Archive for October 2006
Joseph Jaffe is asking us to take part in his “exercise in futility”.
He asks us to leisurely watch television and then answer a few apparently easy questions:
- how many commercials in totality do you think you watched?
- how many commercials did you remember?
- of these commercials, how many brands did you remember (as opposed to “the one with the bunnies”
- of these commercials, how many do you think told you something you didn’t know, offered up something of value, made you think differently about the brand and/or made you want to buy (or consider to buy) that particular brand/product/service
- Bonus assignment: did any one or more commercials strike you as being particularly original, progressive, innovative in terms of message, call-to-action etc.?
I can see his point. But do take into account: if there was a similar questionnaire about regular online advertising, the result would be similarly bad (or even worse). If I read his book right, then his point is more about the irrelevance of this kind of advertising. Push advertising, unasked for, without any engaging element to it…
Jakob Nielsen has some interesting views about the downsides of the 1% rule that I blogged about. In his article
Participation Inequality: Lurkers vs. Contributors in Internet Communities he lists those “Downsides of Participation Inequality”
The problem is that the overall system is not representative of Web users. On any given user-participation site, you almost always hear from the same 1% of users, who almost certainly differ from the 90% you never hear from. This can cause trouble for several reasons:
Customer feedback. If your company looks to Web postings for customer feedback on its products and services, you’re getting an unrepresentative sample. Reviews. Similarly, if you’re a consumer trying to find out which restaurant to patronize or what books to buy, online reviews represent only a tiny minority of the people who have experiences with those products and services. Politics. If a party nominates a candidate supported by the “netroots,” it will almost certainly lose because such candidates’ positions will be too extreme to appeal to mainstream voters. Postings on political blogs come from less than 0.1% of voters, most of whom are hardcore leftists (for Democrats) or rightists (for Republicans). Search. Search engine results pages (SERP) are mainly sorted based on how many other sites link to each destination. When 0.1% of users do most of the linking, we risk having search relevance get ever more out of whack with what’s useful for the remaining 99.9% of users. Search engines need to rely more on behavioral data gathered across samples that better represent users, which is why they are building Internet access services. Signal-to-noise ratio. Discussion groups drown in flames and low-quality postings, making it hard to identify the gems. Many users stop reading comments because they don’t have time to wade through the swamp of postings from people with little to say.
In addition, he also lists some point on “How to Overcome Participation Inequality”.
But the main point still is: you can’t overcome participation inequality. You can only optimise the way content is produced an sorted, trying to make it more suitable and/or relevant for the average users.
Yahoo! has launched a time capsule:
Yahoo today announced the launch of what is expected to be the worldâ€™s largest time capsule in history. Starting today, Yahoo! is encouraging people from around the world to contribute personal photos, stories, thoughts, ideas, poems, prayers, home movies, music and art to an online anthropology project designed to celebrate and understand life and global culture in 2006. Content from the time capsule will be broadcast directly onto the 216-foot tall Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan and sent into space through a light beam from the historic monument.
Sounds great, let’s participate…
Techcrunch has an interesting video online: Web 2.0: The 24 Minute Documentary. (Ok, its almost 2 months old, but nevertheless very interesting.)
The topics discussed include:
1. What is Web 2.0?
2. Are we in a bubble?
3. What are the business models that will work on the web today?
4. What is the role of publishers in a user generated world?
5. How important and how big is the early adopter crowd?