Media Influencer

helping people break out of pigeonholes since 2003

  • Author: Adriana
  • Published: Jul 28th, 2005
  • Category: People
  • Comments: 4

Money = motivation? Not in my world

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Seth Godin on the nature of motivation:

I meet a lot of confused marketers, and the primary cause of their confusion is that they believe that money equals motivation.

They believe that people will choose the best value.

That people will buy what they need.

That the best products and services will spread because they deserve to be talked about.

That employees can be persuaded to do things by paying them more and that consumers will buzz something if you reward them with cash.

This is true. Every once in a while.

I agree and in my opinion this is what keeps advertisings and buzz marketers in their delusions about their ability to control the message (the image, the buzz or the brand). Because Sometimes it works but mostly people are not doing things in a way that would fit neatly in marketer’s demographics and market research.

We’re constantly on the lookout for someone’s real motivation. We don’t understand why someone would volunteer at a charity or take a lower-paying job or recommend a cool new CD or post something on their blog. "What’s in it for them," we wonder. ….

Almost all the time, that’s wrong.

And on his reasons for blogging:

Actually, I write books so that more people will read my blog!

I don’t blog to make money. I don’t run ads on my site. I don’t even blog to win awards. I blog because it pleases me to see my ideas spread. I like it when I see people talking about one of my ideas–without even mentioning where the idea came from. That means it’s the idea that spread, not my brand. Which is the whole point.

For me, anyway. Not for you or for her or for him.

Well, it is the same for me. Although I don’t have a book to sell… yet. :-)

Is it dead yet?

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A fabulous article in Fortune magazine about the future of advertising.

But while the modern world knits itself ever more closely together, advertising is becoming increasingly disconnected—from its historical base, its business models, and its audiences. Thanks to the Internet, advertising is going through its first true paradigm shift since the advent of television half a century ago. As a result, your average executive in the ad or media business is feeling as lonely and unstable as a 30-foot sailboat with a broken keel foundering in the swells of a Category 2 hurricane. Pass the Dramamine.

Hear, hear.

But no need to get all self-righteous. There is life in the old dog, or at least the concept of a dog (advertising) yet. It is morphing and migrating to online powerhouses, eyeball attractors and niche aggregators. Search engines, megaportals and other creatures of the online underworld will carry on the growth of attention-seeking industry. However, it is bad news for some…

But today’s big ad agencies might not. As descendants of the firms that invented modern advertising, they face the buggy-whip-manufacturer problem: the fact that full-on paradigm shifts are rarely kind to incumbents.

There is a special report that covers those who might be the future.

Happy 28th!

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Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, dear Jackie, happy birthday to you!

Now everybody…

Some media influencing…

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Yesterday’s WSJ Business Europe had an article on business bloggging. More on it here.

Teenagers ‘rebel’ against demographics

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An article in Adweek about how brands, not marketers, define teens. Hm, and that’s supposed to be better? I guess it is in some small way:

Today’s teens think of brand names less as a hallmark of quality and more as a means of defining themselves.
 
"The brands allow them to express themselves
politically," said Jim Taylor, vice chairman of The Harrison Group in
Waterbury, Conn. "As individuals with a specific affinity for a style,
as a badge of leadership."

Although trust the marketers to ‘target’ that:

There is no such thing as hitting teens [as a broad
demographic]," said Malcolm Bird, svp of AOL Kids and Teens, who spoke
as part of a panel on targeting teens in an online and mobile world.
"You’ve got to decide what sort of teens and what demo you want to hit
within the media."

This is the best bit though:

I like the Vonage ad where the guy is running on the treadmill and falls down. It’s funny, but I still don’t know what Vonage is.

What was it that the industry mumbled about advertising still working…?

  • Author: Adriana
  • Published: Jul 19th, 2005
  • Category: Media
  • Comments: 1

‘New interenet’ tools in the media’s face

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Wired Media Hack talks about  FCC chairman Michael K. Powell noting that most of the significant pictures of the London suicide bombing attacks didn’t originate from professional photographers employed by news agencies but from witnesses at the scene using cell phones and digital cameras to document the tragedy.

Before, blogging was largely fixated on the failure of mainstream media. Now it has become a necessary supplement, and in some cases, a substitute. But Powell takes this a step further. To him, London showed that blogging has morphed into the art of raw, personalized storytelling.

It certainly isn’t reporting and this should not fuel the misplaced debate about blogging vs journalism. But it is a development that was to be expected.

You really felt as if you were there as opposed to watching CNN or reading MSNBC.com, which are fine for the facts but stale and a bit removed.

Again, the myth of objectivity makes for a ‘detached’ (often read biased) reporting of facts that made the bloggers appear in the first place after 9/11 when many people felt that the media reporting was not on the same planet as them. This time, the media actually sourced its news from the ‘citizen journalists’ and we are all better informed for it.

And now there is Technorati.

The number of posts on blogs tracked by Technorati increased 30 percent, from about 850,000 a day in July to 1.2 million on the day of the attacks. Nine of the 10 most popular search requests involved the unfolding tragedy in London.

If you think about it, Technorati has become a public utility on a global scale.

Indeed. And not just Technorati but other search applications built around dynamic content (such as Ice Rocket, PubSub, BlogPulse etc). Here is a very good explanation of the difference between Google and traditional search engines (wow, I am using the word traditional in internet context, I feel so old!) and Technorati.

Google, for instance, views the web as the world’s largest reference library, where information is static. Instead of the Dewey Decimal System, Google employs its PageRank technology, which orders search results based on relevance. Google uses words like web page, catalogs and directory, which are more than just words: They convey an entire worldview.

In contrast, Technorati sees the internet as a stream of conversations. This makes it much more immediate. Google requires two to three weeks to input a site into its search engine. (Although it does post frequently updated content from news sites.)

David Sifry, the guy behind (and in front of) Technorati coins a phrase meme epidemiology as in:

In meme epidemiology, knowing the first person to say something is the first step to understanding the contagion, why some memes are contagious while others aren’t.

That is exactly the kind of stuff early bloggers were figuring out for themselves. On Samizdata.net, we have worked out fairly soon that blog something about guns, freedom, abortion, Iraq, Afganistan, multi-culturalism etc etc, you’d get more comments and more people linking to it. We, in the Editorial Pantheon, used to call it the tabloid-effect as it was predictable and rather crude. What Technorati has made possible is tracking much more subtle and niche memes and conversations that result in much emergent goodness.

There is also a mention of the Chinese blogosphere and how Technorati tags are helping the bloggers by-pass the Chinese policenet.

One indication that the phenomenon that Sifry spawned three years ago has worked itself into the fabric of internet life is that in China, bloggers are using Technorati tags to get around government censors. The Adopt-a-Chinese Blog program works by volunteers announcing their intention to host a blog on their server by employing a special Technorati tag. That way, bloggers in China can locate the blogs through a special page. Since the pages are served outside of China, the government can’t censor them.

Now we are talking about the proper use of technology!

Quote to remember

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Buying a Dell is like dropping the soap in the prison shower.
- Slashdot poster commenting on the growing number of Dell Hell stories (mentioned on A-street).

Bob Lutz: To blog or not to blog?

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General Motor’s ‘executive’ blogger, Bob Lutz is giving an insight into his experience with blogging in Information Week. He talks about the importance of unfiltered conversation, showing the bad with the good  as a means to buildling lasting credibility. Sounds familiar?

His concluding advice is obvious given the success of the Fast Lane blog:


To me, the blog is a way for GM to be culturally relevant. It allows us
to be on the leading edge of new technology while getting our strong
views out there about our cars and trucks. So far, response has been
outstanding, with more than 5,000 visits and 13,000 page views a day.


To any senior executive on the fence about starting a corporate blog, I have a word of advice: Jump.

Heh, told you so.

For those who can’t get enough of Bob Lutz, here is an interview he gave to AutoWeek.

via NevOn

Dell Hell

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I have been away last week and this week was spent gradually working my way through the inbox and feeds and trying to catch up with what’s happened in the online and offline world.

Yesterday, I waded through Jeff Jarvis’s record of his experiences with a new Dell laptop that is on the way of becoming another case study in ‘customers-bite-back-online’ trend. The last post is:

One of the great lessons of the cluetrain era is that your customers
are your best customer support agents and marketers if only you allow
them … and respect them enough to listen to them. Dell does’t. As we
reported the other day, Dell shut its general customer forums… which should be the place for customers to help each other.

Today CNETnews.com writes about the the closure of the forums as Dell falls off the Cluetrain.


Considering its customer-friendly track record, Dell’s recent decision to shut down its Customer Care message boards is getting pilloried as an act of monumental stupidity, if not monumental arrogance…. Dell chose to shut down the forum rather than engage with its customers.

It refers to Jeff’s saga making a more general point that sums up my position on two-way communication for companies and blogs:

We’re still quite early into this Internet/blog revolution, and it’s
not yet clear how it will all end up. Still, it’s safe to predict that
any institution (including a news organization) that ignores the
conversation does so at its own peril.

Chinese panopticon courtesy of Cisco

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Rebecca MacKinnon blogs about her communication with Ethan Gutmann, author of Losing the New China: A Story of American Commerce, Desire and Betrayal. One of the chapters is about Cisco’s business in China and the extent to which they actively supply Chinese law enforcement with censorship and surveillance technology. Cisco denies, Gutman responds by making available Cisco brochure from the China Information Infrastructure Expo 2002. There is also a very sound argument about why this matters and why Cisco (or anyone else) should not be allowed to get away with profiting from assisting the state to suppress freedom of individuals. That is the kind of ’social responsibility’ I can support.

As you know, the Chinese authorities don’t want to block the web. They want Chinese users to practice self-censorship. Surveillance, and the awareness of surveillance leads to self-censorship and that’s where Cisco comes in. Cisco has built the structure for the national PSB [Public Security Bureau] database, and as of June 2003, it is already resident in every province of China, except Sichuan. Police can access a suspect’s political history, imaging information, the lot, and read their email at will. Cisco calls it "Policenet".

This is the scary stuff of Panopticon. The real deal that the combination of totalitarian nature of the Chinese government and technology has made possible. The argument that if Cisco does not follow the ‘demand’ created by the Chinese authorities, someone else will, does not hold – it absolves business (and those individuals responsible for them) from physical and moral consequences of their actions.

via Instapundit and cross-posted on Samizdata.net

Quote to remember

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Clearly, not every employee blog will reflect poorly on an employer
or disclose sensitive information. On the contrary, blogging employees
may be among the most creative, entrepreneurial and technologically
savvy members of an organization, and may serve as powerful advocates
for the companies they work for. Given that, and in light of the risks
in banning off-site blogging, the better approach may be to balance the
positive aspects of the blog with appropriate safeguards against the
greatest risks.
-
Covington & Burling article (pdf), commented on by Dennis M. Kennedy

The Blogosphere: Uniter, Divider, or Both?

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Michael M. Rosen ponders the blogosphere at the first anniversary of his writing for Tech Central Station and concludes without exaggeration that the experience has changed his life

My education has transcended simply writing articles.  The
interactions between reading and writing, between online and print, and
between visual media and talk radio have crystallized for so me — as
well as for many Americans — the paradigm shift in how we receive and
process information
.

The ability of individuals to publish their ideas, argument or simply their diaries,  has started one process. With proliferation of content, technology and tools to monitor, track and sort the information are being developed, as I write. All this has been happening a few years, a short time in the offline world but an era in the fast and furious world of blogs. It is enough to start observing the dynamics of the publishing and distribution explosion and see where its social impact may be heading.

…on
the one hand, the Web’s elaborate smorgasbord can differentiate even
the subtlest of interests; on the other, it can aggregate people, who
are ordinarily divided geographically, temperamentally, and
socioeconomically, around these interests. In essence, the web’s most unifying traits are simultaneously its most divisive.
Of course, pretty much the same thing could be said about any content-neutral technology.

Yet the Internet has accelerated this
aggregating-polarizing tendency so significantly that it arguably
qualifies as a difference in kind, not simply in degree.

I often react badly to people saying that internet is ‘just another channel/medium/network’ and we should be getting too excited. It is like saying a car is ‘just another way of transport’ ignoring the enormity of its impact on how it affects a range of activities and makes entirely new ones possible. The best thing about the internet is that its basic unit is the individual and sothere are endless permutations of ideas and results from their interactions. The blogosphere is just an early expression of this.

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