AT&T to expand marketing with mini-drama

In an effort to explore new marketing territory, AT&T is launching a mini-drama titled Daybreak to showcase its products and technology.

Throughout the course of  five, 10-minute clips, viewers will follow protagonist Ben Wilkins as he becomes entangled in a global conspiracy against an underground crime group known as the “Jack Boxers,”  all while wielding AT&T gadgets. Aside from the 10-minute shorts, fans can play an interactive role with the Daybreak storyline at  www.daybreak2012.com or www.jackboxers.com. Daybreak applications for AT&T smartphones and tablets will be introduced shortly.

AT&T deserves kudos for trying to engage customers through new channels. Hopefully the clips will have a good balance between advertising AT&T products and actual storyline. The last thing anyone wants to sit through is a cheesy 10-minute commercial.

The first Daybreak clip will be available Thursday, May 31 at www.daybreak.com

Click here to watch the Daybreak trailer.

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Author publishes short story, one tweet at a time

Pulitzer-prize winning author Jennifer Egan isn’t waiting for the ink to dry on the pages to publish her new short story “Black Box.” Last night, Egan began publishing her short story via Twitter. Over the course of an hour, Egan tweeted a single line from her latest work every minute. The trend will continue over the course of nine days with the story concluding June 9.

Author Jennifer Egan to publish short story, tweet by tweet

Writing in 140 character segments sounds brutal, but Egan actually wrote “Black Box” with Twitter in mind.  Using Twitter’s character counting tool, the short story was crafted over the course of year.

Though Egan’s idea may sound innovative, she’s not the first to publish fiction in digital snippets. In 2008, Penguin Books launched the “We Tell Stories” where six authors used interactive media, including Twitter, to publish their stories.

If you don’t have the patience to read 60 tweets over the course of an hour, you can get daily updates of “Black Box” here.

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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel iPad app cracks iTunes’ top 10

Readers of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel can take the news with them while they’re on the go with the Journal Sentinel’s new iPad app.

Released Tuesday, the iPad ranked No. 7on iTunes’ free news apps Wednesday morning. iPad users can download the app for free and have access to stories, photo galleries and videos from now until July 31. After that, users must buy a digital subscription.

With news junkies ditching their morning paper for online sources that are continuously updated throughout the day, Wisconsin media outlets are making the necessary changes to remain relevant and current news sources for residents.

Do you see other newspapers in the state  expanding into the app world? At what point will printed newspapers be obsolete?

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Next ‘do-not call’ deadline is June 1

Wisconsin residents who have previously signed up for Wisconsin’s ‘do not call’ to keep telemarketers from dialing their mobile or landline phone may need to update their information by June 1.

Wisconsin residents may have to re-register for Wisconsin’s ‘Do-Not Call’ list

Names on Wisconsin’s ‘do-not’ are safe from pesky sales calls for two years. Therefore, if two years have passed since you first signed up for the list, you may be vulnerable to unwanted sales calls.

The state legislature recently made a move to include unwanted text messages under the ‘do-not call’ provisions. So if you haven’t added your cell phone to the list yet, now is a good time to do it.

By renewing your information on the ‘do-not call’ list by June 1, you should be free of telemarketers by July 1.

Unfortunately for Wisconsin residents growing tired of political robo-calls, there’s no relief for you. Political causes, non profits and market research firms still have access to your phone number.

To add your number do the ‘do not call’ list, click here or call 1 866 9NO CALL

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U.S. Cellular releases 4G hotspot

Continuing its 4G LTE device rollout, U.S. Cellular recently launched  the Samsung SCH-LC11 Mobile Hotspot. The small 2.7 ounce Samsung Hotspot can withstand three hours of heavy use in a single charge and can connect up to five devices simultaneously at 4G LTE speeds.

While more businesses beyond the local coffee shop are expanding free Wi-Fi services, a mobile hot spot can be handy for movers and shakers on the go. The Hotspot’s ability to connect multiple devices at a time means that users don’t have to choose between their smartphone and tablet. The only downside is that you have to be willing to pay for another data plan.

For mobile users on the go, customers can pick up the Samsung SCH-LC11 Mobile Hotspot for for $49.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a 2 year contract.

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Southwest Wisconsin promotes “unplugged” tourism

Comprised mostly of small towns on hilly terrain, southwest Wisconsin can be a tricky place to survive for gadget lovers. As summer approaches, most tourist destinations in the state will be promoting the high-speed wireless connections just as much as the beaches and lakefronts. However, as the “less connected” part of the state, southwest Wisconsin will be taking a different approach by challenging tourists to go “unplugged” during their vacations.

Southwest Wisconsin challenges vacationers to ‘unplug’

I’m up always for a challenge, and even a gadget enthusiast like myself understands the importance of turning off my gadgets once in awhile. During a time where most attractions boast their tech friendliness, I think it’s a great hook for southwest Wisconsin to draw visitors with its ‘off the grid’ challenge.

If you’re a vacationer that just can’t turn off your mobile for the weekend, there’s no need to worry as southwest Wisconsin isn’t a complete dead zone. It just might require mobile and gadget users to take a drive into the nearest town for better reception or stop at the local library.

With summer just around the corner, will your weekend getaways or vacations require you to go ‘off the grid’?

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Kickstarter bug compromises some projects

The popular fundraising site Kickstarter because the latest victim to an online bug, leaving 70,000 soon-to-be launched projects vulnerable. Though it may be a relief for some users to know that their financial information remained secure, the bug exposed project ideas, description, goals and other creative information.

Creative marketing and project ideas are essential for Kickstarter users looking for funding from the masses. The risk of exposing your project before its 30-day spot on Kickstarter could result in users falling short of their fundraising goals or someone stealing project idea elements.

With so many trying to find a way for their projects to go viral, the Kickstarter incident showcases the potential consequences in exposing creative social media ideas.

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