Riya – Can I get an Opt Out Option to Protect My Identity Please?

I am a fan of Riya and in particular of the great PR being generated, in an ethical manner, by Tara Hunt.  She is articulate and isn’t afraid of calling someone an "ass clown" when warranted.

But I do have an urgent request for Riya to help protect privacy.  I think an individual, perhaps a non-user, should be able to opt out of the sharing and feature set of Riya.  I should not have to register with the site to do this.  Just an option to say "hey – if two people upload their address books and I am in both, please don’t share the training and identification features."

RiyaaddressbookuploadconcernThis seems reasonable, right?  Just an option to exclude an individual based on their wishes.  The image at right was on the coverage page for Riya here.  And here is an excerpt that does concern me.

"Now, there is an even faster way to train Riya.

If you click on the auto training tab and let Riya analyze your address book.  Riya will determine which of the people you know have been trained by other friends and family.  If so, those people will be automatically recognized without you having to do any training at all."

I should be able to opt out of that. 

Good PR includes crisis communications, and crisis communication is MOSTLY about crisis prevention

If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion, ideally I’d like to hear the CEO talking about ensuring privacy every time he does a demo.  And I’d like a privacy link on the home page that talks, in plain language, about the importance of privacy for the company.  Then be sure to walk the talk. 

Two reasons why the above is so important.  1) I am not the only privacy nut on the Internet and it WILL turn into a crisis if not addressed proactively.  Just ask Sony.  2) If I were a competitor of Riya, this is where I would attack.  Not addressing privacy and security proactively is your open flank.  You have worked too hard to leave the opportunity open to spamming competitors.  Close the gap! 

Talk about privacy and let people opt out of others sharing their identity please.

Dallas AMA Web Marketing PPT slides are Posted

Horsesirvingtexas The Web Marketing PPTs for Web Marketing Made Simple ““ Maximizing Your Online ROI are posted on our main site for download here:

  1. Download ‘Web Marketing 101’ AMA Presentation
  2. Download ‘Blogs, RSS and More’ AMA Presentation
  3. Download ‘Why You Care About Online Growth’ Handout

A lot of this content still comes from the original Web Marketing Fundamentals article and it still has legs.  The web marketing message still resonates and many sites still don’t focus on creating a strong compelling marketing headline!

Marketingbudgetpiechart_1 The Marketing Budget Survey results pie chart with data from 2004 is interesting. Used in one of the opening slides for the AMA presentation, the goal was to emphasize the importance of a balanced approach.  We are pretty good at online marketing, yet we still do internal and external PR and sponsor advertising radio shows at times.  Marketing balance is good.

Dallas AMA Presentation on Web Marketing and SEO

Dallas In Dallas TX for a presentation for the Dallas Chapter of the American Marketing Association.  As a member of the AMA it is always an honor to present to the AMA!

AMA Web Marketing Made Simple ““ Maximizing Your Online ROI
Ed Schipul, Schipul – The Web Marketing Company

Fri 10-Feb-06 7:30 AM to Fri 10-Feb-06 9:30 AM

On the flip side, the main AMA site has unfortunately implemented an interstitial (read cheesy landing page a.la.flash.intro type page) http://www.marketingpower.com/welcome-interstitial.php

Why would the AMA have a splash landing page on the primary URL?  This is proven to reduce the conversion rate.  The wonders never cease.  Hopefully they will get back to marketing fundamentals and measure the response rates.

Update: AMA Dallas has multiple sites – this is the "real" version: http://www.dfwmarketing.org/ which has real content!

New but related marketing topic.  Whenever I travel, which is more frequently than I would like, I try to catch up on business podcasts.  For Immediate Release (On Podcast #110!) is a required podcast for me as well as The Advertising Show (TAS is a client as well, but I listened first – great stuff!)

Visual Angles and Adjacency in 3D Operating System Environment

3djavaosVia multi-talented artist Jason McElweenie (disclaimer – I work with Jason) – The image at right is a still from a video of a new 3D Java based Operating System.  It includes a cool method of visualizing the applications in 3 dimensions.

One of the big take aways from the Tufte seminars is the importance of adjacency.  By adjacency he simply means having content side by side as opposed to front to back.  Front to back by definition a sequential process (harder on the brain).  So the ideal situation would be a two high by three wide stacks of 30 inch high def monitors with all relevant content visible at all times.  So, for those of us who can’t afford 18k in monitors per user, the ability to angle windows is appealing.

More on adjacency from this American Communication Journal article on Visualization:

Tufte writes, "spatial parallelism takes advantage
        of our notable capacity to compare and reason about multiple images that
        appear simultaneously within our eyespan. We are able to canvass, sort,
        identify, reconnoiter, select, contrast, review ““ ways of seeing
        all quickened and sharpened by the direct spatial adjacency of parallel
        elements" (Tufte 1997:80).

Regarding the 3d operating system above, angling windows while the content is still active is very cool.  And I can see arranging my desktop like / / [X] \ \ \  where X is the active window and the \s and /s are other open applications angled to show up thin but with some adjacent visual content.

At one point in the operating system demo video the presenter flips an application window over entirely and writes on the back in sticky note fasion.  The act of flipping a window to take notes on the back does not make sense because you have gone right back to sequential use. Why?  By definition you are NOT looking at the front at the same time.  It isn’t adjacent, it is sequential, and sequential slows down visualization and therefore slows down human decision making.  And damnit we all want it RIGHT NOW! (whatever "it" is!)

I’d like to be able to “strike“ the edge of a window, like flint, and based on the strike it would create an adjacent sticky note.  That note would function similar to the comments in Excel but perhaps add in the translucence of the windows in the video.  So small strikes would appear on the border of the window and a hover, or moving the mouse close, would pop up the note.  Sharing these would be great as well.

I do recommend reviewing the 3D Java based Operating System video to get your mind going on visualization.  Cool ideas.  Thanks Jason!

On a related subject, this post on slashdot about a govt data sweep mentions the problems of understanding that huge amount of data and the possibility of using holograms to get a handle on it.

Technology for Communities – FullCircle Blog Organization Photo Set

Technology for Communities Flickr Set by Full Circle Online Interaction Blog. The images clearly took a lot of work and thought and would benefit many of our non profit clients in positioning their organizations.

Part of my focus on the process behind organizational acts of "organization" is from recent reading on rational, natural and open systems of organizations.  The concept of organizations-is-not-a-noun resonates and leaves us with "there is only the act of organizing over time".  Thus an open system

And be sure to read the post on Simon Pulman-Jones – Using Photographic Data to Build a Large-Scale Global Comparative Visual Ethnography of Domestic Spaces: Can a limited data set capture the complexities of “sociality"

Global Teen Culture Trends – Wired, Worldview, Global, Branded

You can blame my high school calculus teacher for making me read MegaTrends.  Via Chief Marketer:

Abercrombie_lifestyle_marketingSix Seismic Shifts in Global Teen Culture
By Chip Walker

1) Being wired: from an elite to a mainstream phenomenon
2) Worldview: from optimism to a great uneasiness
3) Success: from entitlement to self-activism
4) The new vanguard of cool: from “USA teens“ to “creatives“
5) Global brand leaders: from American brands to world brands
6) Brands: from brand status symbols to brand apathy

The image is of course from the great Abercrombie because we all want to be skinny half naked people.  Or something like that…

Also note that the Intelligence Group just released their latest Cassandra Report on youth trends.

Pink for President – This isn’t about PR

PinkstupidgirlspresidentThis isn’t about PR unless you count word-of-mouth marketing as public relations.  My daughter recently stacked a bunch of "reject" CDs from the 90s.  Being the culturally curious person that I am I picked up the entire stack and put them in my car (OK, minivan, whatever) for "testing" (ahem).

Based on my scientific research I can tell you that the Backstreet Boys are better than N’Sync and that Pink is under rated.  Yes, that Pink.  Listen to This is My Vietnam a few times and you will see what I mean.  So previously I had Pink mentally grouped with Madonna, Brittney and Christina based on the pop-singles I heard.  Now she seems more like a pissed off white version of Tracy Chapman – and that is a good thing.


Visualization of Social Issues – Block by Block and Random Visuals

Cadoracharles_swartzVia this post on we-make-money-not-art, to the left is an awesome map indicating the cost, by block, of incarceration.  The map is a graphic by Eric Cadora and Charles Swartz helps you understand visually the expense of lack of education and incarceration.

The artists clearly thought about visual representation and included source data (Tufte emphasizes source for legitimacy regardless of authenticity).

On the flip side, the actual project web site is close to unusable with all links launching frames without an address bar.  What were they thinking?

If you force the issue with "open in new window" you can dig down into additional graphics on social issues like this one, or this one

F_kurgan_tlyang_sp05_06While the visuals are compelling, I am not sure about how intuitive the communication of issues is for a user who is not motivated to review and read the legend at length.

This design does require the user to work and renders the information secondary to the display, which is not an ideal result.

Knowledge versus Information Literacy

"Knowledge is power, not
  mere argument or ornament." – Francis Bacon (link)

which of course begs the question of "how do you get knowledge"?  Which leads to:

"Knowledge acquisition is the process of absorbing and storing new information in memory, the success of which is often gauged by how well the information can later be remembered, or retrieved from memory." – Danielle S. McNamara and Tenaha O’Reilly

which is why this is a good idea.

Exam measures students’ ‘information literacy’
Friday, February 3, 2006; Posted: 9:38 a.m. EST (14:38 GMT)

(AP) — When it comes to downloading music and instant messaging, today’s students are plenty tech-savvy. But that doesn’t mean they know how to make good use of the endless stream of information that computers put at their fingertips.

Educators and employers call those skills "technology literacy," and while everyone agrees it’s important to have, it also is difficult to measure.

Now a test that some high school students will begin taking this year could help.

The ICT Literacy Assessment touches on traditional skills, such as analytical reading and math, but with a technological twist. Test-takers, for instance, may be asked to query a database, compose an e-mail based on their research, or seek information on the Internet and decide how reliable it is. (more)

Intuitively we all know this already.  Ever watch someone who doesn’t know how to construct a query in google?  It’s almost painful to watch them typing and even more painful to watch them blame the application for the unexpected results.  Which is why we need to teach technology literacy. 

On a side note, why doesn’t CNN accept track backs?  Come on folks, join the conversation!

Keyword Density of Presidential State of the Union Addresses 1996 to 2006

The political graphs below are word counts of interesting words and phrases from Presidential State of the Union speeches from 1996 to 2006.  This is mostly an exercise in political keyword density calculations and fun with graphs.  I manually added similar terms like "Iraq" and "Iraqi" or "terrorist" and "terrorists" (note the "s") in the Excel file.


This first graph compares Iraq vs Terrorist vs Saddam vs Al Qaeda.

The method was to locate a web based version of primarily text (print view in this case) from the state of the union addresses.   The date range was 10 years and includes both the Bush presidency and a portion of Clinton’s presidency.  The range was an arbitrary decision. 

I was able to find the last five years (Bush) state of the union addresses on whitehouse.gov but prior to that found the remaining speeches at http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/sou.php.  As a result, there are some differences in the data from other text on the HTML pages.  To really repeat this micro-study you would want to isolate the content without any navigation or reference links.

Sousocialprogramskeywords This graph shows a variety of terms related to social services including; tax (es), Health, economy, budget, social security, medicare, retirement

I do suggest that speech writers and public relations professionals run their content through keyword density generators to verify they are ON MESSAGE.  Yes clearly the content should be written in natural language that focuses on your political objective, but it doesn’t hurt to hit a link to verify how google views your content.

The full Excel file with the graphs and source data is posted below if you want to remix it or double check the content.  Be sure to check all of the tabs with the pasted versions of the SEO keywords.

Download schipul_state_of_the_union_keywords.xls

And here are the links to the state of the union speeches by date.

23-Jan-96 SoU, 4-Feb-97 SoU, 27-Jan-98 SoU, 19-Jan-99 SoU, 27-Jan-00 SoU, 27-Feb-01 SoU, 29-Jan-02 SoU, 28-Jan-03 SoU, 20-Jan-04 SoU, 2-Feb-05 SoU, 31-Jan-06 SoU

SouparsingtoolAnd speaking of visualization, while researching this post I came across the State of the Union Parsing tool which has some nice visualization as well.  Definitely worth a visit if you are into the whole politics crossed with search engine optimization and messaging thing.

GM Advertisements in Newlywed Section of the Houston Chronicle

General Motors "fun and games" with fake wedding listings in the Houston Chronicle today.  A bit early for April Fool’s and at first the announcements seem real and the ad placement very out of place.  But a quick reading of the text for the engaged couples reveals snarky text with a very ad copywriter sense of humor.

Gmadvertorialchroniclewedannounce1 Gmadvertorialchroniclewedannounce2

Gmadvertorialchroniclewedannounce3The copy starts:

The Chevy family is proud to announce the marriage of Fuel Efficiency and Power.  The ceremony took place in the Vortec V8 engine, where the couple first met.  They will be making their home in the all new 2007 Chevy Tahoe.  It is a first marriage for both.

Both the bride and groom are graduates of the full-size SUV class with Fuel Efficiency receiving honrs for getting EPA est. 22 MPG Highway.  Power’s achievements include 320 horsepower and 340 lb-ft of torque. <more – check images>

The above ad was at first, before catching the fact that everything was faked, surprising.  What remains funny is that in the same issue of the Chronicle there is an editorial from the Sierra Club (the Sierra Club???) advocating bailing out the big three automakers subject to fuel efficiency improvements.  Go figure.  First power marries fuel efficiency, although the latter can’t get it up past 22, and now the Sierra Club wants to marry GM.

Behavioral Insider on gameVertising

GrandtheftautoThis weeks "Behavioral Insider" has an interesting interview on in-game advertising from a behavioral perspective.  The post by Kate Kayte interviews Ilya Vedrashko from MIT

Some excerpts:

BI: Do you have ideas for behavioral targeting that you’re not seeing

Vedrashko: One thing I don’t see anybody looking at is
so-called "cluster visits." I’m sure somebody has built this out, but I haven’t
seen a discussion [about this] yet. When you go online each morning, how many
Web sites do you visit consistently? It’s probably no more than a dozen. So, for
me it would probably be CNN, The Drudge Report, the news sites I visit every
day. The way to serve advertising would be to look at these clusters and serve
advertising on Drudge Report, after [I] visit CNN, that would enhance the
experience that [I] got from CNN’s advertising. So, for example, if CNN serves
an ad for a car, then The Drudge Report would know [I’ve] already seen this ad
and they would serve the ad for the same car but with a different twist, knowing
my prior behavior.

followed up by this which, in my humble opinion, plays into the Gimore Gang’s obsession with attention.

BI: How do you foresee companies enabling that, without
having, say, those two Web sites–The Drudge Report and CNN–within the same ad

Vedrashko: Every Webmaster already has all the
information necessary to make some sort of decision. The problem is this
information is not being shared across the board. So, The Drudge Report knows
its own statistics but it doesn’t know CNN’s.

BI: But what’s the incentive for Drudge Report to share
their information? Most of these sites are really proprietary and they don’t
want to share their information with anybody, and that’s definitely something
that behavioral targeting technology companies have been up against.

Vedrashko: Maybe the pricing model changes, and
advertisers realize they don’t have to pay for meaningless, wasted impressions;
they really want to pay for targeted impressions. That would put pressure on the
publishers to start cooperating.

The full post for MediaPost is here. (soul sucking reg required)