Monthly Archives: April 2009

Too Big To Fumble? Lessons From The Amazon Episode

Written by: Digitally Approved
Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

It all started with a post from Mark Probst on the 12th of April about hundreds of gay and lesbian books including his own losing their sales rankings on Amazon. He also posted Amazon’s response to him which was:

“In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude “adult” material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.”

Within hours, the social web was abuzz with activity. At the time of writing this post, more than 25,000 tweets with #amazonfail, #glitchmyass, #stilldelisted and #sorryamazon had gone back and forth, the online petition against Amazon’s “Adult Policy” had nearly 28,000 signatures and the AmazonFail group had attracted 4,125 members.

amazonfail

So, what are the lessons to be learnt? Continue reading

Earth Day Online

Written by: Digitally Approved
Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

Today we celebrate Earth Day, and in my morning internet perusing I have noticed just how much the online community embraces Earth Day and environmental activism.  Here are links to just a few of the great environmental, Earth Day relevant sites across the web:

Earth Protect – Think of this as the YouTube of environmentalism – a video upload site focused on protecting the earth.

Repower America – Home of Al Gore’s energy plan to “repower” the USA with 100% clean electricity in the next 10 years.

Care2 – Not just focused on the environment, this social empowerment site gives you the tools to petition and take action in whatever issues move you.

Google Power Meter – An iGoogle Gadget that monitors and reports your detailed energy usage and feedback as a way to identify where you can best conserve energy.

YouTube – YouTube features this playlist of video lectures by Stanford experts speaking on energy topics.

Finally, we can’t leave out the ultimate indicator of what’s happening on the web Twitter.  I leave you with this screenshot of Twitter trending topics from this morning.  It makes me smile to see the online world embrace Earth Day – hope you feel the same way!

eday

What’s Your Community?

Written by: Digitally Approved
Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

My generation is so connected to each other via the internet, mobile web, SMS, and such, it’s nearly impossible to escape. But none of us really want to! I’m a sophomore at the University of Southern California and we like to stay connected. For us, MySpace is dead outside of the music realm. Facebook would be perfect if we no longer had to cut through the clutter of worthless apps, too many embarrassing tagged photos, and worst of all, parents. And personally, I love Twitter (tweet me @stevemanuel), but many college students think it’s just like updating your Facebook status — at least that’s what my girlfriend over at UCLA says.

I’m in a social fraternity at USC and one thing that everyone has problems with is keeping their Facebook groups, pages and events both private from non-USC students and as socially usable as possible. We use Facebook to share event dates, themes for parties, philanthropy details and invitations of all sorts…and so does every other fraternity and sorority across the nation!

So I thought — why not make my own social network that I can customize to meet my local peers’ needs? I could make a place about our Greek row that won’t get clogged with news and information from another college in another state!

Continue reading

Larry’s Roundup

Written by: Larry Weintraub
Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

Billy Bob weirds out on a radio interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJWS6qyy7bw

Click on the video to hear a song about the bands playing at this year’s Outside Lands Festival: http://www.sfoutsidelands.com/

Amazing new product – why didn’t I think of this?  http://www.batterblaster.com

Disgusting (and incredibly stupid) Dominos Employees post video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFxqC8hZ_xs

Consumerist gets the story on the Dominos affair:  http://consumerist.com/5211428/consumerist-sleuths-track-down-offending-dominos-store

Spam Or Marketing?

Written by: Christy Wise
Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

spam

Bloomberg recently posted an article discussing the down side to marketing via Twitter. In the article a Twitter user of 2-months expresses her frustration with companies contacting her based on what she tweets. As with any social media tool that grows in popularity, marketers and brands set up shop hoping to reach their consumers in their natural environment. After a while the community becomes so flooded with poorly targeted and irrelevant marketing messages that users either flee the community all together, or the site begins putting stern regulations into place. In the case of Twitter, I think it’s important to highlight the difference between marketing and spam, which is something the mentioned article doesn’t do a great job of distinguishing. There is no doubt that Twitter spam (“twam”) has been an issue in recent months. Flooding consumers with messages unrelated to their needs or interests, mass auto following, hacking into accounts, etc. is a practice no reputable marketing agency should ever support. On the other hand, joining conversations where your service or brand is welcome or relevant is something I think we all agree can be an effective tactic.

Continue reading

Domino Rally

Written by: Digitally Approved
Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

I recently read a blog post about the Domino’s Pizza mishap that resulted in 11,000 free pizzas given away to customers over a twelve-hour period. What interests me most about this promotion gone wrong isn’t the fact that a computer error resulted in pizzas inadvertently being given away for free, but that someone actually figured out the error based on sheer ingenuity (or boredom), which then spread so wide, so fast, that Domino’s was forced to take an 11,000 pizza hit.

Let’s backtrack a bit. Continue reading

Digital Marketing World With David Plouffe

Written by: Digitally Approved
Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

I recently attended the “Digital Marketing World – Spring 2009” virtual conference (currently on demand at http://www.marketingprofs.com/events/6/conference) which featured a keynote presentation from David Plouffe, Campaign Manager for Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign. His team utilized – at the time – a fairly new, somewhat risky medium (social media) to communicate to their target audience (voters). His success is obvious – being credited by the President in his acceptance speech for building “the best political campaign, I think, in the history of the United States of America.” And in the marketing world, this guy is a ROCK STAR!

In his presentation, Plouffe shared some simple, yet brilliant, lessons that all marketers should consider:

Continue reading

Larry’s Roundup

Written by: Larry Weintraub
Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

The 5 that caught my eye:

30 Ways to Lose a Job on Twitter – http://www.resumebear.com/blog/index.php/2009/04/10/30-ways-to-loose-a-job-on-twitter/

Trailer for Year One (Michael Cera / Jack Black) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTNBwIAY9Zo

Captain is re-captured by pirates – http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-somali-pirates11-2009apr11,0,3373558.story

A Twittering Squirrel – http://twitter.com/common_squirrel

YouTube Loses Lots of Money for Google – http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2009/04/03/analysts-estimate-youtubes-losses-at-470-million-this-year

Make Sure Definitions Are Not Preventing You From Seeing The Big Picture

Written by: Digitally Approved
Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

Definitions are important, but as marketers we sometimes get too hung up on key parts of a definition and lose sight of the bigger picture.

bigpicI came across this fantastic re-fresher article about a few key marketing terms that sometimes get muffled over time in our rush to execute a good marketing plan.

Before you read, take a moment and define the following:

Market:

Consumer:

Social Media:

Now read and see if you too have limited your understanding of these definitions over time.