This is a critique of Facebook cover images of news channels leading up to the 2012 election.  Are News channels doing balanced, current, and relevant coverage? I typically watch the following channels as well as doing my own research when it comes to the news, and these will be examined:

  • CNN
  • BBC
  • ABC
  • FOX
  • CBS
  • Huff post

Facebook National News Covers

This post will take a quick look at the news channels facebook covers.  I’d like to leave you to make your own assumptions on not only design, but also whether or not the news channels are unbiased in their focus on social networks. Read more
Project Prometheus Training Center

The Project Prometheus Training Center is a combination of challenging games and well-executed, thought-provoking interactions. Using HTML5 Ignition Interactive, delivers an engaging and competitive, leader board scoring and ranking system for this site. This well designed interactive site has well written videos and interaction that compliment the movie and build an intriguing destination for the casual browser and the Prometheus fan.


HTML5 is finally getting to the stage where strong interactive design can be implemented for more engaging experiences.  There are 5 different skill tests ranging from hand-eye coordination to thought provoking puzzles.  All of the users scores are added up and ranked against other users.  I suggest logging in as a guest and giving the Prometheus Training Center a spin.  It’s fun and from a development standpoint, a success.

Advertising Prometheus

From an advertising perspective it is a good investment for Internet Explorer. I do not use this browser on a daily basis, other than testing for compatibility.  It’s a good thing to see that a well thought and decently executed site can have a sponsor like Internet Explorer to help them fund the project.

Project Prometheus Training Center

Prometheus HTML5 and Internet Explorer … the future?

Does this execution foreshadow the future of interactive experiences? Internet explorer, according to the w3, is a dying browser.  In August of 2008, more than 50% of users were viewing content through Internet Explorer, which ranked it 1st among browsers.  Here is a quick snapshot of Internet Explorer’s rank as of 2012:

Browser Rankings

As you can see, Internet Explorer is now ranked 3rd behind both Mozilla’s Firefox and Google’s Chrome.

Is this wise for Prometheus to use a fading browser as a sponsor?  Let me know what you think in the comments below or on my social networks.

“The key to success is in business strategy, not government intervention (Czinkota, 1999).” How can an multinational corporation (MNC) establish themselves in the Japanese marketplace?  Czinkota’s quote above is how this can happen and his article will be analyzed for further insight into companies currently in Japan based on Czinkota’s article, the entry strategies and how an MNC can expand in the Japanese marketplace.

MNCs in Japan

According to Czinkota (1999), L.L. Bean Inc., Eddie Bauer Inc., and Land’s End Inc., are entrenched in Japan with stores.  Using catalog mailings these companies achieved in Japan and were able to establish themselves.

  • Land’s End, generated $80 million in sales in Japan in 1997.
  • American International Group Inc. (AIG), is sold directly to the Japanese. McDonald’s Corp., has 2,000 outlets in Japan and annual sales of $2.5 billion.
  • Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. entered the Japanese financial services industry by opening retail branches in 1998 (Czinkota, 1999).

Entry Strategies & The Keiretsu

Earlier L.L. Bean Inc., Eddie Bauer Inc., and Land’s End Inc., were analyzed as being able to use catalog mailings to establish themselves in Japan. Studying how any of the aforementioned MNCs entered Japan would be invaluable to any MNC planning on entering the Japanese market. Would today’s method be via online social marketing?  Would e-commerce be a solution?  Would the Keirestu be an issue using these methods?

The Keiretsu groups are considered the most important impediment to MNCs entering into Japan.  Keiretsu groups are lined to bank holdings, intercorporate shareholdings, and interlocking directorates.  All of these are illegal in the United States.   This can make it difficult for US MNCs to enter into this market and maintain their domestic ethical code.

Keiretsu is represented in Japanese as  (Google, 2011), and means grouping of enterprises.  According to Czinkota (1999), Keiretsu are often considered to deal predominantly with group members.  This is a bias of “buy Japanese”, even in the face of superior products at lower price points.  This would obviously hinder the entry for MNCs.  Would Keiretsu be comparable to our term monopoly?

Expanding in Japan

Respondents to Czinkota’s article revealed that trade negotiations are still important with the Japanese government but are foreshadowed by the use of seasoned business practices (1999).  This might not be the typical or common tactical method for an MNC, but the Japanese honor and regard solid business practice, therefore any MNC should follow suit.

Lastly, direct investment into Japan will aid in the expanding efforts of any MNC in Japan.  Typically exports and trade are commonplace, but in Japan “seasoned business strategy-not government interventions-seem to help foreign firms (Czinkota, 1999). Market research, product adaptation, service orientation, willingness to collaborate, and long-term orientation are all tactics to a solid business strategy that will be most beneficial to the growth of an MNC in Japan.


The Japanese respect solid business practices, and the experts, according to Czinkota, support the theory that solid business strategy using tactics such as market research, product adaptation, service orientation, willingness to collaborate, and long-term orientation will aid in the expanding growth of an MNC in Japan.  Entering Japan compliments these business strategies with on small difference, and that is finding a unique method in which to reach and captivate your audience.  The examples listed a lot of direct mailing from companies that had success in the past.  Today a more advantageous tactic could be the use of online social media.

Areas for Further Discussions

Albeit Czinkota made some valid points and arguments about the Japanese marketplace, the consistent reference to mail-order is a dated term, but relevant to the time of the articles creation, 1999.  Mail-order is put on the same “future” consumer landscape as electronic commerce.  If written today would this be different? Would social media have weight in Czinkota’s 2011 version?  This would be a good topic for further discussion.

Lastly examining the Keiretsu would be beneficial to any MNC looking to establish in Japan.  Are the Keiretsu comparable to our domestic term, monopoly?  If there are similarities, how do companies tactically enter the marketplace?  Studying the weaknesses of monopolies in the USA would be a good starting point for this topic.


Arnold, D. (2004). The mirage of global markets: how globalizing companies can succeed as markets localize. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Financial Times Prentice Hall.

Czinkota, M.R., & Kotabe, M. (1999). Bypassing barriers to marketing in Japan. Marketing Management, 8(4). (AN 2795277).

Gilpin, R., & Gilpin , J. (2001). Global political economy: Understanding the international economic order. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (2011).  Translation of Keiretsu.  Retrieved from:

Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values. Beverly Hills, CA, Sage Publishing.

Kumar, V. (2000). International marketing research. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Mahajan, V, Banga, K, & Gunther, R. (2010). The 86 percent solution: How to succeed in the biggest market opportunity of the next 50 years. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Van Herk, H., Poortinga, Y.H., & Verhallen, T.M.M. (2005). Equivalence of survey data: Relevance for international marketing. European Journal of Marketing, 39(3/4), 351–364.