Thursday, March 29, 2012

Social Media Monitering Project

I think that Microsoft does advertise Xbox well, and the rest of its products. well. They use Facebook, and Twitter to their advantage, but I think improvements can be made. I have noticed that most of the things they post you really have to look for. You dont go onto their Facebook page and see something right away. It isn't right there in front of your face. Most of their links have no pictures associated, and the human eye is wired to see big bright colorful things first. So I would like to see Xbox and Microsoft better present what they are posting. Another goal I hope to see accomplished, is for them to use more than Facebook, , Twitter, and You tube. It was very difficult to find anything on cites like Ice Rocket. I would like to see them branch out to other social media networks. If they did this it would not only help themselves, but would help that social media network gain in popularity.

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Social Media Mare Monitering Project

Tuesday March 27th, Xbox posted on Facebook about its Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13  challenge .For the chance to win a custom Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2013 250 GB Kinect console bundle, dress up like a golf pro and go to a Best Buy “Play It First” event. Take a picture of yourself playing the in-store demo and upload via Twitter with the... hashtag “#TW13BETTERWKINECT” or email to TW13PGATOUR Also, don’t forget to play this week’s Challenge Hole for a chance to win the Grand Prize trip to THE PLAYERS Championship in Ponte Vedra, Florida!This has been a big thing for fans of the game, and if not only brings Xbox  money , but it gives Best Buy business as well. I find it interesting how they posted it on Facebook, but they say post the pictures on Twitter. Xbox is trying to incorporate both social media cites. It is a smart marketing strategy. This game is now available in stores. So let the competition begin!

For those of us football fans who love the Madden NFL football video game franchise , the time for us fans to vote for the Madden NFL 13 cover player has come. Every year a new NFL player is voted on to the cover of the new Madden game released in August. For the past 2 years however, EA  sports has teamed up with Facebook, and Xbox to allow us fans to vote on who we believe should be the next Madden cover athlete. This year's voting started last week. It is almost like a bracket style where players are matched up against one another and we vote. This bracket is run by and Xbox posts links for it every week on Facebook, and Twitter. Players around tge league are even campaigning to be on the cover. Patriots Tight end Rob Gronkowski posted a video on You Tube asking his fans to please vote for him for the cover. It is a funny video. 

 Xbox has been advertising its new game Dance Central 2 for the Kinnect . It was the best selling Kinnect game last year, but it uis getting mixed reviews. On facebook people are talking about the game, commenting on the link Xbox posted. Some people are excited about it, and others are just annoyed that it is coming out.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Social Media Monitering Project

I have been monitoring Microsoft, with a focus on the Xbox 360. Even though I have been focusing on the 360 itself, Microsoft did develop something rather interesting. On February 28th of this year Microsoft came out with it. It is called the Kinnect smart-cart.The same Kinect sensor that allows you to play hands-free games on the Xbox may one day help you grocery shop, according to a Geekwire Video  that's being shared widely. Whole Foods and Microsoft have created a motorized grocery cart prototype that follows you around the store without being pushed; tells you when you've grabbed the wrong item (say, regular Coke instead of your preferred Diet Coke) and charges your credit card automatically when it hears you say "checkout" as you leave the store. The 'Smarter Cart' can tell you where items in the store are located, and checks goods off your shopping list. If it can also detect and correct wobbly wheels, we're sold.

Xbox has certainly been busy the past few weeks. There has been some big games released such as UFC Undisputed , and Mass Effect 3.  On February 23rd, on Twitter, Xbox tweeted asking all its fans how they like UFC Undisputed . It was mostly positive. The graphics, and overall game play were the main topic fans were raving about. Just another example of Xbox reaching out to its customers, asking for feedback to see what the overall level of happiness was with the game. On February 22nd, Xbox released the Mass Effect 3 " Take Back the Earth" trailer of Facebook. For all the fans of the game it was a big deal. Here take a look

when i was on IceRocket I stumbled upon, an interesting link. On March 14, Microsoft uploaded this article, and video. Andy Wilson, a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, has been busy working with colleagues on a project dubbed Beamatron.  It's an augmented reality concept that uses KinectFusion, another Microsoft project, to create a 3D model of a space and build projected graphics onto it. It also gets Kinect to see the room and its many obstacles. Usually the Kinnect will only focus on you, and only you, but this is a whole new tthing that could revolutionize the Kinnect. See the video below.

Kinnect is applying some of this new technology in its new Xbox games. For example, the new  Star Wars game for the Kinect seems to be the most high tech., and most interactive Kinnect game yet. You can become a Jedi knight, actually fighting your enemies. You can re-enact scenes from the movies, where it puts you yes you into the scene replacing an actual character, and you interact with them. you can say your lines, or just improve. They even have a fun filled dance mode for the whole family.On March 12, Xbox posted this video on Facebook

When on Google, I searched Microsoft's most recent quaterly earnings , and found an astounding number.  On January 19, 2012 Microsoft announced that in the secoind quarter alone Microsoft made $20.89 billion.Operating income, net income, diluted earnings per share for the quarter were$7.99 billion, $6.62 billion, and $0.78 per share, compared to $8.17 billion, $6.63 billion, and $0.77 per share respectively in the prior year period.  These numbers were released even before these new games came out, so expect this quarters numbers to be just as high or higher.

If you have been waiting patiently for Wnidows Phone 7.5 Refresh  the “Tango” update, it appears your wait is coming to an end. According to Tech Crunch,it is supposed to be released in China on March 21ist of this year.Microsoft has been sending out Chinese-language press invitations for the Beijing debut of Tango on March 21st.

No official word on when it will release to the rest of the world, but presumably very soon thereafter. In some ways the Tango update is very much "the Nokia update"; Nokia’s bread and butter has long been lower-cost phones in developing markets, and by enabling Windows Phone to run on less powerful hardware they are really playing to Nokia’s market strength.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Groundswell Chapters 5&6 Reading Reflection #1

For this weeks assignment we read chapters five and six of the groundswell.The chapters were  Listening to the Groundswell and Talking with the Groundswell. While reading chapter 5 I read an interesting statement; your brand is what your customers say it is.  You will not have a successful business if you have unhappy customers. How does a business make their customers happy? They listen to what their customers want. 
"Most companies don't listen to their customers" .Usually that is the overall perspective of people but in fact that is wrong. As discussed during our class lecture, companies pay a large amount of money to listen to their consumers very carefully. On average, companies spend about $15 billion annually.
There are a few different listening strategies for businesses to use. There are many ways you can find out what consumers are saying about a brand or product . You can do this with blogging, and social media. The two main listening strategies for major companies would be to set up your own private community and begin to begin brand monitoring.
  Once again it is imperative that companies, and businesses listen to their customers. they need to do this so that they can better their product, and adapt to   changes. As a consumer I want to be asked how can they make my life better or what I think would make their product better. It builds a god relationship
Effective talking is another important business strategy that one must possess in order to become successful. Two of the main methods used that are discussed in the chapter are advertising and public relations. I believe advertising to be one of the most effective methods of communication there is.
  Advertising companies own us. Everywhere you look there are advertisements. Look down at your shoes, your sweatshirt or even your shorts .I guarantee you there  are advertisements all over you. You are a walking billboard.  Just look at all the major U.S cities. There billboards on  poles, cabs, buses, streets, windows, shops, stadiums you name it.  To get an ad during the Super Bowl you have to pay upwards of $3.5 million. The more it evolves the more advertising you will see on even more things.

Groundswell Chapters 9-10 Review

Embracing the groundswell Chapter 9

The groundswell has changed, the business,, and social media world as we know it. Companies are learning to embrace their customers and listen to the positive as well as negative feedback. People are jumping at the chance to put in their feedback on your product. They blog about it, write articles, post stories etc. The groundswell is allowing companies to monitor feedback , and make adjustmentys accordingly.

Faster innovation is something  that is indeed powerful. First of all, it doesn't take long for customers to tell you what they want. Secondly with customers in the loop innovation occurs quicker, because you can iterate-make continuous improvements . Take a look at this video . It shows different types of recent innovation that have contributed to the groundswell.

Credit Mutual  is a French bank corporation which has a unique slogan. la banque a qui parler, which translated means a bank you can talk to. They listen to their customers, and reach out for ideas on how they want their banks to be run. it is almost like a democratic way of banking. It is user friendly, and Credit Mutual  has over 10 million customers for a reason.

Humility and creativity can co exist in business according to Li, and Bernoff. They say that when embracing your customers keep two main things in mind. First, ask for suggestions like Credit Mutual did with their customers. Also set up surveys , and other things, rating your products and listening to the responses. The second thing to take into consideration is you must be able to balance skill, and humility. If you are a successful company such as Apple, who a lot of loyal customers than you want to keep them loyal . You do this by not only creating a good product , but also listen to customer suggestions and complaints. If you hear the new IPhone doesn't take good pictures, put a new camera on it. When a company is on top, you want to make sure you stay on top. Adjust, adapt, evolve to better fit the needs of your customers.

Boston Red Sox 2012 Outlook

Recovering From Disaster

Every Red Sox fan will always remember the team's historic collapse in September 2011. The Sox had all the tools in place to make a World Series run last season, but blew a 9 game lead in 25 days to be eliminated from playoff contention. Red Sox GM Theo Edstien re-signed after the season, and manager Terry Francona was fired. Rumors of players drinking in the club house, and ordering food during games created much controversy throughout the fall, and into the winter months. Changes needed to be made, and they were .

Big question marks surround the Red Sox entering this 2012 season. One big one being how will new manager Bobby Valentine handle the team. He hasn't managed a team since 2002. He has been working at ESPN, as a Baseball Tonight analyst  ever since. The hiring of Valentine raiused a lot of eye brows in Boston , but with a good team in place, we'll see how he handles it.

A few roster moves have been made since the end of the 2011 season. right fielder J.D Drew wasn't re-signed, and was replaced with Cody Ross. Ross, formally of the San Fransisco Giants, won World series MVP for them back in 2010. Ross is 31 years old, but adds a veteran presence in the club house that could definatly help stabilize the locker room. Our shortstops lat season, marco Scutero, and Jed Lowery are both gone, and a competition between 30 year old Mike Aviles , and prospect Julio Iglasias has begun to take over that spot. Every other position is likely tio stay the same. Carl Crawford will play left field, Jacoby Elsburry in center, and Cody Ross will play right. Kevin Youkillis  will play 3rd, shortstop is still up in the air, Dustin Pedroia will play 2nd base, and slugging Adrian Gonzalez will play 1st,, with Jared Saltilamakia behind the plate.David ortiz will also be returning as our DH, which is a great thing for the fans of Boston, because everybodty loves Big Papi.

The pitching staff will most likly stay the same with a few changes. Jon Lester will be our number 1 starter followed by Josh Beckett, and Clay Bucholtz. diauske Matsuzaka will return from having season ending shoulder surgery, and new comer Chris Carpenter from the Cubs will round out our rotation. Long time starter Tim Wakefield has retired along with catcher Jason Varetek, both will be missed.  In the bullpen, you will see pretty much the same guys as last year except the fact that Johnathan Papelbon will not be back. He signed with the Philadelphia Phillies , and Andrew Bailey who we got from the Oakland A's will replace him. Bailey is a young solid closer who will hopefully add a spark in the bullpen this year. In this Fenway Park's 100th season the Red Sox hope to end the 2012 season the way they ended the 1912 season, with a World Championship. Spring Training is underway, and we shall see what happens.

2012 Patriots Preview

After a few weeks of morning their Super Bowl XLVI  loss to the New York Giants, ad listening to all the what ifs? , its time to move on, and start focusing on the 2012 season. A lot of question marks are surrounding the Patriots going into this off season. Will Wes Welkeer return to the team?,and  how will they improve their dismal  pass defense?,  A lot of questions
 that every Patriots fan is extremely anxious to see answered.

I believe the Patriots will use the Franchise Tag on Wes Welker , their star receiver. Welker has had 122 receptions for 1,569 yards, and 9  TD's on the season. He has been a consistent receiving threat in the NFL for the last 5 seasons. He has been voted to 3 Pro Bowls, and should defiantly be re signed. With the Franchise Tag, this would mean the Patriots would give him a one year contract, and pay him the average salary of the top 5 paid players' salaries at that position. he wants to be here, and I am sure he'll work out a long term deal to stay in New England. He is to important to Tom Brady, and this offense  to let him go.

Our defense was anything but dominant this year. We struggled tremendouslythroughout the season, especially in the passing game. Rookie sensation last year Devin McCourtty , was anything but sensational in 2011. He was constantly picked on, and gave up over 1000 yards passing  by opposing quarterbacks  when thrown in his direction. McCourtty finished the season with only 2 interceptions as opposed to the 7 he had his rookie season. He has the talent, but let's just hope this was just a sophomore slump, and returns to form this upcoming season. On the other side of the field was Kyle arrington who finished the season with 7 interceptions , but gave up a lot of big plays in the process. Patriots fans know what they're going to get from Pat Chung at strong safety, but free safety is a big question mark. James Ihedigbo struggled mightily all season, and rookie Sterling Moore really played well in the playoffs and Super Bowl.

A likely possibility for improving the secondary is to put Devin McCourtty to free safety, and either draft a corner in this year's draft or sign a veteran player in free agency. Someone I could really see coming to New England is free agent Champ Bailey who is a future Hall of Farmer. he has spent most of his time with tthe Denver Broncos, and because of his age, they might not re sign him. For the right amount of money, he woulkd be a great addition to a dismal pass defense. 

It should be an interesting off season, but Patriots fans should be excited knowing that we came so close with such an awful defense. With some improvements on defense and Tom Brady, Wes Welker, and both our star tight ends Rob Gronkowski , and Aaron Hernandez leading the way, we should be in great position to make another run at a Super Bowl championship.