The StumbleUpon Audience, Visualized

This is a visualization of StumbleUpon’s internet audience by topic:

I made it using ManyEyes, which might be the most amazing thing in the world, and StumbleUpon’s list of ad topics.

Steve Jobs on Brand Marketing

PayWithaTweet: Social Commerce for Content

I wanted to use PayWithaTweet.

So I made a Google Analytics Cheat Sheet, and I put it on my agency’s blog with PayWithaTweet. I asked my boss to tweet it (because he is famous on the internet), and the cheat sheet went viral – more than 200 people tweeted it.

(You can see the bit.ly information page. Tweets go off bit.ly’s (BackType’s, technically) radar in 48 hours, so you’ll only see the most recent. I would’ve used RowFeedr for tracking if I did it again.)

Now I’ve written a case study about PayWithaTweet – specifically, the search engine effects, but there’s something in there for everyone – for YouMoz.

The interesting thing about PayWithATweet is that it influences search engines – so if you were clever, you could create an almost self-perpetuating viral loop, with the visitors arriving via search engine and Paying With a Tweet, only to raise search engine rank further. It’s definitely worth playing with. (And you can get tons of social traffic too.)

Even if you’re not an SEO, you’ll still like it. I hope.

The (Tweetable) Wisdom of Patio11

Patrick McKenzie, aka Patio11, is one of my favorite business/marketing authors. Patrick introduces himself as a “software engineer from central Japan” but he’s one of the savviest marketers and businessmen out there.

(In many ways, his introduction of himself as a “software engineer from Central Japan” enables him to build audiences that would never listen to him if he described himself as a “marketer/SEO/coder”. Remember, the best salespeople never appear to be salespeople.)

I’ve collected some of my favorite Patio11 quotes – hopefully this will introduce you to one of my favorite marketers in an easy-to-consume way.

From his Business of Software speech entitled “Hello Ladies”

The software didn’t get written about because software is fundamentally boring.

Google is a company that does what it does for its users – it makes its users sound intelligent.

Are you in the software business? No. That’s just the monetization engine for the emotion business.

What your customers value isn’t software, it’s a change in the life they are living.

Your software is boring. The customer is interesting, so show the customer on your website.


From his Interview with Gabriel Weinberg


I am totally OK with Matt Cutts looking at my sites… my site gives you exactly what you’re looking for.

(quote was slightly paraphrased to fit into 140 characters.)

You’ve heard this term “remnant inventory”. If Upton Sinclair were writing about the Internet, it is what he’d write about.

The first thing anyone learns in A/B testing is that everything you know is wrong.

Google Analytics treats everything as a page view. If you want to track anything else, you have to write a lot of Javascript.

(On the linkerati) People on Hacker News probably have an average of 6.2 blogs per person. They link out to things very frequently.


From Patio11’s Blog, Kalzumeus.com


There is a pernicious myth among startups that SEO is a black art aimed at perverting the purity of the search results.

SEO is, at competitive levels, mostly about link acquisition.

You should figure out exactly what you hope to get for from SEO. ”Rankings” is not an acceptable answer.

Display advertising is, essentially, search advertising’s less talented brother.

Nobody blogs “Hey guys, I saw an awesome sales letter today, check it out” and if they do you probably don’t want their attention

The first cut of your SEO strategy will be wrong, just like v1.0 of your product will be non-responsive to the needs of your users.

Patrick has also been interviewed by SEO mastermind Ross Hudgens, in an interview that focuses almost exclusively on SEO.

Make sure you check out Patrick’s companies –
Bingo Card Creator, which helps teachers create bingo cards
and
Appointment Reminder, which helps service providers keep their appointments.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider upvoting it on Hacker News.

How to Get 1%+ CTR on Facebook Ads

Facebook Advertising is the great untapped marketing medium of the current day. You can target users by almost any imaginable demographic or interest slice – if you want to target 45-year-old women in Indiana who like Victoria’s Secret, you can. (There are, in fact, 80 people you can reach with this targeting setting.)

The next huge direct marketing company will be based around this level of targeting. Just like QVC depended on cable and Quinnstreet depended on Google, the next direct marketing giant will be based on these facebook ads. Debatably, this has already happened with Groupon.

However, the average Facebook ad has a click-thru rate of .051 percent. The average CTR of a conventional banner ad is 0.09%. All this targeting, and no improvement over conventional banner ads?

This is pitiful. And this is because, frankly, marketers are doing it wrong.

Marketers, Y U NO target facebook ads right

Enter the Targeting Dragon

Marty Weintraub is the Facebook Ads targeting expert. He runs an agency called AimClear, and recently presented at SMX Advanced about advanced Facebook targeting tactics. While I can’t post his presentation here, it was awesome.

Marty has found that you can get more than a 1% CTR with appropriate targeting:


Yes RT @trevorjgeorge: @aimclear have you ever gotten a 1.0+% CTR with fbook ads? Just curious…less than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply



@brianchappell Actually the 1% FB Ads CTR ad was picture of a burger, served to 45 year old males interested in AAless than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

That’s pretty amazing. Marty also says you can sell birth control to people who like “Drinking” or “Drunken Weekends”, and Jaguars to people who like Rolexes.

Marty Weintraub has a book coming out about Facebook Ads – I will definitely be picking up a copy.

Have you used FB Ads? What’s worked for you? What hasn’t?

Most Popular Browsers on Grattisfaction

I’m always curious about the web capabilities of the visitors to my blog.

The most popular browsers in the last month were:

Most popular web browsers on Grattisfaction for May - June

Most popular web browsers on Grattisfaction for May - June

Trends and Insights

- Internet Explorer is dramatically underrepresented, and Chrome, Firefox, and Safari are dramatically over-represented. I attribute this to the heavily technical crowd my blog draws.
(See Pingdom’s post on Browser market share here.)
- Rockmelt and Camino visitors come to the site. These browsers are so rare in the market today they are not represented in most browser market share statistics. Again, I attribute this to the technical/early adopter audience my blog draws.
- There is absolutely no need to support IE6 or other early browsers on my site.
- Conversely, technologies that only support later browsers (like HTML5) could be used quite successfully here.

3 Great Off-the-Radar Blogs

I love finding great blogs – especially blogs outside my area of focus. I believe marketers can learn a great deal from user experience researchers, behavioral economists, computer scientists, and many other academic disciplines. Broad knowledge can be a competitive advantage – having multiple ways to approach a problem will enable you to outthink your competition.

A Computer Scientist in a Business School

As the title suggests, this blog is the notes of Panos Ipeirotis, an associate professor at the Stern School of Business at NYU. He has a computer science background, rather than conventional business or operations research training. (The URL of his blog is behind-the-enemy-lines.blogspot.com, which is an interesting commentary itself.)
Professor Ipeirotis writes about crowdsourcing and applying economic theory to consumer science. He’s also done some really interesting research on the behavioral economics of product reviews.

Reaction Wheel

Jerry Neumann is a New York City-based venture capitalist, focusing on advertising technology. The essays on Reaction Wheel are about advertising, technology, history, the venture industry, and philosophy. Anyone who can effortlessly connect David Ogilvy to FA Hayek to David Hume to architectural technology innovation is a must-read in my book.

Tamara Adlin

I had the pleasure of listening to Tamara Adlin speak at the recent SMX Advanced conference, and I really enjoyed her “no holds barred” approach to usability and customer experience. It turns out she writes an awesome blog, complete with bad words and great insights.
Tamara writes about personas and user experience – UX to the initiated. Turns out she did usability and UX work at Amazon.com – which is so usable it seems to just suck money out of my pocket as if my magic.
Reading her blog gives you new tools to understand how customers interact with your site or product, and better yet, new goals to shoot for in customer experience. Highly recommended.

Understanding Older Organizations and Technology Adoption

As entrepreneurs and technologists, we always want to use the latest, whiz-bang tool.

Whether it’s mobile, social, location, SEO, or augmented reality, if it’s new and cool, we want it.

By contrast, many established organizations (and established operating executives) adopt technology when they have to. Frequently, it’s not a fun process, and people feel threatened by new channels and new ways of thinking.

Given the number of companies that give marketers new ways of reaching audiences (or measuring and optimizing messages’ effectiveness), it’s important that we understand how established organizations view new channels.

Enter Glieber’s Dresses by Kevin Hillstrom. Kevin writes the phenomenal Mine That Data blog. He has a deep direct marketing background but really “gets” the internet. Not the pundit blogosphere – but the real commercial potential of ‘our thing.’

Glieber’s Dresses is a series of stories about a staid direct-mail dress company trying to thrive in a world of Google, Groupon, Facebook, Twitter, iPhones and Androids. As you can guess, the company wins some and loses some.

Read Glieber’s Dresses by Kevin Hillstrom.

The conversations in these meetings are eerily accurate, which is the best thing about this series. Everyone in marketing or technology can learn from these.

(I haven’t found a good way to order the posts in reverse chronological order. If you figure out how, please share in the comments.)

4 Interviews Every Entrepreneur Should Watch

I’ve watched a lot of videos lately, and I’ve found four that are particularly worthwhile.

David Susskind Interviews David Ogilvy

David Ogilvy is (debatably) one of the best advertisers of all time. I think the most interesting thing about this interview is when Ogilvy talks about all the movies he hasn’t seen. Greatness requires sacrifice.

Charlie Rose Interviews Andrew Mason

Andrew Mason is a hilarious, incredibly effective entrepreneur who built one of the fastest growing businesses in modern history out of an email newsletter. His unique approach to having fun at work, experimentation, and customer centric innovation is the key take away from this video.

Mark Suster Interviews Dave McClure

Dave McClure is an amazing marketer and venture capitalist. (Mark Suster is pretty good at both of those things too.) Specifically, Dave has a fascinating approach to marketing and 500 startups’ 3 D’s – design, distribution, and data.

Jason Calcanis interviews Matt Coffin

Matt Coffin founded LowerMyBills.com, one of the first online lead gen companies. His approach to venture capital, arbitrage, and customer acquisition is very insightful.

Do you have any favorite videos? Leave a comment…

Review of the Nightwave Sleep Assistant

Like a lot of people, I have trouble falling asleep at night. I attribute this to three major factors:

  • I have lots of exciting, interesting thoughts that keep me awake night
  • I consume enough caffeine to kill lesser creatures
  • My cheap apartment is noisy at night

Introducing: The NightWave Sleep Assistant

The Nightwave Sleep Assitant does help you fall asleep, but it’s rather expensive for a device with such limited functionality.
Nightwave Sleep Assistant
Date published: 03/06/2011
4 / 5 stars

When I read the The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss, he wrote about a device called the Nightwave Sleep Assistant, which promised sleep in less than 7 (count ‘em, 7) minutes. Tim wasn’t 100% positive about the device, but he recommended it.

I purchased a Nightwave Sleep Assistant, and used it for the past few weeks. If you have trouble falling asleep, you should consider getting one as well.

Features of the Nightwave Sleep Assistant

The device has a blue light that slowly pulses. You align your breathing to the pulsing of the blue light. The pulsing slows down. Your breathing slows down too. You become very sleepy from meditative breathing. You fall asleep. Life is good.

There’s both a 7 minute cycle and a 25 minute cycle. If you’re not tired, the 25 minute cycle is for you. If you’re already sleepy, the 7 minute cycle should be just fine.

The device can also function as a (very blue) flashlight and meditative aid to align your heartbeat to 60 bpm. I have little use for these features, but someone might.

I’ve found the sleep I fall into to be more restful and refreshing than sleep I simply fall into through exhaustion.

If you’re still interested in the Nightwave, you can check it out on Amazon:

Startup Idea: Sleep Assistant Software

It seems to me that the major flaws with the Nightwave Sleep Assistant are both that it a) costs $50 and b) is a separate device. I already have something next to my bed that can give off light and is highly programmable – my smartphone. (I use an iPhone 3GS, but I imagine almost any phone could do this.) This is a device that could easily be replaced by software.

I don’t know if you can make a smartphone backlight pulse – the Nightwave’s light intensity pattern seems to be a sine wave – but if you sold this for $3 and marketed it appropriately, you could make some decent money off the app revolution. Not venture capital-interesting money, but you could probably buy a used car. (If mobile developers in the audience could comment on the viability of this, I’d be happy to answer any questions about the operation of the Sleep Assistant. I could probably help you market it too, but that’s a separate discussion.)

Update September 8th 2011: I’ve spoken with some developers about this, and it’s not that feasible (on the iPhone at least) with the APIs exposed in iOS5. It’s probably still doable, but you’d have to use some of the private APIs, which wouldn’t make it thru AppStore approval. If anyone knows what these constraints are like on Android, please let me know.

(Disclosure: Links are affiliate links.)