Showing posts with label Social Web. Show all posts

Is It The Social Web That Gave The Verdict In Oscars Vs Baron Cohen?


The independence of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and of the United States of America is admirable. The sheen on its prestigious Oscar awards night, as the second most watched event in the US, has only got brighter in recent times. However, it looks like the social web can now influence how the Oscar award ceremony is conducted and will continue to do so in the future.

Every year the controversies around the award night, which surface both before and after the gala event, generate more interest and discussion than the event itself.
This year it was the turn of Sacha Baron Cohen to kick up the storm and grab his share of attention by intending to appear in the outfit of his role in his upcoming movie "The Dictator" with an urn of the 'ashes' of his friend, the real world dictator Kim Jong-il, even as many people felt that it was too much self serving and the Academy threatened to refuse him admission
Proving how the academy worried about the disruption to the biggest event in the industry and the fall out in its reputation, the Academy President Tom Sherak has issued a statement dismissing the speculation that the Academy was somehow in on the whole stunt of Baron Cohen.
"I'm telling you the truth, this is not a stunt that we were involved in at all. We can have another conversation about how things happened and whether we overreacted - but trust me, it was not like we helped make this up."
That raises the question why did the Academy object to the request of Sacha Baron Cohen to appear in his now famous uniform in the first place? Judging from his contribution to the motion picture industry and the record of box office success of his films, the Academy had only reason to welcome him as an honoured guest, especially as a cast member of Hugo, which received several recommendations and was considered a front runner for the top award.
It seems his reputation as a 'Controversy's child' and his Jewish origin have more to do with the reticence of the Academy than a mere intention to let his pranks annoy the guests and ruin their show. As mentioned in a piece on the Wiki about Baron Cohen:
"Aside from the comic elements of his characters, Baron Cohen's performances are interpreted by some as reflecting uncomfortable truths about his audience. He juxtaposes his own Jewish lineage with the anti-Semitism of his character Borat."
No doubt, the character of Admiral General Aladeen could have had unpredictable reactions in a world unsure about the gentle breeze of the Arab spring, which the Academy was in no position to judge and perhaps causing nightmares to its members who were trying to foresee the repercussions.
The Academy also has failed to reckon the genius of Sacha Baron Cohen, who perhaps unintentionally, has blunted any adverse reaction by releasing his famous clip but certainly meant to underscore his main theme of ridiculing dictatorship by the act of spreading the ashes of Kim Jong-il on the famous red carpet and thus send his real message to the whole world.
However the 'viral' and positive reaction to his clip of objection released on the web two days before the Oscar night must have given as much relief to the Academy members as the pressure of negative world opinion, if he were to be banned from the event for his prank which more and more people were ready to accept as such.
It appears that, after all the showing up of a "Dictator" for the Oscars could be a funny prank and nothing objectionable, thanks to the collective wisdom of the social web, which has the sea change in attitude towards dictatorship the Arab world has recently witnessed to its credit.
Baron Cohen was not alone to get an admission to the Oscar 2012 night thanks to the power of the social web. Uggie, the ten year old dog who was refused an entrance to the event on grounds many people will consider frivolous on the part of the Academy, finally got to share the Oscar and the stage with his co actor Jean Dujardin. The appearance of Uggie on various shows like the TMZ live before the night prompting public appeal on TV and the public outcry on and off the web has earned Uggie the fame and place in history he so well deserved.
With sentiment analysis tools like Wisewindow, which can listen in on the 'chatter' on the social web and analyse with natural language algorithms, is now possible to gauge what the world thinks and how it intends to act on various issues.
Applying such sophisticated tools on the social web allows you to anticipate the winners, taking some of the surprise and excitement from the award night gala. But, more importantly, the social web is also silently changing the politics and morals of the Oscars.
There are in fact plenty of reasons why the Academy should listen to the voice of the world.
Article first published in The Huffington Post as  Has the Social Web Tamed the Oscars if Not Sacha Baron Cohen?
Follow Sreedhar Pillai on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lastingrose
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Posted by Sreedhar Pillai

Did Whitney And The World Love ‘Whitney Houston Going Home.’?


‘Whitney Houston Going Home.’ Did Whitney And The World Loved It?

Judging from the paltry coverage of her funeral service by the world media at large, except by celebrity sites like TMZ, it looks like much has been already said and written about the ‘Going Home’ ceremony of another of 20th century Icons, the much loved pop singer Whitney Houston. So what more is there to say?
There are many events and occasions which have left indelible marks on human memory for the visuals and voices they carried and in some cases for profound changes in world opinion and attitude.

However, certain occasions like the Kennedy assassination and the death of Princess Diana spring to mind as events which left the world shocked out of wits and saddest at the time but somehow despatched the real grief home only during the funerals, which were grimmest of affairs in grandest of settings.

The funeral service of Whitney Houston turned out be an ordinary affair in an ordinary church, yet caught the attention of the world and evoked feelings of loss and bonding of a different kind, which has made Whitney more endearing and human to millions of viewers who have turned more sympathetic.

Like thousands of others, Whitney Houston probably died of a quiet heart attack, after eating a ham burger with some satisfaction. An ordinary event in the life of a celebrity, which shot out of proportion and shocked the world thanks to the aura of negativity given by the media and the instant technology at its disposal today.

The bottom line is, Whitney actually belonged to a station in life which is home for a large majority of the people in the world. Like in the case of Lady Diana, it was the   special corner of love and sympathy Whitney somehow managed to secure in the hearts of millions which sent the pain around in huge dollops rather than the heights she could carry her music with her wonderful melisma.

That is why, the ‘Going Home’ ceremony so affectionately and caringly organised by her mother and relatives turned out to be something the world could watch and relate to and something which would have made Whitney Houston enormously happy.

It was in fact a Home Coming celebration for some one who completed a very successful journey in life which Whitney Houston, accomplished diva and singer was denied by her untimely death. It was entirely in order to give her a send off where everyone could have thanked her and she could have thanked everyone who helped her along and the right thing to do.

More than anything else, the speeches and the songs sung in her praise by other famous performers like by Kevin Costner and Stevie wonder have put on some wonderful colour and shades to the caricature, perhaps somewhat distorted, the world had in its mind.  At the end of that entire protracted event, the diva of Newark had certainly come out in shining armour as a sweet darling of the entire world, ready to be carried off by the angels for the only performance Whitney Houston ever had to give. Certainly Whitney Houston couldn’t have gone home happier!

Perhaps one of the biggest rewards of living in the 20th century and carrying on in to the 21st is the enormous shock, grief, despair, anger, excitement or joy one get to share with the whole world simultaneously from events defining our times around the world, which wouldn’t have been possible without the marvellous 20th century inventions in communication.

What On Web Has Changed For President Obama This Election?


Twitter is no longer enough to win an election.
Move over Google, Twitter and Facebook. Enter WiseWindow, Arktan and Percolate. Search, tweet and like are out. Sentiment analysis, taxonomy, social stream, passive curation and second screen conversation, are a few of the new buzzwords President Obama and anyone else aspiring to win the US election needs to master in a hurry!

These innovative technologies, with amazing data collection, filtering, analysis, curation and interaction capabilities, can tell what people are thinking right now and their intentions before they become action, enabling you to curate and chose what you tell them and how you interact with them so that you can shape the world and the market place the way you need, all in real time. That is why who wins the next US election is going to badly need them!
WiseWindow, which specialise in sentiment analysis, is in fact ahead of the presidential candidates. Partnering with The Daily Beast (now a part of Newsweek), they have created the "Election Oracle," which scans 40,000 social media sites, listening to millions of daily comments, and creating a 10-day moving average that is mixed with traditional polls to create their predictions.

Apart from President Obama and artists like Lady Gaga who has a fan base of about 20 million, who will need these new, mind boggling technology products of branding and influencing human race? Well, in the words of WiseWindow, anyone with management responsibility that belongs to the C-suite:

• CEO - Chief, Chief
COO - Go-to-Guy
• CIO - No.1 Nerd
CMO - Brand Boss
• CFO - Money Mogul
• Consumer Researchers
• Customer Support Personnel
• Common people, that's you and everyone else!

In reality you, the consumer, are most benefited by the new collective power derived from the application of these technologies, to influence like never before in the history, what the media, politicians, entertainers and the Industry at large will deliver.
Any organization, politician or brand  aiming to stay ahead of the market and fickle consumers and supporters, whose tastes change seemingly overnight, will need to heed to this collective power, which is already flexing its muscle in the media and entertainment industry.
Reuters recently launched 'Social Pulse', a new social media hub designed to show you the most talked-about news, companies and influencers across the Web, which features, with technology and service provided by WiseWindow, a revolutionary stock sentiment module, based on opinions from hundreds of thousands of sources captured and curated, clearly demonstrating the predictive abilities offered by the technology.
Using Percolate, Reuters has created Counterparties, a way to build more engagement with two of their finest journalists, Felix Salmon and Ryan McCarthy. A combination of algorithmic filtering of most interesting content which they react to allows an audience to follow along and engage with these editors all day.
Universal Music Group, who manage Mindless Behavior, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Dr.Dre, Justin Bieber, and their official websites is using Arktan's Life stream to deliver aggregated and curated content on the official websites of the artists. With the ability to add comments and reply to posts, the social influence of the artist sites has grown dramatically.

WiseWindow, a sentiment analysis/measuring company, turns the chaos of online chatter, what people are saying online now in blogs, tweets, status updates, and reviews, in to a database which illuminates consumer sentiment across hundreds of dimensions and then provide a stream of consumer sentiment and intention data that can be integrated with business intelligence systems so that organizations can become more agile and responsive.
Arktan on the other hand is primarily about building "interactive" curated social experiences. Arktan provides very deep interaction capabilities, like the ones on the websites of Lady Gaga, with the ability to respond to comments, likes, social sharing, aggregated conversation, etc in real time. These much richer curation capabilities, which give brands the control they want and sentiment analysis capabilities including Natural Language Processing as well as analytics, set Arktan's technology apart from passive curation tools.
Percolate which is primarily about letting a brand build passive curation experiences, scrapes five million sources daily, turning a brand's strategy into the interest engine and using proprietary algorithms to sort and bubble up only the most relevant and interesting content for a brand editor to comment on and publish to social platforms and websites.
If you are excited and want to have a quick look at how these breaking technologies can affect you, check out TweetSentiments.com which provides Sentiment Analysis on tweets using Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning technologies and Storify where you can have a go at curation and create your own article with content from the web.

Do You Want The Guys At TMZ To Serve Up Hot News Even Hotter? They Can!


Technology is changing how celebrities like Lady Gaga build up a fan base of 20 million and then interact with them to keep them hooked to her magic.  Now the guys who follow the celebrities and serve up the news they make like TMZ.com are learning a thing or two about the ways celebrities use social media.

Taking a leaf out of the new book of how to get the hook swallowed even deeper, TMZ has added a much greater and innovative punch to their delivery. The TMZ live is a terrific example of how you can spice up what you serve with what is available on the social media right now and create an ever increasing fan base of loyal followers.

The show which is presented as a talk show actually cuts in to the studio workplace and gets everyone else to chip in making it wider and give it an ambiance of an office. Everyone can relate to this as this is very real and what happens in every day life in any office where people work together.

The show is brisk, informal, and chatty and dwells on the hottest topics for just enough time to keep them hot.

4:30) Did Whitney know she was going to die? Mike reads the eerie Bible verse she quoted before her death.
(
13:50) Whitney's death sparks a serious debate -- would you rather live fast and die young ... or boring and die old?
(
21:04) Kobe was caught smooching Vanessa last night -- people rightly shocked she'd take him back.
(
22:50) Evan says Kobe "loves" Vanessa so much ... that he constantly cheats on her (allegedly).
(26:30) The Heart Attack Grill -- which sells an 8,000 cal. burger -- had a diner literally have a heart attack there this week.
(28:45) The owner of the restaurant calls in -- defends his gut busting menu to an inch of his life.
(32:12) Our fatty good loving staffers totally have the owner's back on this one. Shocker.
(34:30) Is Kate Upton too big for
Victoria's Secret?
(38:00) Another argument to wrap up the show -- is buying $100,000 handbags the biggest waste of money ever?

The hosts take in live calls and get the callers to participate in live discussion.

A simultaneous twitter stream lets anyone farther away, even on other continents, like the UK where I watched the live show, send in their take by tweets which scroll up on a side box for everyone to see.

A live stream of comments gives you an in depth feels of what those who are eager but can’t jump in and speak their mind have to say.

To boot it all, a live survey with related questions, sort of gives you a chance to put a line under, say a last word on the topic.

Overall, the entire combination has turned TMZ, which has started as a blog, to a totally new category of media, yet to be christened but sure to be imitated.

For millions of people, celebrity gossip and news is addictive like drugs. Their life depends on a sizable doze of it which was being served by tabloids before the internet and social media. Now they are hooked to it even more because modern technology can provide the experience of being with the news makers where the news happens in real time and even interact with them as on the website of Lady Gaga, where her ardent followers even have a backstage entrance to interact with her.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Posted by Sreedhar Pillai

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