I'm a partner in the advanced analytics group at Bain & Company, the global management consulting firm. My primary focus is on marketing analytics (bio). I've been writing here (views my own) about marketing, technology, e-business, and analytics since 2003 (blog name explained).

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9 posts categorized "Favorite Podcasts"

March 12, 2012

#SXSW Trip Report Part 2: Being There

(See here for Part 1)

Here's one summary of the experience that's making the rounds:


Missing sxsw


I wasn't able to be there all that long, but my impression was different.  Men of all colors (especially if you count tattoos), and lots more women (many tattooed also, and extensively).   I had a chance to talk with Doc Searls (I'm a huge Cluetrain fan) briefly at the Digital Harvard reception at The Parish; he suggested (my words) the increased ratio of women is a good barometer for the evolution of the festival from narcissistic nerdiness toward more sensible substance.  Nonetheless, on the surface, it does remain a sweaty mosh pit of digital love and frenzied networking.  Picture Dumbo on spring break on 6th and San Jacinto.  With light sabers:


SXSW light sabers


Sight that will haunt my dreams for a while: VC-looking guy, blazer and dress shirt, in a pedicab piloted by skinny grungy student (?) Dude, learn Linux, and your next tip from The Man at SXSW might just be a term sheet.

So whom did I meet, and what did I learn:

I had a great time listening to PRX.org's John Barth.  The Public Radio Exchange aggregates independent content suitable for radio (think The Moth), adds valuable services like consistent content metadata and rights management, and then acts as a distribution hub for stations that want to use it.  We talked about how they're planning to analyze listenership patterns with that metadata and other stuff (maybe gleaning audience demographics via Quantcast) for shaping content and targeting listeners.  He related for example that stations seem to prefer either 1 hour programs they can use to fill standard-sized holes, or two- to seven- minute segments they can weave into pre-existing programs.  Documentary-style shows that weave music and informed commentary together are especially popular.  We explored whether production templates ("structured collaboration": think "Mad Libs" for digital media) might make sense.  Maybe later.

Paul Payack explained his Global Language Monitor service to me, and we explored its potential application as a complement if not a replacement for episodic brand trackers.  Think of it as a more sophisticated and source-ecumenical version of Google Insights for Search.

Kara Oehler's presentation on her Mapping Main Street project was great, and it made me want to try her Zeega.org service (a Harvard metaLAB project) as soon as it's available, to see how close I can get to replicating The Yellow Submarine for my son, with other family members spliced in for The Beatles.  Add it to my list of other cool projects I like, such as mrpicassohead.

Peter Boyce and Zach Hamed from Hack Harvard, nice to meet you. Here's a book that grew out of the class at MIT I mentioned -- maybe you guys could cobble together an O'Reilly deal out of your work!

Finally,  congrats to Perry Hewitt (here with Anne Cushing) and all her Harvard colleagues on a great evening!


Perry hewitt anne cushing



January 28, 2008

Ze Frank's Experience Embracing "UGC"

Podcast of Ze Frank's very entertaining presentation at a recent Rails conference here.   The second half of his talk, in which he describes "the anxiety of acceleration" that he experiences as his audience becomes his partner in producing content, is especially interesting and highly relevant for publishers pursuing user-generated-content.  Possibly NSFW, probably not.

January 17, 2008

Sunny Days in Uppsala

Sun's bought MySQL AB for a cool $1 billion.  Why?  Maybe Amazon's recently adding SimpleDB to AWS made Sun, which is also offering utility-based computing, a bit nervous.  Some folks wonder if a billion is too much to pay for open-source software.  I say they get the full attention of the core of the MySQL project, and once they figure out how to run distributed MySQL clusters on their version of EC2, they can rent (SaaS) what they can't sell.

This open-source thing is going to be big one of these days...

Related: Tim O'Reilly's recent Radar talk offered some cautionary notes about the whole cloud-based SaaS trend that are worth considering:


November 19, 2007

Good Podcasts I Listened To Recently

Doug Weaver on expanding interactive advertising budgets into a new slice of traditional spending on TV.  Very thoughtful way to get insight into how fast the dam will burst.

Dana Todd and Bruce Clay on SEO.  Interesting to SEO nerds and newbies alike.  The comments about getting "theme" right were especially interesting.  At a deeper level, the ideas here are metaphorically extensible to marketing in general.

Guy Kawasaki on The Art of Innovation.  Very entertaining!

March 10, 2007


A couple of years ago I listened to this IT Conversations podcast of an interview with the Dutch artist Theo Jansen on the subject of his "Strandbeest" project.  Unseen it was fascinating enough, but the films of his creatures are truly (and you'll pardon the pun once you've seen them) mind-blowing.  What's particularly interesting to me is that this project is implemented as a collection of real physical artifacts, not simply computer simulations.  I find particularly romantic the notion of "releasing" herds of these creatures on the beaches of northern Europe, to roam freely until solar radiation eventually destroys their plastic-tube skeletons and ends their lives.

I'm posting now, and sort-of off topic vs. the usual subjects here, simply because I find myself telling folks about this over and over about it, but not always remembering the artist's name or the name of his creation.  So, sorry to webbier friends if this is an "echo" in your aggregators, but if you haven't seen it, it's a must.

November 03, 2006

Unpacking the Digital Video Revolution (Podcast)

Here's a great podcast of a recent presentation by Brightcove CEO Jeremy Allaire on the structure of the film-TV-video production and distribution business, and how distributing video over the Internet blows it up and creates new possibilities. 


(Note: I drafted this post in March, and never got around to publishing it.  So this might be a bit dated, but I think it's still really useful.)

August 26, 2006

Semantic Web Possibilities

Today I listened to a great interview of Elias Torres by Phil Windley; the podcast is linked from here:


Elias discusses the Semantic Web layer cake of tools, and focuses on SPARQL, the RDF query language.  It's a technical topic, but the conversation is very accessible to non-programmers.  My head's been churning all day with possibilities that seem interesting.  One idea: cross-site, heterogeneous-data collaborative filtering.  For example, crossing voting patterns on social bookmarking sites with Amazon's "Statistically Improbable Phrases" (sorry, what marketing genius wrote that label for such a useful feature?) gets you, "If you liked this article, you might also like these books..."


PostSecret (http://postsecret.blogspot.com/) is a guilty pleasure of mine.  If it's one of yours too, you might enjoy this podcast of Found Magazine's Davy Rothbart speaking at PopTech in 2005, courtesy of GigaVox/ ITConversations:


Here's the GigaVox page for this podcast:


March 10, 2006

Feral Open-Source Robot Dogs Podcast

I've been listening to IT Conversations podcasts for some time now.  This project, led by Doug Kaye, is a true gem.  I'm finally getting around to posting some of my favorites.  Here's one that I think illustrates the idea that the real barrier today is imagination, not cost.  Release the hounds!


January 3, 2008 update:  first dogs, now flies -- plus ca change, plus c'est la meme robotic chose