Tag Archives: google

Bump gets bumped off

Bump will always hold a special place in my heart. While I haven’t used the app in over a year, it was the first app I downloaded to my first iPhone years ago. But anyone who doesn’t bet on Google offing the apps/services they acquire just isn’t paying attention.

2014 is not dawning as a very happy new year for users of the Google-acquired Bump, as Google announced on New Year’s Eve that it will shut down both of Bump’s services at the end of January. Bump was acquired in September 2013, with the company saying, “We couldn’t be more thrilled to join Google, a company that shares our belief that the application of computing to difficult problems can fundamentally change the way that we interact with one another and the world.” Four months later, Google is killing Bump’s services.

via Google’s Bump to shut down this month, team will focus on Google products | Ars Technica.

The Internship is to Google as Top Gun is to the Navy

Last week the trailer for The Internship was released. It’s terrible on a number of levels, from the ridiculous levels of cultural ignorance shown by Vaughn and Wilson’s characters (they know The Hunger Games but not X-Men? Really?) to the tired generational jokes on display here. But in an odd way it appears that this is to Silicon Valley what Top Gun was to the defense industry, a thinly veiled piece of propaganda wrapped in a homoerotic narrative.

More interesting than the trailer itself (which isn’t a high bar to clear) is the way it was released, via Google+ Hangout, showing just how much corporate involvement there was in the movie’s making and how they see the movie as a giant commercial.

Google ties Google+ and Blogger closer together

There’s now some tighter integration between Google+ and Blogger with new functionality introduced today that prompts you to share the new Blogger post you just published with your Google+ network.

This is mildly interesting – the only thing that’s surprising about it is that Google is continuing (for now) to support Blogger instead of completely switching everything over to Google+ – but does open up a raft of thoughts about how publishers promote their work on social networks.

Right now I’m using (obviously) WordPress and have that platform’s Twitter tool installed so that this post, when it’s published, will be distributed there automatically. Similar tools are available for Facebook and other networks, all of which are focused around giving the publisher control. But right now Google is the only one company that owns both a long-form publishing platform *and* a social network, meaning it can make that integration even tighter and, as I allude to above, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if at some point down the road the two tools are merged into one.

More than anything though this news, combined with Hootsuite’s announcement that they were finally opening up Google + Pages access to all levels of their users, shows that Google realizes there needs to be *some* level of automation to the publishing on their social network. Yes, there might have been a massive user growth spurt in the last couple months and some brands are having great success there, but enterprise level users in my experience like having a single publishing dashboard so they’ll have to continue to meet that need.

What will now be interesting to see is what sort of additional tools Google does or doesn’t add for other, non-Blogger platforms that encourages people and publishers to promote their work on Google+.

Just awesome

One of the reasons FeedBurner has always been among my favorite companies – even post Google purchase – is that the people who work there are obviously insane. Log into FeedBurner and check out what appears after the “My Feeds…” and you’ll know what I mean.

So in addition to being thrilled that Google Analytics will soon be displaying feed stats – a huge point of integration that’s incredibly useful to publishers – I just have to stand up and applaud the headline of the post announcing that integration.

Marketing Madness in 60 Seconds: 7/31/09

static5Advertising/Marketing

The upfronts are finally beginning to move forward and the networks are finally starting to log some sales. It’s not like commercial time is flying off the shelf though, and the take for networks might be in the $1 – $1.5 billion range, down from over $9 billion last year – even though they’re not conceding as much on pricing as buyers were initially asking them to. Networks have still, though, only booked 25 percent of their inventory and the Fall season is only two months away. Declines in CPM rates have not been as great as buyers were hoping for but still more than the networks were angling for.

I actually don’t think the call by some publishers to do away with ad networks is about anything other than them wanting to stop blogging from being profitable, thereby eliminating the new media competition they see biting their heels.

Spending on word-of-mouth marketing efforts reached $1.5 billion last year according to PQ Media and is expected to grow over 10 percent this year. In-game ads also continue to grow.

The next big thing in the marketing industry is the connecting of consumer’s offline behavior with what they do online. All of this is over and above, of course, what people are voluntarily sharing about themselves on social networks and blogs.

Media

The AP thinks its copyright infringement anytime there’s a link and a headline to its content, whether that means in a blog post or simply the results of a Google search. Rex Hammock points out why this argument is completely insane on a number of levels and Danny Sullivan realizes that, by this definition, the use of Google by AP employees means they themselves are engaging in blatantly violating copyright.

The idea of “nichepapers” makes a lot of sense, but mostly because that’s exactly what the blogs have been doing for years now. This model also kind of necessitates an aggregation system, either in the form of an RSS reader or something that looks very much like a newspaper, collecting the niche content in one place for people to sort through.

Social Media

NewsGator is shutting down their free, online RSS reader and recommending people switch over to Google Reader, making it easy for people to sync with that product. I used to use NewsGator and am disappointed to see it go since there were a lot of things about it people used, including its integration with Microsoft Outlook and such.

Marketing Madness in 60 Seconds: 6/26/09

static4Advertising/Marketing

Yes, the FTC is looking into paid placements of online mentions that aren’t fully disclosed by the author. But I’m hoping that what Andy Beal says is right and that most writers won’t have to worry about it since there’s nothing wrong with what they’re doing. For those worried, a simple bit of disclosure should suffice nicely.

Yahoo is launching a new self-service ad product, something it’s hoping will attract the attention of local and other smaller businesses. At least one person who deals with the local advertising market, though, thinks that this sets the entry bar too high for businesses that are used to having programs built for them and don’t have the skills or the time to do it themselves.

Research from Harris Interactive suggests people are over-hyping online word of mouth, with their study saying offline recommendations or discussions carry more weight than their online counterparts. The numbers skew slightly more in favor of online among younger respondents. This is another one of those issues where each new survey will suggest something different but it’s worth noting the back-and-forth.

Google is introducing AdSense for Mobile Apps as a way to help developers of applications for a variety of platforms, including its own Android and the iPhone, monetize those creations even if they don’t charge for them directly.

Some shows are commanding higher ad rates for their online streaming through Hulu, TV.com and other outlets than they are for their main, traditional television broadcast. You can mark the day old media began officially dying….NOW.

Media

It shouldn’t be surprising that few news organizations have a solid set of social media guidelines in place when you know that few companies of any sort have a solid set of social media guidelines in place. That being said, there seem to be a couple examples of reasonable guidelines in this story, where the employer is taking a “Hey, just don’t be irresponsible on Twitter” stance.

A newspaper-content licensing agency in the U.K. is actually considering trying to collect royalties on behalf of papers for links to stories. That’s right, links. So even if someone links to a newspaper story without reprinting content the agency would try and collect a fee. Not right on any level.

Google is once again being blamed as the source of all problems for newspapers when it’s actually a combination of a half dozen things, none of which is Google and many of which reflect the “we’re the only ones that exist” attitude that dominated the early web, that have papers in this position.

A Reuters editor has told the governing body of the Olympic Games that they need to change their accreditation rules to accommodate and acknowledge the insta-publishing reality.

Social Media

Wiki creation service WetPaint is launching a new product that seeks to measure online interest – judged by participation and engagement with related social networks and site – in television shows. The most interesting thing about this story is that it’s not a company that you’d usually associate with tracking and measurement doing it.

Similarly, a new deal between TiVo and Quantcast would seek to offer a single, unified metric that spans both TV and online advertising. This would save marketers having to cluge together disparate numbers from two – or more – different reporting services and give them a better sense of how their cross-platform campaigns were running.

MySpace is suffering from a serious lack of cool perception right now. But as Catherine P. Taylor says it can get some of that back by involving social media bigwigs in its future developments and plans.

Marketing Madness in 60 Seconds: 6/12/09

static2Advertising

Izea is readying a Pay Per Tweet program that should come as a surprise to absolutely no one. The details are somewhat similar to what the company offers bloggers and which has been the subject of a ton of discussion over the years. I’ve never been a fan but the company has never been one to shy away from making its case and I have to respect that, as well as the discussion they’ve sparked, which has led to some of the guidelines many of us now see as givens.

The Daily Beast and other online publications are forgoeing traditional banner ads in favor of customer advertising options that they’re offering to buyers in the hopes they’ll see them as breaking through the clutter.

Stories about Google trying to break further into the display ad market have been written for at least two years now, with this being the latest one. This is one area of online advertising the company doesn’t rule and so it’s a prime area for growth for it.

Media

Staci Kramer at PaidContent has some of the best commentary about the meeting a couple weeks ago of some of the biggest newspaper executives about how they’re going to get paid for their content in the near future. This particular post has to do with a proposed universal system for papers to collect payment from sites as well as a single online classifieds program. She picks up the key point, which is that if even one site decides to go it alone and doesn’t stick to the plan it can all fall apart very, very easily. Erik Sherman at BNET makes a strong case for people needing to make a strong case – one that’s backed up by hard numbers and not just lofty opinions and feelings of what’s “right” or “true.”

Speaking of level-headed commentary, Jon Fine provides just that in the ongoing conversation about paying for news content online. He hits the nail on the head when he says that “news” isn’t something you repeatedly go to like a song or movie.

New research shows, unsurprisingly, that time spent with mobile apps is eating into time people spend with other media.

USA Today sees mobile device distribution as one of the keys of its future survival. At the same time it’s developing a subscription-only electronic edition that would replicate in digital format the newspaper itself.

Social Media

Time Magazine runs a cover story on Twitter and gets everyone talking.

Twitter, in response to a lawsuit by St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, is launching Verified Accounts over the summer. It’s just a trial at first and will focus on people who are seen as being at risk for what is, essentially, identity theft and then spread out to include everyone who runs some sort of “official” account for a person or brand.

I don’t always agree with Jonah Bloom but I do find a lot of common ground with him in his call to not repeat the siloed mistakes of the past, with social media being a siloed unit that acts independently of the rest of a firm or office.

If you’re up at 12AM Eastern you’ll be first in line to take advantage of Facebook finally allowing everyday users – and more importantly brand managers – to grab a vanity URL on the social network. Marshall Kirkpatrick is in no hurry to grab his since, as he points out, he already owns his own website and so Facebook is a secondary concern to him. I agree with Marshall’s points as to why this isn’t an absolute priority, but I will probably grab mine when I get around to turning on the computer Monday morning. If you’re still interested Caroline McCarthy has a solid how-to.

No kidding.

Both blogs and Twitter accounts get abandoned. This shouldn’t be surprising at this point.

Gotta love Turner Classic Movies launching a social network for fans of classic movies. The site will allow members to write blogs, engage in conversations with others and list their favorite stars and movies.

Marketing Madness in 60 Seconds: 5/8/09

static2Advertising/Marketing

YouTube is reminding some of its top content producers that placing their own ads in their videos violates the site’s terms of service. YouTube and owner Google obviously don’t want producers selling their own ads for a variety of reasons, ranging from the simple fact that it cuts them out of the ad dollar equation but also because it has the potential to create a situation where a producer-placed ad conflicts with a YouTube-sold ad. Cause that’s just awkward.

But…I thought 2009 was supposed to be the year of mobile advertising? Is..that…not actually happening? Apparently not.

While it might not be growing at the same rate is has been the last couple years, 2009 is still on track to end with online being the fastest-growing portion of advertising spending. Specifically, a new survey says more money will be heading to online ad networks as marketers look to increase the reach of their ads. Of course the survey was conducted by an online ad network.

A new bit of research by Nielsen shows that people at gas pumps outfitted with digital screens not only find them interesting and entertaining but also recall the ads displayed with a high amount of frequency. That’s good news for the advertisers looking to target drivers at the pump.

Advertisers want to start basing what they pay networks on an engagement model. Oh good. Cause we all have a single definition of what “engagement” means, right? Right?

Media

I think it’s great that some media companies are taking positive steps to embrace digital media in their business models, I think it’s a bit slanted to give them a pass on their early online efforts by saying they just got “steamrolled” by Google like everyone else. Quite the contrary, there was a whole segment of the population that embraced Google and found ways to work with its algorithms and such. That segment is, to borrow a phrase, the people formerly known as the audience. Newspapers now want to make up for lost time by acting like victims but the reality is they missed a lot of boats early on.

I think Newsweek’s idea to not worry about breaking news and instead focus on context and deep reporting is exactly what it and other organizations need to do to survive. Stop competing with everyone on search and start doing what blog writers who have other jobs can’t, which is utilize resources they don’t to go beyond the breaking news and add value to stories.

TVWeek has become the latest publication to announce it will shut down its print edition and go online only.

Online

Twitter will begin indexing the links people include in their updates, meaning their search feature will become much more rich, going beyond whatever people are able to say in 140 characters in into the stories behind those links.

Marketing Madness in 60 Seconds: 4/3/09

METRICS

TiVo says it will accommodate advertisers looking for more of its data on who watched what sort of programming – including advertising – by doubling the amount of households whose set-top boxes are included in the sample audience. Selling ratings data is seen by TiVo as being a big source of additional revenue.

PRNewswire will begin offering metrics around where and how the press releases companies issue through it are picked up online. That includes blog posts and more. PRN will then help companies who have a press release that doesn’t get wide pick-up figure out how to make the release rank higher among search results.

MEDIA

180 newspapers across the country have agreed to co-brand their online real-estate sections with Zillow.com. The papers are apparently looking to offload more of the heavy lifting and figured adding Zillow’s search and other functionality was a good place to start.

SOCIAL NETWORKING

Blog publisher/ad network Glam Media has launched Tinker, a new tool that aggregates Twitter conversations based on keywords and putting them into a single stream people can customize or simply follow.

Andrew Goodman asks the provocative question: Is Guy Kawasaki ruining Twitter? Well worth reading.

Facebook and Adobe have partnered to bring Flash to the developer platform for Facebook apps. Cause the world needs more Flash.

I’m whole-heartedly with Stephen Baker, who says he has no interest in functionality like a “vote up/down” button being added to Twitter, saying it’s just going to cause more problems than it solves.

Twitter says it’s going to do as good a job as it can in disclosing paid relationships, something that’s important to note as it enters into more of just those sort of relationships.

I’m guessing no, the average Facebook users doesn’t quite understand what they’re sharing when they log in to others sites with Facebook Connect. But I’m also guessing they wouldn’t care all that much if they did because it’s so convenient and online users have shown they’re increasingly fine with their data being used for better ad targeting.

ADVERTISING

Google is shuttering their AdSense for Video units, their program that allowed site publishers to post YouTube videos containing ads, at the end of April. This doesn’t effect the placement of video ads through AdSense, though, so don’t worry.

As part of their deal to post short-form video on YouTube, ABC/Disney will also be able to sell in-stream ads on those videos.

Advertisers and TV networks are beginning to take a less adversarial stance toward DVRs and the audience that uses them. Granted, that means a rise in product placement, ads that take over the bottom third of the screen for 30 seconds and other such tactics, but at least they’ve started adapting to the new reality rather than flailing against it.

A study commissioned by a print publisher and distributor of television programming says that print and TV ads have higher ROI than online advertising. Shocker.

The lead in this story about how cable companies are looking into more web-based functionality and viewing is buried. The real meat of the piece is that cable companies want more interactivity through set-top boxes because it means there’s potential for more interactive commercials to be distributed.

Broadcast networks saw online advertising revenue top $1 billion in 2008, a 36% increase over 2007.

ONLINE VIDEO

Hulu is growing in terms of visitors and overall audience but the advertising dollars aren’t growing at the same clip. It’s falling prey, unfortunately, to still being seen as “experimental” by buyers as well as the fact that the high-quality online video market is expanding on an almost daily basis.

YouTube is making a play for more of that professionally-produced – and therefore safe for brand advertisers – content by redesigning in such a way to clearly give that sort of content its own section, away from all the user-generated stuff. It’s clearly a response to Hulu and other sites and might wind up being a turning point in what kind of video gets posted to the site.

PUBLIC RELATIONS

Hmmm. A new survey says clients aren’t doing all that great in communicating goals and other important information to their agencies.

Jeremiah Owyang wonders what would happen if PR agencies started representing user communities instead of brands. This is kind of ridiculous since it fails to ask the questions of 1) What would these communities need an agency for, 2) Who’s the lead contact with the agency, 3) What can the agency do that the communities can’t, 4) Who’s going to pay the agency and about 17 others that I don’t have the time to go into.

Marketing Madness in 60 Seconds: 3/27/09

static5Social Media: If we do decide to adopt something akin to impressions, a long-valued metric in the traditional media world, to online can we at least agree to call it something better? There’s got to be a better term out there for this concept that doesn’t come with all the fuzzy connotations this one does. Len Devanna also has an interesting post on the subject of social media ROI.

Definitely worth reading both David Griner’s original post and the ensuing comment discussion about whether it’s not allowed and appropriate to be “ourselves” on our online outlets. I personally view this as being akin to a cocktail party. We talk work sometimes, we talk movies sometimes and occasionally someone drops an F-bomb and starts going off on a religion-related tangent, making everyone uncomfortable for a little while.

Advertising: A new study shows that ads appearing within casual online games contribute to high brand awareness in the minds of consumers. The study collected 2,000 responses to a survey but it was run by a company that delivers just those kinds of ads so keep that in mind.

Same caveats apply to a study showing the effectiveness of video screens in grocery store checkout aisles.

The majority of online video viewers are pretty accepting of pre-roll and in-stream ads if it means they can get their shows and other content for free. Viewers of downloads seem to be more tolerant and find the ads more relvant than viewers of streaming content, but the numbers even there are creeping up.

Google is reported to be working on an online platform that would allow those advertisers buying time on Google TV Ads to also place online and YouTube orders as well.

Social Networks: Yes, Twitter is looking to make money, probably through the sale of some form of corporate or professional accounts. This shouldn’t be a surprise, though the “Twitter’s not making money while others who build off their work are” meme seems to be making the rounds once again for whatever reason.

One thing companies are trying with Twitter is using it as a recruitment platform, something I think it has a lot of potential as if used correctly.

Twitter has also changed how it displays page titles in an effort to rank higher in searches for people’s names.

Facebook has changed its design once again, the biggest result of which has been to make a whole batch of people log into Facebook for the first time since the last redesign.

Scott Monty shares his shorthand for describing social networks.

Some stars employ ghost-writers for their Twitter feeds. I’d be shocked, except that I’m very very much not.

Rick Klau shares his experiences managing the Blogger brand on Twitter. Definitely worth reading for his insights and best practices advice.

Media: Nielsen says more time is spent each week playing video games than they do watching some television networks, meaning they’re almost becoming a “5th network” in and of themselves.

Bucking much of their recent history, some media companies are actually embracing the new distribution/conversation platform that is Twitter and finding ways to engage with the audience there. That goes hand-in-hand with research from IBM that says old media companies are ill-equipped to meet consumer demand in the new media world.

People spend, according to a new Nielsen study, an average of 8.5 hours a day in front of some sort of screen, be it computer or TV or mobile device.

Search: You should read this CNET article and get up to speed on changes Google has made to its search algorithm.