Tuesday, December 14, 2010

AdWords Advice

There's an article in the NY Times about Google AdWords http://nyti.ms/frofsb. I often tell clients the same things. "First start small and second don't give up, but AdWords is not for everyone."

Many times I tell clients that they should begin with just $25 a month. That's about a dollar a day. And of course everyone says, well that won't have any effect on revenue. Of course it probably won't increase revenues at that level of spending. But it will give us good direction on what ads and keywords drive traffic and revenue. What you learn in the beginning, you can apply to a much bigger program later.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Russotti's Paradox

Generally in marketing, whether its a specific consumer segment, a particular geographic target, a particular price point or a demographic, seasonal promotions or event driven demand - assumptions can become self fulfilling prophesies.

For example, people join gyms to get ready for the beach and to lose weight after the holidays. When do gyms advertise? Then all people join gyms when the advertising runs. Then advertising that runs during these periods is more effective than ads at other times. So no ads run outside these periods.

Women take more photos than men. So who are photo advertisements targeted to? Then more women buy cameras. Then over time ads are directed at women and less and less men buy cameras.

The Paradox:

Assumptions whether true or false - are self fulfilling - call it Russotti's Paradox.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Memex

I am researching collaboration software as background for an upcoming talk I'll be giving at SES Standards Engineering Society, in Boston. During the course of researching synchronous and asynchronous document editing software, I found an interesting reference to a 1945 article in Atlantic Monthly describing a microfilm library, the memex, and you will have to read this yourself to understand that collaborative tools, the concept of hypertext itself, social bookmarking and much more date back to this very interesting article by Vannear Bush, As We May Think.

In part Bush was reacting to the destructive application of science in creating weapons and he conceived of a machine that would compress a whole library into a piece of furniture, allow people to create a new kind of encyclopedia and unlock knowledge. He advocates that scientists should devote their post world war efforts to the peaceful application of technology.

I particularly like this quote from Bush and I plan to use it in my upcoming talk and in my daily work advocating the use of new technology. "The summation of human experience is being expanded at a prodigious rate, and the means we use for threading through the consequent maze to the momentarily important item is the same as was used in the days of square-rigged ships."

I'll end here with a recommendation - please stop what you are doing and take a few minutes to read Vannear Bush, As We May Think.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Museum Figures are sculpted for museums and public institutions around the world. Our good friends at StudioEIS have a wonderful website in Flash which showcases not only their museum figures but also many great pieces from their extensive portfolio.

Used to great effect by museums and exhibition designers, museum figures impact the visual stories museums create. StudioEIS has been creating sculpted museum figures for more than three decades for History, Anthropology, Natural History, Science & Technology museums, Sports museums and Expositions large and small.

We encourage you to get to know StudioEIS.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Find Out More About SEMPO Emerging Technologies Committee

SEMPO Emerging Technologies Committee is a forum for SEMPO members to share information about search as it relates to new platforms like mobile, voice and interactive television.

Open to participation from all SEMPO members, the Emerging Technologies committee is looking for participants with experience in new and emerging technologies.

SEMPO Emerging Technologies Committee is a worthwhile group and participation is a good way to share your experience with others. You can help:

• Develop educational website materials to demystify new technologies for SEMPO members.
• Collect case studies that exemplify successful SEO strategies for emerging medias.
• Host webinars and seminars for education and awareness.
• Conduct research and produce studies that are beneficial to members and to the industry at large. Sample topics: User Acceptance of Mobile Paid Media, Mobile Search: What Users Want and How They are Finding It.
• Develop course material for the SEMPO institute.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Relearning Semantics from Humans

So many people ask me how to optimize a page for search. What are the fundamentals? There are so many articles and blog posts on the fundamentals, but for starters I'd recommend reading the SEO guidelines directly from the main search engines. Google has great SEO advice on their site. Lycos, Yahoo and MSN have SEO advice too. Google's basic instruction is to make the page useful and trust the algorithm. While there's no substitute for good writing, it's still fun to know how Google makes its decisions.

This morning I read an article in Wired,"How Google's Algorithm Rules the Web", and I want to share it with you so you can understand how complicated and how elegant Google's algorithm actually is.

I work on search a fair amount, a lot actually, for someone who is more involved in search optimization (than  in search algorithms) for an occupation. We've tested a zillion different things with our search tools and with our data and our page layouts and content. After years of testing I've concluded there's always tradeoffs and no one way to do search "right". But at the end of the day, if you return relevant results, you've done a good job; and suffice to say that means you've got a good search if for most of the people most of the time, the results are what they want. Every kind of data has peculiarities that make one-size-fits-all approaches problematic. The Wired article refers to this aspect of search saying in effect that Twitter and Bing are trying to exploit niches where Google is not that strong.

If you are expert at search, or optimization or if you are just starting out, please read the article from Wired.