Monday Signal: The Vacation Edition

I am with my family this week, as it's the kids' winter break. So posts will be light, and Signals may be weak. Here's a roundup of the long weekend's news, which was dominated by Google's continued tweaks to Buzz, and ongoing analysis of samesaid social app: Google Names Facebook,…

Screen shot 2010-02-15 at 8.34.12 PM.pngI am with my family this week, as it’s the kids’ winter break. So posts will be light, and Signals may be weak. Here’s a roundup of the long weekend’s news, which was dominated by Google’s continued tweaks to Buzz, and ongoing analysis of samesaid social app:

Google Names Facebook, Twitter as Rivals (Dow Jones via IWantMedia) Clearly anticipating social search and the power of social on its business model, as well as the launch of Buzz, Google in its 2009 annual report finally acknowledges what we all have known for some time.

Google Buzz Has Completely Changed the Game: Here’s How (Mashable) A positive take on the service. I’ll call Buzz a success when I feel compelled to use Gmail so as to use Buzz. I don’t think that is going to happen, though, as most likely, Buzz will open up and become part of the larger Facebook and Twitter ecosystem through third party apps (one hopes).

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Friday Signal: What Marketers Want from Twitter Metrics

Among other things, we discussed how Twitter might crack the code around explaining its user base, how its users use the service, and how it's growing (or the recently very hot – and to my mind misunderstood – topic of *if* it's growing, which he assured me it is). While I don't have any news to report on Twitter's stats, Dick shook his head emphatically when I asked him if the recent Royal Pingdom post about growth in overall tweets was directionally correct.

Screen shot 2010-02-12 at 1.03.15 PM.pngYesterday I stopped by Twitter HQ to see Dick Costolo. Dick recently moved to Marin (my home turf) and took Twitter’s COO job. I’d say that taking such a job means Dick’s hair is constantly on fire, but if you know Dick, you know that’s really not an issue. (He’s level headed, he’s a pro, and, well….let’s just say he doesn’t wear his hair long).  

Among other things (FM has partnered with Twitter in the past, and will continue to do so), we discussed how Twitter might crack the code around explaining its user base, how those users engage with the service, and how the service is growing – especially given the recently hot (and to my mind not well understood) topic of *if* it’s growing. Dick assured me it is – echoing a recent tweet from founder Evan Williams.

Much has been written around the topic of Twitter’s growth, but the shorthand is this: You can’t rely on Comscore or web-based measurement services like Compete or Quantcast, because they do not measure the entire Twitter ecosystem, which is distributed in nature. For example, these services do not measure use of Twitter’s API, which accounts for more than half of the service’s traffic (through apps like TweetDeck, Twitteriffic, Exectweets or Stocktwits, for example). They also don’t measure mobile usage, and some don’t measure international traffic, which Costolo said in some countries is growing “straight up” – quite like it did in the US early last year.

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The Thursday Signal: Is Google Losing Its Customer Focus?

I’m a bit reticent to jump into this, as I’m not sure you all care that much, but I’ve got a decent reason for writing about Buzz (yesterday’s piece) again today.   First, I’ve seen a piece (Calacanis) proclaiming Buzz the second (third? fifth?) coming of social. Facebook will “lost…

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I’m a bit reticent to jump into this, as I’m not sure you all care that much, but I’ve got a decent reason for writing about Buzz (yesterday’s piece) again today.  

First, I’ve seen a piece (Calacanis) proclaiming Buzz the second (third? fifth?) coming of social. Facebook will “lost half its value” due to Buzz’s arrival, Jason opines. I think this is silly. Then again, I seem to think a lot of things are silly. Pretty soon, I’ll be chasing kids off my front lawn, the way I’m going. And I’ve not used Buzz, nor will I, as I’m not a Gmail user nor do I plan on becoming one. So don’t listen to me if you are a Gmail addict who wants to recreate your entire social experience in that medium. Go nuts. I’m all for more options.

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Weds. Signal: What’s The Buzz, Google?

So Google went and did it – it integrated a whole mess of social and local features into Gmail, wrapping the whole thing into a product burrito it calls Buzz (Yahoo has got to be fuming, if it has any more fumes left, that is).   The first-day response is somewhat…

Screen shot 2010-02-09 at 11.11.37 AM.pngSo Google went and did it – it integrated a whole mess of social and local features into Gmail, wrapping the whole thing into a product burrito it calls Buzz (Yahoo has got to be fuming, if it has any more fumes left, that is).  

The first-day response is somewhat positive – mainly due to the huge installed base that Gmail brings to the party.

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The Tuesday Signal

Tuesday, we hope, things will get back to normal after Super Bowl fever had subsided. Google is set to turn Gmail into a status updatin' machine, which positions it to compete directly with Twitter. I'll be posting this Signal an hour or so before the details emerge. I have…

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Tuesday, we hope, things will get back to normal after Super Bowl fever had subsided. Google is set to turn Gmail into a status updatin’ machine, which positions it to compete directly with Twitter. I’ll be posting this Signal an hour or so before the details emerge. I have an FM Board meeting this morning, (don’t fear, it’s all good…). So click this link for news of Google’s Gmail moves.  

Meanwhile, the past 24 hours has brought, as usual, all manner of linkworthy schtuff:

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The Monday Signal: Monday Morn. Advertising Quarterback

Was it really as simple as that? Google CEO Eric Schmidt took to the blogwaves after the Super Bowl yesterday to explain Google's surprising decision to purchase an ad thusly: We didn't set out to do a Super Bowl ad, or even a TV ad for search. Our goal was…

Was it really as simple as that? Google CEO Eric Schmidt took to the blogwaves after the Super Bowl yesterday to explain Google’s surprising decision to purchase an ad thusly:

We didn’t set out to do a Super Bowl ad, or even a TV ad for search. Our goal was simply to create a series of short online videos about our products and our users, and how they interact. But we liked this video so much, and it’s had such a positive reaction on YouTube, that we decided to share it with a wider audience.

If there’s one thing Google’s consistent about, it’s the company’s approach to PR: it always sounds reasonable and intellectually defensible, but it’s never really the whole story. Google didn’t set out to run a Super Bowl ad, that’s for sure. But somewhere in the last five or so years, it became the kind of company that would. And that’s the point. I mean….is Eric serious when he implies somehow he needs television to find a “wider audience.” I mean, seriously?!

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The Friday Signal: It’s The Platform, Not the Bowl

Friday is all about the biggest event in television marketing – the Super Bowl. This year (as I've noted here before) I'm struck by how many campaigns are integrated with longer term social marketing platforms. That's putting the investment to good use – promoting what I call a media annuity…

Screen shot 2010-02-05 at 8.35.37 AM.pngFriday is all about the biggest event in television marketing – the Super Bowl. This year (as I’ve noted here before) I’m struck by how many campaigns are integrated with longer term social marketing platforms. That’s putting the investment to good use – promoting what I call a media annuity that will pay back all year long. However, much of the press and some of the marketing still gets it backwards – they see the Super Bowl as something that social media “builds buzz for.” Nope. It’s the other way round, folks. Your brand, which after all is what you’re buying the ad for, right? – your brand lives all year long on the platform you create. That platform is social, mobile, real time. The Super Bowl ad should drive that platform, not BE it.

Super Bowl Advertisers Are MIA on Facebook (ClickZ)

Google to Super Bowl Markters – Give Us Your Ads- and Your Dollars (Forbes)

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Thursday Signal: Are You Checked In?

Today is all about checking in. Not so much driven by anything in today's news, but every week or so I'll just go off based on what's on my mind – driven by the news, to be sure, but also by the bricolage of a lot of inputs over…

Screen shot 2010-02-04 at 11.08.18 AM.png Today is all about checking in. Not so much driven by anything in today’s news, but every week or so I’ll just go off based on what’s on my mind – driven by the news, to be sure, but also by the bricolage of a lot of inputs over time.   

And over the past few weeks, I’ve been developing a thesis around the concept of “checking in.” Now for those of you not playing along at home, “checking in” is the terminology for “declaring where I am and what I’m doing through mobile devices and social media platforms.”

As usual, I’m a late bloomer in this new trend. I joined Foursquare, one of several check-in-based services, about a month ago. I’ve started checking in at work, the gym, various restaurants and local businesses. The service has a strong game element, with social capital earned for checking in, or doing more than one thing in a day, or unlocking action-based “badges,” or repeat check ins over time (Foursquare makes you “Mayor” of a location if you check in there the most. Competition amongst Foursquare nerds is pretty intense for those Mayorships.)

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Weds. Signal

Traveling to a marketing conference in Scottsdale today, so here's the roundup from last night's best headlines: Facebook Marketing Goes to the Super Bowl (InsideFacebook) Over and over again, we are reminded that this is the year the Superbowl ad becomes an adjunct to an ongoing social media platform. Good….

201002022222.jpgTraveling to a marketing conference in Scottsdale today, so here’s the roundup from last night’s best headlines:

Facebook Marketing Goes to the Super Bowl (InsideFacebook) Over and over again, we are reminded that this is the year the Superbowl ad becomes an adjunct to an ongoing social media platform. Good.

More Than Half Of Mobile Pageviews Are To Social Networking Sites (BI) This in no way is a surprise but it’s worth reiterating: social drives mobile drives social drives mobile drives location drives mobile drives content consumption drives brands.

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Tuesday Signal

A quick set of headlines today, more coming later, after a morning PTA meeting…. Google Is Wrecking DoubleClick, Says Unhappy Client (GOOG) (Business Insider) I'm a DBCLK client and this does not ring true for me, though of course there are always issues with any major business relationship. Forget Common…

A quick set of headlines today, more coming later, after a morning PTA meeting….

Google Is Wrecking DoubleClick, Says Unhappy Client (GOOG) (Business Insider) I’m a DBCLK client and this does not ring true for me, though of course there are always issues with any major business relationship.

Forget Common Sense: Social Media Communicators Must Have Empathy (Shannon Paul) I feel this one.

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