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May 2008 Marketing Archives

Friday, May 09, 2008

Startup Uses Meta Data for Movie Mining

A new company called Jinni believes it can find videos that suit your taste by mining meta data beyond simple keywords.

The company received $1 million in angel funding, according to Mashable. Netflix and Blockbuster have been grappling with this challenge for some time but have yet to overcome it to date.

Movie and musical tastes vary greatly, and individuals can be fickle in liking some actors white not liking others.
Also, many movies sound great by their premise, the trailers, or the actors or directors, but then are panned by critics and viewers.

Solving this problem requires drilling down on the right data. Categories of mystery, sci-fi or romantic comedy are too general. I'm betting that other factors are far more indicative of an individuals preference. The intensity of the violence and profanity, pacing, appearance of nudity will say more about a movie than the genre.

The shift is focusing on the right data, and it should also include more direct questions rather than making assumptions based on characteristics that may not be relevant. Netflix should ask why we rated a movie 1 star. Was it the plot, actor, script, or humor? This would result in a better recommendation engine than guesswork.

Startup Uses Meta Data for Movie Mining By John Gartner at 11:03 AM
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Let the Data Sharing Begin

It looks like the Open Social platform for sharing data between social networking sites is ready for lift-off.

For users who opt in to the service, MySpace will enable sites including Twitter, Yahoo, Photobucket and eBay to pull profile and user information.

While users will benefit from the convenience of having a single place to store and protect their data (as long as MySpace is steadfast), the underlying story is about advertising.

Since so many folks are willing to give up demographic data (location, age, education, job title) on MySpace, advertisers on all partner site could target their advertising. As part of the opt-in process, MySpace should throw in a few market research questions that would help advertisers to provide the most relevant ads. This will generate higher CPMs and better click-through rates throughout the entire Open Social network. If Google supports Open Social in a big way (and connects it to its advertising platform), the shift could be swift and powerful.

Via Vnunet.

Let the Data Sharing Begin By John Gartner at 10:52 AM
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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Nothing I Needed to Know I Learned in Business School

In college, I was a man ahead of my time. By this I mean that I went to business school 20 years ago naive in aspiration and unfocused in discipline.I graduated with decent grades from Temple University's business school, but didn't buy into the philosophy of managing an organization or pursuing a profitable venture.

I wanted to make a contribution and make enough to feed a family. Apparently I learned enough in my few English and Statistics courses about numbers and words to have a successful career in journalism. But what I remember most about biz school is that there was almost no teaching of what it takes to run a startup company.

Sure that was before the dot-com era, but what I learned about project management, economics and accounting had nothing to do with the real world. I've learned from the inside out about how to manage a staff, deal with rogue employees, or keep a meeting on task.

Maybe biz school has changed and now kids are taught about angel and series A funding, search marketing, forming a corporation, and creating a business plan and media kit.

For those of us where going back for an MBA is impractical, there's the startup school, as highlighted by Paul Graham of 37 Signals. No text books, just real world, what you need to know information that will make you smarter than a 5th grader when it comes to starting a business.

What do those with a BS or MBA from after 1996 have to say about your learning experience?

Nothing I Needed to Know I Learned in Business School By John Gartner at 11:22 AM
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The Flickr of PowerPoints

SlideShare is creating a site for sharing presentations the way Flickr got people sharing family photos.

The company booked $3 million in VC to expand its popular website. I agree with the concept -- that syncing slides with music can be fun, and that many folks will do it, but I don't know that we need yet another social-ish destination site. This technology is a commodity product, and it would be easy enough for someone else to reverse engineer. It's a utility that should be part of a bigger site.

The best bet for SlideShare is that someone like YouTube or Yahoo will buy it for 5 to 10 times their current valuation in a year if they can continue to improve the technology and grow the audience. Unless these companies do it themselves, in which case SlideShare will be left out in the cold.


The Flickr of PowerPoints By John Gartner at 11:08 AM
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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Security Lost in Web 2.0 Shuffle

An under-reported story in all of this Web 2.0 euphoria is that all of these sharing applications and new interactive applications can increase security risks. Users now ingest new widgets and applets with nearly reckless abandon, and that can be problematic.

On the development side, web publishers can't forget to prepare for the traffic that hopefully will arrive when you launch a new destination or service. As GigaOm points out, malicious types who are envious of others success can attempt to bring down upcoming Web 2.0 destinations out of spite.

So before you download another toolbar add-on or widget, remember to consider the source.

Security Lost in Web 2.0 Shuffle By John Gartner at 11:51 AM
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Don't Give the People What They Want

Letting readers decide what are the top stories of the day is the backbone of social media. But Tony Wright points out, people continue to game Digg and the other sites with great success to promote their own stories.

This is a sad but true story on two fronts: that the masses can't be trusted, and that technology has limitations. While most folks who use Digg et al are noble in intention, a small cadre of conspirators get stories into the top spots. Technology for preventing ballot box stuffing is also insufficient, and probably always will be.

You can argue all day on whether or not Digg is complicit in allowing this to happen, but the real story is that editors are still necessary in the process. Digging stories to get the editors attention for consideration will suffice, as long as the editors are unbiased in their evaluations.

I agree that giving people a voice in the process is an important shift in creating an open forum, but allowing abuses should not be tolerated.

Don't Give the People What They Want By John Gartner at 11:24 AM
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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

YouTube Picked Up by HP

Hewlett-Packard has followed TiVo in promising to make YouTube videos available on media centers that display video on TVs.

HP like Microsoft, Intel and other PC companies see the living room as the natural extension of web content, but little progress has been made in more than a decade. Web videos need to be TV-accessible to go mainstream, and finally companies like Veoh, TiVo, and Sling Media are acting on the opportunity.

YouTube will soon face a major challenge if it wants to play in the home entertainment space: increasing the quality of its video. TV viewers expect higher quality, but if YouTube upgrades its platform, that means a whole lot more storage and bandwidth.

Via New TeeVee.

YouTube Picked Up by HP By John Gartner at 12:23 PM
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Facebook Applications With a Purpose

Facebook applications are growing in number and pose a problem for publishers: how much effort do we commit to Facebook-only apps when our primary goal is to drive traffic to our site?

Widgets are the way of the world, but applications have to be rewritten for Facebook. Facebook is primarily used for fun like fantasy football, so going with the applications that are the most interactive and appeal to the younger demographic are probably the best bet.

Information delivery is another option, such as one of the RSS apps or a custom widget that mines your data. One opportunity is to do interactive surveys that provide you with marketing data and allows the audience to participate.

But building apps in Java won't be an option soon as Facebook is pulling support.

Facebook Applications With a Purpose By John Gartner at 11:58 AM
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Monday, May 05, 2008

Tech Money Going Green

One of the biggest shifts of the past few years is all of the VC money that was made in IT during the past two decades is going to clean energy startups. Web 2.0 companies will find it harder to get funding because they are competing with green companies. Social networking is already starting to enter the shakeout phase that will result in a handful of winners (MySpace, Facebook, etc.), and community features built into all of the major sites. A year from now Web 2.0 startups will have a hard time differentiating themselves. has a list of 25 (and there are many more) VCs who are now directing cash towards clean tech investments.

The green momentum is also spawning companies covering clean energy news.

Tech Money Going Green By John Gartner at 11:27 AM
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Yahoo: Five Reasons to Celebrate

Today Yahoo's stock is down about 20 percent. While I'm no stock expert, investors should be cheery about the company's long term prospects post Microsoft's flirtation.

1. Microsoft has never proven itself online in generating traffic and revenue. While a short term hike in share value would be nice, Yahoo's upside in the long run is much higher if the company is run well.

2. Yahoo is an interactive media company more than anyone else. Video ad dollars are flying online, and Yahoo (despite YouTube) is best position to capture that money. Yahoo Music, Video and News are strong properties that will be drawing advertising as long as their ad platform is sound.

3. Yahoo is the anti-Google. The industry needs an alternative to Google to keep competition high, and Yahoo is the best (really all) we got.

4. Yahoo is more focused. All of the attention from the MS romance has made the company more attuned to the demands of the market. Yahoo has been making smart acquisitions and has more of a plan than a year ago.

5. Yahoo isn't a dependent on search. Google still largely own the search marketing, but as social networks and interactive media rise in importance, search's grip on marketing and ad dollars will soften. The current soft market will emerge with new targeted marketing technologies, and Yahoo should be a central player.

Yahoo: Five Reasons to Celebrate By John Gartner at 11:09 AM
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Friday, May 02, 2008

Newspapers Own Local Market

Local newpapers are dominating the local advertising scene, but they have yet to capitalize on video ads. According to Borrell Associates, newspaper-owned Web sites earned more than $2 billion in local online advertising revenue in 2007 and controlled 27 percent of the market.

Local yellow pages came in second with 9 percent, while radio captured just 2.1 percent, highlighting just how fractured the local market is. Local video advertising, generated $363 million in revenue 2007, and is expected to generate $1.2 billion in 2008.

When you put these two facts together the next steps to take should be obvious. Local newspapers should focus on video from wire services and local TV stations to obtain the video needed to run against video ads. So far the local papers haven't capitalized on video from Reuters and AP or their local TV counterparts, who currently are barely on the local ad revenue radar. Working together and sharing the revenue will benefit all.

The increase in newspaper sales are good news for sales people. Newspapers have doubled their online sales staff in the past 3 years.

Newspapers Own Local Market By John Gartner at 10:43 AM
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Best Video Ads Keep the Message Simple

Adforum each week tracks the top 5 video ads, and this week's selection stresses keeping the message simple. These dramatic and humorous ads focus on a single message and use few spoken words. They also let the images dramatize (with humorous effect in some cases) the message.

The videogame ad, for example, immediately draws you in by showing a typical shooter interface, and the message is slowly unveiled to great effect. (I won't spoil it for you).

The "Is it Swiss?" ad (while somewhat controversially referring to a stereotype) also focuses on a familiar scene with humorous effect.

While marketing has always stressed the visual, video ads -- through a few second teaser or single image -- must capture the viewers attention right away. So kudos to the agencies who've done it well.

Best Video Ads Keep the Message Simple By John Gartner at 10:18 AM
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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Music Services to Pay $100M to Songwriters

The big streaming music services -- AOL, Yahoo and RealNetworks, will be paying the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers up to $100. A federal judge ruled on the back royalty payments due from streaming music.

The two sides in this dispute need to work together and end the strife that has resulted in primarily making their lawyers wealthy.

Streaming music services should be free and ad-supported, and the record companies need to be also brought to the table. Radio has figured out how to make this profitable for everyone for decades, and online streaming is the same thing powered by new technology.

But today's technology allows everyone to be even happier. Streaming services should allow people to customize their playlists and deliver targeted ads (say between every 4th song) and mix in some new tracks along with specified artists.

Listeners are required to give up some information so that they can be targeted, and the increase in ad dollars should be shared between all three parties. This should also be the model for streaming of movies and TV shows. Technology is allowing the ad supported model to open the floodgates of content and satisfy all parties -- if they can just put aside their difference.

Via Yahoo News.

Music Services to Pay $100M to Songwriters By John Gartner at 09:05 AM
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A ComScore for Social Nets?

Refresh Analytics is providing demographic tracking and analytics services to Facebook, Bebo and MySpace application developers. This service is useful since some advertisers are likely skeptical of the social net audience, and any third party data will be perceived as more reliable.

This data can also help you to develop the best strategy for marketing through social net applications. For example, who are you reaching, and how are they different from the audience that visits your home site?

Marketers have to determine just how much investment to put into custom applications and how much to keep for widgets that can go viral anywhere. You have to go where the people are, and increasingly, that's on Facebook et al.

Via Mashable.

A ComScore for Social Nets? By John Gartner at 08:53 AM
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May 2008 Week 2 »

  • Week 1 (14 entries) May 1-10
  • Week 2 (12 entries) May 11-17
  • Week 3 (10 entries) May 18-24
  • Week 4 (8 entries) May 25-31

YouTube Picked Up by HP
please let ma proxy work taday...
by felicia
Nothing I Needed to Know I Learned in Business School
Well mine wasn't too bad. I have small nugget...
by Permjot Valia
Nothing I Needed to Know I Learned in Business School
You bring up a great point that has bugged me for ...
by Eric

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