Archive for November, 2011


 Advertisement is your Middle Name

In the 21st century, not any normal human being can survive a day without media and communication. Can you go a day without using a mobile phone, or watching television/ or a movie, or surfing the internet, or even walking down the neighborhood street? All these daily routine activities expose us to advertisements whether we like it or not, whether we plan it or not. Today’s forces of advertisement determine the “ideal” life style, the “perfect” shape, and even a person’s “optimal” status in life. Advertisement connects to consumer’s subconscious and alters people’s consuming trends, transforming us all to trapped followers and subjective thinkers. People do not think anymore, they just do what their brains are told to do and absorb all masked stereotypes. Not all people are as such of course, however a big chunk of society falls in the trap of media and advertisement simply because they are too consumed in consuming, and have no time to objectively think and analyze.

Analysis of Women’s ad

This ad shows an African-American model and another white model wearing clothes by United Colors of Benetton. The two women are tall, skinny, and have flawless skin, almost reaching the stereotypical definition of perfect beauty. Rick Ruffolo, the vice president of Bath and Body, once said that “If you look at the messages in mass marketing today and TV programs, the emphasis is on outer beauty, cosmetics and extreme makeovers” (Howard, 2005). This brings up the idea of perfect feminine “mannequin” appeal as a mean to promote sales. People’s definition of beauty has changed; beautiful now means tall, extremely thin, and basically having the “model-look.” Advertisement defines body shape and carves the way people value women and their anatomy. Again, nothing is accidental in advertisements: having an African-American in this ad is definitely not a coincidence. The mission of United Colors of Benetton is “combining culture with industry and offering young people from around the world an opportunity for creative growth and multicultural interchange (Fabrica, 2009).” Hence having an African American woman allows this brand to address a wide range of diverse people and to compete in more than one localized market. The “united” colors of its sweaters soon became a metaphor for the united skin tones of the youth from many different countries for whom the sweaters were designed (Fabrica, 2009). Not all brands are aware that “Black” women spend on average three times more than the general market (Neff, 2007). The strategy used to sell these items is also a branding strategy; however, it pertains to cultural and ethnic perceptions. Two decades after the Civil Rights movements, companies and advertisers began to integrate minority consumers into their main marketing strategies (Kim et al, 2005).  Benetton succeeded in advertising its ideas which soon became a consumer magnet thus selling more of their products.

Analysis of Men’s ad

Upon examining seven different Arabic magazines from October and November issues, I realized that the number of ads showing only men is extremely low compared to that of women. This brings up the issue of using women, as well as children, as an advertisement tool in order to play on people’s emotions and effectively promote a certain brand. Men are often used to advertise a message about power, sports, and control, as if women can’t be powerful or sportive. This Lacoste ad shows a low angle shot of a very elegant white man wearing Lacoste shoes. The shoes are pointed towards the logo in such a way to direct the viewers’ attention towards the crocodile symbol for Lacoste. The male is dressed in a very chic style referring to Lacoste’s basic look: the Sport-chic look. His jacket is adjusted to be open in order to show the crocodile on the upper right of the polo and promote the clothing line as well. On that same page, there is another close up on a male’s leg, specifically below the knee, giving great importance to the shoes, being the object advertised. To support these two shots, another two images of shoes are portrayed to display the variety in their collection. It is worth noting that in the upper left shot, the shoe color is warm: orange/red where as all the others are neutral colors: brown, beige, black, white, and grey. Warm colors usually set a powerful, energetic mood while, neutral colors serve to tone down colors that are intended to stand out. The usefulness of the content/style distinction rests on the intrinsic separation between what is said about and shown with the brand versus how it is said or shown (Philips and McQuerrie, 2002). All the detailed elements in the ad are coherent and make perfect sense; however, I couldn’t help but wonder why the bars behind the man are rusted. Everything has a purpose in advertisement, and one possible purpose for the rust may be to create a realistic atmosphere and to hide the mechanical adjustments in the photograph.

Analysis of Men and Women ad

The first jeans ad is centered at a white male and a white, skinny tall female. Both, man and woman are in their twenties; consequently, Salsa’s target audience is young men and women in this same age group. The photo is shot in low angle making it seem like the two characters are on top of the world. This camera angle makes people come out much larger than they are, thus giving them more power. The camera angle also helps portray their slogan, “Feel on top of the world wearing Salsa”, using photography. The impression of looking up at them triggers the audience to fancy looking up to them. It is hardly a coincidence that the woman is slightly tilted to the left, showing a portion of her behind. The male is standing straight front, giving all his body parts equal value; whereas the female’s backside is shown, giving more emphasis to her ass, especially that the man’s hand is precisely on her waist line. In today’s Lebanon, advertising rarely portrays or addresses women in a manner that isn’t awkwardly related either to looks or, at the other end of the spectrum, to motherly function (Bontems, 2009). It is part of Salsa’s marketing strategy to promise firm and uplifted butt while wearing their jeans. That is why they resort to emotional branding to attract more and more customers. This marketing strategy connects their brand’s preposition to their consumer’s needs and desires. Now-a-days people do not buy products; they buy ideas, life styles and social statuses. “Happy New You” is just another slogan that not only redefines the traditional meaning of being happy but also draws a strong relation between happiness and a pair of jeans.

By examining in depth the three different ads, it has become clear that advertisement is the protagonist in the story of our life. Companies build their marketing strategies by virtually selling their ideas rather than their products. Consumers are driven towards perfection and their ultimate goal is reaching the ideal body figure, be it their faces or their bodies. Susie Orbach, a British psychoanalyst, argues in her book “Bodies” that all of the globalized world, men and women, are suffering from a warped sense of beauty…She says that we are expected to look like Angelina Jolie from childhood to the old-age home (Solomon, 2009). This type of stereotype is one of many resulting from the mass media and advertisement “haunting” us. Always remember that what distinguishes a person from a consumer is his/her ability to distinguish between what he/she needs or desires and what the advertisers wants him//her to need or desire.

References

Awareness Network. (n.d.). Media Awareness Network. Media Stereotyping – Introduction. Retrieved November 13, 2011, from http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/issues/stereotyping/index.cfm

Bontems, N. (2009, May 10). Sex offender. Communicate. Retrieved November 10, 2011, from http://moodle.aub.edu.lb/file.php/5847/Sex_offender_-_Communicate.ae.html

Fabrica. (2009, July 21). Fabrica. United Colors of Benetton. Retrieved November 13, 2011, from http://www.benettongroup.com/en/whatwesay/fabrica.htm

Howard, T. (2005, July 7). Ad campaigns tell women to celebrate who they are. USA Today. Retrieved November 11, 2011, from http://www.usatoday.com/money/advertising/2005-07-07-dove-usat_x.htm

Kim, M., & Chung, A. (2005). Consuming Orientalism: Images of Asian/American Women in Multicultural Advertising. Qualitative Sociology, 28, 67-91. Retrieved November 10, 2011, from http://moodle.aub.edu.lb/file.php/5847/Asian_Americans_in_advertising.pdf

Lacoste. (2011). Noun. November 2011. Lebanon. Noun publishing. p. 87.

Neff, J. (2007, August 27). Advertising Age. My Black Is Beautiful. Retrieved November 9, 2010, from adage.com/article/news/black-beautiful/120091

Phillips, B., & McQuarrie, E. (2002). The Development, Change, and Transformation of Rhetorical Style in Magazine. journal of advertising, 31. Retrieved November 10, 2011, from http://moodle.aub.edu.lb/file.php/5847/The_Development_Change_and_Transformation_of_Rhetorical_Style_in_Magazine_Advertisements_1954-1999_Advertising_Society_Review_6_4.pdf

Salsa. (2011). Snob. October 2011. Lebanon. Snob Hasnaa publishing. p. 55.

Solomon, D. (2009, March 4). Questions for Susie Orbach – Her Beautiful Mind – Interview . The New York Times. Retrieved November 11, 2011, from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/08/magazine/08wwln-q4-t.html

United Colors of Benetton. (2011). Noun. November 2011. Lebanon. Noun publishing. p. 129.

Appendix

 

 

 
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Analyzing Newsweek’s cover page for the week: Oct 10, 2011

            “Afghanistan: ten years of war in a land where your enemy will fight you forever.” This is the headline on Newsweek’s cover page for the week October 10, 2011. The cover page includes an articulate portrait of a man who seems to be a “typical” Afghan citizen. The photograph is taken by a well-known photographer named Guillermo Cervera and the story inside is written by Sami Yousafzai and Ron Moreau. How does Cervera’s image help skew reader’s understanding of the message? How does the headline influence the meaning of the image?

Discussion

            To begin with, the photo is a zoomed in portrait of an Afghan man giving great importance to his eyes. Those thoughtful pensive hazel green eyes speak for themselves. They shout out sorrow but hope, no fear and a great deal of bravery. Years of war and unstoppable fighting are engraved in each wrinkle carved on his face. His overall look hints to his identity. The turban covering his hair often linked to Arab and Islam. It is somehow a stereotype that men who wear such form of headgears are usually associated to Muslims or Arabs. In Afghanistan, these turbans are called lungee and they constitute part of their culture and tradition. Without reading the headline, and by only examining the features of the man, the reader would predict that the article deals with a Muslim issue just because there is a widespread impression of a Muslim’s physical appearance. In addition, it is notable that the color black dominates the photo thereby implicating a sad, grief-stricken mood.

At the first glance, the reader may relate this photo to the 1984 photograph of Sharbat Gula, “the Afghan girl”, taken by Steve McCurry in National Geographic. Gula’s strong features, pensive eyes, and alluring beauty lead her to become an icon of war and hardship. So by some means Cervera may have been influenced by Gula hence representing these emotions in a similar male figure.

The headline on the cover page exactly states “Afghanistan: ten years of war in a land where your enemy will fight you forever.” (Yousafzai& Moreau, 2011) The voice of hope is about to expire in that phrase, especially when using words such as “forever”.  The linguistic implication of this word leaves no room for optimism whereby it assures that The US- Afghanistan conflict does not know an end. The headline on the cover page does not necessarily reflect the purpose of the full story inside the magazine. On the first page of the article is a very catchy well know phrase that more or less summarizes the whole point of the article. It says “You have the watches, we have the time”, implying that the Afghans are never giving up on their land where as the Americans negotiate according to calendars, statistics and deadlines. As mentioned in the article, 28-year-old Afghan named Mujahid Rahman says to an American: “Your watch’s battery will run down, and its hands will stop. But our time in the struggle will never end. We will win.” (Yousafzai& Moreau, 2011) This young man has so much hope and does not know the meaning of surrender. He is just one of the many afghan men who believe that they have an “ideal life with a motorbike, an AK-47, an RPG, long hair and a holy cause to fight for.” This message is not clearly established in the headline on the cover page. Despite all criticism, the cover page holds a crucial topic to be discussed now that 10 years have passed.

It is important to mention the authors’ credibility in this topic. Sami Yousafzai was born in Afghanistan but was forced to move to Pakistan after the Soviet war in 1979. Consequently he is credible o write about this issue knowing that he has covered the Taliban for Newsweek since September 11, 2001. Likewise, Ron Moreau has also been covering the region since 2001 and has reported from Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Yousafzai and Moreau put together trusted stories they have stumbled upon while reporting from Afghanistan in order to produce an enlightening news article.

Alternatives

             Finding the correct “headline” is like finding the correct pair of shoes, you know when it fits! Therefore, I would recommend a more suitable headline which is “You have the time and we have the watches”. This Pashtu proverb grabs more attention and makes the reader want to open the magazine and read more. It is a very suitable metaphor to illustrate the American obsession with time and dates as opposed to Afghans, and specifically Taliban’s never-ending tolerance. Also another suitable headline may be “Time in Afghanistan is measures in decades, not in months or years”. (Yousafzai& Moreau, 2011) This headline comes from Winston Churchill’s observation during the British Struggle in the Northwest Frontier. These headlines focus more on the core subject of the article being time with respect to Afghans and Americans.

An alternative image would be the one attached in the appendix by the famous photographer Adam Ferguson. It was taken on September 4, 2009, which is after 8 years of war. This image may be more touching than the published one because it deals with children, and for some reason children trigger emotions faster. Also it shows a clear image of the extent to which the conflict has reached. It portrays the two sides of the issue rather than focusing on one side only. The helicopter symbolizes the “enemy” and the children covering their heads represent Afghan citizens.

In short, the cover page of this week’s Newsmagazine is a relatively an appropriate one. The photograph is very expressive with strong emotions and the headline is direct and straight to the point. Overall, the authors Yousafzai and Moreau, and the photographer Guillermo did a fine job covering an issue in somehow “liberal bias” and keeping the magazine centered equally away from the left and right leaning perspectives. At the end of the day, it is not the work of words solely that contributes to a good news article, but the concoction of relevant text and images.

References

Denker, D. (n.d.). A Life Revealed – Original Story – National Geographic Magazine. National Geographic Magazine. Retrieved May 9, 2011, from http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2002/04/afghan-girl/original-story-text

Ferguson, A. (n.d.). Adam Ferguson. Adam Ferguson. Retrieved May 9, 2011, from http://adamfergusonphoto.com/

Yousafzai, S., & Moreau, R. (2011, October 10). You Have the Watches, We Have the Time. Newsweek, NA, 26-31.

Appendix

Maya Hariri
American University of Beirut

The Power of the Beat

Throughout the past 10 years, the music industry experienced drastic changes with the emergence of new technological advancements. Music was formerly coupled with the art of self-expression, but now it is a business by itself. Have you ever noticed the inverse relation between the profitability of music and its quality? Cheap music that sticks in the head is what the major record labels are going after because it reduces cost and unfortunately generates a lot of profit. They don’t care whether lyrics reflect culture, or whether singers are role models. All they are concerned with is making money! After the introduction of digital downloading, major companies were forced to find a new way to profit and promote purchasing CDs. iTunes, an online virtual music store, successfully passed Wal-Mart, which is the leading music store.How did this happen? And how do these companies continue to reshape the music industries?

Song Artist Album Record Label Parent Company

1-You and I Lady Gaga Born this way

Interscope Vivendi ( UMG)

2- Telling the World Taio Cruz “Rio” Soundtrack Island Vivendi ( UMG)

3- Marry You Bruno Mars Doo-Wops & Hooligans Elektra Warner Group

4- Fi Hagat Nancy Ajram 7 Rotana Rotana

5- Cheers Rihanna Loud Def Jam Vivendi ( UMG)

6- Starting Over Jennifer Lopez Love Island Def Jam Vivendi ( UMG)

7- Mirrors Natalia Kills Perfectionist Cherrytree Vivendi ( UMG)

8- Qusset Ishaa Wael Kfoury Bihinn Rotana Rotana

9- It Girl Jason Derulo Future History Beluga Heights Warner Group

10-Rolling in the Deep Adele 21 Columbia Sony Music

According to the Rolling Stones Magazine, the typical price of a new album CD is $15.99 (Cohen, 2004). In my digital collection I have 10 tracks, that makes a total loss $159.9, and the money distribution is as follows:

$ -1.7 Musicians’ unions

$ -8.0 Packaging/manufacturing

$ -8.2 Publishing royalties

$ -8.0 Retail profit

$ -9.0Distribution

$ -16 Artists’ royalties

$ -17 Label profit

$ -24 Marketing/promotion

$ -29.1 Label overhead

$ -38.9 Retail overhead

According to the Rolling Stone magazine, the typical cost of an iTunes digital song is $1.29 (Knopper, 2011). The general breakdown of the price of this a major label release is:

$0.60 Label

$0.40 Retailer (Apple)

$0.20 Songwriter

$0.09 Recording Artist (Mechanical Royalty)

Hence the loss accumulated from downloading 10 free songs is 12.9 $, distributed as follows: $ -6 from the labels, $ -4 from the retailer, be it Apple or other, $ -2 from the songwriter and -90 cents from the artists.

Today, the international music industry is being dominated by four major record labels: Sony BMG, Vivendi (who now owns UMG), Warner Music Group, and EMI. Before the Internet, and applications like iTunes, an artist had to sign with a label just to be heard of (Knopper, 2011). With the emergence of iTunes, YouTube, Spotify, MOG and other services, artist can rise and shine through the internet. A very convenient example is Justin Beiber, who basically became famous after uploading his homemade videos on YouTube. However, after he got the attention he needed, he felt the urge to sign with a major record label in order to move to a national or international level in a professional way. Unfortunately, when it comes to the independent labels in music industry, there isn’t enough room for artists to shine like in major companies. Why? Well because they provide a marketing line that only a major label can bring. A major label has money, leverage and influence that is simply unavailable to most independents and that isn’t going to change any time soon (Pallot, 2011). The question is can we be serious fans and support artists yet, resist dominant music companies?

Major Vs Independent label recording

To be a serious music fan is a challenging function, and to be a media literate person is a crucial aspect of it. In order to support an artist, one must be aware of all the media propaganda surrounding that artist, be it the record label he/she is signed in, or the parent company that owns that record, or the level of freedom that the artists enjoy…? It is very difficult to enjoy good music and be an artist’s faithful fan without noticing how the major label companies are polluting the music industry. An artist, signed in a major company, can no longer choose what lyrics to sing or what theme to sing about or even how to appear to his/her fans. He/she is now bound to satisfy the market’s demand (or the company’s commands) rather than portraying good music freely. This issue highlights the importance of having a free voice heard through independent recording labels. Such labels allow artists, dedicated solely on making good music and expressing themselves to the audience, to rise as art figures rather than “stars” whose lives rotate around affluence and eminence. But what is it, in terms of style and content, that differentiates independent labels from major labels?

“The traditional role of a record label, in the broadest sense, is to bankroll a band until they start making lots of money, at which point the label gets to keep most of it. They own the master recordings a band makes, and by taking on this ownership they put all of their resources behind selling said recordings “(Collett-White, 2011). Being an artist in a major label is a big responsibility to handle. In such companies, making a single “mistake” is unforgivable. Once an artist starts to flop, he/she is going to flop big time. These labels do not tolerate fallbacks; simply they get rid of the artist and move on to the next potential hit artist. On the other hand, indie labels offer a lot of attention to their artists regardless of how much money they can generate out of them. That doesn’t mean that they endure losses, it is just that their main concern is not as commercial as major label recordings. Indie labels could be a great start for promising artists like Adele for example. The Independent record label XL Recordings, home to chart topper Adele, underlined a record-breaking year with seven nominations at the inaugural AIM Independent Music Awards (Collett-White, 2011).

Arabic Music Scene

The road that Arabic artists trod on differs from that of Western artists. The Arabic music industry is dominated by several companies. There are very limited figures and statistics about who owns what in the Arabic music business, yet it is evident that the leading music production company in the Middle East is Rotana. The dominant player, Rotana, owned by Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal, has exclusive contracts with most top-selling pop and folk artists (Bloomberg Business Week, 2007). Arabica, Melody Music, Alam El Phan (now a Mazzika subsidiary) are other remarkable record labels in the Arabic music industry. However, Arabic companies do not focus solely on producing and distributing records, rather they are often responsible for funding their own radio channels, TV channels and other entertainment interfaces. These record companies work in a similar “wanna-be” manner as the major record labels in the US.

Themes and Trends

It is hard to miss the repetitiveness and lack of creativity in Arabic and Western themes and lyrics. After examining my music collection I realized that whether it is an English or an Arabic record, the main theme usually is one of the following: love, marriage, beauty, relationships, foul language etc… Nevertheless, it is important to notice that Arabic songs usually use “decent”, sugar quoted lyrics while English music explicitly use words such as sex, f****, as well as mentioning body parts openly. Arabic songs very often address the love partner expressing love, gratitude, respect, and reprimand in a passionate yet “cheesy” way. Since our Arab culture doesn’t tolerate public speaking of sex, they compensate the lack of sexual words in their songs through their video clips where women are usually viewed as sexual and beauty figures. In contrast, western songs do not address specific people; rather they express a certain state of mind usually conquered by a party mood. For instance, in Lady Gaga’s official video for “You and I” there are several appearances of a nude woman along with violent sex scenes. Similarly, in Natalia Kill’s “Mirrors” she clearly divides her video clip to 4 acts: sex, love, control and vanity. Also, there is a very clear intended attempt at advertising the record label Cherrytree through demonstrating the logo on the pins (minute 3:23 in the official video). As a media literacy seeker, it is noteworthy that the artists who are signed in major label companies tend to tackle daring trends and themes and have no problem using foul language in their songs. Why? A possible reason for their confidence may be that they feel “safe” and protected by their parent companies that have great power in the music market.

The Digital Age

A huge chunk of the entertainment business is migrating to online digital delivery (Center for Creative Voices in Media, 2007). Wal-Mart, once a leader in the CD and music sales in USA, played a huge role in directing the music market. Unlike a typical Tower store, which stocks 60,000 titles, an average Wal-Mart carries about 5,000 CDs; that leaves little room on the shelf for developing artists or independent labels (Anderson, 2005). An industry insider once said: “What Wal-Mart chooses to stock can basically determine what becomes a hit.” Isn’t it very ironic how one business can determine the route of music fans? Well it is unfortunately true that the Wal-Mart once had that kind of power, however today iTunes replaced it (Kreps, 2008). The current generation has migrated towards downloading music from the net instead of buying actual CDs mainly because it is cheaper, and allows them to buy single songs instead of paying for a complete album. Record stores are dying at an alarming rate, and fewer and fewer people are buying CDs every day (Frucci, 2010) A CD album’s average cost is $15.99 and on iTunes one can purchase that same album for $10.97, knowing that one can choose to download single songs for around 99 cents each. So why buy a complete album with some undesired songs for more, when we can buy a bunch of desired songs for less? Recorded music companies are desperately trying to counter losing CD sales to digital sales, and album sales to track sales, with products or services that can make up the difference (Peoples, 2009). In addition to digital media’s low cost, it creates an interface for us “listeners/music consumers” to interact with each other and build communities and discussion threads easily. It is important to shed the light on the rising issue of piracy. Piracy is the act when people “steal” digital music or movies from the internet. Major forces have joined to stop “pirates” from stealing digital music however they haven’t completely succeeded.

Music is now being “consumed” more than ever in history. More and more people are getting involved in music under the control of the four major record companies. Those companies determine who “lives” and who “dies” in the music industry leaving little room for independent labels to communicate with their audience. The demand on digital music is growing and the supply is responding positively. But the question remains: Why does the demand on, literary, cultural, meaningful music remain static?

References

Anderson, C. (2005, July 22). The Long Tail. Retrieved October 25, 2011, from http://www.longtail.com/the_long_tail/short_tail/

Businessweek. (2007, October 22). The Arab World Wants Its MTV. Bloomberg Businessweek .Retrieved October 29, 2011, from http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_43/b4055067.htm

Center for Creative Voices in Media: News. (2007, November 13). Center for Creative Voices in Media – Preserving original, independent and diverse voices. Retrieved October 26, 2011, from http://www.creativevoices.us/php-bin/news/showArticle.php?id=192

Christman, E. (2011, July 18). What Exactly Is An Independent Label? Differing Definitions, Different Market Shares. Billboard. Retrieved October 29, 2011, from http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/indies/what-exactly-is-an-independent-label-differing-1005281802.story

Cohen, W. (2004, October 12). iTunes Passes Wal-Mart As Top U.S. Music Provider. Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 26, 2011, from http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/itunes-passes-wal-mart-as-top-u-s-music-provider-20080404

Cohen, W. (2004, October 12). Wal-Mart wants $10 CDs. Rolling Stones. Retrieved October 26, 2011, from http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2004/10/walmart-wants-1.html

Collett-White, M. (2011, October 13). The Independent On Sunday. Adele label XL leads indie music award nominations .Reuters. Retrieved October 25, 2011, from http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/adele-label-xl-leads-indie-music-award-nominations-2370014.html

Economist. (2008, January 10). The music industry: From major to minor .The Economist. Retrieved October 29, 2011, from http://www.economist.com/node/10498664

Frucci, A. (2011, March 11).Record Labels: Change or Die. Gizmodo. Retrieved October 26,2011, from http://gizmodo.com/5481545/record-labels-change-or-die

Knopper, S. (2011, October 25). The New Economics of the Music Industry. Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 26, 2011, from http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-new-economics-of-the-music-industry-20111025?page=2

Kreps, D. (2008, April 4). iTunes Passes Wal-Mart As Top U.S. Music Provider. Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 26, 2011, from http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/itunes-passes-wal-mart-as-top-u-s-music-provider-20080404

Pallot, N. (2011, April 28). Why a major label record deal still matters | Music | The Guardian. The Guardian. Retrieved October 23, 2011, from http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/apr/28/nerina-pallot-major-label-record-deal

Peoples, G. (2009, May 18) Analysis: What Can Replace Falling CD Revenues. Billboard. Retrieved October 26, 2011, from http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/others/analysis-what-can-replace-falling-cd-revenues-1003974212.story

Ross, M. (2010, December 29). Arabic Music Labels Face a Wreckoning. Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 29, 2011, from http://www.rollingstoneme.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=186

What is Prezi

Prezi is a web-based program that allows you to create an interesting canvas presentation thanks to its zoomable user interface (ZUI) which enables you to explore the “big picture” overview of a floor plan and then zoom into the detail of individual rooms. It allows you to add in not only text and pictures, but also videos and other presentation objects. You can create your presentation online and then download the final on to your PC.

This application can be a good replacement to the traditional PowerPoint presentation. Through its zoomable user interface, it allows the audience to engage with the presenter and make the presentation much more interesting.

Click on this image to visit Prezi’s homepage.

This introductory post introduces the foounders of Prezi and narrates the story of how prezi was created and developed.

An internationally renowned Hungarian architect and visual artist, Adam Somlai-Fischer, has been working with zooming presentations since 2001. Adam found that a zoomable user interface (ZUI) enabled him to explore the “big picture” overview of a floor plan and then zoom into the detail of individual rooms. Because there was no commercially-available zooming presentation editor, each presentation had to be coded by hand. Audiences were wowed and approached Adam to discover what presentation software he used. A few persuaded him to give them access to his code.

Finally, in 2007, Budapest University of Technology professor Peter Halacsy convinced Adam, which is now Prezi’s co-founder, to develop an editor so that anyone could make zooming presentations. After creating a sample, they recruited a business-minded entrepreneur, Peter Arvai, to join as CEO — to help them build a product and a company. Prezi was launched in April 2009 from Budapest and the San Francisco office was established in November 2009.

The application was known as ‘ZuiPrezi’ – ‘Zui’ as in zooming using interface, and ‘Prezi’ as in the Hungarian diminutive of presentation.  On December 15, 2008 the team dropped the ‘Zui’ because people could not pronounce it correctly.

Peter Halacsy and Adam Somlai-Fischer believed in “humanity’s desire for creativity,” and their dream was to create tools that “allow self-expression to take shape.”  Adam once stated that “a good tool needs to help you in: thinking, formulating and developing your message.” With Prezi, the two men truly achieved this.

Here’s a demo to this application:

Beirut Lounge

Just another pathway to the world of Media in Beirut

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