Update: four months later, content marketing is on its way to take off
“As marketers fight to engage with users [and] readers in a noisy, competitive world, marketers have all become publishers,” — Jed Hartman, group publisher of Time Inc. news and business, with oversight for Fortune via “Fortune will sell original editorial content to advertisers for up to $1 million”, AdAge
Day two after reading this and I am still confused. With the brand equity Pinterest has, they certainly could have been more creative at their first attempt to get closer to brands.
Pinterest is a goldmine for brands and advertisers.
- 80% are women, 50% have kids and likely to live in a Midwestern state (read: Walmart demo = cha-ching)
- Pinterest users who shop online follow 9.3 retailers while FB users follow 6.9% retailers and Twitter users follow 8.5%
- CTA pin sees an 80% increase in engagement
- Referrals spend 70% more money, also spend 10% more
The astounding stats go on and on…but they chose Business Pages and widgets?
I mean. Really?
From a brand perspective, what is the value proposition of having another business page to maintain? Business pages aren’t billboards on the Internet. Internet users expect more and paying Pinterest to add to workflows with sentiment, reputation and click-throughs as the ROI is backwards. And don’t get me started on widgets. What is this, 2001? Moving forward, major brands are becoming publishers, media companies, moving away from traditional ad models.
Pinterest is rich with content. If products like Pulse, the joke of the tech circle Mashable is experimenting and even brands like Coke and Nike can figure out content strategy to drive revenue, I’d assume the very smart people at Pinterest should be able to, too. Oh, well.
What a huge bummer.
(Top image screen shot of AdAge article found here)
Old fashioned handwritten letters never go out of style, and I don’t send mail as often as I would like. So I came up with the postcard project, where I choose ten Internet friends to send postcards to. Ten is my threshold to manage expectations — any more and it will feel like a chore, I think. I plan to make this a monthly tradition because it’s always nice to bring happiness to mailboxes, not just inboxes.
This month (April) is already cap’d, but if you would like a postcard, please email your snail mail addresses to monamail at gmail dot com. International are welcome as well. Happy Sunday, everyone!
Sidenote: why aren’t there more tasteful postcards? The fonts are atrocious and the photos, even more so. It took a while to find some decent postcards. I purchased them at Barnes and Noble in Union Square of all places and I looked everywhere from gift shops to local letterpress and stationary stores.
If you’ve ever wondered how many emails you’ve sent or received. How many Google searches you’ve done and even what you searched for, Google now gives users a high level overview.
I have no idea why I’m searching for autotune (nor do I remember the context) but it made me laugh out loud. It’s also pretty neat to see who I email the most. How I need to respond to emails more lol…and basically how I can improve with email management. Perhaps I should stop obsessing over maintaining inbox zero. I am so anal retentive about inbox zero, I’ve spent a lot of time customizing, labeling, filtering and still get 5k emails I barely respond to. Less than 1%, which means I need a new workflow. Crap.
See? I’m already learning and growing.
Anyway, this is incredible and the first feature I’ve been excited for in a long long loooong time. If you’re interested, the bigger image of my analytics (not including YouTube is below). You can read about the dashboard on Google’s blog here. And opt-in for the service here.
(image via Instagram)
Back in 2008 I told myself I wouldn’t invest in an eReader.
Fast forward three years and I am eating my words.
But I can’t help it. The Kindle was a gift.
…ok. Fine. That’s a lie.
I invested in a Nook during the summer and kept mum about my purchase because I have been so vocal about anti-eReaders for so long. But I hadn’t picked up a book in three-four years. My face is always in my iPhone, browsing the Internet, while people in the city would whip out their Kindles or Nooks, even if it was reading one or two pages. I would observe, feel a pang of jealousy and put my face back in my phone.
I tried carrying a book around but it just didn’t work. It wasn’t happening. I knew it was time to give into the eReader world.
So I researched. Read reviews. Compared book catalogs and chose the Nook over the Kindle, for one reason: aesthetics. The book selections between Barnes and Amazon were pretty much the same. The Nook was more elegant – smaller and sleeker – at that time. After only a day of ownership, I was sold. That ugly green-ish tint and all. (There’s a reason it’s that faded spinach green btw. It is really easy on the eyes.) And I must admit, I’ve read more books since August than in the past three years.
I was happy.
Then, the new generation of Kindles came out and the new Kindles looked fantastic. I’ve been pretty much obsessed with owning one since.
This year, Santa came early and someone I adore bought me a Kindle (thank you, btw!) I unwrapped the Kindle and holy smokes, what a difference. The overall quality is just, well, better compared to the Nook. From the look, feel to even the response time, the Kindle blows the Nook out of the water. The standard case with the built in light also trumps any of cases and/or lights available for the Nook.
As for the model, I chose the Touch. Only because color hurts my eyes.
I am in love with the Kindle and for those of you still on the fence: DO IT.
Convert. It will change. your. life.
And if you’ve told people you would never move over to the dark side, don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone. Plus, Kindles are small enough no one would notice you’re carrying one ;)
Thanks to all of my friends, acquaintances and even strangers chiming in. I love the Internet!
Recently, I vetted through hundreds of submissions for a ‘Social Media Intern’ role. The resumes all had impressive pedigrees. 98% from Columbia, NYU, even students from BU and neighboring states. They were mostly majors of fancy-buzz word disciplines with almost comedic descriptors. It felt as though I was reading a typical social media expert’s Twitter bio.
The applicants were relentless, following up within a day or two, asking when they could interview. I even had representatives from the respective career development centers contact me and offer recommendations.
Wow. I knew any role in social media was hot, but didn’t realize how hot.
Most of my interviews were 15 minutes max. I’d start with: “So what does your major mean?” or if their major wasn’t media related, “Why are you interested in this role?”
Their well-rehersed answers were synonymous to the typical rhetoric in our industry: “The medium to reach audiences is changing. Companies must utilize new media, such as Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation and create buzz.” – followed by an exhale of relief, relaxing of shoulders and a smile of accomplishment. That proud moment of achievement that they were able to recite the definition without stumbling was endearing. I’ve been there. We all have.
I’d smile an understanding smile. Then prod deeper: “Ok, now explain in plain English, what that really means to you.”
As I listened to hundreds of more carefully crafted, well researched answers, it was unfair to expect compelling thoughts, as we, the professionals in this field, have yet to define what social media really is.
Jeremiah Owyang’s recent piece: ‘How to Interview your Future Employer for the Corporate Social Strategist Position‘ is proof. A social media manager / strategist / [whatever lexicon] is still a role being shaped.
So what is a job in social media? Is it garnering an audience on respective social platforms? Content curation? Measuring growth i.e. results? Is it creating viral campaigns? Outreach? Ability to write headlines with high CTRs? Keeping up with the new hot services? Being deemed an ‘early adopter’? Familiarity of available tools? Does that showcase what social is truly capable of?
Should it be…more?
I’ve defined what social means to me by taking my experience and applying it –which I will soon share.
Just something to think about.
When I first Tweeted this in January, I received a lot of backlash as Groupon -along with the other daily deal sites- are tech’s darlings. Or shall I say were, as today Groupon announced their IPO filing. When the public read Groupon’s S-1 the Silicon Valley tech crowd seemed the most astonished by -GASP- Groupon actually losing money despite their profits.
At first glance, the YOY numbers are pretty impressive:
- 1Q 2011 Revenue: $644.7 million
- 2010 revenue: $713.4 million
- 2009 revenue: $30.47 million
And I’m not going to pretend a net loss of $146.5M wasn’t a tad surprising. And even more shocking is how Groupon hasn’t turned a net profit in any of its first three years of operations, including a net loss of $389.6 million in 2010.
But still. One doesn’t have to be an economist to see right through their faulty model. If you know how the Internet works, a scientific calculator is far from necessary to know: their customer acquisition budget is sky freakin’ high. How else did Groupon gain so much traction in such a short time? Google fairies?
What’s more baffling, is, even with these near comedic metrics, Groupon is still valuated at an astronomical figure. The founders and investors are walking away super wealthy. And I still stand by what I Tweeted back in January: Groupon’s legacy will be an economic dissertation or a B-school case study.
Though the real winner? Google.
For 1. not spending $6B because Groupon turned down the acquisition offer and 2. all the $ Groupon will continue spending on AdWords.
Either which way, I’m just glad the daily deal craze will finally slow down. I’m so sick of hearing how amazing Groupon et al. are, because frankly? They are not. Daily deals are (were?) a hot trend. I’m ready for some innovation. A product with such mind-blowing technology it will stun me stupid.
It’s days like these, I wish I was an engineer.
P.S. If anyone has any inkling on how much Groupon spends a month on Adwords, do share. I tried Googling with no luck. Even Quora didn’t have an answer.
For years, photographers and amateur photographers had only one hub: Flickr. I also used to be addicted to Flickr and made many great friends on there. It’s a huge bummer they became stagnant and really hard to use. I don’t even remember the last time I logged in… And I noticed more and more of my friends using Facebook as their main outlet for photographs.
Now I didn’t understand Instagram either, until I actually created an account and started using it. And the more I use it, the more it’s clear, Instagram is the next social platform for photographers. There are already ridiculous amounts of insanely talented photographers on there. I can’t wait to see the community keep growing.
So what makes Instagram so great? Well:
- discoverability with solid filtering. The noise to signal ratio is on. point. From the popular page to following your immediate friend’s photos, to even seeing activities from your friends (what they liked, what they commented on, etc.) Reminds me of the FriendFeed friend of friend feature, but it’s filtered, so you can choose to look any time you want to and doesn’t clog your feed. (News -> Following)
- community: interaction is pretty much like Flickr, where people can talk to each other without reservations. Plus, you can use handles, which is rare for newer sites these days. Part of the reason so many Asians are on there, to protect their identities.
- shareability is seamless — such a smart implementation, perhaps the best out there.
- MOBILE — it’s in all CAPs because that’s how important mobility will become. I’m excited to see how Instragram will keep iterating its product. And when the Android app comes out? I think the adoption will snowball, trickling down to the mass.
Hopefully, the Instagram team is working on an archiving system with option to store photos at higher resolutions. But I still stand by my statement from a few weeks back: “Finally get Instagram. It’s like Flickr (community and discovery), Myspace-Livejournal (hot girls posting self portraits) but way better.”
If you’d like to connect on Instagram, my user ID is ‘monagram’
Bonus: Check out these two photos from me and Christine. We were at the same place, sitting next to the other, drinking the same thing but the photo, well, take a look. It was so neat when it popped up in our feeds — we both said WOW at the same time.
I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by so many brilliant people — even more so now than ever before. New York is in an interesting place, where there are tons of companies building products catering to the critical mass. The intersection of business minded teaming up with the technically savvy are more prevalent here, than in the Silicon Valley, and the problems they are solving aren’t ones created by the SV tech circle.
Which is a problem on its own.
A lot of successful companies solved a problem they created. Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, even Amazon are almost all products and / or services we could’ve lived without, but now inevitables. Frankly, I am torn, as innovation comes from the technically brilliant, offering things we never knew we wanted, needed and now cannot live without, but where is the limit? How do we get over the Silicon Valley myopia?
The other day, I met with a company working on a product that blew me away (I’ll eventually share who and what) and we discussed in depth consumer behaviors, needs and desires. We talked about flash mob buying and agreed how we don’t see them having sustainable business models. I’ve repeated how Groupon, Living Social, et al.’s legacies are going to be economic dissertations or a Wharton case study.
We moved on to the topic of location based services and how we believe if done right -whatever right may be- mass adoption is highly likely.
But the question still remains: is there a way to elegantly introduce the habit of checking in? Or even initiating action via QR codes?
I’m excited to see who will solve that problem and how.
Just some quick thoughts on a rainy April Tuesday afternoon.
Bonus: Morgan Stanley’s Mobile Internet Report (summary) — pretty neat deck.
So last week, I wrote how I finally got it. Fast forward a week with a little more knowledge and I have to confess. I still don’t get net neutrality. Especially after reading NPR’s piece highlighting opposing views.
“Imagine logging on to your favorite band’s website and you wanted to buy something from them directly, and you were just somehow diverted to the ISP’s favorite online music store,”
That is exactly what I DO NOT want.
But then, there’s another tidbit which states tiered pricing is already in effect and wealthier companies like Netfilx, Google (YouTube) and iTunes already pay more to get faster service. So with net neutrality rules, it would harm the Internet…? Another quote:
“They’re saying that we want to preserve the Internet, but in fact, what they’re going to do is change the Internet such that services like YouTube and Netflix won’t work.”
How would net neutrality rules harm the Internet? Why would no net neutrality rules effect the current state of the Internet? Why are individuals, corporations, businesses and entrepreneurs bucketed in the same pricing structure? Shouldn’t we be protecting consumers and small businesses?
Net neutrality is something we all must comprehend to form our opinions…but it’s so confusing. I feel like such a dummy but can someone provide a neutral synopsis, bulleting the pros and cons? The more I read, the more I’m confused.
(Thanks, Marko, for pointing me to the NPR piece. xx)
I kinda got I should care about net neutrality because I love -well live- on the Internet. So I should be ashamed to admit I had no idea what net neutrality was and why I should care.
But I’m not.
I mean look. It’s not my fault most net neutrality articles read like research papers. The worst pieces are the ones that sound like LSAT sample questions. FCC this. Regulations that. Proposals. Rules. House. Senate. Law. Hmmm what?
In one ear, out the other.
Well.Thanks to Fred Wilson’s post here and USV’s post here, I finally comprehend what net neutrality is, why I should care and why you, fellow Internet user, should care too. So click on those links. Stat.
Ok fine. How about this. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have Google (Gmail included), Facebook and/or Twitter always open in your browser?
- Do you go on YouTube, Vimeo or any other video site?
- Do you stream video on Netflix, Hulu or any other site?
- Do you download music or movies? (it’s ok to say yes btw, I won’t tell.)
- Are you an entrepreneur?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, net neutrality applies to you too.
Pretty serious, right?
Ok then how about this: picture the Internet ending up like cable TV or worse, the radio, where the things we (the public) see or hear is controlled by $$$.
Do I have your attention now? Read this
Ugh. The notion of money hungry a-holes trying to destroy the Internet makes me ill. I mean it’s one of the last places where everyone has a voice, no matter who you know, where you come from or what you look like.
ps: don’t forget to read this
Instead of asdfjkl;l on my forehead and phone imprint on my cheek, this morning I woke up to a burn on my arm. From my laptop. Who gets burned by their own laptop? Me. I do. Been icing it since 10am but it still won’t go away. This is a first. Even for me, who falls asleep with peripherals all the time.
I love that non tech savvy are getting Androids, iPhones, etc., and Facebooking-Foursquaring-Tweeting more. It makes me feel less nerdy and well, normal (or as close to normal as I can be.) Plus I don’t feel as bad for broadcasting check-ins and the like to Facebook.
HOWEVER. I’m sorry (well not really) but this has to be said.
Am I the only one who doesn’t give a two sh*ts if you’re at Home Depot looking at new toilet seats? Or at Target buying cleaning supplies? Or at the gym the same exact time, every single day?? Seriously. What’s the point???
If you think I’m a hypocrite, think again. It may seem like I mindlessly broadcast, but I pick and choose why I share what with who and how. So unless you want stalkers (knock on wood) and people to actually listen/pay attention to and be interested in you, think before sharing and remember to tweak options! You can still check-in for mayorship purposes without megaphoning everywhere.
For those wondering, Foursquare has a purpose aside from: Hey look at me! I’m outside of my house! It’s great for bookmarking and the tips users leave are super handy. i.e. cleanest restrooms in area, recommended dishes at restaurants, times and days of special deals, where electrical outlets are located (for people who are constantly charging), etc., etc. It’s such a bummer these options are kinda ignored. It’s worth checking out. No pun intended.
So don’t be that person spamming your friends! Think before following trends. #thankyouverymuch
Some cards make me laugh so much.
Btw, notice how there are wayyyy too many birthdays this season? Well count back nine months and it’s [drum roll please] Valentine’s-ish. Yes. Your parents were gettin’ it on in and around Cupid Day!
Permanently filed under: TMI
I came across disturbing news about The Better Business Bureau, and how they were accepting bribes for grading businesses.
It’s a bummer, since the BBB is quite useful for online shopping when I need to check if a merchant is legit. Now that I think about it, the main alternative to the BBB is Yelp…another offender of selling out the public but at least Yelp posts reviews from real people.
Anyway, the BBB addressed the public by responding on Twitter and linked us to their public apology. The press release with all that PR bullshit was expected but they included a video message from the President/CEO. While I highly commend them for attempting to connect with the public, that post and video creeped me the fuck out. The President/CEO guy’s body language, mannerisms and intonation reminded me of the guy from America’s Most Wanted. Note: I couldn’t embed the BBB video here but you can watch it by clicking this. YouTube clip of America’s Most Wanted is here.
Sorry (well not really) but once an organization catering to the public breaks my trust, it takes a lot to regain it…and that lame video didn’t do anything for me. Actually, the correlation between the CEO guy and America’s Most Wanted makes me distrust the BBB even more.
That’s me though. Will you still trust the Better Business Bureau?
You know. I’m glad the public is aware of the education crisis in America and I’m not gonna lie, Mark Zuckerberg and Oprah are the reasons people finally, well, seem to care. I can not be happier. What makes me sad are the cynical comments.
Mark Zuckerberg doing good for positive press because of some movie — ok, fine. The timing is bad and I can see why people would think that, but you guys. What motivation do Mayor Cory Booker or Governor Chris Christie have? Have any of you actually been to Newark? Or New Jersey? (Teterboro and EWR don’t count.)
So I challenge all of you, on the Internet, to please learn more about why Newark deserved the grant before spewing negativity. Here are some resources to get you started: The Oprah clip: click this. Mark Zuckerberg’s thoughts: click here. My first hand experiences in New Jersey and thoughts: click this one. Slightly outdated round-up of Mayor Cory Booker’s background and accomplishments is here. More on the challenge grant via the WSJ. The thread where I posted that comment is on StartupEducation’s FB fan page. Click this to see the thread and while you’re at it, fan the page. Follow along. Then decide to critique.
- In 2008, McDonalds’ net profit was 4.3 billion dollars and their advertising budget was $823 billion
- Foursquare Day took place on April 16th. Six months ago. McDonalds and Foursquare are still getting press
- Of the 45 brands/businesses that participated, McDonalds is the only company still being mentioned in press
Looking at the above, I wonder what McDonalds’ goals for participating were and if 33% more check-ins or 33% increase in foot traffic really matters to McDonalds.
Just throwing it out there.
If you aren’t getting rejected on a daily basis, your goals aren’t ambitious enough
My most useful career experience was about eight years ago when I was trying to break into the world of VC-backed startups. I applied to hundreds of jobs: low-level VC roles, startups jobs, even to big tech companies. I got rejected from every single one. Big companies rejected me outright or gave me a courtesy interview before rejecting me. VCs told me they wanted someone with VC experience. Startups at the time were laying people off. The economy was bad (particularly where I was looking – consumer internet) and I had a strange resume (computer programmer, small bootstrapped startups, undergrad and masters studying Philosophy/mathematical logic).
The reason this period was so useful was that it helped me develop a really thick skin. I came to realize that employers weren’t really rejecting me as a person or on my potential – they were rejecting a resume. As it became depersonalized, I became bolder in my tactics. I eventually landed a job at Bessemer (thanks to their willingness to take chances and look beyond resumes), which led to getting my first VC-backed startup funded, and things got better from there.
One of the great things about looking for a job is that your “payoff” is almost always a max function (the best of all attempts), not an average. This is also generally true for raising VC financing, doing bizdev partnerships, hiring programmers, finding good advisors/mentors, even blogging and marketing. I probably got rejected by someone once a day last week alone. In one case a friend who tried to help called me to console me. He seemed surprised when I told him: “no worries – this is a daily occurrence – we’ll just keep trying.” If you aren’t getting rejected on a daily basis, your goals aren’t ambitious enough.via cdixon.org
A-fucking-men; the worst anyone can say is no.
Harvard University put up a beautifully executed site where the books checked out from their five respective libraries are aggregated, Tweeted and integrated with their proprietary catalog database (Hollis)
Fascinating and educational, as I am always looking for new ways to learn. Times like these I fall in love with the Internet allllll over again.
However. Where do past Tweets go? How do I pull up archives?? Am I the only one who wants more than real-time data???
There are ways to look up and archive my data (Tweettake, BackUp-ify, even FriendFeed) but there are so many neat Twitter API based services. Such a bummer there is no efficient search or archive.
Anyone have suggestions or methods they want to share?
THEM: Aren’t you concerned about privacy?
ME: What about privacy? Look at this way: think about how our data is used, not being collected.