Rival to Kindle Emerges Just in Time for Holiday Shopping

October 23, 2009 at 2:13 pm (Uncategorized)

barnes-nobles-nook-ebook-reader

Barnes and Noble will be releasing Nook, its version of the Amazon Kindle, just in time for the holiday shopping season. The Nook promises to have all of the same general features as the Kindle, but will also become more iPod and iPhone user friendly by enabling touch-screen control. It looks like a really cool new tablet, but I wonder what Amazon is going to do to keep its Kindle sales up.

The only sizeable difference that I can seem to find between the two is that the Kindle has an international option that allows frequent travelers to read overseas. But the Nook will offer Wi-Fi capabilities, as well as free Wi-Fi in all Barnes and Noble stores. A product comparison can be found at the following link: http://tinyurl.com/yh92wj8.

This has to pose a huge problem for the PR people at Amazon. What are you supposed to do when another company comes out with basically the same product as yours, and matches the features you have and out-does some of the features by having touch screen? It’s not like Kindle will be coming out with a new model any time soon either: they just released their newest version (the one with the international capabilities) recently.

I personally think that iPhone, iPod, and Blackberry users will buy the Nook:

1) Because service is provided by AT&T

2) The Nook is capable of syncing with these devices, as well as PC and Mac computers.

Not to mention people who don’t like handling all of their problems online will be able to go into a Barnes and Noble if they have issues.

I’m interested to see the ad campaign war between these two companies come Thanksgiving and Christmas time. Who do you think will have better sales?

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A Death-Blow to the T-Mobile Sidekick

October 16, 2009 at 2:57 pm (Uncategorized)

user3515_pic1553_1233608521Last Monday, a great number of Sidekick users lost all of their contacts and personal information stored on their phones. A panic-attack inducing situation for anyone who is as connected to their phone as I am.

According to an msnbc.com article (http://tinyurl.com/yg2nl72), Sidekick users lost all of their contacts and other information die to a failure of servers that are the remote storage system for all of the data. Microsoft Corp., the makers of the phone and a subsidiary to TMobile stated that Sidekick owner’s information is “almost certainly” gone. Not good new for people who like to store their entire lives on their mobile devices.

TMobile’s customer service hasn’t done a very good job helping out the situation either. Customers who lost all of their data are only being offered a $20 refund. I don’t know what TMobile was thinking when they decided this would be good compensation, but I would value all of the contacts and information stored on my phone at more than $20. TMobile customers are extremely angry, and rightfully so.

This is a PR nightmare. The fact that TMobile has listed its Sidekick as “out-of-stock” online is a clear indication that this phone might not make it through such a disastrous crash. TMobile’s customer service and “compensation” aren’t helping the situation either. If I were a TMobile customer, I would definitely be considering a switch to a new provider right now.

TMobile’s PR team needs to get on this situation fast. When I Google-searched information for this story, I found many Web sites airing complaints of customers, and not many statements mad by TMobile reassuring their customers that something more is going to be done to resolve this issue. I wonder if they even had an emergency response plan for a system failure of epic proportions.

To any Sidekick user, I would suggest switching to and iPhone or a Blackberry. Even my LG dare has a lot of the same features that the Sidekick has. You can get a phone with QWERTY anywhere these days.

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Advances in Technology and Their Effect on PR

October 7, 2009 at 1:57 pm (Uncategorized)

iphone

In my Intro. To New Media class, we recently discussed a spike in citizen journalism nationally and internationally. With new developments in technology, like camcorders being built into iPods and iPhones, it is becoming increasingly easier for regular people to broadcast live videos online. Millions of people watch YouTube videos every day, and its setup facilitates the quick dissemination of true or false information.

http://tinyurl.com/yaxs7zg

The link posted above is a San Francisco Chronicle article about CNN’s new iPhone application that allows users to pull up news stories and even live streaming video. But it’s not just CNN distributing the videos to users; the application also allows subscribers to submit photos and video to CNN as well. In the past two years, CNN’s iReport.com has received half a million photos or videos of news-worthy events around the world. It is amazing how much the average Joe is capable of doing with the right technology in hand.

There is even an AP Stylebook application that serious citizen journalists can pull up to check their grammar when writing or reporting on a story.

I see present-day citizen journalism as being a potential benefit and problem for PR practitioners. It’s a quick way for people to post feedback and information about a client you may be representing. But with the rate at which a negative or untrue story could be posted to YouTube, blogs or even news sites like CNN, PR practitioners must be on top of watching social media and protecting their client’s image.

I personally like the advances that have facilitated citizen journalism. It allows us to see video or photos of events that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. Every major news broadcasting organization has a certain take on things: CNN is more liberal, while Fox is conservative. Citizen journalism allows people to see certain events in an impartial manner. It gives us a chance to form our own opinion about current issues instead of forming one for us. And most of all, it lets us see things from a point of view we might never have considered.

I’m interested to see what other technological advances will come in the future, and how they will affect citizen journalism and social media.

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