From Cub to Lion – The Long Good-Bye

August 31, 2009

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With the passing of Ted Kennedy, there has been much talk about the ‘end of an era.’ The kidd doesn’t believe this to be the case. After witnessing the funeral celebration at the JFK Memorial Library and the eulogies at the funeral mass, we learned a lot about a man who overcame adversity and atoned for character failings in his earlier years to live a long and successful life in support of the underdog. The legislative triumphs that transformed him from the Cub of Hyannis Port to the Lion of the Senate was based on his patience, perseverance and undying quest for a better world.

According to the kidd, the moral of Ted Kennedy’s life is intrinsically linked to a lifetime that fulfilled the promise and lived the dream. It was the gift of time that allowed this Kennedy to prove his mettle. So instead of closing the door to the end of an era, the kidd thinks it is more fitting if we talk about the “passing of the torch.”

“To carry Ted Kennedy’s torch is a honor,” the kidd humbly professed. “If we are to become lions in our own right, we need to live by his example. Ted Kennedy lived as long as he did to prove that the heartaches and failings of one’s youth is only one phase of one’s time here on Earth. The endurance of the long haul is what makes the man!”

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Social Media Says Goodbye To A Voice Of Reason

July 26, 2009

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kidd was in a state of shock today when he was asked to speak about Walter Cronkite and what he meant to a nation. The kidd struggled with the right words that best described what this icon meant to so many.

He reminded us that millions of people wouldn’t believe that President Kennedy had been shot, or that men walked on the moon until they heard it from Walter Cronkite. Like our fictional Uncle Sam, Mr. Cronkite was the reliable friend of the family that you could count on to let you know ‘just the way things were.’

The kidd stated, “the authority and influence of this one man can not be repeated, particularly in the world of social media. Today, the passing of a president or a spaceship launch would be blasted out to the masses in a real-time tweet.”

However, Walter Conkrite’s death is a reminder that time marches on, and the explosive expansion of media was inevitable and necessary. This is progress. But what it lacks, according to the kidd is the “warmth, sincerity and calmness that comes from hearing breaking news delivered by a broadcaster you trust.”

While social media is user-generated and elicits a direct feed from the people, it does lack the heart-felt sentiment that came from a generation that  had to grapple with a Depression, two World Wars and the fear of Communism. “That world mandated a need for larger than life figures to help America tread the uncertain waters of an uncertain time. Uncle Walter helped us do that. He was the gravel-voiced saviour of the airwaves,” noted the kidd.

Today, while the torrent of social media we are exposed to does reach the masses in a timely fashion, a lot of what we seek out on social networks is the echo-chamber of like-minded people. We want our world-view to be authenticated by our fans and followers, people that will put their stamp of approval on what we believe is right. We need the assurance that– ‘that’s the way it is.’ “The question is who do we rely on when its not?” reminded the kidd sadly.

Rest in peace Uncle Walter. You were our rock, our anchor. But today the grace of you needs to be broadcasted to a higher authority. You’ve earned the right to be heard on a higher plane.


Guess Who’s Running the Daily Planet?

April 16, 2009

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The dissemination of the news as we once knew it… is broken. Sadly, American newspapers have never been so loved as they are now…now that they’re dying!

An industry once known for posting obituaries is now becoming one itself. RIPS go out to the Rocky Mountain News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Baltimore Examiner, Cincinnati Post, Albuquerque Tribune and even the San Juan Star (you’d have thought tourists could have kept that one alive!)

A 24/7 Wall Street online news article predicted many more major newspapers across the U.S. will shut down their print operations or go digital: including the Philadelphia Daily News, Miami Herald, Detroit News, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Sun Times, NY Daily News and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The New York Times Company shocked the country recently with its threats to close the Boston Globe on May 1 unless the Globe’s unions anted up $20 million in concessions.

So as legacy newspapers become dinosaurs right before our very eyes, might TV News follow in its mighty footsteps? And if so, who’s in charge of our daily news?

The new media of social networking has already shifted content creation and revenue generation from a top-down model to a bottom-up groundswell.The socialization of the Web has given way to an era of personal brands. From Twitter to Facebook, personal blogs to bookmarking sites like Digg, the era of consumer-generated content is currently guiding the media ship in today’s tech-savvy waters.

The humanization and socialization of journalism will create a viable platform for meaningful interaction of loyalty and community built around individual media brands, one person at a time. And going forward, traditional journalists will need to heed the sign posts that direct them to social networking sites to gather input, research and feedback.

As an affirmation to the power of the individual vs. big media, the social experiment currently being played out by Ashton Kutcher and CNN highlights this point.

Kutcher locked into a battle with CNN to become the first Twitter user to have one million followers (he’s already reached this goal on Facebook) is fast approaching this number as we speak. Actually the two opposing twitter accounts are currently neck-and-neck in the race to reach the milestone. CNN has over 972,000 followers, while Kutcher has more than 963,000 followers (at the time of this post).

“When I saw that I was approaching a million and that CNN was too, I thought this was really significant for social media,” stated Kutcher. “For one person to have the ability to broadcast to as many people as a major media network, I think signifies the turning of the tide from traditional news outlets to social news outlets.” Here’s some more of Kutcher’s words on the subject.

The CNN twitter account is a news feed of the company’s stories, while Kutcher’s is a combination of daily musings about his life, messages to wife Demi Moore, and links to news stories with the actor’s commentary.

Granted this battle of wits is a somewhat frivolous example, as one celebrity’s ego is pitted against another (Ted Turner) but nonetheless it does highlight the point that social media networks are here to stay and are controlling the decimation of news.

We live in an age of popularity surveillance now. While us news junkies might have evolved past Big Brother, now that the power has been handed over to the people it is you ladies and gentlemen who are now in charge of of the Daily Planet! Here’s hoping you use to keys to the kingdom wisely!


McCain Exposing his Feminine Side

September 4, 2008

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During a recent press trip  through Dayton, Ohio, the kidd learned that John McCain had announced that the better half of his 2008 “dream ticket” would be a 44 year-old ex-Alaskan Beauty Queen. This came shortly after Hillary Clinton flatly turned him down.

Despite being a virtual neophyte to the political arena, Sarah Palin’s chief qualification is her status as what is known in GOP political circles as “a woman.”

Eleventh-hour negotiations with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney broke down at the last minute despite Romney’s ditch-effort to undergo a sex change if that would help the GOP cause. That man just “loves being a girl!”

Since the Artic tundra people are the only ones that have ever heard of Ms Palin, the first question the kidd posed at her first press conference was: “How many igloos do you own?”

In regards to her prolific breeding habits, McCain’s VP pick is proud of her ever growing tribe, but comments if she had to do it over again she would have never sent her daughter to Juneau to see the movie JUNO. Because, as she puts it: “she is too young to be a grandma!”

The kidd was also quick to point out that Obama’s 20-month run for the presidency was just as long as the amount of time Ms. Palin has served as Governor. He also noted that she would be no match in a VP Debate with her Democratic opponent, Joe Biden. To which an Obama critic quickly retorted, “yeah, but she’ll definitely beat him in the swim suit contest!”

Ron Callari is a freelance journalist and editorial cartoonist whose work has appeared in Alternet, Counterpunch, Sacramento News & Review, Albion Monitor and the World and I. He is author of “Uncle Dubya’s Jihad Jamboree”, published in 2005, and the creator of kidd millennium’s editorial cartoons. Ron is also the Chief Marketing Officer for iOptimize Marketing, Inc., a company that provides SEO, SEM and Social Networking Services.


10 Reasons to Fight Keyword Inflation

July 11, 2008

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Spending on online advertising sees strong growth, according to a new report from market analysis firm JupiterResearch — expanding by almost 20 percent in 2008 to reach $23.8 billion. kidd_keywordinflationAccording to the report, 8.4 percent of advertising budgets in 2007 were spent online — a figure expected to reach 14.3 percent by 2013, a growth that attests to the increasing shift of dollars away from traditional media.

Paid search continues to represent the largest category of online spend, and is expected to grow to $20.9 billion in 2013.With that said, the cost per acquisition (CPA) continues to grow exponentially making it nearly out of reach for a small operator to compete against the bigger brands with sizeable advertising budgets.

How then does one compete in a recessionary climate, when the commodity of keywords is just as inflationary as the price of oil?

Here are 10 reasons to start changing your strategy:

10. Consider “long tail keywords.” They are cheaper and can draw more qualified buyers to your site.

9. Save dollars with “Dayparting,” by checking the effectiveness of your campaign at different hours of the day.

8. Why pay for membership to the GYM (Google, Yahoo, MSN), when you can exercise your keywords 24/7 at an SEO park.

7. When a paid search budget runs out, advertisers lose their presence all together on the Search Engines, where SEO continues to move you up in the rankings.

6. Geo-target your campaign with LOCAL SEARCH, and right now Google isn’t charging for it.

5. Diversify. There are search engines other than Google that charge less.

4. Studies indicate that 60 percent of searches click on organic results versus paid placements

3. Ad blockers are available now which not only block pop-ups and banners, but paid search as well.

2. Organic search has the perception of “implied endorsement.” Sponsored listings imply commercialism. In the world of Web 2.0, the customers like to be in control.

1. It’s okay not to be in the Number 1 spot on Google. Rankings above the fold bring in substantial ROI, just as well!

 
Ron Callari is the Chief Marketing Officer of iOptimize Marketing, an Internet marketing firm, and a freelance journalist and editorial cartoonist whose work has appeared in Alternet, Counterpunch, Sacramento News & Review, Albion Monitor and the World and I. He is author of “Uncle Dubya’s Jihad Jamboree”, published in 2005, and the creator of kidd millennium’s editorial cartoons, www.kiddmillennium.com