Archive for March, 2008

JG Etc. Exclusive Interview with John Shankman Next Week

More on this here. I’m off the grid for a week but will look forward to reading the interview when I plug back in…

How Do You Stay On Top of Conversations Online?

Read Write Web has a number of suggestions here.  An excerpt:

 The truth of the matter is, like it or not, the conversations that once existed solely in the blogosphere have now moved on. People still comment, but in a lot of cases, those comments aren’t on found on the blog itself. So the question is, has the conversation become diluted among all the different services and applications? Or is it just adding layers to the original topic? And most importantly, how can you keep up?

NY State Law the End of Behavioral Advertising?

The New York State Legislature is considering a bill that would require permission before an advertising company could use personal information for ad targeting.  Hmmm.  NY Times article here.

Mediapost Coverage of the Dell/FM/Graffiti/Facebook program

Read it here.  Lots of good questions raised and a number of interesting perspectives surfacing in the comments area.  If you’re interested in learning more, you can read my previous posts on the program here and here.

Viral Video Being Co-Opted for All Sorts of Purposes

I’ve seen this video

used to make a point in three very different contexts over the past week.

1. A biking website used it as part of a campaign to promote vigilance for bikers when driving.

2. An ad creative executive referred to the video in a talk she gave discussing why seemingly obvious ideas are ignored for long periods of time at the Ogilvy and Mather’s Verge Conference. She was specifically referring to the Dove “Real Beauty” Campaign of last year.

3. Seth Godin today in this blog post.

Clearly making an impact but I still don’t know the original intent of the creators. If I’m evaluating the success/failure of this work, does the viral spread (71K streams on YouTube as I write this) factor into my assessment?

Apparently I’m Not Alone in My Confusion About the Current Financial Mess..

Great article that explains the current issues with the markets and the confusion that surrounds them. Even better, here is a guy that took a few days researching his story and discussing the topic with leading economists and he’s confused!

It has been going on for seven months now, and many people probably feel as if they should understand it. But they don’t, not really. The part about the housing crash seems simple enough. With banks whispering sweet encouragement, people bought homes they couldn’t afford, and now they are falling behind on their mortgages.

In the Wake of Bear Stearns and Everything Else…

This from Seth Godin:

 Change (and the fortunes that go with it) is almost always made during the down part of the cycle. It might not be fun, but it’s exciting. (Where do you think Google came from?) The opportunity is to find substantial opportunities (in any field) that deliver real value and have a future. Those jobs/investments/companies/ideas are undervalued right now, but not for long.

It is easier to go with the status quo when things are going well.

John Battelle: Networks Don’t Put Brand First

FM founder John Battelle has a great post here that focuses on the fascination with ad networks by the major media players chasing Google. A lot to chew on here and a really lively conversation starting in the comments section. Here is an excerpt from one of the comments:

… marketing departments are currently structured to CONTROL message, not ENTER a conversation. There will need to be a major overhaul of the MarCom structure to change this. Right now, Engagement doesn’t have an ROI, and frankly doesn’t scale on the level that they are used to. The organizations will collapse on themselves if they have to do what it takes to LISTEN as well as speak.

The first big time CMO that cracks this code and truly embraces this will be rock stars of the marketing community in the next decade. They right now are too scared about getting fired to sing more than a few bars.

FM works with marketers to create those “rock star” moments. A number of clients are doing just that. FM CRO Chas Edwards documents many of these on his blog Chasnote. A few clients (current or future) see the potential but get side tracked with the implications. They want the best of both worlds. They want a conversation and they want to CONTROL that conversation. I’ll paraphrase: “Yes, we want a conversation but we want it to be about the product and we want it to be positive. How do we get the world to talk more about our product?”

These conversations can and do happen of course but more often, a marketer will create impact and brand equity by joining a conversation about something the brand and its customers both value. If you sell dog food, support a conversation about how to keep your dog healthy. If you are marketing hotels for business people, underwrite a conversation where business people share travel tips.

Brands gain affinity by supporting the values they share with their customers. The irony is that these conversations are sustained by Google’s ability to efficiently (hell, it costs a publisher nothing) channel people to conversations of quality through its organic search results. The commercial success of Google is dictating the business strategies of the major online portals while Google draws the audience away from the portals to the more conversational sites (wikipedia, BoingBoing, Dooce, etc.)  As the audience leaves the portals, they need to pay top dollar to create networks that allow the portal to again control the inventory….

Cool projects coming from FM Team East –

Lots going on and I’d love to share with my 6 readers!

American Express OpenForum blog

Comcast Small Business Efficiency Center

Good times.

Will Spam Kill Social Networking?

I love Facebook.  Have since it opened up.  When I say this to some people they make a face and say something like – “it is so sad that people choose their computer over actually speaking to friends.” I smile and  explain that Facebook allows me to stay in contact with people that most likely would have lost touch with or only rarely stayed connected.

Here’s the thing – recently I’ve received a lot of Facebook and Linkedin Spam.  Recruiters, people I have never heard of, etc.  This is happening more frequently on Linkedin but in both environments it is becoming a problem.  If LinkedIn begins to resemble the spam situation of my hotmail account from a decade ago I will leave.  I’m guessing I’m not alone.