2013: The year of the web series second season?

It’s been common for web series to never make it past a first season. But this year, there are four notable examples of shows continuing their runs, from independent teen dramedies to Jerry Seinfeld chatting with comics.

7 Stories to read this weekend

Welcome to a new year — a new year of great stories to read on your weekends. This week we got a pickpocket, Jerry Seinfeld, getting around the globe, quest for perfect bowling score, machine learning for normals and how to keep your new year resolutions.

Microsoft’s New Marketing Tactic: Let People Know That You Are “The PC Guy”

Microsoft, what are you thinking? Seriously.

Crispin Porter, the agency behind Microsoft’s seemingly failed ad campaign (and if not “failed”, then certainly “confusing”), has been kept on board for “phase two” of Microsoft’s $300 million ad campaign. The angle they are taking for phase two is a direct response to Apple’s successful Get A Mac ad campaign that features John Hodgman as “PC Guy”. In fact, the ad even has a lookalike.

Reportedly, the ads will feature real-life Windows users who proclaim their love for Windows-running computers after the Microsoft “PC Guy” states “Hello, I’m a PC, and I’ve been made into a stereotype.”

On top of that, starting this evening, users can go to windows.com and upload videos and photos of themselves proclaiming the fact that they, too, are PC’s. Seems Microsoft has already forgotten that Apple has created the persona that “PC Guy” isn’t who users should want to be.

Honestly, this just feels childish. Apple, being the one with less market share, launched their Get A Mac campaign to convince people to switch. Microsoft, instead of coming up with an original ad that actually touts some reasons people would want to stick with Windows, can only come up with an ad campaign that effectively says “No fair!”

Microsoft is just trying too hard. While Apple’s ads do indeed take jabs at Microsoft, they also clearly and concisely give you reasons you’d want to get a Mac. If there’s anything Microsoft should take out of Apple’s playbook, it’s the value of quick, simple, and clear communication. Quit making your message overly complex and unoriginal and just tell people the answer to the ominous “Why?”.

Why on earth Seinfeld is getting the axe and not Crispin Porter is beyond me.

Microsoft Says Sayonara to Seinfeld Ads

What would happen if bajillionaires Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates attended a Little League game? Visited a multiplex? Browsed a 7-11? Sadly, the world will never know. Valleywag reported this afternoon that after meeting with mixed reactions, the Microsoft/Jerry Seinfeld campaign will go on no longer.

Mashable is confused, as am I and anyone else who found these shorts perversely charming — though, as we discussed in this weekend’s Station Conversation, they do deliberately make light of how out of touch Microsoft is. But ending this campaign can only be construed as another sign of that disconnect. After all, buzz is buzz — and canceling a poorly-planned ad campaign won’t make it go away.

Poll: Is the New Microsoft Ad Any Good?

Microsoft has launched its largest consumer marketing campaign focused on the broad potential of Windows across PCs, the web and mobile devices to date. The reviews are in — the blogging corps have given it a thumbs down. I kinda found it funny, but then I love everything Jerry does. And Bill Gates acts almost human. However, if the ad is trying to engage me about Microsoft and Windows, I give it an “F.” What do you think? Take the poll and share your thoughts.