Feb 17

Smarter than a 7th Grader?

Guest Post by Maggie O'Neill

February 17 With the Consumer Electronics Show just behind us and the launch of the iPad fresh on our minds, many companies have put their reputation on the line for the newest technology product – whether a reality or just good old vaporware.  Hours and dollars were surely invested in consumer research to see what should be next and what will people flock to buy. But are we talking to the right people? 

The below article, which ran in a Long island school paper, The Green and Gold Gazette, was written by 7th grader Jack DeFuria prior to CES and last month’s iPad launch.  Bypassing all employment laws and assuming Jack can get someone to buy him the iPad, is this generation the voices marketers need to hear.

2010: The Year in the eyes of a Techie
by Jack DeFuria

2010 has been said to be the year of many things: a better economy, progress with American’s healthcare, possible peace between fighting nations, but my favorite a year for awesome tech. But in what ways will tech be changing in 2010? Let see:

1. Living in the cloud- 2010 is said to be the year in which more and more Americans move into the cloud. By the tech term “cloud”, I am referring to where web services save user data (photos, documents, videos, photos, music, etc.) virtually, online in a server. Many people are already using Cloud services through applications like Google Docs, a web-based word processor, lala.com, your online music library, Scripped, Google Docs for screenwriters. Apple, the maker of the Mac computer line and the forever-popular iPod, has recently acquired lala.com and is currently planning on releasing a version of web-based iTunes software.

2. Advanced Gaming – The “Wii” has been a large player in the video game market for the last few years because of its amazing wand-like-remote that made game players feel as though they were actually in the game. But in 2010, Microsoft, the maker of the “XBox” video game consoles and Sony, the maker of the “PlayStation” video game consoles, are prepared to fight back. Microsoft is currently preparing to release “Project Natal”, a motion-controlled camera that allows the game player to play the game as though they are in it without any remote control. It is also said that Sony will be releasing a new remote-control, similar to the Wii remote.

3. The new iPhone, that isn’t an iPhone- The iPhone has swept up the mobile market because of its genuine looks and feels as well as for its vast “App Store” which contains over 85,000 apps, as of September 2009. But, there have been some competitors, like the Blackberry Storm, the G1 and the Droid, but no one has came close to iPhone-like stardom. Apple has remained at the top of the top since its launch, but there looks like a close competitor in the future: the first ever Google phone. Although Google has provided the operating system for the G1, myTouch 3G and the Droid as well as partnered with the companies who bring these to the market, Google has never truthfully had their own phone. In the upcoming weeks, Google is said to announce their new device. Sources say that Google is in the process of “dogfood-ing” the product. “Dogfood-ing” is a term used when a company is letting their employees use a product, for usability testing, prior to its release.

4. Time for tablets- Tablet computing is a very popular idea around the tech community. Many companies have been racing to create the first and so far only one has an actual finished product. Fusion Garage, a computer company from Singapore, has created the first ever tablet computer, the JooJoo, which is expected to start shipping in 8 to 10 weeks. Tablet computers is basically a computer, with limited features and particularly based around the internet. Think of these tablets as a larger iPhone

These upcoming products seem to be great. Each of the products, in my opinion, will change the world of technology. Each of them are sure to be game-changing products. They are all set to be released some time in 2010, so look out for them in the near future.

Check back next week to hear our RepChatter podcast featuring Jack DeFuria. . .

Apr 30

Spotted: Peppercom AE devouring the latest episode of Gossip Girl on Metro North…

Guest Post by Laura Mills.Gossipgirlimage

Yes, at 25 (old enough to have an SAT score graded on the 1600 scale) I watch the CW’s Gossip Girl.
Fortunately, I’m not alone.  Millions share an obsession with the high school teens of Manhattan’s elite, anticipating each scandalous episode, narrated by an enigmatic blogger against the backdrop of New York’s trendiest hot spots.  On paper the concept sounds ridiculous.  Yet, while pausing an episode on my iPod to arrive at a Connecticut train station, it occurs to me how progressive Gossip Girl really is.

A recent New York magazine article reports that new episodes of Gossip Girl pulled in an average of 2.5 million viewers before the writers strike, an atrocious number, considering the 23.6 million tuned into last week’s American Idol.  Traditionally, this measurement should lead to quick cancellation.  Yet, the new show thrived.  As New York points out, new episodes regularly rotate at the top of iTunes’ most downloaded list, while hundreds of thousands watch free episodes from the network’s Web site.  Personally, I think a television show revolving around a blog should have its own life online, but while Web components and a Second Life presence don’t independently make Gossip Girl a digital standout, the fact that it is the first television show to find primary traction online is a significant development in the media landscape.

Gossip Girl viewers adapt to new technology faster and use it in more ways than ever.  They have at least one iPod and communicate via text message, IM and Facebook 24 hours a day.  Diaries are no longer hidden under mattresses, but documented with password access through LiveJournal.  They can’t comprehend a time when a handwritten middle school assignment was acceptable, and therefore naturally identify with the integration of new media social issues with classic teenage archetypes.  This generation is our future. 

As marketers, we will be targeting these plugged in, socially networked, skeptically over-stimulated viewers.  In fact, companies are already cashing in on the show’s success through product placement and integrated Web promotions, including Verizon and Victoria’s Secret, as well as a plethora of fashion designers and retailers.  So, while it’s just a mere teenage drama, Gossip Girl shatters the glass ceiling to reach viewers via multiple platforms and keeps them coming back for more.  Perhaps the high school characters aren’t the only ones who should be taking notes?