PATH: BS | Business | Marketing

Correcting For Bias In Amazon Reviews

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It's no secret among savvy shoppers that Amazon is a great place to research products and find the best price-quality ratio.

However, it's becoming more and more difficult to do this research due to what's called, "incentivized reviewers." These are people who provide detailed, "honest" reviews in return for free products.

One company has done an analysis of reviews on Amazon differentiating regular from incentivized reviews and produced some interesting results...

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Actually Significant Charity Challenge Ideas

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[Beating Dead Horses]
[Viral Marketing]
Right now it's all the craze to, amidst one of the hottest-record Summer seasons, dump a bucket of ice water on your head as an alternative to donating towards ALS research. The list of public and private people who have jumped on this goofy bandwagon is too numerous to mention.

Has anybody figured out what a bucket of icewater actually has to do with a degenerative nerve disease? Does Lou Gherig's disease make you suddenly feel wet & cold for about five minutes on a hot Summer day?

Sorry, but count me in the tiny little camp of people scratching our heads wondering what difference this really makes? Has anyone managed to prove that more money = more curing? Jerry Lewis over 50 years, raised tons of money for Muscular Dystrophy research and there's still absolutely no cure. Perhaps using money to as a gauge of "success" in medical research is not the right approach?

But we here at BSA digress... it's not really about making the world a better place. It's about making YOU feel like you're doing something, even if you're not, so you can go to bed thinking you're "making a difference" because you dumped a bucket of icewater on your head. Congratulations!

However, if you are wondering, are there better, more appropriate "Charity Challenge" events you could promote, we at BSAlert have come up with a few. Check them out....

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2014-09-23 10:16:02 | Comment on this Article

Tea Party Convention Getting A Little Murky

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The National Tea Party Convention, an event I'm sure many readers have already gotten tickets for, has run into a couple of snags. Fortunately there's one big-haired semi-pro ex-governor who's going to pull it out of its doldrums.

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Israeli Defense Force Forms New Twitter Brigade

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[Viral Marketing]
Israel has taken the next step in pushing its own friendly image in cyberspace: An army brigade dedicated to astroturing pro-Israel messages on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other social networking sites.

The Israel Defense Forces Spokesman's Office is to begin drafting computer experts with an eye toward establishing an Internet and new media department unit, Army Spokesman Brig. Gen. Avi Benayahu said Monday.

Speaking at the Eilat Journalists Conference, Benayahu said the new department would focus on the Internet's social media networks mainly to reach an international audience directly rather than through the regular media.

Keep this in mind the next time you criticize Israel's invasion of Palestine online and get called an anti-semite. It could be a member of the IDF (instead of AIPAC).

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Mastercard Issues Diamond-Encrusted Credit Card

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[Diamond Studded Toenail Clippers]
Markets are plunging, banks are collapsing and talk of recession is all about, but the global gloom is not stopping the launch of a MasterCard credit card inlaid with a diamond and laced with gold.

Known as the “Diamond”, the card has a 0.02-carat gem ­embedded in its centre and a picture of a peacock for female cardholders and a winged horse for men.

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McDonald's: We Don't Own Your Children... Yet

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[Edumakashun]
Corporate marketing departments are essentially chock-a-block with evil geniuses. They put most government propaganda machines to shame and could make a blind man buy contact lenses. Few folks have the audacity to put their company in every spotlight available (and making some up so they can be in those, too) like McDonalds. Check out their latest campaign.

READ MORE | 6 comments since 2007-12-15 11:07:05 | Comment on this Article

Pepsi Announces New Flavor: Cucumber!

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[Junk Food]
This summer in Japan, those lucky Japanese get to cool off with the latest Pepsi creation: CUCUMBER-flavored Pepsi. What, what?

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When Logos Attack

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[Olympics]
There is a peculiar disease that affects a certain group of people every few years. Those people? Olympic organizers. The disease? Dumb logo mania. Whether it's cavorting panda bears or a truly ridiculous torch/bee/spring combination, the people who are tasked with coming up with an Olympic logo, a logo which is meant to show the entire world that your city is not going to screw up the Olympics, can be some real morons. And the right honorable Brits are no different.

READ MORE | 3 comments since 2007-07-06 05:45:37 | Comment on this Article

Blogging For Dollars

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[Liars]
[Viral Marketing]
Think your favorite web site has integrity?

Blogger Colleen Caldwell rants and riffs about whatever strikes her fancy — a run-in with her child's school principal, the rising price of Girl Scout thin mints, or an upcoming movie that caught her eye.

"Has anyone out there read a book called 'The Ultimate Gift'? I just heard that a movie is being made of the book (which sold 4 million copies)," she wrote in a recent post on her site, Simple Kind of Life.

The 30-year-old software analyst from Brooksville, Fla., went on to praise the inspirational message of the Fox Faith film, which opens today, about a trust fund baby who discovers the joy of giving.

One thing Caldwell didn't mention: She was paid $12 to build buzz about the movie's opening and the charitable campaign — bringing her blogging-for-dollars take to more than $7,700.

I can assure you here at BSAlert, we're not taking any money to run stories... after all, when have we said something nice about anybody lately?

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Yes Virginia, You Can (And Should) Sue Telemarketers

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[Get-Rich-Quick]
When André-Tascha Lammé was granted a judgment of $3,500 last month in a Sacramento, Calif., small claims court, he heard gasps.

“You could hear people in the courtroom saying, ‘You can sue telemarketers?’” he said. You can. In fact, you can make some decent cash for your trouble.

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Aqua Teen Hunger Force Creates Terrorism Scare In Boston

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[Viral Marketing]
[Terroir-ism]
A television network's marketing campaign went badly awry on Wednesday, causing a day-long security scare in Boston that closed bridges, shut major roads and put hundreds of police on alert.

UPDATE: The two ad people responsible for planting the displays have been arrested and plead not guilty, and agreed to only answer reporters' questions regarding hair styles of the 1970s. Check out the video of the press conference and learn (about 70s hair styles, and how little a sense of humor mainstream media has).

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Sgt. FreebieStore.Com Gets Shut Down

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[Viral Marketing]
A U.S. Marine Sargeant was ordered to put a stop to an online auction which would have allowed the winner to pick the name the young Marine would legally assume. Sgt. Cody Baker might have become Sgt. Finest Freshest Fastest or Sgt. Mr. Clean although the winning bidder at the time the auction ended was FreebieStore.com with a bid of 30,000.01. Apparently the Dept. of Defense was not amused (is anyone surprised?).

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Administration Unveils Latest Iraq Buzz-Phrase: New Way Forward

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[Viral Marketing]
Who needs a plan when you have a new slogan! Because YOU, the A.D.D. American public can't be bothered to understand the details of anything, you get a new slogan! Aren't you excited?

The Bush administration and the same folks who gave you: Operation Enduring Freedom, Cut and run, Stay The Course, You're-Either-With-Us-Or-With-The-Terrorists, You Forgot Poland, USA Patriot Act, Support Our Troops, Activist Judges, People Who "Hate Our Freedom," Islamo-Facists, Surrender Monkey, Iraq Is The Central Front On The War On Terror, Politics of Hate, Compassionate Conservatism, Weak On National Security and more have a new slogan... it's not a real plan. Instead it's a buzzword about the idea of a plan. It's called A New Way Forward. Feeling warm and fuzzy yet?

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2006-12-14 10:16:51 | Comment on this Article

Christians Take Jesus With Them.. Literally

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[Viral Marketing]
Jesus went to the mall and a movie Saturday.

The life-size cutout of Jesus was accompanied by a youth group from Lamoni United Methodist Church who came to Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines, Iowa to view the movie "The Nativity Story."

As they took turns pushing the cardboard Jesus on a two-wheeled handcart through the mall's festive decorations and Christmas music, the faces of the shoppers around them registered surprise and curiosity.

READ MORE | 14 comments since 2006-12-11 14:45:43 | Comment on this Article

Sex and Money Used As Voting Carrot

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Two new efforts to get out the vote here in the U.S. are relying on the two cornerstones of modern-day advertising--sex and greed. An Arizona ballot initiative proposes to award 1 million dollars to one lucky voter in a lottery-style system. So Arizona voters will vote on whether voters will win money by voting. I like those odds. Nationally, an ad campaign sponsored by the non-partisan group Women's Voices features sexy Hollywood actresses talking about the "first time" they... voted. In a sign that they're probably on the right track, syndicated radio blow-hard Rush Limbaugh has called the spots demeaning to women.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2006-10-31 11:53:15 | Comment on this Article

Hormel Loses Bid To Own "Spam"

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[Viral Marketing]
The producer of the canned pork product Spam has lost a bid to claim the word as a trademark for unsolicited e-mails. Hormel has been trying to prevent software companies from using the word "spam" in their products, a practice it argued was diluting its brand name. Research has shown that via Google, most searches for "spam" had absolutely nothing to do with the food product.

It's a shame the spammers don't have some sort of union. This case looks like grounds for them to claim that the meat product is usurping their famous brand.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2006-10-12 17:54:08 | Comment on this Article

Apple Seeks To Trademark Podcast, or PodANYTHING

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When Terry Wilson filed for trademark protection for her "Tightpod" laptop protectors, she received a cease-and-desist order. The order from Apple reads in part: "The Tightpod mark will inevitably cause consumer confusion as to the source of the products, and dilute Apple's famous iPod mark."

She's not the only one.

Apple Computer has slapped Podcast Ready with a "cease and desist" letter, claiming that the terms "Podcast Ready" and "myPodder" infringe Apple's trademarks, and that they cause confusion among consumers. The company has been cracking down on use of the word "pod" by all sorts of parties, even though its trademark is for the word "iPod."

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2006-09-26 18:34:28 | Comment on this Article

Chavez Brings Noam Chomsky Back To Life (and Best-Seller Status)

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[Viral Marketing]
At a news conference after his spirited address to the United Nations on Wednesday, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela expressed one regret: not having met that icon of the American left, the linguist and MIT Institute Professor Noam Chomsky, before his death.

Providing Chavez can last after calling George W. Bush the devil, his wish may be granted because Chomsky is very much alive, and quite amused at the Venezuelan President's remarks. But also pleased that Chavez promotion of his book, “Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance,” has propelled it to best-seller status. By the way, this is a great book if you haven't read it. Read more of this article for links on free downloads of Chomsky podcasts.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2006-09-23 21:49:25 | Comment on this Article

Snakes On a Motherf*cker's Arm!

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[Viral Marketing]
How sad do you have to be when you tattoo the logo for "Snakes on a Plane" on your arm? So sad that you can't even get comp tickets to the movie.

Everybody wants their 15 minutes, but c'mon... you're lucky if you get 6 1/2 here.

Oh yea, there's a stupid contest to see who is the most stupid sheep ever, and guess what they win? A screening of the movie!

But wait! There's more. If you can get 12,000 people to vote for you, you'll get a free t-shirt! Oh yea!!!

By the way, this guy's got quite the sense of humor for participating on our site. Good sport!

READ MORE | 15 comments since 2006-08-26 20:45:58 | Comment on this Article

Republicans Launch Secret 'Amateur Video' Gore Smear Campaign

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[Viral Marketing]
A tiny little movie making fun of Al Gore, supposedly made by an amateur filmmaker, recently appeared on the popular Web site YouTube.com.

At first blush, the spoof seemed like a scrappy little homemade film poking fun at Gore and his anti-global warming crusade.

Unfortunately, ABC News has found out the supposed amateur video is likely part of a professional effort coordinated by the Republican party (and likely oil company benefactors) to discredit Gore and his global warming educational campaign.

In an effort to smokescreen the global warming issue, the spoof says Al Gore claims global warming is responsible for everything from the Middle East crisis to the outcome of American Idol. Whatever humor the PAC firm DCI Group, LLC were trying to deliver is overshadowed by the totally mean-spirited and intellectually dishonest manner in which they completely distort reality.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2006-08-17 23:24:20 | Comment on this Article

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