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Posts from August 2009

August 27, 2009

September 3 - AdClub Internet Day 2009 - Toronto

August 25, 2009

Search Engine People by Jeff Quipp, Ruud Hein and Jennifer Osborne (Blogroll)

Name of Blog:  Search Engine People - SEO, PPC, & Social Media Insights

URL:  http://www.searchenginepeople.com

One Line Description:  In-depth insights into internet marketing, SEO, paid search, social media marketing and much more, published daily by some of the biggest names in the industry.

Topics It Covers:  Internet marketing, SEO, paid search, social media marketing, reputation management, usability, blogging, analytics, conversion tracking.

Language: English

Author(s): Jeff Quipp, Ruud Hein and Jennifer Osborne

Location: Toronto, Vancouver

Contact Deets: jeff [at] searchenginepeople [dot] com

Three Representative Posts:

  1. Beware – Your Digital Footprint is Your Resume
  2. 12 Common Blogging Mistakes to Avoid
  3. Wordpress Blog Link & Traffic Analysis Plugin

Miscellaneous Notes and Accolades:
Currently ranks #107 on the Adage Power 150 list.
Top 5 list of “Hot” blogs on Sphinn
Top 44,000 ranking on Alexa

August 20, 2009

Data Usage in Online Advertising with Jesse Brown from AdClub Internet Day - 5 Question Interview

JesseBrown Prior to his upcoming keynote at AdClub's Internet Day, Jesse Brown spoke with me about the future of data usage in online advertising.

OneDegree: What is the greatest opportunity/threat to online marketers with respect to data usage in online advertising?

J: The opportunity is hard to overstate: we're approaching a reality where, through data, marketers need never waste another dollar on a misdirected message and where consumers need never be annoyed by irrelevant marketing.  But there is a grave threat here, which is the possibility that marketers will abuse data or confuse the public to the point where consumers back away entirely and protect their data as a reflex, even when it would benefit them enormously to share.

OD: As more online media companies leverage data for use in online marketing more questions come up about data ownership. Who owns the data?

J: That's a big question, which can be approached as a legal, moral, or even philosphical quandry.  But in truth: I'm not sure!  Certainly we own our own identities, and shouldn't be allowed to barter or sell them even if we wanted to. But is privacy itself a commodity? We've been treating it as such, trading it for access to great web tools like GMail or Facebook.  There's a cynical  idea floating around that people are being duped, that they don't realize what they're giving up and will only miss their privacy once it's gone. But I don't think people are stupid. I think we're getting the idea that our information has worth, and we're comfortable capitalizing on it so long as we're treated honestly and respectfully.  But when that trust is broken- watch out!

OD: Companies are becoming smarter about the way they collect and use data. Many companies can now granularly target advertising to specific audiences:

a. Should consumers be concerned?

J: Consumers should be informed. Certainly there are shady characters out there who consumers should watch out for. I think consumers and reputable marketers need to work together towards an honest, transparent system that protects everyone.

b. Will consumers protest the use of data online?

J: If their data is abused, you bet!  I've covered some remarkable online protests, where the might of the consumer comes crashing down on companies. The funny thing is, half the time the protests stem not from something abusive a marketer has done, but from a  widescale misunderstanding of what a marketer might do.  But in these cases, I think marketers are still  responsible.  They lacked transparency and clarity in striking a deal with consumers.  They left too much confusion in too small a print size, and it came back to bite them.

c. Does this change the way advertisers are looking at online marketing? Ie: is there a move away from targeting content (that caters to specific type of audience) to targeting audiences (using data and across general content)?

J: Absolutely.  Content will always rule, but the very definition of content is changing.  People make their own content every day, and the messages we create for each other are often much more relevant to us than anything Hollywood could produce.  So is there room for marketers in those conversations? I think so, but it'll take a light touch, ingenuity, and above all- respect.

OD: Do you believe companies will start to actively incorporate offline data to gain even more insight into user behaviour?

J: Sure. If you've got two datasets that you came by honestly, why not mash them up and look for relationships? It's getting easier and easier to do this, and there's a good chance you'll learn something useful. 

OD: In the US, the IAB has recently issued a document outlining self-regulation rules for usage of cookie data in online advertising. What impact do you believe this will have in Canada?

J: I hope it will lead to something similar here.  If marketers don't regulate themselves, then government will step in, and their policies typically don't favor innovation.  But I will say that when marketers get together to craft these rules, privacy advocates and user groups should have a seat at the table. And  an online, public consultation would give any resulting document a lot of legitimacy!

Mladen Raickovic is an expert in online advertising with a focus on direct response. He currently manages Olive Media’s direct response ad network, Olive Brand Response.

Vulcans, Earthlings and Marketing ROI - [Lally's Review]

Vulcans_earthlings_and_marketing_ro Lally Rementilla warns that Vulcans, Earthlings and Marketing ROI is not exactly beginner friendly, but recommends it to already savvy marketing folks who could use a bit more information on how to bridge communication between the accountants and the creatives.

Here's an excerpt from her review:

What do I like about the book? Well, it's about time that intelligent people hit the nail on the head and get straight to the point that for brilliant marketing decisions to be made, a collaboration between Finance and Marketing is needed. I sure am glad that the authors have done away with the stereotypical one-sided view of things and have made it easy for both Finance and Marketing to understand fundamental concepts and learn about success stories in the market place. The book is a simple and straight-forward read that makes it easy for both sides to learn principles such as ROI (Return on Investment), Hitting the Sweet Spot, The Brand Value Chain and Intangible Assets. Being a finance person operating in a heavy marketing-investment environment, I appreciate the refreshing take the authors have on teaching me, in oh-so-simple terms, things that I probably should have known all along.

Keep reading Lally's review...

More information   

  • ISBN-10: 1554580315   
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554580316

Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain! - [Multiple Reviews]

Stick_to_drawing_comics We gave out a lot of copies of Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain! by Scott Adams during the Mini Book Expo: Business Edition. And now we're getting a lot of excellent, thoughtful reviews!

To avoid clogging your inbox or RSS readers with multiple reviews of the same book, we decided we'd compile the latest ones here for easy access. Enjoy!

Sheri S. found the book sometimes funny, sometimes confusing and occasionally offensive, but overall to be a good sort of book to leave on the nightstand to pick up when you need a laugh. Read Sheri's review...

Katie had mixed feelings about the book: I have to admit that I didn't do any research before putting my name in the hat for a copy of Scott Adams' "Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain!: Cartoonist Ignores Helpful Advice" so I thought it would be some type of humourous look at business. This was not at all the case. Instead, this book is a compilation of Scott Adams' blog posts about whatever he happens to be thinking about - or in many cases, whatever he's interested in stirring up debate over. Politics, economics, relationships, science, current events, his personal experiences .... This book is funny, scathing, and thought-provoking. Would I buy it? Not likely - especially since I can get content very much like this from reading Scott Adams' daily blog posts.

MissQ was similarly ambivalent: Scott Adams’s "Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain" is an amusing, light read. He covers a wide range of topics from the thought provoking to the downright bizarre. This collection of essays comes from posts he originally made on his blog, and you can tell. He uses a very informal, conversational style that is easy to read. I enjoyed many of these essays but some of them just annoyed me. At times, it seemed Adams was trying too hard to be funny, or just taking a not-so-funny situation and beating it until he thought it was funny. In all, I didn’t hate this book but I didn’t love it either. It’s great for a “pick up from time-to-time and read a little bit” book. But I think perhaps Adams should listen to the title of this book in future.

More information 

  • ISBN-10: 1591842301   
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591842309 

August 18, 2009

Don’t serve ads … serve audiences

The online videoverse is expanding. We’re watching more of it, on more platforms than ever. And just as marketers who once shunned the Internet’s potential have now come to embrace it, they’re looking for new ways of reaching these fragmented audiences.

Online video ad revenue grew a whopping 125% last year, and eMarketer estimates it will account for 11% of all online ad spending by 2013 – when 85% of Internet users will be online video viewers. In Canada, overall online ad revenue growth topped $1.6 billion in 2008, with video ads accounting for $12 million.

As the demand for quality branded video exceeds the supply, premium brand marketers don’t need more networks that simply serve ads; they need networks that serve audiences. With growth comes the pressure to apply key learnings and improve performance. Improved performance can be achieved with scalable, targeted distribution and measurement. That means combining audiences with data.

Measurement: What’s in a click?

Of course, growth for online video has meant new metrics – and new insights – for marketers to consider. In video, the click means more than a clickthrough. It can deliver meaningful data about exactly who is engaging with content, and how and when and where that engagement happens. Data is more valuable than ever. Networks with flexible technology can provide deeply nuanced analytics and new levels of granular insight into campaigns.

You get that granular insight by, for example, integrating a network with technology such as BlueKai, the intent-focused data exchange. Using this technology, you can identify, users who are interested in or have purchased your products, even if you are not currently targeting that type of user.

When it comes to measurement, we should all know by now that there’s more to metrics than “views on YouTube,” especially when you start “pushing” content to relevant users using, for example, expandable in-banner videos. These are served using the “push model” and can provide both campaign stats and video player stats to insights for optimization and achieving the best ROI. The value of these measurements is in what they reveal about how the user interacts with both your video content and the interface that lets them control it.

The chart below highlights some of the key metrics to watch for…


These metrics also provide windows of optimization opportunity and value for planning future campaigns. In this age of everything real-time, measurement and optimization are the key to improved bottom line results.

For example, if your ad unit contains three calls to action – ‘Send to a friend,’ ‘Download to Facebook,’ and ‘Get a quote’ – and the majority of users are favouring one, it’s an opportunity to optimize the other two. Or, if your expandable in-banner video tries to make a user laugh, and most are abandoning it before it finishes, your video player can help you find exactly what punchline isn’t working for you.

From ad networks to “audience networks”

The future of online video advertising could very easily lie with “audience networks,” not ad networks. This means aggregating an audience with massive reach, but with highly targetable viewer segments and rich data about each of them.

Today, marketers can go beyond portals like YouTube and Metacafe and deliver branded video to web users wherever they are online, whether it’s email, social networks or reading news. And, with the right tools and partners, they can achieve the highly-sought after metric of considerable user engagement.

But this means more than serving ads. It means serving an audience.

Tina Mooney leads the Canadian office of Adconion Media Group. She became the first member of Adconion’s Canadian sales team in January 2008. Adconion Media Group is the largest independent global audience and content network. Adconion also helps in the creation, distribution and monetization of video with its Adconion TV syndication product and branded entertainment subsidiary RedLever which recently developed the fashion series Shop Girls of Madison Lane for TRESemmé.

Relevance [Rachel Brethauer's Review]

Relevance Rachel Brethauer read Relevance over a long span of time, making her all the more appreciative of the taut writing and the easy-to-follow thread of author's argument.

Here's an excerpt from her review:

And what is Tim Manners offering up in Relevance? Using bite-sized case studies of well-known brands (think Starbucks, Disney, Wal-Mart and Toyota, just for starters), the book is split into three parts: Relevant Problems, Relevant Solutions, and Relevant Outcomes. Manners discusses what he believes to be the most important aspect of marketing – relevance.  And in a tautly written 256 pages, he does a masterful job.

Continue reading Rachel's review...

More information   

  • ISBN-10: 1591842204   
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591842200 

The Way Ahead - [Chris' Review]

The_way_ahead Chris proposes that The Way Ahead might be a more comfortable read for academics and political-types, as the writing style could be off-putting for the general public. Still, his main criticism is that the book outlines problems and proposes no solutions - an example of the productivity problem the text itself highlights.

Here's an excerpt from his review:

However hard I looked, I found Canada’s productivity challenge is no different than for any other country, insofar as this book is concerned. What we must do is what any country must do to keep abreast internationally and it appears that we are doing ok. Even where the author claims there is a problem, it seems to evaporate.

Continue reading Chris' review...

More information   

  • ISBN-10: 0776606697   
  • ISBN-13: 978-0776606699 

August 13, 2009

How We Lead Matters [Liv Hung's Review]

How_we_lead_matters Liv Hung found How We Lead Matters to be a different sort of CEO memoir - less about corporate strategy learned from hard business and more about the lessons the author has gleaned from her experience as a wife, mother and CEO.

Here's an excerpt from her review:

For the most part, her point comes across poignantly. We are reminded of lessons many of us know but often forget: to try hard, and to keep trying even if we're up against the odds. To be self-reliant and be the one person to instigate change instead of waiting for it to happen. To make ethical decisions and care for others, whether they be family members, friends, your community, or children of the world. To know humility and to rebound from hardship and failures. These themes resonate throughout the book, and while these are no revelations of mass proportions, her personal style and voice narrating the stories of successes and failures struck a chord with me. Especially her ability to be vulnerable, and in her telling of a most tragic event in her life: the death of her teenage daughter. This openness allows the reader to feel connected to Marilyn, and to take her advice to heart.

Keep reading Liv's review...

More information 

  • ISBN-10: 0071600175   
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071600170 

How Toyota Became #1 [Joanie's Review]

How_toyota_became_1 Joanie didn't find How Toyota Became #1 to her taste, expecting more nostalgia than business lesson, but she notes that the book could be very useful for those coming from more of a business angle.

Here's an excerpt from her review...

I chose this book with the hope of it sparking some interest in me but unfortunately, I could not get past the first chapter.  A couple more tries followed, but from the introduction and a quick scan of the rest of the book, it all felt like an instruction manual - merely listing off the various lessons picked up from the Japanese company.  Frankly, they all could be helpful in various aspects of business, not just on the automotive industry, but the delivery of the material could have been more effective.

Keep reading Joanie's review...

More information   

  • ISBN-10: 1591842298   
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591842293

August 11, 2009

Grown Up Digital [Mark Leslie's Review]

Grownup_digital Mark Leslie found Grown Up Digital to be pleasurable, easy-to-read and eye opening, and recommends it to adults looking to understand the net generation.

Here's an excerpt from his review...

This is a fascinating, eye-opening look at the Net Generation, and serves to contradict many blatant assumptions being made about today's youth. Tapscott deftly handles the claims that today's young people are a bunch of spoiled brats with limited attention spans who have had everything handed to them and have no scrupples by analysing facts and statistics and applying information from surveys with over 11,000 youth.

Keep reading Mark's review...

More information

  • ISBN-10: 0071508635   
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071508636

Click [Jena Lorbach's Husband's Review]

Click Jena Lorbach notes that her husband actually wrote the review - but doesn't tell us his name! If you're the mystery reviewer, leave it in the comments!

Her husband found the conversational writing style of Click to be engaging and the content valuable, even though the book read a bit like a 200 page long business card.

Here's an excerpt from his review:

"The medium is the message" (Marshall McLuhan) best describes the impressive multi-media experience and concepts outlined by Tancer in Click. The author does not give the nod to McLuhan. Tancer's demonstration of data is his implied agreement with the ideas of a media-driven society, obsessed by its own desire to know which way it will turn next. One begins to understand, as they read, the mouse and keyboard must not be far away.

Keep reading Jena's husband's review...

More information   

  • ISBN-10: 1401323049   
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401323042 

August 09, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year ...

Here at OneDegree, the bags are packed, the mail is on hold and the iPhones are loaded up. The editorial team and the Twitter team are slowing down for the rest of August.  You may see a few posts and tweets we've got queued up, but for the most part, it'll be pretty quiet and running on auto-pilot.

Have a great month, play nice and we'll see you in September!

Gone Fishin'

Photo Credit: atomicjeep

It's August. It's HOT. Let the Hacking Begin -- August 7, 2009 Week in Review

From Our Sponsors & Advertisers

This week's WIR curator is Brad Grier. He blogs at blog.bradgrier.com and tweets up a storm as @bgrier.

Well, it's a day late but hopefully not a dollar short. Apologies to Kate and the OneDegree crew. [And then WE waited another day to post it. Ahh, the anticipation. I blame Georgian bloggers. -Ed.] I'm vacationing in Montreal and didn't anticipate my hotel having inconvenient WiFi. So I'm building this from the Dealers Room at the Anticipation 2009, the World Science Fiction Convention on borrowed WiFi. Enough about me, now on with show...

Seen Around the Blogosphere

It looks like social media took a beating this week. First up was a report that suggests the 'young-uns' are leaving social media sites in droves:

The proliferation of parents and teachers trawling the pages of Facebook trying to poke old schoolfriends and lovers, and traversing the outer reaches of MySpace is causing an adolescent exodus from the social networking sites, according to research from the media regulator Ofcom.

Then there was the social media outage. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Livejournal and Blogger were all attacked in a massive zombie-driven Distributed Denial of Service (DDos) attack.

The blogger, who uses the account name "Cyxymu," (the name of a town in the Republic of Georgia) had accounts on all of the different sites that were attacked at the same time, Max Kelly, chief security officer at Facebook, told CNET News.

Heard on/about Twitter

Not much.  :)  It was down for part of the week...but here's a few things that I caught trending...

  • Pay Per Tweet -- Izea's Sponsored Tweet system launched this week. You'll soon see more tweets using the #spon hashtag. Is this a good thing or not? I explored this question on the Future Shop blog earlier this week -- some good responses in the comments!
  • British troops encouraged to use Twitter:
    In a "liberalisation" of its social networking policy, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that British troops are no longer required to seek permission to use the sites but asks personnel to use common sense over the amount of detail revealed.
  • Another report looks at demographic trends with Twitter:
    According to Nielsen's data, Twitter reached 10.7 percent of all active Internet users in 2009 "despite a lack of widespread adoption by children, teens, and young adults."
  • Delicious Freshens Up With Twitter. Founder Hates It.
    The problem now is that there are plenty of other services people are already using to share stuff on Twitter. Most people still just paste links right into the update box, and Twitter uses Bit.ly to shorten them. This is allowing Bit.ly to collect a huge amount of data about what people are sharing — something which it could use soon to take on Digg and Delicious.

Interesting Bookmarks from the Backchannel

  • Hot or not? -- Nissan Cube promotion suffers slings and arrows.
    In mid-July, a long post went up on the wiki-style muckraking website EncyclopediaDramatica.com accusing Nissan and Capital C of a variety of ethical lapses in the running of the Hypercube contest. Given that the arguments made in the Encyclopedia Dramatica post features more circumstantial evidence and crude language than hard facts—and isn’t even backed up by an author’s byline—the post didn’t exactly meet the generally accepted definition of a reliable source. Nissan and Capital C might have reasonably expected it to create only a small ripple.
  • Social Media Marketing goes to the Klondike
    Klondike ice cream bars is doing some very clever marketing using Facebook as well as online video or webisodes as they are called.

Releases, Announcements and News

Is Bikini Espresso Cafe a clever niche-marketing idea, or just stereotypical exploitation of women, masquerading as a smart business move?

Other Tidbits

  • Tweetblocker: Yet another Twitter management tool...not a bad concept though:
    TweetBlocker automatically identifies the spammers in your follow list and lets you easily unfollow and block them right from the TweetBlocker dashboard. Of course, if you are extremely careful about who you follow, chances are that you aren't even following a lot of spammers. If you auto-follow, however - or if you did so in the past - chances are that you are following quite a few spammers at this point.

August 06, 2009

Search and RSS with Sally Falkow of PRoactive Report

I recently got the chance to speak to Sally Falkow, who pens the PRoactve Report, and knows a thing or two about RSS. We discussed blogs and the appropriate (and inappropriate) usage of RSS feeds, and I asked for her take on the sky-is-falling claims we've been hearing that blogs are singing their swan song.

Sally will be speaking at SES San Jose on the topic of SEO through blogs and feeds.

OneDegree: Blogs are dead, right?

SF: No not at all.  In fact in a recent survey of marketers 34 percent said blogs were the hot social media tool they planned to use in the next year. It’s true the conversation has broadened and spread to other places.  But blogs are by no means dead.

OD: How do blogs contribute to SEO?

SF: Matt Cutts said in an interview at SES that one of the factors needed for good Google results is fresh, original content – he suggest you blog. Blogs are mainly text, constantly updated with fresh original content. They often have a narrow focus and they’re syndicated with RSS Feeds.  That’s a perfect SEO recipe.

OD: I’ve heard people say that Twitter is going to make RSS obsolete – but that seems to be comparing apples and oranges.

SF: That’s an odd comment.  Twitter uses RSS – it is a feed. RSS is like the blood vessels of the social web.  Your Facebook status goes in a feed. Every blog has a feed.  People may not know they are using RSS, but they do know what a feed is.

OD: What is the best content for an RSS feed?

SF: Something that you want people to get on a regular basis.  Content that lends itself to a series or weekly updates  Example:  Travel destinations can do a feed with articles about their area each week.  Tips, recipes, updates, press releases, articles all work well.
OD: Are lots of specialized feeds (e.g. Organized by keyword) better than one or two more general feeds?

SF: Yes, specific content in a feed works best. A reader may not want all your news.  Nikon and Intel are good examples

OD: Is there any content that shouldn’t be syndicated in a feed?

SF: Something that is static and does not get many updates.   Content that you would not want to send to a user, reader or customer.

OD: Bonus Question: What are some of your favourite resources for keeping up with the latest in search, blogs and feeds?

Master New Media
Rand Fishkin

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