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November 2005
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January 2006

'Integrity' Most Looked-Up Word in Online Dictionary

516From NPR (National Public Radio) - Farai Chideya talks with John Morse, president and publisher of Merriam-Webster, about the top 10 words users looked up on the company's online dictionary this year.

Link to interview

I wonder how many of those looking up the word integrity were looking for a loophole?

Merriam-Webster Online

Resolution:  Don't be so cynical next year.

Big Jump in Online Ad Spending Projected for 2006

From Bloomberg - "The market for online ads will increase 32 percent to $16.6 billion next year, fueling growth at companies including Google Inc. and Yahoo! Inc., Credit Suisse First Boston analyst Heath Terry said in a research report. He had previously forecast 21 percent growth."

Link to full article

This is a trend and not a fad.

Also an interesting point from this article - "
Sales of online ads that have animation, sound or interactive features will jump 66 percent next year to become the fastest growing area of Web ads, Credit Suisse predicts."

What does all this mean to you?  Here's my take -

  1. Just like other mediums, most online advertising will suck.
  2. The difference is, most online advertising can be measured.  This feature will continue to turn the advertising world upside down, because except for direct response advertising, there have been pitifully poor ways to measure the effectiveness of most advertising expenditures.  Measurability will increase accountability and will give the advertising industry a much needed enema.
  3. The opportunity here is not just for people who can sell online advertising, but primarily for those  who can create online advertising that is effective in a measurable way.  This is a wave to catch.  If you're good, you love accountability because it makes you stand out.  Creatives who fit this profile have an exciting future ahead.
  4. Many companies will try to adapt their pathetic TV campaigns to the internet by streaming their inane 30 second spots.  But, it's not television.  And it's also not the 70's.
  5. There's not enough margin in internet advertising to support the burgeoning overheads of mammoth agencies.  When creative work can be measured, those who deliver advertising that works will be rewarded.  Those who produce ads that impress executives more than consumers may soon be creating for food.
  6. It's still the most exciting time to be alive since I've been alive.

Tags:  online advertising, online ad spending, internet advertising

Men and Women Continue to Behave Differently... even on the Internet

515From Reuters - "Internet users share many common interests, but men are heavier consumers of news, stocks, sports and pornography while more women look for health and religious guidance, a broad survey of U.S. Web usage has found."

Link to article

There's not much in this article that will prove surprising, but given the fact that men and women consume the Internet and other types of media differently raises an interesting question.  Is your website designed to transact with men, or women, or both?  And further, would an extrovert find your site as compelling as an introvert and vice versa?

Is your site homogeneous, assuming that your visitors think like you?  This mistake is a common one I have seen (and committed) in all communications mediums.  Clients tend to like a 30-second spot because... they like it.  My website is good if... I like it.  But in reality, we are dealing with people of differing genders, varied personality types, assorted cultures and divergent worldviews.

You probably can't cover the waterfront in a 30-second spot, but a website is a different matter.  You still don't have to speak well to everyone, but you certainly have the opportunity to develop a message that communicates well to more than the sliver of population that has your worldview.

The challenge is that you may have to break your cultural language code and speak to others in their language.  And that may require some very hard and strategic thinking.  That's enough for now, I'm getting tired just considering it.

On Conflict Avoidance

513Interesting quote from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn -

"There is one psychological peculiarity in the human being that always strikes you: to shun even the slightest signs of trouble on the outer edge of your existence at times of well-being, when you are free of care; to try not to know about the sufferings; to yield in many situations, even important spiritual and central ones-as long as it prolongs one's well-being.  It would be a good thing to show some endurance and courage somewhat before the critical hour-to sacrifice less, but a bit earlier."

Steelers Looking Playoff Ready

511The Men of Steel shellacked the Cleveland Browns today 41-0.

Since my visit to Heinz Field I mentioned in a previous post, the Steelers are 3-0 and have outscored their opponents 80-12.  I'm not saying it was anything I did, but it is a bit of a coincidence.

They still have to beat Detroit at the Burgh next Sunday.  If they can't do that they deserve to stay home.

Tags: Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers, NFL

Congress Approves Plan for Digital TV Conversion

512It looks like Congress has set the date of February 17, 2009 (a date falling between the Super Bowl and March Madness, perhaps coincidentally) as the fixed target for all broadcast television stations to be converted to digital signal.  Initially the date had been set for the end of 2006, but the penetration of digital TV sets has been slower than expected. 

It's estimated that there are 70 to 80 million analog television sets now in use that are not attached to cable or satellite services.  Anyone left with an analog set not hooked to cable or satellite will require a digital conversion box in order to pick up over the air local broadcast stations.  Congress plans to allocate $1.5 billion to help viewers with the cost of conversion.  People who don't convert or hook to cable or satellite will go dark as the current analog frequency band is auctioned off to wireless and broadband companies wishing to expand their services.

The surprise here for most of us is that there are so many sets in the US without cable or satellite services, the viewers being limited to local broadcasts on VHF or UHF only.

Here are a couple of news stories if you're interested -

USA Today

Boston Globe