23 06 2008

Have you ever noticed that when you think you need to go to sleep, because you have to get up uncharacterisitically early, you can’t ever fall asleep? This is a chronic thing with me. When I have early flights, or early meetings….it is almost as if I would be better off not going to sleep, and running on low for the day, then crashing that night. Alas…

I had a 6am flight this morning to get to New York for the Personal Democracy Forum (yay, techies!). Because of my 6am flight, I was up at 4am. Knowing this, I attempted to go to sleep around 10:30 last night. Did not work. At all. At 2am, I was still awake. Which promted me to hit my snooze button when the alarm went off at 4 this morning. I almost missed my flight. It was pretty crazy. I was irritable until I was on that plane. Needless to say, I have not yet had my am coffee, something that is severely inhibiting my mood. Yet I took the time to sit and blog. I have now arrived at the conference, and discovered that (like all good techie conferences) we have decent internet access. So, I am going to be blogging throughout the day today and tomorrow, chronicling the goings-on and the nonsense. But now, I am off in search of coffee…

Ciao, baby!



Human Behavior

21 04 2008

It’s been a while, almost two weeks since I’ve actually blogged. Life has been next to hectic, and still is. However, today is my birthday, so I am actually taking the time to do things I enjoy. Before my study marathon tonight….because finals are this week. So, there was an article in the NYT last week that sparked my interest. Human behavior has always been fascinating to me, and it was because of that that I chose to study marketing as an undergraduate. Why not psychology? Well, because I am interested in the parts of human behavior that drive consumer choices. So, who buys what and for what reasons. Marketers study these behaviors in order to know who to market products to and how best to approach them. The idea is called targeting. Well, with all the advances that have been made in research methods, we can take it a step farther and start microtargeting. Microtargeting takes it to a whole new level, beyond demographic, geographic, and psyhographic information. This article was all about microtargeting used by pollsters for political campaigns. *as a side note, political science and business are very separate in college, which I think only harms the spread of new and inventive marketing tactics* Like minded people are targeted not based on age and gender, but instead based on what television shows they watch, the magazines or newspapers they subscribe to, and even the purchases they make at the grocery store. The article points to several specific food stuffs and can pinpoint which candidate you are likely to vote for based on your purchase of any of these items. “For example, Dr Pepper is a Republican soda. Pepsi-Cola and Sprite are Democratic. So are most clear liquors, like gin and vodka, along with white wine and Evian water. Republicans skew toward brown liquors like bourbon or scotch, red wine and Fiji water.” This is a tiny excerpt from the article by Kim Severson. Can you categorize your friends (politically) based on their likes and dislikes?
How does any of this help in a political campaign? Well, there is some debate about how much help this level of microtargeting does help. It won’t help you convince someone that your healthcare plan is better than the other guy’s, but it can definitely help you know where to advertise. Microtargeting is business tool that has just recently been noticed in the world of political marketing, something I choose to think of as social marketing. It’s on the rise, and we are going to see more and more in the coming election. Read the full article here.

Zivity.com: A Sexy Spin on Social Networking?

14 03 2008

A website has been launched by Silicon Valley’s own Scott Banister. His vision is a social network, one that connects people via the web. Oh great, just what we need, another Facebook/MySpace/Friendster/Linked In. But wait! Scott has added his own unique twist to the site, zivity.com. The site, which requires a $10 monthly subscription fee, allows nudity No, not only allows it, that is what the site is devoted to. His goal is to drive a competitive profit against those deemed “raunchy porn sites” that host pictures that make the ones on zivity.com tame in comparison. By its own admission, zivity.com is a “community-powered showcase promoting female beauty.” Pornography sites on the web rake in huge profits every month, so why is this site going to be any different? In an interview for ABC News.com, co-founder Scott Banister said “It’s a social network built around who took the photographs. We look at that and we see a huge opportunity to enter that same market, but with a subscription-only model.” The site, which is currently invite only, is similar to Facebook and MySpace in the fact that once you are a member, you meet and become friends with fellow users online. However, the also gain access to the nude photos, and are afforded 5 votes a month to decide award to their favorites. The photographers (because this is all for the photographers…) are paid based on the number of votes they receive. All of the models are paid as well.
Why charge a subscription fee? Well, in order to avoid advertisers, of course! But is that really what subscribers think they are paying for? The website has a waiting list of 30,000 people, according to this article, which is pretty impressive.
What can we learn from this, other than the fact that porn is becoming more sophisticated? Well, that the world of social networking is moving to private communities. That’s right, just like we have gated communities, those big communities that have a guard at the gate, and their own lake, and a private park, social networking communities are starting to move to these “gated communities.” Facebook is cool, but open to everyone (and I am not knocking Facebook, I love Facebook), and pretty soon, invite-only communities are going to become the “place to be.” Could this signify the beginning of the end for my beloved Facebook? Well, I don’t know if this site will survive, but it’s got a pretty good shot-plus, they have just secured funding from BlueRun Ventures and Founder’s Fund, which has bankrolled PayPal and Pogo.com. Read the entire ABC News article here.

Happy π Day!

14 03 2008

Yes, today happens to be 3/14/2008, or 3.14, which most people recognize as the universal number for Pi. So, today is Pi Day. It has it’s own website, which you can find here. Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Math and tech nerds everywhere are celebrating 3.14 in their own way. This website is celebrating by a ceremony called “The Dropping of the Giant Pi.” Think the ball drop on New Year’s Eve, only a lot more geeky. I believe it is slated to drop at 1.59pm, although I couldn’t tell you if that was EST, CST, or whathaveyou (3.14159). The site is currently playing a replay of last year’s pi drop, incase you need to get into the spirit.
Here are some popular Pi jokes, for your enjoyment.
Q: What do you call what happens when you cut a jack’o’lantern by its diameter?
A: Pumpkin Pi!
Q: What do you get when you take green cheese and divide its circumference by its diameter?
A: Moon Pi.
Q:What do you get when you take the sun and divide its circumference by its diameter?
A: Pi in the sky.
You can find more from Professor Al G. Bra here.
Happy π Day from me to you!

What We Want by Ashley Alexandra Dupre

13 03 2008

So a post on Tech Digest is reporting that Ashley/Kristen’s song “What We Want” was available for purchase as an Mp3 on Amie Street. The website apparently prices songs by their popularity. Before this story broke, Ash’s song was $.19. The price has risen to $.98 today. FYI, she has another song available too, called “Move Ya Body.” The full story is here, and AshK’s Amie Street site is here.

Miz Dupre *update*

13 03 2008

*And, her music site is baaaaaaaaaaaaack……………….is it possible her site is being hijacked? Or are we just being yanked around by the elusive Miz Dupre? 

*And now, this site houses someone named Nina. I suppose we have lost track of Miz Dupre. 

The Chicago Tribune‘s Swamp is reporting that Miz Dupre has taken down her MySpace page (seriously, can anyone blame her?) as of noon today. The article can be found here. Interestingly enough, the MySpace link that I posted in the earlier post is still active and takes you to a page inhabited simply by “Ashley.” She’s had some people write little notes of support, but is it really even her? I mean, the site isn’t private. I could access it without being her friend, and I think that most people that don’t want to be found would set their profiles to private (so only friends can see the content.) Is this just someone who gets online and says that they are Lindsey Lohan? Or, AA Dupre? Just a thought……
I for one am glad that she deactivated her profile. Privacy seems to be what she needs right now. (I say as I blog about it.)
Good luck, Ash!

Governor Spitzer

12 03 2008

Dear (former)Governor Spitzer,
Shame on you. Soliticiting sex for money is illegal, and you should know better. If you were going to partake in such socially unacceptable actions, then you should have made it legal in New York. You probably would have had the support of several of your fellow politicians, plus the Mets (well, the Yankees don’t have to pay for sex, now do they?), and a handful of constituents as well. Alas, you did not, and now you can be charged for solicitation. True that usually “Johns” as they are called, a group we’ve now placed you in, aren’t usually charged, usually it is the woman (it was a woman, correct? We never know these days) who gets slammed. Unfortunately, or fortunately, we can’t quite be sure which yet, you are a political figure who is subject to more than just being thrown out of the house by his wife. Yes, were you a regular Joe-excuse me, a regular John, then the harshest reprimanding you would receive would be from your family. No, no, you are Governor Eliot Spitzer. So, every minute detail of your life that wasn’t already being scrutinized is now going to be the forefront of many, many newspapers, blogs, online magazines, newscasts, radio shows, and all other forms of media. I assure you that I myself received several text messages about your scandalous activities. Bravo, sir! You have infiltrated all the forms of media. We are all saddened to see you go, sir, for you were a terrific Governor, and you have served the state of New York well. Did you think you could recover from this? Perhaps you thought, well, Bill didn’t have to resign. And look, his wife still loves him, the Democratic Party still loves him, and now his wife is running for President. So, surely New York will forgive me. Eli, baby, yes, New York loves you! New York will forgive you. But the media won’t. So I guess we say our goodbyes now. In closing, I must tell you. I knew Bill Clinton. And you sir, are no Bill Clinton.