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3.3.10 – Weds. Signal

By - March 03, 2010

Today will be light, I’m preparing for a talk at the Omniture Summit. Outside my window are majestic peaks capped in snow, it’s hard to be here and not even have time to go outside, much less hit the slopes. But time is precious, so let’s get to the news of the past 24 hours:

Apple Eyes HTC in Latest Patent Lawsuit (Mashable) Unquestionably the biggest news of the past day, and another salvo in the ongoing war for control of the mobile marketplace. Apple v. Google is starting to make Apple v. Microsoft or Microsoft v. Google look like small stakes. Sure, Apple sued HTC, but HTC makes Google’s most popular Android phones. It’s something of a proxy.

Facebook Analytics War Heats Up (ClickZ) Announced here at the Omniture Summit, a deal between Facebook and Omniture to help marketers leverage Facebook’s advertising platform. More also here: Facebook And Omniture Deepen Their Ties For Analytics And Marketing

Live from the Omniture Summit: The New Principles of A Successful CMO (Forrester) Coverage of Ominture chief’s keynote.

How Companies Are Using Your Social Media Data (Mashable) I had dinner last night with someone who makes a practice of paying attention to publicly available data in unique ways, then profiting from it. We are all wise to remember how much data there really is out there, and how many patterns might be found in it if we only ask interesting questions.

Social Capital: The Currency of the Social Economy (Brian Solis) I think adding gaming and social currency to publishing is a Next Big Thing.

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3.02.10 Tuesday Signal

By - March 02, 2010

Off to Salt Lake later today for the Omniture Summit. I’ve been spending a fair amount of time studying marketing platforms of one kind or another, and will be spending a lot more time on it in the future. I’ve got a few theories as to where they’re headed, and the role technology plays in the future of marketing. What I find important about tools like Omniture is that they allow marketers to act like true publishers online (among other things of course). More on that in coming Signals. Today, however, is a bevy of shorter items. To wit:

DSPs Stir Up Drama (MediaWeek) Along the lines of my ongoing fascination with platforms. “Demand side platforms” are created by agencies looking to consolidate buying power and add their own value on top. Premium publishers don’t like them much. From the piece: “DSPs, such as VivaKi (Publicis) and Cadreon (IPG), were a hot topic last week at the Interactive Advertising Bureau annual confab in Carlsbad, Calif., with publisher sentiments ranging from wariness to downright paranoia. And conversations with publishers revealed a sentiment that premium sites should opt out of selling this way. Said Brian Quinn, vp/gm, ad sales for the Wall Street Journal Digital Network: “If people want to buy from us, we want them to call us.” On the flip side, many agency execs doubt that publishers can hold such a tough stance as online buying becomes more automated.”

I’m going to go back to Chicago and New York in the coming two weeks to investigate this and form a stronger POV.

Understanding the Participatory News Consumer (Pew) This research sparked a bevy of news items. Everyone read it a bit differently, but the main conclusions: people go to lots of places to get there news, they consume it offline and on, mobile is a growing market, and we are very participatory (37% have contributed in one way or another to a news site). Big news: The Web is bigger than newspapers now for delivering the news.

Google, Microsoft Spar Over Antitrust (WSJ) This drama won’t go away soon.

Foursquare wants to be the mayor of location apps (O’Reilly) Interview with CEO of Foursquare. He’ll be at the CMSummit this June in NYC.

No Lie! Your Facebook Profile Is the Real You (Wired) Money quote: “Facebook is so true to life, Back claims, that encountering a person there for the first time generally results in a more accurate personality appraisal than meeting face to face, going by the results of previous studies.”

Human Culture, an Evolutionary Force (NYT) I’ve always believed this, and with the Internet, I believe this process is speeding up. This is why I write about the intersection of tech, culture, media.

Striving to Map the Shape-Shifting Net (NYT) Do you know what a yottabyte is? You will.

Marketing Budgets Spiral Toward Social (eMarketer) Spiral?!

4A’s Roundup: Yahoo’s Bartz Talks Data; Huffington Beyond The Paywall (PaidContent)

Adobe Opens Up About Apple, HTML5 and Flash [VIDEO] (Mashable)

3.1.10 – The Signal

By - March 01, 2010

Consider this the *early* Monday Signal, as I’m already deep in writing this morning, then off to staff meetings the rest of the day. So these are notes from my weekend readings, for the most part. Besides a rant on the iPad that I wrote in something of a hurry (and elicited a very strong response, I’ll admit), here’s what I found interesting, and why:

Redrawing the Route to Online Privacy (NYT) If you are in marketing, you should read this. From it: “….the next round of online privacy regulation needs to proceed carefully, policy experts warn. They say that online data collection and analysis is an economic imperative, and that the Internet industry of the future will involve adding value to the free flow of information — much of it created by individuals and their browsing activity.” And if you’re not sure privacy is a big deal, please also read The Eternal Value of Privacy (Bruce Schneier) As I’ve said before, I don’t think we as a society have had a full throated conversation about this topic, and we’re heading into a potential privacy pileup that could retard all of our growth – the marketing industry’s certainly, but also the breadth and depth of services that the web can deliver to us overall. This will get far more complicated before it resolves.

The synaptic fluid of social business (Anne McCrossan – Visceral Business) Two weeks, old, but worth a read. Inspired by a debate about private communities, but I like this post for the last paragraph: “Old business models are yielding fewer returns. Generative listening is an antidote to the velocity of today’s overloaded information flows. The action potential contained within committed, visceral and trustworthy human relationships, that’s at the heart of the social connections, has never been more important. It’s the synaptic fluid of social business.”

A special report on managing information (The Economist) The stories are listed on the right, halfway down the page. Many good ones here, including Information is changing business and How internet companies profit from online data.

Tapping The Entire Online Peer Influence Pyramid (Forrester) Describes “the Peer Influence Pyramid, which describes and shares recommendations about three types of online influencers: Social Broadcasters, Mass Influencers and Potential Influencers.”

The 10 Social Media Metrics Your Company Should Monitor (SocialTimes) A bit obvious, but then again, sometimes obvious is ignored.

The Raging Septuagenarian (New York) Fascinating profile of Murdoch and his battles with the NYT, Google, and his own family.

Small Biz Doubles Social Media Adoption (eMarketer) And it’ll double again soon.

The 4As (American Association of Advertising Agencies) has its annual conference in SF this week. Welcome folks!

Friday Signal: The Web Gets Its Wisdom Teeth (We Hope)

By - February 26, 2010


(image ) A couple of days ago I riffed for bit on the convergence of conversation in our industry around mobile, local, real time, and social. Sometimes this stuff needs an easier name to identify it all, so I’m going to go with MOLRS (MObile Local Realtime Social).  

Why another acronym? Because honestly, it reminds us to link all these concepts together. Often folks ask me for advice about their “mobile strategy.” I remind them that if you are going to think about mobile, you have to think about social, local, and real time. Same for when someone asks about a real time strategy – real time usually means connecting through a social graph, often through a mobile platform and in a local context. And so on. So “MOLRS” is a reminder to think about all aspects of this next evolution of the web.

Another reason – and this is a stretch, but it’s Friday – is the rather obscure reference to third molars, or wisdom teeth. We humans get our “wisdom teeth” at about the same time we become true adults – when we’re ready to take our place in society. These molars come in in our late teens or early 20s – post adolescence, as it were. And that’s about where the web is right now. The emergence of the MOLRS web indicates a third wave of Internet evolution – first was the flat HTML web of the 1990s, second was the burgeoning post search web of 2000-2010 (Web 2.0), and now we’re in the third wave – what Tim and I coined as “WebSquared” last year.

Anyway, the funny thing about wisdom teeth is that they often get impacted, and have to be pulled. Evolutionary theory implies that we used to have larger mouths because we needed the third molars to process more plant materials (I’m not making this up). Now, I’m already stretching a metaphor here, but the truth is, the web is at a similar impaction (or inflection) point. Truth is, we have way more information to chew on than we can digest, and with MOLRS, we are creating tools to bring that information into our heads more efficiently. Physically we don’t need our third molars, but on the web, we most certainly do.

As these MOLRS develop, any number of companies (both web native and pre web) are battling to control them, in particular their chokepoints – the mobile platforms, location services, identity services, social graphs, payment systems, and distribution channels. Read Tim’s “War for the Web” piece for more on this. It’s a struggle for positioning, dominance, and market riches. In fact, it’s exactly this battle that we intend to make the focus of the Web2Summit this year, as we’re at a key point in the architecture of the Internet – will services “lock in”, or will they connect? More on that later, once we’ve finalized the Web2Summit theme.

In the meantime, as the web gets its wisdom teeth, there’s bound to be a period of pain and readjustment. I doubt “MOLRS” (“MOLORS?” “MLRS”?) will catch on, but it’s a start, anyway….

Other Friday linkahoy:

EUREKA: The Clean, Cheap, Backyard-Friendly Solution To All Our Energy Problems (SAI) Waiting for version 2.0 on this one…

If I Were CEO of MySpace… (AdAge) If I were CEO, I’d integrate Facebook Connect, end of story, then do a lot of what this author is saying, in particular, focus on speed and utility.

DIY LBS: Create Your Own Foursquare (AdAge) Ning for location based services. Hmmm.

JESS3 / The State of The Internet (JESS3) An agency that did a cool video on web stats. Already out of date of course (Twitter stats are off by 20mm tweets a day!)

Facebook Patents The News Feed (Updated) (All Facebook) Lots of buzz around this. I don’t think it’s going to be a big deal.

Twitter’s Ad Plan: Copy Google (AllThingsD) Well, sure sounds like Tweetsense.

Leads for Less with Social Media (eMarketer)

Google Adds “Nearby” Local Search To Options Panel (SEL) Location, location, location….

Thurs. Signal

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I’m spending the balance of today working on a longer piece, so here’s some short links from yesterday, which I spent mainly on a plane without wifi (how odd is it to be bummed that my plane did not have wifi?).

Congress Adds Location-Based Mobile to List of Privacy Concerns (ClickZ) We’re not even close to the end of the conversation our culture needs to have about the impact that MOLRS (MObile Local Realtime Social) technologies will have on our social contract.

Google real-time search adds status updates from Facebook Pages (VentureBeat) A big deal in that Google was not playing nice with Facebook on a number of fronts. This is a start, I’m still waiting for Facebook Connect integration with Buzz.

Foursquare’s First Television Commercial Airs Tonight On Bravo [Video] (TC)

US Ad Spend Falls Nine Percent in 2009 (Neilsen) Not that we didn’t know last year blew.

Social media study: 91% of mobile users go online to socialize (SMBC)

Jean-Philippe Maheu Named Worldwide CEO at Publicis Modem (ClickZ) Congrats to JP!

Meredith Builds Up a Sideline in Marketing (WSJ) This is not news, but Meredith got a lot of attention for their agency biz at the IAB earlier this week. Another sign that the lines between agency and media company are blurred.

Teaching Your Business to Market Itself (OpenForum)

I Prefer a Multiplex Relationship (MarketingProfs) As marketers become publishers, expect them to form relationships with each other to co-promote. Happens a lot already, but will happen a lot more online.

Search and Display Advertising Synergies (eMarketer) Always happy to pass along a link that reminds us the two are very linked disciplines.

Weds. Signal – "Local-Mobile-RealTime": Re-imagining Social

By - February 24, 2010

Today finds me in Chicago, making the rounds of a great city that I don’t get to often enough. Meeting with senior folks at agency holding companies like Omnicom and Publicis, as well as clients like McDonald’s, I find this four-word mantra coming up, over and over: “Local Mobile Real Time Social“.

Fascination with these buzzwords is not news to you all, as readers here, but to have a moment when major brands are all looking for solutions in the same space is rare. It reminds me of the same vibe 15 years ago, when the four-word mantra was “world wide web whaaaa?.”

I think another way to parse this is to simplify: Social *is* local, social *is* local, social *is* mobile. The shift here is from disconnected to connected. From dictation to conversation. From isolated to social.

And that’s a very important shift. It’s not merely a marketing shift. It’s not merely a media shift. It’s a cultural shift in how we use artifacts of our own creation. Our society is leveraging technology tools and platforms to extend the ways we already know how to connect, thanks to 100 million or so years of biological and social evolutions. We’re learning to be social beyond the restrictions of region or affiliation, and this will have significant impact on how brands are created, nurtured, destroyed. Also, we’re reconnecting our social selves after major disruption due to technologies like airplanes, suburbs, highways, and mass media. There’s a book in all this somewhere….

To my mind, the (local mobile real time) web is reconnecting the world, and the possibilities for how those connections can create value are inestimably large. It’s why we’re in this business. It’s why I love it.

Today’s interesting linkage:

How long can you survive without mobile or Internet access before you break into cold sweats? (LifeScoop) Just for fun.

5 Landing Page Tips To Boost Your Conversion Rate (SEL) Sometimes this basic stuff needs to be remembered!

Experts: Internet Will Enhance Our Intelligence (MarketingProfs) Really?! Remember this debate?

Clear Channel, OMD and Illinois Lottery Team for Chicago Billboard Traffic Updates (ClickZ)

Online Marketing Summit explores social media, search and content … (B2B) COverage of my OMS talk.

Time Spent on Social Networks up 82% Around the World (Brian Solis)

How to Make a Great Facebook Fan Page (And Get More Fans) (Open Forum) I’d add that you must not see it as an island. Circulate across the entire social media ecosystem….

Tuesday's Signal – Notes from the IAB

By - February 23, 2010

Over the past few days I’ve been at the IAB conference, and if the mood in the hallways (and bars) is any indication, the online media industry is in a much better place – better than anytime in the past two years, most certainly.

The IAB is an industry association which represents, broadly, “companies that sell advertising.” The Board (on which I serve) includes senior leaders from firms as diverse as traditional publishers (NYT, IDG, NBC) to ad networks (24/7) to portal/platforms (Google, MSFT, AOL). And, of course, innovative newer firms like FM.

The IAB annual meeting has grown to become a quite well attended event, growing 30% from last year to 650 or so pretty senior folks in the online media space. It’s pretty “sell side” in nature – more publishers than marketers – but the shift this year was in the number of senior agency people attending. It’s clear agencies are starting to understand the importance of connection to audience, just as publishers do. A shift that without doubt will continue over the course of this year.

Stories worth grokking:

It’s Twitter!!!!!!!! (Yahoo + Twitter) (SearchBlog) This won’t hurt Twitter’s growth.

Branding Sometimes Means Being Human (WebProNews) Yep. Who said that?!

At IAB Annual Meeting, Talk of New Money for Digital Ads (Clickz)

Google’s Microsoft Moment? European Antitrust Review Looms (Searchblog again)

Wired On Google’s Algorithm (SEL) A worthy S. Levy piece (link here)

Publishers: It’s Time for an Intervention (AdAge) I am not sure the problem is as B&W as Russ frames it, but worthy thinking here.

Can Twitter Make Money? (TechReview). Yes.

Monday Signal

By - February 22, 2010

At the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting today, and it’s packed. Follow it on the Twitter hashtag #iabalm. Will keep this Signal focused on the links again.

FM Honored with IAB Sales Excellence Award (FM Blog) Well I had to crow, didn’t I? I’m so proud of the work we do.

Networks Wary of Apple’s Push to Cut Show Prices (NYT) Apple is increasingly acting in a manner that I believe will isolate it from the Rest of the Media World.

By Creating Content, These Shops Are Creating a Legacy Beyond Ads (AdAge) Advertising must be content. Valuable content.

Lowered Expectations: Web Redefines ‘Quality’ (AdAge) Quality is so damn subjective. I have a rant in me on this.

Mobile Advertising Needs Transaction Spur (Reuters) Ads on mobile still nascent. Yep. But man is it exciting.

The next generation of ad serving for online publishers (Google Blog) Google revises DFP. Also see Google Tweaks DoubleClick’s Ad Server (Clickz)

Measuring Tweets (Twitter blog) Watch this space. This is the beginning of a roll out of ad products from Twitter, I’d warrant.

Could the Toyota Recall Crisis be Helping the Brand? (Mashable)

Google Hackers Linked to Chinese Govt. (SAI)

ROI: How to Measure Return on Investment in Social Media (Brian Solis)

Will Pure-Play Agencies Survive? (eMarketer)

The Catchup Signal

By - February 21, 2010

Vacation was great. Too short. As usual. And there was plenty going on that I missed. So here are some stories from the past five or so days that are worth your attention. I’m at the IAB board and annual leadership meeting Sunday and Monday, so writing may be light. But I’ll be back at it soon.

The BrandFinance Global 500 (Brand Directory) Google #2. Walmart, Coke, IBM, Microsoft…

Google CEO Woos Suspicious Mobile Industry (Reuters) “Schmidt’s remarks were met with skepticism and some hostility from an audience already worried about economic recession and the prospect of becoming “dumb pipes” that merely carry valuable content, including free Internet calls.”

Google Hires Barry Salzman to Preside Over Display Ad Units (Clickz) “Barry Salzman, a veteran of DoubleClick, will be Google’s first head of media and platforms, with oversight of YouTube, the Google Content Network, DoubleClick’s ad serving business, and the DoubleClick Ad Exchange.” Watch this space for sure. I’ll be writing more about the implications of various moves on Google’s part in media soon.

Hello HTML5 (Google Gears Blog) Pay attention to standards wars. They are boring, because they are standards, but in the machinations of giants around standards, great narratives are hatched. (Why do you think I called that magazine The Industry Standard?!).

Outlook Gets Social with LinkedIn, Facebook, and MySpace (Microsoft Outlook blog) It’s not all Buzz, Microsoft would like you to know. And the truth is this: Social must be integrated into all platforms, bi-directionally, where ever one works and plays. If platforms don’t connect – they don’t win. This is the issue I have with Buzz, at least so far.

Google Launches Powerful Mobile Shopping App for Android (Mashable) Google Shopper is the kind of app that all of us geeks really like. I wrote about this over five years ago. And here it is.

How Unique Is A Unique Visitor? (A VC) Fred mulls what a real unique visitor really is.

Google: “With Buzz We Failed To Appreciate That Users Have Differing Privacy Expectations” (SEL)

How to Deal With Negative Feedback (Open Forum)

After Google Bowl 2010, What Next? (Ad Age)

Machine That Prints Body Parts (Economist) Just making sure you are paying attention.

The Convergence of Advertising and E-commerce (O’Reilly)

Tuesday Signal

By - February 16, 2010

Bare bones today. Links I found interesting:

Ad Network Exec: Mobile Content Still Driving Display Ads

2009 US Digital Year in Review: ComScore

Google Gets The Facebook Treatment: Privacy Group Files FTC Complaint Over Buzz

MTV Networks Taps Quantcast To Power Ad Targeting Efforts

Nearly 75 Million People Visited Twitter’s Site In January

Brands With the Most Engaged, Loyal Customers

Windows Phone 7 Series: Everything Is Different Now