In today’s Signal: Dark Social — the trove of social traffic that’s essentially invisible to most analytics programs; what the things we buy say about us; a fireside chat with Twitter’s Dick Costolo; should what’s good for the Google goose be good for the Microsoft gander?; smartphones and smart money; Workday’s impressive stock debut; and more.
To the links …
We Have the Whole History of the Web Wrong (The Atlantic) Alexis Madrigal, a senior editor at The Atlantic, believes the idea that social networks and social media sites created a social web is pervasive. There’s “a vast trove of social traffic that’s essentially invisible to most analytics programs,” he claims. Calling that collection of traffic “Dark Social,” he goes on to say, “If you think optimizing your Facebook page and Tweets is ‘optimizing for social,’ you’re only halfway (or maybe 30 percent) correct.”
You Are What You Consume (CNN Money) Soctt Olster reviews Michael Schrage’s “Who Do You Want Your Customers to Become?,” an e-book from Harvard Business Press. In it, Schrage argues that the products we choose to buy leave powerful marks on us. “They refashion us,” writes Olster, “whether we realize it or not.”
Dick Costolo: “The Biggest Misconception About Twitter Is That You Have To Tweet To Use Twitter” (TechCrunch) Twitter CEO Dick Costolo sat down to talk with our own John Battelle last week, just before to Battelle’s first ever OpenCoSF event, a moving tour of tech companies that call San Francisco home.
Microsoft To Make Same Privacy Change Google Was Attacked For; No One Seems To Care (MarketingLand) It’s not that consumers need to fear either the change Google did or the one that Microsoft will implement later this month, but the fact that Microsoft isn’t receiving near the scrutiny for its change that Google received deserves some reflection. Either Google got singled out unfairly or all the press outlets and governmental agencies that studied the Google change have failed to do their jobs with Microsoft’s similar shift.
Is Mobile Currency Really Making Cash Obsolete? (AdAge) Adam Broitman examines how the widespread adoption of mobile/smart phones has brought about “tremendous new prospects for loyalty marketers.” While mobile devices increasingly possess the ability to serve as a payment mechanisms, the impact they have on currency goes much deeper.
Workday Shares Soar in Biggest Tech IPO Since Facebook (Wired) Despite a rough few months for Silicon Valley IPOs, Workday, the 7-year-old company that sells enterprise cloud-based software to handle payroll, recruiting, and company accounting, debuted 72 percent higher than its $28 offer price, at $48.05. Workday has yet to turn a profit, but that doesn’t seem to have troubled investors.
The Pinterest Pivot (Fast Company) One year after launching Tote, an app that set out to transform every cell phone into a clothing retail outlet, Ben Silbermann, now CEO of Pinterest, pivoted to offer people a visually-appealing way to display all their collections — whether books, pet pics, or women’s clothes —on the same site. His Tote-to-Pinterest transformation answered an unmet need and, as we know now, proved to be an extremely wise decision.
Internet Ad Revenues Rise to Historic $17 Billion in First Half 2012, Up 14% Over Half-Year 2011, According to IAB (IAB) Mobile generated significant growth, almost doubling year-over-year; digital video saw an increase of 18 percent year-over-year; search revenues in the first half of the year totaled $8.1 billion; display-related advertising revenues in the first half of the year totaled almost $5.6 billion; and retail advertisers constitute the largest category of internet ad spending for the first half of this year, claiming 20 percent of the total revenues at $3.4 billion.
Can A Brand Survive Without Programmatic Buying? (Digiday) As part of its Modern Brand series, Digiday’s editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey talks with John George, CEO of Rocket Fuel, about what matters to brands presently and going forward.
New Model Agency: Translation (Adweek) Steve Stoute, CEO of Translation, explains his modern agency, the impetus for the company name, diversity tracking, and his connection to Jay-Z.
Amplification & The Changing Role of Media (GIGaom) It used to be that a reporter’s job was to find information and report it. But that’s now changing. There is a blurring of the line between what is news and what is a tweet, photo or a blog post. In other words, it is a kind of mosh pit of data and information that people are still trying to figure out how to traverse.
Can ‘Native’ Ads Scale? (Digiday) As part of its Modern Publisher series, Digiday discusses how publishers are turning to branded content to supplement or, in some rare cases, replace standard display ads. There’s one significant hitch, though, according to Josh Sternberg: native ad products, by definition, can’t scale the way the dominant banner can.
Twitter’s Average User Is a Young American Woman (WebProNews) According to social media marketing firm Beevolve, women rule on Twitter. In terms of geography, U.S. users beat out users from the U.K.; and in terms of access, it seems Twitter fans prefer iOS over Android.
Felix Baumgartner’s Crazy Space Parachute Jump Is Live Web Video’s Biggest Event Ever (ATD) Baumgartner’s exciting stunt, which was sponsored by Red Bull, appears to have broken livestream records, appealing to viewers all around the world.
And, speaking of Red Bull …
What Red Bull Can Teach Content Marketers (Digiday) Red Bull has spent many years building up a powerhouse media arm that’s central to the company, and given that much of the marketing world woke up today with Red Bull envy, it seems it’s all been worth it.
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