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Tim Peter Thinks

Tim Peter

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March 23, 2006

Content in a Web 2.0 world…

March 23, 2006 | By | No Comments

OK, I know I vanished again for a bit. I’ve been doing quite a bit of traveling and speaking at a number of conferences within my industry. More on that in the next few days. Today, though, just a quickie. I’ve pretty much admired Richard MacManus since I started doing this. He has a great piece on microcontent and its place in the future of the Web. As e-commerce increasingly relies on evolving distribution models, a company’s ability to represent its brand effectively across channels increasingly controlled by consumers may separate the long-term winners from the losers. Some argue that search marketing doesn’t allow a brand to represent itself most effectively. I’m betting that the folks who manage to figure out microcontent most effectively will create strong brands regardless of the distribution channel customers use to find those brands.

Cool stuff, Richard. Keep it up.

Tim Peter

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February 26, 2006

MeCommerce – an e-commerce model that depends on me. And you.

February 26, 2006 | By | No Comments

Back when I (almost) made a living playing music, my friends and I used to riff on the idea that people who showed up early to concerts ought to get to sit in with the band. We figured it was only fair, given the first-come, first-served ticketing approach used by clubs and concert promoters. Of course, we’d laugh ourselves silly at the notion that you could sit in with David Bowie, bumping Carmine Rojas or Earl Slick from the show (this was the 80’s, after all), solely because we’d made it to the stage before they had.

Fast forward a couple of decades, and that notion is rapidly becoming a business model. I really need to pay more attention to my bad ideas. I could be running Yahoo by now, I think.

Actually, I think that Bradley, with some clarification, is right. The beauty of Web 2.0 as a paradigm is that the inmates are running the asylum and generally do a better job of it than the previous keepers did (does anyone remember Pathfinder or Boo.com?). Engaging your customers in the creation process helps drive loyalty, because your customers now have a vested interest in the process itself. Ebay probably has done a better job than anyone in this regard and they’re not anything close to a Web 2.0 environment (though might have influenced its direction more than anyone’s willing to admit). Stay tuned. As ever, where we’re going is infinitely more interesting as we get closer to it. Earl and Carmine may not have had to worry about their jobs, but in this model, he who gets there first may indeed get to play in the band.

Credit where due, I wouldn’t have run across this without Richard MacManus’ weekly roundup of media and Web 2.0 content. Thanks, Richard.

Tim Peter

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February 24, 2006

Web 2.0 and the future of Web apps

February 24, 2006 | By | No Comments

Governor has some interesting thoughts on how Web 2.0 changes the nature of application development. More importantly, he writes a fairly thoughtful view of how users, specifically business users, will begin to push for more AJAX-like interfaces over time as they gain more familiarity with the technologies and techniques that lots of cool folks have developed. Best of all are his thoughts on the governing principles of Web 2.0. Well worth the read.

Tim Peter

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February 5, 2006

Now is email marketing 37 cents or 39 cents these days?

February 5, 2006 | By | No Comments

Here’s a post I wish I wrote. RSS will replace email at some point; just not this year. My dad uses email. He’s never heard of RSS. My boss uses email and instant messaging; she’s never heard of RSS. Until Microsoft introduces RSS reading capabiities by default into the OS or into Outlook, there’s no RSS in the mainstream. Sad, but true.

I hate to be so MS-centric, I really do. But, gentle reader, just ask yourself, how many folks do you know that use something other than IE on MS Windows? 87% of the visitors to my site (not this one; the day job) use some form of IE (either default or AOL), and well over 90% use Windows. By contrast, Mac makes up 3% of our visitors and Linux only 0.2%. Even this site, which attracts a more diverse community, gets 80% of its traffic from Windows operating systems and a pretty healthy chunk on IE (though, does get a nice Firefox representation, bless their little hearts).

Anyhoo, given the omnipresence of Windows, we can only pray for Vista, which is supposed to have nice RSS support. Who knows, maybe my dad and my boss will finally give up on email marketing, too…

Tim Peter

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February 2, 2006

Web 2.0 apparently ruins marketing…

February 2, 2006 | By | No Comments

Hey, here’s a flash. I disagree with Steve Rubel about something. A post on Steve’s blog from a few days ago suggests that Gmail messes up email marketing content by including news stories. The most hilarious line, “At a minimum Google really should label these so-called ‘related pages’ what they are – Google News editorial.” Now I’ve heard lots of people mention that marketers and broadcasters need to clearly identify product placements in television and movies for what they are: advertising. This is the first time I’ve ever heard someone suggest the opposite – that content displayed alongside marketing materials isn’t advertising.

I’m a marketer. It’s what I do for a living and truthfully, I enjoy the hell out of it. I like coming up with items that my customers will find useful and I enjoy putting together inventive ways to inform my customers about those useful things. Because of this, I can see where Steve’s coming from. Yes, it is harder for marketers to clear through the clutter and Google’s placement of editorial alongside marketing content doesn’t make it any easier. Steve uses an example of an email for new Apple products that also has a link to a news story that talks about Apple “…discounting the prior line by $200.” The marketer in me says, “oy.” That said, there’s an obvious solution. If the computer that Apple presents in its email marketing provided better value to their consumers than the discounted, discontinued product, then the $200 probably is meaningless. And if it isn’t, than Apple should go back to the drawing board with the product in the first place.

P.S. – For all my griping about Steve and though I often don’t agree with him, he’s still one of the first sites I check every day. You probably should, too.