Thursday, 30 October 2008

Blogger Mat Leave

I keep writing half finished posts being optimistic that at some point inspiration will come. But truth is, focusing my efforts on the new office at Twist Image and getting ready for the baby that is due in oh, two weeks, my energies are not on the blogging. So I'm accepting the fact that I'm taking a Blogger Maternity leave for now anyhow!

I'll still be on friendfeed, twitter , tumblr and the usual other suspects (facebook, linkedin) so keep in touch!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The Serious Business Of The Great Schlep

I thought Sarah Silverman's The Great Schlep (via Mathew) while a bit off colour, was hilarious. Maybe it's because I'm Jewish, and had a Bubie who had a condo called the Green Apple Apartments in Fort Lauderdale or maybe I just happen to find Sarah Silverman funny, but I loved it. And apparently, so did 7 million other people. Another Internet phenom.

But what i didn't realize (because I wasn't really paying all that much attention until this was mentioned on CBC Radio 1 this past weekend) was that the Great Schlep was not just a funny viral video, but rather, it was a strategic marketing response to the very real issue of elderly Jewish voters in Florida not rallying behind Barack Obama.

The organization behind the video was concerned over the lack of support for Obama, and according to the CBC radio interview, linked it back to 18 months of a subversive and anonymous email campaigns specifically targeting older Jewish residents in Florida which suggested that Obama was not only a Muslim, but a radical one at that. From their site:

"In presidential elections, when choosing between a more progressive candidate and a more conservative candidate, Jews overwhelmingly choose the more progressive candidate. Between 1924 and 2004, Jews have given their vote to the more progressive candidates at an average rate of 76 percent. In fact, none of the more conservative candidates has ever mustered more than 40 percent of the Jewish vote, while more than half received less than 20 percent.

Given this history, why is Barack Obama hovering at 60 percent of the Jewish vote, according to three separate polls? Is this all the product of a highly effective rumor campaign, spread through Jewish networks often by well-meaning individuals concerned that they information they received was true? Or is there something more?"

Was there something more? Regardless, the response to the Great Schlep has been impressive with Jews all over the US rallying their grandparents to ensure that Florida not be the deciding vote in an election that will surely be one of the greatest US Presidential races we've seen in a long time.

Our own Canadian election is not immune to the impact of the Web, and no i'm not just talking about Jack Layton being people's Facebook friends. Strategic voting sites like Vote pair and various facebook groups have popped up where people are actually swapping votes in specific ridings with each other, begging the question as to whether or not our foundational systems like our legal and political systems, have the nimbleness to adapt given the speed of change with which people are using these technologies in unexpected and impact full ways.

Did subversive emails impact an entire voter group? Will the comedy site, "The Great Schlep" counter those efforts and make a difference for Obama in Florida? Will internet vote swapping on Facebook determine the next Canadian Prime Minister? Hum...I guess only time will tell but understanding the potential and real impacts that this medium has on our opinions and perceptions may not just be a matter for marketers but also one that could rock us to our fundamental and democratic core.

Friday, 10 October 2008

How To Get A Writing Gig With The Globe & Mail? Write A Blog First

I kept meaning to blog about my friend Jeremy Bell's blog 360 Winnett Ave. Jeremy by trade is a digital Creative Director, but has a particular love of architecture. When he and his wife Jessica decided to build a new home, not only did they decide to go the eco friendly route but they also decided to start a blog and document the entire process.

Since that time, I've completely enjoyed following along with the trials, tribulations and eco design choices Jeremy and Jessica have been making...and apparently, so has the Globe and Mail. Jeremey twittered this morning that his first of a five part series of articles on his project has appeared on the Globe & Mail Website.

For any aspiring journalists and writers out there, this is the way to do it. Create interesting content on your own and the opportunities will come.

Congrats Jeremy & Jess!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Does The Engagement Justify The Means?

Facebook is experimenting with new business models. Well, to be more specific, Facebook is experimenting with new ad concepts.

"[Facebook] has been testing an interactive product that draws willing consumers into the advertising itself. MTV tried it out to promote its latest video music awards, posting clips of Britney Spears, for example, and allowing viewers to post comments about them. Those comments then appeared in other users' News Feeds, the Facebook function that tells you what your friends are doing and saying."

Facebook's CEO Sheryl Sandberg talks about this new model in terms of "demand generation". But just because I want to see what applications my friends might be using or see what they might be doing in their status update, does that same thing apply to what advertising they choose to participate with?

It's a rather fundamental question that gets to the heart of whether or not paid/bought advertising models will continue to thrive. Invasive media while still appropriate in some cases, in the interactive model don't seem to work with the fundamental dynamics of the medium. And yet for the most part, advertisers continue to work in a paid media mindset that places invasive banners, buttons and other types of bill boards across the Web.

I like the fact that the Facebook experiment seems to be attempting a hybrid model between bought and earned media - the brand/service purchases placement and then looks at creating some value for the customer (clips of Spears) to engage in a somewhat meaningful social way (comments).

But the million dollar customer question will be, does the engagement justify the means (in this case the paid Ad) and the subsequent WOM FF feed?? What do you think?

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

[Joke] Trying To Hire In The Digital Market Today

Mark Rouse sent me this joke that i just had to post given the current hiring climate in digital marketing and communications. Enjoy!

Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources Person asked a young Interactive person, with just 2 years experience, "What starting salary were you thinking about?"

The candidate said, "In the neighbourhood of $125,000 a year, depending on the benefits package."

The interviewer said, "Well, what would you say to a package of 5 weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, and a company car leased every 2 years - say, a red Corvette?"

The candidate sat up straight and said, "Wow! Are you kidding?"

The interviewer replied, "Yeah, but you started it".

Real Time Web Analytics