Monday, October 22, 2007

Coke Pull Off UNBELIEVABLE Prank. New York Times Bites!!!

People are wearing Coke vending machines to hide themselves from would be attackes in the street.

Fearing Crime, Japanese Wear the Hiding Place

Dude, I am serious - this is the article that was on the front cover of the New York freakin Times on Saturday. I couldnt believe it when I was reading it. Coke has obviously created a stunt - a person wearing a Coke vending machine - put it out as a press release with some cred behind it and BOOM the New York Times picks it up a REAL story on the FRONT page of their news paper.

Please please, someone tell me who/the agency behind this. Its solid gold. YES, thats someone's feet coming out of the bottom of that vending machine. Classic.

Friday, October 19, 2007


NEW YORK (October 17, 2007)

(see on Forbes)

LiveGamesNetwork is combining the addictive nature of casual gaming with social networking to create an online adventure games site.

The LiveGamesNetwork ( creates games that last for 14 days and require web access and a cell phone to play. Created around dramatic story lines, the players complete tasks in the form of online challenges, puzzles and games to score points. The games are casual in nature but have the twists and turns of a Hollywood blockbuster.

Once players sign up, they play by launching their player dashboard. They follow instructions and character messages to complete each level. The dashboard will be similar for every game so players can get straight to the action and not have to worry about spending hours learning the game or downloading an application. “With a LiveGame, our audience knows when it starts and when it ends. The same way we know a sitcom lasts for 30 mins, our games run to a format,” says founder Troy Benton.

The LiveGamesNetwork has been built on the premise that people like to enjoy stories together. The social gaming platform has been built to react to player’s actions via text, email and the web. They can connect with fellow players by sending messages, adding people to their watch lists, posting messages in the forum, view games friends are playing and track their progress. “We have found that people love instantly venting about a twist in the story, post about the motives of a character or sharing how they just solved a task. We have built the tools for people to connect and converse with existing friends and make new ones around games”, Benton says.

The LiveGamesNetwork site has been built so many games can be going at the same time. “Our players love TV and films and tell us they get really disappointed when the most exciting thing on the show’s website is a photo gallery and a quiz”, says Benton. He adds that, “a lot of our players have said they feel like it is a modern day version of ‘Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?’ We love that comparison.”

In the future, LiveGamesNetwork aims to build LiveGames based on licensed content and has started those conversations. It is widely believed that major film franchises can sometimes take up to ten years to break even. Today, revenue “windows” such as DVD and merchandise are putting money back into the pockets of studios but apart from reselling video on iTunes, has the web provided a bankable revenue stream?

“The web has prime time numbers without a prime time format. How many people watch Heroes and went to see Fast And The Furious? What is online for those fans to play? How do the studios that own that content make money online? We are trying to solve this problem and hope to become a link in the revenue chain for return on investment in content.

LiveGamesNetwork Releases:

“The Prague Files II”
Begins October 29: “Jack, Your Father’s Death Was Not A Mistake”

“P.S. Don’t Shoot Me”
Begins December 3rd, 2007: All the pop gossip, blogging and murder you can handle.

# # #
About LiveGamesNetwork

LiveGamesNetwork is the primary destination for players to enter and experience a LiveGame. Founded in 2006 by Troy Benton, the company based in New York City and produces and directs LiveGames that enable players to play a live fictional adventure over 14 days.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


If there is one thing that I find most interesting about the "talk" surrounding the digital revolution from media, business and financial people is the very very very small amount of people that actually really know anything about how these new companies work.

The amount of times I have sat through business meetings with people who tell me their two cents about Google. Facebook and MySpace and respond "no" when I ask them if they have an account with these companies amaze me. You cant "get in" to these companies without an account.

True story - I sat through an advertising meeting where the decision maker had included a sizeable sum of his online budget to MySpace. He didnt have an account. Wow.

So I am reading the New York Times article yesterday entitled As Its Stock Tops $600, Google Faces Growing Risks.

In the first 100 words of the article, this comes out: "Jim Cramer, the high-decibel CNBC talk-show host, told his audience on Wednesday night “never to take financial advice from anyone who doesn’t recommend Google.”

Based on what ? Paid search ? The company is currently valued at 50 times its earnings, so trust me, that means you are betting on what they are going to become - not what they are today. And if their strategy is based on owning advertiser relationships and matching them with the customers, they are in the firing line of Les Moonves, Rupert Murdoch and Jeff Bewkes (Parsons is going soon) - all smart guys who have put up with people trying to steal their clients in the past - and crushed them after they realized what was going on. Google say they are a "friend to media".

Dont get me wrong - Google have smart people in there. But you are betting on them being able to make monumental decisions, incredible acquisitons and to have the cunningness of a Murdoch to reach the potential of the value they have today. The $600+ value is betting on Google to move out of massive reliance on paid search and be able to own a big chunk of advertiser relationships to place their spend for them. Today, this is 5-10% of total advertiser budgets.

Can you see Google sales people wining and dining marketing directors at the Superbowl and on skiing trips saying "Chuck, we can run 50% fo your ad budget. Trust me." ? Or do you see them more as really smart tech guys ? If you see them as the latter only, their share price goes to about $280-$300 tomorrow - in line wit the approx 20 times earnings tech stocks get.

My point is that Google wasnt really around until 2000. Thats a little only 7 years ago. They didnt really switch on paid search until a few years after. Sure they have revenues in paid search in an era that has such an archaic, flimsy infrastructure that the only "web" we see is pages and text. But tell me, where else does Google get money from ? What else have they been reeeeally good at ? They have tried a lot of stuff - do you use Google Documents every day ?

True, companies have had a hard time translating their businesses online and Google have helped with that problem. But trust me, the web you see today and the what the web will be like in 5-10 years now and beyond is going to be so different that you, me and anyone inside Google dont have a chance at guessing what it will be. The same way none of these people who are in "awe" of Google now, didnt see Google coming.

My aim here is to not hate on Google. I use it/them everyday. i am just curious about what I say as an increasingly widened gap between what people think they know about digital media and what is really going on.

The reality to me is that Google came from nowehere in 2000 and are now "valued" over 3 times the value of Time Warner and Disney. The speed of their appearance and rise makes me wonder if it could happen again. We are in a time where disruption is the norm. It also tells me that most of the people who are pumping up the stock wouldnt really know how to set conversion goals in Google Analytics, set up a Google Adsense Account, know what Google Adwords is or know how what the split is for a Google Network Ad placed on a site would be. Those things are the lifeblood of Google right now. I feel sometimes a lot of the people talking about it think, "holy hell, everyone uses it, so imagine the potential of Google!" Well, people use parks everyday -- and I don't see them being valued in the hundreds of billions. What if parks starting offering home loans, travel, video on demand.

It's like when I was on a friends little fast boat thingy and he was going way too fast. I said slow down. He said its fine! I said "there have been boat crashes before - no one ever says "wow, we are going to have a massive crash in 5 minutes"... they always say "its fine!".

But then again, has worship ever really been about cold hard facts or more about blind faith ?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hello World. My name is the LiveGamesNetwork

After months of building and lack of sleep, he has arrived...


Sign up. Enjoy heated or cold.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Want To Know Where Gossip Television and Blogs Get Their Material ?

Watch this scene of Britney Spears going to a restaurant. Horrifying. One woman is screaming at her to 'get the f out her neighborhood'. Then the most harrowing is when there are obviously kids being caught up in the crush.

Does this build to a point where something bad happens and then people get their right back to walk in a straight line ? I would also suggest a move away from LA. Also, was it this crazy before the internet ?