"Technologies can take us further than ever before, and we can do more with them than ever before, but it is always humanity that generates meaning." -Damon Horowitz "Technologies can be more and more interesting, but it is always human behavior that drives their uptake." -Kaila Colbin
Google Instant was the most dramatic consumer-facing change to the company's homepage in years. There has been a lot of chatter over whether or not this change would affect performance. Here's what we found.
On Nov. 6 I stood, along with 72,000 others, and screamed, then stared in disbelief as a once-in-a-generation thoroughbred race horse named Zenyatta attempted to have her greatness realized. Zenyatta, a six-year-old mare, came to the hallowed Churchill Downs for the 2010 Breeders Cup, the de facto All Star races to determine the best of the best, in horse racing. Never before in her previous 19 starts had the massive horse tasted defeat, and in this, her final race, she stood a mere two minutes from the kind of greatness that surpasses the momentary and transcends generations.
At last week's Web 2.0 Summit here in San Francisco, there was a dizzying array of product announcements, number-dropping (and name-dropping, natch), and the launch of more than a few promising start-ups. Dubbed "Points of Control," the conference was its usual whirlwind of activity, but the centerpiece of the three-day event was a conversation between Kleiner Perkins' John Doerr and Union Square Ventures' Fred Wilson. While one described the current environment of venture-backed innovation as a "boom" and the other a "bubble," both agree something big is afoot.
Last week, Gord Hotchkiss wrote about the interesting testing Google is conducting in search results pages. Today, I'd like to make some speculations about this development. A friend sent me a screenshot two days ago that had no right-hand ads. I brushed it off as something weird with her settings. I did notice she had Instant turned off and it was only occurring on her searches in Chrome. My initial thought was there would be no way this would ever roll out. It would be revenue suicide in Q4... or would it?
Does anyone else notice tool overload? It seems everyone has the perfect tool to manage everything and provide optimal attribution. But as an agency or an advertiser, how do you know whom to pick and which sacrifices to make?
One of the most urgent questions that clients, agencies, and advertisers are asking is, "How do we adapt our organization for changes in the performance marketing landscape -- particularly the convergence of search, social, and display?" It's a tough question. Invariably, innovations in technology and media will happen faster than most organizations can adapt to. This creates an opportunity for the fleet of foot. The winners in either search, social, or display will be those who manage all holistically.
n last week's column, I talked about the number of changes I was seeing on the Google results page, and, in particular, how they might maintain the delicate balance between driving revenue from the page and maintaining user trust. No sooner did the digital ink dry on the column than I received an email from an old friend, Chris Knoch, formerly of Omniture and now vice president of marketing at Ready Financial. In his email, Chris included a screen shot of a rather interesting beta that Google is running.
That's the theme of the upcoming Search Insider Summit (SIS) in Park City, Utah Dec. 9-11. And it's been the theme of many of my Search Insider columns over the past three months. Well, OK, my personal theme ("Bringing Sexy Back to Search") has been a little more risqué -- but, same intended message. Today, I'd like to dive a bit deeper into this topic as a preview for the upcoming SIS, at which my role will be changing from resident buzz-tracker to master of ceremonies. As an aspiring rapper, I can't tell you how excited I am to be …
Tale the First: At TEDxChCh a few weeks ago, Sebastian Sylwan from Weta Digital (you know, the Lord of the Rings/Avatar/King Kong guys) gave a talk called New Lenses to View Reality: Art, Science and Visual Effects, on how technology is changing the way we tell -- and perceive -- stories. It's incredible, he says, how many thousands of hours go into making the technology so good that you forget it's there.