The Digital Gloss Files - November 15

...with Julia Low

Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games
Shhh, can you hear that? It's the sound of Hunger Games fans all over the world squealing their hearts out! Yes, the first full Hunger Games trailer has just been released hot off the reel this morning! Shimmey (or hop excitedly) on over to YouTube for your first look at the film adaptation of the teen dystopia franchise that is set to be the next Twilight (or Harry Potter, whichever camp you're in). 

Oh, nano! Do you own a first generation iPod nano? Umm, you may want to return it before it burns your house down, reports TechCrunch, as Apple issues a recall for iPod nanos that were purchased between September 2005 and January 2006 due to an overheating problem.

Just in time for Christmas: eBay has launched eBay Celebrity, a new shopping website that allows users to purchase memorabilia and merchandise from participating celebrities through charity auctions. Packages up for auction include a chance to meet Brad Pitt, VIP seating at Katy Perry’s concert as well as one of her red sequinned dresses, a private acting workshop with Robert Duvall, and many other items auctioned by celebrities such as Hayden Penettiere, Sienna Miller, and Christina Aguilera. All of the proceeds will go to the celebrity’s charity of choice, which includes Make It Right and the American Red Cross—a great way to spread some Christmas cheer.

Martha Stewart made a special appearance in the Authors@Google video series last week, where she recounted first foray into the lifestyle business and discussed how the Internet helped shape her empire. Apart from introducing her new book, Martha’s Entertaining: A Year of Celebrationsthe fifty-minute interview also covered topics such as how to maintain a spirit of excellence throughout a huge empire (“Hire people who have the same DNA as you.”), the Martha Stewart Living iPad application (“[It’s] more vibrant than the real printed magazine!”), and, of course, the problems with folding those blasted fitted sheets: “My suggestion to all busy people? Do your laundry, dry your sheet, and put it back on the bed.”
Starbucks lovers can now add “surprise and delight” to their coffee experience this holiday season with the launch of the company’s augmented reality app, Starbucks Cup Magic. By pointing their smartphones at a Starbucks’ red Christmas season coffee cup and other chosen in-store objects, users will be able to activate five animated characters such as an ice skater and a dog sledding. Finding and activating all five characters will put users in the running to win a prize. The app can also be used to send out e-cards and holiday offers from Starbucks. Ho ho ho!
Also offering an interactive experience are Vogue print ads that combine motion and sound with the visuals of a print advertisement. As beauty company AlmapBBDO has demonstrated, readers can simply place their smartphones on the interactive print ad and watch it come to life with make-up application tips and tricks. It’s like YouTube in a glossy magazine!

Nevertheless, AdAge’s John Bettle believes that engagement ads, Facebook pages, and Twitter handles are not enough to strengthen a brand. For brands to be truly effective, they need to have skills as a conversational publisher that incorporates both the independent (blogs and websites) and dependent (Google and social networking platforms) web to engage consumers in meaningful and relevant dialogue. According to Bettle, “[Marketers] need to get past a one-size-fits-all approach to media—the web ain't TV.” Read the rest of Bettle’s Golden Rules For Conversational Media here.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire will soon have a new rival as Barnes & Noble’s brand new Nook Tablet is set to go on sale on November 16th. Priced at US$249, the Nook Tablet has 1GB of RAM and 16GB of in-built storage with a memory card slot to boot. Unlike Amazon’s Kindle Fire that has many a digital function, the Nook Tablet will focus on selling e-books, magazines, and newspapers with access to over two million titles.

Speaking of e-books, the Australian Google eBookstore officially launched last Monday with a vast selection of both international bestsellers and books by local authors such as Kate Grenville and Thomas Keneally available in-store. The eBookstore also offers over two million titles for free.

Google have begun indexing comments made in websites that use third-party commenting services such as Facebook and Disqus, which means text from public comments will now show up in Google search results. While websites may benefit from increased traffic with this new algorithm, content strategist Kristina Halvorson remains wary: “Facebook is primarily a social platform for people's personal lives. If we can't relax there because we are constantly being monitored by The Eye of Google … then where? It's like always having to invite Google along to dinner with friends: suddenly I have to watch what I say at all times.”

Allowing for more digital footprints to follow is Twitter, which has just unveiled its new activity stream that allows users to see the minutiae activity of people they follow such as who they have recently followed and which tweets they are “favouriting”. Sounds familiar? It’s basically a scaled down version of the Facebook News Feed, and so far, user responses have been underwhelming.

Travelling with Delta Airlines anytime soon? Apart from reading magazines and watching movies, passengers in selected Delta flights can now add surfing content from People magazine to their list of in-flight entertainment as WiFi providers continue to cut deals with media brands.

Female bloggers have come together to put a stop to online trolling geared towards women. “I believe the time for silence is over,” declares journalist and female activist Laurie Penny. As the frequency of violent threats and sexist remarks continues to rise, women writers are fighting back by going public with this issue in order to increase awareness and put an end to the age-old misogynist abuse. Psychotherapist and writer Susan Orbach questions the insecurities of abusive trollers and believes that “the deeper question is the disenfranchisement of men who find themselves in such depraved circumstances that all they can do is expel the fury that's inside of them on to women. The reaction these men are having shows they are very, very threatened by something and that threat is to their masculinity.”

Ella Gregory from Coco's Tea Party is asking readers to vote for their favourite UK ELLE cover of the year. Cue nonstop drooling over Kiki's beautiful floral cover. True story.

Julia @ Girl With a Satchel