Digital Consultant links for January 27th through January 28th

These are my links for January 27th through January 28th:

  • We7 Trying Premium Subs As Question Hangs Over Free-With-Ads – More evidence that the salvation of free music streaming sites to counteract illegal downloads isn't stacking up: We7 emulate Spotify by selling subscriptions to meet the shortfall of advertising incomes. One limitation seems to be that ad agencies aren't used to selling audio pre-roll adverts, or producing them ( anyone?)
  • Digital Strategy: Removing the Social Media Roadblocks – Some solid advice from Digalicious on how to proof your case, particularly in a corporate or bigger business environment, to proof the case and examine risks of adopting a social media strategy, from a CEO, legal, HR and marketers case.
  • MP3 pioneers launch ‘deluxe’ file – A new format to rival the MP3 and compete with Apple's new iTunes LP bunding in lyrics, song information and even other files like videos with an MP3. However, is this just for the multimedia-philes, when the 'good enough' cheaper (and smaller) MP3 files are likely to suffice for many? I find it interesting that now digital files are also becoming 'deluxe', which could lead to increases in legitimate file purchases.

Digital Consultant links for January 25th through January 26th

These are my links for January 25th through January 26th:

  • Revealed: The most effective Healthcare Engagement Strategies in the world – Creation Interactive are a digital engagement specialist agency, who have a lot of clients in healthcare. I've started working with them recently in the emerging field of digital engagement (which I predict will become big in 2010). Their recent healthcare engagement awards list some interesting approaches global businesses are using in investing in community content and services using social media settings which benefit both users and increases business reach. The win-win of digital engagement.
  • Finding The Long Tail In Music – More interesting US led discussion on the long tail – does it work in music? Can musicians succeed without the music machine's marketing muscle? My own research showed a lot of pros and cons, and was inconclusive. Mike Masnick from Techdirt is firmly a new media evangelist, but the overall discussion here is varied.
  • HarperCollins Publishers Expands Its Digital Strategy With the Launch of Inkpop, an Interactive Writing Platform for Teens – A somewhat interesting diversion: teen publisher divison of major publisher launches a platform for teen writers (and those writing for teens) to publish short stories, poems etc. and uses community and user rating to seek out fresh talent. The platform itself for me was somewhat drab but functional, but it shows a new openness in publishing to putting editorial out to graze, and letting the market talent scout (thus saving time and money).
  • Twitter User Growth Slowed From Peak of 13% in March 2009 to 3.5% in October – Hubspot's latest report on Twitter shows a slow down in new user registration, but an increase in user activity. It's actually really difficult to track Twitter as most people use third party apps to access their Twitter feed (I use TweetDeck). This article shows the average tweets, followers and following which is the baseline means of measuring the success of Twiter. Looking at the graph, it looks like the media spark gave Twitter an almighty boast in mid 2009, before a slow down to earlier, lower levels.
  • Why Diversity Can Backfire On Company Boards – Article on how to successful manage the (usually unsuccessful) fusion of diversity in board membership. This applies equally to a corporate, independent small company, or an arts or non-profit board.

Today’s Digital Consultant Links for January 15th

These are my links for January 15th from 00:21 to 10:49:

  • Bespoke CMS – bad news for you, good news for your agency – A one-sided but strong argument as to why using an agency's own CMS system instead of commercial systems or open source options (like WordPress, which this site is built on), to increase the potential to upgrade, get additional features, and not get locked-in. Makes sense to me, but I'd be interested to get the views of agencies who develop bespoke sites.
  • Jaron Lanier Is Rethinking the Open Nature of the Internet – Interesting NY Times article about Jaron Lanier, a digital thinker and musician, who believes the free-for-all download culture is killing both culture and creativity: “Creative people — the new peasants — come to resemble animals converging on shrinking oases of old media in a depleted desert.” A lot to question about here (e.g. referring to Google as a 'lock in' technology, I would seem them as a service provider) but shows that many of the earlier pioneers of the 'information-should-be-free' ideology of late '90s are now having second thoughts on the viability of maintaining a spirit of culture economy within it.
  • French 3 Strikes Group Unveils Copyright Infringing Logo – Most amusing, the French body to prevent copyright infringment online is being sued…for copyright infringement. That 1 of 3 strikes before they are offline. And shows it's incredibly difficult to keep within the complex rules of copyright – more so for an individuals.

Today’s Digital Consultant Links for January 14th

These are my links for January 14th from 20:28 to 22:29:

  • Webinar On Demand: Website Redesign Strategy for 2010 – A good 1hr audio/slide show presentation on what to consider on a website redesign – both on technical design, SEO and inbound marketing. Fun quote: "building a website is like putting a billboard in the desert."
    This article on A/B testing (using the example of eHarmony dating site's marketing tactics) is an interesting companion read:
  • Shadow’s starting the New Year off with a bang – Interesting blog and response from artist DJ Shadow having a rant about the sorry state of music biz, and how file-sharing is killing the art of new music. The comments show some fans support that his art should have value, others feel he is failing to move with the times. 2010 will be a year of a seismic shift between the thinking of emerging artists and established, the latter believing the industry model has failed, the former exploiting and benefiting from new opportunities based on direct engagement with fans.
  • HOW TO: Create Custom Backgrounds for Twitter, YouTube, & MySpace – If you're not too techie put want to pimp up and customise your social media profile, this handy article gives you step-by-step instructions and dimensions.

Digital Consultant links for January 6th through January 8th

These are my links for January 6th through January 8th:

  • How Social Media and the Web Helped Avatar Make $1 Billion – A detailed description of how James Cameron's latest movie hit Avatar used social media – less personally and more campaign based pre-launch – but allowing people access to trailers, unique content apps, and a live stream red carpet all contributed to big opening weekend box office sales. On an indie film-maker level, there's plenty of tips you can utilise, like Director's video blogging from the shoot (no internet? try Qik from your mobile) and a chatroom or video Q&A.
  • The Rise of Digital Music & The Return of the Record – It appears music sales have slightly increased this year thanks to a growth in digital album sales, and sales of vinyl are (thought in modest numbers overall) soaring.
  • Make your website work PDF – A short (15 page) e-book with Some basic guidelines on improving the design and performance of your e-commerce store with some useful stats on how different actions can increase conversion along the sales process (shockingly allowing buyers to purchase without registration reduces 40% of drop outs).
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