If you haven’t spent time on Quora, then you’re missing out. That is, if you like to hang out with smart people and discuss interesting topics. If you don’t like those things, then you’re not missing anything. Continue reading “Attention Marketers: Stop Trying to Ruin Quora”
If you’re like most marketers, you buy your digital display advertising on a CPM basis. But, what if you found out that your thousand impressions were really only 700? Or 500? That is a real possibility with the new Chrome extension, Stylebot. Continue reading “Stylebot Gives Users Control to Eliminate Display Advertising”
I wrote a piece that reviews several important social media content curation tools that went live on Social Media Examiner today. You can check it out here.
If you’ve visited my site from Social Media Examiner, welcome! I hope you poke around and take a look at some of the other content I’ve written about using social media for content curation.
I’ve written about all of the ways that people are curating social media content; why social media curators are not “just filters” (as some ego-driven, threatened museum folks have declared), how to build resonance with new Twitter marketing tactics, and another curation tool that I can highly recommend.
I have some more content coming about the emerging toolset for content curation, so stick around or subscribe via RSS.
Many hands have been wrung about the future of music. The music industry has seen year over year of increasingly steep declines for a decade. Think about that for a minute: in 2001, the business fell by 3%. In 2002, it fell another 11%. In 2003, it recovered slightly. But the dead cat bounce was confirmed in the subsequent years. The industry has posted double digit declines in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. In 1999, the industry was $14.3 billion. In 2009, it was less than half – $6.3 billion.
Can you hear the clanging death bells? Music will surely die! This fate has been proclaimed everywhere, but, of course, misses the point completely. If we learned nothing else from the housing bust, let us at least remember that more isn’t always better – sometimes it’s just more. Continue reading “Why the Future of Music is Brighter Than Ever”
This shockingly simple question opens the door to look at history as a guide for what is to come for the U.S. economy. Florida reviews two different economic slowdowns in American history, the Long Recession of the 1870s, and the Great Depression of the 1930s, and compares those to our most recent financial meltdown of 2007-present.
While there are a number of accounts of what went wrong, and whose fault it was that the economy tanked (Big greedy banks! The dollar-hungry, exchange-rate fixing Chinese! Government’s insatiable quest for higher levels of home ownership! Homeowners’ binge-spending, house-as-ATM profligacy!), Florida largely leaves the causes of the crisis aside. This is really for the better. Florida is a metropolitan sociologist – primarily concerned with what makes cities, and what makes them better.
But, Florida hits on a larger theme that has so far been ignored by most Great Recession books: what now? Continue reading “What Now? Resetting the Economy for the Next 50 Years”
The magazine industry is running a new campaign that declares that people surf online, but “swim in magazines.” On the one hand, it’s a rather obvious way to distinguish the (in some circles) questionable future of magazines. On the other hand, the ads are right. Continue reading “Solving the Content Challenge Will Move the Web Forward”
In 2006, bees started disappearing at an unprecedented scale. Entire hives would suddenly be abandoned by all of the worker bees.
The phenomena was so dramatic, and so startling, it was dubbed “colony collapse disorder.”
Since 2006, scientists have studied colony collapse disorder to determine why hives that were thriving suddenly started failing. The condition spread to hives in Europe, and possibly in Asia.
If you run marketing programs, you may see the similarities between bees and your own work. For long stretches, marketing programs can run in a pretty predictable way. Inputs of campaigns, media buys, research and targeting produce predictable results in terms of leads, sales, or brand awareness. Inputs lead to outputs. Just like bees use pollen to create honey.
But sometimes, suddenly, and for no obvious reason, marketing programs fail. This is “marketing collapse disorder.” And it’s happening now at an alarming rate. Continue reading “Is Your Marketing Program Threatened with Colony Collapse Disorder?”
E-commerce is hitting a wall. The growth in e-commerce is slowing, and it’s slowing fast (yes, that is a pun). From 2008 to 2013, the rate of e-commerce growth is projected to slow from 13% to 8%. Now, please don’t think me a Chicken Little. I’m not sounding a death knell. Obviously, growth is still growth.
But, if you work in the e-commerce sector, you are in for a bumpy ride. Until recently, the sector has seen 20%+ growth rates for years, which has made most e-tailer’s jobs pretty easy. The criteria has been pretty simple: have compelling product; have a trustworthy website; offer good deals and service. Pretty simple formula for 20%+ growth.
But, Americans’ buying habits have largely shifted, and the incremental shifts that are still to come reflect the fact that the halcyon days are behind us. From now on, e-commerce teams will have to eke out gains just like everyone else. Continue reading “As E-Commerce Growth Flatlines, Video Differentiates”
What do you expect for a dollar?
If you think your standards are low, think again. What’s the ratio of free apps on your iPhone, to 99 cent apps? How many albums have you streamed, vs. digital downloads you have bought?
Consumers expect more than ever – regardless of price point. Two factors contribute to this continual bar-raising in the consumer’s mind: Continue reading “How to Never Get That First Dollar from the Customer”
NPR is running a series on influential summer jobs. This is the essay I submitted:
For two summers, I worked in Hell on earth – the dirtiest, hottest, most dangerous place I have ever visited.
I worked in a foundry. We made disc brakes for cars and kitchen sinks out of molten steel.
As a summer employee, I did the grunt work. On my first day, I worked a line making sinks. I was in charge of breaking apart the molds after the metal was poured. Hot metal would flow down the spigot, and fill the mold. Within a few seconds, the sink cooled enough to hold its shape. I was stationed down the line with a metal rod held over my head. As each new sink was poured, I jammed the rod into the mold, and wrenched apart the dirt.
Each sink emerged from its mold like a glowing alien, breaking out of a shell. I lifted, thrust, cracked over and over. Then, the line stopped for a break. I set the rod down, and jumped from my platform. I was so hot and dirty that rivulets of sweat cut clean paths through my grimy skin.
Immediately, the rod rolled down and cracked my skull open.
On my first day, after forty five minutes on the floor, I left to get 6 stitches in my head.
No one thought I would make it past the first week. During the school year, I waited tables at Shoney’s. I was in college, studying International Relations. With a minor in Dance.
But I came back, determined to prove myself.
Most days, I was responsible for mixing in additives to the raw steel. The chemistry in making metal parts is very precise. So, after the fresh dip of steel came down the line, I measured out 1 cup of zinc, and 2 cups of magnesium. Then I scrambled up the ladder, and stood on the edge of the pool of liquid steel. I dumped in the buckshot metals, then stirred them in with an iron rod that melted in my hands.
After that, I hoisted a jack hammer to the edge of the pool, where metal had started to cool and adhere to the sides, and I hammered off the hardened steel. Pieces of molten metal flicked up and hit me in the face, chest and legs. Every day, I had a pattern of tiny new burns, instantly cauterized by the heat.
It was grueling work. But, at the end of the shift I had a sense of accomplishment because I had made something new in the world. Every day I left, sweaty, gritty and exhausted, with the satisfaction that the world was a different place because of my work.
Now, I build websites and create marketing campaigns. I don’t get paid to do anything tangible or concrete. I work with my hands only to type. I sweat only when I’m at the gym.
But, every time I am challenged with something that seems impossible, I remember the foundry. I remember my sweat sizzling as it dripped onto hot metal. I remember being wrung out and dehydrated, with metal shavings flying into my eyes, and hours to go before the shift ended.
And the new challenge that I face now simply doesn’t seem that bad.
Because at the foundry, somehow I always kept going. I never slowed the line down. And I never caused it to stop.