Let it leak

Viral marketing via peer-to-peer isn’t new, but it may have just taken a big step. I was first introduced to the idea when Priceline posted a TV commercial to the file-sharing networks before it aired on TV. This was the ad in which spokesman William Shatner learned he was being replaced by Leonard Nimoy. It was funny and unexpected, and it spread quickly thanks to its availability on Kaaza and other P2P services.

Similar tactics have been employed pretty regularly since then. In the UK, an “unauthorized” TV commercial of a Ford decapitating a cat captured eyeballs when it was discovered in the P2P space. Even Apple has made iTunes… Read More »

Owning the issue

A good friend of mine who works on the IABC staff finds the discussion taking place on Allan Jenkins’ blog disturbing. I don’t know what aspect of the discussion is distressing, but I’m guessing it’s the fact that a candid, no-holds-barred debate about IABC is taking place and IABC has no control over it.

Welcome to the real world.

The conversation so far features 23 separate comments from a handful of participants, including former IABC chair Charles Pizzo, Robert Holland, Eric Eggertson, David Murray, Jeremy Pepper, Brian Kilgore, Allan himself, and me. The focus of the conversation has meandered, as conversations do. Lately it has… Read More »

That’s the way the cookies crumble

All those cookies your Web developers build into your company’s Web sites may be useless, at least as a means of measuring behaviors. A study by JupiterMedia has concluded that more than half of Internet users delete the cookies dropped on their computers. Fifty-eight percent of users have deleted cookies and 39% delete them monthly from their primary computers. There goes your ability to gather information—at least, via cookies.

While most cookies are harmless, fear is the motivating factor in getting rid of them. It’s time, then, to give up on cookies and look for better ways to measure the effectiveness of our online communication… Read More »

News at the crossroads

While some journalists continue to crank out columns decrying the rise of blogs, the Project for Excellence in Journalism sees them as a new but entrenched part of the media landscape. In its recently released “The State of the News Media 2005,” the Project suggests that the news media has shifted its focus from verifying facts to going to press with little or no verification. Consequently, while the need for truth has grown, truth has become harder to identify.

Blogs represent part of one of the major trends listed in the study: “There are now several models of journalism, and the trajectory increasingly is toward those that are… Read More »

The Hobson & Holtz Report - Podcast #15: March 14, 2005

Content summary: A new phone-in comment service now available; listeners’ comments: on sound quality, a suggestion for interview transcriptions; customer service and the Technorati example; government lobbying and Cisco’s new blog; the revolutionary fervour of blogging and the evolutionary development of mainstream media; ethics in PR; IABC: leadership and transparency in discussion.

Show notes for March 14, 2005

Download MP3 podcast

Welcome to For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report, a 52-minute conversation recorded live from Concord, California, USA, and Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Download the file here (MP3, 23.3MB), or sign up for the… Read More »

Gallup and consequences

A new Gallup poll (reported by Jim Horton) reinforces data collected earlier this year by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Most adult Americans don’t read blogs, and a lot of those don’t even know what they are.

Three-quarters of the U.S. public uses the Internet at work, school, or home, but only one in four Americans are either very familiar or somewhat familiar with blogs (the shortened form of the original “Web logs”). More than half, 56%, have no knowledge of them. Even among Internet users, only 32% are very or somewhat familiar with blogs.

In reporting these findings, Jim Horton notes, “Lest we get too messianic… Read More »

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