Archive for January, 2011

Sundance Review – Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times

The Sundance Film Festival is a a wonderful and eclectic film festival, featuring independent films, which is held every January in my hometown of Park City. It’s a  diversion from our regular winter activities and each festival brings a unique slate of films which may never be seen outside of the festival circuit. Some films are incredibly good, some not quite as much, but it’s always an interesting experience to mingle with the PIBs (people in black) and attend a screening or two. This year, the film I made it to was one that had some real intrigue for me with this intriguing introductions:

With the Internet surpassing print as our main news source, newspapers going bankrupt, and outlets focusing on content they claim audiences (or is it advertisers?) want. Page One chronicles the media industry’s transformation and assesses the high stakes for democracy if in-depth investigative reporting becomes extinct.

The film was called, “Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times” and while the film did seem to cover a variety of stories over the course of a year in the New York Times newsroom, it seemed more focused on addressing the shift in how news that we read is created, disseminated and consumed. I personally browse to and read the Times online practically every morning online, but I also work in the new media environment that is the challenge to the continued existence of the old “Gray Lady”.

Like practically every newspaper, the Times has been struggling to find ways to bolster flagging revenues and while part of that involves hard to swallow layoffs, the other is balancing the editorial and journalistic processes that have laid the foundation for the reputation that the publication justly deserves, with the ever accelerating news cycle that rewards speed over all else. One of the man protagonists in the newsroom is the gruff and thoroughly entertaining journalist , David Carr. On the one hand Carr is the consummate journalist and defender of what the Times represents; however he also is a staunch realist who can see the shift that has happened in the way the American public consumes media and it truly was interesting to hear him remark in the Q&A about how he has come to embrace Twitter.

While the film that does meander off onto tangents in places, it remains true to showing The New York Times is as an institution that is still very much relevant and it is rapidly evolving to hopefully be able to continue to exist as a viable news organization. I for one hope it does as I believe quite strongly that the insight and breadth of coverage available there cannot be found otherwise online or offline. I’ve heard that this film has been picked up for distribution, and while the topic of journalism and new media might be resonate for everyone, I think most regular readers of this blog would definitely find the movie to be of interest, so I would recommend heading out to check it out.

Enough of my blathering, here’s the film’s director, Andrew Rossi describing his film:

Another Helpful WordPress Plugin – PostRank

I’ve been scrolling through a my Google Reader blog RSS feed, trying to catch up  on several weeks of posts that have somehow passed me by – it’s crazy how intense the heart of the winter season can be sometimes – in any case, I was reading a post by Chris Brogan, a long time favorite blogger of mine who had posted about PostRank and I figured that I’d try it out myself. I’ve written before how I like to use this blog, and testing out new plugins is one of the many things that I do like to do with this “sandbox”.  PostRank integrates directly into the post admin page of WordPress and looks like this:

There’s also a component that shows directly on your dashboard which shows “engagement” generated both on and off blog over the past 30 days.

To me, this is great information, as it allows me to see what content is engaging people so that I can hopefully write more on topics that are of interest to my readers, and to be able to measure that interest both on and off-site in a simple and easy to understand way, such as how the PostRank plugin does, is great. Does anyone else have tools that they use to measure the engagement of their content?

Who Wears a Helmet When Skiing or Riding?

Since we’re now well into the season and the initial hype that seems to crop up every year about helmet laws being put through state legislatures has mellowed out. I was wondering how many of the Resort Marketing blog readers wear helmets and what their helmet wearing habits are. Please vote, and let me know if you have any specific thoughts you’d like to share about wearing helmets in the comments:

Personally, I’ve been wearing a ski helmet for perhaps the past 5 seasons or so and plan to keep using them, particularly since I want to set a good example for my 3 year old.

Internet marketing acronyms

CPM, KPI, CMS, CRM, SEO and now DMP???

I find myself regularly confusing others with the slew of acronyms that I use in my day to day work. That said, I’m crossing my fingers that most regular readers of the Resort Marketing Blog can come up with the phrases that are abbreviated in the list of acronyms that are in the title of this post, but I will say that I’ll give major bonus points to anyone that name the final acronym without resorting to Google (let me know what you can come up with in the comments)! In the meantime, here’s a nifty “Wordle” with a chunk more internet marketing acronyms – enjoy:

Internet marketing acronyms

How do You Escape a Crazy World?

It’s not my intention to bring politics and preaching into this blog, but the events of the past weekend in Arizona brought things into focus for me. I choose to live and work in a mountain town like Park City in order to enjoy the escape that a ride on a chairlift or a mountain bike ride through twisting single track can bring. Our family took to the slopes on Sunday morning, and now in retrospect, it was impressive how quickly the news stories and internet posts that I’d been reading the previous afternoon faded away…to me, this is a symptom of being in the mountains, away from the wildness than surrounds us in our ever connected and ever crazier world. I escape pressing events and happenings of the world by living, working  and playing here in Park City – how do you?

Photo credit: Flickr user foxspain

Holiday Lift Ticket Prices > $100 recently published an article called, “Holiday lit ticket prices break $100“, in which they note that several ski areas eclipsed the $100 mark for their standard single day lift ticket rate during the recent Holiday week. Whew, that’s a lot of greenbacks, and while it may convince a few folks to pick up some touring gear and “earn their turns”, I think that most people will simply pay the triple digit price and keep on sliding. It certainly isn’t that $100 isn’t a lot of money, it’s just that I don’t think it’s the “scary boundary” that it once seemed to be.

I’ve heard several arguments that I think help to provide some good perspective on how tickets can reach this level. One, that I think has merit, is that a ski day is typically seven hours and if you divide those seven hours into $100 it works out to be $14.28/hr – a bit pricier than a 2 hour movie with a $12 ticket ($6/hr), but certainly a better value than a 2 1/2 baseball game for which a ticket is perhaps $50 ($20/hr) or a football game of similar length that costs $100 ($40/hr)! The other thing that I think is exceedingly pertinent is that fact that the ski resorts that are charging $100 have all made major infrastructure improvements that cost a fair amount of cash, but also enable skiers and riders to get so many more runs in than they ever have been able to before, so in many cases, although the ticket may cost more, a visitor is actually able to get more runs in!

Photo credit: Flickr user Refracted Moments™

Back from the Holiday Break with a Little Tilt Shift

Tilt shift is one of the coolest and probably most abused effects out there in mobile phone camera-land. I thought it was a getting a bit passé until I came upon this killer tilt shift video from Whistler Blackcomb – what a cool way to capture a ski resort – and a neat way to get things rolling in the Resort Marketing blog after a holiday break!

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