by Dan Leahul, Brand Republic
Social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo, are seeing huge boosts in traffic thanks to mobile phones, with average users checking their profiles more than eight times a day, says new research.
Mobile phone network Orange said 640,000 of its customers are accessing social networking sites through their mobile phones, accounting for 166m page impressions every month.
Individual users will check or update social networking sites a total of 260 times per month, an average of eight times per day.
Phones using the 3G broadband network have also seen larges gains since July, said Orange, with 1.3m 3G customers added, an increase of 86%.
An estimated 2.9m Orange customers are now under the 3G network.
Paul Jevons, director of products, portals and services for Orange, said: "The popularity of mobile internet continues to rise and our customers now use the service as part of day-to-day life.
"Daily repeat customers are up 12% since the last report -- in part this is due to the rise in social networking as customers regularly update their online statues and log-on to stay up to speed on friends' news and gossip."
Since July, Orange customers using social networking on their mobiles have increased by 40% and monthly page views by over 57%.
Jevons said: "This latest report reflects a transition in mobile similar to what is taking place on the web -- mobile is no longer simply a channel for brands to deliver packaged content in a manner of their choosing.
"Instead the mobile phone has become a truly interactive channel that fosters the formation of communities through social networking sites such as Facebook and Bebo."
23 December, 2008
by Dan Leahul, Brand Republic
22 December, 2008
Thousands of people will use the Queen's speech on Christmas day as the signal to begin their online sales shopping activity, a new survey is predicting.
The research, compiled by Transaction Partnership, suggests that at 3pm on Christmas day, people will begin searching for bargains.
Last year, Christmas day was one of the biggest shopping days, and this year it is predicted that over 5.2m people will go online, according to online retail trade group IMRG -- more than will attend church.
Transaction is advising retailers of the likely spike in traffic at 3pm, so that they can be prepared.
Retailers beginning their sales on Christmas day including Marks & Spencer, Comet, Argos, Halfords and John Lewis.
Richard Blanchard, one of Transaction's founders, said: "More retail sales started on Christmas Day 2007 than ever before and retailers caught out last time won't let it happen again.
"Some sales this year are even starting on Christmas Eve but the majority of people are still putting the final touches to their plans for the following day."
The Queen's speech was watched by a combined audience of around 8m last year, compared with 28m in 1987.
19 December, 2008
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is to launch a series of viral films featuring animated enactments of real-life incidents of hatred from 1930s Nazi Germany to the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence.
The provocative 12 minute viral film, produced by creative network Knifedge, is part of the charity's 'Stand up to Hatred' campaign, which aims to highlight communities affected by 1930s/40s Nazi and contemporary hatred.
The animated film is presented as scenes from a simulated computer game called 'The Hate Game' and it will be supplied to teachers, youth and community workers, and local organisers.
The films are also being distributed to over a thousand organisers on DVD free of charge, with guidance notes.
The Stephen Lawrence film puts viewers in the shoes of the teenager as he is fatally attacked waiting for a bus with his friend.
The film was created with the full blessing of Stephen's mother, Doreen Lawrence OBE, who concludes the film with a direct appeal to camera as she says "This isn't a game."
The contemporary stories are preceded by two scenes from the Holocaust and Nazi persecution.
One of these depicts Kristallnacht, or the 'Night of Broken Glass' when thousands of Synagogues and Jewish homes and businesses were destroyed and 30,000 Jewish men arrested and deported to concentration camps on November 9–10, 1938 as part of Hitler's anti-Semitic policy.
On a single night, 91 Jews were murdered and the arrested and deported to concentration camps. It is often called 'Novemberpogrom' or 'Reichspogromnacht' in German.
Holocaust Memorial Day Whole Film from Knifedge on Vimeo.
The other is the moving story of Robert Wagemann, disabled and a Jehovah's Witness, who was seven years old when his mother overhead doctors discussing their intention to "put him to sleep".
She managed to rescue him from one of many Nazi euthanasia clinics, which put to death over 200,000 disabled men, women and children during Hitler's reign over Nazi Germany.
Together they fled and the film concludes with a specially recorded voice-over testimony from Wagemann himself, now 71 and living in America.
Another of the segments includes a thought-provoking incident of Islamaphobia, depicting a disturbing incident of exclusion, of a mother wearing a veil from a parents' evening in a northern primary school.
Anjum Anwar MBE, Dialogue Development Officer of Blackburn Cathedral, herself wearing a hijab, concludes with an inclusive Holocaust Memorial Day message from a Muslim perspective.
The final episode depicts a recent incident of anti-Semitism directed at a school girl, Gabriella Soffer, on Golders Green High Street. An elderly lady, whose husband fought in World War Two, intervenes. Gabriella's message reminds us how the contemporary concerns link to the past.
Jack Gilbert, a trustee from the charity, said: "The issues addressed in these films are occurring every day across the UK and it is vitally important we begin to recognise the dangers that unchecked hatred presents to us.
"Everyday people in the UK stereotype, discriminate, exclude, bully, persecute and attack -- because of race, religion, disability or sexuality."
Dan Leahul, Brand Republic
WWF-UK is re-introducing itself to DRTV after a three-year hiatus, with a campaign promoting its adopt a polar bear scheme.
Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw was briefed by WWF to create a DRTV campaign and landing page to encourage the uptake of polar bear adoption.
The campaign targets existing and prospective WWF supporters with an interest in animals and the environment.
Breaking December 22, the 60-second ads will run on satellite and digital channels such as ITV2, Nickelodeon, UKTV Documentary, Dave, Watch, E4, CITV and Boomerang, plus terrestrial channels ITV Grampian and Channel 4.
The creative approach for the campaign aims to highlight the struggle for survival of polar bears in the wild.
The winter activity specifically focuses on encouraging new supporters to adopt a polar bear and features the message: "Are you ready to say goodbye?"
Respondents are encouraged to visit the Adopt A Polar Bear website, or call WWF.
Marc Nohr, managing partner at Kitcatt Nohr, said: "We're delighted that WWF is investing more in DRTV again as we believe there's vast scope for WWF to raise its profile and capture the interest of fresh audiences."
18 December, 2008
The Internet has opened up new opportunities for many older people to enjoy life and beat isolation, according to a charity.
It also allows them the opportunity to make decisions for themselves and to take time in selecting alternatives when booking and shopping online, Age Concern says.
According to independent online travel agent sunshine.co.uk, 62 per cent of all holidays reservations made by OAPs are booked online.
Monica Evans, spokesperson for Age Concern, said the benefits of booking and shopping online are particularly relevant to those with restricted access to transport and limited mobility.
"Using chat rooms and email they can connect with others and exchange ideas and encouragement. Many older users say the internet has changed their lives for the better," she added.
According to a study by the University of California, for computer-savvy middle-aged and older adults, searching the Internet triggers key centres in the brain that control decision-making and complex reasoning.
16 December, 2008
TalkByText Home Edition – software developed by charity RNID – is set to revolutionise the way people communicate with friends and loved ones by providing real-time text conversation.
The software was developed by the UK’s largest hearing health charity to overcome problems previously encountered with communication solutions for deaf and hard of hearing people and has a diverse range of applications from keeping in touch with friends and family abroad to those who do not have access to a phone.
RNID’s new TalkByText Home Edition software offers users character-by-character real-time text, essential for proper conversation and for people with a hearing loss making calls via a text relay service to hearing people’s voice phones.
TalkByText is a software-only solution that can be installed on home PCs, allowing quick and easy conversation with other PCs, textphone users, or voice phones without the need for any additional, costly equipment.
Guido Gybels, Director of Technology at RNID said: "Few things are more important to us than the ability to communicate. While the rest of society has moved on and uses modern telephone technology such as mobile phones and the Internet, deaf people have been overlooked as mainstream markets have failed to modernise textphone technology.
"TalkByText Home Edition is a massive leap forwards - exploiting state of the art Internet technology to make a real difference to real people’s ability to communicate effectively any time, any place. It gives deaf and hearing people a simple to use, modern solution that allows them to communicate with anyone else over the telephone, providing a user friendly, unique way to stay in touch."
TalkByText Home Edition can be bought and downloaded online at www.ictrnid.org.uk/tbthe.html
15 December, 2008
The Wave 105 Cash for Kids Charity Auction invited radio listeners to bid on a variety of items, ranging from electronic gadgets to holidays, by calling an 03 number donated by Windsor Telecom.
Mike Ayling from Wave 105 said: “Our 03 number meant that our listeners who wanted to support the charity could call us for the same price as calling a normal landline – even from a mobile phone. It also meant that we could deal with lots more callers as we also had a system that automatically diverted calls to other members of staff if phone lines were busy.”
62% of the calls Wave 105 received to its auction line on December 4th were from mobile phones.
Neil Sherring, chief executive of Windsor Telecom said: “We were delighted to help Wave 105 with their charity auction. After working closely with them it became obvious that an 03 number would be the ideal solution for the station which receives a large proportion of its calls from mobile phone users. This reflects the latest research from the communications regulator, Ofcom which states that 40% of all UK calls made in 2007 were from mobile phones.”
03 numbers are becoming increasingly popular with many organisations. Children in Need adopted an 03 number for its main donation line this year and the BBC, Metropolitan Police, Pioneer and Oxfam are now using the new numbers – which have been dubbed ‘caller friendly’ by Ofcom.
Three charities will each receive 10% of the money raised by Wave 105’s Cash for Kids Auction including:
• The Teenage Cancer Trust in Southampton
• The Elizabeth Foundation in Portsmouth
• The Round Table Children’s Wish in Bournemouth
The rest of the funds will provide grants to children and other charities across the south.
12 December, 2008
More than 10m internet users are browsing with Google's Chrome the company claimed today, as it released a new version of the web browser.
Launched just 100 days ago, Google said the most common bugs for its web browser had been addressed and with its 15th update to the browser, which until now had only been available as a beta version.
The company has a history of keeping beta labels on its products, such as Gmail, which has been in beta mode for the past four years.
The tag is used when products are still being tested as bugs and other technical issues are worked out.
On the Google blog, the company said the browser is 1.5 times faster than it was when initially launched, and is now being used by 10m across in over 200 countries.
After taking user feedback, Google improved Chrome's audio and video performance, bookmark features and privacy controls.
The company is currently working on developing some more common browser features, such as form autofill and RSS support.
Chrome is currently not available for Mac or Linux operating systems, something Google claimed it is developing for the very near future.
After 100 days in beta form, Chrome has taken a healthy user share of the web browser market, just under 1%, according to internet statistics firm Net Applications.
However, the market is still dominated by Microsoft's Internet Explorer, which is used by more than 70% of web users.
With the introduction of other browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox and Apple's Safari, Internet Explorer's market share has been steadily dropping after hitting its peak in 2004 with over 90%.
One fifth of internet users now browse with Firefox, and 7% use Safari.
11 December, 2008
Targeted and dynamic email marketing messaging is on the increase, with 23 per cent more messages sent last month compared with October, according to new figures. Research from Global IntelliSystems shows companies are making their direct digital marketing strategies more efficient during the current economic climate by using easily monitorable email campaigns.
Michele Shubin, director of technical services at the firm, said: "The slowdown in the economy has definitely energised the creative side of email marketing."
The email message has a very short shelf life when it is received, so it´s critical that recipients are quickly energised when they open that message."
Some seven out of ten businesses claim email is the best way to engage with customers, according to research carried out by cScape.
The company´s Online Customer Engagement Survey Report 2008 showed 60 per cent of firms are planning to increase investment in email marketing over the next year.
An Indian lawyer has called for Google Earth to be banned, claiming that the online satellite imaging tool was used in planning the deadly Mumbai terror attacks last month.
Amit Karkhanis, who filed a petition in the Mumbai High Court, argues that Google Earth and similar services "aid terrorists in plotting attacks".
The petition, which is backed by India's federal defence and science and technology ministries, is demanding Google Earth remove satellite images of India, or at the very least, blur images of sensitive places in the country, such as Indian nuclear plants and defence establishments.
Karkhanis said: "Even though it is not a detailed mapping, it gives a fair idea to terrorists."
This is not the first time that India has expressed concern over Google Earth.
Three years ago former Indian president Abdul Kalam expressed concerns that unrestricted images on Google Earth of sensitive locations in India could provide terrorists with sufficient knowledge to launch an attack.
Investigators into last month's Mumbai terror attack, which killed 171 people, claim that the gunmen used Google Earth to memorise images of their targets and plan their assault.
A Google spokesman told the Daily Telegraph that Google is always willing to discuss relevant issues with public agencies and officials, but he also sought to emphasise the "vital purpose" that Google Earth serves. He cited how it was used as a force for good by emergency services.
He said: "Google strongly condemns acts of terrorism and violence. We stand by the citizens of India and the city of Mumbai as they recover from the attacks.
"Tools such as Google Earth are built from information that is already available from both commercial and public sources, and it is important to remember that the same information is available to anyone who purchases imagery from those public sources.
"Google's freely-available technology has been used for vital purposes ranging from fighting forest fires to emergency response, rescue, and relief in natural disasters.
"In India, Google Earth has been used for flood relief in Gujarat, Tsunami relief and rehabilitation in southern India and earthquake relief in Kashmir.
"We believe that the benefits of access to tools such as Google Earth for such valuable purposes far outweigh any negatives from potential misuse."
The petition is likely to come up for hearing on December 18.
10 December, 2008
The RSPCA has teamed up with YouTube animator Simon Torfield, famed for his 'Simon's Cat' films, to boost awareness of pet obesity.
The viral video is part of the RSPCA's ‘Give animals a voice' campaign, intended to secure political or behavioural change on a range of issues affecting animals.
The animation, entitled ‘Fed up', focuses on the effects of pet obesity, especially in the run-up to Christmas. It can be viewed at www.giveanimalsavoice.org.uk as well as on YouTube.
The viral features a new character, Simon's sister's dog. The pet is seen hiding under the dinner table begging for titbits. Everyone gives him a treat, unaware that they're all doing the same thing. The dog eats everything and eventually becomes unable to move.
One in three pets is overweight, according to vets, and the RSPCA aims to raise awareness of the effect it has on animal welfare. Obese pets can suffer a reduced quality of life and arthritis as well as internal illnesses such as diabetes, liver disease and heart disease.
09 December, 2008
An internet watchdog in the UK has taken the unprecedented step of banning users in Britain from accessing a Wikipedia web page, which contains an album cover featuring an image of a young nude girl.
The IWF, which is an EU-funded non-governmental body, banned the Wikipedia entry for 'Virgin Killer', the 1976 album by German heavy metal band the Scorpions.
The girl in the image, who is now in her 30s, is completely nude apart from a cracked glass effect that conceals her genital area. The image is featured at the foot of this story, so do not read on if you are easily offended.
As a result numerous ISPs in the UK, which used the IWF's page of blacklisted sites, have banned their customers from accessing the image.
The image is still available to some UK internet users as the Wikipedia page accessed via Google is stored in the search engine's cache, which is where Brand Republic found it this morning.
As a result of the block on the page, UK users have not only been prevented from viewing the page, but also from editing any articles on Wikipedia.
The album image has been around from more than 30 years and has never previously been red carded or linked to child pornography. Critics of the ban say that it has been imposed merely because some find it distasteful and banning it online does not stop it being viewed in books, in public libraries or in record stores.
In a statement the IWF said: "A Wikipedia web page was reported through the IWF's online reporting mechanism in December 2008. As with all child sexual abuse reports received by our hotline analysts, the image was assessed according to the UK sentencing guidelines council. The content was considered to be a potentially illegal indecent image of a child under the age of 18, but hosted outside the UK."
"The specific URL was then added to the list provided to ISPs and other companies in the online sector to protect their customers from inadvertent exposure to a potentially illegal indecent image of a child.
At one stage the IWF was also said to be considering a wider ban of the album on Amazon, which also stocks it.
However, the album is no longer available online while Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk simply features a picture of the hairy German rockers instead of the girl.
If the IWF were to ban Amazon from being accessed by UK users it could have a disastrous affect on the online retailer and its British customers.
Critics of the IWF have accused it of acting as a self-appointed moral guardian that has overstepped its boundaries by making calls that it has no right to.
The ban also raises the issue of how far back can this kind of censorship go? If an image from 1976 is banned, will others also fall victim to moral watchdogs and overzealous groups and individuals.
08 December, 2008
PeopleBrowsr is a new service that can show you all your activity streams from various social sites and nanoblogs, like Twitter and Friendfeed. It also adds additional features to Twitter, such as grouping your contacts. It solves some real problems, but I found it clunky to use.
Users of the AIR app TweetDeck will get PeopleBrowsr immediately. Like TweetDeck, PeopleBrowsr lets you open up multiple Twitter streams at once. You can see, for example, the Twitter stream from your friends, the stream of people replying to you, the stream from a continuously running search. PeopleBrowser displays three streams side-by-side. If you add more you have to scroll horizontally to see them, no matter how wide your monitor is.
PeopleBrowsr isn't limited to Twitter. You can also set up streams from Friendfeed, YouTube, Flickr, Seesmic, LinkedIn, and other services. You can have as many running as you like. PeopleBrowsr also lets you merge feeds together, so you can see, for example, all the activity in your YouTube and Flickr accounts in one single feed.
The service also lets you see PeopleBrowsr-specific profiles of the people in your streams. If you click on a name you can see everything the person wrote, as well as related links (which I assume the service picks up from reading their activity streams). You can tag people, and you're supposed to be able to create groups. But I could not find a way to sort contacts by tag nor a way to add people to groups.
The service is extremely rough right now. It's hard to use, slow, and its features are obscured under too many different non-standard interface elements (horizontally scrolling navigation menus? Come on). I generally will forgive a service a lack of refinement if its developers say it's still in alpha testing, as is the case for PeopleBrowsr. But I got the feeling, after talking to CEO Jodee Rich, that PeopleBrowsr fairly represents his design philosophy and aesthetic, and that we won't be seeing too many changes in the layout. I believe he's trying to cram too much of his vision into one browser window, and that an AIR app might be a better delivery mechanism. Rich clearly told me has a "no download" philosophy, though.
Web giants unveil new features to promote the social web
Facebook and Google have both launched new user-ID services that let users take their existing log-ins and deploy them across a number of sites.
Google's Friend Connect, out now in beta, is pitched at webmasters who want to add social networking tools to their web sites. The search giant said in a blog posting that this is as simple as "cutting and pasting a bit of code", and requires no advanced coding or technical ability.
Friend Connect is also designed to be account-agnostic, letting users log in with an existing account from Google, Yahoo, AOL or OpenID, and other online sites including Plaxo and Google's Orkut.
"The goal is to facilitate an open social web," said Google product manager Mussie Shore in the blog post. "Using open standards like OpenID and OAuth, Friend Connect makes it simple for people to instantly interact with one another on the sites that they already love to visit. Additionally, web sites that use Friend Connect become OpenSocial containers capable of running applications created by the OpenSocial developer community."
Facebook Connect, meanwhile, which was announced this Summer, has also been updated, according to a blog posting on its web site. However, as might be expected with a social networking site, Facebook is asking its users to create momentum.
As with Google's service, Facebook Connect users can access different web sites using one log-in, meaning that they will not have to create new accounts as they move around the internet. The system will let users take their Facebook experience across a number of sites, creating links between them and essentially adding Web 2.0 features.
"For example, you can use Facebook Connect with the reviews web site Citysearch. You can easily log in using your Facebook account, and from there you'll be able to interact with all of your Facebook friends. They'll be able to see some of the same profile information they can see on Facebook, which is fully controlled by your privacy settings," wrote Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg in the blog post.
"When you write a review for a restaurant, you'll have the option to publish that story back to Facebook where your friends can see it too. This makes finding your friends' reviews on Citysearch a snap. With Facebook Connect, it will be easier for you to share and connect with your friends across the web."
Zuckerberg claimed that Facebook will add sites to the service where there is user demand, and asked subscribers to get in contact with the firms in question to request a connection.
05 December, 2008
Nearly 70 per cent of companies use email marketing as the most powerful way to engage with their customers, according to a new report.
Seven out of ten businesses believe that email newsletters have resulted in improvement in customer engagement, the Online Customer Engagement Survey report by E-consultancy/cScape shows.
Nearly 60 per cent of respondents said their organisations will increase spend in email marketing over the next 12 months.
The study reveals that the success of email marketing as a customer engagement tool is due its personalisation, integration with other channels, such as direct mail and call centre, website strategies and relevancy through behavioural targeting. In addition, using accurate tracking means a better effectiveness and return-on-investment for each campaign.
Adestra client strategy consultant Hollie Williams says: “Despite the growth of social media networks, blogging, video and microsites, this report clearly shows the best way to really engage with your customers is via email marketing. Timely, relevant and targeted newsletters help build long term loyalty as part of your online strategy.”
E-consultancy head of research Linus Gregoriadis adds: “Done properly, email marketing is a proven way of boosting customer loyalty and getting a tangible return on investment. Our research shows that email newsletters stand head and shoulders above other tactics as the most effective and tangible way of driving online engagement.”
04 December, 2008
MySpace has launched a new service that will allow users to view video content from video-enabled mobile devices.
MySpace claims to be the first social network to launch video streaming for mobile.
The new service has been launched in test format with RipCode, which specialises in mobile video inifrastructure solutions.
Users will be able to view all the videos they have uploaded or marked as a favourite.
MySpace’s mobile site, m.myspace.com, claims to receive approximately three billion worldwide page views per month and more than 10 million monthly unique users.
John Faith, vice-president and general manager of Mobile for MySpace, said: Video is a natural next step for us in mobile. MySpace will continue to grow our video library as we increase delivery channels, in order to keep pace with our users’ accelerating desire for video consumption.
03 December, 2008
The Big Give was twice forced to shut down its £1m match fund offer because its website was unable to cope with demand. Big Give’s site was so overwhelmed by demand for its pound-for-pound match funding offer, it crashed just 18 minutes after launching on Monday morning - by which time £600,000 had already been donated.
The site became active again at 10am on Tuesday but was disabled again almost immediately. It restarted at midday, and it took charities just 27 minutes to empty the pot.
Donations poured in at a rate of £44,000 per minute and the average gift was was more than £1,400. Big Give spokeswoman Hanna Lewis told Professional Fundraising that the site had not anticipated that so many people would be “excited" and generous”.
She said: “It was scary for us at this end because we had so much going on, but it’s really exciting to think that there’s still that many people who are excited to give,” she said. Speaking to PF last week, Lewis said that Big Give staff had originally expected that the fund may last months.
Jon Brooks, managing director of the organisation said: "To have all this donated in minutes is incredible."
RSS stands for really simple syndication and refers to web feed formats used to publish content such as blog entries, news headlines, audio and video. It's the web version of the tickertape news that was sent out for syndication across the wires, and it can be as simple as embedding a YouTube video on your site.
First, you need to select your RSS feeds - websites that make information available via RSS. These feeds might be news, weather, sports results, blogs, even book lists - whatever the site owners have made available via RSS to other web users. If you look at the BBC, each news page offers an RSS feed, meaning you can take the feed of news articles and add it to your site. Subscription to RSS feeds is normally free, although high-value content may come at a cost.
You will need an RSS reader - a piece of software that takes the RSS and produces code for your website. Sometimes these readers are provided by the websites that offer the feed. Other RSS providers, such as the BBC, don't provide them and suggest you use one of the free ones available.
Finally, there is the code produced by the RSS reader, which you add to your website. Many readers allow you some level of customisation, but most of the free ones include their own small advertising link.
Find a set of information you want to display on your site that offers an RSS feed, sign up for a free RSS reader, paste in the URL of the RSS feed you want and dump the code it gives you onto your website. Immediately, you have up-to-date, refreshed weather, news or sports scores on your site, without any extra work or intervention.
02 December, 2008
More than half of chief marketing officers say they are not interested in incorporating social networking sites into their marketing strategies, according to a new survey by Epsilon.
Only 10% of respondents said they used social networking in their marketing plans, with 55% saying they were not too interested or not interested at all.
Ian Hitt, managing director of Epsilon International, said social networking sites have a narrow appeal and it is a challenge to measure their results. Yet, of the marketers surveyed, 27% said they wanted to develop social networking and word-of-mouth in their campaigns.
E-mail is the ad channel marketers said they were least likely to cut back in the current economic climate.
Nick Christie, UK country director of Epsilon International, said retailers see the equivalent of 14p revenue from each e-mail delivered, which shows the "measurability and profitability" of e-mail at a time when that is very important.
Of those people who were not employing web analytics at the moment, 55% of respondents said they planned to in the next year.Almost all marketing executives (93%) said the current economic situation will have a moderate or significant impact on their marketing efforts in the next few months. In addition, 70% said they will decrease advertising expenditures specifically.
Epsilon provides marketing services to various international brands. This survey was carried out online in October and completed by consumer and business-to-business marketing executives from brands with revenues from £150m to more than £6bn
01 December, 2008
Global music stars including U2, Jay Z and The Killers will be performing on MSN today, World Aids Day, to mark the launch of (Red)Wire, a digital music magazine from charity (Red).
Throughout the day there will be performances on red.msn.com from U2, Jay-Z, Coldplay, John Legend, Dixie Chicks, The Killers and Elton John, The Police and Elvis Costello, Death Cab for Cutie and Sheryl Crow.
The performances mark the launch of (Red)Wire, a digital magazine that aims to save lives by donating half of the £4 monthly fee to the Global Fund to fight Aids in Africa.
Members of (Red)Wire will receive an issue every Wednesday delivered to their desktop featuring music from some of the world's top artists. Members who join before December 10 will become "founding members" of (Red)Wire and receive the first issue on that day as well as a special bonus song from Jay-Z.
(Red)Wire has partnered with MSN to reach millions of people with its launch event today and it will also be the portal for people to learn more about (Red)Wire artists.
Members will receive a weekly digital music offering, including an exclusive song from a major artist, a song from an up and coming artist and a special piece of varied content such as a digital short film, photography or a reading from an artist or actor.
There will also be a window about the impact (Red) money has in Africa.
(Red)Wire revenues will help buy life-saving medicine and other services for those living with HIV in Africa. Just five members will generate enough money, each month, to buy antiretroviral medicine for one person living with HIV in Africa.
Don MacKinnon, founder of Hear Music and former vice-president of music & entertainment at Starbucks, conceived (Red)Wire to help create a platform for "music discovery" and a fund to buy medicine for Africans living with HIV.
MacKinnon said: "Every week, when you receive this great music, you'll know you are helping people in Africa get the medicine they need. It's that simple."
Bono, co-founder of (Red), said: "Don MacKinnon just might be the penicillin the ailing music business needs. He is an innovator by nature and I have no doubt that some of the music software we are working on at (Red) will help change the way music is received and change the lives of Africans who will die without the Aids drugs that (Red) can help provide."
LONDON - Jazz singer Jamie Cullum is launching an advent calendar on his website with £20,000 worth of Christmas gifts to be won, each behind windows featured on the site.
The Advent Cullumdar launches on today with a different prize behind each window including a Nintendo Wii, tickets to see AC/DC, a Nokia 5310, hospitality passes for the Silverstone Grand Prix in June, Jamie Oliver cook books and a personalised magnum of Moet & Chandon.
Fans are invited to visit the Advent Cullumdar on Cullum's website each day of December to be in with a chance of winning a prize.
By opening a window they can see the prize and a short video of Cullum introducing the present before entering themselves and a friend for that day's draw.
Cullum is currently finishing his new album which is due to be released in spring next year.
This autumn, Cullum performed at LA's Hollywood Bowl with the Count Basie Orchestra, wrote the theme song to Clint Eastwood's movie 'Gran Torino' and appeared with Burt Bacharach at the BBC Electric Proms.
Cullum also appeared at Spain's Sonar Festival with tech-house star Darren Emerson, playing a live and "completely unrehearsed" set, and repeated the show at Lovelands in Holland.