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Year: 2009

Winter Wonderland

For those who don’t live in Colorado, you may not be aware that we got a nice snow storm to help ring in the Christmas cheer.  Hopefully everyone is staying warm and dry right now!  With the snow looming, Bethany and I managed to put up our Christmas tree and lights the day before the snow arrived.  It made for some very nice pictures!


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They don’t make videos like this anymore

I came across the latest OK Go video, which made me miss the time when music videos had a great deal of creativity in them.  I don’t mean to sound dated, but you really don’t see the diverse thought and efforts in music videos (if they even show them anymore) as you see with OK Go.  If you remember, these were the guys that did the “Treadmill Video” (here it goes again) as well as some awesome choreography in “A Million Ways“.

All of these are worth a look.  It’s too bad that these are more rare these days.

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Hate the BCS? Take out your frustrations on Twitter

Social media tools are changing the way that we communicate and interact.  Unfortunately for a much-despised BCS (College Football Bowl Championship Series), it makes it all the more easy of playoff fans to take swipes at their enemy.

If you don’t follow college football, here summary: The BCS is a computer-based system that creates the official college football rankings based on a complex set of stats (# of wins, conference position, strength of schedule, etc).  The results are used to determine who will play in the national championship game.  The problem with this is that many times teams with 1 losses have been placed in the championship game, while undefeated teams get shut out.  This year is especially contentious, as there are 6 undefeated teams, but the BCS has pretty much come out and told TCU, Boise State and Cincinnati that they have no shot for the championship game.

With the success of March Madness in College Basketball, combined with the fact that Division 2 & 3 football have a playoff, it’s puzzling why College Football hasn’t adopted a playoff system. One of the popular playoff alternatives is "the Wetzel plan", which puts together a criteria for a 16-team playoff.

Earlier this week, I saw the story in Deadspin how the BCS has employed a new PR firm, whose first actions was to establish a Twitter and Facebook presence in this Social Web World.  This makes enough sense, but they’ve committed two serious errors in judgment: 1) Forgetting that they’re a controversial and much-despised, and would likely have more critics than fans; 2) Actually engaging their critics by baiting them into debate, without fully participating in the conversation.

Hilarity ensues: For the past few days, it’s been a fun game to do a search by the BCS’s username: @InsideTheBCS and see them make a straw man claim, then watch their critics go to town on them without any response.  Check it out below:


What’s been great is that the critics have actually been presenting good arguments.  There are a few personal attacks here and there, but for the most part the responses have been well-reasoned (for as much as you can be in 140 characters or less).  The problem is that @InsideTheBCS doesn’t really respond to any of the valid points, it pretty much continues to make their contentious, canned responses that they’re given phrased differently.  They do respond to some users, but mainly when they have the canned answer in their wheelhouse.

Let this be a social media lesson to brands/organizations, especially unpopular ones: Unless you’re willing to engage in an authentic conversation with your critics, then controversial groups should probably stay away from social media.  Having your PR Firm running this interference is only hurting you in the court of public opinion.  Worse yet, it’s banding your enemies together.  While I’ve always hated the BCS, I really didn’t care much about this issue until three days ago – when it became entertaining to have this conversation.  Something tells me that the people doing PR for the BCS are having a very lousy week.

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EA’s Brass Stones

I was playing Madden on my X-box the other day (but let’s face it, that’s all I ever do with my X-box from August to Christmas), when after choosing my play I saw the following on my pre-snap screen.


Wow EA, talk about ballsy.  Is it not enough that Madden is the most popular sports franchise of all time, and that suckers like me continue to shell out $60 each season for the equivalence of roster updates?  Now you’ve resorted to showing me ads on the game that I paid for that obstruct the game experience?  Thanks jerks!

Look, I’m fine with you inserting ads into the game where it’s realistically done so.  I’ve come to accept the “Sprint Recap”, and the “Snickers Chompion Coin Toss” for two reasons: 1) It doesn’t interfere with my actual game play; 2) Because this is done during regular NFL games and is a sad reflection of the level of sponsorship in the NFL.  The league is pretty bad when it comes to in-game ads, but I don’t see ads streaming across the jumbotron before the QB is going to snap the ball.

Seriously EA?  I understand you’re not a charity, but there has to be better ways to get revenue than this.  Quit killing your golden goose, or before you know it it’ll stop laying eggs.

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More Demonstrations of the Movie Industry’s Incompetence

(From the “Better Late Than Never”) file: On the heels of the MPAA’s Indoctrination Piece on movie piracy, the movie industry again demonstrated their complete lack of competence in adapting to changing business models by screwing their customers.  Last week, a story came out in The Consumerist where the movie industry wants to stimulate purchases of new release by having rental companies like Netflix delay renting of new releases for a month.

I love their thinking here: “People don’t want to pay an arm & a leg to see the movie in a theater, so let’s see if they’ll pay an arm & a leg to buy that movie they’ve never seen before.”  I can only speak from experience, but I have never bought a new release movie if I haven’t seen it before in the theaters.

What makes things worse is that Netflix looks like it’s going tog with this.  Mashable quoted their CEO, “if we can agree on low enough pricing for delayed rental, it could potentially increase profits for everyone”.

Look, I know they think they’re hemorrhaging  money, but punishing your customers for wanting to see a new release is not the answer.  You need to think outside of the box on this one.  Make no mistake, pleasing customers is that last thing the movie industry is interested in. Nice business model. Then they wonder why people resort to piracy to view their content.

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