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Month December 2010

The Most Powerful Tweets of 2010

Twitter had released its list of the Most Powerful Tweets of 2010. These seem mainly symbolic, as the “power” of single tweets seems to have dissipated.

Facebook Trails Only Google in Video Traffic

New research shows that Facebook is now the second biggest driver of video traffic, behind only Google, surpassing Yahoo. The report [PDF] from BrightCove and TubeMogul shows that Facebook accounted for nearly 10 percent of video traffic. Google still leads the pack by a considerable margin, holding 50 percent of the market.

Hat tip to Fast Company and All Facebook.

Holding Right Wing Talkers Accountable

Conor Friedersdorf argues in this piece over at The Atlantic’s “Daily Dish” that right wing talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin are damaging conservatism as a political philosophy through sloppy reasoning and overly emotional arguments:

Even if you believe that politics requires angry shouting against ideological adversaires, consider that it is possible to shout without lying – to forcefully rail against the excesses and errors of your opponents without resorting to bad facts or fallacy-filled arguments.

His remedy for this problem appears to be for conservatives and listeners to these programs to hold the hosts accountable for their intellectual dishonesty and lazyness.

He raises the age-old debate about whether or not radio talk show hosts really have the kind of influence on our democracy that they’d like us to think they do. Should radio talk show hosts be about the business of changing the world or, as I would argue, do they inhabit a strange middle ground between pure entertainment and highbrow political discourse?

Where is Groupon Going?

Frank Sennett wrote a lengthy profile of Groupon founder Andrew Mason in Time Out Chicago. Groupon is one of those marketing phenomenons that seems to have crept up quietly during the emergence of Facebook and Twitter. The comparisons to Amazon and eBay seem apt at this point, but the real question seems to be, “What’s next?”

Successful Streaming Strategies

I took some time to read through Coleman Insight’s recent study, “Successful Audio Streaming Stategies.” [PDF] For the most part, the study confirms a lot of what we seem to already understand from anecdotal evidence.

Pandora is the biggest fish in a pretty big pond. It’s the strongest brand among a group of relatively weak brands, which seems to suggest that there’s room for competition.

For those of us in the radio business, streaming presents a unique challenge and opportunity. It doesn’t appear that heavy users of audio streaming seem to care about the kinds of things that radio is best known for doing well, like delivering service elements and strong personalities. One of the key demands of stream users is personalization, which Pandora seems to illustrate.

Traditional AM/FM broadcasters will likely need to think beyond simply simulcasting their terrestrial signal on an audio stream. Users want more options that would appear to deviate from the current practices.

Read the entire study here and the supplementary report here. You can watch the presentation here.

Sirott Features Top Chicago Producers

It’s a natural fit for longtime radio jock Bob Sirott to cover radio, even though he now inhabits the television world as the anchor of the 9pm newscast on FOX Chicago. Last week, he featured a handful of the top radio producers in Chicago. The piece is too short to really drill down and find any common best practices, but a couple of themes did seem to emerge.

Broadcast’s Strategic Advantage Over the Internet

Gunnar Garfor nails it when he writes:

… the Internet cannot cope when a lot of people want to watch or listen to something at exactly the same time. That is why broadcasting was invented. A broadcaster (owning TV channels or radio stations) send the signals out in the air, and EVERYONE in the coverage area can receive the signal, even if EVERYONE means 300 million or a billion people. And because telecom operators are trying to lobby governments around the world into taking frequencies from broadcasters, handing them to telecom operators so that there will be more bandwidth for wireless Internet. If they succeed, there will be a shortage of available frequencies (space to broadcast) for broadcasters. The victims will be viewers and listeners not able to receive their favourite TV or radio programmes.

The next time you hear someone pronounce the death of broadcast under the heel of wi-fi, 3G, 4G, Wi-Max or any other IP technology, remind them of this problem.

the Internet cannot cope when a lot of people want to watch or listen to something at exactly the same time. That is why broadcasting was invented. A broadcaster (owning TV channels or radio stations) send the signals out in the air, and EVERYONE in the coverage area can receive the signal, even if EVERYONE means 300 million or a billion people. And because telecom operators are trying to lobby governments around the world into taking frequencies from broadcasters, handing them to telecom operators so that there will be more bandwidth for wireless Internet. If they succeed, there will be a shortage of available frequencies (space to broadcast) for broadcasters. The victims will be viewers and listeners not able to receive their favourite TV or radio programmes.