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The "social media" debate

Steve Rubel, one of my favourite bloggers, has decided that "social media" as a term is outdated and needs to be scrapped. The blogosphere has reacted with mixed opinions, but the majority of the comments are not too supportive of the idea.

I think it is a very useful term, but it is just that. A term. Just like "community" was a word used to describe a way of interacting online and a set of associated services in the 90's, "social media" is a pretty decent way to describe things today. To scap "social" and lump all things together under "media" seems a bit conterproductive. Whilst the blogging elite and some other folks may wish to see the lines blurred, I think it is still very helpful for marketers to clarify intentions and plans by using terms like it.

PS: I'm flying back to London today, and normal posting should resume soon. And by the way, free wireless thanks to Jet Blue is a good thing. Other airlines should take note ...

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Friday, December 29, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

A Special Christmas Box

An instant classic from SNL. Beware, this is the uncensored verison.

Happy Christmas.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Slob evolution

The Campaign Against Real Life is a fantastic parody of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty viral.
We made our Dove spoof as a playful homage to the original. A wise man – it may have been Ross Kemp – once said that you can only spoof something you love. If you’re indifferent to something, you ignore it. How very true, Ross, how very true.
This is a must-see.

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Monday, December 18, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     1  comments

Time's Person of the Year: You

Lev Grossman and Time Magazine have decided that in 2006, there was no one more important than you. And by you, I mean us. Like, not them. Ya know?

As suspected, there's plenty of buzz about the article. I agree with Jeff: It has always been about you. Or, is that us? This pronoun thing is getting difficult. Anyway ... When things crashed, there was only one certainty in my mind at the time, and it is still true today. People want this thing called the internet, and they will continue to use it regardless of what pops or drops down on Wall Street.

Over-hyped virtual reality and a bunch of other crap may belong to the VCs and investment houses, but most of what is going on out there these days belongs to us. And that's the way it should be.

So, congrats! We've earned it.

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Sunday, December 17, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     2  comments

The long-anticipated Yahoo reorg

Via a 1500+ word press release and a long post by CEO Terry Semel on Yahoo's Yodel blog, Yahoo announced the much anticipated and very significant management reorg and restructure. And the Oscar for longest press release title goes to: Yahoo! Re-Aligns Organization to More Effectively Focus on Key Customer Segments and Capture Future Growth Opportunities.

The business will be divided into three groups: the audience group (aka: create advertising opportunities), the advertiser publisher group (aka: show me the money), and a technical group (aka: power the engine and tie together loose ends).

Wall Street's reaction was tepid (stock down 2% yesterday), but many analysts and commentators, like Forrester's Charline Li, like what they see:

The press release contained a coherent mission statement for Yahoo! -- "to connect people to their passions, their communities, and the world's knowledge." I really like this because it puts "people" at the center of Yahoo!'s strategy. Compare this to Google's mission "to organize the world's information" and you get an idea of how each company's battle plan.
1) Audience Group, focused on audience building. Note that this is not about content creation, but instead, "focused on building the largest and most valuable audiences and relationships on and off the Yahoo! network". Kudos to Yahoo! for understanding that this is not about creating more and more content destinations a la Yahoo! Food, but creating new experiences, especially with social media.

I think this is the one that will make or break Yahoo!'s strategy. In the end, the race is not to be the best search engine technology-wise, or to have the most advertisers. It's about being relevant to your audience, no matter where they go or what they do.

2) Advertisers Publishers Group. In what is being seen as a CEO-grooming move, current Yahoo! CFO Susan Decker will be shifting over to the revenue generating side of the business.

3) Technology Group. This group centralizes technology development under CTO Farzad Nazem. This means that core platform infrastructure -- like social media, search, communication, and very importantly, profile/identity management will be under one unified roof. In the past, there appeared to be individual product teams developing these core technologies in isolation of each other.
Om Malik thinks there is much more than a reorg needed:
There is no clarity on which products/groups are going to be pruned, or merged. So it will be a while before we see the fog of bureaucracy that has enveloped Yahoo and turned it into a company that constantly second guesses itself.
Like Li and others, Om hopes that Yahoo will give up the fight with Google over building the best search engine:
Hopefully after the reorg, they realize this, and drop all the pretensions about competing over search with Google which says its mission is to organize the world’s information. Yahoo’s mission aggregating all the “relevant information.”
I'm still not convinced that this is the best advice for Yahoo.

The battle for supremacy in search has just begun, and whilst Google is certainly king of the hill today, there are still big mountains to climb before one company should be declared the outright winner. Given how well Yahoo Answers is doing and the subsequent fold of Google's similar product, I think they'd be foolish to give up at this time. To Om's point, social search is all about delivering more "relevant information.

To say there is a bit of buzz about there would be an understatement: Mercury News, Paul Kedrosky's …, PaidContent, Screenwerk, Mark Evans,, Seeking Alpha, Matt Cutts Guardian Unlimited, PaidContent, Silicon Valley Watcher, Tech Beat, Valleywag, Tom Foremski: IMHO amongst others.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

The Future of Web Ads Is in Britain

The New York Times is bullish on the web advertising here in Britain. And for good reason. It is booming.

The fact that there is pretty much a single market here compared to the different local markets in the States helps. It allows planners and creatives to focus on the big picture and come up with big ideas.
There are big differences between the advertising markets in Britain and the Unites States. In Britain, much of the advertising is national, while there are strong local and regional ad markets in America. Still, some believe that online advertising in Britain provides somewhat of a roadmap for where online ads in the United States and elsewhere may be heading. “The U.S. is so behind,” said Terry S. Semel, the chief executive of Yahoo, in a recent speech in London. “It’s certainly lagging the U.K. by at least a year or two.”
To be fair, I'd compare Europe's advertising market to that of the US, but the numbers here are impressive.

Online advertising is racing ahead in Britain, growing at a roughly 40 percent annual rate, and is expected to account for as much as 14 percent of overall ad spending this year, according to media buying agencies. That is the highest level in the world, and more than double the percentage in the United States.
Need more proof of the British boom? Here's a good test:

Try to find and hire a gifted digital media planner. Not the ones that say, "I recommend run of site on MSN" to every question. I'm talking about the planners who really know what's going on in today's ever-shifting media landscape. The ones that deliver ROI. The ones that think that campaigns are about conversations. Yeah, those are hard to find.

Know anyone like that? Contact me: plannerswanted-at-i-boy-dotcom.

Reward offered. Seriously.

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Monday, December 04, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

On ExplodingTV

I like ExplodingTV. It is a term coined by Jeff Jarvis which he uses to tag things dealing with the evolution and revolution happening in today's media/TV landscape. As many of you know, I've written about this many times before, and here are a few recent articles and posts dealing with the subject:

Video Visionaries Meld Traditional TV and the Web

Washington Post
Is TV moving onto the Internet or is the Internet moving onto TV? As the lines between the two begin to blur, it's getting harder to tell.

They conquered the 'Net in two original minutes

LATimes (free reg required)
HBO's "Viral Videos Live" brings Internet acts worth millions and millions of hits together in Las Vegas.

What’s broadcast?
What’s the point of broadcast? What’s the power of it? There’s far more perceived value to broadcast — by us older folks — than there is real value anymore. The business and regulatory attention given to broadcast is overblown. So what happens to broadcast? Does it matter?

Internet Video Cannibalizing TV
Stowe Boyd
In a predictable McLuhanesque turn of events, the BBC is reporting that Internet video is eating into convention television watching.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Sunday reading

No time to comment on all this, but here links to a few interesting things I read today:

Chronicle of the Newspaper Death Foretold

source: Slate
Discussion: Tim O'Reilly, Peter Brantley

The semantics web
source: Nick Carr

A Bubble Watcher Watches Google
source: New York Times

Hitwise eyes up £180m sale

source: Telegraph
Discussion: PaidContent, Mathew Ingram, Joe Duck

Ok, Now I Get JPG Magazine
source: TechCrunch

Sunday, December 03, 2006   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

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