One Year Ago: Internet Gives McCartney All-Time Largest Album Promo


Originally published on December 15, 1999 and brought to you today as a time capsule.


In an effort to promote sales of his latest record, Paul McCartney made useof the Internet to reach into his past and future all at once.

Yesterday, the former Beatle returned to the scene of his earliest musicalroots to perform songs from “Run Devil Run,” a collection of early rock androll cover songs. While only three hundred people were inside the newlyrestored Cavern Club, threemillion people listened in through the Internet.

An additional 15,000 fans stood outside in freezing weather and watched theconcert on alarge screen in a nearby park.

“It was the biggest musical gig in the history of the Internet,”said McCartney spokesman Geoff Baker after the concert. “We can certainlyclaim a new world record for that one.”

3 Million Listeners

The Tuesday evening gig in McCartney’s hometown of Liverpool was streamedthrough the MCY.com and MSN.co.uk sites. As the concert began, theMCY.com site reported 50 million hits, but only three million were actuallyable toconnect.

MCY.com will rebroadcast the event on demand through midnight, Sunday,December 19, 1999.

“Now that we are living in a digital age, the Internet opens new doors forartists and consumers,” said Bernhard Fritsch, chairman and CEO of MCY.MCY was also responsible forthe worldwide Internet broadcast of Michael Jackson’s concert in Munich,Germanylast June.

Other major music promotions available at MCY includeperformances by Luciano Pavarotti and Tina Turner.

Kick Start

McCartney’s record sales have been lackluster over the past 15 years,after a fast start to a solo career that began in 1970. He has remained aconcert favorite, however, and holds the all-time concert attendance record for asolo artist, with 184,000 fans attending a Rio de Janeiro show in April1990.

During the Cavern Club concert, McCartney stuck to the spirit of the album,playing songs from the early days of rock and roll. Classics included songspreviously performed by Elvis Presley, Little Richard and Chuck Berry.

In the coming days and weeks, disc sales will offer some clues to the power ofmass product promotion over the Internet. If McCartney can turn his discsales around with this promotion, streaming concerts may become a mainstayon the Net.

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E-Commerce Times Channels

The Transformation of Warehouses to E-Commerce Fulfillment Centers

It wasn’t that long ago when traditional warehouses had one purpose: to store goods on their way from manufacturers to retailers and other commercial customers.

Today, warehousing for many industries has evolved into e-commerce fulfillment centers. In addition to inventory storage, e-fulfillment is part of an overall logistics strategy that focuses on moving goods to end-users.

This big transition has primarily come about because of the steady rise and continued use of e-commerce. Let’s look at how the warehousing space has changed in recent years.

Conventional Warehousing

Warehouses of yesterday were generally at the center of an extended supply chain. The primary focus was the storage and movement of bulk items from one point to another. For example, warehouse personnel might shift thousands of units of clothing to various locations for one retailer.

Today, however, warehouses are increasingly becoming the endpoint in the supply chain. In doing so, those units of clothing might now be shipped directly to a customer without anyone in the middle.

Traditional warehousing typically catered to large businesses with what seemed like unlimited resources. These facilities were extensive and located where they could service large customers, such as manufacturers and big-box retailers.

A warehouse typically only stores inventory, while a fulfillment center does much more.

Warehousing in the World of E-Commerce

In recent years, consumers have realized the benefits of making 24/7 online purchases from the comfort of their homes. Additionally, many of those purchases come from companies of all sizes worldwide.

This evolution has significantly changed the goals of logistical companies, as they strive to provide online customers with the best service in the shortest time.

The Modern E-Fulfillment Center

E-commerce fulfillment, or e-fulfillment, means more than inventory storage. The process involves activities connected to receiving and storing goods and processing orders, including picking and packing items, shipping, and returns. In other words, these centers cover every step in the order and delivery process. Today’s e-fulfillment centers are essential conduits for e-commerce stores that operate as direct-to-consumer entities.

The centers act as third-party logistics (3PL) providers, responsible for fulfilling all types of customer orders. Rather than being primarily located near oceanside or inland ports, these fulfillment centers are also being built near population centers to help boost last-mile inventory handling and delivery processes. For example, look at Amazon’s network of fulfillment centers; many of those are in suburban areas.

E-Fulfillment Facility Types

There are different types of e-fulfillment facilities, which can vary based on purpose and location. These include the following:

Multi-Story Warehouses

Once common in densely populated places in Asia, multi-story warehouses are slowly popping up in the U.S. The reason? Property developers have realized they must provide industrial real estate closer to larger consumer markets. In many cases, these vertical structures are in areas experiencing land shortages and building size restrictions.

Dark Stores

By contrast, dark stores are reimagined traditional retail distribution centers that offer last-mile delivery and through automated fulfillment systems. The stores are often huge complexes and allow customers to collect items purchased online. Originally exclusive to the U.K., dark stores have grown in popularity across the rest of Europe and in the U.S.

Micro-Fulfillment Centers

As the name suggests, micro-fulfillment centers (MFC) are smaller, repurposed facilities that typically include automated distribution networks. These locations are often located in an existing retail store or warehouse and are sometimes within a parking garage or parking lot. They typically are 10,000 square feet or less.

Nano-Distribution Centers

Finally, there are nano-distribution or “last-touch” centers. Originally these were office or retail locations. Today, these facilities are often an extension of established supply chains and help facilitate deliveries to where consumers live and work.

These centers are considered the fastest and smallest supply chain solution (starting at just 250 square feet) and are in the closest proximity to customers. You’ll find these in urban areas.

Benefits of E-Fulfillment

There are many advantages to outsourcing logistics activities to e-fulfillment centers. One is lower overall operational costs. For example, many centers have more buying power because they’re buying items like packing materials in bulk. Additionally, they often have the bandwidth to broker deals with various shipping carriers, including UPS, FedEx, DHL, and others. This can lower costs — which you can pass down the line — while improving delivery efficiencies.

Other benefits to using e-fulfillment centers as part of your overall logistics strategy include the following:

  • Better personnel management: you don’t have to worry about hiring fulfillment workers
  • More operational space, as storage and fulfillment activities, take place elsewhere
  • Access to the latest logistics technology, without having to pay for it
  • Enhanced customer service, as fulfillment experts take over picking, packing, and shipping
  • Expanded reach to different markets, as multiple e-fulfillment centers are used to move your inventory
  • More focus on core competencies, allowing you to focus on what your organization does best

Beyond Just Storage

As e-commerce continues to expand, so will the need for e-fulfillment centers, which, unlike traditional warehouses, do more than store inventory. E-commerce fulfillment centers can assist and take over your organization’s ordering and shipping process. By doing so, your business can concentrate on what it does best — core activities.

Jay Sackos is a vice president at Dolly.

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A Third of US Social Media Users Creating Fake Accounts

The study found that Texas, Florida and New York are the top three states with the highest level of fake social media engaged users.

Fake social media accounts are usually associated with bot networks, but some research released Tuesday revealed many social media users are creating their own fake accounts for a variety of reasons.

One in three U.S. social media users has multiple accounts on the social media platforms that they use, according to a survey of 1,500 U.S. social media users conducted by USCasinos.com. Of those with multiple accounts, nearly half (48%) have two or more additional accounts.

Reasons behind creating the additional accounts vary, but the most cited are “to share my thoughts without being judged” (41%) and “to spy on someone else’s profile” (38%).

Other motives behind creating the fake accounts include “to raise my chances of winning online contests” (13%), “to increase the likes, followers and other metrics on my real account” (5%), to fool others (2.6%) and to scam others (0.4%).

When asked where they were creating their fake accounts, respondents most often named Twitter (41%), followed by Facebook (31%) and Instagram (28%). “That’s because Twitter is much more open by default,” said Will Duffield, a policy analyst with the Cato Institute, a Washington, D.C. think tank.

“Twitter power users will often have multiple accounts — one for mass audiences, others for smaller groups, one that’s default open, one that’s private,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Infographic describes where U.S. residents create fake social media accounts

Infographic Credit: USCasinos.com


Twitter inspired the research by the online casino directory site, noted the study’s co-author Ines Ferreira. “We started this study mainly because of the buzz about the Elon Musk and the Twitter deal,” she told TechNewsWorld.

That deal is currently tied up in the courts and hinges on a dispute between Musk and the Twitter board over the number of fake accounts on the platform.

Sex Changing Spies

The kinds of fake accounts in the study, however, are different from those that are flustering Musk. “The survey conflates two quite different issues,” Duffield maintained.

“On one hand, you have automated accounts — things run by machines and often used for spamming. That’s the kind of fake account that Elon Musk alleges Twitter has too many of,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Then there are pseudonymous accounts, which is what’s being surveyed here. They’re operated by users who don’t want to use their real name.”

The survey also found that when creating fake accounts, most users maintained their same sex (80.9%). The main exception to that practice, the survey noted, is when users want to spy on other accounts. Then they favor creating a fake account of the opposite sex. In general, about one in 10 of the survey participants (13.1%) said they used the opposite sex when creating fake accounts.

Infographic describes how many fake social media accounts owned

Infographic Credit: USCasinos.com


“There are lots of reasons why we don’t want everything we do online to be attached to our real name,” Duffield observed. “And it isn’t necessarily a result of Cancel Culture or something like that.”

“One of the great things about the internet is that it allows us to compartmentalize identities or try on new personas without committing ourselves to them so we can showcase one aspect of ourselves at a time,” he explained.

“It’s quite normal for people to use pseudonyms online. If anything, using real names is a more contemporary expectation,” he said.

Accounts Created With Impunity

The study also found that a majority of fake account creators (53.3%) like to keep the practice secret from their inner circle of acquaintances. When they do mention their fake accounts, they’re most likely to mention them to friends (29.9%), followed by family (9.9%) and partners (7.7%).

The researchers also discovered that more than half the owners of fake accounts (53.3%) were millennials, while Gen X’s average three fake accounts and Gen Z’s average two.

Creators of fake accounts appear to do so with impunity, according to the study. When asked if their fake accounts had ever been reported to the platforms they were created on, 94% of the participants responded in the negative.

Infographic describes platforms where fake social media accounts have been reported

Infographic Credit: USCasinos.com


“Every so often these platforms release new algorithms to report these accounts, but most of them never get reported,” Ferreira said. “There are so many fake accounts, and you can create them so easily, it’s really hard to identify all of them.”

“After the Elon Musk deal with Twitter, these platforms are going to think a little bit more how they’re going to do it,” she added.

However, Duffield downplayed the need to police fake accounts by users. “Creating these accounts isn’t against the platform rules so there’s no reason for the platforms to treat them as a problem,” he said.

“Because these accounts are operated by real people, even though they don’t have real names, they act like real people,” he continued. “They’re messaging one person at a time. They’re taking time to type things out. They have a normal day/night cycle. They aren’t firing off a thousand messages all at once to a 100 different people at all hours of the day.”

Harmless Fakes?

Unlike fake accounts created by bots, fake accounts created by users are less harmful to the platforms hosting them, Duffield asserted.

“There’s a theory that people misbehave more often when they’re using a pseudonymous account or one not linked to their real identity, but from a moderation perspective, banning a pseudonymous account is no different than banning a real person,” he observed.

“Facebook has had a real name policy, although they’ve gotten a lot of flak for it over the years,” he added. “I would say that it’s deliberately under-enforced at this point.”

“As long as the pseudonymous account is obeying the rules, it isn’t an issue for the platforms,” he maintained.

While bot accounts don’t contribute to the business model of a social media platform, fake user accounts do.

“If the pseudonymous account is being used by a real human being, they’re still seeing ads,” Duffield explained. “It isn’t like a bot clicking on things without any human involved. Regardless of the name on the account, if they’re watching and being served relevant ads, then from a platform standpoint, it’s not really trouble.”

“The activity shows up in the monthly active user stats, which is what platforms, advertisers and potential purchasers care about,” he continued. “The overall number of accounts is a useless statistic because people abandon accounts constantly.”

Still, Ferreira argued that any kind of fake account undermines the credibility of a social media platform. “At some point,” she said, “there’s going to be more fake users than real users, so they need to do something about this now.”

John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, the Boston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and Government Security News. Email John.

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