The Super Bowl presents not just a huge platform with astounding audience numbers where consumers actually lean forward to watch your ad. It also pays surprising ancillary dividends in awareness: reams of press coverage that drive word-of-mouth and stampeding traffic to websites. Most importantly, for the right company, it can establish a relationship with key consumers and sell product.
Tracking tags are bits of code that enable ad serving, site analytics, audience-segmentation, and social sharing tools on websites. In other words, tags are what make the web tick.
So with all this relentless talk about Twitter accounts, Facebook fan pages and cool new apps, I have a serious and timely question. Do brand websites still matter? Yes, I know -- even asking this question is a bit digitally sacrilegious. Websites are to digital strategy as models are to fashion, but do we really need them?
Speaking as a card-carrying member of the old media, it has been my observation that virtually every magazine (old media) now has a Web site (new media, a.k.a. digital media), and that the proprietors of these sites don’t, for the most part, know what one another are doing; that there are no generally accepted standards and practices; that each magazine’s Web site is making it up as it goes along; that, as CJR put it in our proposal to the MacArthur foundation (which funded this survey), it is like the Wild West out there. For example, who makes the final decisions about what goes on the site, the editor of the magazine or, if there is one, the Web editor? Are Web sites fact-checked and copy-edited, if at all, with the same care as their parent magazines? On the business side, how much material is free, and how much is behind a paywall? What about archives—are they marketed, monetized, and curated in ways that differ from current content?
When I picked up my iPhone over the weekend, I had an epiphany. I was using the LinkedIn app to confirm an invitation to connect, and it hit me: This is the future of mobile computing, the mobile web — the mobile experience. No, I’m not saying the LinkedIn app is the future per se (that’d be silly), but rather the overall concept of it. The LinkedIn iPhone app is, in my opinion, better than the actual LinkedIn.com website. Same goes for the Facebook app compared to Facebook.com. Gone are their busy, tab-infested UIs. In their stead are beautiful bubbly icons screaming “Touch me!” We no longer have to squint or click around in search of the feature we’re trying to access: The button is right there in that simple interface for us to tap. The Facebook and Linkedin apps are two key examples of popular services whose iPhone apps outdid the websites they were trying to “port.” They’re two gems glistening brightly for the future of mobile.
Mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access devices worldwide by 2013, according to a new forecast by research firm Gartner. That's an even more aggressive outlook than Morgan Stanley's projection that the mobile Web will outstrip the desktop Web in five years. Gartner estimates the combined installed base of smartphones and browser-equipped enhanced phones will surpass 1.82 billion units by 2013, eclipsing the total of 1.78 billion PCs by then. But the firm warns that many sites still are not optimized for the mobile Web, even though cell users expect to make fewer clicks on their phones than on a PC. To successfully expand into mobile, publishers will have to reformat sites from the small form-factor of handheld devices.
What if your organization or your client has done nothing? What if they've just watched the last fourteen years go by? No real website, no social media, no permission assets. What if now they're ready and they ask your advice? And, by the way, they have no real cash to spend..
2009 has been an interesting and dare I say it even a breakout year for hyperlocal thus far. The New York Times launched The Local a few months before it announced it was cutting 8% of it newsroom jobs, MSNBC bought Everyblock, and services like Patch.com are slowly but surely growing in popularity. ESPN launched a series of local efforts this year too, and although they’re not what I would call truly hyperlocal yet, (rather local aggregations of mostly major league sports coverage), it’s another example of big media exploring the area.
Radio and TV station Web sites may be growing, but keeping up with changes in digital technology remains a constant struggle. According to the results of a new survey released today from the Radio and Television News Directors Association and Hofstra University, only 38 percent of news directors responded that they’re comfortable that their stations are on top of new technology.
Facebook used Nokia World, the mobile conference taking place now in Stuttgart Germany, to make a major announcement about the expansion of their Facebook Connect platform. According to Henri Moissinac, head of Facebook's mobile operations, the company is launching a new program called "Facebook Connect For Mobile Web." The Connect platform, which originally launched in 2008, is already available for traditional websites as well as Apple's iPhone. With this update, it can now exist for any mobile platform, too.
In 2005 Fortune magazine published a piece by Adam Lashinsky called Burning Sensation, which described the threat craigslist posed to newspapers. But it didn’t ignore the threat that other tech companies posed to craigslist: “Even as Craigslist flexes its considerable muscles, the disruptor is facing the challenge of disruption… eBay has started Kijiji, a classified business for non-U.S. markets that can only be described as Craigslist-like. Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen is behind a company called Ning, whose software includes an application called Anytown Marketplace that can build online classified sites. The biggest threat, as usual, is Google. It has introduced Google Base, where users can upload anything — e.g., “49ers tickets for sale” — into its searchable database… Google’s technological prowess — and money — mean it can add features in weeks that Craigslist has contemplated for years.” Three years later the story was still the same.
Brands are pollinating the social web with easy-to-share features like Sharethis. As conversations splinter across the web, brands must prepare to aggregate those same conversations on their corporate website. As a result, the trusted conversations will centralize back on product pages.
Amid the gloom, the internet still casts light: online retailers report bumper sales; and Twitter has become a staple for anyone looking for a jolly story. It makes sense: the internet has the huge advantage of being almost free for its consumers, and highly cost effective for its suppliers.