Archive for June, 2008

3G iPhone, my data in the cloud, and a good set of headphones is all I need.

I had to send my laptop to the apple pro tech support to replace a dying hard drive and i wasn’t prepared for the 24-48 hr wait. Apple is not truly ready for prime time with their business support. 

So I work today with an iphone and a very old laptop.  Got me thinking about how close I am to being ready to ditch my laptop.  What I’d need: 

– Access to my files.  Put them in the cloud (securely of course) and let me get them when I need them. 

– More speed up/down stream. 3G may not be it but it will be a huge improvement. 

– A set of headphones for my iphone that last more than 3 weeks. 

written on my iphone, please excuse typos

Google Ad Planner – A Fork in the Road for Google?

Frequent commenter on John Battelle’s SearchBlog JG posted a very interesting comment in response to John’s post on Google’s new ad planner product announcement.

Google writes (in their “Ten Things” corporate philosophy): “Google firmly believes that ads can provide useful information if, and only if, they are relevant to what you wish to find.

I know I’ve brought this issue up a few times before. But now that Google has finally launched it, am I still the only person that sees a conflict here?


Goodbye George

I couldn’t sleep last night and discovered a George Carlin stand-up marathon on HBO.  Great stuff.  Almost every morning, I listen to a podcast of the NPR show Fresh Air.  Today’s selected program: a tribute to George Carlin with an hour of interviews and clips.

I’ve been a fan, seen him live, and was very saddened when I heard about his death.  After this 12 hour Carlin immersion, I’m seeing this loss more clearly.

You’ll be missed George.

Experience the Olympics through Facebook

Really proud to be involved with Federated Media Author Citizen Sports on the Olympic application.  The application allows fans from almost every participating nation to follow that national team, read blog posts from Olympic athletes, and read and share news stories about the upcoming Olympics.
You can join the Team USA application or select another country or join as a fan of another country here.

What happens when it is the leader who does not want to change?

Valeria Maltoni has an interesting post here exploring why there is more talk about change than there is true change.

I’ve called this blog continuous beta because the blog, my career, and the industry I work in seem to be perpetually reinventing itself with the next version of _________ (insert word here)  around the bend.  It is exciting and I love it but it is too easy to talk about change.  Much harder to really effect change.

Commodities and the Issue with Ad Networks

Great post by Michael Cohn on commodities here. Quoting Michael here:

A commodity, in the business sense, has two basic characteristics:

a) People want it.

b) They don’t want it specifically.

The setting that inspired Cohn’s post on commodities was the CM Summit Conference held in New York last week, where Wenda Harris Millard continued her comments begun at the IAB conference in February on publishers treating their inventory like so many pork bellies.

If publishers are selling their inventory like pork bellies they are doing it in the name of convenience. We all love convenience. At least most people do. I’m busy and so are you. Often people must sacrifice something for convenience. That soda costs more at the gas station than it does at the grocery store. That bank machine charges $1.50 to take YOUR money out but it is here and my bank is 10 minutes out of the way.

I get the fact that ad agencies and marketers can’t/won’t 1000s of web properties. But, does that mean that ad impressions are interchangeable? Of course not! Still I find so many people refreshed and surprised when they first learn that Federated Media (where I work) represents 150+ sites but sells them on a site by site basis.

There is a point however where convenience is trumped by other considerations. A friend once told me about the $30 a month he was giving to some random bank for transaction fees. I stopped buying meat at my local super market after throwing away numerous cuts of meat because they had spoiled.

Advertisers are doing the same. Of course they can’t work with 1000s of publishers and they need to get reach against their target. But must they abandon the selection process over where their ads live to make this happen?

The Entrepreneurs Dilemma

From The Yahoo/Microsoft/Google saga consumes the blogosphere. When the NY Times weighs in with the kind of opinion piece Joe Nocera wrote this weekend, it indicates a whole new volume level. An excerpt:

Jerry, you’re a billionaire because people all over the world bought your stock, and trusted you to do right by them. That’s the compact you make when you take a company public: you get to be really rich, but in return, you have an obligation to do everything you can to ensure that shareholders get a healthy return on their investment. It doesn’t matter that you would like Yahoo to remain independent, or that you can’t stand Microsoft. Your feelings aren’t supposed to get in the way of your fiduciary duty.

A takeover by Microsoft was your last, best hope of rewarding your long-suffering shareholders. Now that opportunity is gone. It says here Mr. Icahn is not going to go as gently into the night as Mr. Ballmer did — and if I were a betting man, I would be taking odds that your days as Yahoo’s C.E.O. are numbered.

I am far from a serial entrepreneur but I have been on both sides of the stick (although in a much smaller and less public way thankfully.) I have been part of the acquired company and, later, I’ve bought companies and integrated them “into the fold.” Jerry Yang’s passion for keeping Yahoo out of Microsoft’s hands is very consistent with the entrepreneurs I’ve worked with in the past.

Here is the Dilemma: If you build something of worth, you will almost certainly require additional funds to make that happen. Once that happens it is no longer yours. If you build something and it isn’t taking off, no one (eventually including you) wants to be a part of it.

I sympathize for Jerry. That said, given the deep seated feelings he has for “his” Yahoo he probably should of ridden off into the sunset a while ago.

The Conversation Goes Micro

People talking about how companies are using Twitter for good.  Dell sending deals.  10 Downing Street Tweeting Official Government PR, etc.  I’ve seen all sorts of negative comments come across on Twitter too.  Thus far, my favorite comes from Pete Cashmore from Mashable.

Quotes from the Conversational Marketing Summit NYC

How to take advantage of the social web – “Let one hundred flowers bloom” – Andy Markowitz, Kraft Foods summarizing from a talk by Guy Kawasaki

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” – Hulu CEO Jason Kilar (also a pretty widely quoted saying with no attribution.)

“Like the movie Soylent Green, the social web is made of people!” – Steve Rubel

“I’m so tired of Twitter.  I’m looking for something new.”  Unknown.  Heard this in the hall and it stuck in my mind.

“Too many advertisers buy impressions instead of making impressions.”  Matt Freeman of GoFish.

“I don’t know about all this technical jargon” – Rich Silverstein when asked in the hall about RSS.

“Find a good partner” – Andy Lark when talking about things he’s learned about social media.

Was really proud to be a part of the CM Summit and the entire Federated Media team that made it happen.  The summit content was strong and as Michael Cohn pointed out the speakers really discussed the issue at hand rather than pitching vaguely related ideas that related to their product.  The best content happened in the hallway.  Lots of passionate conversations occurring all around the sessions and I have already seen a number of these conversations continue past the summit.

Great week.  Can’t wait for the next one in San Fran this fall… Interested in speaking or attending, click here.

iphone 2.0 – I need it

Been so busy I really just glanced at the news and heard tidbits.  Then I watched this video this morning….