The Growing Google Art Project Initiative
High tech merged with high culture Tuesday at The Art Institute of Chicago when Google, Inc. announced an upgrade to its Google Art Project initiative, adding thousands of works in dozens more countries.The project provides access to more than 30,000 ultra-high resolution images of paintings, sculptures, and photographs from 151 museums and other institutions in 40 countries. Google Art Project launched in February 2011 with about 1,000 artworks from such institutions as the Tate Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Uffizi in Florence, and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
The New Facebook Timeline
Spent a lot of time learning about and building out your company's existing Facebook page? Oh well: It's pretty much being upended by March 30, whether you like it or not.
Facebook's latest announced round of changes to Pages, the business equivalent of your personal profile page, go live at the end of the month. They remind me of this great quote from Tom Bedecarré, CEO of mega-agency AKQA, at last week's IAB Annual Leadership Meeting: "For clients, Facebook is becoming the Internet," he said. "And for brand marketers, Facebook is the black hole of marketing."
Marketers Need an Image Strategy
It's starting to feel as if this photo frenzy isn't just a passing phase. Maybe there's some inescapable human affection for pretty pictures. We just can't help ourselves. As Antony Young, CEO of Mindshare North America, put it in his recent column for Ad Age: We're seeing a consumer movement toward a more visual culture brought on by technology and media. Smarter devices are prompting more occasions for people to create and consume visual content, while social media is encouraging that content to be shared on multiple platforms.
Facebook will tell you the same. When you talk to its executives or founders about the company's inflection point, they'll all tell you some variation of "It's the pictures, stupid." The Facebook community uploads 250 million photos a day, and one Harvard Business School study estimates that 70 percent of all activities inside the social network--from "liking" and commenting to looking at friends' content or uploading your own--revolves around photos.
Three Things Every Company Can Do
My sister-in-law maintains a list on her smartphone of companies she vows never to patronize again. She calls it her "shit list." It includes big national brands and small local companies and spans restaurants, hotels, Internet providers, airlines, retailers--practically any business with a service component. And she's not alone. Practically everyone has a shit list of some sort, whether mental or recorded, and the incidents that get companies onto these lists have one thing in common: They're nearly always preventable.
Research shows that replacing a dissatisfied customer costs six to seven times as much as retaining a satisfied one, yet many companies have elaborate justifications for continuing to irritate their customers in defiance of economic logic. Instead of taking advantage of the potential for increased profit by keeping customers happy, they maintain a "leaky bucket" approach, spending endlessly to replace those that leave.
A small Philadelphia-based company called New Paradise Laboratories is re-creating theater for the connected generation. It's incorporating social networks like Facebook, Skype, and Chatroulette into the production and presentation of shows, pulling theater into the virtual space.
This innovative experience takes audiences through a rabbit hole on a visually stimulating online adventure. Stories evolve on social networks with multimedia components from YouTube and Sound Cloud. It can be hard to decipher what's real and what's fiction.
Before shows open on stage, the audience gets to interact with characters on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr accounts. The theater company works with actors to develop the fictional characters on social media accounts.
Using Pinterest as a Planning Tool
Recently, my colleagues have gone wild for Pinterest. Pinterest is an online sharing tool that allows you to construct virtual bulletin boards to collect and display images from across the web. While some museums are using the tool in clever public-facing ways, that's not what's happening here at the MAH. At our museum, our programs team is using Pinterest to develop ideas for upcoming community events. As staff members and interns discover intriguing activities, products, or artwork on the web, individuals can "pin" items of interest to the boards for specific events (i.e. Fire Festival) or program types (Family Programs). This is particularly effective for us since interns and volunteers are significant contributors to our programmatic team and everyone is on different schedules.
Digital Advertising Lessons from the For-Profit Industry
Jeff Rosenblum is drinking tea at Soho House, a private club in lower Manhattan, and explaining to me that most advertising doesn't work, and that the entire advertising industry is stuck in the past and desperately needs to be blown up and reinvented-not exactly what I-d expected to hear from a guy who runs an advertising agency that counts Suzuki, Universal Theme Parks, Capital One, and General Mills among its clients. "Advertising hasn't changed since the 1960s," says Rosenblum, 40, the cofounder of a 50-person agency called Questus that specializes in digital media and just won an Agency of the Year award from iMedia, a publication that tracks the online marketing industry. "But we're on the verge of a revolution."
Five Simple Steps to Measure Social Media ROI
"The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money." ~Thomas Jefferson
"Show me the money!" ~Tom Cruise
Two very different Toms. Which one are you with? Jefferson? Or Cruise? I suppose both have a point. While Jefferson may have been right on a spiritual level — heck, I love to bask in the warm, gooey, feel-good glow of social media as much as the next Twitterati — many businesses are now in the Cruise camp of: “Show me the money!”
There are, without question, myriad soft benefits of social media: elevated customer service, real-time market research, influencer engagement, crisis management, brand protection, brand equity and word-of-mouth marketing. But, many companies want to be able to see ROI (shocker, I know.) Here’s how to do it in five simple steps.
Tell Your Nonprofit’s Story More Effectively
Storytelling is everywhere in the world of communications — in every other webinar I see advertised, best-selling books, even our politics, where we hear about the narrative of the primaries.
But storytelling is as old as humanity. So why the obsession? Why now? Is it that now we all have the power to tell stories? That the traditional media gatekeepers are no longer so powerful and the consumer is now also the producer of stories? Is it that we all think we can control our own narratives? Is it that by telling or sharing stories we choose, we build an external identity, as we would like to be seen?
Content Marketing Advice from the Top Brands
The idea of content marketing is nearly as old as the ad industry itself. But in the last several years, with the unprecedented opportunities afforded by digital production, publishing, and distribution tools, a growing number of brands have created a wider than ever array of content and still others say they intend to explore new content opportunities in the near future. By content, we mean everything from a Twitter feed, pins, and blog posts to web video, apps, and feature films, each designed to stand on its own as stuff audiences want to interact with, not a paid interruption to that stuff.
A Facebook 10K Race
Craig Watson, the newly hired Director of the California Arts Council, and Bob Booker, Executive Director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, encountered each other at a conference in San Francisco. These two friendly rivals made an almost-ridiculous bet: they challenged each other to a race. A 10K race, no less. Each man vowed that his arts agency would be the first to reach 10,000 "likes" on Facebook—although both were starting at around the 4,500 mark.
The two agencies plunged into the effort with enthusiasm and creativity. As word of the challenge spread, other agencies asked to join the race—and were welcomed in a spirit of "the more, the merrier."
The Key to a Unified Brand
I recently went online to pay a credit card bill with a well-known financial institution. Upon logging in, I was presented with a promotional advertisement for the company's iPad application. As a designer, I was naturally curious as to how the app differed from the Web experience, assuming it might just surpass my expectations. And why not? The iPad presents a blank slate on which many organizations can create a unique experience free from legacy constraints inherent in a long-standing Web application.
Reshaping the Museum Model
One day last fall Adam Lerner, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver, convened a staff meeting. The aim was to brainstorm for the next season of Mixed Taste, the museum’s signature lecture series.
Billed as “tag-team lectures on unrelated topics,” each event involves presentations by experts on two subjects that create a high-low pair, like “Wittgenstein and Hula Dancing” or “Time Travel and the French Situationists.” That is followed by a question-and-answer session in which audience members urge the speakers to make connections between the two.
Why Facebook's Daily Active Users is Not the Number that Matters
A fracas erupted on Tuesday over the number of Facebook's actual daily average users. But it's one that shed light on how Facebook is a publishing platform like none that has come before it, and may presage a turning point when the brand advertising world eventually stops placing such an emphasis on reach and starts valuing performance above all.
The brouhaha started when the New York Times' DealBook noted that, though Facebook claimed 483 million daily active users (DAUs) in the IPO filing it submitted last week, the social network also said that not all of those people actually visit the company's website on any given day. That number also includes users who access the service via its mobile apps and those who perform actions on a third-party site, like clicking the Like button next to a particular garment on a clothing retailer's site or sharing a concert ticket purchase with their friends.
10 Things to Plan When Developing a Mobile App
Many companies have mobile apps at the top of their to-do lists, but while churning out a quick app is fairly straightforward, developing a strategic application or digital “solution” is considerably more complex. Smart planning is essential.
Here are 10 things to consider before developing your app.