DragonBlogger.com Amazon Kindle Fire Contest (and Quick Net Tablet Comparison)

UPDATE: I may very well post my first YouTube video in a long time.. There, I’ll share my thoughts on the awesome DragonBlogger.com Kindle Fire Giveaway and the myriad of competing net tablets out there. WOOHOO!

…And here is the video, as promised!”

If your household is anything like mine, chances are everyone wants electronics for Christmas and it’s no secret that Internet tablets are all the rave right now. Thing is, the choice is tough with so many great options out there (are every point in the price spectrum, too). Fortunately, DragonBlogger.com has made the decision easier. Justin’s excitement for the Amazon Kindle Fire has extended into a full-blown Kindle Fire Giveaway targeted at bloggers and social media enthusiasts!

Currently, I blog to you from an iPad2 I won thanks to the wonderful folks over at Unbounce.com. I like the iPad2 but can’t wait for my Samsun Galaxy Tab to get here from Woot.com (then my wife, the resident Apple nut, can take this over. Like Justin G from DragonBlogger, I prefer Android tablets for their rich web browsing experience, Adobe Flash support, and more open platform.

The Amazon Kindle Fire is up there with my personal faves from Archos, Asus, and Samsung. It may lack the processing power and full-fledged Android Honeycomb OS but the price point makes it an excellent gift.. And a surprising performer for the price!

It seems everyone in my family wants one of these babies so winning one would rock… But with over 1000 entries currently in the run over at DragonBlogger.com and the process being a bit.. Involved.. I’m not holding my breath.

Last I checked, the Amazon Kindle Fire has built-in HDMI out but that’s just a bonus. With access to one of my favorite marketplaces, it’s a clear winner in my book. You get Amazon cloud, video streaming, ebooks, and more! If you get one of these tablets (I hope you win one too), spoil yourself with an Amazon Prime membership. It really pays for itself, especially if you order lots of stuff online like I do.

CORRECTION:  The Amazon Kindle Fire does not have an HDMI port unless you use an optional accessory.  It DOES, however, have a   Hi-Speed USB  (5-pin Micro-USB Type B) port.  I’m thinking it should support thumb drives and/or keyboard attachments with this port but, considering the Kindle Fire is running an older Android 2.3 Gingerbread custom build, that remains to be seen (at least first-hand).

If you can spend more, consider the Asus eeePad Transformer. The Android Honeycomb 3.1 and 3.2 Internet tablets are the closest thing to an online desktop experience, though it’s more akin to a netbook, for obvious reasons. With Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) out, the deals on Android 2.x and 3.x have started, though it won’t be until after the holidays that we will see the real price cuts.

I have also been impressed with the Archos products in terms of durability, touchscreen response, third-party support (read “Android marketplace access”), and features right out of the box. I got my son a ten-inch model and it is quite powerful, especially at the entry-level price. This Android 2.2 Internet tablet plays Adobe Flash, accesses almost the entire Android Market with around 88% compatibility with popular apps (yes, Ninja Jump and Angry Birds inclusive), and comes with neat features such as two USB supports, Bluetooth connectivity, and external storage support. This is impressive considering the top dogs do not come with all these features, at least not out of the box.

In spite of stiff competition, the Kindle Fire is poised to become a market value. At around $200, you get an INSANE amount of value that gives even the iPad2 some competition! Of course, if you can win an Amazon Kindle Fire by blogging, liking, sharing, and tweeting daily (as allowed), I’d say it is a safe bet you will NOT be disappointed – hurry, though, as the contest winners will be announced December 16th, 2011!

Enter the DragonBlogger.com Amazon Kindle Fire Giveaway!

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Support-A-Thon: The Power Of Collaboration & Engaging

On Tuesday August 16th, I embarked on a journey to develop more social proof and expand my influence, bringing change to the interwebz and fighting the good fight, thanks to Guy Kawasaki’s powerful message in his “Enchanment” book.  (BTW, the guy really shares some neat stuff on Google+)

My current Support-A-Thon mission consists of the following:

  • Get more active on my social networks.
  • Offer my help and free advice.
  • Expand my networks and engage each and ever person.
  • Support and share the content of others.
  • Simply ask that others do the same.

This campaign has been successful thus far but the marathon continues. As I promote my article on adaptive SEO, inbound marketing, engaging your audience, and converting traffic, I am making a deliberate effort to provide a strong CTA (Call To Action) and be helpful.  The discussions we’ve had publicly and privately have been BRILLIANT! Continue reading

Persistence: Keeping The Creative Momentum Going When Blogging or Writing

A few weeks ago my colleague and close friend, Julio From NY, tweeted and used a peculiar hash tag (something to the effect of #oneaweek2011).  At first, I thought it was some sort of diet program or strange New Year’s resolution.  It turns out it was referring to a challenge at The Daily Post on WordPress.com.

While I could very well do “one post a day” I think the challenge takes the focus away from quality and leans more towards quantity.  No bueno.  One A Week makes sense.  As an SEO and SMO-minded web designer, copywriter, and editor on various fronts, the perfectionist in me dictates that I do not post anything that is at least somewhat interesting and has something for curious web searches to stumble upon.

Here I am trying to stick to this challenge.  I already mentioned I am involved on various fronts so this will be tough for me.  While I know I preach that you have to stay persistent as a blogger or you will lose your audience, it’s tough to do so when you also do freelance writing and try to sell, syndicate, or share other content via different distribution channels.  One post a week means you have more people returning more often.  When people see your commitment, they will be more likely to share your content with others!

I have several things in the pipeline for my blog here on WordPress.  I hope to syndicate some content and get some quality backlinks going too.  Some of the topics I wish to discuss include latest video game releases (Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 and Dead Space 2, for example), the state of the video game industry, the economy of gaming, current projects I am working on, and, of course, random rants and raves thereof.  I invite you all to brainstorm your ideas now and stay persistent.  Don’t lose momentum!

If you’re doing the One A Week 2011, post on my comments and/or guestbook – I’ll be sure to add you to my blogroll and promote your featured articles whatever way I can!  If you run out of ideas, maybe we can brainstorm together too.  I’m never without ideas..  Just need to carve out more time.  Good thing I have this handy-dandy WordPress app for my Blackberry Bold – now I can blog on-the-go!

I’m really passionate about writing.  Specifically, blogging is a great way to learn more about topics you are truly interested in, while writing in a manner that is fun and fresh.  In fact, I find out so many interesting things in my SEO research, Wiki lookups, and random reading that I find myself overwhelmed by the many topics to write about.  My hopes are to focus more and more on writing and game design, my biggest passions in life.  Part of that will be moving my WordPress blog to a self-hosted setup.  I’m excited!  Let’s do this OneAWeek2011 FTW!

One A Week / One A Day BLOG CHALLENGE 2011

Think you have what it takes to stay persistent with your blogging efforts? Leave a comment on this article and get a badge for yourself!

Business Analysis: AT&T Offers 1000 Free Rollover Minutes To Loyal Customers

I know the main question many of you fellow AT&T customers have is probably this: is the Free 1000 Rollover Minutes legit or a scam?  The simple answer is: yes, AT&T *IS* giving away 1000 free rollover minutes..  To select loyal customers, that is.  Initially, the belief was that this offer was only being extended to AT&T iPhone customers yet I’ve found reports that Blackberry, Inspire, and other smartphone users have gotten it as well.  I decided to see what a AT&T Customer Service Representative (his name was Solomon, in case you were curious) had to say about it.  Here’s what he told me (or at least what the script told him to say):

Currently, we are only offering the free rollover minutes to loyal AT&T customers.  If you did not receive a text message with the offer, requests will be processed on a case by case basis.

He then went on to add that, if I got the confirmation stating that I would receive my free 1000 rollover minutes in 4-6 weeks, then I qualified.  There seems to be a few discrepancies here, especially since he said it may take 6-8 weeks.  I imagine the demand is rising rapidly, especially since this offer only popped up on the interwebz around Saturday, February 12th 2011.

AT&T Security Guard

Hey, every business needs a gatekeeper.. Why NOT a big, bald guy?

I suppose that is the sort of beat-around-the-bush response you can expect from any CSR (Customer Service Rep in vanilla speak).  You can see the value in having AT&T limit how many people go on to tell their friends.  Quite frankly, I was surprised there was no mention of the free rollover minutes loyalty offer on their web site, prerecorded messages, or even the official AT&T Facebook page.  That said, I have a feeling that they’re going to approve everyone automatically but they’re going to position the offer as a perk for “loyal customers”.  At this point, they’re probably trying to control call volume while not creating any more buzz about this whole thing than there needs to be.

Why is AT&T offering this now?  Why do the loyal customers matter at this point?  For jaded AT&T customers, the Verizon iPhone news, as announced on the magical date of 1/11/11, presents a way out but there’s more to it…

Continue reading

Finding the Perfect Toothbrush: A Lesson in Marketing

A few articles back, I talked about Oreo and how their message is simply this: we are America’s favorite cookie. These are the sorts of messages that can backfire but, executed properly, you really boost the perceived value tenfold. The brilliance in Oreo’s current strategy lies in their use of contests and celebrity lick races, promotions that people talk about with others. These are ideas that spread in a viral manner or, as Seth Godin puts it, ideaviruses. The key to this strategy is creating simple, consistent messages that anyone can spread onward; of course, you have to get people excited.

In this article, I’d like to discuss a marketing strategy that is a little less buzz and hype-driven yet still viral in nature. Let’s look at a simple thing that everyone uses (well, mostly everyone): a toothbrush. Traditional marketing and old money business people will tell you that the better toothbrush will sell more but what does “better” actually mean? It depends what your target customers are. For kids, both big and small (some of us are still kids at heart), cartoon-stickered and music-generating toothbrushes are the epitome of oral hygiene devices.

Does this cow do anything for you?

For the rest of the world, style still matters but effectiveness, practical use, becomes a greater distinction. Think about the last time you purchased a toothbrush and how often you make this decision. What affected your decision? Did you go for the toothbrushes in the front or did you look further back on the shelve? Was it an impulse buy, perhaps triggered by a clever end-cap display or cashier counter arrangement? Did you even notice how hard or soft the bristles are? Was the type of grip and general structure of the toothbrush a big focus for you? What was the final tie breaker (assuming you were initially indecisive)? The chances are that, if you were put in a group of 50 people, your decision-making process would be quite distinct. Once we recognize that not all consumers think the same way is a humbling experience for all business people…

Continue reading

Oreo Double Stuf Race – You Guys Win!!!

I just wanted to share a few thoughts on the recent CWTV Oreo Double Stuf Race promotion. First and foremost, thanks to all of you that actively voted and told your friends to do the same. I saw some exponential growth in the traffic going from my pages on MySpace and WordPress. In the final hour, many of you put in hundreds of clicks which really kept my brother in the race.

According to the last vote refresh I got to see (right before the poll page was taken offline), the top two videos were Oreos In Bed and Deliocioso. I think I share the sentiment of most people out there when I sit in complete bewilderment and wonder just how in the world such a piss-poor entry made it as a finalist, let alone won the grand prize. Apparently, since other people found the jump from 5% to 63% [practically overnight] to be rather suspicious, an investigation got started. I don’t mean to sound like a sore loser but, really, my brother’s video was infinitely better than “Oreos In Bed” – I would have rather seen “The Last One”, “Search for Stuf”, or “I Love Oreos” in the #1 spot since they had much more substance and production value.

I reviewed the Oreo Double Stuf Race contest rules and it seems that 70% of the vote is based on “personality” – call me crazy, but I don’t think there was much personality in that bed scene. What there was in that video was a whole lot of suggestive sexual content. Boobies sell and I guess that is enough for the general public. Sad times indeed…

Continue reading

Toonami Ten-Year Anniversary

March 17th 2007 marks the 10-year anniversary of Cartoon Network, for Toonami, that is. For anyone that would proudly call themselves a geek or at least a fan of Anime, this is truly a major milestone for that special cable network that holds a special place in all of our hearts (well, most of us). Over the years, Toonami has been home to some of the most butt-kicking toons to date, including many Anime favorites!

Cool Toonami Bot Wallpaper - w00t!

Toonami’s Tom is yet another example of brand marketing. Almost anyone that watches Toonami knows Tom. There have been so many different flavors of Tom yet you can always tell it’s the same old Tom. Toonami in itself is a powerful brand as it has more information-per-inch than most catchy names out there. The word “Toonami” merges “toon” and “tsunami”, which is readily-identifiable by any audience member. The image of tsunami carries a power to it, which makes for an easy segway to action focus of the Toonami cartoon block.

Continue reading

Promotion: Oreo Lick Race Challenge

Get ready for what will be quite possibly my shortest post, especially for a blog, EVER! ::drum roll:: I will quote myself from today’s WOMM (Word Of Mouth Marketing) effort, for added effect:

Vote for my bro, Antonio (a.k.a ToNy4MVP, for those of you who played ARC or traverse the interwebz a bit) of St. John’s University, at (or after) 3:00pm EST at http://www.cwtv.com/thecw/oreo – he is one of 15 finalist out of thousands upon thousands of entries. Very excited for him… Los Oreo’s SON MUY DELICIOSOS!!!!

Tell your friends, link to this article, spread the word… The future of Oreo’s is in your hands. I thank you and so do Oreo lovers everywhere!! =oD

This just in: Tony’s video now at the top of the vote. I see a few of you folks clicking through to the site and voting. Many, many thanks. While there is a nice prize package and commercial deal involved for the grand prize winner, the really nice thing is that Nabisco will give $30,000 to the charity of the winner’s choice. Sweet deal – literally! I wonder if that is tax-deductible… *wink* Just kidding, folks! It really is a good cause so let’s show people the power of the blogosphere – spread the word!

Oreo Speed Racer - GO GO GO!!!
[ Image provided courtesy of Jayski’s Silly Season Site ]

Let’s all chant: Deliocioso! Deliocioso! Deliocioso! Yes, “deliocisio” is mis-spelled but we’re going to coin that cause it’s just that hot. It’s WAY more “fetch” than “rediculous”! Anywho, Oreo has a stellar promotion here and it goes to show you the power of brand marketing. Everyone knows the Oreo is the best cookie in the world – w00t!

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