Inspiration and information


Google & Facebook bypass Apple security to track users even when cookies are turned off : Interesting to note that this opens the potential that Google & Facebook have some of the most accurate targeting available as they have a more complete data source. It also raises the question of security with regards to digital devices

Youtube invests in Hollywood content producers to increase original content : A sign that Youtube is trying to broaden its appeal and become more engrained in daily life

Why some ads go viral and others don’t : Good top-line analysis of what makes content spread by Harvard Business Review

Social Personalisation and the doppelganger effect : An interesting analysis of the psychological impact of placing a consumer within advertising –


The Psychology of colour : A worthwhile read for anyone interested in design of any kind

How cities will drive global change & innovation : A very inspiring look at the way cities are driving innovation and improvement through data and interconnectivity


A great post I just had to share

I don’t usually post up straight links to other peoples content, however I really think Matt Dickman absolutely nailed this article. It explains plain and simply the idea of calculating an ROI figure based on non transactional websites. Definitely useful to help explain the value of traffic to clients that just don’t really have a greasp on digital yet.

Maximizing ROI: content as commerce

Read it.

Working towards true accountability

Online media is often touted as being a completely accountable medium, however I would disagree, online is certainly more accountable than above the line, and the availability of metrics allows marketers and their agencies access to a bevy of data that they previously only dreamed of. However a major issue for me personally (and I would hope others also) is that a lot of these metrics designed to bring about clarity only really serve to cloud the waters further.

Let’s look at some common metrics and the associated issue that I personally see.

Impressions – Impressions are deceptive because if your ad serves below the fold then your ad may in fact never have met eyeballs, yet it counts the same as an ad that is front and centre. (This extend through to some of the rich media engagement metrics which I will look at a bit later)

Clicks – Clicks are deceptive in that when a client pays for a click they assume they are paying for traffic to their sites, however I have seen drop offs of in excess of 50% of clicks not landing on the assigned landing page. This means that although a user clicked on a banner they closed the browser that opened before it had time to load the landing page.

Unique Browsers/Users – Here is a term that is much hated by many in the industry. It is entirely inaccurate, but with that said no more so than any of the metrics applied to above the line media. The primary arguments here are around cookie deletion and users who browse on multiple computers. These combined factors mean that the unique reach metric is actually a rather soft one.

And moving on to some of the engagement metrics that rich media is reporting we see similar issues to those listed above.

Rich media time on screen – This is that same as an impression, however the name is deceptive because it is counting the time on page, not on screen. You could spend 20 minutes on the top half of a screen while an ad you can’t see is counting this as “on screen” time.

Finding a solution to these issues isn’t going to be easy and it isn’t going to come anytime soon. For one thing I think if we found a way to only cookie users to whom the ad actually displayed on screen it would face serious opposition from publishers as it would drastically reduce their available inventory.

I know Ben Shepherd talks about the issues surrounding the streamlining of online measurement and it’s relationship with above the line measurement frequently over at Talking Digital but what are your thoughts on this? Has anyone heard of a technology that allows for a cookie to drop only when an ad is visible to a user?

2 months on how is Last.FM going?

2 months ago, April 22nd to be precise, Last.FM switched over to a payment model. This, I would imagine would have had a significant effect on their traffic, but lets have a look at what Nielsen have to say.

Last.FM UB's

According to Nielsen NetView Last.FM actually saw their most significant monthly increase since September of 08. I am unsure of whether this is a result of increased interest due to news of the payment model being introduced or whether they have invested in some paid media to drive traffic. Either way I would be very interested to know how the uptake in membership has been given the vast array of competing services that still offer free access (not to mention the vast amount of online users who simply pirate their music).

Does anyone have any figures around Last.FM’s paid vs free membership levels in Australia?

The Hidden Park

The Hidden Park
As a general rule, I find that 90% of augmented reality is unnecessarily difficult (e.g. you point it at a print out and you see a character etc) and offers little in the way of true value to the user. So I was extremely please to stumble across The Hidden Park this morning.

The Hidden Park utilises GPS to overlay a magical park map over your location. Users are then taken on a journey through the game and can utilise the iPhones camera function to take aug. reality photos. The game is aimed to get kids out of the house, outside and interacting.

I have not yet had the chance to have a full play with this game, but from an advertiser perspective it shows what is capable utilising both GPS and Augmented reality technology. If an advertiser were a good fit this technology could be used to provide an amazing level of value to consumers, especially if we can extend the execution across platforms.

The secret to technological success: Embracing the porn industry

I was having a conversation today with Mal and we were discussing the massive role pornography has played in shaping the acceptance of technology.

This is by no means a new finding people have commented for years on the continuing influence porn has had on mainstream acceptance of technologies, from the VHS vs Beta battle of the 1970’s to the emergence of DVD and the uptake of use of the internet, once confined to governments and university geeks. Would these technologies still have achieved their massive level of uptake had the adult-film industry not embraced them? The odds are that DVD and the internet would still have emerged, however it certainly would have taken a lot longer (which means the human race owes the adult-film industry a great debt for assisting our technological development).

The learning we can take from this is that if you are a technology platform and you want to increase your chance of success aim to please the adult-film industry and aid mainstream society in their ability to access and interact with the adult material they produce. I would wager that if a mainstream search engine returned fairly average results for normal search activity but delivered stellar results for “free porn” style search then they would have a great uplift in their non-adult search activity as a direct correlation.

The irony in all of this, of course, is that society at large pretends to be sickened and disgusted by pornography, they try to block and ban it. Yet we know that, even now, the large majority of search activity is adult based searches.

What are your thoughts? If you a technology developer, have you considered directly contacting someone in the adult-film industry and seeing how you can help them address some of their needs?

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Every time I see the above message one thought springs to mind, “Why?”

If I were trying to access some type of beast on girl pornography or a site where they pay homeless people in meth to fight each other with rusty blades then I could understand, but I’m not. I’m trying to access normal everyday sites (such as blogs, entertainment sites and media agencies sites) that for some reason don’t meet the requirements of an internet policy. I have experienced this across a variety of workplaces and it always baffles.

Now, harking back to the interwebs of the 1990’s and indeed the early 2000’s I can understand this, the webs was a scary place to go surfing there were many sharks in them there seas and we all had to be scared all the time. Plus there was the matter of speed, connections were slower and a few websites using only a few MB’s was a significant drain.

And you know what, if you work for a day care centre or a government department I can still understand this added degree of paranoia, after all better safe than sorry, but when you’re in an adult workplace where access to the internet is an integral part of your job one would think we should have moved past this.

The primary reason I don’t think global policies make sense is that they do not account for cultural differences and as such may misinterpret portions of sites in other countries. It would make much more sense to write policies country by country based around the needs of the business is that country.

What are your thoughts on these global policies? Have you found them a hindrance when researching or doing work?