This is how we do it!

27 03 2008

Oh, I couldn’t resist with my title today. Today, there was an article in the NYT called Finding Political News Online, the Young Pass It On. I love it! Granted, I am studying political management, and I work online, so maybe I am a little bias. But ok, here goes. This article talks about how young voters get the news. Online. Not only do we get our news online, but we pass it along online. I (sample of one, yes, I know) watch local news in the morning before I go to work, mostly for weather and traffic updates, but I pick up a few pieces of national news. Then, during the day, I read the NYTimes, the Washington Post, and I peruse Perez Hilton (which is a guilty pleasure). If If I have time during lunch or something, I will check out the Ft. Worth Star Telegram to see what is going on where my family lives, and once a week I try to read The Stranger. Most of my blog postings come from something in one of these publications. Anyway, the point is, these are the places I get my news. That and from friends. I probably get at least 10 urls from friends via instant messenger or email a day. That doesn’t even count blog postings that I read along the way. According to the article, there was a study done by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press with a “broad look at how media was consumed for this campaign cycle.” Not surprisingly, the results were that more than 50% of the respondents over the age of 50 reported watching local news regularly for campaign news. 39% of 30 to 49 year olds report watching local news for campaign news, but less than 25% of people under the age of 30 report that they do. 66% of web users under the age of 30 report that they use social networking sites, and less than 20% of older users do. 40% of young people have watched a candidate speech, interview, commercial, or debate online. Presidential candidates Barack Obama, Hillary R. Clinton, and John McCain all have profiles on Facebook where they have numerous friends, friends who translate into young supporters. It isn’t even a new concept if you think about it. It goes back to the old school idea of “word-of-mouth” marketing, or buzz marketing. When we see something interesting online, we share it. In the online world, we call that “going viral.” I am glad that someone is figuring out that online is the place to go to reach young voters. I think we are going to see a big(ger) turnout of young voters in November, and it is because the use of the net for campaigning has expanded immensely in the past few years. I can go to Youtube right now and find a video of Chelsea Clinton’s appearance at Butler University if I wanted to. And share it with a few friends. I’m glad to see young people getting excited about it. Let’s just hope that translates into votes.

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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.