Social Media Not Killing the TV Star

Thinking that the Internet is going to kill TV is so 2009 — or late 2008. TV events like the 2012 Winter Olympics, the Super Bowl, Grammys and Golden Globes are scoring some of their highest ratings ever (we’re talking topping that final episode of M*A*S*H back in 1983). Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and blogs are contributing to what Brian Stelter in the New York Times says is a “water-cooler effect” to TV.

Some findings:

Blogs and social Web sites like Facebook and Twitter enable an online water-cooler conversation, encouraging people to split their time between the computer screen and the big-screen TV.

The Vancouver Olympics are shaping up to be the most-watched foreign Winter Games since 1994.

This year’s Super Bowl was the most-watched program in United States history, beating out the final episode of “M*A*S*H” in 1983.

Awards shows like the Grammys are attracting their biggest audiences in years.

The Nielsen Company, which measures television viewership and Web traffic, noticed this month that one in seven people who were watching the Super Bowl and the Olympics opening ceremony were surfing the Web at the same time.

Olympic data showing simultaneous TV-and-Web viewing signaled the growing importance of interactivity to the television experience.

People want to have something to share…the effects of online conversations [are] important for all big event programming, and also…for all of television going forward.

According to Stelter, “If viewers cannot be in the same room, the next best thing is a chat room or something like it.” Which gives new meaning to curling up on the couch with your laptop or Smartphone instead of your sweetheart or your cat.

Source: “Water-Cooler Effect: Internet Can Be TV’s Friend” by Brian Stelter, New York Times, February 24, 2010.

Self- and Selfless DIY Online Promotion

While the social media world may be currently fixated on the guy who is waging a one-man campaign to get 88-year-old actress Betty White to host ‘Saturday Night Live’ via Facebook — a seemingly selfless promotion of a Hollywood Golden Girl, a 2012 Olympic Winter Games’ silver medalist who thought he deserved gold is now declaring himself the “platinum medal” winner via his website.

Evgeni Plushenko’s (shameless) DIY self-promotion (with a little help from his webmaster) brings the the entire concept of using free and low-cost online media tools to your advantage pretty much full circle. You can use these tools to promote a beloved actress into the pop culture stratosphere (Betty White claims no involvement with the Facebook campaign directly, but says if asked to host SNL she will). Or, you can use these tools to promote yourself into the Olympic stratosphere. (No word yet if the 2014 Games will adopt the platinum medal as something beyond the gold — but if the social media world is anything to gauge change by, way too much can happen in just four years.)

To see how far a DIY promotion can go, watch the World News with Diane Sawyer interview with Betty White. Of course, the pinnacle of this campaign could come this April — when it is rumored White will indeed host SNL, along with a some other very talented funny ladies like Tina Fey and Molly Shannon.

Note: KazzaDrask Media works with you to find the free and low-cost online media tools to pull off your own self- and/or selfless promotions. The KazzaDrask Media blog you are reading right now, in combination with our Twitter account, are two free ways we self-promote our own business. We haven’t “gone platinum” yet (at least we don’t think so). For more info, contact Kathy at

Barbie Turns 51, Morphs Into Shape for the Digital Age

Apparently, this little joke has been floating around on the Internet in various shapes and forms since 2008, and last year was re-purposed for Barbie’s Very Special 50th Birthday Celebration. Well, now that Barbie is 51, and looking pretty much like the rest of us (if this Barbie mock up is anything to go by), it’s comforting to know she also indulges in all the bad digital age habits we’ve acquired over the years. How many of these are you willing to own up to?

1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.

2. You haven’t played solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they
don’t have e-mail addresses.

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if
anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.

7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn’t have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

10. You get up in the morning and go online before getting your coffee.

11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )

12. You’re reading this and nodding and laughing.

13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.

14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn’t a #9 on this list.

No, But I Saw the Traffic

What do you say when you’re aware of a news story, but haven’t actually read anything more than the headlines — or “online buzz” about it? For instance, I was aware that DC was getting dumped on (snow-wise) last weekend, but since I don’t live there, wasn’t heading there, and most of my family and friends back East are in the greater tri-state New York metro area, I never bothered to “click” on any of the multitude of links about the snowstorm that appeared on my newsfeeds via my laptop or my phone.

Saying you’re onto the “buzz” sounds a bit like an old hepcat talking, or acknowledging that you’re up on the latest Brangelina or Lady Gaga news, not exactly the kind of term you’d apply to a snowstorm or even everything iPad.

The other day a friend of mine admitted he’d “seen the traffic” on an Australian innovation video called “Hitler Launches Australia’s Innovation Policy” as a way to say he knew about this, but hadn’t actually watched the video yet. I liked that!

And, hat tip to my friends at Australian Anthill for circulating the video through their daily email newsletter. Now I’ve not only “seen the traffic”, I also feel like I’ve been run over by a bus. Click here to see the video. Bad language or NSFW (not safe for work), if you think your boss might be looking over your shoulder to read the subtitles.

‘Parisian Love Too’ Highlights Major Oversight in Google’s Super Bowl Ad

Being an activist for Out4Immigration and equal immigration rights for all Americans, having just returned from Creating Change in Dallas and with Corona in hand (and nachos on my lap) at a Super Bowl party, what you see in this video is what I thought when I saw Google’s big ad during the big game. Thanks to Nogoquietly and hat tip to my friends on Facebook for posting this hearty dose of reality.

Gay and lesbian Americans who fall in love with a sexy and charming Parisian (or any sexy and charming foreigner from anywhere in the world) have no rights to sponsor that partner for a green card. While the opposite-sex binational couple in the Google ad ended their Google search needs with the happily ever after search for a “crib”, the same-sex binational couple searches what to do when they discover that the “US won’t recognize my domestic partnership.”

Please spread this video around — and visit Out4Immigration for more information on same-sex binational couples and the need for equal immigration rights.

Change Is in the Air at Creating Change

Down here in Dallas, TX at Creating Change for Out4Immigration, it’s easy to coin a cliché on top of a blog post like this. But for those of us in same-sex binational relationships, where one of us is an American citizen with absolutely no rights to sponsor our partner for a green card, talk about Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) and the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) in the same speech – let alone their mention together several times is indicative that something is up.

Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), called for comprehensive and inclusive immigration reform at the opening plenary of the 22nd National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change last night. MALDEF is a national organization whose mission is to promote the civil rights of Latinos/as in the United States.

Saenz identified five key similarities between the LGBT and Latino communities as reasons our communities need to stick together: (read more)