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Links of the day

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Free Beer Not as Good as It Sounds–Unless You’re Pregnant | Fast Company – genius alcohol-free beer for new mothers

Beet.TV: Online & TV Viewing Merge as More Consumers Become Platform “Agnostic,” comScore – TV, online same thing basically

Let ‘elderly’ get new start as firms force retirement | The Japan Times Online – where Japan is now, the west will be soon

Politics and Twitter: Sweet to tweet | The Economist – its not all sweetness and light though, needs to reflect behavioural change in the political elites

wenod – great Japanese record shop

传播媒体 | media | 미디어 商业 | business | 상업 媒体与艺术 | culture | 미디어와 예술 한국 | korea | 韩国

The Wonder Girls phenomena

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Wonder Girls caused me to reflect on pop music as a business. We are so used to manufactured pop music artists by the likes of Tom Watkins, Stock | Aitken | Waterman and more recently Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment. Some of these groups like Wham, Kylie Minogue and Take That had international success. We have gotten used to the dominance of western international recording artists.

Wonder Girls Daum

 Wonder Girls Korean fan site.

It is this heritage that makes the Wonder Girls phenomena: a Korean girl-band managed by a Korean team getting a Billboard top 100 hit all the more remarkable.

Wonder Girls MySpace

Wonder Girls MySpace page

That kind of success takes more than talent and good looks – the world music industry is littered with talented beautiful failures. The Wonder Girls are creatures of the internet age, they started off conventionally enough in South Korea and then used their South Korean fan base to spring board into the US marketplace.

There were two parts in this story which made a great use of social media:

You could argue that Wonder Girls are a part of the ongoing Korean Wave: a rise in popularity of Korean music, television and film culture which has swept Asia and started to gain popularity in the west like the Japanese film, manga and anime industries before it.

Wonder Girls Facebook

Wonder Girls Facebook page

However where the Wonder Girls breaks rank with the Korean Wave is in the proactive targeted nature of their marketing; which is more reminiscent of aggression and entrepreneurship of the Japanese car, camera and consumer electronics industries which shook things up in the 1960s and 1970s.

术语定义 | jargon watch | 용어의 정의

Jargon Watch: PIIGS

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With rising debt levels in the European Union, in particular Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain it was only a matter of time before investors came up with a natty acronym for the highest risk countries: PIIGS.