Told You So – Apple Tablet

Applet Tablet With iPhone-Like OS Confirmed in TV Interview [VIDEO]

McGraw adds that he thinks the tablet will be “really terrific” for e-books in the higher education and professional markets

He also stated it would run “a Version of the iPhone OS.” As I predicted. We’ll see how close I was at 1pm EST.

For Class marketing

User Generated Beverages – What Can we learn from DewMocracy?

In December I attended the reception* for the Mountain Dew Dewmocracy event, and learned how Mountain Dew was using its fans to help pick a new flavor (or several new flavors) of the beverage. Personally, I love the idea of asking your customers what they want from a product and giving it to them. It is often the way products are made, but in this day of mass market and focus group watering down of the message, I liked that Dew went out to their fans and actually made them work for the product they want – that should ensure good adoption when the release the soda later this year.

The intent from the start was to activate Mountain Dew’s most rabid fans, the people that live the “Mountain Dew lifestyle” all the time, and get them to participate in creating the flavor, color, name, and creative for this drink. Mountain Dew took a flavor sample truck to 17 markets and found fans in those areas to test the 7 sample flavors, make video posts and document their experiences, and invite their friends. 50 fanatics from this process got home tasting kits, invited their friends and documented the experience on an included Flip video camera. Once they got that input, Mountain Dew created their own social network of 4000 core fans, and got them involved teaching them how the flavors were designed, picking the color of the drinks, the names of the drinks and even creating test graphic treatments and advertisements for the drinks, some of which you can see at

Ultimately, it comes down to sales, so in April when the product hits the shelves, the 3 flavor ‘teams’ will get their friends to vote for their favorite, which becomes part of the line with a launch on Labor Day in 2010. The fans will design the launch campaign as well.
While this won’t be the first Social Media Community Designed beverage (that honor seems to go to Vitamin Water Connect), Dew’s effort did more to involve more fans, and had voting or fan participation at every stage, up until the launch.

This campaign has so many good marketing elements to it, so here are some lessons for your future marketing. (There are probably more elements I’m missing.)
Brand Loyalty: Showing fans you care and asking them to tell you the next product generates interest – especially among your most rabid fans.
Social Sharing: Use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and 12 Seconds.TV and more got fans voting and promoting the entire effort.
Word of Mouth: The name contest required votes and followers on Twitter (see for an example). Many of these accounts got 500 or more followers in just a few days. These people had to make a little effort to vote, and share with their friends. And the accounts interacted back with their fans.
User Generated Content: The 12 Seconds TV effort generated a number of very clever spots watched by hundreds or thousands of people.
PR: I’m writing about a soda I don’t even drink (since I’m decaffeinated.) They have a good story to tell the press.

Ultimately, though, we’ll see how many sales rack up with the 3 test flavors, and whether “everyone gets a trophy” (they release all 3) or whether they keep one for launch on Labor Day.  I’m Interested in knowing how this ends. What else can we learn from efforts like this?

*Disclaimer: I was invited to the reception by Porter Novelli and Pepsico friends, but received no compensation for this blog post (other than a few hors d’oeuvres and some Mountain Dew samples at the reception.)
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For Class

J.D. Lasica on 21st Century Media Literacies with Howard Rheingold

I just found this wonderful interview that JD did with Howard Rheingold, from last summer. I’m posting it because my class should watch this video, and learn from two people who have been thinking about the subject for a very long time.
Howard Rheingold on essential media literacies |

Increas­ingly I think the dig­i­tal divide is less about access to tech­nol­ogy and more about the dif­fer­ence between those who know how and those who don’t know how,” he said. He’s con­vinced that what’s most impor­tant is not access to the Inter­net — we have more than a bil­lion peo­ple on the Inter­net now and there are 4 bil­lion phones out there — but access to knowl­edge and lit­era­cies for the dig­i­tal age. “The abil­ity to know has sud­denly become the abil­ity to search and the abil­ity to sift” and dis­cern.

The video is great – take the 6 minutes to watch it. Thanks JD and Howard.


My Apple Tablet Prediction

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

On the 27th of the first month, Steve Jobs will come down from the mountain forge of the gods, and bestow upon the waiting masses his tablet(s). Thus sayeth the prophets.

But what will the Apple Tablet be? Well, I predicted the following in two tweets here and here on January 5th, but let me elaborate.

Prediction: The Tablet will run a different version of OS X than a Macbook or an iPhone.

Why? Steve and co. have a good thing going with the Mac market right now. They don’t want to cannibalize their existing sales.  In fact, to them it’s crucial they don’t.

I also predict, while the code from OS X will be there, there’s going to be a different interface layer. So, developers will be able to modify their existing (updated to clarify: DESKTOP) apps for the tablet, but, they won’t be able to just release them.

Why? Because Apple isn’t going to just release another Netbook. That’s just not their style. Putting a touch screen keyboard or a slide out or even a laser powered desktop touch keyboard on a 10″ screen and calling it an Apple Product is not something that will make Steve smile. In my vision I see lots of Apple Usability folks hidden away in some lab making a set of touch gestures, figure pinch gestures, and slides that are going to let us use our tablets in ways that, like the iPod, we didn’t know we knew how to do but now that we see them, it’s obvious.

App Store
Image via Wikipedia

Why else? Because of the App Store, stupid. Look how well that worked for the iPhone. If they can create a developer App Store for Tablet apps, that creates a new ecosystem, and another cash cow.

But wait, you say you still love your (Insert iPhone App here)? No problem. Because the tablet is going to emulate an iPod Touch in a window, right on the tablet screen. Therefore, you’ll be able to do all that iPhone/Touch cool stuff on your tablet too, giving Apple and their Developer community another market for apps. Will they let you use your tablet as a phone too? My money is on no – but with built in 3G, perhaps Skype will be a good partner and let Apple beat back the Google monster. It all depends on the carrier they partnered with. I’m hoping they didn’t do an exclusive AT&T deal again.

Emulation is key because the tablet isn’t going to run the processor the iPhone does. Specs? Well, having seen a Netbook with an Atom 270 processor and 1.5 GB of Ram running OS X in a very speedy, quite acceptable way, I’m predicting this tablet will be built off the latest Intel Atom chip. My rationale for this is simple. It is dead stupid easy to run OS X on a Netbook right now, if you know how to Google search for “Hackintosh.” That’s not a coincidence. If Apple wanted to, they could make it really hard for hackers to do this. But it’s been easy to find hacks, and easy to get updates whenever the OS is updated.

I believe this is a market test they’re running to see how people respond to the smaller screen. And the response, from me is this: “Wow, OSX runs really well on a Lenovo S10-e, but a lot of the Mac interface isn’t designed to work on a 10″ screen.” They need new interface elements, new design, and a few speed improvements.

Well, that’s what I predict on Jan 27th. Your comments are welcome.

(Thanks to Tristan Louis and Mark Stahlman for thinking this through a little with me. But if I’m wrong, the blame is my own. For goodness sake, don’t trade on my info – none of this is sourced.)

UPDATE: Tristan has his own prediction.

UPDATE: Of course, Doc Searls predicted this in 1997 (via Dave Winer’s old blog).

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Pat Robertson, Haiti, and the Devil

This is not a post about Pat Robertson, the Devil or Haiti. This is a post about Public Relations and Press Releases in 2010. The news and lots of Internet folks reports Pat Roberton implied that the Devil caused Haiti’s Earthquake. It’s reported as well in the Mainstream media.

Allegedly, he didn’t, according to the Christian Broadcasting Network website:
Statement Regarding Pat Robertson’s Comments on Haiti

If you watch the entire video segment, Dr. Robertson’s compassion for the people of Haiti is clear. He called for prayer for them. His humanitarian arm has been working to help thousands of people in Haiti over the last year, and they are currently launching a major relief and recovery effort to help the victims of this disaster.

Pat, it’s 2010. If you’re going to say “if you watch the entire video segment,” then you should put up the video segment. You own the program, right? It’s your network. Put up the video. 

It didn’t take me long to find the actual video. Here’s a link to a clip.

If you’re going to try to change people’s opinion and tell them to watch the clip, put up the clip. The only reason not to put up the clip would be if it were “damning evidence.”

Oh, and if you are looking for a way to help, my friend and non-profit consultant Tom Watson, who I trust completely on this issue, says “I trust @globalgiving to get $$ to Haiti quickly and effectively – please give now! .” Global Giving is quite transparent about how they work, so you will know how your money is used.