Archive for June 2007

iWait for you in line

Cool idea. At Experience Curve I found something about the site iWait, where you can either offer to wait for someone in a line, or alternatively bid for this someone to wait for you in line. It apparently became very relevant for some people during the iPhone launch last Friday…

Google on the future of online advertising

In this article on Read/Write Web (while I am still at it), there are three points, where Google says, that advertising needs to go:

  1. Advertisers need to get better at creating a 1:1 experience for their users. As an example, she cited the work that Cadillac did with their MyCadillac campaign.
  2. Advertisements need to continue increasing personalization. This was surprising to me, given that I don’t believe Google has publicly announced any plans to incorporate behavioral targeting into their ad delivery system.
  3. Users are demanding the delivery of information to be an experience and advertising must respond to it, just like content needs to.

Not really new points, but it doesn’t hurt to reemphasize them. I also find it interesting that the one thing that made creative ad agencies puzzle (text based search advertising) – because it reduced the need for (admittingly more expensive) creatives – is something Google says, we must move away from. Instead, we should increasingly make it an experience. I have been saying this all along, but now even Google recommends experience-richer content.

One other thing I found in that article: I didn’t even know that Yahoo! actually owns the patent for search advertising! This is interesting.

When Google started doing this type of advertising, Overture (acquired by Yahoo) had been delivering similar ads for years. This is why Yahoo owns patent #6,269,361 – which Google licensed from Yahoo right before the Google IPO.

Another field which Google took from Yahoo! (or Overture, in this case) and made it successful.

Google, Marissa Mayer and the future of search

The Searchnomics Conference just took plave a few days ago. Read/Write Web covers the presentation of Marissa Mayer of Google, who talked about 8 areas Google is currently working on (or has launched only recently), which will define the future of search:

Automated translation: According to Mayer, someday in the future Google could automatically search content in all languages and present all the translated results to the user on the same page, regardless of language!

Book search: they are adding metadata about books, so that Google’s algorithms can understand what the book is about, relevant references, and availability of the content.

Images and video: one of their recent changes is to include all web videos into Google search; it is no longer limited to content within Google Video

Voice search: a free phone service that you can call to perform a voice search. As the usage of this system rises, the increasing number of samples of user input will be used to improve voice-to-text technology; users are, in effect, training the system to recognize voice commands

Universal search: the blending of different types of content, such as images and news, into the main search engine

Maps and local search: There are some interesting new advances in this area – for example, Google Maps now supports traffic display, based on data licensed from third parties…

Client software: Google Gears and Gadgets: Google Gadgets enables third-party developers to create tiny applications that live on the desktop and connect to the web in the background to pull in information from the web. Google Gears provides a browser plug-in that, in Mayer’s words, takes Ajax applications and makes them better.

iGoogle: As an example, Mayer said that although she’s a big fan of Netflix, she probably would not make it her home page; with a gadget, however, Netflix could still establish a presence within her home page

One of the most interesting things for me is, however, how people get so excited about Marissa Mayer:

At the end of the session, I had the opportunity to meet her briefly [certainly one of the high points of the conference for me!]

Admittingly, she is pretty. And supposedly, she is also very smart. But the main things is positioning. She is a pretty and clever girl in a world of geeks.

The future of Magazines

PSFK writes about the future of magazines, mainly about 4 points that I agree with:

1. Not many people seem interested in reading long-form journalism (The New Yorker, NYT Magazine, etc) in front of their screens.

2. Magazines are easily portable for a plane ride, or the commute home. Also, they can be a good weekend digest of the week’s events when you are away from the computer/PDA. Though digital books and interfaces for the consumption of media are emerging, none seem poised to make a significant impact.

3. The medium allows for deeper analysis and context of daily news.

4. The sensory experience that print affords — the feel of different paper stocks, glossy photos, beautiful layout, design — simply cannot be replicated digitally.

Actions speak louder then surveys

Behavioural Targeting is an interesting science. Tracking what people do on the web, not what the claim to do during surveys.

Apparently, the folks in the US are now employing behavioural targeting for the presidential elections. One year beforehand, they already measure and track the online behaviour of their fans. Amazing!

Boom chicka wah wah – or how to fascinate the children of the web.

What a phrase:

We’re now at the busy crossroads where globalization meets Web 2.0

But it’s true in a way, and it is what this article from business week titled “Children of the Web” is all about. Plus a good case study of how Axe managed to fascinate the global youth with the tag line “boom chicka wah wah”, which was specifically aimed at being interculturally applicable for marketing.

Online communities to foster real life connections

Steve Rubel writes about communities – online or offline, virtual or real, and there is one key point that I really agree with:

This is just the beginning, however. The most exciting moments will come when online communities are increasingly used to foster offline connections. That’s the big idea behind Meetup.com, for example, and why it’s thriving. It’s also why eBay Live and Gnomedex (and soon Techcrunch 20) are very successful events.

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