... and the questions I still have ... No discussion of the phone itself here ... please refer to my colleague, Michael Gar

Today was a big day for mobile video in the US. Verizon announced that they will launch a broadcast video service (MediaFLO) in the first quarter of 2007 while Modeo (Crown Castle) announced the launch of their beta DVB-H service in New York City. And, not to be upstaged, MobiTV sneaked in with an announcement about the new, interactive features added to their service. It's a lot to absorb in one day let alone in a market where only one or two percent of mobile subscribers have video subscriptions on their cell phones.

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Organic Branding

Originally this blog post was going to capture our New Year’s predictions and resolutions but I figure  we’re all a bit bloated and tired of prognostication by now.. Instead I’m going to use this post for a bit of shameless self-promotion to talk about my first published long document “Organic branding: Using consumers to help build your brand."

Organic branding is a term we coined here at Forrester to describe the fluid and responsive method of brand development companies must adopt to market successfully to empowered and opinionated consumers.  While a lot of the marketing press has heralded a new era where marketers must “cede control of their brands” and be prepared for consumers to drive everything I think this both over simplifies and over states the issues.

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Why is the Bay Area Guardian Arguing Against Free Wi-Fi?

The San Francisco Bay Guardian posted an Editorial "Free Wi-Fi for Everyone" this week. The author is arguing against allowing Earthlink and Google to build a Wi-Fi network in San Francisco that would offer ONLY 300 kilobytes per second for free. As with many issues, there is another side to these arguments.

  • Yes, every mayor with political ambitions is seeking free Wi-Fi or more affordable broadband access for everyone. Why not? Gavin did well to announce his project early and offer up an attractive market (and test bed) early. With Earthlink and Google, he has great partners with the tech-savvy, experience and resources to pull off a project unlike any other to date - and without using taxpayer dollars. He still has a lot of work ahead of him to get computers into those same households that don't have broadband today. And, yes, there may be some growing pains with being an early adopter, but are also significant benefits (e.g., terms of the deal).
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Better Late Than Never: Five Things You Didn't Know About Christine Overby

Thanks for the tag, Pete! The more of these that I read, the longer I put this off. How can my life compete with knife fights in Moracco and killer golf handicaps (just kidding Julie and Laura)?!?!

But in the spirit of good fun, here are 5 facts about me:

1. I have unusually long arms. Did you know that most people have a "wingspan" -- the distance between your middle fingertips with your arms outstretched -- that's roughly equivalent to their height? Well, if I were as tall as my wingspan long, then I would be over 6' (I'm 5'8").  This is an endless source of amusement for friends, especially when I wear sleeveless shirts. One calls me Stretch Armstrong. [Sigh.]

2. I have a nerdy obsession with food writing. Not cookbooks and restaurant reviews, but hard core stuff from Harold McGee, MFK Fisher, and Brillat-Savarin. I also like to make a mess in the kitchen, but don't ask me to replicate dishes since I never measure and always second-guess recipe ingredients (the analyst in me, I guess).

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So you want to be a CMO?

Back in October, I was a privileged fly on the wall of Forrester's CMO Leadership Board meeting in Chicago.  The guest speaker was Greg Welch
from Spencer Stuart, talking about what makes a good CMO.  Greg should
know - he handles some of the highest profile searches around.

Some things you may know already:  CMO tenure is way down
- almost 23 months, about half of CEO tenure.  These are $1mm jobs that
are really general manager roles that come with high stakes and
expectations.  New chief marketers need to build bridges and prove that
marketing delivers value, doesn't just spend money.  A key question:
does your marketing team look like your customer base?

CEOs are looking for a fit at the intersection of job (i.e.
responsibilities), organization (i.e. cultural elements), and personal
qualifications (i.e. competencies).  The top skills required for
success?  Leadership - influence and impact.  A track record of results
- no excuses.  General management and P&L experience.  Innovation
experience.

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Video News Footage from your Cell Phone

The latest big news captured via cell phone came from Iraq. Someone actually recorded last week's execution. See story. I checked out a version of it on YouTube. Yes, it was grainy and there were a lot of shots of the floor and chaos. The audio was sharp. The phone seemed to have a reasonable amount of 'zoom' capability. With as many shots of the steps and floor, it seems clear that the video was being taken surreptitiously. Besides, if they wanted video footage, they would have invited the media.

It's not the first time that video footage taken from a cell phone has been spread around the Web, and it's just a matter of time before this is done easily from phone to phone. It's yet another category of user-created content or reporting from citizens without the restrictions put on journalists.

Such episodes, however, raise a lot of questions. What about individual privacy? Cell phones have been banned from locker rooms for years. YouTube asks viewers to register their age b/c of the graphic nature of the video, but who has responsibility for this longer term? Who will really verify 'age.' Who bears responsibility for accurate reporting or ensuring that photos and videos have not been doctored? Such content can be damaging even if not illegal. Who owns the content?

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