fine

GM’s Facebook Ads Don’t Work Because GM Sucks — Ours Work Fine

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/ford-gms-facebook-ads-dont-work-because-gm-sucks-ours-work-fine-2012-5

A funny comeback from Ford on the heels of news that GM is pulling its entire $10 million advertising campaign from Facebook

GM said it was pulling its ads because they didn’t work.

Ford said on Twitter that, if GM’s ads didn’t work, it’s because GM didn’t know what it was doing:

Ford Twitter

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Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

There Is No Difference in Usage Between Unlimited Data Plans and Tiered Data Plans [Data]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5887786/study-there-is-no-difference-in-usage-between-unlimited-data-plans-and-tiered-data-plans

Study: There Is No Difference in Usage Between Unlimited Data Plans and Tiered Data PlansHey Carriers. We need to talk. You know how you said you were going to start throttling high data usage users in hopes to preserve bandwidth? That’s bullshit, apparently. It’s only because you want to get us onto tiered data plans so you can charge us overages. With hate, everyone.

Seriously. Validas, an analytics firm, analyzed 50,000 cellphone bills from AT&T and Verizon to see if throttling was a necessary evil to conserve bandwidth. However, the numbers point to no. Instead, Validas guesstimates that it’s because carriers would rather have us on tiered data plans for the overage fees. According to Validas:

“When we look at the top 5% of data users, there is virtually no difference in data consumption between those on unlimited and those on tiered plans — and yet the unlimited consumers are the ones at risk of getting their service turned off. So it’s curious that anyone would think the throttling here represents a serious effort at alleviating network bandwidth issues. After all, Sprint does seemingly fine maintaining non-throttled unlimited data for its customers.”

The point being, throttling the Top 5% of unlimited data users seems to be unnecessary because the Top 5% are using the same amount of data on their tiered plans anyway. Go figure, carriers trying to squeeze a dime out of a nickel. [BGR]

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Friday, February 24th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Google Violated Its Own Evil-Free Policies While Promoting Chrome [Google]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5872566/google-violated-its-own-evil+free-policies-while-promoting-chrome

Google Violated Its Own Evil-Free Policies While Promoting Chrome

The first rule of not being evil is: don’t do things you think are evil. So it’s a shame that Google has violated its own policy by giving bloggers cash in exchanges for writing about its browser, Chrome.

Google, or perhaps more likely its advertising firm Unruly, has managed to sponsor bloggers to chew the fat over Chrome, reports SEO Book. Some of them talk about how great Chrome is for small businesses, and most contain a Google promo video.

Meh, that’s kind of fine, right? Mmm, the thing is, paid-for links to the Chrome download page would be just fine according to Google’s rules — as long as they were tagged up as “nofollow” links. That’s supposed to let PageRank know that a link was paid for so as to exclude it from search rankings.

But, uh, some of the links didn’t follow that guideline.

OK, so this isn’t too bad: it isn’t like Google is culling small kittens, granted. And it could in fact be an innocent mistake on the part of the bloggers. But what it more likely indicates is that Google is getting so large that it can’t help but trip over its own policies. And at that point, it becomes difficult to hold an entire organisation up to its existing ethical codes.

So, don’t be evil. At least, if you can remember what you mean by evil. [SEO Book via TechCrunch; Image: brionv]


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Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 news No Comments

The problem with bad product names and what we can learn from it

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/11/11/editorial-the-problem-with-bad-product-names-and-what-we-can-le/

Product names generally fall into one of four different categories: good, safe, meaningless and bad. There may be better categories to group them in, but we’ll use these for the purpose of this editorial. In the first category I’d put something like Kindle, arguably one of the best new product names of the last ten years. iPhone and iPad, and their subsequent suffixed versions, are in the safe category. They’re perfectly fine names for a cellphone and a tablet, but they’re not as original or distinct as iMac or iPod were, which I’d consider good (iPod nano, shuffle and touch, on the other hand, are all safe names).

In the meaningless category are things like the MSI GT683DXR or ASUS XU6280, one of which I just made up. Some meaningless names can also be good in their simplicity — like the Nokia N9 or Nikon D3S — but they are still basically nothing more than differentiators. This is an acceptable option.

The names aren’t just bad — they’re noise.

In the bad category are the majority of smartphones released in the past few years. Rezound. Rhyme. Vivid. Epic. Sensation. Thrill. Skyrocket. Conquer. Triumph. Enlighten. Infuse. Prevail. Arrive. Can you name the company behind each phone? And those are just a few examples from this year. The names aren’t just bad — they’re noise. Some names might fall into a fifth, slightly murkier okay category, but there are certainly more phones (and, increasingly, tablets) in the bad category than any other, and I’d argue that’s a sign of a larger problem.

Continue reading Editorial: The problem with bad product names and what we can learn from it

Editorial: The problem with bad product names and what we can learn from it originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 11 Nov 2011 12:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 news No Comments

The Damning Data [Nexus One]

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/BrVXM_LnhYs/the-nexus-ones-3g-problem-pt-ii-the-damning-data

Google’s Nexus One support forums have been flooded with anecdotes about the phone’s poor 3G connectivity, so one user decided to follow up with some reasonably scientific tests. The conclusion? The Nexus One is kind of terrible at basic cellphonery!

The test was simple and limited, consisting of one dude, user WV, wandering in and out of his house, recording signal strength as measured in dBm and ASU with Android’s built-in metering app. Assuming the Nexus One is supposed to work like a normal cellphones—that is, it connects to 3G networks when they’re available and EDGE only when they’re not—something’s wrong.

Since the phone is obviously finding and receiving the cellular signals just fine, but not handling them as you’d expect, randomly flipping between the two—and evidently preferring EDGE most of the time—no matter how strong its signal is. This points to a software issue, not a hardware issue. That, and this:

OK. I found “Phone Info” screen through “Any Cut”. This looks like a screen not intended for average users. It clearly has settings that should not be messed with. However, it does have a pull down menu that was set to “WCDMA Preferred”. I changed this to “WCDMA Only”. The phone reset, and never a! gain saw the f’ing “E” on the signal indicator- ALL 3G. After about 1/2 hour of speed tests (150k – 800kbps) and google satellite map downloads (all definitely faster), I switched back to “WCDMA Preferred”. Guess what? After a few minutes, I was back on EDGE, even with a good signal. Switched back to “WCDMA Only”, and 3G it remains.

This doesn’t fully solve the problem, because as WV notes, if you fall out of T-Mobile’s 3G coverage area with EDGE disabled, you’re basically boned. But anyway, yes, this appears to be a software bug. Or, if you’re feeling conspiratorial today, like WV, a software feature:

My concern is whether T-mobile is being sneaky about this and purposefully dumbing down the 3G to Edge to reduce cell frequency congestion and/or their back-end network congestion.

I’m not sure I want to draw that nexus (haw?) quite yet, since the issue was first brought to light by comparing the Nexus One’s 3G/EDGE handling to other T-Mobile 3G Android handsets, and those, despite having the same data-sucking potential as the Google Phone, haven’t been throttled in any way. While Google and T-Mobile say they’re “investigating,” the evidence keeps mounting and the question looms larger: what’s really wrong with the Nexus One’s 3G? [Google Nexus One Support Forums]


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Monday, January 11th, 2010 digital No 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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