Why Brands are Re-Thinking Facebook

exit sign dim offset

Face it — Facebook has led marketers down the primrose path. They taught us about and addicted us to free earned media. They encouraged us to spend money to attract and engage millions of followers. They ran us through the “like” gates. And now they’ve tightly restricted access to the audiences we created and extorted us by creating a pay-for-play platform. In short, marketers now have to pay to reach the audiences we attracted to the Facebook in the first place.    Read More →

4 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2014

Typewriter 2014It’s the end of the year, and every pundit — yours truly included — has an open opportunity to predict the future. For those of us in Adland, the coming year will be filled with new opportunities and challenges. Here are four critical factors that will drive innovations, insights, and interactions for brands, advertisers, and marketers in 2014.

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It Takes More Than Buzzwords to be an Expert

The other day I took part in a hysterical exchange on Facebook: After watching AMC’s The Pitch (think Mad Men meets reality TV), my friend Deb Gabor, who heads up Austin-based consulting shop Sol Marketing Concepts, posted that she couldn’t stand hearing the contestants talk about “about mind spaces, brand platforms, value propositions, empowering consumers and other sundry bullsh*t.” She followed that with a comment along the lines of, “I’m afraid I sound like this at work – please help me.” Of course I jumped in with a snappy and equally buzzword-laden response, as did a few other folks. We cracked ourselves up. (I know, I need to get out more.)    Read More →

How Facebook Keeps Us Coming Back

So many friends.
You don’t have to be Sigmund Freud or an evolutionary biologist to figure out that there is something about Facebook that resonates deeply in our psyches and in our lizard brains. New research is attempting to identify and document how this works — and what it means for the rest of us trying to connect with the public.

The fact that people accumulate friends and family members and then post and watch countless photos and videos feels very primal and tribal. As we build our social networks, we exercise the passive aspect of our flight-or-fight instincts, meaning that as we add “friends,” we’re constantly monitoring them for signs of friendship or aggression — and unfriending those who fail the test.
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Bullet Points: The End of “More Is More”?

  • Hired Guns blogger Jeff Gothelf is cochairing the AgileUX NYC conference, to be held Saturday, 25 February — a few tickets are still available….
  • The neighbors are a little unsure about the new house that Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, is building. (It’s 40% bigger than Zuckerberg’s, but the Wall Street Journal opines that by “billionaire standards, [her] mansion is nothing special”).
  • Speaking of Facebook, it’s using you. [NYT]
  • Stanford University’s online “Introduction to AI” course attracted 160,000 students from more than 190 countries, with a median age of around 30. And about 23,000 of them finished the course. [The Guardian]
  • Have we reached the end of more-is-more when it comes to online content? Felix Salmon writes that “If we have reached that point — and I hope that we have — it’s a function of the way that the world of the web is moving from search to social.”
  • Valentines for the curve-loving economic wonk in your life. [Freakonomics]

Bullet Points: “Fail Fast” (and Well); A Bright Way to Keep Party Shots Private

  • “Fail fast” is such a common phrase that it’s a cliché, but what exactly does it mean in practice? The Next Web pulls together some examples of how a batch of startups used initial failures to succeed — at long last.
  • In the category of too good to check: Fast Company reports on Cerveza Norte, a beer company that cares about its party-hardy consumers’ privacy. A beer cooler the company tested in a few clubs acts as a “photoblocker” that shines a bright light back when it detects nearby camera and cell phone flashes. The idea is that any photos of you going all Las Vegas somewhere dark will be ruined by all that light, keeping your dirty deeds off Facebook. Check it out in the video below:

Bullet Points: The Tech Uptick in Silicon Alley

There may not be much to cheer about in the economy as a whole, but technology remains one rare bright spot. Here are a few factoids that help make that case.

Bullet Points: the Resume Funnel; “Encore” Careers; A Baby Named “Like”

  • You might think that Facebook or maybe Twitter is the main driver for links, but there’s one ancient (but fast-loading!) site that handily beats them both. According to a recent study, “Facebook accounted for 3.3 percent of the referrals to news sites, but that’s less than half as many as generated by Drudge Report. David Carr of the New York Times has more on Drudge’s amazing longevity.
  • Most of us are likely to be working past the traditional retirement age of 65. NPR looks at the financial pressures causing this as well as how some baby boomers are going for what’s being called “encore” careers.
  • A batty Facebook-worshipping couple in Israel named their daughter “Like.” It’s better than “Unfollow,” we suppose.
  • CNN looks at the modern hiring process, using Siemens as an example. Hiring managers are looking for reasons to eliminate resumes from consideration, and modern technology helps with that: “[Using LinkedIn, we] can go from 100 million to 100 or 10 [candidates] fairly quickly,” said Mike Brown, Siemens’ senior director for talent acquisition.

Bullet Points: the Zipcar IPO; Social Blogging; Hard Times for Reunions

  • Like so many others, The Economist is talking tech bubble.
  • “Position yourself as an expert” (and other good advice) is in Inc.’s 8 Tips for Using Social Blogging to Grow Your Business.
  • Zipcar’s IPO last week had a good start, although the company has yet to be profitable.
  • Education-bubble watch: NPR reports that for-profit colleges are targeting people who can’t pay; the SF Chron writes about colleges that market to high schoolers, even though many of the students have little chance of actually being accepted. Doing so “[swells] school coffers with application fees” and “[makes] colleges seem more selective by soliciting and then rejecting applicants.”
  • The companies that organize high-school reunions are seeing a drop in attendance. Yep, it’s Facebook’s fault.

Bullet Points: Facebook Firings; the Tech Bubble; Escape from New York

  • Still need convincing that what you put on the internet matters? Business Insider has a slideshow of 17 folks fired for using Facebook.
  • Is the funny guy you’re following on the Twitter really a… bot? [Atlantic]
  • A Marist poll found that 36% of the residents of New York state who are under 30 plan to leave within five years. They’re motivated by taxes, a shortage of jobs, and the cost of living. [Daily News]
  • Things Organized Neatly is exactly what it says it is.
  • The author Douglas Rushkoff has argued that in the near future, being able to program at least a little is essential to understanding our world. Want to get your feet wet? Mashable has four free places to learn to code online.
  • Happy Friday the 13th. Maybe today’s the day to learn about some interns from hell. We like this dialogue:

    Me: Please be patient with me and all the changes I’m requesting. I promise that for the next issue, the process will be smoother.
    Intern: It’s all good. You’re doing a GREAT job!
    Me: Uh,…thanks.

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