The Top 5 Gadgets of 2012

Gadgets, gadgets, gadgets. Believe it or not they make the world go round. Whether we love them, hate them, need them, use them, or just plain want them; gadgets are cool. Yes, if nothing else they’re cool! Life can be tough at times and gadgets are there to make things a little easier (and have fun while doing so). It was a real shame to hear “Q” in the new Bond movie, Skyfall, say that gadgets are a thing of the past, part of an “old” generation and have gone out the window for Double “O” agents. Why do that? We want to see a gun doubling up as a homing beacon, or a trip wire dispenser. The bottom line is we all love gadgets and here are few to look out for this Christmas season.

HOME: – liGo BlueWave

Given the popularity of mobile phones, landlines are slowly becoming a thing of the past. But for those unwilling to carry their “hand extensions” everywhere they go so as to not miss a call, need look no further than the new liGo. Connect liGo to your mobile via Bluetooth technology and simply plug-in your landline. Now you can answer up to 3 different mobiles via your home phone (corded or cordless) and make use of dialling out with those 1000′s of unspent inclusive mobile minutes from anywhere in the home. Impressive, right? Especially useful for those of us whose mobile carrier signal suffers severe paralysis anywhere except for the most cumbersome of places. It’s fully iPhone Voice Dial and Siri compatible as well. What more could you ask for?


Looking to get fit and stay healthy? This little device may quickly become your best friend. Sporting all the goodness of Garmin that runners have come to love, this GPS watch will do more than just track your run. Non-runners, or those keener on other disciplines have swimming or cycling mode fully supported, along with multi-sport and triathlon mode – you’ll be sure to find fitness indoor or out a pleasure whatever the weather. With ANT+ wireless technology you can connect your foot pod or heart rate monitor (HRM) or both if you fancy and get instant feedback on up to 4 different workout statistics at once and full workout review upon completion at your PC. With accurate GPS tracking you’ll soon be pushing yourself harder, faster, and further than you ever have trying out the Xbox Kinect, and be “cool” while doing so. Although it comes with a steep price tag compared to simpler and cheaper models for fitness newbies unsure of whether fitness is for them, it’s a good a multi-sport fitness aid and one you’ll be sure to hold onto for many a year, the 910XT gives great bang for your buck in the long run.

FUN: Archos Gamepad

This 7-inch 1024×600 resolution device is truly built with gamers in mind. Packing Android 4.1 JellyBean straight out of the box, the Gamepad is a fully functioning tablet with a lot of twist. Under the hood, it boasts an impressive 1.5 GHz dual-core processor with a Rockchip RK3066, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage with Micro SD support for more. The major appeal of the device is the built-in dedicated gaming buttons that most console and handheld gamers are used to with controls, buttons and triggers to keep everyone happy. Due on the market at any day, at a possible price tag of just over £100 this is one to look out for. Okay, it’s no PS Vita, but with an Android platform, HDMI port and all things tablet worthy, it’s not trying to be a one trick pony handheld console. An awesome gamer tablet it surely is.

TV: LG EA93 21:9 monitor

For the serious cinematic experience seekers look no further than the LG EA93 21:9 aspect ratio monitor. Sporting 1080p HD resolution but on a massive 2560 horizontal pixel display making it a visual utopia bettering the 16:9 by a mile and then some. Imagine coupling up 2 of these babies via its Dual-Link connectivity and we are talking one major screen viewing area. There’s the standard HDMI, USB 3.0 ports and others, giving you everything you need from a screen. Bear in mind though, it’s not the same height as an IMAX screen, but nothing is, so you’ll still get a little cropping here and there, so be warned. Otherwise, welcome to cinema at home.


Although a love for film and all the darkroom developing fluid goodness that comes with it still has a place in many a heart, there’s nothing like having a good quality digital camera to hand when you want a good photography experience without lugging around your DSLR, and no, an iPhone simply won’t do. As a step between the NEX-5N and NEX-7 the NEX-6 is perfect for those wanting beautiful 16 megapixel photos in a small package. The APS-C sized sensor produces wondrous low light pictures, preferable over the NEX-7′s 24MP offerings, and you can pixel peep til your heart’s content on the flip out screen. Using the same amazing OLED viewfinder found on the NEX-7 and Alpha A99 models, manual focusing is a doddle, whilst if autofocus is your preferred modus operandi then it’s as fast and accurate as you can get in mirror-less technology, even if not quite beating the competition in the higher price bracket. With Wi-fi included in the body, uploading your pics couldn’t be faster or easier, using the PlayMemories app. Using Sony adapters you get compatibility for all your Alpha, Leica and third-party Tamron/Sigma lens offerings, meaning you can use your favourite lenses as usual just on a smaller scale.

So there you have it! A little something for everyone to dip their hands into. One thing’s for sure with these gadgets, you don’t know what you’re missing out on until you’ve tried them so jump on board, the ride is wild!

Basic Pet Training Rules

Before we actually start puppy training or even thinking about it, it is important that we get ourselves in the right frame of mind. If we do this and know where we are going, we will be much less likely to violate certain training rules that may hinder or prevent us from attaining our goals. Additionally, we want to prevent ourselves from doing anything that may adversely affect the relationship we hope to develop with our puppy. In our article on Housebreaking, we alluded to the fact that everything we do in training can result in positive or negative effects on how our puppy sees us. We start out with the idea of ​​making our dog more like we want him to be, but if we are not careful our pet may end up seeing us as something he does not want us to be.

Rule 1 – Always Be Consistent – The First Rule of general training is Always Be Consistent. There should be no exceptions here if you want the training to go as quickly and as easily as possible. This refers to your actions and words. From the very start you need to decide exactly what you are trying to teach or control and how you will do it. If you are going to use a definite word or phrase as part of a command or in conjunction with a certain point you are trying to make, always say the exact same thing in the same tone of voice. This is important for all members of a household or anyone else working with the puppy. Everyone that is involved in the training should know and use the same expression. As an example, let us think in terms of the "Come" command. It obviously will not make things go faster if you use the word "Come," your spouse uses the word "Here," and one of the children uses "Yo, Boy." All of this simply confuses the dog. Remember, we are trying to train him in our language; We can not expect the puppy to be multilingual at 8 weeks of age.

Every time you give a command or are working on a training point, consistently carry it through to completion. Do not tug on the check cord for the pup to come to you and then become distracted and forget what you are doing. If you start pulling the animal in but then stop with him halfway to you, he becomes confused. The puppy is expected to come to you, all the way to you. If you do not ensure that happens, the puppy may think that it is okay, when given the 'Come' command, to only come in part way to you or completely ignore the command.

Try to expect the same reaction out of the puppy each time. If you use any form of praise or reward for a job well done, be consistent on how well the task in question is completed before the praise or reward is forthcoming. If the puppy is supposedly to sit, do not praise him if he only bends the rear legs a little bit. People love to praise their dogs and sometimes they are so anxious to do this that the animal is hearing a string of "Good Boys," but it has not yet completed what he was supposed to. Over time this tells the puppy that he does not have to sit all the way down but rather a slight crouch will do. The puppy will believe that close is good enough.

When you start training the dog on a particular day, think of the next few minutes as classroom time. When children are in school, there is classroom time for learning and recess for playing. The same should occur with your puppy. When you start a training session, maintain a consistent training attitude for you and your puppy. Think training and not play. Work only on training issues and do them over and over. Stay in control so it does not become playtime for the puppy. When you are not in a training session, be careful of what you say and do.

In the early stages of training, never give a command unless you can control the puppy's actions. This is a part of consistency that many owners overlook. As an example, let us say you are currently in the process of teaching your puppy the 'Come' command. She does not respond every time yet but she is learning what the word means. You are in the backyard together playing with the puppy and children. It is recess, not classroom time. The puppy is off of her lead and suddenly takes off after a wild rabbit. Do not, we repeat, do not even think about saying "Come!" You know the puppy is not going to respond because her mind is on the rabbit and only the rabbit. If you do scream "Come," hopefully the dog will be so distracted that she will not hear you. Because if she does recognize the command but continues after the rabbit, the puppy has just learned that when you are not in control, she can get away with ignoring what you say. During the training phase, when the pup is doing something, and you are in a position that you are unable to control or restrain her, do not say anything. Rather move to the animal and stop or prevent her from what it is she is doing. In the above example, you have two correct choices. You can either let her continue the chase or run and catch the puppy. Do not scream "Come."

Along the way, you may make configurations in your training method but that point on be consistent. You may find that certain styles of training work better on your pup. That is okay, but do not start switching back and forth. Just because one command is going slow, you should not change from method to method, hoping you find the magic formula that speeds up the process. This rarely happens and in the interim, the puppy may become hopelessly confused. We have found that any individual pup, regardless of the method used, may have trouble with a certain command but not the others. This probably relates back to some experience in the animal's past.

Rule 2 – Keep Training Sessions Short – The Second Rule of general training is Keep Training Sessions Short. In many instances, young children can become engrossed for several hours in a game, book, or television show. Successful kindergarten teachers can make learning fun and productive often for an hour or so. However, dogs and especially puppies, do not possess long attention spans. Young pups will not spend more than a few minutes chasing an exciting, moving stimulus like a butterfly or bird. They simply lose interest and go on to the next thing. The same is true with training, they burn out quickly and become bored. After that has happened, nothing further will be learned.

Generally speaking, most successful trainers limit training sessions to no more that 10 or 15 minutes regardless of the age of the animal. This seems to be a good duration for most dogs to tolerate or enjoy. If this window of time is exceeded, the learning process actually starts to go backwards. It is important that the puppy enjoy these sessions. If not, they may resent the entire program. If forced to continue training after they have lost interest, this same behavior may spill over into future sessions. Keep their minds occupied and keep it fun.

Set up a schedule and stick to it. It is much better to train for 10 minutes every day than 60 minutes once a week. Plan to have your training times revolve around the pup's schedule. Do not expect the puppy to be a ball of energy and willing to learn if you try to work on the commands when it would normally be napping or eating. Plan your training sessions when distractions are at a minimum. If you have young children, it might go better if you trained while they are at school or in some way occupied.

There are ways to get additional training time other than the brief scheduled periods and these extra ones can be very important. If your animal is doing something that you are trying to train him to do, use obvious opportunities to reinforce the command. A best case scenario would be when you are getting ready to feed the puppy. You have learned that as soon as the animal hears you filling the bowl he automatically comes running. As soon as he starts toward you, bend down with the bowl and say "Come." It is a free, can not fail training session. Another example would be when you are trying to train the puppy not to do something. Let us say you are trying to keep him from jumping on people. You have learned that every time you first come home, the puppy rockets through the house and jumps up on your leg. Be prepared and when he jumps up immediately put light pressure on his toes (see our article on Jumping Up on People). Then immediately bend down and greet the puppy just like you always do. Do not say anything about the jumping as you two are happy to see each other. Whenever you can control the animal or know what he is going to do, it is a good idea to use these situations as a continuation of your training.

Rule 3 – Stay Calm and In Control – The Third Rule of general training is Stay Calm and In Control. This is where most people fail in training. By staying calm and in control we are talking about you, not the dog. In training situations you can never lose control or get excited because when you do you may become mad, lose your temper, and do something exceptionally stupid. Training should be enjoyable for both you and the animal. If the puppy is not having a good time she will not learn anything. Likewise, if you are out of control or are not enjoying yourself you are not teaching anything.

During training there should not be any distractions for the puppy to contend with. You should guide her through the command so that she does it and is then praised for the successful completion of the task. If you are excited or angry your puppy will pick up on this and not be thinking about the task in question. You have to be focused for the animal to be able to concentrate on the training. You will learn that your demeanor during training is directly proportional to the amount the puppy will learn. If you are up for this and enjoying it, the potential is there for the dog to make a solid headway during the lesson. But if you are down then the pup's potential for anything good coming from the session is also way down.

Carried to the extreme, if you get mad and lash out or treat the puppy harshly, you have destroyed any good that might have come out of this individual training session. You have also set back the animal's understanding of the particular command or act in question and put a black cloud over the relationship between the two of you. When you do something to another person that you should be sorry for, you can actually review your regret and apologize. If they are of a forgiving nature, the act or unkind words are forgotten. Unfortunately, you can not sit down with your puppy and reason through the stupidity of your act. What is done is done, and you must work long hours to regain the animal's trust. You will need to take time that could and should have been used for training just becoming her friend again.

Some people do better in training if they use a system in which they do not talk to the dog during training. They teach the dog the command without using or putting a verbal command to it. We will go over this method later but if you tend to raise your voice when you sense that you are not in control (or in the process of losing control), this may be a useful technique to try. Most people talk way too much during training and for some this becomes a stepping stone to shouting and anger.

Rule 4 – Do Not Over Praise – The Fourth Rule of general training Is Do Not Over Praise. In dog training, praise for doing something correctly can take a variety of forms. Some prefer to give a treat, others may use the expression "Good Dog," and a third group may only give a single, gentle petting action across the animal's shoulder. They all work because they show to the dog that you are pleased or approve of his actions. You said "Come," and the puppy came. You indicated for the dog to sit, and he sat down. The animal did what he was supposed to. Praise is important, but the animal needs only to recognize it as a thank you for a job well done. You communicate to the dog that he did something correctly and you are happy he did. If your form of praise is always consistent in method and amount, the puppy will understand perfectly.

Where many owners err is that they bury their animal in praise. Rather than say a single "Good Dog," they get down on their knee and let out a string of forty "Good Dogs." Instead of a single stroke over the shoulder, they give the animal a full body massage. Instead of a single small piece of a biscuit or treat, the dog is given half a box. All of these overdoses do the same thing. They distract the dog from what it has just learned. Too much of a good thing and the animal monsters what the two of you are doing. The command and his response are no longer reinforcing correct behavior. The entire incident may be lost in the past.

Rule 5 – Always End on A Positive Note – The Fifth Rule of general training is to Always End on A Positive Note. Every training session should end with praise. The last thing you ask or command the puppy to do should be completed with the puppy doing it correctly. Someday, when things are not going as well as you would prefer, for the last command, choose something that is easy and can not fail. When the puppy does it correctly, praise her and move someplace else for some recess time or relaxation. Ending a session on a bad note may continue into the next training period. You want the pup to finish one lesson and because of the visa, to look forward to the next session. Always remember that to the dog, praise helps fulfill her desire to please you.

Rule 6 – Forget Discipline (Punishment) – The Sixth Rule of general training is Forget Discipline. Now before you overreact, understand what we mean. To some trainers and most dog owners, discipline usually means to punish the animal for something he has done. To these same people, punishment usually means to hurt the animal in some way. In our minds this just is not necessary. If discipline means punishment or causes pain, forget it.

Let us look at the most common reasons people discline their dogs. The most common one is for something the animal did. Notice we did not say "something the animal was doing." Rather, we used the past tense. People punish their dog for something she did in the past. Examples would be finding a stool in the house during the housebreaking process. You did not catch the animal doing it, you only discovered it later. The pup is picked up, scolded, and put in her crate. A second example would be if someone's dog runs away from home without them knowing it. Two or three hours later she returns, so to make her see the error of her ways, the owner punishes her. They use a rolled-up newspaper to give her a spanking. Neither of these animals had any idea what the punishment was for. They did not sit there thinking, "Gosh, I wonder what I did thatly deserved punishment?" Dogs do not reason. Just because they got punished, they do not assume they did something wrong. All they know is that their owners were mad.

Often punishment that occurs as part of training is thought about because the owner is impatient with the improvement of the dog. The owner is trying to push the animal through training too fast, assuming the dog should already know the command or action. Be patient, remember that with most training you are altering the natural instinctive behavior of the animal. The best punishment for an incorrect reaction in training is a lack of a reward. If the animal does it right she is afraid, if she makes a mistake she receives no praise. If praise from you is important, a lack of it may send a message. Praise is positive reinforcement, punishment is a distraction.

There has to be a good way to communicate to the animal when she is currently misbehaving. And there are but they are not going to hurt anyone. In some cases a stern "No" is all that is required. You catch the animal urinating in the house, you say "No," pick the puppy up and carry her outside. Dogs understand a change in the tone of your voice much better than they do most punishment.

In human behavioral medicine today, a "time out" is believed to be an excellent way to get across to children that they are acting in an unacceptable fashion. When they act up or do something wrong, they must live through a period of "time out." This is a new way of saying 'go to your room' or 'stand in the corner.' The same method can be used for dogs. If they are out of control, barking excessively, or jumping on the furniture, they are given some "time out" by being placed in a cage or crate. A stern "No" may also be part of the treatment.

And lastly, in place of punishment we can simply choose to ignore them. When children act in a way solely to gain attention, good therapy is to ignore them. In some examples this also works for dogs. A dog might bark just to get a treat or to go outside. If you want them to have either, consistently ignorant them will probably break the behavior pattern. If the barking does not work and they do not get what they want, they will probably stop the barking.

Most things we want to punish our dogs for indicate a lack of training. Rather than punish them for doing something you do not want, train them to do what you would prefer. Until that can be accomplished, a firm "No," being placed in a crate, or ignored will bring an end to most unacceptable behavior.

Be Honest – Can You Train? – Be honest with yourself. Not everyone can train his or her dog. Many people say they do not have the time but if they can not afford 10 minutes a day then do they really have the time to have a dog? Maybe the issue is that they do not enjoy training. This is understandable. Training is not for everyone. Some do not have the patience for it, some can not control their temper, and some simply do not enjoy it. If you think any of these describe you, then you probably should not try to train your dog. It would be smarter to use a professional trainer. Your dog will not care. In fact, it would probably prefer it. A good professional trainer will only help a dog, while an individual owner who loses control may destroy one. The owner may or may not physically injure the animal but may cripple the dog's personality and self-confidence. If you think you can not handle the job, use a trainer. You may want to invest in some Dog Training Supplies to help you.

Profitable Tips For All Restaurant Owners

What were the last three things you did to increase your restaurant profitability? Below profit protection is constantly on your mind, you will get hurt. Eroding margins, fickle markets, escalating food prices, rising utility rates, outrageous credit card fees, and a host of other factors eat into your margins daily, thereby reducing your ability to pay the bills, let alone yourself.

We recently consulted with a client that has not paid himself for 17 months. He called us out of sheer desperation saying, "I just can not go on working for free." The sorry fact is that there are many restaurateurs working hard for very little income, and we think it should stop.

In my profession as CEO of the leading restaurant consulting firm in the US, people rarely call me when things are going well. The kinds of calls that I receive daily are along the lines of, "Why can not I make any money" or "My food cost is through the roof" and this is the most painful one, "I can not afford to Stay open anymore, what can I do? "

Why do not you invest a few minutes into yourself right now and read over the tips below. In fact, print out a copy and share it with your friends that run an operation as well. Yes, some tips may seem obvious, but are you using every tool at your disposal to solidify and enhance your profits? Your restaurant owes you for risking your neck to get it open, so I'd like to suggest that you start holding it accounting.

1. Do not serve water automatically. Sounds simple, but water service does not increase your profits or sales. Put systems into place where you serve alcoholic beverages, coffee, tea, sodas, milk – anything but free water. Serve it upon request only.

2. Set up the dining experience on the first visit to the table. Tactfully done by the server, profitable items should be promoted, desserts can be suggested, and guests will appreciate a quick, "Run down" of the dining experience. Plus, server competency will be rewarded for taking responsibility for the positive experience that they will have. My wife's favorite server line is, "Want to split a dessert with coffee?" Not only have we just purchased a dessert that may have been too much for one of us, we've also bought 2 coffees. These additional sales make a big difference, and they're easy to execute. Having a hard time selling desserts? Encourage your servers to use this statement and see what happens.

3. Concentrate on improving product delivery systems to eliminate waste. For example, if your servers are throwing away iced tea lemons at the end of each shift, instead of at the end of the day, re-evaluate this system. By valuing everything, you may be surprised what gets thrown away. This includes portion control items such as creamers, crackers, butters, jelly and silverware as well.

4. Understand that guests dine on a budget, and be sensitive to it. Servers that sell beyond the dining budget will experience reduced tip income, and the restaurant will experience reduced visits. Ensuring that your guests come back repeatedly is much more important than increasing their check average for just one visit.

5. Selling a more expensive item does not always equate to increased profitability. Make sure that your servers understand which items are most profitable for the restaurant, and promote those. It makes no sense to promote items that may have minimal profit contribution. Tell your servers what items you want them to sell.

6. Use the best menu. Ensure that your menu is costed out properly; Current with market conditions, and designed to insure that the most profitable items are the ones being promoted. It makes sense to enlist a consultant to do this for you, as the return on investment will be immediate and lasting. This is your # 1 selling tool.

7. Work with your food vendors to insure that you are buying the right items for the menu specifications. Are you overbuying on an item that does not require top grade quality? An example would be the purchase of a # 1 quality baking potato, when a # 2 quality would suffice.

8. Buy key items in bulk. On the topic of food vendors, make certain that you are promoting menu items that you are able to bulk buy on a negotiated cost effective basis – and can sell at a premium. This simple step will quickly aid in bringing meaningful dollars to the bottom line.

9. Offer your guests a complete dining experience. This includes the sale of beverages, appetizers, salads, entrees, desserts, side items (such as a vegetable) and add-on items (such as sour cream or cheese). Make sure that you are not inadvertently missing out on the sale of key parts of the meal. Table tents, menu inserts, promotional signage, sales tracking, and staff pre-shift meetings are all ways that you can ensure that all meal parts are promoted and sold effectively.

10. Bundling meal parts together will increase the quality of your guests dining experience and maximize their dollars spend. Bundling may consist of an appetizer / salad / entrée combo or salad / entrée / dessert combo. Diners will not be surprised by the dollar value, and they can knowingly order within their budget.

11. Do not forget the grapes. Effective promotion of your wine offerings should be systematic and routine. Guests should be fully aware of the pricing and offers, both by the glass and by bottle. Wine service is a skill that every server should have.

12. Get an Operations Analysis. As operators, we frequently get caught up in the heat of the battle, and can not take the time to analyze our operation critically. Engaging a restaurant consultant to look for ways to improve service, enhance income, and reduce waste should result in immediate financial improvement. Do not skimp on this, thinking that you have your bases covered, because the food service industry changes daily. In cold hard terms, your restaurant should be a money making machine to benefit the owner (s). If it's not generating the kind of money you think it should, you must get the machine repaired!

13. Do not overlook slow day parts. If it's quiet in the afternoon, are there promotions that may make sense for you to utilize to generate more revenues during this down time? Do not tolerate your money machine sitting open, but not generating revenues. Put it to work.

14. Children's menus. Most of them are boring, and priced to reflect that. Is it reasonable to think that parents would pay a bit more for more interesting and nutritious meals? This is a good opportunity to re-evaluate your children's menu and pricing. It's dangerous to neglect this important item, as parents usually examine this menu closely.

15. Are you maximizing food sales in your bar / lounge areas? For many, it's more enjoyable to eat in a bar than drink in a restaurant. It makes logical sense to have menus, silverware, condiments and promoted specials available for your drinking guests. If they do not eat on the first visit, you will have planned the seed for them to consider eating in your establishment next time.

Simply remember that it's not what you make, it's what you keep that matters. Hopefully some of these tips will be useful. Still can not seem to make the numbers come out the way you want? It may make sense to enlist the services of an advisor to walk you through the complexities of making money in the restaurant business.

How the Internet Affects Traditional Media

Traditional Publishing, REST IN PEACE

This is the headline that greets you when you land on a web page identified as a memorial to commemorate the decline of Traditional Media. A photograph of a man who seems to be in distress and who's possibly just lost his job companies this headline. If this does not paint a bleak picture, go on to read the 548 headlines that all sing to the same tune as the following:

  • Bad Times: NYT Says Revenue Fell 13.9% Last Month –
  • Men's monthly magazine Arena to cease printing after 22 years –
  • Cosmopolitan UK publisher to cut 100 jobs –

There's even a website entitled Newspaper Death Watch that chronicles all the publishing and newspaper houses that close down. All rather morbid would not you say?

The Deadly Spell

Let's take a quick look at Traditional Media and how the Internet cast it's deadly spell.

Back in the old days, we're talking 500 years ago; Gutenberg revolutionized the printing industry by inventing the printing press. This meant bibles could be produced at a fraction the time it used to. This also mean more copies in a shorter time and the Word of God got further reach in a shorter time. Newspaper houses and Magazine publishers still use a printing press today (well thank you captain obvious) .

Much later, shortly after the advent of electricity, the world was blessed with another few media breakthroughs, rarely radio then a few years later, television. Marketers and Advertising agencies had it all figured out as they devised Integrated Marketing Campaigns with astronomical budgets. Ah, the good old days. Well, much to the dismay of many of these agencies, this media landscape started to change.

Behold! Enter The WWW

At first a website was seen as a cute way to put your company brochure online and on top of that the disastrous dot bomb era created skepticism that labeled the Internet as a bad media and business channel.

Fortunately, since then the Internet has matured. Now, in countries where broadband has achieved high levels of household penetration, the web has become the consumer medium of choice.

Why? Because people can do research, shop online, watch videos and connect with friends all in the comfort of their own homes. People can choose what media they want to consume, where and when they choose too, especially with mobile connectivity. Marketers can no longer dictate what advertising messages people get subjected too.

Social Media, The New Black

Then there is the phenomenon of Social Media. It changed the media landscape forever. Social Media websites have allowed consumers to connect with friends, family, colleges and peers in ways that were never imaginable a few decades ago.

Technology has empowered the consumer to become the prosumer. Prosumers are consumers who produce content like videos, photos and blogs that can be instantly distributed and shared among millions of people via social media platforms. This is also known as user-generated content or UCG.

Here is an interesting bit of trivia about the reach of Traditional Media vs. The Internet and Social Media.

Years it took to reach a market audience of 50 Million:

  • Radio – 38 Years
  • TV – 13 Years
  • The Internet – 4 Years
  • The iPod – 3 Years
  • Facebook – 2 Years

So How Does The Internet Affect Traditional Media?

The Internet has reduced the need for traditional media because it enabled consumers to join social communities within their neighbors, across their countries and internationally. It has empowered them to converse at their leisure, 24/7, with friends.

Considering all that's been said, the demise of Traditional Media can seriously be attributed to the following factors:

  1. Decline in readership: The distribution of free news and information on the web has led to the decline in readership for traditional publications.
  2. Decline in revenues: The decline in readership advertisers advertisers will spend their money elsewhere and this leads to a decline in ad revenue.
  3. Real-time updates: Traditional Media can not compete with immediately updated user-generated content that's immediately available for the world to see.
  4. The rise of UGC websites: People have the freedom of unlimited real time commentary on content while Traditional Media is static and is a one-way communication tool.
  5. Online Audio / Video channels: People can choose what they want to watch and listen, when they want to and where without advertising interrupting their experience.

Simply put. The Internet has revolutionized the way things get done today. It has revolutionized the way we do business, the way we communicate and has broken down the walls of Traditional Media.

A recent example is the decision by Unilever UK to fire Lowe , their Ad agency of 15 years, in favor of crowdsourcing – which means it has thrown the brand creative pitch open to agencies and basically any person who can think of an idea, worldwide. This is done on the Internet of course.

Traditional Media will still be around for a while, but the Internet is getting more and more integrated into our daily lives.

Think about this. You could do without the Mail & Guardian or the MensHealth Mag for quite some time, sometimes live quite happily without it? But you just dare cut that ADSL connection …