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Archive for February 2011

At Issue } essential reading

Kids' TV: Disney Channel's preschool programming switches message to social values

Yvonne Villarreal
Feb 14, 2011

As the network replaces 'Playhouse Disney' with 'Disney Jr.,' preschool shows will shift emphasis from teaching ABCs and 1-2-3s to imparting social values in their storytelling.

The connected company

Dave Gray
Feb 10, 2011

The average life expectancy of a human being in the 21st century is about 67 years. Do you know what the average life expectancy for a company is? Surprisingly short, it turns out. In a recent talk, John Hagel pointed out that the average life expectancy of a company in the S&P 500 has dropped precipitously, from 75 years (in 1937) to 15 years in a more recent study. Why is the life expectancy of a company so low? And why is it dropping?

Conan 2.0

Douglas Alden Warshaw
Feb 10, 2011

Conan O'Brien is in his bedroom. It's a little bit past 11 p.m., and he's shyly, hesitantly, nervously attempting to do his first webcast. But he keeps getting interrupted. And it's driving him crazy. "Get out of my room! Get out of my room! This is private!" O'Brien's embarrassed, and he's yelling at the top of his lungs. "Everybody get out!!!" Okay, that's part of a skit from O'Brien's new late-night show, Conan, on TBS. But, almost exactly a year ago, more than a few people in the media business thought that O'Brien, freshly tossed off The Tonight Show by NBC after only seven months on the job, just might have to sit in his bedroom for a long time, and that performing a show on the web might actually be his only option.

Forgive Me Father, For I Haz App

Sheila Shayon
Feb 10, 2011

The Catholic Church has endorsed its first mobile app: "Confession: A Roman Catholic App," now available on iTunes for $1.99.

Why We Invested in Groupon: The Power of Data

Reid Hoffman and James Slavet
Feb 9, 2011

Groupon has been written about a lot in the media. Most of the coverage has been extremely positive, like a Forbes cover which called Groupon “The Fastest Growing Company Ever.” Other articles question whether Groupon is a defensible business built for the long-haul. Late last year we boarded a Chicago-bound plane, along with a couple of our colleagues, for an initial meeting with the company to form our own opinion.

Private-Label Beers Take a Shot at Earning Joe Sixpack's Respect

David Kesmodel
Feb 8, 2011

Anyone care for a Buck Range Light or a Big Flats? Few beer drinkers have heard that question. But the new brands from retail giants Supervalu Inc. and Walgreen Co. are part of a growing effort by chain stores to make a hit of private-label beer, a category that has proved difficult for retailers.

VW Finds Viral Force With Cute Ad, but So What?

Bob Garfield
Feb 7, 2011

Me, I got my Valentine early: I didn't have to watch the Super Bowl ads this year until, you know, the Super Bowl. It was fannnnnntastic. I got to experience the game like a normal slob, with a lap full of taco dip and genuine curiosity about how unfunny the Bud Light spots would be this year. It fell to my colleague Ken Wheaton to harvest the crop ahead of time.

Enlighten us!

Michael Maiello
Feb 4, 2011

America needs poets and thinkers as well as engineers.

When Your Brand Gets Caught in a Revolution

Scott Henderson
Feb 4, 2011

#1 Thing You Need to Learn from This Post: Your brand is at greater danger for its complicity in events on other side of the world than for a social media blunder.

Fiat Launches 500, Slights Mass for 'Creative Class'

David Kiley
Feb 3, 2011

With familiar and storied brands like Saturn, Pontiac, Hummer and Mercury recently heading for the automotive graveyard, the idea of bringing back Italian brand Fiat to U.S. showrooms this month after a 27-year hiatus may seem like fool's errand. But don't tell that to Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, who is also CEO of Chrysler.

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