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I'm in Germany for a few days with K. Posting will be licht ...

Auf Wiedersehen.

Friday, November 30, 2007   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Links for 2007-11-28 []

Thursday, November 29, 2007   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Iain's 10 commandments of digital planning

Another thought-provoking and insightful post from Iain Tait on How to Do Digital Planning. Instead of describing it, I'll just follow the first rule ...

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Google's maps knows your location

This is the coolest thing I've seen all week, mainly because it works so well at this early stage.

There are tons of opportunities, especially local … Think about how easy it will be to find a cinema, restaurant, pub, petrol station, or bank. Or, if you mash it up with a social network, you’d be able to geo-locate your friends on a map. As someone said, “Then, you could poke them for real!”
The latest version of Google Maps for mobile phones has a new feature called "my location". Instead of having to enter your location, Google Maps is able to find it. If your phone has GPS support the location detection should be very good, but even if there's no GPS, Google Maps can approximate your location. "The My Location feature takes information broadcast from mobile towers near you to approximate your current location on the map - it's not GPS, but it comes pretty close (approximately 1000m close, on average)." To find your location on the map, just press 0 and look for a blue dot.
To get the new version (2.0), go to on your mobile device. Despite being in beta, I thought it works very well.

So this begs the question ... Given all these cool new features being added to Google Maps is Google Earth heading towards extinction?

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     1  comments

Links for 2007-11-27 []

Don't miss the controversial post on TechCrunch "The Secret Strategies Behind Many “Viral” Videos" and the much-discussed article on mobile from the NYTimes.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

What exactly is Glam?

Phil J pointed me to this story - one where all the buzzwords are out in force. There are quite a few opinions out there discussing's business model. Is it a network? Is it a platform? Is it 2.0 vs 1.0? Is it rubbish?

Well, I haven't read Jarvis for a while, and having read through his opinion on it I think I need to drop by more often:
The yellow circle on the right represents iVillage, which had been the largest women’s site in the U.S. After only a year and a half, Glam has overtaken it as the new No. 1 with 23 million uniques (vs 18m for iVillage) and 600 million monthly pageviews.

Glam, represented by the larger circle on the left, is a network. You’ll see clusters made up of smaller circles, representing their content areas: fashion, beauty, fashion, lifestyle, celebrity, teen. Inside each of those clusters, if you squint, you’ll see a small yellow circle. Those are Glam’s O&O (owned and operated) sites. All the many purple circles around those in each cluster represent outside, independent blogs and sites in Glam’s network. That is the secret to Glam’s quick growth without the cost and risk of doing everything itself.

Glam finds the good blogs and creates a relationship. It features good content from them on Glam and also sells ads on the blogs, sharing revenue with and supporting those bloggers. It now has about 400 publishers creating about 600 sites and Arora said that some make multiple six figures a year.

"30-40% of Glam’s revenue is O&O, and 20-30% of Glam’s impressions are O&O . . . . 30-35% of Google’s Impressions are on, 60-50% of Revenue is vs its network."

So Glam is a content network. But they don’t create all the content. They curate it. So we should curate more as we create less. That’s another way to say what I’ve said other ways: Do what we do best and link to the rest. Also: We need to gather more and produce less, so we also need to encourage others to produce more so we can gather it. That’s a festival of PowerPoint lines there.

Glam is also and advertising network that supports the creation of content. That’s how you encourage others to produce more.So in the end, Glam is really a platform. That’s the key.
Thanks Jeff. Be back soon.

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Friday, November 23, 2007   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     3  comments

Happy Thanksgiving

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Thursday, November 22, 2007   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     1  comments

Links for 2007-11-21 []

Been a bit busy at the office, so here are some (belated) links from the past few days. Some gems. Some junk. You know how it goes ...

Thursday, November 22, 2007   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Why I love crackunit

Whenever I need a reminder of why I love this business ... or just feel like wasting time doing something else other than Facebook (ha!) ... I often spend a few minutes on Iain Tait's blog,

We've never met (crossed paths at a conference or two), but we seem to have mind-meld moments ... Here's a recent example:

This morning I’m not going to cry. I’m going to shout.



I should stop reading industry rags. Actually I don’t read them. But sometimes I see the cover in reception, and that’s enough to raise the temperature of my urine.

Anger over.


Calm now.
I felt exactly the same way when I read the article in Campaign. I tore out the page and was infuriated! I was going to post something very similar, but then I read Crackunit ... A mind-meld, I tell ya.

In case you were wondering, Iain runs Poke, a nice agency in London. Of course, I'm more of a fan of iris, myself, but Poke is a nice place, too.

Random fact: While we're at it, I love that my other post on i-boy about Iain Tate is the 4th result on Google when you search for his name.

Isn't that funny?

UPDATE: Yeah, it would soooooo funny ... if I spelled his name right. Iain Tait ... Not Tate. I am such a rookie.

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Friday, November 16, 2007   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     3  comments

I have "man flu"

I figured, what better way to describe how I feel at the moment than via a nice, er, viral. Ouch. That had to hurt.

Scott, thanks for the link! Now, would someone please bring me my bell ...

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Links for 2007-11-13 []

What do you do when home sick with "man flu"? Lots of Facebook and loads of surfing. Here's 1/10th of what I've read in the past 2 days at home ... Man flu. Gotta lovit.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Going to (see) Beirut

As you may know, I Went to Italy and discovered Beirut. On Saturday, I'm going to (see) Beirut at The Roundhouse. I really loved Gulag Orkestar, and their new album, The Flying Cup Circus, is quite good. Really looking forward to it.

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Friday, November 09, 2007   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Links for 2007-11-08 []

Friday, November 09, 2007   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

iris on show: November 2007

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Thursday, November 08, 2007   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Bring back Craig and Ashlee

Create polls and vote for free.

Have your say, but just for today.

Thursday, November 08, 2007   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Links for 2007-11-07 []

Thursday, November 08, 2007   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     1  comments

Facebook launches Social Advertising

Forrester UGC

"Nothing influences a person more than a recommendation from a trusted friend," Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said yesterday.

"The next hundred years will be different for advertising, and it starts today," he continued. And with those humble words, Zuckerberg revealed Facebook’s much-anticipated plans for "Project Beacon" a product the company describes as "social advertising."

In a sense, they're taking a page from the MySpace playbook: Facebook is allowing products and companies to create their own "Facebook Pages." There is, however, one major twist: In addition to Facebook Pages, "the ads will display people’s profile photos next to commercial messages that are shown to their friends about items they purchased or registered an opinion about." (Quote from NYT.)
We've launched Facebook Pages, which are distinct, customized profiles designed for businesses, bands, celebrities and more to represent themselves on Facebook.
Clearly, Facebook understands that they needed to provide a way to link together all the people within their vast and expanding network and the products, brands and companies (who seem very happy about it) that want to connect with them.
Engaging with businesses and buying things are part of your everyday life. Advertising doesn't have to be about interrupting what you're doing, but getting the right information about the purchases you make when you want it. We believe we've created a system where ads are more relevant and actually enhance Facebook. You now have a way to connect with things you are passionate about.
Fred Stutzman, my favourite Facebook blogger, sums it up as follows:
SocialAds = deep targeting using your profile and network data, Project Beacon = your friends (and Facebook) know when you buy stuff on other websites.

Facebook has fulfilled its destiny: it is now Adbook. The data you share in Facebook is incredibly rich. Marketers can target based on your interests (You like Dylan? Buy the box set.) or your friends interests (Seven of your friends love Crocs, buy some Crocs.). Take the internal data, and mash it with the external data collected from Beacon - and you've got some seriously powerful targeting information.
Here's my favourite quote from his post:
In Facebook's dream world, I'll know about every pair of Crocs you buy, in essence constantly barraging me with social purchasing opportunities. But that's not what it's about - just because ads are socially targeted, it doesn't make me want more ads. Rather, Facebook should leverage this extremely powerful social information in my times of need - when I want to purchase something, give me my network's opinion. As Doc describes it, this is "demand finding supply" rather than supply finding demand. Spamminess is the death of a network, socially targeted or not.
Get it?

Louise Story on the New York Times writes:
For example, going forward, a Facebook user who rents a movie on will be asked if he would like to have his movie choice broadcast out to all his friends on Facebook. And those friends would have no choice but to receive that movie message, along with an ad from Blockbuster.
That example makes a good case for what still needs to be worked out with Facebook's social ads:

1. Wouldn't it be better that if I was going to rent a movie on, I could ask my network of friends for recommendations? The ads work in the wrong direction. They assume, in this case, that I want to rent a video from Blockbuster just because you did.

2. Brands like that are destined for the dustbin are going to fill Facebook with crap communications because they've got nothing to lose. As Umair puts it: From an economic point of view, it is a consumer's worst nightmare - ads that are even dumber, less interesting, and far more irritating than ads are already.

3. The other, more subtle reason why this isn't quite right is the fact that it exposes what you've purchased and/or interacted with on Facebook and potentially in other places. Vallywag writes:
With Beacon, Facebook will install cookies onto users' computers to track their activities when they visit partner websites such as eBay, Travelocity, and Fandango. When these users bid on an item, book a trip or buy a movie ticket, Facebook will let the user's friends know in their Facebook news feeds, the stream of friends' activities that greets users when they log in.
To illustrate, Stuzman found a blog from Facebook user and skeptic Matt Monihan, "who is not clearly not a citizen-marketing Fan-Sumer"
So, facebook is now taking a bold step towards pissing me off. Now, I have to think twice before I buy something stupid online. Will my friends be notified that I bought seasons 1 & 2 of project runway? What will they think? Although, part of me wants to buy a bunch of weird items just to mess with people. Coming soon to a feed near you: “Matt just bought a teddy bear, a gallon of play-doh and a fire extinguisher on eBay.
I'm a member of the Victoria's Secret Pink group on Facebook, and I visited that group often. I neither endorse their products nor would I really want people to know that I spend so much time looking (er, better make that researching) things on that network. No, honest, it was research. I swear it! ... Anyway, social ads want to promote my involvement with Pink, and I'm sure they'll be in my face as often as possible to get me to share informaiton and recommendations with my network. I'll be upset by this and my propensity to endorse/recommend will certainly decrease as a result. That's not good for me, for the advertiser, or my network.

GigaOM has a nice summary of the privacy issues posed by this new service as well as a good recap of Esther Dyson's idea of letting people become AdFriends. That's got to be one of the worst-ever marketing buzzwords I've ever heard. That said, Forrester is doing its best to compete: Jeremiah Owyang has coined the phrase Fan-Sumer.

AdFriends? Fan-Sumer? ... Patehtic!!!

The original post is on Facebook's blog. Zuckerberg also said that Facebook had discussed the new program with Microsoft before signing a $240 million deal, but these new social ads are not a part of that deal.

Nick Carr, always on the dark side, highlights Sprite's involvement with Facebook's new social ads in The Social Graft:
The Fortune 500 is, natch, lining up. Coke's in, big-time: Facebook, which distinguished itself by being the anti-MySpace, is now determined to out-MySpace MySpace. It's a nifty system: First you get your users to entrust their personal data to you, and then you not only sell that data to advertisers but you get the users to be the vector for the ads. And what do the users get in return? An animated Sprite Sips character to interact with.
Umair is equally unimpressed on the whole:
Got that? Beacons, for Coke, means, basically, Sprite Zombies flooding your social feed. Uhh...this sounds kind of like, from an economic point of view, a consumer's worst nightmare - ads that are even dumber, less interesting, and far more irritating than ads are already. In fact, I like Nick's take on these dynamics much better: the medium is the message from our sponsor. The irony is so deep it's subterranean. But he leaves out the essential last bit: and most of your so-called friends are carpet-bombing you with it.
One thing is for sure: It was inevitable that an advertising program like this would come from Facebook or one of the other networks. The fact that they accumulate all this data and are all free services made it impossible to avoid.

Lots to think about ...

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     2  comments

Links for 2007-11-06 []

Wednesday, November 07, 2007   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Picnik and Fotoflexer

Picnik and Fotoflexer are very cool.

If you use Photoshop for basic photo editing, you'll love 'em. They're simple, free, web applications that do the job very well.

I love the Flickr/Facebook/Picasa/Photobucket/Webshots integration. In addition to being fully integrated into Facebook, both apps lets you pull in your Flickr photos, edit them, and then save them back to Flickr. Sah-weet! Wish there was a simple way to FTP images from the apps to a specific directory. Anyone know how to do that?

As our Actionscript guru Tristian points out, it is worth noting that they're developed in Flex. Picnik gets high marks from those in the know ... Flickr plans to add their editing tools directly, and the WSJ's Walt Mossberg writes, "Fast and impressive... beautiful and responsive ... If you want to see how good a web application can be, take Picnik for a spin."

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Links for 2007-11-05 []

Tuesday, November 06, 2007   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

ING: I Need to Go

ING Belgium has launched a new viral. Looks like they're not afraid to push the boundaries, as evidenced by the campaign created by Brussels-based Emakina. You might remember them from their infamous Rent-a-Wife campaign.

Contagious Magazine seems to like it, as do I. It is irreverent and eye-catching. No use doing a viral, otherwise.

Note: ING is an iris client.

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Monday, November 05, 2007   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments


Major news from Google and the OpenSocial ...

From TechCrunch:
Checkmate? MySpace, Bebo and SixApart To Join Google OpenSocial (confirmed) — Google may have just come out of nowhere and checkmated Facebook in the social networking power struggle. — MySpace and Six Apart will announce that they are joining Google's OpenSocial initiative.

Los Angeles Times, IT Project Failures, Compete Blog, Techlog, Six Apart News, SmoothSpan Blog, AccMan Pro, Dare Obasanjo aka Carnage4Life, Dogster Inc. Company Blog, Deep Jive Interests, Scripting News, Between the Lines, Marc's Voice, InsideGoogle, Andy Beal's Marketing Pilgrim, VentureBeat, Seth's Blog, Scobleizer, Mashable!, Smalltalk Tidbits …, blognation, Terry Heaton's PoMo Blog, Good Morning Silicon Valley, Computerworld, Joe Duck, Epicenter,, The Social Web, Technology Live, Valleywag, AppScout, Bits, Digital Daily, Download Squad, Beth's Blog, and All Facebook

Much more here.

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Friday, November 02, 2007   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

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