Once upon a time there was a social networking site called MySpace. Everyone was on it. Everyone loved it. It was the place to be. Then came the pedophiles. Then came the spam. Then came News Corp. Then came Facebook.
Oh, who are we kidding? It's still the largest social networking site in the world. It's just lost a bit of its shininess since Facebook took the spotlight. Well, MySpace isn't fooling around and has hooked up with Google as a premiere supporter of Google's recently announced OpenSocial development platform. OpenSocial hopes to bring some standards to social network development with its open API.
Today, a group of privacy groups declared war on advertisers by asking the Federal Trade Commission to establish an online Do Not Track list similar to the offline Do Not Call list. The Consumer Federation of America and the World Privacy Forum, among others, want marketers to stop using cookies which enable behavioral targeting.
There has been much debate on the merit of cookies and their use to track online behavior. Marketers argue it makes the online experience better because ads are more closely targeted to the individual. Privacy advocates claim advertisers have no business collecting information about where on the internet someone has gone unless consent has been given.
Get your eyes off that intern. Unhand that foosball table. Quit wasting time on Facebook. Stop reading Adrants, Get your ass out of your chair and go buy some Battle Wheels. Recently released by Johnny Lighting, these Transformer-ish things race, spin, crash, charge, crash and generally let you get your aggressions out without having to endure the senseless blood an gore of most online games. Plus, you won't get carpel tunnel syndrome.
SCC Grossman Public Relations was kind enough to send us a pair to fool around with and that we did; continuously until we depleted our supply of batteries. There's five "characters" which come with various body armor attachments and weapons. The goal is simply to knock all the loose parts off the other bot to win. It's simple and it's fun. And, no, they didn't pay us to say that. We just thought you'd have fun racing the things around the office, scaring the shit out of the accounting dweeb in the corner cubicle or mounting a wireless camera on it then parking it under the desk of the hot, new intern.
Life just got easier, it would seem, for those of you charged with distributing online video ads. Eyeblaster has just released Channel Connect, a tool that lets you deliver pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll and overlay ads without having to deal with all the confusingly proprietary video technologies different publishers use.
Hey, this is neat. In the style of the Periodic Table of Elements, Kolbrener put together a Table of Brand Evolution Terms. Each set is segmented by color under Advertising, Direct, Branding, Marketing Communications, M&A, and Misc.
We never thought we'd actually ever like playing with a table. If there were a way to incorporate it into an educational framework, that would be cooler still. (We remember learning a ton of these definitions in marketing class. There was no way to make that fun. Making it scientific, however, might add to the conceit that we're all going to go off and do something important with our lives.)
Play with your elements here. Thanks to Allie at PETA for pointing it out.
- In an effort to more accurately capture true television viewership, Nielsen has announced it will triple the size of its national people meter to 37,000 households and 100,000 people. 100,000 to 300 million? Well that's better than before.
- Monster.com has consolidated its $155 million North American media buying responsibilities with Mediaedge:cia.
- For Heroes, NBC is taking advantage of a Nielsen loophole which allows the network to add ratings from this Saturday's repeat of the premiere back into Monday's premiere. The loophole states re-airings with the exact same content and advertising can be counted together.
- The Slingbox Guy is back and this time he's doing what TiVo should have done when it first launched: tell people what the product does.
It's not easy to officially launch anything when you don't even have a logo. Now that we do, we are pleased to announce the official launch of AdGabber, a social network for individuals in advertising, marketing and media. AdGabber, which soft launched in May, has just over 1,600 members with about 40 new members joining each day. An offshoot of Adrants, we couldn't be happier with the growth and the activity we've seen to date on the network.
AdGabber offers all the usual social networking stuff like member profiles, forums, topical groups which member can create on their own, a video section that serves as the ad industry's YouTube, a photo section, a calendar section where industry events are listed, a music player, and chat feature, blogs for individual members and an RSS feed providing news from Adrants. In fact, the thing is so flexible, that anything at all can be added to the network such as daily or weekly survey, ad industry job listings and creative portfolios.
Extending the gadget technology currently available with Google Desktop, Google is has debuted its Gadget Ads, AdSense standard sized ads into which AdWords advertisers can embed video, games, flash animations, feeds and other elements. The units, in beta since last Spring, can also be placed on iGoogle homepages, Google Creator pages and inside Google Desktop.
There is a communal, social networking aspect to the ad units as well. People can take the Gadget ads and place them on their own iGoogle pages. Ad for everyone. How nice.
From the company GotThingsDone, which provides productivity tools, comes Follow the Oracle, a site on which you can "0btain all the answers to the typical questions of people involved in Project Management." Trouble is, the Oracle's an idiot and can't help you at all. So after a few minutes of idiocy, you can click your way over to GotThingsDone's project management tool, WhoDo and leave the idiot behind.
Here's a somewhat interesting read.
Young and Aitken's Profitable Marketing Communications encourages marketers to think about marketing the way Warren Buffett thinks about investing (yes, at some point they make that connection): as a quantifiable value-add, with a focus on targeting platforms as opposed to diversifying.
A few decent case studies (brands include Samsung and Unisys) are included, and emphasis is placed on measuring campaign ROI, which we hear lots about but don't see much of.
To get the most value for your buck you might want to skip straight to chapters 12 and 13 ("Leverage Your Employee Capital" and "Is Your Organization Marketing ROI-Fit?") which finally cuts the bull and gets into how you, too, can implement some of this advice.
The book concludes with "Happy investing," possibly its best instance of straightforward message delivery. In the end, it was a lot like reading Malcolm Gladwell, but not as funny, and Benjamin Graham, but not as informative.