March 30th, 2009, 3 Comments »
Mathew twittered about this iMedia Connection article by Robert Moskowitz the other day, and it piqued my interest. Its thesis is that because offline advertising costs a lot more than online advertising, it must be much more valuable:
According to Michael Hirschorn, for example, writing in the January/February issue of The Atlantic magazine, “Already, most readers of The [New York] Times are consuming it online. The Web site… boasted an impressive 20 million unique users for the month of October… The print product, meanwhile, is sold to a mere million readers a day and dropping….
“The conundrum, of course, is that those 1 million print readers … are worth about five figures a page to advertisers, [and] are far more profitable than the 20 million unique Web users, who… could support only 20 percent of the [newspaper's] current staff…”
The article goes on to cite a bunch of ad executives as they opine on the differences between the two landscapes. There’s a great deal of hedging of bets, lingo and hand-wringing about the state of the industry. What’s illustrative, I think, is how little discussion there is of actual measurement.
Measure, Measure, Measure
We aggressively discourage our clients from spending a cent on advertising that they can’t measure. And I’m not talking about the invented metrics of the ad industry–”brand impression” is a synonym for “might have vaguely glanced at your billboard on the subway”–but actually measuring actions that potential customers may take. This limits their offline advertising options, but if you can’t measure outcomes, why throw money at it?
I was holding forth on this measuring theme at a little brainstorming session for Hollyhock, an extraordinary retreat centre on Cortes Island. It’s the answer I always give to busy marketers who say “I’m already swamped, how do I do this social media marketing stuff, too?” I tell them that they don’t necessarily have to. They just need to analyze the value of all the work they do, add social media stuff to the mix, and see what’s most valuable. If your billboards outperform your Twitter account, then stick with what works.
Speaking of advertising, I read a couple interesting posts on TechCrunch over the past couple of days about the state of the industry. First, it’s shocking to see how rapidly the newspaper industry’s revenue base has declined. The rate of newspaper advertising decline has been accelerating for the last six quarters. Likewise, that article points out that online advertising has declined slightly over 2008.
On the other hand, today’s TechCrunch article is more upbeat. It cites Interactive Advertising Bureau numbers that claim that, after a dip mid-year, online advertising numbers are recovering.
3 Comments »
January 17th, 2009, 7 Comments »
I followed a link from Beth’s blog to The Stranger’s site (somewhat unsafe for work), where Dan Savage is soliciting new definitions for the term ‘saddleback’. I scrolled down to the comments section, and spotted this:
There’s an old, silly online tradition of posting ‘First!’ (or some variation) to popular forums or blogs. This is a particularly poor execution of that practice.
I wonder where this ‘first’ business started. Slashdot, maybe?
7 Comments »
January 7th, 2009, 2 Comments »
David Armano did a lovely thing yesterday, asking people to help out a family in need. It was, as they say, an overnight success, and he’s raised nearly $15,000. There are lots of stories to tell about this worthy effort–the power of crowd-sourcing and influence, the importance of personalizing a charity appeal and so forth.
A conversation I was having with Sean Moffitt on Twitter, however, highlighted another angle. Sean remarked that David had said that the flurry of fundraising wasn’t repeatable. I’m not sure exactly what he meant by that, but I was reminded of Flowers for Al and Don, a project I was involved with about five (Good Lord, was it been that long ago?) years ago. We raised a similar amount of money through an ad hoc (even, one might say, accidental) online campaign.
But here’s the difference: David did in two days what it took us two weeks to do.
So, I see David’s project as a story of the real-time web, and the power of microblogging services like Twitter. We’re able to compress activity into a shorter time frame, and focus attention in a way that was hard to imagine in 2004.
One other interesting observation: the payment system is pretty much exactly the same. We used PayPal for Flowers for Al and Don, and the service that David’s using, ChipIn, is just a kind of widgety layer on top of PayPal. As far as I can tell (and I’m certainly no expert), we’ve really gotten nowhere with micropayments or, I don’t know, web-based accounts which might further streamline this kind of project.
David’s project reminded me that I need to wrap up my little Kiva loan project. More on that next week.
2 Comments »
June 24th, 2008, 7 Comments »
Something occurred to me the other day: I hardly ever worry about data loss on Capulet’s computers anymore. Why? Despite having no coherent backup plan, 90% of our work is safe. It lives out there, in the magic Internet cloud:
- The majority of our documents are in Google Docs.
- For other documents, we’ve probably emailed them to each other, ourselves or our clients.
- We use Gmail for email.
- We use Blinksale for invoicing, Harvest for time-tracking and Google Calendar for scheduling.
The same goes for the personal side, where 95% of our photos are in Flickr, and all of my MP3s are backed up to MP3Tunes.com. Personal email is on Gmail, too.
I’d like to claim responsibility for this distributed strategy, but it’s totally accidental. The only thing I really worry about is historical data from before, say, 2005. We’ve got an external hard drive for that, but I will eventually back it up to a remote location as well.
It’s a bit ironic that I write this post on the day that our online storage client comes out of the private beta closet.
7 Comments »
May 27th, 2008, 1 Comment »
We’re doing a bunch of ongoing marketing work for PutPlace, an Irish startup run by a former boss o’ mine. We wrote and project managed the design of their new website, which Catalyst Internet built.
Anyhow, we recently wrote a blog post designed to get a little Intarwebs attention. It’s a big list of over 40 online storage websites. It shows how much free space you can get from each service:
In the process of our research, we compiled a big spreadsheet that records, among other things, how much free storage space each service offers. We thought weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d share it with the world, in case you needed to store, like, every episode of The Simpsons online.
It looks like ADrive offers the most–50 GB of free space.
If you’re looking for spots to put stuff online, this is a good place to start. If it appeals, please feel free to StumbleUpon, Digg, Redditize or otherwise vote in favour of the post.
1 Comment »
May 15th, 2007, 2 Comments »
The folks over at Vancouver’s Elastic Path (who employ Canuck uber-fan Dave) have compiled a big page of 111 shopping cart icons from ecommerce sites:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Buy NowÃ¢â‚¬Â may be a stronger call to action than Ã¢â‚¬Å“Add to CartÃ¢â‚¬Â, but may subtly suggest the user is finished shopping or is making a commitment to purchase without time to review the order. The beauty of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Add to CartÃ¢â‚¬Â is that it is non-committal and assumes the user is still looking around.
As I observed on the associated Digg page, it’s interesting that so many of the buttons refer to shopping carts, and so few refer to baskets. After all, I’d imagine most online transactions are for one to three items that would fit in a basket. Plus, of course, people who shop with baskets are cool urbanites, while shopping carts suggest suburban normality. I know why they went with ‘shopping cart’–it’s a more common metaphor–but it’s still noteworthy.
Two other notes: I pity the poor bastard who laid that page out. And for the uninitiated, this post’s title refers to a venerable meme.
2 Comments »
May 8th, 2007, 3 Comments »
Quick question for those of you generating the online revenue. This is mostly for a client site, but also out of personal interest. What’s your experience been with BlogAds? I imagine the rate of return beats Google AdSense. Have you been happy with the ads they run? Any complaints?
3 Comments »
November 11th, 2002, Comments Off
If my company goes under, we can blame my mother. She’s discovered online Scrabble, and is currently kicking my ass. However, the net result is that the Scrabble meme has reached Cape Clear, and there are numerous games going on among my colleagues. My greatest triumph? The other day I used up all my letters and got 77 points for ERRANDS. Which, coincidentally, is an anagram for DARREN’S. Thanks Mom.
One note if you’re going to play a game. This particular online Scrabble game does not validate your words! So, be sure to check them before completing each turn. The designer does point out that this is useful if you want to play in another (Arabic-based) language.