Robert Freeman's whole Media, Business and Technology thing. Sorted.

Archive for June 2007

Sainsbury’s close online DVD shop – no one notices

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Ever been to Don’t worry. No one else has either.

For four years, Sainsbury’s ran this separate online shop which sold DVDs, CDs, books, games and the like. It closed this month.

I’m amazed that Sainsbury’s bothered for so long! The site didn’t even manage to grab 0.2% of its market traffic, according to Hitwise.

I’m a Sainsbury’s shopper and their marketing for this website’s been appalling. I’ve never read anything about it (until it closed), never seen anything in-store either.

When the main Sainsbury‘s site is so successful, why bother with separate entity? You massively reduce your chances of achieving critical mass.


Written by Robert

26 June, 2007 at 9:47 am

Posted in Business, General

Why I get my US news from ‘The Daily Show’

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And I get annoyed when my PVR fails to record it

I can’t put it any better than the American Journalism Review‘s Rachel Smolkin, so I’m not going to try.  I just wish there was a British equivalent nowadays.

There used to be, Radio 4’s ‘Week Ending‘, and going back a long way, ‘That was the week that was‘.

Written by Robert

19 June, 2007 at 8:07 pm

Posted in Fun, Media

Seadragon and Photosynth at TED – Watch this demo!

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When they say jawdropping, they’re not kidding

Seadragon was bought by Microsoft at the beginning of 2007.  The aim is to totally change the way we browse visual information.

Photosynth is a digital photo stitching application on steroids … and then some.

Thanks to Asha Oberoi at ITN Source, for this reference

Written by Robert

15 June, 2007 at 3:06 pm

Emerald Isle DAB trial

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Irish Broadcaster RTE is trialling 6 new digital radio stations on DAB, although they only seem to be running the trial for five months, which is either a typo or a very short time to run a trial.

If you’re interested in the usage of DAB around the world, both Wikipedia and Wohnort maintain the current status of broadcasts around the world.

Back home in New Zealand, DAB trials are currently operating, although any launch would use the AAC-based DAB+ system, rather than the original MPEG-1 Layer 2 standard of British DAB transmissions.

If other countries adopt the newer version, his would leave UK digital broadcasting in a technical backwater.  Readers of the Guardian and DigitalSpy have some interesting comments on this theme.

Lots of  good links about progress on digital radio at

Written by Robert

14 June, 2007 at 12:02 pm

Posted in Media, radio, Technology

Entertainment’s big secret

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I’m just back from a trip to Florida.  When visiting Orlando, it’s hard to resist going to Disneyworld … and I didn’t manage to resist.

I’ve seen some amazing theme parks and experiences around the world, (Lotte World in Seoul was particularly baffling) but I can’t think of an organisation that does it better than Disney.

The secret is showmanship.

While some parks are just a series of rides, visiting a Disney park is a contiguous story and the attention to detail is everywhere, in the shops, on the rides, even on the walks between each attraction.

The most memorable experiences for me are the ones where the queue to a particular ride is as enjoyable as the ride itself.  That’s quite an achievement.  Worthy of particular note are ‘Tower of Terror’ and ‘Mission: Space’.

Content producers could learn a lot from a couple of days in one of the Disney parks.  The showmanship is everywhere and it’s infectious.

I’ve certainly come away with a new desire to accentuate the entertainment aspects of content.  That’s largely what makes people want to come back to their favourite site again and again.

Written by Robert

6 June, 2007 at 12:42 pm

Posted in Fun