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24-Mile Skydive a Boon for Social Media and YouTube Given Cable-Only TV Airing (The Washington Post / AP)
Felix Baumgartner's 24-mile skydive from the stratosphere on Sunday was a boon for social networks as millions of users shared in the wonder of the moment from their computers, tablets and phones. DropZone.com Baumgartner has been a controversial figure in BASE jumping, where he has been accused of going against the general BASE ethics involved, and seeking media attention as opposed to keeping objects off the presses. The Star-Ledger Sponsored by energy drink maker Red Bull, Baumgartner rode a pressurized capsule attached to a 55-story polyethylene balloon envelope and climbed to 120,000 feet. Once he reached the necessary height, he popped the hatch and stepped out into a free fall. Scientific American / Guest Blog What a thrill! For Felix, sure, but for US too... sitting safely on the ground in our kitchens or living room or offices or wherever, glued to a TV or computer screen, riveted by and connected to one of the most gripping fears humans experience, the fear of heights, as no human has ever experienced it, viscerally feeling the fear even as we sat safely, firmly on terra-thankfully-very-firma, watching. Forbes / Important if True You can't tell immediately how many views this live stream of the jump on their site pulled in, but over on YouTube, the walkup videos in the months ahead of Sunday pulled in more than five million views, and got shared, of course, like crazy. Red Bull hasn't said what all this cost, and it couldn't have been cheap, but it certainly would be in line with a couple minute spots on the Super Bowl. TechCrunch According to a conversation on Twitter between Danny Sullivan and a member of YouTube's staff, Google considered sending Felix Baumgartner to space for his jump with a pair of Google Glass. That would have been awesome... again.
Crowley up to Daunting Task of Moderating Next Debate (USA Today)
No wonder Candy Crowley is studying hard, rehearsing, and feeling "slightly nauseous every morning." A 30-year veteran of presidential politics, Crowley, 63, is moderating for the first time in an election season where moderators are under greater-than-usual scrutiny. The Daily Caller On the Oct. 13 broadcast of Saturday Night Live on NBC, Jason Sudeikis as Vice President Joe Biden and Taran Killam as Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan took on last week's vice presidential debate for the show's open. NYT Half a century later, televised debates remain relevant, but the ritual is up against an always-on informational stream that surges with political messages. The Toronto Star For 18 months, it has gone on and on and on. Now the battle for the White House is shrinking to a pinhead -- just 180 minutes is all.
Stephen Colbert Steps Out of Character to Assess Romney on Meet the Press (Yahoo! News / The Ticket)
Stephen Colbert -- both the faux conservative talk show host and the man himself -- sat down for an interview with NBC's David Gregory that aired on Sunday's Meet the Press. Colbert, the character, was asked who he thinks has the edge in the 2012 presidential race. "Romney, obviously," he said. "Did you see him the other night? That guy is on fire. He is on a rocket ride to plausible at this point." LA Times / Politics Now The Comedy Central star said Romney's game-changing debate performance against President Obama reversed the prospects of the candidate who until then "was just a walking, shambling mound of weakness." CNN / Political Ticker... Colbert says it will make a difference whether Obama or Romney wins the election in November -- but he doesn't know what that difference will be. The Washington Post / The Fix "I think that there is a possibility that Obama would be, say, more aggressive -- a more aggressive reformer or changer in the second act of his presidency," Colbert continued. "And I don't really know how -- I also don't know how Mitt Romney would govern. He might govern as a technocrat. You know, that sort of seems to have been his career -- as, like, the guy from Pepsi who comes in to run GM. You know, he can't tell us what he's going to do, because he hasn't seen the books yet." Politico / Politico Now Colbert said some of his political guests on his late-night comedy show don't seem to be in on the joke.
Social Media Adverts Turf War Heats Up (The Financial Times)
It is five months since General Motors last spent a cent on Facebook advertising. The U.S. carmaker's revelation in May that the $10 million it spent on ads had failed to deliver returns stunned the social network on the eve of its initial public offering. Facebook is yet to win back the carmaker's business. But GM -- one of the world's largest advertisers -- is no social-media refusenik. Its brands, such as Chevrolet, Buick and GMC, have been actively buying ads on Facebook's main challenger, Twitter, for two years now. The Hill / Hillicon Valley Campaigns are appropriating the advertising strategies that technology companies use to target consumers to woo undecided voters. The boom of digitally connected voters makes social media a cheap and effective means of reaching those undecideds. Adding to the appeal is that Internet advertising results are specific and measurable. Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel But the digitization of advertising is becoming an important growth engine for agencies and helping to create a "stickier" business for those with digital expertise, said Rob Helf, a research analyst at Fiduciary Management Inc. in Milwaukee. "As the media changes, the business is becoming a lot more technological and advertisers are getting a lot more real-time data back," Helf said. "So the moat around the agencies' business model is becoming wider and deeper."
iPad Mini Configurations and Prices Reportedly Revealed (CNET)
Apple has not yet even acknowledged the existence of the iPad Mini, but pricing and configuration information for the much-rumored tablet is allegedly already appearing in a consumer electronics giant's inventory system. The Daily Mail A price list pictured by the site Mobile Geeks appears to give the cost and details of eight different iPad mini models. The shot is purportedly an image of an inventory system used by Media Market / Saturn, which is a retail group with employees in Europe and Asia. Venture Beat According to the screenshot, there will be 16 different iPad Mini configurations, starting at an 8GB WiFi model for approximately $250, rising to a 64GB version with cellular -- presumably including 4G LTE connectivity as well as 3G. ZDNet The iPad Mini, which may not be its final name, has been on the tip of the technology world's tongue for months as Amazon, Google, and Samsung continue to dominate this almost-niche section of the 7-inch tablet market
Xbox Music to Offer On-Demand Music Free on Tablet (Yahoo! News / AP)
Buyers of tablets that run Microsoft's newest operating system, Windows 8, are in for a pleasant musical surprise. They'll be able to pick from millions of songs and stream them for free as long as they put up with an audio ad every 15 minutes. CNET / Crave There will be some limitations to the ad-supported service -- users will be capped at 10 hours per month after an initial six-month period. Users can, however, pay $9.99 for the unlimited, ad-free premium version. NYT The service is part of a broad set of bets Microsoft is making this fall to help regain ground it has lost to competitors, especially Apple and Google. The Guardian Although Microsoft's Zune music service failed to challenge in the digital music sector, its media player canned in late 2011, the company may be in a stronger position this time.
Playboy Deputy Editor Ponders Hollywood Trades Love Match (FishbowlLA)
Stephen Randall has been on staff with Playboy for a long time. To put it in Nikki Finke terms, when the current deputy editor first started at the magazine, she was in her late twenties and in the middle of a brief marriage to attorney Jeffrey W. Greenberg. This weekend, Randall took humorous stock in the LA Times of the acquisition of Variety by Finke's boss Jay Penske. LA Times / Stephen Randall What Hollywood fears is that Finke, considered by most of the industry to be the single toughest journalist in the history of the known world, might soon have some sort of editorial control of Daily Variety, the most venerable trade publication in Hollywood. The Guardian Variety's financial decline is a tale of Internet disruption, with both newcomers such as deadline.com and stronger competitors such as The Hollywood Reporter proving that a venerable brand is no protection.
New York Comic Con a Hollywood Opportunity (Variety)
Over the past six years, New York Comic Con has operated in the shadows of San Diego's own fanfest given its smaller attendance figures and the relatively lower profile of the properties showcased at NYCC. Hollywood's marketing mavens can't afford to ignore New York Comic Con anymore, however. Forbes / Geek Cultured It took San Diego Comic Con a whopping 35 years to reach an attendance of 100,000 convention-goers, but scrappy New York Comic Con achieved it in a mere six.
Stop Worrying About Book Deals and Write (GalleyCat)
When actor and director Lena Dunham scored a major deal last week, the Internet sagged under the weight of frustrated writers arguing about money. This beautiful video clip from Tragedy and Hope dramatizes a simple but powerful lecture from author Alan Watts, reminding us why we write.
Six Simple Tips for Better Facebook Page Success (AllFacebook)
If your brand's Facebook page isn't exactly the life of the social media party, there's still hope. Digital marketing agency iCrossing studied the brand pages of Fortune 500 companies for a year and came up with some ways that engagement can be fostered. Though most page administrators don't have the big bucks to spend on campaigns, the six steps from iCrossing apply to any budget.
Imagine a World Without Justin Bieber, It's Easy if You Try (Ad Age / The Media Guy)
Do not underestimate the Bieber-Industrial Complex. For one thing, Bieber, estimated by Forbes to have pulled down $55 million between May 2011 and May 2012, outearns Adele, Katy Perry, Rihanna and even Lady Gaga. Forbes also reports that his fragrance Someday -- just one of countless Bieber-brand products -- rang up $60 million at retail in its first six months, which helps give him the pocket change needed to be a budding tech investor (in Spotify, Tinychat, etc.).
The New Digg Has a Fighting Chance (TechCrunch)
Digg has gone from its heyday of more than 30 million uniques a month to not being that focused on uniques. "I'm loathe to get into a metrics game," explains Borthwick. "I have done this before and it's a treadmill that gets the team focused on the wrong things (at this stage of development)," he says, eight weeks after a complete revamp of the storied aggregation site.
Are PR Reps All Liars? (PRNewser)
"To lie about an issue is to be a politician. To lie about a corporation is to be a public relation[s] executive." That's the money quote from Reuters journalist Jack Shafer's piece "Why We Vote for Liars" -- and it's been making its way around the worlds of PR and journalism this week. A little incendiary, no?
Small Business: Social Media for Recruiting (Newsday)
This year, 92 percent of U.S. employers used or planned to use social recruiting, up from 89 percent last year and 78 percent five years ago, according to a Jobvite survey. Most were using LinkedIn, but two-thirds of recruiters polled also were using Facebook to find new talent, and more than half also used Twitter.
Why Joshua Karp Believes Blogs Should Be in Print, Too (SocialTimes)
Chicago entrepreneur Joshua Karp is a busy man. He's running three businesses -- all social media related. He publishes The Printed Blog, a subscription magazine, which includes content from all over the blogosphere; The Top Sheet, a one-page hyperlocal newspaper covering Chicago neighborhoods that includes content from blogs and other sources; and Kumbuya, an online community platform originally built for bloggers that allows marketers to target specific niches. SocialTimes recently caught up with Karp to discuss why he's so passionate about social media and print, and how his business models work.