sabato 31 ottobre 2009

Sono stato intervistato da Vodafone Lab..

mercoledì 28 ottobre 2009 - ipod tou - ipod touch homepage takeover

Every Banknote has its own story....

Advertising a Nightmare

A very interesting article on the Guardian written by Dan Kennedy:

If you had told me five years ago that newspaper circulation in 2009 would enter what may prove to be its death spiral, I'd like to think I wouldn't have been too surprised. We have finally reached a moment that's been a quarter-century in the making, going all the way back to those sniggering television newscasts about the absurdity of digital delivery.

But if you had told me that only a tiny fraction of newspaper advertising would migrate from print to the internet, I'd have broken into a cold sweat. Back then I was fairly sanguine about the future of the newspaper business, imagining that it might make a more or less seamless transition to a free, ad-supported online future. Those of us who believed that were wrong. And though the situation may improve, it now appears that online advertising is never likely to generate enough revenue to bring us back to the golden age of newspapers.

Two news stories came out on Monday that tell us much about the state of the news business. The story on newspaper circulation got most of the attention, since it was the one with the big scary numbers. But it was the story on advertising that will mean a lot more in the long run.

I'll take circulation first. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the leading company for tracking such things, daily newspaper circulation dropped by 10.6% for the six-month period ending on 30 September when compared to the same period in 2008.

The news was particularly grim in Boston, where I live and work – a consequence, I suspect, of our living in an unusually wired region, combined with skyrocketing prices for the print editions of our two dailies, the broadsheet Globe and the tabloid Herald.

According to ABC, Monday-through-Saturday circulation of the Globe fell by more than 18%, to 264,000, and by nearly 17% on Sundays, to 419,000. The daily Herald was down more than 17%, to 138,000, and the Sunday Herald fell 5%, to just 96,000.

When you consider that, in their 1980s heyday, the Globe sold more than 500,000 papers on weekdays and more than 800,000 on Sundays, and that the Herald's circulation was at least double what it is today, then it's clear that their print editions are in freefall.

Which might not matter if it weren't for the other half of this ugly equation. Because, like most papers, the Globe and the Herald attract a lot of online readers. In September, according to, the Globe's site drew 5.2m unique visitors, while pulled in another 1.3m. A recent study shows that some 74 million people visit a newspaper website each month.

But after years of sputtering growth, online advertising may actually be moving away from newspapers at a time when publishers are catching their first tantalising glimpse that the recession may be coming to an end.

According to Stephanie Clifford of the New York Times, advertisers increasingly see newspaper websites as an overly expensive buy, suitable for certain types of high-profile product rollouts but not for regular use. Never mind that an online newspaper ad brings in pennies compared to its print counterpart. On the web, there's always something cheaper – in this case, networks that automatically place ads on a wide variety of sites.

The bottom line is that though online advertising in the US is expected to rise this year by 9.2%, to about $54bn, it's actually declining at many newspaper companies, including the Times' parent company (among whose holdings is the aforementioned Globe). "That is a sobering trend for newspaper executives, who once hoped that online revenue would make up for plummeting print revenue," Clifford writes.

Indeed, in a video interview for Technorati's just-released State of the Blogosphere 2009 report, Dan Gillmor – author of We the Media and an enthusiastic advocate of new forms of online journalism – wonders whether the advertising will ever materialise.

"Whether there's a market in the end for advertising at all is an interesting topic for one of these [reports] in a future year," Gillmor says.

It's no wonder that, these days, much of the attention on the future of journalism is focused on non-profit models. As Clay Shirky and others have argued, we may have reached the end of an era that began with the rise of the penny press in the 1830s – that is, a time when advertisers, lacking other options, showered so much money on newspaper owners that they couldn't help but spend some of it on journalism, even after they had finished lining their own pockets.

Advertisers don't need newspapers anymore, at least not nearly to the extent that they once did. Newspapers, though, need advertisers. How is that existential dilemma to be resolved?

As Gillmor says, it will make an interesting topic for a future year.

sabato 24 ottobre 2009

Netlog, Social Community for Youngster

During this week I had the pleasure to receive the visit of Lorenz Bogaert, Ceo of Netlog.

We had the pleasure to lunch with Michele Ficara Manganelli, president of Assodigitale, talking about Social Media scenario, in one of the most beautful place in Brera.

I would like to point it out some interesting evidence that emerged from this conversation:

Netlog's is Europe's Popular online community.
Netlog is an online community site with a Focus on fun and entertainment. The website is very popular among youngsters in and outside Europe. (In Italy there are 4 mln active users).
Netlog was founded in 2003 by Lorenz Bogaert and Toon Coppens in Ghent, Belgium.

It counts more than 55 million members worldwide and is available in more than 38 different languages.

In the past years, we've seen a hype called social media, but Lorenz also believe that we're past that moment now and that an online community as Netlog is here to stay. Netlog is not a hype, it's a fact. Research has shown that social media are today an integral element of the communication mix, just like chat, sms, mail, mobiles or going to the pub and meeting friends.

Yahoo! Italy is the offical sales house of Netlog. For that reason we had also the opportunity to enjoy ourselves to their beutiful party @ Spazio Edra in Milan.

giovedì 22 ottobre 2009

MySpace abandons race with Facebook

By Matthew Garrahan in Los Angeles
Published: October 22 2009 03:00 | Last updated: October 22 2009 03:00

The new chief executive of MySpace has told the Financial Times that the company is no longer interested in competing with Facebook, effectively conceding defeat in the race to become the largest online social network.

Owen Van Natta, a former Facebook executive who replaced Chris DeWolfe as chief executive of MySpace six months ago, said the company instead aimed to become an online hub for music and entertainment. "Facebook is not our competition," he said. "We're very focused on a different space."

The change in direction at MySpace comes as the NewsCorp-owned site has fallen behind Facebook. In September, Facebook represented more than 58 per cent of US social network traffic, according to Hitwise, the online research firm. MySpace, once the largest social network, saw its share slip from 66 per cent a year ago to 30 per cent.

However, MySpace continues to be one of the most visited sites on the web with more than 100m unique users worldwide. Facebook, by contrast, has more than 300m users.

Mr Van Natta wants to capitalise on MySpace's status as a leading online music destination and used a presentation at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco yesterday to unveil new features that enhance its music credentials.

The company has struck a deal with Apple's iTunes store to allow its users to buy tracks without having to leave the MySpace site. It has integrated iLike, a music application company , and launched Dashboard, an interactive tool for bands and musicians, as well as compiling the largest catalogue of music videos on the web.

Mr Van Natta said the applications were a "springboard" for the revamped MySpace and would be followed by other new features in the coming months that tap into the site's large online community.

"There is a movement around the socialisation of the web," he said. "People want to experience [what's available on] the web with other people."

MySpace has had a tumultuous six months since the departure of Mr DeWolfe. Shortly after his appointment Mr Van Natta and his new executive team embarked on a round of cost-cutting, shedding 30 per cent of the workforce .

He has also moved to streamline the website, scrapping unpopular features such as weather and a classified jobs sections.

Mr Van Natta said: "The engagement with our users wasn't there. One of the things we're focused on is relentlessly improving the user experience."

Like Mr DeWolfe, the new chief executive has developed a close working relationship with Rupert Murdoch, chairman of NewsCorp. "He's been very engaged with our strategy," said Mr Van Natta.

irst page view of bi

irst page view of bing twitter demo- didn't expect my twitpi... on Twitpic (via @twttimes)

mercoledì 21 ottobre 2009

Harlem Globetrotters headed back to TV

Basketball troupe inks deal with Cookie Jar Group
By Etan Vlessing

Oct 20, 2009, 01:03 PM ET
TORONTO -- The Harlem Globetrotters appear headed back to animated TV after signing a licensing and production partnership with the Cookie Jar Group.

Toronto-based Cookie Jar is to become global licensing agent for the traveling troupe of merry basketball players.

In addition, Cookie Jar will bring the pro sports entertainment property back to TV for the first time since Hanna-Barbera Prods.' "The Harlem Globetrotters" airing on CBS' Saturday morning cartoon slate in 1971 and '72.

NBC next reran the Globetrotters cartoon series, which featured star black basketball players, as "The Go-Go Globetrotters" in 1979.

Cookie Jar gave few details as it develops animated content around the Globetrotters global brand, with consumer product spinoffs.

Cookie Jar is best known for its "Caillou," "Inspector Gadget" and "The Doodlebops" cartoon series.

martedì 13 ottobre 2009

Facebook Asks Page Owners to Prove Authenticity

Creating a page on Facebook is pretty easy — so easy, in fact, that a lot of “unofficial” pages have sprung up for brands and celebrities. But Facebook is trying to make pages an integral part of its advertising products, so it wants the brands themselves to own their presence on Facebook. This means the company regularly takes “unofficial” pages and folds them into the official ones; and now, it is also pushing a stricter process for proving that one owns a page.

Last week, apparently, it introduced a new verification process. It has been emailing large page owners, according to the guys at Lonely CEO Media, asking owners to confirm that “I am the Authentic Representative of the Entity that my Page Represents.” In this form, available here, Facebook says it will “only provide publishing rights to a Page if the admin is an authentic representative of the Page’s name.” It’s not clear how broadly Facebook will demand this sort of certification.

It gives three different ways of certifying page ownership.

“Add a badge or a Fan Box widget to your website that links to your Facebook Page.”
“Add an email address that is officially affiliated with the entity of your Page to your personal Facebook account. You can also add the email address of a company authorized to manage your brand (e.g., management or PR firm).”
“Add another admin to your Page who has an email address that is officially affiliated with the entity your Page represents.”
The latter two options are straightforward. The first one is more interesting, as it cleverly both proves that the page owner has control over their own web site, and gets the owner actively promoting the page (and Facebook itself).

As large pages grow to have millions of users — many of whom comment, “like,” or otherwise engage with the page regularly — the real estate value is continuing to go up. And just like real estate in real-life, this means more shady characters will try to fraudulently claim pages as their own. To that end, Facebook is also introducing a way to resolve ownership conflicts.

From the site:

When a Page appears to be authorized, often we’ll receive a complaint for removal from another claimed representative of the entity promoted on the Page. Sometimes this is caused by the complaining representative being unaware of the Page administrator’s affiliation. As a courtesy to you, we forward your contact information in such circumstances to the complaining party in an effort to facilitate a quick resolution. Please check the ‘I Agree” box below to acknowledge that you agree to this process.

This new authentication form is hardly the end of the problem. Twitter, for example, has also recently rolled out a verification process for accounts, yet people continue to make fake ones. Facebook may now have more questions to answer, as the Lonely CEO guys note: “What legal obligations does this create for Facebook? Is Facebook suddenly responsible for the accuracy of pages? To what degree are these communities responsible for the identities they present? In addition, what will happen to abstract pages (like “Ice Cream” or “Pizza”)? Many legal and practical implications will continue to pop up as the issue evolves….”

giovedì 8 ottobre 2009

Italy’s love affair with the showman Silvio Berlusconi turns sour

From The Times
October 8, 2009
Italy’s love affair with the showman Silvio Berlusconi turns sour
Richard Owen
In April last year Silvio Berlusconi was swept to power for a third term as Prime Minister, capitalising on public disenchantment with the fractious and inept government of his great rival Romano Prodi.

He triumphantly formed a new party, the People of Liberty, a merger of his Forza Italia and the Alleanza Nazionale, a former neo-fascist group led by Gianfranco Fini. Greatness beckoned for the brash, wise-cracking “outsider”, a property developer and television mogul who transformed Italy — its politics, society and culture — when he formed Forza Italia in 1994. Once his third term was out of the way, he had his sights on the Italian presidency, with a vision of the Right in office “for decades to come”.

A year and a half later it has all gone wrong. He will still not resign, his spokesman says, and will complete his five-year term. Outwardly Mr Berlusconi, who turned 73 last month, remains a crowd-pleaser, a showman who maintains that Italians “love me the way I am” or even that “all Italians want to be like me”. He is, he boasts, “the best Prime Minister united Italy has had in its 150-year history”.

Many Italians still forgive him his perma-tan, hair transplants and platform shoes, even his notorious gaffes, ranging from telling victims of the earthquake in Abruzzo in April to imagine they were “on a camping holiday” to describing President Obama — twice — as “tanned”.

But the Constitutional Court’s ruling may mark the beginning of the end. It is the second time that he has tried to give himself immunity — the last was in 2004 — and the second time he has been rebuffed. His lawyers’ argument this week that he was “first above equals” served only to show that the law was made to protect him.

The decision yesterday opens the way for prosecutors to revive allegations against Mr Berlusconi, from tax evasion and alleged past links to the Mafia to corruption, in particular the David Mills case.

Mr Berlusconi’s lawyers also argued that he could not defend himself while running the country. Apart from the fact that he found time for a busy sex life, the real risk is that renewed corruption allegations will dominate the headlines in the coming months. Corruption charges may weigh more heavily with Italians than his sexual behaviour. This could hurt the Right in regional elections next March.

When his wife, Veronica Lario, demanded a divorce in May — she said that she could not stay with a man who “frequents minors” after he attended the 18th birthday of Noemi Letizia, an aspiring model — trouble began to follow him around. There was a tidal wave of revelations about his private life, leading to talk of “sex addiction”. Who were all these women who partied at his residences — flown in on state aircraft? Was there a security risk? Was the Prime Minister vulnerable to blackmail?

Prosecutors in Bari are expected to press charges against Gianpaolo Tarantini, a businessman accused of paying women to attend Mr Berlusconi’s parties and of dealing in cocaine. Transcripts emerged of recordings of conversations between the Prime Minister and Patrizia D’Addario, a former “escort girl”; she claims that she has given prosecutors proof that the Prime Minister spent the night of the US election with her at Palazzio Grazioli, his residence in Rome. Photographs were released of scores of scantily clad women at Mr Berlusconi’s Sardinian villa — and of a naked and aroused former Czech Prime Minister by the pool.

The counter-offensive came in August through Il Giornale, his family newspaper, “unmasking” his critics as hypocrites. It backfired, making him look a bully and an opponent of free speech. As a result he is given to moments of black fury which can be glimpsed behind the public bonhomie.

Many Italians have stuck with him as the scandals unfolded this spring and summer — although they have disconcerted Catholic voters in particular and led to cool relations between Mr Berlusconi and the Vatican. His popularity ratings have fallen over the year, from 63 per cent to 47 per cent — but that is high for a European leader at a time of recession.

He will hope that Italians will back him in his belief that he is the victim of a conspiracy and that the “communist” judiciary is biased. He has branded the judiciary a “cancerous growth” and called judges “mentally disturbed, anthropologically different from the rest of humanity”.

Those on the Right increasingly concerned by his political domination are looking to Mr Fini to step in and restore a more “normal” conservatism based on sound economics, family values and a foreign policy based on more than personal links to Vladimir Putin, the Russian Prime Minister, or Colonel Gaddafi of Libya. Mr Fini denies any such ambition, but his hour may be approaching.

Fraud, bribery and tax evasion

? The biggest trial suspended after the immunity law was passed concerned charges that Silvio Berlusconi paid the British lawyer David Mills $600,000 (£530,000) from alleged secret funds held by his family-owned company Mediaset to withhold incriminating business information. Mills was sentenced in February to four and a half years for corruption. He is appealing

? A second case involves TV rights acquired by Mediaset which, it is alleged, bought them at an inflated price from companies controlled by Mr Berlusconi. He was accused of tax fraud and false accounting

? A third concerns allegations that senators were offered bribes to join Mr Berlusconi’s coalition in 2007 when he was in opposition

? In another case creating damaging headlines, his company Fininvest was ordered to pay 750 million euros (£690 million) in damages in a takeover dispute. Fininvest must compensate CIR, owned by Mr Berlusconi’s foe Carlo De Benedetti, for bribing a judge in a battle for the publishing company Mondadori. Although a court said Mr Berlusconi was “jointly responsible”, he was cleared in 2001 of criminal charges

Source: Reuters

lunedì 5 ottobre 2009

Facebook Voice Chat now live in beta

Some week ago we heard about this new application (not developed by Fb itself).

Now I discovered that the application went live in beta:

Article on Mashable:

Application on Facebook:

Google Search


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