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by Gord Hotchkiss, Thursday, June 3, 2010, 11:00 AM

It’s been a fascinating week for me. First, it was off to lovely Muncie, Ind. to meet with the group at the Center for Media Design at Ball State University. Then, it was to Chicago for the National Business Marketing Association Conference, where I was fortunate enough to be on a panel about what the B2B marketplace might look like in the near future. There was plenty of column fodder from both visits, but this week, I’ll give the nod to Ball State, simply because that visit came first.

Our Digital Footprints

Mike Bloxham, Michelle Prieb and Jen Milks (the last two joined us for our most recent Search Insider Summit) were gracious hosts, and, as with last week (when I was in Germany) I had the chance to participate in a truly fascinating conversation that I wanted to share with you. We talked about the fact that this generation will be the first to leave a permanent digital footprint. Mike Bloxham called it the Indelible Generation. That title is more than just a bon mot (being British, Mike is prone to pithy observations) — it’s a telling comment about a fundament aspect of our new society.

Imagine some far-in-the-future anthropologist recreating our culture. Up to this point in our history, the recorded narrative of any society came from a small sliver of the population. Only the wealthiest or most learned received the honor of being chronicled in any way. Average folks spent their time on this planet with nary a whisper of their lives recorded for posterity. They passed on without leaving a footprint.

Explicit and Implicit Content Creation

But today — or if not today, certainly tomorrow — all of us will leave behind a rather large digital footprint. We will leave in our wake emails, tweets, blog posts and Facebook pages. And that’s just the content we knowingly create. There’s a lot of data generated by each of us that’s simply a byproduct of our online activities and intentions. Consider, for example, our search history. Search is a unique online beast because it tends to be the thread we use to stitch together our digital lives. Each of us leaves a narrative written in search interactions that provides a frighteningly revealing glimpse into our fleeting interests, needs and passions.

Of course, not all this data gets permanently recorded. Privacy concerns mean that search logs, for example, get scrubbed at regular intervals. But even with all that, we leave behind more data about who we were, what we cared about and what thoughts passed through our minds than any previous generation. Whether it’s personally identifiable or aggregated and anonymized, we will all leave behind footprints.

Privacy? What Privacy?

Currently we’re struggling with this paradigm shift and its implications for our privacy. I believe in time — not that much time — we’ll simply grow to accept this archiving of our lives as the new normal, and won’t give it a second thought. We will trade personal information in return for new abilities, opportunities and entertainment. We will grow more comfortable with being the Indelible Generation.

Of course, I could be wrong. Perhaps we’ll trigger a revolt against the surrender of our secrets. Either way, we live in a new world, one where we’re always being watched. The story of how we deal with that fact is still to be written.

Mediapost’s OMMA Magazine

By Mike Bloxham

For a business that is all about building community and that has grown on its ability to facilitate communication between ever-larger numbers of people, Facebook continues to do a pretty poor job of communicating, itself. Apart from consistently over-claiming for its brave new commercial initiatives before proving that users will even accept them, much of the negative response Facebook generates every time it changes something or introduces a new protocol could be nullified if it actually behaved like a company that cared about its communications and the loyalty of its users.

Read the rest of this entry »

Los Angeles Times

By Jerry Hirsch

The carmaker, known for its budget wheels, is tapping into the hype over Apple’s new tablet computer to add cachet to its Equus sedan.

It just might be the world’s first paperless car: Hyundai Motor America will include an iPad — loaded with a digital version of the thick owner’s manual — with the luxury sedan it plans to launch this fall.

The iPad pitch is aimed to tap into the hype over Apple Inc.’s sleek tablet computer, which is slated to be released Saturday, and will be included as part of the package for consumers who drive off with Hyundai’s Equus luxury sedan.

People who purchase the South Korean automaker’s first venture into the super-premium auto market will also be able to use one of the tablet’s pre-loaded applications to make service appointments.

“They are trying to position themselves as a modern, in-touch, technologically savvy brand. It is the sort of innovation you would expect from BMW or Mercedes, but not Hyundai,” said Mike Bloxham, director of insight and research at Ball State University’s Center for Media Design. Read the rest of this entry »

MediaPostNews – Online Media Daily

by Joe Mandese

When Apple chief Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad, he called the new digital gadget a “third-category” device that would not compete with consumer demand for some of Apple’s core products, especially laptop computers and smart phones. But some new research conducted by a highly regarded academic team suggests some trade-offs are inevitable, and that one unintended consequence could be that some consumers will replace their smart phones with iPads and downgrade to a not-so-smart cell phone.

Needless to say, no one knows exactly how consumers will behave when the iPad finally begins shipping the first version of its new iPads tomorrow, but researchers in the Insight and Research group at Ball State University’s Center for Media Design, conducted a small, qualitative study to at least try and understand how consumer attitudes about the new gadgets might shape their media marketplace behaviors. And the big takeaway is that Apple, for all the research and development it undoubtedly put behind the iPad, may have misjudged the degree to which some consumers use the iPad as a replacement devices for other things. Read the rest of this entry »

An upcoming video conference will provide insight on how businesses can embrace and possibly profit from social media technology. The conference is scheduled for Feb. 5 at Rose-Hulman Ventures, on Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s South Campus.

This is actually the second part of a series examining “Embracing Social Media: What, How, Why Not,” provided through TechPoint’s New Economy, New Rules seminars. The session will cover the topic “The Effects of Tracking & Selling Online Activities.” The hourlong session begins at 8:30 a.m., and is free. Read the rest of this entry »

Interactive TV Today

by tracyswedlow

Dear Readers:

This week we offer some commentary from industry notables on the rather substantial “buzz” about 3D at the recent Consumer Electronics Show. You’ll read comments from Mike Bloxham, Allison Dollar, Jaspal Bhasin, Glen Friedman, Gary Arlen, and one anonymous satellite techie.

Mike Bloxham, Center for Media Design, Ball State University

As I sat waiting for the delayed start of Steve Ballmer’s keynote presentation at CES in advance of the formal opening of the show floor, I tweeted that it has already “become obvious that it is redundant to say anything about 3D TV.” Blogs, tweets, press releases and other forms of advance hype seemed full of little else at that point, and although we knew that e-readers, tablets, notebooks, Android and the rest would be prominent, it was already clear that the exhibitors’ investment in 3D TV on the show floor would be reflected in the ultimate distribution of column inches.

Having said that, I now recognize that my tweet was premature–there is more to be said. Perhaps not about the technology; perhaps not even about the content. But there is definitely more to said–and asked–about how consumers are likely to respond to this “next best thing” in TVland. After all, how long is it since significant numbers of people have incurred the expense of an HD TV and the associated content upgrades? And how many of them will now be wondering why the industry is telling them they don’t have the newest and best, so soon after persuading them to shell out good money for what was apparently exactly that only months ago? This is exactly the sort of thing that slows the adoption of technology, and the industry’s need/desire to accelerate the cycle is directly responsible for many consumers deliberately deciding to wait that bit longer while prices fall or the next model comes to market.

Of course, some will leap at 3D as soon as they can–but they will be the minority and won’t be enough to satisfy the needs of manufacturers to show the right numbers to the financial markets.

Then there’s the issue of the glasses. Unlike some others, I don’t feel that wearing 3D glasses per se is likely to be such a barrier to most consumers–as long as the glasses are well made and comfortable. However, for the many millions of us that wear glasses, they are going to have to fit comfortably over our normal glasses while we are in full slouch mode on the sofa–and that’s a challenge. Many of those that have been seen to date are large and somewhat cumbersome, and a design makeover is required (LG actually showed what could be done, with some very stylish glasses that sat easily and comfortably on the face, but the issue of how to deal with the visually impaired remains).

The good news is that the content seems to be coming through. With announcements from the likes of ESPN and Discovery of 3D networks, we can expect to see high-quality content of the type essential to any
prospect of success in 3D TV. “Avatar” and other movie events will certainly not be enough to smooth the path of 3D into the mass market.

Will 3D TV become a mass reality beyond gamers and early adopters? Yes. In the time scale predicted and desired by the manufacturers? Not so much.

Allison Dollar, iTV Alliance

3D TV is one of those rare advances that dramatically changes the game on the consumer side, but won’t profoundly affect the foundation of the business in the short term. At least in comparison to OTT, TV widgets and even mobile video, 3D won’t be driving our march toward modern business models. (Of course, CE manufacturers beg to differ while selling out their inventory!) 3D will become commonplace in the home soon enough, but personally I’m more interested in its use in immersive location-based experiences and B2B applications. On the other hand, it sure is cool, and that alone is worth celebrating as we leap into this new decade.”

Anonymous, Satellite Techie
I wore so many 3D glasses that the bridge of my nose hurts. Is seeing every animated movie ever made in 3D really necessary? I believe 3D TV is a fad because it isn’t like HDTV where there is a purpose for the way content is presented with utmost clarity; 3D seems so much more like a gimmick.

Jaspal Bhasin, itaas

The was lots of interest in 3D TV’s and displays. Many of them looked pretty good, but a lot will depend (IMHO) on the quality of the content. And there are still a number of issues that need to be worked out:

Will consumers sit around the living room with their friends and family, donning goofy-looking glasses?
Visual fatigue is an issue that needs to be studied and addressed (there was a story out recently about headaches caused by 3D).
I saw an ACER laptop with a 3D display that the person at the booth claimed will retail (or retails for) about $700. That makes it pretty mainstream to me.
Will cable companies be able to commercially support HD content that is 1080p to both eyes (which is what consumers will eventually demand)?
Obviously content is king and will drive adoption. I see three key areas: gaming, sports (ESPN’s announcement of a 3D channel is a good start) and adult (I hear there was a lot of buzz at AVN about 3D). Sites like also making 3D content available.

Glen Friedman, Ideas & Solutions!
Content and distribution will be critical for 3D:
DirecTV, Discovery and ESPN are playing it smart to establish beachhead positions in this new technology, even if it is not as big a development as HDTV.
Cable knows it can’t allow itself to be overshadowed again by DBS, and will make every effort to match DirecTV.
I don’t believe that 3D is the next color TV or even HDTV, but it will be an important add-on for sports, movies, games and technics.
The TV manufacturers need 3D to boost prices.
I thought 3D was cool, but my 13 year-old thought it was “the future.” Lots of people are betting he’s right.

Gary Arlen, Arlen Communications
(Note: Arlen’s comments were originally posted on Facebook.) CES Day Zero: 3D depends on content. Only 20% incremental cost to make 3D shows vs. regular HD, but how soon will there be enough 3D
shows (including sports) to justify 3D sets? 3 years? Wishful thinking? Or accurate optimism. Advanced handsets everywhere, including devices/tablets + e-readers. Almost affordable. No end of niche innovations and peripherals, widgets, etc. for cross-platform products. (iTV Doctor’s note: Gary’s comment about 20% incremental cost generated a small storm of comments, mostly arguing that the costs could easily double the current 2D production costs, with additional manpower, cameras, rigs and assorted technology. Not to mention the broadcasting cost of two (or even three) feeds: SD, HD and 3D.)


The iTV Doctor is *Rick Howe*, who provides interactive television consulting services to programmers and advertisers. He is the recipient of a CTAM Tami Award for retention marketing and this year was nominated to Cable Pioneers. He is also the co-author of a patent for the use of multiscreen mosaics in EPG’s. Endorsed by top cable and satellite distributors, “Dr” Howe still makes house calls, and the first visit is always free. His services include product development, distribution strategy and the development of low-cost interactive applications for rapid deployment across all platforms. Have a question for the iTV Doctor? Email him at *

TV Week – Open Mic

by Chuck Ross

With the New Year’s holiday now over, it’s time to get back to business for those of us who work in the TV industry.

And that means right away. There are two major conventions in January, both in Las Vegas: CES, the Consumer Electronic Show that begins later this week, and NATPE, the annual gathering of the National Association of Television Program Executives, that takes place the last week of the month. Read the rest of this entry »

Media Consultant

Michael Castengera

THE FACTOID THAT SAYS IT ALL:  In the third quarter of this year, Google had $1.65 Billion in PROFITS.  In the same quarter, Gannett, the largest news company in the U.S., and the second largest in the world, had TOTAL REVENUE of $1.3 Billion.  Let me re-state that – Google made more money in profits than Gannett made in total revenue.  Gannett’s actual profits for the third quarter amounted to a ‘measly’ (by comparison) $73 Million.  This was, in my view, the Holy Cow (or whatever term you use) factoid from the Federal Trade Commission workshop on “how will Journalism survive the Internet age.”  The figures came from a presentation by Ken Doctor of digital marketing research firm Outsell (and which I confirmed through research online).  Doctor, and several other speakers, made the point that Gannett made its money creating content while Google made its money aggregating content.  And that is the question the FTC needs to wrestle with, when four of the top five news websites are search aggregators, not content creators AND they make more money. Read the rest of this entry »

Interactive TV Today

By tracyswedlow

–Plus ActiveVideo Networks’ Edgar Villalpando Proposes a New Holiday Tradition: iTV Thursday

[itvt] has just published the latest edition of Rick Howe’s regular column, The iTV Doctor Is In! This week, the iTV Doctor, along with Will Kreth, senior director of advanced video strategy at Time Warner Cable and founder of OEDN (the OCAP/EBIF Developer Network), and Mike Bloxham, director of insight and research at Ball State University’s Center for Media and Design, project themselves into the future and attempt to answer the question: What was the single most significant factor that led to interactive TV’s success in 2012?

In addition, [itvt] blogger, Edgar Villalpando, SVP of marketing at ActiveVideo Networks, proposes that we institute a new holiday tradition–iTV Thursday–alongside Black Friday and Cyber Monday. “iTV Thursday is based on the proposition everyone watches television on Thanksgiving,” he explains. “Norman Rockwell’s family might have gathered gap-toothed and wide-eyed around that big turkey on the dining room table, but today’s family more likely gathers around the 50-inch Panasonic widescreen.”

Is journalism going through its own Reformation?Blackbox Republic: “Velvet rope” socialnet targets niche social datingDECEMBER 2, 2009…2:49 AM
FTC workshop explores future of journalism, regulation of aggregation

Early on Tuesday morning, I walked up Massachusetts Avenue to attend the FTC workshop on the future of journalism. Ten hours later, I emerged overstimulated by the volume of ideas presented, saddened again by the tens of thousands of journalists who have lost employment and energized by the quality of the conversations I’d had. Read the rest of this entry »

Who Are We

Insight and Research at the Center for Media Design (CMD) has begun to receive quite a bit of attention from industry publications and mainstream media outlets in the last several years as a groundbreaking and reputable media research organization. This archive is only for educational purpose, if the content involved any copyright issue, please contact: Michelle Prieb:
March 2021



Insight and research in the News