I just gave a quick blurb to the Huff Post about why eating makes me happy at work
Archive for the ‘ General ’ Category
Yes, I know that’s an odd title to see on the blog of a social media firm who makes it’s livelihood representing major brands on Facebook. AND it’s even odder to be coming from yours truly, the CEO. I welcome you to read about my gripes with Facebook on Forbes.com
Who knew that staring at the color green increases your creativity? Several recent studies suggest that the best route to an “aha moment” involves stepping away from the grindstone-whether its taking a daydream break, belting back a drink or two or simply gazing at something green. According to a new study from the Wall Street Journal, that and some other surprising things will increase your creativity.
Steve Jobs was famous for taking walks around Palo Alto with his top lieutenants as the simple act of getting out of your daily surroundings stimulated your brain
I’m lucky enough to have a roof top deck at our LA office, so hopefully staring at Palm Trees will make me more productive?
It is certainly no secret that Facebook’s privacy settings have been the target of much debate over the years. Questions about their coverage and users’ control over them have been discussed continuously, and Facebook, to their credit, have continued to expand these controls to allow users to protect what they do not necessarily want people to see.
Still, it seems that Facebook privacy settings change almost perpetually, so the wonderful people at the Wall Street Journal have put an infographic together to showcase the most up-to-date settings, which you may view below.
(Click the image to enlarge)
(Source: Wall Street Journal)
Yesterday, Ad Age posted an article discussing the trend of “hiring” a celebrity as part of your creative team (article here). For example, as opposed to signing Marc Jacobs on as a spokesperson, Diet Coke has upped the ante by hiring him as a Creative Director. The article offers good points for and against this approach, but I want to discuss why I feel these are unnecessary partnerships:
While I applaud a celebrity’s attempt to expand their creative horizons into the brand world, the results of these endeavors are not sure-things. For example, Polaroid hired Lady Gaga as a Creative Director for the brand in January 2011 with a plan for a new line of cameras heavily influenced by Gaga herself. The result? A forgettable mobile printer and these still-unreleased camera glasses. It’s difficult to tell exactly how much of the development process Gaga herself was actually a part of, but it nevertheless did not immediately translate into sales or a turnaround for the struggling brand. Which brings me to my next point…
Watch the below commercial:
Not a bad commercial, right? I wouldn’t say it is leading a renaissance for advertising, but it certainly gets the job done. Now what if I told you that this commercial was the first one in which Justin Timberlake was directly involved in the creative process? Would that change your perception of the commercial or increase your purchase intent for Bud Light Platinum? Is your reaction different because JT is the new “Creative and Musical Curator” for the brand instead of just a spokesperson? It didn’t for me. Furthermore, with just over 59k views on YouTube, the commercial falls short in Digital Awareness against the other commercial on their YouTube page, which has amassed over 1MM total views:
Timberlake video views:
Non-Timberlake video views:
In short, I don’t believe that the average consumer really cares whether or not Justin Timberlake is intimately involved in the creative process. And while I applaud Bud Light Platinum (or any of these brands) for creating a more authentic bond with its spokesperson, I don’t feel that this will translate to any higher of a sales increase than a standard celebrity sponsorship would provide.
Try this exercise: when I say “three social networks,” which come to mind? Facebook? Twitter? Pinterest? Maybe LinkedIn or YouTube? Those were the sites that came to mind for me. What is more important for purposes of this conversation is a site that may not have come to mind: Google+. In June 2011, Google launched their response to Facebook, and fan reception was somewhat underwhelming. Even despite a re-design in April 2012 that allowed for better page navigation, Google+ has remained an afterthought to many of its users. Or has it?
According to the Global Web Index (managed by UK market research firm Trendstream), Google+ actually ranks second among all social networks in Number of Active Users & Monthly Active Usage, beating out Twitter and every other network with the exception of Facebook. Their findings indicate that Google+ grew to over 343 million Active Users in 2012 (a 27% increase from 2011), and over 25% of those fans visit the site at least once per month.
The findings certainly surprise users who feel that Google+ fell by the wayside shortly after its release. I personally created a profile on the network but have failed to update it in months. However, it is important to consider the two main areas that drive Google+’s growth:
1. Google’s integration between products
When I signed up for YouTube, Google required that I use my Gmail account to do so versus any other. When I signed up for my Google+ page, I was required to use the same Gmail account. And just like that, all 3 platforms became linked to one another on purpose. Now, when I access YouTube, my feed looks like this:
What’s important to note is that I do not connect with these users on YouTube; I connect through Google+. Also, these videos appear on my YouTube feed as a result of my friends’ actions on Google+ (not on YouTube). Therefore, I engage with friends’ content from Google+ without accessing the site at all.
Now I did not opt-in to this “feature,” but I indirectly help drive the active user count on Google+ without even knowing it! This type of functionality will certainly affect other Google offerings, with search results featuring recommended results based on your Google+ network.
2. Growth outside of the U.S.
By looking at the below graph, the evidence is clear: growth among a number of global markets helps Google+ dramatically.
Although the U.S. presence grew moderately by about 75%, markets outside of North America have driven much of the growth for the social network. This can be attributed to Google’s global reach (which trumps the usage stateside) and the continued dominance of Android phones in the global market.
With numbers like this, the message is clear: do not ignore Google+, ESPECIALLY if you’re a Global brand. I am not saying that brands need to customize campaigns to Google+ just yet (Facebook will suffice for that), but much of the content brands create for Facebook & Twitter posts can also be easily broadcast on a branded Google+ channel. Will your number of fans rise meteorically? Not necessarily. However, those posts will help brands appear in Google search results and YouTube pages (among other products), so the reach of your custom branded content already increases by at least 300%. A brand will take that type of performance any day!
Ah, Friday – we love you. Below we’ve rounded up some favorite newsworthy items from the past week for your reading pleasure.
It’s a known exercise for designers to put their own personal spin on things that they love. They’re creative people, so they want to constantly exercise their level of creativity and skill by redesigning things that they love! There’s nothing wrong with that, right?
Well, designer Matt McInerney tried his hand at re-designing a few logos from NFL teams, and the responses was….a little rough. When posted here on Fast Company, the comments section turned a little vicious towards the project. Now Matt himself has said that this was simply a “just for fun” project (which becomes a little disingenuous when posted on a notable website), and I applaud his attempt to apply his spin to something he loves. However, you have to be very careful with sports logos, as sports fans are VERY passionate about their teams and visual representations.
If anything, let this serve as a cautionary tale to those promoting their “just for fun” projects, design or otherwise. As for the design themselves? I don’t dislike them, but let’s just say that if my team was featured (go Giants!), I’d probably have a thing or two to say.
Check out a couple of them below, or the complete collection here:
In this week’s episode of “Things You Kind Of Wish Were Related,” we see that there is a parallel decline between the Murder Rate in the U.S. and the amount of Market Share owned by Internet Explorer, which has seen a steady decline in recent years as users switch over to Google Chrome & Firefox.
Again, we’re not saying that there’s a direct correlation between IE users and murderers…but…hmmm…..
(Thanks to Gizmodo for the link)