Friday, December 15, 2006

Books, Newspapers, Games...

Since the beginning of the semester, my media consumption has changed dramatically. I began the semester, transferring into the department from science majors. Needless to say, the only media I was really a part of involved textbooks and journals. I have always been a gamer, but only when time permitted, which was not very often.

Now being in the MCom department, I find it both necessary, and more interesting to be a stronger, more aware media consumer. I have primarily increased my media consumption through reading more magazines and using the internet more often for both entertainment, and as an informational resource. I actually regularly now check the mercury news online more often than I pick up the newspaper. I hate admitting that one, but I have a laptop now, so it is just as convenient as picking up the paper, well…more convenient.

I have also begun my video game playing a little more, because of the Nintendo Wii release, and have enjoyed it very much! Similarly, I have continued to increase my interest and knowledge in music, studying more on the industry, and not just listening to music. I think the recent closing of Tower Records upset me, and really got me thinking.

As for blogging, I have made a definite transformation. I definitely still have work to do to become more aware in the entire blog world, and I have decided to continue with my blog. With more time on my hands during winter break, I look forward to understanding everything even further. Blogging is something I would have never expected to get into recreationally, and I look forward to other great exposures that will only further my learning in the MCom Department.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I Pod or No Pod?!

When students leave the classroom they can most commonly be seen on their cell phone, or strapping on their I Pod to hear some tunes between classes. It actually took me quite a bit of time to buy an I Pod, one because of the outrageous prices, and two because I am always worried that as soon as I buy one, they will release a smaller and better one. This past year I finally got the Nano for my birthday, but recently I have noticed myself leaving my I Pod at home, and sticking to the music that can be stored on my phone. With the technology of phones increasing, I am interested to see not if, but how quickly Macintosh’s I Pods will become obsolete.

It is obvious that Macintosh has picked up on this issue considering the new release of the I Pod shuffle that can clip onto your belt or pocket. The only two things Macintosh has to offer are size, and memory. If they continue to make it easier to put videos on the I Pod, they may keep selling product.

However, now phones aren’t the only competition. The Zune has now been released. Many relate it to a Macintosh vs. PC. This Zune is fully equipped with FM radio, and has a 3 inch screen, while the I Pod Video has a 2.5 inch screen. The Zune also allows the sharing of music. One can share music with another Zune wirelessly within thirty feet. Not only does it allow this sharing, but it erases the shared music after three days or three listenings, attempting to control illegal sharing of music. If that does not satisfy your music needs, they also offer a monthly $15 unlimited music downloading service. It is comparable in price, and is also stylish.

It is obvious to say, that if the Macintosh team wants to see the I Pod continue they are going to need innovation!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Image Fading Away...Get Your Own Perfume!

Recently, with holiday shopping at its highest nothing has stood out more to me than commercials and programs involving gift giving. However, while Oprah is promoting GAP’s Red line, and other daytime hosts are offering tips on toys, all I have been able to notice is the flood of commercials promoting colognes and perfumes. Why is it the next big thing for falling celebrities to put out their own line of perfume? They are everywhere!!

This past Monday, I was watching a one hour program, and I began counting the mass amounts of commercials for colognes made by celebrities such as Antonio Banderas, Britney Spears, and Hilary Duff. While these are the commercials that were shown during my program other celebrities with perfumes and colognes include Michael Jordan, Jennifer Lopez, Paris Hilton, Sarah Jessica Parker, and the list has become endless!

Not only do celebrities release these items, but where has Antonio Banderas been? Other than Puss in Boots from Shrek, this cologne is the first I have seen from him in a while!! I firmly believe that putting out colognes is a big red flag for, I am fading away as a celebrity…so please buy my product?! So this holiday season…do you want to smell like Britney, or Paris?!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Why I Appreciate Alarm Clocks!

I think this blog calls for my sometimes disliking of technology. While technology makes our lives go far faster and more efficiently, we are far too reliant on the resource, and I am a prime example of this!! As a 21 year old college student, I use my cell phone for just about everything. I email on it, text message, listen to music, and even use it as an alarm clock. This morning I had a meeting at 9:00, and for a college student, yes, this is far earlier than I would like to wake up. As I arrived to the conference room I noticed the campus seemed emptier, but shrugged my shoulders and viewed it as college students burnt out the week before finals. I then arrived at the conference room, and thought interesting, they are always early to meetings! It was only a matter of minutes until my eyes were glued to the clock on the wall reading 8:10. I glanced at my phone, 9:10, the clock on the nearby coffee pot, 8:10. Sure enough my phone is incorrect, and I have an hour to lounge around and write about my upset tired eyes that desperately wanted that extra hour of sleep. I apologize if this blog seems substance free, but it actually has a great point…no technology can beat a good old alarm clock. Another way to look at the situation…at least satellites didn’t have it going an hour late!!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Who's Bowling?!

One of the most significant and interesting forms of advertising and promotion that I have seen in the past few weeks is involved with college athletics. As you hopefully know already, SJSU football has made quite a recovery this year, and has just agreed to play in the New Mexico Bowl this December 23, 2006. When researching more about the bowls I was intrigued by the amount of money companies spend on having their name on a bowl. A prime example of this is the fiesta bowl sponsored by Tostitos held in Glendale Arizona.

With these bowls the companies sponsoring them pay out the teams invited anywhere from $750,000 to $17 million. While these numbers seem huge, the bowls are constructive for the company or organization hosting them. These games become so popular that they are referred to more by the company they represent than the teams that are playing. Bowls like the Fiesta bowl or the Sugar bowl are known to have great teams in attendance, and people may purchase tickets for them, far before the teams playing are determined. These games are generally all sell outs, and people may travel thousands of miles to participate in them or to support a team. They view these bowls as a way to bring tourism to different cities, and a way to advertise across the nation bringing together well known teams that sports fans want to see play each other.

College football rankings do factor into what teams are invited, but in the end the companies have the final call with invitations. A full listing of the Bowls can be found at CollegeFootballPoll.

Wii Have a Problem

So each time I write about video games, I swear it will be the last time, but I have more to say…so no more promises! I have recently been playing the new Nintendo system, the Wii. I gave a brief glimpse of how the system works on my October 24th blog. Anyways, this new system is interactive meaning if you are playing a game of tennis you actually swing the remote (also referred to as a Wiimote) as if you had a raquet in you hand. It really is awesome, and it is so easy for anyone to play!

The thing that is so great about it, and I promised I would not publicly mention this, but I have been sore from the waist up from all of the interesting ways this system has me moving. (You know you need to hit the gym when…) I think it is great that a system has been released like this one. Even though it is very minimal work, it beats sitting on the couch and getting sore thumbs!

While this aspect of the Wii has been great there have also been a series of complaints about the system. I personally can relate to what others are complaining about…I almost broke a finger playing tennis!! I followed through too much on my swing, and hit a wooden chair! I have not had pain like this in a while!! Others have been breaking television screens, making holes in walls and more! You have to check this out! Wii have a problem. Haha…I still can’t get enough of it.


Recently, the GAP Red collection has been seen all over advertisements, on celebrities, and in every day conversation. In case you haven’t yet heard of the Red Campaign, it is a campaign through GAP, supporting the fight against AIDS. Half of the proceeds from each Red Product purchase goes to the fund to fight AIDS.

Last Monday, in my PR 99 class, a woman came to speak to our class explaining the campaign or project. Bono from U2 is the primary supporter of this project, and she had wonderful things to say about him. The entire presentation was great, and it really made you want to go out and support the cause.

A primary product they offer are the red colored tees that have a word written on them. Words that may be as such: Desi(red), Bor(ed), Ti(red), Inspi(red), etc. They have many other products as well that aren’t necessarily red in color, but Red in significance.

Faces that can be seen representing the products include Steven Spielberg, Penelope Cruz, Chris Rock, Dakota Fanning, and more! Other brands also helping the fund include Verizon Wireless which offers a Red phone, I Pod, Armani, Converse, and American Express. Oprah has also contributed two shows to promoting the line, and has increased sales for the products tremendously. It is a great campaigning idea, and it is a wonderful way to help a cause that needs support!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Life, Death, and the Playstation 3

So I am completely aware that I talk about video games far too much, but I experienced things this past weekend that are completely blog worthy. All of the action happened when desperately attempting to purchase the Playstation 3 and the new Nintendo Wii.

This past Friday, November 17, the Playstation 3 was released. While many had already camped out to preorder the game unit, others, like myself, were searching around the day or days prior to Friday in hopes of scoring the new system. I began my journey at Walmart in which those in line had been stationed there since Wednesday morning. As I continued to different Targets and Best Buys I noticed that mostly everyone in position to purchase the Playstation had been there since TUESDAY!!

I finally stationed myself at the Market Target in which hundreds of people waited for a lottery of which eight lucky gaming consumers could purchase the system. I really can not explain how crazy the fight was for these systems costing $600!

I personally was trying to purchase one to resell on ebay. As much as I would have loved to play on the system, I simply viewed it as tuition money.

All in all it is very interesting to see the society of which we live. People are willing to sacrifice so much time and money for a game system. On another aspect, companies like Playstation, have consumers frenzied for a unit, only releasing a total of 400,000. It is an interesting industry, and this past weekend only further reinforced that.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Too Much Sex IN the City

After hearing the presentation about Sex and the City I think there is a large aspect of it’s impact on society that may have been skipped over. (I say may because of the time shortage). While Sex and the City did open a door for “liberating” women and hopefully working toward less of a double standard, it also broke down all morally straight foundation that may have been set for the younger population of viewers. Girls in high school idolize these women, and as far as I am concerned, that may be the end to any sort of independence from men. Women do not need to have a husband or significant other that they constantly tend to, but these women drag it to a completely different form of dependence on men. The concept of showing successful, independent, childless women could have been a great start toward refining the female image, but instead 16 year old girls have Samantha listed as the Sex and the City Character most like them.

While the glamorization of this constant party life was lightly addressed in the presentation, this group of women are conveying a lifestyle that is really not realistic, feasible, or healthy. Not to say the producers weren’t successful, it is far more entertaining to watch a woman under the influence of god knows what, taking a different man home every night over the daily life of the Cleaver Family; not to mention...the show title is Sex and the City...not Women and the City!

International Cell Phones

Cellular phones have become a large advancement in the United States. We are now allowed to hold music, videos, take pictures, AND call people on our cell phones. However, people in various other countries have phones that surpass any that are sold in the United States. A new Motorola Phone can be purchased through export cell phone companies such as ImportGSM. This phone, the Motorola V3X, contains various high tech abilities, such as 2 way video calling and a 2 mega pixel camera. This phone will not be available in the United States for some time. However, it is available from international cellular phone consumers. The reason international phone companies can release these phones so much earlier than United States phone companies is the network that they are running on. The United States has spent a large amount of there time on developing a network that can run sufficiently to the needs of the American consumer. The international world does not have to create such a large network for their country. For example, the size of South Korea’s network is greatly smaller than the United States. This smaller network allows them to spend a majority of their time on developing and testing more advanced phones. International countries have better phones due to their more intense research on new technology for phones.