Monthly archive

July 2005 - page 2

Out of context

A new study shows that non-contextual ads work better than contextual, as the difference in content and ad is more noticable.

So how can you feed relevant ads?

Behavioral. It’s the plastics of the aughties.


  1. SPCA v. 20/20:
    I don’t know how I missed this, and am particularly surprised that none of our SPCA-following readers brought this to my attention, but ABC published a response to the SPCA’s complaints on the Stossel piece.
    Until we’re "in business," I’m out of the business of investigating such controversies. So I’ll let the ABC response stand on its own and quietly wish they’d gotten back to me on some of my questions.
  2. Ferguson Road:
    Kevin asks: "In reference to the other 22 areas trying to take our…money…who are they…can we find their presence on
    the web…do they come across as strong and effective as FRI

    My understanding is that the decision rests in the hands of the Department of Justice. They distribute the money based on the need, preparedness, strength of plans and how much money they have. Conceivably, all 22 could get some money. Sources who’ve worked with them before tell me that citizen lobbying and/or political pressure is the worst thing for the neighborhood’s chances. The real decisionmaking is at the staff level, and the best way to impress them is with the budget and plan for the use of funds. Having seen a fair amount of the FRI stuff firsthand, I’m pretty confident that whatever they send to DC will be in the top tier.

And now the forecast

Our call for reader-contributors brough this message from Nancy McEwen (link mine):

I’m into astrometeorology – predicting weather using astrology.  I’ve been
into it since 1998.   I accurately predicted the recent July 5/6/7 rain/tstorms
here in North Texas.  My specialty is predicting weather for North Central Texas
and Texas weather in general. 
I predicted the Christmas Snow in South Texas, and the Snow Two Days Before
here in Dallas.  I also predicted last year’s Valentine’s Day Snowstorm
I’ve had some stunning long-range successes.  I accurately predicted where
Dennis would form and when (back in February), and also picked landfall at
Pensacola two weeks ahead of time.  Way ahead of traditional mets. 
Winter sounds pretty good about now.  I also agree with the traditional
mets about this winter – it is going to be MUCH colder than last winter.  I also
think the DFW area could see snow in the early part of December, maybe even have
a White Thanksgiving like we did in the early 90’s.

Plan your outerwear purchases accordingly.

Follow-up on FRI

A quick follow-up for readers following the Ferguson Road beat. Kerry Goodwin, the Weed n’ Seed coordinator for the area tells me:

Yes, we did receive Official Recognition for the 2-Points community as a
Weed & Seed target area and yes townhome development was approved by the
Dallas City Council (53 units I think). 
The next step on the grant process is to submit a grant budget and time
table for implementation.  This is still a highly competitive process and funds
are not guaranteed considering all of the Fed. gov’t’s budget woes… however,
we were one of only 22 sites approved nationwide… and a good final application
should (could) be successful.

Both items are great news for the neighborhood. I’m already seeing an increased police presence.

Armchair pitcherbacking

As you can imagine, when we’re not working on our technological geegaws, our office sports a fair amount of armchair quarterbacking re: how we’d cover the stories of the day.

Here’s a piece we might have run this afternoon:

Authorities silent on delay in arrest of local millionaire

ARLINGTON — A local millionaire who was filmed in an unprovoked June 29 public assault on two separate journalists was arrested today, after a 2 1/2 week delay. During that delay, he left the state to receive an industry award.

The man’s attorneys arranged for him to turn himself in after Arlington police issued a warrant for his arrest in the first assault. Authorities offered no explanation as to why the incident, which has been widely shown on television, took so long to spur a warrant. A subsequent warrant for the second attack is expected.

Although the man made a public apology last week, during today’s booking procedure, he apparently had a change of heart, as he took time out from his fingerprinting to taunt a colleague of the men he assaulted.

Some bullets to tide you over

Busy "doing" this week, so posting will likely be spotty. In the meantime, some good reads:

More precision

This week’s DFWIMA meeting featured Anne Murray, Senior Director, Interactive Marketing for Southwest Airlines talking about, among other things, their new Ding! fare alert software.

In advance of the meeting, I installed the software, and my only complaint was that I got all the specials, not just the ones for Love Field.

Anne told the group that a forthcoming upgrade would allow users to get just the alerts for their home airport.

More evidence that precision (and therefore customization) is a requirement for any company that really wants to serve its customers.

An example of copy-wrong behavior

Yesterday, April noticed that the Inwood Theater was showing a sneak preview of Hustle & Flow, the acclaimed Sundance Film Festival winner. We caught the show, and found the film to be well executed, if not terribly original. (Think 8 Mile meets The Commitments, with a Memphis pimp as protagonist.)

But that’s beside the point. The over-the-top paranoia regarding piracy threatened to ruin the whole thing. We got there just in time to grab a soda and find seats, but only upon getting past the concession stand did we find security guards with metal detector wands. After a wand-down that was north of airport standards, April was then informed that she couldn’t bring her cell phone in, even though it didn’t have video capabilities. Refusing to "check" her phone, she had to go back to the car to lock it up. Then, throughout the movie, the security guards walked the aisles, intrusively leaning in and looking down each row every few minutes.

I understand that piracy of films is a growing problem, but there has to be a better, less intrusive answer.

Legal liability

One surprise for me in the Channel 11 piece was the depth of specific discussion of liability (link mine):

But what if someone posts something that’s not
true or is libelous? Federal law says the computer service provider
isn’t necessarily responsible–it’s the person who wrote it.

lawyer Tom Williams says that limits the damages a defamed person might
be able to win in litigation. He says the defendant "could just be
anybody who might not have the assets to satisfy a judgment even if you
sued and were successful in recovering a judgment."

Img_0116   That would seem to protect Pegasus and other start-ups.

(I include the screenshot of Donte, because, where’s he’s been deadpan during the entire piece, he gets this great smirk right on cue during that last bit of voice-over, as if he were pleased at the pronouncement.)

While the point is a fair one, it’s interesting that when I went to the Citizens Media Summit, the same legal facts were used to present the flip-side of this picture — The possibility that a poster or commenter to a site who posted something both true and well-documented, could still be harmed irreparably by the expense of defending a frivolous libel suit.

A discussion of the law in this area can be found on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s website. 

Welcome to a blog,that isn't a blog,and yet is still a blog

Img_0115_2Welcome, KTVT Channel 11 viewers. (Although, regrettably, there are fewer of you than I hoped, as they got our URL wrong in the piece as aired: is a sailboat racing site.)

We’re grateful for the publicity from Tracy Rowlett’s story on blogging (video only works on Internet Explorer). He and producer John Sparks did a nice job, especially considering that they came in to do a story about blogging and I threw them a curveball.

(I’m particularly grateful that they left out some of my less articulate quotes like "Uhh, I dunno;" "bwa bla blah;" and [silent drooling].)

Viewers who don’t already know me should be aware that it’s common knowledge that the TV camera generally adds 10 70 pounds.

But, as I feared, the short timeframe of a broadcast news feature may have left some of you with the wrong impression:

As it says on the right side of our page, this blog is not our actual product.

We are going to produce a news service that contains professional reporting on local and neighborhood news in a format that contains many of the open-discussion features of blogs. Both paid journalists and readers will contribute stories to that service, but to the casual user it will feel more like a daily newspaper or TV news site than it will like a blog.

Here’s where it gets (potentially) confusing: Around the time we conceived the idea for this news service, I started a blog to vet some of the key concepts; to build buzz; and to draw potential members of our team. On that count, it has worked like a charm, with perhaps the clearest manifestation being tonight’s interview.

There’s a lot more to it and I encourage you to read this blog, particularly the "Best of" links at left. And if you like what you see, be sure to subscribe — it’s a heckuva deal.

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