Posts Tagged ‘Widgets’

mobile-socialFollowing last week’s DigiDay Social & DigiDay Mobile conferences,  I had a chance to brainstorm about how social and mobile marketing were becoming such interconnected bedfellows. The trend is only strengthening.

Consumers are looking for experiential and utility value in social and mobile channels. The experiences we provide consumers are converging, and becoming less about the channel, platform or destination, and more about experience itself (I’d argue that it was always that way),  the development, distribution and measurement of these distributed experiences must strive for complete interoperability.

Currently, devices and platforms have various protocols and standards that make this a lot of work for developers, and more importantly, a major expense for companies. The end result – few companies have a consistent digital experience to offer consumers that transcends any platform or device the consumer chooses. Consumers want this, marketers want this.

Enter Adobe…yes, Adobe.

Apparently Adobe plans on creating uniformity across social and mobile applications.  Essentially a developer could build flash-based apps in a to-be-released authoring tool, that will be customized to deliver experiences to consumers in each native environment. Sounds like the holy grail of a uniform experience across various social platforms and channels. Of course the acquisition of Omniture will provide deep analytics into the performance of these distributed experiences. Adobe, I applaud you for taking this stand.

Not The First Time

Flash has been the basis of rich experiences online for over a decade. And why wouldn’t the makers of Flash want to maintain and even bolster this ubiquitous position? Those who have been in the digital media space for sometime remember when Macromedia (original brand that developed Flash) partnered with Doubleclick to develop DART Motif. Well, Macromedia’s involvement was limited, but the strategy was the same – create a level of uniformity between otherwise disparate systems that develop and deliver Flash-based experiences. Times have changed, and Adobe has far more skin in the game now. This is a big play. This can be a major boon for the  entire ecosystem – developers, marketers, content providers, and of course consumers.

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Is it just me, or is it a total “duh” moment that the FBI should be utilizing social tools, and content syndication to deputize the socially minded consumer base. Hence, the FBI’s 10 most wanted, the widget. I’m sure there are tons of cool things that the FBI and government agencies have been doing online, but it’s great to finally see a few.

[clearspring_widget title=”FBI 10 Most Wanted” wid=”4918afbf75b4da7f” pid=”4934a24598bc68cc” width=”304″ height=”454″ domain=”widgets.clearspring.com”]

MySpace launched their developer area earlier this year, and last month announced new tools for marketersto manage their branded pages. Up until now marketers have had to work with the creative team at MySpace and provide assets that were ultimately put together by MySpace. I’m seeing more and more social network integration deals across all of the nets (MySpace, Facebook & Bebo are really the only ones that I track), so this makes a ton of sense. Oh yeah, did I mention that MySpace’s revenue in 2007 was around $1 billion?

I’ve heard rumors that MySpace is now deleting pages from marketers when they are not paid branded pages (although that rumor is still unconfirmed).

I caught this postabout MySpace charging for App promotion yesterday (it includes slides from MySpace’s powerpoint where they are pitching this product). Ultimately I believe that this is a good thing. Consumers are swimming in widget/application overload, it’s far too cluttered already. Clutter makes discovering relevant experiences more difficult, and it’s good to see some of ther reigns being pulled in on that. On the other hand, diversity also fosters the potential of the creation of relevant content and experiences in the first place. So it’s a balance that needs to be struck. This move of course also unevens the playing field for the little guy once again – but in business the playing field has never been, and will never be even anyway. Let’s just say that new media has made it a little more balanced, but “even” is a pipe-dream.

Ultimately, providing the distribution platform to developers, so they can produce applications for consumers, and making consumers available to marketers (with all the associated vaults of data behind them) is the formula for growth and success here.  I love this space – social media rocks.

I admit it. I love widget advertising. It adds a social media element to rich media, and on a larger scale, it helps social mediaWidget become better entrenched in the consumer’s online journey, versus existing only at destination points. With each jump in ad format quality, richness and interconnectedness to other systems are enhancing the consumer experience by making it more relevant, while in lock-step also improving marketing effectiveness.

I reported last September that Google Gadget Ads added the additional dimension of rich media and interoperability to a well distributed existing ad sense network. Following that, in October I reported that EyeWonder had launched a social media / embeddable rich media unit, and the trend will continue with all other rich media platforms and even large publishers and agency holding companies following suit. AOL’s Platform A just made their foray into the mix by acquiring Goowy Media last week – soon widget ads will be everywhere. Consumers will one day soon become accustomed to accessing and embedding information from their favorite brands through their online marketing.

“Reach out and touch someone? Screw that – reach out and embed someone!” (quote – Jason Heller 2008)


It’s a formidable battle ground in the widigetizing, sharing, bookmarking, tagging or otherwise socially integrating everything into everything else game. Incorporating social media attributes into rich media opens up a new dimension that taps into the social fabric of the changing web itself – the same social fabric responsible for the spurts of exponential and organic growth of some of today’s social media darlings like YouTube, Wikipedia, MySpace, Digg, or Flickr, as examples. Marketers will learn how to distribute marketing assets of various formats, thus increasing consumer (market) engagement, extending the life of marketing campaigns, and leveraging brand advocates and ambassadors in new ways and more extensively than ever before.

Question for my fellow media geeks out there – did technology drive consumer adoption, or did adoption drive technology? Or – did technology first drive consumer adoption, which drove more technology, which in turn drove more adoption, and so on? Do the iterations of each shift happen at an increasing pace? Are technological progress and consumer adoption becoming one? Then why do my laptop and mobile device keep crashing all the time? (Ok I took that one too far …. does chicken or egg really matter anyway?)

It’s a lot of fun to be a marketer and a consumer these days!

DIGITAL BLUR WIDGET AND FACEBOOK APPLICATION
In the spirit of having fun marketing, I have just launched a widget and Facebook application for The Digital Blur . It’s actually a Blidget – part blog part midget, err – widget. You can grab it here for any social media site or blog. Enjoy!