The Underground is the New Mainstream

Brown University student Maha Atal wrote for the Brown Daily Herald back in March 2007 entitled “A mainstream that is hard to pinpoint.” It’s an interesting read from a cultural standpoint and a business standpoint as the “mainstream” has relevance to both.

Youth movements from the 1950s to the 1990s, though always championing the rhetoric of individualism against an impersonal “system,” were also always about group identity - young people have traditionally banded together against a clearly identified “establishment” consisting of the government and their parents.

Drama’s Roundup - August 13, 2007

Since First Life has never been busier for me and it’s impossible to knock out high-quality posts in as much volume and as rapidly as I would like, I’m starting a new series called Drama’s Roundup where I link to interesting articles I come across on the Internet (or that are forwarded to me by my trusted network of brilliant individuals). Some might serve as starting points for future posts.

A House That’s Just Unreal
Why It’s Interesting: The comment from the person who sent this to me says it all: “Talk about social interactions gone awry.” I never thought I’d ever read about a virtual naked conga line in the NY Times so this seems not only like an accurate assessment, but perhaps an understatement.

The Impact of Technology on Social Interaction

I’m fascinated by human interactions. I’m also, of course, fascinated by technology and media, which means that I’m extremely fascinated about how they all relate to each other. The social networking phenomenon, for instance, has been of great interest to me because of how it has impacted the way we connect and relate to each other (both positively and negatively).

So it was with great intrigue that I read this weekend’s New York Times article entitled “What’s Good for a Business Can Be Hard on Friends.” It details the impact cell phone plans are having on relationships. An unintentional side effect of cell phone calling plans which typically encourage calls “in-network” is that relationships between friends and acquaintances are being altered based upon which network individuals find themselves in. Times reporter Angel Jennings explains:

Viral Video: Does it Work?

Viral marketing is an area of great interest to brands today. Services like MySpace and YouTube have created potentially powerful new marketing channels and marketers have shown little hesitation in trying to leverage these new channels to spread their marketing messages virally.

Smirnoff and British ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty are the creators of one of my favorite viral video campaigns. Their award-winning “Tea Partay” ads promoting Smirnoff’s Raw Tea products are funny and entertaining.

This first ad, released in August 2006, parodies East Coast “prepsters” with a hip-hop video and has received over 3 million views on YouTube.

Web 2.0 and Non-Profits

I had an interesting conversation within the past week that brought up a fact that I think is known but often goes unexamined by most: non-profits are often extremely inefficient at achieving their full potential because they are not run like bottom-line-driven businesses. While a discussion of management theory and principles for non-profits is outside of the scope of this blog (and my expertise), it did get me thinking about the ways in which the Internet and Web 2.0 might be able to play a role in assisting non-profits do the good deeds that they intend to.

Will Second Life Continue to Get Second Chances?

One of my readers sent me a recent Wired article entitled “How Madison Avenue Is Wasting Millions on a Deserted Second Life.” It’s an interesting read because it parallels some of the things that I’ve discussed on this blog before related to Web 2.0 advertising and its failure to deliver for brand marketers.

The article is particularly interesting because the worldwide head of interactive marketing at Coca-Cola, Michael Donnelly, is interviewed, along with other entities involved with Second Life, and provides some perspective on what Second Life has done for these brands. Or, more accurately, what it hasn’t done for these brands.


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Drama 2.0 spikes the Web 2.0 kool aid by providing critical analyses of Web 2.0, its people, its startups and its impact on the world of media. Other topics are explored when Drama 2.0 has been drinking too much 1975 Dom Perignon. Read more about the Internet's version of Keyser Söze here.