Posts filed under 'internet'

How Much Longer Do We Have To Tolerate Mobile Apps?


I dislike the whole premise of mobile apps. Why can’t I just use the internet on my phone? Why all of this app account logging in, downloading, updating nonsense? I have to believe that mobile apps will go extinct in the future.

The only reason the idea of downloading applications on a mobile phone made any sense to begin with was because mobile devices and wireless carriers couldn’t handle internet at the speeds needed to make anything useful. Once the internet is faster on phones and I can get the same experience online as on an app then what’s the point of having apps?

Nobody downloads apps on their desktop computer because they can just use the internet. And the internet is a far superior experience than using apps. Think of all the easy things you can do online that suck on apps: linking between sites, buying stuff, and updating a webpage requires nothing from the user.

Apps are particularly challenging for ecommerce sites. You already have people navigating to your mobile site, why build something outside of your site where all your traffic is already going? Once you build an app then you have to advertise to get customers to download it and then find a way to get them to use it.

Apps also give centralized control to Apple and Google over what apps can exist and which apps get downloaded the most. Unless you know what you want, at both app stores you are shown leaderboards to pick from. Search is a horrible experience. Discovery is worse. A decentralized system, like the internet, offers much more opportunity to start ups and diversity to consumers.

Apps suck.


Add comment September 2nd, 2014

Mindfully Selected News

My consumption of news has decreased over the last few years and I think I’m becoming less informed. I think its my lack of interest in breaking news along with the new’s declining credibility.

Publishers are incentivized to push the extreme, breaking news because it’s how they get more clicks, and that means more revenue. There is such a need for publishers to keep the user’s attention that the “news” is more often click bait hyped to make them think it is important. Once the user is on the page the only thing important is not the article that got them there, but the ability to keep them clicking, so anything you read is surrounded by junk. I’ve frankly given up because headlines write checks that their articles don’t cash.

So much of the news is breaking news which is boring and incorrect. If you try follow anything breaking you have to wait through the whole thing just to get to the good parts with no guarantee that anything worth seeing will happen. Plus, what is first reported is typically incorrect, out of context and not understood.

The solution offered is usually to filter the news according to my interests. But I don’t want what I’m interested in, I want what’s important to know. The internet has no concept of “all the news that’s fit to print,” because there is no constraint in available space. Whatever filters I proactively place to make the news more relevant to me will always find a “top 5” no matter how unimportant it is. It is similar to the productivity-killing recurring meetings in the office – when an amount of time has been allotted, things will be found to fill the time even if they are irrelevant.

I only want the news that’s been vetted, acknowledged as worthwhile, analyzed and interpreted into the larger scheme of things. I want to learn about the way things work along with what is going on. I want a service that sends me an email only with news that is worth reporting. It would have no regular scheduled cadence. I’m wary of any publisher that promotes a “top 5” list of articles, because again, if it claims five articles every week, irrelevant articles will be found to fill the “top 5” quota — if I don’t get an email for a couple weeks even better, nothing worth knowing about has happened! Until this service exists I’m opting out of news site online and am going for books that are based on well-understood truth instead of the latest rumor.

Add comment July 21st, 2014

The Day TV And The Internet Are One

Pontificating on what it will be like when TVs and the Internet are one in the same:

  • In the end TVs will just be a higher fidelity outlet for all your existing content. All content will live online and you’ll choose when, where and one which device to watch it. Pick up where you left off on your phone on the way to work where you left off last night on TV.
  • The antiquated way Nielson tracks viewership will finally be called out. Real time viewership stats of shows will be available for all to see. Sort all live content by most viewers.
  • Clickable credits. If you’re going to show me who made the show then make their name a link to other stuff they’ve made for me to discover.
  • Product placement will be a lot bigger source of advertising in shows. A character walks into the scene wearing a leather jacket and a subtle alert invites you to pause and buy that jacket from an online retailer.
  • Algorithmically generated content suggestions based on past shows viewed, what friends are viewing, what’s trending, etc., spread out across all content: YouTube, tv shows past and present, movies, paid content, etc.
  • What starts playing after the show is over? On TV it just keeps going while online the show stops. I think after a show ends it will keep running and you’ll be able to tell it what to show next: something from your queue, what’s trending, ect.
  • TV shows will host forums, ratings, commentary, and discussion around each episode after it airs. You can subscribe to commentary from writers about the shows you watch.
  • Real time RottenTomatoes-like meter of each show’s rating while it’s airing
  • You can sync your calendar with your content so that it can filter for content that fits your time frame. If you’ve got 10 minutes until the bus arrives your phone will automatically suggest all the relevant content that is under 10 minutes
  • TV shows created from data, not from pilots. Instead of studios shelling out tons of money to create a bunch of pilots where only a fraction will make it, shows will be created based on the big data of viewer trends
  • With so much content available individuals will be able to make money selling subscriptions to their curated content. What is a network but a curator of content?
  • More…

Add comment September 9th, 2013

Where The Web Is Heading

Where Mobile, Social, Local and Personal all intersect. That’s where the web the heading.

One in five searches on Google is a local search. (That number goes way when the user is searching on a mobile phone).

17% off all time spent on the internet is on social networks. Up from 6% a year ago.

Visits to websites from phones up 34% year over year.

And all of this mobile, local and social content that makes up the web can be filtered, organized, and tailored to fit the needs of the individual making the web personal.

Add comment May 1st, 2010

Too Many Lists On The Internet

These are a few examples of posts including lists that took me about 5 minuets to find:

“6 SEO Website Redesigns Your Developer May Not Know,” “7 Tools to Optimize the Speed of Your Website,” “Top 100 Internet Marketing Posts of 2009,” “12 Best Free Online Resources for Learning SEO,” “55 Google Website Optimizer Tips & Tricks, “9 Great Collaboration Tools For Teams,” “10 iPhone Apps To Avoid Disaster,” “5 ways to Expand B2B Blogging Beyond the Marketing Staff.”

People write posts about lists because 1. They get lots of clicks; you are curious to see if you know about all 10 ten things. 2. They are easy to put together; a few Google searches and you’ve got a pretty good list going.

I love lists. But only when they are from people that I trust and put those items in some context.

Finding tools and tips and tricks and ideas doesn’t make you smart. Using all those ideas and then reporting back with experience and a suggestion on the best way to go forward is. What the Internet needs now is not more lists. What the Internet needs now is more analysis and commentary  that looks at all of the stuff out there, and says this one is the best. I need more recommendations from smart people who have my best interests at heart and less “comprehensive lists.”

Add comment December 21st, 2009

Why Doesen’t Hulu Show Ratings?

There are reports on how many videos Hulu streams but how come they don’t tell us how many views individual shows are getting? Usually TV shows are quick to point out which ones are getting the highest ratings on TVs even though the way ratings are derived is anything but exact:

Nielsen is making an assumption using a sampling statistic based on 5,000 homes what the approximately 113 million U.S. television-viewing homes are watching.

Yet online, exact amounts of viewership is much more possible. Hulu knows exactly (almost exactly depending on the constraints of their web analytic providers) how many people are watching which shows, how many people drop out and watch shows only half way and they also know the mix of shows people are watching. For example, they would know that a high percentage of people who watch the Simpsons also watch Family Guy, etc.. Sure, Hulu has their “most popular videos” category but they don’t show how many views to substantiate their claim of what is most popular.

You would think they would advertise things like, “Come see the most viewed show on Hulu!” but they don’t, why not? They are hiding something. I bet there is some conflicting data between what the Nielson ratings show and what online shows and they don’t want their advertisers to know about it. And their “most popular videos” category is probably anything but the most popular. I think they cherry pick which clips they want people to watch more of based on which shows demand the highest costing CPMs.

What if Arrested Development is the most popular? But since that show is not airing on TV they don’t want people to like it more, they want people to like The Office more so they can get those people to tune in on Thursdays to sell more advertising. Is their new show Community, which is on the top row for most popular, among the most viewed? Doubtful, I bet they want more people to be exposed to the show since they have a lot riding on it becoming a success. Does Hulu take stocking fees like in supermarkets where networks pay them to put their show on the homepage? Maybe.

For sure they have some good reasons why they don’t reveal which shows get the most views.

Add comment October 30th, 2009

Rocket Ship Marketing

Space ShuttleI think the correct way to do marketing, or the way the current landscape demands, can be explained using a metaphor having to do with comparing advertising to a rocket ship:

Whats Wrong With Big Rocket Ships (AKA Traditional Advertising):
1. Traditional rocket ships are big, complex and are explicitly designed to be controlled. These design requirements result in a huge increase in their cost and complexity, and decrease dramatically the probability of the success for the mission. Likewise, a traditional marketing plan is made to be as big and encompassing as possible. Since there is so much riding on it, the marketing must be controlled. With rocket ships and traditional marketing plans, it’s make it or break it.

2. A Rocket ship uses 80% of its fuel in lift off. Once it gets past the lift off stage its pretty much on its way. Likewise, it takes 80% of the marketing budget to launch a new campaign before it has a chance at catching on. What if the idea is a dud and you can’t tell until  after spending 80% of the budget?

3.With the rocket ship costing so much money and taking so much time, it needs to be successful. Traditionally we are continually looking for a “hit” in advertising, something that will spread and become part of pop culture. While trying to predict the likely success of a chosen brand message being a hit, inordinate amounts of money and energy are spent, often, all in vain. Who knows what will be a “hit”? Nobody.

The Solution To The Traditional Rocket Ship Is Replacing It With Hundreds Or More Mini-Rockets:
1. Mini-rockets are cheap to make and launch. And since you don’t have to rely on only one to succeed dramatically well, they don’t need to be built in with fail-proof security and reliability (the reason why traditional rockets cost so much and take so long to build.)

2. Continually measuring the mini-rockets as they go, you can build on the ones that are working and cut back on the ones that aren’t in real-time. Having a budget split up this way allows you to not waste more money than is needed before cutting back on ideas that aren’t working. By relinquishing control, the mini-rockets would be on their own, only bothering to send back whatever they discover.

3. No one knows what is going to be a hit. It’s also hard to tell which demographic will best respond to any particular media. But you stand a better chance at finding a hit with a hundred estimated guesses at a dozen different demographics than one big idea. Then, after launching the multiple mini rockets, you  can let the data tell you which one is the best and continue to fund that one.

This strategy requires the brand to forgo the single-minded brand proposition and embrace long tail thinking. Every brand has more than one potentially ideal consumer. But the big rocket ship’s only option is to target one demographic broadly to capture as many people in that demo as possible. This creates a bland campaign that doesn’t resonate perfectly with anyone since it’s trying to attract as many people as possible by being broad. Targeting the “edges” of the tail instead of the masses, or “head” of the tail, requires narrowing your list down to those most likely, most interested people and ignore everyone else.With mini-rockets you can target very specific demographics with a very specific message. Sure, the amount of people you are reaching is less but your chance for success is higher. This is also much cheaper. Target a dozen different demos and try sending a rocket to them all. These smaller niches, in aggregate, can be composed of as many people as the “head” of the tail and stand a better chance of accepting and spreading your brand.

Add comment October 27th, 2009

Hi, my name is Zach Olsen, internet marketing professional, web entrepreneur & proud dad. Read more...

Get New Posts Via Email

Enter your email address:

Digital Marketing Top Posts

Web Analytics Top Posts

Display/Remarketing Top Posts

Paid Search Top Posts

SEO Top Posts