of not capturing and sharing every moment of our lives will soon dwarf the cost to our privacy. [CNN]

Pocket Guide to Social Media & Kids: When is a phone not a phone? In the hands of children and tweens, today’s cell phones are primarily used as text messaging devices, cameras, gaming consoles, video viewers, MP3 players, and incidentally, as mobile phones via the speaker capability so their friends can chime in on the call. Parents are getting dialed in to the social media phenomenon and beginning to understand—and limit—how children use new media. [Nielsen Wire]

Times Publisher Compares Print Media to Iceberg: NYT publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. responds to the question of what advice he has for people going into journalism. His response, comparing to the Titanic, is not what you think. He reminds people that the airplane was actually invented 12 years before the Titanic set sail. See how he compares that to journalism and the future of newspapers. [NY Magazine]

Suicidal Teen Saved by Facebook: A teen who posted a Facebook suicide note was saved after a frantic international race-against-time rescue. [Star]

New Blackberry Bold Targeting Gen Y: The flagship BlackBerry Bold 9700 was today launched in Sydney, with the manufacturer, Research in Motion, targeting the nascent Y Generation as a key new demographic. (Thanks to YPulse for the heads up!) [Current]

Yahoo! Adds Music Video Search: Starting today, you can easily dive into albums and songs by your favorite music artist in Yahoo! Video Search. We have hooked into the “Web of Things” to intelligently extract the most popular albums and songs for artist or band queries. This feature lets you explore music artists intuitively and easily. [Yahoo! Search Blog]

Defying Labels Millennials Are Leaving Their Mark on TV: That simplistic kind of presentation of youth on TV has shown its limits over the decades; easy-to-read stereotypes no longer seem credible. It’s archaic to define young TV characters at a glance, to merely stamp them with shorthand labels such as “popular kid’’ or “jock.’’ [Boston Globe]

Electronic Arts Introduces Flip e-books for DS: Electronic Arts is confident that its new Flips range of e-books for kids can not only be a sales success – but actually widen the audience of Nintendo’s DS. (Thanks Matthew!) [MCV]

Forests Cleared to Make Children's Books: New report reveals that a significant amount of deforestation in Asia's tropical forests is caused by the production of kid's books. (Hat Tip @Michael Pinto) [Mother Nature Network]

Queen Rania|Stop Ignoring the Girls!: Global leaders are overlooking one of their most valuable weapons in the fight against everything from climate change to economic turmoil. [Daily Beast]

Social Web Tips for Teens: Today part of parenting is learning about all the technology our kids are using.  This is not an easy task and for many of us that didn't grow up in "cyberspace" it can be daunting. Related: Amy James on technology and your kids. [Examiner] [Knowledge Essentials]

Is Michael Buckley the Future of TV?

As online video continues to grow by leaps and bounds, the networks continue to navel gaze looking for  ways to hold on to their dying business model, the TV 2.0 revolution is being led by niche content producers like Michael "Buck Hollywood" Buckley

The monopoly once held by broadcast media is over and now, in addition to cable outlets, they must compete with causal gaming, online video and social networking for viewers eyeballs.

Michael Buckley is the star of "What the Buck Show" a show that he writes, produces and distributes on YouTube. Before you dismiss Michael's show as mere UGC YouTube drivel, consider this: What the Buck Show has over 600,930 subscribers (one of the most subscribed channels of ALL TIME), 180 million views and is the top rated entertainment show on all of YouTube.

In December of 2008, he was featured on the front page of the New York Times and he has appeared on CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, FoxNews, the CW, BloombergTV, and E! Each episode of “What the Buck?” is viewed an average of 200,000 times and the more popular ones have reached up to three million views. Not to mention the 250,000+ Twitter followers!

What's the secret of his success? Hard work, a loyal fan base, deep engagement with his viewer community, willingness to give back to the YouTube community, and a deep understanding of how viewers consume media.

  • Community: Odds are that, unless I'm part of a studio audience, I won't have an opportunity to interact with Jay Leno, David Letterman or Conan O'Brien. However, a fan of What The Buck can interact with Michael via Twitter, YouTube, his live show on BlogTV or even email. Not only does he banter with his audience across all US time zones, he also interacts with his fans in the UK as well. When does this guy sleep?
  • Snack Size Snippets: Michael produces content that is quick and easy to view. Unlike broadcast and cable TV, viewers don't have to dedicate a hour to watch an entire show. They can watch an entire episode in 4 or 5 minutes. And since Michael is able to produce new episodes at a moments notice, his content is current, fresh and relevant to viewers.
  • Call to Action: There is nothing passive about an episode of What the Buck. Whether it's subscribing to his show, asking for their video responses to his show, or asking what they think--Michael is constantly asking for his audience to be involved in the creation of the show. This provides both user retention and engagement, but also makes viewers feel like they have a stake in the success of the show.
  • Get Real: One of the things that makes Michael so popular is that, unlike network shows or 'traditional media' outlets, Michael will call it as he sees it. Miley on a pole at the Nickelodeon Teen Choice Awards? Michael is the first one to go all What the Buck! and call her out on her inappropriate behavior. Michael says what most people are thinking, and his authenticity is a great hook to keeping the audience engaged and coming back for more.

The future of TV might not be online video or UGC, but indie digital content producers like Michael Buckley have used free tools like YouTube, hard work and raw talent to create both buzz and an audience hungry for his content, leaving fans shouting "I had to have it!"

Game on TV. Game on.

Weekly Wrap: Madonna & Glee, Social Media Shakeout, H1N1 Parents Guide, Google Music, Social Media ROI, Zynga's Cafe World & More!

RobotIconMadonna Grants Music Rights to Glee: The Material Girl has given the Fox series the rights to her catalog for an all-Madonna-themed episode in the works for early next year, according to Entertainment Weekly. [TV Guide]

Time for a Social Networking Shakeout? What's unclear is where social networking goes from here. Experts at Wharton say there's still a lot of growth left in the sector, but a round of consolidation, reinvention and restructuring is likely in the not-too-distant future. [Forbes]

Virtual Goods Sales Could Increase 150%: We have spoken with several casual online game publishers, social networks, and companies that facilitate virtual good transactions in the past week. Based on these conversations, we estimate that virtual goods sales could grow as much as 100% to 150% this year in America and Western Europe. [SAI]

Why Charging for Online Content (Mostly) Won't Work: Content is really good at attracting audiences -- but it's not so great at directly generating revenue through gated-content subscriptions. Sorry, but you just need to get over it. Most people can get most content one way or another and circumventing the gated-content model is not that hard for users. [AdAge]

Yahoo! & WPP Announce Branded Content Partnership: Under this deal GroupM will create the content while Yahoo! will provide the distribution. In some cases this will involve creating micro-sites for the webisodes. [SAI]

Zinkia Takes Pocoyo Online: Aimed primarily at 3 to 8 year olds, the virtual world is currently available in English and Spanish, with other language versions to be rolled out over the coming months. [Global License]

Teens Might Be Surprised by What They Find in the Library: Librarians need to realize and accept that reading is not just limited to books, but includes magazines, graphic novels, social networking and text messaging. They need to expand their view of literature. [Lufkin Daily News]

College Kids Are the Digital Demo: College students are the most connected demographic group in the US. They own multiple electronic devices and are a prime audience for online video. [eMarketer]

New Google Music Service Launch Imminent: Google will soon launch a music service, we’ve heard from multiple sources, and the company has spent the last several weeks securing content for the launch of the service from the major music labels. [TechCrunch]

The Final Word on Social Media ROI: Right now people seem to be fretting far too much over ROI and social media. Right now the camps seem to be polarized and split into two very outspoken groups. [Shuaism]

Louisiana Targets Student-Teacher Communication: Beginning next month, Louisiana public schools will be required to document all electronic communication that occurs between teachers and students. The new law will even require tracking exchanges initiated by students to teachers via personal devices the schools don't own. [eSchool News]

The Making of Zynga's Cafe World: Cafe World has topped 15 million users and it has helped boost Zynga’s presence on Facebook to more than 148 million monthly active users. It’s clear that Zynga is now reaching a mass market through Facebook. [GamesBeat]

What Parents Need to Know About H1N1: There is so much information about this year's flu and H1N1 (Swine Flu) that most parents don't know who to believe. We asked the Infection Control department at Phoenix Children's Hospital to give us the facts about H1N1. Related: Get H1N1 updates on your mobile phone. [Phoenix Children's Hospital] [Barking Robot]