Alan Schulman‘s recent “Algorhithmic Creative — A Formula For Feeling?” article warns against the promise of algorithmically-generated ad ideas, copyrighting, and design. It makes sense for a paid “creative person” to fear a trend that may cost him his job, but I’m not sure his Skynet prognostications are a bad thing.
I’ve been browsing through Seth Godin’s brain farts recently and came across his argument for no anonymity on the Web. It goes something like “when people are anonymous, there are fewer social enforcements for good behavior, so they get bad. Real bad.” He points to ebay’s reputation system as a great example of accountability providing a foundation for successful social transactions.
I’ve only met whirlwind genius Marc Canter once (yes Marc, I’m going to link to the wikipedia page you’ve been told not to edit), and I don’t expect to meet another person who embodies the word “grok” more than him. Of course, it helps that he uses the word “grok” fairly often in his speech and writing, but Marc was there at the beginning of all this webby fun and I expect he’ll be leading the charge all the way to the end, egging us on with his incredible visions and longshoreman’s vocabulary.
Banner ads are finally on their way out, surprisingly killed by Rupert Murdoch and the spammers he bought out.
The Financial Times ran a piece today describing fears that social networks are slowing the growth of online advertising in the UK.
The slowdown is attributed to an inability to figure out how best to advertise on social networks. This challenge includes both the mode of advertising (after almost 15 years, we’re finally realizing that users don’t dig banner ads) and techniques for targeting ads:
Earlier today, I turned up Saumil Mehta’s short list of private label social media sites, which included the assertion that “social networks are commodity features”. This is exciting because as social networking functionality becomes widely available, sites will have to refocus on what’s really important — their core content, community, and context — to differentiate themselves.
Quick note: I’m starting up a new community site called (inspiringly) Dub and Reggae. It’s for (surprisingly) dub and reggae fans to share video, music, etc. If you’re interested, please join the site: Check out Dub and Reggae.
Any feedback would be appreciated. If you dig it, please spread the word and maybe link to it.
KickApps has grown quickly in the past few months. Since we’ve added 2 new people to the Product team, I’ve been able to focus on the sexiest part of our application: tools for building vibrant online communities. As part of that focus, I’ve been tasked with getting active in blogland, posting more threads and responding to relevant comments.
I decided to dive in with a simple topic, Facebook’s new “application” feature, which allows other websites and internet applications to integrate their features as Widgets. (See, I was right, Widgets are the future of the Internet.)
Starting a web site redesign? After all of the flowery talk about brands and colors and what-ifs, make sure the creative lead understands this basic fact.
Reading about the proposed satellite radio merger, beyond the noise around monopolies and pricey talk show hosts, I am very interested in the real cause of their troubles: Internet-based alternatives like iTunes and (my personal favorite) Pandora.
A sample quote from one of these stories:
“Basically, XM and Sirius aggregate various musical genres. The iPod also does that, and regulators need to consider that.”
A nonpracticing painter, I funnel much of my creative and service-related frustrations into The Art of Turboing, described nicely by Rob Levandowski.
Like Rob, I am a former customer service lacky, and like him I love to turbo. You should too, if you know what’s good for you: customer service is typically viewed as a business expense by most large organizations, so they structure their CS flows to end your interactions as inexpensively as possible. When dealing with Time Warner Cable recently, I realized that a CSR was simply trying to get me to call back after his shift ended. In that instance, it was the front desk receptionist who finally resolved my problems. If you’re dealing with TWC, save yourself a call and turbo from the outset.
In addition to Rob’s excellent advice, here are eight additional tactics for successful customer service turboing: