multi-channel marketing and bad infographics

April 6th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink

we all like infographics, because they make data and information value central, and then use visual storytelling rather than fancy words. in this act of replacing word compositions, with incredibly stronger visual compositions, we perform two actions:

  1. reduce the message to it’s core. this is always a combination of ‘extended puncline’ and ‘the context’.
  2. amplify the core

as infographics are becoming massively popular, the consequences of performing the first action badly are becoming a problem. it usually happens when the creator of the infographic is biased. here’s a very simple and benign case:

Blogging Better Than Facebook? Why Not BOTH? [Infographic]

I find that a lot of people involved with social media tend to get into discussions about which platform is better with the ultimate goal of eliminating of one platforms they are discussing. This happens often with the Facebook and Google+ debate, with the goal of eliminating Facebook and totally defecting to Google+ or vice versa.

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via: anisesmithmarketing.com

good marketing is always multi-channel, with the message adapted to specifics of each channel. yes, you should always do Facebook and Blogging, and probably a few others as well.

the original author of the infographic has noble goal though – to her the blog is the hub of your online life, a point I very much agree with, and a great argument to invest in it. but saying no to all other channels is just madness.

Disconnect: another service to protect our privacy?

March 27th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink

A heart-shaped cookie
A heart-shaped cookie

A heart-shaped cookie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Privacy is a funny thing.

Online, we want search engines to show us best possible results, Facebook to amuse us with most intriguing stories from our friends, and yet we are afraid that they are ‘stealing’ our data with cookies.

I guess this disconnect of expectations happens because we are intimately convinced, that the world revolves around us, and that the ‘most relevant result’ has nothing to do with me as an individual, so why would they possibly need MY data, don’t they have enough from everyone else already?

Disconnect: Ex-Googlers raise funding to stop Google, Facebook & Co from tracking your data

TechCrunch :: In the age of endless sharing, super cookies, social search results, and that ever-present social graph, it’s comforting to know that there are some who are still prioritizing privacy. (And a few of them are former Googlers no less!

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via: www.nextlevelofnews.com

Supposedly in Netherlands, people don’t use shades on windows, because “windows are for looking out, not in”, and in NY, it’s sometimes considered rude to use shades that prevent neighbors use their binoculars.

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Bicoastal Approach to Engineering

March 20th, 2012 § 2 comments § permalink

thumb|right|230px|Comparison photo; June 2004 ...
thumb|right|230px|Comparison photo; June 2004 ...

Image via Wikipedia

this is incredibly important – how to keep two parts of remote organization connected:

Foursquare Tries a Bicoastal Approach to Engineering

Some companies are almost entirely virtual, like blog host Automattic. Others grow through acquisitions, like what Groupon is doing in the Bay Area – piecing together a tech team thousands of miles from its Chicago headquarters. Another strategy is to build strategic outposts, like Facebook’s new engineering office in New York.

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via: allthingsd.com

we are doing many things in a similar way over at Zemanta.

Since our Ljubljana office is much larger than NY one, we only have a big screen in Ljubljana, but as soon as we set that up, everybody started using it for cross-ocean meeting. I’m actually thinking we will need a second one soon. we’ve learned that sound quality is much more important than anything though.

ever since our NY office was just one person, I insisted on making weekly check-in meetings with everyone. it has grown to be a well-self-moderated debrief from both sides. it turned out that on every meeting several people are dialing in, because they are traveling, sick, or just work remotely. point being: don’t make it an excuse for not having a meeting, embrace the remoteness.

and travel – we realized that US and EU cultures are so much different, that it’s essential for everyone to get to know the other. so we do 1 or 2 all-company weeks per year, where everyone from US comes to work from Ljubljana (and more than just work of course). at the same time, there is almost always someone of the developers working from NY office, just for the kicks of it.

and despite all these efforts, quite often a mediation is required, because people assume the other person is thinking about something else.

you might recall the Sunscreen verse: “Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle” – well, it’s true for the people you work with, not just friends.

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Business Advice: Your Next Board Member Should Be A Woman

March 1st, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink

originally uploaded on de.wikipedia by User:MO...
originally uploaded on de.wikipedia by User:MO...

Image via Wikipedia

Even after 50 years of intensive fights, this gender inequality persists, almost everywhere in the World.

I believe it still exists for two reasons:

  1. the current, male-dominated, business environment is ‘good enough’ to provide society with whatever it needs. so the amount of energy going into changing it is limited.
  2. there is a qualitative difference in how man interact with other man vs. women, specially at the age in which most startup founders are these days.
because of these two ‘facts’, some would say, is it really a ‘problem’. i’d say it’s evidently out-of-balance, but to figure out what exactly is broken here, we have to dig deeper.

Why Your Next Board Member Should Be A Woman

Good questions have been asked lately of tech companies without gender diversity on their boards of directors.

[...]

If you’re not aware, studies also show companies with gender diversity at the top drive better financial performance on multiple measures – for example, 36% better stock price growth and 46% better return on equity. And, studies show the more women, the better the results.

[...]

Mike Maroone, AutoNation’s President and COO explained, “We looked at our board [and realized] it’s male dominated, while women make over 50% of the purchasing decisions in our business. And, the travel, music and news industries have been transformed by digital. We’re trying to transform the auto business and connect with the thinking of the digital generation, and we need this level of insight at the board level.”

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via: techcrunch.com

Lathe operator machining parts for transport p...

Image via Wikipedia

What might significantly change the way businessman look at gender inequality, and possibly classify it as a problem worth solving, is exactly this kind of research – pragmatic, practical, common sense even. if we are not employing women, we are by definition missing opportunities.

if you are in the business of making money, you are potentially vulnerable to competitors who understand the other half of the market better.

if you are in the business of changing the world, you have no chance to actually do so on your own.

now, my wife did an observation, that given how male-dominant the business is, any woman to actually make it to the top had to be 100x better than any man, so it’s no surprise that those companies are doing better.

wouldn’t it be great if the fate of the economy didn’t rely entirely on statistical luck?

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how big is twitter vs the web

February 23rd, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink

website ideas
website ideas

website ideas (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

today Twitter will get it’s 500Mth user, and that facebook is way past that for a year already.

it’s fascinating in a way, that almost 10% of the population of the world is tweeting, but then i noticed another information: WordPress now powers over 60 million blogs, 16% of all websites. (business.financialpost.com)

this is amazing % for one single cms, but what really surprised me, is that it seems there is really just 400M websites out there in the web. i kind of assumed there has to be more than that.

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ceo must read: bill gates’s memo from ’95

February 22nd, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

 

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

Image via Wikipedia

this is really amazing document. at first i meant to quote bits and pieces, but there’s just too many. so i will rather summarize high level takeaways without specific connections to each other:

  1. to paraphrase my great teacher: “learn enough strategy to be able to lead like this” – specially first time founders/ceos face great challenges trying to figure out what ‘leading’ and ‘strategy’ really mean, and separating the operational hat from the insightful one. in this letter, we can see just how much is possible to infere from a handfull of data – internet was 3 years old at that point, and Bill was able to predict accurately next 15. Strive to become a business thinker like him.
  2. reading this letter feels like we have not entirely left the era it describes. IP telephony still doesn’t work as good as landlines, streaming media is slowly becoming standardized, 3d is hoping to have a comeback, cross-web collaboration is still painful. i’d say we are in the final years of the first version of the internet.
  3. mobile and social currently seem to be in the same explosive growth stage as internet was back then. if they actually prove to be as transformative for the society as the web was, i’m not very optimistic. as Bill noted in this memo, internet was built heavily on open values. the mobile is being built based on values of telcos and apple, and social networking is taking us back to the primeval societies, where everyone knows everything about everyone else. next era might bring de-urbanization of our minds.
  4. i love this site – Letters of note – absolutely best way to learn is by observing great people doing / explaining what they’ve learned.
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how scoble is wrong in calling open web dead.

February 20th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink

Google toilet
Google toilet

Image via Wikipedia

superb analysis, and best piece in the end:

Chris Saad | Paying Attention: Personal Blog of Chris Saad

To put it another way, the reason Google was possible was because the open web was crawl-able - for free – with no biz dev deal. The reason FB was possible was because the open web allowed any site to spring up and do what it wanted to do. Today, too much of our data is locked up in closed repositories that can and must be cracked open. Google’s moves to exclude other socnets (besides G+) from their search results until they had free and clear access to them might be inconvenient for users in the short term, but, as a strategic forcing function, is in the best interest of the open web long term.

blog.areyoupayingattention.com

… in essence, everybody is free to “just use” proprietary parts of the web, but don’t go out preaching the death of openness that makes proprietary possible. no need to do so, and it can have lasting damage.

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Blogging Trends for 2012: What You Need to Know

February 13th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink

Watching and Blogging
Watching and Blogging

Image via Wikipedia

It’s great to hear Technorati sees the same trends as we do :)

brands’ interest continues to grow in the blogosphere, more bloggers are making their living by blogging than ever, and bloggers write more than ever.

Blogging Trends for 2012: What You Need to Know

In this video I interview Shani Higgins, CEO of Technorati. Shani shares information on the business of blogging and current blogging trends. Discover how much money bloggers make and learn more about the opportunities brands now offer bloggers. Be sure to check out the takeaways below after you watch the video.

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via: www.socialmediaexaminer.com

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Why A Blogger Needs To Be Crazy

February 12th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink

English: A spiky Explosion!
English: A spiky Explosion!

Image via Wikipedia

I would actually expand on this point, to claim that ‘to achieve anything, one has to be crazy’. i think we should all start fighting to redefine the word ‘crazy’, clean it of it’s bad connotations, more towards the proposed meaning from this article: ‘extremely enthusiastic’.

Why A Blogger Needs To Be Crazy

Are you a crazy blogger (do you think I am crazing for writing this blog post)? Before we start, let me ask you some questions: What comes to your mind when you think the word crazy? Why? Take a piece of paper and write it down. Do not, I repeat, Do not scroll down to read more. Just answer the question first. Are you done?

via: weblogbetter.com

now, historically, the word crazy comes from ‘cracking pot’, something that is about to fall apart. it’s fascinating how our generation is making ‘explosions’ a good thing. instead of thinking of solid objects, nicely polished, we prefer energy, as free and intertwining as possible. we are fascinated by Emergence of higher-order patterns.

we are becoming ants.

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Google May Be Replacing Content as King

February 8th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink

ANTARCTICA - FEBRUARY 15:  The Koru Memorial s...
ANTARCTICA - FEBRUARY 15:  The Koru Memorial s...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Google May Be Replacing Content as King

 

While great content will always get you noticed, I have come to the somewhat obvious conclusion that “Content is NOT King, Google is King” on the web. This is a slightly different mindset when it comes to getting traffic and marketing on the net.

via: logicpath.com

I disagree with this article’s intention – the guys frustration is that obsolete sites will suffer even if they have good content – well, guess what, good content is King, but if you put it in a wooden box and ship it to Antarctica, it won’t do much for you either.

If you have good content, you should care about it and make sure it get’s treated well – with modern CMS like WordPress at least, with space to breathe, rather than hidden behind tons of advertising.

Content is King, because people want content. Google might be the first minister, but he is a mere mortal.

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