Wednesday, June 6, 2007

No, I am NOT This Guy

When you google my name, you'll get a lot of results, most of which concern me either in a professional capacity or in a baseball addict capacity. Depending on when the spider crawled, the results differ from time to time.

But without fail, the #1 result always reads:

Freedom owner's debt woes multiply

HILDEBRANDT'S DEBTS. Here's what banks and others say they are owed as of Monday by Chuck Hildebrandt:. • Fifth Third Bank, two revolving credit loans were ... - 50k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
With a link to a story detailing his malfeasant misdeeds.

Rest assured, I am NOT this guy, as coincident as his screwing banks, utilities and contractors over his baseball team is to my own love of baseball.

I wonder how many job interview opportunities I've lost because of this?

Don't Mind Us, We're Joost Watching You!

The Mediapost article Joost's Volpi Touts 'Targetability' (free registration required) states:

"Our biggest asset is targetability, and our belief is that TV advertisers want a high degree of targetability," he said. "From an advertiser perspective, we know exactly who's watching what content."
This is the kind of statement that anyone hardly bats an eye at anymore. Twenty years ago there would have been a privacy uproar at such a statement, even if it were made in a trade publication. Now, in the age where we've come to expect ubiquitous government surveillance, and in which we're raising a generation of children who grow up taking for granted that they're constantly being surveilled, we just shrug our shoulders and say, "meh..."

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. After all, I work in this industry, too. But from a marketer's perspective, this is good news, indeed.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Widgets: Advertising Will Never Be The Same

So says this article that ran originally in Billboard.

Widgets are those handy little apps you can place on a PC (or Mac) desktop that transmits information to you from a website, such as news headlines, weather forecasts, sports scores, etc., without you having to endure the pain and agony of opening a web browser and visit the website itself. The Vista operating system has embraced the widget concept (calling them "gadgets").

Remember the old application PointCast? It was essentially the same thing in that it used what was called "push technology", i.e., it pushed information to you through this application, without your having to manually request it. Same deal here, essentially, except each widget is standalone, with its unique stream of streamlined information, as opposed to the omnibus that PointCast was intended to be.

So who benefits from widgets, from a marketing point of view? Seems to me that those who can deliver information in a branded environment would obviously benefit (,, etc.), although their ability to directly monetize it might be hampered in this format. After all, a widget is almost by definition of very small app, as opposed to large desktop apps like Weatherbug, so the ability to carry advertising on a widget might be difficult.

Perhaps widget content providers would like people to click headlines and come to the site for more information, but isn't the point of the widget that you receive the information in the widget without having to come to the site? Seems to defeat the purpose, n'est-ce pas? Used in that way, the widget is not more than an RSS conduit.

From my standpoint, of course, I am most interested in how direct marketers can use the widget for customer acquisition purposes. I'm a bit doubtful that you can successfully engage widget users to sign up through a complex registration form on the widget itself, and using it to drive traffic might be a testable proposition, but I wouldn't bet on its success as a high volume generation marketing vehicle. I'll keep my eye on it, though, in case an acquisition usage tactic becomes clear to me.

Cops of the World, Rejoice!

It will be easier than ever to find your nearest Dunkin' Donuts location! (free registration required)

Or, go directly to