Disclaimer: This blog is a way of expressing my personal opinions thoughts and anecdotes, as well as my personal understanding of the scriptures, and conference addresses. It is not meant as a statement of doctrine, and may not necessarily reflect the views, thoughts, or doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

13 February 2015

Jesus' calling to the twelve apostles: Part 1

In the New Testament, we start to see Jesus become even more of a master teacher through His calling of the twelve Apostles. From this point on, He is not only providing healings, miracles, parables, and other teachings to individuals, but at the same time, He is able to use those same examples to train and teach His future leaders. 

As witnesses of Him, they are then able to better teach because of the experiences thy they witnesses. They became witnessss not only of His death and Resurrection but of his life and teachings. 

A habit that I started to develop while waking the halls at church with little ones, (taking trips to the bathroom, calming them down, carrying them as litte ones, etc) is to look at the wonderful artwork  that is displayed throughout the building. 

As I look at the art, I try to find or see something new or of greater insight or understanding.

For example, take this one, which I love!

After looking at it one day, I realized thy Jesus is clothed in his traditional attire, a robe, while the fisherman (Later the first two Twelve apostles) are clothed or covered very minimally. A scripture came to mind as I was looking at this from the Book of Mormon:

Speaking of the power of the resurrection and the second coming of Christ, Jacob, Nephi's brother, testified in this way

Wherefore, we shall have a perfect knowledge of all our guilt, and our uncleanness, and our nakedness; and the righteous shall have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment, and their righteousness, being clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousness.
2 Nephi 9:14


This made me think of the power of the atonement, often spoken of analogously as the robe of righteousness (see previous post on the subject: Kafar).
When Christ calls those as his witnesses, the artist, knowingly or unknowingly, portrays those who are seeking him as needing to be covered. 

Some in the world today may not think they need His covering, or to partake of His name and embrace His covenants, but as we seek Him, we can put on His righteousness and partake of His healing and enabling strength. 

06 February 2015

Will Cable TV Change It's Name? and other stories about Marketing Fun.

An assignment for Marketing class.


While looking for three organizations that utilize effective marketing through technology initiatives, the first one that I found was the NCAA athletic department. This one surprised me, until I started thinking about it. With the entertainment industry being very competitive, brand improvement within collegiate sports sought for an improvement of the market share for their ‘products’ (Cooper, 2010). This makes sense, since college athletes have a complex structure with athletes being paid for endorsement being frowned upon, and other barriers to getting their name out there.  Increasing their market share would of course produce favorable results financially, but create added benefits of sustainability as well, with increased brand recognition (p. 23). 

Sports have always been entertaining, whether in person or on the television, but with the increase of technology, there came a division of consumer interests. This principle will catch our attention later, but some examples will propel our discussion further. No longer do sports overall, whether NCAA or most other sports, need to be seen to be enjoyed (Kaynak, Salman, & Tatoglu, 2008). With the advent of podcasts, blogs, fantasy sports, and social media sights, the brand of sports can be reflected in far greater detail than just on a sports channel like ESPN (Cooper, 2010). Sports media has infused itself within a great deal of entertainment venues as well as branding through independent technologies like athletic websites (p. 27). Thus, although the amount and degree of a variety of entertainment as arguably never been higher, some of the oldest forms of American entertainment, such as baseball, are given new light through embracing new advances in marketing through technology.

The second product and organization is the goReader. It would appear that eBooks started to really start making headway around 2001, along with other dot com ventures (Hawkins, 2002). Interestingly, even in 2002, there appeared to be a mixture of emotions regarding the future of eBooks and readers, especially based on the title of the article Electronic Books: Reports of Their Deaths Have Been Greatly Exaggerated. One of the main challenges that this product faced, seen particularly through the goReader, is that it was a uni-tasker. The goReader, specifically made for college textbooks to help alleviate the costs, still cost about $1,150 (Still cheaper than textbooks, but only for reading textbooks!).  The authors Muniz, Billingsley, and Brill (2002) give a comprehensive study of how the goReader was able to go about marketing a new technology. Hurdles to overcome included generating and managing demand, assessing all of the available needs of the consumer, working with publishers to add value without posing a threat, and other factors (p. 68). Thinking that technology was on their side, and seeing how book products have continuously been improved technology, through CD-ROM, Project Guttenberg, the Sony Electronic Book Player (boasting the ability to store 30 titles!) and eventually a Sony Bookman weighing close to two pounds and costing around $900.00. The eventual result was that “neither of these devices were successful. Consequently, Sony withdrew from the electronic publishing market (Muniz, Billingsley, & Brill, 2002). 

Eventually devices came out that would help with every day readings like the TV Guide (a must have, from that generation!). With demand increasing, prices decreasing, and major companies like Amazon and Barnes and Noble publishing eBooks (but no Kindle or Nook yet) the market was murky but moving. As companies like Adobe continued to improve PDF software, more authors publishing online versions of their texts, and textbook costs still being an issue, the goReader was ready to go (p. 68-70)! Competition would continue to be a factor, and they, as a product, continued to focus primarily on students and colleges. As newer technology came about, uni-tasking technology would start to dissipate. While they may not be known as a formidable opponent in today’s technological battle, the strategies they devised, the consumers they sought, and the struggle through competition is a great example of what it takes to immerse a new product into an unknown market.
Cable television will give us our third example. With the division of interests created by the aforementioned technology increases (Internet, tablets, handheld devices, and so forth), the amount of entertainment available only through one venue (TV) is staggering (see Sreenan & Van der Merwe, 2006).

If one wanted to watch a show about anything, odds are, someone’s making it. Is this phenomenon unexpected, or new? An almost prophetic author writes in 1973:

Surely the most portentous development on the immediate horizon is that of cable television, already an important factor on the media scene and with growth estimates that range between 20 and 60 per cent of the households by 1980. Regardless of what cable's growth rate actually turns out to be, it seems rather certain that before the end of the century most homes in the country will have a cable connection that will vastly expand the range of TV choices, lead to more programming specialization, and facilitate the already existing trend for television viewing to become an individual rather than a family affair. As viewing audiences become more selective, the economics of television will change for the advertiser (Bogart, 1973).

How accurate a picture did he depict? I especially wanted to recognize, besides the obvious remark that cable would be in almost every home, the ability of marketers being able to specialize their efforts at a remarkable rate because of this. Instead of marketing something that whole families, all presumably the same, would enjoy, marketers could now specialize to individuals, and lots of them. The companies, therefore, who can boast the most channels are not just a boon to the consumer, but to advertisers and marketers as well. If Comcast has xx number of channels, but Direct TV has xx + x channels, then marketers will naturally feel after the organization that boasts the most diverse consumer network.
While I normally tune out cable TV advertisements, I would think if one paid close attention, we could see why certain products are enhanced to be better than the competitor, and it may not always be to satisfy the consumer. Does anyone really want 5000 channels? Luckily the goReader can help us navigate through that monstrous TV guide, but other than that, it is really to reach the most diverse field of consumers possible. Cable TV is also becoming involved with higher technology by implementing applications in tablets software. Comcast’s XFinity is able to be watched on the go, with portable WiFi now, helping promote their brand even further. Now you don’t even need cable or a TV to watch Cable TV. I wonder what our friend Mr. Bogart would say about that?


I hope you enjoyed the read!

Bogart, L. (1973). As Media Change, How Will Advertising?. Journal Of Advertising Research, 13(5), 25-29.
Cooper, C. G. (2010). New Media Marketing: The Innovative Use of Technology in NCAA Athletic Department E-Branding Initiatives. Journal Of Marketing Development & Competitiveness, 5(1), 23-32.
Hawkins, D. T. (2002). Electronic Books: Reports of Their Deaths Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, Infotoday.com, retrieved online from http://www.infotoday.com/online/jul02/hawkins.htm
Kaynak, E., Salman, G. G., & Tatoglu, E. (2008). An integrative framework linking brand associations and brand loyalty in professional sports. Journal Of Brand Management, 15(5), 336-357.
Muniz Jr., A. M., Billingsley, W., & Brill, T. (2002). THE goREADER LAUNCH: DEVELOPING MARKETING STRATEGY FOR AN INNOVATIVE EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY. Journal Of Interactive Marketing (John Wiley & Sons), 16(1), 67-88.
Sreenan, C. J., & Van der Merwe, K. (2006). ENTERTAINMENT NETWORKING. Communications Of The ACM, 49(11), 30-33