Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I think this mobile advertising thing is going to work

Is there anyone out there that's saying, "This mobile advertising thing just isn't going to make it?"  If so, get a load of this--mobile ad spending is forecast to increase to more than $10 billion by 2016.  Advertisers currently invest about $2.6 billion in mobile, across banner ads and rich media, search, messaging and video, which means that the $10 billion plus mark is over a 400% increase in four years!

Asia-Pacific is the current region which invests the most in mobile advertising but, by 2013, the U.S. is expected to eclipse A-P and, by 2016, will spend twice as much as that region.  Currently, worldwide spending is at $6.4 billion and will rise to $23.6 billion by '16.

Source:  eMarketer, January 2012.

Monday, August 20, 2012

You CAN go home again

Isn't it an amazing thing when life offers up an exciting new adventure?  Today, I set out on such a new journey as I took the role of part-time Executive In Residence at the William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications at the University of Kansas.

I can hear and feel the mouse clicks, from my Mizzou and Kansas State friends, who are automatically thinking "I'm not reading this!"

But, hold on--this isn't so much about good ol' KU as it is about returning home.  It's about the idea of spending time at that place which all of us pine for given that, universally, when we invoke the name of our college it's followed with "those were the best years of my life."

My return back has a stated purpose of assisting the Journalism School in how it teaches today's students coupled with a desire to more closely bridge the connection between the school and its alumni.  Personally, though, this assignment goes much deeper.

It all was a bit surreal this morning when I made the three block walk from the Kansas Union to Stauffer-Flint Hall.  There I was--gray haired, sport coat and slacks--amidst the flip-flopped and shorts-wearing collegians, all with requisite backpacks and earbuds attached.  Fittingly, it was a glorious August morning with a hint of fall, signaling the coming beauty which will explode on Mt. Oread in another month or so.

I have always thought, ever since leaving this place back in the days of polyester plaid and long hair, that I would return in some sort of meaningful position or assignment.  I'm hopeful that this new gig is, indeed, that opportunity.  I'm hopeful that my desire to give back, to a place for which I care so deeply, will be fulfilling for me and useful to my academic colleagues and students here in the school.

I'll be filing reports, aptly titled "The View from the Hill," in the days and weeks to come as I observe the 2012 version of academe and spend quality time with today's students and faculty.  And, while I will wax poetic on the beauty of the Kansas campus and this quintessential college town, I would ask my non-Jayhawk friends to consider the posts as a way to live vicariously through me, knowing that many of you would love to be back at your respective alma maters doing the exact same thing.  I know I'm living the dream and I promise not to take that for granted.

Friday, August 17, 2012


It's that time again--it's Friday afternoon and thus time to throw it around a bit before we commence with the weekend!

- An empathetic fan in England plans to send medals he designed to athletes who missed out on bronze at the London Olympics.  David Mitchell said, "I hope they don't find it insulting--it's meant seriously." There was no word on what Nike's reaction might be, given the campaign that the athletics brand used years ago which said, "You don't win silver, you lose gold."

- Take heart, all you parents who have fished a foreign object out of your young son's nose.  In Utah, Isaak Lesson, aged six, was found to have a flexible Lego stuck up his nose.  Doctors were investigating young Lesson's sinus problems, came upon the toy piece, and, ever since, Isaak has been sleeping and eating much better.

- Ryan Lochte has said that he wouldn't mind being the next bachelor on ABC's The Bachelor.

- A Chinese woman who is frustrated about the speeding cars flying by her house is using a unique distraction to slow them down.  Lin Chen, 67, purchased an inflatable female sex doll, dressed it in sexy red lingerie, and positioned it in her garden in view of passing motorists.  Most drivers are now hitting the brakes to get a better view.

- Would you be more embarrassed seen reading The National Enquirer or the erotic novel, Fifty Shades of Grey?  A new Vanity Fair/60 Minutes poll actually found that 61% would be most embarrassed to be seen reading "Snooki" Polizzi's "novel," A Shore Thing.  After that, 13% said The Enquirer, 12% said Fifty Shades, 10% said a memoir by Mitt Romney and 5% said a memoir by President Barack Obama.  (Editor's note:  And, yes, those were quotations I placed around Snooki's "novel.")

- Let's give it up for Mark Lazarus.  The NBC Sports chairman's decision to tape-delay much of the Olympics irked purists, but it paid off with a ratings bonanza over the 17 days of the broadcast from London.

- And, finally, the group, One Million Moms, which announced a boycott of Glee during the show's most recent season, will figure into a plot line in an upcoming episode.

Monday, August 6, 2012

What have we wrought...

There is a growing trend among psychologists and others that questions what our reliance upon digital devices is doing to our minds.  For the first time, the term "Internet use disorder" will make its way into the 2013 edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

In Silicon Valley, ground zero for the development of these devices and software, there is growing concern about the role of technology in peoples' lives.  Tech guru Soren Gordhamer has gone so far as to organize a conference, Wisdom 2.0, to explore the need for balance in this brave new world of instant gratification digitally.  Companies who have become a part of our essential daily lives--Google, Twitter, and Facebook--are offering meditation to their employees, mindful of the way technology has impacted workers and consumers alike.

One media outlet, though, offers a contrarian view that it's not the hardware's fault or the software's fault--it's the employers fault.  Alexis Madrigal, writing for TheAtlantic.com, suggests that employers who expect their employees to be available 24/7 are to blame.  Likewise, she writes that the U.S. has a political and cultural system that "makes us feel guilty about taking any time off, and obligated to meet the growing demand for nonstop productivity."  She cites that Europeans have smart devices too but Americans put in 122 more hours per year, on average, than Brits and nearly 10 weeks more per year than Germans.

Whatever the reason and whoever may be at fault, isn't it time that we re-examine the reliance upon technology and find new, creative ways to dis-engage?  Hey, maybe we could even crack open a "real" book from time to time?