Monthly Archives: April 2015

Next to Now: This Week in Reading

For the Week Ending April 24, 2015

Facebook’s strength in video ads is gaining momentum. #video

How do you define success? It’s important to remember context when thinking about campaign performance. #metrics

What do librarians do after quietly sending patrons on their way for the day and locking up?  Rocking out after hours. #hilarious

A new content platform to compete with Medium, Atavist, et al. This one from MIT’s Media Lab so it bears watching. #content

Social influencer marketing grows in importance, particularly for younger demos (via @PeterMcCarthy). #social

Why live in New York? Steve Earle has a righteous POV on this (as in most things):

“I need to live in New York. It’s the cave of the sleeping sharks: They used to think that sharks didn’t sleep, but it turns out they found a cave off the coast of Mexico where the sharks found a current, and they just turn their heads toward the current and the oxygen comes to them. That’s what New York’s like: The oxygen comes to you. If I get my wings clipped and I can’t travel anymore, this is where I want to be.”


A big long piece helps Sheryl Sandberg make a convincing argument that Facebook is poised to eat the advertising dollars of TV and Google. Then it ends on a note not hinted at in their click-bait headline:

“But TV advertising, while still more expensive than other forms of advertising — particularly most forms of digital such as banners and mobile — does still tend to reap rewards for marketers. It’s a longer-tail game: People who see a TV ad don’t usually immediately click to buy the product or pick up the phone to change their insurance provider — but over time it is a branding tool that lifts awareness, affinity, recall, and other metrics. There is also some evidence that TV remains the most effective ad medium…”


Google gets set to compete with Taboola and Outbrain. #discovery

Your opt-in email addresses may be the way to target consumers online. #email

Next to Now: The Week in Reading Links

Reading in book-related ad tech for the week ending April 17, 2015

April 11, 2015

The rise of messaging: Big 4 messaging app users now equal big 4 social network users.  #mobile

April 13, 2015

How the New York Times is becoming a mobile-first company according to Marc Frons, SVP, CIO NYT. (Via Benedict’s Newsletter No. 107) #mobile

90% of attendees at Coachella (600k people last year), use iPhones. Does this tell you more about iPhones or Coachella?(Via Benedict’s Newsletter No. 107) #mobile

“79 Theses on Technology for Disputation.” (Via Alexis Madrigal’s “Real Future”) #metatech

“The Cost of Paying Attention.” Cluttered environments that leave people feeling anxious is neither good for the people we’re advertising to, nor is it good for the products we’re advertising. It’s worth heeding even if (especially because?) this guy is taking aim at the ads that our bread-and-butter.  (Via “79 Theses…”) #metatech

“Surveillance as the normative form of care.” And, I’d add, as the normative form of education, marketing, policing, etc. etc.  (Via “79 Theses…”) #metatech

Six reasons to advertise in newspapers. For one, print newspapers index much higher for reader engagement and trust. #print

April 14, 2015

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is producing a series of videos in which contemporary artists talk about a piece in the Met’s collection that holds resonance for them. The latest features Nayland Blake talking about a work from Mali: “So much of its meaning as a sculpture is bound up, not in what you can see on the outside, but what it contains within.” #art

What moms want. Mother’s Day discovery tips from Bing researchers. (True, no one uses their search engine, but their research is top notch. Via Click Z’s “De-Averaging Moms” post) #moms #targeting

April 15, 2015

Speaking of surveillance: Is this the location-based advertising we’ve been waiting for? Tracking not just where you’ve been on the Web, but where you’ve been in real-life. #mobile #targeting

Ray Ozzie on what the rise of messaging means for work flow is worth listening to (even if it’s real purpose is to serve up his new app, Talko) #metatech

Native Advertising, by the numbers.  #native

The numbers on native mobile ads are (not surprisingly) good: “Research released in October 2014 by Polar showed higher clickthrough rates (CTRs) for native ads run on mobile compared with desktop in the US and UK. Average CTR for native placements on tablets was 0.28%, and smartphones were right behind at 0.27%. Meanwhile, CTR for desktop native ads was just 0.15%.” #native #mobile

April 16, 2015

“Gaming content remains one of best ways to reach young men.” Data from YouTube show how deeply pervasive gaming culture is, and how to reach the market. #gaming #targeting

Why it feels good to hear, read and watch stories, and why podcasts are particularly good at hooking us in. #podcasts

Playlist targeting comes to Spotify. Target readers of health books during their “Workout” playlist, cookbooks during their “Cooking” playlists, how-to readers during their “Cleaning” playlists, and more. #targeting

Everyone wants in on the video ad sales boom, even print magazines. And in a nifty meta-moment, the article about the ad features a video of the magazine playing the video. #wowfactor

Click Z works the numbers on why email remains the workhorse of digital marketing strategy. #email

Business Insider’s shameless with the click bait, but for advertising people these “Best of 2014” digital campaigns are great inspiration.   #inspiration




Thelonious Monk

Next to Now: The Week in Reading Links

The Week in Reading for the Week of April 10

April 3, 2015

Monk’s advice never gets old.

April 6, 2015

Top brands on Instagram know the difference between quality of posts and quantity.

April 7, 2015

Sports fans care more about speed than quality. Don’t let your ad slow down their experience.

The founding Executive Director of the Digital Public Library of America notices ebook sales leveling off, says (essentially), “Don’t believe the data.” Does he count as a disinterested observer?

April 8, 2015

Get your gifs here: Hulu does a deal with Tumblr.

Good tips for presentations.

Instagram’s carousel ads would be GREAT for book publishers. Now if we can just get them to come down a couple hundred thou on their minimum spend.

Used right, YouTube cards could be a great way to show more information in ads—always a plus for book publishers.

Get your word nerd on: A lovely piece on the use of quotation marks. (via @GroveAtlantic)

We aren’t going to London Book Fair, but if we were this is a presentation we’d love to attend. Sara Lloyd gives great talks.

Want to go write in the Antarctic for a few months? You might get a book deal out of it.

Welcome LitHub! A brand-spanking new website with a nifty pedigree: created by Grove Atlantic and Electric Literature.

April 9, 2015

A new video game lets you wander around de Chirico cityscapes!

Programmatic buys aren’t the end of creativity; they’re just the beginning!

April 10, 2015

iHeart Radio brings programmatic to broadcast. 

“Metaphysical Daring as a Post-human Survival Strategy” discussed in the French Embassy Ballroom at 5am. Who’s in?

Great take on advertising as seduction, excerpted from a book we were happy to work on.

The rise of the Instagram influencer (nice work if you can get it).

“This is terrifying and inspiring in equal measure,” says Google’s Ben Malbon about Chris Messina’s idea (reality) of “the full stack employee.” True dat.

Clay Shirky and the New York Times’ Margaret Sulllivan talk about the future of print news. Shirky’s “darker narrative” is about the print newspaper, but does it have relevance to the plateauing of print book share (versus digital)? Shirky says, “So it seems likely to me that after the early, rapid decline, we are now in a period of shallow, secular decay, which will give way to a late-stage period of rapid decline.”

Jason Fried on the differences between how platforms make you feel:

“Every scroll through Instagram puts someone’s good day in front of me. A vacation picture, something new they got that they love, pictures of nature, pictures of people they love, places they’ve been, and stuff they want to cheer about. It’s just flat out harder to be negative when sharing a picture. This isn’t a small thing – it’s a very big deal. I feel good when I browse Instagram. That’s the feel that matters.”

(via Almighty’s “Dark Matter” email)

The Vertical Video: An aesthetic disaster but a must for engagement. (via Almighty’s “Dark Matter” email)



Next to Now: The Week in Reading Links

The Week in Reading Ending April 3
March 30, 2015

Digital natives would just as soon read it in print. 

March 31, 2015

Mobile messaging apps are the one category of app that retains its users. While current advertising options are beyond the reach of most book publishers. We’re watching this space closely for developments in ad products and lower prices.

Here’s another reason to think about messaging apps:  Over 50% of WeChat and Snapchat users are Mobile Shoppers. So get your mobile commerce on. (Via @PeterMcCarthy)

Here’s an interesting piece in the UK’s Bookseller about the potential connections between video game publishing and book publishing. Its insights about production and marketing are not applicable to all kinds of publishing, of course (no insights are true across a field as diverse as book publishing), but it’s worth thinking through.

As an advertising agency, we’re in the business of knowing as much about the users we’re sending ads to as possible. As an integral part of the book publishing ecosystem, we’re committed to both free speech and privacy.  In both those roles, we were keenly interested in this interview between two brilliant legal scholars with a literary bent. It serves as a strong corrective to the endless praise for Big Data, secret algorithms, and behavior-shaping policies. (via Alexis Madrigal’s Real Future newsletter)

This ad industry news reflects broader trends and also is good news for one of Verso’s ad partners: WPP keeps up the acquisitions, adds to Xaxis’s capabilities with mobile-first company Action X.

Is it time for the ad industry to lose its reliance on cookies?

Media buyers are planning on upping programmatic spend by 21% this year, but media suppliers (web publishers, etc) said they only expected to boost their programmatic sales by 4% this year. Something’s gotta give, and it’s probably the quality of the impression.

The New York Times is ready to boil down the news to one sentence to better fit new devices. How do you write a one-sentence news story, as distinct from a headline and a teaser? That might be a good new class to teach in J-School.

April 1, 2015

You should take notes by hand, not on a laptop. (Via everyone, but we saw it first from @timoreilly)

April 2, 2015

Eric Greitens gives a mid-air reading from his book Resilience, then helps an ailing passenger with techniques from the book. People, this is how you do an event.

Great interview with design star Michael Bierut. Love the 100-day project! (Via Dark Matter by Almighty)

“Capitalism is at its core a diverse, intimate network of human and non-human relations.” Doesn’t sound so bad when you put it that way. Here’s a new perspective on what they heck we’re all doing at work every day from “A Feminist Manifesto for the Study of Capitalism.” (via Alexis Madrigal’s Real Future newsletter)

“I still read the newspapers and scream every morning.” Seymour Hersch thinks we’ll be OK in a world where BuzzFeed and Gawker are the future of journalism. Also, we’ll always have the New York Times.

“A team losing a game is not a ‘disaster.’” The AP Stylebook gets real about hackneyed sports cliches.