As we begin to dust off and drag out bicycles to take advantage of warmer weather, one company, VW, roles out an electric concept bike for short distance commuting that promises to be an eye catcher.

This from engadget...
Well, it looks like it's the season for automakers to show off electric bicycle concepts, with Volkswagen now following Lexus' lead with its own "Bik.e" concept. Unlike Lexus' hybrid concept, this one is a full-fledged electric bicycle (sans pedals), and it boasts a few innovations of its own, not the least of which is that it's able to fold up and fit where you'd normally store a spare tire. It's also apparently able to be charged using your car's DC current in a pinch in addition to a standard AC outlet at home, and it promises to deliver a range of 20 kilometers (about 12.5 miles) on a full charge, along with a top speed of 20 kilometers per hour. What's more, it seems like Volkswagen is actually looking at commercial possibilities for the Bik.e, although it's not making any firm commitments just yet.
How does this play into the world of media? As a new concept that will draw attention, a smart marketer will secure fifty of these Bik.e's and launch them in a city with riders carrying their message on windbreakers. Short-lived, but impactful when it's timely.

Watch the video ....


Mediapost's Outfront Conference on Tuesday held its audience for nine hours filled with nine panels and a star studded cast of speakers to include MSNBC's Chris Matthews and former Vice President Al Gore, Chairman of Current Media.

It was perhaps the only conference I can recall attending that held my interest for a full day.... a testament to the determination of Ken Fadner, Chairman at Mediapost and Joe Mandese, Editor in Chief to maintain a strong presence in key media channels. It signals a trend away from large multi-purpose, multi-channel venues towards more impactful "niche" conferences.

Sessions ranged from Dynamics of the Upfront TV marketplace to Advanced Metrics and a discussion on the acceptance of 3D TV.

Chris Matthews provided a respite from media issues to have a lively chat with the audience about everything from the Tea Party to Immigration, Sarah Palin and Obama. His commentary tonight will focus on "The Real McCain". On media ..."Your judgment about what to watch is driven by what you can learn".

Al Gore, no less entertaining, focused on sustainability in advertising driven by an ad model that should be subtle, targeted, efficient, not expensive and not intrusive. How "not intrusive" plays into the social network equation will be interesting to watch as I consider any commercial insert between the social interaction of two people or a group/community to be social interference or an "intrusion".

All considered the conference gets a AAAA rating.


I rarely step back from the blog table to highlight a company in the digital or analog space. But this one's a rising star.

Without beating around the bush, that company is AppNexus. Founded just three short years ago in 2007, founders Brian O'Kelley and Mike Nolet partnered to deliver a cutting edge online buying platform. The company launched the first server-side ad transactions and has been on a steep growth curve ever since.

Partnering with technology providers, ad networks, exchanges and data providers they are positioned as the ad server for the technology and data rich digital landscape that we are all challenged to understand and make it work to the marketer's benefit.

Bringing together over 150 attendees Thursday at a post AdTech event, the AppNexus "What Works" Summit successfully pulled together several panels and speakers that made AdTech seem like OnLine 101.

In a nutshell, AppNexus is the go-to company for real time ad buying in its enterprise level computing cloud. It drives the madness out of the planning/buying process.

They are truly at the nexus between the digital landscape and the cloud(s) that water and nurture it.



AdTech 2010 in San Francisco is over with a crowning attendance estimated to be in the 10-12000 range. The crowd, in addition to the hundreds of vendors, struck positive notes on the promise of a successful business outcome.

Keynotes and session tracks were well attended. With the exception of Krisiti VanderBosch, CEO, Publicis & Hal Riney, I would have liked to have heard from more key agency figures the likes of Nick Brien, CEO, McCann Worldgroup or Rob Norman, CEO, Group M, NA.

Session tracks were well developed for a broad range of channel interests with solid presenters for the most part. Attendees from the agency side of the business, especially from the larger holding companies, were far too few and far between. I know of countless planners and strategists that could have benefited from the conference but were held back for lack of resources and work coverage at the agencies.

Overheard at lunch by one nameless agency strategist working on Microsoft that did attend .... "all you hear at Microsoft planning meetings is "what did Google or Facebook say or do". If they focused on what they were known for years ago, namely innovation, they wouldn't be so paranoid." Be careful what you say in public!

Overall tone of the conference leaned towards ad exchanges and ad networks as well as mobile initiatives for smartphones.

Buzz around the appNexus Summit on Thursday will likely prove to be a positive and lively curtain call for the conference.


Publishers Clearing House (PCH) today announced at AdTech, San Francisco, the introduction of advertiser-sponsored tournaments for free online games at PCHGames.com

This past February, PCHGanes.com has 16 million game plays, 1.6 million uniques, 5 million visits and 28.8 million page views .... enough fodder to engage a returning audience with an opportunity to win cash prizes..

The advertiser-sponsored tournaments present a number of opportunities for brand engagement and offers to be communicated throughout the PCH portfolio of online properties, as well as through their opt-in database of email subscribers.

In addition to a customized landing page, sponsors also receive takeover ads, featured placements, ROS banners. pre-roll and post-roll ads before and after the games.

On April 28th, Mom-Jongg, a Mother's Day inspired version of Mah-Jongg, will take place.

Previewing the game site last week I found it to be engaging with a large selection of games but winced at the potential for pop up intrusions and screen crashes. I was surprised to find the sponsors and advertisers well integrated into the gaming environment and navigation error free with one major exception....games are not configured for a 10.1 inch netbook screen.

Finally, someone gets it right!

A few suggestions based on industry observations and the psychology of human behavior ....

1-Extend the experience to a community environment (sans messages) to generate the "social glue" that will keep customers connected with the sponsors.

2-Provide an opportunity to play for charities and invite celebrities to participate.


Today's post will take a departure from general media issues to report on a few personal likes and dislikes which, I believe, may have a small but positive impact on your day.

You'll love how this sounds. If you're in the market for a low cost portable peripheral speaker the size of a golf ball with awesome sound, the X-mini fits the bill. It's the world's first pocket size speaker with built in bass support and a rechargeable battery. Sound quality is uncompromising for its size.

I use these speakers plugged into an iPhone while listening to music or Pandora. They also come in handy when plugged directly into the Sirius (XM) satellite receiver. You can also daisy chain several for a unique listening experience with deep, very deep, bass.

Speakers can be ordered directly from the
website for about $20 each. It's only shortcoming is a short tether from the listening device to the speaker.

Twenty Eight, Five hundred, One Thousand Four Hundred. This could be a reprise from the musical RENT. What it represents is a reprehensible amount of average fat, calories and sodium in a new "sandwich" creation from the folks at Yum! Brand's KFC.

A heap of bacon, cheese and special sauce between two pieces of grilled or crispy chicken. Where's the bun!

I admit I had to pull into the nearest KFC to try it. Ecch! It was like biting into a salt lick. A shout out to Dave Novak, Chairman of Yum! Brands .... would you feed one of these to your kids?

The following from Steven Colbert says it all .... "This is deep-fried madness. It is breaded insanity. It is a sandwich that lacks all sandwichness...This is the warped creation of a syphilitic brain."
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Thought for Food - Mentally Ill Advertisers & German Cupcakes
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News

Finally, a look at one of the best versions of Madonna's "Vogue" video to hit the airwaves ... played by Jane Lynch (Glee's Sue Sylvester), to be aired next week. A big thumbs up for this .... sure to propel Glee and Jane Lynch to the top of the popularity charts.


Is attribution getting a fair shake or is it just so much nonsense?

Read today's commentary on the topic here.


Getting my hands on an iPad for a few hours this weekend I was finally able to see what all the hoopla was about.

Much ado about nothing .... at least for version1.0.

What could this version of an iPhone on steroids do that my iPhone or Lenovo laptop couldn't do? Let's find out.

Upfront, the display is an eye popper. Crisp, clean and bright. Switching from one application to another was sickeningly fast. But switch you must because you cannot multitask on the iPad.

Photos? Got them on my iPhone. Reader? While I don't use a digital reader, I understand that the LED back lighting on the iPad is not as easy on the eyes as is the Kindle or Sony Reader. The interface that allows you to move from page to page is an awesome bell and whistle.

Computing and word processing? Not yet. Typing on glass may be a natural for those growing up with it, but I still prefer the keys on my Lenovo (even though I'm a whiz at texting on the iPhone).

Connecting peripherals? Forget it. No USB ports. Would rather listen to music on the iPhone with my external speakers.

No camera or web cam or communication device (as in PHONE). A device killer.

On and on....it's a way cool new (if not retro) gadget that will no doubt have all your friends buzzing like bees around you to get their hands on it.

This first release leaves much to be desired and much to be looking forward to.

I'll pass on the iPad till version x.o proves it can at least live up to its cousin the iPhone. So for now, it's an interactive clipboard.

iPhone Counting Coffee Beans

As new barcode technology in the form of QR Codes takes hold in the U.S., one of the first major chains to implement a payment system using QR codes is Starbucks.

It was announced today that the coffee chain will begin accepting scanned codes for payment via its iPhone app. It will be initially available at all Starbucks locations in 1000 Target stores.

QR codes have been around for several years and are widely used in Japan. The codes can hold a large amount of data. MyOpenKimono reviewed the use of these codes in April 2009. The review can be accessed

The QR code is connected to the Starbucks Card only (not a credit card) and can be refilled through the app as required.

So leave your wallet at home and grab a cup of joe and a newspaper ... but don't forget your iPhone.