June 22, 2007

The NYTimes Keeps Trying [11:34 am]

Maybe this will be the breakthrough: The New York TimesReader

Introducing TimesReader
The Digital Newspaper That Reads Like The Real Thing

It synchs when you connect, but is readable offline, and it retains 7 days worth of the paper — an RSS reader idea taken to the logical conclusion. Of course, it’s the NYTimes, so the initial release is Microsoft all the way, but a Mac version is promised….

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Migrating To Online Advertising [10:49 am]

Shaken and Stirred: For Liquor Campaigns, the Web’s the Thing

“Most importantly, we think our target consumer, 25 to 35 years old, is on the Web much more than on TV or in print,” he added.

Few alcoholic beverages are forgoing the traditional media altogether. In some instances, turning up the ad volume online has proved problematic, as Anheuser-Busch discovered with bud.tv, a Web site for Budweiser and Bud Light beers that has fallen far short of expectations since its introduction in February.

And critics of the tactics that marketers use to sell liquor and beer are worried that the Internet makes it easier for consumers under the legal drinking age to be exposed to pitches for alcoholic beverages.

[...] One big advantage of advertising online, Mr. Hartunian said, is a good reading of who is seeing the spot and how they behave before and after they view it.

“You get data — traffic to the site, where the traffic is coming from, the amount of time people spend on the site, which sections of the site they go to — and you can adjust as you go along,” he added.

“Adjust” … hmmm.

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The MacArthur Foundation Enters Second Life [10:45 am]

Foundation With Real Money Ventures Into Virtual World

The goals are to gain insight into how virtual worlds are used by young people, to introduce the foundation to an audience that may have little exposure to institutional philanthropy and to take part in and stimulate discussions about the real-world issues that it seeks to address.

“This is not just some fad or something new and interesting that we’ve grabbed onto,” said Jonathan Fanton, MacArthur’s president. “Serious conversations take place there, people are deeply engaged, and that led us to think that maybe a major foundation ought to have a presence in the virtual world as well.”

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A New Pathology? [7:34 am]

Remember, homosexuality used to be classified by the the APA as a psychiatric disorder: Marathon video game sessions: Is that sick?pdf

The American Medical Assn. is scheduled to debate such a proposal in Chicago on Sunday, then vote on it early next week. Backed by the Maryland State Medical Society, the proposal advocates that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, considered by many psychiatrists to be the final word for assessing mental illness, include video game addiction.

The proposal also would have doctors exhort parents to curb their children’s use of the Internet, television and video games to two hours a day. In addition, it would have the AMA, the influential physician organization with 250,000 members, lobby the Federal Trade Commission to improve the current system for rating video game content.

Getting the AMA to deem video game addiction a psychiatric disorder is the first step in a long process required to create a new mental health diagnosis. The ultimate arbiter is the American Psychiatric Assn., which publishes the authoritative DSM guide on mental disorders, currently in its fourth version. Getting APA approval could take years.

Executives in the $30-billion game industry are already on the defensive. They say the measures are not supported by scientific evidence.

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