US Army Captain (Alleged Murderer) Leonard John Egland’s Suicide Spot: Royalty-Free Photos

Because I'm tired of seeing this photo

Hey media. Here are some free royalty-free photos of the “last stand” of Leonard John Egland in Warwick, PA (here’s the location on Google Maps). I’m kinda tired of seeing this dang mug shot, so help yourself, media. They’re all on Flickr noted as “creative commons” with attribution, so use away. Just please stop showing us that face shot. It’s freaking me out. Some choices:

  • Photos of the media circus around him (as if I’m any better)
  • The crime scene of his alleged suicide (very uncomfortable)
  • The intersection (with machine-gun armed police) before he was proclaimed dead
  • The Lukoil where he was last seen- that may be his car. Not sure.

Hey I was sleep deprived after 2 basement-runs due to Tornado warnings. And it’s hard not to get a bit obsessed when a SWAT manhunt is taking place just miles from your house. So I’ll admit… I drove around a while until I found the crime scene… it was a bit of a circus, with some parents even bringing their kids on their shoulders. I thought I was smelling either floods or death, but it turns out my car was just stanky.

Apparently Egland was last seen at the gas station, then fled on foot. He didn’t get far, or else he did some kidna loop after playing Rambo for a while… because the spot they were investigating was just a few hundred feet from the Lukoil on Almshouse/Sugarbottom/York Road in Warwick (very close to the Warwick tavern). That location had been reported a good 6 plus hours before he was proclaimed dead.

For a while we were warned to “lock our doors,” because an armed murderer was loose (although most of my information was from the web, as local media felt that lame flood-aftermath footage was more important). I’m not sure Egland was planning to gun folks down, and was pretty specific in his murders (unless you count the two police offers at whom he shot but didn’t severely harm). He went for his ex, her husband and his mother-in-law… then himself.

The crowd gathered like it was a circus performance. Then again, can I judge?

The guy had just returned from Iraq and I suppose he didn’t want certain people raising his daughter (who he dropped off at a hospital before fleeing, scaring folks, and eventually killing himself). The girl told hospital workers that her grandma was in heaven. She lived just a couple miles north of me.

Okay- for therapeutic relief I did amuse myself editing his face into random shots this afternoon. But none of these Flickr photos are digitally altered accept obviously the one of him peering out the window at the Doylestown Starbucks. Yeah, that’s fake. The rest are real.

Great way to end a week, right? An earthquake. A hurricane. Two tornados. Then you wake up to a military-trained murderer cruising your neighborhood armed and dangerous. My wife said she heard three gunshots some time in the afternoon, and I went driving around kinda hoping I’d spot him and run him over before he hurt anyone else. I recognize that’s not a very normal way to spend your Sunday.

Very relaxing.

Leonard Egland crime scene August 28, 2011. U.S. Army Captain who allegedly killed 4 people then himself

Weird & Unusual Weather Reports of the Week

"Modern Family" Gloria Delgado-Pritchett look-alike shows grace under pressure during earthquake weather segment

It’s been a weird week for weather reporting. What’s the most unusual report of these three? Or perhaps you’d like to pick from my personally hand-curated most epic weather people fails (below).

a) Gloria Delgado-Pritchett look-alike Jeannette Calle was recording her Accuweather report when the earthquake hit yesterday at 1:51pm ET. To see her graceful preamble click here, but the video below cuts right to the shake and “my heart was pounding.”

b) Our local Philadelphia meteorologist Jim Kosek focused mostly on his chiropractic condition, and his only relief from Advil and a soda. Then he tossed in some weather. Here’s another vintage/insane Kosek report.

c) Sorry, the third choice isn’t actually from this week, but it’s timeless and wonderful. The weatherman who has a screaming panic attack of a cock roach…

If you like these, you may also like these epic weather fails:weather guy has diarrhea on air,” “drunk weather guy,” “Tourette weather man,” “giggling weatherman after dogs hump,” “your isobars make me horny,” “pollin shit continues,” “doctor weather mute,” “phallic weather patterns,” “Child-molester chroma,” “giggling German weather lady,” “Diana are you hitting a button (bad weather fill-in).” 

 

Monkey AK-47 Video Goes Viral

An monkey/ape using an AK-47 video has gone viral with more than 12 million views since it was posted less than a month ago…

While it may have fooled your barber, you certainly know better. It’s an increasingly rare but solid example of using faux footage to stimulate buzz… in this case for 20th Century Fox’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” See more commercial “viral” clips on the Viral Video Chart courtesy of Mashable.

Are Video Preroll Ads on Rise or Decline?

Yes. Video prerolls are both growing and declining. The good news for viewers is that we saw fewer prerolls. But we saw more “polite prerolls” (option to escape) in Q1 2011 as reported by AdoTube/eMarketer. Since this doesn’t include YouTube data and presumably a small sample of total online-video ad streams it does need to be taken with a grain of (Morton’s: when it rains it pours!) salt.

Viewers will appreciate fewer prerolls (as reported by AdoTube), and advertisers will enjoy more "engagement" models
This "Right Guard" ad begs for engagement. Did you notice the "close" button?

Forget prerolls, friends. The increasingly competitive ad networks have a whole sleuth of weapons in their online-video ad formats that range from the innocuous “polite pre-roll,” to a bit more ominous names like in-stream takeover, ad selector, in-stream skin, inside-out roll, interactive overlay, video-in-video, interactive gaming overlay, data entry and capture, branded player, over the top, and beyond stream. I believe that Seroquel example, placing a “reminder” ad without “fair balance” adjacent to depression content is (shhh) a violation of FDA guidelines, but I digress. ANY of these ad-format names beats the “fat boy” branded by Point Roll.

Take a look at some of the bold “engagement” formats presented in AdoTube’s ad-format gallery and you’ll see why viewers are, according to eMarketer, about 30% likely to engage in an ad… even when not forced (hence the term “polite”). You’ll also see that it’s often not clear there’s an opt-out available.

The eMarketer report, titled “Options for Online Video Ad Viewers Leads to Higher Engagement” is encouraging. With online video being one of the leading (if not #1) fastest-growing portion of a marketer’s “media mix,” advertisers will want and expect formats that achieve their goals: from branding to engagement. This chart is important to viewers because it shows that “cost per impression” remains the dominant percent of spending. In “cost per impression” (often called CPM, or cost-per-thousand), the advertiser simply pays a few bucks to reach 1,000 eyeballs without much accountability.

"Cost per impression" still leads, but more interactive "engagement" ad formats are increasing (Brightroll Data)

While few of us welcome more aggressive online-ads, this also substantiates a business model to fuel the medium’s growth. While it’s easy to complain about intrusive ads (especially as the pendulum seemed to swing dangerously to the advertiser’s benefit in the past year), it’s a vital element to online-video’s maturity. If the advertisers don’t get what they need, friends, we won’t be seeing our content for free.

There are three ways to increase “engagements” in this online-video advertising medium, and I’ll list them from best to worst in order of sustainability: novelty, creative and targeting:

  1. Novelty: A new ad format generally enjoys a period of high engagement that’s deceptively high. We’re curious about what the ad does, and may not realize we’re engaging, so it’s not necessarily suggestive of purchase intent. In early February, a debut YouTube customer of YouTube’s “skip this ad in x second” preroll told ClickZ he was seeing a 30% engagement rate. That’s far higher than we’ll see as a norm, and a tribute to the novelty effect.
  2. Creative: Great creative always wins, and this is a fairly enduring trait. While overall engagement might slip when we’re “numb” to an ad format (like monkey-shooting banner ads, or even the “InVid” format that creeps up on YouTube… the best creative wins the best attention, engagement and results.
  3. Targeting: Ultimately the most sustainable and important characteristic of a high-engagement online-video ad is its ability to reach the right target. I can engage in a tampon ad, but it’s not going to sell more maxi’s. But if I get a rich-media ad over (or adjacent) to my valued content, then we’ve got a win-win-win (advertiser, publisher, viewer). That’s where we can expect Google/YouTube to be better in the long haul, but it appears the sophisticated advertiser networks are ahead. These ad networks marry data from a variety of sources to serve ads invisibly on the videos across a variety of websites.

So what are the takeaways to advertisers, video sites and us viewers?

  • First, the options available to advertisers means that online-video ads will begin to get as aggressive as other forms of interactive ads. This has positive and negative effects, but as long as it’s targeted it’s sustainable.
  • YouTube, which reports very little about its ad performance, has not radically departed from its debut formats, with the exception of breaking its early commitment to make pre-rolls optional. Now most pre-rolls are mandatory, but we can opt-out of some after a few seconds (at which point the “opt-out” means the advertiser pays YouTube and the creator less).
  • Ads are a vital cost-offset for those of us that have been enjoying free video content for 5 years and would like that to continue without avoid pesky Hulu-like subscription models (unless a “value ad” bonus to the cable contract, assuming we haven’t “cut chord.”).
  • And finally, Morton’s salt can be trusted. Trusted I say.