Author Archive for Frank Gilbane

Gilbane Advisor 5.12.15 – The Omni Channel Paradox

The Omni Channel Paradox

We all say it in slightly different ways: A superior customer experience requires consistent, seamless, experience across all channels. Depending on our job, we tend to focus on different integration challenges. Easy to say, but Mayur Gupta points out just how multi-faceted and formidable this fragmentation is.

Brands have as much of a chance of driving frictionless omnichannel consumer experiences as a Formula One race car driver trying to win a race on flat tires. Impossible!!!

The very model and capabilities used to make the experience omnichannel and seamless is its biggest roadblock. We are trying to create connected experiences using a massively fragmented ecosystem spanning data and technology, agencies and media management, and organizational and operating models. With all the disruption within the digital landscape putting the consumer at the center and in full control, the consumer has effortlessly become omnichannel while brands still struggle with being multichannel, at best.

What is preventing this from happening? Fragmentation. It exists in these core areas: … Read more

Speaking of challenging fragments…

5 Drivers that will shape the future of your MarTech strategy

As Scott Brinker and others have shown, the marketing technology landscape is nightmarishly large and complex. And of course marketing needs vary widely by organization. Gerry Murry has a framework to help marketing execs get started organizing and building their strategy.

To optimize their digital marketing activities, marketers will have to focus on their particular business models, audiences, and overall objectives in order to make the best choices. Strategic frameworks for investment based on key business drivers are needed to govern the process of consolidating current systems and guiding future purchases. Read more

Did Video Kill Text Content Marketing?

No, and it won’t.

Reading articles and watching videos also require two different brain processes. When we read, the process requires us to be actively involved. The brain gets a much better workout when reading vs. watching, and the process requires a longer attention span and deeper cognitive efforts.

Visitors have their own preferences, many will always click on the video option because it is the easiest and therefore the most natural choice. But many others will choose to read text by default because they want to control their experience, dig into details, and organize thoughts in different orders. Text provides more reader control. It is also usually faster and more  efficient.

As a marketer you need to consider different visitor preferences, but you also need to match the form to the job. If you want to attract a browser’s attention a video is usually a better way to go – it provides less of an effort-barrier. But if you want a visitor to engage in the extra work to learn about product features, options, and pricing so they can make a decision to buy, text is likely to be the least frustrating and most effective way to get the job done.

Liraz Margalit has much more to say about the research behind this.  Read more

Some are more careful about video use than others…

Time to kill the 800-word article

Quartz is doing a great job pushing towards a modern social, mobile, web news format. Video use, even by respected media channels, is often still largely off-putting, so it is worth keeping an eye on QZs video experiments.

“We’re not going to run pre-roll on videos. We’re pushing the video team to figure out what the future of online news video is. Our conviction is liberating them from traffic requirements, from pre-roll inventory requirements, is the best way to experiment with formats and the social distribution of video and see what works.” Read more

The bot bubble

How Click Farms Have Inflated Social Media Currency

We all know there are lots of bogus social network accounts and that they are bought by many businesses and individuals. This is a fascinating exposé of a “not illegal in the Philippines” business supplying fake accounts for click farms. Want to know what shocking percentage of fake profiles could be included in your advertising campaigns? …  Read more

What does Google need on mobile?

Short answer is reach and data, but…

The interesting part, though, is that there are now lots of different kinds of reach.

First, as everyone has talked about for years, the way that mobile moves us away from the plain old web as the dominant interaction model of the internet challenges Google’s central ability to understand the structure of online information and to link to it (and sell links to it). Apps cut off Google’s reach, both to get data into its systems, since apps are opaque, and to surface data out to internet users, since any search in Yelp’s specialist app is a search that wasn’t on Google, and such apps are stronger on mobile than on the desktop. Apps reduce Google’s reach in both senses. This of course is why (like Facebook) it has been pursuing deep links… Read more

The Watch

or not. Horace Dediu weighs in on the point of the Apple watch, that is, is it a watch or something else. I have always thought of it as a computer, though one currently limited. I bought one because it is a computer, and wouldn’t have bought it and won’t be wearing it as a watch. I also like John Gruber’s characterization it as a “gadget-y computer”:

Loosely, the path of all consumer electronic categories is to evolve as ever more computer-y gadgets, until a tipping point occurs and they turn into ever more gadget-y genuine computers. … Apple seemingly tries to enter markets at, or just after, that tipping point … to produce a gadget-y computer that the computer-y gadgets from the established market leaders cannot compete with… That was the iPhone.

Dediu’s nuanced view…

Before its launch, I said that the Apple Watch would be as much a watch as the iPhone is a phone.

I had the chance to use the Watch for a few days and can say that timekeeping is probably as insignificant to its essence as it’s possible to be. It feels like a watch in the physical sense, looking good in the process (as the iPhone physically felt like a phone, also without being hard on the eyes)

However it does not feel like a watch conceptually. I find myself drawn into a conversation by its vocabulary of vibrations. I find myself talking to it. I find myself listening to it. I find myself glancing at information about faraway places. I find myself paying for things with it. I find myself checking into flights with it. I order transportation, listen to news, check live data streams and get myself nagged to exercise. It tells me where I am. It tells me where to go. It tells me when to leave.

Nothing ever worn on a wrist, or anywhere else for that matter, has done any of these things before. Not only are these things mesmerizing but they are done in a productive way on a wristwatch. In other words they are done in a mindful way. Read more

Remember the Filter Bubble?

Lot’s of commentary on the Facebook research published in Science last week. The first Read more link goes to the reaction of Eli Pariser the author of the book, The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding From You, but I’ve added a few others that are meaty. Read more here, and here, and here.

 

Short takes

Compare your mobile traffic before and after the April 21st Mobile update and dig deeper into your search data with the new More precise data in the new Search Analytics report. Also see FAQs about the April 21st mobile-friendly update via Google

Seems like a promising idea. Imagining it feels natural… MIT develops wireless trackpad for your thumbnail via itworld.com

Will REST convince skeptics that WordPress is a real CMS? This look at the future of WordPress is also a useful resource non-developers on REST – a little techy but not written by a developer. via wpmudev.org

Translation is not about words, it’s about meaning, but you need to write for machines… Google Translate is only as dumb as you allow it via Content Strategy Forum

Latest on trends in the State of the News Media 2015 via Pew Research Center

Nice follow-up on some content marketing advice by applying it to a questioner’s company as an example… Applying Evergreen Content Formulas to Close.io … and of course great content marketing for the author! via inbound.org

Uh Oh, … The Age of the Full-Stack Marketer via Gartner

Wonder how the Apple watch will effect your email campaigns?… 6 predictions as to how the Apple Watch will impact email marketers via Campaign Monitor

Links are broken. These three alternatives have improved our readers’ reading experience. Well, the experience is broken, via Medium

About

The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our conference community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals throughout the year.

Gilbane Advisor 4.16.15 – The Apple Watch’s Raison D’être

Gilbane Conference 2015 call for papers deadline is May 1
Learn more

The Apple Watch’s Raison D’être

John Kirk is mostly right, but there is more to say. Though it’s fun to speculate on Apple’s initial intent, it is more useful to consider how the Apple watch actually fits into the the evolution of computing, and what it suggests about what comes next.

The effective purpose of the watch is not just to make computing more socially acceptable, or even more convenient, but to do so because computing is becoming part of the fabric of daily modern life and computing devices are inexorably shrinking. This is true across the spectrum from general purpose computers to single-purpose sensors.

The most important general purpose computer now is the smartphone. But smartphones got so small they had to get bigger because computing power is well ahead of the sophistication of our technology for communicating with them. The size of smartphones, and watches, limits their range of interactions, but is necessary for their individual utility, a prerequisite for convenience.

Convenience is a matter of degree, and no other computing devices had much of it to start and are still largely lacking. But the dramatic ramp-up in reach already happening with smartphones, and coming quickly with more ubiquitous computing clearly demands more convenience be designed in to the entire experience. This is Apple’s wheelhouse.

still think that “Smartwatches are the most likely next-in-line competition to smartphones, certainly more so than tablets or glasses, before we enter the world of implants, stick-ons, or other fashion accessory choices.”, and I agree with Kirk’s bullishness about the Apple watch. Read more

Has Visual Design Fallen Flat?

… a lot of today’s visual language is about clean simplicity, executed well. There are a few fashion trends in there, sure, but in general this is a list of objectively desirable qualities. It reflects a maturity to the aesthetics of digital design that has been developing for decades,

When you squint your eyes and tilt your head, don’t a lot of these products look awfully, well, similar? Don’t they look pretty but, at times, a little dull?

When it becomes necessary for virtually every business to signal they value design by adopting an up-to-date style, it becomes a commodity, a box to be ticked. That fresh look quickly becomes a cliché. This descent towards aesthetic monoculture was helped… Read more

What the New York Times CIO is doing to make the newspaper a mobile-first company

CIO Marc Frons’ description of what they are doing is a good example of the kind of thinking other executives should be involved in. Read more

The promise of the web

Short (2 min read), sweet, and true…

if the web didn’t exist, it would be necessary to invent itRead more

Proprietary services vs open protocols

If you only have 1 minute…

1/ the history of the internet is a series of battles between proprietary services and open protocols… Read more

A longer, related read…

Will Deep Links Ever Truly Be Deep?

This is a more in-depth post with some historical context exploring the importance of links and what much of the debate over mobile apps and deep linking misses or glosses over. Read more

Never trust a corporation to do a library’s job

For years, Google’s mission included the preservation of the past… Two months ago, Larry Page said the company’s outgrown its 14-year-old mission statement. Its ambitions have grown, and its priorities have shifted… Google in 2015 is focused on the present and future. Its social and mobile efforts, experiments with robotics and artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles and fiberoptics.

Ok. But fortunately…

The Internet Archive is mostly known for archiving the web, a task the San Francisco-based nonprofit has tirelessly done since 1996, two years before Google was founded. The Wayback Machine now indexes over 435 billion webpages going back nearly 20 years, the largest archive of the web. For most people, it ends there. But that’s barely scratching the surface. Read more

The data science ecosystem

If marketing technologists aren’t scared by scads of software tools, data scientists shouldn’t be either. Here is a knowledgable start at a landscape.

Because data science is growing so rapidly, we now have a massive ecosystem of useful tools… Since data science is so inherently cross-functional, many of these companies and tools are hard to categorize. But at the very highest level, they break down into the three main parts of a data scientist’s work flow. Namely: getting data, wrangling data and analyzing data. I’ll be covering them in that real-world order, starting first with getting data, or data sources. Read more

Links

Developers already know this, but business managers should also understand the process… Apple’s App Store review process is hurting users, but we’re not allowed to talk about it via Medium

I know, this may not sound serious at first, but it is worth a read… How The Screenshort Could Save Us From Horrible Headlines via BuzzFeed

Need to get processable data out of reports in PDF? If you’re a little technical here is some help… Purifying the Sea of PDF Data, Automatically via NYT Open

Less than half of the enterprise collaboration tools installed have many employees using them regularly… Why No One Uses the Corporate Social Network via hbr.org

Gilbane Conference call for papers deadline is May 1

The Gilbane Conference on Content, Technology and Customer Experience takes place at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston, December 1 – 3, 2015.

The Gilbane Conference helps marketers, IT, and business managers integrate content strategies and computing technologies to produce superior customer experiences for all stakeholders.

A modern customer experience must be holistic and seamless. Holistic in that customer communications be consistent within the company and across all touch points and channels, and seamless so that transitions between customer interactions are smooth and frictionless. This is a continuous process that requires an unprecedented amount of collaboration and integration between internal and external facing organizations and systems.

This year we focus on how to integrate content, data, and software to support a superior multichannel digital customer experience. Whether you are just getting started with managing multichannel content, need to improve the consistency of the web and mobile discovery experience, or are ready to integrate with an ecommerce, content marketing, business intelligence or other marketing or data management platform, join us to learn what your peers are doing and what experts are recommending.

About

The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our conference community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals throughout the year.

Gilbane Advisor 3.31.15 – Is a Mobile Deep Linking Standard Necessary?

Gilbane Conference 2015 call for papers

Share and network with your peers as a speaker at our next conference. Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston. December 1-3.  Learn more

How to Launch Your Digital Platform

…I draw from this research to offer a framework to help aspiring entrepreneurs make the right strategic decisions as they build their own platforms…

This is also for intrapreneurs. Read more

A Few Questions for Publishers Contemplating Facebook as a Platform

John Battelle…

Well, it’s happening. According to no less authoritative source than The New York TimesThe New York Times is preparing to plant a taproot right inside the highly walled garden that is Facebook. … But as testing beings, here are a few questions any publisher should ask before dipping a taproot into Facebook’s carefully cultivated soils… Read more

Does it matter?…

Facebook hosting doesn’t change things, the world already changed

A bit of a contrary view. Long but lots to chew on.

All this sound and fury, signifying nothing. … Let’s just list all the conditions that exist and won’t change one bit whether or not you let Facebook host your content… Read more

The Facebook Reckoning

And then there’s Ben Thompson’s analysis on why at least some publishers may not have a choice.

The problem is that online ads are inherently deflationary: just as content has zero marginal cost, so does ad inventory, which means it’s trivial to make more. A limited amount of total advertising dollars spread over more inventory, though, means any individual ad is worth less and less.

This resulted in a bit of a prisoner’s dilemma: the optimal action for any individual publication, particularly in the absence of differentiated ad placements or targeting capability, is to maximize ad placement opportunity (more content) and page views (more eyeballs), even though this action taken collectively only hastens the decline in the value of those ads. Perversely, the resultant cheaper ads only intensify the push to create more content and capture more eyeballs; quality is very quickly a casualty.

What is interesting is the particular impact that mobile has had on this dynamic… Read more

But who actually trusts Facebook, or any single walled garden for all their news? Many of course, but they are not necessarily the demographic you want. And then there’s the fact that…

Many Facebook users still don’t know that their news feeds are filtered by an algorithm

In the extreme case, it may be that whenever a software developer in Menlo Park adjusts a parameter, someone somewhere wrongly starts to believe themselves to be unloved

Accidental or intentional. This could be you, or it could be the New York Times. Read more

Ok, enough about Facebook…

How storytelling can enhance the effectiveness of your visualizations

What a great framework for marketer and data expert collaboration.

As the volume and complexity of data collection and storage scale exponentially, creating clear, communicative, and approachable visual representations of that data is an increasing challenge… Leveraging a story structure can help introduce complex visualizations to various audiences. Read more

News Media Should Drop Native Apps

One of the most shared statistics on mobile use is this one: Applications account for 86% of the time spend by users. This leaves a mere 14% for browser-based activities, i.e. sites designed for mobile, either especially coded for nomad consumption, built using responsive design techniques that adapt look and feel to screen size, or special WebApp designs such as FT.com.

This 86/14 split is completely misleading for two reasons: the weight of mobile gaming, and the importance of Facebook. Take a look at this chart … Read more

More on the 86/14…

Apple Watch Doesn’t Have Safari and You Didn’t Even Notice

Web lives, browser dies? The fact that there is no browser on the Apple watch does not mean the end of the web. It does raise the question of exactly what this means to hybrid or web content heavy iOS apps and watch integration though. Read more

I want to invest in your Apple watch app. Here’s why.

I agree, and also still agree with myself. However my initial investment will be in the watch rather than an app. Read more

Android taxonomies and users

Thinking about mobile platforms and demographics?

For reference, and, perhaps, discussion: ‘Android’ means lots of different things, and there’s a lot of confusion about forks, Xiaomi, China and AOSP, as well as ‘the next billion’. So this is how I try to think about this. First, there are actually (at least) six types of ‘Android’ in the market today… In parallel, it’s worth breaking down Android users in a similar way… Read more

Is a Mobile Deep Linking Standard Necessary?

This is not a useful question. It is reasonable to ask whether a successful standard will ever be developed. Standards don’t get created just because they are a good idea, but because they are forced by the market. And that takes time and painful politicking and negotiation between the big players, some influential small players, and more interested parties you would think possible.

We can also ask whether it will continue to be a reasonable expectation for developers to accommodate all the individual “guidelines” from Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Bitly, GE, and whoever else emerges with a reach large or unique enough to make their traffic worth adding to the list of APIs a developer needs to support. Read more

Links

Online vs IRL Retail: Content, Content, Content and… Retail Is NOT All About Selling Product via Medium

A Data-Driven Look at the Open Source E-Commerce Market via CMSWire

22 tips for better data science including helpful suggestion from the pointy haired boss and Dilbert via Data Science Central

And here is some useful advice for dealing with more political challenges… Overcome Your Company’s Resistance to Data via hbr.org

Web geeks: Uncle Sam made a tool that downloads Google Analytics reports & transforms data into JSON… U.S. government launches online traffic analytics dashboard for federal websites via E Pluribus Unum

About

The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our conference community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals throughout the year.

Gilbane Advisor 3.10.15 – We Need to Break the Mobile Duopoly

Gilbane Conference 2015 dates & location

Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston, December 1 – 3. New web site and call for papers will be live in a few days.

We Need to Break the Mobile Duopoly. We Need a 3rd Mobile OS

Andreessen Horowitz’s Peter Levine makes an interesting case. Note he is talking about an open OS – and what he doesn’t say is that right now the option is the mobile web, which is open, but also has difficulty replicating the same level of user experience of proprietary native apps. The historically dominant tension between open and proprietary is healthy, but proprietary is the natural lead in user experience.

It is an appealing idea that should be encouraged but who is going to create this mobile OS? How will it guarantee the openness described? Andreessen Horowitz could fund development, but how would it grow and survive in the wild? It would be competing with all open and and native OSes and fragments as well as the mobile web. Read more

Speaking of the difficulty of matching app experience on the web…

60fps on the mobile web

Flipboard engineers made some near-term compromises (including accessibility) to achieve 60fps on the web, and explain why and how. This article is a bit technical so you might want to skip if not a developer, but it may be useful just to know this can be done.

In the pursuit of 60fps we sometimes resort to extreme measures. Flipboard for mobile web is a case study in pushing the browser to its limits. While this approach may not be suitable for all applications, for us it’s enabled a level of interaction and performance that rivals native apps. … In a sense, Flipboard for mobile web is a hybrid application. Rather than blending native and web technologies, it’s all web content. It mixes DOM-based UI with canvas rendering where appropriate. Read more

​And because we obviously still have the web to kick around…

Building a better web: The bare necessities

As with CMS-level decoupling, avoiding content-presentation coupling in delivery makes redesigning and rebranding the channel a lot easier. It also facilitates repurposing across channels and platforms… Most people believe this has already been solved. After all, that is the purpose of CSS. But decoupling HTML content from presentational descriptions is a tricky process. Read more

64 ways to think of a homepage

The focus is on a news homepage but anyone thinking about a site redesign or some tweaking will get some new ideas either directly or provoked by this piece. Something to share with your team to get their design juices flowing. Read more

Internet to neural net – Google search

If search or machine translation are important to you this is a must read since they may provide your first interaction with neural nets or deep learning. Neural nets had a bad rep for a few years because there was not enough processing power to generate the (big) data necessary to prove their promise. Soon neural nets will be behind many products from Google and others. You don’t need a degree in math or science to read this post and understand why. Read more

Additional reading: Facebook AI Director Yann LeCun on His Quest to Unleash Deep Learning and Make Machines Smarter

Bringing Up #Babycore

Cool “avant-garde marketing” for those who get it, or don’t but are curious. Should make you think. Wonder though, whether the self-selected demographic is big enough for them – perhaps the NY segment.

The media architecture of hashtags has always seemed a bit like mom jeans, a botched attempt at fitting in that just doesn’t fit right. So when one of the marketing geniuses who was able to convince the world that mom jeans were a good idea puts a giant billboard in the center of New York City without any of the technologies used to bridge online and off, what are we to think? … There are no hand holds, no footnotes revealing the message for those who don’t get it, and no hashtags guiding your confused IRL self into the oracle of digital space. Read more

Speaking of modern marketing…

Gut instinct marketing at Google

Say what? Is your marketing organization struggling with debates over how much to focus on hard data science or soft gut instinct? Lorraine TwohillSVP Global Marketing at Google believes in both and what she has to say may help your internal discussions.

Google has a very data-led culture. But we care just as much about the storytelling and the brand… And with the use of the analytic tools we have, the storytelling becomes more important than ever. If anything, there’s too much talk about the science right now. I have a colleague who is writing a paper on the future of marketing: it’s data, data, science, science. I’m like, “It’s not!” Or rather, it is those things, yes. But if you fall down on the art, if you fail on the messaging and storytelling, all that those tools will get you are a lot of bad impressions. Read more

and now for something a little different…

Spurious correlations for fun and business meetings

Did you know that Apple iPhone sales correlate with people who died by falling down the stairs? or that total revenue generated by arcades (US) correlates with computer science doctorates awarded (US)?

Have a colleague who doesn’t quite get there is a difference between causation and correlation? Or maybe just forgets sometimes? Take them aside and show them some of the funny and nonsensical correlations on this site and have a laugh together – usually a better outcome than springing a few spurious correlations on them in a meeting. But hey, that’s your call. Read more

Links

WCM vs ecommerce platforms – it’s the integrations… The State of Content + Commerce via AlleyWatch

Not link bait… Spreading messages on Twitter: Research on best practices for wording and rhetorical craft via Journalist’s Resource

Is customer experience management a team sport? Is an integrated customer experience hub possible? via Gartner

When you don’t know what to do… Case Studies: Fixing Hacked Sites via Google Webmaster Central Blog

With some good examples… Data Scale – why big data trumps small data via Numeratechoir

The Marketing Tech Landscape isn’t as Scary as you Think via CMSWire

More nuanced views slowly emerging… People are finally worrying about online privacy—and tech firms are already cashing in via Quartz

About

The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our conference community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals throughout the year.

Gilbane Advisor 2.2.15 – Groundhog Day Edition

Scroll down to check out our new community section

The Sharing Economy isn’t About Sharing at All

It just seemed that way to some because of the overreach of “social”. It’s about access and convenience, not community.

The access economy is changing the structure of a variety of industries, and a new understanding of the consumer is needed to drive successful business models. A successful business model in the access economy will not be based on community, however, as a sharing orientation does not accurately depict the benefits consumers hope to receive. It is important to highlight the benefits that access provides in contrast to the disadvantages of ownership and sharing. These consist of convenient and cost-effective access to valued resources, flexibility, and freedom from the financial, social, and emotional obligations embedded in ownership and sharing. Read more

The home screen is the new home page

This poses both dramatic challenges and opportunities for the content community. It’s still not clear whether this is a good or a bad thing… The rise of mobile devices and mobile media consumption is likely to only increase the public’s appetite for quality content… But the picture is far from rosy. The supply of content is infinite. Yet time and attention is a finite resource. And brand won’t be enough to win. The reality is that content discovery is a huge challenge for creators and consumers alike. Read more

Another reason the picture is far from rosy…

Don’t Look Now, But Deep Linking Just Got Hot

For apps that is – the web is all about linking. The main reason apps will not replace the web anytime soon is that there is no standard way to link to information inside of apps, and none on the horizon. The recent hotness is interesting though. Read more here and here

The Rise of the Marketer: Driving Engagement, Experience and Revenue

This free research report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by Marketo, has a great demographic and is worth well more than the cost. Read more

What Is a Business Model?

Startups need them and more established companies should review theirs regularly. Here’s a useful resource on how the term is used and a handy set of analogies to help you think beyond the obvious. Read more

Speaking of business models…

Dear Zoë Keating: Tell YouTube to Take a Hike

Are there really only two types of business model for the Internet? Unlikely. The broad categories of advertising vs subscription are generally useful and not necessarily mutually exclusive. But as Ben Thompson points out Zoë Keating’s case illustrates there can be an almost comical conversation between a company focused on scale with one focused on a niche.

The difference in business models is far more stark on the web; at scale, advertising is the obvious solution. For niches, though, I strongly believe that direct payment is superior. It’s simply easier to get a lot of money from your best fans than it is to get a little bit of money from many. This, though, is the problem with all-you-can-eat subscription services: they only afford the chance to make a little bit of money from any one customer, even as they increase the friction over free. And, I agree with Keating that the subscription services, including YouTube, don’t understand this… I think it’s more that nearly everyone at tech … is deeply conditioned to think at scale… Niches, though, don’t scale; they go deep. Read more

​Why Enterprise Software Customers Are Not Happy (and What to Do About It)

Enterprise IT companies are not known for producing great customer experience. Their customer loyalty scores are low, down in a range with the health insurance industry… But in spite of some poor customer ratings, many… have been able to thrive partly because they built strong relationships with their primary buyers—CIOs and other senior IT executives. They locked in long-term contracts with these buyers…

When we surveyed more than 5,000 technology decision makers and end users in U.S. companies, we found a massive gap between their perceptions. In six of the eight hardware and software categories, end users gave a negative rating—that is, they were more likely not to recommend a given vendor than to recommend it. By contrast, scores for decision makers were negative for only one category.

Vendors know they need to expand selling efforts beyond CIOs, and not just to CMOs. This is much easier said than done for multiple reasons. Read more

The End of Trickle-Down Technology

Smartphones are not following Moore’s “Crossing the Chasm” predictions.

  • Apple offers by far the most expensive phones on the market, but even though the early price-insensitive market has presumably been saturated, the iPhone is actually growing
  • Samsung phones are widely available at multiple price points, making them an easy choice for low information customers on the right side of the cycle, yet the company is struggling
  • Xiaomi has very aggressive prices, but their brand proposition is very much tuned to the left side of the cycle

All of this seems to fly in the face of Moore’s assumption that late-stage adoption would be driven by price and pragmatism (or, in the case of conservatives, necessity). Price and pragmatism might as well be Samsung’s motto, while Apple is super expensive and Xiaomi is avowedly geeky. Read more

The Strategic Value of APIs

Today, a firm without application program interfaces (APIs) that allow software programs to interact with each other is like the internet without the World Wide Web. Just as the World Wide Web opened up the internet’s potential for use by billions, APIs — specifications or protocols for how to exchange information or request online services from an organization — are allowing companies to grow businesses at unprecedented rates by sharing services with external firms.

Yes. And note that it is the more complex and changing information that provides the lion’s share of value, not simply the connection protocol. Read more

From the community

One more nail in Flash’s coffin… YouTube Now Streams HTML5 Video By Default via TechCrunch; The Super Bowl – Twitter versus TV… Is Social Over-Hyped? via MediaPost; Do you know what Bacon Content is?… Is Bacon to Consumer (B2C) the same as Bacon to Business (B2B)? via TahzooHow to avoid being a deer-in-the-headlight of Customer Experience Management via Digital Clarity Group; Are you mature enough for an optimized customer experience? via CMSWire; Don’t plan on using SharePoint online for public websites. via Real Story Group; Do you want a big data salary?… MapR is training 10,000 Hadoop pros for freevia CMSWire

About

The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our conference community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals throughout the year.

Gilbane Advisor 1.20.15

Don’t Try to Be a Publisher and a Platform at the Same Time

Or at least think it through very carefully.

Also, do you really want to be called a “platisher”?

Making these hybrids work over the long term is difficult, because their incentives work against each other. Toward the end of last year, one of the first platishers, Say Media, announced it was selling off its publishing properties to focus on its technological platform. CEO Matt Sanchez explained the decision to jettison its publisher properties as an inability to do both tech and content at the same time:

The conclusion we’ve come to, and one lots of media companies wrestle with is, do you build brands or do you build platforms? Those two are just completely different world views. It’s hard to create clarity for an organization. Read more

Speaking of platishers…

A mile wide, an inch deep

Ev Williams on metrics and value…

Medium had its biggest week ever last week — or so we might claim. By number of unique visitors to medium.com, we blew it out of the park. The main driver was a highly viral post that blew up (mostly on Facebook). However, the vast majority of those visitors stayed a fraction of what our average visitor stays, and they read hardly anything.

That’s why, internally, our top-line metric is “TTR,” which stands for total time reading. It’s an imperfect measure of time people spend on story pages. We think this is a better estimate of whether people are actually getting value out of Medium. By TTR, last week was still big, but we had 50% more TTR during a week in early October when we had 60% as many unique visitors (i.e., there was way more actual reading per visit). Read more

Biggest news of 2014

In computing that is, or better, general computing.

Horace Dediu’s choice may sound surprising at first, but what are the competing candidates? (See next item.) Wearables and IoT are moving fast but it is not their year yet. Read more

What Just Happened? (in 2014)

Well here are some other candidates from Fred Wilson. First mentioned:

1/ the social media phase of the Internet ended. this may have happened a few years ago actually but i felt it strongly this year. entrepreneurs and developers still build social applications. we still use them. but there isn’t much innovation here anymore. the big platforms are mature. their place is secure. Read more

​And now, for a sort of different take on this…

A Teenager’s View on Social Media

Written by an actual teen.

As others have pointed out this is one view and not market research, but it is a considered piece and you may find it strikes a chord with teenagers and non-teens you know. In any case social media is certainly a marketing challenge, and for this demographic in particular. This is also a handy cheat sheet if you don’t know how these social networks differ. Read more

Technology’s Impact on Workers

email on top? seriously?

You bet, but naturally you’ll want to know more. First the demographics:

…1,066 adult internet users, 18 years of age or older. The survey included 535 adults employed full-time or part-time, who are the basis of this report. Read more

Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic (2015)

There are at least 1876 marketing technology companies. How can this be?

Last year Scott Brinker’s landscape included 947. If you’re a marketing technologist you might need a raise… Download the graphic and Read more

There’s a blockchain for that!

The code that secures Bitcoin could also power an alternate Internet. First, though, it has to work.

Not all of you will want to invest in this read-more-than-once piece, but it is a good example of the kind of unexpected development strategists and analysts looking ahead need to keep an eye out for. Read more

The web is alive and well

Rumors of the web’s death are being greatly exaggerated, again.

There is a legitimate debate about how we use the terms “apps” and “web”, but also a lot of uninformed pronouncements about a web death spiral. Quartz has a short, accessible post on some aspects of the confusion.

… framing the question as the web vs. mobile is a fallacy that misses the more interesting changes that occur when more devices and more people get hooked up to the web. Read more

 

About

The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our conference community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals throughout the year.

 

 

Gilbane Advisor 12.18.14

The Group That Rules the Web

A very well done short history of Web standards development and how HTML5 came to be. The history is much more accurate than what is usually found in the trade press, and the description of standards development is also right on target. This background will help inform your strategy decisions. Read more

Industry-Specific Apps by IBM MobileFirst / Apple iOS Partnership

Seriously enterprisey iOS apps. Analysis by Ray Wang. Read more

And the designs get the nod from John Gruber.

These don’t look like “enterprise” apps. They look like regular apps — really good ones, the sort of apps Apple would choose to feature in the App Store… Read more

Yes, A/B Testing Is Still Necessary

How to educate skeptical or disappointed execs

Executives quickly pick up on the headline benefit of testing: that A/B tests provide reliable answers to “why” questions. This comes as no surprise, as such testing has long been held up as the “gold standard” for learning cause-and-effect in scientific research, clinical studies and direct marketing. However, many executives eventually reach a mid-life crisis, developing doubts about the direction of the A/B testing program… Read more

New questions in mobile

Fundamental questions from Benedict Evans.

Seven years into the smartphone world, it seems like it’s time to change the questions. The questions that we asked and argued about for the last few years have now mostly been answered, become irrelevant, or both, and new problems and puzzles are emerging.

Hence, the first phase of the platform wars is over: Apple and Google both won … and both got what they wanted, more or less, and that’s not going to change imminently. Within that framework, what happens next?… Read more

Helping users find mobile-friendly pages

Will lack of the new Google “mobile-friendly” label discourage visitors? Why guess? Your site should already be mobile-friendly. Test your pages.

Starting today, to make it easier for people to find the information that they’re looking for, we’re adding a “mobile-friendly” label to our mobile search results. … Check your pages with the Mobile-Friendly TestRead more

Nine reasons to embrace HTTPS

In light of a growing number of cyber security and data privacy concerns, replacing HTTP with its secure alternative, HTTPS, is becoming increasingly important.

That’s two, but then there’s search engine ranking, and more. This is not as technical as it sounds and the list alone makes it useful for business managers. Read more

Native Apps Are Part of the Web

The native versus web app debate is less gripping than it used to be, but developers and business strategists still need to make decisions that will impact resources and market risks. And a more connected world means more connected apps and content for an acceptable user experience. We need good user experiences and openness. Whether you agree with John Gruber’s assertion or not, he exposes some prevalent misconceptions.

… the only people who don’t love apps are pundits who don’t understand that apps aren’t really in opposition to the open Internet. They’re just superior clients to open Internet services. Read more

Can documentation practices make the world safe for CEM?

Technical writers finally get some serious cred. Saving the world in the 15th century, and now customer experience management.

Situated between the developers or engineers and the marketers – between the makers and the shakers, so to speak – technical writers are not fully at home in either realm. And yet it is precisely this threshold existence, their unique combination of coding and communication, that makes documentation professionals and their established practices the indispensable foundation for maturing CEM. Read more

About

The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our conference community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals throughout the year.

Gilbane Advisor 11.12.14 – The CEM Imperative, Customer Experience in the Age of the Empowered Consumer

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The CEM Imperative

Customer Experience in the Age of the Empowered Consumer

Engage your colleagues and stakeholders in a conversation about avoiding the dangers of the unmanaged customer experience. Digital Clarity Group outlines the issues in a new blog post and in a report.

Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling

Many business people have already discovered the power of storytelling in a practical sense – they have observed how compelling a well-constructed narrative can be. But recent scientific work is putting a much finer point on just how stories change our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Read more

IDC: marketing technology $20B and growing

Sensible categories.

This forecast includes a wide range of solutions in four broad categories: interaction management, content production and management, data and analytics, and marketing management and administration. Read more

A STEAM engine to create marketing technologists

… science, technology, engineering and math are on one end of the spectrum — while art, design, intuition, and creativity are on the opposite end. Right? Surely there are few who are capable of bridging these two disparate worlds, right? … Increasingly, of course, we know that’s bunk. Read more

Mobile is eating the world

Benedict Evans’ presentation and audio from the WSJD conference and the a16z Tech Summit is a clear, compelling look at the fundamentals that every organization needs to be aware of. Read more

Understanding the Global Mobile Web

This is why the “light web” is a reality for the next billion users. Whether by lighter/more efficient native apps or, as I believe, web apps, the light web is better positioned for the next billion. Interestingly, even Uber has a robust web app. It is possible the powerful cloud and light, thin client computing paradigm is destined for emerging markets. Read more

Google renders CSS & JavaScript

and you should let them…

We recently announced that our indexing system has been rendering web pages more like a typical modern browser, with CSS and JavaScript turned on. Today, we’re updating one of our technical Webmaster Guidelines in light of this announcement. Read more

Crowd @ gigabit

This is another fine mesh we’re getting into

Fun and future …

It’s 2017 and this year’s riot is in San Diego. It involves pandas, profit-driven zoo executives, and a Weight Watchers sponsorship. Doesn’t matter. People are massing in the streets and it’s heading toward a confrontation. Read more