Category Archives: Technology

My Go To Device

It’s official, my iPhone has taken over as my go-to device.  No longer do I reach for my laptop for simple tasks, nor turn on the television for others… the iPhone can do most of what I need.  Some would say that it’s only for personal purposes… well, at work, we use an Exchange server and the iPhone integrates great with it.

My Blackberry Curve, which I’ve spoken about as a fantastic device, has not been turned on since I’ve gotten my 3G.  I’m going to be selling it – have the original box and it’s less than 60 days of usage as I had to buy a replacement.  Know someone who wants to buy it?  Contact me.

I know I’ve been publicly bearish on mobile marketing but I absolutely understand where the future of computing is going and I’m loving it.  I believe marketing on the iPhone (or other mobile device) should be an extension of an online strategy… depending on the audience you [as a marketer] are looking to engage, marketing without a mobile component may be detrimental.

Last night, I used my iPhone to Tweet (to Twitter), take pics of my grandparents holding my son, send text messages, Google the street address of a sushi restaurant in Bronxville, and of course, chat with a colleague.  All with one device.  The [mobile] future is going to be pretty awesome.

IAB Ad Ops Summit Recap

IAB LogoI went to the IAB Ad Ops Summit yesterday here in New York.  The attendance was broken out as follows:  80% pubs, 15% agencies, 5% clients.  Not ideal as all sides of the equation should be represented when we’re talking about best practices and having an open conversation about them.

While I didn’t really find anything earth shattering, I liked hearing from other agencies and the publisher side about they are doing to make the ad ops process scale so that we can leverage it for all media as it becomes digital.

The IAB did an excellent job putting this together and the event was fairly top notch.  Randall Rothenberg, head of the IAB, released some best practices documents yesterday as well… check them out.

Here are some of the latest Tweets on the IAB

Quotes from the conference:
1.      “Recession is our opportunity” – Randall Rothenberg
2.      “Everything is going digital” – Google
3.      “When people are happy, I’m nervous.  When they are nervous, I’m happy.”  Warren Buffet
4.      “Agencies have yield management, the same way networks do, they should be structured as such.” Michele Burnham
5.      “Our industry is like an iPod with a parrallel port.” Benjamin Reid
6.      “Digital is the primary media for advertising in the future.”  Google
Key takeaways:
1.      Ad Ops folks are the guardians of profit as they optimize revenue flow and remove costs out of the equation
2.      Eliminate friction, maximize efficiencies (what Google wants to shift in the ad world)
3.      2003 was the first IAB impression standard
4.      Talk of Interactive tearsheets
5.      Best practices conversations are all about documentation and overcommunication
6.      The first electronic invoice (television spot) was delivered in 1989 by Grey Advertising
7.      We must reinspect every media business practice down to the human level as our entire industry is changing
8.      Google is revolutionizing an industry that is manual and inefficient.

Retail Game Cards

Such a genius business.  Extracted from the original interview.

And why do retailers love these cards? The economics work in their favor.

Now, there’s an interesting fact about these cards. Retailers love them over any other product they have in their store, because the cards themselves don’t take up any inventory.

They’re not activated until they’re purchased, so they don’t sit on the balance sheet of the retailer. They feel like “free money” to retailers. So it’s a very positive business for retailers to get into, and it really lowers the bar for any retailers who are unsure about it, they don’t need to worry about losing money on it.

The really big untapped market for these digital media companies is gift giving. No matter how much someone loves an online world no one is going to say “hey, merry Christmas. I logged into your account and gave you 25 bucks.” Not to mention the impulse buy.

Ad Networks & Strategy Quote

I’ve been a fan of Jeff for years and have met him on occasion at his year partner summits.  I agree with him on the point below, extracted from an interview on peHub.

What’s clearly not working, or, at least, won’t in the harsh economic climate we’re entering?

One interesting place to watch is the ad network business. It’s been a real boom time for them, and frankly, it’s been an easy business in which to succeed. There are probably more than 300 ad networks up and running and they aren’t differentiated on technology. It’s all about arbitrage; they buy inventory for a low price and sell it for a higher price and add little value in between. I think there will be  real shakeup in that business over the next year. In a downturn, it becomes imperative for people to become more efficient, and in an efficient marketplace, I don’t think there is room for these players. I’d guess that dozens and dozens of ad networks won’t make it through the next year.

Visual NFL Statistics

I’ve been playing around with dashboards, statistics, and different ways of reporting information lately and there are endless ways to visualize information.  There is an entire industry for this.

Since the NFL season has just started and there is a wealth of data that comes out of every game, I thought I’d crunch it and visualize it so we can look at it in different ways.  This is also self-serving because I’m in two fairly rigorous fantasy football leagues and I want to see the data as well.

Take a peek at, my new site that showcases NFL data.  In the coming weeks, I may add a fantasy football show (weekly show 3-5 mins) but for now, check out the data each week.

NFL Rushing TDs

The above player clowd showcases rushing TD’s.  Please note it only includes this past Thursday and this afternoon’s games, excluding the late game this evening and tomorrow’s Monday night game.  I don’t see LT on this, do you?  Michael Turner??

Chrome: Lets Not Drink the Koolaid Yet

A high profile launch with a selectively distributed comic book.  Beta only on the PC.  Blog posts and mainstream articles written up everywhere from the NY Times to TechCrunch and almost every tech blogger who has a keyboard.

I have absolutely no doubt that Chrome is interesting and potentially monumental as it goes beyond a browser and acts as a platform/system for apps.

However, I love how people are starting to show Market Share numbers, such as TechCrunch already at 6.23%.  Clicky Web Analytics has a page that tracks browser usage across 45,000 webpages and it’s showing 2.3% for Chrome.

Lets please keep this in mind:  the folks using Chrome today are the extremely early adopters.  The sample of sites being used for this are in the very “early technology trigger” portion of the Gartner Hype Cycle.

Who visits TechCrunch (think audience) and the 45,000 webpages that Clicky tracks…. yes, you guessed correctly, the early adopters and digerati.

We’re going to see a battle between IE8 and Chrome over the next few months and this may steal the thunder from the App vs. Widget debate of earlier this year.

Lets not blow “Chrome” out of proportions just yet.

NY Times People & Accounts of Note

NY Times Header

Varick Media Management, New York, was formed by MDC Partners, Toronto, whose holdings include Crispin Porter & Bogusky and Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners. Varick is being formed to provide digital media management services for online exchanges. Varick opens with the Media Kitchen media agency, part of Kirshenbaum Bond, and its client roster. Darren Herman was named president at Varick; he is a technology executive and blogger who has held posts at companies like IGA Worldwide.

Got a nice shout-out today in the NY Times Webdenda newsletter.  For those who did not see the initial release because of all of the Olympic hoopla over the past few weeks, you can read it here and a bit more in-depth with MediaPost’s coverage.

More about Varick Media Management over the next few weeks.