True story. The first time I ever presented any of my thinking in a public venue was at Google's Headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. It was a panel discussion on the "Brand Lift of Search," and the audience was comprised of senior marketing teams from Fortune-class B2B corporations. As if that weren't intimidating enough for a first-timer, I had to speak right after Bill Barnes from Enquiro who was there presenting data that his firm uncovered on the brand impact of search. A study that had been commissioned by Google! I was in over my head. Fortunately, I survived.
Virtuous cycles are anomalies. They fight the universal law of entropy, and for that reason alone, they are worth investigation. Rather than a gradual slide toward dissipation and equilibrium, virtuous cycles build upon themselves, yielding self-sustaining returns cycle after cycle.
In honor of the 2012 games in London, I thought it would be fun to compare the various Olympic sports to relevant search marketing themes.
Look at any graphic representation of a social network, and you will see a somewhat globular cluster of nodes -- and, at the center, you'll find the subject or owner of the network. The density of the nodes will be greater near the center, but there will be small clusters of interconnected nodes that will appear throughout the map. This pattern, the visual interpretation of human connection, looks much the same now as it did for tribal humans 100,000 years ago. But there is one important difference. Then, you probably only had one network you belonged to, which was defined …
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