Word of Mouth Marketers Must now Disclose Relationships

FtcFor the first time in a long time a decision by the FTC may actually have a positive effect to some bad things that have been happening on the Internet. Primarily that word of mouth marketers may soon be forced to disclose when they have a financial relationship with a vendor.

Some bloggers, podcasters and others have been criticised in recent times for not disclosing when they have been paid an incentive to talk about a product. For example I do reviews on products from time to time here. While I never guarantee a favourable review I always try to put a disclaimer on the review the company has sent me a loaner unit.

This action if enforced will cause sites like PayPerPost to enforce disclosure among those that have been promoting products they have been paid to review.

As many of you remember several years ago I was involved in the Marqui pay to blog program. That promotion was a terrific success not only for Marqui but it also set a standard in which bloggers were asked to disclose the relationship and bloggers were told to say what they wanted to say positive or negative. [Washington Post]

Skype Unlimited Long Distance USA and Canada $14.95

Skype-announceWell the free ride to make Skype calls to regular land line phones ends Dec 31st, but through the end of the year you can sign up for their half price plan at $14.95 for a year of unlimited long distance calling to the United States and Canada.

This is  great deal for those that use the SkypeOut function to call land line phones. [Skype.com]

MPAA wants to Control your Home Theather ;)

No not really but the linked article will make you laugh, and give you somehing to think about. In this crazy world of desperate attempts by organizations like the MPAA to control what you do with content you own. I would have not been at all surprised if this had been a real news story instead of being satire [www.bbspot.com]

How do you Quickly Submit Videocasts to Multiple Sites?

As I have been ramping up production for the Videos Andy McCaskey and I will be creating at the Consumer Electronics Show I have been looking for a service that I cannot believe does not exist. With the proliferation of video sites out why is there not a service that will submit a video to multiple sites at once?

Seems like that would make a pretty good service. Submit your Video to one site and then have it pushed to other sites that you have accounts on. This would save you a lot of time and is a service I would pay a reasonable fee for.

Are Microsoft Lawyers getting in the way of Transparency?

There is more information surfacing in the Zune – Rocketboom promo proposal that made headlines yesterday when Andrew from Rocketboom publicly responded to Microsoft on his turning the deal down. From what I have gathered the following quote in the deal was what turned the deal sour.

“You may not display the Logo(s) on any site that disparages Microsoft or its products or services, infringes any Microsoft intellectual property or other rights, or violates any state, federal or international law.”

Part of the deal was putting the Zune logo on his website and by doing so he would have been bound by what he could say about the product in this lawyer heavy handed license agreement.

The question I ask is this, did some lawyer wreck the intent of this deal, or did the Zune management want to be assured that nothing negative could be said on sites that have signed a promo deal? I understand Microsoft’s likely reasoning, but at the same time Microsoft obviously is displaying that they really do not know the new media space when they ask Rocketboom or any new media Podcast/Videocaster to agree to such terms that go against the very grain of what the new media evolution is all about. [Yahoo]

Zune Installation Comments!

Zune2

I really went off last night when I saw the linked article on Engadget. I think I ranted about this for about 10 minutes on my show last night. The corresponding 42 screen shots made me realize that the Zune team and Microsoft learned nothing from Apples Success!

Whoever was the brain child that decided to make people convert money into Microsoft Points to use in their online Zune store needs to be fired or transfered to a outpost in Siberia.

I am going against my better judgment today and will buy a unit not based upon what I am seeing so far, but based on the hope that Microsoft will try to listen to the community. But when I see a review that required a person to click through 42 windows during setup it is obvious the Zune team thought very little about the user experience. [Engadget]

TiVo Raises Subscription Rates!

TiVo has made what I consider a strategic blunder in announcing their new subscription plans. If new subscribers are not willing to sign a three year subscription fee the monthly charge for the service is going to be $19.95 per month. Let me see I have a HD-DVR from my cable provider that cost me $9.95 per month why would I want to pay $19.95 per month on a device that will likely be obsolete in two years. Someone at TiVo did not in my opinion think this through; no educated consumer would sign a three year contract that has a $150.00 early cancellation fee.

Sorry No TiVo for me. [www.zatznotfunny.com]

MacBook Pro now with Core 2 Duo

Core2I know a lot of the hard core Mac users have been waiting for the Intel Core 2 Duo to be released and that wait will be well rewarded as the notebook will now be up to 39% faster which is a significant increase.

Released in a 2.16Ghz or a 2.33Ghz you available in both 15 and 17 Inch Models [Apple]

Sprint Launches EV-DO Revision A

SprintI am pretty excited that Sprint is launching EV-DO Rev A. in San Diego but was disappointed to see that Honolulu did not make there 2006 market roll-outs. If you live in a big mainland city you will be getting Revision A very shortly.

I have noticed here in Hawaii over the past two weeks that connectivity has been terrible and I actually went on dial-up this afternoon because it was slow. I am not sure what the issue is but the connection speed has really slowed down.

I have been very tempted to try a new wireless carrier here in Hawaii as they are advertising some impressive speeds and with no Revision A rolling out here soon. I may have to look into it.

I know that some Sprint Reps read this Blog so I am wondering if they can let me know when Honolulu is scheduled for roll-out and can you tell someone to check the tower that is close to Kanehoe because my connection has been really bad. [Sprint]