Things that make me go “Hmmm”
In: Fascinating7 Aug 2009
My weekly update of what’s going on in new media marketing, pulled from social bookmarking site Creativing.com:
A number of ad networks are working on display ad models where they keep the same ad on the page for a much longer duration. I like this change of focus. Publishers have been going for quantity – trying to show as many ads as possible – instead of going for quality. Literally running viewers through a more cuircuitous path than necessary, to increase impression counts. The net effect is people are exposed to a lot of messages they can’t recall, versus something they can’t forget. Hopefully this, combined with larger ad sizes, will give publishers the boost in revenues they need.
Speaking of publishers needing to monetize their traffic. This is about the merging of online and offline data. The creep factor on this is that the offline data companies like Experian have such extensive demographic information about us – like home value, credit rating, the car we drive – and the online tracking companies have a lot of behavioral data based on how we’re moving around the web and the sites we visit. Put those two together, and you have an intensely personal profile available to marketers. Bring in Facebook profile info, and you also have a lot of information about personal taste and interests. This merger is possible due to cookies, of course. In the past, tracking via the so-called 3rd party cookies has been tolerated because of it’s anonymity. They knew a lot about the sites you were visiting and the ads you responded to, but little else. But now, all of this data comes together: With your name and social security number attached. On one hand, I’ll be shocked if there isn’t a big backlash in the near future about the amount of information available to marketers. On the other hand, in a terrible economy with an already-struggling ad model, tracking is a huge factor in serving effective ads that can be sold at rates the publishers desperately need.
This story should rip through the social media community. The NY Attorney General settled a law suit with a cosmetic surgery company for posting fake product reviews online. While this should be good news for the social media marketing community at large, it does seem to open up a big can of worms. I mean, Amazon is full of fake book reviews. Yelp has a lot of suspicious restaurant reviews. In a social media world where everyone is a brand with the potentail to be a pitchman, this should get interesting, and certainly complicated from a legal standpoint. But this really underscores the power of social media in general. When people lost trust in corporations, they trusted other humans, even if they didn’t know them. With that relationship in question, the most reliable and trustworthy product information they’ll have will be their friends and their network.
Is there a difference between a company paying an unknown individual to write a positive review and a company paying a well-known individual to write a positive review? In this case, I think there is. For one, you have full-disclosure with the Izea posts. And someone who’s writing career is based on credibility does have to maintain certain standards. Some people see this as a pact with the devil, but with bloggers needing to pay the rent just like their newspaper counterparts, I’m sure this will only increase in popularity.
A good explanation from a range of perspectives on the impact of cloud computing. While the overarching tone is opportunity, it’s lace with dire warnings about pending changes in business.
The new section on YouTube is titled “News Near You”, and it serves up videos from your area, based on your IP address. They’re getting some local TV stations to participate, and doing a rev share deal with them on ad sales. But of course, with citizen journalism getting easier and easier – the new iPhone video cam actually has a ‘send to YouTube’ button to post in 1 click – some news organizations are understandably concerned. If news scrapes, blogs, and RSS did in newspapers, how different is this as a replacement for local news on TV? And I’d say that video is a more easily replaced form or reportage than articles.
You’ve probably seen various forms of AR, or augmented reality, where you print out a piece of paper and hold it up to your computer camera and voila, something that looks like a hologram comes into view on your computer screen. Overall, this seemed to work very well for them. But I think there’s a big first mover advantage to new technologies like this. After the first wave, expect response rates to drop, and certainly the press will stop covering them.
There’s no shortage of examples of places you can insert a headshot of yourself, and suddenly you’re a pirate. Or a Transformer. Or a Simpson. Etc. Etc. This is taking that idea and applying it to products as a way of reviewing them. At first glance, this looks pretty cheesey. But don’t underestimate people’s interest in seeing themselves within the context of a new product they’re considering purchasing. Even if it’s very crude.
A good reminder that just because you can do things quickly in new media doesn’t mean you should.
A photography site is a challenge for navigation, because it’s a bit hard to describe a photographer’s style, especially in the few words that navigation requires. So in this case, they simply used photos. A nice way of using a standard like navigation in a fresh way that enhances the experience.
Welcome. I'm a digital media strategist, creative director and entrepreneur. I like to explore various digital media platforms, and this is one of my blog outlets. I also write "Creativing", a weekly update on the latest developments in content marketing and online creativity, posted every Thursday at Creativing and iMedia. If you'd like a more ongoing stream of my thoughts, work or otherwise, feel free to connect with me on Facebook. My profile widget is below. Thanks.
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