Verizon and iPhone Won’t Join Forces Anytime Soon: How We Know

October 20, 2009 in Uncategorized

This is Verizon’s new ad. They call it “iDon’t” but here’s what it does mean:

1. Verizon is investing in the Android.

2. They probably wouldn’t iDon’t the iPhone if they were even considering partnering with Apple.

The dream of having an iPhone with what most people think is the most reliable carrier reception wise?

iDon’t think that’s going to happen.

Not Quite the Future of Advertising

October 20, 2009 in Uncategorized

Microsoft may look progressive for having sponsored a commercial free “Family Guy” but all this means is that viewers will see a commercial of a different breed. You won’t see a 30 second break but McFarlene had to write in a thing or two about Windows 7. So is this the future of advertising?

Note quite.

Acceleration: Will Facebook Be Around in Five, Ten, Even Twenty Years?

October 19, 2009 in Uncategorized


1. The future of social networking seems to be all about mobile.  Facebook's updated mobile app is quite effective, proving that perhaps Facebook has the resources and wherewithal to adapt as this trend becomes more ubiquitous.

2. Of course some Facebook apps are meaningless, but there's no doubt that they add to Facebook's power as a platform for just about anything we want.  If Facebook can continue to serve the community's needs and continue its status as a platform then people will keep coming even if the Facebook of the future looks nothing like today's site.

3. Aparently Facebook users could afford to pay if it came to that, and even if Facebook starts charging and loses some of it's market, there are still enough people to sustain it.

4. Although some would agrue that social media is a trend, it seems that it's changing business and communication enough to create a continuing need for people years from now.  People talk, they talk online, and I don't see that changing.

5. Facebook did finally turn a profit


1. Fred Stutzman of the University of North Carolina says in a Newsweek article that the site can't stay cool enough and as a result there will be a "content collapse," meaning people will stop adding content (either because of trust issues or loss of interest) and slowly the site will die.

2. Bobbie Johnson writes in The Guardian about how he's done with social media.

3. The existence of the attention economy brings up the issue of spreading ourselves too thin.  If an early adopter breaks out and helps users make meaning more effectively then there will be a shift.  Unless the two places integrate themselves effectively (maybe the new idea would use facebook as an initial platform for reach but something like Twitter didn't need Facebook to take off and if the new breakout site is the future then it's doubtful they would need it either).

I suppose we'll just have to wait and see.

How Nonsense Sharpens the Intellect –

October 11, 2009 in Uncategorized
Great article in the New York Times about how evaluating anomalies increases activity in the ventral part of the anterior cingulate cortex, where a lot of problem solving takes place:


…Still, the new research supports what many experimental artists, habitual travelers and other novel seekers have always insisted: at least some of the time, disorientation begets creative thinking.


New Music Software Predicts The Hits : NPR

October 10, 2009 in Uncategorized

October 12, 2009 – Many of us like to believe that there’s a little magic behind the making of a hit single. Take a song like “I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas. That’s a good song, judging by sales: It’s on top of the Billboard pop chart. David Meredith, CEO of Music Intelligence Solutions, says there’s no magic in that; it’s math. His software, called “Hit Song Science,” gave the song a hit score of 8.9 out 10.

“[It’s] a series of algorithms that we use to look at what’s the potential of a song to be sticky with a listener,” Meredith says. “To have those patterns in the music that would correspond with what human brain waves would find pleasing.”

Meredith says his software found that hits have certain common patterns of rhythm, harmony, chord progression, length, lyrics. A study conducted by the Harvard Business School found that the software was accurate 8 out of 10 times.

This summer, Music Intelligence launched a Web site for songwriters called Uplaya. David Bell, of the hip-hop duo the Block Scholars, paid $90 to use it.

“To me, it’s an unbiased validation of your music,” Bell says. “It’s not your family turning around and saying, ‘Oh, you got a great song.’ “

The computer told Bell he had a 7.1 — good but not great. So he went back to the studio and remixed. He got his score up to 7.6 — good for a platinum rating. He could hold his head up.

“We can use Uplaya as a tool to figure out what song we want to put in a demo to send to these labels and stuff,” Bell says.

Against The Machine

“From an artist’s standpoint, a songwriter’s standpoint, it’s horrifying to me,” says independent singer-songwriter Kim Tuvim. Tuvim says she can’t stand the star-making machine behind popular songs, and that she hates the idea of artists trying fitting songs into algorithms.

“You’ll find a decreasing amount of any kind of surprises in music,” Tuvim says. “This just becomes a tool to make that narrowing of the field more accessible.”

Tuvim says her songs come from a mysterious place in her unconscious. She might not love the computer, but the computer loves her song “Flood.” It got a 7.3 — that’s platinum.

Breaking The Mold

It doesn’t surprise New Yorker music critic Sasha Frere-Jones that a computer can predict hits, but he says it can’t predict all the hits. Sometimes, songs come along that don’t fit the mold.

“I think of a song like “Da Da Da” by Trio, which people love,” Jones says. “They just love that song. And I can’t imagine that at the time, in ’80-’81, that the software would have given that a very high rating. It was sonically very small. It sounded like a kids’ song. They might have told the band, ‘No. No. No. No. No. Beef it up.’ ”

The software still doesn’t think it’s a hit: “Da Da Da” got a 6. Jones worries that, if Hit Song Science plays too big a role in the music industry, a lot of good songs will never see the light of day.

Music Intelligence Solutions CEO Meredith calls his software a democratizing force in music — sort of a computerized American Idol. If an unknown, unconnected artist gets a high score, it could get a leg up. Then, his company could help promote the artist with record labels.

“We’ll shine a spotlight on you,” Meredith says. “You’ll get recognized and we’ll get the word out, and that’s probably a good way for the industry to work relative to it being, ‘Who do you know?’ It’s more about what kind of talent level that you have.”

Meredith also notes that his software isn’t writing the songs. Human beings do that — at least for now.

If we can predict hits in music what else can we predict? What are the algorithms that could measure experiential marketing without (or more accurately, in addition to) all the surveys, psycho graphics, and focus groups we currently employ?

What’s on my nightstand: 5 Marketing Books for Fall Reading

October 8, 2009 in Uncategorized
What’s on my nightstand: 5 Marketing Books for Fall Reading

Ann Handley


Ann Handley adds a few reads to my list…

1. I Love You More Than My Dog: Five Decisions That Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad by Jeanne Bliss

2. The New Community Rules: Marketing and the Social Web by Tamar Weinberg

3. Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

4. Crush It!: Why NOW is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk

5. The Digital Handshake: Seven Proven Strategies to Grow Your Business Using Social Media by Paul Chaney

The New FTC Rules; I’m All For Them

October 7, 2009 in Uncategorized

Under the revised Guides, advertisements that feature a consumer and convey his or her experience with a product or service as typical when that is not the case will be required to clearly disclose the results that consumers can generally expect. In contrast to the 1980 version of the Guides – which allowed advertisers to describe unusual results in a testimonial as long as they included a disclaimer such as “results not typical” – the revised Guides no longer contain this safe harbor.

Oh if I had a quarter for all the debates I got into today regarding the new FTC Guides. Maybe it’s the journalist in me but I’m all for the update from 1980. A couple thoughts:

1. If you have to use an atypical example to promote your product then maybe it’s time to consider improving the product and then making the sale. It’s always easier to keep customers than get new ones, so why is anyone anywhere still intentionally over-promising and under-delivering? It ruins your brand reputation anyway.

2. Full disclosure. It’s a tenet of journalism that should absolutely apply to endorsements and advertisers. Branding these days is all about transparency anyway so don’t try to keep secrets. Again, in my opinion if you feel like you’ve got to hide funding or freebies etc then maybe it’s time to consider your ethics from the start.

If your opinion differs though, I’m always willing to hear the insight of other perspectives.

Facebook Now Tracks How Happy Americans Are | The Blog Herald

October 7, 2009 in Uncategorized

Facebook’s Gross National Happiness Index ( now tracks the nation’s happiness. By tracking the usage of words with both positive and negative connotations in our status updates, Facebook gets a sense of our state of mind.

I suppose we can track just about anything these days. How long it will take before people start using these sorts of methods for rating company satisfaction or reviews. It could be like the real time Rotten Tomatoes movie review site or a thermometer/customer satisfaction rating for Dell.