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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23 posts categorized "Weblogs"

February 13, 2008

An Unevenly Distributed Future: MITX Internet Video Panel

Last night I went to a great MITX panel discussion at MIT on Internet videoScott Kirsner moderated a great and diverse group representing the media, CDNs, VC, and agency worlds.  Scott organized the discussion into three buckets:  how are users interactions with web video changing; how is the production side of the business evolving to enable new things; and, the "monetization" of all this.  Here are my notes, and a few ideas:

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February 07, 2008

Just When I Thought I Was Getting Clever

Since publishing your email address on the web invites spam, I recently used a free external service to add an "email me" form to this blog (see link at left).  The service uses captcha, the system that asks you to prove that you're human when you register for something online by copying a set of squiggly letters and/or numbers into a form.  I was feeling very smug about this until I read my former ArsDigita colleague Carsten Clasohm's post on how some spammers now get around this.

May 03, 2007

Octavianworld up 1000%, Self-Esteem Soars

In a narcissistic moment of weakness, I trolled through my stats to find that a Blogshares industry moderator had looked at one of my recent posts, and discovered that "Single Girl Theory" has taken a position in Octavianworld and driven my price up significantly:





Thanks Single Girl Theory, I'm flattered and I'll try to be worthy of your confidence.

April 24, 2007

Think Viral, Act Tribal, Part II: What, Why, and How Memes Propagate

A while back I wrote down some ideas about viral marketing prompted by a meeting with an entrepreneur who was having some trouble executing a campaign.  Today, I came across a really interesting research paper, "Memes and affinities:  cultural replication and literacy education", by Michele Knobel and Colin Lankshear, presented in November 2005 at the National Reading Conference annual meeting.  The paper is here: http://www.geocities.com/c.lankshear/memes2.pdf.

Continue reading "Think Viral, Act Tribal, Part II: What, Why, and How Memes Propagate" »

April 09, 2007

Syndicate This

In the post right before this one, you will see a widget for this blog I created using Goowy Media's yourminis service.  You can help make me famous by embedding it in your blog.  Or, you can install it on your desktop (you need to have Adobe's Apollo player first -- that's their cross-platform desktop equivalent of the Flash player for web browsers) , and wait patiently for it to alert you of my latest big idea.  Or, you can ignore my widget but check out many more useful ones people have built using Flash 8 and the yourminis API.

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March 28, 2007

Twying out Twitter

With encouragement from my friend Perry Hewitt, I've been fooling around with Twitter to get a better sense for what all the fuss is about.  Conclusion:  it's a service that provides an asynchronous chat room for group interaction via SMS, and this has its place and time.

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You Heard It Here First: "SGM"

From the Weak-Attempt-at-Punditry-Department, here's an attempt to coin a term for hot new theme to track:  "Subject-Generated-Media", or "SGM" for short.  It's inspired by Red Sox ace pitcher Curt Schilling's blog, 38pitches.com, which is simply brilliant.  I've learned more about pitching reading Curt's posts than I picked up in the past 30 years of being a fan.  Curt is a terrific writer, and he brings out the best in his friends, too.  For example, here's a recent comment on this post, by former Sox Kevin Millar, whom Curt fanned quickly in a recent spring training game:

Well I must say that Curt is right on with the curve ball talk.I have been ragging on his curve ball for a few years and today he called my bluff.

1st ab he shook 3 times and I had a feeling he was shaking to the curve ball but still didnt have the balls to sit 1st pitch curve ball on Schilling. Then, I did call time out, telling Tek “What the hell is Schill doing shaking to the curve ball?”, and bam! sure enough here came this hanging curve ball (Curt: I beg to differ, the first one wasn’t hanging) I watched for strike 1, and couldnt pull the trigger. Then schill came back with another (Curt: which I did hang) whiched I pulled foul (Curt: into the vendor selling lemonade, which for anyone sitting along the 3rd base dugout knows is no surprise, Kevin hooking a pitch foul) and yes he threw the 3rd one in a row which I layed off.

I then had a feeling he was going to throw all curve balls to me, as pedro martinez did to me the 1st time I faced him last year and i struck out on 4 in a row. But Schill caught me guessing and struck me out with a heater in.

So all the trash talking I did to him and all the text messages I ragged him with, he got me and I couldnt look at him after the AB, even though i wanted to laugh

Kevin (Curt: I can hook a fastball better than anyone but Sheffield) Millar

Continue reading "You Heard It Here First: "SGM"" »

March 10, 2007

Clouded Vision

My new colleague Steven Forth, who is CTO of eMonitor (the content technology arm of Monitor Group) referred me last night to Many Eyes (http://services.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/home), which is a social data visualization and interpretation service developed by the Collaborative User Experience (CUE) Research Group at IBM's Watson Research Center.   As the intersection of social software and content analysis is currently a high-priority professional interest, I decided to try it out. 

Among other visualization approaches to structured data sets, Many Eyes generates tag clouds from free text files.  Steven noted that in particular, the two-word view seems like a very powerful 80-20 cut at inferring predominant meaning in a body of text. 

I experimented by exporting the contents of this blog as a text file, progressively scrubbing useless Typepad artifact words and html tags that appear frequently (like "title", "breaks", "comments", and my name) out of the source file -- to do this I simply ran "edit/replace/'word', '[]'" in Windows Notepad  -- and then publishing the file on Many Eyes.  Here's the result (click on the image to manipulate the cloud on Many Eyes):

The two-word view does a pretty decent job of communicating the themes I write about, I think.  Unintended side benefit:  highlights recurring cliches and verbal tics I need to purge from my writing, like "drive higher" (argh).

This whole effort took about 30 minutes, from registration to pasting the syndication html into this post.  Two-thirds of that time was spent scrubbing the data iteratively.  This could have gone faster in one of two ways.  First, Many Eyes could provide a custom scrubbing interface where I could register multiple words to be eliminated or replaced from a text file.  Second, and better, they could allow users to share not only comments, but scrubbing filters that would be applicable to data sets coming from common sources with common problems, such as Typepad exports, or government information.

Beyond this, I can imagine a thematic matching capability -- "based on two-word 'keyphrase' frequencies, this data set seems to have lots in common with these other ones..."  Such a capability could be further enhanced by ex-post user rating,  so people could confirm whether, for any given algorithmically-suggested match, the result was actually good, a la "was this useful to you?"  This, like the "Graphic Friendships" idea I wrote about a while back, could help to make the web browsing experience more productive.

Nice job guys! 

November 08, 2006


Follow-up to my post on MegaKarma: traffic to my blog doubled (rough estimate), and a couple of people voted my post up on Reddit.  But then I got voted back down into the dark hole I came from.  Oh, the humiliation.

Moral of this story:  Just as is true in the real world, there's no substitute for personal networking.  Send your posts to others, ask them to comment constructively on their blogs and link to you if appropriate.  Services like Megakarma might be helpful, but only on the margin.  Anyone have a different experience?

November 07, 2006

"Monetizing" The Blogosphere: Networks of Networks

Typepad users like me who loggged in today saw Typepad plugging Bayraider, a new shopping blog from Shiny Media, which seems to be trying to follow in the wake of PopSugar.  With the entry costs being so low, a few motivated friends can get together and put together small networks that collectively improve their ability to sell ads.  This makes me think that we'll see more entrepreneurs putting together such networks, following in the model pioneered by Federated Media.  Of course, with the A-Listers snapped up already, I think we can expect to see a multi-tiered market aggregation market emerge: 

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