Monthly Archives: September 2009

Google Sidewiki – How Will Advertisers React?

Google recently launched Google Sidewiki, which allows web searchers to contribute “helpful” information next to any webpage.

Google Sidewiki appears as a browser sidebar, where you can read and write entries along the side of the page…kind of like “comments” or reviews” (or like circa 1999 Thirdvoice “sticky notes” (google it…)).

In their own blog entry on the product, Google says “As you browse the web, it’s easy to forget how many people visit the same pages and look for the same information. Whether you’re researching advice on heart disease prevention or looking for museums to visit in New York City, many others have done the same and could have added their knowledge along the way…now you can”

So basically it allows you to leave and read “comments” and “reviews” other folks have made for a given website in their index; whether they are in the same context or not of your own interest or research…

In a perfect world it seems users of sidewiki would contribute a wealth of valuable information attached to every website, and users would monitor the content like some version of Wikipedia.

Unfortunately as we’ve all seen if we’ve spent the time reading comments on youtube, amazon, itunes or any web bulletin board / discussion group – we don’t live in a perfect world.

I have to suspect it will be a tough gig to keep Sidewiki from being plagued with erroneous comments, slander, sneaky advertising, spam, scams, trolls, flame wars, bad grammar, typos, bigotry and hatred.

I’m sure Google will attempt to combat this with its moderators and algorithms, but nothing is perfect.

It seems the actual owner of the webpage has no control over the Sidewiki – so how will Google handle their own advertisers frustrations over not only seeing comments that degrade them but realizing that they likely paid Google for the traffic that ultimately degraded them?

I’m sure Sidewiki has its uses…in the same way reviews on, amazon, itunes and ebay do…but I personally see more “noise”  and “risk” than benefit…I wonder how long until webpage programmers figure out how to “optout” of sidewiki in the first place…

I think the big challenge is the context of the comments; just because I’m on a website about New York City – doesn’t mean I want comments of where to stay or where to eat…maybe my search is much more specific or granular than that; the comments will be hard to sift through…so I know I’ll end up just shutting it off.

What about b2b marketers – do you see an opportunity looming here?


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Almost 1/5th of Time Online is Spent With Social Media

According to a new survey out from Nielson, we are spending on average 17 percent of our online time socializing, nearly triple the percentage of time spent on social media a year ago.

According to Jon Gibbs, the VP of Media & Agency Insights @ Nielsen’s online division: “While video and text content remain central to the Web experience – the desire of online consumers to connect, communicate and share is increasingly driving the medium’s growth.”

It appears this increase in usage is driving increased ad revenues as a result – year-over-year, estimated online advertising spend on the top social network and blogging sites increased 119 percent, from approximately $49 million in August 2008 to approximately $108 million in August 2009.

It should be no surprise that the Entertainment Industry led in growing its online ad dollars, increasing ad spending on the top social network sites by 812% in August -but what about B2B?

Surprise surprise surprise…of the 13 industries tracked by Nielsen in this survey; B2B ranked 3rd in overall Year-Over-Year growth with 184% growth; only trailing Entertainment (812%) and Travel (364%).  Also surprisingly facebook was the leading platform for ad impressions for the b2b space.

You can see all 13 industries in the link below to the full survey.

The detail on spending and ad impressions for the 13 industries was fascinating; but I would have liked to see the breakdown of usage by these industries too – perhaps the 17% of time online is the average; but I have to suspect it’s lower for b2b folks (could be wrong); but overall some compelling trends to continue to monitor and watch.

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Email Grammar Lesson – e.g. versus i.e.

Although I’m not known for my grasp of the English language – I do feel that if I’m presenting myself as a marketer and choosing to frequently use email as a communication tool I should at least have a grasp of proper grammar. One thing I always get confused about is as to when I should use the abbreviation “e.g.” as opposed to “i.e.” in professional correspondence / emails.

 I’ve noticed that I prefer to use “e.g.” and others might more often prefer to use “i.e.” in very similar use cases – I asked someone who actually corrected my e.g. to an i.e. and they said “well i.e. stands for “in example”….which I knew was wrong…so I finally got to the bottom of it for my own education and have elected to share for no other reason than I have wasted so much time on it that I’m trying to recoup some return on my investment through the betterment of others…

1. e.g.

e.g. stands for exempli gratia, which means “for example.” You are supposed to use e.g. to introduce one or more possibilities among many.

I like outdoor sports, e.g., football, soccer.
(football and soccer are just one of many types of outdoor sports)

He wastes his money on junk, e.g. cars that don’t run.
(cars that don’t run are junk)

I’ll listen to any kind of music, e.g., country-western, rap, etc.
(Country-western and rap are just two of the many types of music that I’ll listen to)

An easy way to remember what e.g. means is to think of it as standing for “example given.”  

2. i.e.

i.e. stands for id est which means “that is.” Use i.e. when what you are introducing is equivalent to or an explanation of what comes before it in the sentence.

I like outdoor sports; i.e., the ones that are played outside on a grassy field.

He wastes his money on junk; i.e., stuff that he will never get around to fixing.

I’ll listen to anything; i.e., I like any kind of music.

Basically, i.e. means “in other words.” It’s used to reword or provide an alternate explanation.

The Bottom Line

e.g. and i.e. are both Latin abbreviations. Both introduce additional information, but e.g. offers an example while i.e. explains or rewords. If you can replace the abbreviation with “for example,” use e.g. If you can replace it with “in other words” or “that is,” use i.e.

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Positive News and Trends for Manufacturing – ISM Report

Some fantastic positive news was published yesterday by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) on trends within the Manufacturing Sector. If you aren’t familiar with ISM – it’s a not-for-profit US based association with more than 40,000 members. The ISM serves purchasing and supply management professionals.

Every month since 1998 they publish a report called the Manufacturing Report On Business; the information in the report is gathered from both surveys of their members and global economic facts / trends.

As part of this report – they provide a “Purchasing Manager’s Index” or PMI – The PMI is a composite index of five “sub-indicators” including:

  • Manufacturing Production Levels
  • New Orders (from customers)
  • Supplier Deliveries
  • Inventory
  • Employment Levels

The PMI figure can vary from 0 to 100; a PMI reading of 50 or higher generally indicates the industry is expanding and below 50 means it’s contracting. The rate of change of this reading over time is also important as a reading of 51 coming after a month with a reading of 56 would not be seen favorably – but a reading of 51 after a month <50; the opposite is true.

For August – the PMI was 52.9; the highest value since June 2007; in July the value was 48…a 4 percentage point increase and more importantly – the first greater than 50 rating in 18 months.

In short – it is saying that after a year and half decline in manufacturing – August is showing growth.

According to ISM – the growth was driven by significant strength in NEW ORDERS; which was up 9.6 points to 64.9 percent – the highest total since DECEMBER 2004.

Additionally; the growth appears sustainable as inventories have been reduced for 40 consecutive months and supply chains will have no choice but to re-stock to meet this new demand.

Some great news for us to leverage as marketers to make sure we are in front of what is expected to be a sustainable trend – new orders and increasing searching, sourcing and purchasing across the supply chain!

Link to the ISM report:

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