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Vintage online marketing video 1994: first internet marketing conference with OHP

Posted by annplugged on May 20, 2007

This video film is an example for the long tail use of historical videos reappearing ready for recycling (for fun, for illustration, for ever, what).picture-4.png It is claimed to have been shot at “the first conference ever held that focused exclusively on the commercial potential of the web,” organized by Ken McCarthy and held in November 1994, in San Francisco.

“After introductory remarks by Ken, Marc Andreessen, the 23 year old co-founder of Netscape, describes how the first web browser came into being and shares his vision of the future of the network which was destined to change the world forever.”

Ken – wearing a vintage suit, with a matching tie, a post-hippi beard, and two different paper badges – says: “You produce it, you distribute it… One of the tragedies our media system has been set up so far is that we all have to go through movie companies, film studios, or recording companies, or publishers to get our work done. And they don’t make their decisions based on quality… So let’s get rid of this idea that we are trying to create some alternate world that’s gonna be completely independent from the other media that exist. What we are really trying to do is find a place for the internet amongst all these other existing media. To integrate, and let the different media coordinate and support each other.”

At the beginning Ken’s presentation is exclusively speaking, although there is a slide shown in the background promising to let the talk grow into a keynote presentation aided by visual elements. And it does grow into one by using an overhead projector.

At about half of the recording comes Marc Andreessen VP Tech at Mosaic Communications Corp. (I wonder if he still uses his email address marca@mcom.com): “Technically, Mosaic (and Netscape) today are graphical front ends to distributed interactive information resources over TCP/IP networks.” etc. etc.

Not much surprisingly, in light of today’s internet marketing conferences, the two OHP presentations do not resemble an internet marketing conference with buzz, light and year at all. More techy, more texty. I simply did not have the patience to go through them (more than an hour), but the vintage atmosphere was worth 20 minutes.

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Posted in Marketing, Online, Presentation, Talks, Video | 1 Comment »

Seth Godin: All Marketers are Liars (Google Talk in the Author series)

Posted by annplugged on May 11, 2007

Here is another great presentation by Seth Godin from February 2006. It is based on his book, All Marketers are Liars subtitled The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low Trust World. But the focus is not on this somehow (it only comes up in the discussion phase how the ‘360 degrees web presence’ makes any fraud the worst thing to risk for businesses, or for anyone).

The first half of the presentation is instead where Seth tries to outline why he thinks Google has succeeded to date and how repeating that could really help Google moving forward. He says: “there’s a belief among a lot of companies, especially in the valley, especially on this road, Amphitheater Road (Google’s HQ address) is that technology wins. And what I want to sell you really hard on is, not that technology wins, because I don’t think it does. I think what technology does, is it gives a you a shot at marketing. And if you don’t buy into that the company sooner rather than later is going to smash into a wall. Sun Microsystems said technology is going to solve every problem, then marketing will take care of itself…. I believe that the underpinnings and what made Google work were some brilliant, maybe not intentional, but brilliant marketing decisions.”

The story that Google sells is that ‘I am your friend,’ with the right tool at the right time. And it is very much in line with Google’s personalized search project, the next big phase in Google’s (I wanted to say ‘life’ suddenly), in Goolge’s focus. What does Seth suggest for Google? To start to build their permission asset, to build the ability to have people want Google as a closer partner. He is totally convinced that people want it.

Challenge: according to Seth, Google Mini‘s challenge is that small and medium-sized businesses rarely tell each other about their successes (his remark is related to a Googler called Patsy’s question on Google Mini), discovered new tools, solutions. They don’t tell it to a friend. So it’s not entering a marketplace that’s geared to have these evangelizing, word-of-mouth conversations. Consequently, Google as an organization needs to bring small enterprises together to have these conversations (see Google Groups, and also Google AdWords seminar series, and also Google Academy for Educators for such events). “what you can do is share a couple of case studies, and then get out of the way (!), and let them tell each other the truth. And as you build these communities of people who talk to each other, things happen.”

Seth refers to the TV Industrial Complex, his notion on how traditional marketing works through mass media: buying ads, interrupting people and thus getting more distribution, then more profit, which in turn is recycled into more ads to interrupt more people. He suggests that that’s why web 1.0 was not successful, that’s why many of the old-school advertisers still think merely in CPM (cost per thousand impressions), and buy keywords, yet keep sticking to the old design and funnels of the already stale website. They do not adapt.

As a solution he recommends the so called Fashion Permission Complex (again as a buyer- prospect communciation process):

  1. step 1: make sth worth talking about (or womm) (the important footnote he adds is that “If you can’t do that, start over.”)
  2. step 2: tell it to people who want to hear from you
  3. step 3: they do what other people used to think others would do, i.e. marketing
  4. step 4: (the hardest part) get permission from these people to tell them about your next fashion (so as your asset base grows think about the iPod, and the 60.000 people tuned into Steve Job’s keynote…) And you end up not trying to find customers for your products but products for your customers.

Some of his examples, jokes overlap with ones used in the TED Talks, but again he has very entertaining new illustrations (e.g. the socks for 11 year old girls – I would surely go for it if I was still 11 years old.

Posted in Google, Marketing, Online, Presentation, Subtitles, Talks, Video, Web 2.0, Word-of-mouth | 5 Comments »

Seth Godin: Sliced Bread, Ideas that Spread are Bizarre by Nature

Posted by annplugged on May 11, 2007

The success of sliced bread is whether you can spread the idea or not. Nowadays, we could say, the success of sliced books, mags etc. (selling chapters, or even pages separately, besides full books) depends on idea spreading too.

“In a world of too many options and too little time, our obvious choice is to ignore the ordinary stuff. Marketing guru Seth Godin spells out why, when it comes getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones. And early adopters, not the mainstream’s bell curve, are the new sweet spot of the market. Seth’s presentation at TED Talks is from 2003, yet it is still worth watching.” (from TED Talks)

The title of his keynote speech comes from Otto Frederick Rohwedder‘s 1917’s ‘invention,’ selling pre-sliced bread by means of using loaf-at-a-time bread-slicing machine. About ten years later the idea became widespread: after a longish time focusing on the patent and technology of the machine, the idea struck Rohwedder that the idea of pre-sliced loaves needs to be spread. What is its relevance today?

First, choose a presentation title that is bizarre, and yet show its relevance (even rhyme?) to your talk. 🙂 Ok, there is something more to it than this.

Seth Godin claims that we live in an era of idea diffusion, at the heart of which is TV and stuff like TV. It makes me think of Joost (the online peer to peer TV streaming technology by Skype inventor Niklas Zenströmm and Janus Friis, now still in the testing and program-database grabbing phase), and the buzz surrounding it, including advertisors, publishers, marketers, and yes, very much early adopters who are now either in the beta test already or pleading for an invitation. It makes me believe that this presentation has not lost from its freshness and validity. Especially that watching together a TV program and sharing ideas real time is part and parcel of Joost: letting people go for the fringes, spreading idea. Is Joost bizarre yet? I very much think so (but not for a long time).

The TV Industrial Complex simplified process is described by Seth Godin as follows:

  • buy ads
  • get more distribution
  • sell more products
  • make a profit
  • buy ads
  • get more distribution
  • etc., on and on

What makes the process outdated is that users have a lot more choices, but a lot less time (and let’s add: and a lot-lot less patience in the age of attention deficit).

Seth states that if you drive a car and see a cow next to the road, you will not pay attention, as you have seen hundreds of cows (now, my own experience is that almost anyone I know likes to shout out ‘cows’ ‘horses’ ‘sheep – your family, dude’ ‘hey, look, some kind of prey bird’ and stuff like that. So personally, we are not bored with normal cow-spotting from moving cars). Seth goes on to point out that you need a purple cow to come out of invisibility and ignorance: a purple cow is bizarre wnough to draw your attention (luckily, I have not see one, not even one for a Milka ad filming: it would have been eye-catching but somehow repulsive, too). So a purple cow is remarkable (in a sense that it is also worth ‘making a remark about’ – i.e. blogging about, or me-mailing about it).

The top-selling DVD in America changes every week, and not because there is a new top film, but because it is fresh, new, just heard about, “because people notice it.”

“Mass marketing is about marketing average products for average people, smooth out the edges: they would ignore the geeks, and God forbid, the laggards” (i.e. the two flatter parts of the bell curve: the early adopters and the late-comers). It is only for the central, the majority.

“But in a world where the TV Industrial Complex is broken, I don’t think that’s a strategy we wanna use any more,’ says Godin. He suggests targeting the early adopters, geeks, those who are obsessed with something. Simply, the central majority is very good at ignoring advertising. Products need constituencies with an otaku (obsessive fan). So it is of utmost importance to talk to the early adopters who really listen and make it easier for them to spread the word, to make it go thorugh the bell curve.

And his recap in light of the above:

  • Design
  • Don’t play safe, stay on the fringes by being remarkable

Posted in Joost, Marketing, Online, Presentation, TED Talks, Video, Word-of-mouth | 3 Comments »

The Paralysed Customer by Barry Schwartz – video keywords on YouTube vs. on TED Talks

Posted by annplugged on May 8, 2007

Having too many choices has a paralysing effect on decision making, according to Barry Schwartz. This is his talk at the Technology, Entertainment and Design conference, or TED Talks, he gave in 2005 (to see a modified, fresher version check out what Barry Schwartz said at Google Talks in the Googleplex), which is available on both the official TED site, and on YouTube, Google’s video sharing social networking site:

Now let’s see the texts accompanying the video recordings.

This is the description on the ted.com site:

Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central belief of western societies: that freedom of choice leads to personal happiness. In Schwartz’s estimation, all that choice is making us miserable. We set unreasonably high expectations, question our choices before we even make them, and blame our failures entirely on ourselves. His relatable examples, from consumer products (jeans, TVs, salad dressings) to lifestyle choices (where to live, what job to take, whom and when to marry), underscore this central point: Too many choices undermine happiness.

Compare the searchability (and also the content) of the video by search engines of the following accompanying text on youtube (submitted by the TEDtalksDirector user in the Director status):

Barry Schwartz is a sociology professor at Swarthmore College and author of The Paradox of Choice. In this talk, he persuasively explains how and why the abundance of choice in modern society is actually making us miserable. (Recorded July 2005 in Oxford, UK. Duration: 20:22

Register on Technology Entertainment and DesignIt is obvious that the text accompanying the same videofilm of Barry Schwartz’s keynote talk on the TED site, in contrast to to the one on the YouTube site, is a lot more descriptive, and also richer in the more important keywords. No wonder, search spiders – eating keywords – can find its text easier, so users can reach it more conveniently. ‘Now what?’ you may think. Why is it a problem? The problem is that YouTube is commentable, interactive, place for a community whereas TED Talks on the official site is _now already_ commentable, not (yet) part of a community (right now building), no chance to send video responses etc.

It is well worth exploiting more media channels for the same video film, but there needs to be a greater care for the wording and structure of accompanying texts to improve video search. YouTube would have allowed more characters in the description, and more tags too.

ps: Professor Barry Schwartz is mentioned as a psychologist on many sites, or sociologist on other web pages. Only two choices, yet confusing… Is he both?

Posted in Decision making, Marketing, Online, Presentation, Talks, TED Talks, Video | 2 Comments »

Long Tail on Second Life by Chris Anderson

Posted by annplugged on May 3, 2007

Let’s revisit Chris’ keynote on his book entitled The Long Tail:

Chris Anderson’s animated figure talked to an audience of animated figures on the virtual landscape of Second Life (October 2006), and here’s a somewhat eerie snippet of that conversation made by Millionsofus:

Ilya Vedrashko gives a nice transcript of the dialog between Chris Anderson and Hamlet Au (of New World Notes):

Hamlet Au: If “The Wisdom of Crowds” was the cocktail buzzword of the last few years, then “The Long Tail” is the term for today. When Chris Anderson coined it, he was describing an Internet-driven economic phenomenon, but since then it’s been applied to various pursuits, from foreign policy to education……Don’t the realities of corporate management make the Long Tail fairly irrelevant? Take the film industry.

Chris Anderson: But hits are unpredictable. Why risk your career on the toss of a dice when you can spread the risk over a larger portfolio of smaller investments? The profits in the back catalog (which is just one form of the LT) aren’t slow–they’re *steady*!

Hamlet Au: Obviously the purchase of YouTube by Google is the big Internet news this week. Reflect on it for us. What does it say about the Long Tail phenomenon?

Chris Anderson: It’s a huge vote of confidence. Media learned how to compete with the LT in the 90s … then the music industry learned to compete with the LT around 2000 … Now TV is going to have to compete with web video. They thought we wanted 30 min and 1 hr dramas and high production content that only they could created. The truth is that we do, but we also want more.

Ariel Spoonhammer: If long-tail revenues of any significance are spread over time, what are the short-term incentives to producers who can often get a higher short-term return on investment?

Chris Anderson: Yikes. Okay, I’ll try to answer that one. There are two LTs in content. One is broad appeal down to narrow appeal. The other is new vs. old. So the LT revenues that you describe as being slow mostly refer to the second, the monetization of archives over time.

Read the complete discussion on Hill Holliday.

Posted in Long Tail, Marketing, Online, Presentation, Video, YouTube | Leave a Comment »

The Long Tail keynote by Chris Anderson

Posted by annplugged on May 3, 2007

As part of the Authors@Google series, Chris Anderson visited Google (July 18, 2006) to discuss his book, “The Long Tail.” The title refers to a phenomenon describing a well-known feature of statistical distributions (Wikipedia: also known as heavy tails, power-law tails, or Pareto tails) and has been capitalized popularized and creatively applied for web trends by Chris Anderson in an October 2004 article (Wired magazine) to describe business and economic models, especially referring to wealth distributions or vocabulary use.

The main idea is that those businesses that are caring to serve the millions of niche markets (neglected and untapped by most of the (big) companies working with large numbers), besides catering for the masses, are the tenets of business successes in the future that is becoming more and more digitalised and trackable.

The revolutionary idea has been developed into a blook (blog book), and is still evolving well after its first edition on the Long Tail Blog: e.g. from 18th April, 2007: “Those of you who have seen my speeches on the legal dimensions of the Long Tail know that I consider the absurdly complicated and expensive process of rights clearance to be the primary barrier to unlocking the latent Long Tail value in content archives. The example I usually give is WKRP in Cincinnati, not because there’s necessarily a lot of value in that 1970s sitcom, but because it’s often cited as one of the hardest TV series to clear. ” Chris has already given a speech on Second Life as a virtual Long Tail author. As Ilya writes: “Chris Anderson’s avatar talked about the effects of the long tail on media, the future of 3D printing, the incentives behind niche content production, and the implications of the recent YouTube-Google deal.” So this book will just go on and on, with a long tail.

Just to highlight two slides:

1, Does more choice mean more sales?

2,

  • Isn’t the Long Tail full of crap?
  • Yes. But so is everything else.
  • Sturgeons Law: Ninety percent of everything is crud.

It is a pity that “Adding comments have been disabled for this video.” It seems like Google is applying the same no-comment approach in its YouTube communication as in its Official Google Blog, which I cannot agree with (even if there is a 60% chance for flame war, it is better to see the freedom for adding comments than one single note).

Oh, yes, the keynote starts in medias res (the beginning, or the head belonging to the long tail has been cut off by the editors for some reason).

Posted in Google, Long Tail, Marketing, Online, Presentation, Talks, Video | 2 Comments »

Keynote presentation tips, Guy Kawasaki the 10-20-30 rule

Posted by annplugged on May 2, 2007

How to give a successful presentation? Some basic tips from the former Apple Mac chief evangelist: 10 slides, in 20 minutes, with font size 30+.

Mind you, the whole 10-20-30 video is also accessible and downloadable in a more friendly presentation style (e.g. no self-polishing repetition of ‘I’ll give you and algorithm’) from 2004 and is hosted by the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, Entrepreneurship Education Resources.

The 10 slides, e.g. for a startup looking for venture capitalists could cover the following areas:

  • title
  • problem
  • solution
  • business model
  • underlying magic
  • marketing and sales
  • comptetion
  • team
  • projections
  • status and timeline

Interestingly enough, Mike Kruckenberg gives a slightly different interpretation of Guy’s 10-20-30 in his summary of Guy Kawasaki’s speech at 2007 MySQL Conference (The Art of Innovation). According to Mike’s account, 10 stands for 10 minute setting up (“10 minutes for setup, leave 20 minutes for discussion, 30 point font”) rather than 10 slides. Has Guy changed his own mantra?

Posted in Marketing, Online, Presentation, Talks, Video | 1 Comment »