Finally, a meaningful interactive tool for local news sites

4 01 2010

The Manchester, CT, Journal Inquirer pilots a cool tool for reporting problems to local officials and holding them accountable for fixing them.

Public officials get to talk back. The tool can also be used with businesses, non-profits, and even private citizens.

AND, the use of the tool, called SeeClickFix, also is drawing more readers to the news site’s paid content.

Seems to me that the tool will require heavy monitoring to prevent abuse, and using it beyond issues that are the responsibility of local government raises some real liability concerns. But this appears t0 be something of a breakthrough toward realizing the promise of interactivity for real civic engagement — a significant advancement beyond the message boards, forums, and the usually inane comment sections trailing stories.

The end of advertising as we know it?

1 10 2009

The IBM Institute for Business Value has a new study out suggesting that the traditional intrusive, one-to-many advertising model is dying, to be replaced by interactive, one-to-one ad formats. Executive summary here.ibmlogo-21

The next 5 years will hold more change for the advertising industry than
the previous 50 did. Increasingly empowered consumers, more self-reliant
advertisers and ever-evolving technologies are redefining how advertising is
sold, created, consumed and tracked. Our research points to four evolving
future scenarios – and the catalysts that will be driving them. Traditional
advertising players – broadcasters, distributors and advertising agencies
– may get squeezed unless they can successfully implement consumer,
business model and business design innovation.

As the pithy Lisa Hickey says, “Today, brands are judged by the quality of their conversation. Brands are people, and people are brands.”