July 2007

Advertising’s target audience is digital and fragmented

A cracking – but no surprises – article in the FT: TV ad income is down, but within the figures, TV companies’ income is shifting to digital channels. Their audience is fragmenting.

In 2010 internet advertising will overtake TV; only press advertising will be larger:

“Advertising spending on the internet, which was 14.2 per cent of the
total last year, is forecast to be 26.9 per cent in 2012, overtaking
television as the second largest platform for advertisers in 2010.

“Press advertising is estimated to fall from its 46 per cent share to just over 38.3 per cent in six years.”

Which will give us *very* interesting times: we have hundreds of years culture in press advertising; 50+ years of commercial tv expertise. And a decade of online ad exposure, which has been a fairground ride, with folk clinging to the handrail to keep up with the pace of technical innovation and explosions in site traffic.

How much consensus is there, right now, on what makes a good online ad campaign? Site views?  Registrations? Viral infection rates? Awareness? Sales?
Put any three experts in a room & you’ll get 4 views.

Now, it was always the same in tv & press – but built on rather more firm foundations. Which means that the online industry had better get some consensus on what to measure, and what to return on investment to expect, pretty quickly.
In three years or less.

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future of eMail

It’s good to see mozilla pushing their Thunderbird mail client forwards over the horizon.
I’ve used Thunderbird on & off for several years – at the moment it’s ‘on’, just.

There’s not too many problems with Thunderbird – most of the issues are with email, not any specific mail programme. I’d prefer if it collaborated more with other services – by which I mean with open standards, so that I can plug any service into Thunderbird. And some more speed would be good when syncing IMAP accounts… as would much tighter integration with browsers (not just Firefox), so that the leap from email to other media content (web page, podcast, video, IPTV programme and so forth) was as small as possible. That speed issue alone makes it tough to see how Thunderbird in its present state could get close to delivering mobileemail services.

As a marketer, the easier that a programme is to use, the more I like it: if folk receiving email find it easier to get to engaging content, then that’s good for online marketers.

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alt. Microsoft Office

this post by http://jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/archives/009275.html made me think about my own experiences with alternatives to Microsoft Office (Office for Mac, in my case)… I used to use writely – now the word processing tool at Google Docs – and found it fantastic for instant collaboration, particularly amongst folks who had never collaborated on a document as a virtual team.

I recently tried the spreadsheet in Google’s docs – & it’s just too slow on my 2mb broadband connection, even for the simple stuff I try to get done on Excel. If I can think faster than a computer runs or software renders my typing, then something’s way wrong!

I’ve been using NeoOffice for a few months on my desktop – and it works very nicely – I’m not missing MSOffice. There’s an early look at NeoOffice 2.2 for download That said, my next book Customer 2.0 is coming along nicely, in Word: I’ve written books & dissertations in Word before, and feel more comfortable handling a (very) long document in Word.

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miskeying Google uk…

By accident, I added an ‘oo’ to get to http://ooogle.co.uk/ , then for fun missed off the g, and found myself – not on oogle.co.uk – but on a Sky TV signup page

Full marks to the fella at Sky who thought of that one, and got around to putting it in place.
And to the web management team, who saw the point in doing so.


and in a more serious vein,  Blackle serves up Google in Black – which apparently saves hills of power normally needed to deliver Google in white.

It’s harder to read white text on black, but not that hard!  Since the idea of Google would be that you scan the results & move on, it’s not as intense as reading whole sentences – where comprehension would suffer.

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Alan Johnston is free


I’m so glad that Alan is safe: we both studied english at Dundee University (though I reckon he got to a lot more 9am lectures than I did…)

& following a post to the BBC’s website, they’ve just rung to ask if they can speak to me live on the World Service this evening – I’m delighted to have the chance to welcome him back in public!

Glad that we don’t need this any more…

Alan Johnston banner

/update: spoke live to Alan on air: he’s clearly looking forward to getting back to a normal, quiet life.
My very best wishes to Alan and his family.

Slow down to hurt spammers

Canadian email marketing company MailChannels has hit on a cracking way to hurt spammers – by slowing down the handshake between email programmes: Traffic Control Since spammers need to send huge volumes of email, they can’t wait…. so move on elsewhere. Which must help cut costs for MailChannels (since they don’t have so much bandwidth stolen by spammers), which in turn will help give legitimate customers a better service.

I expect that by partnering with Cloudmark, there’s a network effect too.

great job.

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Real news!

I missed the Guardian’s coverage of Mika Brzezinski who refused to read a non-story as the morning news lead. I couldn’t agree more: somewhere we need to draw a line between news and celebrity hype (& sports “news” too, for that matter.)

Given the proliferation of tv channels, and the about-to-be-spectacular growth of internet tv viewing, shouldn’t there be separate channels for celebrity “news”: rolling coverage of “stories” as they break, just as there is for news and sports?

That way the celeb stuff could be kept clean out of the way of real news.

Build your own webpage, part 2

I finally found time to view Steve Jobs’ keynote at WWDC, and noted the inclusion of Webclips in Apple’s forthcoming Leopard OS: it’s a neat way of capturing any (?!) part of a webpage, and creating your own customisable widget.

And if you think of a Mac’s widget screen as a web Home page, then WebClip is doing much the same role as Zude.

/update  I’ve been invited to the private Beta (thanks guys!)

First impressions to follow in a few days….


I hadn’t noticed Pownce until I noticed that it’s now available on Facebook:  but since the Pownce blog only started on June 28th, maybe I’m not too far off the pace!

’tis a pretty thing – and carries ads in the free version.