Thursday, Oct 3, 2013: Wisdom of Tom Clancy; Monsanto’s Billion Dollar Bet; Digital Marketing Roadmap; Wall Street Ethics; Hashtags #lame on Facebook; Blackberry is the Next Novell

 Thursday, October 03, 2013


The Wisdom of Tom Clancy: 7 Insights into a Masterful Storyteller
By Susan Young, CEO, Get in Front Communications, Inc.
The literary world was rendered speechless today when news broke of the death of acclaimed spy and military writer Tom Clancy. The 66-year-old author, whose works include The Hunt for Red October, Clear and Present Danger, and Patriot Games, is being remembered as a “favorite storyteller of the American military.”

Wall Street Ethics
By W.T. “Bill” McKibben, Senior Counsel, The Great Lakes Group
Mid-September (2013.09.15) marked five years since Lehman Brothers, one of the largest investment banks ever, filed the largest bankruptcy ever, sending sky rockets up all over the world and marking the beginning of what we’ve come to call the “Great Recession.” Lehman’s implosion triggered a serious of herculean bailouts of the rest of our banking sector by the American taxpayers.

Is Digital Marketing ‘Almost Dead’?
By Alex White, GM Data & Trading, DG-MediaMind
Tools and technologies exist that can help marketers deliver messages that match any number of criteria, whether that’s page context, audience profiles, or even current events, all in real-time online yet, digital marketing is constantly under fire. There is the perception that today’s ad tech is leading marketers down the wrong path, into a world full of hidden fees and little value. Perhaps the …


Infographic: Why Your Brand Needs Video
For the Latergy Social Video Channel
Today’s post features interesting statistics from comScore, Nielsen and others that highlight the powerful branding and marketing impact of video. It was compiled by Getty Images, a company we often turn to when clients require specific b-roll to augment productions. Just published on, I hope you find it as interesting as I do and are able to leverage the data to fuel your visual …

The Digital Marketing Roadmap
For the Digital PR Channel
A recent study commissioned by Adobe shows that new digital technologies and social media are keeping marketers up at night. Less than half (48%) of the 1000 marketers surveyed feel they understand digital marketing and can get results. 82% have had no formal education in digital marketing and have had to learn on the job. Their lack of skills and concern about results are quite …

Hashtags are #lame … on Facebook
By Sarah Skerik, Vice President, Content Marketing, PR Newswire: For the Agile Engagement Channel
On Twitter, the hashtag #rocks. On Facebook, not so much. In fact, using hashtags is having a negative effect on the visibility of posts on Facebook according to a new study from EdgeRank Checker (“Hashtags on Facebook Do Nothing to Help Additional Exposure.”)

Social News: Pinterest Article Rich Pins and Promoted Posts
For the Effective Email Marketing Channel
For marketers who write a lot of articles, blog posts and other material–which is almost all marketers– the new Pinterest feature offers the opportunity to keep readers and users engaged with content longer. According to news released by Pinterest, its newest feature will make it easier for users to find articles about various topics they’re interested in. The main benefit is users can easily save …

Breaking News on Broken Bones
For the Critical Now Channel
ll across Canada during the Breaking News on Broken Bones blitz week, Osteoporosis Canada is hosting community events to raise awareness among Canadians about the seriousness of a broken bone.


Tips for Boosting the ROI of Marketing Webinars, Ken Molay, Webinar Success
Creating and delivering a quality marketing webinar takes time and effort. How can you make sure you are getting the highest possible return on your investment? Join Ken Molay, president of Webinar Success and a former director of product marketing in Silicon Valley, as he leads you through practical tips …

A Workshop on Mobile Communications
Mobile technology has changed the way everyone consumes information, especially investors. We are in the midst of a communications revolution that presents not only uncertainty and confusion as to how communicators are going to leverage this technology, but also great opportunity. As a first-mover in bringing publicly-traded companies into the burgeoning area of mobile …

Employing Visual Content for Compelling Storytelling
The presence of content in its various forms across the digital landscape has given rise to an era of instant gratification–a time where anyone can search for a topic of their choosing or send out a message through their social channels to obtain relevant information. As organizations seek to maintain visibility, share their stories and establish a connection with the digital masses consuming …

How Multicultural Women Get Ahead…In The Office With Denise Evans, VP, Market Development, IBM
Join Denise Evans and Janet Salazar as they share their corporate cultural experience. IBM is rated the #1 company for top leaders. According to FORTUNE, IBM goes beyond and above grooming people to be leaders. Denise will tell Janet Salazar how multicultural women get ahead at IBM and what you need to do!


Pressure On Bill Gates To Finally Let His Grip On Microsoft Go
Fast Company
Bill Gates and Microsoft go together like apple and pie, and have done so since the young Gates cofounded the company in 1974 with Paul Allen (a man that Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak has called a patent troll). While Allen long ago disconnected from Microsoft, Gates has remained in the company even after stepping down as CEO in January 2000 in favor of Steve Ballmer. Though now chairman, his control is still said to pervade many decisions at the company. But fresh reports say that three of the top 20 investors in the firm, together controlling about 5% of the stock, are pressing the board to get Gates to step down.

Paint it Black: Why BlackBerry is the Next Novell
Ars Technica
We knew things were hard for BlackBerry and that this was going to be a harsh year for the company that practically invented the “smartphone” business. But the cold shoulder that BlackBerry’s new handsets have received-its Z10 touchscreen phone in particular-now comes with a price tag that seems to seal the company’s fate. That price tag, called the “Z10 Inventory Charge,” is $934 million-the vast majority of the approximately $1 billion in losses that the company reported in an SEC filing yesterday. The bad news may complicate the $4.7 billion…

Myspace Fights Back With Audience Gains, Hits 36M Users
Media Post
Still a shadow of its former self, Myspace continues to post respectable growth. Since its latest relaunch in June, the social network saw its audience grow from 24 million to 31 million in its first two weeks out of beta. Having since grown its audience to about 36 million users, the musically focused platform also says that 70% of its community is now 35 or younger.

The End of the Internet’s Biggest Black Market Is Good for Bitcoin
For most of its brief existence, Bitcoin has been widely associated with Silk Road-the anonymous cybercurrency, naturally enough, wound up backing transactions on the shadowy online market for drugs, hacking services, and other illegal activities. So it makes sense that the value of Bitcoin would fall off a cliff as news broke that the FBI had arrested a man suspected of running the most famous online black market. The value of Bitcoin dropped to about $110 by early Wednesday afternoon, down from $140 earlier this morning.

Facebook Is Building Its Own “Resort-Inspired” Factory Town
Facebook is dipping its big blue thumb into the real estate market, investing in a cushy 394-unit apartment complex that’s a 45-minute walk to its new Frank Gehry-designed Menlo Park campus. The $120 million Anton Menlo will be designed by architects at KTGY Group in a partnership with St. Anton Developers (hence the name) and offer a mix of studios…

Now 10 Years Old, 4chan is the Most Important Site You Never Visit
Daily Dot
Rail-thin, mop-topped, and Vulcan-faced, 4chan founder Christopher Poole, 25, is following a fan to his car, parked in an Atlanta parking lot at 2 in the morning. He’s got something to show Poole, he says. The guy opens his trunk, and inside is a Mosin-Nagant, a Russian rifle known around the Internet as the Moist Nugget. “I don’t know if I could say this with the police officers in the room,” Poole says to a crowd of more than 1,000 people nearly 19 hours later.”


Hey Microsoft: Pick a CEO Already and Get on With It
Giga Om
The slower the slow-mo transition from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to whoever’s next, the worse it will be for the company. But insiders don’t expect the pick to named until right after the company’s earnings call Oct. 24 and before Thanksgiving. (Who wants to bet on a late press release on Thanksgiving Eve?) That’s quick but not quick enough for some who say distraction around succession plans is hindering productivity. “Everyone says they’ve bought into Ballmer’s reorg but in fact no one knows who will be in charge so they can’t really buy in all that much,” said one current employee.

Monsanto’s Billion-Dollar Bet Brings Big Data to the Farm
As if we needed any more proof that the Big Data phenomenon is well and truly upon us, Monsanto (MON) has agreed to acquire the Climate Corp. for $930 million. The real stunner of a deal marks one of the largest buys of a new-era data analytics company. Climate Corp. was founded in 2006 under the name Weatherbill by a pair of Google (GOOG) engineers who wanted to capitalize on the world’s increasingly unpredictable climate. The new company offered insurance against weather-related incidents such as a rainout at the U.S. Open…

Billionaire Dan Loeb Blasts Sotheby’s CEO For Spending ‘Hundreds Of Thousands’ On Luxury Lunches
Billionaire hedge fund manager Dan Loeb doesn’t care that Sotheby’s recently replaced its CFO for a former Goldman Sachs partner and managing director, and that the auction house is reviewing its books to increase shareholder value. On Wednesday, the head of Third Point sent a scathing letter to management, announcing he had become the company’s largest shareholder and is calling for William Ruprecht, chairman, president and CEO of Sotheby’s, to step down given his lack of leadership, excessive pay and perks, and how rival Christie’s has eaten their lunch since the financial crisis; the company dismissed the comments as “baseless” and pointed to its surging stock price as evidence that their strategy is working.


Clay Christensen: The Wrong Kind of Innovation
If you’ve been to business school, this definition likely means something to you: “Taking a product and making it simpler and more affordable, so many more people have access to it.” Yes, that’s Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen’s definition of disruptive innovation. Christensen wasn’t unaware of the irony when he announced at Tuesday’s World Business Forum in New York City that he had a major bone to pick with the teachings of business school professors. Namely, he blamed them for the propagation of economic theories that have contributed to the prolonged U.S. economic slump and slow-to-recover employment numbers following the market downturn of 2007.

SAP Ventures Raises Over $1B to Keep Tabs on IT Innovation
Venture Beat
SAP Ventures has raised $1 billion in the past year to invest in enterprise startups and entrepreneurs. SAP Ventures is the independent venture arm of legacy enterprise software provider SAP. It is structured like traditional venture capital firms, but a vast majority of the capital comes from SAP. This latest raise brings its total capital under management to a massive $1.4 billion. VentureBeat sat down with managing partner Nino Marakovic to learn more about the fund, this raise, and how it fits into SAP’s corporate mission.

Why Facebook is Giving Out Free Wi-Fi for Check-Ins
Would you check in on Facebook in exchange for free Wi-Fi at a hotel, restaurant, or retailer? That’s the pitch Facebook has cooked up to hook its social network into companies big and small. Facebook and Cisco are jointly announcing Wednesday that they’ve partnered to bring the social Wi-Fi option to more businesses after a small but fruitful pilot of the system in around 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses. For the average restaurant diner, airport goer, or superstore shopper, the arrangement should mean they’ll soon find Facebook Wi-Fi at more of the places they visit regularly.

In Marketing, Overwhelmed is the New Normal
This shouldn’t come as a shock, but two recent studies have documented what many (in fact most) of the marketing world has been feeling lately. The constant, rapid changes experienced by marketing staff, digital marketing professionals and consumers alike are outpacing our ability to stay up to date, staff, budget for and respond to even critical organizational needs. We just can’t keep up. Adobe queried 1000 marketers online in August and September of this year to get a read on marketers’ confidence levels. Appropriately titled, “Digital Distress: What Keeps Marketers Up at Night?” the study reveals a picture of marketers with little confidence in their own or their organization’s ability to address the unique challenges of digital marketing.

The Digital Disconnect: Japan Faces a Shortfall of Digital Marketing Professionals
Consumer Electronics Net
The rapid evolution of digital marketing has created a “digital disconnect” in which the jobs market in technology, and more specifically digital marketing technology, is hungry for skilled workers in Japan. According to recruiting experts Hays in Japan, the evolution of digital marketing is set to continue over the next decade and this will have a huge impact on the skills employers need. “As the business landscape shifts, marketers must evolve with the times in order to fully connect with their customers and drive business growth,” says Jonathan Sampson, Regional Director of Hays in Japan.


I Want Your Job: Digital PR
The Independent
The web means stories move faster than ever before. Thanks to Twitter, Facebook and the rest of social media, people are discussing those stories more than ever. There’s money to be made, if people can harness the speed of human interaction. And that’s where PR comes in. Tom Malcolm, 29, is head of consumer PR at Diffusion, an international, London-based agency that’s surfing the digital wave, working with clients like Disney, Primark and Air New Zealand.

Does Salesforce’s Technology Push PR Innovation?
The Holmes Report
Despite perpetual wonderment of innovation, a good slice of the tech PR remains anchored in traditional media relations. Certainly, this is a reflection of client demand, given how the right media exposure can validate emerging technologies, increase valuations and get a company shortlisted by both buyers and those on M&A hunts. Even a recent profile of Andreessen Horowitz partner, and OutCast co-founder, Margit Wennmachers illuminated her mastery with a classic example of media maneuvering. That said, innovation doesn’t always come in the way…


Media Comment: Is it a Journalist’s Role to Educate?
The Guardian UK
In the current issue of Journalism, an academic periodical, Lynn Schofield-Clark of the University of Denver addresses the theme of “cultivating the media activist.” She notes that the challenge of educating a new generation of journalists involves more than issues such as public service, impartiality and the ideal that journalism should be autonomous. Nowadays, she argues, one must also face topics such as multiculturalism and new media with all their implications.

Advertising: Don’t Spend More to Get Less
You can buy 30 seconds of ad time in the upcoming Super Bowl telecast for about $4 million. That’s up from $3.8 million last year and a mere $2.2 million in 2000. I guess Fox Sports didn’t get the memo that the economy is still sluggish. Or perhaps it did. The network can get away with charging premium prices for ads in the Super Bowl because of its uniquely massive audience. It’s the only place left where you can reach more than 100 million people in one shot…

Is Chipotle’s Scarecrow the Future of Sustainable Advertising?
The Guardian UK
Chipotle, the Mexican grill fast food chain, recently launched an advertising campaign called The Scarecrow. It’s an animated short film accompanied by a smartphone game and it’s about the industrialised world of processed food. The advert has received a mixed reaction. Critics have been quick to accuse Chipotle of misleading consumers about how it goes about its business. The Atlantic’s James Hamblin says the company is implying that it is not a fast-food chain. Others, such as David Sirota, in Salon, have taken issue with what they see as the advert endorsing a vegetarian diet…

Lessons from The Dallas Morning News’s Failed Paywall
Columbia Journalism Review
In May 2009, Dallas Morning News publisher Jim Moroney told the Senate that a paywall didn’t make sense for his newspaper unless everybody else did one too: If The Dallas Morning News today put up a paywall over its content, people would go to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. By January 2011, Moroney was saying this as the News launched a hard paywall: We will be vilified by the digital futurists, ridiculed by colleagues in our industry and fitted with a dunce cap by the trade media. In fact, some of the same will be heard in our own hallways. Much like our 40% increase in home delivery pricing in 2009, this strategy goes against the grain. But that’s okay. We’ve been there before.


Western Digital My Cloud: Cloud Storage That Lives in Your House
Cloud storage sure does sound great, doesn’t it? It’s in the cloud! It’s all your data, up there in the sky somewhere, available to you wherever you are, whenever you want it. Wow! In practice, cloud storage rarely works this way, because most of the time, your data is living inside someone else’s cloud. Whether it’s Dropbox or Google or Amazon or someplace in Siberia, you have to upload your data into that cloud, trust that the cloud will keep your data safe, and then further trust that whenever you want to get your data out, you’ll be able to do so efficiently.

IT Purchasing: Who Decides What Tech to Buy?
Lowe’s knows a thing or two about buying and selling, so it means something that the Mooresville, N.C., home improvement retailer established a procurement department to help its various divisions make better deals. Now Tom Nimblett, director of procurement for IT, HR, finance and Lowe’s dot-com divisions, reaches out to IT managers at all levels, including the CIO as needed, to consult on tech purchases — which are not inconsiderable given the company’s 1,000-person IT staff and annual IT budget of $1 billion-plus.

Hover Brings The Nostalgia Back to Your Browser
The Escapist
I have vivid memories of the time I discovered Hover!. It was buried on the Windows 95 disc inside a folder called “fun stuff”. Back when games came in expensive boxes from the store, finding a free game secreted away was pretty exciting. Its particular brand of bumper cars crossed with capture the flag demanded a certain level of mastery. Now, you can let all that flood back, as Microsoft has released a new version of Hover that plays right in your web browser.


A Conversation with Adobe on the Future of Marketing and Disruption
Brian Solis


From Chemical Reactions to Audience Reactions: Why Breaking Bad Has It Covered


Raise Your Hand to Take Charge of Your Brand: Who Owns Digital Content in Your Nonprofit?
Maximize Social Business

Dressed to Kill the Pipeline
The Flack

Top 5 Ways To Use A Wine Shut Down To Your Advantage
The Buzz Bin

5 Ways To Maximize B2B Content Marketing Results
Heidi Cohen: Actionable Marketing Expert