Monday, June 29, 2009

Kindle Blogs - The New Blogging Platform

The next big blogging platform is not WordPress,TypePad or's the Amazon Kindle.

Citigroup Analyst Mark Mahaney estimates that Amazon sold over half a million Kindles last year, and over 275,000 books are available, including all 112 New York Times best-sellers, as reported by
Fast Company's July/August 2009 issue.

What Fast Company didn't report in that article is that the Kindle is also a platform for journals, newspapers and...blogs.

While WordPress and TypePad offer all sorts of ways to make your blog stand out from a design perspective, the Kindle is a blogging platform where
worse is better.

The really cool part is that Amazon is helping the authors and content creators to monetize their content, a continuuing struggle for most online content creators, especially traditional newspapers.

By the way, here's what Search and Social Media looks like formatted as a Kindle Blog:

And if you've got an iPhone, Amazon offers the Kindle iPhone App for FREE! It's pretty awesome. I've got The Alchemist downloaded and ready for my daily rides on the E train from Jackson Heights to Tribeca, and on New Jersey Transit from Penn Station to Hamilton.

Subscribe to Search and Social Media by Email or RSS

And you can find me on Twitter at

Monday, June 22, 2009

New Ingredients to Fix Advertising

Paul Graham, founder of Y Combinator, a start-up that creates start-ups, published a list of start-up ideas his company would like to fund.

Graham's Start-Up Idea #12: Fix advertising.

He writes, "...audiences learn to tune out boring ads, no matter how loud they shout. What we have now is basically print and TV advertising translated to the web. The right answer will probably look very different. It might not even seem like advertising, by current standards.

"So the way to approach this problem is probably to start over from scratch: to think what the goal of advertising is, and ask how to do that using the new ingredients technology gives us.

Probably the new answers exist already, in some early form that will only later be recognized as the replacement for traditional advertising. "

Some of the new answers exist already, indeed; just look at the innovations within mobile search and social media combined with ecommerce. One example is Apple's AppStore which combines mobile search and social media to deliver increasingly relevant solutions to meet our needs at any moment wherever we are.

Another example are e-book readers and Amazon's Kindle platform.

Are you interested in making advertising better? Follow us on Twitter:

Monday, June 08, 2009

Integrating Offline, Paid Search and Video: Geico and HBO - Vampire Insurance

How HBO and Digital Kitchen Utilized Advanced Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Tactics to Support Their Innovative Campaign to Launch True Blood Season 2.

June 28th Update: see an overview of the integrated media plan and case study, including a behind-the-scenes look at how agency Digital Kitchen partnered with HBO, Geico, Gillete and several other brands to make this campaign a success.

And here's a deeper look at how search engine marketing was incorporated into this innovative online and offline campaign.

Partnering with several brands, HBO and Digital Kitchen leveraged multiple offline tactics, such as outdoor billboards (like the one above) and posters like this one outside Rosetta's NY Office on Hudson Street.

The offline and online tactics created search demand:

And they worked closely with their search marketing team to capture this search demand: for example, when you search for "vampire insurance", they ran targeted paid search (SEM) text ads. And even these were innovative and integrated with the overall campaign, serving both HBO and Geico. Besides providing brand benefits to both HBO and Geico, the ad text ad units themselves leveraged new functionality: an expandable video preview:

Watch the video, then click on the text ad and you're taken to the True Blood Site, where the world of Vampires suddenly starts to feel as real as in the show.

We might call this transmedia storytelling at it's best. It's Convergence Culture being leveraged by smart, media-neutral planning teams. HBO's brand and media planning teams nailed this one, but not just because it's cool; not just because each advertisement is relevant to the show's fans; but because they add a deeper level to the show. Each incremental ad actually enriches the show and each advertiser's role within it.

And in addition to all of this wonderful, difficult-to-quantify brand building; the companies are actually saving media costs through co-branding! Cheers!

For more creative examples: check out Digital Kitchen's Flickr page.