Google Play Goes into Hard Sell Mode

Google Play was officially released earlier this month but I only just got my first look at it thanks to the bright red NEW logo in my Google Gmail bar.

I had forgotten about the new initiative, so I clicked the button and was promptly confused.

Is this an entertainment magazine? An online store? A review site? And look, it says Android Apps! I’m an iPhone users so does that mean none of this is for me?

If I was your average consumer, I might have closed the page and moved on. But I’m a journalist, so I decided to research this whole colorful mess. Turns out, this is Google’s new one-stop entertainment shop / cloud service / social sharing site.

FTC Releases Final Consumer Privacy Recommendations

If you have some free time today, the FTC just released a new 112 page report on marketing and consumer privacy that you might find interesting.

The report title is almost as long as the report. It’s called “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Businesses and Policymakers.” Note the word “proposed.” This report doesn’t establish any new laws, but they are rather firm in their “suggestions.”

Think of it as a parent who “suggests” that a teen be home at a reasonable hour. They might look the other way if the teen come in after midnight once or twice, but if it becomes a habit . . .

Here’s FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz in the parent role;

Pinterest Clarifies Terms of Service, But Does it Matter?

Every major website has a lengthy Terms of Service policy, but how many people actually read them before signing up? Sure, they all check the box saying they did it, but I’d estimate that 98% of those people are lying.

Take Pinterest, the wildfire of the internet world. Their original Terms of Service policy included this:

By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site.

Sure Pinterest is Hot, but is it the Next Facebook?

Is Pinterest the next Facebook?

Fortune magazine is asking the question in their April issue, but they’re not the first one’s to consider it.

The graphically-oriented social media site is gaining popularity faster than a studio-made teen idol. People, particularly young women, are signing up in droves and if we could hear them, they’d probably be shrieking with joy.

Here are a few comments from Twitter:

people ask me how I know @pinterest is here to stay…I think – I’m having a bad night and Ill want to do is go pin/look at pins

Wife occupied for hours while I watch basketball. Thank you Pinterest…whatever you are.

And not complementary but says it:

It’s not until you click into the “Popular” section that you glimpse the Winnie The Pooh sweatshirt-wearing nightmare that is @pinterest.

Inspiration Alley: Levi, L.L. Bean and Angry Birds

This week we’re taking a look at how two old brands are keeping things fresh and one modern company who went to new heights to promote their product.

Levi’s Water<Less Jeans

Levi’s is a brand that’s been around since 1873. It’s a brand that the world over associates with one thing – jeans. They’re trusted. They’re respected. But they still have to keep finding ways to modernize a product that really hasn’t changed all that much in over a hundred years.

Introducing the Water<Less Jean. Levi’s the average pair of jeans uses 42 liters of water in the finishing process. With their new system, they’ve reduced water usage up to 96%. To date, they have already saved more the 172 million liters of water which is equal to 726,600,812, 8-ounce glasses. Who knew?

Social Nudges Viewers to Watch More Live TV

I love television. That’s not new news to anyone who regularly reads my work. I routinely record up to 4 hours of TV a night, that I can watch back in under 3 hours by skipping commercials, intros and the boring parts.

Here’s something that is new  news. Thanks to social apps, I now watch more live TV than ever before.

For example, last night American Idol was on. Instead of sending it straight to the DVR, I watched live because of app called Viggle. Viggle rewards me with points for watching and more points if I watch live because then I can play their real-time trivia game. They even give me extra points if I stick around for the commercials and prove it by answering questions after the show.

Netflix and Yahoo Pin Their Hopes on Original Content

Netflix was created as a means of sharing the content of others with a large group of people. They were the librarian. The mail carrier and eventually, the storage facility for streaming files.

Now, Netflix is taking on a new title, that of content creator. As stated in Variety, Netflix has five original shows coming up in 2012. The first show, Lilyhammer rolled out last month and House of Cards is highly anticipated.

But bringing in an audience on a new series is tough enough for TV stations that have been doing it for sixty years. So Netflix is hedging their bet a little by bringing back titles people already love. They’ve agreed to help foot the bill for a new season of canceled series Arrested Development.  There was also talk of them taking on Fox’s failed dino-epic Terra Nova.