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Gordon Hotchkiss

Member since August 2004 Contact Gordon

Meet Gordon at MediaPost Events

  • Gordon is attending OMMA Global at Advertising Week, September 27, 2010

Articles by Gordon All articles by Gordon

  • To The Graduating Class Of 2015: Don't Rely On Planning in Online Spin on 03/31/2015

    My oldest daughter is graduating from university in a few short weeks. She's planning for the future. Her mother and I, being practical parents, have instilled this need for planning in her. It's what practical people do. They make plans. Thirty-two years ago, on my own graduation date, I also made plans. According to my plan, I should now be a senior producer on a national Canadian TV drama. This is, of course, after working my way up as a production assistant, writer and possibly a director. But as German Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke said, "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy." In my case, the enemy was the vagaries of real life. Oh -- and a little thing called the Internet. In 1983, who'd have guessed that one?

  • Justine Sacco, Twitter And The End Of Irony in Online Spin on 03/23/2015

    Justine Sacco is in the news again. Not that she wants to be. She'd like nothing more than to fade from the spotlight. But today, over 15 months after she launched the tweet that just won't go away, she's still the poster child for career ruination via social media. The recent revival of Justine's story came before the release of a new book by Jon Ronson, "So You've Been Publicly Shamed."

  • Mourning Becomes Electric in Online Spin on 03/16/2015

    Last Friday was a sad day. A very dear and lifelong friend of mine, my Uncle Al, passed away. And so I did what I've done before on these occasions. I expressed my feelings by writing about it. The post went live on my blog around 10:30 in the morning. By mid-afternoon, it had been shared and posted through Facebook, Twitter and many other online channels. Many were kind enough to send comments. The family, in the midst of their grief, forwarded my post to their family and friends. Soon, there was an extended network of mourning that sought to heal each other, all through channels that didn't exist just a few years ago. Mourning had moved online.

  • How Activation Works In An Absolute-Value Market  in Online Spin on 03/10/2015

    As I discussed last week, if I mention a brand to you -- like Nike, for instance -- your brain immediately pulls back your own interpretation of the brand. What has happened, in a split second, is that the activation of that one node -- let's call it the Nike node -- triggers the activation of several related nodes in your brain, which is quickly assembled into a representation of the brand Nike. This is called spreading activation.

  • The Spreading Activation Model Of Advertising  in Online Spin on 03/03/2015

    "Beatle." I have just primed you. Before you even finished reading the word above, you had things popping into your mind. Perhaps it was a mental image of an individual Beatle: either John, Paul, George or Ringo. Perhaps it was a snippet of song. Perhaps it was grainy black-and-white footage of the group's first Ed Sullivan show appearance. But as the concept "Beatle" entered your working memory, your brain was hard at work retrieving what you believed were relevant concepts from your long-term memory. (By the way, if your reaction was "What's a Beatle?" -- substitute "Imagine Dragons.")

  • Consumption In Context in Online Spin on 02/23/2015

    It was interesting watching my family watch the Oscars Sunday night. Given that I'm the father of two Millennials, who have paired with their own respective Millennials, you can bet that it was a multiscreen affair. But to be fair, they weren't the only ones splitting their attention among the TV and various mobile devices. I was also screen-hopping.

  • Are We Guilty Of 'Numbed' Marketing? in Online Spin on 02/16/2015

    A few years ago, I was moderating a panel on mobile advertising. The room was full of marketers. One audience member lamented, "Why don't the carriers just share the subscriber information? They know addresses, family status, credit history, demographics -- they have all that information. Then we could really pinpoint our market." I had to jump in. I asked this room full of marketers to indicate who would like to have access to that information by raising their hand. The entire room answered in the affirmative. Then I added a twist. "OK, everyone in this room has a mobile phone. Who, as subscribers, would want your carrier sharing that information with anyone who wanted to target you? Keep your hands up." Hands wavered. You could almost hear the switch clicking in their brains. Every hand slowly went down.

  • Can A Public Company Keep A Start-Up Attitude?  in Online Spin on 02/10/2015

    Google is possibly the most interesting company in the world right now. But being interesting does not necessarily equate with being successful. And therein lies the rub.

  • The Trouble With Trying To Stand On The Shoulders of Giants in Online Spin on 02/03/2015

    It's long been thought that academia provides a refuge from the sordid world of business. But when a Nobel Prize-winning academic says that if he had to do it all over again, he wouldn't publish, you know something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Laureate Peter Higgs (the physicist of Higgs boson fame) told The Guardian: "Today I wouldn't get an academic job. It's as simple as that. I don't think I would be regarded as productive enough."

  • Why More Connectivity Is Not Just More, But Different in Online Spin on 01/26/2015

    At the World Economic Forum, Google's Eric Schmidt is predicting that the Internet will disappear. I agree. I've always said that search will go under the hood, changing from a destination to a utility. Not that Mr. Schmidt or the Davos crew needs my validation. My invitation seems to have gotten lost in the mail.

Comments by Gordon All comments by Gordon

  • Consumption In Context by Gord Hotchkiss (Online Spin on 02/23/2015)

    Actually Terry, there are brain studies about multi-tasking and it's a myth. We don't multi-task - we task switch. But we've always done that. There's nothing new here. It's just that it's different than how we watched TV in our childhood. Also..10% usage of the brain? Also a myth.

  • Farewell, Search Insider -- It's Been Fun! by Gord Hotchkiss (Search Insider on 01/07/2015)

    Thanks all for you comments and best wishes. Really..this is a bigger change for Mediapost than for me. I intend on doing what I've always done..just with a different masthead at the top.

  • The Sorry State Of Online Publishing by Gord Hotchkiss (Search Insider on 12/17/2014)

    I think the problem in publishing is a Schumpeterian Gale of Creative Destruction. Ken..and other publishers...I feel your pain. I suspect the reality of publishing will be very different in the next decade. The paradigm of ad supported media is not sustainable any more, and the answers will be found on the frontiers, not in the middle where old models are trying to hold on. We know that shouting louder and more often doesn't seem to be working.

  • The Unintended Consequences Of Technology by Gord Hotchkiss (Search Insider on 11/06/2014)

    And James...I have said in the past that every marketer should read Rogers' book. I learned more from it than any "marketing" book I've ever read.

  • The Unintended Consequences Of Technology by Gord Hotchkiss (Search Insider on 11/06/2014)

    Good points John. There are societal complexities and nuances that we/I shouldn't be attempting to label or judge.

  • Why SEO Never Lived Up To Its Potential by Gord Hotchkiss (Search Insider on 10/23/2014)

    Good point Scott. I feel a follow up column coming on!

  • The Unstoppable Growth Of Programmatic Is Going To Kill Jobs by Maarten Albarda (Online Spin on 10/20/2014)

    Hey Maarteen...when you are ready to rant about can follow up where I left off:

  • Are Our Brains Trading Breadth for Depth? by Gord Hotchkiss (Search Insider on 06/26/2014)

    Paula..did we really learn the times table..or just memorize them? I'm sure our generation took our own short cuts (I remember calculators being banned in the classroom for Math). But I agree with you that curiosity about "how" and "why" is the difference and that's actually the topic for next week's column.

  • When Are Crowds Not So Wise? by Gord Hotchkiss (Search Insider on 06/12/2014)

    Pete - I think the distinction is between decisions and tasks. As a person who has served on many committees, execution by a group almost always is less efficient than execution by an individual. The study is not about tasks, but decisions.

  • Can Microsoft Really 'Bing It On' Against Google Search? by Ryan DeShazer (Search Insider on 02/05/2014)

    Ryan..thanks for the shout out. Context shifts always provide an opportunity for habit breaking. So yes, the Web of Things could definitely shake things up. I am concerned about the user impact of more advertising on the desktop Bing experience, however. As you point out, what's good for advertisers is almost never good for consumers/users. Google has a better track record for successfully balancing the two, but we'll see what the future holds.

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