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Monday, November 13, 2006

Telecom Innovation from The Sun

The Sun is Britains best selling newspaper/tabloid and is part of the Murdoch Empire. In fact together with the News of the World, it was The Dirty Diggers first beachhead on the UK shores in 1969. Daily Sales of The Sun are around 3.2m which is down from the 1980s peak of 4m. Apparently, Rupert Murdoch is keen to keep circulation above 3m and has recently dropped the price in the North of England.

To be perfectly honest, I haven’t bought the Sun since my student days, when we used to buy it to do the Crossword, (honest, gov) so I was quite surprised this morning when I saw that The Sun had achieved a UK Telecom First. The Sun is using a single unified short code “63000” across all messaging platforms - SMS, MMS, Voice and Video – for its Citizen Journalism Initiative. I’m not sure the relevance of the 63000 number, but I’m sure the Sun will promote the hell out of it and it will become ingrained in the readers minds very rapidly. Notice on the Sun site, the use of the code spreads to email and fixed local call numbers. I would guess when you have photographed or videoed a celebrity/footballer doing something they shouldn’t – it increases the probability of sending it immediately if you only have to remember one number.

I am actually quite impressed with the way the Murdoch Empire is moving into the new world, whether by:
• expanding BSkyB into a broadband video-on-demand future through the purchase of EasyNet and the mass-marketing of the services;
• expanding Fox into the social networking world by the purchase of MySpace and since the acquisition the expansion into new territories and monetising some of the pageviews; and
• little initiatives like The Sun in bringing its’ audience into a more participatory role.
The more important Sun message for the Telco World is that Java is going to be open-sourced today.