Category Archives: Marketing

Viral Viral: Pretending to Cheat Worked Better Than Cheating for Avril Lavigne Fans

Photo: Arista Records
Avril Lavigne fans push their girl's video to #1 on YouTube by pretending to cheat:
On June 19th, the Avril Lavigne fansite Avril Bandaids launched a “Girlfriend” YouTube Viewer (It’s now been retired) with the intention of making “Girlfriend” the #1 YouTube video of all time. The url that hosted the viewer reloaded the video every 15 seconds. The theory was that Avril fans could load up that url, let it run, and Avril would get the top video spot in no time.

Well, Entertainment Tonight, Perez Hilton,, The Globe and Mail, The Sydney Morning Herald, and many others picked up the story and started crying “foul.” How dare this hardcore group choose the number one YouTube video for us!? How dare they! And that’s where this story gets good.

There was no foul. YouTube caps it’s views per specific IP at 200 per day. (That may sound like a lot, but it’s not enough for a small legion of hardcore fans to make a dent in a number approacing 100,000,000.) There was no way they could game YouTube in the way they were purporting; and they knew it all along.

“Girlfriend” Video Tops YouTube With Viral Viral Marketing (not a typo), by Wade,, 20th August 2008

So they leveraged their leverage by provoking media outrage, causing millions of people to watch the video to see what it's about, and now causing a third wave of blog posts, thus producing still more views.

Now that's clever.

Not the sort of thing you'll ever see come out of telcos or cablecos, either.


Amnesty Foes 2.0: SenatorObama-PleaseVoteAgainstFISA

obamafisa.jpg I’ve been waiting for this to hit the bigtime, and it has, it’s been slashdotted:
ya really notes a blog posting up at Wired reporting that foes of the Telecom Amnesty Bill have mounted a campaign on Barack Obama’s own website. Though the group was created only days ago, on June 25, it has grown to be the fifth largest among 7,000 such groups, just short of Women for Obama. Although it is widely known that Obama changed his stance from opposing telecom immunity to supporting it, many have not given up hope of getting him to switch once again.

Telecom Amnesty Foes On the Move, Posted by kdawson, slashdot, on Tuesday July 01, @08:02AM from the one-week-and-counting dept.

And today the group has more than 9,000 members and is #2 among all MyBO groups.

It’s everywhere else, too, Time, WSJ, Wired, Huffington Post, TPM, DailyKos, MyDD, OpenLeft, digg, reddit, and of course facebook. Read all about it on the wiki.

(Yes, I’m a member of the group, since about the second day, and here’s what I think about the issue.)

This group is a goldmine of information about which telecoms gave what money to whom.

The most significant part to me is that people are using a candidate’s own organizing tools to attempt to organize the candidate. Not stopping there, either, attempting to organize allies for the candidate. Obama claims to be people-powered. Let him say that while other politicians follow money from lobbyists, he listens to the people who give him money, who are the people, and when they said think again he did, and discovered the bogus House FISA “compromise” bill is no such thing, and now he’s against it. We’ll see.


An Integral Part: the Internet intertwined with everything else

circle.jpg This is what the Internet is best at:
My blog is an integral part of my life, and I’m neither ashamed of it, nor do I think my online friendships are lesser than physical friendships. And they become physical friendships, a lot of times. I travel all over the place, and whenever there’s anybody in the area I try to meet up with them. I owe almost everything going on in my life right now to blogging and the Internet, and that’s fine with me. The Internet does nothing so well as social networking. The other day, I realized I was living with someone I had met on LiveJournal, spreading jam I had gotten from a friend I met on LiveJournal, and having breakfast at a table I had bought on Craigslist — everything I was doing that day had to do with this glittering network of people I had found through the Internet. The blog doesn’t really interfere with my writing because it comes from a completely different side of the brain. I do feel guilty when I get too busy and haven’t posted, but I would never stop doing it. It’s an integral part of the way I market my books and interact with my audience.

Catherynne M. Valente: Playing in the Garden, Locus, May 2008

Valente writes fiction, yet many companies can attest to the same kind of intertwining of the Internet with everything else they do.

And there was not a word in there about wanting the Internet turned into cable TV.


Porter’s Five Forces and Net Neutrality: What If Distribution Channels are Open?

brief.jpg Here’s a take on why telcos so adamantly oppose net neutrality:
The eager and almost rabid application of Porter’s “Five Forces” (Supplier Power, Customer Power, Threat of New Entrants, Threat of Substitute Products, Industry Rivalry) to technology products and services has bred an entire generation of MBAs in marketing positions dedicated to developing and maintaining closed systems and closed hardware platforms. This is particularly egregious in the case of business models that are effectively based on distribution channels. In conventional analysis there is nothing wrong with making your living on distribution channels. Remember, that in 1979, when Porter developed the Five Forces framework, distribution channels were highly expensive to create and maintain and, owing to these costs, constructing them effectively presented a significant barrier to entry. Your product didn’t even have to be particularly good, because the threat of substitutes was reduced via the difficulty and expense of the competition actually getting those substitutes (however good they might be) to your customers. Suppliers, if they wanted access to your customer base as a proxy to sell their raw materials, had to go through you. New entrants had to build an entirely new distribution channel. Customers were stuck. You owned the market. But you had to guard this distribution channel carefully. And you had to make sure you hadn’t forgotten something simple and critical. That’s not part of a conventional Porter analysis. But why would it be? Conventional distribution channels are quite physical, antique and boring.

The Five Forces/Circles of Hell, a Private Equity Professional, Going Private, 27 April 2008

The article goes on to detail how Blockbuster used the old Porter model of closed distribution channels and Netflix used an existing open distribution channel: the U.S. Postal Service.

To spell out the telco connection:

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