June 08, 2008 | Greg Ness: News Of Television Advertising’s Death Is Greatly Exaggerated

If this story is any indication, television can still pull big advertising dollars. NBC has nearly sold out its “upfront” ad inventory with $1.9 billion in sales.

Many pundits have predicted that television networks will have increasing problems trying to sell their upfront inventory because of double-digit declines in ratings over the past year. Ironically, because ratings are down, some advertisers are buying more TV advertising to reach the same level as last year’s campaigns. Continuing to pay more for less viewers each year seems like an unsustainable scenario. However, NBC is making it happen this year, and in spite of a decrease in viewers, it didn’t stop NBC from raising the cost of a 30-second commercial in next year’s Super Bowl to $3 million.

June 04, 2008 | Greg Ness: Old Media/New Media — Demographics Still Matter

While the tools of the marketing trade are changing rapidly, being able to understand the points of view of large major markets is still eminently useful to business professionals. A new book by Kenneth Gronbach titled, The Age Curve: How to Profit from the Demographic Storm, points out major generational markets (as well as other demographic groups), and offers advice on how best to reach each group.

June 04, 2008 | Paul Bourdeaux: Help, I’m Still Using Java 1.4!

As many people know, the most current Java Release Family is Java 6.6.  It was made available to the general public back in December 2006.  Java 7 - Codename Dolphin is in beta, but the development community is expecting it to be released sometime in 2008.  With the introduction of the new, it is also time to say goodbye to the old.  The Java 1.4 family will reach its End of Service Life (EOSL) this year, in October 2008.  This means that that release family will no longer be supported by Sun, nor will they distribute the SDK or JRE anymore.  Similarly, Sun announced in April that the EOSL for Java 5.x will be in October of 2009.

What does this mean for companies still developing against Java 1.4 or Java 5.0?

June 03, 2008 | Johnathon Rademacher: Gartner Identifies Top Ten Disruptive Technologies for 2008 to 2012

At the recent Gartner Emerging Trends and Technologies Roadshow in Melbourne, Gartner identified the Top Ten Disruptive Technologies for 2008 to 2012.  This intriguing list is a compelling argument for IT professionals to revisit their plans for future application development.  Gone are the ways of heavy, expensive do it all applications.  By utilizing on-demand software and mashups you can create robust applications in days instead of months.  For organizations that prefer to keep their applications in house, more powerful multicore and hybrid processors powering virtual hardware will allow you to reduce downtime and better utilize resources.

June 02, 2008 | Greg Ness: Slower Economy Will Accelerate Shift To Advertising On The Web

A new five-year forecast by IDC predicts even though overall advertising will stagnate during the next five years, Internet advertising in the U.S. will grow eight times faster than the average. IDC says Internet advertising will double in the next five years and become the second biggest advertising medium eclipsed only by direct marketing. That forecast would place Internet advertising ahead of newspaper and television in total ad revenues.

May 31, 2008 | Greg Ness: URLs in Magazine Ads Dramatically Increase Website Traffic

I would have thought by now that every company puts their URL in their magazine ads. Apparently not. A study sponsored by the Magazine Publishers of America demonstrates that including a URL in ads can boost traffic to a company’s website by up to 186% over ads that don’t feature the company’s web address.

Including a URL just seems like a no-brainer. I picked up a number of magazines around the house and started checking for URLs in the ads. Whoa…I was surprised to find many ads that didn’t have a URL displayed. And most of the companies that were advertising in these publications (without the URLs) would have definitely benefited by building more brand engagement through additional website traffic.

May 30, 2008 | Mark Sjurseth: Short But Sweet At Google I/O

If you’re like me and missed your opportunity to attend Google’s premier developer gathering this week—Google I/O, you where likely following your favorite Google blogs rather obsessively on Wednesday and Thursday, trolling for early insights before the inevitable mainstream analysis. Google did not disappoint with two days of nearly 100 sessions on AJAX & JavaScript, APIs & Tools, Social, Maps & Geo, and Mobile. An opening keynote by Vic Gundotra (VP, Engineering), kicked off discussion with three key themes: the Cloud, Connectivity, and the Client.

Vic’s keynote also answered a common question regarding Google motives…What is Google doing hosting a developer conference if Web is the platform?

May 30, 2008 | Ron Lee: Mobile Banking Moving into the Fast Lane

Consumers, start your cell phones! Mobile banking services in the U.S. appear to be poised to triple by 2009 (Aite report), or to double by 2010 (Sybase report).  Despite research finding differences, one thing is clear: U.S. banks are ramping up efforts to make consumers aware of mobile banking, consumer clearly want the service, and that means bank marketers are ready to put technology and marketing dollars behind it to get you the consumer to adopt it.

May 30, 2008 | Jon Gilbertson: MSN Publishes 2008 Customer Service Hall of Shame


Earlier this week, MSN published the results of their 2nd annual, 2008 Customer Service Hall of Shame Survey. The national online survey, conducted by Zogby International polled 7,724 randomly chosen respondents and includes 140 companies from 14 industries. Several companies including Sprint, Time Warner Cable and Comcast have appeared on the list both years. Topping the list this year is AOL.

May 30, 2008 | Greg Ness: Blogging Trends

Darren Rowse (ProBlogger) provides a concise, useful YouTube summary on five emerging trends in blogging:

1) Multiple Author Blogs
2) Multi-Topic Blogs
3) Blogs Converging with Other Types of Sites
4) Portal-Like Design
5) Indirect Monetization

May 27, 2008 | Paul Bourdeaux: Should We Test Getters and Setters?

When new engineers are being brought into the fold of unit testing, one question invariably arises: “Should we test getters and setters?”  The answer, in the humble opinion of this engineer, is yes.  This is by no means a new argument; it has been raging across the software development field for years.  Let’s face it, public getter and setter methods are (normally) inherently simple, and writing unit tests for them seem to be a waste of time – testing the language’s ability to set and pass variables instead of any actual code.  But there are a few dangers lurking in not testing them…

Whenever I advocate testing getters and setters, the first argument I almost always get is, “A simple getter and setter can’t break.”  Wrong.  They can break, and I have seen it happen.