Internet Traffic

dLife: A How-To For Information & Social Media Monetization

Posted on December 28, 2009. Filed under: Advertising, Inbound Marketing, Internet Traffic, Jazz, Newspapers, Public Relations Marketing, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Today I was in the midst of my usual early morning multi-tasking, reading email, a few favorite blogs and the New York Times online, drinking coffee and eating breakfast while listening to local news and weather on the tube in the background.

 Eating in earshot of the TV has become a real crapshoot in terms of whether you’ll be able to finish without a pharma commercial ruining the meal with a nauseating list of potential side effects of some miracle drug. This morning I didn’t get lucky.

 As I got into a NY Times story that caught my attention, Adding Fees and Fences on Media Sites by Richard Perez-Pena and Tim Arango, a drug commercial came on, sending me running to preserve enjoyment of my yogurt and fruit. As I exiled myself from the room with the offending commercial, I couldn’t help but think for the umpteenth time that this couldn’t possibly be the result that pharma marketers are looking for.

 Particularly in light of the Times article, which focuses on how news media companies are trying to monetize their content, I thought – also for the umpteenth time – about the visionary ideas behind dLife – a multi-media effort focused on helping people living with diabetes to better manage their chronic condition. I had the good fortune to work on the launch of that venture back in 2004. And it can provide a road map for both media companies and advertisers trying to find new ways to succeed.

The genius behind the dLife concept is its founder, veteran marketer Howard Steinberg, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 10. Recognizing that successfully managing diabetes represents a lifestyle – a very different view of disease management – he created a multi-media diabetes network that would provide the diabetes community with a new approach to living well with a life-threatening chronic illness — while building a hugely targeted audience for pharmas and other providers of products and services for diabetes.

dLife has a web portal at its hub plus spokes that include the first lifestyle cable TV show about a chronic illness, a radio ‘tip’ segment and a newsletter. dLife.com is now one of the top diabetes/healthcare sites on the web. Its TV content is consistently award winning. You can follow the company on Twitter — @dLife. dLife members (sign-up is free) get unlimited access to its content, as well as product discounts and online purchase opportunities.

 Who pays for all of this? Advertisers do! Gladly! dLife delivers a large community that is almost 100% guaranteed to be interested in advertiser offerings. And, instead of buying expensive national advertising to reach a relatively small fraction of the US population, they can reach dLifers via much less expensive cable, online and radio advertising.

Media companies and advertisers can take a lesson from dLife. Maybe the New York Times, for example, should begin to break down its reader base into affinity groups and build segmented communities that are interested in certain areas of its coverage and would be interested in particular ad categories. The Times seems to be moving in that direction with its Weekender subscriptions and ad campaign that explores what sections people are ‘fluent in’ – read ‘interested in’. It could then offer targeted packages to advertisers – particularly multi-media offerings with built in cross marketing. Like 24/7/365 special advertising sections.

The technology exists online to provide personally segmented advertising. That’s how to get ads to where they’ll actually be appreciated – and effective. In fact, the process could be interactive. I know I would consider self-selecting for relevant ads to keep desirable news content coming – particularly if I could get irrelevant and disgusting pharma commercials out of my life!

I’d love to hear some of your creative ideas for new content/pay models for traditional media.

In honor of Howard Steinberg’s vision, today’s music is the tune Miles Ahead by the visionary jazz man Miles Davis with the Gil Evans Orchestra conducted by Quincy Jones, live at the 1991 Montreux Jazz Festival. Ironically, Davis is listed as a musician who lived with diabetes on the dLife website.

Enjoy! See you soon!

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Spanning the Online World: From Exaflood to the Digital Divide to Public Policy

Posted on November 16, 2009. Filed under: Inbound Marketing, Internet Research, Internet Traffic, Jazz, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

https://newprwordsandmusic.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/01-waters-of-march-aguas-de-marco-2.mp3

Late last week I attended a seminar that blew my mind on several levels. It was titled Connecticut and the Future of Broadband: What to think about Net Neutrality, Bridging the Digital Divide and are we really ready for the “Exaflood”. The event was conceived and presented by the Connecticut Technology Council, a high-powered group that is firmly in the lead when it comes to supporting technology innovation in my state.

 I’m going to blog about this seminar more than once, starting with an overview now and an introduction of the three panelists. They were:

  •  Bret Swanson, Senior Fellow & Director, Center for Global Innovation; President Entropy Economics, LLC. Bret blogs at www.bretswanson.com and I encourage anyone interested in the future of the web to make a beeline.
  • Curtis Hill, Director, Concepts for Adaptive Learning. Curtis retired as a Hewlett Packard exec to start a non-profit engaged in bridging the digital divide, one teacher at a time, one parent at a time, one child at a time. Learn more at www.eachchildlearns.org.
  • Jeff Blodgett, Vice President of Research, the Connecticut Economic Resource Center. Go to www.cerc.com.

 Ironically, the meeting room turned out to be the only one in the conference center not equipped with Internet access. And one of the moderators who was to dial in from a hotel on the West Coast was unable to attend due to a power outage. These glitches reminded us that technology isn’t perfect and that we’re all still human – a happy consequence. We all flexed, and the morning powerfully engaged us nonetheless.

 Mindblow #1 came with Bret Swanson’s presentation that compared a 2008 visionary study he was involved in with a recent two-year study of global Internet traffic and usage by Arbor Networks and the University of Michigan. The latter pretty much confirmed the predictions of Swanson’s study. Just to highlight…Internet traffic has grown 45% in the study period. The Arbor study analyzed 264 exabytes of global Internet traffic to reach conclusions on everything from which ISP’s have gained enormous ground (Google and Comcast) to what traffic will look like in 2015 – wow!

 Before the seminar I didn’t even have a handle on what an exabyte is. Consider that a kilobyte is 103, an Exabyte is 1018. In other words, if the Library of Congress contains 20 million books – which it does – an exabyte is what it would take to store 50,000 Libraries of Congress. Driven by video and rich media, it’s likely that Internet traffic will continue to grow at a 50-60% annual rate – a phenomenon dubbed the “exaflood” way back in ancient 2001. We’re at an advanced – and at the same time infantile — state of the Web. Future opportunity abounds!!

 Next, Curtis Hill brought everyone from the 50,000-foot view to the sidewalks of Connecticut’s cities, where thousands of disadvantaged families live without computers, let alone connection to the web and the world of information, knowledge and opportunity that it offers. Hill’s organization is attacking this digital divide on several levels. It trains teachers to use technology in education. It places computers in the homes of poor families in partnership with corporations like ComCast and A.T. & T. whose foundation is supporting free annual Internet access to go with the computers. It trains parents to use the computers so that they can help their children use them for research, homework and other educational pursuits. In a wonderful off-shoot of the endeavor, the parents – many of whom are jobless when the computer arrives – are using their new technology to search for and connect with jobs!!

 Jeff Blodgett had the task of sharing how public policy is bridging the vision of a world connected by unimaginable technological advances and the realities of society’s economic gaps. Unfortunately, public policy doesn’t seem to be able to keep up with either the need for enormous investments in technology infrastructure to maintain growth – or the far more modest investment in bringing the Internet to the small percentage of as-yet-unconnected citizens. That’s not only sad, but potentially tragic in terms of lost opportunity and impeded forward progress. But with enough foresight and will – and agreement that our future growth is tied to the online world — we can hopefully overcome any challenges.

 As hot a topic as it is, Net Neutrality, was an appendix at this event, addressed in the Q&A session in the interest of time and in the face of three compelling presentations. It’s probable that it will become a topic of its own at a future seminar. 

 To end on an upbeat note – which you can pretty much always count on from me -the idea of exaflood made me think of the iconic Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim’s song Aguas de Marco – Waters of March – his impression of Brazil’s annual rains and consequent floods. As nature is random, the music, though it sounds somewhat repetitive, never repeats a phrase exactly. The sheet music goes on for about ten pages. The recording you’re listening to is by Brazilian-born jazz pianist Eliane Elias. She couples Waters of March with another Jobim tune – Agua de Beber, Water to Drink — a song about nurturing — in this post a tribute to Curtis Hill and his excellent nonprofit. If you visited last week, you’ll know that I’m on a big Brazilian kick! I’ll try to diversify next time, but oh do I love the music of Brazil!!!

Enjoy! Hope to see you soon!!

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