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creative

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:

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:

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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The latest in new media marketing strategies and tactics:

comScore: Facebook Keeps Gobbling People’s Time

Where are people getting the time? From the looks of it, from their MySpace account. YouTube also continues a very strong upward arc (as much as Compete.com data is to be believed).

Social Media: The Final Piece of the Super Bowl Advertising Puzzle

This was way overdue. If you look at the value the Super Bowl brings, it’s mass audience. One of the few times a year when that happens on a national and even international scale. Communities often run into a common problem — they don’t have value until they have people — and the first one in is like the first person to buy a fax machine. Thus an event like the Super Bowl gives brands an opportunity to reach and connect a large group of people at once. Giving fledgling social community efforts the jump start they just might need to get over the hump.

The Future of Mobile Tagging in Marketing, Branding & Communications

If you’re working on a mobile project or looking for interesting mobile ideas, this is an exhaustive list of mobile tactics that have been used. Well worth flipping through.

Got marketing technologists? 1,000-fold growth – Chief Marketing Technologist

Interesting, and not really surprising, tracking of the growing interest in the job title “chief marketing technologist”.

Facebook Ads Can Now Specify Any Page Landing Tab as a Destination

This should drive up both conversion rates for Facebook ads, as well as increase ad sales and testing, as advertisers can now advertise numerous destinations on their Facebook Page. In addition, the article speaks to the ever-opening Facebook Ads API. While this company isn’t shy about thier dislike for Google, this gives you the sense it’s more love-hate.

Sponsored Stories Now Available in the Facebook Self-Serve Ad Tool

Facebook is really moving into interesting territory in terms of bridging paid media advertising with content development. When you consider how well Facebook has integrated itself with the outside content world, they’re in an area with a lot of headroom.

ComScore: Hulu Is Watched Twice As Much As The 5 Major TV Networks Online Combined

This speaks to the importance of good user interface and convenient access. Compared to the TV remote, surfing to different websites for content feels almost archaic.

The Rise of LinkedIn as Login of Choice [Infographic]

One of the big questions in social networks is, How many is enough. For some that meant one: Facebook. But new data is indicating that people using third-party login for business-related sites are increasingly using Facebook. An early indication that people could be looking for different ways to present themselves across the Web. No surprise there.

A Sneak Peek at 2015′s Smartphone: Sophisticated Reviews on the Go, Courtesy MIT | Fast Company

Most looks into the future aren’t as tangible as this. And if there’s one industry in who’s future I’m highly interested in, it’s mobile. At the core of this process is text analysis — mining text and mapping their meanings to give them new value and insight.

Smells Like Team Spirit | Slideshows

Another good content example that’s not expensive to pull off — I’m sure they have no problem getting various CEOs to give 30 seconds of advice — and hits their target audience right between the eyes. The addiction of short-form video snacking is in full grip here. Numerous brands trying to reach the business market could do this.

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The latest in new media marketing strategies and tactics:

“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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The latest in new media marketing strategies and tactics:

14-year-old knocks “Angry Birds” from top spot – Holy Kaw!

I don’t think anything points to the breakdown of barriers and old-guard structures like this story. The industry of creating impacting experiences is an open field.

Starbucks Starts Accepting Mobile Payments Nationwide

I love this. And while I like new tech like any other early adopter, this is what it’s really all about. Quote: “In testing, Starbucks assessed the mobile payment option by measuring application speed, transaction speed and total customer wait time, says Brady Brewer, vice president of Starbucks Card and brand loyalty. In all instances, Starbucks Card Mobile was the fastest way for customers to pay.”

Eric Schmidt: All of Google’s Strategic Initiatives in 2011 are Mobile

More signs that mobile’s growth is only going to accelerate. Keep in mind that although there’s an enormous iPhone craze going on, only about 20% of the mobile phones in the US are smartphones. That’s a lot of headroom for growth, and much of Google’s mobile efforts will make phones both more powerful (thus desirable), and cheaper. That’s a powerful combo.

Startup Personalizes and Socializes Desktop Wallpaper

As i’ve written before, I find startups interesting to follow because the difference between a startup and a brand experience is becoming virtually indistinguishable, in terms of the end product. Here’s another example of a product that a number of companies could have come up with … anyone from Nikon to Kodak to Apple. Instead, it’s a small startup that got it out the door.

Social Media Breeds Edvertorial – WWD.com

A very good read. And while the content trend has been building for a while, it seems poised to begin accelerating as digital-based spending did about 7 years ago. This article focuses on the fashion industry, but of course the concept applies to just about any category.

Washington Post Lauches SocialCode, a Facebook Brand-builder – MarketingVOX

Last November my speech at AdTech focused a lot on the trend of publishers getting into the marketing game. This is a huge play along those lines. Details are a bit murky, but what’s clear is that companies are starting to view their communications from a much more content-oriented angle.

Beware the Ad-Industrial Complex. | The Drift from Upstream

I like the parallel Doug Weaver draws in this, between Eisenhower’s self-perpetuating “Military Industrial Complex” and the ad industry, which stands at a point where often the best advice would be to minimize spending in the very manner which they derive much of their profits.

Facebook, Facebook, Facebook » Sociological Images

This is a rather sarcastic look at how the Washington Post has splattered Facebook all over their pages. And while this particular example may be a little over the top, the annotated screen grab serves as a pretty good outline for what all the opportunities are for integrating social media plugins into your a given site.

Life After Santa

Funny new campaign for the Prius. There are a lot of quirky cultural references. It’s quite a comprehensive campaign, including a lot of live location-based events, which are then shot on video for social media distribution. It’s a smart way to do something on a local level and extend that to the larger social media environment.

Keen On… Kevin Kelly: What Does Kevin Kelly Want? (TCTV)

Given KK’s background, I’m always fascinated with what he has to say. Most interesting to me is his comparison in the second video between the early days of Internet experiences, circa 1985, versus today, and how the two are really entirely different mediums. I completely agree, and the long term implication is that the Web is constantly evolving the way no other medium ever has. While all mediums have content shifts throughout their lifespans, the pace of technological progress on the Web gives it an entirely new dimension. One that requires keeping up with trends the way no previous medium ever has.

4 Ways Predictive Analytics Are Being Applied to Business

As someone once said, “The information revolution came and went, and the information won.” What we’ve been left with is a lot of information and little sense of what to make of it. Perhaps the most interesting trend in marketing at the moment is the way data is being crunched and insights derived from it. And the next step beyond figuring out what’s going on is what WILL be going on.

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The latest trends in social media and content marketing:

Airport Apps That Put You First in Line — Practical Traveler – NYTimes.com

A good overview of some apps to get you through the holiday travels.

The Best Ideas Of 2010: Musicians Who Made Social Networking Work : The Record : NPR

The music industry presents a constant stream of social media marketing examples. NPR gives a good overview, with the underscore being that content is still, and probably always will be, king.

Merry Christmas from Lonely Planet: 13 free iPhone city guides | Gadling.com

A great way for Lonely Planet to market themselves — giving away a taste of the goods in the form of a holiday present. It’s the ultimate product sample, and costs them no more than the time to change the app prices to free and back.

Augmented Reality on Your Phone – NYTimes.com

You’ve probably seen the Word Lens demo. If not, click the link in the first sentence. An augmented reality app that is the first one I’ve seen to be both functional and remarkably fluid. I love Yelp’s Monocle, but it’s doesn’t have anywhere near the responsiveness of this, and that’s a huge difference.

Imad Mouline: M-Commerce Has Arrived — Which Retailers Will Win?

I wouldn’t have expected 50% of consumers to say they’ll be doing some form of shopping from a mobile device, but it certainly accentuates the explosion in mobile we’ve been seeing this year. From there, the article reinforces the idea that even if you’re a retailer, your competitors may not just be other retailers, but anyone producing a good mobile experience in any area related to your industry. And that’s the content marketing opportunity for brands going forward.

Charting the Beatles

I like infographics, and I like the Beatles. So I really like this.

THE .GIF THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

Very fun holiday card from Team One. And a great reminder that good ideas can come from simple technologies.

Google TV Faces Delays Amid Poor Reviews – NYTimes.com

It’s the recurring battle of open vs. closed approaches to product development. Google tendencies to rush out half-baked products and let the market sort things out doesn’t work well when you have business partners with millions invested in your product experience and delivery time lines. That said, i still think Google TV, once refined, will make a serious impact on how the mainstream consumes content.

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The latest trends in content development and social media:

Why the 5 “Best Internet Meme” Finalists Went Viral [INTERVIEWS]

It’s not easy explaining the success of viral memes, but these ponderings are a good attempt.

Have Mobile Apps Jumped the Shark? – MarketingVOX

I’ve posted several reports in the past 6 months or so that point to mobile apps as being a more challenging market than many would think. This certainly supports that. Of course, there’s a lot of major upside in the mobile market outside of apps.

How Online Reading Habits Have Changed Over 2010

While I always like a good read on developing trends, when they refer to Twitter as “the place to see breaking news”, you know they’re talking about the early adopter set. (Twitter, a Pew survey just revealed, is used by 6% of the entire adult population.)

Celebrities’ Internet “Deaths” Raise $1M for Charity

Not sure what this says about non-profit marketing, Twitter, celebrities, or even billionaires, but at least they reached their donation target. What’s most surprising to me is that this campaign received quite a lot of press, and still had a difficult time reaching their goal. Perhaps they were overly optimistic. But it’s funny that Usher couldn’t refrain from Twitter for even a week.

The Full List Of The Top iPhone And iPad Apps Of 2010

While everyone talks about mobile gaming as the big trend, the highest grossing iPad apps for the year are the very functional Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Of course, many game and other apps have been late to the iPad, and there’s plenty of time to catch up.

WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange: The Hilariously Over-The-Top, Strange Animated Video

If this is the future of news, put on your seat belt. This is “train wreck” compelling. My favorite part is either Sarah Palin sitting on a rocker on her front porch, or the fact that the entire thing is in Japanese, except for the last line “Find out more on Facebook.”

Who Uses Twitter? Not My Techie, 30-Something Friends

A recent survey from Pew on who uses Twitter, and who doesn’t. The stats really don’t surprise me, based on my own informal surveys. Twitter is moving more to a content delivery platform, and for certain circles it’s a great way to get your information out there. But it’s clearly not anywhere near mainstream at this point.

Google Books “Whale Fail”

Have to say, a much more visually compelling whale than Twitter’s.

Nike LeBron Video Soars Again as Heat Meet Cavaliers – Advertising Age

More proof that there’s no such thing as bad press?

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The latest in content development trends for digital marketing:

Twitter and the Future of TV

Some good examples cited on how Twitter is impacting TV viewing, forging trends in the social viewing space. There have been a lot of social viewing apps roll out, but they all seem to lack the big missing ingredient in social media: Audience size. Twitter has that, although it’s a scattered and primarily one-directional communication. What I like about the show examples is they’re creating a sense of personalization despite Twitter’s mass media platform, not unlike the way celebrities have been using it.

Wearable Cameras Move Beyond Sports to the Mainstream – NYTimes.com

A couple of remarkable features from the new Looxcie ‘wearable’ camera. It clips on your ear and records video, sending it to an Android phone. And it has a 30 second buffer, so you can keep it on, and if you see something happen, you can push a button and grab the past 30 seconds of footage. A lot of opportunities here for marketers looking for new angles on content development.

YouTube to Launch New Discovery Tool Tonight; Here Comes Extreme Ironing

If you think YouTube has saturated the public taste for bizarre video, it’s more like they’re just ramping up. You have to read about these various types of video content to believe it. Not only is there a series of ‘extreme ironing”, there are subgenres, like “underwater extreme ironing” and “skydiving extreme ironing”. And YouTube is going to help us sift through all this with a new feature, YouTube Topics. If you’re a brand and thinking all the good content opportunities are taken — even in video — you might want to rethink that. Or at least hire some good creative thinkers.

SkyFire Pulls In Nearly $1 Million In Its First Weekend On The App Store

Generally I don’t recommend large brands get into the app game to create a new direct revenue stream. But this example certainly points to a lot of opportunity. The big differentiator here is, in addition to a product with an obvious appeal to many iPhone users (it plays Flash files on the iPhone in a rather clever manner), they’ve been generating good buzz, and for quite a while. So while it may seem like an overnight success, the company has been producing products, and generating buzz, that paved the path for this type of explosive sales growth.

The Dangers of Content Marketing on Facebook | Geoff Livingston’s Blog

This is a great point to be aware of, but it’s also one of those areas that brands simply have to look at practically. Facebook wants rights to posted content to protect themselves from an image showing up in an ad, presentation, or whatever, and then them getting sued for not ‘owning’ it. But the author’s point is correct for additional purposes. Most brands should not rely on a social media property they don’t own for their ongoing content development programs. For one, if their content is worthwhile (and not completely tied to the social network experience), then they should be featuring it on their own site as well. And secondly, even the most powerful social networks have no guarantee of longevity. Think MySpace.

Facebook Serves Nearly a Fourth of U.S. Display Ads | ClickZ

Facebook’s volume puts them at number one, more than twice as much volume as Yahoo, the runner up. This from a company that several years ago didn’t have much of an ad program. What I’m both hearing and seeing is that Facebook doesn’t necessarily drive the highest response rates, but their cost-per-click number are very strong. And of course, the farther down the conversion path you take the metrics, the more important the numbers are to advertisers.

1.0 Is the Loneliest Number — Matt Mullenweg

The idea of agile development has been slow to take off in marketing, and it’s understandable, given that marketing itself is a rather agile process. But I think as content development starts to play a larger role in company’s marketing efforts, it’s going to be a feasible approach for a range of content efforts. This is a great take on what that process can be like.

Even Merton Hasn’t Been On Chatroulette In Months

Great story on Merton, who’s probably the best thing to ever happen on Chatroulette. The video of his Chatroulette performances is a must see.

Attention Hockey Fans! Watch the NHL on Roku, Boxee & More

Having long ago cut the cable, and tiring of TV hacks like Ustream for watching Monday Night Football, I applaud the NHLs efforts in taking their content to the audience.

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The latest in content development trends for digital marketing:

Five Great Styled Maps Examples

If you think maps have to look boring, check out these stylized Google maps.

5 Innovative Uses of an API [Mashable Awards]

Perhaps as interesting as the API capabilities are the stories around them.

The 25 Most Liked Pages on Facebook, Fall 2010

A couple of things I find remarkable. 4 of the top 25 are non-entertainment brands (well, YouTube is sort of non-entertainment). But perhaps most amazing is that Oreo’s was in the top 25. That’s unreal when you think of all the sports, entertainment and celebrity brands they’re competing with.

The Commuter: A Short Film Shot Entirely With the Nokia N8

Given this was shot on a phone, it’s pretty amazing.

Survey Finds College Students Love Laptops But Not eReaders, Facebook But Not Twitter

I’m not sure how much college students reflect the rest of the country, or even the future of things, given it’s such an isolated time in life (and beautifully so). But what I do find interesting is their use of social media. Almost entirely Facebook, and for primarily social reasons. As many who use Twitter know, it’s a powerful outreach vehicle, but isn’t designed for ongoing communication. And given Twitter’s push towards mass push communications, things will probably stay that way.

Connect Your Car to the Web With AutoBot

This is a great idea, and I’m again surprised one of the car companies, with all their R&D resources, doesn’t do something like this. It would be a great CRM vehicle (sorry) to their customers, display some innovative thinking, and get them a lot of good press.

How to Design a Great User Interface | Webdesigner Depot

User Experience seems like that last frontier of marketing. At least it’s where I see some of the most powerful ideas crumble in a mass of user confusion. You don’t have to be a UX designer to benefit from this. In fact, it’s something the entire company should be aware of.

Mint Data Delivers A View Into The Spending Habits Of Its 4 Million Users

Over the next few years, the concept of content and what it entails is going to be thoroughly explored. One area where I think a lot of companies will find valuable outreach opportunities is in sharing their information. Sometimes information may have even felt was sensitive. But information works for companies in a number of ways. It establishes authority on a subject through insights around their market. And it often makes great buzz-worthy content (note the Mint example here). Naturally you want to avoid giving competitors the keys to your kingdom, but a little information can build a good story. And that’s what good content is.

Five Steps to Unlock the Art and Science of Dynamic Content « Social Media Monitoring and Engagement

An outline of what makes good content. The bottom line is, it has to be fresh and it has to be quality. Anything that isn’t either one of those, consumers can smell a mile away.

Seth’s Blog: I spread your idea because…

Seth writes a list of ideas that remind us people share content and stories for a wide variety of reasons.

AppMakr Raises $1 Million To Help You Build Custom iPhone Apps

If you haven’t heard of AppMakr, this is probably a good time to give it a try. They’ve already built one of the simplest tools for building iPhone apps, and with this latest round of funding, there’s sure to be more features and capabilities.

Why Social Media Is Perfect for Brand Ambassador Campaigns

What I really like about these campaigns is how organic they feel. And that’s ultimately what content development needs to generate. A sense of truth and authenticity about the brand, with the content demonstrating the brand’s qualities instead of trying to push a message that the audience, and often the company itself, doesn’t really buy.

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