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Wikimapia: another step forward

Check out this cool new Wiki that brings Google Earth, consumer generated content, reference sources and collaboration together… Wikimapia.

The app allows you to focus in on a monument, tourist site, natural wonder, whatever, and view the satellite image and a description. Post your own or just browse around. Cool and useful ;)

[Hat tip Steve Rubel]

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Does TV make sense for IM.com?

So, I was up way too late watching bad late night TV (okay, it was a CSI re-run so not so horrible ;)) and on comes this commercial for IM.com, a service which delivers TV shows to your PC.

Now, I’m not the typical demographic for Spike TV at 2am. I happen to be pretty damn internet savvy and, if I say so myself, youngish and hipish… oh, and I’m a woman. A good person to test drive IM.com and spread the word for sure… but, I’d be willing to guess there were maybe 10 of us types watching (and probably only me actually paying attention) during this time slot.

Hence my question: does TV make sense for IM.com?

Or would they have made better use of their media budget by targeting the people who would embrace the new service, educate their friends and spread the word?

Some ways of doing this could include: targeting key bloggers based on types of channels available (i.e. tech aficionados, news junkies, etc.), a MySpace page, YouTube podcasts, deli.cio.us and technorati tags, cross promotions with the channel providers, contests for submitted podcasts, RSS ads, SEM strategies, online sponsorships, etc.

Based on the niche channel line-up they have right now and the newness of the tech, which approach would you pick?

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Sutori: are you ready for feedback?

Looks like the agency’s are starting to explore social networking and community relations. Tara points us to a new online review site developed by Blast Radius (a Canadian agency) called Sutori. It’s a good concept and one that I’m sure I’m not the only one who has talked about ways to implement in recent months… community reviews and feedback on companies.

What’s really interesting about this, aside from the idea of direct and meaningful feedback to begin with, is that an ad agency is building it. Good on Blast for taking this chance. I get how, from their perspective, this can provide a wealth of information on what consumers think about a particular company, or product, which Blast can monetize and use in their client campaigns (sorry, I’m never one to think anyone does anything for altruistic reasons… not in the agency world at least…)…(I could see it as two levels of packages: free summary and aggregate data which the brand can then try and disseminate and manage themselves and the “premium” package, available free of charge to current Blast customers, and for a fee to non-Blast customers… the premium package will most likely provide metrics and analysis of the data for the company). But it’s still taking a chance nonetheless; you never know what people will tell you if you give them an easy way to do so.

I like that the “three j’s” are thinking in terms of how to maintain civility in the reviews, and the plea to “contain a certain level of goodwill towards the brand, product or company you‚Äôre writing about” is a noble one, but, like I said, people are people and if they’re pissed off they’ll say so… and that could make a Blast client cranky. So it’s a chance, but a good one.

Of course, as with anything social networking related that is initiated by a company, it will need to remain authentic and transparent. Consumers are getting wise to PR, marketing and ad agency folk jumping into message boards and saying positive things about a brand without disclosure… I hope Blast has a strategy for combating this inevitable trend.

[Update] John from Blast clarifies the issue surrounding their intent to monetize in the comments. And, I apologize for the muddy title… the “are you ready” refers to brands hearing from consumers, not Sutori from me ;)

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Gore and MySpace: If you ‘invented’ the internet you’d use MyS too

Al Gore is making waves these days. Seems like everytime you turn around, there he is. SNL, Wired, Sundance, and now MySpace.

Gore & Paramount Classics announced a broad partnership with social networking site MySpace to promote his documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” and promote activism with regards to global warming and climate change.

The partnership, as well as the totality of the marketing campaign surrounding the film, is a window into how non-profits (and business) can participate in an established online community, or social network, and engage in a conversation, provide rich content and value, and leverage multiple channels to build on each other… and remain true to the unique atributes of each of them.

Click to continue reading “Gore and MySpace: If you ‘invented’ the internet you’d use MyS too”

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Nike and Apple still ahead of the game

Brand pioneers Nike and Apple announced a new partnership which enables consumers to track their distance while running on their iPod.

Beautiful synergy here. This is focused on the consumer and gets how they can use each product in a complimentary way… it’s simple, it’s easy and it’s cool. And, for an added bit of value, they’re including a Nike Sport Music section on the iTunes store.

So… Listen to Nike recommended ’sport’ tunes on your iPod, which you downloaded at the iTunes store, while running in your Nike shoes, and tracking your distance at the same time. Dare I say it again… synergy.

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