Archive for the ‘Storm’ tag
For months now, Portent CEO Ian Lurie and Director of Search Marketing Elizabeth Marsten have not slept. They have not eaten. They have missed out on critical episodes of True Blood. Why? Because they have been brewing brilliance with co-authors John Arnold, Marty Dickinson, and Michael Becker, developing the second edition of Web Marketing All-in-One for Dummies.
Ian and Elizabeth, who took the web marketing world by storm as co-authors of the first edition of Web Marketing All-in-One for Dummies, are very pleased with the product of their labors—on several occasions Elizabeth has been witnessed snuggling with a copy in her office, muttering quietly to herself and addressing the book as “my precious.”
What Critics Say About This Amazing Book
“If Nabakov had a baby with Danielle Steel, that love child would want to read Elizabeth Marsten’s section on online advertising and pay-per-click,” one reader gushed.
A Smith Tower employee noted, “We are concerned about the structural safety of Smith Tower now that this amount of web marketing knowledge has been consolidated on the premises.”
“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from [reading Portent CEO Ian Lurie’s sections in Web Marketing All-in-One for Dummies],” the Dalai Lama may or may not have commented. He was referring to Lurie’s writings on search engine optimization, web analytics, blogging and podcasting, and social media marketing.
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We’re not going to apologise for returning to the storm surrounding the suspension of a journalist’s Twitter account because in a free-speech democracy, this stuff matters.
To re-cap: The Twitter account of Guy Adams, a U.S.-based journalist for the UK-based Independent newspaper has been suspended by Twitter. In common with many, many media outlets, Adams has been highly critical of NBC’s Olympics coverage, and he’s by no means alone. But when he tweeted a top NBC executive’s email address, NBC complained, and his account was suspended, as we’ve reported, for allegedly posting someone else’s private information. Something against the company’s rules. (Twitter and NBC are partners for the Olympic Games, although there’s no suggestion that there is any conspiracy here).
In an update to the story Search Engine Land notes that “celebrities, have done similar things without Twitter taking action.”
We reached out to Twitter for a response. They are standing by their earlier statement. A spokesperson told us: “We don’t comment on individual accounts so [we have] nothing further to add.” They also did not respond to the question of whether Adams’ account would be re-instated.
We also reached out to Twitter to clarify if it would suspend the account of Lady Gaga if she tweeted a work email address (or a private one). This has happened in the past with other celebrities. CJ Wilson (a high profile pitcher) tweeted the cell phone number of his ex-teammate once and didn’t lose his account. Justin Bieber tweeted an enemy’s mobile number. Nothing happened. There have been other cases.
At the time of publication there was no response from Twitter on this issue.
So it would appear emails are fair game when they are tweeted by celebrities who have a huge following. Remember, Twitter was the first place we ordinary mortals could really interact with celebrities in any vaguely meaningful way. To suspend a celebrity account would be to not only disappoint users, but to possibly even remove much of the reason a lot of people are on Twitter in the first place.
SEL claims the NBC exec’s email address was not “widely available” because it was only on the Internet for more or less one page before all the hoo haa. But this is an obfuscation.
Given that anyone on the (uncensored) Internet can access Google, a result only needs to be on Google or Bing or any search engine ONCE for it to be ‘widely available’ to millions of people in the Internet. As the phrase goes, on the Internet once, on the Internet forever.
The exec’s email address was clearly online and searchable, as well as easily worked out by seeing how NBC structures its generic corporate email addresses.
Certainly the old Biz Stone phrase, “The Tweets must flow” looks quite different in light of this event.
We think that morally, Twitter has a duty to clarify its policy, but while it does, it should also re-instate the Twitter account of a legitimate member of the media.
Adams has now posted a story about the incident.
YouTube star Antoine Dodson, known best for the 2010 YouTube hit ‘Bed Intruder Song,’ is “so tired of people from the gay community telling where [he] can/should eat at.” In response to the Chick-fil-A controversy that’s taken the Internet by storm this week, Dodson has uploaded a video to YouTube in which he gives his take on the issue.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
As the weather spins into the post-normal — more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) — our aging infrastructure is failing, and we are going to see much more serious disruptions in the future because our governments a/ don’t want to talk about the climate (too scary) and b/ are laying off the workers that we should be using to fix the power lines, train tracks, roadways and bridges.
Matthew Wald and John Schwartz, Rise in Weather Extremes Threatens Infrastructure via NYTimes.com
The frequency of extreme weather is up over the past few years, and people who deal with infrastructure expect that to continue. Leading climate models suggest that weather-sensitive parts of the infrastructure will be seeing many more extreme episodes, along with shifts in weather patterns and rising maximum (and minimum) temperatures.
“We’ve got the ‘storm of the century’ every year now,” said Bill Gausman, a senior vice president and a 38-year veteran at the Potomac Electric Power Company, which took eight days to recover from the June 29 “derecho” storm that raced from the Midwest to the Eastern Seaboard and knocked out power for 4.3 million people in 10 states and the District of Columbia.
In general, nobody in charge of anything made of steel and concrete can plan based on past trends, said Vicki Arroyo, who heads the Georgetown Climate Center at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, a clearinghouse on climate-change adaptation strategies.
Highways, Mr. Scullion noted, are designed for the local climate, taking into account things like temperature and rainfall. “When you get outside of those things, man, all bets are off.” As weather patterns shift, he said, “we could have some very dramatic failures of highway systems.”
Adaptation efforts are taking place nationwide. Some are as huge as the multibillion-dollar effort to increase the height of levees and flood walls in New Orleans because of projections of rising sea levels and stronger storms to come; others as mundane as resizing drainage culverts in Vermont, where Hurricane Irene damaged about 2,000 culverts. “They just got blown out,” said Sue Minter, the Irene recovery officer for the state.
In Washington, the subway system, which opened in 1976, has revised its operating procedures. Authorities will now watch the rail temperature and order trains to slow down if it gets too hot. When railroads install tracks in cold weather, they heat the metal to a “neutral” temperature so it reaches a moderate length, and will withstand the shrinkage and growth typical for that climate. But if the heat historically seen in the South becomes normal farther north, the rails will be too long for that weather, and will have an increased tendency to kink. So railroad officials say they will begin to undertake much more frequent inspection.
Some utilities are re-examining long-held views on the economics of protecting against the weather. Pepco, the utility serving the area around Washington, has repeatedly studied the idea of burying more power lines, and the company and its regulators have always decided that the cost outweighed the benefit. But the company has had five storms in the last two and a half years for which recovery took at least five days, and after the derecho last month, the consensus has changed. Both the District of Columbia and Montgomery County, Md., have held hearings to discuss the option — though in the District alone, the cost would be $1.1 billion to $5.8 billion, depending on how many of the power lines were put underground.
Even without storms, heat waves are changing the pattern of electricity use, raising peak demand higher than ever. That implies the need for new investment in generating stations, transmission lines and local distribution lines that will be used at full capacity for only a few hundred hours a year. “We build the system for the 10 percent of the time we need it,” said Mark Gabriel, a senior vice president of Black & Veatch, an engineering firm. And that 10 percent is “getting more extreme.”
Even as the effects of weather extremes become more evident, precisely how to react is still largely an open question, said David Behar, the climate program director for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. “We’re living in an era of assessment, not yet in an area of adaptation,” he said.
In the post-normal we will never have the luxury of time to assess and then adapt. Linear problem-solving approaches will simply not work anymore.
The biggest problem is that people’s thinking patterns are stuck in the old days, and I don’t just mean their expectations about ‘normal’ weather. No, even worse is that people can’t accept the reality that in the post-normal we will never have the luxury of time to assess and then adapt. Linear problem-solving approaches will simply not work anymore.
But this is not a call for more old world leadership, characterized by moving fast, and looking for permanent ‘solutions’ to well-defined and researched ‘problems’. Instead, we need leaders demonstrating the ‘VUCA Prime’ characteristics, as Bob Johansen has styled it.
Denise Caron makes the break between the old world and the new one very clear:
We are moving from a world of problems, which demand speed, analysis, and elimination of uncertainty to solve, to a world of dilemmas, which demand patience, sense-making, and an engagement of uncertainty.
So, in this context, there is no ‘solution’ to infrastructure stress and failure based on more violent weather. We are stuck in a problem space which is fundamentally unsolvable, but we have to try to make sense of this in the context of the larger world.
For example: the financial constraints of our weakened economy mean that we may not be able to repair the interstate highway system, but we might extend and maintain the train system for people moving. Do we have the foresight to disinvest in the highway system? Can we shift from a truck-based logistics system to boats, trains, and airships long-distance hauling?
We are just as trapped in our thinking as we are in a rapidly changing global weather system, and without leaders with the mindset and skillset geared for the post-normal world, we will never find our way out.
Like a raging storm in the open sea, the waves of change come at brand marketers from all directions. There is no eye in this perfect storm – no brief moment of calm to prepare for the next big wind to blow your business off course. The world is changing so fast most brand owners can hardly manage the process of learning what’s necessary to master to keep their ship afloat in all the apparent chaos surrounding them.
From the media we hear daily about the dire circumstances facing all of us on the planet. The stubbornly slow global economy, dwindling resources, over population, political uncertainty and global unrest are taking its toll on the collective creativity and resourcefulness necessary for humans to solve the wicked problems we have created in our modern age.
Everything is different now – profoundly different. Yet it is out of and from chaos that all new order is born. And we are at the beginning of a new order. That’s very good news for those brand marketers willing to view it as such and act accordingly.
We’re in this together.
Right now many brand marketers are connecting the dots between their present circumstances and the bigger, better future they desire to create; between the global picture and their personal circumstances; between individual and collective success. We’re all in this together.
As marketers, we can’t afford to continue to operate on the premise that when one of us wins, another must lose. We need to leave the competitive plane and operate on the creative plane – creating new value rather than competing for the value already created by others.
“The future ain’t what it used to be”– Yogi Berra.
The future now arrives at an accelerating rate. Products are out-of-date almost before they are fully embraced and established in the marketplace. So are your assumptions, your forecasts, metrics and winning formulas. Everything seems to be moving past the sell-by date just as it’s being created. This pace is the new normal.
But as our solutions become out of date, our assessment of the problem is also out of date. What frictions we are facing in our personal and professional life are evaporating just as are we are faced with an entirely new world of opportunity and a whole host of new possibilities. These waves of opportunity are everywhere, and one doesn’t need to look far to find examples of creative entrepreneurs creating insane value seemingly out of thin air and at lightspeed.
Back in 2003, Dennis Crowley wanted an easy way to let his friends know what bar he was hanging out in. In those early days, many people were still using pagers and text messaging was in its early phase. Using existing technology and Google Maps, he turned this idea into a business called “Dodgeball”.
Two short years later in 2005, Google bought the fledging business for a million bucks. Google had no idea at the time smart phones were eminently on the horizon, replacing SMS services, and ended up closing Dodgeball. Dennis kept the million bucks still believing in his original idea that people wanted to let their friends know where they are – now using smart phones.
The same year Apple launched the iPhone, Dennis launched a new company called “Foursquare”. Two years later Foursquare had 15 million users, 3 million check-ins a day, and now is worth roughly $600 million.
Facebook, PayPal, Groupon, Living Social all followed a similar path creating unimaginable value out of thin air in unimaginable timeframes. Never before in human history has this occurred.
The New Wave
In the industrial age, power laws were based on the power of production. Those with the means to control the production of stuff controlled markets. This was the age of control and competition. The Internet, technology and our global connections have shifted the power of production to the power of consumption. In other words, consumers now have the power buying what they want at the price they want.
It’s no longer about the economies of scale, but the economies of speed. Producers now match what consumers are willing to pay rather than forcing consumers to pay the price set by producers. Value is now controlled by the power of the crowd. This is the new wave. In the old paradigm, producers created products then went looking for customers. Find a need and fill it no longer works.
Where will this wave lead? Already, Google and Facebook set their ad prices based on what people are willing to pay. Seemingly in every industry, customers will increasingly hold the power to set the price of everything from the places they stay to the talent they hire, from the food and cars they buy to the bank fees and mortgage rates they choose. The economies of industries are being turned upside down, and so will the economies of your business.
How customers participate in the shaping of your products will make all the difference to their level of acceptance and loyalty. In the age of transparency in which we are now living, customers have the power not the producers. We are long past the industrial model of control and conquer to one of attraction and engagement. Today it’s commonplace to have homemade videos being viewed by as many people on YouTube as view national cable channels on TV.
The result and impact of all this “chaos” has led enlightened brand marketers to realize they must shift their thinking from selling to listening, then bake the marketing into more social, friendly and “add value first” conversations with customers. Business is now more personal and at long last more human.
Out of the chaos of our current circumstances we can rise to a new age of prosperity.
Sponsored by: The Brand Strategy Workshop For Startups
While we don’t make a habit out of covering every iteration of the Google Doodle, today’s version is especially awesome. The doodle is celebrating the birth date of Dr. Robert Moog, the inventor of the electronic analog Moog Synthesizer. The what?, you may ask. The synthesizer was an instrument Moog created in the mid-1960′s, which took the music world by storm, and was picked up by artists like The Beatles, The Doors, Stevie Wonder, Kraftwerk, and others. It transformed how people thought about electronic music. Instead of producing a “synthetic” sound, as previous synthesizers did, the Moog version created a richer, organic sound. Today, some 50 years later, musicians still hold the Moog Synthesizer in high regard.
And, if you’re curious to see what all the fuss is about, you can try out the Moog yourself now on the Google homepage via a working, playable version of the instrument.
The Moog is a favorite among tech folks because it relied on the invention of the transistor. Because of the technological innovation of the transistor, researchers like Moog were able build electronic music systems that were smaller, cheaper and more reliable than earlier vacuum tube-based systems.
Now on Google.com, using your mouse or keyboard, you can interact with the playable Google logo, turning the dials, mashing the keys, and making sweet, sweet music. There’s even a built-in 4-track tape recorder which you can use to record, play back and share your amazing Moog creations. (Share on Google+!, says Google.)
Our only request: while creating your amazing musical creations this morning, consider using your headphones.
A few days before the hectic 2012 SXSW storm (my analysis here), The Dachis Group hosted the Social Business Summit (catch one in your city) with some of the world’s top brands to discuss social business. Kicking off the day, I shared Altimeter’s research on how advanced companies are scaling their programs –and avoiding programs that will slow them down. A few key points we iterated:
- Being prepared in advanced with: the proper policies, teams, roles, and education programs. These are the foundation needed to build a Center of Excellence.
- Advanced corporations have enabled their business units to deploy social –once they’ve provided the right training, process, then technology (in that order)
- Savvy companies are developing a social support triage process, rather than arbitrarily responding to customers, as it can teach the crowd bad behaviors
Enjoy the embedded video below, as well as access the full research report on the Social Business Hierarchy of Needs.
Also, if you’ve not heard about the Dachis Group, they’re a management consultant, software, listening, and digital design quasi-hybrid solution provider that’s rolling out interesting programs for large brands. Ping Jeff Dachis to find out more, or interact with him here in the comments, as he’s a reader and commenter.
A new app has just taken the App Store by storm — a colorful, rainbowful storm. It’s called Color Text Messages+ and the idea is relatively simple, but clearly appealing judging by the app’s popularity. The app is so popular, in fact, that Facebook Messenger, Facebook, and Twitter have all just dropped down a spot to make room for the new kid on the social block.
In essence, you can now send your friends customized color text messages, complete with backgrounds and various fonts. Yep, a huge chunk of Samsung’s Galaxy Note campaign around personalizing communication on smartphones just went down the drain courtesy of a free app. But that’s not the point — the point is that you can now send a Comic Sans text message inside a colored (or butterfly-themed) bubble.
So here’s how it works: You download the app from the App Store and once you’re in, you have at least 50 different colors to choose from for both background and text. You also have 42 different themed backgrounds, like ones with rabbits, hearts, stars and the aforementioned butterflies. Then you hop on over to the font tab, which offers way more fonts than I care to count out. Type in your message, and you’re almost done.
There is the small obstacle of copying your message and pasting it into the Messages app for iPhone, but for most that’s a very small price to pay for the ability to send really cool colorful messages to your friends. And the best part is that the recipient doesn’t need to have downloaded the app to see the magical message on their phone.
Oh wait, the best part is that it’s free.
What’s perhaps more interesting is the fact that this app, from a relatively unknown company called Leping Li, has dethroned the most powerful and popular social companies in the world, Facebook and Twitter. Now, Facebook and Twitter haven’t maintained the top two spots consistently since their launch, but instances in which another app has surpassed the two power networks are few and far between.
Congrats, Color Text Messages+, all you need now is a catchier name and you’re good to go.
Gert-Jaap Hoekman (30) verruilde zijn baan als hoofdredacteur van Nieuwe Revu voor die van adjunct-hoofdredacteur van NU.nl. Emerce Magazine sprak met hem.
"Caine's Arcade," which has taken the country by storm in recent days, tells the tale of an imaginative kid and the ability of social media to unite people and make dreams come true. Awww, don't you just hate sappy, reaffirms-your-faith-in-humanity stuff like that? Of course you don't. The 11-minute film by Nirvan Mullick, a partner at L.A. creative agency Interconnected, has generated 2 million-plus YouTube/Vimeo views and an explosion of media attention for its subject, Caine Monroy, who built a cardboard arcade in his dad's East L.A. used-auto-parts shop. The craftsmanship and functionality of the arcade is amazing. I can't open a cardboard box without tearing it to shreds. This kid reimagined consumer goods and packaging as claw-machines, ticket dispensers and basketball and hockey games. In the latter, the fixed goalies are little plastic army men. Awww. But this story goes beyond cute. Caine's absorption of the capitalist ethos is so complete, he charges $1 for two turns, $2 for a "fun pass" with 500 turns, and devised a "security system" (attaching calculators to the cardboard boxes) to verify each ticket's authenticity. Players win prizes that include his old Matchbox cars. Caine had no customers until Mullick discovered the arcade when he walked in to buy a door handle for his car. Mullick enlisted social media (what else?) and surprised the pint-sized entrepreneur by drawing an ecstatic crowd of players. (Note the youngster's perplexed, slightly freaked-out reaction to the flash mob. Yeah, he's wise beyond his years.) Caine tells his dad, "This was the best day of my whole life." Can't type anymore. Tearing up. One last thought: Awww…some!