Friday, December 28, 2007
Fri Dec 28, 3:34 PM ET
Results of a brain autopsy study indicate that most older adults have significant brain pathology (disease), regardless of the presence or absence of outward signs of dementia.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 9:57 PM
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Six in 10 Broadband Users Watch Online Video Weekly, Up 36% YOY
Online video consumption is growing rapidly among adult broadband internet users — most now watch video weekly — according to a recently released report, Broadband Content and Services 2007, from Horowitz Associates, reports MarketingCharts (via Micro Persuasion).
Six out of 10 (61 percent) high-speed internet users watch or download online video content at least once a week, and 86 percent do so monthly, compared with the respectively 45 percent and 71 percent who reported doing so in 2006.
News and user-generated/non-professional content are the genres reported viewed most often, followed by movie previews/trailers, music videos, and previews/segments of TV shows:
- Weekly viewing of full episodes of television shows doubled from last year, with 16 percent of high-speed internet users now watching TV online on a weekly basis.
- Some 36 percent watch news video at least weekly, up from 22 percent in 2006.
- Non-professional videos are watched by 30 percent in 2007 - double the 15 percent in 2006.
NBC and ABC are the networks that internet users mention most frequently for watching online TV content, with Grey's Anatomy the most-mentioned TV program viewed online.
While consumption of broadband video has grown, the study shows that television is still the preferred platform for traditional TV content: The vast majority (70 percent) of internet users who watch TV online say do so because they missed the episode on TV.
For more findings related to TV and portable video devices, see the MarketingCharts coverage.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 3:24 PM
Social Network Spending to Hit $2.2B in '08
Advertiser spending on social networks will reach $2.2 billion in 2008, reports MediaPost.
That number comes from a new study by eMarketer, which sees spending almost doubling from this year's $1.2 billion. Facebook and MySpace, it says, are poised to pull in 70 percent of those dollars.
The growth in usage of social networks drives the growth in ad dollars being funneled toward them. eMarketer says 37 percent of adults have visited a social network at least once a month in 2007.
It's also predicted that half the US adult population will be on a social network by 2011. For teens, that number will be 84 percent.
Both Facebook and MySpace have taken steps to cater to the needs and desires of advertisers. They've built out their offerings significantly, including options that use the vast amounts of data provided by users, and compiled by analysis of user behavior.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 3:16 PM
Monday, December 17, 2007
The study by eye-tracking firm Enquiro sought to determine how the placement of search listings and sponsored search ads affect consumer brand perceptions.
Using Honda as a test brand and “fuel-efficiency” as a brand attribute, the study focused on consumers early in the purchase process who had not yet selected a particular car model.
Among the key findings of the study:
- Lift in brand affinity: Online consumers who saw Honda in the top ad placement and the top organic search result were 16% more likely to think of Honda as a fuel efficient car than when the automaker’s brand didn’t appear on the page at all.
- Lift in brand recall: Online consumers were 42% more likely to recall Honda if the company appeared in both the top ad placement and the top organic search result, rather than just the top organic listing.
- Lift in purchase intent: When Honda was featured in both the top ad and top organic listings, purchase intent for Honda increased 8%. However, other automaker brands absent from the page suffered a significant decrease in purchase intent - 16%.
Additional insights are available from the Enquiro whitepaper, “The Brand Lift of Search”:
About the study: Using Honda as a test brand, the study sought to quantify the branding impact of differing Honda listing placements on the search results page. The experiment was conducted using subjects 25 years and older who were considering the purchase of a new car within the next year. Users performed a search for “fuel efficient car” and the search results appeared in five different variations: a Honda-branded listing in top ad position only, top organic position only, both the top organic and ad positions, side ad position only, and not at all (control group). Enquiro measured eye fixation on the Google page and also surveyed participants to evaluate the search experience’s branding effect on each of the five consumer test groups.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 5:20 AM
Top 10 U.S. Social-Network and Blog Site Rankings Issued for Nov.source: http://www.marketingvox.com/archives/2007/12/17/top-10-us-social-network-and-blog-site-rankings-issued-for-nov/
Google's Blogger remains atop blog site rankings with 33.6 million visitors, down from October's 34.1 million.
Ranked second among social-networking sites, Facebook increased the number of visitors to nearly 22.0 million, up from October's 19.5 million - and up 89 percent vs. Nov. 2006, whereas MySpace visitors increased just 7 percent year over year.
Among blog sites, top-ranked Blogger increased its visitors a significant 49 percent from the year-earlier period, accounting for 33.6 million visitors in Nov., albeit that was down from this October's 34.1 million.
More impressively, however, WordPress, which maintained the No. 2 rank it first achieved in Oct., grew 310 percent from the year-earlier period. In Nov. it accounted for 12.0 million visitors, up from 11.4 million in Oct. - and up from 2.9 million last year.
Six Apart Type Pad, now No. 3, also grew - 22 percent from last year - to more than 11.0 million in Nov., up from nearly 10.6 million visitors in Oct.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 5:12 AM
Friday, December 14, 2007
ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO CONTRIBUTE KNOWLEDGE
Example Screenshot: http://www.google.com/help/knol_screenshot.html
12/13/2007 06:01:00 PMPosted by Udi Manber, VP Engineering
The web contains an enormous amount of information, and Google has helped to make that information more easily accessible by providing pretty good search facilities. But not everything is written nor is everything well organized to make it easily discoverable. There are millions of people who possess useful knowledge that they would love to share, and there are billions of people who can benefit from it. We believe that many do not share that knowledge today simply because it is not easy enough to do that. The challenge posed to us by Larry, Sergey and Eric was to find a way to help people share their knowledge. This is our main goal.
Earlier this week, we started inviting a selected group of people to try a new, free tool that we are calling "knol", which stands for a unit of knowledge. Our goal is to encourage people who know a particular subject to write an authoritative article about it. The tool is still in development and this is just the first phase of testing. For now, using it is by invitation only. But we wanted to share with everyone the basic premises and goals behind this project.
The key idea behind the knol project is to highlight authors. Books have authors' names right on the cover, news articles have bylines, scientific articles always have authors -- but somehow the web evolved without a strong standard to keep authors names highlighted. We believe that knowing who wrote what will significantly help users make better use of web content. At the heart, a knol is just a web page; we use the word "knol" as the name of the project and as an instance of an article interchangeably. It is well-organized, nicely presented, and has a distinct look and feel, but it is still just a web page. Google will provide easy-to-use tools for writing, editing, and so on, and it will provide free hosting of the content. Writers only need to write; we'll do the rest.
A knol on a particular topic is meant to be the first thing someone who searches for this topic for the first time will want to read. The goal is for knols to cover all topics, from scientific concepts, to medical information, from geographical and historical, to entertainment, from product information, to how-to-fix-it instructions. Google will not serve as an editor in any way, and will not bless any content. All editorial responsibilities and control will rest with the authors. We hope that knols will include the opinions and points of view of the authors who will put their reputation on the line. Anyone will be free to write. For many topics, there will likely be competing knols on the same subject. Competition of ideas is a good thing.
Knols will include strong community tools. People will be able to submit comments, questions, edits, additional content, and so on. Anyone will be able to rate a knol or write a review of it. Knols will also include references and links to additional information. At the discretion of the author, a knol may include ads. If an author chooses to include ads, Google will provide the author with substantial revenue share from the proceeds of those ads.
Once testing is completed, participation in knols will be completely open, and we cannot expect that all of them will be of high quality. Our job in Search Quality will be to rank the knols appropriately when they appear in Google search results. We are quite experienced with ranking web pages, and we feel confident that we will be up to the challenge. We are very excited by the potential to substantially increase the dissemination of knowledge.
We do not want to build a walled garden of content; we want to disseminate it as widely as possible. Google will not ask for any exclusivity on any of this content and will make that content available to any other search engine.
As always, a picture is worth a thousands words, so an example of a knol is below (click on the image twice to see the page in full). The main content is real, and we encourage you to read it (you may sleep better afterwards!), but most of the meta-data -- like reviews, ratings, and comments -- are not real, because, of course, this has not been in the public eye as yet. Again, this is a preliminary version.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 4:20 PM
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Drug Promotion Takes to the Web
AP Online - Dec. 04, 2007
WASHINGTON_Patients today are less likely to bump into drug sales
representatives at a doctor's office as pharmaceutical companies adopt
cheaper technologies and more discreet ways to pitch drugs.
The changes are partly in response to a backlash against overly
aggressive marketing of the past decade, when many executives believed
the company with the biggest sales force would have the highest sales.
From 1999 to 2001, U.S. drug companies expanded their sales staffs, on
average, by 42 percent, according to the most recent research available
Back then, many physicians dealt with half a dozen or more people from
each major drug company as ever-larger armies of sample-toting
salespeople were mobilized. But the marketing blitz took a toll on
"A lot of practices across the U.S. basically said 'we don't want to see
you anymore because it's too much of an interruption,'" said Dr. Dave
Switzer, a family doctor based in northern Virginia who gives
unannounced salespeople a minute of his time.
He may be on the generous side. Seventy-five percent of sales calls
these days don't involve a face-to-face meeting with a doctor, according
to research by Leerink Swann & Co. Industry executives acknowledge
increased demands on physician's time, including paperwork required by
However, the marketing shift goes beyond a time crunch. In recent years,
media companies have increasingly scrutinized how drug companies court
physicians, from handing out branded pens to funding lavish conferences
at exotic locations.
"Patients are watching, medical students are watching and it's just
become harder and harder to justify these interactions," said David
Kramer, chief executive of Digitas Health, a company that specializes in
online pharmaceutical marketing.
Perhaps the most important driver in the effort to improve selling
techniques is the bottom line. Revenues are shrinking industrywide as
many blockbuster drugs from the past decade lose patent protection.
Dwindling sales recently led the industry's biggest player, Pfizer Inc.,
to cut its U.S. sales force by 20 percent or about 2,500 salespeople.
Rivals such as AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb have also reduced
U.S. sales staff in recent years.
"We've made sure we have fewer representatives calling on any one
physician and made those representatives more accountable for each of
their relationships," said David Snow, an AstraZeneca vice president.
"And the technology actually enhances that by giving them more
information and more ways to present it."
AstraZeneca and other companies are focusing on Web-based visits between
doctors and salespeople. The appointments are made for the evening or
weekends, and a sales representative gives a presentation through an
online video link or over the telephone while directing the physician to
Web pages. Executives say it is becoming one of their most effective
According to Merck & Co. Inc., the average online appointment with a
physician lasts 10 minutes, compared with 4 minutes for an in-person
Technology is changing how companies do sales calls in other ways.
Representatives used to carry pages of company studies and medical
journal articles. Using tablet PCs, sales people can present their
information faster and direct the doctor to company Web pages.
Meanwhile, the tablet PC automatically records information about what
was presented and how it was received and sends it back to the marketing
department. This feedback can be used to judge the quality of the
company's message _ and sometimes the skill of the person presenting it.
Consulting firm Exploria SPA says more than 70 percent of drug
salespeople carry a tablet PC even though some representatives complain
the devices allow managers to peer over their shoulders too much.
Industry executives say in-person selling will remain the core of their
sales strategy although the past two years have seen an increase in
online promotions that eliminate salespeople. According to one industry
survey, nearly half of physicians prefer to learn about new medications
through the Internet, instead of through a salesperson.
People that design these online promotions say doctors are simply
displaying the same consumer preferences that have made businesses like
Amazon.com and eBay so successful.
"I shop online, I consume information online and I don't have to wait
for the newspaper to hit the driveway," said Bruce Grant, an executive
with Digitas Health. "Doctors are just doing the same thing you and I
are as consumers: they're taking advantage of the full power and
convenience these new media give you."
So-called e-details include Web sites set up specifically for doctors
and video presentations sent via e-mail. Increasingly, e-details amount
to mini-movies, using high production values and medical experts, urging
doctors to prescribe the company's latest product.
"The traditional model that served us very well for many years is
broken," said Gary Pond, a marketing executive at Merck. "We're going to
have to evolve to a different way of doing business, and technology is
one tool to help get us there."
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 10:26 AM
Revolution Health Acquires HealthTalk
WASHINGTON & SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec 5, 2007 - Revolution Health,
a leading health company founded by AOL co-founder Steve Case to
transform how people approach their overall health and wellness, today
announced the acquisition of HealthTalk, a leading online provider of
chronic care information and programming. HealthTalk will operate as
part of Revolution Health Network, which encompasses
RevolutionHealth.com, CarePages.com and the company's affiliations with
drugstore.com and SparkPeople.com.
HealthTalk.com provides in-depth, original multi-media health content to
more than 1 million unique visitors per month. Additionally, the company
has amassed more than 500,000 members who receive targeted health
information that covers all aspects of patient needs - from treatment to
quality of life. HealthTalk members are able to participate in forums
that allow patients from all over to interact with world-class experts-
no matter where they are located.
Revolution Health Network is the definitive online health community for
people at all stages of health - from people seeking to improve everyday
health and fitness to people managing acute conditions to people
"The acquisition of HealthTalk advances our position as the leading
health community on the Internet and adds yet another dimension to the
Revolution Health Network family of offerings," said Steve Case,
chairman and CEO of Revolution Health Group. "HealthTalk brings to
Revolution Health Network an array of unique, deep content and
interactive programming that covers the most prevalent acute conditions
facing Americans today."
HealthTalk's strength with chronic conditions complements Revolution
Health's strength in the health and wellness category. The combination
enables Revolution Health Networks to broaden its audience and provide
health-involved consumers with a robust offering of content and services
for every stage of their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
The expanded reach of the Revolution Health Network combined with the
depth of HealthTalk's proprietary content also provides pharmaceutical
and biotechnology customers with a unique opportunity to target their
audiences in a more meaningful way. With the HealthTalk.com acquisition,
Revolution Health Network now reaches more than 12 million unique
visitors per month, making it the second largest health information
destination on the Internet.
The HealthTalk.com acquisition brings with it a veteran management team
with extensive experience at many of the industry's leading properties,
including WebMD, Discovery, Everyday Health and Oxygen Media.
"We are very excited about becoming part of Revolution Health," said
Mike Cunnion, president of HealthTalk. "We are philosophically aligned
in our mission to provide the best and most useful health information to
consumers and to provide valuable new opportunities to our advertisers."
About Revolution Health
Revolution Health Group LLC was created by AOL Co-Founder Steve Case to
create products and services that empower people by putting them at the
center of the health system. The cornerstone of the company is
RevolutionHealth.com, which was recently named the Best Overall Internet
Health Site by the eHealthcare Leadership Awards. The free consumer
health and medical web site marries expert content and online tools with
the power of social networking. Revolution Health also offers premium
services that enable companies to provide health content and customized
online tools to their employees, an insurance marketplace and CarePages
(www.carepages.com), the leading service that enables communication
among family and friends when someone is receiving care. For more
information go to http://www.RevolutionHealth.com.
HealthTalk is a leading Internet-based health information network for
patients and caregivers living with a chronic condition. HealthTalk
reaches over 500,000 community members each month. The mission of
HealthTalk is to inform and empower the nation's growing chronic care
population by providing indispensable, hyper-relevant information and
support through active communities, multimedia programming and advice
from the nation's leading medical experts. http://www.HealthTalk.com
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 10:24 AM
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
ReachMD XM Channel 157 and Sermo Partner to Directly Involve Physicians
in News and Information That Affects Medicine
November 16, 2007 - Chicago, IL - ReachMD XM Satellite Radio (Channel
157) and Cambridge, MA based Sermo today announced a partnership in
which ReachMD's innovative broadcast medical programming will be linked
to Sermo's online physician community. This unique partnership will
enable physicians from across the country to access selected segments of
ReachMD's medical programming directly from Sermo and discuss them in
real-time. Also, ReachMD XM 157 will broadcast ongoing reports on
physician opinions and attitudes about the content that is "discussed"
within the Sermo online community. These physician insights will help
deliver on the mutual interest of both Sermo and ReachMD to inform,
educate and stimulate dialogue with America's physician community.
"By combining the real-time discussion and engagement that takes place
in the Sermo physician community with the innovative programming and
broadcast network of ReachMD, the two organizations will amplify the
voices and opinions of the nation's physicians in a powerful new way
that directly influences healthcare," said Alex Frost, VP of Research
Initiatives at Sermo.
As part of this unique partnership, ReachMD listeners and the nearly
40,000 physicians on Sermo will be able to discuss ReachMD programs
within the Sermo community. The partnership with ReachMD is an early
alliance in Sermo's "Discuss on Sermo" initiative, which enables
physicians to share opinions about medical news in real-time and to
collectively interpret research advances with thousands of colleagues.
The partnership also allows ReachMD to report on the kinds of
discussions happening in the Sermo community about its content.
"Both of our companies offer new and innovative ways for physicians to
engage one another and to be heard," said Dr. David Preskill, Founder
and Chief Medical Officer of ReachMD. "By combining broadcast media with
the Sermo community, physicians can now listen to a segment on ReachMD,
then immediately discuss the content with colleagues. This allows for
Launched in September 2006, Sermo is already the largest online
physician community in the US, with nearly 40,000 physician members. On
Sermo, physicians exchange knowledge with each other and gain
potentially life saving insights directly from colleagues. Sermo
harnesses the power of collective wisdom and enables physicians to
discuss new clinical findings, report unusual events, and work together
to improve patient care. Through its unique business model, Sermo is
free to physicians and has no advertising or promotion. For more
information, visit www.sermo.com.
ReachMD, headquartered in Highland Park, Illinois, is a leading provider
of advanced healthcare information and education for medical
professionals. The company's proprietary technology provides the most up
to date healthcare information in the field through cellular phone,
satellite radio and on-line programs. This technology allows healthcare
professionals access to the latest information in best practices and new
advances in treatment and delivers this information through convenient
and accessible technologies. For more information, visit
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 1:22 PM
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Hope’s Voice commemorates World AIDS Day with PlanetOut, Inc. and an exclusive content partnership for Gay.com and PlanetOut.com.
Campaign posters of David, Duane, Lance, Nate, Shelton, Tim, Todd and Tyler and interviews are featured on the websites from November 17
December 1. Executive Director Todd Murray sat down with PlanetOut, Inc. to talk about Hope’s Voice, the alarming statistics and challenges young people living with HIV or AIDS face. The content is included in the headline news on the homepage of both websites.
The content will reach out to over 2 million members and visitors. “Hope’s Voice is happy to create this exciting partnership to provide the eye-catching and powerful content that will give a face and voice to HIV and AIDS. The 25th anniversary marks an important time of not only looking in the past, but also looking towards the future. We are thrilled to reach communities around the world with our important messages. We acknowledge the need for open communication in a community that has been affected so deeply from the HIV and AIDS epidemic,” says Todd Murray, Executive Director.
For more information on Hope’s Voice and the Does HIV Look Like Me? campaign contact Todd Murray, Executive Director at 212.459.1599.
To read the interview with Hope’s Voice speakers and view the Does HIV Look Like Me? campaign images on Gay.com visit:
To read the interview with Hope’s Voice speakers and view the Does HIV Look Like Me? campaign images on PlanetOut.com visit:
To read the interview with Hope’s Voice Executive Director on Gay.com visit:
To read the interview with Hope’s Voice Executive Director on PlanetOut.com visit:
About Hope’s Voice
Hope's Voice is a national HIV and AIDS organization committed to promoting the education and prevention of HIV and AIDS to young adults.
Hope's Voice uses open dialogue and peer-to-peer education, through both speaker appearances of young adults living with HIV and AIDS and progressive programs to send this crucial message: HIV and AIDS does not discriminate. The aim of Hope's Voice is to raise awareness and help young adults create the social
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 9:34 PM
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Online videos stealing viewers from TV
A growing number of consumers are watching their TV shows online, and more than just the cable companies are noticing. One direction online video is going is toward the creation of scripted episodes made expressly for Web sites, which emulate TV in that they are released at the same time each day or week. But these Webisodes are usually much briefer than their TV counterparts, as few computer users are willing to sit at their monitors for 30 or 60 minutes at a time.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 6:31 AM
Monday, November 26, 2007
Genetics company offering genome tests, online results to consumers
A new personal genetics company, 23andMe, launched last week and is offering services directly to U.S. consumers. The company says it uses DNA analysis and web-based interactive tools to help people understand their own genetic information. 23andMe sends consumers a saliva kit, and after testing, they will be able to use a private login to access their genetic data online. Web-based tools allow customers to explore their ancestry, see what genetics research means for them, and compare themselves to friends and family members. Earlier this month, the HHS genetic task force called on the FDA to more closely scrutinize DTC ads for genetic tests and take action against ones that make false claims. Genetics company offering genome tests, online results to consumers
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 7:59 AM
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Nielsen: More people use Google, but other sites get more of their time
Google was the top Web site in both parent company and brand rankings, according to October usage data from Nielsen Online. In the parent company ranking, Google had a unique audience of 120.7 million, with each user spending about 90 minutes at one or more of its sites or applications. Although Yahoo! and Time Warner ranked third and fourth, respectively, among parents companies in terms of unique users, visitors spent more than three hours at their sites. When measuring brands, Google was again on top with a unique audience of 114.8 million. Yet again, the amount of time users spent with the brand was almost three hours less than AOL Media Network, at which users spent about four hours.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 7:59 AM
Epilepsy.com relaunches with online health management tool
A tool that allows patients to record and manage their epilepsy electronically is one of the new features of the relaunched epilepsy.com. Using the site, patients will be able to keep track of seizures, medications and other treatments, side effects, and information. Users can also create a database of healthcare contacts and medical appointments and receive automated refill reminders. Other features of the new site include an expanded social networking and community space, more than 3,500 pages of editorial content, and videos. In related news, epilepsy.com won the 2007 eHealthcare Leadership Silver Award in the Consumer Disease-Focused Site category.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 7:58 AM
Web site provides free breast cancer risk assessment tool
A new Web site aims to help women learn about breast cancer and evaluate their breast cancer risk. The site, www.PursuingPainFreeCancer.org/breastcancer, was developed by Illinois-based Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers. It features a free online risk assessment that evaluates a woman's risk based on certain genetic and lifestyle factors, such as personal and family medical history, obesity, ethnicity, menstrual periods, smoking, and alcohol consumption.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 7:57 AM
Genzyme adds video to product site, alerts patients with e-mail
Genzyme has created new exercise videos for its In Step with Synvisc Web site, and it let registered users know about it with an e-mail update. Synvisc is used to relieve osteoarthritis knee pain, and the site, InStepWithSynvisc.com, provides disease and drug information and personalized support tools (ePharm5, 6/8/06). The e-mail alert uses the straightforward subject line "new knee exercise videos" and is personalized with the recipient's name in the body of the e-mail. There is also a link within the e-mail that brings users directly to the videos after they log in.
Go to www.InStepWithSynvisc.com to learn more.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 7:53 AM
Friday, November 16, 2007
Two new social networks provide diabetes support
Social networking is getting a disease-specific spin with two news sites devoted to diabetes. DiabeTeens.com from The HealthCentral Network aims to help diabetic teens connect with each other online and provide information about type 1 diabetes. The site features blogs written by diabetic teens and an advice column. Users can also create their own diabetes blogs. The other new site is the Canadian-based Wellocities. The online community, available for free throughout Canada, combines a national Web directory of health services with social networking. Wellocities says it features Canada's first and only nationwide health directory of traditional and nontraditional health services and private and public providers. Click the supporting links below to read more about DiabeTeens and Wellocities.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 5:33 AM
Pharma: Reach out to Alzheimer's caregivers online
November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month, and now may be a good time for pharma to reach out to Alzheimer's caregivers online, suggest new Manhattan Research Cybercitizen Health v7.0 data. "Consumers who are caregivers to someone with Alzheimer's are much more active than the average U.S. adult in terms of their health information seeking, and are especially active in their pharmaceutical info seeking online," says Meredith Abreu Ressi, vice president of research at Manhattan Research. In fact, half of this population is online for pharma information, compared to about one-third of all consumers. Also, nearly 40% have visited a pharma product or corporate site, and they're almost twice as likely as the average adult to have requested a prescription drug in the past 12 months.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 5:29 AM
Thursday, November 15, 2007
eMedTV Unveils Web's Largest Library of Original Health Education Videos
Market Wire via NewsEdge Corporation :
SEATTLE, WA, November 13 / MARKET WIRE/ --
eMedTV (www.eMedTV.com) today unveiled the only health information Web site to empower consumers through a mix of straightforward, conversational language and access to nearly 3,000 original health education videos covering hundreds of medical conditions, procedures and treatments.
The site's impressive library of original health educations videos -- the largest available on the Web today -- is combined with eMedTV's growing collection of more than 16,000 easy-to-understand print articles covering more than 2,000 health topics. In turn, eMedTV helps its users not only better understand their health, but also play a more active role in planning their healthcare with their physician.
"For many consumers, getting straight answers to medical questions -- whether from a physician or the Web -- is intimidating and complicated," said Dr. Art Schoenstadt, founder and president of eMedTV. "eMedTV is truly health information brought to life. We give you the option of reading articles or watching the Web's largest library of original health education videos available online so you can make more informed and confident healthcare decisions."
Many health Web sites license the majority of their content from the same small handful of sources, Schoenstadt said. This results in a lack of fresh perspectives and a cookie-cutter approach to health information that prioritizes marketing and profits ahead of what's best for consumers.
"Original content is another area where eMedTV is different," Schoenstadt said. "We go well beyond licensed content to offer original videos and articles, all produced by health, fitness and medical experts."
eMedTV's vast library of multimedia content has been used by the National Institutes of Health and top medical centers within the United States and overseas.
The breadth and depth of eMedTV's health topics also make it an essential site for any patient, including those who are low-literate or illiterate. Unlike most online medical information -- which is text-heavy and loaded with jargon -- eMedTV's easy-to-understand videos and articles allow patients to learn about thousands of health topics at their own pace.
In addition to its health education videos available in English, eMedTV also offers a selection of videos in Spanish, German, Czech, Polish, Turkish, Dutch and Swiss-German. The site will also feature up-to-date news, as well as tips and facts of the day.
To further enrich its multimedia offerings, eMedTV also plans to launch an online community of both patients and healthcare professionals in the coming months. Upcoming features will include an "Ask an Expert" section, message boards, blogs, polls and quizzes.
eMedTV is the only health information Web site that combines straight talk from medical experts with the Web's largest library of original health education videos.
eMedTV provides consumers with thousands of short videos and articles designed to quickly and easily educate them about a wide variety of diseases, treatments and procedures. The site's award-winning original content has been used by the National Institutes of Health and top medical centers both within the United States and overseas.
eMedTV is health information brought to life, online at: www.emedtv.com.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 5:38 AM
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
More women are entering the blogosphere -- satirizing, sharing and
reaching a key demographic
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
By Mackenzie Carpenter, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A self-portrait of Elizabeth Perry, of Friendship, who posts sketches of
her daily life on her blog, at www.elizabethperry.com.
They post reviews of the latest Wilco concert at the A.J. Palumbo Center
or deconstruct cupcake stores in Shadyside. They complain about Luke
Ravenstahl's golf outings and Troy Polamalu's indifferent attitude
They can be snarky, satirical, nurturing, idealistic. They can be shy,
fiercely guarding their anonymity behind monikers like "PittGirl" or
"Agent Ska," or bold, like Justine Ezarki, a k a "iJustine," who, with
the help of her camera phone, enables readers to follow her virtually
every hour of the day.
Pittsburgh's women bloggers either define themselves through the lens of
gender -- as do the members of the Pittsburgh Women's Blogging Society
-- or, like PittGirl at the popular The Burgh Blog, as simply bloggers
who happen to be women.
When blogs -- cyber-shorthand for "weblogs," or online journals -- began
popping up on the Internet in the mid-1990s, their practitioners seemed
to be overwhelmingly white and male. But slowly and steadily, women
bloggers have been increasing in number, reflecting a national trend in
female social networking that has ignited the interest of politicians,
companies and the media who see chances to harness the buying and voting
power of this well-educated and affluent demographic for profits and
One survey in March, by a blog advertising firm called Blogads, reported
that the average consumer of such content is a 29-year-old female with
an annual income of $70,000 who taps into five blogs a day and spends
four hours a week on them.
It's impossible to know how many women blog -- it's probably in the
millions, and at Blogher.com, at least 10,000 women bloggers are listed
in all permutations, from food and drink blogs to astrology to sports.
One of the hottest categories is the "mommy blog" -- and the networks
that list them, providing one-stop shopping for women looking for
information or a shoulder to cry on or just to share laughs.
Other networks include Ladies Who Launch <http://ladieswholaunch.com> ,
which targets "mompreneurs," and the newly unveiled Mom Blog Network
<http://momblognetwork.com> , which boasts of "a proprietary system of
algorithms to reveal what topics, blogs and users are the 'hottest.' "
Locally, there's The Motherhood <http://themotherhood.com> , a mommy
blog network, but with a twist: While allowing mothers to share
parenting experiences and information it also provides them with a
chance to engage in the wider world, banding together as an online
community to support maternal health initiatives or action on Darfur.
"We really are dedicated to mothers finding each other to make a
difference in the world, not just 10 points on potty training," said
Cooper Munroe, a 41-year-old Fox Chapel mother of four who, along with
Emily McKhann, a colleague and business partner who lives in New York,
launched the site in July.
The Motherhood gets a couple of thousand hits a day and was named site
of the month by Parents magazine in September. Its incubation period
dates to 2005, when Hurricane Katrina prompted Ms. Munroe and her
friends to organize, through a small online blog they'd started called
BeenThere <http://BeenThere.typepad.com> , an 18-wheeler truckload
delivery of clothes and food to victims in northern Louisiana.
"It was a real epiphany," she said. "I thought, 'Oh, my God, I can
really make a difference with a baby in my lap and a computer.' "
Ms. Munroe then began to think about the Internet's possibilities as a
way to bring mothers together "to make the world a better place," while
balancing the demands of a family.
"Themotherhood.com is personal, political, kitchen table stuff in a new
form," she said. "We call it 'big picture parenting.' We could all use
big-picture views of what we want for our kids and ourselves."
Another site, Woolgathering (www.elizabethperry.com/woolgathering), a
"sketch" blog by Elizabeth Perry, takes a more miniaturist approach. A
technology integration specialist at The Ellis School in Shadyside and a
mother of three school-age children, Ms. Perry, 51, of Friendship,
learned to draw a few years ago.
"People told me that the way to learn to draw was to draw every day,"
she said. "So I did."
Ms. Perry hasn't stopped since. Every day, she posts a watercolor or
drawing, delicate yet sharply observed, from her life: a glimpse of her
feet on an ottoman, a sunflower losing its petals, the Clarion County
"I follow G.K. Chesterton's philosophy, which is, 'If a thing is worth
doing, it is worth doing badly,' and this sketch blog is a thing
profoundly worth doing, even when I do it badly," she laughs. "I believe
that sitting still and simply looking at something allows me to slow
down and appreciate my ordinary surroundings in a new way. Drawing daily
lets me take chances, make mistakes, and model that process in public."
Politics of blogging
Ms. Perry is one of 15 women bloggers who belong to the Pittsburgh
Women's Blogging Society, a generally left-leaning group affiliated with
the Thomas Merton Center.
They include 2 Political Junkies <http://2politicaljunkies.blogspot.com>
, which closely follows, analyzes and satirizes politicians residing
from Grant Street to Pennsylvania Avenue; Pittsburgh Lesbian
Correspondents <http://www.pghlesbian.com> , which focuses on gay,
lesbian, bisexual and transgendered issues; and Ms. Adventures on the
Mon <http://MsMonongahela.blogspot.com> , political satire by Frances
Monahan, a 41-year-old Brentwood mother of three and a freelance writer
whose work is often found in the City Paper.
While Ms. Monahan admires some local political bloggers, "I look at some
of them and say, 'Boy, some of these are really awful.' From the get-go,
I wanted to do something different from the diatribes and manifestos, so
I try to employ my favorite weapon, which is humor."
With liberal use of videos and photos, Ms. Monongahela attracts "maybe
100 readers one day, other days more than a thousand hits," and has
plans to podcast Nov. 14, "when we'll be talking about issues, not Ellen
Overall, though, it's not clear how many women blog in this region.
PghBloggers.org, a social networking site that tries to list every new
local blog, holds a Blogfest four times a year so computer-bound members
can meet each other face-to-face. At its August meeting, the number of
men slightly exceeded women who showed up, said Christina Schulman, one
of the site's co-founders.
"But that's probably an unscientific sample, since we held it at a bar
on a weeknight, and more men than women are probably going to come out
for something like that," she laughed.
A few women bloggers do stand out from the rest of the pack, said Ms.
"PittGirl on The Burgh Blog [theburghblog.com] is my favorite, if it
truly is written by a woman. People aren't sure, and everyone wants to
out her. She's very articulate, well-read and informed, yet she has
managed to find that common denominator that appeals to everyone from
the yinzers, and I'm not saying that pejoratively, because I am one, to
Despite the growing popularity of BurghBlog, Ms. Monongahela and other
female bloggers, true digital diversity in the blogosphere seems still
out of reach. At this year's YearlyKos Convention, an annual gathering
of bloggers, policy makers and liberal political activists, only a
handful of the 100 panels and seminars were aimed at women or
That's why the addition of more women bloggers can only be a good thing,
Ms. Monahan said, given what she says is the slightly seedy reputation
of the blogging community as a "bunch of Cheetos-eating guys sitting in
their pajamas in their mother's grungy basements."
Women bloggers in Pittsburgh may wear pajamas, too, but they add a
different voice to the mix, even if their blogs aren't necessarily
well-designed, well-written and therefore worth reading.
"We're just kind of at the beginning stages, and we're still finding our
groove," she said. "It's still very much a grass-roots effort. Heck, I
don't accept money because my blog is not worth paying for."
Maybe not, but it's still certainly worth doing.
"Blogging is like that secret diary every girl keeps when she's a
teenager," Ms. Monahan added. "You kind of want everyone to stumble upon
that little journal you've been keeping, you want to share that angst
and you do, and then a great weight is lifted and there's some kind of
connection and, maybe, the world understands you a little bit better."
Mackenzie Carpenter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 9:49 AM
Marketers Reach Key Demos Via Mobile
by Gavin O'Malley, Wednesday, Nov 14, 2007 7:00 AM ET
MARKETERS STRUGGLING TO ENGAGE ELUSIVE 18- to-24-year-olds need look no
further than mobile devices, according to new findings from market
research firm InsightExpress.
Members of Generation Y now use their mobile phones to take 76% of all
personal calls, according to an online survey of some 2,000 young mobile
device owners in October, conducted by Stamford, Conn.-based
Over half of the Gen Yers--or 56%--report spending time looking for new
things to do with their mobile phones. That engagement leaves the door
open for marketers to reach young consumers with short attention spans
and busy digital social lives.
"It's clear that as an extension of self, these omnipresent devices play
a much broader role in the lives of young people, especially when it
comes to interpersonal relationships, than simply voice or text
communication," says Joy Liuzzo, director of mobile research at
InsightExpress, in a release.
The research firm also outlined new opportunities for marketers looking
to provide users with helpful mobile services. For example, over a third
(34%) of Gen Yers have arranged to have another person call their mobile
device in order to rescue them from undesired social situations.
"The mobile phone has apparently become like a panic button, used for
'rescue missions' in awkward social situations," Liuzzo says. There is
no reason why a brand marketer couldn't just as easily provide this
Seeing mobile's potential, traditional media players, like the big
broadcast networks, are now growing their online and mobile platforms
even faster than pure-play new media companies, according to recent data
from private-equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson and its research
partner PQ Media.
Last year, pure-players like AOL and Yahoo spent $32 billion on
platforms, which amounted to a 10.3% compound annual growth rate (CAGR),
VSS found, using data from PQ Media. Traditional media, meanwhile, spent
$27 billion on platforms, but at a CAGR of 40.6%.
By 2009, VSS and PQ Media predict that spending by traditional media on
online and mobile platforms will actually surpass the pure-play spend,
according to Jim Rutherfurd, managing director at VSS. And by 2011, the
old guard will shell out $68 billion at a CAGR of 20.4%; pure-players
will spend $63 billion at a CAGR of 14.7%
Gavin O'Malley can be reached at email@example.com
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 9:45 AM
Stanford launches searchable clinical trials database online
Information about the clinical trials at Stanford University and its affiliates is now available through a publicly accessible database. The database is available at clinicaltrials.stanford.edu and will contain all interventional studies conducted at Stanford. Trials entered into the new system will also be automatically uploaded to the National Institutes of Health's clinical trial database and published on departmental Web sites within the medical school and can be easily shared with collaborating institutions. Patients can search the database by condition or disease, investigator, department, or a free-text search. According to the university, about 1,000 clinical trials are going on at Stanford at any one time, with about 300 trials beginning and 300 trials ending each year.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 6:44 AM
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Instead of building a microsite for a campaign, marketers are
increasingly creating pages on social media sites such as Facebook and
MySpace, reports Mediaweek. Development costs are lower, and sites
created recently by Dove, Chase, and Verizon have been free to
advertisers. And because the profiles are linked to social networks
rather than being stand-alone sites, the campaigns' "friends" act as a
kind of word-of-mouth marketing crew. At least one pharma that ePharm5
has reported on has been in on this trend. In August, Reckitt Benckiser
Pharmaceuticals launched the MySpace page Addiction411 to educate
consumers about addiction to opiates, including prescription
painkillers. As of November 12, Addiction411 had 6,623 friends,
according to its page.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 8:23 AM
HHS GENETICS PANEL: OVERSIGHT ON DTC ADS, GENE TEST REGISTRY NEEDED
FDA Week via NewsEdge Corporation :
Genetic testing advocacy organizations applaud the HHS genetic task
force's call this week for FDA and other agencies in HHS to jointly
assess direct-to-consumer advertising of genetic tests and take
enforcement action against laboratories and companies that make false
genetic test claims. The groups are also pleased the task force is
pushing HHS to expand a voluntary genetic testing registry and consider
making it mandatory after a five-year review, but a prominent consumer
group says such a registry should be mandatory immediately.
The Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health and Society
(SACGHS) issued a slew of recommendations Monday (Nov. 5) calling for
better supervision of genetic testing to ensure the tests are accurate
and useful. The panel demurs from suggesting FDA or CMS have primary
oversight of genetic tests, an issue some genetic advocacy groups had
wanted the task force to settle.
Task force member Kathy Hudson, director of the Genetics and Public
Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University, says the panel felt both
agencies had jurisdiction.
But regulation is murky: Although FDA only regulates tests sold to other
labs, CMS administers the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments
(CLIA), which assess how well tests perform.
FDA has generally ignored laboratory-developed tests but recently
stepped up oversight in the area. It issued a guidance this summer on
what tests qualify as multivariate index assays (IVDMIAs), which are a
subset of genetic tests patients use to predict whether they will
develop diseases such as cancer. FDA also issued a guidance in 2006 on
its oversight of analyte specific reagents (ASRs), which are the
building blocks used by clinical laboratories to develop LDTs. ASRs
include antibodies and proteins.
SACGHS states there is a disparity between FDA and CMS regulations and a
lack of clarity on genetic test measures. The panel recommends HHS'
agencies collaborate and with professional organizations on collecting
better data for analytical and clinical validity and developing
standards for applying genetic tests in clinical practice.
Analytical validity is the measure of a test's reliability. Clinical
validity is a test's ability to detect a disorder.
SACGHS also expresses concern about DTC ads for genetic testing. It says
consumers don't understand the ads, claims are unproven and ambiguous,
and there is a lack of trained genetic professionals to explain test
results to patients.
FDA, CMS, the Federal Trade Commission and other agencies, working with
state governments and stakeholders, need to address false or misleading
DTC ads. The agencies also need to consult with states and other
stakeholders to develop an enforcement approach for any misleading ads,
SACGHS states in the draft report.
Edward Abrahams, executive director of the Personalized Medicine
Coalition, says the group supports federal intervention in DTC ad
genetic test oversight because the public is not trained to interpret
genetic risks from tests.
SACGHS also recommends a voluntary, genetic testing database, developed
through a private-public partnership, "to cut down on the information
gap on the number and identity of labs performing tests and the tests
SACGHS recommends HHS fund the expansion of GeneTests, a voluntary
online directory of genetic tests and the labs offering them. The panel
estimates more than 1,100 genetic tests are offered in clinical labs,
based on the information submitted to GeneTests.
No federal agency maintains the site. SACGHS recommends HHS assess the
system after five years and consider making registration necessary if
data is lacking.
Paul Radensky, a lawyer representing The Coalition for 21st Century
Medicine, says a registry could boost physicians and patients'
confidence in clinical test validity. Over time, he says, payers may
look at the registry to determine coverage.
Registration seems to be a good idea, says Vince Stein at the American
Association for Clinical Chemistry. Still, AACC, a professional group
representing lab directors, wants to know whether GeneTest registration
would require test approval before a test is submitted to the database.
Peter Lurie at Public Citizen calls the recommendation and report "very
"It's a rubber stamp for the no-significant action approach the
government has been taking," he says.
SACGHS also states FDA needs to better explain the "nature and scope" of
FDA oversight of electronic systems that interpret genetic data used to
determine physician treatment.
SACGHS recommends FDA work with other agencies, working groups and
stakeholders to come up with a better regulatory framework for clinical
decision support systems. It says FDA should then prepare a guidance on
clinical decision support systems explaining which system features are
devices regulated by FDA.
SACGHS also calls on HHS to recommend additional studies to assess
clinical utility, which refers to how useful the test will be in routine
practice, and says HHS should publish results of assessments on HHS' or
another Web site.
The panel also recommends CMS make sweeping changes to its CLIA
structure to better address genetic tests. One of the panel's larger
concerns is a test measure of how well genetic tests consistently
diagnose patients correctly. CMS rejected a request by Public Citizen
and a genetics policy group earlier this year to require that
laboratories always prove the efficiency of the genetic tests they use.
SACGHS recommends HHS add more tests under CLIA that must go through the
proficiency testing process; develop incentives for proficiency testing
providers to expand their services to more genetic tests; and fund
effectiveness studies for other types of performance assessments. The
task force calls for CMS to consult or contract experts to train
inspectors of genetic testing labs; and use revenues generated by CLIA
to hire staff to enforce regulations.
SACGHS also urges CMS to cover and reimburse genetic tests and
SACGHS wants CMS to prevent labs from performing genetic tests without
CLIA certification. The CLIA program cannot penalize uncertified labs so
CMS must report these labs to the HHS Inspector General.
"HHS should explore mechanisms and seek or develop new authorities and
resources to enable CMS to strengthen its enforcement efforts against
laboratories that perform genetic tests for clinical purposes without
CLIA certification. CMS should step up its efforts to make publicly
available a list of laboratories that have been cited by CLIA for
condition-level deficiencies," the report states.
SACGHS also calls for CLIA's regulations or statutory authority to be
expanded to cover genetic tests that test for caffeine metabolism or
determine the gender of a fetus.
These tests are "examples of health-related genetic tests that are
skirting the boundaries of CLIA's authority," the report states.
SACGHS is scheduled to meet Nov. 19 and 20 to discuss the draft report.
Comments are due Dec. 21.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 8:22 AM
SearchMedica.com Reveals Top Searches Among Medical Professionals
PR Newswire via NewsEdge Corporation :
NEW YORK, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- SearchMedica.com, the
specialty-oriented professional medical search engine, today unveiled
the first of an ongoing series of quarterly reports intended to shed
light on the most pressing clinical information needs of doctors. Each
report will include lists of the top 25 cancer, general medical and
psychiatric search queries among medical professionals for the preceding
"The 'Clinical Search Terms' quarterly reports list the disorders,
diseases, conditions and treatments that are top of mind with medical
professionals," said Cyndy Finnie, senior product manager for
SearchMedica. "We've compiled all of the SearchMedica.com oncology,
primary care and psychiatry searches that took place in the third
quarter to help other medical professionals stay informed of the latest
patient care trends impacting their peers and clarify the online
behavior of medical professionals for those that can apply these
findings to improve communication efforts aimed at medical doctors and
other healthcare professionals."
In the third quarter of 2007, the top cancer related searches among
medical professionals were:
1. breast cancer
2. lung cancer
3. vertebroplasty metastases
5. recurrent ovarian cancer
The top psychiatric searches among medical professionals were:
1. mood stabilizer
2. unipolar vs. bipolar depression
The top general clinical searches among medical professionals were:
2. HbA1c/glycated hemoglobin
4. aphthous ulcers
"Despite having perhaps the greatest wealth of trusted information
resources available to them offline, doctors go online in droves to
research topics covered extensively in those same resources. When we
asked 6,000 doctors, 77 percent of primary care physicians said they
turned to the Web frequently to find medical information," added Finnie.
"Considering the misleading, erroneous and consumer-oriented information
online underscores the importance of SearchMedica; it provides a trusted
gateway to credible information for medical professionals who use
SearchMedica provides clinicians with a specialist's view of the Web and
an easy to use interface. SearchMedica.com leverages the medical
expertise of thought leading medical editors as well as practicing
physicians to ensure that every result is clinically sound.
For instance, a Google search on the term "teen suicide," a topic that
has been in the news often as of late, returns approximately 722,000
results, most of which are geared toward parents and patients. The same
search nets 150 results on SearchMedica from some of the most credible
online sources of medical information for physicians and practitioners.
Healthcare professionals are encouraged to register to receive updates
about new content and tips on how to use various advanced tools within
SearchMedica. In addition to ranking search results according to
relevance, SearchMedica also organizes results into categories such as
practical articles and news, research reviews and editorials,
evidence-based articles and meta-analyses, practice guidelines, clinical
trials for patients, continuing medical education, and
SearchMedica.com recently was acknowledged for its outstanding user
experience as a recipient of a 2007 Standard of Excellence WebAward.
SearchMedica.com indexes only authoritative medical information,
approved for inclusion by medical editors and a physician editorial
board. Medical professionals receive more relevant, smaller sets of
search results from SearchMedica.com than from mainstream engines, which
contain consumer-oriented, paid testimonials and other types of
unreliable information. Since SearchMedica.com is advertiser supported,
medical professionals pay nothing to use the specialty search engines.
All SearchMedica search results are independent and unbiased. They
contain well-known, credible journals, peer-reviewed research, and
evidence-based articles written for practicing healthcare professionals.
SearchMedica is currently available at http://www.SearchMedica.com.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 8:17 AM
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 1:36 PM
Friday, November 09, 2007
Abbott Web site hosting live chats with diabetes experts
Abbott is hosting live online chats on the new Web site www.abbottdiabetescare.com to help parents manage children's diabetes during the holidays.
Available November 8 through January 3, the chats and other tools will connect users with diabetes specialists for advice about diabetes and the holidays and provide social support. According to Abbott, 93% of parents of diabetic children say it's challenging to stick to regular diabetes routines during the holidays, and their children experience more periods of uncontrolled blood glucose during this time. Almost 60% of surveyed parents said stress levels increase when it comes to caring for children with diabetes during the holiday season, and most said educational tools, such as Web chats and online forums, would help decrease their anxiety.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 5:51 AM
Not only are more people online, they spend average of 11 hours per week
Seventy-nine percent of adults are now online, according to the latest Harris Poll of 2,062 U.S. adults. It's a rise that's continued steadily, up from 77% in February/April 2006, 74% in February/April 2005, and 66% in the spring of 2002. In fact, in the past year, the number of online users has reached an estimated 178 million, a 10% increase. People are also spending more time online, at an average of 11 hours per week, up from nine hours last year and eight hours in 2005.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 5:49 AM
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
J&J, other advertisers sign onto social network for disabled community
Johnson & Johnson is among the companies already signed on to advertise with Disaboom.com, a new social network for the more than 650 million adults living with disabilities worldwide. The site launched at the beginning of October and according to The New York Times, it's reaching an audience that's too large to be called a "niche" group. Disaboom.com features videos, discussion boards, and product and service reviews. There are also a health channel, news, and a career center, according to the site. Howard Lieber, Disaboom's vice president for sales, told The Times that he doesn't think "mainstream advertisers realize the magnitude of the marketplace."
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 6:23 AM
Zuckerberg's Big Unveiling Leaves Some Marketers Salivating at Access to Social Graph
Tactically, it's not an easy concept to explain. The first part involves user-initiated recommendations of a brand: When people visit a business' Facebook page, they can choose to share their engagement with the band (by becoming a "fan" or writing on the brand's "wall") with their peer network using a newsfeed or mini-feed. Facebook users can also share their interaction on a brand's own website through a program coined Beacon. For example, users can share with their network when they post an item for sale on eBay, rent a movie on Blockbuster.com or rate a book on Amazon.com.
The idea is that communication moves not from the brand to the consumer but from the consumer to his or her friends and family.
Then there's the actual paid-advertising part: Facebook will permit advertisers to attach an ad message to those user notifications. To do so, marketers make a Facebook ad buy targeting users by any number of traits users volunteer on their profiles, such as age, political leanings or interests and activities. Facebook will then serve up those ads -- fairly simple text-plus-graphic creative -- either without the social element or, if a friend has sent notification of a brand engagement, within that.
"We are putting advertising back in the hands of people," said Chamath Palihapitiya, VP-product marketing and operations, Facebook. He said it would create a system for user recommendations "so ads are less like ads and more like information and content."
Facebook is offering the Beacon placement and branded pages for free. In return, the social-networking site gains access to potentially valuable targeting data about what kinds of brands users interact with.
A Trojan Horse
"It's a brilliant Trojan Horse," said Mark Kingdon, CEO of Organic. Overall, he called the platform "a natural evolution, both advertiser-friendly and user-friendly."
Marketer reaction ranged from modest skepticism to major enthusiasm.
Jeffrey Glueck, chief marketing officer at Travelocity, which was a launch partner of Facebook's Social Ads platform, said he was excited about the opportunities, but he admitted his brand has an inherent social aspect to it.
"Travel is very social, people like to talk about travel, invite their friends ... and Facebook users like to share information with friends," he said.
James Warner, exec VP-Avenue A/Razorfish East Region, said he liked the ability to linking a user action into an ad. "It's unique," he said, reservedly.
John Harrobin, senior VP-marketing and digital media at Verizon, was perhaps the most effusive, calling it exciting in the same way Google's launch of AdWords was exciting. The difference, he said, is Facebook's plan not only drives ads to those people who are in the bottom of the sales funnel but also the overall marketing effort.
"This lets us tap into the Facebook community's potential to drive results," he said.
But will consumers share?
Still, the service hinges on several things, not the least of which is users wanting to share their purchase behavior with friends. The targeting aspect assumes people honestly share their profile info. It also doesn't take into account what is happening in the offline world. (To hear Mr. Zuckerberg describe it, Facebook is the reflection of people's connections in the offline world.)
Rob Norman, CEO of Group M Interaction, blogged about the announcement and said it was encouraging concept but also posed a "massive challenge in reputation management and just one more destination to deal with in terms of driving the traffic with messaging that shapes opinion." He cautioned that clutter could become impenetrable, that people who share information about brands with friends might not actually like that being co-opted by advertisers; an easy slip up could, of course, broadcast something like a porn purchase to an entire social network.
There needs to be, he wrote, some "smart thinking about how to harvest the eggs without killing the golden goose."
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 6:22 AM
DestinationRx's New Online Tool Helps Seniors Navigate Medicare Part D
Business Wire via NewsEdge Corporation :
Business Editors/Health/Medical Writers
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--November 6, 2007--DestinationRx ®is encouragingseniors and their families and caretakers to educate themselves and shop around before selecting a Medicare Part D health plan this enrollment season (November 15 – December 31). Their new site offers an easy to use, senior-friendly online comparison tool to help consumers understand their options, compare Medicare plans, and find the right plan for themselves or their loved ones.
Comfort, Control, Continuity and Cost Savings
Consumers will be able to use the online tool beginning November 15th. Seniors will simply enter their zip code and prescription drug requirements, and the program will provide a list of Part D plans in their area. Seniors will also be able to conduct side-by-side comparisons based on monthly and annual premiums, deductible amounts, coverage gap or “donut hole” coverage and estimated annual cost for their prescription drugs, and ultimately apply to the Part D plan of their choice.
By using advanced technology behind a simple, senior-friendly online tool, DestinationRx is able to give seniors important information about their options and the means to choose a plan – and ultimately save money. “Seniors can save money by comparing plans to find the most cost-efficient plan in their area. They can take control by being informed about their options and making educated decisions to avoid the surprises of changing premiums and drug costs,” said Michael Cho, CEO of DestinationRx.
The potential benefits go beyond cost savings. Changes in many aspects of drug plans are a certainty this year, and consumers that take the time to understand their current plan and the changes taking effect will have a clearer picture of whether they should stay in their current plan or switch plans. For seniors who want to switch, this new online comparison tool can help inform them of their options and make the switch to a plan that better suits their needs.
Expanding the Comfort Zone
As many as 91% of Medicare beneficiaries could see significant cost savings by switching plans – those who don’ t can expect an average 21% increase in their plan premiums. Comfort and convenience are two reasons consumers tend not to change their health plans year to year – but this could prevent seniors from making necessary changes to minimize their healthcare spending. And with the possibility of Medicare members having up to 50 different Part D plans to choose from in their zip code, making decisions about changing plans can be a very complex and daunting task.
“Research shows the majority of seniors will make a choice about their health plan based on isolated decision-making and without consulting additional sources. Hence, most seniors will not switch plans although they have the opportunity to do so once each year. We are trying to turn that fact around,” added Cho. “We want to raise awareness among seniors and other eligibles already enrolled in Medicare Part D plans, as well as caretakers of these seniors, and simplify the process of choosing a plan, with the potential for real cost savings.”
Giving Seniors Tools They Can Use
Today’ s technology is encouraging better use of resources for plan comparisons and purchasing options for a variety of prescription drug and other healthcare transactions. An increasing number of consumers over 50 – who are often the caretakers or family members of Medicare beneficiaries – are Internet-savvy and are using technology to manage health spending. These consumers often influence the health decisions made by elderly family members, and the new online comparison tool can be a resource for family members in addition to seniors.
As the cost of prescription drugs continues to soar, seniors also need to empower themselves as consumers. Tools that offer advanced technology, but take into account seniors’ specific needs, can help them make informed decisions and save on healthcare costs. “In the past, the savings we’ ve seen seniors achieve has been pretty amazing,” Cho said.
“A key weapon for consumers in all industries is independent research. For example, few people would walk into a car lot and buy the first vehicle they laid eyes on. They would do some research on their own and weigh the pros and cons of various models,” said Cho. “This same principle applies to prescription drug insurance. Patients who want to save money need to become savvy consumers.”
The online Medicare Part D comparison tool will be live on November 15, but seniors can currently sign up on the site to be reminded as the Open Enrollment period draws closer.
Founded in 1999, DestinationRx, Inc. is a leader in consumer drug comparison and purchasing technology. The company provides government and commercial plan providers with the resources to create fully integrated and comprehensive decision-support capabilities for their members. DestinationRx is also a leading consumer resource, providing education, price comparisons, and purchasing options for a variety of prescription drug and other healthcare transactions with in the context of the DestinationRx Medicine Cabinet ™. The company’ s client roster includes the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs), large health plans, Fortune 100 employers, and advocacy organizations.
For more information,
Medicare Part D Plan online comparison tool http://www.drx.com/medicare-partd/compare/intermediate.aspx.
Russell LaMontagne, 212-255-5340
State Keywords: California
Industry Keywords: Seniors; Health; Other Health; Professional Services; Insurance; Consumer
Source: DestinationRx, Inc.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 6:20 AM
NIH launches Spanish-language diabetes, digestive, kidney disease portals
Three new Web portals from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) aim to provide information about digestive, kidney, and urologic diseases in Spanish. The portals, launched by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), features an A to Z list of topics and Spanish titles that includes 40 diabetes-related publications, 10 publications about digestive diseases, and 18 kidney and urologic publications. NIDDK says it will be adding more than 30 additional Spanish-language publications in the future, including one-page fact sheets that are part of its Awareness and Prevention Series. The NIDDK Web site also links to the Spanish portals for MedlinePlus, the National Kidney Disease Education Program, the NIDDK Reference Collection, the National Diabetes Education Program home page, and the NIDDK Interactive Tools page. In related news, a study presented last week showed that despite a rapidly growing demand for Spanish-language online cancer information, few resources provide it.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 6:19 AM
MySpace breaks down ad targeting into hundreds of subcategories
More than 50 advertisers, including Procter & Gamble, have completed phase one of MySpace's new advertising platform, HyperTargeting by MySpace. The platform enables marketers to target specific user groups based on the interests that they list in their MySpace profiles. Whereas the first phase targeted consumers based on 10 categories, phase two will break each of them down into hundreds of subcategories for more precise targeting. For example, if phase one targeted movie fans, then phase two will target horror movie fans. MySpace also announced the launch of SelfServe by MySpace, a new advertising platform that allows small-business owners, bands, and politicians to purchase, create, and analyze ads throughout the network. Click the supporting links below to read more.
MySpace Expands Program for Targeted Ads
MySpace Completes First Phase of 'HyperTargeting by MySpace' Advertising Platform
MySpace Announces 'SelfServe by MySpace' Advertising Platform
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 6:15 AM
New Independent Research Study Shows the Everyday Health Network is the Number 2 Commercial Health Property Online
New Independent Research Study Shows the Everyday Health Network is the Number 2 Commercial Health Property Online
Business Wire via NewsEdge Corporation :
Business Editors/Health Editors
BROOKLYN, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--November 5, 2007--In just one year, The Everyday Health Network* (www.everydayhealth.com) has become the stickiest online health property with a higher percentage of people visiting its flagship site, EverydayHealth.com, on a daily basis than any other health online health site according to a new study by Manhattan Research, LLC. Published by Waterfront Media (www.waterfrontmedia.com), The Everyday Health Network also ranked as the number two commercial health property online. The Manhattan Research data also showed that 31% of Everyday Health serious health users return to the site on at least a weekly basis.
"We created Everyday Health on the principle that consumers need unique tools and communities to help them to proactively manage their medical conditions on a regular basis. Now, the research demonstrates how effective our strategy and first year execution have been. In just twelve months, we have become the second most visited commercial health property online. Our assets will certainly help us become the leader because Everyday Health visitors are serious about improving their health online. Unlike casual visitors at other properties who rely on them as a dictionary or encyclopedia, our users rely on our site’ s interactive resources to help them live better with diabetes, cancer, and a variety of other conditions on a day-to-day basis,” said Ben Wolin, Waterfront Media's CEO.
Everyday Health provides consumers with health and wellness information from its 60 condition centers and features Q&A sessions on various topics from physicians from leading institutions like New York-Presbyterian, Harvard Medical, and Duke Medicine. Featuring a highly sophisticated personalization capability which allows consumers to receive information that pertains specifically to them, the site allows users to manage their health conditions online in the easiest and most efficient way possible as well as create meal plans, shopping lists and blood sugar and cholesterol trackers.
Manhattan Research, LLC is a healthcare market research and services firm that focuses on the intersection of digital technology and healthcare business trends. “The Cybercitizen ® Health v7.0” study surveyed over 4,300 U.S. adults from July through October 2007. The study also found that more adults obtained health information from the Web than any other media source, including books, newspapers, magazines, television, and radio.
About Waterfront Media and The Everyday Health Network
The Everyday Health Network is published by Waterfront Media, the largest privately held online health company. One of the largest and the most rapidly growing online health properties, the Everyday Health Network receives over nine million unique users per month; it is also the fourth largest destination for women on the Web. Through its network of sites, including the flagship EverydayHealth.com, Waterfront Media enables consumers to manage their health online and make positive life changes through unique interactive features and personalized advice, tools, and online communities. For more information, please visit www.waterfrontmedia.com.
*The Everyday Health Network includes, among others, EverydayHealth.com, SouthBeachDiet.com, WhatToExpect.com, DeniseAustin.com, DukeDiet.com, FiveFactorDiet.com, JillianMichaels.com, Dr. Weil’ s MyOptimumHealthPlan.com, and SonomaDiet.com.
Krupp Kommunications, Inc.
Kim Newman, 212-886-6712
State Keywords: New York
Industry Keywords: Health; Other Health; Blogging; Search Engine Marketing; Search Engine Optimization; Social Media; Communications; Advertising; Marketing; Public Relations/Investor Relations; Publishing; Other Communications
Source: Waterfront Media
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 6:15 AM
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Facebook to Turn Users Into Endorsers
Published: November 6, 2007
Facebook <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/facebook_inc/index.html?inline=nyt-org> wants to turn every member into a spokesman for its advertisers. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and chief executive of the superhot social network, today announced what the company calls "social ads."
The ads expand what has been one of the most powerful features of Facebook, the news feed, where members see a list of what their friends are doing - photos from their parties, new friends, favorite bands and so on.
Facebook now will give advertisers the ability to create their own profile pages on its system that will let users identify themselves as fans of a product. Each user's news feed will contain items like "Bobby Smith is now a fan of Toyota Prius."
News feeds can be linked to outside Web sites as well, so users can tell friends about what they rented at Blockbuster <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/blockbuster_inc/index.html?inline=nyt-org> or are auctioning on eBay <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/ebay_inc/index.html?inline=nyt-org> .
Facebook will offer all of those features to advertisers free. What it will charge for, however, is appending an advertisement to these news items. Toyota <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/toyota_motor_corporation/index.html?inline=nyt-org> could buy the right to put a photo and a short message under every news-feed post that links to the Prius.
In addition, Friends of Bobby, to continue this example, will see banner ads for Toyota throughout Facebook's site. At the top of each of these ads will be a photo of Bobby and the fact that he likes the Prius.
"Nothing influences a person more than the recommendation of a trusted friend," said Mr. Zuckerberg.
In addition, Facebook will allow advertisers to tap into the vast stores of data that its users provide. They can display ads limited to people with certain interests, location, political views, favorite media, education and relationship status.
Mr. Zuckerberg did not discuss the prices for these advertisements. But he did say that they would be enabled tonight. The company announced an initial roster of advertisers including Coca-Cola <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/coca_cola_company/index.html?inline=nyt-org> , Blockbuster, Verizon <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/verizon_communications_inc/index.html?inline=nyt-org> , Travelocity and Condé Nast.
James W. Keyes , the chief executive of Blockbuster, said his company wanted to take part in a low-key way.
"There is a fine line we walk," he said. "We debated long and hard about whether to put the Blockbuster logo on the Facebook site. We are not trying to induce a particular behavior. If users accept us as a place to share ideas with their friends about their favorite movies, over time that will stimulate purchase behavior. "
Mr. Zuckerberg said Facebook had had 50 million users in the last month. And 25 million users visit Facebook each day. The company displays 65 billion pages on which advertisements can be displayed each month.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 4:27 PM