Will you watch what I watch ?

Unlimited choice seems to be the defacto “nirvana” when it comes to any and all things video. We all want what we want, when we want it, how we want it, for free if at all possible.

The reality is that even though we may index everything and anything digital and use search engines thinking we truly have access to everything, that is far from the truth. Google users “choice” goes as far as their search algorithms take the first results page. Rare is the search that goes beyond the 1st page. Which is exactly why SEO is so important to so many

We don’t hunt through pages and pages of Digg or any other “wisdom of the crowds” engine. in fact, I’ve begun to use Mahalo (disclosure, Im an investor) more and more simply because it has a real person extend options beyond the basic algorithm.

Advances in storage technology have taken us to the point where we can and do put everything and anything on a hard drive and then make it available online. The choices far exceed our capacity to consume.

So how will we find new stuff ? New entertainment choices ?

Will it be purely from friends on social networks ? Will we verticalize and go to movie and music sites (or any other interest we may have) and join their social networks ? Will we just continue to trust Google and search engine algorithms to get us “the most relevant:” options with a suggestion here or there? Will it be a combination of the two ala Mahalo ? Or will we find “trusted brands” to guide us.

I know that TV networks want to be brands that we look to for specific types of entertainment. Spike wants to be for boys, USA Networks is all about crime, etc, etc.

At HDNet we focus our content on Men, 25 plus. Those who have graduated for the most part from Spike and want a mix of smarter programming and presentation. From Dan Rather to Torchwood to our brand of MMA, HDNet FIghts. We try to go older and smarter than other networks. But how do we get more people to connect. How do movies get people out of the homes to connect ? How does any tv show, let alone a tv network. What about a book ?

Is Oprah the best model ? Is she really a social recommendation engine with an outreach network of millions ? She obviously is a brand trusted by millions, are there others that could be as powerful ? Do they require a hit TV show ? A website , a blog, a Youtube channel ? What is the inflection point of impact in terms of numbers ? Or could Facebook or Myspace pages truly turn into trusted recommendation points that actually lead to purchases on a repetitive basis ?

If Mark Cuban on Facebook lists my favorite magazines, books, movies, what have you, will anyone care ?

I just don’t think that people searching and results based on algorithms or context is the future of advertising and marketing.. There is another answer out there, the question is “what is it “?

54 thoughts on “Will you watch what I watch ?

  1. I think its the old traditional model..people are moved by emotion but justify with logic..Generally speaking search is used in many cases to educate. Search provides a way for the searcher to crystallize what they are searching for based on results…If I am searching for basketballs, I will be given tons of irrelevant listings but also relevant. From the relevant listings, I can further search for the true winners. As the web becomes cluttered with so many self publishing experts, I think what other experts say about each other will have significant influence.. I also think reputation management will be very important as more and more people can share both positive and negative feedback and since its very difficult to remove this type content from the web. Creating a pro stance to a negative comment will be important.. I think the days of NOT responding to criticism is over.. stand up and be counted!!

    Comment by art -

  2. Mark and bloggers,

    I agree that \”What will you watch\” is the key. Motivation to watch/choose, while content should be the king, but; but delivery, availablity and quality are head and tails over content for the decision. Think about it…People drift towards what is easy to access and watch in mass numbers far more than searching hard and finding the program that suits them more times than not. Look at the Stats…It goes like this in human nature: 1. Access and avaialbility 2. Fad or not 3. Viewable and pleasing 4. content.

    Granted desireable content can push the audience into the millions, but far more important for numbers of viewers is: Access and Availability. The problem is not the content. There is content avialable for easy viewing, of good nature, already from existing broadcast network feeds, and more appearing everyday. What has been missing for the masses to drift to watching the internet in masses has been as you mentioned in the past, network and technology limitations which make getting to, viewing and having higher quality content, (which viewers gather around and advertisers cling to), available over the WWW. Right now broadcasters are scrambling to get existing programming repurposed to the web. Many are doing it in action, but failing miserably in the quality and access department. Look at Oprah\’s webcasts on Mondays…piss poor quality like You Tube…popular show, but easy to get to and live… so Voila!…viewers….
    Then there is March Madness webcasts…huge numers, but you puke on the quality…but again, easy to get to and view…
    But now examine the Operation MySpace broadcast on March 10 from Kuwait…over 2 mill ind. viewers, 4.5 hours of \”Has Been\” entertainment, but easy to get to and use (Flash) and what about quality…Why the huge viewers here?…Did you see the ED(low HD) quality live braodcast? I watched the event over my cable connection, wireless router in my living room on full screen on my LCD montitor…Blown Away!If Kulabyte (company out of San Marcos) can do Live high quality, 2 pass VBR encoding and stream compliant to Flash players, now in VP6; then after NAB they say for H.264 Flash, then the world will change. Mac users and 99% of others (flash adoption) around the world have an easy-no hassle solution for Live high quality, even HD stream viewing over existing networks and programing, the world will change. I hope Adobe capatalizes on this makes it a top strategic effort this year for the company, if so Flash will slaughter Microsoft efforts again to get domination with silverlight (or was it Crackle, Sparckle, Sizzle or the others they tried before silverlight). I also heard that MTV and Viacom have purchased several encoding units this month from Kulabyte and plan to use them for the Nickelodean Kids Choice awards on March 29 and other live events. I heard ITV in Europe will begin using them for Formula 1 live events too. I saw the Operation My Space on a 42 inch HD LCD in my living room and it was Awesome! I will be waiting to see this March 29 event if MTV uses it for this.

    Comment by marvin -

  3. Absolutely! If you tell everybody what you watch/read/listen to people will absolutely tune in and consume a significant amount of that product. If someone like you who has a huge fan base discloses there personal preferences in a mass media or readily available type of avenue it will increase significantly in items sold/hits/reads/etc.

    I read dealbreaker, portfolio and a few others solely because you mentioned that you did previously. I\’m more informed because of it. Thanks.

    Did you actually read this?

    Comment by Mitch -

  4. When I am in the market for something and I don\’t have a trusted source, I look for community based ratings to help me decide.

    Comment by Jons -

  5. I don\’t think that Facebook or MySpace will become a website for day-to-day use, just like Hi5 they will eventually die. There is no positive use of these websites except to socialize with people across the globe or in other places, and even though we are capable of doing so, we only communicate with peers that we work with, go to school, friends, family. If we were to cancel our friends, family, schoolmates, co-workers out then we have absolutely nothing to do on these websites. Primarily these websites were built for income and nothing more. Well, thats just my opinion.

    – Dima

    Comment by ultimatum -

  6. Mark,
    First off, nice plug for Mahalo.

    The questions isn\’t how does a show, book, or movie connect?

    The question is what is the best way to find out about things.
    One answer is Mahalo. But the big answer is in my idea.

    My idea has to do with finding the hot show, book, and movie in a very simple way that takes 3 clicks.

    You Mr. AudioNet, would love this idea.

    To answer the title question:
    Yes. People will watch what you watch.
    But only when you\’re in the media that day.

    That is where my idea comes in.
    Get a hold of me if you wanna know.

    Comment by Jordan Hagedorn -

  7. Mark,
    First off I want to say that you are a hero of mine. I have followed your carreer and I get so motivated by watching you. I would love to talk to you one of these days and tell you about a new technology that is coming out that is going to revolutionize how people watch/rent/own movies. I\’m sure you get a lot of requests to hear about the latest and greatest but if I could get 30 minutes of your time, I promise it will be worth it.
    Thanks for your time and keeping us up to date on everything that is going on.

    Best Regards,

    Doug Osmond

    Comment by Doug Osmond -

  8. Hi Mark

    Thanks for bringing up this issue. This is a fascinating topic. There is so much choice that it can be overwhelming, and I hear both appreciation and resentment regarding the filters through which our choices are strained. Mostly the frustration is over the difficulty of using the right words to find what you want. For music, comparisons with other artists or groups I like helps me choose from the variety of new choices. I tend to also listen to recommendations from people I respect, care about, or feel an affiliation with.

    Cinda Hocking
    Internal Energy Plus Consultant

    Comment by Cinda Hocking -

  9. Obama is the pre-packaged \”New & Improved Chocolate Flavor\” Presidential candidate PRODUCT – being hyped & PUSHED by GE and its WHOLLY-Owned subsidiaries NBC & MSNBC…along with Westinghouse & its subsidiary CBS…while slamming the Clintons all day every day. (Assisted by…CNN/FOX/ and a lot of newspaper & radio media dependent on advertising$$.)

    GE is the 2nd largest corporation on the planet.

    WHY? Obama is IN with the Nuclear Industry: Excelon Corp of Illinois has been one of his largest contributors from his entry into politics to the present. Excelon is the largest nuke operator on the planet;owns Con-Ed of NY; more nukes in Illinois than any other state.

    GE, Westinghouse, Excelon & 3 consortiums of other companies are planning to build 29 new nuclear power plants. Their Wholly-Owned & Wholly Influenced \”News\” media are selling the Obama Product because Obama is in favor of Nukes.

    In 2005 Obama Voted FOR the Cheney Energy Bill (H.R.6) which ENABLED the nuke industry to make its Plans to build 29 new nukes-by Guaranteeing Taxpayer Payback of any nuke loans that default. (No nukes were built for the past 30 years because the banks wouldn\’t loan the money – too risky)

    Obama Voted FOR the Cheney Energy Bill-despite the fact the Congressional Budget Office rated the risk of default on the nuke loans at 50% or greater. (Does that sound like…GOOD…JUDGMENT to You?)

    [NY Times has several articles about the nuke plans & a map showing all 29 locations; Wikipedia covers the subject]

    Clinton Voed AGAINST the Cheney Energy Bill and said her Energy Plan does not include nuclear.

    ? \”Its about the FUTURE…Turn The PAGE\” ?

    Nope. ts about Turning the PAGE BACK to the PAST: Obsloete 50 yr old nuke power plants-the dirtiest most expensive kind/centrally-controlled MONOPOLY POWER-instead of inventing New, Clean, Green De-Centralized inexpensive Energy.

    An ad campaign has already begun on the TV media to re-package & re-name nuclear power plants as: GREEN & CLEAN -for-everybody too young to remember the 1970\’s anti-nuke movement and all the Bad News about nuclear energy.

    Don\’t be taken in by the ad campaigns-Google:\’nuclear waste dumps\’ & read about the hundreds of BILLIONS of gallons of nuke waste at the Hanford Washington dump; 140 tons of plutonium stored at Rocky Flats, Colorado; Barnwell, South Carolina; leaking into groundwater and rivers; plutonium released into the air around Denver from 500 instances of fires at Rocky Flats; stored on-site at every nuke reactor in America…presenting hundreds of potential \”dirty bomb\” targets for terrorists.

    Is it true that Obama takes No Contributions/NO MONEY from Registered Federal Lobbyists?

    Yes. It\’s a LawyerSpeak/Trick of: Speaking a Small truth covering up a Big Lie.

    Nope, doesn\’t take money from REGISTERED FEDERAL Lobbyists.

    DOES take money from STATE Lobbyists, Not Registered Lobbyists, AND the wives, husbands, law partners, aunts, uncles cousins…of Registered Federal Lobbyists. Gets money from the same big corporate donors as any other candidate.

    Obama\’s campaign finances are involved in the prosecution (by Patrick Fitzgerald)and trial of his friend of 20 years Antoin Rezko. Some of the funds… allegedly…extorted by Rezko went into Obama\’s campaign coffers. Curiously, Iraqi Power Plants amd fraud are also involved in Rezko\’s trial. (Google: Obama -Rezko- Alsammarae-Auichi- IRAQ POWER PLANTS)

    GE & the same wealthy people who sold the \”new & improved vanilla flavor\” Presidential PRODUCTS: Reagan & Bush/s 1 & 2 – are behind the massive ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN to sell you OBAMA.

    At the beginning of this campaign season a large majority of voters were looking forward to electing Clinton. Then Obama stepped in and started the dirty campaigning that has created the DIVISION he so hypocritically decries. Obama played \”the race card\” so he could win in South Carolina. He was caught red-handed playing that race card-but the media blamed it on Clinton-even though they all knew they were pushing the Big Lie.

    With nearly ALL \”the mainstream media\” pimping for Obama & slamming, smearing, and lying about the Clintons-it is truly amazing enough voters have seen thru the Media-Created Obama \”movement\”-for Clinton to STILL be in the race.

    The only way a very small minority can CONTROL a very large Majority is: DIVIDE & CONQUER-Exactly the same Republican Strategy/Deception they have successfully pulled for most of the last century And ALL of this century, so far. . .

    GE, the nuke industry/wealthy have hedged their bets & they will get Billions of your money via 29 new nukes IF either Obama or McCain is elected President.

    Ladies & Gentlemen, Dads & Moms buy nothing GE & Westinghouse are selling – not Obama, not a washing machine, a dishwasher, 29 nuke power plants, or a garbage disposer …. because there is no garbage disposer for Radioactive Nuke Waste. Do not allow them to poison the earth and your children anymore.

    Comment by Elaine Medina -

  10. Trusted brands need to be rethought, yes Oprah is a trusted brand so when she pimps a book, chances are you can buy it with confidence. Often people are the brand that drives a certain industry. Take movies, Charlie Wilsons War for example. With a cast of unknowns this movie would have sank. Sure its a fine story but until you get branding in the form of Tom Hanks and Julie Roberts, it can\’t become a huge hit. Often this is what brings people out to the theaters. Brand name in the case of a star, a director or a company. Sometimes even a special effects company can be the brand that matters. Or even a company with a great reputation like Pixar.

    As for channels, branding helps but the key to a good network is a show or two that brings the masses. ABC taught themselves a great lesson several Falls ago, when instead of promoting all of their new shows, they chose two, Desperate Housewives and Lost, and laser focused all their promotion on them. They developed them and as they became hits they could cross promote their other shows. HBO has a done great with developing shows and bringing in viewers to see that show.

    I subscribe to HDNet and like it, but mainly I got it because its HD. This will help HD channels initially but eventually there will be tons of HD channels and these networks need to have a show or two that pulls the masses in. This means taking chances and also developing and nurturing shows with potential. Really often all you need is one show to pull an audience to a pay channel (Showtime via Weeds). But the danger is being too generic and covering all the bases with programming that appeals to the masses. ABC or HBO does not have a target demographic, and a good network should not as well. They should have shows that target a demographic.

    HDNet needs to develop stars and develop unique shows that can\’t be found anywhere else. I see a lot of HD networks with cute girls, discussions of food and wine, sports, yadda yadda…but often I can get this else where. Choose the best show, or develop a new one, take a real chance and market its strengths. And a strength is not \”HD\”. HD is icing. I\’ll watch a great show in SD if I need to. Even one great show nurtured and developed and promoted can be a beacon that grows an entire network. That\’s what I see with 100s of cable channels, no beacons.

    Franklin McMahon
    Media Aritst Secrets

    Comment by Franklin McMahon -

  11. I am happy to find this post. I am writing a short book online, and I am dedicating a chapter

    First of all this is what I call the crash of longtail and attention. The increased choice is a good thing, but for a while we will feel dizzy. My diagnosis, based on my own behavior, is that our behavior is still optimized in the mass productino era. An educated person is expected to know \’what is important\’. So, we try to learn \’what is important\’. I think that is a very important reason why people try to read all the popular blogs. And the version 1 solution to this is making the consumption unit smaller and have better filtering, so that we can listen to a song, watch only highlights, and read all the most popular blog posts. But as the variety of goods explode, it won\’t work. Ultimately, we will have to find our individual niches. We\’ll have to give up being an educated person with a broad knowledge. At this point, mass production has been replaced by mass niche, and there will be fewer super rich people but more somewhat rich people. That\’s my perspective.

    Comment by hyokon -

  12. The creator of wikipedia is creating a search engine based on people, rather than algorithms. He thinks this is superior to any algorithm google can come up with.

    Comment by Tony -

  13. Mahalo is totally not scalable though. Yes, for important things I seek real people\’s advise but I don\’t see why you think algorithms aren\’t good. if the algo results are as good as people picked results why is that a bad thing? Fred.

    Comment by Fred Malek -

  14. Mahalo might be a cool idea, but what\’s the deal with not having any business content whatsoever?

    I spent 5 mins looking, and couldn\’t find top level category for investing, finance, stocks, or business.

    Comment by Cory Janssen -

  15. hey CUBAN, How \’bout them MAVS!!

    Go Spurs Go !!!!
    you all talk a whole lotta trash for a team that has never won jack in it\’s entire history, but whatever….. that\’s just the way you roll, with your mouth wide open and nothing to show for it, when it comes to sports, …..

    …. repeat after me, \”the SPURS are my daddy, the SPURS are my daddy, the SPURS are my daddy\”…… seriously it gets much easier, \”the SPURS are my daddy…..\”

    …….. Hey CUBAN, the SPURS own you without ever even buying you…….. bend over and I\’ll show you how deep this rivalry goes dipshit!

    KISS MY ASS!!!!!!

    Comment by Rafa -

  16. Mark-
    I watched last weekend\’s HDNet Fights and let me just say that it was the most horrendous card (start to finish) that I have ever seen. I\’m excited that you are trying to bring MMA to HD in a creative way, but filling the card w/ fighters nicknamed \”Fancy Pants\” and headlining the card w/ the washout Bob Sapp is not the right way to go about it. Hopefully once the whole Coture situation is figured out, you\’ll be able to attract some fighters w/ talent and actually put together a decent card. Until then, I\’m sticking w/ the UFC.

    Comment by JRH -

  17. Best results imply best underlying understanding about the searcher. The interesting pre-supposition is that either every search for information starts from knowing nothing about the searcher, or else there is some identity compromising knowledge about the searcher which enhances the search. Both assumptions are silly, we will eventually \”duh\” and just get that we want to carry around a representation of our our attributes or charachteristics (everything except how to contact us identity stuff ) and that will inform our searches and nail the results almost perfectly. This is so obvious that it is completely missed by all concerned, far as I can tell.

    Comment by Pete Carapetyan -

  18. Well, actually Mark, I do follow up on your recommendations so if you have read a good book or know of a publication worth reading, I would probably go buy it or download it. So not sure if you need facebook to do that, but I check back regularly on Blog Maverick.

    Comment by Pat -

  19. Interim coach! Please, Cube! Interim coach!

    Comment by JAG -

  20. Mark , like pregame said thats for keeping the masses informed.
    Peace…Iron Mike

    Comment by Educated Bet -

  21. I get it from you. I am currently reading Communications Technology & ScreenPlays while trying to figure out what Mahalo is. My only question is how do I get you to come speak at my school?

    Comment by tlw04001 -

  22. Amazing no one really cares why \”Oprah\” works and why many other \”emo\” shows fall short. Oprah is the prototype for success because she is real and people trust her. It takes someone who trusts his/her own instincts–comes from the heart–not the head. People know this \”instinctively\”. Why do they care?? There are millions of unhappy people looking for answers. Those who are threatened–the bone heads ruled by their egoes will stick to the black/white rule book pursuing all the wrong things; creating robotic children who do the same. God-for-bid, they should learn something about themselves. Mark, that\’s what you presented in your show \”The Benefactor\”. It wasn\’t about how many baskets the little boy made, as you pointed out. It was about a sweet little boy who wasn\’t afraid to take a risk and to feel his pain and disappointment. You responded to his honesty. Keep up that model. You soooo have it in you.

    Comment by Shirley Cuban -

  23. While Mahalo is a nice alternative to the mass of results that are returned from search engines. It still doesn\’t focus the information so that it is relevant specifically for every individual.

    The best focus/targeting solution has been Word of Mouth recommendations from friends and family which have always been the best source of information on where to eat, drink, buy a car, etc… There is no reason why trusted social recommendations should be any different off line or online while the significant benefits of the Internet are that geographic limits are removed and the flow of recommended information can be had be anyone anywhere.

    Since Oprah(or other celebrities/brands/magazines/etc..) doesn\’t really know anything about each individual she shouldn\’t be their source on where to shop or what to buy. It\’s not about recommendations to millions but about recommendations targeted to the individual. Utilizing the shared knowledge of friends, family and trusted Internet associates provides this bulls eye targeting. Recommendations from friends and family are specific and applicable since the both parties know exactly what each other wants, needs, thoughts and feelings are.

    This is what we are working on providing for the local market with Yokld.com (http://www.yokld.com/).

    Comment by Jay Mallinckrodt -

  24. A Digg based engine for shows would be nice. Perhaps something orienting them by genre. The many sites currently available are nice – but they all have separate interfaces and many fall flat – instead of displaying by show they display by episode, forcing you to navigate through dozens of episodes to see whast shows are available.

    Comment by David Mackey -

  25. Internet by clicking on links but that he never actually opened any files. My question is can one view images on a site without opening a file?

    Comment by john -

  26. I\’m of the McLuhanesque school when it comes to media. I\’m pro-interactive media, anti-dead/cold media. The future of the web is going to be leveraging your social network, and even the larger social network itself to gain more relevant results. People over computers, the greater the degrees of separation between you and a particular person the less relevant their interests, the lesser the degrees of separation the greater the relevance in your search for new things to do, new things to check out. It\’s all a network of information, of ideas, of thoughts, of MIND.

    Now Listening to: Monday(Paracetamol) – Ulrich Schnauss

    MarkToo

    Comment by MarkToo -

  27. It\’s Oprah. She\’s not only the present marketing guru – she\’s the future of Marketing…

    It\’ll kind of be like a butler, only on a server and similar to a home monitoring system whereby the future is here. Like Bicenteial Man – only in the walls. It\’s a family member that suggests dinner arrangements, answers phones, keeps up online orders for food, vehicle maintenances, basketball schedules of your 2 kids, and keeps track of when Tommy snuck out last weekend. It\’s the Oprah-nator Home Sycronized Habilitation Integration Technology, or OHSHIT for short.

    Instead of your wife worrying about her Tivo\’ed copy of the Oprah show, after turning the key to the back door, she\’ll be greeted by an omniscent Oprah voice asking her how her day was. You know Joey came in 15 minutes late from school today. What do you want for dinner, Kraft makes a wonderful new cheddar-mac and chicken, with fried apples dinner. I\’ve already ordered it from the website and you can have it prepared in less than 5 minutes. But that doesn\’t help us today – dinner will have to wait till Tommy gets home anyway. By the way, what are with all these Adult Pay-Per-View charges on this months bank statement?

    She\’ll (I say she, b/c let\’s face it, it\’s really like a nanny service anyway so we\’ll indulge) make sublte suggestions of new meals, vacation packages, the Maverick game at 10, PPV\’s for me when the wife is gone. Everyone will be happy. Except Tommy, who has to explain why he rents all the $5 movies and daddy snuck out of the house through his bedroom window…

    Then again, maybe it\’ll be a coked out Robin Williams in a metal suit.

    Comment by Hillbillie-Jake -

  28. I dont know the answer (of course…who does) but I did want to thank you for bringing up Mahalo. I will have to check it out. It was funny reading about your target audience of HDNET because I can tell you that your efforts to target that demographic seems to be working well.

    Comment by Michael Pierce -

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    Comment by sex shop seks shop seks market sex market erotik -

  30. I think you hit it on the head when you said millions trust Oprah. Trust being the key word. If you can trust the source then you will trust the recommendation. People trust someone or something based on aligned beliefs and results over time. There is no short cut. That is why Google struggles so much with the privacy stuff. If people stop trusting them as a company it will slowly erode the trust people have in Google\’s products and eventually even the search results. Even now, you don\’t completely trust the results, because you don\’t don\’t trust the algorithm can encompass what you are looking for.

    Comment by Mike -

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    Comment by Ben Gates -

  32. Well a recommended link, based on my viewing history and the history of others is pretty good (wisdom of crowds I guess).

    Anchor users are another good idea. I\’ll go over to lastFM and see what a few of their users are recommending because we have similar taste and they have a knack for artists I\’ve never heard of.

    There is the possibility of a multi-level marketing option (I think you\’ve mentioned this before). While it\’ll be a good idea in theory, in practice it\’ll end up with people spamming your profile recommending their show (like so many bad hiphop nights & dodgy pharma).

    I\’d expect the first two to be the best, but does it really matter? we currently pick TV shows based on flicking through the channel and movies based on 30 second trailers.

    Comment by Adam -

  33. Aren\’t we just talking about magazines? You have a target demographic, you line up the advertisers that want to hit that demographich, then you swing at the demographic with your mag articles, music, food and drink recipes, etc.

    Interesting music sites do the same thing, but on a much more complicated and interesting level…pandora, lastfm, etc. What\’s interesting/refreshing is that they are simply trying to sell you music that you\’ll like based on music that you tell them you like. Kinda like Esquire giving my info to other mag companies that send me free samples of their mags.

    Look to Pandora & Lastfm for the future of marketing to a target audience of one…

    Comment by John Cohoat -

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    It gives a real human touch to your live customer support, and give the answers of the questions which the visitors have in their minds.
    http:www.liveadmins.com

    Comment by John -

  35. Informative Article… AWESOME.

    Comment by Eliseo -

  36. Mark Cuban ftw!

    Comment by Cuban -

  37. i really enjoy reading your blog!

    Comment by Yokohama -

  38. Oprah hates MEN, God her show sickens me. Have you notice a recurring theme on her show? Men are ALWAYS the abuser, Women are always the victim. Please Mark don\’t let yourself be one of those brainwashed by her propaganda. When you start a talk show or show movies on HDNet don\’t fall into the trap like the rest in the media of portaying men in a bad light the way Oprah and the rest of the world does.

    A suggestion, show some Cary Grant movies, the guy\’s a good role model of manhood for young boys. He\’s funny and the consummate gentleman.

    Comment by M -

  39. focus.

    finding a core homogenous group. focus on attracting them and then expanding beyond that core. Brands coalesce – it\’s like gravity.

    Oprah pioneered lowbrow culture and has been cultivating her brand. Interestingly enough, she has grown up with her audience – she took a youngish audience in the 80s interested in lowbrow stuff, and progressed with them as a brand. To younger women (and many women in my age group 25-30 watch her regularly and move on any brand she co-signs) she is aspirational – and represents a blueprint to personal growth. To older women – they\’ve grown up with her – matured with her, etc. They feel they know her.

    The point of the foregoing is that this group coalesced organically. The point of all this: GET THEM WHILE THEY ARE YOUNG.

    young people establish habits that don\’t change. I read somewhere that it\’s extremely rare for an individual to change music tastes and/or explore different kinds of music after 30. By the time most people hit puberty, on average they already have life habits that will not change. Fat kids more than likely remain fat. Athletic kids keep playing sports. Geeks remain geeks, emo kids stay crying and writing lame poetry, etc. The thing about getting them young is that at that time it\’s more important than ever for them to belong to something. And once they belong, they CLING.

    The thing about adults is… and god bless them… is that they are more stable. If they are successful, they already belong to something – several things, be it alumni assn, or fraternity, or company, or community, or family, etc. It\’s not easy to convince them that what you\’re doing is good for them to invest anything more than casual interest in – as it is evident that the things they\’re already involved in have WORKED FOR THEM. Frankly, go after the young because they are impressionable and EASILY impressed.

    I work in film. The two largest demos for film are the 13-24s and the 45-64s. The film industry can sell Epic Movie, say, to 13-24s very easily. It\’s not even a flick, but a loose collection of skits. Good stuff, but has little redeeming value. It\’s the movie equivalent of a bag of skittles or something. Cheap to produce, review proof – the things reviewers hate about these movies makes the intended audience love them more. 45-64s need good scripts, strong actors with impressive resumes, perhaps the legitimate co-sign in the form of a bestselling novel or provoking true story. As a producer you know that anything that increases in complexity becomes harder to do right. Quite frankly it\’s hard to impress adults. My nephew, when he was five, was impressed by the coin from behind the ear magic trick (it was the only one I knew). He was impressed by it for like two years until someone showed him how I did it.

    Google coalesced on college campuses. My brother (2 years younger than I) remember first using google on campus – it circulated organically as the best search engine to use. Then it became cool to use google (as an early adopter) and this critical mass allowed them to expand. Also, the notion of a cultural movement as the province of the young – as they are more likely to play with language and redefine how things are done to offset their relative lack of power – is very important – that\’s how it went from searching for something to GOOGLING for something. Google is to search what Ipod is to DAPs, it\’s going to be very difficult to unseat them because they are synonymous in name with what they do and this is widespread in language. This inertia will take a LONG TIME to shift. It\’s more likely to be done through technological paradigm shift. When search becomes natural language prevalent – i.e. when I ask my computer to find something using my voice – there is perhaps the opportunity to corner something there. Searching on my phone should go something like this: Where can I see Jumper? (vocal question). Response: (using GPS to determine my location) Kips Bay Movie Theater 9:30. Would you like to buy tickets now? Etc.

    Here\’s the other thing: Two syllables or less. I\’m not sure if I\’ve read this elsewhere before. Two syllables is the magic number for the word of a BRAND. On the internet: Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, Flickr, Myspace, FaceBook, etc. If you can\’t say it with two syllables it won\’t stick. You can do three in some instances but two is the magic number. It should not need to be shortened or acronymed. It should be two syllables and it should be a word not in common usage so that any langauge adoption can naturally occur. Even Oprah fits this bill as it\’s an uncommon name. It\’s not uncommon to hear the word Oprah thrown around as a brand, independent of the woman. Two syllables. If I label something \”Oprah\” we all know what that means.

    Let\’s recap: Go young. corner something they like: games, sex, sports, drinking, etc. and focus on building them and establishing a brand that way. Two syllable brand name. Three if you can\’t manage two. A word not in common usage. START THEM AS YOUNG AS YOU CAN.

    Interestingly enough, you want to go above the Spike Brand. they\’ll be positioned to organically move into HDNET\’s demo couple of years because they\’ll just grow with the audience.

    Just my two cents – more like 8 cents: just had tons of sushi and a whole bunch of sapporos with this hot chick. not much a fan of sushi and can\’t tell if this feeling I have is from being plesantly drunk of mercury poisoning from that farmed fish. *Shrugs*

    Comment by blyx -

  40. i like your blog , keep up the good work.

    Interesting Websites Blog

    Comment by Furqan -

  41. Post #2 for me.

    http://mogulus.com/

    Why do I always look at the number of people watching a channel and I\’m drawn to see what I might be missing. This is the dynamic of the mob mentality. It encompasses all.

    You want to solve all your advertising needs? Figure out the dynamic of why everyone in the US heard that school principle\’s wife yell at that 13 year old on his answering machine. What about that event caused all the news and tabloids to cover it and all of us to hear it?

    Comment by PSC -

  42. I get tips for new content primarily from my RSS feeds and some forums I frequent.

    But I don\’t even have the time to look at everything I come across. There is just too much average content that you waste time recognizing is average.

    Frankly, I\’m getting tired of trying to keep up with and consuming new content all the time. It\’s like caffeine or sugar, you get a short boost (OK, that was good [or not]) and then you are looking for your next fix of something new to starve off your boredom. The other day I actually sat down and read a dead-tree book!

    Comment by Jojo -

  43. It\’ll be very interesting to see how search engines organize videos in the future. Obviously videos don\’t have the text that webpages have.

    Comment by Freezers -

  44. I have no idea why the affiliate marketing companies don\’t take on the business model of cross checking and categorizing customers then sell that information at a premium as better adwords/links/etc.. on their existing customer sites?

    IE: You browse Amazon for Maverick posters. You\’ve spent and average of $50.00 per purchase, through 3 purchases in the past 6 months. And you\’ve purchased twice from NBA.com after clicking on an affiliate link on the Amazon page.

    So, the next time you come to NBA.com\’s site, or Amazon\’s site, your ads are based on BOTH your current search and your purchase history not only at Amazon but your collective value of all your partner\’s business.

    If an affiliate want\’s to participate in this additional feature, the cost per ad or click is at a higher rate because the particpation percentage is always greater.

    This is the direct mailing list model applied to affiliate marketing.

    I don\’t see why the same doesn\’t apply to TV media advertising and radio.

    Now, if you have access to or own multiple media companies, you have access to advertising delivery streams not available to other sources.

    There is a disconnect between those who sell advertising and those who evaluate the response from it. If I was HDNet, I\’d not only want to know the demographics and numbers, but the purchasing history and conversion rates of the advertisers and customers.

    Through trending, you can charge more or less or even put together packages that accurately advertise to exact demographics that historically not only see the advertisement but actually purchase.

    Suddenly, if you see a conversion rate of your advertisers spike during a particular show, then you\’ll know if your advertisers are hitting their demographic and be able to market that.

    Comment by PSC -

  45. It\’s amazing that you put posts out like this that basically give us a really good problem to solve that could be worth tons of money.

    I love the idea of a brand driven search engine. And yes, people do care about what other people are recommending, particularly famous and/or rich people.

    Comment by Tim Taylor -

  46. Social, period. It will come full circle. In a land before search engines and Wal-Mart local business thrived or died based solely on \”social\” marketing. Bill told Bob told Sue and Sue\’s opinion of Bob shaded what she thought about what Bob told her.
    Oprah always recommended good things and when she messed up she admitted it.
    Costco, in my opinion, always buys quality items to sell therefore I trust their recommendations. Sams club buys the same crap they sell in Wal-Mart therefore I don\’t trust their recommendations.
    If Mark Cuban lists his favorite mags and movies, and he truly believes those recommendations to be good ones, and the people who take those recommendations believe them to be good ones then people will care. I don\’t think that you need a Facebook to make good recommendations.

    Comment by Shawn from Realado.com -

  47. Mark- I think the future of marketing is reaching exactly the right people with the right message. That will be easy to do when the Internet has a personal identity layer. The \”Privacy Provider\” companies that occupy the layer between each user and the rest of the Internet will know everything about their users. To preserve privacy, they will be able to sell access to, but not information about, those users.

    I have just started a website explaining and implementing this idea at http://thetrustednet.org. The ideas there were very well received when presented at an identity community event several months ago.

    Comment by Trey -

  48. Actually, I wonder if the future of Big Money advertising and marketing is already in peril… when word gets out that someone or something is actually posing as \’independent\’ or is \’free from corporate backing\’, the backlash is significant – and for good reason.

    I think it all comes down to being authentic. Maybe the Mahalo results are, in some not-so-small way, more authentic than the SEO-gamed Page 1 results at Your Favorite Search Engine.

    Say what you will about Oprah, her authenticity has never, in my mind, been questioned. Same should be said about you, Mark. You are who you say you are, and there\’s not a lot of \’gaming the customer\’ going on there… people respect that, and if they dig what you have previously dug, chances are that pattern will repeat itself as long as the established trust isn\’t broken.

    A million sliver-sized channels of recommendation, that\’s where marketing is headed, imho.

    Well, that, and companies paying people to be \’undercover recommender agents\’… oh, if only we knew all the tricks up the proverbial sleeves of corporations and their Big Money advertising agencies.

    Comment by Daniel Holter -

  49. Late night infomercials, duh! j/kšŸ˜›

    Brand recognition only goes so far with me now. Sure, it\’s important but I want to know what experiences people have had with the product.

    I\’ve noticed that I tend to rely on online product reviews more and more frequently. Either reviews from a respected entity (ie: Tom\’s Hardware) or a community review (ie: NewEgg.com).

    I recently purchased 2 books that were on a recommended reading list of a blogger (CodingHorror.com) I read daily. I wasn\’t even in the market for a book.

    When I am in the market for something and I don\’t have a trusted source, I look for community based ratings to help me decide.

    If reviews and recommendations were aggregated into a single search where ranking was based on end-user feedback, that would be handy for me as a consumer. I\’d also need a guarantee that ratings would be genuine and placement could not be purchased.

    Comment by Mufaka -

  50. I think you\’re on track with the Oprah model. I find that most of my recommendations come from \”trusted brands\”–as in, bloggers that I enjoy and friends on social networks.

    More and more, shared items from my friends are pointing me to the next site I want to check out or the next book I put on my \”To Read\” list, a list that keeps on growing the more time I spend on the Internet. I don\’t stumble upon too many things on TV anymore because I watch very little of it, and I tend to phase out advertising and marketing.

    Comment by Jacob -

  51. Keep in mind any search must be initiated with a preference in mind. Also keep in mind that preferences have both spatial and temporal relevance.

    If Im interested in News for example, the type of News I want to hear, see or read about is highly dependent on where I am, what Im doing or about to do and my frame of mind. Would it be appropriate for me to list out those attributes? Or should the search algorithm intuitively know.

    What happens when I get home from a long day at the office and plop down in front of my TV? With as little overt stimulus put forth I want to be captivated. Currently my choices dont extend far beyond my dozen or so favorite channels and the content some programmer thinks I want to watch. I suppose theres always Tivo but the time relevance may not be right or I forgot to tell it last night what I wanted to watch tomorrow. Maybe I had a really hard day and I just want the TV to make me happy. Can I say, make me happy? Imagine all the relevant attributes your TV would need to know to make that happen.

    Then again maybe all I really care about is what Oprah is interested in

    Comment by Tim Elliott -

  52. Facebook`s answer was Beacon, but we all saw how it backfired. Who wants their personal information broad casted like that? People look to a source which are credible, emotionally appealing and logical. Blogs, brands,or even a persons homepage on a social network can all embody these characteristics.

    If someone who I view as successful or smart says to buy something because it will be a good investment…heck I`m probably going to believe that person. If I see someone with sophistication or a style that I admire and they come out with a fashion line, again, I will probably be a customer. The problem is that a lot of celebrities dilute there brands without having built up much ethos,pathos and logos. These are the celebs who fail the most in their business ventures.

    To answer your question people are going to look towards the credibility of the source. If I say something is a good investment and you people know I rent a small apartment in Chicago with my girlfriend and don`t have very much money, but Mark Cuban says it`s terrible investment and people know he vacations on a private island i`m going to bet people are not going to take my investment advice.

    If the Red Hot Chili Peppers say they are fans of a particular new group, I will absolutely check out that new band because I like the music they make see them as having a good reputation. That is how I got into the Mars Volta.

    Comment by Gregory Rueda -

  53. I don\’t think there\’s any question there will always be a need for filtered content.

    In my business (music) that used to be the function of record labels. They gave away a huge chunk of that authority and expected involvement to peer groups and social sites, sure…. but now there\’s so much noise it\’s difficult to even manage to listen to everything promising.

    I see people putting their trust in sources that have proven to be useful and validated somehow… the question I have going forward is this : how difficult will it be to start a new channel or filter, after Brand Name Filters/Channels already establish themselves? In some ways the channels or filters that build the earliest involvement on a new technology (or the social site of the month) are the winners in that derby. But the crowd can\’t keep chasing the technology or the hot website, can it? I get tired just trying to keep up!

    Comment by Daniel Holter -

  54. Mark, I really enjoy reading your blog. Thank you for keeping the masses informed……

    JW Stringer
    http://pregame.com

    Comment by JW Stringer -

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