star

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5879847/bribing-customers-to-get-five+star-amazon-reviews-is-a-new-marketing-low

We all read reviews and check star ratings on Amazon before we buy stuff. We’ve already seen that companies sometimes write reviews themselves, and they’re easy to spot by the way they’re written. But there’s a new trend among some less trustworthy Amazon sellers: bribing customers to write favorable reviews.

Accorrding to a report by the New York Times a compnay called VIP Deals has been offering its customers a complete refund on their purchase — while still allowing them to keep the item — in return for a review.

The product in question is a Vipertek brand premium slim black leather case for the Kindle Fire — a fairly lucrative market given how many Kindles were sold over the holidays. VIP Deals have been selling the case for under $10 plus shipping (the official list price was $59.99). The New York Times explains what customers experienced:

When the package arrived it included a letter extending an invitation “to write a product review for the Amazon community.”

“In return for writing the review, we will refund your order so you will have received the product for free,” it said.

While the letter did not specifically demand a five-star review, it broadly hinted. “We strive to earn 100 percent perfect ‘FIVE-STAR’ scores from you!” it said.

Apparently VIP deals has no web site and uses a mailbox drop in suburban Los Angeles as a return address, and last week had received 4,945 reviews on Amazon for a nearly perfect 4.9 rating out of five. Since, Amazon has removed the product page.

Speaking to the New York Times, Anne Marie Logan, a Georgia pharmacist, said: “I was like, ‘Is this for real?’ ” she said. “But they credited my account. You think it’s unethical?” Just a bit, Anne. Just a bit. [New York Times; Image: MikeBlogs]

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Friday, January 27th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Marvell’s Classroom 3.0 includes Armada-powered SMILE Plug Computer

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/08/marvells-classroom-3-0-initative-armada-smile-plug-computer-ces-2012/

All together now — “Aww!” Marvell has just outed its Classroom 3.0 initiative here at CES 2012, with the star attraction being the cutie above. That’s an Armada-powered plug computer known as SMILE, hailed as the “first plug development kit designed to turn a traditional classroom into a highly interactive learning environment.” The device is capable of creating a “micro cloud” within a classroom, with the entire environment able to be controlled by the instructor. The hardware’s being launched in tandem with an expanded One Laptop Per Child partnership, with the OLPX XO 3.0 trumpeted as the perfect companion product. It’s capable of serving up to 60 clients at once, and it’s based on Arch Linux for ARM; there’s even a 5V Li-ion battery for back-up — you know, in case that rambunctious kid of yours pulls the power. It’ll be hitting kiddies and teachers alike this Spring, but there’s nary a mention of price.

Gallery: Marvell SMILE Plug Computer

Continue reading Marvell’s Classroom 3.0 includes Armada-powered SMILE Plug Comp! uter

Marvell’s Classroom 3.0 includes Armada-powered SMILE Plug Computer originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 08 Jan 2012 18:13:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday, January 8th, 2012 news No Comments

Apple Kills The Text Message (AAPL)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-apple-kills-the-overpriced-text-message-2012-1


Apple’s iMessage is killing off the overpriced text message, at least for a narrow group of iPhone owners.

Graphic designer Neven Mrgan posted this chart showing how his text messaging use changed after Apple released iOS 5 with iMessage. As you can see, it dropped dramatically.

Most of Mrgan’s friends are iPhone owners, so iMessaging is free between them. If you own an iPhone but most of your friends are on Android, RIM, or feature phones, you’re still going to have to pay for text messages.

Regardless, the writing is on the wall for text messaging. Carriers are going to be losing one of their easiest sources of profits.

chart of the day, sai, text messaging use, jan 3 2012

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Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 news No Comments

Hopefully You’re Not A Short Term Investor In Tech IPOs (P, JIVE, DMD, GRPN, ZNGA, LNKD)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-hopefully-youre-not-a-short-term-investor-in-tech-ipos-2011-12


From Demand Media to LinkedIn to Pandora to Groupon, and then Zynga and Jive, 2011 was the year private companies finally started breaking into the public markets.

It’s all set up for next year when Facebook finally IPOs. That should be one of the biggest, most interesting events of the year.

But before we jump into 2012’s IPO market, we’re taking a look at how investors treated this year’s IPOs. As you can see, buying into a tech IPO on the open market was a losing move. (Of course, buying into any stock and hoping to win the investing game is a losing move.)

Will these crappy short term stock performances affect the next wave of IPOs? We doubt it. Each company is different. And Facebook is the big one everyone has been excited about.

chart of the day, tech companies' value since ipo, dec 30 2011

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Friday, December 30th, 2011 news No Comments

HP Photosmart D110a ePrint printer earns 5-star reviews despite lacking ePrint… what?

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/05/hp-photosmart-d110a-eprint-printer-earns-5-star-reviews-despite/

See the bullet for HP’s new D110a Photosmart e-All-in-One that says, “HP ePrint for printing anywhere.” Well, you can ignore that for now. While HP proudly lists ePrint — the ability to print PDF, JPEG, and MS Office documents received as attachments from any email-capable device — as a flagship feature on its newest line of web-connected printers, it’s not a working feature and it won’t be until a software update is pushed out at the end of the month, according to support forums. Unfortunately, there’s no notice of this on HP’s own retail listing for the D110a (HP’s first ePrint-capable printer), Amazon, or in brick-and-mortar shops like Best Buy. And curiously, that trio of 5-star “customer reviews” on HP’s own site fail to mention the missing feature at all. Instead, owners will only discover this after calling the HP help desk or checking the growing list of disgruntled rants in HP or Amazon support threads. Not cool HP, not cool.

[Thanks, Cliff W.]

HP Photosmart D110a ePrint printer earns 5-star reviews despite lacking ePrint… what? originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 05 Jul 2010 06:13:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Monday, July 5th, 2010 news No Comments

Occasions and Holidays Drive Movie Box Office Sales, Not Advertising

Taking the top box office results for each of 52 weekends from the past 10 complete years (1998 – 2008; Source: IMDB.com) we see consistently that occasions like Valentines, Memorial Day, July 4th, and Thanksgiving show increased movie going activity. People have more time during these holidays to go to the movies and Valentines is a date+movie occasion. Also, during the summer, many people go to the movie theatre to escape the heat so there is an overall hump every year during the summer months — from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

movie-box-office-2


People go out during Valentines, Memorial Day, July 4th, and Thanksgiving. And they still spend what they planned to spend — 2 tickets for movie — they didn’t buy 2 more tickets and see a second movie on the same date or holiday weekend.  If they had several good movies to choose from (often, they don’t), they would choose to spend the finite dollars on the one movie they really wanted to see. The overall movie spending “pie” did not increase much, if any, year over year.

1998 $4,055,194,733 n/a

1999 $4,253,601,768 5%

2000 $4,496,554,005 6%

2001 $5,003,433,737 11%

2002 $5,489,974,199 10%

2003 $5,581,797,720 2%

2004 $ 5,697,299,530 2%

2005 $ 5,524,566,579 -3%

2006 $ 5,660,826,625 +2%

2007 $ 5,968,027,963 +5%

2008 $ 5,887,193,490 -1%

The chart below shows a red line which is the average of all 10 years. The 10 thin blue lines are the annual lines from1998 – 2008, inclusive and these are plotted as actual dollars. They come out right on top of each other.

movie-box-office-2-overlay

Movie advertising, which runs into the hundreds of millions of dollars a year, has failed to noticeably increase the overall spending year-round or even during specific times. The chart below shows the differentials (difference between an annual line and the 10-yr average line). These all hover closely in the +$50M and -$50M band. The amplitude of the 10-yr average (red line) is larger than $50M in the summer hump — implying that the average change in movie ticket sales due to normal seasonality is larger than the change in amplitude caused by ALL movie advertising combined.

movie-box-2-differentials

And the summer “hump” is due to actual demand (people going out to movie theatres, some to escape the heat) not due to advertising. The only effect of advertising is to share-shift from one movie to another — the total spending remains consistent and even seasonal variations are consistent — a “zero-sum game.”


All-Time USA Box office

Source: IMDB.com

Rank Title USA Box Office
1. Titanic (1997) $600,779,824
2. The Dark Knight (2008) $533,316,061
3. Star Wars (1977) $460,935,665
4. Shrek 2 (2004) $436,471,036
5. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) $434,949,459
6. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace(1999) $431,065,444
7. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) $423,032,628
8. Spider-Man (2002) $403,706,375
9. Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) $380,262,555
10. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King(2003) $377,019,252
11. Spider-Man 2 (2004) $373,377,893
12. The Passion of the Christ (2004) $370,270,943
13. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) $367,614,540
14. Jurassic Park (1993) $356,784,000
15. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) $340,478,898
16. Finding Nemo (2003) $339,714,367
17. Spider-Man 3 (2007) $336,530,303
18. Forrest Gump (1994) $329,691,196
19. The Lion King (1994) $328,423,001
20. Shrek the Third (2007) $320,706,665
21. Transformers (2007) $318,759,914
22. Iron Man (2008) $318,298,180
23. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) $317,557,891
24. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull(2008) $317,011,114
25. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring(2001) $313,837,577

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Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 digital No Comments

Fading Stars, Hit Driven Stars, Flatliners, Rising Stars

search volume of various movie and television celebrities is driven by movie or television show; some are hit drive, others have sustaining power

Increasing and sustaining search volume – Megan Fox

megan-fox-search-volume

Hit Driven – Emma Watson search volume goes with Harry Potter movie search volume, exactly

emma-watson-harry-potter-search-volume

Spider Man Movie, Kirsten Dunst and Toby Maguire stars – search volume match exactly

kirsten-dunst-toby-maguire-

Fading Stars – Jessica Alba has some search volume spikes around the time when movies come out, but there is an overall decline in baseline search volume over time.

jessica-alba-search-volume


Fading TV Show – in January of 2006 and 07 there was still significant search volume around the star of Fox’s 24. In 2008 and 09 there was not. Kim Bauer (Elisha Cuthbert)

jack-bauer-keifer-sutherland-search-volume

Flatliners – Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt search volume

brad-pitt-angelina-jolie-search-volume


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Monday, July 6th, 2009 digital No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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