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MicroExplosion Media now has a new look and a new home as of February 6, 2008. Go to MicroExplosion.com to see where we are.

If you are a feed reader your feed should continue to work but if not, please go to the new site and resubscribe. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or quips please let me know.


Video of the Week: One Really (cool) Long Line

Two Sharpies and one really, really long line equals a pretty cool picture. My question is, are they going to leave this on the wall? Paint it maybe?

Link for the feed readers: Line Art


Tennessean Editor Says Newspapers Aren't Dying

I have been meaning to comment on this since the weekend...

In Sunday's paper, Tennessean editor Mark Silverman stated: "Fact is, newspapers aren't dying. Indeed, many newspapers are succeeding at keeping up with the changing needs of their audiences. Consider The Tennessean."

I'm withholding some of my thoughts on this for next week's episode of The New Mediology, but I'm curious if the editorial strikes anyone as a bit desperate sounding? The rationale seems shaky despite the "quantified" research he cites. I'll update this post when the podcast goes live and may elaborate a bit more.

One more thing...irony of ironies, I actually saw this article in a copy of the Sunday paper I purchased. I think it's the second or third Tennessean I've bought in five years.


Demographics of Facebook verses MySpace

I was listening to a recent episode of Marketing Over Coffee and they mentioned the results of a demographic study (Pathways to College Network is the reference, I think) of MySpace and Facebook. Here's what they said citing the study...

"MySpace tends to be more minority than caucasion, more female than male, and tends to be people from more lower income households. With Facebook the opposite is true. It's more caucasion than minority households, older, and wealthier."
Pretty interesting. I haven't heard either of the two social networks so distinctly segmented along these demographic lines. If this is true, it gives some perspective on which social network is more fitting for your next promotion depending on your target audience.


Target's Dumb Move Just Put A Bullseye on Them From Bloggers

I saw this morning that Target has responded to a recent request from a blogger about an advertisement complaint by saying: "Unfortunately we are unable to respond to your inquiry because Target does not participate with nontraditional media outlets."

The ad complaint aside, this response from Target was both interesting and surprising from an organization that seems to be on the forefront of cultural awareness and at least quite conscious of what people think about them. Anyone remember when they dropped "Christmas" for the more politically correct "holiday?"

The fact of the matter is that bloggers could be Target's best friends. Target does what it does well and could get extended mileage out of that by harnessing the power of bloggers. These ladies are a perfect example of that. They love Target.

What Target is likely thinking is that they don't have the personnel to respond to numerous blog posts and inquiries each day. I contend that Target can't afford not to engage bloggers. Target says they only respond to traditional media, but traditional media is increasingly following bloggers and becoming bloggers themselves. This entire story was picked up by The New York Times for crying out loud. Target talked to them of course...so it's a case in point. Bloggers can (and do) generate mainstream news.

I expect Target will take some heat from the blogosphere on this move. Kind of ironic they may find themselves in the cross hairs of bloggers given their logo. Target should do a couple things here:

1. Start a Blog ASAP - If Target starts a blog now they'll have the forum for a public response in the same medium as the criticism. Likewise they'll be prepared to address future blog requests on their own blog. This particular story would have been easily addressed on Target's blog if they had one and they wouldn't have had to concede if they disagreed with the ad complaint. The issue isn't about agreeing with critics, it's about engaging them at all. One blog and a part-time blogger could solve a lot of their problems and also make them better prepared to respond in the future. And that's just the reactive help a blog brings. There's a vast opportunity for Target to be proactive and positive with a blog, but that's a whole other blog post.

2. Be Open and Honest - Here's the thing about blogging, it's a great medium that facilitates conversation and understanding, but if you're not telling the whole truth, you're going to wish you never said anything at all. I don't think Target is trying to hide anything here, but this point is more about the tone and approach they should have when/if they start blogging. As long as they respond openly, honestly and candidly, people will see they don't have anything to hide and that they're willing to address concerns.

The rule of thumb is that when you're silent or avoid questions people will assume the worst. When you address an issue head-on and quickly you don't give it enough time to get a full surge of momentum. A well timed quick response can squelch an issue altogether. At the very least a quick response shows a willingness to address an issue publicly.

3. Ask for Help - If Target doesn't understand how to get a blog started or how to respond to blogs, they should find someone to help. From a technical side, any blogger they find will be useful to them regardless of what their own blog is about. Someone with news or public relations experience is a bonus. This is just another reason why public relations people have a better mindset for new media marketing. It's all converging both in medium and strategy.

[HT to Chris Abraham for this story]


Video of the Week: An army of three

Three guys, a video camera, some special effects, and the beach where Saving Private Ryan was filmed gives you this...

The making of "Bloody Omaha"


Southwest Airlines to Join the Mile Wi-Fi Club - Will They Reach Out to Bloggers?

I saw today on Engadget that Southwest Airlines has plans to launch in-flight Wi-Fi beginning this summer (official news release here.) The initial run on Wi-Fi-outfitted planes may be limited to four at first but they apparently plan to roll this out across the board in the future. They're aiming to provide the best in-flight Wi-Fi available according to Dave Ridley, Southwest's Senior Vice President of Marketing: "We intend to deliver the highest bandwidth available to commercial airlines in the United States." There has been no word as to whether the service will be free on the flights.

This is pretty exciting for those of us who travel with laptops, iPhones, or any other Wi-Fi enabled device. When Southwest is ready to launch this service I can't help but wonder if they'll reach out to bloggers to spread the word. It would make quite a statement if they filled the inaugural Wi-Fi flight with bloggers, all of whom would be live-blogging the flight. That would likely make news itself, not to mention all the blog posts from those on the flight and residual blog posts that would follow. This seems like a great opportunity for a company that has a reputation for doing things a little different from everybody else. Heck, they could even bring along their own bloggers.

One request if Southwest happens to see this...if you do the blogger flight, leave the middle seats open. Bloggers like their space. Bonus request: can I come?

Perhaps once this rolls out it will be a good reason for business travelers to fly rather than drive when they have the option. They could actually be productive on the flight rather than losing that time in the air. Why fly? Wi-Fi.