Category Archives: twitter

Big Data: Savior or Anti-Christ?

Anybody read any good pieces about big data lately?  Those of us in the marketing/media/advertising complex can’t stumble into a stream of things we should be reading on the industry without being slapped in the face with a headline or two on the topic two or three times an hour or, at least, a day depending on whom or what one prioritizes in one’s stream.

Since coverage of big data is contributing to big data and since I’m but a human who does not have sufficient capacity on hand to process it all, I couldn’t possibly plant links to pertinent articles, but simply will share a couple of themes I picked up from headlines in my stream the past few weeks or so.

The genius, of course, is that if you want to read more about these themes, you will leverage the big data of a search engine with some pieces of the information I’m providing below to find the articles on big data.  I’m helping you learn to cope.  Your welcome.  It’s all just so, well, big and data-y…

The head of one of the agency holding companies said all media markets will operate like digital exchanges sooner than later (I think this was on FT or some other pay-walled situation)

Someone said markets operating on big data are killing creative, while someone else said its making creative better since it’s tied more directly to business metrics – or maybe that was all in the same article (Maybe this was in MediaPost or AdAge)

Another said something about big data actually pointing to a lot of really good “little” ideas that can have “big” impact as long as you know how to mine the big data to find these gems (I think this was on the blog of analyst or consultant or a consultative analyst)

My personal favorite was Cobra Commander’s perspective.

I’m a bit geeky.  I like books about taxonomy and the history of information and how people used stuff before so we can understand or hypothesize how they might use new stuff now and in the future.  I like tinkering around with lots of numbers in spreadsheets so I can uncover an interesting story.  I’m not a 1’s and 0’s kind of geek.  I’m more of a know enough to be dangerous about how the plumbing works such that I can understand how the toilet, sink and shower are in the right places at the right times – even if it may be different than before.  If big data can help that be done, that is fantastic.

What I’m trying really hard not to say but am just going to say anyway is know what it is you want data of any size to do for you, to solve for you, to support for you before you start trying to process it.  Thinking about it that way should help you trim through the noise of the bigness, the veiled and unveiled fear of it, and make it another part of your toolbox of strategic goodness.

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Filed under advertising effectiveness, analytics, future of media, measurement, twitter

New Thinking on Old Media

Fabulous, succinct thinking from Clay Shirky and Steve Johnson on old media. Thank you.

And this is the time of year I wish I still lived in Austin…SXSW Interactive sounds great this year as I track friends who are there via Twitter (#sxsw).

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Filed under conferences, digital distribution, future of media, local, media on media, media usage, monetizing media, twitter

Quote of the Day – POTUSA as Global Communication Vehicle, Riff, GCV as buzzword

Lump sat alone in a boggy marsh, totally motionless except for her heart

No, no, I’m kidding. I’m a kidder. At least I am now…later in this post, I’m going to be pretty serious…

“The modern Presidency is as much a vehicle for communication as for decision-making, and the relevant audiences are global.”

10.13.08 New Yorker, Talk of the Town, spelling out why BO makes more sense than JM (and SP for that matter)

When I see the blistering, sarcastic, sardonic tone of the commentary by “my friends” in the electorate – many of which also happen to be card-carrying members of that raggedy segment of the electorate known as the media/marketing/advertising industry – on the candidates via, primarily, what could be considered “global communication vehicles” (or, in current industry parlance, “social media” – Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc.), I think you can all ZIP IT and just point to this quote.

Seriously, this freakin’ election has been going on for 2 years – more actually if you really think about it (BO’s speech at the DNC before becoming a senator, Bush crushing McCain in SC primary via dirty media tactics – I’ll come back to that later). Screaming at each other when you mostly all agree about something really isn’t helping. Effective frequency has been broached. Tell it to people who might need to be influenced – i.e. those who are undecided since media outlets on the left and the right are saying those few million of us who exist will be the ones deciding this thing.

Frankly, the tone of what’s being spewed forth from those outlets makes me think if I didn’t have a career in this media/marketing/advertising industry I’d probably just stay home because I can’t figure out which is the lesser of two evils. That, my friends, sounds like a potentially relevant strategy – be so derisive in your communication that you harden the base and generate so much disdain in the democratic process that the undecided just don’t bother. Short sighted, perhaps, but effective nonetheless.

For the love, people, most of you are in jobs where you need to figure out every day who the best prospects are for your or your clients’ messages, how you should best craft those messages to change perceptions and actions, and where/how often you need to say the things you need to say. Practice what you preach. Get out of the echo chamber.

And if you all really believe in the power of “social media”, seems this would be just the sort of thing “social media” can be used for to do more good in spreading the word in a beneficial way…right? Or is “social media” just about showing your network that you’re blistering, sarcastic and/or sardonic? Take a cue from BO – his use of social media as a positive force in spreading and effectively (and efficiently, I might add) explaining his message and refuting the other side’s POV has been masterful. It has had a great influence on this Indy.

Of course, I’m giving the vast rabble of the electorate a lot of credit for being rational people who will respond rationally when spoken to rationally. Worked pretty well in times of crisis for other Presidents – Abe in his speeches and proclimations leading up to and during the Civil War, FDR and his “fireside chats” during the Depression and WWII, JFK debating Nixon and during the Cuban missile crisis, etc. I think 2000 and 2004 proved pretty well when they’re spoken to irrationally w/o an effective or coherent rational response they will behave irrationally. It’s a shame JM decided it best to mimic those derisive tactics that brought him down in the ’00 primary. Against a rational and relatively impervious candidate (vs. a reactive and overly emotional one) they just don’t work. Oh, and remember it almost made you switch parties in ’04. Now that’s a true maverick.

BTW, I’m really liking “Global Communication Vehicle” as opposed to “social media”. “Social Media” feels less and less relevant every day – or maybe it’s brilliant in it’s simplicity…who knows w/ these things; as an industry we lose interest relatively quickly in buzzwords and trends, or maybe we think we’re just so damn good at developing new buzzwords and trends we feel the need to do so consistently to substantiate our existence and make our jobs seem a lot more complex and hard to keep up w/ – maybe we all just just double our aderol and suck it up. What was I saying again? Oh, yeah.

So, Global Communication Vehicle sounds really big and important. It has a nice sounding acronym – GCV. It refers to what is accomplished by using it – communication – vs. the container in which what happens occurs – media (though that whole “vehicle” at the end is a bit disconcerting, but, again, “V” right after the combo of “GC” just sounds so euphonious – someone get me a nickel for using that word now). It takes it beyond a seemingly trivial use – to socialize – and makes it seem like Colin Powell as Barack Obama’s top advisor on international matters could use it to fix Darfur or see K-G and B in Putin’s eyes. Ooo, new shiny object is prrriiiitttyyy…..

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Filed under bad media, communication platforms, election 08, media coverage, quote of the day, riffs, twitter

Political Twitter

At first I thought the Twitter coverage of the election was a spectacular thing. It was fascinating to see in real time people’s reactions to the first debate.

I noticed that the audience composition of those participating in #debate08 was actually relatively balanced. Maybe not as many McCain supporters as Obama supporters, but there weren’t as many of “The L Words” in there as I thought. Super scientific, I know, but the pro-McCain comments were not lacking is the point.

To that end, as this second debate was unfolding, I started to notice that the comments were primarily in a few clusters.

1. Sound & Fury Signifying Nothing: Trash talk about the candidates styles, nothing on substance, general snarkiness.

2. I’ve Got a Bat and the Horse Isn’t Dead Yet: Random regurgitation’s of facts and figures on specific topics being discussed that only a person who is voting based on a particular issue would know about.

3. Fact Checking Lurkers: Not sure if they’re w/ the various campaigns, but some well-informed people seeming to plant well-timed topics.

And then I shut my laptop.

I realized that those three categories meant you were dealing w/ people who, by and large, had already made up their mind. They’re just playing a tennis match at this point and I’m wagging my neck around as the ball goes back and forth. It’s not helping me one bit.

I realized I was looking at everyone else’s thoughts and throwing out my own pithy 140 character or less quips based on the soundbites of the debate I was able to catch when not reading everyone else’s comments about the debate that was on the TV about 8-10 feet past the laptop with which I was enthralled.

I’m not really sure how I’m feeling about Twitter’s use in this way now, but I do know I won’t be on the laptop for round 3 next week. I’m thinking there is some fascinating evaluation that needs to be done to see what it all means and how it can be better used to influence because I can tell you for this indie it’s not all that influential.

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Filed under communication platforms, election 08, twitter

Tweeting to the White House

Random and not deep thoughts on the election and one new media application…

I’m a hopeless independent when it comes to politics. My favorite gift of late from my lovely wife was a “Perot ’08” t-shirt (yeah, I voted for him twice).

I’ve been using Twitter a lot lately as I used to use IM bots – for relevant news headlines. So I added Obama and McCain Twitter feeds via a site called polfeeds.com (being an independent, I’d rather have a 3rd party filter – I’m well aware Obama’s campaign is using Twitter directly). My humble, non-scientific assessment has me favoring Obama when it comes to effective use of new media.

One of those other Twitter feeds I have and check religiously is NPR. Every time NPR has a relevant national issue or campaign related headline – tends to be up to a dozen times a day – Obama’s polfeed is there in response usually within a couple minutes, outlining his POV on the issue. That’s in addition to a very effective use of “man on the street” perspectives from his supporters, usually a couple a day.

McCain, on the other hand, goes silent for long periods of times and most times is slinging mud and spewing the standard conservative epitaphs (I thought he was the “original maverick”…anyway) when he does choose to tweet.

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Filed under communication platforms, election 08, media coverage, twitter