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The most surprising thing for me when it comes to stats about social media is just how quickly it’s becoming popular with the traditionally non-tech orientated non-teen population.
There’s some talk in online communities about the state of Hulu and whether they’re limited number of advertisers is a bad sign for the company.
My personal opinion is that advertising on Hulu has some serious advantages over regular broadcast television, at least if you discount the difference in the number of viewers.
As a viewer, I’m far more likely to sit through the shorter commercials on Hulu, even if they’re unskippable, simply because the interruptions aren’t long and frequent. Also, I’m noticing that I’m paying far more attention to the commercials simply because there’s less of them. There isn’t a “wall of advertising” that ends up blurring the messages into noise.
I don’t think Hulu will entirely kill broadcast or even cable television, at least not for the current generation of viewers who have grown used to it, but it’s certainly another sign that digital distribution channels like iTunes, Xbox Marketplace and Netflix streaming video are here for the duration.
Allowances have long been a tool used by parents to teach their children fiscal responsibility, but life in the virtual world of the Internet has created the opportunity for a number of digital offerings.
Paypal, for example, is now beta testing their Student account program, that will allow parents with a Paypal account to create a sub-account to be used by children 13 years or older to spend at websites that support Paypal services.
There’s also an option to get a MasterCard debit card to allow kids to use their digital allowance in real-world stores. Of course, Paypal has even updated the way kids can ask for raises in their allowance, with the ability for kids to send text messages through the system that allows parents to approve or deny additional funds remotely.
Of course, your kids have likely already encountered other forms of digital money in their day to day lives, such as Microsoft Points that can be added to the Xbox Live accounts to purchase games and other downloads. Nintendo offers a similar system for their popular Wii video game console.
While some parents may scoff at the idea of a virtual allowance, I think it’s a good idea to teach kids how to be responsible with digital money, at least when I consider how rarely I carry cash these days, instead opting to use a debit card for nearly all of my real world transactions.
SomaFM.com, one of my favorite streaming Internet radio sites, now has a new channel available called “Christmas Lounge“.
They describe the channel as “Chilled holiday grooves and classic winter lounge tracks. (Kid and Parent safe!)” and so far it’s been an interesting mix of remixed Christmas music with a dance and electronic feel, interspersed with old holiday music that I haven’t come across being played on the regular radio stations.