I expected my podcast, Scattercast, to have a good month thanks to the interview with David Montelongo, but in the grand scheme of the month that episode only accounted for about five percent of the total downloads. It definitely looks like the audience is growing, but yet, I need to call upon you my readers, and those that listen to the show … “you’re my only hope.”
After 106 episodes, the show still has no reviews on iTunes. If you listen to the show, and you enjoy it, I would greatly appreciate you stopping by the Scattercast listing and giving it a review.
As for the second favor, I’ve asked numerous times on the show, and I know people are listening, but yet no one ever replies: What parts of the show do you enjoy? The general rants? Talking about movies? Talking comic books? Talking television? I feel like I’m podcasting a vacuum, and now I have proof of you all actually listening, so come on, speak up!
In other news … I am going to be attempting to launch another audio podcast in Sept. in the tech field, but it will be a once a week show, with yet another co-host, so be looking out for that coming soon.
Below is the chart for the past 12 months of Scattercast, although I removed the actual numbers, you can see things have gotten much, much better. (You can click it for a larger view)
As a professional blogger I am inundated with press releases every day. Every morning when I wake up, my inbox is overflowing with them, and I have come to realize after looking at thousands of them that hardly any one knows how to write an effective one. So, I am going to offer a couple helpful hints that will keep your release from going directly to the trash folder.
Don’t Lead With A Story
As I don’t want to embarrass any company by name, let me just say, if your first two paragraphs are a set-up of some type of situation that needs a solution, I’ve stopped reading. It’s fine to give examples of possible use scenarios for your product, but due it towards the bottom so I can choose whether or not to read it. You aren’t writing the great American novel, you don’t need to lure the reader in, just tell me what the name of the product is, what it does and who is manufacturing it.
An example of a bad intro would be:
Coming home to a cold house is never a desirable experience. You’ve already trudged your way through the snow and wind to make it home from work, and you want to be greeted by the warm embrace of your home …
I’ve already deleted you.
An example of a good intro would be:
The new Nitro Furnace 4400 by Warm Homes, Inc. will make sure that your home stays toasty warm on even the coldest winter nights due to its combination of Progressive Fuel Technology and Turbo Burn Modulation that runs through the Flux Capacitor …
Thank you. I know what the release is about, I know who its from and I have a basic idea of why it’s different.
Don’t Be Flowery
I have no time to dig for gold (also known as facts) in the dirt (also known as your desire to use a metric ton of adjectives).
An example of bad way to convey the specifications of your product:
The robust Deluxe-In-Your-Face CMOS sensor will give the photographer the advantage of being able to shoot luxurious panoramic shots in a full-HD of 14.1 megapixels. With photos of this size, space could be a concern, but thanks to the generous storage capacity of the dual slot SD card system, you have the pleasure of being able to store up to 32 GBs of photos via two 16 GB memory cards.
An example of a good way to convey the specifications of your product:
Deluxe-In-Your-Face CMOS sensor
Full-HD at up to 14.1 megapixels
Dual SD card slots, up to 16 GBs per slot
I’m not kidding, bullet point the information or I may lose interest in writing it up even if I made it past the intro. I don’t have time to dig for the goods. You can, however, be flowery if you at least have the information sorted out in an easy to reference manner.
Give Me Facts
If you are releasing more than one product, don’t give me “prices range from $X to $X”. I’m not playing a guessing game here, people. ”Model X will cost $X, Model Y will cost $X and Model Z will cost $X.” Is that so hard? Sure I could figure out Models X and Z, but you want me to guess at Model Y? No, I don’t think so.
And the thing that happened today that prompted me to write this post … where will it be sold? You’re a brand new product, with no track record, so I can’t guess. I could say “various stores”, but then I will get asked 500 questions from readers if this means online, brick and mortar stores, home shopping channels … I’m not going to promote your product if you can’t tell me, and by proxy my readers, where in the world they can buy it.
Make Your Quotes Sound Like More Than Another Ad
In general I don’t like using press release quotes, but will do so from time to time.
An example of a bad quote in a press release:
“We here at Furnace Express couldn’t be more excited about the Nitro Furnace 4400. After 73 years in business, the Nitro Furnace is the culmination of our vast experience and forward thinking that will carry us on to another 73 years,” said Alan Cheesehead, president of Furnace Express.
I would never use this quote … ever.
An example of a good quote in a press release:
“I really feel that the Nitro Furnace 4400 is something my grandfather would be proud of. The Cheesehead family has worked for over three generations with a goal of making the best furnace we could, and I feel we’re now one step closer,” said Alan Cheesehead, president of Furnace Express.
Why would I use this quote? It’s more personal, it cut down the number of mentions of the product name and company name. It sounds more natural, and more along the lines of how someone actually talks.
Ask Yourself Questions
When you’ve finished your press release, re-read it. Does it answer the five W’s of journalism? ”What, Where, When, Who and How”? What is it … where will it be … when will it be there … who made it/who needs it … and how will this impact the market?
This isn’t rocket science, folks … it’s a press release.
I think I had heard something about Yogi Bear being in development, and then promptly forgot it on purpose.
Starring Dan Aykroyd as the voice of Yogi Bear, and Justin Timberlake as Boo Boo, this … movie … hits theaters this December in 3D. I know that Alvin and the Chipmunks was a success, and Garfield was a minor success, but Underdog flopped and Marmaduke is pretty much a disaster. Just watching this trailer, I’m pretty positive we can see which direction this one is going.
Why in the world do these projects keep getting approved? Do the studios like taking huge gambles? Whatever, this holds about zero interest for me, but I’m curious to hear what other folks have to say about it.
Well, you knew the trailer for Sucker Punch had to be lurking around somewhere, and it has now shown up.
The other day I ran the first character images from the new Zack Snyder film, and while I was somewhat on the spot about it throwing all the rules of reality out the window, it looks to go even further that I suspected it would … and I’m all for it.
I’ve gotten a reputation as a movie snob, but really it’s just that I don’t want the audience to be insulted. If a movie sets up a rule for itself, such as say “No one has ever learned to fly” and then someone flies because it is simply convenient to the plot, then I get angry. If you establish this is a fantasy world and that anything goes, more power to ya, I’m all for it. Yes, they could still muck it up by breaking their own rules, but I’m not going to walk in and hate a movie just because it has dragons in it. If it’s established as possible, I’m fine with it.
All that being said, shortly after watching this trailer in high definition, I instant messaged Steven Hodson and informed him:
me: I wanna see this NOW
I feel like my eyes have just had sex
Watch it below, but if you have a really good monitor, head over to the Apple site to watch it in HD, it’s worth it. All that being said … prepare yourself for a visual feat with a total lack of coherency.
Okay, I promise I’ll shut up about Green Lantern news after this.
(notice I didn’t say for how long …)
I had heard at the Comic-Con panel for the Green Lantern movie that a little kid dressed up as the character asked Mr. Reynolds what it was like to say the Oath. Not only did he express his feelings, but he recited it … and not a word has been changed from the comic book! Thank you, Hollywood for finally leaving something iconic alone for once. I have said before that I could forgive a lot of things in this movie so long as the oath was left intact, and, well, okay, I’ll forgive the funky costume now. I am nothing if not a man of my word.
In case you are curious to the exact words:
In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power… Green Lantern’s light!
The Oath is sacrosanct to fans of the character, so the relief I feel at this really is not something I’m kidding about.
Fast forwards to about 1:35 in the video to hear the oath … and question Blake Lively’s fashion choice to sit in front of a room full of sweaty geeks.
The movie news pouring out of San Diego Comic Con almost makes you forget this used to be a comic book convention. With more movies based on comic books coming out than ever before, it figures that big announcements are made at this show, and they just keep coming.
(click any of the images for full-sized views)
Sadly nothing was released after this panel other than the official movie logo. There was some footage shown, but not to the general public to see, sadly. Apparently it was pretty quick, showed the ring forming a giant fist to hit some criminals and so on.
Two great bits of news:
The costume we saw is not the final one we’ll see on screen, there is more refining to be done to it, and the black will stand out more.
A kid in the audience asked Ryan Reynolds to recite Hal Jordan’s oath … everyone reported that no words had been changed. I am now much more at ease with the film.
There were other tidbits, but we’ll see how this film turns out.
Cowboys & Aliens
I have never read the comic this is based on, but the premise is pretty easy to grasp since it’s right in the title … aliens … in the old West.
It stars Daniel Craig as a mysterious stranger who arrives in town with an odd wrist band, and when alien ships arrive to shoot the town up, he shoots one of their ships down with his device. Wackiness ensues from there.
It also stars Olivia Wilde as a saloon girl, Harrison Ford as … someone, he’s rumored to be a bad guy. It’s also directed by Jon Favreau who has directed the two Iron Man movies. He’s definitely shown he is capable of directing action, and it should prove to be an interesting movie.
I love the concept of this. There won’t be any going to the mothership and using a Mac to install a virus malarkey. We’ll have to see how this mysterious wrist weapon works into it, but sign me up as being highly interested.
Yes, more news on The Avengers, but it’s because Marvel had the bright idea to bring the whole cast together on stage and become the talk of the con.
Robert Downey Jr. – Tony Stark/Iron Man
Clark Gregg – Agent Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Scarlett Johansson – Black Widow
Chris Hemsworth – Thor
Chris Evans – Captain America
Samuel L. Jackson – Nick Fury
Jeremy Renner – Hawkeye
Mark Ruffalo – Bruce Banner/Hulk
Joss Whedon – Co-Writer/Director
Kevin Feige – Marvel Studios’ President
The only two thins we learned from this was the re-casting of Bruce Banner, and we didn’t know for sure the Black Widow would be in the movie. Even not in costumes, this line-up looks amazing … I can not wait for May 4, 2012. The only thing missing is someone really should have yelled, “AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!”
Side note from the Marvel panel … The Punisher film rights now belong to Marvel again … can we please finally get a good Punisher movie now?