• ONLINE SPIN
    Friends With Benes?
    Okay, get your mind out of the gutter. I'm talkin' virtual gifts here. My guess is that this audience might post negatively about them. However, I have seen many of you on Facebook, and seen that you have received virtual gifts. Maybe for your birthday or a promotion or the birth of a new child. You may be one of those who send or reciprocate anonymously. Me? I give and receive with full screen name.
  • ONLINE SPIN
    Acknowledge What You Don't Know
    Venture capitalist Mike Hirshland recently explained how he was delighted when the CEO of one of his portfolio companies said to him: "I'd love some help here, I think we are doing the right things but to be honest I don't know what I don't know." Hirshland noted that to be successful, "entrepreneurs and startup CEOs need to have the maturity and confidence to know when they are treading in foreign waters and ask for help." True, but Hirshland's advice is applicable far beyond the land of startups and entrepreneurs:
  • ONLINE SPIN
    The Customization Conundrum
    How can you go wrong with offering your customers new ways to customize their experience? Once again, a Web giant is learning that customization isn't a panacea. Earlier this week, I reviewed the challenges Yahoo will face with its new SearchMonkey program. How can Yahoo struggle so much with customization when it's such an important part of consumers' evolving media experience? To find some answers, let's contrast SearchMonkey with some examples of where customization works online.
  • ONLINE SPIN
    Are You Buzzword-Compliant?
    Over dinner the other night I had an epiphany. Since life is a series of little epiphanies that you string together to create logical associations and bring a sense of calm and order to a world that is otherwise thriving on chaos, I felt the urgent need to share with you this epiphany.
  • ONLINE SPIN
    Investors And Advertisers Playing A Dangerous Game -- Again
    I find the difference in tone between investor-focused digital media conferences and advertiser-focused digital conferences very interesting. Whereas advertiser-focused conferences revolve around the foregone conclusion of advertiser dollars migrating to the Web and the hundreds of technologies and properties that will make the migration possible, investment conferences are focused on figuring out what select few of the digital media plays will actually pan out from a business model perspective. The subject matter is surprisingly similar, but conversations end in very different places.
  • ONLINE SPIN
    Can't Stand The Heat?
    Try and call just about any agency on a Friday between Memorial Day and Labor Day and you'll witness Summer Fridays, when employees can take 1/2 days or every other Friday off. It's a great perk when your agency has been generous enough to offer it up to you. Then switch gears to the client and publisher sides of the fence. They seem to be all around... or just completely wired via their iPhone, Treos or BlackBerrys.
  • ONLINE SPIN
    Sometimes It's Best To Just Get Out Of The Way
    The AdWords Help forum, hosted on Google Groups, is one of the most valuable community resources for search advertisers, especially beginners. To keep a pulse on advertiser trends and give back to the larger search-marketing community, my team at Clickable regularly reads it and lends search-marketing advice to people in need. However, we noticed that Google's own AdWordsPros - full-time Google employees -- recently stepped up their presence, often being the first to answer questions on the forum. But this was a problem.
  • ONLINE SPIN
    Tennis And Time Off
    Yes. It's true. The next big thing for me is tennis. It was announced earlier this week that I am the new chairman and partner in The Tennis Company.A little bit surprised? You're not alone. I know that a lot of folks were expecting me to announce a venture focused on advancing online advertising technology, along the lines of my last two companies, Real Media and TACODA. While I'm certainly not ruling out a return to that space at some point, I believe that the very best opportunity out there today is to build a truly integrated global enthusiast media ...
  • ONLINE SPIN
    Why The Upfront Season Is (Still) Important
    If you believe that the upfront -- that reliable bastion of old media where the vast majority of television programming is purchased by advertisers in advance of the upcoming season -- is flawed and dated and should be sedated and put to bed, then you need to wake up to reality and understand the flaws in your own thinking.
  • ONLINE SPIN
    Why Do Marketers Love Waste?
    Last week, in "Why Web Sites And Online Marketing Suck," a conversation was started over the metrics that matter for social media. The more conversations I had about it this week, the more I felt I needed a sanity check. The myth is that the goal of all advertising is to sell product. The truth is that selling product is important, but at what price you can sell your product, and what people will do to get your product over a perfect substitute, is where the real money is.
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