Week in review

Hollywood’s movie industry has raised hype to an art and this weekend will offer a perfect example as no effort is spared to expose every ear and eyeball to the new Pirates movie. In this light a recent Center for Media Research report summarizes the tactics of Hollywood hypesters who typically start creating the buzz a month before release. I had to deal with the results of this campaign when I stopped the older of my sons from attending the midnight showing. (He is still grouchy this morning.) A lovely article in Slate on Hollywood economics includes this note:

“Studios spend $20 million to $40 million on TV ads because their market research shows that those ads are what can draw a movie’s crucial opening-weekend teenage audience. “

Things that go bump on the web: Viewers get a bigger thrill out of the unexpected according to a small behavioral study reported on by MediaPost, which notes that:

“One implication for online media is that users might be more interested in content when it appears without warning, such as in the form of sudden bursts of motion and sound, or the much-disliked pop-ups.”

Blog empire turmoil? Nick Denton is apparently in the process of shaking things up at his Gawker constellation of blogs.

Writing tools Poynter commentator Roy Peter Clark offers a list of 50 writing tips that are a free extract from his new book. The list is worth reviewing, even if you decide to hoard your money to, say, take a date to the movies. Teachers would find this a concise and inexpensive way to review the basics and provoke a class discussion on points like rule 21: “When the topic is most serious, understate; when least serious, exaggerate.”

Nando not, but close: Paid Content reports that a North Carolina newspaper will offer free wifi but paid wimax. The paper has a connection with NandoNet, an early but now defunct experiment in online newspapering. Steve Yelvington recently wrote about Nando’s significance — and demise. But apparently some of its experiments continue.