Participatory Critiques

Do You Want to Be a Music Critic This Summer?

A leading cellphone maker is taking advantage of the rising popularity of blogs and other forms of consumer-generated content — as well as the increasing interest in mobile marketing — by offering music fans ages 18 and up a chance to play critic for the summer. To help peddle a new camera phone, LG MobileComm USA is joining with the music publication Billboard for a promotion that will send up to 30 contestants to concerts around the country.

The promotion, called the Mobile Beat contest, is being handled by two agencies in New York that are owned by the WPP Group: Brand Buzz, part of the Young & Rubicam Brands division, and the MECi unit of Mediaedge:cia, part of the GroupM division.

The 30 or so youthful critics will file reviews and photos on deadline from concert sites, from late June through mid-September. Their commentary will be posted on personalized blogs, housed on the Billboard Web site (

In true democratic Web fashion, the blogosphere will select the contest’s three finalists as well as the ultimate winner, all chosen based on the number of hits to the blogs.

Followup: Google Spectrum Plan Panned

AT&T, Verizon oppose Googles airwaves planpdf (followup to this posting: Revising the FCC Spectrum Auction)

Google’s plan would disrupt the auction and diminish the airwaves’ value, AT&T and Verizon said in separate comments filed this week with the Federal Communications Commission. Qualcomm Inc., the world’s second-biggest maker of cellphone chips, also is fighting the proposal, telling the FCC that there’s “no legitimate basis” for it.