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Posts Tagged ‘Data’

Earlier this week, the networking geniuses at Cisco released a white paper report that predicts global internet traffic will grow four times larger by 2013.  That means IP traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 40%.  To put that in perspective, that new traffic level equals ten billion DVD’s crossing the internet each month.  Said more colloquially, that is a damned crapload of data and content.  Moreover, nearly two-thirds of that content is predicted to be video.  By 2013, anyone interested in watching all the online video crossing the network in one day would need roughly twenty thousand years.  That’s a lot of keyboard cat...

Sure, We're Wired For That

Sure, We're Wired For That...Probably

And a whole lot of everything else.  Which quickly becomes a problem.  When you have that large an audience generating that much content, useful information gets lost in sheer volume.  We know this from experience.  Think of Twitter.  If you’re like us (@Element79), you compulsively follow everyone who follows you.  The problem with that philosophy is that some of your followers are officially spammers while others tweet so relentlessly they make themselves defacto spammers.  The net result is too much garbage in and a far less useful experience.  Easy access to high volumes of raw, unfettered data frequently leads to ‘analysis paralysis’ where whomever gathers the thinking becomes overwhelmed with the feeling that they are never done, that they never have all the best sources. Unless you turn data into information, it’s simply noise.

That’s why programmers should be obsessed with developing software that discriminates, filters, and discerns.  Too much information doesn’t inspire, it overwhelms.  Even worse, too much poor quality information actively turns people away.  As the volume of collective-thinking continues it’s exponential expansion rate, we will need more tools to strip away the extraneous and the irrelevant.

Growth can be incredibly awkward–and I have the teenage photos to prove that–but a little bit of advance planning can smooth the transition.  What’s needed now are the right brains on tools to intelligently judge worthy information and winnow away the chaff.  What’s needed soon is the grand promises of Web 3.0.

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79

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Consider the word “Comportment:” one of those dusty, remainder bin nouns on par with dated terms like “dungarees” and “sarsaparilla.”  On those very rare occasions when people use this term today, it refers to some sort of dated propriety, a finishing school bearing usually cited with a tall helping of irony.

And yet, marketers would serve their clients well to consider how comportment online and offline affects their client brands.  In a world that enables quicksilver consumer reaction to every brand and action, how companies communicate can be as important as what they communicate.

Unintentional Collateral Damage

Unintentional Collateral Damage

This nineteenth century word popped up this morning when my wife groused “I hate Netflix.”  That seemed odd.  We no longer subscribe, though we did for a while (of course, this was before discovering the wonders of $1 DVD rentals through one of the 12,000 amazingly convenient RedBox locations: not coincidentally, a valued agency client).  It turns out, whenever she clicks the main browser window closed on Safari, she finds the same Netflix banner behind it, forcing her to click that window closed as well.  Not a major issue, but since it happens time and again, it frosts her pumpkin.

As I reset her preferences to thwart pop-up windows, I thought about how oblivious Netflix must be to this unintended impression.  And how dangerous that kind of thoughtlessness can be when multiplied over the millions of impressions that happen online.  While advertisers should think of the web as a vast data engine, they should also realize that it is an intimate communications platform.   So behaving like an uninvited guest and refusing to leave won’t build your brand.

Sometimes, cheap media can really cost you.

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79

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Don't Talk, Read...

Don't Talk, Read...

Our office building elevators feature small TV screens run by the Captivate Network: an outfit dedicated to delivering ad messages on, well, small TV screens on office building elevators.  Among useful things like Donny Osmond’s birthday and the Blackhawks standing in the NHL Western Conference, Captivate delivers various news and human interest items rendered into pithy headlines.

This morning, I learned that U.S. Consumer Confidence Hit A Record Low.  Oh boy.  Then later this afternoon, I learned that after the stock market bottomed out in 1932, it rebounded 92% in less than two months.  This was meant to encourage investors to keep vigilant so they don’t miss the bounce of recovery.  I didn’t know these facts before reading them, but neither hit me as particularly remarkable.  They were just facts, data.

I realize ours is the information age.  We average nearly 12,000 Google searches per second, so clearly we have access to unprecedented amounts of information.  But are we truly smarter?  We seem to know a lot about effect, but it takes far more incisive thinking to understand cause.  With this much information spilling over the dam into our personal consciousness’, can we honestly expect to be capable of rendering it all into useful data?  

Agencies must deal with this everyday.  According to Netcraft, as of November 2008, over 185,ooo,ooo websites crowded the world wide web.  Today on WordPress alone, 44 million words were added to the blogosphere.  And it is our job to navigate through this digital thicket in pursuit of insights and actions.

The real value is not all this data, all this chatter, all this raw thinking.  The real value is converting it into actionable information.  The agencies of the future will be the ones that do this not most intelligently, but most pragmatically.

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79

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