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Viral marketing

Posted by Richard on February 27, 2006

Recently, I’ve been the recipient of a couple of "viral marketing" efforts. I’m happy to encourage the recognition of blogs as a vehicle, so I’ll give them both the mention and link that I presume they wanted.

The first one’s from a company named MatrixStream, and it’s a professional effort. They’re selling IPTV (internet protocol TV), both streaming (real-time) and VOD (video on demand, i.e., download for later viewing). They make some pretty impressive claims regarding the superior quality available with their proprietary, patent-pending technology, including the ability to deliver DVD- and HD-quality video over a broadband connection (min. 1.5Mbps) to a set-top box or a PC-based software player.

MatrixStream’s primary customers — and presumably the focus of their marketing efforts — are broadband service providers to whom they want to sell their end-to-end IPTV solution — servers, technology, and set-top boxes. So why should you, the average blog reader who doesn’t own a cable, satellite, or DSL company, be at all interested in them? Well, because they’ve partnered with one of their clients,, to let you try their PC-based player software and watch some movies and trailers for free.

Obviously, they’re hoping you’ll be so impressed that you’ll want to get your movies this way, instead of by driving to the video store or waiting for the DVD to arrive in the mail. Maybe they’re hoping that you’ll bug your broadband provider to offer this service via the slick-looking high-definition (up to 1080p) IMX 1020 HD set-top box at right.

I haven’t tried the Movie99 player and service yet, and probably won’t until I get my act together and get my Windows Media Center PC set up and connected to my Samsung HDTV — I don’t particularly want to watch movies on my PC.

If you try Movie99, let us know what you think in the comments. Don’t forget that you need a 1.5Mbps pipe. If you’re stuck at 256kbps, forget it. If you’re still on dial-up –wow, how last century. 😉

The second viral marketing solicitation I received is a much more modest, non-professional effort: Don Hagen asked me to mention THE SATIRICAL POLITICAL BELIEFS ASSESSMENT TEST. Why, sure, Don! I think it goes on for too long, but there are some funny items, and readers can sample as much or as little as they like.

The test consists of 179 (!) multiple-choice questions, each of which has a conservative, liberal, libertarian, and communist answer. Here’s an example:

10: What techniques are best for maintaining discipline in the classroom?

CONS: If just one student misbehaves, severely punish the entire class.

LIBL: Force boys who refuse to settle down to take psychotropic drugs, such as Ritalin and Prozac.

LBRT: Anyone who doesn’t want to be in class can leave.

COMM: Anyone who doesn’t want to be in class can be made an example of.

Not bad. Take a look, I’ll bet you find some you like.

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