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While discussing how many students in foreign language classes simply use online translators to finish their homework, one of my friends tipped me off to the Chinese pirated version of Star Wars (or, as the like to call it, Star War).  As many Western movies are banned in China, bootlegged versions of popular films are pirated into the country all the time.  And generally, it isn’t too big of a deal.

But due to Star Wars' popularity, the bootleggers decided to add a little extra to increase sells.  Usually, the imported copies include some sketchy Chinese subtitles that do a decent job of translating the film.  In this particular case, the DVD included the special feature option to watch English subtitles (like their American counterparts do, right?).  Unfortunately, in their attempts to add this feature, the bootleggers decided to listen to the movie in English and translate it as best as they could into Chinese; these transcriptions were then run through an online translation program, producing some of the most humorous subtitles I have ever seen.  Check out the link for snapshots of the best.  Apparently the people working on this film also just decided to add random little bits when they couldn’t figure out the dialogue.  Thank God for Asia!

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I got pretty busy the last few weeks working on my thesis, school work, and Beta Sig stuff, but after watching some of the Oscars, I was interested in how the social media sites were monitoring traffic related to the event.  Hopefully the link will work, but if not, several companies and analysts have gathered all the data (primarily from Twitter or Facebook) and described some of the cool trends.

For TV ratings, the numbers were down compared to previous award shows, although the event definitely pulls some impressive numbers, with 37.6 million people tuning in.  I thought it was interesting that the specified ad-targeted demographic was 18-49 year olds; seems like quite a range there…  Not sure if that can’t be narrowed down more?

Twitter was definitely something I wanted to check out.  Just recently starting a Twitter account (the same day this blog began), the media is still relatively new to me (although I got a crash course in the system during the UNL gunman incident; more on that later).  When I watched the most recent State of the Union Address, many news stations covered the various tweets sent out by politicians at the event.  Once I get over the fact that this behavior is rude, it is kind of cool to get live updates from many important people, along with the chance to connect with them during the event.  During the Oscars, estimates range from anywhere between 400,000 to 1,300,000 tweets being sent out related to the show.

Most interesting is how the tweets can be graphically displayed based on frequency and time; this allows people to see when people are tweeting the most.  Some of these patterns are predictable.  Melissa Leo’s F-word generated around 11,000 tweets immediately after the speech.  Big wins (King’s Speech, Toy Story 3, The Social Network, Black Swan, etc.) all scored around 9-10,000 tweets.  Interestingly, Oprah seemed to take the night, as her appearance coincided with nearly 12,000 tweets.

As for content, both The Fighter and Inception had the most tweets (depending on which study).  James Franco’s hosting seems to be the top tweet topic, with nearly 60,000 tweets.  Pretty impressive!

On Facebook, the numbers were similar.  King’s Speech and Franco were the most reported status updates.  Nearly 1.9 million updates had some relation to the night’s show.

Just another interesting way that social media is capable of doing cool things.  Almost makes you think there should be an award for most tweets or updates, huh?

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Wisconsin Protesters, Freedom Fighters or Terrorists?

So I honestly don’t care too much about what is going on in Wisconsin.  Maybe that is just my generation’s general disconnection or apathy for events that only appear on TV.  If it doesn’t get our attention then it doesn’t matter, right?

But seeing as how this story isn’t going away (just like the protesters), I figured I would make my comments about the situation.  I assume the title might offend some people, but then again, I don’t really think anyone reads this blog besides myself, so who cares?  Plus, just to clarify, at best, it’s an exaggerated metaphor.  But to get things started, I thought I would post a video/picture of some fellow friends in the middle of the action in Madison.  Just for clarification, they marched with the Tea Party, although I think they could care less which side they were on and mainly wanted to just be part of the insanity… Since it basically is a big joke up there.

If you can, check out this Facebook video link, although the profile may be private: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1616276324860&oid=111615612250098&comments

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Weekly Ad Review - Week 1

As an advertising major, I thought it might be interesting to review a couple ads each week.  A few preliminary comments:

  1. I may post more or less frequently than the weekly mark.
  2. I will review ads of all forms (TV, online, non-traditional, etc.).
  3. I may review some older ads, depending on any influences.
  4. I will try to rate, but don’t take any rating system too seriously.
  5. I welcome any suggestions on ads I should take a look at.

Without further ado, Week 1 Ad Review…

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The computers are going to take over the world…  Once they figure out their puny mechanical arms need to be replaced with machine guns and flamethrowers.  Jennings himself admitted defeat, saying “I for one welcome our new computer overlords.”  I can only imagine how much more Watson would have won if it was connected to online databases, rather than the finite (but still large) reference base that was stored internally.

Jennings, Computer Overlords

For a more in depth article about why IBM’s new computer is important, check out http://blogs.forbes.com/markpmills/2011/02/21/ibms-watson-jeopardy-stunt-unleashes-a-third-great-cycle-in-computing/ .  Aside from being a successful PR stunt, this Jeopardy winner might be the next new technology to continue the digital age.

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I just saw this big, bright ad banner at the top of YouTube that makes use of an interesting advertising strategy (which we are seeing used more frequently); what does Lebron breakdancing have to do with State Farm insurance?  Well to figure out, you have to click through, follow the links, and actually be engaged in the company’s Facebook site.  Once you get there, you also need to “like” their page, building a further connection.  When I got to the page, 286,534 people had already liked it to view the content.

Liking the page leads you into a new State Farm commercial with their jingle.  While the commercial is funny, I wonder how effective it is at actually bumping sales.  I mean just because I’ve clicked a few links doesn’t mean I am going to buy insurance from this company, right?  If anything, this campaign at least gets the State Farm jingle and image in viewers mind.  I just am unsure about how much clicking through a few links effects the average YouTube user.  Our generation seems to be very good at jumping from page to page, and though we may be “liking” something on Facebook, it is often just to get access to something, not necessarily actually liking the product.

It would be interesting to see some of the figures this campaign is generating.  Like I mentioned, Lebron has nothing to do with the company, but I figure he must be a client if he is doing an endorsement.  The Facebook page also includes bloopers and extras, a little more additional content  The original banner at YouTube also had a big notice and image on the side linking viewers to a chance to win a trip to Vegas (equally unrelated). 

One last strange note about this advertising, there doesn’t seem to be any official links to State Farm’s actual website that clearly visible.  I may be missing it, but it seems weird that if I did want any actual information about their product, I wouldn’t actually have easy access to it.

So what do you think?  Is this type of advertising effective?

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Beta Sig broomball is done this season. Good effort this year guys, but for some reason, I have a strong feeling we can improve next year.

Beta Sig broomball is done this season. Good effort this year guys, but for some reason, I have a strong feeling we can improve next year.

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Pretty amazing stuff.  I personally have just under 400 pictures related to my account, although most of them are posted for Beta Sig.  All I know is I would love to see the servers that handle all this information…

http://wwwery.com/12069-facebook-photos.html

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Pretty cool program with some awesome designs.  I’m going to try it out soon and will post the results.

Bowie, Rostarized

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When making this blog, I chose the title based around the concept of “digital natives,” the generation born into the digital era.  Born in 1989, I have been around for most of the online technological developments.  Computer software, file sharing, and smart phone applications all seem very familiar and usable to me.  But honestly, even younger kids are going to be even more embedded in this world.

Working in the Attorney General’s Office, I see dozens of cases each month about cyber-bullying, sexting, or childstalkers.  I’ve heard stories about Facebook profiles gone wrong.  If we truly are digital natives, why does this happen so much?  (Check out Gagnier’s article, posted at the top of this entry).  Is it our generation’s fault or are adults to blame?  Maybe they just don’t understand the intentions of their children.  I honestly don’t think either group can claim innocence in this issue.  While some kids make stupid mistakes, this is nothing new that is specific to our generation; the only thing that is different is that our mistakes are now permanently accessible once they go digital.  While kids these days may know how to instantly post pictures or videos to social networks, they don’t necessarily make the distinction between which pictures can be problematic in the future.

At the same time, I think “responsible” adults who turn away potential employees based on these revealing photos sometimes act abusively.  Just because a person may have photos posted from a weekend with friends doesn’t mean their entire existence is corrupt.  There is always some separation between work and play.  When you leave the work world and enter someone’s play life, you shouldn’t be surprised when you see they have their own preferences, behaviors, and beliefs.  I’m sure these bosses have plenty of their own personal moments they wouldn’t want put on display; what is different is that they just have more business/life experience that holds them back in showing their complete lives.  And though kids may sometimes make the mistake of originally posting images or stories in a public forum, I don’t think it is appropriate for employers to then threaten or simply dismiss individuals for living in an online, connected, open world.  As a business owner, they are entitled to make choices about their hiring policies; but as an aware citizen in the 21st century, they should know better than to hastily generalize a person’s character around a glimpse at their profile.  And if they are going to view the profile, instead of stalking through the internet to quietly peak into someone’s personal life, maybe having a discussion with the person would be more helpful and appropriate for both parties…

A few years ago, employers didn’t have the option to do this type of investigation.  Though this tool is now widely used, maybe bosses should afford individuals the same respect and opportunity previous generations were given.

Lastly, even the idea that someone is afraid to post something seems a strange idea about the world we live in.  As I’ve discussed above, everyone has stuff they might not want others to see.  Honestly, I think our generation is more open and free with our thoughts and personalities.  The only thing we are concerned about, in regards to employers, teachers, and parents, is that we will be judged unfairly.