Monday Signal

Happy Monday, folks. Today is all about poker. Over the weekend, the buzz was hearsay about Steve Jobs' distaste for Google and its 'don't be evil' mantra, as well as for Adobe and its Flash technology (this is all second hand reporting from Wired and other sources, repeating what…

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Happy Monday, folks. Today is all about poker. Over the weekend, the buzz was hearsay about Steve Jobs’ distaste for Google and its ‘don’t be evil’ mantra, as well as for Adobe and its Flash technology (this is all second hand reporting from Wired and other sources, repeating what Jobs reputedly said at a Friday town hall for Apple employees. The story became instantly reported “news” all over the blogosphere.)

Whether or not the sources got their quotes right, what’s really interesting is the Texas Hold’em playing out across the computing, media, and Internet industries. Apple, Google, Adobe, and others (including Microsoft) are playing their hands as each market card is revealed. New standards are tested (HTML5), old standards are questioned (Flash), new devices are introduced (Droid, iPad), and old alliances are shattered (Google, Apple – it was less than a year ago that Schmidt was on Jobs’ board, recall?).

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The Friday Signal: Will Apple Flash Us, or Not?

The news today was still iPad driven, for the most part, with the question of whether Flash will be supported at its core. So far, the answer is no, and Adobe semi-officially chastised Apple in this post: Apple's iPad — a broken link?. However, a site called 9to5Mac studied the…

The news today was still iPad driven, for the most part, with the question of whether Flash will be supported at its core. So far, the answer is no, and Adobe semi-officially chastised Apple in this post: Apple’s iPad — a broken link?. However, a site called 9to5Mac studied the iPad introduction video, and found that Flash must be working on the device, because it’s used on the nyt.com, which was featured in the demo: The iPad has Adobe’s Flash on Apple’s video. This of course is important to marketers, as Flash is pretty much an industry standard for rich advertising. Is Apple really planning a total end around, as IAB CEO Randall Rothenberg warns in this post?

I’m not so sure. I’d wager Apple and Adobe are deep in negotiations right now, and I’d also wager part of it has to do with Flash’s execution in the Mac and associated operating systems. Why? Well, it’s not a secret that Flash is resource intensive and reportedly buggy on the Mac (at least, that’s what developers are saying). Perhaps Jobs is using the iPad as leverage to get Adobe to focus on his platform. Or, perhaps he really is spurning the company’s technology. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, a Google exec (Hal Varian) damns the iPad with faint praise, reminding us all that Google and Apple are circling each other in the mobile device market like boxers calculating their first flurry of punches. And O’Reilly Radar has what I think is the best take on the iPad I’ve read so far: The iPad is the iPrius: Your Computer Consumerized.

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The Thursday Signal

The iPad announcement took two months to build up, so it's not going away in one day. Today's news is dominated by Monday morning quarterbacking around the device, and so far, the fanboys and tech blogosphere are, by and large, not pleased. The image at left represents a few…

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The iPad announcement took two months to build up, so it’s not going away in one day. Today’s news is dominated by Monday morning quarterbacking around the device, and so far, the fanboys and tech blogosphere are, by and large, not pleased. The image at left represents a few of the stories I’ve been reading across the web. I’ve filed them away in a folder I call “Predictions Support”, as they all seem to support my thesis that the iPad would disappoint. Time will tell. And I still want one, and I’m not convinced there isn’t a counter story in there somewhere.

Meanwhile, there are a few deficits in the iPad that are material to the marketing business. First, the iPad does not support Flash. That’s just silly, unless Apple really thinks it can force marketers to create purely for its own distribution channel (or envisions the iPad as an ecosystem devoid of ads, which is possible). Second, it has no camera, though I’m sure camera devices can be added to it (and probably will be added natively in future versions). Third, as I predicted, it’s another orifice for Apple’s iTunes and App Store, so it’s not an open web device. Then there’s the unfortunate choice of name, which I think will fade over time. There are many other features (or lack thereof) that folks are finding fault with, for more, check this piece on Gizmodo.

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The Weds. Signal

A brief Signal today till I can write later in the day, running to an early meeting: 20 Metrics To Effectively Track Social Media Campaigns (SEL) Supreme Court's Devastating Decision | Ronald Dworkin | NYRB | 26 January 2010 (Off topic, but I found this take interesting) Social Is the…

A brief Signal today till I can write later in the day, running to an early meeting:

20 Metrics To Effectively Track Social Media Campaigns (SEL)

Supreme Court’s Devastating Decision | Ronald Dworkin | NYRB | 26 January 2010 (Off topic, but I found this take interesting)

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The Tuesday Signal: Birth of Another Orifice

A light day in the media and marketing world, as it seems everyone is holding their breath, waiting for Steve Jobs and Apple to drop the next shoe tomorrow with the launch of the iPad (or iTablet or whatever it'll be called). Speculation over the device dominates the news,…

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A light day in the media and marketing world, as it seems everyone is holding their breath, waiting for Steve Jobs and Apple to drop the next shoe tomorrow with the launch of the iPad (or iTablet or whatever it’ll be called). Speculation over the device dominates the news, with the NYT pondering its impact on “old media” business models (including its own), and endless rumors about its specs from the tech blogs. (including the apparently faked image at top.)

So allow me a few thoughts on Apple’s entry. First off, if iTunes and the iPhone are any indication, the iPad will be a closed system, controlled by Apple. As with the iPhone, only approved apps will get to play. And as with iTunes, only those who cut a deal with Apple will get distribution on the new device.

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The Monday Signal

Quite a weekend in marketing land, with a blast from Jason C. directed at Comscore. Sunday's feeds were alive with responses (I think this summary from TheNextWeb is a good place to start), but it boils down to this: Jason fired off an angry shot at a easy target, but…

Quite a weekend in marketing land, with a blast from Jason C. directed at Comscore. Sunday’s feeds were alive with responses (I think this summary from TheNextWeb is a good place to start), but it boils down to this: Jason fired off an angry shot at a easy target, but with a bit more nuance, one can see that this is not a simple issue. If it were as black and white as he lays it out, Comscore would have been out of business a long time ago. Measurement is not as easy as most folks think it is, and Google Analytics has trained nearly everyone to think they have more people coming to their sites than they really do. Certainly, Comscore will probably learn from this tempest and possibly change its tactics. But the company has a right to charge for its services, the market will decide if its approach makes sense. (Caveat: FM – and its partners – are Comscore customers).

Meanwhile, Comscore reported global search market trends for 2009. Money shot: The total worldwide search market boasted more than 131 billion searches conducted by people age 15 or older from home and work locations in December 2009, representing a 46-percent increase in the past year. This number represents more than 4 billion searches per day, 175 million per hour, and 29 million per minute. The U.S. represented the largest individual search market in the world with 22.7 billion searches, or approximately 17 percent of searches conducted globally. China ranked second with 13.3 billion searches…(makes one think about Google’s China decision, no?).

I found this NYT post on “controlled serendipity” worthy reading, it furthers a working thesis I have about how the social web is changing search, in particular discovery of content. While the premise is a bit shopworn (we’re all both creators and consumers of content!), it’s nevertheless true.

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Today’s Signal

Why Do People Follow (or Fan) Brands? (eMarketer) This link has been passed around a lot this morning in marketing circles, despite the fact that the insights are pretty thin (people follow brands to learn about deals and "learn about new products, features or services.") We're all eager to understand…

Why Do People Follow (or Fan) Brands? (eMarketer) This link has been passed around a lot this morning in marketing circles, despite the fact that the insights are pretty thin (people follow brands to learn about deals and “learn about new products, features or services.”) We’re all eager to understand what it is that might lead a person into “branding” themselves online. It’s certainly a new form of currency – even AdWords has products you can use to drive Twitter followers. But what are they worth, in the end? I’d love to see more substantial research on this. I think people follow brands because they feel connected to them for some reason. Same reason people engage with them in real space. And value creation creates connection. So create value for folks in the context of social media, and they’ll fan or follow you. Then keep giving them value.

Twitter Changes How It Suggests Users – This is an important step, but Twitter isn’t there yet in terms of really harnessing the power of its own ecosystem.

GOOG reports “strong” earnings, stock sags – Google is considered by nearly everyone as a bellweather company, as goes GOOG, so goes the USA. So even though the company reported a strong Q4, the topline revenue number did not crush Wall Street’s expectations. (It only beat them). Stock’s down 20 points as a result, reflecting concerns that perhaps Google can’t grow as fast as folks wish it would. Notable: Eric Schmidt says Google’s next huge growth business is display advertising. Always wondered what Google really means when it says that. Display does not equate to brand, mind you…

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Signal From Noise

Media and Marketing stories that interest me today: Kindle Will Get App Store (NYT) – I've been on about this for a while now, and finally, it seems Amazon is getting a clue. I'm guessing the impending launch of the iTablet, which certainly will have an app store (like the…

Media and Marketing stories that interest me today:

Kindle Will Get App Store (NYT) – I’ve been on about this for a while now, and finally, it seems Amazon is getting a clue. I’m guessing the impending launch of the iTablet, which certainly will have an app store (like the iPhone does), is pushing Amazon to open its doors to developers. About time. For marketers, this ideally will become a new channel into which you can extend your app-based platform ecosystem, assuming you do it in a way that adds value.

A Twitter Tracker for Jersey Shore (clickz) – What, Battelle likes Jersey Shore? Not really (though I have watched, astounded on so many levels). What I think is worth pointing out is the concept of Twitter tracking in general. Curating and adding value to conversations around brands is a skill all marketers must have going forward. Witness the first (and one of the best, I’ll submit humbly), Exectweets, and one of FM’s latest, Amex Open’s Pulse.

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A Slew of Interesting Publishing Tidbits

Worth mentioning… Videos showing traffic patterns at the NYT.com News on Gravity, seems to be an updated take on forums/groups from ex Myspace folks. Yet another reader from the publishing industry, this one called Mag+. They get this part: "Let the Web be the Web." Indeed. New AOL editorial chief…

Worth mentioning…

Videos showing traffic patterns at the NYT.com

News on Gravity, seems to be an updated take on forums/groups from ex Myspace folks.

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Briefly Noted

Tim A. – who I will interview at Web 2 next month – says the future of AOL is in content. This is a drum he's been beating for some time, and I still find it intriguing that the man responsible for advertising at Google, a famously technology-driven company, is…

Tim A. – who I will interview at Web 2 next month – says the future of AOL is in content. This is a drum he’s been beating for some time, and I still find it intriguing that the man responsible for advertising at Google, a famously technology-driven company, is now a content nut.

The Chair of the FCC has reawakened the net neutrality debate and Comcast and Larry Lessig have already weighed in. Guess who loves it, and who is not so thrilled? Larry came last year, Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast, is coming to Web 2 this year.

WPP Chief Sorrell says he cannot keep pace with the decline in ad revenues. By keeping pace, he means firing enough staff.

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