Posted by: sClarke | 06/28/2009

Pros and Cons of Netbooks

Okay, netbooks, what’s the big deal?  They’re mini laptops designed specifically for wireless communications and access to the internet.  Netbooks are primarily for email and web-browsing.  They come with a limited amount of features, performance, and a small hard drive.  I’m not considering purchasing one but I was just curious if they’re actually worth the money they’re priced at.  So let’s get talk business.



– They’re relatively cheap, they run from about $200 – $1,000.  Obviously, the more money that’s spent on one will up the netbook’s performance.  But, why pay the same amount for a netbook as a laptop, especially when the laptop is meant for other things than just serving the net?

– Portability and a slight ruggedness factor. This makes them great for those who are looking for second laptop to use as a ‘getaway’ laptop.  Just grab and go.  They’d be easier to toss into your bag before heading out for the weekend.

– If it gets lost or stolen, God forbid, it would be easier to replace since it’s not as much of an investment as your $1,500 laptop that has your life on it, e.g. documents, pictures, and everything else.

– They’re WiFi ready so they’re useful those who want to do light office work or check their email or get online while out.  Absolutely not suitable for gaming.


The cheap cost also comes with a price, such as less memory, slow processors, and a poor battery life.  Some netbooks can run for over six hours but others barely make it to two and a half.

– Smaller size makes it harder to type on, the smallest, and typically standard, screen and is about 8.9 inches and virtually makes touch typing impossible.  It’s also a given that the small screen makes it more difficult to see what’s on it.

– Not all netbooks run on Windows.  Some utilize Linux.  Getting used to a different OS may be a deal breaker for some consumers because they like the familiarity of Windows.

– Some don’t come equipped with anti-virus software, so that could be an additional expense whether you spend more on the software alone or more money on a netbook with anti-virus already on it.

Should you buy one? Tough question, but I highly recommend that if you do, you consider a model with a 10-inch screen, which will give you a less cramped experience on both the eyes and the fingers (thanks to the bigger keyboard). My two favorite models: The Asus Eee PC 1000H and the new Lenovo IdeaPad S10, both with 10.2-inch screens and Windows XP. Both are available for under $500. The Eee has much longer battery life (but weighs half a pound more), while the IdeaPad has better performance and a larger hard drive. Take your pick”  –Christopher Null, The Working Guy blog.

The difference between netbooks and notebooks.

Pros and cons of Lenovo Ideapad S10.

Top 10 Netbooks.

Hope this can help someone.


Posted by: sClarke | 06/27/2009

BlackBerry Storm vs. iPhone

My contract with Verizon is up next month and I’ve been thinking about sticking with Verizon, because I’ve never had any major grievances with them, and possibly getting a BlackBerry Storm.  The only problem is I’ve heard as many horror stories about it as stories with happy endings about it.  So, the question of the month is: Should I get a BlackBerry Storm or consider switching to AT&T so that I can get an iPhone?  Let’s review, shall we…


Storm – $265 with contract for 16 GB

iPhone – $299 with contract for 16 GB


Both have audio, video, and photo capabilities as well as games and applications.


Storm – Web browser, BlackBerry OS apps, personal email, GPS, Exchange, Lotus Notes, and Novell Groupwise

iPhone – WiFi, web browser, iPhone 2.0 app store, YouTube, GPS, personal email, and Exchange

BlackBerries are typically for those who prefer email capabilities over browsing.

Input Method:

Both have multi-touch screen methods.

The Storm has the ability to flip from portrait to landscape when typing whereas the iPhone does not have the ability to flip to landscape.

Display, Weight (with battery), and Dimensions:

Storm -3.2 inches with 480 x 360 pixel display, weighs in at 5.5 ounces, 4.4 by 2.4 x 0.6 inches

iPhone – 3.5 inches with 480 x 320 pixel display, weighs in at 4.7 ounces, 4.5 by 2.4 x 0.5 inches


Both have micro USB, 3.55 mm (standard), headphone jack, and Bluetooth

Battery Life:

Storm -360 hours standby, 5.5 hours talk time

iPhone -300 hours standby, 10 hours talk time


Storm -3.2 megapixel stills, flash, auto focus, video recording

iPhone – 2 megapixel stills

I also found an article that touts 8 reasons to choose the Storm and also 8 reasons to choose the iPhone:


1. Bluetooth Stereo Capability – users can listen to their music stored on the Storm via their Bluetooth instead of using headphones.

2. Removable battery – batteries can be easily replaced, for around $5, as well as removed.

3. Expandable memory -the Storm ships with just 1GB of on-board memory, but it also has an expandable microSD media card slot that can accommodate cards up to 16GB.

4. Video recording – can capture video clips as well as havign a higher megapixel resolution.

5. Works as a tethered modem – many smartphone owners, particularly business users, employ their handhelds’ internet connections to access the web via otherwise unconnected PCs or laptop computers and Verizon offers the option to all BlackBerry users.

6. Tactile feedback – the screen offers no response when you hit a key, making it difficult to type without staring directly at the screen.

7. Copy and paste – users can cut and paste text by simply pressing a finger down at the beginning of a selection and then another finger at the end to highlight the text.

8. Multitasking – users have the ability to run multiple applications as once while using the device for other possibly connected purposes.


1. Second generation – The first iPhone was released in June 2007 and the newer version, came out July 2008, has fewer bumps in the road.

2. Built-in memory – internal storage cannot be swapped out.  Like iPods, the iPhones come with designated amounts of memory, 8GB or 16GB.

3. iTunes App Store – the App Store makes it simple for iPhone users to locate, download and update third-party software–from a desktop computer or via iPhone–and Apple vets each and every app, so users can trust that they’re safe in downloading new programs.

4. iTunes integration -from the start, Apple designed the iPhone to work hand-in-hand with its popular iTunes software–in fact an iTunes account is required for new iPhone users

5. Full QWERTY keyboard -the iPhone may not have an actual keyboard but the virtual keyboard that appears on screen is always a full QWERTY keyboard, meaning each and every letter/numeral/symbol has its own on-screen key

6. WiFi support – iPod has it, Storm does not.   iPhone users also get free Wi-Fi hot spot access at more than 17,000 AT&T Hot Spot locations, including various Starbucks, Barnes & Noble and McDonald’s restaurants

7. iPod Media Player – the iPhone is both a mobile phone and iPod–hence the creative name–and, though RIM has drastically improved the media player found in BlackBerry handheld OS versions 4.5, 4.6 and with the Storm release, v4.7, the BlackBerry still has nothing on the iPhone’s media player

8. iPhone’s Safari Browser – the browser is extremely similar to Safari that’s on Macs.

YouTube Comparison I

YouTube Comparison II

I can’t make a final decision yet.  I’m going to have to go to a Verizon and AT&T store to play with the phones in order to get a feel for them, perhaps then I’ll have made up my mind.

Any suggestions?


Posted by: sClarke | 06/15/2009

An Ode to the Text Message

Ahh the text message.  I’m addicted to texting as well as my friends.  My mom, who is not very proficient in cell phone use, is also quite savvy with texting, and more recently forwarding me funny picture texts regarding the Pittsburgh Penguins (LET’S GO PENS) winning the Stanley Cup.

“SMS (Text Messaging) is a breakthrough communication medium as evidenced by growth year after year. As of June 2008, over 75 billion texts are sent every month, compared to just 18 Billion in December 2006. That number has grown by 250% each year for the last two years. To validate the future growth within the channel, just two years ago, Verizon Wireless anticipated the number of text messages sent by their users on their network to grow nearly 5x from 400mm per month (in July 2005) to over 2 billion per month – and that is just over Verizon Wireless.” — CellSigns


Texting is more popular than it was a few years ago and it’s only on the rise.   It’s fast, simple, and concise.  Straight to the point.  I like texting because when sending a text it doesn’t require a greeting or anything in between.  According to Nielsen Mobile, in 2006, US Wireless Subscribers received 198 phone calls and 65 texts on an average monthly basis.  Whereas in 2008, it jumped to 204 phone calls and 357 texts.


Neustar hosted a webinar and found that:

  • 57% of wireless users 13+ are considered regular text message users.
  • There has been a 107% increase in text message use in the USA in the past year.
  • 2.5 billion text messages are sent each day in the USA.
  • More text messages are sent per phone than phone calls.  The average text messages used per month is 357 compared to 204 cell phone calls.
  • 15 million Americans used video on their cell phones in quarter two, 2008.
  • 138 million Americans have sent a text message in the past three months


Some people hate being on the phone and don’t answer they’re phones, but if you text them, they’ll get back to you in seconds.  Like Jrue Holiday for example (full article).  The senior basketball player from North Hollywood does not answer his cell phone but when UCLA coaches wanted him they’d send him texts like “How are you doing?” and “How are you playing?”  To me this seems quite a bit informal and unprofessional but at the same time it’s 2009 and that’s just how some operate.  College coaches were so desperate to make a connection with players that they adopted text messaging only to have the NCAA ban Division I colleges from texting to recruit players.


Representatives from the N.C.A.A.’s Division I members were expected to revisit the issue at last year’s annual convention after 34 of the 329 colleges asked for an override vote. To reverse the ban, at least five-eighths of the delegates in attendance would have to approve it.

“I’m sorry, it’s 2008,” said Christine Plonsky, the women’s athletic director at Texas. “Face up.”

Surprisingly enough, the potential recruits were the ones making complaints.  They wanted more respect and one word was constantly describing the texts from the coaches, “intrusive.”

Not surprising because the coaches from each school are marketing their school to the high school athletes.  And why shouldn’t those kids feel that their privacy has been invaded?  Mobile marketing is a huge no-no for consumers.  The cell phone is sacred.  Hence why mobile numbers are not listed and are not just given out to anyone.   The Center for Digital Democracy and U.S. Public Interest Research Group filed a 52-page complaint with the FTC in January of this year alleging that mobile marketers collect so much “non personally identifiable information” that it infringes on users’ privacy—and are “unfair and deceptive.”



Does mobile marketing infringe on your privacy?

Posted by: sClarke | 06/15/2009

Monster + Comcast = More Couch Potatoes?

Monster Worldwide, Inc. has joined forces with Comcast Corp. to create Monster On Demand.  Comcast subscribers will have the ability to search for jobs via their TV as well as giving those with jobs an additional channel to advertise.  Comcast customers will simply have to tune onto channel 888, Comcast Searchlight, and will be able to scroll through listings by just their remote.  Once a job listing has peaked the Comcast customer’s interest then he or she must log onto the Monster On Demand website ( and enter the Job Number to get more information and to apply for the job.

“Monster’s employer customers will benefit from an extended reach into approximately 16.5 million Digital Cable homes, and the ability to reach job seekers at a local level in more than 70 Designated Markets Areas (DMAs). Monster On Demand will utilize Comcast Spotlight’s On Demand publishing platform, which quickly and efficiently converts listings into Video On Demand (VOD) assets.” —Comcast Spotlight Press Release


This is a great idea because the job listings are exclusive to the particular area the job seeker is located.  Also, this way younger audiences are more easily targeted, e.g. new college graduates, because it’s better than sifting through newspaper wanted ads.  Listings can be easily read through and fingers don’t need to be stained with black ink to do so.  Another bonus to this Comcast feature is that the listing can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and they’re current.

“Monster continues to seek new and innovative avenues to further connect job seekers and employers,” said Mark Stoever, Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategic Alliances, Monster. “Leveraging Comcast’s Video On Demand platform will enable us to dramatically extend our reach to tens of millions of potential job seekers, and open a powerful new channel for employers to target job seekers on a highly localized basis. This is just the beginning of what we envision to be a highly-interactive medium, and we look forward to our continued collaboration with Comcast to provide consumers with resources and solutions to improve their lives.”


So in attempt to compete with Google, Microsoft has created a new and rebranded search engine (  Originally, the search engine took on Kumo as its codename was renamed Bing upon the launch.  According to AdAge (,  Microsoft is planning to spend $80 to $100 million for the advertising campaign for the new website.  To put this in perspective, Google’s entire advertising budget for 2008 was $25 million.


The new campaign will include TV, print, and radio.  In a world of layoffs and cut budgets, JWT, Microsoft’s choice of ad agencies, needed to add creative teams in order to provide a sufficient workforce for Microsoft’s campaign.  The new ads won’t directly attack Google or Yahoo, but rather will plant the seed of doubt into consumers’ heads that their choice search engine doesn’t really solve their search problems or find a sufficient fix for their problems in general.  This is all in hopes that those consumers with enough doubt will switch over to Bing.

Bing is being compared to the iPhone, prelauch.  Majority of people did not know they were missing a touchscreen phone that delivers applicatons for just about anything, until Apple demonstrated that need through their marketing. 

In all honesty, I don’t think that Bing will be able to compete with Google.  Google is established and trusted.  The ads in Google are clearly seperated from the search results in order to clarify for the searcher that the ads are not intended to be an answer for the search.

“I don’t think they can win this game with a better mousetrap,” said Allen Adamson, managing director of Landor Associates, New York. “They have to compete with Google on a brand front — there’s no other way to skin this but go head on against the Google brand.”

I played around with Bing and it really doesn’t seem that it has that much more to offer than Google, other than seperate searches for travel, shopping, videos, news, and maps, and that’s what is going to make all the difference, not $100 million on advertising campaigns. 


Posted by: sClarke | 06/08/2009

How is TelePresence not omnipresent?

Cisco has been welcoming others into the human network with their TelePresence since October 2006.  I remember seeing the commercials for it but they didn’t quite register with me like the new ones have.  Here’s an older commercial for TelePresence:

Sure this ad demonstrates that face-to-face communication is possible, despite one’s location in the world, but how well does this commercial really depict the full potential and usefulness of TelePresence?


It doesn’t but the entire TelePresence premise is really quite amazing.  Video systems can be set up anywhere that resemble conference rooms.  Cisco is really focusing on a live, face-to-face communication; hence the tagline “welcome to the human network.”  With the use of their product less time can be spent away from home and families as well as virtually eliminating travel costs.  Since the emergence of TelePresence, businessmen and women can foster and maintain crucial relationships with clients and customers from halfway around the world.  This can be seen in a more recent commercial:


This video/conference system is much better than a conference call because participants can actually see facial expressions, nonverbal communication, and the reactions of others in the “meeting” that may not physically be present in the same room.

“Cisco TelePresence is a game changer. It’s a quantum leap in quality and ease of use, and it’s rock-solid. It just works.” — Michael Keithley, CIO, Creative Artists Agency

With Cisco TelePresence:

  • Scheduling is easy-no IT support required
  • Launching a meeting is as simple as making a phone call.
  • People appear lifelike and life-size
  • In-room controls are intuitive
  • Collaboration applications are plug and play
  • Participants can meet in many rooms at once-up to 48 locations in one meeting
  • Users can meet, record high-quality video, or participate in impactful special events
  • Users can easily bring in collaboration applications like WebEx
  • Existing SD or HD videoconferencing systems can be easily integrated.

Cisco’s TelePresence was even featured in an episode of The Unit, wonder how much they paid for that…


Posted by: sClarke | 06/04/2009

An app for just about everything.

Ahh mobile marketing, a great thing right?  Maybe for the marketing team who’ve decided to curse their target market with it because for the recipient, unsolicited advertisements sent directly to his or her cell phone is invasive and not well-received.  So why not transform that advertisement into an iPhone application that can be sought-out and well-received by brand loyalists?  This companies will have the ability to deliver up-to-date information about the brand more speedily than email.

I was watching TV yesterday and a commercial for Nationwide caught my eye.  They have their very own iPhone app.  intriguing…


It doesn’t cost anything and it just like a Nationwide agent is holding your hand as you go through the process of filing a claim.  An Accident Toolkit walks you through the steps of what to do after an accident.  It can even get you a tow, get police and EMTs on scene if necessary, and find a repair shop for you.

Nationwide Mobile Capabilities:

  • Calls emergency services
  • Helps you collect and exchange accident info
  • Stores your insurance and vehicle info for easy lookup
  • Locates Nationwide agents near you
  • Takes and stores accident photos
  • Converts your iPhone into a handy flashlight
  • Helps connect you with towing services
  • Helps you start the Nationwide claims process
  • Finds Nationwide Blue Ribbon Repair Facilities

clip_image001The Accident Toolkit is also for anyone, not just Nationwide subscribers.  I’ve never hit anyone or gotten into an accident (knock on wood) but I’ve seen a friend do it and it’s not an easy-going, carefree situation.  I would be frazzled beyond belief and would love to have the Accident Toolkit if I had an iPhone.

Maybe Apple could feature this app as a reason in itself to purchase an iPhone.  Create a campaign that appeals to bad and accident-prone drivers.


Just kidding…maybe.


I’ve never Twittered, posted a Tweet, or have read a Tweet.  I just don’t really see a point in doing so because if my friends, family, or co-workers would like to know what I am doing then a phone call or email would be much more effective than reading my non-existent Tweets.


I can see the attraction that celebrity Tweets can bring, because afterall, who wouldn’t want to know what their favorite celebrities are doing?  Twitter also seems to be a great outlet for celebrities to get the word out about causes and other things, e.g. create petitions to save canceled shows like Christina Applegate has done for Samantha Who? and Ethan Suplee for My Name is Earl, because Twitter can offer a direct relationship with their fans.

“It creates a community of sorts,” Michal Mulvey,  an expert on marketing, social trends and technology at the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management, said. “It’s a way to get a lot of people aware of something in an instant way.”

However, this “direct relationship” with celebs and fans could go horribly wrong because intoxicated tweeting has become a trend.

“Courtney Love became the first person to be sued for Twitter defamation after she tweeted a tirade against clothing designer Dawn Simorangkir calling her a prostitute and a thief. In court papers, Love has claimed she was suffering from ‘drug-induced psychosis’ when she made the tweets.” — Natalie Stechyson, Canwest News Service


Lindsay Lohan most likely found out the hard way that her drunken Tweets made it to the front page of the next-day tabloids, as well as all over the web (  I’m not sure how trust-worthy this is because there has been buzz generating that someone may have hacked into Lohan’s Twitter account; but this could be one way for celebrities to lose all credibility with their fan base or a great opportunity to shame their friends and families.  Maybe these select celebrities could look into contacting Twitter about creating an option to disable the ability to post during certain hours of the night.

Despite all the fact that celebrities can easily drag their own name through the mud by miniblogging, Twitter really surprised me because they won’t sell out.

Twitter’s co-founder, Biz Stone, denied the idea that advertising will become Twitter’s main source of revenue.  Twitter wants to stay in business while offering free services to its customers.  Instead, add-on tools are being created for those who use Twitter for business and professional purposes, which has the potential to create revenue for the site.  Twitter is really taking its users’ opinions into consideration, they feel that ads may annoy the minibloggers.

There is talk of Twitter making a deal with Google but who knows how likely that is because Twitter turned down a $500 million acciquistion offer from Facebook last year.

Way to be Twitter.


Posted by: sClarke | 06/01/2009

Social NotWorking?

Is it just me or has just about everyone and everything have a Facebook page?  Of course I have one, I use it mostly to share pictures and to keep in touch with friends that live far away.  Sure the applications are good and fun.  Facebook also really helps to keep procrastinators to keep doing what they do best, putting things off; but how effective can a Facebook or other social networking page really be for companies or products?

It may seem like a good idea to make a Facebook page for any company or product, but honestly, how much exposure is the page really going to gain?  Take Coca-Cola for example, it was the first giant that popped into my head, and there it was, with 3,445,578 fans (  Apparently, this fan page is the number one fan page on Facebook, and it was created by two guys that were not affiliated with Coke.  While this page is clearly, wildly popular, how often do these 3,445,578 fans frequent the page?  And Facebook users most likely are not aware of the page unless they go out of their way to search for it or a large portion of their Facebook friends are fans of it.

Coke's Facebook Page

Coke's Facebook Page

The whole concept of creating a fan page is somewhat foreign to me.  Facebook is a channel to connect with friends and family, but how often do users turn to the website to find marketing for products and does it really affect their buying decision?  Or are the fan pages merely there to provide support for something the users feel strongly about?  It’s also interesting to me that companies have created a service out of making social networking pages for others (

Any thoughts?


Posted by: sClarke | 05/23/2009

My blog birth.

(from left to right) My roommate, Kathryn, me, and my other roommate, Danielle.

(from left to right) My roommate, Kathryn, me, and my other roommate, Danielle.

Hello blogging world.  I must say this is my very first blog and it’s a little intimidating because it’s new.  Regardless, I love trying new things, so why not try blogging?

I’ll start by introducing myself, my name is Shannon.  I’m 22 years old and am working toward an MS in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC).  I created this blog for a class, IMC 619: Emerging Media.  Here I will be discussing how emerging media are used to market products, services, or ideas.  I also will be addressing how emerging media are being used to enhance IMC in the world and in my life.  This class is my last core course in the program and I only need to complete four electives and my capstone course in order to get my degree.  If all goes according to plan, I will be done in December.


I was born and raised in Pittsburgh (GO STEELERS) and I love my hometown.  Currently, I am in Morgantown at West Virginia University, where I have spent most of the past five years.  I completed my undergrad here at WVU as well in May 2008 with a BA in Communication Studies and a minor in Advertising.  I live in an apartment with two of my good friends and my beagle puppy, Piper.

Piper, half beagle, half monster.

Piper, half beagle, half monster.

Right now I work for the Health Sciences Department of WVU as a Graduate Research Assistant.  I’m only required to work 20 hours each week and in return my tuition is paid and I also receive a stipend.  It’s not a bad deal at all, can’t complain about free school, and I’m learning a lot of medical terminology that I’ve never been exposed to before.  Right now I’m in the process of recruiting patients from a cardiology clinic to participate in a diet study.  Some parts of the job are interesting but it’s also equally boring as well.

I was a little apprehensive about creating this blog but not after this first post, I’m a little excited because it’s a new outlet for me and it will help me examine aspects of emerging media that fit into my life as well as the rest of the world.

Thanks for reading,


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