Marketing Is Simple, Right?

Identify target. Engage.

Think about this imperative statement set from the perspective of a marketer. Marketing is simple, right.

Now factor in the myriad methods for identifying targets. And overlay that with the exploding number of ways to engage with identified targets.

Whew! I know how you feel – seems overwhelming doesn’t it?
Where do you start?

OK, step back for a second and repeat after me” “Marketing is simple, right.”

This is the message being preached by Emmy award winner, Brad Jakeman. Take a look at the landscape.

There have never been more communications channels, yet it has never been harder to connect with consumers.

Brad believes marketers have become obsessed with the channel and forgotten about the content.
Consumers want brands to participate in their conversations, they want to engage and be engaged. For them the medium is peripheral to the experience.

Now let’s go back to our opening statement.

Identify target. Engage.

Flip this around and think about it from the consumer’s point of view. Given all the ways they could connect it’s also a question for them of which device, program, solution they decide to engage with.

Do I use my iPhone to twitter through twinkle, do it via my desktop on twhirl, dive into one of my browsers and send a message in 140 characters through a Facebook app or on Friendfeed?

The point is that the process of identifying and engaging is a dialogic one. It is two sides of the branding coin, one for marketers, and one for consumers.

To quote Brad, marketers need to create things people want to SEEK out, not SCREEN out. And the key marketing word of the moment: ENGAGE.

[Pictures courtesy of mleak]

Metarand Unplugged: Chris Saad Evangelizes DataPortability

Chris Saad, the CEO of Faraday Media and a Co-Founder of the DataPortability Group, talks about the Group’s journey over the past few months…from logo wars through to an impressive impact on the technology majors like Google and Microsoft.

We also asked him about the amount of time he is spending on DataPortability versus his other projects and he gives a hint of some interesting Faraday developments.

Lastly we discussed how the mobile landscape interfaces with DataPortability’s roadmap.

Stream the session in Quicktime:

Click here

Web 2.i – It’s Time To Enter Beta

Elias Bizannes has written a post about the Web 2.0 era and what’s next. His post is titled It’s all still alpha in my eyes, and he’s issued a call out to get metarand’s views.

First up, I’d say it is high time we realized that Web 2.0 has entered beta – as Elias points out and as we saw at the recent Web 2.0 Expo, big business has entered the space – big time.

Secondly, I’d like to postulate that this beta version of the web should be called Web 2.i. Here’s why I’m adding the “i”:

* iPhone: I agree with Elias that the mobile web will be a big part of this next phase, that is, the mobile web as defined by the iPhone. This device has created a ripple that will radically alter the mobile pond;

* meshed data/presence: The “i” in dataportability will coalesce with the “i” in presence (go with me on this) to create a far more integrated individual web experience.

In short, I agree with the twitterquote from Dave Winer in Elias’s post: Web 2.0 is now over.

It’s time for Web 2.i…

[Pictures courtesy of bwr, saufnase]

The Life Media Dashboard: Is It Here Yet?


There is a really interesting meme going on at the moment and it’s captured in Michael Arrington’s blog post heading: Friendfeed, The Centralized Me, and Data Portability. It relates to the tug we all have for some order to the chaotic mix of services we flit between as we try to keep up with what is happening around us. Loic Le Meur sums this up well.

I envy the ordered world of someone who only checks their email once or twice a day and reads the newspaper over a cup of coffee –  but I also totally could not do that — I need my fix of news to be coming in from disparate sources hours and sometimes days before it hits the press, I need to know what my key influencers, colleagues and friends are doing as they do it.

What I don’t need is to have to log into a whole heap of sites in order to get this constant fix.

One day I’ll have One Life Media Dashboard for my web interactions.

The question at present is whether I put all my trust into a site like FriendFeed to provide me with that dashboard. From what I know is coming downtrack I’d say that FriendFeed is headed the right way, but there are other sites that do a far better job of bringing all my feeds (used in the broadest sense possible) together. More on that once I can release info 🙂

Will Data Portability become redundant as a result of these sites popping up?

I doubt it. They are removing a problem (aggregating my feeds) and DP will serve to make this a more seamless proposition for the aggregators. DP will also remove the big leap of faith and trust we currently need to “put all our eggs in the one basket” with a FriendFeed type service as our single Life Media Dashboard.

[Mindmap courtesy of Brian Solis]

Songkick’s Ass


Concert listings site and Y Combinator grad, Songkick has launched what has got to be one of the coolest applications of buzz monitoring to date.

It’s called Battle of the Bands and Michael Arrington at TechCrunch does a great job of explaining how it works:

It’s a sort of Alexa or Compete comparison engine, but instead of comparing websites it compares bands and artists. They track any band that has 50 or more followers on MySpace – about 1 million bands currently. They then scour the Amazon sales rank for their music, mentions in 1,500 popular music blogs, total MySpace friends and plays, and other stats to determine the overall excitement for a band at any given time.

Type in one or more bands and see how they compare over time.


It would be interesting to see how the metrics are affected by factoring in P2P traffic and players like Last.FM [Good call Jason Schwartz].

To me it falls into the same broad genre as Buzzlogic, which tracks key influencers around brands, Adonomics, which tracks and compares the popularity of social media apps and Yahoo Buzz (see Richard McManus’s post on this service): – it’s all about the buzz.

Where it will get really interesting is tracking the ripples and identifying who the key influencers are relative to any given band or combination of bands – are these the new DJs of Web 2.0?

Is Web Privacy A Naivete?

I’ve been following Chris Saad’s tilt at the privacy windmill on his attention data steed for some time now. And he finally seems to be getting some good traction with

I also suspected I’d see him comment on Alec Saunders’ contribution to GigaOM – the topic of Alec’s post being an attempt to crystallise a Privacy Manifesto for the Web 2.0 Era.

This all got me thinking. The web blogging community has been up in arms recently about the Scoble/Plaxo/Facebook affair – and you can read about that elsewhere – but is this all a storm in a teacup?

Over in the Homeland Security camp privacy rights have been and continue to be well and truly eroded. So what right do web pundits have puffing up a Privacy Manifesto. How can Chris Saad call for a codification of principals into a DataPortability Policy Reference Design, when his every move through Brisbane central is being monitored on CCTV.

Should we be requesting the spooks keep our data secure and not pass it on to other government departments?

Has Facebook Jumped the Shark?

Surfers and kayakers frolicking in the water playground around Byron Bay have been terrorised by a great white shark in recent weeks.

While across the web questions are emerging about Facebook‘s intentions and its role in the attentionsphere. It would seem that the social networking phenomenon that could do no wrong a fortnite ago has jumped the shark – or has it?

Let’s analyse the situation. Firstly, one of the more scathing articles has surfaced in Australia — particularly predatory waters for social networking and anything social media related. The press in this country seems to savor taking bites out of players in this arena.

The latest Australian attack has come, yet again, from Asher Moses and tries to out Facebook for seeking world domination. C’mon guys, get real! This is sensationalism at its most banale. It’s about as exciting as the Aussie government wanting to sue Google a few months back.

Next up we have the rantings of a rejected blogger. Om Malik isn’t used to his requests for information being ignored – I mean he is after all, at least as far as he is concerned, one of the industry insiders and who is this upstart (Facebook) to not get back to him pronto. He starts his post with:

It has been 48 hours since I asked Facebook to clarify the point about whether a user’s data  is still being passed to them from their web partners even after the user chooses to opt out of Beacon.

How could young Zuckerberg do that??!!

Heh – I’m starting to sound like Nick Denton or one of his staff at Valleywag 🙂 . Seriously though, it is interesting to see sharks, albeit small reef sharks, circling the growing Facebook whale. Let’s hope it doesn’t end up like the one in this picture.

Always On Virtual Worlds: Mobiles to increase presence

Chris Sherman Joey Seiler over at Virtual Worlds News has written an insightful piece about how the virtual world arena will intersect with the world of mobiles.

The vision of always on, ubiquitous virtual worlds is a compelling one and will make itself known through what I call the QuadPlay — web+mobile+virtual+real world. Think real world map overlays, sensor networks and embedded systems and you will begin to see the future in this area.

For now though, I point to Google’s move onto the mobile stack and the interest being shown by companies like Alcatel, Cisco, Qualcomm and IBM and as I commented on Chris’s article: it’s not too much of a stretch to see these guys making a play for embedded virtual world/gaming capabilities on mobile handsets in the next now.

Do You Have a Facebook Strategy?


Used to be a time, not that long ago (pre May 25th – the launch date of the Facebook platform), when the most frequently asked question in VC pitch meetings was, “What’s your China strategy?”

Today, topping the faqs has to be, “What’s your Facebook strategy?”

For CxOs who have not yet cottoned on to the viral coefficient and engagement aspects of Facebook, here are a few metrics worth digesting:

* in the first 20 weeks 366 million applications were installed from the Facebook platform.

* this growth is continuing unabated and is set to track past 1 billion in the first year.

* in August – there were 14 million unique app users (this equated to 33% of all Facebook members)

* in August – there were 88 million app visits

* in August – average dwell time per visit was 4:30 minutes.

Asking whether a company has a Facebook strategy is also shorthand for asking whether its executives have embraced the open architecture model. Facebook is the tip of the iceberg, with many more opportunities to leverage deeply engaged user communities on the horizon.

[Stats courtesy of Justin Smith of InsideFacebook @ Graphing Social Patterns, picture courtesy of BeFitt]