Sunday, December 12, 2010

Technorati Media Now The 11th Largest Media Entity In US, According To comScore

Technorati Media, already the largest social media network, climbed to the 11th largest media entity in the US according to comScore. The publisher network, comprising blogs and niche social communities, reached over 185 million US consumers in November.

Monday, November 22, 2010

3 Items For Monday

Un: Susan Bratton of Personal Life Media interviewed me at Adtech, with a wide-ranging discussion of Technorati Media's history, our social advertising platform, the 2010 State of the Blogosphere and some personal questions about influences, inspiration and how to live overseas. Have a listen or download the podcast!

Deux: This page is a one-stop-shop for skeptics or anyone interested in learning about the overwhelming body of scientific evidence of mankind's impact on climate change and global warming. As its title suggests, the page links to a number of studies that detail the "The History of Climate Change".

Trois: Last week, Technorati Media had a big duel announcement: the acquisition of SV Moms and the launch of Technorati Women. These two developments will solidify TM's offering for marketers to reach the 90 million women who saw our ads in October.

Monday, November 08, 2010

comScore: Technorati Media Reaches 179 Million US Consumers In October

Technorati Media continues to grow, and we continue to be the largest ad network focused on social media. According to comScore, Technorati Media's network attained a US reach of 179 million unique visitors in October, 2010, keeping us as the largest scale advertising alternative to the biggest social network.*

* comScore is the leading media ranking service, and its audience calculation is an estimate of the unduplicated reach of all the sites that Technorati Media runs ads on. Technorati Media's actual reach in October - the exact number of people who saw our ads - was 182 million in the US and 358 million worldwide.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Three Thoughts For Sunday

Bad blogging form. Wow. I haven't blogged in a long time (at least not here). This past summer involved too much travel and too much work, though it's hard to complain when things overall are going well.

A very complimentry book excerpt and article on Fast Company. Richard Levick's new book "The Communicators: Leadership in the Age of Crisis" makes me look really smart - hard not to like that!

2010 State of the Blogosphere. I'm speaking at Ad:Tech in NYC this week for the release of the 2010 State of the Blogosphere. This year's report includes a three part series on the latest and greatest about blogging with a focus on brands in the blogosphere. We're also following up last year's popular interview series with more than a dozen interviews with prominent women bloggers.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Why Paid Media Is Required For Successful Social Media Marketing

Here's a video stream of a panel I participated on at the OMMA Social conference. The panel was titled "Using Paid Media to Drive Earned Media", and has some essential advice for brands trying to use social media in their marketing mix. The bottom line message: nothing beats the viral engagement of social media for influencing consumers, but by itself, doesn't scale big enough or timely enough without support of paid media.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Technorati Media Is The 24th Largest Web Property In US

comScore just released its Top 50 US Web Properties report, and I'm happy to report that Technorati Media has risen to the 24th position. So in addition to our rank as the 4th largest social media property, we're also the 24th largest web property overall. Download the report here.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Technorati Media Now The 4th Largest Social Media Property

comScore just released the May web property ratings for the U.S., and Technorati Media's premium social media network was named the fourth largest social media property.

We launched Technorati Media almost two years ago, and since then, we've grown into the largest social media ad network. Congrats and thanks to our cooperative of blogs and niche social network partners for helping us grow -- woo hoo!!

Note: Technorati Media's audience is actually substantially larger than this comScore property measurement. comScore's calculation only counts sites that have assigned their traffic to Technorati Media for their marketing purposes. We work with many other sites as well, and in April 2010, over 248 million people worldwide saw Technorati ads.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Hangin' With Joe Montana At Union Street Fair

Yesterday was the Union Street Fair, San Francisco's closest thing to a Mardi Gras type event (women wearing skimpy halters, public intoxication and guys peeing in bushes). Just by dumb luck, my buddies and I got a table next to 49er legend Joe Montana at Perry's on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant (that has to be THE best seat for the Union Street Fair BTW).

We ended up having 4 rounds of drinks BS'ing with Joe for a good deal of it (my head hurts; those 4 drinks were only the start of the day...). He was totally down to earth and talked to us as much as we wanted (though we didn't exactly get in his face the way about 300 other people hovering around our table did with cameras and autograph papers and handshake requests; we did our best to obnoxiously ruin as many papparazi shots as possible). He talked about moving back into the city, our favorite restaurants in his 'hood, the rigors of being a celebrity in public (he contributed more to that than us...) and more, including this fun little excerpt:

Me: "Dude, when I was at USC, I hated your guts!"
Joe: "Hey, that's okay. You guys will be on probation next week"
Me: "What's up with the Nikes?" (he's a spokesman for Sketchers, yet he was wearing Nikes)
Joe: (shrugged shoulders) "Can't wear 'em all the time! I need a break every once in a while."
Me: "Don't worry, I won't tweet a photo of you in swooshes."
Joe: (raises glass to mine)

Anyway, it was a pretty fun experience being at a big SF event with one of the biggest SF legends.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Engage or Die: The Impact of Social Media in Business

Years ago, when bloggers were first earning worldwide attention and influence, Technorati was among of the first major efforts to organize the millions of blogs and related conversations into a useful directory. Over time, Technorati became the hub that connected bloggers with wider audiences and eventually advertisers.

But blogs were just one part of the social media revolution. Social networks, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and the like, expanded the ability for anyone to publish, share, and discover information. Along the way, social media became a focal point for businesses, and any organization or cause really, as social media champions realized that the ability to connect directly with people could have positive and even profound effects.

And that’s where things went completely haywire almost overnight.

Expert advice poured in from everywhere. Technorati Tags were covering social media went from a humble beginning to a dominant category within months. But even with all of the advice, discussions, and communities dedicated to helping one another, the steps from asking and answering the right questions to getting started to determining success were hazy at best. Many books have since hit the shelves to help us figure everything out. But very few have given us clear and practical instructions to do something beyond the obvious. A new book just hit the streets and it was written to do just that, provide direction in order to make social media work for any business.

Written by my good friend Brian Solis, who also contributes to Technorati, Engage! sets out to become the “complete guide for brands and businesses to create, cultivate and measure success in the new web.”


The book kicks off with a bang. “Engage or die!” he exclaims. His point is that we either figure this out and take a leadership role or as he suggests, we’ll find ourselves out of touch and inevitably, out of mind.

Written in two parts, Engage begins with taking us back to school. By enrolling us in the New Media University, Solis resets all we know and think we know about social media tools, networks, and services so that he can introduce new concepts and methodologies that he builds upon throughout each chapter. Starting with 101 and working our way through an MBA program, I was surprised by just how much new details emerge. Perhaps, we just took these networks at face value as they’re intended to be easy to use. But Solis, introduces us to the sociology and psychology of social networks and how consumers are using them to find and share information and in turn, also earn authority that deserves consideration into all of our marketing, sales, and service programs.

The second half of the book explores everything needed to start programs, determine the resources needed, how to sell it internally, and most notably, how to measure ROI and success.

Solis provides worksheets to help us begin planning. He also introduces exercises that help businesses introduce personality and character into their brands, a step that Solis believes, is crucial in social networks. He also tackles a subject that is becoming increasingly important as more people dabble in social media marketing. He outlines how to separate personal and professional interaction and profiles to create an online persona to excel as brand representatives, while also defining business and personal boundaries.

Engage goes far deeper than I could possibly write about in one post. The book also delves into strategies for social CRM, organizing workflow around conversations, how to create and build communities, and also how to find influential customers and prospects to spark word of mouth.

Perhaps this is worth noting.

The book is dense and definitely has a thud factor. If I had any criticisms it’s that Engage requires a significant intellectual and time investment. It’s not a quick read nor is it written for everyday people. It is long and covers scores of topics, strategies, and program ideas and it is wordy. Solis himself makes no apologies for this stating at the beginning of the book, that there are no shortcuts for doing this the right way. I guess that’s why he calls it a “complete guide.” In fact, the manuscript was far more inclusive than what made the final cut. The “deleted scenes” as Solis refers to it, is available online at along with new information that continues the learning.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Rest In Peace, Hogie

Yesterday, Nicole and I lost one of our beloved cats, Hogan.

"Hogie" was 16 years old, and a real character. With his sister Kelly and the encroachment of his monopoly of Nicole's attention when I arrived 5 years ago, he spent most of the time trying to act like the macho alpha dog of the house. However, the tough guy persona was a comically thin acting attempt, because at heart, he was an incredibly affectionate and love-seeking ball of mush goo!!

He had his specific routines with Nicole, and then developed a few unique ones just for me. Notably, practically every time we saw each other, Hogie and I would do our "bump" -- he'd head-butt my fist bump a couple times on greeting before going back to whatever we were doing. Another thing he started doing the last year as he got older and softer was so damn cute: he reach his paws up at me like a little kid asking to be picked up, I'd pick him up, and then he wrap his paws over my shoulder while pressing his body against my chest -- all the while purring loudly, head-butting the side of my head and drooling (he drooled whenever he was being cuddled by anyone; messy but kind of adorable in a gross way!).

We will miss him so much because of these aspects of his personality. Pets are amazing in the sense that they'll give you what you give them. I know people who leave the dog in backyard like a lawn gnome or who see their cats as a candle on the windowsill. However, if you open up and show love for them, they love you back ten times over. If you give them the freedom to express themselves in your environs, they'll entertain the heck out of you. If you treat them like part of the family, they truly will become part of your family (and usually without the petty bickering that the human members of a family engage in).

Hogie Bogie, we will miss you so much; rest in peace, sweet puppy...

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A Meritage of Post-Surgery Ramblings

I'll start this post with the disclaimer that there won't be much structure or point to this: I just had my knee scoped (torn meniscus) and have a lot of semi-drug induced hours on the couch. This couch time is mostly remote-controlled (TV remote, that is), but I'm also playing with the cats, surfing the web, and looking at a few work emails, though not really reading or replying to anything. Needless to say, I have time to actually jot down a few random thoughts (I always have a tidal wave of random thoughts, but no time to record them -- now I do!!).


This was way easier and considerably less brutal than my two rotator cuff surgeries. In those, I was under general anesthesia for two hour surgeries and came out not only totally incoherent for several hours, didn't even want to talk and really sick to my stomach for 24 hours. Before surgery (which took less than a third of the time), I took an anti-nausea drug, and literally woke up ranting clear, concise observations with no nausea. The nurses couldn't shut me up, but seemed entertained. One other note: shoulder and hip surgeries are extremely painful; there is simply no comfort and sharp pains any time you move for several weeks.

Immediate Aftermath: I Feel Good ;-)

My buddy Paul picked me up and dropped me home, and getting in-out of car, into house on to couch was easy. I could easily walk if I had to, though I'm supposed to use crutches for a day or two to keep weight off (then you start exercising thereafter). I'm just wonderfully stoned now. Beautiful. ;-)

First TV Show: Surprised by "Jimmie Johnson 24/7"

I turned on TV and was about to fire up a saved program or On-Demand. "Jimmie Johnson 24/7" was on and kept me before I could change the channel. Huge surprise: it's a GREAT reality-documentary (more the latter). I'm not a NASCAR fan at all, but this is a really good show. It totally validates the concept that great story-telling is good no matter what the subject. I highly recommend watching this show. Now I have to watch part 3 sober, and see if it is really a great show, or if it was the drugs talking.

Economic Thought: Shouldn't I Be Passed Out Right Now?

I skimmed an article in this week's Forbes about the global wave of debt, and it reminded me of something I've been saying for 9 years since the first Bush tax cuts. We WILL absolutely have to raise taxes at some point in the not so distant future. The numbers won't ever reconcile without raising taxes, and this applies not just to the US but many other countries as well. There will never be enough revenue at current tax rates to cover worldwide government spending. I'd also bet that the US is one of the last governments to do the right thing too. Our lawmakers are just way too concerned about getting elected to do the responsible thing, and that goes for both repubs and dems. How's that for a stoned thought?!! I am truly perverted to be thinking crap like this heavily under the influence with HBO blaring!!

Other Fav Reality Show: House Hunters International

I kind of like most shows on HGTV, but House Hunters International rocks. Talk about stoking dreams: looking for second homes in Bali, Abruzzo, Spain, Costa Rica, Dominican, etc. What's not to love?!!

Hank Paulson On Charlie Rose: I Should Have Been Sleeping...

I watched Charlie Rose at 1am or some hour that I shouldn't have been awake. Hank Paulson was on, talking about his new book. When the discussion got to AIG using its government loan money to make counter-parties to retarded credit default swap deals 100% whole, Paulson squirmed and evaded badly. Rose rephrased his question so many times that this segment probably took 12 minutes of the interview. Paulson's responses were retardedly bad, making him look either stupid or guilty. Being the former head of Goldman Sachs, we know he isn't stupid.

Why can't one of these officials just raise their hand and say, "Yup, we screwed up by not asking what AIG was going to do with the money? Why didn't we ask the counter-parties to take 25-50% haircut on those deals (instead of ZERO if AIG BKed)?" What's just as amazing is: no official will say exactly who was doing the talks with AIG at the time, even a guy like Paulson who is most assuredly not responsible for that particular episode. They're all afraid to point the finger for any one thing because they know there are plenty of other items for which fingers can be pointed at them.

Sick Food: Coffee Too

Surgery requires no eating or drinking after midnite the previous night. My surgery was delayed a few hours, so I didn't get out until about 2pm. After general anesthesia, you don't have much appetite, so I wasn't hungry until about 6pm. Then, I ate a whole pizza, a half pint of Haagen Daaz and a bag of my favorite cheddar popcorn. I think that was the drugs talking...

Not sure what the deal is, but after each surgery where I've been under general anesthesia, I've totally jones'd for black coffee. Today was no different. Two huge cups of hot black coffee. Felt a lot better afterwards too.

The Next Day: Epilogue

The drugs have worn off (at least the narcotic ones), and I have to say I feel pretty darn good. End of day I'll start some bending exercises and a little walking around the house. After yesterday's feast, I'm only now getting hungry (about noon). And unfortunately, instead of spacing on the couch with the remote in my hand, I've been on three conference calls, and answered dozens of emails. However, the bottle of Vicodin is sitting right in front of me...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Phone Rings At 2am...Your Flight Is Cancelled...

Ok, now we’re having fun. It’s 2am pst, and your phone – which doubles as your alarm clock – rings and rings. It’s American Airlines, calling to cancel your non-stop flight SFO to JFK. They’re about to totally screw you, but they generously offer to re-route your flight via Los Angeles AND Dallas. This is not good news when you’re lying in bed at 2am.

What would Macgyver do?

If Macgyver got this night call, he would put a fleece sweat suit on (cuz his 114 year old house has no f’ing insulation, it’s cold, and the furnace would take too long), pours a glass of wine, and dials American. After a surprisingly short wait on hold (amazing how the wine shortens the wait – good thinking Macgruber…), the two-hop would-be disaster easily converts into another non-stop, though 2.5 hours behind schedule (which is still an hour ahead of the two –hop disaster).

While sleep may no longer be an option, the direct flight and the earlier arrival time provide some cheap solace. I’ll take it. Now I really have to see “Up In The Air”………

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Contrarian Thought On The Government's Potential Online Ad Regulations

There's a lot of chatter in the online community about potental government regulation of the online advertising industry: specifically, limits on uses of cookie-based tracking and targeting as it relates to the privacy of individuals. For the most part, the online community is up in arms about any potential regulation, rallying around the line that proposed regs would hurt targeting and hurt online businesses in general etc.

As I pondered this, it occurred to me that there might be a contrarian way for the online community to look at this -- speaking as someone who has made his living online for the past 16 years. And before I write this, I'll also caveat that I'm not advocating this idea; it's just a thought that I'm pondering, largely considering our own business alternatives if strong legislation is passed. The last thing I want is a congressman who doesn't know how to check his own email writing legislation about the internet.

So imagine strong legislation that curbs, restricts and eliminates cookie-based targeting for a second....

Will that change audience consumption habits and make people spend less time online? Absolutely not; the regs have nothing to do with media consumption. Thus, media shift from traditional media will continue to online no matter what.

What will change is the usage of cookie-based and other similar tracking technologies -- audience targeting, behavioral targeting etc -- to target that online audience as they surf around hundreds of web sites each month. So what does that mean?

Remember, the audience habits aren't changing, and media shift will happen anyway to follow those habits so the dollars are following online anyway. The spend won't change, but how it's spent will change. Instead of being able to track a user who visited a ecommerce site and/or searched for products across dozens of sites all the while displaying ads for whatever they looked at the ecommerce site or searched for, advertisers will have to find sites that have contextually or vertically relevant content or with obvious demographically attractive audience characteristics.

In other words, advertisers would have to target ads the way ads have been targeted succesfully for 150 years! What really happens is all those ad dollars will simply shift away from technology companies to content companies. In other words, the balance of power shifts back to content creators. Given there's a lot more content creators than there are ad technology companies, would this be a bad thing?

Once again, I'm not advocating this; it's something to consider because this scenario -- or some degree of it -- is possible.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

In Lieu Of A New Year's Resolution...

Every year, I informally compile a few New Year's resolutions, and this year is no different. I have a few I'm pondering and have mentally committed, but none are in my mind are standing out as much as a simple western buddhist proverb. As far as attribution, I believe it was written by Portia Nelson (that's the best reference I have, but I might be mistaken; if so, I apologize in advance). So in lieu of offering a resolution, here's that simple proverb, which hopefully serves a similar guidepost to the traditional New Year's resolutions.

Here's to spotting the large holes and finding new streets to explore.

Autobiography In Five Chapters
By Portia Nelson

Chapter 1
I walk down the street. There is a large hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless. It isn't my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2
I walk down the same street. There is a large hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don't see it. I fall in again. I can't believe I'm in the same place, but it isn't my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3
I walk down the same street. There is a large hole in the sidewalk. I see it there. I still fall in. It's a habit. My eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.

Chapter 4
I walk down the same street. There is a large hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.

Chapter 5
I walk down another street.