February 17, 2011 § Leave a comment
Twitter has produced an instructional video for advertisers to help them chart its waters and, presumably, lead them to spend more money on the social network. The news and a link to the 40 minute video were shared by Peter Kafka in his MediaMemo at All Things Digital.
I won’t be watching the video. But Kafka reports that at the end Twitter producers warn advertisers they may be subject to negative feedback from users objecting to the commercialization. Don’t panic, they reportedly say: this segment of the population is “an extremely marginal percentage of the total.”
Undoubtedly true. But don’t be fooled, because it is probably comparable to the extremely marginal percentage of total Twitter users that they estimate will be engaged with the advertising, which is only one to three percent, according to Kafka’s story.
Thus, Twitter’s teaching video explains everything, successfully describing the state of advertising play online. It is isolated on the fringes – an extremely marginal group of advertising performance metrics making the case against an extremely marginal group of antagonists, by shooting over the heads of a vast, commercially unengaged population of users.
To embrace the comfort offered by Twitter is to accept the fact that the marginal groups just don’t make much of a difference.
February 16, 2011 § Leave a comment
It seems like so long ago that Rupert Murdoch was out there stumping for paywalls and attracting the derision of the New Media proletariat. Then came iPad, which deflected the conversation away from the issue of content and towards the issue of apps. Now, today, the buzz is about Apple’s 30% cut on publisher subscription prices within its app and Google’s new One Pass paid content system.
February 3, 2011 § Leave a comment
Bloomberg reported that Google received 75,000 job applications from around the world during the last week of January, a new record for the company that gives it a significant head start on its plans to hire 6,000 new employees this year.
Many of them may have been attracted by the chance to work on a car that will drive by itself. According to the Bloomberg piece, Google’s Senior Vice President of Engineering and Research, Alan Eustace, blogged:
“We’ll hire as many smart, creative people as we can to tackle some of the toughest challenges in computer science: like building a Web-based operating system from scratch, instantly searching an index of more than 100 million gigabytes and even developing cars that drive themselves.”
A Google car? It is at least the sort of remark that should not be allowed to slip through the cracks. Google may insist that it is a technology company, but it makes most of its money selling ads, on the web, based on search results. In which case, which of these things is not like the other?
1. Web-based operating system
2. Searchable index of more than 100 million gigabytes
3. Cars that drive by themselves
If you said web-based operating system, don’t be boring. It is simply interesting that Google would anticipate a business development trajectory that would lead it into the self-driven automotive category. Meaning, an end game for Google Maps.
I have a friend who is a nut about smart roads and cars that drive themselves at one hundred miles an hour, inches from each other, with no traffic jams and no wrong turns. And now, instead of tolls, infrastructure will support itself with advertising. In-Car advertising to compete with the radio.
By then, hopefully, it will be time to retire.