How to make money if you are a TV Guide subscriber in NY or LA

Last month, TVNewser echo’d — and I tweeted — what turned out to be a false rumor about TV Guide. The magazine is still coming out in print despite how believable it sounded when the rumor suggested there is no reason to have a TV Guide print version when TV Guide now exists on the TV.

However, beyond such conventional wisdom, there are things you can do with magazine subscribers that you can’t do with people who just click around on the web or channel surf on cable.

From MediaWeek, here’s an interesting magazine-delivered promotion:

“ABC Entertainment and TV Guide are teaming up to give the magazine’s readers a Grey’s Anatomy hospital gown to promote the return of the show this season on Thursday, Sept. 27. The ABC branded-gown will be poly-bagged in the Sept. 24 issue of TV Guide, which will be mailed to subscribers in the New York and Los Angeles markets to coincide with the season four premiere of the show.”

Talk about delivering value. If only TV Guide subscribers in two markets receive the gowns, then, ABC and the magazine are handing out winning lottery tickets. A certain percentage of readers — over 50%, I guess — will instantly throw away the gown. Others will hang onto it and throw it away within a few days.

However, a few smart subscribers will not touch it — will not even open the polybag — and will sell it on eBay. As I’ve explained on this blog Grey’s Anatomy has one of the most “conversational” fan-bases in existence. And, since these collectible gowns are being distributed to a small segment of viewers, the after-market value of them will sky-rocket.

However, don’t open the polybag if you want to sell it on eBay. If you don’t, I feel certain you can receive a price worth many years of whatever you paid for that subscription through the Publisher’s Clearing House.

The Internet is dead and boring, so Mark Cuban is going to take up ballroom dancing

I have no idea whether these two items are related. However, yesterday, billionaire blogger Mark Cuban used a hyperbolic subject line to discuss his belief that the Internet has reached a state of “utility,” and is no longer where creative breakthroughs can take place. He says more bandwidth is needed for the really cool stuff. And by cool stuff, I guess he means the High Def content he’s creating. Anyway, today, SI.com is reporting that Cuban is going to be a cast member of the next series of “Dancing with the Stars,” starting next month. He’s a great two-stepper, I hear.

Later: I’ve just read a few of the reactions to Cuban’s “boring” post and must say that his title is what people are reacting to, not the point he’s trying to make. There are a lot of good things that are happening because developers are focusing on the “utility” part of the Internet — doing cools things that help make the web work for us better. I don’t disagree with his substance, I just don’t get how he can label what’s taking place “dead and boring.” By the way, the funniest comment I’ve read in response to Cuban’s post was from Howard Lindzon on this Fred Wilson post: “Substitute ‘Dallas mavericks’ for Internet.”

(Thanks, Hudge, who wonders if Cuban will go after the Dancing with the Stars judges like he goes after NBA officiating.)

Facebook is to MySpace what reading a blog post is to reading an article about what was in a blog post

When Danah Boyd wrote her blog post and related essay, Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace,” I thought it was well-crafted and provided a thought-provoking, nuanced insight into a complex, but important online and cultural phenomenon. Unfortunately, by the time it made it into this Forbes.com article, it seems like tripe.

Harry Potter and the Pot of Gold

He’s certainly old enough to go without me, but the 16-year-old allowed me to tag along on what has become a bi-annual tradition since he was in about the fourth grade: the midnight release of a Harry Potter book. As this is the final such release party — and something likely never to be replicated — I wanted to capture a bit of it on video. The 20-year-old is out of the country and I’m sure took part in something similar, but it was kind of sad for her not to be here. As you’ll see in the video, we did catch up with her (and our) best friend forever, who, along with my son, are perhaps the most over-the-top experts in Harry Potter trivia I know. Between the two of them, they’ve probably read or listened to each book dozens of times.

Speaking of my son, it is now about 3:00 p.m. CDT on Saturday and he has finished reading the book (the first of several times, no doubt). Without any spoilers, he says he can’t properly provide a review. He does say most of the back-stories are resolved and, well, I can’t say much more than that.




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What exactly has Miss USA wanted to do since she was 13?

I’ll confess. This whole Miss USA controversy sorta got past me until my RSS newsreader lit up with it a few moments ago. Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate for Trump to bust out of the meeting and say, “You’re fired!” But no, Donald Trump has allowed her (and as I’m coming into this late, I don’t know her transgressions) do that which purifies all clay-feeted celebrities, “go into rehab.”

Quote (from the version of the NY Times article appearing about 2:30 p.m., e.s.t.):

“Tara is going to be the great comeback kid,” (Trump) later added. “Ms. Conner thanked Mr. Trump, her family and others, and noted that she had made a recent promotional appearance at a Target store.

“I have wanted this since I was 13 years old,” she said.

The following is a rhetorical question. I don’t really care what the answer is. I’m asking merely as a favor of writers for those of us who read news articles: What exactly has she wanted since she was 13 years old? To make an appearance at a Target Store? (I did it last night to pick up some razors.) To be turned into the pop-culture icon for stupid bimbosity? To go to New York and go crazy? I’m glad to know our 13-year-olds have such high goals.