Author Archive for Frank Gilbane

Gilbane Conference Advisor 3.10.15

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 Conference Advisor curates content for our audience of content, computing, and digital experience professionals throughout the year.

Gilbane Conference 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 Conference Advisor curates content for our audience of content, computing, and digital experience professionals throughout the year.

Gilbane Conference 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 Conference Advisor curates content for our audience of content, computing, and digital experience professionals throughout the year.

 

 

 

HTML5 is now a W3C Recommendation

While HTML5 has been in use for a few years, the fact that it wasn’t a full W3C Recommendation (in layman’s terms, an official release of the next version of HTML) provided leeway for browser developer interpretation and understandably hindered more widespread adoption. All standards need to continuously evolve to remain relevant and useful so this is not the end HTML development, but now there is a stable specification that will help normalize browser support and encourage reluctant app developers to invest more fully in HTML5.

From the W3C press release:

“Today we think nothing of watching video and audio natively in the browser, and nothing of running a browser on a phone,” said Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director. “We expect to be able to share photos, shop, read the news, and look up information anywhere, on any device. Though they remain invisible to most users, HTML5 and the Open Web Platform are driving these growing user expectations.”

HTML5 brings to the Web video and audio tracks without needing plugins; programmatic access to a resolution-dependent bitmap canvas, which is useful for rendering graphs, game graphics, or other visual images on the fly; native support for scalable vector graphics (SVG) and math (MathML); annotations important for East Asian typography (Ruby); features to enable accessibility of rich applications; and much more.

For more details read the full release.

Web Applications on Mobile: current state and roadmap

The W3C has published the July 2014 edition of Standards for Web Applications on Mobile, an overview of the various technologies developed in W3C that increase the capabilities of Web applications, and how they apply more specifically to the mobile context.

A deliverable of the HTML5Apps project, this edition of the document includes changes and additions since April 2014, notably a new section covers the emerging field of integrated payments on the Web, following recent work started by W3C in this space. Learn more about the Web and Mobile Interest Group (WebMob).

If you think you have figured out your strategy for mixing and matching support for web and mobile channels, keep in mind that this is not a a one-time project but an ongoing affair. There is always discussion about this at our conference, but this W3C activity is a good way to keep up with details minus the bias and hype. Of course the W3C promotes their standards, but that is not a bad thing.

Gilbane Conference schedule – sneak peek

The full program will be published in a week or so, but the schedule is available now at http://gilbaneconference.com/2014/Schedule.

 

Gilbane Conference speaker proposals – update

Thank you all for the Gilbane Conference speaker proposals. We received a record number again this year. We are now busy evaluating, organizing, and mapping proposals to the topic areas our audience needs to hear the most about.

If you have submitted a proposal you can expect to hear from us over the next 6-7 weeks. With over 300 submissions we’ll have to make some difficult choices and we will be contacting many of you for further discussion.

Miss the deadline?

For all of you who missed the deadline to submit proposals for this year’s conference, our policy is that we always accept proposals – in fact we accept them all year long if you use our submission form – however, proposals received after the deadline for each conference miss the first review by the program committee and some of the early decisions. If we have two good proposals on the same topic the on-time proposal gets preference. Also, decisions are largely made on a rolling basis once the deadline passes, so if you have missed the deadline it is still a good idea to submit as soon as possible.

If there is a particular topic we need more proposals for we will post about it on this blog, so stay tuned.

A New Brand of Marketing – a must read for executives

A New Brand of Marketing
Those of you who appreciated Scott Brinker’s Gilbane Conference keynote What is a Marketing Technologist?, and even more importantly those who missed it, should check out Scott’s short new book, A New Brand of Marketing – The 7 Meta-Trends of Modern Marketing as a Technology-Powered DisciplineThe book is free to download and share and doesn’t require registration.

A New Brand of Marketing “… frames the epic collaboration underway between marketers and technologists…” – note the use of ‘collaboration’ rather than ‘battle’. Scott is not only a supreme example of a marketing technologist who knows the details, but may be the most facile communicator (and diplomat, in the most positive sense) of the marketing technology big picture.

A New Brand of Marketing is a must read for CMOs and CIOs, but all senior executives should read it to understand the dramatic changes underway in marketing or to get some pointers on how to communicate the changes to colleagues.

Just a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

Fact: everything digital is powered by software.

Companies don’t just compete for who can provide the most helpful content. They compete for who can provide the most helpful services.

When you’re skydiving, you should know how to pull your parachute.