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Saturday, December 29, 2007

PayPal Mafia meets Kiva, and don't miss Muhammad Yunus in Chicago

This article talks about a persistant trend in Silicon Valley for alumni of Google, PayPal and others who cashed in on options and are forming an informal angel investor network, often funding tech start ups run by their former coworkers. It also talks about the entreprenuerial traits of preferring to work in a smaller, dynamic start-up environment and how this preference is contributing to the trend.

This site provides a clearinghouse for microenterprise funding and investors. Has anyone come across a similar kind of clearinghouse for tech start-ups to match them with potential angel investors?

Speaking of microenterprise, former Nobel Peace Prize recipient and managing director at the Grameen Bank Muhammad Yunus will be speaking in Chicago on Tuesday, January 22nd.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cisco on the Big Screen

Cisco CEO John Chambers predicts his company will figure largely in the next phase of the internet, one that will be characterized by increased productively due to technological advances in video, videoconferencing and telepresence. He predicts that growing usage of podcasts and blogging will also drive demand for network capacity...which is Cisco's original playground.

Cisco has coined the phrase 'telepresence' to refer to a 'room-sized multiple-screen system for face-to-face meetings between users in multiple locations', which provides the opportunity to reach more customers globally than ever before, without a need to travel. Therefore wider global customer reach, along with reduced travel and time costs. Chambers believes this will dramatically impact how companies engage their customers, and new business models will arise. He expects Cisco to be well-positioned for these changes.

How do you feel technological changes will impact multi-channel marketing? What challenges to you forsee in measuring videoconferencing and blogging-related marketing efforts? Have you worked with analytic tools that collect and report on this data now? I've worked with one personally, that can handle mobile marketing data, where data is accessible in a format such that it's possible to append back at an individual level for predictive modeling and targeting market efforts.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

How not to Market Yourself in the Iranian Enrichment Situation

Okay, it's politics...but the objective is get everyone more active in the general marketing and data strategy debate. There's a tie in to marketing, since no matter how good the data analysis, if the presentation of the findings loses sight of the target message, then no one connected the data strategy to marketing.

A NY Times article this morning 'Losing Weight in the Gulf', addresses a recent Bahrainian security conference focusing on the latest U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on Iran. Apparently the CIA did a great job of collecting data, and forgot to present the results in such a way to optimally position the U.S as a credible power player in the region.

How can the U.S. government change that perception and increase leverage in the Middle East and can SEO be used to build image for administrations in the same way brand is promoted on the web? Might governments utilize Paid Search and SEO to promote rankings of news that further their objective?
On a related you think it's necessary to speak a foreign lanaguage to do international web usability and SEO? Here's an example of one firm that specializes in this.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

3 SEO Tactics

This article talks about 3 SEO tactics you should know.

- PageRank Sculpting with Rel=Nofollow
This is a Google approved method of assigning those internal pages you want to receive or to pass on Google PageRank

- 301 Redirects
This is known as transferring an existing domain to a new domain. It can however also be used as a SEO technique such as using 301 redirects to mask your incoming links from your competitor's intrusive eyes.

- Sponsored Reviews
These are paid reviews...

For a more detailed description of each tactic / strategy, please refer to the article.

The New LinkedIn Platform Shows Facebook How It's Done

A social network showdown is coming. LinkedIn, which aims to track your business and professional connections, has rolled out a new developer platform and already the majority of the web press is comparing LinkedIn's efforts Facebook's platform. It's a fair comparison, but there's one key difference between the two — LinkedIn's platform is actually useful.

See Article for more information.

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Search engines set hard privacy question by Ask

This article is in todays FT. Google and other leading internet search engines will face new pressure to increase their privacy protection for internet users after today, following a move by a rival that brings a new level of control to how search queries are handled.

This initiative, by, marks the latest round in the 'privacy race'. In the latest round, said it would let its users erase all their search records as soon as they had been entered, rathen than having them saved on the search engine's servers. Currently search companies mostly keep their data for about 1 1/2 years and use the data to analyse user behavior and deliver more relevant advertising. However CEO defended his company's practice of keeping search queries for users who do not take advantage of the new 'opt-out'.


Philip Kotler to speak at 2008 Kellogg Marketing Conference

Please check the Chicago Marketing and Data Strategy Consortium site for more details. Mark your calendars for this upcoming conference at the end of January in Chicago.

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Omniture on acquisitions and Google

Great article about recent Omniture acquisitions and offerings, and how they don't expect innovation to be impacted by consolidation in the market. Also some interesting comments on the role Google and Microsoft have with respect to competitive threat as well as how their free products have raised awareness of web analytics and fed customers to paid providers of these services

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Wombagging and other 2008 Buzzword predictions

The ClickZ Network has released their 2008 Buzzword favorite is wombagging, which is the art of protecting a brand from bad word-of-mouth, and the article suggests that there may be a shift where companies invest in a FTE dedicated to stopping the spread of negative brand references on the web, by purchasing negative paid keywords, using video to address the criticism, reverse SEO.

Do you think there's an analytical or empirical method around now to accurately measure WOM baseline and trends related to brand without hiring a third party vendor like NetRating or Comscore (what are the others?)? How about online market share? Is this search traffic or site visits, views or time on site, and how to compare between two brands? Google Trends? The measurement isn't precise, as has found. In my own professional experience I've seen this to be true. Visitor statisitcs vary widely from one web analytic tool to the next. Part of it is attributed to how the tool handles bots, variations of definitions of visit/view and other metrics, and if the tool works with tags or log files. What's your experience with the validity of web data for e-mail marketing purposes. Is this data reliable enough yet to draw conclusions from, and which tools do you prefer for web analytics?

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Social Network Analytics

Predictions are that by 2012 all social networking connections and communications will be regularly stored and mined. Here's a company that utilizes social activity and degrees of separation to provide business intelligence to the telecommunications industry.

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Everything you ever wanted to know about Dashboards

The Marketing and Strategy blog had a neat link today to some really nice dashboard examples. One of them is the Indianapolis Museum of Art which provides some fun statistics for visitors. For example the museum consumes just under 40,000 KWH of electricity per day and 72% of all 3rd graders in the local school system have visited the museum in the past year.

The site addresses who can be credited with the development of the dashboard...utilizing a free patent search site that may be of interest to entrepreneurs with an idea they'd like to protect.

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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Freakonomics: The Documentary

The widely popular book will soon become a documentary, filming starts in January. Chapters of the book will be 15-minute segments in the movie. The Freakonomics Blog (another link idea?) has identified a link between Economics and Hip Hop (HipHoponomics)...follow this link to check out the lyrics and listed to 'Demand, Supply'.

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Saturday, December 8, 2007


An article in today's NY Times caught my eye...seems the attorney general in New York is pushing for a new fair rating system where consumers can get quality ratings on prospective specialists. A study indicates that current physician rating systems are primarily price-driven indexes, and have little to do with quality, outcomes and other factors most important to health-advice seeking consumers. Makes sense when you consider that healthcare generally has a relatively low elasticity of demand.

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Friday, December 7, 2007

Paid Search: Click Fraud soars on content networks

MediaPost's Online Media Daily has an interesting article on the topic. What do you suppose is driving the click fraud on content networks?

Hooray for the airlines! Road warriors will rejoice at the month American Airlines and 2 others will be offering $10 in-flight internet access. I'm already being to wonder what impact that's going to have on frequent fliers...United... please hurry up before I defect!

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Economics of the Internet: Supply vs. Search

A UK company Hitwise was able to increase market share in the Wii market entirely through Search Engine Optimization. Only 1% of their traffic is attributed to Paid Search.

With respect to the traditional supply and demand model the search statistics may be a proxy metric for quantity demanded, and an accurate demand predictor variable... more predictive with certain products and services than others. How might search engine companies like Google use search data to forecast short and long term economic trends? Do you think companies like Cisco and Intel are currently incorporating search data into their global macroeconomic models to drive R&D strategy?

There's a large potential market for the engines to sell the search data for these purposes. Take a look at the results comparing 3 real estate markets on Google Trends, a search trend tool introduced to the blog earlier this year. If search has a direct relation to market demand, would this indicate that housing prices will drop less in Miami than the other two markets? Have you encountered any news on the use of search data for business forecasting, or Search Engines plans to make the underlying search data available accessible, or to what extent US and international privacy laws prohibit this data sharing/selling even at the aggregate/non-identifiable level?

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Public Records on Google, and a new breed of Search Engines

So far major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft have not been indexing online state public records. That previously hard to locate information will start coming up in search results as the search engines start indexing the information.

So far five states have formed a partnership with Google, and their free software and consulting to support the plan, to make state public records more visable on the web.

On a related note, Search is going vertical. Check out this list of less mainstream engines that focus on either local, or industry-specific segments. How do you think this shift to smaller and more specific engines will impact the Search industry, and solutions, and current SEO best practices? Has anyone tried these or others, and found a new favorite? I tried out out of curiosity, typed in 'Affinium Model', which is an automated predictive modeling software componant of the Unica Affinium Enterprise Marketing Management I query often enough on Google to have a comparison point with the results. Strangely enough, it provided a list of relevant links but in the fourth or so natural result slot I found the following. Somehow right back to the main search engine topic. Looks like a reminder of a good resource for staying on top of search unexpectedly rewarding search experience, if slightly off query topic.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

3 Analytics positions open in Austin, TX

This job lead was sent into the Consortium, posting on the blog and also on the statprojects blog. Anyone object to adding a jobs/projects section to the blog?

Nancy sent you this message from The Chicago Marketing and Data Strategy Consortium on ----------------------------------------------------------------

I am currently recruiting 3 Sr. Analytic experts for full-time positions in Austin, TX. I'm looking for both Director level candidates and project managers. The company has been in business for over 10 years. Clients include Top 20 financial institutions, primarily in credit risk and fraud arenas. The company offers an extremely competitive base salary, and provides relocation assistance. If you know of interested parties, please invite them to contact me directly for more details.
Principal Recruiter
Savvy Hire

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

December Meeting Topics

1. Business social networking during your work day. Do you really want your colleagues (or boss) to know what you accomplish or what you think is work-relevant? Technology pundit Jon Udell poses this question along with a slide that shows how it might work:

2. Facebook Beacon. Given all the excitement regarding this reasonably new development in online advertising at Facebook, is targeted marketing a good idea? And does it even work if it switches to opt-in vs. opt-out - which was the way Facebook wanted Beacon to operate.

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