Remixing the routes

Archive for the ‘Talks’ Category

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 “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.


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 »

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 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 »

Barry Schwartz and The Paradox of Choice revisited

Posted by annplugged on May 7, 2007

In 2006 April Barry Schwartz, an expert psychologist in the intersection of economics and psychology gave his keynote presentation on the Paradox of Choice at Google Talks – based on his book published in 2004.

If you listen to his presentation given in 2006, you can discover how at certain points the professor of Social Theory and Social Action has revised/ refined his theory on the paradox of choice regarding online retails, especially search keyword-based marketing solutions. In short, well-designed websites can hide the overabundance of products (unlike brick and mortar stores), and are able to overcome the difficulties created by the paralysing effect of having too many choices. This way, Long Tail has been incorporated into Schwarz’s theory, I think.

Besides, it is worth checking out earlier interviews too: excerpts from an interview with Barry Schwartz made by Mark Hurst (January 2005)

Mark Hurst: What is the “paradox of choice”?
Barry Schwartz: Everyone agrees that having choice is better than not having choice. It seems evident that if choice is good, then more choice is better. The paradox is that this “obvious” truth isn’t true. It turns out that a point can be reached where, with more choice, people are worse off. People can’t ignore options – they have to pay attention to them. If they make a choice, is there another choice would have been better? There’s more effort put into making decisions, and less in enjoying them. What’s nagging is the possibility that, if they had chosen differently, they could have gotten something better…if a decision is non-reversible, you’ll make yourself feel better about the choice you made. If it’s a reversible choice, you don’t do that. And that’s not the road to happiness.
Mark Hurst: And not in retail, either.
Barry Schwartz: If you provide sales options in a retail store or website, you might think the way to attract people is to provide as many alternatives as possible. But that’s wrong. You’ll attract people, but they won’t buy as much as they would with fewer choices… For example, e-commerce sites should be designed so that the complexity is hidden, so that people who really care, or know a lot, can find their way to the complexity, and the rest of us who can’t be bothered to find it, won’t have to. That’s how software, websites, and retail stores should be designed… We can only learn by experimenting. I think that somewhere in the range of six to twelve options is what most people would be comfortable with, most of the time. But we have to do the research on actual websites, in places where people make their choices and buy.
Mark Hurst: What can customers do to avoid the paradox of choice?
Barry Schwartz: Most importantly, learn that “good enough is good enough.” It’s what I call “satisficing” in the book. You don’t need the best; probably never do. On rare occasions it’s worth struggling to find the best. But generally it makes life simpler if you settle with “good enough.” … arbitrarily limit the number of options you’ll consider. If your friend won’t choose your digital camera for you, then promise yourself that you’ll go to only two websites and then stop your research and make a decision; or you’ll buy the best choice in one store. It’s just not worth it to look in every store, every website.
comment by Karl Thomson: Of course, there are different kinds of shopping. Groceries is likely enjoyed less than the purchase of some great clothing. I, for one, _like_ the process of purchasing a car, and delight in learning as much as I can about the possible candidates… So to me, the paradox of choice is the personal one: some consumers will relish a multitude of options, while others prefer a smaller number of choices
comment by Paula Thornton: Yes, the possibilities are endless, but what are a few of the possibilities? I explained that they needed to create and price some ‘standard packages’, each with a specific goal or selling point — something the individual would be looking to accomplish/achieve.
comment by Rebecca St Martin: Most importantly, customers need to be guided about offerings based on their values and whatever parameters they bring with them. While it certainly is easier to create standard packages as samples than to lay all the options out and overwhelming the client, I believe the most satisfied customer comes from the opportunity to interact with a human being who is knowledgeable, who presents a meaningful line of questioning regarding their needs and resources and who is genuinely interested in their satisfaction… This is why the consultative salesperson in the new ecomomy of choices has not become extinct
comment by Marijka
last fall I spent HOURS researching vegetable juicers and vacuum cleaners. I just couldn’t stop, certain there was one just a little better or cheaper on the next site… Anyway, my solution to this obsessive decision-making is a digital kitchen timer! I give myself a set amount of time to reasearch and make a choice, and once the buzzer goes off I stop. Period.

Posted in Decision making, Google, Marketing, Online, Subtitles, Talks, Video | 2 Comments »

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?


  • 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 »