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Picture 9So I’m working on an exciting project in the comedy writing biz. It’s called Gutenberg Lampoon (@goooooootenberg.) It will be a comedy blog network delivering articles and video content to you, and inviting you to submit your own pictures, articles, and videos.

Yeah, we’ve seen this before. So how will it change how you get your laughs online? It’ll change the way you interact with these articles, pictures, and video: how they’re organized, how you add your own content, and how it’s shared. So, in a sense, we’re building the community side of the online comedy world, giving you better tools to find, watch, read, and submit funny stuff.

So we’re gearing up for a 2010 launch. And once you join our community, you’ll be able to start submitting your best damn content to win prizes and the glorious attention of going viral. Visit Gutenberg Lampoon to sign up your email address for updates and the chance to join the community before our official launch. And you can visit our Twitter, blog, or Facebook page.

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Picture 1UPDATE: This ridiculous episode continues with Apple expecting developers to refund app customers out of their own pockets. READ.

UPDATE: Fast Company comes out with an article titled ‘Seven (More) Reasons to Ditch Your iPhone

@willgcrawford, @therealecar and I (@miketobias) had lengthy conversation about telecommunication companies. We all agreed that there is too much power given to this utility. These companies should not be restricting applications like Google Voice, an app that allows you to set up a 10-digit phone number, make free calls to other users, and send free text messages.

News broke recently that the Apple app store will not have Google Voice in its catalog. The reason? It resembles existing apps on iPhone…

It’s something that angered a lot of people.

So here’s where we’re at…

New iPhone 3GS. Sprint says screw you on MMS and Data Tethering. We’ll get to it when we get to it.

Termination fees to upgrade.

Large price tags. You may be able to get a $99 iPhone, but that data plan empty your wallet.

Fragile devices.

And finally this GV bullshit.

So in regards to that whole iPhone/GV thing that made Michael Arrington give up his iPhone, I say he’s dead right to boycott the world’s most popular mobile device.

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Picture 2The 2009 Tony Awards are tonight, and in honor of them I am taking a look at their social media campaigns. Productions are making their presence known on various sites like Twitter and Facebook. It’s the kind of marketing that allows patrons to connect to their favorite shows before or after they see them.

I’m only going to focus on new musicals. It would be great to cover every single show, but neither of us has that kind of time. I mean, the show is in 3 hours.

Let’s start with a strong contender, “Next to Normal.” A lot of hype supporting this musical, and their social media reach is pretty far. It not only has a Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, it has gone the extra mile to feature itself on the theatre social network BroadwaySpace, created by Ken Davenport. Also interesting: Its Twitter account connects to the illusion of the show by having characters tweet about their daily adventures.

Now “Shrek” may be green, but it’s not with envy. (I know, cheesy.) When you land on the homepage of the official Shrek website, there is a message to encourage you to follow the show on Twitter along with a Twitter app displaying their latest tweets. When you continue into the site, you will find all the same links as “Next to Normal” plus a link to Shrekster, a quasi social network developed for the production. There is also a share button, allowing visitors to share the site on their own social profiles.

Shrek seems to have upped the ante against “Next to Normal,” but can it compare to “Rock of Ages.” R.O.A. also has Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and BroadwaySpace down. Fine, but does it have its own social network like Shrek? Yup, and it’s a little more impressive and social. It’s called 80s Rock Fans, and it lets fans connect over their favorite 80s bands.

Lastly I cover the weak contender Billy Elliot. The website only features links to Facebook and Twitter profiles for the show. No MySpace, no BroadwaySpace, and certainly no specially designed site.

And the winner is…

“Rock of Ages.”

I love following their Twitter for 80s themed tweets. The complexity of their handmade social network trumps Shrekster.

“Shrek” is a strong second thanks to large presence on social networks + personal social site. While it’s great to integrate a Twitter app on the landing page to attract followers, the effort has been lacking. Only 400 people follow.

P.S. I’m guessing “Next to Normal” takes the Tony for best new musical.

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katz

Tomorrow morning I leave for New York, and I decided that it was time to prepare for my trip in a new way. I’ve already been using Twitter search to find some cool places and learn about real people’s experiences. Now, as seen in this blog post, I’m using Flickr.

A simple search of “favorite place New York,” and, hey, look at that. Results.

So thanks to Flickr users I can now see through their camera lens these great places. I can visit the fountain at Bryant Park. I can try out some breakfast at Square Diner. If I’m not hungry, but in need of inspiration, I can go to the New York public library to consult the marble statues.

Bam, no need to buy a $20 travel guide.

Click here to see all the results for the search query “favorite place New York.” Trust me, I left you a lot of treasures to discover on your own. 🙂

{Katz pic by jasonyungny}

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Facebook recently changed their terms and conditions to not-so-subtly say that they owned our data when users disabled their accounts. Meaning your photos, notes, wall posts would be property of Facebook.

People raised a fit! Boy howdy, did they raise a fit. Facebook saw a surge of accounts disabled. People wrote them, blogged nasty posts, and cursed the ground Mark Zuckerberg walked on.

Er, well, maybe that last part was just me.

Well, Facebook is saying they made a whoopsie.

picture-23

But I find it odd that they’d make the announcement so late. Maybe it’s a political move…like politicians hoping for a damaging story to happen on a Friday so that news organizations might not catch the move.

I’m not sure.

Either way, feel free to post, write, upload. It’s your property (for now.)

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2070237174_c1e9eb2c84_mIn this extensive post, I try to redefine the relationships of networks, businesses, and artists in the television industry. Is there a better way for the creative artists of television to make money and distribute work? Technology is already shaking up how audience member interact with content, and I believe technology can help artists change the industry.

Are you ready for me to shake an entire industry? You best be. Read on, my friend.

(Photo credit: Flickr User John Edwards 2008 )

(more…)

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picture-31Yesterday Facebook added the Like feature (as seen next to the comment button in the pic). The button mimics Digg and other social sites, allowing users to show their support of a user’s action without commenting. It saves some time, but is it really necessary?

As someone in awe of the Twitter movement, I’ve got to compare the microblog to Facebook. The former is blissful simplicity, and the latter looks like a blob engulfing other site’s ideas. Facebook is now a cocktail made from Twitter, WordPress, Digg, Flickr, and Hulu. It’s all those services centralized. The problem is centralization doesn’t equal an effective user interface. It can, but how do we define Facebook now? It used to be defined as “a place where we caught up with distant friends.” Now, the definition is convoluted.

Our Facebook accounts are cluttered with so many interactions, and it seems Twitter has focused those interactions into 4 primary means. Twitter isn’t just simpler, it’s more conductive. Our interactions on Twitter happen with ease. Let me show you.

Let’s say I want to talk about “In the Beginning” at Dallas Theater Center on Facebook:

  1. First, I choose how I’ll talk about it. I can make a status update (probably the easiest); I could write a note (more lengthy); I can go to a theater group (reach a target audience who cares about what I say); or I can comment on Dallas Theater Center’s page (people definitely care.)
  2. So let’s go to the next step in the interaction for each one (sigh). I write a status update that I enjoyed the show, and people can write their comments agreeing or disagreeing as well as pushing the new like button. Easy enough. Writing a note. I will get out my full opinion, tag some friends, and in return they can comment on the note. Theater group. I can start a discussion group and post the first comment, and people can continue the discussion with their own comments. Bonus: I might reach people who aren’t my friends. Dallas Theater Center’s page. I can comment on the page, and maybe someone from DTC will respond to my review as well as friends and new people.

Okay….wow….that was a lot. Now let’s look at Twitter. If I liked the show, I can tweet:

I ❤ @dallastheater‘s new production “In the Beginning.” It’s brilliant, riveting; acting = superb #theater.

And…I just did everything that Facebook can do in my 1 tweet. I got my review out in the same amount of characters as a status update, people can respond to me with the @reply, my hashtag will reach theater people, and @replying DTC will let them know about my review….

Thus, I rest my case that Facebook is becoming more cluttered than effective.

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