The Signal – Instrumenting Our Social Lives

From my FM column: Tuesday Signal: Get Ready for a Real Conversation About Privacy, Publicy, and Social Media I've long said that I'm a fan of social networks and media, of course, but I've also pointed out that most of it is artless and ingenuous in comparison with the sophistication…

From my FM column: Tuesday Signal: Get Ready for a Real Conversation About Privacy, Publicy, and Social Media

I’ve long said that I’m a fan of social networks and media, of course, but I’ve also pointed out that most of it is artless and ingenuous in comparison with the sophistication each of us has when it comes to “being social.” So far, our technologies lack the instrumentation each of us employs when interacting in the simplest social situation. We have the benefit of hundreds of thousands of years of social evolution – not to mention millions of years of biological evolution. Yet as social creatures we flock to technologies that allow us to express that fundamental need, even if it fails to truly reflect our nature.
What’s heartening is how our culture has begun to ask interesting questions about what this all means – for our businesses, as marketers, as citizens, and as individuals. As Danah Boyd states in her opening keynote at SXSW: “ChatRoulette may be a fad, but the idea that publicity and privacy will get mashed up in new ways will not be.”
Tens of millions have flocked to ChatRoulette – and while it may well be a fad, the impulse which sent so many to “only connect” is not. Understanding who we are as private and public beings will be a fundamental component of what it means to be literate in a modern society. And marketers who make a practice of understanding this will succeed over those who do not.
I predict a punctuation mark in this conversation over the coming months, in the form of Facebook’s public data firehose. Expected at their F8 developer conference this June, the Facebook firehose will allow developers to create all sorts of unexpected applications and services which leverage Facebook status updates, wall posts, and more. Twitter should get the credit for pushing this open architecture, but Facebook’s implementation of it will be revelatory – and not necessarily in ways that might be positive. I predict one of the first applications created will be a site publishing Really Stupid Pictures You Probably Should Not Have Posted To Facebook, for example. Cue media frenzy and….well you get the picture.

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FM Signal: Wired’s “iPad Demo”

I've posted Monday's Signal over at the FM blog. From it: What I find interesting is the media's response to the iPad (and I include tech blogs in the category of "media"). Overwhelmingly, the media wanted to believe that a hip magazine like Wired (caveat, I was a co-founder) would,…

I’ve posted Monday’s Signal over at the FM blog. From it:FM-signal-header.gif

What I find interesting is the media’s response to the iPad (and I include tech blogs in the category of “media”). Overwhelmingly, the media wanted to believe that a hip magazine like Wired (caveat, I was a co-founder) would, natch, have the hippest iPad demo, a demo that, natch, would prove the viability of … the media’s own threatened business model!

The truth, however, is a bit more complicated.

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Friday Signal: Location Location Location

Today’s Signal is brought to you by the letter B. For Baseball. Every year around this time my son and I head out to Scottsdale, where our beloved SF Giants play Spring ball. We play hooky for a Friday and see a few games. It’s bliss.   So despite a few…

Screen shot 2010-03-12 at 7.17.59 AM.pngToday’s Signal is brought to you by the letter B. For Baseball. Every year around this time my son and I head out to Scottsdale, where our beloved SF Giants play Spring ball. We play hooky for a Friday and see a few games. It’s bliss.  

So despite a few interesting bits of news about location services, Signal will be a bit weak today – back at you strong on Monday. Here are some links worth perusing:

In stock nearby? Look for the blue dots. (Google Blog) Local is the new black. In this case, Google closes the loop between local, mobile, and commerce. Great idea, but it needs scale and participation from major retailers. Lucky for Google, it has AdWords. Which nearly every major retailer uses. Watch this space.

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Thursday Signal – Repeat After Me: Apps Are (Currently) Myopic (Or…We’ve Seen This Movie Before…)

I'm not claiming to be deeply informed about the app marketplace, which Google stirred up today (and, to my mind, the market could use a few more spoons). But I do use apps. At least, I use enough of them to feel like a nearly typical member of the…

Screen shot 2010-03-10 at 8.26.08 PM.png

I’m not claiming to be deeply informed about the app marketplace, which Google stirred up today (and, to my mind, the market could use a few more spoons). But I do use apps. At least, I use enough of them to feel like a nearly typical member of the species (as compared to a few of my peers, who are so deeply involved in AppWorld that they have – just maybe – lost a bit of perspective.)  

So, here’s my beef with AppWorld. In short, it reminds me of computing back in about 1987. Yeah, 24 years ago, back when I was a cub reporter for MacWeek, I covered the burgeoning world of Apple and Apple developers. And trust me, I’m getting a pretty strong sense of deja vu. I guess being old counts for something.

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Video Chat on the Plane? Illegal? OK? Legal Gray Area?

I'm writing this at around 36,000 feet, on a United Airlines flight between New York and San Francisco. That's not so unusual – anymore – Wifi had been on planes for over a year now, and I've grown accustomed to the service. Why? Well, because my family also has Wifi,…

201003101937.jpgI’m writing this at around 36,000 feet, on a United Airlines flight between New York and San Francisco. That’s not so unusual – anymore – Wifi had been on planes for over a year now, and I’ve grown accustomed to the service.

Why? Well, because my family also has Wifi, and my kids can now gather around any one of our home computers, fire up iChat, and BAM! they can see me even as I zip across the Nebraska sky at some 400+ mph.

Except tonight, as I was chatting with my lovely wife and two lovely daughters (much to the amusement of my seat mates, using Bose headphones and my MacBook’s built in microphone), the very nice steward – who I must note brought me extra nuts even though he didn’t have to – told me I had to quit my video chat.

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Announcing The Fifth Annual CM Summit: Theme and Initial Lineup

(cross posted from FM blog ) I’m very excited to announce the theme and line-up for our fifth CM Summit, to be held in New York June 7-8 (it's the kickoff conference to New York's annual Internet Week). We’ve got a lot to talk about this year – our theme…

summit-arrow-color-2.png(cross posted from FM blog )

I’m very excited to announce the theme and line-up for our fifth CM Summit, to be held in New York June 7-8 (it’s the kickoff conference to New York’s annual Internet Week).

We’ve got a lot to talk about this year – our theme is “Marketing in Real Time.”

2009 was the year the web went real time. Twitter grew five fold and became a major online player, tens of millions of us learned how to live out loud in public. Facebook responded by changing its approach to user data, making its more than 400 million user profiles publicly searchable. And Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo began integrating Facebook and Twitter’s real time signals into their search offerings, creating an ever-circulating ecosystem of conversation across the web.

2009 was also the year the web went mobile and local. The “broadband of mobile” – 3G – became ubiquitous. As Apple’s iPhone consolidated its grip on the smart phone market, Google and its partners introduced the open-platform Android, Palm introduced its Pre and Pixi, Verizon its map, and AT&T responded in force, kicking off what is sure to be a multi-year, multi-party marketing war. “There’s an app for that” became a cultural catchphrase, and even Intel prepared to become a player in the new app economy, driven by the rise of a new class of devices, including netbooks. By year’s end, Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker had predicted that the mobile web will far exceed the current web in scope and opportunity.

Mobile, local, real time, social – in its second decade, the web has matured and taken a central position in our culture, one that no longer relegates the Internet to role of “other.” The web is now a part of every aspect of our lives, and as marketers, we must integrate this fact into our strategy and our execution. That means rethinking what we’ve grown accustomed to calling “traditional media” and imagining new ways to blend offline and online. It means developing the skills and practices of a publisher, and taking a platform-based approach to connecting with customers. And it means rethinking some of our “best practices” – including measurement, research, and the agency-client relationship.

So what can we learn from the past year as we enter a decade where the real time web will become ubiquitous? What worked, what failed, and why? What platforms have emerged as steady new partners? What startups are lurking in Silicon Valley’s wings, poised to once again change the game and offer new channels of communication with our customers?

At the CM Summit you’ll hear cross-platform case studies from senior marketers at brands like Starbucks, AT&T, Adobe, Paramount, and many more. You’ll meet the leaders of platform companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Bing, and Yahoo. And as always, you’ll discover the next wave of disruptors – companies like Foursquare, Boxee, and AdMob.

Here is the initial 2010 speaker lineup – expect more announcements in the coming weeks. Register now (while the early bird price is still in effect!), and I look forward to seeing you in New York!

Omar Hamoui – Founder & CEO AdMob

Ann Lewnes – SVP of Corporate Marketing and Communications Adobe

Chris Schembri – VP Media Services AT&T

Henry Blodget – EIC The Business Insider

Avner Ronen – CEO boxee

Ken Wirt – VP, Consumer Marketing Cisco

Deanna Brown – President and COO Federated Media

Dennis Crowley – Co-founder foursquare

Rob Norman – CEO Group M North America

Bradley Horowitz – VP, Product Marketing Google

Susan Wojcicki – VP, Product Management Google

Dennis Woodside – VP, Americas Operations Google

Arianna Huffington – Co-founder & Editor-in-chief Huffington Post

Joel Lunenfeld – CEO Moxie Interactive

Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. – Chairman The New York Times Company

Amy Powell – SVP, Interactive Marketing Paramount Pictures

Bob Lord – CEO Razorfish

Chris Bruzzo – VP- Brand, Content& Online Starbucks Coffee Company

Dick Costolo – COO Twitter

Hilary Schneider – Executive Vice President Yahoo

The CM Summit thanks its sponsors:

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Weds. Signal: Get Me a Mobile Strategy or You’re Fired!

(Cross Posted to the FM Blog, where Signal will have a permanent home soon) Mobile. It's on everyone's lips, but no one knows what the hell to do about it. At least, that's what I hear from every single marketer I talk to, and I've made it a point to…

201003091750.jpg(Cross Posted to the FM Blog, where Signal will have a permanent home soon)

Mobile. It’s on everyone’s lips, but no one knows what the hell to do about it. At least, that’s what I hear from every single marketer I talk to, and I’ve made it a point to talk to a lot of you in the past few months.

It’s a source of significant frustration: Everyone’s saying mobile is the next thing, but no one has a solution for how to market in the space in a way that delivers the four pillars of brand marketing: Scale, Safety, Quality, and Engagement.

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Tuesday Signal: The Internet Is A Human Right (And Spending Is Up. Yippee!)

Well, it's Monday night, but I'm in NYC, and I am pretty sure Tuesday is going to be a blur. So here are the links I read on the plane out here (love that Wifi). Expect news from me soon on the themes and lineup for FM's annual CM Summit…

Well, it’s Monday night, but I’m in NYC, and I am pretty sure Tuesday is going to be a blur. So here are the links I read on the plane out here (love that Wifi). Expect news from me soon on the themes and lineup for FM’s annual CM Summit (this week I hope) as well as the annual Web2Summit. Meanwhile:

Internet Access Viewed as Fundamental Human Right (AllThingsD) Our culture is coming to a conclusion that makes a lot of sense to me – connection is a human right.

Time To Take The Internet Seriously | David Gelernter | Edge | 4 March 2010 (Edge) Hard to follow, but the fundamental argument is one he’s made for years: Lifestreams are coming, the old web structure is … old.

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Database of Intentions Chart – Version 2, Updated for Commerce

There are many, many signals in the Database of Intentions, as my readers have pointed out, but the one I feel compelled to add to the chart I created Friday is the Commerce signal. This signal emerged before search, really, and has remained a constant, though honestly it has yet…

There are many, many signals in the Database of Intentions, as my readers have pointed out, but the one I feel compelled to add to the chart I created Friday is the Commerce signal. This signal emerged before search, really, and has remained a constant, though honestly it has yet to become a signal that others can truly leverage into an open ecosystem (unlike the signal of search, or status update, or the social graph). I expect that to change, and shortly. So here you go, an updated version of the chart, for the record. I expect this chart may well evolve into a pretty complicated ecosystem in its own right, over time….

  DBoI v 2 3.07.10.png

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