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Why Cable TV Subscribers Are Making It Miserable To Cut The Cord

Posted by AndrewH at 10:39 AM on April 5, 2012
This is what I look like waiting for TV shows to be released on Netflix. Not really – this is what I look like all the time. Image Credit – BigStock

There’s a new report out this week (to be filed in the “Duh” folder…right next to “No Kidding”) showing that some 2.6 million cable television subscribers cancelled their service in favor of Internet-based streaming services between 2008 and 2011.

Reported by Slashdot, Yahoo and others this morning, Canadian research firm Convergence Consulting Group summarized the following from their…well, research:

“We estimate 112,000 TV subscribers were added in 2011, down from 272,000 in 2010, and forecast 185,000 TV sub additions for 2012. 2000-2009 annual TV sub additions averaged 2 million. Based on our TV Cord Cutting Model (takes into account economic conditions, annual subscriber additions, digital transition), we estimate 2.65 million (2.6%) US TV subscribers cut their TV subscriptions 2008-11 to rely solely on Online, Netflix, OTA, etc, 1.05 million (1%) in 2011 alone. We forecast cord cutters will reach 3.58 million year end (3.6%) 2012.”

So, essentially, folks are fleeing traditional television for streaming services in decent numbers, but those numbers seem to be slowing. News reports on this are rounding up the typical line-up of culprits for this dialing-back on the rush to streaming – content limitations of streaming services (a.k.a. ‘ I can’t believe Netflix doesn’t have so-and-so) based on sluggish deals being struck by Netflix and others with studios and networks; and the ultimate price-tag of achieving a more robust catalogue of content will break the cost model for places like Netflix and their service will become prohibitively expensive. Read the rest of this entry »

What Social Media Really Deserves

Posted by Andrew at 4:11 PM on March 29, 2012

Shitter Toilet RollHere at GNC, we pride ourselves on the quality and integrity of our writing, but for one article only, it’s going to go down the pan….literally.

Much of the Internet is full of crap and Twitter is responsible for its fair share. Put the two together and you get Shitter, toilet paper printed with a Twitter feed of your choice. No, really.

It’s a bit pricey to clean up your number twos at $35 for four bog rolls but imagine the satisfaction you’ll get from wiping your arse with the musings of some Z-list celebrity. Alternatively you could view it as a post-modern critique of the “me” culture.

Perhaps “sheeting” will catch on as the verb of the year – remember you heard it here first!

Twitter – A School Playground

Posted by Andrew at 7:00 AM on October 30, 2011

Twitter LogoTwitter has always come in for criticism over the inanity of some messages; people describing what they’re having for breakfast or other mundane activities that are of no interest except to their own ego. However, the Internet and Twitter will always reflect the composition of the real world so it’s irrational to expect every tweet to be worthy of the Poet Laureate.

Despite this, the level of tweet erudition at times fails to rise above the level of the school playground. Take the traditional childhood mantra of last resort – “My dad is bigger than your dad.” Transferring this to Twitter, Piers Morgan and Sir Alan Sugar frequently go back and forth regarding the viewing figures for their respective television shows. It’s as if neither of them have quite grown up. Not only is it childish, it does them a disservice for both have considerable achievements.

At times I wonder if it really is the personalities tweeting or whether it is an extension of their entertainment persona into the on-line world. Regrettably, I have to conclude that they are who they purport to be and there is no redeeming reason for their behaviour. Lest it be taken that I’m singling these two out, I’m not. Any seasoned Twitterer will recognise these behaviours in celebrities and it seems that their carefully managed stage act is left behind once the real person gets hold of a Twitter account.

Perhaps I’m just not a big enough celebrity-watcher. I don’t read Hello or any of these weekly fame-orientated magazines. I follow people, whether famous or otherwise, because we have a shared interest. Whether it’s entrepreneurship, technology, motorsport, music or literature, doesn’t matter; I’m not following you because you are simply a celebrity.

So it is with regret…@Lord_Sugar – unfollow….@piersmorgan – unfollow.

And if anyone wants to follow me, I’m @andrewhpalmer. I guarantee the egocentric tweets will be few and far between.

Contest Post-Tweeting: How People Don’t Read Contest Info

Posted by J Powers at 12:28 PM on September 4, 2011
iPad

iPad

Next week I’ll be headed to San Francisco for TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco. Naturally, I added the hashtag #tcdisrupt in my Tweet deck. I went through the posts, and one seems to keep coming up:

TechCrunch Giveaway: White iPad 2 and Nook Color #TCDisrupt {link removed} via @techcrunch

I went to the page in question and they gave away a White iPad2. Yes, I said GAVE AWAY. This was for TechCrunch Disrupt in New York that happened back in June.

This is not the first time I’ve seen this tweet reaction. Someone sees a post saying “Win this, retweet and your entered”. You do so, but you don’t see the link they post. Now you’ve just entered into a contest that has been over for months.

I have held contests from time-to-time. I remember one where I was trying to increase my followers and said to Twitter the link information and hashtag. Weeks after the contest, I was still getting tweets. I even remember one guy who tweeted me “Did you draw a winner yet?” I had to reply “Yes, but that was back in April.”

This seems to be an interesting way to build people, but also is a bit deceptive. Of course, if people don’t read the rules, it’s not your fault, right?

In this case, I would say “wrong”. Why? Because TechCrunch hasn’t updated the page to say in the first line “CONTEST OVER”. Even in the title, they should put that information.

In the meantime, people are thinking they’ve just entered a contest for a white iPad2.Too bad they didn’t win…

Where Do They Find the Time?

Posted by susabelle at 7:34 AM on June 8, 2011

Twitter Icon

I am not a Twitter user.  I have a Twitter account but I don’t remember the last time I logged into it.  Even with just a handful of friends, I felt overwhelmed in trying to keep up with it, and as a rather wordy person, typing what I wanted to say in 140 characters is pretty difficult.  For the short time I used Twitter, I found it difficult to keep up with the postings, and generally found very little useful information once it was all said and done.  I guess for me I’m more of a blog reader, or a podcast listener.   I have wondered, for a long time, how people who are big users of Twitter keep up with it all.

An article in my local paper today brought that rumination to the forefront once more.  The story talks about a bit of a Twitter “war” that took place after a comment from a teenager about how much better St. Louis County is than St. Louis City.  We are one of those odd places where there is a core city, operating under its own governing system and considered the “independent city of St. Louis,” and is surrounded by a larger county full of municipalities, 92 in all.  It’s very complicated and I’m not sure why it ended up this way, but there is a bit of friendly rivalry between those that live on the city side, and those that live on the county side.  So the post by the teenager, who was a Miley Cyrus fan, was commented on by the official St. Louis County Twitter account, which the official St. Louis City Twitter account had to counter, and it went back and forth for several hours, devolving into a name-calling flame war.  In the end, there were posted apologies.

Do the officials of my metropolitan area have nothing better to do with their time?  With the government’s time? And really, for most Twitter users, don’t most of them have something better to do with their time?    I may sit in front of a computer all day, and I may keep half an eye on my facebook account throughout the day on a tab in my browser, but I’m far from posting constantly or allowing conversations to devolve in the way this particular Twitter exchange did.   I have paperwork to complete, deliveries to make, students to train, payroll to submit, filing to complete, etc.  I have plenty to do. In fact, I barely have time to go to the bathroom or carve out lunch some days, much less spend a day having a public online argument about nothing!

Is part of the problem the very nature of the Twitter service to begin with?  Tiny comments, without elaboration, don’t give much room for nuance, nor do they give the person reading them a full idea of the true intent of the comment.  The fact that this devolved so quickly into a flame war leads me to believe that too little being said is almost worse than too much being said.

But I just gotta wonder…where the heck do people find the time to keep up with something like Twitter?

New Infographic – The Demographics of Social Media

Posted by Alan at 6:40 PM on May 16, 2011

The website Advertising Age released a cool new infographic comparing various social media – namely Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  There are some interesting facts revealed here.  For instance the Social Media space is lead by the 35-54 age group, the leading country for Facebook is the US, but the second is Indonesia, the leading country for LinkedIn is also the US, but it’s followed by India, and females outpace males as Twitter users.

While some of this strikes me as common sense (like Twitter being dominated by the 35-54 age group), some of it amazes me (like there are significantly more female users and visitors to Twitter).  For anyone who runs a web site this is pretty good information to have.  It can provide a lot of aim to your marketing and SEO efforts.  For those who don’t run a site it’s still a bit of pretty interesting information to parse over.

demographics of social media

Like It or Tweet It?

Posted by susabelle at 9:08 AM on March 19, 2011

For full disclosure, I am not a user of Twitter.  I have a Twitter account and dabbled in it a year or so ago, but haven’t logged on in months.  I am, however, a daily user of Facebook.

Eventbrite recently concluded a study of Tweets and facebook posts as connected to event sales showed that facebook “likes” resulted in higher sales than Tweet posts.

I’m actually not surprised by this.  Despite the fact that Tweeting is “hot,” the fact is that more people are using facebook than Twitter.  On Twitter, I can follow tweets from friends and public figures and entities.  I can follow those same sorts of people on facebook, for the most part.  But the fact is, most of my contacts on facebook are friends.  There are maybe a handful of contacts on my facebook that I haven’t met in person.  And I take my friends’ recommendations highly.  On Twitter, I can have thousands of “contacts” but those aren’t people I know. I’m also not swayed easily by recommendations from the “stars” or others that I don’t personally know.

I wonder if other companies will research which of their social networking nets the most gains in sales and/or income.  I am inclined to believe that, for the moment, facebook is the overall leader.

Follow The Cycling Season Online

Posted by Alan at 7:30 PM on March 14, 2011

If you are fan of Pro Bike Racing, specifically of the big stage of the European circuit, then there’s a great resource to follow it live with both data and video.  You will want navigate your browser to ProCyclingLive and follow their Twitter feed and also their Live Stream.

What you will get when you follow them?  Follow them on Twitter and you will get a live stream of updates from every major race, updated every few minutes with leaders, time gaps, distance, and lots of other tidbits.  If you have Twitter on your phone then this really becomes indispensable when your are away fro home.

But, even better, if you go to their website and click Live Streams you will find links to video feeds of the major races with multiple links for different languages.  Video can be spotty at times and you may have to try a second link on occasion, but it’s surprisingly solid most of the time.  Video does tend to be somewhat time delayed so if you don’t want a spoiler then don’t check Twitter while watching it.

There are lots of somewhat sketchy sites that carry online video of live sports, but ProCyclingLive is a reliable, above-board site that you can rely on.  Most of these races are not carried on American TV, which makes it a must-visit for US fans of the sport.

Globaltel Media’s Cherple for SMS and Texting Chat

Posted by Andrew at 6:53 PM on February 12, 2011

Tom and Todd get texting with Globaltel Media‘s free SMS chat platform, Cherple. Robert Sanchez, President & CEO, takes them through it.

Cherple is a free web-based SMS texting client, which in itself is not unusual – there a plenty of sites which can send SMS messages. But what makes this a little bit different is that the recipient can text the sender back again, even though the sender is at a computer. A whole text chat can then follow, back and forth.

It’s web-based, so can be used from any web browser, but Windows and Mac downloads are on offer, too.

Cherple currently only works for texts to US-based cellphones, but Globaltel are expecting to setup local Cherple sites in ten countries in the coming months.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Tom Newman of The Fogview Podcast.

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Lazyscope Review

Posted by KL Tech Muse at 2:07 PM on December 8, 2010

This is a review of the application Lazyscope which was release as a beta recently. There are a couple of things that I hope they fix or add in the future. The first is they need to add Facebook any more that is a must for any social media application. Something tells me that this is in their future. It is an air application, which makes it a nonstarter for a lot of people and also limit it to the desktop. Finally my biggest complaint so far is that when you close and reopen the application the feeds you added are gone and you have to add them again. This is something they definitely have to fix before going publc. If you are not afraid to try a beta application and don’t mind a few hiccups I would recommend trying this application. Below is some screen captures on how it works.

Lazyscope Overview

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This is how LazyScope looks like when you first open it. Your twitter account information on the left hand side, in the middle are the updates and on the right hand side is where the stories open up, when you click on them.

Subscribing to Feed

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If you pull up a story from a Web site and you want to follow that Web site rss feed, you simply click on subscribe. Now when that web site updates it will show in your stream along with the incoming tweets. You can also add feeds manually by clicking on the top plus button and just add the url.

Reading Feeds

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If you just want to see a particular rss feed update you just click on it. Then you will just see the updates from that feed.

Viewing Content

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To open up a story in the right panel just click on the arrow within the update. If you want to close down the right panel just click on the arrow on the far right

Posting Content.

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There are two ways to post with Lazyscope, the first is to hit the post button and it will post with no credit to the original poster. The second way is to hit the repost button within the update and that will give credit to the original poster.