Sunday, August 30, 2015

Google Photos Tip

After my post last night titled Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon I was riding a wave of energy and decided it would be a good idea to organize my Google Photos.

Yes, that was how I spent my Saturday night.

Imagine the horror on my face when I realized that all of the old blog post images I'd deleted from my personal Google photos also resulted in the removal of the photos from each of these blog posts on #Advertising | #Perspective.

So instead of spending today finishing one of the other posts I have in drafts, I wanted to pass along this tip so you can learn from my mistakes and avoid this issue for yourself in the future.

It makes sense now that I think about it. Blogger is a free blogging platform, a perk for writers who choose to use it, but a huge cost to Google when it comes to hosting all of their content. Apparently their solution was to bake photo and video content into your personal Google account, the one that you use for Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive, etc. The photos and videos are stored as part of your free 15 gigs that come standard for anyone who signs up for a Gmail account. Compare this with Apple iCloud's 5 free gig's and Microsoft's answer in the form of and a universal Microsoft login that also provides 15 free gigs.

Each company has strengths and weaknesses: Apple is strong in Product Design, Google was first to have a widely adopted free file sharing system (Google Docs), and Microsoft has always been the strongest player in the enterprise software game which has allowed it to create adopt of it's product through force and routine.

I'm an Apple fan because I believe they believe in design first. I believe they do the best job of their competitors when it comes to creating elegant product and user experience design. But I really love Google docs ease of accessibility and find it pretty awesome that Microsoft has put all of it's Office products online for free (which is basically a more robust version of Google docs now that I think of it)...But everyone has Gmail email accounts...which makes it easier to share Google docs. What I would really like to see happen, is for Apple to move it's applications to the cloud and give users more than 5 gigs of free space. If they did that, I would be all in on Apple (I would require an update to all of the products as well).

Until then, I think I'll continue using Google Drive and all of it's features and for the random times I need Word (which only seems to happen these days when I'm dealing with someone who only uses Microsoft products). But as far as things go in regards to devices, I'm still open to suggestions. Currently using iphone/macbook.

So I spent a good hour or two today going back through my trash and finding the photos I deleted in order to add them back to their original posts.

Lesson learned.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon

I use Google for gmail, Google docs, Google apps for business, and most recently, Google photos (which automatically uploads any photo I take on my Apple iPhone and stores it in Google photos).

I have an Apple iPhone and Apple Macbook Pro.

I use Amazon Prime as my source for books and food I don't want to go to the store for...And because I have a Prime membership, I get access to Prime instant video and Amazon Prime Music.

And Microsoft, well, I grew up on a PC. Mac's in the computer lab at school, but PC's at home and in High School. The computer lab's of the late 90's were a magical place. All of those brightly colored iMac's humming in synchrony.

I believe 7th and 8th grade I was laptop-less, just like the rest of my friends. Sleep overs were spent huddled around the family desktop playing games and illegally downloading as many gigs as we could get our greedy little hands on. It wasn't until 2003 when I went to Shattuck St. Mary's that I got my own laptop. The school was a part of a computer literacy program being funded by Gateway. The computers came in white boxes with black spots, like cows. Remember that? For some reason Gateway had a thing for cows.

It was a big deal back then, to be 14 and have unlimited access to the internet. I remember emailing friends in class. The IT staff eventually figured out how to shut off AIM during the day and after lights out, but there was always one kid who could figure out how to hack in and make it work (Thanks Max). Those days spent emailing in class seem oddly familiar to what I see happening in offices now...People coming to meetings with laptops open and phones on the table. I couldn't fool my teachers back then and you definitely can't fool me now. I wish everyone (who doesn't absolutely need to have them open) would put the tech away in meetings. 

As soon as I hit college I asked for a Macbook. I guess Gateway's attempt to hook me from a young age didn't work...Mac's were just too cool. 

And I still don't know why...which brings us back to the story about Google Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon. 

My current Macbook is almost 5 years old. I'm due for a new one, but haven't had to buy one because the kind people I've worked for over the last 4 years have always been generous enough to provide me with one. 

Now I find myself in Seattle. My recent transition, which is still in progress, has put me in an interesting position to reexamine the market and my choices. Something I haven't had the opportunity to do in a long time. 

Trying to understand what I mean? Okay, well ask yourself this, 'What computer do you use at work? What operating software? What tools do you use to manage your time? Your contacts? Your music?" 

Now I'll ask you: Are they your first choice? Would you really buy a Lenovo if it was up to you? 

I didn't think so. 

All of a sudden I found myself at U-Village near the University of Washington standing in an Apple store, staring across the parking lot at a Windows store. Things look a lot differently when you're paying the full price tag yourself. So I sauntered out of the Apple store and into the Windows store. I was pretty blown away at what they had to offer for the price point. The Surface Pro 3 seems pretty legit for a toy to keep around the house if your employer is footing the bill for your work computer, but then again, maybe it's just all of those Russell Wilson commercial's speaking to me subliminally. But what was especially awesome, that I can't believe I didn't know about, is I've been using Google docs so long I didn't even know you could access Microsoft Word for free online. 

I feel like I've been woken up from a horrible nightmare where I've been making all of my purchase decisions based off of stock prices, only to realize that my nightmare is true, and even worse, I finally understand how irrational the Market really is. 

Everyone you talk to is on a different side. And everyone that works in the stores are getting paid to tell you their company and it's solutions are the best. 

I wish this was a blog post with some closure, but I'm sorry, it's not. I'm just getting started. And I feel like I'm back at the beginning. Sitting in that dim old computer lab, wondering which computer is really the best. 

Do I go full Google and get a Chromebook and Andriod phone and watch TV on Chromecast? Or the Amazon Fire Stick, a Kindle and Prime? Do I stick with Apple and continue over paying for things I don't even use? 

In a world where we're told that technology is supposed to make things easier for us, this sure is difficult. 

The difficult part is that it's all subjective. And the next time I step into an office I'm sure they'll have an operating system that they'll want me to use. I think the work place maintains a stronger hold on our technology habits than we realize, and as the lines between work and life continue to blend, completely eroding the idea of work-life balance into a singular existence, my advice to the tech companies battling for our allegiance is this: Everything is going to come down to the details and design. 

I'm extremely interested to see who will win the race to create their own entire ecosystem. 

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Friday, August 28, 2015

The Consumer Internet

If the Internet was really just the Internet, then why would Reed Hoffman, the Founder of LinkedIn, call the Internet "The Consumer Internet" in his book The Start Up of You?

(Great book btw, definitely check it out if you haven't had a chance yet).

I'll tell you why. Because anything that you read on the Internet for an opinion piece. This included. I was toying with the idea of calling all free media and content propaganda, but only with the intention of inciting some type of visceral reaction from you. Regardless, I don't think propaganda is too far from the truth, but I'll stick with "opinion pieces" and give the rest of the journalists out there a break.

Unless you're willing to pay for your media consumption habits, like the Wall Street Journal, or the Harvard Business Review, you seriously need to consider taking everything with a grain of salt.

We're even beginning to openly acknowledge, in the form of a running joke it seems, that wikipedia is flawed at times. I just heard a Podcast with Tim Ferris where he and the guest chuckled at the idea of trusting their Wikipedia bios. All I'm saying is that in a world of on-demand free content we need to remember why humans created 'barriers to entry' in the first place. My comments have nothing to do with who should be allowed to consume content and everything to do with paying people for their art.

And a lot of the time, picking up a book is a lot better use of your time than opening a new tab.

Just because something CAN take up your attention, doesn't mean that it should. Remember to ask yourself how things make you feel. "Was this worth my time?" But even more importantly "When I put down that book, or when I close that tab, do I feel inspired?"

There are so many things that inspire me on a daily basis...but the internet...doesn't seem to be one of them. Then again, I guess I don't really read on the internet. It all just seems to fly by, like the boy in the image at the top of the post. Clicking from one page to the next as though there is something I need to get to faster, quicker....when I really need to be slowing down. Thinking things through. Asking myself the tough introspective questions I posed above...

There is a consumer internet. And a creator internet. Which one do you want to be a part of? 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

When Will Marketers Talk About Attention, Not Impressions?

I came across a blog post from Gary Vaynerchuk this week that I've been waiting to share with you. His blog post covers a topic that he actually discusses quite frequently, the idea of attention rather than impressions.

The advertising/marketing community, or anyone that really knows what they're doing, for example a small business owner who manages their own PPC ads, knows that the system is flawed. They know that 10%, 20%, even up to 50% of their digital marketing budget is going to circle the toilet bowl; wasted due to improper reporting, fraud, and a variety of other flaws in the marketing/advertising ecosystem that we're too quick to sweep under the rug. Or as Gary says:

"The entire marketing world is obsessed with impressions. You might hear someone say "40,000 people saw this video." But the truth is, they didn't. They didn't because as soon as the ad came up in video form, they clicked away to a new tab to look at something they actually wanted to see. But they count as an impression. They count as "seeing it."
And he's right.

We're too quick to accept impressions as a industry wide metric because it allows us to keep reporting these massive numbers to our clients who in turn continue to pay us.

But we should be smarter than that. And people like Gary are smarter than that.

If you're video got viewed 1 million times, but no one watched more than 10% of it, you probably missed the mark with the creative.

We need to measure attention because the simple fact is attention (read as: time focused) has become our most precious commodity.

1) The way we spend our time 2) Who we spend it with...those are the two most important things that will determine the outcome of our lives.

And it's not like it's rocket science to get the attention data, it's sitting there for you in google your Google Analytics.

But before we get any deeper, the purpose of this particular post is to share Gary's article with you as well as my response, a comment on his site that I've taken a screen shot of and shared below.

Read: When Will Marketers Talk About Attention, Not Impressions?

My comment:

The reality is: The reason YouTube is such a success is because the content lives and dies by the sword of attention. People either watch your videos or they don't. If advertisers and marketers would approach their creative with the same intensity (mindset), they'd be more apt to produce higher quality work. Ultimately saving clients money in the long run while building a stronger brand (advertisements....shouldn't look like ads anymore). We see this happening already on the creative side with brands like Red Bull that just seem to get it. I mean, come on, they literally just show us dope clips from extreme sports athletes to sell us an energy drink that even THEY admit tastes horrible unless chilled to the perfect temperature. And we also see brands like Taco Bell extorting every last oz out of social media attention hotspots to further their cause. Taco Bell is disgusting. But I still like/respect the brand. I have no idea why. A little reminder that we don't think rationally 100% of the time. And that the correct use of media truly can sway the public.

Finally, if you're an entrepreneur or aspiring entrepreneur and you haven't seen this video....thank me later. Stop what you're doing or set aside 45 minutes this weekend for a life changing (SUPER REAL) one-way conversation with Gary Vaynerchuk.

Gary Vaynerchuk | USC Entrepreneur Talk | 2015

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

How do you measure the success of your work as a Digital PR?

Someone asked me this questions the other day and here was my response.

This is in regards to digital, but some of it applies to tradition as well:

The KPI's will always guide the work, so it depends on the project and what the sales/account management teams have worked out with the client, but some things that I hold in high regard are: 

-How many placements? (how many published articles)
-How many links (only count if they are "followed") 
-Did the placement of content result in a positive brand mention?
-Has my work strengthened our clients confidence in our companies ability to complete the outlined campaign? Difficult and time sensitive projects?  
-How much added value did we provide on top of the requirements for the completion of the campaign? 

It's not much, but it doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, it shouldn't be. Need some icing on the cake? Dig into your Google analytics and find a way to use the growth you've achieved to paint a beautiful picture for you client. Perception is just as important as reality. Especially doing digital PR. 

If you wanted to get more detailed, you could even look at the acquisition cost of a new users and pitch the client on the overall value you've provided. 

The hard work and hustle that you put into building relationships with publishers will only pay off if your able to effectively communicate (to your clients) the value that you've provided.