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The latest in new media marketing strategies and tactics:

Conan O’Brien’s Guide To Creativity | Fast Company

Great read for anyone involved in creative thinking for a career.

Amazon Sells More E-Books Than Paper Ones | Fast Company

The big story here is that the ad-supported Kindle is the top seller. That’s quite a statement, given the book world is probably the most staunch opponent of mixing advertising and content.

Landing Page Basics: Making Your Content Marketing Convert

I like case studies that share conversion data.

Content Marketing Case Studies: 5 Companies that “Get It” [Video]

Highly recommend this 3 minute video. It demonstrates how brands in a range of industries are moving past messages and into engagement.

The History of Advertising on Twitter [INFOGRAPHIC]

What this highlights to me is how little Twitter has really emphasized advertising on their platform.

Official Google Blog: Mining patterns in search data with Google Correlate

I could definitely see this leading to some interesting consumer behavior insights for brands.

DIGIDAY:DAILY – Skimming Over the iPad

This is good information for anyone in the content marketing business. A reminder that a change in medium can mean a required changed in the message. Isn’t there a famous line about that?

Square’s Disruptive New iPad Payments Service Will Replace Cash Registers

Square is definitely in my top 5 ‘companies to watch’. And while enabling mobile credit card payments is great, I think the data they provide merchants is going to be what really pulls customers over from existing merchant accounts.

Groupon Staying Ahead of the Game: Rumored to be in Talks with Foursquare

When a gorilla like Facebook comes into the location-based services fray, it’s interesting to see how the previous leaders in the space respond. Groupon’s trying to work deals through numerous LBS players, which should help them get a quick understanding of where the possible sweet spot is in this market. I still think it will be tough for any of them to beat Facebook, as I see LBS and coupons as more a byproduct of whatever mobile app people use most innately. And that, of course, is Facebook.

The Secret World of Apps | Adweek

While there are a lot of developers complaining about Apple’s app approval process, the real question is, What types of developers are driving app use? That’s what Apple is most certainly gleaning from it’s massive data tracking. And Apple is going to do everything they can to keep those developers and those types of apps in the spotlight. It’s an interesting situation, because while Apple only creates a small sliver of apps, they’re trying to levy their taste on their entire community of developers, for the (supposed) benefit of their customers.

 

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The latest in new media marketing strategies and tactics:

Dodge Rolls Out First Filmstrip Banner Ad

Look for a lot more of this type of experimentation going on. Rich media a la Web 2.0 never really quite nailed it, but publishers have to deliver some deeper level of engagement than what most banners current provide, or CPMs are going to stay in the cellar.

Most Creative People 2011 | Fast Company

While you might not recognize a lot of the names on this list, the brands they’re associated with is a good overview of what companies are shaking up the world right now.

New Roper Study: 9 in 10 CMOs See Value in Content Marketing « FUEL LINES

Content Marketing isn’t a term you see used a lot right now, but given these stats, I’d guess that will be changing fast.

No Check-Ins Needed. Shopkick Sends You Deals From Your Couch: Tech News and Analysis «

While I find attempts to force users to pay attention to commercials futile in the long term, the technology that’s being applied here has potential that could make that experience engaging and gamelike. Audio-sensing — basically Shazam for TV shows — has a lot of potential for getting offers, coupons, or content from the TV screen onto the mobile handset.

Why Matt Drudge Still Beats Mark Zuckerberg: Tech News and Analysis «

A couple of things i really like in this article. One, that it shows you don’t need all the latest bells and whistles to succeed in content marketing. Secondly, that content is an ongoing process, and not something you put up and walk away from.

The 3 Habits of Highly Effective Brands – The Atlantic

A well-written (and short) piece on what the top brands are doing. What’s most interesting is that the brands taking these steps are in a broad range of industries.

9 Outstanding Websites for Design Inspiration

Some nice examples of web design. Most of these may not fit your average Drupal or WordPress template, but that’s one thing that makes them stand out.

Apps 6 Times More Popular than Web on Phones, Less Popular on Tablets

This isn’t surprising at all, but I think as companies get more experienced at delivering content for the smallest screen, they’ll get the WAP technology down to the point where they don’t need apps. Of course, if you CAN get someone to download your app, you have your brand on some of the most valuable real estate in marketing.

Gaining Authority in the Age of Digital Overload

The point is, brands have to start thinking about media in terms beyond buying their way in.

Case Study: Caterpillar and blue collar social media marketing

When it comes to content marketing and social media, so many companies worry about putting employees in the social media spotlight. This interview has an excellent quote that sums up the opportunity for so many companies: “The Caterpillar organization is filled with the smartest engineers and industry experts in the world. We want to leverage their expertise and promote the individual’s persona so the reader has a better understanding of who is speaking about a certain topic, and why should they be trusted.”

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The latest in interactive marketing strategies and tactics:

Most Marketers Plan to Increase Social Media Spend This Year [STUDY]

Another survey indicated increasing interest in social media by brands. 70% are planning to increase their social media budget this year. Most interesting is that their primary social media goal is to increase Facebook ‘Likes’, and that 87% report that social media is “important” or “very important” to achieving their biggest marketing goal this year. If anyone is doubted that social media has made it to the major leagues, this is pretty strong proof.

Why People Do & Don’t Use Location Apps (Survey)

The findings are interesting regarding mobile trends. I’m surprised at the number who don’t use location-based apps is as low as it is. That seems to be changing. That said, the numbers on this survey feel a little low for complete reliability.

Moat Banner Ad Search

It’s not often I care to search for banner ads, but it does play the full animation, and present details like where it was discovered and when it last ran.

MediaPost Publications Tell The IAB What You’re Spending In Mobile

I’ve stated a few times how the mobile industry is paralleling the early days of the ad industry. There’s currently a growing gap between the use of mobile and the number of advertising dollars being spent there. It’s the same opportunity early buyers of banners and Adwords enjoyed.

Death Stalks the Twittersphere, Offering a Lesson in Consumer Exposure | Bob Garfield – Advertising Age

it’s important for brands to be aware about privacy issues like this to make sure community engagement campaigns aren’t stepping over the creep factor line. I’m sure the awareness factor of this campaign is off the charts. I’d be more curious what the conversion rate is.

How mobile phones are turning into phantom limbs – Telegraph Blogs

I have to say I’ve experienced the same thing. Really demonstrates why this is such a powerful medium. Especially for the early adopters who are before all the noise erupts.

Driving Change: Eight Learnings. | Reinventing

A must read from someone who’s done a lot to drive change within a pretty traditional agency.

Apple to Sell Square Device in Retail Stores – MarketingVOX

If you’re not familiar, Square is a credit card swiper that simply inserts into the headphone jack of an iPhone. And presto, instant credit card acceptance. That combined with it being from the founder of Twitter, it’s definitely one to watch in this space.

Design a Winning Ad Age Cover to Snag a Trip to Cannes | Global News – Advertising Age

Great idea for young creatives.

 

 

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The latest in interactive marketing strategies and tactics:

Facebook Triggers Same Hormone As Cuddling

So that explains it. This may be obvious to many. After all, if something’s addictive, it has to be producing some strong, positive effect.

Gartner: tablet hype fueling worldwide dip in PC sales

At Ad Tech this week, Jeffrey Cole from USC Annenberg spoke of trends, and predicted that tablets become the computer of choice for almost everyone except people doing processor heavy tasks, or writing. With a wireless tablet, I could even see them working well for writing. What this means for advertising is even more of a lean-forward experience. Driving quick, near-term engagement is easier the more actively engaged the user becomes. And that’s what tablets do constantly with their hands-on swiping and pointing.

iPhone App Takes a 3D Scan of Your Face, Prints a 3D Model

While most people don’t have 3D printers, the fact that you can create the model with a photo snapped from an iPhone is remarkable.

What Is the Future of Gamification? [Survey]

With apps like Foursquare hinting at the potential of gamification, here are some projections of where that concept could extend.

Airbnb Lets You Rent a Country … For $70K a Night

If you haven’t heard of Airbnb, they’re a fascinating startup story. Their creativity has shown from the beginning, and they continue to demonstrate that through buzz-generating stunts like this.

YouTube sending repeat infringers to copyright school

This is a great solution to a sticky problem. Seems like every time I start thinking Google doesn’t get how to communicate and stay in touch with their customers, they do something brilliant like this.

Nike Seeks Fellow to Start an Open Data Revolution

I’ve posted a lot of articles recently on the growing impact of data on brand development and marketing. Nike’s taking a big leap here, and while this article focuses more on the sustainability angle, if you consider products like the Nike+, there’s clear potential for a big consumer-facing impact, as well.

NuCaptcha’s Advertising Network For Video Captchas Goes Self-Serve

Proof that pretty much every nook and cranny of the Web is open to some form of advertising.

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The latest in interactive marketing strategies and tactics:

US eagle webcam becomes internet sensation – Yahoo! News

A great example of how simple some forms of entertainment can be. This is an eagle’s next 80 feet high in a tree, and about 150,000 people are tuned in at any given time during the day to witness a remarkable view of nature. Live.

Here’s the link to the Ustream page with the video:

http://www.ustream.tv/decoraheagles

Want to See All iAds in One Place? Apple Has an App for That

If you’re doing any mobile advertising (which hopefully you are), then this is a great resource for what’s currently the richest mobile ad experience.

TV-Tagging App IntoNow Tries to Kickstart Discussions Around Shows

I’ve checked out a number of social viewing apps, and this looks to be the best interface by far. The most impressive feature is the Shazam-like ability to identify the exact episode of a show you’re watching, with a short sound sample. There’s still an issue around where you are in a prerecorded show. But this is an impressive start, and would certainly work for live TV.

Too Lazy To Count Calories? Now You Can Just Take A Picture Of Your Meal

This is pretty amazing for what it does, not how it does it. It also reminds me of services during the dot com era that involved information retrieval through swarms of human resources. I’m not sure it’s a long term model, but it gives you the taste for the potential. And who knows, maybe after humans logging several hundred thousand dishes, the machine learning will take over and automate it. At any rate, it’s an interesting app that, once again, could have been developed by any number of food or health related brands.

Location Based Photo Booth – Popwuping

It’s basically a portable photo printer that picks up on Instagram location info, letting anyone at the event print pics from the event. I could see this being a good schwag alternative for brands who want to give people a memorable takeaway.

Quakebook: From Tweet to Book in One Week | Post Advertising

A remarkable example of how fast marketers and content producers are reacting to events to produce topical content. To even come up with this caliber of title and book cover design so quickly is a feat in itself.

Baby Connection: The Two-Part Baby Making App That Brings Dad Into The Process

What makes this app unique is the way it brings two users of the app together into a unified experience. That capability not only provides innovative features, it also gets to the emotional core of the procreation process: Teamwork.

“First iPad Magazine For Kids” Makes Its Debut [VIDEO]

One of the persistent complaints is read in iPad magazine reviews is that they’re not taking advantage of the technologies capabilities to redefine the reading experience. The video shows some impressive screens, and the apps free. Now if my iPad would just arrive.

Selling Something Other than Ads // NoahBrier.com

The POV displayed by Bloomberg on this quote is pretty close to the mindset a lot of businesses interested in the content marketing game. If you’ve been spending 100s of millions on push messaging, it’s not surprising they’d be interested in something that generates more long term value, especially in the CRM category.

Obama’s Re-election Campaign Puts Facebook Front And Center … Literally

Given the impact of Obama’s first election campaign, it would make sense for marketers to pay attention to his reelection campaign. It’s interesting to note that they’ve taken their best practices from the 2008 campaign and applied them to this effort. Interestingly, they’re starting out very simple, and building out from there. That’s some great insight for brands wondering how to approach social media.

 

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The latest in interactive marketing strategies and tactics:

At SXSW, Advertising Was This Year’s Twitter, iPad 2 Was This Year’s Foursquare

If you happened to make SXSW this year, you’ll certainly relate to this post. And if you didn’t but missed being there, this will make you feel a little less so.

Google Geo Developers Blog: A new angle on the world with 45° imagery

If you’re displaying a map, this is a good way to make it pop off the page. And they can always go back to ‘map’ view.

YouTube Acquires Service That Makes Your Videos Better

YouTube, surely feeling the distant heat of Hulu, is pushing the technology side of the service more and more lately. With the explosive popularity of numerous photo apps to make our snaps look better, the idea of making people’s videos look better is an obviously smart thing to be focusing on.

Internet is world’s ‘greatest spying machine’: Assange – Yahoo! News

He’s right. But it’s not spying. It’s called ‘conversation analysis’.

Microsoft Office 15 Aims For Facebook Integration

Easily posting of MS Office docs to Facebook. Sounds like “FacebookLeaks” to me.

To what end? The question that kills media reinvention

A theme I touch on a lot is the cross-fire currently happening between the publishing industry and the marketing industry. With publishers acting more like advertising agencies (Meridith is a great example) and advertisers needing to create more long-term resonance and less push-messaging, you could go through this article and pretty much substitute ‘marketers’ for ‘publishers’ and have a very relevant piece on content marketing.

SMS On Steroids – eBuddy Debuts Realtime, Cross-Platform Messaging App

With mobile redefining the online UX, I could see an easy-to-use, socially-enabled SMS app to pick up serious traction in the social networking space. There’s currently a big gap between mobile social experiences like Facebook and Twitter, and SMS messaging, which is still one of the largest areas of activity for mobile users. Perhaps instead of companies focusing on all the features they can do with the current crop of social apps, the approach with the broadest appeal could be to start with SMS, and see what networking features you can build out from there.

Facebook Launching Prepaid Local Deals Subscription Service

With the mobile industry already well into it’s long predicted explosion of growth, Facebook is out to stake it’s claim to anything mobile or location-based. As Places took on Foursquare, their new Deals service is a direct shot at Groupon. Only Facebook can promote it’s deals in the Facebook newsfeed however prominently it wants. Which sounds like what they’re doing.

Study: Mobile Ad-Tracking Systems Are “Blind” To 80 Percent Of Apple iOS Devices

Very good to know the next time you’re reviewing your mobile campaign metrics (or someone else is reviewing them for you). This can be worked around through focusing on site metrics, like landing page visits, which is really what we should be looking at anyway.

Ads API Profile: AdParlor’s Full-Service Solution for Game Developers

Firstly, per the headline, I wouldn’t say this is only applicable to game developers. Facebook’s advanced targeting is a true revolution in paid media, and this in-depth overview will give anyone a good sense for how it can be applied.

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The latest in interactive marketing strategies and tactics:

Chrysler’s Twitter Account Accidentally Drops the F-Bomb

This is a simple but great example of how social media is flipping everything upside down. Not only does a Fortune 500 firm drop the F bomb in a Tweet, but the ensuing mini-crisis (though I’m sure it didn’t seem ‘mini’ to Chrysler) resulted in Chrysler gaining Twitter followers. Situations like this are proving that sometimes a simple mistake can give companies a more human dimension than millions of dollars of paid advertising.

Kinect’s Superfast Adoption Preps Consumers for Other Interactive Experiences – MarketingVOX

I’ve recently reported on some unusual ways people are using Kinect. What I didn’t realize was how fast Kinect was selling. It’s now topped the iPhone and iPad as fastest selling consumer electronics device ever, according to Guinness World Records. Combining both the mass appeal and the remarkable new uses, this technology is looking to create a big impact on digital communications and content development.

Does Your Digg or Facebook Connect Widget Cost Hundreds of Site Visitors and Thousands in Revenue?

Given that Google is starting to factor page loads into their ranking algorithms, this issue has even more weight. Note that there’s a great tool listed in this article for gauging how fast any page loads.

Kraft Treats for Tweets About Mac & Cheese | News – Advertising Age

This is a really smart campaign idea that comes directly out of knowing what people are saying about your brand online.

At Discovery, Pushing Back Against the ‘Content Farm’ | Advertising Age

With all the buzz recently about Google’s “Farmer” update to squash content farms, Discovery shows that the underlying principle of creating demand-related content makes sense for anyone interested in pulling viewers.

Skype To Start Running Ads This Week

Ads in your IM window aren’t anything new. Yahoo’s been doing that for years. But if they pick up the practice Google uses, of targeting ads based on your email conversation, then you could see something very interesting happening where ads are contextual to your IM or even voice conversations. Could you imagine having a conversation with someone about, say a good graphic designer, and while you’re talking, ads for graphic designers start popping up? Could be annoying, but could also be highly relevant.

5 Innovative Mobile Marketing Campaigns

Looking at the numbers on these campaigns, if you’re looking for immediate results, the ideas that work best seem to be those that tap into existing communities or user bases. Check the stats on the PowerMat promo on MyTown.

The Farmer Panda Impact Nobody Is Talking About

Great perspective on the value of good content marketing practices, versus black hat seo practices.

Here’s What Google, Salesforce & Sequoia Are Investing In

Follow the money. In this case, it’s going towards a mix of social media, search, and mobile.

Magazines’ iPad Editions Struggle to Keep Your Attention, New Study Finds | Advertising Age

A study that illustrates a point that Howard Gossage said years ago. “People don’t read ads per se, they read what interests them. Sometimes it’s an ad.” Apparently the thin line between content and advertising also exists for consumers. It will be interesting to see if publishers start creating their own ad units to corral likely behavior related to the content their publishing. Thus, if readers see a snowboard image in the magazine, the publisher could find ways to bring relevant snowboarding content into the magazine. This is an obviously new problem, as they never dealt with readers jumping off to search Amazon in printed editions.

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The latest in interactive marketing strategies and tactics:

The 5 Most Viral Facebook Campaigns

The difficulty in assessing these campaigns is also what’s unique about most of them. They weren’t launched by any identifiable sources. They’re also remarkably simple, technologically. Mostly just text status updates.

Get Free Chipotle Food for Watching NBC Promo on Facebook

A good illustration of how campaigns are getting more complex. In this case, i think it’s great how Chipotle has positioned themselves in this deal, leveraging their existing customer base to get NBC to give them considerable publicity, from probably subsidizing this promo, to their CEO being featured on the show.

YouTube in Talks to Broadcast NBA Games

I remember when Fox bought the rights to broadcast NFL games, making it the legitimate 4th network. And then ESPN, a cable company, took on Monday Night Football. Imagine if YouTube bought the rights to half the NFL games, and only showed them online? That’s one way to quickly get a lot of people figuring out how to connect their computers to their TVs. And yes, it would be expensive, but Google has a lot deeper pockets than the networks, these days.

Survey Finds High Rate of Tablet Adoption Among U.S. Immigrants

While this article focuses on the popularity of the iPad over other devices, I think the bigger picture is about the adoption of tablets in general (whichever market penetration stat they use — 4% or 13% — it’s still high for such a new category). I’ve seen tablet prices under $100, and if you consider the combination of a computer that’s very cheap and very easy to use, it’s not hard to see how this is going to radically change computing.

Hacker Makes Facebook Look Like MySpace, Gets Hired

A great story about a guy who hacked Facebook, and then got hired by them. Most interesting is how Facebook’s reaction and ongoing relationship with the hacker varied 180 from how MySpace handled the issue. It’s a single incident, but indicates the depth of how Facebook gets what social media culture is all about. It’s also a great indicator of how corporate culture is changing, as companies should be wanting to hire people like this, not throw them in jail.

MediaPost – news and directories for media, marketing and online advertising professionals

While there’s no shortage of talk about the rapid and structural change of our industry, few posts lay it out so clearly and succinctly as this. Of particular note is this quote: “the report advises that companies develop digital marketing strategies ‘as closely as possible to the business unit’”. It’s marketing’s shot at getting the CEOs ear again.

YouTube – Bill Bernbach on Creative Qualities

I’m certainly not a traditionalist when it comes to marketing, but this video of Bernbach talking about the traits of good communicators is timeless. I love the example he gives of the asylum at the end of the video.

Little Magic Stories: Interactive Art With The Kinect [VIDEO]

Kinect is showing some serious potential in transforming how content is created and delivered. This video shows two kids on a stage interacting with an entirely digital world around them, shown on a projection screen. This is in a similar vein as Avatar Kinect, which I reported on about a month ago (link below). As the production cost of these virtual worlds drops precipitously, the ability to create all sorts of worlds in which we can interact with is going to open up types of content previously unheard of.

Apple to Cut the Starting Price on iAds [REPORT]

If anything, I think this points to Apple’s need to understand that the bulk of their market probably won’t be the big spenders. It’s something Google has understood, and practiced, very well. Mobile, perhaps more than any other category, will do well to appeal to local businesses that spend money more spontaneously, and with much lower spend levels.

Tiny Wings is everything perfect about iPhone games

While I still think Angry Birds is a much more elegant game, this is certainly enough fun for $1. Another example of how it doesn’t take a lot of funding to make an interesting and addictive game.

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The latest in interactive marketing strategies and tactics:

Lil Wayne Crushes Oreo’s Attempt at Facebook Record

Kind of an Ashton Kutcher/CNN Twitter race redux. Not really shocking that the celebrities are taking the victories, either. No matter how much brands work it, they can’t out humanize a human.

Search Optimization and Its Dirty Little Secrets – NYTimes.com

If you didn’t catch this article, which exploded on the search blogs this week, read it. It doesn’t matter what aspect of the marketing industry you’re in.

Mobile Phones Will Serve as Central Hub to “Internet of Things”

I’ve posted before on the futuristic ‘Internet of Things’. I like this depiction of the mobile phone as the remote control to, not just your iTunes or TV, but to pretty much everything around you.

A Better Mobile Experience | Facebook

In these images of various phones employing a deeper Facebook connection. In viewing, these feel more like cosmetic issues, but taking individual Facebook components and distributing them across the phone UX does a couple of things. It makes Facebook more omnipresent, promoting use of it’s technology. Secondly, having these integrated into the phone’s database will improve the convenience, and ultimately the reliance people have on Facebook.

Facebook Promises Deep Integration on Many Devices

The big takeaway here is that Facebook wants to be everywhere, and they’re also accumulating the most accurate database of information about your likes and dislikes. Powerful combination.

Make a ClickTurn Ad — ClickTurn

While the value of content marketing is growing, there are still questions about the relationship between content and paid media. Content runs a broad gamut, so it’s not like all content is headline, article copy, and of course, the ensuing community discussion. But when your content can be condensed to an RSS feed, with a headline and copy (or video or podcast), then this is a great option for taking that content message out to paid media units. It’s much like the new Facebook ad units pulling in your Newsfeed posts as the messaging. Only these creatives can go in the places Facebook ad units can’t.

In the Future, Robots Will Surf Their Own Internet | Fast Company

First machines beat us at Jeopardy. Now they’re getting their own social network.

Facebook Page Redesign 2011: All You Need to Know

Given I’m still seeing a lot of Facebook Pages that haven’t updated to the new format, I’ll post this. It’s an inevitability — all Pages will convert March 1st — so no reason not to jump in and figure it out.

LinkedIn Channels 80s Corporate Instruction Videos

I like the concept behind these videos — using the Upright Citizen’s Brigade in short comedic videos demonstrating their service. My issue with the campaign is that it defines ‘content’ the same way so many newspaper publishers do. Thinking that the content experience is not greater than what they publish, disregarding the community as part of the experience. There’s no commenting, but plenty of options to share. Feels very one-sided. I also find it odd that they’re running ads in front of their content, which really feels more like an infomercial than episodic entertainment.

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“Angry Birds” To Star in Super Bowl Ad

Not sure which is more remarkable. That a 99 cent social game for mobile phones is running a Super Bowl spot, or that said game is being turned into a movie. Seeing them embedding game play components into the commercial is cool — brings alternative tactics like that to the forefront given the global impact of the spot — even though that trick has been done before.

Facebook Introduces a Credibility Score With New Social Commenting Plugin

This is great news for brands hoping to attract quality engagement on their site and Facebook Pages. Anyone involved in monitoring Facebook Pages comments for brands has dealt with trolls. This tool is helping identify them, exposing their behavior to members of the community. This should also be functional on a brand’s site pages, and overall should lift the caliber of discussions on their Facebook-networked properties.

The Rise And Fall Of Content Farms

This article is a great read on why brands looking to create distinction should avoid the mass-generated content-farm approach. The bottom line is, Google has an entire building packed with PhDs presently trying to prevent this model from succeeding, because it’s not adding value to the search results driving their business . That may change, but it will likely mean changes to the current content farming business. The article’s comments are full of contrarian views, and I’m curious if it’s from some of those 380,000 writers at content farm Associated Content?

Apple, Campbell’s Say iAds Twice as Effective as TV – Advertising Age – Digital

Is anyone even remotely surprised by this? A new ad unit with unprecedented intrusiveness on a media device users are enamored with. Sounds a lot like the Internet and banner ads in, say, 1995. What this really supports is that companies should approach new media more aggressively overall.

Sequoia-Backed Hearsay Launches Social Media Platform For Corporations With Local Branches

A way for brands to manage social media across franchises makes a lot of sense. I’d guess this service takes off big.

Artist Heat Map Makes Music Discovery Visual

I’m a fan of Rhapsody, and one of my favorite features of the site is the module on an artists page where they show related artists who came before, during or after the artist your viewing. It gives a nice sense of relationship and lineage to the world of music. Hitlantic has essentially taken that and made it visual. It’s a little rough right now, but they’re still pre-VC funding (another example of how small creative groups are developing big ideas).

Coca-Cola Reveals 15 Finalists in Branded Mobile App Contest

This is an interesting idea, and I applaud Coca-Cola for taking the forward steps they have in the area of UGC. Now that UGC is moving past ads and into apps, though, I feel it’s taking on much bigger territory, and in addition to hiring an agency to develop your creative or running a contest, there’s a third option. Monitor what’s going on, and buy or coop it. Commercials are very limited in scope, and there certainly aren’t nearly as many people creating them as apps. Much of that is because there’s limited monetary up side to creating a commercial, unless you’re pursuing a career directing or producing them. But apps live in a much larger arena. Instead of throwing a UGC contest, which most people will tell you takes a lot of admin, why not monitor what’s going on and then work a deal with the developer, possibly even taking over the app for a reasonable buyout? With over 300,000 apps in the Apple store, there’s no shortage of talent to pull from.

CHART OF THE DAY: The Most Successful Facebook Ads

While data by industry leaves a lot of room for variance among creative executions, it’s interesting to note the general response rates. And while I’ll always have an issue with the Click-thru Rate metric, Facebook currently doesn’t feature view-thru data for their paid media ads.

DealExtreme: $93.60 M001 7″ Touch Screen Google Android 1.6 Tablet PC

Android tablets for under $100. This may be an extreme example right now, but it does indicate the direction things are going, and the growing commoditization of technology devices. No wonder Apple’s putting so much effort behind selling apps and not just the devices that display them.

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