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Marketing, Advertising, Media and Business -- Reshaped.

Updated: 2018-03-06T04:29:48.908-05:00


How Social Networks are Disrupting Search


Yesterday I posed the question "is knowledge gained through social networks decreasing the number of web searches?"  Are people not searching for things they would have 2 years ago because of what they've learned through social networks?  The Compete data which shows Facebook is now outnumbering Google  in web referrals is making waves this week, and there have been anecdotal stories about similar data for the past several months.  But the data doesn't show whether Google is actually losing searches to Facebook, or if Facebook's traffic is additive. There are two sets of user behaviors from which to approach this question.  The most obvious way, because it's how we've become accustomed to information retrieval on the web, is when a user asks an explicit question to their social network.  In other words, by measuring the frequency of questions posed to ones social network (Similar to the question I posed on Twitter about this very topic). Here is some interesting data on phrases that would indicate a question:From Tweet Volume:Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!From Trendistic:Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!Clearly, people have become accustomed to this behavior.  There are over 253 million tweets with a "?" according to the data above. The other way, and not as obvious, but probably more powerful, is knowledge gained serendipitously through social networks.  "If the news is important it will find me." This concept isn't new.  Here's an analysis on this very question from 2002.  But now that people are using social networking in critical mass, I think it's safe to say this knowledge transfer is reducing the need for search.  By one count, there are over 500K unique urls shared per day on Twitter alone.  That's 182.5 Million per year. This change in user behavior is critical for all types of organizations.  This is a real trend. and probably why there is a huge influx of "social media experts."  Google has been trying for years to enter into social networks and struggling to gain meaningful traction (Buzz, Wave, Orkut, Jaiku, Dodgeball ... I'd argue Reader a minor success, but Twitter is disrupting Reader).  Google is doing a decent job of integrating your social graph into web results, and has done a nice job with real time data, but this doesn't solve their issue with serendipitous knowledge.     This trend will be gradual.  It doesn't by any stretch mean the demise of Google, but I do think the hyper-growth in search revenue will slow.  It also poses an interesting question for online advertising.  I've argued for years that advertising needs to become socially relevant (I give kudos to LinkedIn and Oodle for models that are starting to tackle this).  There are others who argue online advertising is a bubble, and Google will pay for it.  Regardless, organizations need to start reinventing the way they conduct business and make "social" engrained into all parts of their organizations, people, data, products, and not just through "media."  This new transparency will change how we think about "brands" and be more about "reputation."   After all...."There are no secrets.  The networked market knows more than companies do about their own products.  And whether the news is good or bad, the tell everyone." Update:  Sebastien Provencher just wrote similar blog post with recent research by MIT and Microsoft on querying your social network.  Will digest and perhaps expand in a new post.[...]

Wkinomics: 3 Years Later


I finally got a round to reading Wikinomics. It was a best seller for months and widely discussed, and I thought it would be a valuable read. But the book offered little in the way of new ideas, and many of the themes discussed throughout seemed to be rehashed blog posts and books I read months or years before the book was published. Themes of The World is Flat abound, but why not read the original. Emergence is also discussed, ditto. Although published after Wikinomics, Clay Shirky's excellent Here Comes Everybody carries many of the same themes as Wikinomics, but does it better and more succinctly.In a way the book doesn't have time on its side. Published originally in 2006, many of its themes were still emerging (and still are). I found the supporting evidence shaky, like the use of business ideas that didn't prove out, and have since failed. I even found some inaccuracies like the insinuation that it wasn't possible to play songs on an iPod that were purchased outside of iTunes as an example of DRM (any store selling the mp3 format would work). Given that I read the 2008 reissue, I though some of these issues could have been remedied. I normally wouldn't critique a book about something like this but as a reader I felt overwhelmed with superlatives ("dramatically," "very") and made up buzzwords. The authors nearly recognize it themselves by calling out the hyperbole on page 12. According to Google Book Search there are 11 instances of "we call" followed by some made up word or phrase. "We call it" .... "wiki workplace""precompetitive knowledge commons" "platforms for participation""ideagoras" "emergent or serendipitous innovation""collaboration economy""developer ecosystems""wiki workplace" "designing for prosumption" "wikinomics"I hate sounding so down on a book that discusses many of the themes I strongly support. I think highly of the co-author Don Tapscott. I saw him speak in support of the book but got more out of his presentation than the book itself (the story of Goldcorp is illuminating). And there are bright spots, especially for those outside the web industry. Some of my most favorite parts of the book were those that focused on how collaborative models are changing offline businesses, and there were some parts of the book that made me think of new approaches to opportunities at work. There are great stories about Legos, P&G and Boeing in describing how they are using distributed workforces and are opening up their businesses.I think the book's success can be partly attributed to great timing and marketing: "Wiki-" a book that came out as Wikipedia was picking up steam, and "-nomics," to answer a question on many non-techies' minds, "why?" In a way I felt fooled, because there was little to no discussion around the economics of wikis, or how collaboration was was impacting economies at the micro or macro scale. I have The Wealth of Networks sitting on my bookshelf, and I think it will do a much better job of answering these types of questions. There are other books that excel in describing the phenomenon of Web 2.0, networked media, collaborative workforces, or whatever you want to call it. Here Comes Everybody is the best IMO, including the non-web stuff. And if you want a book that gets to the heart of the web, Cluetrain is where to start. I just started reading the 10th anniversary edition (amazing after picking it up 10 years later how much the book described the framework of how the web works at its peak, and yet how far there is to go) More on that in a future post. ;-)[...]

Google Aims at More Transparency with Election Site ... Sunlight Foundation Tie would Make Even More Compelling


Google launched a new site to follow the 2007 Australian Federal Election, reports TechCrunch. It allows users to track news for specific members of the house of representatives as well as an easy search of the parliamentary record to track what officials have said and where they stand. There is also a nice mash up of You Tube.

I can't imagine this is far from coming the the States. At least I hope so. I, and surely others, are tired of navigating through the maze of horse race politics, and campaign rhetoric to find who the best candidates are. I don't have time to closely follow politics, but I would use a site that put the information I want right at my fingertips.

What would be even more compelling is for Google to open this site up so the likes of the Sunlight Foundation who could incorporate some of the public policy projects they've developed to bring more transparency and accountability to government.

Take Visualizing Earmarks, which graphs how money is earmarked for States and organizations.

Or Louis, whose goal it is to is "to create a comprehensive, completely indexed and cross-referenced depository of federal documents from the executive and legislative branches of government."

Or OpenHouse, a project aimed at "easy ways to begin the process of more effectively using technology to further transparency."

Or OpenCongress, which tracks the background behind each bill.

Check out Sunlight for other great projects.

Obviously, Google and Sunlight could create a powerful way for citizens to easily get smart on candidates to make better informed decisions.(image)



Doc Searls has a new blog covering his efforts in VRM ... check it out.(image)



Laurence Hooper, a very talented director of products who was at AOL, is blogging. As customary for bloggers, he takes a stab a defining Web 2.0. He nails it:
If [the] primary value to a user depends on the participation of other users, it's Web 2.0.
That's the most succinct definition of web 2.0 I've seen.(image)

Really Stopping Global Warming


To me, there is no other issue as important as global warming. While terrorism, education and healthcare loom, nothing is as important to humankind's survival as reducing greenhouse emissions. The Washington Post is issuing a series covering the subject, and is by far the most informative and actionable piece I've seen on the subject. This issue will require a global effort and leadership by the United States on a scale greater than has every been accomplished.

Today's articles are fantastic and includes tangible steps on what it will take to halt global warming. There is also a nice overview of the pieces of legislation under consideration that would require reductions in greenhouse commission. And of course there is a financial cost to all of this, which is all worth it. Track the series here, along with some nice interactive maps further articulating what it will take.(image)

Checking in


Since I obviously haven't kept my word at staying at this regularly, I started a Tumblelog here. I still plan on getting this blog going again, so swing by now and then.(image)

WebSense Blog Relaunching as "neXtknode"


It's been far too long since I've posted on this blog. I took a deliberate break over a year and a half ago because of a number of amazing things happening in my personal life and a lack of clarity on what I wanted to blog about. I suppose I didn't find it worth it to figure it out.

But I started getting the itch again. One of the primary reasons I started blogging was to challenge the conventional wisdom at the time around advertising, marketing, media and business, and to contribute to the growing dialogue about the shift from traditional media to distributed media. It would be too simple to call this Web 1.0 vs. Web 2.0. It goes beyond what Web 2.0 stands for today. Regardless, the shift started happening in a meaningful way.

That brings us to today. Web 2.0 wasn't even a phrase when I started blogging in 2001. Today its thrown around widely and has many meanings. Whereas my WebSense blog stood for what made common sense on the Web, neXtknode will stand for much of what is next on the web. Some topics I want to cover:
  • Transparency
  • Distributed Media
  • Attention
  • New advertising models (like VRM)
  • Journalism
  • Politics and distributed citizens
  • Social Search
  • Distributed Social Networking
  • Collaborative technologies
  • Web Services
And in case you were wondering, neXtknode = what's next + Knowles + node. The domain will remain (only because Blogger doesn't let you change domains for blogspot plus domains - a big pain - or transfer posts to a new blog).

BTW, this is a "soft" launch. Expect many more cosmetic changes and tweaks over the next few weeks including an update to my blogroll. My goal is to blog a couple times a week, although if I can get in a few quick link posts, you can expect them more often. I'm also going to be getting rid of comments until I can figure out how to ditch all of the comment spam I've received over the past year and a half.(image)

comScore Study Dissects Blogosphere, Finds Ad Audience · MarketingVOX


One of the things missing here is an influence measure. Prediction: ComScore buys Inteliseek by end of year (perhaps Technorati, but that doesn't seem as synergistic). comScore Study Dissects Blogosphere, Finds Ad Audience · MarketingVOX

Update: Rick Bruner had a big hand in this (wait, I thought Rick worked for DoubleClick???) and has a deep background on the study (looks like some form of influence was included).(image)

November 7th, 1988 -- worst computer virus outbreak in history


Jason Kottke points to this hysterical posting on Flickr about the "World's Largest Computer Virus" in the USAToday. From 1988.

November 7th, 1988 -- worst computer virus outbreak in history,
originally uploaded by dunstanorchard.

Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management


Business 2.o recently gave a snapshot of Raytheon CEO Bill Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management. has a more complete list, but without the explanations Swanson provides in the article.

You can order a free copy via snailmail from what appears to be Raytheon's website. I placed an order.(image)

There go my Odeo


Noah Glass and Evan Williams (co-founder of Blogger) new project Odeo has launched in Beta. I haven't played around with it yet, but initially it looks like some good stuff. A new tool to discover podcasts through tagging (and not sure if also collaborative filtering).(image)



Searching for an article I read a while ago referencing Ogilvy's "I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information" quote. It all relates back to conversations and the ideal that can be achieved through online "marketing." Also, now remembering Howard Gossage as I find this ClickZ article by Jeremy Lockhorn, "The First Interactive Ad Man."
Follow-up article here
Another here
Final Here.




Burried in John Battelle's weekly recap is this gem: CraigsList/GoogleMaps mashup.(image)

Binded Clarity and Hyperlinked Noise


Steven Johnson has a thought provoking post on how he approaches writing books versus how he approaches blogging (hat tip: Kottke):
What's great [with blogging] is the remixing, the group mind, the hypertextuality, the fact-checks, the trial balloons. it's an amazing environment, but to me it's directly antagonistic to the mental state you need to make a book work as a reading experience, and not just a collection of facts and ideas. It's like trying to compose a new melody in your head while standing in the middle of a full-throated choral group. And so when I'm immersed in writing a book, I try to keep these worlds separate, even if it feels like I'm betraying the blog somewhat with my silence.

Lazy Email Users Beware


These large storage free email accounts are making me increasingly lazy. What happens when I hit 99%? Delete all my emails? hmmmmm


(image) (image)



more for me, but the communications school from back at Ithaca College has started a blog to interact with the outside world. They're also creating a digital media cirriculum for Fall 2006. Great to see!(image)

History of the Future


.... was the name of a blow-off class that turned somewhat interesting when I was a senior in college. Anyways ....

A friend of mine passed along this insightful flash movie which looks at history from the year 2014, where a new mega company, Epic, is created out of the consolidation of Amazon and Google and content distribution is taken to the max from the perspective of a socially networked, personalized, dis- and re- aggregated world with a twist of Orwellian madness.
The news wars of 2010 are unique in that no major news organization is involved.
One of the creators of the piece, Robin Sloan, has a few alternative on the alternative social networking blogs outside the circle of regulars: Large is the New Medium, Snarkmarket, The Chaser (a poynter blog which she contributes to). Mathew Thompson, the other creator, has a website here too.

:UPDATE: trascript of the source of it's inspiration (key note address by Martin Nisenholz). Also, good summary and critique in iMedia Connection. Sounds like this has been getting buzz ... maybe I missed it, or the majors are ignoring it (??).(image)



Pigskin bloggers, for all your Super Bowl blogging needs.



Kelsey Group launches a blog to cover local media with all of their analysts as contributors.

Semantic World of Tags


Since the introduction of Tags by Technorati, there has been much buzz about this new application and the step it takes towards the Semantic Web.

Tags are simply a bottom up way of categorizing websites via keywords. Whereas "Meta Tags," which are a common way for a webmaster to designate keywords to a website, are a top down approach, Tags in the social sense are bottom up and are created by all people., Flickr and others enable visitors and webmasters alike to designate and organize tags. For example, I might add "tags," "Semantic_Web," and "Meta" to this entry which would enable others who have labeled other websites with the same tags to see this entry.

While my description above doesn't do much justice to this phenomenon, Shelly Powers (via Strange Attractor) does an incredibly visual and illustrative job of describing tags. Jeremy Wagstaff has a good list of sites that use Tags as well as a good article in the Wall Street Journal.

It's Less Than 5%


which is part of what Doc Searls argues in comments on a post by copywriting extraordinare Bob Bly on what he feels is the ineffectiveness of the Cluetrain. Interesting to see what the DM'ers are saying now that they have discovered Cluetrain and blogging. Welcome to the blogosphere, Bob.

The End of Objectivity


Dan Gilmor posts a working document stating that the need for objectivity in jounrnalsim is antiquated. He makes the case for four tenets to ensure the quality and ethical standards journalism:


Malcom and James Riffing


Jason Kottke points to a Slate feature this week that has The Wisdom of Crowds' James Surowiecki and Tipping Point and Blink's Malcom Gladwell riffing on their two newest books. There's a new segment everday this week.(image)

History of Blog Marketing


This one came through my referrers and is from Google Answers. A writer wants to know the history of blogging from "everyday" bloggers and the answerer stumbled upon this humble site and links to the 2002 post of mine discussing the value of blogs and "marketing."
I think blogging and other forms of C2C communications (...) are the
future of "marketing." (...) And going back to that stat where only
10% of people trust internet advertising, I think customers are
looking for some kind of communication that is lower in the bullshit
and higher in real value. As marketers we need to facilitate this
marketing and ensure its integrity and honesty is upheld above
anything else (including -- and don't jump -- negative commentary).
C2C ... that kind of cracks me up (consumer-to-consumer) ... but hey, you get the point.