Today’s Digital Consultant Links for February 13th

These are my links for February 13th from 10:29 to 11:44:

  • Warner Music to quit streaming online? – I'm not sure if this story just relates to New Zealand, but it's intriguing to see that Warners, the smallest of the 'big 4' record labels, is considering withdrawing from the popular yet profitless streaming space and setting up rival premium subscription services. This to me is a return to the segregated bad old days of 2002 when different labels got together to establish seperate e-tail services – all of which failed miserably. Punters don't care WHICH label a band is on (unless it's a specialist indie), just that the service is good, affordable and has lots of what they like. So unless Warners (a massively loss making company who may struggle to see it through this decade) can get other majors on board, this idea is dead in the water. We're building too many boats here with not enough passengers.
  • Dotty Mummy :A wry and humorous look at one Mummy’s struggle through life – Sometimes the internet can be a dark as well as uplifting place. I came across this lady's Twitter feed as people were asking about her on Twitter due to a suicidal blog and Twitter post. Thanks to a quick Twitter led rescue mission by one of her online friends, Dotty was rescued and taken to hospital after taking a lethal overdose. Her blog is heartfelt reading too: with little written to disguise her identity (which has led to her survival) she writes emotively about her life as a mother, battling depression and a marriage break down. Yet there's a downside: Dotty's disclosure of her difficult choices, and the comments made by readers criticising her, accelerated her path towards suicide. To me, Dotty's struggle symbolises the light and dark of social media: it acts as a life line for those without a voice, but can be a damning void of faceless hatred in the same admission.
  • Google Buzz Makes Gmail Social – If you haven't got it already, internet mega lords Google are trying to get a steal in the social networking space and microblogging status updates. Google Buzz is not disimilar to Twitter but sits within users existing Gmail system, and favours a 'closed' network of people you already email, thus being more like Facebook. I can't see this being the big killer app of 2010, however, there are probably uses for business-to-business communications from those who aren't as public or prolific as Twitter users. The big win: It sits where you already are (your email), no need to visit third party sites/services. The big lose: if you aren't using Gmail day to day, it's unlikely to take off, thus limiting its potential to grow.
  • Measuring Engagement is just another term for Measuring Relationships – Good article from a PR's perspective applying relationship engagement particularly within a social media context by applying Grunig's relationship theory. The advice is to measure not just the metrics but the move from 'lurker' to active participant and advocate in your different channels (this can be done quantatively, but I would think impossible to track individual's usage on multiple channels (and potentially unethical) but certainly aggregating changes in user behaviour i.e. new 'retweeters' each month or those entering more engaged programmes is positive for organisations or brands who wish to build long-term communities of interest.
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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 (WeBuyAnyCar.com 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.
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Digital Consultant links for December 4th through December 7th

These are my links for December 4th through December 7th:

  • Global Web Index – Interesting research of 32,000 global internet users showing their levels of participation in web 2.0 digital content creation. Users in China are far more 'engaged' as creators than Europe, and UK/US very 'unengaged' compared to Brazil, Russia, China, India and other parts of Europe.
  • More Research To Back The Notion That Streaming Kills Piracy – Well, doesn't kill as such, but the popularity of services like Spotify and Hulu in US have dampened peer-to-peer downloads – the question is how streaming can now be monetized.
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