Month: July 2009

Frustrated With Search

Here is an interesting analysis from eMarketer that notes while Search spending is steady, marketers are becoming frustrated with the results. The bellwether of the online marketing arsenal is showing some cracks in the armor. To be honest, this does not surprise me too much. Online users are getting more savvy with regards to online marketing, and search specifically (clicks on banner ads have been in free fall since the first one back on Wired in 1998).  In turn, searchers are clicking less on paid results and increasingly looking more towards the “natural” results.  They are searching for relevant conversations about whatever it is they are looking for.  Further, we are seeing the behaviors of Searchers change over time too. Queries are becoming more complex, more in the form of natural language questions, and we are seeing a big rise in mobile search. Add this together and the result in less “advertisable” Search impressions – paid search is not as effective in matching against such complex queries, and mobile search has less physical space to deliver advertising.  With less search impressions, there is less inventory, meaning prices will inherently rise while performance declines. Not a good equation if you are a marketer.

But I think this is another element of a much broader movement that is going on. What we are seeing validates the argument that will be outlined in Bob Garfield’s upcoming book The Chaos Scenario, where he outlines the massive changes that are and will be happening in the media world.  In part, he argues that while the customers are still out there, they are placing less value in word of the marketers (or institutions) and more value in the advice of other customers:

“They’re still an audience,” he writes, “but they aren’t necessarily listening to you. They’re listening to each other talk about you.

Interesting times, interesting times.

Happy Birthday Spongebob

This month it is Spongebob Squarepant’s birthday.  It’s been 10 years since he world was introduced to Bikini Bottom, Squidward, Mr. Crab and the infamous Crabby Pattie.  I’ve also heard that Spongebob is now a $50 Million business.  In honor of this momentous occasion, Nickelodeon is offering up a Spongebob Bash, a marathon this weekend of “All Spongebob, all the time”. So parents, clear out your DVR’s and set them to record 24/7. You’ll be able to get all sorts of Spongebob content to keep the kids at bay when you need it!

Tweets of the Week

  • I am looking forward to the new Harry Potter movie. Reading book 1 to my daughter and she’s enjoying it. #
  • A confession: when “Enter Sandman” plays on my iPod, I listen to the opening rift twice or more. #
  • Just saw a Billy Mays ad (Big City Sliders) on ESPN. #
  • Pondering taking the plunge with Google Voice. May wait until u can move number to service, although I did get a good GOOG Voice number #
  • Extending holiday weekend by 2 days. Took kids to Valley Forge,PA on 4th and enjoyed fireworks in Cranbury,NJ #

Cow Appreciation Day

Today at Chick Fil A restaurants around the country, its Cow Appreciation Day.  Simply show up at one of their restaurants dressed up as a cow and you will get a free meal.  For those of you not so adventurous, if you just show up wearing a cow related t-shirt or other piece of clothing that references a cow, they’ll give you a sandwich. If you are not familiar with their marketing and advertising campaign, they have cows as their “pitch men”, asking consumers to eat more chicken.  Except, the cows can’t spell (ex: Eeet More Chikin).

Later on in the year, around September, they have similar offering where they give away a sandwich if you are wearing a team logo to honor the start of the fall sports season (when football, basketball, hockey start, and when baseball gets into the stretch run).

Serendipity

This evening on the commute home, I was exchanging comments with a friend of mine regarding a post he put up on Facebook (log in required), in which he alluded to the classic 1980’s song “She Sells Sanctuary” by The Cult. So of course, as I’m in my car driving home and listening to my new favorite car radio station, WRXP 101.9 (NYC), what comes on at 7:04PM but…wait for it….She Sells Sanctuary by The Cult. Its a sign. Not sure of what, but its a sign.

And while I’m on the subject of NYC radio stations, WRXP is a breath of fresh air in the vapid morass that is, and has been, the NYC region’s music radio stations (If I’m late to discovering RXP, shame on me). For years we’ve had to suffer with cookie cutter, top 100 pop crap stations. Finally, someone has put together a station that incorporates new, underground artists, along with classic songs and artists from the past 0-30 years. And the DJ’s know what they are talking about….Matt Pinfield is excellent. WXRT is a great change of pace on the NYC area’s radio dial and I wish it great success so long as it does not get swallowed by internet/satellite radio.

Why The Internet Rocks – Reason 4504

Recently, my 6 year old son acquired an old Lego set from the Star Wars line – the old Millennium Falcon set from 2004. Problem was that it was acquired from a school thrift sale, meaning the set was used, it was in a brown box and not in the original packaging, and the instructions were nowhere to be found. We (OK, my son) decided that we wanted to start building it today but with no instructions, this would prove to be quite the challenge. With about 5 minutes worth of searching, with relative ease we were able to find the instructions booklet online. Click, download the PDF, and we’re in business. Yet another reason why the Internet rocks.

A Bud And A Colt 45 to Go

The Arizona legislature has just sent a bill to the Governor that would allow concealed guns in bars.

Critics of the measure say guns and alcohol are a dangerous combination. “We don’t let people drink and drive, why should we let them drink and carry guns?” said Sen. Paula Aboud, D-Tucson, who voted against the bill.

Ah, really?…a dangerous combination? Nothing makes me more comfortable than going into a bar full of gun totin’ drunken fools. It may truly be the Wild Wild West.

Pretty Baseball Stats

I came across a great site today called Flip Flop Fly Ball. The site’s author Craig Robinson essentially takes run of the mill baseball statistics and information and turns them into graphic works of art. For example, the chart below displays the direction that the batters face within each of the MLB stadiums (click to see the full sized image).

There is a great visual of the price variance of MLB tickets (with the Yankees leading the way), the types of MLB stadiums, and my personal favorite, the monetary value of MLB’s stolen bases if they were actually stolen.