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Category: Gets me thinking

More fragmentation, more opportunities – Interesting media evolution

Nascar Handpicks 28 Websites to Cover Races

I think this article is worth a read for a couple of reasons… it points to an interesting side of the evolution of media. Because of the financial impact of both newspapers folding and newspapers (along with other publishers) not being able to send reporters to cover the races Nascar realized that they needed find a new way to get coverage to help keep fans informed/enthusiastic about the sport. They opened it to find top sites that covered Nascar and give them passes to races.

This has impact on several areas of our business.

Media – we know that traditional publishers are dying. This could really impact the fragmentation of “eyeballs”.
PR – Traditional reporters are losing both their “voice” and “ access”.
Digital – There is more content to aggregate, more opportunities to help fans find and access the content.

Brands – Could “sponsoring” reporters, i.e. give them money to help them just cover events, be way to develop relationships with a “publisher” and their readers.

What are your thoughts?

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Pre-shape “intent” to your website…rambling thinking

Some more out-loud blog thinking…

Thinking about how it is difficult to understand user intent on the web. Are they just searching for a price for a car because they are about to buy or because they are looking for a friend? I know, broad. But what I’m wondering is if there is a way to pre-shape intent before they arrive at your persuasion content/architecture.

I know we are getting better at filtering intent. I work on Subaru and if someone is on an endmenic site research cars and we have a creative message that adds value to their search and they click on it to get content directly from Subaru we have a better idea what content to get them because of the message they clicked on to get there…so there experience is better because it matches their intent.

And maybe that’s the answer…but it feels like there is something I’m not thinking about. It’s been a long day.

This just might be me rambling, going to explore this idea some more.

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Value of social media…web presence – several thoughts rolling around in my head

I’ve taken some time away from social media… i.e. blogging, twitter, etc. I needed to step back and soak some inputs in… and step away from the echo chamber. I’ve been evolving my thinking and here is where I’ve landed on a couple of thoughts.

Social Media – ROI, Value, Etc – It’s some sort of glue

I’ve been stepping back and looking at social media in a bigger picture context, and I think that is where you can prove value and ROI. As a stand alone project, social media’s ROI/Value can be difficult to prove to a CMO. “So, let me get this straight, by blogging you will increase my sales?” Now this in the thick of social media do have charts and graphs that can prove this… but it takes some digestion to get it (and having CMO’s actually participate to really get it). But if social media is part of a larger web presence for a brand/product – the value of why do it makes a lot of sense.

Organic Search/Search + Social Media
Reach + Social Media
Impressions + Social Media

In any of those contexts it gets much easier to explain the value/ROI of why you need social media involved in your web presence strategy.

This thing called the Web – No mom, that’s not just “another link”

Explaining what I do for work to anyone can at times be challenging. Explaining it to my mother is an art. One I have not completely mastered. But I will say, if you need to test any of your web ideas out…always run them past my mother. She will break your experience design without even trying. She’s brilliant like that and doesn’t even know it. Same with my father. May be the best usability testing team on the planet. But I digress ( I love saying that).

When I was trying to explain what I do the last time something really stuck with me. That the web is all activity or search, and that Web 2.0 is really about the activities we can do with the web. I know, I know…this is obvious to most of us. But not to my mother. And when you have to slow it down and explain it…that when we go to the web we are looking to “do something”, it makes a lot of sense that your web presence should be about an activity design, what do you what consumers to do where.

Leading by example – or, get out of the way

I’ve be dormant on the web presence/social media front for awhile. And I think the echo chamber has hit a point…put up or shut up. I sat down and looked at the projects I’ve done over the last 2 years. Some pretty cool stuff that I’m guessing nobody knows about. And some pretty cool things that never got done. It’s time to fail forward, fast.

Just a couple of things, rolling around in my head…

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Serve me a chance to participate

I know, long time no blogging. Life does that.

But saw this today, Bookmarkable Banners with Reminders over at Ad Lab blog…and could not stopping thinking, yes, this is what I want…this is what will help me.

The example above is an ad for what looks like a music event, but you can see how this format can work with any date-based information: promotions, coupons with expiration date, sales and so on. To quote from an email from Spongecell, “We’re adding our Add to Life technology to a standard IAB advertisement to make it easy for a consumer to easily move relevant content from an advertisement into the tools they use every day – Calendar, Social Network, Mobile device or home page – think of it as a bookmark for an online campaign.”

Putting in context some of my online behavior, you’ll understand why I like this idea and wish we would see more of it. Online content…no matter what it is, I’ll “pull” it – i.e. I’ll grab something I like, I’ll save it for later.. Most of the time I’m just scanning content online (which I think is becoming the norm for most of us). What I mean by scanning and pulling:

– I’ll click a link to open in a new tab in Firefox…read it when I get to it.
– I’ll mark a scanned RSS item in Google Reader for later (and tag it), just noting it in my brain.
– I’ll tumble something if I think it’s clever, to have to look at later.

I rarely click and read something right on that click. Content for me is always pulled and pushed around when I want to deal with it. I think more and more online behavior is moving towards that. So when I saw the ad on AD Lab blog that basically setups up a reminder/save this for later/pull type of ad…I was like – YES! This is what I want. If your add gets my attention, let me pull it somewhere for me to save it, grab it when I need it again. Let me see the new cool shirt or whatever, and even though I might not be in market to buy right then, let me save it for when I am. I think most ads should offer this feature. Of course this would alter search…because would I search my ‘saved ads’ for a t-shirt first or online in general. Ahh…the can of worms.

ps – the coffeeshop is playing Iggy Pop right now. I have a secret love Iggy Pop music.

Update: Thoughts for myself…After thinking about this more, I think I have several other links that could prove this would be good for online consumer in general. I’ll try to write up more soon.

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