Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Below the Belt

It is sad when blogging comes down to threats and personally offensive posts.

Kathy Sierra of "Creating Passionate Users" discusses the impact of personal attacks.

It hurts us all.

Marginal Returns of Perfection

What to do when some says 'ideally'?

Like an upside-down car, the costs of many items on a wish list out-weigh their value. In short, they turtle. There is a strong temptation to deliver on ideals, particularly when stated by senior executives. The result is often over-budget and under-whelming.

Ideals are rarely thought through enough to be thought of as requirements. They are just that - "A conception of something in its absolute perfection."

The features in the ideal category are often not worth the development effort to deliver. It takes a strong constitution and a fair bit of politics to convince people of this.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Understanding Search

Where can I find how people find my site?

Hittail is a tool for understanding search traffic put together by the folks at Conner Communications. It is elegant in its simplicity -- it takes search strings, parses them into key words, ranks them into the head and tail, and then makes suggestions about how to improve traffic to a site.

It's a hosted site and all that is required is placing a snippet of code on a site. Free for small sites, reasonable for the rest of the world.

Very useful indeed.

Effect of Brand Name on Lead Flow

When is a good thing too much?

Licensing brand names can be good for business; but it can also be bad -- particularly in pay-per-click models. A popular brand like 'American Idol' can work wonders on impressions and clicks but if the lead funnel isn't shaped just right one ends up with a very low conversion rate. The result: extremely high cost-per-sales that risk eroding any or all margin.

Tuning lead flow for brands that attract interest is quite different than generating leads for either targeted, niche or new brands. It turns out you don't want to buy the brand name, you want to buy what the product provides and use the name as leverage. Yes, you get fewer clicks but the guys in finance like the numbers better.

Remember: the product benefit is what ultimately sells.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Marketing 101

At the sound byte level, content and advertising are the same.

Media Congnosticism

Do you believe in the effects of media?

More specifically, do you believe that different channels impact people differently and that the effects can be measured?

If yes, then 'media agnostic' isn't the right approach since that means 'without knowledge' or more generally something that can't be proven or the individual has no proof and thus ends discussion.

Defining audience targets and then building appropriate media plans for a desired experience outcome absolutely requires understanding how different channels work and interact (like radio impacting awareness among Internet users.)

What we need is more information, analysis, and proof about how things work in the real world.

Risky Assertions

What's wrong with executives having opinions?

Well, they're often wrong.

In IBM's recent paper on new media: "Navigating the media divide" there are a number of quotes from people interviewed used to illustrate the divisions in the industry.

Korean infrastructure is so fully developed ... Cell phones are used to control both online and mobile environment.

People will only use [mobile screens] if they have no other choice.


The younger crowd has a stronger and faster influence today than the same age group did 10 to 15 years ago.


Anytime you 'cross-collateralize' or converge, devices, it remains in the realm of the Gadgetiers. Portability is not key for Massive Passives.

Your business strategy depends on whether you pick option 'a' or 'b'. So here is the dilemma - a strategy depends on choices but choices are often wrong.

As with all technology introductions; what we think will happen doesn't. It neither happens as fast as we thought nor along the same trajectory, i.e. what does happen isn't what we expected at all. Just think of all the predictions:

The world needs five computers.
Cell phone penetration will not reach critical mass.
Internet will replace libraries.

Power Points
1. Stick with the facts; not opinions.
2. Experiment to understand
3. Don't issue a quote about 'won't happen'

Friday, March 02, 2007

New News Source

Where do I catch up on daily goings on?

The site Original Signals is a hyper-aggregator of all kinds of news/info sites. Well laid out and organized --- saves me the trouble from going to a variety of sources.

Interesting that is produced by the media company Stillpoint Media, a Dutch web-publisher which is based in Amsterdam.