Yesterday I participated in my first TTMM event, and spoke on ROI. Like any first contact situation, you know they have their points of view, value systems, and language. And the least you can do is have knowledge of why you think the way you do, and why. I told the story about how different versions of ROI is rooted well before anybody in the room had been born. And it’s such a contentious issue because it goes directly to one’s being. ROI is the reflection of your own worth to an organization, and naturally, as such, it’s going to be contended. The approach taken in the Syncapse Value of a Fan study was selected for a very specific reason[…]

What kind of Return can you expect from Social Media? The legitimacy of the answer has a lot to do with your mental model of the world. When I talked first in this space about it in January, I made the distinction between how Direct people and Brand people would answer the question. It turns out that the difference predates the invention of Radio and TV as mass mediums. There was a difference between Claude C. Hopkins approached it, and how Earnest Calkins approached it, as far back as 1890. Hopkins argued for the hard sell and scientific advertising. Hopkins view of time was narrow, short-term, and of instant reaction. Calkins argued for the soft sell and branding. Calkins view[…]

There’s a new type of HTTP cookie that exploits an HTML5 hack. The long and short of it is that the cookie becomes immortal. The cookie is capable of leaping across browsers on your computer. It re-instates itself after a user has deleted it. It’s not right. And analysts should reject it. I’ve long been dissatisfied with the concept of ‘unique visitor’, by and large because it’s a highly unstable proxy measure for a person. People go into private browsing during key points in their day, anti-virus programs tend to root out these ‘tracking cookies’ as malware. and owing to an unfortunate three fiddy event in 2000 – people of a certain demography routinely clear their cookies. A commenter on[…]

I started tweeting right around when I started blogging on analytics – between May 8 and May 18, 2008. It kicked off professional public speaking, intensified my contributions to the WAA, and pushed me even more into a weak tie among diverse communities. I knew most of my followers by name, and met with most of them monthly. It was just a coincidence that 95% of them were in analytics. Even though I was living between Toronto, Calgary, Chicago, Vancouver and New York, Twitter was a localized, central hub. I was in 5 places at once. Twitter was a place where conversations happened out loud, in public, and other people who were interested in what we were interested in could[…]

IBM has announced its acquisition of Netezza, a datawarehousing and BI company, for $1.7 billion. There’s much more to come. A majority of the human beings are generating machine readable data about themselves. Just check out the mobile penetration numbers and see for yourself. Even in developing countries they’re generating huge trails of data. And while there wont’ be 50 billion phones on the planet, every human being will have access to a mobile phone very soon. More advanced devices and experiences will generate ever more data. A majority of human beings in the developed world are generating more machine readable data than ever before. Whereas the Internet has always been social, the relative transaction cost has now come down[…]

Eric Peterson kicked off a debate about a Web Analytics Code of Ethics. You can read about it here. Here’s my comment: 1. What is the maximum length (word count, characters, bullet points) that a Code of Ethics can be before it becomes ineffective? 2. What is the minimum and maximum lengths (word count, characters, bullet points) that a Code of Ethics has to be before it becomes ineffective at PR-marketing objectives? 3. Should a Code of Ethics make explicit references to technology types? If the purpose is to create an actionable Code of Ethics, and if practitioners are going to live it, then it has to be compact, memorable and timeless. It is beyond my capability to remember and[…]

There’s a DRY principle in programming, and one that is pervasive in RAILS-land: Don’t Repeat Yourself. The same should go for everybody. From commenting, blogging, to writing books. Repeating somebody’s work in its entirety is pretty unnecessary when a citation would do. What you build off others, how you do intellectual parkour and create something new out of many things old, is what’s valuable. You advance everybody that much further and faster by doing so. And a gap in the literature doesn’t always need to be filled. There might be a very good reason for such a gap. It’s finally time for me to make an original contribution because I have something original to say. There’s a gap that needs[…]

Hamel’s counterpoint to my previous post on the Facebook LIKE button is up. Check out both posts for detail. If you want the Cole Notes: Chris: “It’s not all spam. But it can be spam. And some marketers will spam. Some marketers will provide utility. There will be a net positive over time – like email.” Dave: “It’s all spam. You clicking the Like button generates NewsFeed spam. Screw your interests, Chris. Because I don’t care if you Like something.” Fair enough Dave. I see your point and I understand it. In general, like people clump alike. I tweet stuff all the time aimed at a very specific focus area. All of it is solid gold and incredibly valuable to[…]