Tag Archives: google

big data is..

big-data-is

LOL – I remember seeing something similar for the term Web 2.0.

It is sad to see the phrase be completely ruined – needless to say I am a big proponent of the original concepts of Big Data and still think it is important for marketers and others alike.

Luckily those who understand the phrase continue to take advantage of the benefits 🙂 Communicating it clearly is now the challenge.

Related articles

Who are you?

In this newly social world (the digital one obviously..), the definition of contacts and friends has become blurred. With  Twitter’s follower mechanism, it is completely normal for someone you have never met to be following you.

As time goes by, Twitter feels like it is being used more and more as a broadcast tool as we make conscious decisions on whether to follow people back or not. The community aspect of Twitter seems to be diminishing. Partly this is because of the majority of newcomers joining Twitter are listeners rather than actively participating. That isn’t necessarily a problem for Twitter – I still believe Twitter is going in a very different direction to Facebook and its real utility is yet to be seen. Either that or it will plummet to its death. 🙂

Anyhow, I’d love to know my followers better and whilst that means I’ll have to take the effort to say hello, it would be much more pleasant to have a text box available when you click the follow button which allows you to introduce yourself (totally optional of course) allowing you to say what prompted the follow. Facebook had this back in the day and it was underused so they dropped it – but I see more value for this in the one-way connection world of Twitter.

Alternatively maybe we can create a culture on Twitter whereby on follow you introduce yourself using the standard @ reply..

Google continues to ignore email

This post originally appeared on the DMA Email Marketing Blog.

Google recently announced it is to close the long running Google Friends newsletter. Launching in 1998, whilst Google was still on Stanford’s servers it has been delivered monthly. That is until now. From next month, the newsletter will cease to exist because subscriber numbers had stalled. But a wider look at Google suggests it doesn’t pay much attention to using email as a channel to communicate with its users.

First, lets take a quick look at the Google Friends newsletter.

Google outgrew this newsletter a long time ago. Each month, the newsletter provided a mix of tips and news across Google’s vast array of products. One month it was Google Toolbar, a Daily puzzle, Google Docs, Earth Day and a power tip for Google Map Maker. Another month it was a power tip on Google Voice and news on Google Places, Youtube, Google Translate and a Doodle for Google contest.

Unless you were interested in everything Google, this newsletter was not for you.

There are perhaps a small niche of people that might like the vast array of news updates across the whole of Google. Given the size of Google, and Larry Page’s new more autonomous business unit approach. Collating and combining these centrally may just have become too expensive versus the benefits. Of course these are their most ardent fans, so ignoring them is an interesting approach.

Overall though, Google’s approach to email is scattered and unorganised at best.

Google pushes out a huge amount of information, highly targeted not just by product but also by country. You can find the full list here, it is truly impressive in scale. You can subscribe to receive this information via Twitter, Facebook, RSS and (of course) Google Buzz! Surprisingly there is no mention of email at all. Given the scale of email (3.1 billion email accounts – click for more stats), its ability to remind users of your products/features and persistently store your message so you can come back to it, not promoting email subscriptions seems like a lost opportunity. Sure, it can be misused but so can all channels.

Relying on Twitter or Facebook for Google updates can easily lead to missed updates as unless I spend all day watching for their updates (not likely!) or proactively remember to visit their profiles on these network, Google is merely hoping I catch their updates in my newsfeeds.  Further you cannot search the Facebook newsfeed at all and searching  Twitter only results in tweets going back a few days.

Subscribing via RSS is an option for me as I am a heavy RSS user, but the usage numbers are low generally especially with a mainstream audience. So low in fact, that the last metric I can find on RSS numbers is from 2005. A rather tiny 275m wordwide.

Finally there is Google Buzz! Is anyone still using Google Buzz?

So where is email? It is there, but to find it you have to click through on some of the blog links where you will sometimes bring up the option of subscribing via email. There is obviously no standardised approach to this. The Blogger buzz blog had it in the right sidebar, the Google Analytics blog doesn’t have it anywhere. It is hit and miss based on the template used.

Email is different.
Different channels offer different benefits. Twitter and Facebook are great for offering casual connections to brands. Brands you really want to hear from? Not so good. For those situations, email is the right tool for the job.

If you are spending all that time creating content, getting in front of as many people who want to read it would seem to be a good thing. People can always unsubscribe. Google even provides that service inside Gmail.