February 2011


I’m looking forward to this SXSW panel on Tuesday, March 14th at 11:00AM as industry experts gather to discuss, debate and explore how TV networks are leveraging interactivity and gaming to extend their brands to fans.


For decades, TV-show fans have sought ways to extend their connection to their favorite show characters with things like branded cereals, toys, board games, music or the like. Fans often can’t wait for the next episode and especially dread the time between seasons. They want to interact and even play along with their favorite shows. This is a reality that TV networks are creating through branded online games and social games.


The session will sample real case studies from experiences over several seasons with shows and branded games like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Biggest Loser, Survivor, and others. Panel members will also explore how games enable an additional channel for TV networks to reach global fans via social networks like Facebook, MySpace, Hi5 and Bebo, especially as we’re seeing games being the number one used applications on many social networks.


Topics will include:
  • Why are TV networks leveraging games to extend their brands to fans?
  • How are games enabling TV networks to extend their reach through global social networks like Facebook, Bebo, etc?
  • How have online games faired so far for promoting and extending TV show brands and what other industries can/will this trend extend to?
  • How have online games for TV shows affected the gaming industry?
  • What’s the next development for the online games and TV network partnerships?

The image above shows what happened to test subjects when they were exposed to a cell phone receiving a call for 50 minutes.  A portion of their brain became more active; burning more energy. What does this mean to us?

“We have no idea what this means yet or how it works,” said neuroscientist Nora Volkow of the National Institutes of Health. “But this is the first reliable study showing the brain is activated by exposure to cellphone radio frequencies.”

Hmm, that doesn’t sound reassuring.  A few weeks ago, I was commuting on the SF to Larkspur Ferry and sat across from a lawyer who was working on a class-action lawsuit against cell phone providers to require them to disclose the amount of radiation we were exposed to on each phone.  He said the iPhone was particularly dangerous, as the antennae issue meant that the phone was struggling to receive a signal more often than not, which meant it was working harder, which meant our gray matter was ingesting more radiation.

Brain imaging physicist Dardo Tomasi of Brookhaven National Laboratory, who co-authored the new brain-scan-based work, to be published Feb. 23 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed radiation emitted from a cellphone’s antenna during a call makes nearby brain tissue use 7 percent more energy.  Apparently, that’s several times less activity than visual brain regions show during an engaging movie, but Mr. Tomasi goes on to state:

“The effect is very small, but it’s still unnatural. Nature didn’t prepare our brains for this.”

Sounds like a very good reason to invest in a headset to keep those rays further away from your brain, and while you’re at it, maybe it’s a good idea to occasionally unplug and put that thing into “airplane mode” at night to ensure your insides aren’t swaying to the sounds of the “dit ditta dit ditta dit” that you hear when you’re phone is next to radio.

Live long and prosper.

So do you think the movers and shakers of Silicon Valley recommended Cooliris’ new LiveShare to the President? They could take fun snaps of each other and share them with one another in a private, invite-only photostream that the others could contribute to.

Bet you they did, and this is where they are congratulating each other on the smart move.

Originally uploaded by The White House

Sure, I’m on Facebook and Twitter – they are both indispensible to my social media life.  But there are times when I’d simply like to share photos with a few friends in a single, collaborative place.  Like when I attend a birthday party and there are 10 people taking photos, including me, but I only end up seeing everyone else’s pics after they’ve uploaded them to Facebook or Flickr or Twitter or whereever and I have to track them down like an online treasure hunt.  Well, track no more!  Now I can set up a collaborative album on the fly, invite my friends, and all those great mug shots end up in one live – private – photostream with Cooliris‘ LiveShare 1.2.  Very very cool.  Because there are times when I want to share like a hyperactive ninja.  And there are times when I want to share with an inner circle of real – hyperpersonal – relationships.
Get LiveShare for free on iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone 7, or check it out online at www.liveshare.com.

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