I thought Deadpool was meh

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I wasnt into Deadpool. If this starts a trend of superhero movies breaking the fourth wall. i wont be a happy camper. I liked the Christopher Nolan Batman trend of dark and gritty superhero movies.

Please Deadpool, despite your massive box office success. Don’t start a Hollywood trend.

 

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Netflix will Now “Tweet Out Reminders”

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Netflix has been a game changing company for the entertainment industry.  The online streaming website has almost single-handedly changed the way we watch television.

Now Netflix has added a new social media feature to make sure you don’t forget your favorite shows, particularly the new Marco Polo series developed exclusively for Netflix.  Under the Netflix tweet touting the series, there is a “Tweet me Reminder” button.

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When the series debuts at 12:01AM PST on December 12, those who clicked on the reminder button will be reminded that all the episodes are available.  The tweet will also include a custom video message from the cast.

Speaking of Marco Polo…this will be the most expensive series on television ever with a budget of 90 million dollars. The only show with a higher budget than that is HBOs Game of Thrones.

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Netflix is hoping the new series will follow in the footsteps of successful series like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.  Netflix is also banking that it will appeal to international markets as the company tries to add international subscribers.  In September already Netflix added 2 million subscribers.

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In more Netflix developments, a new Nielsen report suggests that live television viewing dropped 4 percent in just ONE QUARTER.  That is a huge drop in live television viewing.  Meanwhile, streaming through sites like Netflix and Hulu went up 60%.  This doesn’t even count the people who are watching from their video game consoles, and Roku players. 1412090188777_Image_galleryImage_No_Merchandising_Editoria

Netflix is gaining muscle in its ability to deliver original content online.  It has already announced plans to release a sequel to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 2, at the same time as the film is released in theaters.  The film will premiere on Aug 28 and will be the first of several others to premiere at the same time on Netflix as well as in IMAX theaters. adam-sandler-star-four-movies-netflix-lead

Netflix has also struck a deal with Adam Sandler to produce and star in four original films that will debut exclusively on Netflix.

Amazon Surprises by Launching an Unconventional Invention

In technology news, seemingly out of nowhere, Amazon has launched a new device called the Echo.  It’s priced at $199 but for a short time is available for $99 for Select Prime customers who receive an invitation.

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What is the Echo?  It’s a small black cylindrical device that you put in your room.  The Echo can tell you the weather when you are getting ready for work.  It can play music according to your instructions.  You can ask it questions and it will respond to you on Wikipedia and Google news.

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Basically it is like the Siri digital personal assistant, but uses sensors and a beam forming technology that can detect sounds from 360 degrees around the room.  It plays music from popular streaming services including Amazon Prime Music, iHeartRadio, Spotify and Pandora.

It even has a name — Alexa.

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I always use my Siri personal digital assistant to set wake up alarms for me on my iPhone, so the idea of an “Echo” is absolutely intriguing.  I have already signed up for an invite, and have read some of the early reviews for it, and watched demonstrations.  It looks great!!

The Echo got so much media attention it even inspired a hilarious parody video which received well over 3 million YouTube views.

Whether the Echo is a success or not remains to be seen but I give to Amazon for thinking out of the box and introducing some unconventional ingenuity to the marketplace.

Facebook Frustrates Brands by Cracking Down on Unpopular Ads

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Facebook has seen a lot of news stories in recent days, but probably the one that would have the biggest impact for Facebook users is that the social network is now limiting the number of posts in your news feed that come from web ads.

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How will this effect brands that regularly employ Facebook, like Campbells Soup picture above?  Well, it is a frustrating matter, but brands will now have to work harder to create more interesting content to have their posts show up in Facebook news feeds.  According to the Facebook blog:

For years, we have given people the choice to hide an ad so they no longer see it in their News Feed. We’ve also looked at these hides and used them as a signal that other people on Facebook might not want to see that ad. Now, we are going a step further by taking into account the specific reason they didn’t want to see that ad, and use that as a signal to inform whether or not we show the ad to other people.

Brands my find themselves pulling away their ad spend from Facebook and onto new platforms as they feel they are getting less reach on their advertising campaigns.

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The way it works is like this: if an ad is getting consistent negative feedback from users, the ad will start being consistently hidden from news feeds.  This will clearly frustrate brands who will not see their ads reach the amount of people they would like to reach while motivating them to work hard to create ads that will not be hidden.  What will be more frustrating to advertisers is that Facebook will not tell them which of their ads are being hidden and how that is affect their reach.

As someone with intentions of going into the social media industry I find this an important development in my views on how to use Facebook for adverti

Facebook’s New Threat to the Journalism Industry

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Looks like Facebook is giving the waning news media a scare, by announcing recently ambitions to become a personal newspaper for the billion plus members currently using Facebook.

Already Facebook has become a huge source of news, with its trending stories at the top right of the home screen.  I already find myself going to Facebook to get a lot of my news.

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But early this month, the CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg announced his plans to make Facebook “the perfect personalized newspaper for every person in the world”  Because Facebook understands your user habits, your interest, you demographics, your likes and dislikes, it can now deliver personalized news in your feed along with updates from your friends and family.

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This in effect would make Facebook a dominant player in the news media. I recently had a conversation with a few friends about this topic.  And a lot of them agreed that Facebook might as well be a newspaper since they get so much of their news already from trending stories on their Facebook page.

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As a former journalist, I do find this a big threat to the journalism industry which is already struggling to survive as newspapers lose readership to the huge number of available and free news sources online.  I find myself getting more and more of my news from credible blogs and less from paid news sources.

The future of this remains to be seen.sing.

Girl Scout Get Tech Savvy with Selling Cookies

Girl Scout cookies are an 800 billion dollar brand and now they’ve gone digital so you can buy all your Do Si Dos Thin Mints and Samoas online.

Girl Scouts are no longer relying on word of mouth to build buzz for their brand of sumptuous cookies.  They now have a strong presence across social media networks including Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

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The Girl Scouts currently have 267,000 followers on Facebook with another 43,000 on Twitter.  Their Pinterest and Instagram accounts boast 21,000 followers.

No wonder the Girl Scouts are getting even more tech savvy with selling.

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Now..under the new digital cookie program.  You will be able to order girl scout cookies on your phone via mobile app or through a girl scout personal website.   The girls can either choose to sell their cookies view mobile app or website. They cannot choose both.  Then they create profiles or personalized sites that will allow them to take and fulfill orders.

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The Girl Scouts of America have already been working to join the social media conversation.  Most recently, they released an animated thin mint video do get in on the conversation around Saurez’s World Cup biting incident.   The video shows a Somoa cookie biting into a thin mint.  This video went on to get 1 million Youtube views.

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Girl Scout cookie were originally sold in 1917 to raise money for a girl scout troop in Oklahoma.

On a personal note, I am extremely excited for this.  Nothing like a fresh box of Girl Scout cookies will make my day.  Who cares that each cookie is about a million calories.  I love my thin mints, my Dosi Dos and my Samoas.. And who doesn’t delight in opening a fresh box of Peanut Butter sandwiches or ordering a new box of Caramel Delites.  Most recently I’ve come under the spell of Dolce De Lech.

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Kudos to the Girl Scouts of America for making the buying of Girl Scout cookies easier, while turning Girl scouts onto digital entrepreneurship.

Check out their digital cookie intiative here

The Most Instagramed Place in the World?

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Instagram just posted the most popular locations that were posted to instagram in 2014.  So what came in at first place? 

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Disneyworld.  The ten most instagrammed places are as follows:

  1. Disneyland — Anaheim, Calif.
  2. Dodger Stadium — Los Angeles, Calif.
  3. Times Square — New York, NY
  4. Siam Paragon (shopping mall) — Bangkok, Thailand
  5. Gorky Park (amusement park) — Moscow, Russia
  6. Musée du Louvre — Paris, France
  7. Red Square — Moscow, Russia
  8. Madison Square Garden — New York, NY
  9. Yankee Stadium — New York, NY
  10. The Dubai Mall — Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Disney World to me makes a lot of sense.  Lots of happy memories.    Disney is such an iconic brand with tons of memories families create when they come to Walt Disney World. What better way than to capture them and share them on Instagram.

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Times square makes a lot of sense to me.  New York was most recently named the capital of the financial world, according to the Global Financial Centres Index which is published every six months. Plus, visually, the Big Apple has so many photo opportunities. Broadway. Billboards. Energy.  This completely makes sense to me.

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I also understand the fact that the Louvre, Moscow’s Red Square and Madison Square Garden also made the list.  I even understand why the Dubai mall made it.  These are popular tourist destinations, with Dubai especially taking off as tourist destination in recent years.

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The one that had me scratching my head was Dodger’s Stadium in Los Angeles?? The Dodger ONLY play 81 home games a year.  While other destinations on the list are open year round.

While I don’t necessarily get it, I do understand how photos at baseball games may make social media photo ops.  Looking at my most recent media photo postings, I saw a photo of a Mets game I went to, a close shot of the field.

I am not the biggest user of instagram but I certainly follow it in the news media. Most recently a new application called Instatake has been catching buzz. The app simply allowed you to download anyone’s photos onto your computer by simply entering their users name.

This caused quite a stire in the news media, and managed to ruffle Instagram’s feathers…Subsequently InstaTake was forced to be taken down, posting this message up in its place:

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The other major newsworthy event on the Instagram front, is that the photo sharing application finally debuted video advertisments after much testing and direct work with brands.  On instagram, brands are given 15 seconds to get your attention.

Some of the brands that have already jumped in on the action include Disney, which used the 15 second platform to promote the new film “Big Hero Six”.   Lancome used the 15 second ads to promote new makeup products.  And Activision used it to promote its new Call of Duty video game.

Unfortunately this is something expected, as Instagram needs to make money, but a lot of people will be mourning the loss of Instagram without the ads.

Check out the ads here.