Wednesday, December 27, 2006


New Moon Magazine for Girls
New Moon magazine is an inspirational magazine for girls and women. What makes it incredibly special is that it is advertising free. New Moon states on their website that they're for every girl who "wants her voice heard and dreams taken seriously." Their blog tells of their next issue titled Letter to Congress. They're looking for political blogger journalists—someone who will watch when bills are stalled or move in congress. Sounds like advocacy to me... :-)... way to go New Moon magazine!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Kids and adults are getting bombarded more than ever by commercials, advertising, video games and product placements. Soon they will be all over the cell phones as well. It's big business and not everyone realizes that this thing called "media" can become addictive. Last year, kids 4 to 12 years old had an estimated spending power of $45 billion, and teens $160 billion. There are teams of very smart, well-paid advertisers out there whose job it is to equate more “stuff” with more happiness. It’s a tough job for all of us to resist that kind of pressure - but even more difficult for kids. Download the MediaWise Parent Survival Guide to find out how advertisers are targeting your kids. Get the Facts.

While you're at it-- find out more about how your kids post to places like YOUTUBE and MYSPACE. MediaWise Walks you through how they do it.


Check out some of the best news photography of the year. View the Winners Gallery at World Press Photo -- awards for best photography in twenty categories -- from portrait to nature to spot news and TIME MAGAZINE offers their year in photos.


Make Net Neutrality Priority 1 for 2007. There's little to no discussion of what net neutrality is on regular broadcast news. Because of this the Free Press initiative "SavetheInternet Coalition" was born in April 2006 and byseveral months later, in July, over 1 MILLION people had signed the petition to maintain our Internet freedom. By September the public stood together on Net Neutrality and the anti-net neutrality Bill that passed through Senate stalled.

Net Neutrality ensures that any citizen can view the smallest website or blog as easily as they can view a large corporation's website, preventing phone and Internet companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from charging additional fees or making it very difficult to navigate and load the websites you want to see and read. Only the big payers would get the fast "broadband" lane. The best way to understand net neutrality is to take 5 minutes and watch this new video. If you want to continue to have a free and open Internet (the way it is right now) then you you owe it to yourself to understand the principles of Net Neutrality before these companies spend enough on lobbying Congress to take away our free and participatory aspect of the Internet. If they do that, they take away our voices too. The Internet is an incredible Democratic resource for every citizen. We can't let the Internet become this generation's TV and Radio—as citizens will lose our power. Take notice --watch the video.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Milenio is a national newspaper in Mexico. Who says Mexico is poor? Here's a rich ad campaign with a sense of humor. Good or Bad?

“A very complex world needs a good explanation.”

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Here's my avatar created at If you look on the blog's right column you will see more avatars. An avatar represents an internet user's online image in a digital form. AOL's instant messenger was the first to use these 'buddy icons.' Avatars have been used for some time in video games where the game user digitally alters the looks of their "character" in a similar fashion to traditional paper dolls. Starting with a basic template, avatars are created by interchanging face shape and features, hairstyles, physique, clothing and accessories. Create your own avatar or visit the 13 Most Beautiful Avatars exhibition, which captures the most visually dynamic and celebrated "stars" of Second Life. The Matteses have been living in the virtual world, Second Life, for over a year, exploring its terrain and interacting with its peculiar inhabitants. The result of their "video-game flanerie" is this series of portraits.

The 13 Most Beautiful Avatars images will be exhibited, in the real-world, at the Italian Academy in the Columbia University, New York. Nov. 30 - Dec. 19, 2006 at The Italian Academy, Columbia University (New York)

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Social Innovation Review Nonprofits and businesses are converging - in the value they create, the stakeholders they manage, the organizations they form, and the financial instruments they use. The era of convergence is upon us. Do you know how to take advantage of it?

The leaders of nonprofits and businesses would be wise to shift their current mind-set from one of “us and them” to one of “we.” This new mind-set thinks in terms of systems and focuses on interdependence, partners, and strategic allies. It embraces new organizational forms and views organizational boundaries as elastic and permeable. It takes advantage of the migration of talent across sectors and deepens its relationships with the full range of its stakeholders.

This new mind-set recognizes that it must not only produce both economic and social value, but also capture the synergies between the two. It seizes new instruments to integrate the financial and philanthropic capital markets. And it insists upon transparency and accountability, understanding that this will ultimately attract more talent, trust, and funding. Get Article

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Communication for Social Change Anthology

Published by Communication for Social Change Consortium, this groundbreaking book brings together a broad variety of views and features more than 150 key thinkers throughout the world.

After the Second World War, the strategic role of communication in development and social change became clear: The liberation movements of many former colonies, the growing number of non-governmental organisations and the rapid spread of mass media all demonstrated that the communication process is essential to advancing social change, combating poverty and giving people the power to improve their own lives.

Today, there is an urgent need to know: “Which ideas contributed to what we now understand communication for social change to be? Who were the communication experts who helped develop a new communication approach? What are the emerging issues and trends shaping communication for social change?”
Edited by leaders in the field, the Communication for Social Change Anthology contains the most important texts in this field.

The CFSC Consortium offers numerous resources on Communication for Social Change and are located in South Orange, New Jersey. Visit their website.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


On the Fast Track to Growth
Companies are still trying to figure out how to make advertising that viewers want to watch. Now television stations and advertisers are developing their own media divisions to create their own 'branded video content' and mobile webisodes. These companies need to figure out that TV style commercials embedded in video and on webpages are not going to work. New research shows that corporations are hot on interactive advertising, but they also need to recognize that they no longer have a captive audience. Content needs to be free, good, entertaining and relevant and then, maybe then they will sell their product. But is putting Burger King's "King" character in a feature length film the right way to go? We'll just watch and see if this campaign goes viral (word-of-mouth).

Nontheless, companies will keep spending the advertising dollars until they find the perfect formula. According to an eMarketer summary of an upcoming study release, spending on online video advertising will reach $410 million this year, 82% more than was spent in 2005. By 2010, Internet video advertising will be a $3 billion business, according to eMarketer's latest projections.


Stations Fail to Disclose Video News Releases
The Center for Media and Democracy's follow-up research indicates that viewers are still routinely deceived by fake TV news. From April through October 2006, CMD documented 46 stations in 22 states airing at least one of 33 different video news releases. (See "Methodology.") The total number of VNRs tracked for this study—109—represents just two percent of the estimated 5,000 VNRs offered to U.S. television newsrooms over a six-month period.

Eighty-nine percent of the VNR broadcasts documented—48 of the 54 examples in this report—included no disclosure whatsoever of the nature or source of the sponsored video. The six remaining VNR broadcasts exhibited different approaches to disclosure. However, none approached the level recommended by CMD: continuous on-screen notification of the client that funded the VNR. Read more Go to PRWATCH

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


87% of respondents believe that it’s important for companies to support causes and charities.

Today’s consumer may or may not be aware of the methods companies use to gain their attention and loyalty. When brands align with causes, the battle for trust has only just begun. One has to wonder about the transparency of it all. People surveyed in PR Week's Cause Survey 2006 mentioned companies who made a difference, but do they mention them solely based on the companies' communications and media campaigns?

The following example shows the good in cause marketing. But buyer and nonprofit beware. Get out your critical thinking skills before embarking on cause marketing relationships. Get PR Week's Study to understand what companies, nonprofits and individuals are thinking and acting upon. Be sure to do your homework when considering a cause marketing relationship.

~Every October for the past 13 years, shoppers at Marshalls department stores have played a role in ending domestic violence, just by filling their carts with clothing, shoes, and household goods. On the day Marshalls hosts its annual “Shop ’Til It Stops” benefit, the retailer donates 1% of all sales from its 700 stores to the San Francisco based Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF), providing support to the FVPF’s efforts to prevent domestic violence and help victims nationwide. This year, not only did Shop ’Til It Stops Day generate more than $300,000 to fund public education and training programs, but it also raised awareness among hundreds of thousands of shoppers about the issue of domestic violence against women and children.~

Top Companies Mentioned by Respondents:
Avon 3
Newman’s Own

Friday, November 10, 2006


Net Neutrality Resurgence
COANEWS is involved in the production and distribution of a new highly charged video alerting people to an upcoming “lame duck” congressional push to remove the all important Net Neutrality. If you not familiar with the issue you can learn more here: (

The basic idea is that big Internet providers want to be able to turn the Internet into more of a cable system where they control what content you get at what speeds. Now that the elections are over un-elected congressmen can pass unpopular bills (like those removing net neutrality) before they leave office. It’s called a “lame duck” session — what's "Lame Duck"

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


What a great movie! I saw only a 30 sec commercial on TV, but somehow it resonated with me and I saw it with 5 friends. The subject matter is intense —a precocious, only child with a narcistic mother and alcoholic father is adopted by the family's shrink. Clearly over the top, a chaotic story unravels, sometimes hilarous, and sometimes taboo. It's the memoir of Augusten Burroughs, who is also in the process of writing a series for SHOWTIME. The book Running with Scissors has been on the New York Times best seller list for over 2 and half years and was adapted and directed for film by Ryan Murphy, creator of Nip/Tuck fame. Great acting from Annette Bening, Alec Baldwin, Brian Cox, Joeseph Fiennes and Gweneth Paltrow. This movie is a must see!

Check out this book too: Possible Side Effect
s "Unflinchingly, he gouges himself (literally and figuratively), bleeds, gets it on paper - often without a neat resolution or the genre's obligatory epiphany - and then makes you laugh. Now that's genius." - The New York Times Book Review

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Political-advertising spending has zoomed past projections and is headed toward a stratospheric $2 billion-plus this year, some 17.6% more than 2004.
~Source ADAGE~

A familiar excuse for negative advertising is that "everybody does it." Newspaper stories about attack commercials usually include a sampling of harsh Democratic spots in an effort to appear evenhanded. But there's really no comparison between what the two parties and their respective surrogates are doing. According to, a respected site that reviews the accuracy of various ads, "the National Republican Campaign Committee's work stands out this year for the sheer volume of assaults on the personal character of Democratic House challengers."

Negative Democratic ads tie Republican candidates to President Bush, and to the Iraq war, or accuse them of being in the tank for the oil or pharmaceutical industries. But Democratic ads do not charge that their opponents "prey on our children"—even though one recently resigned following accusations that he did precisely that. One can only imagine the ads Republicans would have made this year if Mark Foley had happened to be a Democrat. Spreading hatred and poisonous lies about one's opponent has become an ordinary and almost accepted part of running for office. Go to SLATE story

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Free Download of the Day offers music fans a free MP3, which is compatible with a range of MP3 players including all iPod models, from an emerging or established artist each day of the year.

"Napster's Free Download of the Day will feature the best up-and-coming bands and a few surprises from some big stars," said Matthew Adell, vice president of music services for Napster. "We believe a new, free MP3 each day will be exciting for music fans and will prove to be a great way to create awareness for artists and value for marketers, who can work with Napster to associate their brands with this great music."


This Halloween, Verizon Wireless customers can personalize their wireless phones with "spooktacular" ring tones and Ringback Tones. Customers with Get It Now(R)-enabled handsets can select tunes from classic Halloween horror films and songs right on their wireless phones. Some available tones are:
* Tubular Bells (Theme from The Exorcist)
* Werewolves of London (Warren Zevon)
* Bewitched (Theme)
* Time Warp (The Rocky Horror Show)
* Halloween (Siouxsie And The Banshees)
* The Storm (Theme from Bram Stoker's Dracula)
* Science Fiction Double Feature (The Rocky Horror Show)
* Thriller (Michael Jackson)


The top five most-searched candy treats this Halloween season on the Lycos search engine are:
1. Dots
2. Snickers Bars
3. Hershey's Chocolate
4. Licorice Sticks
5. Nerds


In 2000 and 2004, problems plagued the polls in different parts of the country: long lines, eligible voters turned away, voter intimidation, misallocation and malfunctioning of voting equipment. They were underreported on Election Day. Days and weeks later, a more complete picture of voter disenfranchisement emerged—but it was too late. The elections were over and the media had moved on. Starting this election, citizen journalists—people like you and I—will document problems as they occur. We'll play them online, spread word through blogs and partner websites, doing our part to make sure the full story of our elections is told.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


This romantic comedy directed by Norman Jewison, written by Carl Reiner and Larry Gelbert, starring Doris Day and James Garner takes us into the farcical world of television and advertising in the early 60's. Happily married Beverly Boyer is the ultimate affluent housewife, but her life is about to change dramatically when her obstetrician husband takes her to a dinner party where she meets the president of a soap company. Beverly charms him with her simple family story and is asked to become the TV pitchwoman for his product. After the ads air, Beverly becomes a celebrity and is stopped everywhere she goes to the chagrin of her husband. This movie is humorous in illustrating the classic problems surrounding marriage, raising a family while working, and gender roles. The acting is first-rate and there's product placement aplenty by Palmolive! Very current issues!

Friday, October 27, 2006


This year, victory will come down to voter turnout. We've found the Democratic-leaning people who often don't vote in mid-term elections like this one.
If we can just get these “unlikely voters” to vote, they'll provide a winning margin in a whole bunch of races.

Over 30 races are in a dead heat – margins of a few thousand or few hundred votes. We’ve tested these calls, and we know they work – the people we talk to are much more likely to turn out. Your calls could tip the balance – but we're in a daily struggle to make sure we're reaching more voters than the Republicans’ infamous turnout program. Can you help?

Thursday, October 26, 2006


I have to confess, I like Wikipedia. I think everyone probably knows what Wikipedia is— but just in case—Wikipedia is an online encylopedia that anyone can enter facts and figures or create an article. Or as their tagline succinctly states, " the free enclopedia that anyone can edit." Many articles are written by several people. Once I went to Wikipedia to look up some really silly subject that I can't even recall now, but what astonished me was that it was incorrect. Perhaps what bothered me even more was my naivete, it wasn't apparent to me at the time that anyone could add any type of information. And I thought I was savvy! If anyone can edit it, there's bound to be errors and incorrect information. But the cool thing is anyone can dispute the information and correct it. I still go to Wikipedia, but now I double check my facts elsewhere—always a good idea. An interesting article was just published in the Chronicle of Higher Education entitled Can Wikipedia Ever Make the Grade? Turns out some high profile studies show that the site does a pretty decent job at getting the facts straight. Especially when the subject is science. Last year the journal Nature found in a study of factual accuracy that Britannica averaged three errors and Wikipedia averaged four on the same subject. Britannica rebutted the study stating that it was loaded with errors. "Well isn't that special!" Healthy competition for encyclopedias is a good thing. They can only get better from here. Here's one example of why Wikipedia is good source, compare Britannica's description of podcasting and Wikipedia's description of podcasting. Which is more useful?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


A New Yorker magazine cover depicting President Bush being flooded in the Oval Office after Hurricane Katrina has been chosen by a panel of the nation’s magazine editors and designers as the best cover of the year. The illustration shows the waters rising around Mr. Bush and his top appointees as the flood from New Orleans engulfs the White House, which was criticized for failing to respond promptly and fully to the disaster. Read Story


THE WORLD ACCORDING TO SESAME STREET In Bangladesh, Sesame Workshop worked with local producers, artists and experts to create Sisimpur, an all-inclusive neighborhood that was neither rural nor urban, rich nor poor; a place where Hindus, Muslims and Christians could live together in harmony regardless of education or gender. In creating Ikri’s World, the team found a way for traditional puppets to exist side-by-side with Western-styled Muppets, and community gathering places such as the banyan tree, tea and sweet shops established cultural icons, making the television program Sisimpur truly Bangladeshi. Check viewing schedule.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


by Hillary Roberts, Voices of Hope Contributor, Founder, Project Linus NJ, Inc.

In the small fishing village of Keyport, New Jersey residents are banding together to help fix playgrounds and parks in disrepair. A grassroots effort calling themselves, "Open Hearts for Keyport Parks" has taken on the renovation project. The volunteers are banding together with local rocker, Jon Caspi, on the first fundraiser - a benefit concert.

Last year, Jon Caspi helped put Keyport on the map with the release of his CD entitled "This Town." This time around, the man who many residents jokingly refer to as "Keyport's next mayor" and who recently had a sandwich named after him by a diner in town, will celebrate the release of his latest CD, "I'm Not Angry... Anymore" and give the proceeds from the show to "Open Hearts for Keyport Parks". Read Story

Monday, October 23, 2006


60 Minutes showed an interesting piece on Darfur and recently Barack Obama was on Oprah speaking about the genocide as well. Here is Save Darfur's lastest advertising campaign "How will history judge us?"

How will history judge us? If they are killed. If he is starved. If she is raped... again. Genocide is ravaging Darfur. 400,000 dead. 2.5 million displaced. Saving Darfur will take immediate action by strong UN peacekeeping. And that will take leadership from President Bush. President Bush stop the genocide now.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Princeton University's Cornel West, rapper Talib Kweli, and U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters of California join a panel of hip-hop artists and academics to explore the role of hip-hop in America. Listen to the Hip Hop Symposium held on the Princeton Campus.

Panelists Include:
- Jeffery Johnson, Black Entertainment Television (BET)
- Rosa Clemente, hip-hop journalist, activist and community organizer
- Bakari Kitwana, author, freelance journalist, former editor-in-chief of The Source Magazine and co-founder of the first National Hip-Hop Political Convention
- Talib Kweli, hip-hop artist
- Cornel West, Princeton University Professor of Religion
- U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, Democratic representative of California's 35th District
- Maria McMath, Princeton University PhD candidate in anthropology

VOICES SELECT | Cool NonProfit |

CityKids |

CITYKIDS REPRESENTS A SAFE HAVEN FOR YOUTH. Recently I attended a few workshops at the Center 4 Arts Conference and they were terrific. One workshop was given by Taina McField, a young woman who participated in a program with CityKids when she was a teen. CityKids develops experiential exercises and one that we participated in was an assumption exercise. We worked in groups of 3-4 and were handed (3) 5 x 7 photocopied portraits of different types of people, ie: a policeman, a transvestite, a man with makeup on, etc. Simultaneously we were given a sheet of paper that held 2 statements: "People assume I am" and "just because..." As a group we had to fill in the blanks making judgments about our pictures. Although people in the workshop wanted to be politically correct, it was virtually impossible. We were fortunate to see a brief snapshot of what one City Kids group created for their own project. They went out on the street and asked to take ordinary people's photo and then had them fill in the assumption statements about themselves. The participants were shown with their photos and assumptions in a gallery show open to the public. What a great project! CityKids is available to hold a workshop in your community or school. Contact them.
Did you know that there are global youth culture marketing intelligence companies offering street credible data? These companies measure trends and mainstream subcultures. Sometimes we don't realize, or we forget that these type of companies exist and are selling information to the media, entertainment companies and retailers. One such company is Label Networks. But their research is interesting. The Fall Report '06 clearly indicate that the youth culture are empowered through personal communication and a 'lifetime' of technology resulting in greater consumer control, which is influencing trends in fashion, sports, music, entertainment, advertising, marketing, and lifestyle choices.

Their recent youth consumer study revealed:

70.5% of 13-30-year-olds believe that MySpace is an internet fad

Top electronic devices you cannot live without�
27.7% Cell Phone
27% Computer
23.2% iPod

Skateboarding is the top sport females 13-24-years-old want to learn the most. Percentages age higher than males for 3rd year in a row.

Top Future Concerns: Relationships, Happiness, Work; Terrorism dropped most because as young people explained, We just live with it--Terrorism is always there and we're used to it�

42.4% say they communicate mostly through IM Average # of Texts Per Day, IM, SMS = 11

Another study by Universal McCann, a 13 billion dollar advertising agency with over 3000 employees in 100 countries, 'The New Digital Divide' concludes that consumers are increasingly relying on non-traditional platforms for entertainment, news, social interactions, shopping, and other daily activities.

Research they collected showed:

Yahoo, AOL and MSN Messenger are among the top Internet services in terms of awareness and use by ages16-3 and

Nearly 40% of the 16-34 group have met someone face to face after meeting on the Internet. Get Report

JibJab's at it again. They sure are a smart pair of guys. This viral video company known for it's scathing political lampooning and viewpoints are now creating a comedy series, sponsored by Verizon for the web and cell phones. One of the best known JibJab projects was "This Land is Your Land," with President Bush and Democratic candidate John Kerry. They have jokes and silly things on their website now, but I'd love to see more of the old satirizing.

VOICES SELECT |Website| COA News | is a non-profit online news network featuring diverse, credible independent news and current affairs. COA News can best be described as the portal to independent news media.

VOICES SELECT |Film | Black Gold | Multinational coffee companies now rule our shopping malls and supermarkets and dominate the industry worth over $80 billion, making coffee the most valuable trading commodity in the world after oil. But while we continue to pay for our lattes and cappuccinos, the price paid to coffee farmers remains so low that many have been forced to abandon their coffee fields.

Nowhere is this paradox more evident than in Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee. Tadesse Meskela is one man on a mission to save his 74,000 struggling coffee farmers from bankruptcy. As his farmers strive to harvest some of the highest quality coffee beans on the international market, Tadesse travels the world in an attempt to find buyers willing to pay a fair price.

Against the backdrop of Tadesse's journey to London and Seattle, the enormous power of the multinational players that dominate the world's coffee trade becomes apparent. New York commodity traders, the international coffee exchanges, and the double dealings of trade ministers at the World Trade Organisation reveal the many challenges Tadesse faces in his quest for a long term solution for his farmers. Watch Trailer

| Good Magazine | Founder, Ben Goldhirsh sees a growing number of people tied together not by age, career, background, or circumstance, but by a shared interest. This revolves around a passion for potential mixed with fierce pragmatism and creative engagement. We sum all this up as the sensibility of giving a damn. But to shorten it, he's calling it GOOD. For while so much of today's media is taking up our space, dumbing us down, and impeding our productivity, GOOD exists to add value.