Marketing and Advertising Insight Blogs

There are many blogs that consistently offer insights into the ever-changing marketing landscape. Here are a few that I visit (via RSS) regularly:

  • MIT Adverlab. He keeps up with the oddities of new advertising (not always politically correct)
  • Seth Godin. Nuff said. A relentless self-promoter, he nevertheless always brings value to the table
  • Aaron Wall’s SEObook. The best source for developments in legitimate white hat web marketing. His focus is on quality over spammy techniques and his constantly updated eBook is a must read if you’re doing SEO/SEM
  • Gaping Void. Hugh is an ex-pat US cartoonist and marketer living in London who draws cartoons on the back of business cards- you’ll see them all over the blogosphere.
  • ProBlogger. The wild world of making a living as a blogger.
  • CopyBlogger. If you’re writing for online readers this is a must read.
  • Matt Cutts. He is the ‘Voice of Google’ somewhat like the ‘Mouth of Sauron‘ (sorry Matt, couldn’t resist)
  • Read/WriteWeb. Respected POV on all things web.

Enjoy- it’s a busy world out there…

Partial movie review: Helvetica

Helvetica Movie PosterTwo-thousand seven marks the 50th anniversary of Helvetica, and what better way to celebrate the birth of a classic typeface than making a feature-length film about it.

Director Gary Hustwit‘s documentary, Helvetica, explores the history of the world’s most common typeface as well as the important role it has played in shaping our culture. The film, which cuts from interviews of prominent designers and typographers to dozens of examples of Helvetica on signage, buildings and advertisements, provides an understanding of how important, and often unnoticed, typefaces such as Helvetica are to our everyday lives. In fact, it’s difficult to even drive a mile and not see at least 30 different typographic ‘voices’ surrounding you on all sides. What this movie ultimately aims to do is to investigate how the simplest of Swiss typefaces has endured as one of the most popular ways to communicate the written word 50 years after it was designed, as well as discuss the overall influence of type, design and technology.

Designers are almost obligated to watch this movie. Even if all it does is strengthen their disdain for Helvetica and the blandness of Modernism, it can be a good way to start up a dialogue with colleagues and fellow designers and find out which side of the love/hate line they put themselves. I think even people who simply know Helvetica as one of the default fonts on their PC will definitely walk away from this movie with some good insight into how typography and design in general affects the way in which we interpret the things we read and the decisions we make in life.

More info on the film and the typeface can be found on the Helvetica Film website.

Why the Microsoft/aQuantive deal is different than the Google/DoubleClick deal

This is not the same as Google buying Doubleclick because aQuantive includes actual creative-producing agencies (Avenue A/Razorfish) which puts MS in direct competition with the agencies that buy its search ads. They are going to catch flack if they don’t divest the agency-like pieces of the business pronto. If Google started buying agencies there would be a major freakout in the advertising world. It will be interesting to see how this flies.

The speculation (free registration required but worth it if you’re interested in media issues) has begun.

Google Universal Search: The results are changing

Yesterday Google announced an entirely new thing: Google Universal Search Results. This means that when you do a search on Google you don’t just get web sites in your search results page- you get related video, audio, images and blogs along with web sites. This is a really big deal, IMHO, because it means that Google now equally values this content. By ‘equally values’ I mean that as long as the content is available on the Internet and relevant Google will serve it up to you. This probably means that traditional web sites are losing their place as the prime repositories of information on the web.

I’ve been watching the blogosphere and blogging for awhile now. I visit 20-30 sites daily to keep up on my profession (online marketing) and most of them (95%) are blogs, not traditional web sites. They change daily which reflects the real nature of information which is not static- it flows. Sites that are static repositories of information are on the way out as we need to understand the flow of information rather than a set of facts.

So what does this mean to those of us creating information on the Internet? It means that your business needs dynamic content that reflects the rapid changes you and your customers are experiencing. This dynamic content might be on a web site but it equally may reside in a YouTube video, an iTunes podcast, a blog, a widget, a mobile phone, etc. Google recognizes this and has made it mainstream by including all of these media in their search results. We all need to reevaluate our online communication strategies in light of this development.

Here’s the Google blog on how to take advantage of universal search.

ReadWriteWeb has an excellent analysis of the Universal Search features.

Video Conferencing Gets Real (how much will we save on travel costs?)

John Battelle reviews HP’s new Halo super high tech conferencing system and it looks pretty cool. You sit in a room designed for the system, at a normal (sorta) conference table with three big screens across from you and a fourth above them. The lower screens have other people on them apparently sitting at the same table, in the same room (hence the specially designed rooms). The fourth screen offers content sharing and meeting management tools. Battelle says the experience is uncanny- he completely forgot that the other people were in three other locations by the end of the meeting.

Very expensive now but he (and I) can imagine many scenarios (airports, hotels, Kinkos) where a room with a Halo system could be rented. This could have a huge effect on the travel industry (negative I’m afraid) but for the rest of us it could be a lifesaver.

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