The Road Ahead
Kate Colbin, in her Online Spin Column, sees a world where, "Everything
Is Now Your Responsibility." She says we have an environment "where you
have access to near-infinite possibilities and total control over where
your attention goes, you have no excuses. Want to learn Spanish? Easy.
Mad keen to make a sweater, but never picked up a crochet hook before?
Piece of cake. Calculus? Programming? Robotics? All at your fingertips."
At least if you live in a computerized, Internet environment. However,
with billions of posting daily - most of them juvenile, irrelevant and
distracting - keeping up with what is possible, much less what is of
value to you, is another matter.
The entropic nature of ever accumulating data is being countered by
efforts to shrink the time required to communicate it. Ten-second spots
are getting more common and more welcomed by TV viewers.
A new information expediter on the scene is "Glance Journalism," according to
Dan Shanoff's daily newsletter - as
by the NiemanLab.
"Glance" is the name of the feature of the Apple Watch that lets
Watch-wearers skim through a series of not-quite-notifications. Shannoff
says, "Maybe they are notifications, but only as a subset of a new class
of ultra-brief news.
"Glance journalism makes tweets look like longform, typical news
notifications (and even innovative atomized news apps) look like endless
scroll, and Seward's list of essential Things (chart, gif, quote, stat)
look unresponsive." Shanoff foresees writers, editors and other news
team members striving to develop a whole new approach to delivering
compelling news in a Glance format.
Even faster is "Gist" communications. It takes about 27 milliseconds (or
less) – approximate one-tenth of the time it takes to blink your eyes -
for humans to comprehend the meaning, or "gist" of a scene. That's
according to Professor Bruce Hansen, reported in the Colgate University
Scene. He says "Deriving an accurate understanding of rapid scene
categorization has critical implications for driving safety, instrument
panel design for aircraft piloting, as well as eyewitness perception and
memory, and surveillance — to name a few."
Also coming into use in the quest for speed are brain waves. InteraXon's
headband, allows the persons wearing it to move images on a computer
screen. And, Laurie Sullivan in SearchPost
Daily reports, "London-based
This Place has developed a Google Glass mobile app, MindRDR, that uses
brainwaves to take photos of what a wearer sees in front of them. It
also allows them to share photos on Twitter and Facebook. In another
article for SearchPost, Sullivan reports the people at The Viv Labs who
invented Apple's Siri are developing artificial intelligence that will
process "massive amounts of intelligence to predict human needs." Citing
Wired's Steve Levy, she reports that the more this AI is used, the
smarter it becomes.
Let us hope all this high speed processing of data doesn't as Nicholas
Carr, warns in his book, The Sallows, (quoted by Gord Hotchkiss, in
Search Insider) "that, rather than freeing up our brains to dive deeper
into new territory, technology may just give us the ability to skip
across the surface of the titillating." Or as Hotchkiss puts it, "trade
breadth for depth." Meanwhile, 93 more magazines opened than the number
that closed during the first half of 2014. Per Erick Sass's report in
Media Daily News.
The Daily Kos
reports that Tesla is "Creating the neighborhood gas stations
of the future as they quietly have been
charging networks right where they will be needed for ultimate
convenience." Quoting the Wall Street Journal it elaborates
"With little or no fanfare, Tesla also has been installing
high-power wall chargers at restaurants, hotels, beach parking
and other locations that can send 80 amps of electricity into
the Model S and add 58 miles of range in an hour."
Ads have been introduced into Gannett's online video offerings.
The Wall Street Journal's Mike Shields describes them as "ads
that take over a person's computer and shove a video ad, in many
cases a TV spot, front and center" and labels the tactic "home
page hijacking." P.J. Bednarski gives points to Gannett in
Online Video Daily for not trying to fool anyone with its
Gravity Ads-they are quite obviously advertising, not ads
pretending to be editorial content – but, he suggests people
might just avoid the site for that reason.
Two tele-operated humanoid robots, one a child android reports
world news, the other, an adult female android termed "a science
communicator" are on display in Japan's National Museum of
Emerging Science and Innovation, or Miraikan. Writing for
News World, Katherine Noyes describes androids as "robots that
closely resemble humans in appearance and movement, thanks in
part to soft skin made from silicon and smooth motion made
possible by artificial muscle." She says the robots reportedly
are able to use humor and can express confusion.
While Uber is having its troubles in Germany it has inspired a similar
service for small businesses here that do not ship in volume or
on a regular schedule. Cargomatic links those shippers and small
trucking companies while providing the logistics needed to
efficiently transfer cargo. . . . . If you missed a look at
Renovo's $529,000 electric supercar provided by Automotive News
here's a link from that story to a good look at the all-electric
two-seater: http://renovomotors.com/the-coupe. You can put your
money down now with the Silicon Valley company Renovo Motors
Inc. but hurry, less than 100 cars will be built in 2015.
Audi is the first automaker to get a permit from California
to begin testing a self-driving car on the state's roads, David Undercoffler reports for the
L.A. Times. . . . And for those who
did not find the details of the trip in space offered by Land
Rover in connection with the launch announcement for its new
Discover Sport (Autowriters.com among them) Brand Republic's Kate Magee
provided some. In conjunction with Richard Branson's Virgin
Galactic and its commercial space flights, Land Rover will
provide the winner of a contest for the picture or film best
demonstrating a "spirit of adventure" and three of his or her
friends a trip in space valued at one million dollars.
However, we are not told the rules or how to enter the
competition that will be promoted by social media and news
The winners will be announced December 2, Magee reports.
ForbesLIfe.com will publish
"daily features on men's and women's
fashion, watches and jewelry, automobiles and boats, real estate
and luxury homes, fine dining and drinks, arts and culture, as
well as life's other indulgences" Wooden Horse News reports. It
goes on to quote the new site's editor, Mike Solomon
(firstname.lastname@example.org), "What makes ForbesLife.com so exciting is that it will allow us to broaden
our coverage of women's fashion, jewelry, watches and beauty."
apparently of all of life's luxury items.
Autowriters has been asked to "Like"
Carnichiwa.com, an automotive
website delivering the latest global industry news, car reviews
and coverage of major international auto shows and events.
Decide for yourself at: http://www.carnichiwa.com. (See
Scene re "Likes"). The same applies to a request to "like"
Highline European Motorcars on Facebook. A new road to be
explored is the motoring life of actor James Garner in a
new book by former
Trend editor Matt Stone. He'll be signing it at the
Autobooks-Aerobooks store in
Burbank, CA on Oct. 4. You can find out more or order at:
. . .The Wire, Atlantic Media's
news aggregation site, has announced it is shutting down according to
a memo published on Gawker. Those currently staffing The Wire
will be reassigned elsewhere within Atlantic Media.
The war is over but the battles continue as media critics rant about
"content marketing," "native advertising" and other euphemisms for paid
space or time masquerading as editorial content.
P.J. Bednarski bashed
the practice in a VideoBlog June 2 titled: Native Ads: Finessing Fuzzy.
TV satirist John Oliver
ridiculed the concept
on his August 3 Last Week
Tonight TV show. That brought an open letter dissent from Sergey Denisenko, head of a global native advertising agency, which brought an
open letter rebuttal from MediaPost editor-at-large Bob Garfield and, in
turn, an open letter reply to Garfield from Denisenko, All that in Media
Advertising Age's media guy Simon Dumenco chimed in Sept. 1, adding more
reasons to support Oliver's complaints about native advertising.
Garfield, who earlier declared his implacable opposition to the practice
in a column titled
The Crusades Lasted 200 Years. I'm Just Getting
Started, then wrote a not too far-out parody:
ABC News' ‘The Brothelette'
after it was revealed the broadcaster had been paid by a company to
produce and air as news an interview with two celebrities about their
participation in the company's ad campaign.
Not all journalists are on the con side of the discussion. Auto writer Dave Kiley writes:
"Just Because Your B-School Didn't Cover Content Marketing
Doesn't Mean It Isn't Here" and offers
five reasons why companies should
include good content in their marketing plans. Another reason for
content marketing may be the fact that banner ads are not working on the
Internet. Nicholas Carter reports for Business Insider, a study found
"It's More Likely You Will Survive A Plane Crash Or Win The Lottery Than
Click On A Banner Ad." He continues with a series of other occurrences
the study revealed as many times more likely than clicking on those
expensive banner ads. Among them: a full house in poker, getting
accepted at Harvard and winning a lottery. Along those same lines,
another study is headlined in the LondonBlog,
"Facebook 'Likes' Really Could Be As Worthless As You Were Fearing, MIT Scientists Reveal."
Content marketing will continue to grow because, simply, the money is
Jack Neff reports in AdAge that Kraft Foods
"now generates the equivalent of 1.1 billion ad impressions a year and
four times the return from investment from content marketing than even
targeted ads." Also along this trend lines, Genworth, a long-term care
provider has inked a deal with the CNN Content Development Studio that
works with advertisers and agencies to develop branded entertainment and
sponsored programming, according to MediaPost Agency Daily's Larissa Faw.
Proctor & Gamble is switching an impressive amount of its marketing
budget to social and digital media at the expense of TV commercials and
print ads, Thom Kennon writes for Marketing Daily in a provocative piece
Radical Marketing In A Post-Advertising World. A main point he
"In this post-advertising world, the untethered human has taken control
over all of the content they consume, along with the where, when and
what they do with it."
Maybe. In a
posting in The Guardian by Emily
Bell points to the possibility that an algorithm can limit the content
consumed by the untethered human.
As an example, she sites one person
not getting any word from her regular news feed about the riots in
Ferguson, Mo. and first learning about them on Facebook. This example,
she says, "highlights how a news ecosystem that automatically favours
one type of story over another can pour very cold water on democratic
debate." Another example could be the limited news coverage of the
400,000 –person climate march. Or, ESPN's coverage of the NFL abuse
Bell's post is titled,
"We can't let tech giants, like Facebook
and Twitter, control our news values." She argues that algorithms should
not replace cultural values. That same caution could read, "We can't let
Content Marketers control our news values." (See Garfield's parody).
Bell concludes her post: "We can build the Internet in space, and robots
are taking a central role in our lives. But we need an open conversation
about who shapes their values."
Honda's new 2015 CR-V is slated to be introduced to members of NEMPA at
the Automotion Garage on September 30. . . . Craig Fitzgerald's
Midnight Oil column on Tesla for
BestRide.com provides a pretty clear
explanation why the electric carmaker won a factory retail outlet in
Massachusetts. Existing laws prohibit manufacturers from competing with
their franchised dealers in the commonwealth. Since Tesla has no
franchised dealers there, no violation...
Hyundai gave NEMPA members a up-close look at the 2015 Tucson Fuel Cell Vehicle in Boston Sept. 22nd.
The Milwaukee Mile, the oldest continuously operating auto-racing
facility in the world, will be the focus of the Oct. 18 Center
Conversations at the International Motor Racing Research Center.
Milwaukee Mile expert Steve Zautke will speak at 1 p.m. at the Center. The
talk is free, and all are welcome. Zautke also will speak about Road
America. The next Center Conversations will be Nov. 8 featuring Michael
Martin on the United States Road Racing Championship race series of the
1960s. . . . IMPA is slated to hear from Nissan Sr. Vice President,
Sales & Marketing, Fred Diaz, on the third Thursday of the month, Oct.
16, at its regular luncheon spot, the 3 West Club.
Brantley of Charlotte, North Carolina, took home the Best of Show Award
at the recent Charlotte Motor Speedway AutoFair with his 1973 Pontiac
Trans Am. . . .
Once again Bill Warner has come up with a little something new for his
annual Amelia Island Concours D'Elegance. On March 15, 2015, the 20th
such Amelia gathering will display, "the eclectic and eccentric cars
customized and modified to promote America's movie and TV cowboys with
the highly anticipated ‘Cars of the Cowboys' class." Warner says the
class was inspired when at age 11 he met then cowboy movie star Lash LaRue and was given a ride in LaRue's
Muntz Jet car (For those who don't
remember, the vehicle was one of the many promotions of "Mad Man Muntz"
who gained his greatest fame for his "Muntz TV" that mounted a large,
magnifying screen a few inches outside of the small screens then offered
on most TV sets.) Among the "cowboy cars" slated to be on display are
those of Leo Carillo, Tom Mix, Roy Rogers and Dale Robertson. . . . The
event will also celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the recently turned 85
Sir Stirling Moss' victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia.
TAWA has gained an impressive sponsor for its annual Texas Truck Rodeo
where the much sought-after "Truck of Texas" is determined in a two-day
shoot-out by TAWA journalist members from across the nation. It is the
The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the
American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). The TAWA Texas Truck Rodeo
will be held Oct. 8-10 at the Knibbe Ranch outside San Antonio.
Ronald Krupitzer, vice president, automotive market of SMDI, said "With recent
anticipation surrounding the use of alternative material designs in the
automotive industry, SMDI and its member companies look forward to
partnering with the Texas Auto Writers Association and sharing their
insight on why time-tested materials, like advanced steel, will help to
ensure the durability, strength and safety of future vehicles." Take
that all you on the aluminum bandwagon!
Wendy Orthman reported that MAMA had more than 70 vehicles lined up for
its Set. 30, Oct. 1 Fall Rally at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet,
IL. Worth noting many of the participating manufacturers are requesting
drivers to sign waivers before taking a car for a spin – or should we
say test drive.
The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles will close On Oct. 19 for
what looks like a dramatic $125 million remodel. The night before it
does the Beach Boys will perform at the museum's annual gala. No
re-opening date has been announced but for a look at what will be there
when it does, go to: http://www.petersen.org/ . . . . . "Cars of
Character" is the topic for AutoDesignO's 6th annual flagship event,
Design Panel Forum, on Oct. 21 at Hollywood's Warner Brother Studios.
Free to invited guests and media, this years event, "has evolved into a
unique opportunity at a high-profile venue with few distractions,
allowing sponsors to connect better with guests," according to John Grafman, executive director of AutoDesignO. The organization is
committed to all professionals in the automotive design industry and
works to improve access to people and information and promote cultural
exchange within and beyond studio walls. Sponsors of this year's forum
include: BMW, General Motors, Hyundai, Mazda, 3DXCITE and
One lucky guest will win a leather car interior from Katzkin. For more information about this unique forum contact Grafman @
email@example.com or telephone 949-279-4444.
MPG, apparently still searching for a new centrally convenient luncheon
spot for its far-flung membership, has added a Rose Bowl circuit to its
two-day Willow Springs "Track Days" schedule as well as
panel discussions at the Pasadena Hilton. One of them will look at
"Secret of Success in Automotive Journalism." Nominees for the
press groups' annual Dean Batchelor Awards for automotive journalism
closed Sept. 30 with winners in six categories of traditional and audio
visual media to be feted at MPG's annual December dinner. . . . The Art
Center, College of Design's Oct. 26 "Street to Screen" Car Classic 2014,
is more than just another high-profile car show, this free popular
public event celebrates the best in automotive and overall
transportation design. Located above The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
the annual event also showcases the College's strong ties to the auto
industry and honors many noteworthy alumni. For more information, visit
across the finish line
Mullins -- The recent passing of this long-time friend,
client and supporter, merits mention because in our opinion,
he represented the best tradition of PR: bringing to the
table the objectivity of a veteran journalist who put the
facts before the needs of corporate egos while serving his
employer with solutions media could live with.
easy tussling with the land mines within and without that
rocked Chrysler Corporation during his 30 years there. He
did so with equanimity and a "street sense" that earned him
the affection and respect of the media and the PR team he
assembled for Chrysler as its Director of Worldwide Sales &
Marketing & Public Relations and later, after retiring from
Chrysler, a second national PR team he assembled for
Toyota that was termed the "PR juggernaut of the auto
He was a street-smart good guy.
Mike Anson – A long-time West Coast auto journalist, Mike
was known and liked for his easy-going manner and distain
for "hype" when he later
became a PR man. He worked with Road & Track and
Wheeler before becoming the first editor of 4Wheel and
Off Road and then editor of Motor Trend. He was a creator,
founder of the national America On The Road radio show and
worked PR stints for Hyundai and Suzuki.
Will Mark Rechtin find it easier to call "a spade a spade" when there
are no ad dollars to be mined, or sources to be cosseted? He has traded
an inside look for an outside analysis of the auto industry and its
products, moving after 20 years with "the bible of the auto industry" to
the "champion of the consumer." As West Coast Bureau Chief for
Automotive News, Rechtin covered and served the industry. In his new
East Coast post as Consumer Reports' Cars Content Development Leader
he's responsible for the evolvement and implementation of a renowned
portfolio of digital and print products designed to serve car buyers
with facts, figures, statistics, ratings and analysis. firstname.lastname@example.org follows the common format for most of the
company's Connecticut contacts.
Alan Ohnsman has departed Bloomberg
News to join TrueCar Inc. as senior vice president and chief
communications officer. His new email is
email@example.com. He most
recently covered automotive news and green transportation from
Angeles bureau. . . . Sam Abuelsamid has left the
Content Factory to join Navigant Research as a Senior Analyst - Smart
Transportation. He can be contacted at:
firstname.lastname@example.org . . . .
Bill Groak's new email is email@example.com . . .
Alex Fedorak is now
public relations manager at Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. . .
. Brandy Schaffels moved up to chief editor at AskPatty.com, Inc. Her
email remains firstname.lastname@example.org. . . .
Dave Pankew has moved from
Autoblog.com to editor-in-chief of AutoNation, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. Try him at email@example.com . . .
John L. Stein has added
Auction/Newsletter Editor at Vintage Motorsport Magazine to his
self-employed assignments at Stein-Karr Marketing & Communications, try
firstname.lastname@example.org to reach him. . . . . .Consumer Reports has
named Seung Min (Mel) Yu ,a Flint, Mich. automotive tech communications
specialist and Pacific-Rim correspondent/translator, an automotive
analyst working with its test engineers, survey researchers, and
statisticians to prepare surveys and develop methods of analysis or
improve existing methods. His email is:
email@example.com . . . Car
news for Jezebel Magazine should be sent to:
Modern Luxury owns Jezebel. . . .Race Central honcho Rich
Branch's new email address is:
firstname.lastname@example.org . . . Because Autowriters
lost track of what he was up to, we note
Rick Popely, former Chicago
Tribune auto reporter, recently celebrated one year as host of Internet
radio's Cars, Trucks and Bucks interactive show on the TalkZone. Com . .
. Gary Anderson, editor-in-chief of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America's
magazine, The Star, has added Babbage
Engine Interpreter at the Computer History Museum in, where else? the
Silicon Valley. What is the Babbage you ask? It is a 5-ton Victorian era
calculating machine with 8,000 parts. Inventor Charles Babbage never saw
it work. You can see it in operation at:
. . . Lauren Fix has added a new responsibility to her busy schedule:
Automotive and Technology Expert at Arise Global News Network. . .
Freelancer Keith Griffin has added Bold Ride to his roster of outlets.
Speaking of Bold Ride, its online daily blog invariably offers some great
eye-candy for car lovers along with entertaining captions. Also, for
those who enjoy reliving the muscle-car era, No Limits Magazine is an
authoritative online source by the editors of the Auto History
Preservation Society. Its 9/24 retelling of the Cobra story is a
refreshing, straightforward account of how the car came to be.
Glenn F. Campbell
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