Attention to Detail

"I have attention to detail." I've heard this phrase many times. But, I'm not certain that people understand its meaning, or they use it loosely.

All it means is doing the job/task the right way and having the experience to understand common mistakes. If you don't have "attention to detail," you're doing it (what ever it is) wrong.
Read More!

Generation M2: Interviews with 8-18s About Media Use

This video contains interviews with several youths about how they spend time on the net.

I certainly multitask while page skimming, but not like these kids. How can an average internet advertisement reach this market, even if these kids are almost always interacting with the media. Advergames might hold their attention long enough to create a meaningful interaction.
Read More!

Funniest Animation Promoting Condom Use

I'm not sure where this ad comes from, but who cares. It's hilarious!

Read More!

Tim Ferriss on Building Traffic to a Blog


Tim Ferriss, if you don't already know, is a best selling author for the Four Hour Work Week, Princeton graduate and popular blogger. I enjoy reading his blog and, when I get a chance, watching videos of his presentations. In this presentation, at WordCamp San Francisco, in 2009, Ferriss tells his secrets to becoming a successful blogger, covering the topics of search engine optimization (SEO), research, writing and others.

One, not moderately interesting, point he addresses are reasons to blog. Which I find is the same reasons why I'm blogging, to generate feedback and interesting contacts. I think of it as going to a bar, but filtering out conversations you don't want to have.

Not in the order Ferriss uses, he heavily focuses on blog writing, referencing Tucker Max, another best selling author. A few interesting points are: developing a voice( Alex Kotloqitz, Norma Sims and Hunter S. Thompson are masters at introducing voice into there writing); don't write what the reader wants because they don't know what they will like; and don't write for SEO in the first draft.

Here is an example of writing for SEO and writing only for SEO, on the topic of Utica Club beer
Only SEO:
Utica Club beer
is a XX pure pilsener-beer. And, there are no other Utica Club like beers that will taste like Utica Club. Utica Club uses the best hops, for Utica Clubs robust flavor.

SEO:
Utica Club beer goes through two filtering processes, to create it's robust flavor. That's why we call it a XX pure pilsener-beer. Try to find a comparable pilsener! I dare ya.
Some people might overuse key words and produce excessive bold text for the purpose of indexing. You do want to consider how the body copy is indexed; but, your readers won't come back if you're writing drivel.

As for research, Ferriss list some quality resources for gathering both quantitative and qualitative data/feedback. If you don't want to watch his video, and to make it easy for you, here are the links: slinkset.com, twitter.com (primary research), crazyegg.com and Google Analytics. He mentions others, but these are fantastic resources.

Lastly (but not finally), he advises on the organization and inclusion of the many facets of a blog (e.g. RSS feeds, Labels, etc.). This is something I haven't focused on enough. Please! Include a Tag Cloud or category system in your blog. It will improve your pages Click Through Rate (CTR). I mention this because it's a new revelation to me. And, damn it! It works.

If you're not familiar with some of the terms he uses, email me with any questions, and I'll gladly explain or define anything from Ferriss's presentation.

Enjoy!
Read More!

Below the Line Advergames

The cliché of the day for advergames using education in their structure and content is Below the Line (BTL) advergames. That's right! edutainment and branding has come together.

Kellogg's game Tutankhamun and Zookeeper are archetypes for these. Tutankhamun, as you can imagine, takes gamers on an adventure through the tomb of Tutankhamun, searching for artifacts in a, James Bond like, first-person view. To progress from stage to stage, the player must find trinkets and tools used by ancient Egyptians (artifacts I studied in college level Art History).

Kellogg's uses a different structure for Zookeeper, providing videos of animals and quizzes about the content. Also, the advergame websites goes beyond the usual, play my game and remember my logo, site. It seems to create a genuine educational experience, not just a marketing ploy. There are links to search for local zoos and a contest awarding participants an animal adoption at a participating zoo (who doesn't want to take a lion home), receiving free tickets and a certificate.

Branding
Personally, I like how Kellogg's branding is integrated. Logos aren't plastered on every rock and flag in sight (Cadbury's Cream Eggs' gaming efforts are the worst example I've found), they're sparsely placed in both games. Of course logos and other branding is necessary, but don't kill us guys. Zookeeper incorporates logos on the corner of pages, on printable-certificates awarded and on loading-windows when pages are coming up. They've also worked popular Kellogg's-color-schemes into the game. Clever! The reds and yellows used in advertising are integrated with the words and layouts. The word Zookeeper is yellow and flags on the main page are red. Other examples exist, but these two are my favorite.

When to use BTL Advergames
One instance when using this format can be useful is if children are involved. There's a growing mass of criticisms for advertising towards these young influencers and consumers. And, when using games to reach them, the criticisms are the worse. Even Steve Easterbrook, CEO of Mcdonald's UK, is noted for raising an eyebrow to the negative effects of gaming.

Also, if you want to educate the audience about a complicated product, this format is straight. Edutainment can provoke an interest in complicated features, by giving relevant rewards. I envision this working for companies like EMS and Northface. When I was looking for hiking boots for my trip to the Andie mountains, the different features and benefits could have easily drove me insane, if I wasn't already familiar with them. And, good luck getting the audience to recall a dozen features from an interstitial or banner ad. A BTW, ideally, can hold attentions long enough for retention of several product facets.

Above the Line (ATL) and Through the Line (TTL) games are two other formats. But I wanted to focus on BTL for now. Advergames are intriguing to me, so I'll certainly find myself writing future posts about them.
Read More!

Seth Godin on Online Traffic

This is an interesting post from Seth Godin's blog. Well, the post itself isn't interesting, but the links are. These two websites can compare traffic between sites: Complete.com and Quantcast. Read More!

Gapminder: Making World-Statistics Dynamic


Gapminder.org is creating dynamic quantitative-data from years of statistics.

I would love to see Pew Internet Research incorporate this method to explain some of the statistics on their website. Read More!