Was it something I said?

by mkedave on February 9, 2014

I was probably something I said.

Facebook user dislikes report: Don't overshare.

Facebook user dislikes report: Don’t overshare.

Dislikes start with annoyance. According to this study by Pew Research, we’re annoyed by the act of oversharing. We’re also annoyed when people don’t ask permission. The second most-popular reason to dislike on Facebook is when your friend posts personal information (like that photo from the bar the other night) without running it by you first.

The introduction of Paper is a good move for Facebook

by mkedave on February 2, 2014

Given the state of media today, it’s ironic that Facebook chose to call it’s combined newsfeed and clipboard-like news aggregator “Paper.”

Clearly, Facebook is determined to be your favorite content discovery destination. That’s because reports have shown that Facebook is already your favorite news content discovery tool. So, there’s not a massive departure from normal user behavior. But, when you think about Facebook in terms of mobile, not as a core desktop product, you know that it’s easier to press the home button and launch another app than to navigate Facebook’s own mobile menu system.

Single-purpose apps work better than single-purpose websites because as the saying goes: “There’s an app for that.”

Paper will debut tomorrow (February 3) for download on iOS, and will be the first app developed by Facebook Creative Labs.

This is interesting because it’s demonstrating that Facebook has embraced the idea of “unbundling” its offerings. It also demonstrates how serious Facebook is about its response to mobile disruption. Will Facebook ever command the same goliath social success on mobile that it’s long had on the desktop? That probably won’t matter so long as Facebook users still share the content they find interesting.

See what Paper is all about:

Timing is everything

by mkedave on January 20, 2014

The media just wants the simplified sound bite.

So, Richard Sherman wears Beats.

Think: Customer First

by mkedave on January 13, 2014

“Be interested in what people are interested in. Compete for their attention on their terms, not on yours.”- Gareth Kay via Google/Think

Interruption and integration

by mkedave on January 11, 2014

It’s obvious that there are two very distinct forms of paid media emerging today: interruptive media and integrated media.

Interruptive media is intrusive or disruptive to the content consumer – it’s the media that puts itself in the way of the flow of content. Online, interruptive media attempts to be contextually relevant to the content consumer, but it’s not part of the continuity within the user experience. Success with interruptive media is dependent on that piece of paid media (like a banner ad unit) being better than or more incentivized to earn the disruption. I’ve always said that the brain is a lazy chunk of meat. That’s not actually true; the brain works hard to keep us from overloading and becoming confused – it’s hard-wired to ignore what it knows is not relevant. So, it’s easy to understand why display ads are suffering from poor engagement: the clear lack of content continuity.

Integrated media is more continuous within the flow of content. Integrated media has the ability to capture the content consumer’s attention because it sits in the flow of organic consumption – presenting itself with an integrated look and feel.

If you look across the digital marketing landscape, you’ll see an increase in influenced media. It’s more disparate and harder to quantify, but it’s certainly becoming a larger part of the paid media tactical mix. Blogger and word-of-mouth programs, incentivized social media campaigns, or any number of paid tactics that achieve entry into the continuous flow of content are being implemented at a rapid pace.

So, where does this leave earned media? Do practitioners who specialize in earned media need to consider the helpful paid support? Who leads and who follows? And, is the amplification of earned media with PPC support becoming a commonplace in the digital marketing mix?

Think about needs

by mkedave on January 3, 2014

People have needs.

You have answers to those needs.

If you focus on the user need, then your task is easy. Think about the specific thing that people are trying to do. What are they really trying to accomplish? Getting food faster? Replacing an old version?

Your solution should be to give them the easiest and quickest way to accomplish that.

I know. Easier said than done, right? Get design and engineering involved – they’ll know how to help.

Do something smaller

by mkedave on January 2, 2014

You probably didn’t sit down to write a long list of big things you wanted to achieve in 2014.

That’s pretty awesome if you did (I’d love to see what that list looks like). But, it’s also admirable if you’re happy to focus on one thing at a time. That’s easier. That’s manageable. And, if you’re goal-oriented, that’s achievable.

As I was just getting back into the swing of things in this new year (because I resolved to write more every day) I found this bit of wisdom from Austin Kleon. A simple and refreshing message: something small, every day

You get it already. Small is easy. Small is doable. Small is that first step towards something that will, inevitably, become even bigger.

So, when you’re thinking about what you want to achieve this year: think smaller.

Forget about the year as a whole. Forget about months and forget about weeks.

Focus on days.
- Austin Kleon

A “day” is a solid unit of measure. Within any given day, you’ll give eight or nine hours of that day to working the “job.” You’ll need to save a little something for yourself. Whatever it is that you might want to achieve, you’ll need to apply the effort. Give yourself the time. (May I suggest just one measly hour?) Give yourself the tools. (May i suggest Evernote to help keep a record of your thinkings?). Give yourself the permission.

I’ve written all this entirely for myself. But, I hope you might also find it inspiring.

We have 364 more chances to do just one small thing, every day.

Lowe’s get’s it right on Vine

by mkedave on May 6, 2013

The Lowe’s #lowesfixinsix thread on Vine.co is a helpful tip source for homeowners and DIYers alike, bringing something inspired, interesting and useful to consumers.

A good reminder that you can still have fun with utility.

The art and sins of gilding lilies.

by mkedave on April 28, 2013

I’ve spent the better part of the past week writing a response to an RFP. Yes, in most new business and pitch opportunities, there is a lot of writing involved. Much of that writing is about how we’re proposing a solution, or demonstrating our expertise, or maybe we’re extolling the virtues of our excellent work environment, or maybe we’re just saying too much altogether.

Without ignoring the ask in the RFP, there’s probably a better way to respond than adding detail after detail inside of endless descriptions that do nothing more than support a single bulleted idea.

I get it: By nature, we’re storytelling creatures. We’d prefer to create a beautiful metaphor and surround that with magnificent rationale for why that proposed solution is such a perfect fit for that particular brand. In the end, the best ideas win. And most often, the winning idea is the one that doesn’t need a fluffy narrative and graphic explanation.

Over the past ten days, I’ve learned two things:

1) Persuasion is an art form.

2) Talking too much is a sin.

Actually, I don’t think either of those two statements are always true, but I will go one further and summarize what I think is the crux of good RFP response:

Think in terms of provocative headlines.
A headline doesn’t have to do all the selling, but it does have to stop the reader from skipping over otherwise important information. Just focus on getting their attention.

If you want people to listen, then say what you mean.
Here, I’ll just quote John Doe, from Se7ven: “Wanting people to listen, you can’t just tap them on the shoulder anymore. You have to hit them with a sledgehammer, and then you’ll notice you’ve got their strict attention.”

Be creative with the response itself.
As a freelancer, I once responded to an RFP with nothing more than a receipt from the local electronics store. In one shopping trip, I bought one item from the company that issued the RFP and one item from their competitor. I wrote: I went shopping and now I know how to get people to buy this (circled their product) and not this (underlined their competitor’s product). I didn’t win that particular project, but that did help me earn a long-time client relationship.

Don’t be afraid to tell them they can do better.
If it’s the truth, tell them. We’ll never earn new work if the previous work was better than what we can provide. Everything is always an upgrade. Prove why. The truth is easily told.

UX isn’t digital, it’s human.

by mkedave on April 14, 2013

The concept and practice of User Experience has been around long before brands ever got into the digital space.

Before websites and social networks, User Experience was the discipline of creating optimal interaction between human and machine. We’ve only recently added the authenticity of the human-to-human experience, and it’s fundamentally changing the way a brand needs to communicate here forth.

Still today, to effectively influence a group of people, you can’t simply target them with messaging. We need to engage them as willing participants: Invite the audience to get involved and to participate in the brand’s activities.

Participation is the lifeblood of any digital campaign. And, you just can’t fake User Participation.

So, this seems like something worth attending: Becoming UX: What you need to know to make User Experience your career