Pepperdine considers cutting PR

Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, is considering eliminating its public relations program, combining it into a single “integrated marketing” discipline. The decision isn’t final, and one PR student is fighting to keep the program alive. Jeremy Pepper has obtained the rights to reprint the O’Dwyer story in his blog, along with an interview with the student who is protesting the move.

How people read news on the Web

The folks at the Poynter Institute are out with their Eyetrack III study results. For the study, the Institute “observed 46 people for one hour as their eyes followed mock news websites and real multimedia content.” Some of the key findings:

* People look at the upper left-hand corner of the page first (which contradicts results of a UIE study that showed people first looked at the middle of the screen)
* Smaller type leads to more focused reading (as opposed to scanning)
* The first few words in a headline grab the most attention
* People read summary descriptions (sub-heads leading into articles)

The study is rich in fascinating… Read More »

Pop-up ads do their job

Here’s one from the “blinding flash of the obvious” department. Wired News reports that pop-up ads and other annoying, intrusive, interruptive advertising—including spam—works. Well, yeah. I sorta figured that’s why they were still around. If advertisers weren’t making money off these aggravations, they would have vanished a long time ago.

The article notes that pop-ups generate 5 to 10 times the response rate of banner ads. Further, last year consumers spent $32 billion (with a b) on products advertised in e-mail messages.

This just reinforces my belief that the only way to put an end to spam and pop-ups is through a public awareness… Read More »

You’ll never get rich…

Associated Press reports that most bloggers aren’t in it for the money. The article quotes Sreenath Sreenivasan, professor of new media at Columbia University. Sreenivasan, who also reports on technology for WABC-TV, says blogger income hasn’t increased commensurate with their visibility. “There’s a very tiny percentage of people who are making anywhere close to a living from blogs,” he said.

Uncovering political forgeries

By now you’ve probably heard that the documents shown last night on 60 Minutes II may be forgeries despite CBS’s contention that a handwriting expert validated them as authentic. What you may not be hearing from the traditional media is that bloggers—notably some who are also dedicated computer geeks—are the ones who have uncovered what may turn out to be fraud. (CBS is standing by its story, and Dan Rather asserts that the documents are only one piece of the puzzle.) Who else would spend time comparing kerning in Word to kerning on a typewriter? Tech Central Station has the full story.

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