Archive for December, 2006

Marketers find a new place to set up shop: Virtual reality

By December 8, 2006

USA TODAY recently ran a story about what the marketers are doing in Second Life . Mentions include Pontiace, Nissan, Toyota, Addidas, and Reebok. Ad agency GSD&M now has an island called Idea City. It’s a short read, but good if just to keep up with the goings-on in the online social environment. There’s also […]

USA TODAY recently ran a story about what the marketers are doing in Second Life . Mentions include Pontiace, Nissan, Toyota, Addidas, and Reebok. Ad agency GSD&M now has an island called Idea City. It’s a short read, but good if just to keep up with the goings-on in the online social environment. There’s also a photo gallery from various locations. It’s well worth a look if you haven’t yet been poking around in SL.

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Beyond the Browser: The Next Generation of Rich Internet Applications

By December 8, 2006

Will the next generation of RIAs (Rich Internet Applications) kiss the browser goodbye? As developers we know how problematic browsers can be. There are browser compatibility issues, lack of access to local files and assets, limited functionality, graphic constraints and security issues. Wouldn’t it be nice to jump out of the browser and onto the […]

Will the next generation of RIAs (Rich Internet Applications) kiss the browser goodbye? As developers we know how problematic browsers can be. There are browser compatibility issues, lack of access to local files and assets, limited functionality, graphic constraints and security issues. Wouldn’t it be nice to jump out of the browser and onto the user’s desktop? It will happen soon enough if Kevin Lynch has his way. Kevin is Adobe’s SVP & Chief Software Architect and he is busy plotting the future of the Web with an exciting project code-named Apollo, which is a new cross-OS, cross-device application runtime to extend the reach of RIAs to the desktop. With Apollo, Web developers will be able to leverage their existing skills in HTML, XML, JavaScript, AJAX, Flash or Flex to build RIAs that break free of browser and platform constraints, allowing them to run on the desktop. Please read the article and tell what you think. Is this is the wave of the future?

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Yahoo Announces Major Reorganization

By December 6, 2006

A few weeks after the infamous Peanut Butter Manifesto leaked to the press, Yahoo is announcing some major changes to their operations. ClickZ Article While the personnel changes and streamlining talk are the typical spiel that grab headlines and make investors talk, as an advertiser, I’m personally hoping we see real fundamental changes with how […]

A few weeks after the infamous Peanut Butter Manifesto leaked to the press, Yahoo is announcing some major changes to their operations.

ClickZ Article

While the personnel changes and streamlining talk are the typical spiel that grab headlines and make investors talk, as an advertiser, I’m personally hoping we see real fundamental changes with how Yahoo conducts its business on the advertising end.

Despite Google getting all the press of late, Yahoo is still a great web property. They’ve got a wide range of excellent services, the largest volume of traffic on the web and (most importantly to an advertiser) the largest base of registered users. They’re still the benchmark for what a web portal should be and with a little more integration of their newer services (Flickr, Delicious, Y360, Answers, etc) they could further solidify themselves in that regard.

But as an advertiser we’d like to see greater access to the entire Yahoo portfolio without having to deal with multiple points of contact. No more dealing with multiple contacts for PPC search ads, PPC content ads and (the biggest hurdle) CPM banner ads on the Yahoo network. Yahoo can and should be more integrated than that. I can think of multiple occasions where we would’ve loved to have done more advertising on Yahoo. But the barriers to entry (especially on banner ads) were so great that it prevented us from doing so.

Bid-based PPC and content-targeted search ads (a la Google AdSense) have democratized the online advertising model. Yahoo needs to open up its highly-desirable inventory to the new business model. If it does, I can see Yahoo instantly becoming a major component on almost every campaign we run.

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Catalogs and The Web

By December 5, 2006

With the Christmas season upon us, we are used to an overwhelming amount of store catalogs. The past couple seasons the catalogs have been a little different. They tend to be smaller, contain a few key or seasonal products and emphasize the brand more than the products. So, what does this have to do with […]

With the Christmas season upon us, we are used to an overwhelming amount of store catalogs. The past couple seasons the catalogs have been a little different. They tend to be smaller, contain a few key or seasonal products and emphasize the brand more than the products.

So, what does this have to do with the web?

Basically it’s proof that the online world has changed the marketing landscape. What retailers are realizing is to work with it, not fight it. [see article]. Instead of consuming large printing costs and producing full catalogs like we used to receive, or deciding to just get rid of the catalogs all together, they have developed a strategy that takes advantage of e-commerce and online marketing as well as printable catalogs.

So, what is my point?

Until the marketing world starts embracing online marketing and ‘New Media’, they will fall short of their full potential. The web will not replace traditional marketing, but it will force itself into a clients marketing strategy and will stop being an after thought. Instead of commercials throwing up a web address in the last two seconds, the commercial will promote an online campaign. Instead of a print ad promoting a product, it will promote the brand that the product can take advantage of on the web. The landscape is changing everyday and it is happening in ways that are right under our nose, or in the case of catalogs, right in front of our faces.

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A Tag Is a Tag Is a Tag

By December 1, 2006

I am personally a big fan of Flickr and del.icio.us, and have grown to love the use of Tags. As Director of Information Architecture, I am always trying the find the best way to organize content in a site. The idea behind tags has been mentioned as a possibility for a few of our clients. […]

I am personally a big fan of Flickr and del.icio.us, and have grown to love the use of Tags. As Director of Information Architecture, I am always trying the find the best way to organize content in a site. The idea behind tags has been mentioned as a possibility for a few of our clients.

The interesting thing about tags is it breaks down the true structure. It provides an avenue to the content by using the thought process of the user. If I want to view pictures on flickr that are about Auburn University (War Eagle), then I click on Auburn or type the word and it will provide me with a list of images from a million different users that have tagged Auburn. Furthermore, I can get a list of tags that those users have commonly used.

The down-side to that is the relevance level is low. For instance, what if Auburn is being used as a color and not a University, and what if I wanted Auburn Football pictures and not pictures of the campus? So I guess that is the catch, the content provider has to be thorough enough to provide specific tags, and the user has to type in or select those specific tags.

Overall the idea of tags is an interesting way of organizing content but it’s not the end-all solution. I think the upside outweighs the down to implement a tag solution to compliment a site’s navigation and search solutions.

Adaptive Path is a company created to strictly promote user experience, and the article linked is an interesting take on tags and explaining what they are and where they are. The author will also be posting another essay explaining the down side of tags, so if this article interests you, bookmark the page.

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User-Generated Revenue?

By December 1, 2006

A new report from In-Stat asserts that over the next several years, user-generated content will boost Website revenue, mainly from advertising. The research firm estimates the volume of views and downloads at these sites will surpass 65 billion by 2010, while revenues will exceed $850 million. The bulk of the revenues will come from advertising, […]

A new report from In-Stat asserts that over the next several years, user-generated content will boost Website revenue, mainly from advertising. The research firm estimates the volume of views and downloads at these sites will surpass 65 billion by 2010, while revenues will exceed $850 million. The bulk of the revenues will come from advertising, including banners, embedded video ads and branded channels or pages. The study found that currently YouTube has the highest market share for video, but MySpace has the most visitors. In its latest ranking of online video sites, ComScore found that over 106.5 million people, about three out of every five U.S. Internet users, streamed or downloaded video during the month of July. In total, nearly 7.2 billion videos were streamed or downloaded in the U.S., an average of 67 streams per streamer, which means that the typical video streamer viewed more than two streams per day. Yahoo! ranked as the top online video-viewing site, followed closely by MySpace. Fast-rising YouTube ran third, trailed by Time Warner and Microsoft sites. In a tracking study also conducted this summer, Nielsen//NetRatings found that UGC sites accounted for five of the top 10 fastest-growing Web brands.

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Google. It’s all about the search (or 78% anyway)

By December 1, 2006

While Google has been working feverishly ever since it’s IPO to expand its line of products and services, this Hitwise data shows that almost 80% of Google’s traffic is still focused on search. Google sub-properties such as maps, gmail, news etc. still only constitute a relatively small share of Google’s overall traffic. Google’s trying to […]

While Google has been working feverishly ever since it’s IPO to expand its line of products and services, this Hitwise data shows that almost 80% of Google’s traffic is still focused on search.

Google sub-properties such as maps, gmail, news etc. still only constitute a relatively small share of Google’s overall traffic. Google’s trying to become more of a portal, but search continues to define the company’s online presence.

Still, when you factor in the marketshare growth of Google as a whole (steadily creeping up on Yahoo – also notice Yahoo’s properties are more evenly-distributed) it just goes to show the importance of search in the overall online world.

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