THE FIRST TIME I PLAYED HARVEST MOON I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANT BY NAME YOUR FARM SO I JUST NAMED IT “FARM” AND I WAS PISSED THROUGHOUT THE REST OF THE GAME BECAUSE MY FARM WAS CALLED “FARM FARM”
god damn it farm farm
Harvest Moon Moon’s Farm Farm
to the outside eye it just looks like everybody on tumblr has a stutter
fucking moon moon
It’s almost Easter, and that means we’ll all be needing to buy some egg/bunny/chick shaped chocolate. Yum.
Although it’s almost a given to buy at least one egg for yourself and for your loved ones, at least in my house, Tesco has decided we all need a little encouragement to hit up their many, many, many stores. Queue this rather nice Google StreetView mash up: tescofindtheeggs.com.
It’s a good ol’ fashioned Easter egg hunt brought online for your social media convenience. The site lets users hunt for virtual eggs by tapping in a postcode and navigating around Google’s StreetView map. Once you spot three, you get a voucher for a free MalEaster bunny.
The site also promises a few ‘cheeky’ golden eggs, which get you a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 if you spot one (wow, Samsung really is giving those away for free ain’t they?)
Tesco’s hunt also includes some clever social media links. I found my first egg quite quickly, but struggled to find the next two. As I was already invested, I opted to ‘Like’ the site on Facebook (along with 14,000 others at time of writing) to activate my ‘EggRadar’ (annoyingly/sensibly, golden eggs don’t appear on the EggRadar).
Now anyone on my Facebook has the change of spotting the site too. Once you’ve found three eggs and claimed your voucher, you can spread more eggs at a postcode of your choice (say, a friend’s pad) and are encouraged to tell them about it through Facebook and Twitter.
Nice one Tesco, clever seasonal promotion. Although we’re essentially looking at thousands of children getting chocolate in exchange for sitting at a computer screen and not hunting for eggs in the traditional outdoorsy, fresh air kinda way.
Jamie Oliver and Sainsbury’s might be having a word.
Check out the making of video
I don’t even play Fallout but this is really impressive
I want one…
Last week some exciting rumours hit the web, starting on Pocket-lint. It seems an anonymous tipster had got in touch to reveal top secret details of new Xbox products coming up to launch. Amongst other exciting details was the promise of a brand new Xbox console, not to be labelled ‘720’, and a 7-inch gaming table dubbed the
It turned out the ‘news’ came from a prankster who had clearly reached frustration breaking point with tech and gaming websites reporting unconfirmed rumours. On a dedicated Tumblr blog the wily tipster explains these actions, wanting to highlight the lack of fact-checking some sites do on rumours and leaked stories.
That’s all good and noble and all, although it does somewhat ignore Pocket-Lint’s disclaimer:
It’s also sad that it’ll discourage future rumour stories that may be correct, as Pocket-Lint suggested in an update to the original article.
As a PR, it also highlighted something else to me – the desire for news sites and blogs to post a story, any story, with a headline including a well know brand or product, sometimes to their detriment.
Don’t get me wrong, this makes a lot of sense. Having New iPhone Launched smack in the middle of your homepage will grab more than your average traffic. And since the majority of sites rely on traffic to support their business model, I can see why even the vaguest of rumours is worth considering.
However, this focus on big brands, products and rumours shouldn’t come at the expense of stories from smaller brands that have something darn interesting to say or show. In my time as a PR I’ve been told by journalists several times news, a new product, or briefing sounds interesting, but the lack of brand awareness of the client company means they can’t dedicate the time to covering it. They sometimes play it off to the high level nature of their publication (I’m looking at you nationals).
This may sound idealistic and a little romantic, that the little guy should get an equal look-in as the goliath brands of the world. And since it does, here’s a real example (with details lacking to protect my cowardly self).
Earlier this year, a client launched a new product that attracted a lot of media attention. The client was very tight lipped in the run up to the launch and was reluctant to do any pre-briefs ahead of a launch event. Event invites started and we had a few yes/no/maybe responses, when the client gave us permission to do a select few pre-briefs with trusted contacts. However, we couldn’t provide details in advance beyond ‘a new product from X company’. So we approached a few nationals who had covered the company’s products at launch before. The response from one was words to the effect ‘Unless you’re Apple or Google, we can’t dedicate the time to come to an event or an interview on something without knowing exactly what it is’.
Happily another contact, who was also open to coming to the event, took a briefing on merit and past experience, assuming it would be a good story from a known company. And it was. On the day, the article was one of the most read and shared the outlet’s website. Then the first contact got back in touch, requesting any future announcements be given as a pre-brief in future.
So in some cases, a good story from a reputable client is out-weighed by an unconfirmed rumour from a well known name. Desire for high search traffic aside, this doesn’t seem right.
I am a gamer. I don’t work for Microsoft.
I, like most other gamers, am sick of seeing endless rumours and speculation citing “anonymous sources” or “insiders” with no evidence, no proof, no guarantee that they’ve been fact-checked or can be relied on.
The games industry is the only one I can…
The Financial Times has been held up as something of a pioneering newspaper, but its latest digital expansion comes at cost to the print.
The paper has done a good job of adapting to the digital world, attracting large numbers of paying subscribers to both print and online. It’s usually the default pro-paywall example; although with the note its content has the advantage of being unique enough to attract paying readers.
Long standing editor Lionel Barber announced on Monday a renewed focus on digital, and is hiring 10 new employees specifically under a digital remit. The knock-on effect is 35 current FT staffers face the chop – or more accurately being offered a ‘buyout’ according to Paid Content. 35 of these buyouts will save the paper £1.6m this year, according to an internal email sent yesterday.
Barber says “The intention is to reduce the cost of producing the newspaper and give us the flexibility to invest more online”. There’s also a mandate to focus more on “priority stories”, an streamlined international presence and new products in the coming year.
Interestingly, Barber sees less competition with rival papers and more with social media channels, “Our common cause is to secure the FT’s future in an increasingly competitive market, where old titles are being routinely disrupted by new entrants such as Google and LinkedIn and Twitter.”
On the surface it may look like hard number crunching (+10 -35 isn’t tough maths), but these are the hard calls publishers and editors are being forced to make in the digital world. Ultimately is does mean we’re looking at smaller editorial teams, but it also means more focused teams delivering the content readers want to consume and pay for. What Mr Spock might have called ‘the needs of the many’. Although there’s no way around the fact it’s tough times for the 35 potential buyouters.
At the sometime Barber was tapping out his email, Andrew Miller, CEO of Guardian Media, has reaffirmed the group’s commitment to “open journalism” and shunning of the paywall model. Miller is one who has argued the FT’s paywall works because subscribers were always willing to pay for the premium business and financial content - something his paper can’t match. In an article with The Economist last week, he wrote:
“The overriding business task is to monetize the online audience…when we talk of ‘audience’ we still mean our readers…newspapers have always used a blend of different funding mechanisms to extract revenues for their ‘product’. That’s why I am unconvinced by those who say that the only model that works is to build paywalls. This is not an area where one size fits all.
“In some news organisations where growth in readership may not be so important and in particular where there is a strong existing print subscriber base to build on, a pure paywall may make excellent business sense. The Economist and perhaps the Times spring to mind here. It also makes sense in other publications which feature business-critical information – for example, the Financial Times and, in the Australian context, the AFR.”
In short, the FT et al can afford to monetise content and focus on digital because they don’t have to worry about growing their readership – but The Guardian does.
So where The Guardian is competing with paid-for titles and grabbing readers wherever it can, even in Australia now, the FT is more concerned about monitising content and developing a profitable digital business. The idea of “open journalism” is a noble one, and one I hope works out in the long term. But for now, it seems making the tough calls is the better option for newspapers looking for a firm foothold in digital.