THVideo: Ghidotti on Moms and Social Networking

Click to watch the video

Click to watch the video

Natalie Ghidotti, a Little Rock PR pro who used to work with me at Arkansas Business and was a guest blogger here recently, was on “Today’s THV This Morning” today talking about social networking and how mothers are using it to share information and experiences.

In her post for this site, Ghidotti talked about how corporations are trying to reach this coveted group of online personalities, as well as the ethical issues tied to moms blogging and tweeting about products and services.

Ghidotti’s conversation with THV’s Alyson Courtney touches on those issues and more. Click here to watch the full clip. You can follow her on Twitter here.


THVideo: Alyson Courtney and I Talk Twitter


Twitter: A Threat to Google with Social Search

We noted last week how Twitter is challenging Google in search (Facebook is doing it, too). The thought is that Twitter has the potential to offer highly relevant, real-time search results from its growing user base.

Case in point: Restaurant search. My wife and I put a request on Twitter seeking the best place for sushi in Little Rock. Within 10 minutes, I received more than a dozen personalized — shockingly detailed — recommendations from various friends and followers. Some even sent Web links to maps and dining guide review pages. Still others told us about restaurant deals, tips and what to expect if we went there.

Compare that to what you might get via Google or any of the state’s dining guides, and you can see how powerful “social search” could be and why Google is taking Twitter seriously. Like I pointed out in a speech last week to the folks at Freeliance, social search harnesses traditionally powerful word-of-mouth — and then improves upon it by making it more convenient and searchable.

(My next crowd-source social search project: getting help with Airport Express. Thanks to those who’ve offered advice so far!)

Of course, there are challenges to this type of search. I was a little overwhelmed by the number of recommendations I received. We learned about lots of restaurants we didn’t know about, but 140 characters doesn’t give tipsters much room to share key details. So of course we turned to¬† — you guessed it — Google to track down more info about them. In short, we had to do lot of additional searching to reach a final decision.

(That is why a Google-Twitter partnership, which we noted here, seems to make a lot of sense of social search, at least in the short term.)


Twitter – a threat to newspapers? Why not? Everything else is threatening them!

Break Time

Blogging will be light for the next few days. I’ve got the week off and a list of home chores a mile long: replacing eves on the house, adding new light fixtures, painting the bathroom, hanging new curtains and more. It’s like HGTV on speed over here.

While I’m gettin’ my Bob Vila on, be sure keep up with breaking business, sports and innovation news.

And bonus points if anyone can explain to me why my new Airport Express won’t find my home wifi network for iTunes streaming. I’m running Comcast cable Internet off a Belkin wireless G router and a Windows XP SP3 system. And it’s all going out into the street in a rage if I can’t get this thing working.

Have a great week!

Happy Memorial Day!

Lake DeGray, 2006

Lake DeGray, 2006

Here’s hoping the rain the stays away. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Model Not the Answer for Everyone

A column (via the Washington Post) echoes conclusions in Mark Potts’ recent examination, noted here, of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s print/Web strategy, which put newspaper content online behind a pay wall. Many newspapers cite the DG’s strategy as proof that locked-down online news content can work for daily newspapers.

But paidContent argues that “if this is the best example of getting users to pay for online content, the industry may want to look for yet another model.”

The column cites the relatively minor revenue the DG receives from paid online subscribers and that publisher Walter Hussman’s strategy isn’t to become a digital product but to protect the print edition.

And while it also says that while the DG proves that some people are willing to pay for online news (about 3,400 people since 2001), it points out that Arkansas’ unique qualities as a news market have more to do with that than the paper’s overall strategy.

The attraction newspaper publishers have to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette’s story is that it shows someone claiming success with a single strategy, namely, that if you stop giving it all away for free, the readers will respond positively. But that paper’s situation is as unique as Newsday, USA Today and Orlando Sun Sentinel are to one another. There are hundreds of other struggling local newspapers across the country that have more in common with a steel plant than those papers. Ultimately each newspaper company (or maybe even each newspaper) will have to demonstrate its own unique content proposition?whether it’s through aggregating hyperlocal bloggers or carving out a special niche among local sports or culture. Alas, there is no one-size-fits-all solution here.

The complete column here.

Tough Times for Auto Dealers in This Week’s Arkansas Business

Larry Crain, talking to Hankins last week on "Today's THV"

Larry Crain, talking to Hankins last week on "Today's THV"

Happy Memorial Day! This week’s edition of Arkansas Business is online now. Among the highlights:

George Waldon takes a look at the state’s beleagered auto dealers, who were already facing tough times before Chrysler and GM started pruning dealerships, including several in Arkansas. Includes a list of recent closings.

(Also: Click here for video of Arkansas Business Publisher Jeff Hankins’ “Today’s THV This Morning” interview on Friday with Larry Crain of Crain Automotive, who says he’ll fight Chrysler’s move to shut his University Avenue dealership down.)

Yep. You read that right. KSSN-FM, 96.5 (KSSN 96) fell to No. 2 on Arbitron’s 12-plus winter radio ratings for the first time since, well, anyone can remember. KOKY-FM, 102.1 rises to No. 1. Clear Channel, which owns KSSN, attributes KSSN’s fall to The Wolf. And no, we don’t mean Harvey Keitel.

Yep. You read that right. “Radio Affiliates Hesitant to Sign Contracts to Air Razorback Sports.” You can attribute that to ever-expanding, “Today Show”-like 6-hour pre-game shows.

Meanwhile, what this state needs is yet another sports talk radio station!

2008 was a such a bad year, most private companies in Arkansas didn’t even want to talk about it.

Gwen Moritz: Vindication!

Pardon the Interruption

Where have I been? In short, sick as a dog. Before you ask, let’s go ahead and clarify: I’m pretty sure it’s not H1N1!

Suffice it to say, blogging will be light if at any all. Heck, I can’t even muster a tweet. E-mails are piling up, but they’ll just have to keep on piling. I’ll return them as soon as I can.

Need to waste some time at work on a Friday? Check with these yahoos or go here for breaking business, sports and innovation news.