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Karen Fratti

Karen Fratti is a media and technology writer based in New York City. You can follow her at @karenfratti.

Want Better TVs? Start With the Remote Control

uwandIt’s about time a real remote control came with your “smart tv.” A team over at Philips Media Interaction, which operates within the Philips company, has solved your scrolling through Netflix blues.

It’s called uWand, gesture control technology that they hope manufacturers will catch on to and install in their products.

As opposed to a traditional up-down controller, the uWand uses a camera. So you point it at the television, and a mouse cursor pops up, and you move it where you want.

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Kevin Spacey Talks About the ’3 Pillars of Content’

Kevin Spacey gets it. Here’s his entire keynote speech from earlier this month at the Content Marketing World conference, where he explains to executives the “three pillars” of content: audience, conflict, and authenticity.

So being on Netflix makes him an expert? Kind of. Not just about where people are watching television, but understanding that in the digital sphere everything is social. For anything to be a success, it’s better if it starts at a grassroots level.

The whole talk is about 25 minutes long, but worth a watch over lunch (for the social marketing sights and his Joe Pesci impression).

Here’s How to Use the iPhone 6 Camera

There’s a lot to be said about the iPhone 6 and as we all start upgrading, there are a lot of benefits within the video-making and consuming industry. Today, the New York Times is featuring a video by photojournalist Todd Heisler about how to adapt to the new gear and use it in the wild.

Sometimes, the pros are the last to catch on. Expect to see better television marketing in your Vine and Instagram feeds soon.

#RE2PECT: Jeter Fans Relive Last Game on Social Media

Baseball fans have taken over social media this morning with clips from last night’s Yankees game. Clips of Jeter’s walk off single, his farewell lap, and his adorable nephew are all over the place. You can even watch a handful of different versions of that walk-off cut from various broadcasters. The little guy tipping his hat should keep you smiling all weekend.

‘Law and Order: SVU’ Premiere Tops Twitter Ratings

lawandorderNBC’s “Law and Order: SVU” premiered it’s sixteenth season last night and made Nielsen’s Top 5 in Twitter ratings. That has everything to do with the show’s efforts in building a Twitter presence.

Like “Scandal” has gladiators, SVU has #SVUDiehards. Law and Order:SVU is the one in the whole franchise that has given its characters more backstory, more drama, and it helps that they’ve been getting into life and death situations later. In fact, there should be a “Scandal” and “SVU” tweet-off.

Showrunner Warren Leight is active in promoting the week’s episode and live-tweeting during the broadcast.It doesn’t hurt when the whole cast is involved, too:

In between Leight’s interaction with fans, the writers gets in on the fun:

During the show’s airing, you’ll see multiple hashtags trending. Some are official, like the #SaveBabyBenson that went with with plot and some are just jokes amongst fans, like last night’s #NewGuy.

While “Big Brother” and the new “black-ish”beat the show in impressions, it will be interesting to see how they work it all season. Maybe their #WCW is a little cheesy, but “Law and Order:SVU” is no joke on the social media side.

Calling All ‘Scandal’ Rookies: A Guide to ABC’s Thursday Night Hashtags

tgitABC is making a bet that they are dominating your Twitter feed on Thursday nights — and if “Scandal’s” success in past year is any indication, the highly promoted Fall 2014 lineup is going to be hard to ignore. Herewith, a mini-guide to how they make it work:

#TGIT: “Thank God It’s Thursday” is the blanket tag ABC is using to promote the “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How To Get Away With Murder”

#CALZONA: “Grey’s” fans have an endearing way of blending couples’ names together to form hashtags and show their support, fury, and envy of whatever the couple is dealing with at the time. Some work better than others (#Jolex hasn’t really caught on yet). This one refers to the ever dramatic Callie and Arizona plot; and it just so happens that the actresses are the most active live-tweeters and use the tag to refer to themselves. ABC’s reported bumps in Twitter engagement when stars live-tweet. Read more

Screen-Bridge Launches Membership Program, Refocuses Target Market

screenbridgeWe last checked in with Screen-Bridge last winter when they launched. Since then, CEO Melanie Witkower and her team have made some changes to their target market, launched a blog, and the Fast Lane membership program, which offers educational resources and networking opportunities.

Witkower says that after their launch, focusing on working directly with production companies, networks began reaching out. “And when networks say they want to work with you, you don’t say ‘sorry, that’s not our target,’ you take a step back and ask yourselves ‘how do we fulfill those needs?’” she says. They’re still working with production companies but through the networks. Witkower says “the main difference is who our direct sale is to…we have more advertiser integration opportunities.”

And let’s be real: networks have more money than production companies to pay for the extra services the Screen-Bridge team provides. She notes:

It makes a lot more sense to be with the people that have the budget flexibility to actually pay for the analytics and the backend of our services…We are creative storytelling meets data analysis and data analysis is so important and so expensive. Trying to use the best companies for our services, it’s hard to be working with just the production companies.

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BBC Earth Launches New Shows, Live Panda Cams

bbcearthJust in case you didn’t have enough fall television to catch up on, the BBC has released a new channel of sorts on their website. BBC Earth will have ten content “strands” of new shows and the site will also be home to it’s archives. The content hub is meant to complement BBC America’s Earth Night every Tuesday. Editor Matt Walker says in the release:

We share a never ending curiosity with our audience and being digital allows us to interact more closely with them. We want people to share their own content with us and their network through social media and show us what inspires them. Our mission is to bring visitors to BBC Earth something amazing every single day and we have an incredible wealth of content to offer from mind-bending stories to stunning photography and film that will change the way one thinks about our universe.

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American Horror Story Asks Fans To Design Costumes

AHSFreakShowCalling all fashion forward freaks: “American Horror Story” premieres on Oct. 8 and they’re hosting a costume contest in a crafty marketing campaign.

This season is “American Horror Story: Freak Show” and fans are asked to submit a sketch of a costume inspired by the show. Head costume designer for the FX hit,Lou Eyrich, Fashion Designer Christian Siriano, and President of Marketing and On-air Promotions for FX, Stephanie Gibbons will be the judges. The Grand Prize winner receives $5,000.00 a chance to meet Lou Eyrich, and will see their sketch turned into the real thing on an AHS inspired photo-shoot. The garment will be featured on the show website and across social media.

A runner up will receive “social media acknowledgement” and $1,500. From the amount of social buzz “AMerican Horror Story” generates, a tweet from the show is worth $1,500 on its own. Fans can submit their designs until the 8th and learn more here.

This isn’t the only contest the show holds — they have a daily sweepstakes where fans can enter to watch the premiere in L.A. and their Tumblr has a countdown clock to the 8th. #AmericanHorrorStory and #AHSFreakShow are already floating around Twitter and fans can hardly contain themselves. Another social media win for FX and the show’s not even on the air yet.

WatchUp Adds New Channels, Features to App

Watchup, a personalized video platform specifically for news broadcasts, announced the launch of their new app designed specifically for iOS 8. They’ve partnered with some big names — in both news and video — like PBS, Univision, and The Washington Post. You start the app, choose your preferences, and let the app aggregate your nightly newscast.

For the new app, they’ve added some features like being able to scroll to delete a video from the newscast, preview the program in notifications, and they’ve added Arirang TV and The Young Turks to their channel lineup. You can download the app as soon as you update your operating system (like, now.)

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