This post was first published by Jimmy Young on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

As a Boston tech PR firm, March Communications has seen firsthand over the last decade how impressive the city’s evolution - not just as a tech hub for the East Coast, but the whole country - has really been.Newly elected Mayor of Boston Marty Walsh boldly declared last week during a visit to local tech education non-profit LearnLaunch, “We want to make Boston the tech capital of the world.”

As a Boston tech PR firm, March Communications has seen firsthand over the last decade how impressive the city’s evolution – not just as a tech hub for the East Coast, but the whole country – has really been.

The Boston tech sector’s success is already central to the area’s economic growth, but Walsh’s comments crystallized the collective efforts of city and state officials to make Boston the global technology hub.

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Each year, Beloit College releases its Mindset List, which provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall. According to the list, the class of 2014 does not wear watches because they have always had cell phones, they’ve never written in cursive and they think of Nirvana as a band that pops up on a classic oldies station. I recently came across an article by TIME that looks at other “bygone experiences” today’s kids will miss.

Although I do not consider myself “old,” it’s hard to believe that today’s generation may never have watched an episode of Saved by the Bell or attended an N’Sync concert. Here’s what TIME lists as the top 10 things today’s kids will never experience:

  • Camera film– Personally, I miss the excitement of dropping off my disposable camera at the store and the suspense of seeing how my photos turned out! However, the quality of my pictures on a digital camera is much better.
  • Landline phones– I always felt awkward calling people’s house phones when I was younger since their parents usually answered, but with cell phones, this is no longer an issue.
  • Real books– Who needs the real thing when you can read on a Kindle or an iPad? For me, I will always love flipping through the actual hard copy of a book.
  • Being lost–  With the use of GPS technology, kids will never experience the adventure of being lost or driving around endlessly.
  • Music videos on MTV– I don’t think anyone can remember the last time they watched a music video on MTV. These days, it’s all about Teen Mom and the Jersey Shore.
  • Walkmans– No more changing batteries! I do not particularly miss these devices since the iPod came out and I am able to create a playlist with multiple artists.
  • Nick at Nite– I used to watch classic TV shows from my parent’s generation on this channel, but now you can catch reruns of Malcom in the Middle.
  • Tan M&M’s– Who doesn’t remember when blue won the new color contest?
  • Czechoslovakia– Will any kids of today remember when this battle for democracy was finally won?
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator– In the eyes of today’s generation, he is only seen as California’s governor.

I found this list to be quite interesting and it made me realize just how much technology has impacted our society– I can only imagine the products that my kids will someday grow up with. Is there anything else you can think of that the class of 2014 will never get to experience?

This post was first published by Danielle Sherman on March Communications’ blog, PR Nonsense, and may be viewed here.

A new report by USC’s Center for the Digital Future confirms once again that online consumers aren’t willing to pay for online services.  Fast Company reporter Austin Carr sites some disheartening examples of this in his article earlier this week:

“This past October, Newsday, the Long Island daily newspaper, was purchased for $650 million, and its Web site,, was put behind a pay wall. For just $5 a week, users could gain access to the site, but after three months on the market, how many had subscribed? Thirty-five people.”

Some people may say, “Well, that’s the Long Island daily newspaper, not theWall Street Journal or Financial Times,” but sadly, that’s not the case.  Carr also notes that:

“Just last week, for instance, it was revealed that Rupert Murdoch’s London Times had gained just 15,000 paid subscribers after putting up its new pay wall. What’s more, the wall cut Web traffic by two-thirds, with some estimating it could plummet as much as 90%.”

Despite consumers’ unwillingness to pay for online services and content, a large percentage of users deeply distrust online information, according to the study.  This is the one of the hardest things for me to grasp with the rapid decline of traditional journalism….consumers distrust online information, but if they’re not paying for the content, how do they expect to get reputable content that journalism has historically provided?

This certainly isn’t to say that sites that do offer free content aren’t reputable, because many of them are.  But most of those sites aren’t trying to be aBusinessWeek or New York Times with hundreds of professional journalists on payroll.

When I think about if I would pay for content online, at first thought I would say no, which I know contradicts my statement above, but I also still get a print subscription to the New York Times, which includes an online subscription, so technically I’m paying for online content.  Consumers are also just so used to getting content free now that the thought of having to pay for it is a turn off.  But if you think about it, the Internet has only really been a mass good for 10 years – or less depending on your age – so it hasn’t been that long since most people were used to paying for a subscription – or two or three – to a reputable outlet, whether it’s a national magazine or newspaper or local one.

It’s interesting to think about how this will play out and where the industry will be another decade from now.  What do you think?  Would you pay for online content?  How do you think the New York Times will fair with its upcoming pay wall?

This post was first published by Juliana Allen on March Communications’ blog, PR Nonsense, and may be viewed here.

Over the last few days I have noticed a trend.  It’s not anti-technology and it’s not anti-business but it feels as if people are slowly turning onto the fact that our obsessive pursuit of connectivity and technology devices may have a down side.

Yesterday, at the Enterprise 2.0 conference, for which we did the event PR (see this great piece), a great variety of solutions were on show that allow organizations to tap into and take advantage of the wealth of information and expertise that exists online, while liberating them from legacy communication and productivity tools like email.  They promise huge competitive advantages in the form of increased innovation, productivity and agility and it’s a fascinating area for sure.

However, the first session I joined was called ‘The Dark Side of Enterprise 2.0′, and was hosted by Alcaltel-Lucent’s Greg Lowe and Kathleen Culver. The presentation talked about the downsides of our always-on, always-connected lifestyles and how we should consider the negative potential this has for general happiness and well-being, but also for creativity, productivity, efficiency, sense of involvement, etc.  Many of the things, ironically, that social media set out to for improve! Read more