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The Most Overpaid CEOs In America (OXY)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/obermatt-overpaid-underpaid-ceos-america-2012-2


oil occidental irani

Executive compensation is one of the most ironic hotly-debated topics out there.  It’s hotly debated because people often complain that CEOs are overpaid.  It’s ironic because most of the people who complain about excessive pay have the capacity to do something, yet they do nothing.

You see, every year shareholders of a company are mailed a Form DEF 14A, also known as the proxy statement. In the proxy are the details of the company’s executive compensation plans, and they are typically written plain English.  If shareholders don’t like the plan, they vote it down.

But many shareholders will receive the proxy in the mail and throw it right into the trash. And by default, they vote in favor of whatever plan is recommended by the Board.

Anyways, research firm Obermatt (via The Economist) computed the excess pay of CEOs of the S&P 100 companies.  Excess pay is calculated as deserved pay less actual pay.  Deserved pay is measured considering earnings growth and shareholder return and the compensation practices of peer group companies.

On the top of the “Most Overpaid” list is Occidental Petroleum’s Ray Irani. Irani is widely considered the poster child of excessive pay.

On the bottom are fan favorites Steve Jobs and Warren Buffett.

Here’s a chart of Obermatt’s rankings courtesy of The Economist:

chart

SEE ALSO: These CEOs Were Paid $100+ Million To Quit >

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Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 news No Comments

I Read 21 Books About The Financial Crisis And They Explained Nothing

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/andrew-lo-21-books-financial-crisis-2012-2


andrew lo

Ever thought you would have to read 21 books to get to the bottom of what caused the financial crisis?

Andrew Lo, an economist at MIT, has some bad news: it’s going to take at least 22.

Lo, a leading expert on hedge funds and financial engineering, has written a paper (h/t NPR) for the Journal of Economic Literature describing his experience reading 21 books on the crisis — nine by journalists, 11 by academics and one by a former Treasury Secretary.

His conclusion: In a field that prides itself on its scientific rigor (however dismal), the books reveal that alarmingly few facts about the crisis have been agreed upon. Was there too little or too much regulation? How much of a factor were low interest rates? No one’s been able to say conclusively.

“After each book, I felt like I knew less,” Lo told NPR’s Planet Money.

Economics, he says, has fallen well short of that standard when it comes to understanding the crisis:

“Many of us like to think of financial economics as a science, but complex events like the financial crisis suggest that this conceit may be more wishful thinking than reality.”

Read Andrew Lo’s Reading About the Financial Crisis: A 21-Book Review >

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Monday, February 6th, 2012 news No Comments

Education Spending Doesn’t Solve Education Problems

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/education-spending-doesnt-always-mean-great-graduation-rates-2012-1


Education spending varies dramatically from state to state, and there are distinct regional differences. The desert West, the old cotton South and the northern Plains states spend the least per-student on elementary and secondary education. 

But spending by itself doesn’t necessarily create great results. Though Utah spends the least per-pupil on education annually, it isn’t near the bottom in graduation rates. The District of Columbia spends almost twice the national average per pupil but graduates just 55 percent of its students.

spending per pupil by state

DON’T MISS: the opinions at ‘THE GREAT DEBATE: What’s Wrong With Education In America?’ >

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Saturday, January 7th, 2012 news No Comments

Why your brand MUST have a presence on social networks

At first glance, I said false when I read “Brand Presence on Social Networks Trusted Almost As Much As Peer Advice” — but when I looked more closely, it read “most credible source for information about a brand.”  This is significant because a “brand itself” SHOULD be the most credible source of accurate and up-to-date information. Even consumers are not always the best source or always have the latest information. And further notice that “a marketer” is next to the last on the bottom. Consumers want accurate and up to date info but they do not want to be sold to.

Consumers are good for “subjective” input on the quality and value of a brand’s products or services. A brand must be responsible for the accuracy of its own objective information. Formerly a brand’s own website was the best place to house objective information such as technical specs, nutrition information, etc. While third party sites like reviews sites are the best place to house subjective information like customer reviews, etc. Today, since most customers frequent social networks and seldom visit brand’s websites (they never did much anyway) the place to put objective information is on brand pages on social networks. Note that this does not mean a marketing page designed to “sell.” It means place “credible information about a brand.”

Brands Vie for Credibility on Social Networks

APRIL 2, 2010

Asked what source was most believable when it came to information found about brands on social networking sites, Internet users were most likely to favor their peers. But “the brand itself” came in a close second, far ahead of journalists, considered traditionally to be an objective source. Notably, users were much less trusting of marketers—a separate response from brands—and didn’t put much faith in a brand’s competitors either.

source: http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1007608

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Monday, April 5th, 2010 Branding, social networks 1 Comment

This Is Why that Amazing NASA Earth Image Looked So Familiar

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/Y-HwSNlxHLo/this-is-why-that-amazing-nasa-earth-image-looked-so-familiar

After publishing the The Most Accurate, Highest Resolution Earth View to Date, it got extremely popular: The day after, countless newspapers and blogs worldwide reposted the story. NASA wrote to us, surprised. Why? Because everyone already knew about it:

Yes, the Blue Marble is the iPhone’s default screen, which have been seen by millions of iPhone owners and by everyone who has read about the iPhone since 2007. In fact, the image has been public since 2002:

From: *************** <***********@nasa.gov>

Mr. Diaz

Hello. I am the photo editor for the Public Affairs Office at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

We were happy to see you featured our Blue Marble image on your website last week.

http://gizmodo.com/5478787/the-most-accurate-highest-resolution-earth-view-to-date#comments

We also featured it on our Flickr page but it has really taken off on the web. We had over 500,000 hits in the last two days alone.

Given that this is an image from 2002 I’m just curious what prompted you to post it on your site? Or did you pick it up from someplace other than our site? I see at the bottom it says “NASA via Twitter”

Really, I’m just curious because it’s gotten so much play over that few days.

Thank you for your interest in our work.

Take care,
Rebecca

The reason? Because it’s a beautiful image, that’s all. One that makes you marvel at the beauty of our planet, and how tiny and insignificant we are, but also how unique and rare. [Gizmodo—Thanks to John Hermann for telling me about the obvious]

Don’t forget to check NASA Goddard’s Flickr page. They keep posting really cool stuff.

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Friday, March 5th, 2010 digital No Comments

How to tell who has Google Buzz … and follow them

Lots of people have asked if I have invites for Google Buzz … but I didn’t see a way to invite them … but here’s a trick to give them buzz

1. go into Google Buzz

2. Click the link that says “Following X people”

3. scroll all the way to the bottom of the popup window

4. select contacts link

5. type a letter — e.g. “a” and see the list of others who have Buzz, who you can follow

6. select them and click add, then refresh the screen by clicking “load more” so you see them in the list

google-buzz-followers

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Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 digital No Comments

Samsung 52 inch HDTV $9.99 at BestBuy – purchase receipt below (6:21a eastern time August 12, 2009)

Buy Link at the bottom of the post

best-buy-hdtv-receipt

Click for product page: Samsung – 52″ Class / 1080p / 120Hz / LCD HDTV LN52A650 SKU: 8749287

product-page-samsung-hdtv-pricing-mistake

Order is still good as of 12:23 pm EST August 12, 2009.

bestbuy-order-details-still-good

BestBuy knows digital and social media. CMO Barry Judge tells it like it is.

Related:

http://blogs.moneycentral.msn.com/smartspending/archive/2009/08/12/customers-irate-about-10-hdtv-ad.aspx

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=8311580&page=1

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/12/AR2009081202660.html

http://adage.com/article?article_id=138469

http://www.nbcwashington.com/around-town/shopping/Best-Buy-Bummer-999-HDTVs-an-Error-53043522.html

http://blogs.zdnet.com/gadgetreviews/?p=6697

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/08/13/bestbuy.mistake/index.html

http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/news/081209_best_buy_offers_999_hdtv_by_mistake

http://industry.bnet.com/media/10003678/jetblues-all-you-can-jet-promo-shows-power-and-peril-of-free-media-channels/

http://www.kktv.com/home/headlines/53067682.html

http://www.wftv.com/countybycounty/20371068/detail.html

http://www.shoppingblog.com/blog/8120912

http://www.cepro.com/article/best_buy_accidentally_lists_1700_hdtv_for_10/

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Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 digital 2 Comments

The JKWeddingDance video was real; the viral effect was MANUFACTURED – Post 1 of 2

originally investigated and reported on Friday July 31, 2009 by Augustine Fou, with Tugce Esener @tesener

Several friends and colleagues had the same reaction when they found out about this video — that it was at such a high view count already and we were late to the party of finding out.  Then we did some more digging — digital forensics  🙂  And this is a case where a viral hit was indeed successfully manufactured.  There’s something to be learned from all this — how to successfully manufacture a viral video sensation and make viral profits.

Related: How to manufacture a viral video sensation and make viral profits – Post 2 of 2

Chris Brown is successfully tapping into the viral halo of a funny video that coincidentally used his song.

ReadWriteWeb article on how rights owners (Sony, Chris Brown) can make viral profits on other people using their work instead of suing them – http://bit.ly/KA3HI

The video was real. But promotional activities (possibly/likely paid) created the initial viral effect (led to the tipping point of the viral effect) which then got carried a further by people thinking they were simply late to the party, including myself (e.g. 440k bit.ly clicks and 3k detectable retweets out of the 13M views). The numbers don’t jive.

The viral halo has added 1 million more views to the video from August 1 – August 2.  (13.1 M to 14.5 M)


Ten ELEVEN TWELVE THIRTEEN proof points to follow, each with screen shot to illustrate.

1a. anyone notice that the “Forever” soundtrack is remarkably consistent throughout the video as if it were dubbed or added in after the original footage was shot. The sound is too consistent in volume and loudness to have come from a built-in, on-camera microphone. At the very end of the video, once it cuts back to the couple at the altar the sound quality goes back to the echo-y, tinny sound of an on-camera mic.

1b. The “TheKHeinz” user on YouTube was registered on July 19, 2009, the day the video was posted. We usually look for clues like this to detect “plants” by PR agencies.  This is an issue of trust — a user “CmdrTaco” on Slashdot has been around the forums for years, made hundreds of posts, and was rated by the community very highly. PR agencies trying to seed stories have to create new user accounts during the PR campaign (recent registration date) and have made no other posts or uploads before (no history).

thekheinz-user-info-on-youtube

2. The social intensity detected in all of the top social venues like Technorai, Delicious, Reddit, Digg, etc. indicate there was not enough organic sharing to support a view count of 13 million views in 11 days (updated: 14.6 million today August 2, 2009).

a) Bit.ly shows only 447k clicks on the shortened URL

bitly-statistics-on-jkwedding-video

“At Fortune’s Brainstorm:Tech conference Ashton Kutcher effectively took credit for boosting the views from – in his words – 12,500 views before he tweeted the link – to some 1.2 million views 12 hours later…”

Well, unfortunately he used a bit.ly link which provides public analytics on how many people clicked. Most tweets result in immediate traffic, which then tails off immediately after the tweet falls off the first page. In his case, look at the following bit.ly stats URL and click “past month” to see the peak clicks on July 23. All he can actually claim is that his tweet drove a peak of about 100,000 clicks on that day not 1.2 million 🙁

http://bit.ly/info/Z7vMw

too bad Ashton. next time you make a BMOC claim, be sure to use a non trackable method, so analytics won’t “out” you so easily.

august-21-bitly-intensity-update

after only 3.5 days of retweets the twitter intensity died off to next-to-nothing; if this were a truly viral video, carried forth by real people (and not by paid PR support and paid media) the retweet intensity would remain high. As of August 21, there are over 21M views on the video and the 505k retweets does not show actual organic support for that number.

ashton-kutcher-promote-viral-video


b) Twitturly shows only 3 thousand retweets on the YouTube URL itself

updated-twitturly-stats-for-video

c) Delicious shows only 447 bookmarks of the video itself

delicious-bookmarks-jkwedding

delicious-bookmarks-jkweddingdance

d) Reddit only shows 673 thumbs up for the video itself

reddit-results-for-jkweddingvideo

e) Technorati shows only 277 blog mentions of the video itself — this could be undercounting if blogs used URL shorteners. But if you look at the blog intensity results (below) sorted by blogs with most authority the blogs have very little authority (i.e. influence or size of audience).

technorati-blog-posts-on-jkwedding

— these are real indications of interest by real people. The social intensity of the passalong for this video does not substantiate the huge number of views in 11 days.

What we are seeing now is the additional viral halo, as the momentum is sustained by large media outlets reporting on the story — even Google Blog blogged about it (boasting about the success of YouTube advertising in driving revenues). Of course TechCrunch is right that viral videos can be monetized: http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/07/30/youtube-viral-wedding-videos-are-great-for-advertising/ )


3. Twitter shows nothing in the top “trending topics” related to this video – indicating few people are actually tweeting about it — if this video is SO viral (13M views in 11 days) then it has GOT to show up on a scan of social intensity. (see screen capture below)

July 31 (Friday)                 August 2 (Sunday)

twitter-trending-topics-455pm-july-31-2009August-2-trending-twitter-topics

4. The original video was posted July 19, 2009. The people from the video appeared on NBC’s Today Show and danced around Rockerfeller Center on July 25th (6 calendar days after posting). Today Show staff may be great at spotting news, but to get all the wedding party from the wedding to re-enact the dance on the Today Show in 6 calendar days — too good to be true?  Hmm…

today-show-appearance


5. Out of all the wedding videos on YouTube, how did Chris Brown detect this particular one that used his song. @glenngabe noted that there are song detection mechanisms  – ContentID – which detect the pattern of the copyrighted song and report that to the rights owners. We know there are hundreds, if not thousaands, or really funny wedding home videos — America’s Funniest Videos has been running for years and years on TV showing funny wedding blooper videos that people submitted to them.


6. ALL TEN of the top viral videos on AdAge’s Viral Video Chart took around 3 – 6 months to achieve full viral effect — not 6 days.  See all 10 videos’ stats, as reported by YouTube at the following link. This video has not shown up at all on the list of Adage viral videos.

AdAge Top Viral Videos all take 3 – 6 months to reach full viral effect



7. From @RedW0rm – YouTube Declares Wedding Video a Financial Success http://bit.ly/9ZUtu


8. also check the velocity of this http://twitter.com/#search?q=jkwedding or this http://twitter.com/#search?q=jkweddingdance notice the tweets are not seconds apart but hours apart. Something that achieved 13M views in the 11 days since posting would show far higher velocity or twitter intensity.

twitter-1-jkwedding

twitter-1-jkwedding

9.  For a top-trending topic on twitter, there is usually correspondingly high search volume that is detectable.  At first glance, terms related to this viral video like “jkwedding” or “jk wedding dance” all seem to spike.  But if you put it against even “Corazon Aquino” (one of the top trending topics NOW on Twitter) those JK wedding search volumes are dwarfed.  (see chart below).

corazon-aquino-search-volume

10.  Google only reports 366 links to the video and most of them are not even important websites (see Alexa blue bar)

google-in-links-for-jkwedding-video

11.  The video itself has no honors and no stats (yet); YouTube stats are conveniently turned off. Other videos have their stats graphs publicly available.

no-honors-for-jk-wedding-video

12. see the fine print in the YouTube description — For more information or to make a donation towards violence prevention please visit our website: http://www.jkweddingdance.com/ — why would a normal wedding video ask people to make a donation towards violence prevention? (see screen capture below), the WHOIS record shows the domain jkweddingdance.com was created 29-Jul-09 — today is 31-Jul-09

Updated: This was circumstantial evidence. A source confirmed that Jill is studying patterns of violence propagation for her PhD. Their choice of charity was their own choice. And the site was set up to help that cause.

violence-prevention-chris-brown

whois-jkweddingdance-part1

whois-jkweddingdance-part2

Conclusion?  The video itself is real, made by those nice people in the wedding. They may not even realize why or how their wedding video went viral (and the tens of thousands of other wedding videos on YouTube did not). On the Today Show, “The couple told Lauer they were surprised at the video’s popularity” (also see NY Daily News article – http://bit.ly/OA3iG )

Related articles:

ReadWriteWeb – Build Profit Not DMCA Suits

WSJ – YouTube Declares Wedding Video a Financial Success

PSFK – Co-opting Viral Hits to Sell More Music

TechCrunch – YouTube: Viral Wedding Videos Are Great For Advertising

Huffington Post – Viral Wedding on YouTube Drives Buyers to Chris Brown Music

ClickZ –http://blog.clickz.com/090805-160921.html

What Viral Videos Look Like

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Friday, July 31st, 2009 analytics, viral videos 40 Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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