Amielle Lake is the CEO of Tagga, a Vancouver-based company that helps agencies add a strategic mobile component to their campaigns. (Think broad SMS efforts, mobile websites, etc).
The service -- currently live in Canada and the US -- includes reporting and dashboard management, and payment models are flexy.
We sat down yesterday to talk about Tagga in a video interview. As luck would have it, I ended up gleaning a lot more than I expected. Amielle tells this great story about Tagga's birth and the state of agencies at that time; it also turns out she worked in mining and knows French cheese like this. (*crosses fingers*)
Funny what you can find out when the pressure's on (ad:tech was ending, hence the skulky suited man in the BG) and you know your first take MUST be perfect (I don't know how to use my video editing software. But you probably guessed that).
Compulsive Twitterers can hit the Follow button at: @tagga and @amiellel.
Forget, for a second, about the vacuumy cafe noises and the girl with the crutches in the background. The weather is pretty, Schoggi is cozy and we have pistachio and rosewater macaroons.
Fun fact: Founder/CEO Ryan Holmes of Invoke Media, parent company of HootSuite, has never had a macaroon before. When I ordered them at the register, he asked if they were "Asian hamburgers." And then I died.
Notes on this video:
1. HootSuite is one of the cooler tools available to marketers on Twitter right now. It has a proprietary URL shortening feature (ow.ly) with a built-in ad and revenue sharing model. HootSuite can also manage multiple accounts at once.
An update, slated for the near future, will boast still more features and turn the HootSuite UI into a cross between Firefox (with tabs!) and TweetDeck. Yeah, that sounds scary, but Ryan assures me they've got good info architecture/usability peeps back at Invoke.
I believe everything he says. EVERYTHING.
It's impossible to get work done in the ad:tech SF press room, and this is one of the reasons why. Witness while Krista Neher (The Marketess) tries telling an Extremely Boring Traveling-to-ad:tech Story. And Larry Chiang of Duck9 tries detracting her with tantric massage.
Then they reflect on their recent Jedi marketing battle and how they couldn't have been SO DAMN AWESOME! without each other.
Be advised: there are bad words, and this video is of no practical value whatsoever. Although Krista does lend valuable insight on how to get out of speeding tickets in Toronto.
This casual ad:tech SF press room convo takes place between Brent Terrazas of Everything's Better with Brentter, Krista Neher of The Marketess and Larry Chiang.
Larry runs a company called Duck9, which helps college kids improve their FICO scores. He also explains the premise behind (read: plugs the living dickens out of) his BusinessWeek column, What They Don't Teach You At Stanford Business School.
Krista, never one to resist an opp to antagonize, loudly observes Larry never actually went to business school.
Witness with awe how a (too) smooth operator eases out of that snagglety-snaggle.
Shortly after his keynote at ad:tech San Francisco -- and David Spark's timely pre-talk grab -- founder Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia sat down with me to talk shop.
Expect to hear his dish on where consumer generated media is now and why brands should dive in (as well as where). We also talked about what-in-hell happened with Wikia, why branding's underrated, and what keeps Wikipedia afloat. (It ain't advertising.)
After all that awkward backtracking over how much agencies dish out for its pencil-shaped paperweights (where does all that money go?), The One Show is under pressure to lighten the strain on its PR team.
Add to that the usual speculation about whether an old boy's club decides who wins what each year. How best to respond? Nudge-nudge the conspiracy theorists back, which is what One Show tries doing in this series of wordy tongue-in-cheek prints.
With headings like "Secret handshakes. Secret passwords. Secret secrets," creatives hither and yon can guffaw while the One Club rib-jabs and wink-winks the following message into our collective subconscious: Think we're not transparent enough? That's because WE'RE NOT!
"Shadowy" is at left. Also see "Whisper" and "Shroud." Work by Charlotte-based BooneOakley.
Last week at ad:tech Paris I got to hang out with VP-Strategy Robin Sloan of Current TV. We built rapport over Extremely Important Stuff: why the universe needs Battlestar Galactica, how you (or, well, I) can't get a good burrito in Paris, and whether the talking space ship in Flight of the Navigator would look as cool today as it did when we were weebies.
Anyway, at some point I randomly said, "Can I take video of you talking?" or something to that effect, and he was all, "Cool," and by some strange juju I managed to catch him saying some pretty agreeable stuff about the media industry: what it needs (in the context of the perfect conference) and where it's headed.
To promote the debut of the new Lancia Delta, 200 horses appeared in the city of Amsterdam. It's formidable to witness, and still more impressive is the sight of all those somber-looking Amsterdammers, taking pictures the way kids take exams.
Three Lancia Deltas were hidden within the cavalry and ultimately revealead on the RAI Square, where the Netherlands' biggest car event happens every year.
ad:tech Paris wrapped up with a keynote called Facebook Today and Tomorrow, conducted by Commercial Director Blake Chandlee of Facebook's EMEA segment (Europe, the Middle East and Asia).
I already LiveTweeted the sesh so the last thing I want to do is type it all out again. The biggest takeaways: Mark Zuckerberg is God, and God's particular mantra is "Efficiency, Effectiveness, Scale."
One of the bigger bits of news eclipsing this talk was a recent announcement that Facebook is now 200 million (active) users strong. According to Chandlee, 50% of those users log in every day and spend an average of 25 minutes on the site.
And while the US once composed 70% of Facebook's total user figures, it's now just 30% -- not because growth has slowed on our turf, but because it's blossomed elsewhere. (France, for example, exploded from 2 million users last year to 9 million this year.)
Here are a few key video moments, punctuated by random Tweetdom.
No ad:tech's an ad:tech unless there's a session that speculates, however pointlessly, on the future of advertising. This particular variant featured New Media Director Robin Sloan of Current TV and General Director Travis Katz of MySpace. The moderator was Editor in Chief Nicolas Arpagian of Prospective Strategique.
Interesting sidenote about this panel: Arpegian posed all questions in French; Sloan and Katz wore magic insta-translating devices that enabled them to respond in English without missing a beat. It was so "Star Trek."
Sloan was up first, and he kicked off with something unexpected. Positioning his presentation as if we were already living in the year 2019, he walked us through the "past" 10 years.
Video snapshots below.