• Google To Decode Social Networks

    Google has finally decided to unlock social media for marketers, which I think is mighty nice of them. I mean, one would think that buying YouTube and signing a nearly billion dollar deal with MySpace would have got their juices going some time ago, but I am sure they had other things going on. (Now removing tongue from cheek.) It is interesting that Business Week's Heather Green is breaking news of an "influence rank" calculation being developed by Google (that Google won't comment on) in her piece "Making Social Networks Profitable,"  because, well -- it's Google.

    The article highlights ...

  • Dinosaurs And Muses: What Blocks Or Inspires Digital Maturity?
    Personally, we consume media by degrees big and small, adopting early and late. Professionally, we buy, pitch, sell, advise, analyze, predict, surmise and debate its livelihood and progress within a world of interests, both conflicted and aligned. The consumer who wields demand and influence within it; the seller who flails it thoughtlessly; the agency person who short-changes it; the market banter that focuses on medium instead of message, technology or channel over the power of quality story-telling itself. These are some of the dynamics that shape the situation. So, when growth and progress seem sluggish, obviously it is trivial to ...
  • Most Agencies & Publishers Fail To Offer Real Ways To Embrace Social Media
    If there was one trend that came on strong during this year's Advertising Week festivities, it was advertising agencies and media companies jumping on the social media bandwagon. On the agency side, you had an infinite line of digital, creative and planning agencies making social media the latest add-on to their legacy competencies and services menu. In very little time, they've become full-fledged "experts" with offerings galore. On the media side, you had a host of traditional and newer publishers with varying degrees of social components, scurrying to monetize by selling inventory in a traditional media-buy campaign framework.
  • Privacy: Self-Regulate Or Be Regulated
    While many regulators may have been willing to take a "wait and see" approach in the past about imposing new digital regulations, current thinking is that our industry can't be trusted on our own, and intervention is required. We need to act before Washington acts for us.
  • It's Ok To Have A PC Again!
    Much has been made of the Apple vs. PC ads over the last year or two -- and for good reason. The Apple ads have always been interesting and unique, and they continue to bleed the tone and image that comprises Apple and its products. Recently the Apple ads have become a bit annoying, which is the risk you run with any campaign: How do you know when to pull the plug? How to recognize when you cross over from intriguing and pervasive to repetitive and annoying? That line may have been dragged closer with the most recent Microsoft campaign, ...
  • My Reading List
    You can't keep up with everything that is going on in social media, but you can try. I have my regular sources and favorite books, some of which I mention below. My list is by no means exhaustive, and is meant to be interactive -- so please add your suggestions in the comments.
  • Quality Score As Captor: Our Willing Role In The Google Super-Equation
    As the bar rises on the virtual science of ad relevancy, we hear more reference to "life in a Quality Scoring world," managing your search media "in the kingdom of Quality Score," and other such deference to the QS. Quality Scoring and its new science have become a gating reality. It's a fact: you must play, plan, design and build to Quality Score if you hope to prevail in the search marketplace.
  • Job Seekers Beware: Staffing Pros May Do More Harm Than Good
    Staffing professionals are not inherently evil. However, I've received many unsolicited calls over the past few weeks from a few questionable ones, representing junior to mid-level job seekers. These reps had a cheap slickness to their voice, opaqueness in their disclosures, and a tendency to do little homework on me, or my company, before calling. But I'm not here to address the staffing industry. I'm here to warn job seekers about letting slimy staffing professionals, like the ones who recently contacted me, do the very important, hard work of job searching for them. Why? It just doesn't do well for ...
  • Reporting From China
    Today's column comes from China -- Hangzhou, actually -- one of my several stops in a week of meeting with most of the country's top Internet companies. I am here to better understand China's start-up and investment opportunities. I spent time in Hong Kong in the late 1990s, setting up Real Media's Asian serving and ad network business, but I have never before visited mainland China. Back then, China's online ad market was practically tiny, so we serviced it almost entirely out of Hong Kong. How things have changed. The Internet market in China today is as hot as any ...
  • A Widget by Any Other Name Is... An Application
    During the early part of this year, the buzz in online advertising was all about widgets. Widgets were everywhere; they had their own conferences, they were being talked about in almost every major client meeting and they were the cover stories on magazines and blogs alike! Widgets were almost as popular in the press as Britney Spears. Of course, all good things must come to an end -- and widget-mania was fated to fall by the wayside. Well, maybe not completely fall away -- as much as become a point of re-evaluation.
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