Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Panasonic Online Video Fest



Reindeer is proud to help two staples of American youth culture join forces, Panasonic and YouTube. The two have come together to form the Panasonic Online Video Fest on YouTube! YouTube, as you all know, is a crown jewel of the user-generated content revolution. Yes, I know, revolution might be a little overzealous... YouTube, an infant in the corporate world, is the definitive destination for online video sharing and viewing. Panasonic, a worldwide corporate giant, is the leading creator of cutting edge technology, in this case, Plasma TVs and Digital Cameras.

We are excited to see such a big brand embracing this new service. We created this contest for Panasonic as a way to celebrate the best of YouTube. We'll be selecting the funniest videos on YouTube and showcasing them on the fest website. The winners will receive really cool prizes from Panasonic.

Panasonic is giving away 50" Plasma HDTVs to the funniest videos on YouTube and digital cameras for the most creative reviews and comments posted.

The four funniest videos on YouTube, chosen over a four-week competition period, compete against each other for the First Prize Video Award Package - a 50-inch Plasma TV and a Digital Camera. Each week, the writer of the most creative review of that week's winning video will get a digital camera too!


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Second Life en Vogue

The metaverse is exploding and businesses are really beginning to catch on to the opportunities for extending their brands in Second Life. Many major media companies, universities, not-for-profits, and private corporations have established presences and promotions in Second Life over the past few months.

In case you don't know what Second Life is, see my post on Electric Sheep.

Here are some compelling statistics.
  • 50% of Second Life users are male and 50% are female
  • In-game celebrity lists are primarily composed of females
  • 240,000 distinct objects were sold between March 7, 2006 and April 7, 2006 for a total of roughly $6.5 million USD in transactions
  • 75 million instant messages were relayed in Second Life between March 7, 2006 and April 7, 2006
  • 17 different universities are teaching in Second Life
  • 25,000 users log in to Second Life daily
[source: ETech 2006, March 7, 2006]

Second Life presents a unique opportunity for corporations to "let loose" and directly interact with an audience that is, traditionally, very hard to reach but very valuable. Imagine what Ronald McDonald might look like as a character in Second Life or Teen Second Life. Well, that might be reaching. But the point remains. Second Life presents a new way to connect with people.

Want to know some of the stuff that's going on??
  • 20th Century Fox premiered X-Men: The Last Stand on Second Life as a live stream direct from Cannes. It featured extended trailers, extended footage, and a live commentary, exclusive to Second Life, by the actress Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde/shadowcat).
  • BBC One broadcasted their One Big Weekend festival inside Second Life May 12-14. They constructed a massive virtual stage, and invited Second Life residents to come along, have a dance, and soak up the music.
  • Wells Fargo created Stagecoach Island in Second Life, a place where Second Lifers can play games that teach them about finance “while hanging out with friends.”

Don't know why people are so crazy over Second Life? Sign up for a free account and find out for yourself.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

We're Gold Diggers!

Guess what? Got some news. The Reindeer is... behind the scenes. Our President, Troy Benton, is consulting to Mark Burnett Productions on "Gold Rush".

Just a few days ago, every reputable and disreputable media outlet on the net, TV, radio and print covered the announcement from Emmy award winners Mark Burnett & AOL of details surrounding the ground-breaking cross-platform reality game, "Gold Rush". I know, that sentence was a lot to spit out. Basically CBS will be Gold Rush's broadcast home.

Here are the basics on the game:
GOLD RUSH begins as thirteen armored trucks laden with gold head off into the darkness, their caches are about to be hidden somewhere in America. Twelve of these trucks contain $100,000 in solid gold and the thirteenth, $1 million dollars in solid gold. Together, over $2 million in solid gold is up for grabs.

The idea is that players will run around trying to find the more than $2 million in gold bullion hidden across America, with clues to the whereabouts hidden online, on, with sister sites, and also posting clues, as well as CBS TV network, radio broadcasts, magazines and mobile media.

So, keep an eye out for this on because its going to be an awesome experience for players.

Friday, May 19, 2006

ABC TV Online tops 3 millon

In just two weeks ABC's new online video service has reached 3 million downloads for their four most popular shows.

I don't have my mind entirely made up yet on putting television content online...but I do know that I would like to be able to access what I want, when I want and that means where I want. So if I'm on a plane and I want to catch up with the last episode of Gilmore Girls or something, online video seems like a good option. Obviously people like it and, apparently, ABC is pursuing other business models for online video services. Let's wait and see.


Carlton Beer

Oh YouTube, you make my life so easy. Please everyone. Watch this ad. It's hilarious. And, like Geico did with their Late Night Talk Show spot, Carlton Beer is trying the self-mockery approach to advertising.
"It's a big ad. Very expensive. This ad better sell some bloooooody beer."


Military SNL 'Lazy Sunday' Spoof

Ladies and Gentlemen...thanks to my last post on Milblogs, I have discovered something that I really should have seen awhile ago. This is hilarious!! Its a military take on the SNL spoof "Lazy Sunday." "Lazy Ramadi" takes place in Iraq and was filmed by soldiers. YouTube has featured it on its home page and its been viewed 122,000 times.

Share it with all your friends.


Front Line Blogging

The blogosphere continues to get more interesting as I explore corners that I don't generally cover. MilBlogs is a blog that basically pulls in several military bloggers to this central location. They are first-person accounts of life on the front lines and life on the home front told by those who live it. From the site: Most simply want to tell the story of their war. But by design or happenstance, in doing so they've written their part of the history of these times, documenting a war that many feel the traditional media has failed to capture, denying others the opportunity to speak falsely "for the troops" without concern of being exposed.

I have read through several of the posts and, I gotta tell you, its pretty addictive. Once you start reading, you get the feeling that you're part of this secret world with its own practices and language. See for yourself:
I question both the aptness of using contractors for certain mission-critical functions - and the codicils in the contracts under which they function - to include ones where truly mission-critical infrastructure personnel are designated as NEO evacuees in the event of conflict, their jobs putatively taken over by their uniformed supervisors. Supervisors who, when I was watching them perform *their* duties, didn't seem to have much slack time to take on another, full-time, mission-critical task set.
To be honest, it's a bit sad that it feels like that because that means I am really out of touch with who and what the military is. Mind you, I have two brothers in the Navy.

I suspect most other people feel even more out of touch than me. We just don't want to admit it to ourselves. There needs to be a healthy understanding and a TRUE respect for the military. I know that's the talk from both sides of the isle...but I don't think it's real because most people don't understand what the members of the military really believe and do so how can they truly respect them?


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Follow-up on Web 2.0 Greed

I am a capitalist through and through. Yes, I am an Adam Smith FAN. I believe that, on a macro level, a free trade society generally improves because, on a micro level, free people make smart choices. And I know its really not that simple but it is a good guiding principle for any layperson or expert in economics to remember.

(SIDENOTE: I think Adam Smith and Dale Carnegie would have got along great)

But I will take one more shot at illogical people and greed. In my last post, I wrote on a great post by Om Malik about the resurgence of Web 2.0 speculation. Malik is senior writer at Business 2.0. His take on the current tone in Web 2.0 was, therefore, from a business perspective.

Now here is another post from a different perspective. A List Apart explores the design, development, and meaning of web content, with a special focus on techniques and benefits of designing with web standards.

Jeffrey Zeldman, over at alistapart, writes an excellent article on how the frenzy of greed may have once again overtaken common sense. While no one will forget what happened when greed set in the first time around, investors et al. are choosing to ignore lessons from the past by labelling it "Web 1.0" and by believing "Web 2.0" is really all that different.

In fact, Zeldman intimates, design fads are determining value for websites, services and blogs far too much. AJAX, a tender new tot in the design world, is still experiencing growing pains. The investment community is treating it like a bonafide Olympic star when its really just learning to run.

Here's a closing snippet from the article:
To you who are toiling over an AJAX- and Ruby-powered social software product, good luck, God bless, and have fun. Remember that 20 other people are working on the same idea. So keep it simple, and ship it before they do, and maintain your sense of humor whether you get rich or go broke. Especially if you get rich. Nothing is more unsightly than a solemn multi-millionaire.
Oui, oui.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Read this article

Thank God for Om Malik. Here is a business & tech guy with some balls. While we're all (web 2.0 startups and speculators) losing our common sense from greed, excitement, jealousy - I don't really know the reasons - he is willing to tell it like it is. In his article "The Myth, Reality and Future of Web 2.0" he says what we all know but don't want to say. Web 2.0 is a mess of too similar and too useless services!
The Myth of Web 2.0 is the investment opportunities.
The reality of Web 2.0 is too little original thinking.
There are prominent websites that virtually foam at the mouth over anything new that uses whatever look or technology is the current fad. I think the functionality and look of a web service is really important. But the idea has to be different enough from inception to be worthy of time and money. People are shorting the ideas for speed to market. This is greed in its worst form and, mostly, it won't work. So...that's my moral revelation for the month.


Take a gander at these useless services.

A Fiat for under $1000

So Fiat is releasing a line of stylish phones in Europe. What does this prove? Well, it is obviously just another example of how the "soft" stuff matters most. As my informal mentor Tom Peters said, excellence is the price of entry in today's market. What really separates great stuff from everything else is the "soft" stuff.

I'm sure the Fiat phones are no great technological marvels. This is an attempt to leverage the value of a brand that has been carefully crafted over the years by providing access to an exclusive product for the masses. A lot of these marketing guys call this "massclusivity." I'll avoid bothering with that kind of talk. I'm not much for trend following or trying to find a magic solution for any problem. I just like cool stuff. Is this cool? While I see the appeal for certain markets, I don't much care.

- Marc

Thanks Engadget

Monday, May 15, 2006

At last. Useful stuff on the internet.

FINALLY, a few services I can actually use. Recommend It! and Wishlistr have automated things we already do (or want to do).

Wishlistr is a great idea that is wonderfully executed. Wishlistr is an online wish list that is very pretty and easy to use. It's a not so subtle way of letting people know what you want. So when Christmas rolls around, you don't have to worry about getting useless presents to regift. Simply refer them to your wishlist. They have over twenty templates you can choose from to personalize your wishlist. Plus, its simple to use. Just sign up and start posting. All that you'll need is 1) Item name 2) URL 3) Short description. Its that simple!

Wishlistr takes the power of online sharing/customization and uses it to create a great solution for a small problem. Net result? We'll all use it. They even have a preloaded message that makes passing the site along really easy. Way to go. Plus, you can subscribe to my wishlist feed!
My Verdict: What would push this site into great territory is the inclusion of screenshots for wishlist items.'s just what the doctor ordered.

Recommend It! is a cool idea that could use some serious improvement. It allows you to easily recommend sites and services to friends and family. Keep track of recommendations from people that you trust using our watch list feature. Plus keep track of these recommendations through RSS.
The problem with Recommend It! is that it's ugly and it's not customizable. All you see is a bunch of text and tags. A site that is all about advertising (which recommendations are) should be prettier. One line of text is not enough to get a feeling for how good a site is.
My Verdict: Check it out...but be on the lookout for improvements or something better. Cool idea.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

RSS Listing - Everything you'll ever need

I've been looking for a blog that covers nothing but bowling for years. Now, with RSSHUT, I can find it! Thanks Web 2.0.

I swear, every time I say "Web 2.0" I lose a piece of my soul. It wilts just a bit every time I give in to the man. That reminds me of something I thought of at some point over the course of the past year.

Web 2.0 - blogosphere and all - has the capability of creating the worst groupthink this blond boy has ever seen. Well, okay. So I'm not blond anymore. I was straw blond as a kid but I LOST IT. I can probably find some way to blame that on the internet...

So, we should all watch out. The more involved you get with..."web 2.0" the more and more you'll think you're unique and creative but, in reality, your creativity has been reduced to mental copy and paste.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

There must be some kind of Gaping Void in the "advertising-real people" conversation. Who is there to fill that void? The Reindeer.

Advertising definitely needs more Reindeers. (if you're not in the know, Reindeer is a new word in advertising jargon that means an incredible new idea or an original, innovative take on an old idea.)


Reindeer is Reaching for the Stars

Here's an interesting little snippet I pulled from this morning's paper.

Here's one about YOU...


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Weirdos Unite!

Who said all the crazies are in the midwest? According to UFO Maps, ET might as well be your jet-setting bicoastal neighbor. At least that's what Barbara down the street thinks after last nights hail storm...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

They'll give you a Second Life

Electric Sheep is a highly successful real estate development company that you've never heard of. That's because they build real estate in a whole different world; a world called Second Life.

Second Life is one of the most popular virtual worlds in...the world. It has over 165,000 users. Anyone can join for free. They're allowed to create and own any kind of clothing, vehicles, buildings or other objects at no cost. Second Life makes its money by charging players for land they buy and build on.

Second Life has spawned a number of collaborative projects that solve real world problems with Second Life solutions. But where Second Life "owns" the land, others must develop it. That is where Electric Sheep comes in.

Electric Sheep works with organizations to develop presences in Second Life to conduct business, train new employees, have meetings, collaborate on content or to simply hang out. They build infrastructure and communities for corporations, big (Fortune 500), and small. They have a 13-person staff to make it happen and are based in Washington DC.

It generally costs around $15,000 for a complete customization of a sim from Electric Sheep. That includes terraforming the land, constructing buildings and scripting interactivity into objects throughout the space.

Need to spend some money? Call Electric Sheep.

Here are some CASE STUDIES:

Blogger's Moblogging Tool Doesnt Work

We have been using Blogger's Blog From Mobile Device tool for quite some time. We have used it with an LG VX6000, Treo 650 and a Motorola PEBL for a year.

We can say in our experience it only works 40% of the time. Therefore, in our opinion - it doesnt work.

You can remedy the situation by deleting and adding the device. Also, when you send photos/images through, it doesnt auto update to your blog (which we thought was the point) - you have to go into your blog and edit or create a new post to get to the REPUBLISH entire blog.

Give it a miss until it starts working properly. Too much hassle.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Productivity as a reason for exercising

Here's a piece in Mens Health I came across on Lifehack. Its some good advice for me and I think the entire Web 2.0 community can benefit from it. I also think there is a very healthy need for it in the lives of those of us who spend 8-12 hours per day sitting and craning over a computer screen.

The basic proposition - backed by research - is that exercise, more specifically, running makes you smarter and more productive. Web 2.0 is all about increased productivity and so I figure this article provides a compelling case for regular exercise in a language we will better respond to.

Here’s a quote from Arkansas Governor Huckabee, who lost over 110 pounds in a year and is a huge proponent of exercise now.

“I’m more creative, because I have mental energy. When I finish running several miles, it’s like my mind is running on overdrive,” he says. And, he adds, “It’s made a dramatic difference in my ability to focus.”


Yahoo Weekend Announcement

Yahoo announced Yahoo Tech yesterday. Its big news. Take the TOUR to learn about it.

The goal is to fill a hole in CNET's service and, in turn, gain a lot of new users that aren't satisfied with the current champion's tech reviews system. It proposes to make deciphering tech jargon and finding the best product at the best deal easier for non-techies.

Some features:
Product reviews can be accessed via a tag cloud or the search bar. Yahoo Tech includes product reviews, how to guides and other content. Yahoo Tech also has four resident bloggers to give product advice to different customer segments. (from TechCrunch)


Another Video Sharing Service - YES!...........

Yet another video sharing service has entered this already overcrowded space with what amounts to the same old same old. Its flash-based, which is cool, but the execution offers nothing new. So why switch from YouTube??? Some service needs to make that case.

Google Earth meets web 2.0

See the world through Web 2.0 with this Google mashup.

Web 2.0 Innovation Map will let you see the world of Web 2.0 developments very literally. Its a Google mashup that maps out all things Web 2.0. Its getting there.

Their description: "The Web 2.0 Innovation Map grew out of an interest in how Web 2.0 development is distributed geographically. Using the lists of Web 2.0 applications from various sources (see listings) and a bit of elbow grease to locate addresses, the Innovation Map was born. The locations listed here have come either from a WHOIS lookup or the contact information from the web site itself. Locations are not guaranteed to be accurate."

Thanks NEObinaries.