March 2, 2011 § Leave a Comment
MediaBistro’s FishbowlNY points to an article in Fast Company by Steven Rosenbaum, the author of Curation Nation, who is seeing signs of the past in the curating, blogging, sharing media world of today. In this case, Rosenbaum makes note of the early days of Time Magazine, which began life as a news digest. He writes:
“Now, 90 years later–the magazines of Time Inc. are among the elite of publishing–the top of the content creation food chain. But that wasn’t how it all began. In fact, as Luce biographer Douglas Brinkly tells the story–there were sliced-up copies of The New York Times and piles of foreign magazines everywhere around the offices. Luce’s idea, and that of his business partner, Briton Hadden, was to condense all the news busy people needed to know into one weekly read. The magazine, Luce wrote, would ‘serve the illiterate upper classes, the busy business man, the tired debutant, to prepare them at least once a week for a table conversation.’ There was not a lot of brooding about other people’s intellectual property rights.”
The next paragraph of the story offers a more colorful description from Michael Kinsley taken from an article by him in the Atlantic:
”Time was intended from the start to be what we now call ‘aggregation’ or (if we’re being hoity-toity) ‘curation.’ Although it later succumbed to bureaucratic bloat–an insane system of researchers feeding material to reporters that fed it to writers–at the beginning it was just a lot of smart-ass Yalies rewriting The New York Times. “
Happy? What’s old is new again. So much for all the angry, resentful talk from the content creators of today aimed at the content curators.
Except that as sure as history repeats itself, today’s curators all want to grow-up to be Time Magazine – or any similar vestige of the bureaucratically bloated media era. In fact, at the beginning new media had another word for it besides “bloated.” The word was, “portal.” It makes you feel bloated just to say it. Bureaucratic and portaled.
Same as it ever was. Count on it.
March 1, 2011 § Leave a Comment
The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau), the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) and the 4As (American Association of Advertising Agencies) announced this week at the IAB’s Annual Meeting that they have joined forces to finally make sense of online brand measurement. It’s clear that the broader media and marketing community recognizes that if brand advertising can’t safely follow consumers online through successful planning, buying and measurement then the opportunity represented by new media, and the chance to connect with digital generations, now and in the future, will pass them by with whatever undeterminable affect on the future of the world’s major marketers.
Not that that was ever going to happen. Even in the darkest days of the early internet when the idea of one-to-one, risk free advertising was being spooned into the hookahs of the industry was the “end of branding” a plausible reality. Brands are people. People are brands. To posit the end of branding would be to posit the end of the consumer. Not likely. Not yet.
Ergo, the announcement by the chief marketing councils that brand measurement will be brought forth online, or else, is the signal that brands and branding are off the ropes, making it likely – and just write this down, you can check back on the claim later – that the internet will usher in a new era of marketing intuition and seat-of-the-pants decision-making. Measurement, after all, is the net under the performance, not the performance. If you follow my meaning.
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.