Archive for fevereiro \28\UTC 2009

Enterprise Content Management- ECM Maturity Model (“ECM3”) [Modelo de Maturidade de Gestão Empresarial de Conteúdo- (“ECM3”)]

fevereiro 28, 2009

O blog www.cmswatch.com divulgou esta semana o lançamento do novo ECM -Enterprise Content Management Maturity Model (“ECM3“).

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FOR RELEASE: 24 February 2009

CONTACT:
Kristie Hughes, Marketing Director, CMS Watch

New Maturity Model Enables Audit, Improvement of Enterprise Content Management Capabilities
Wipro, Hartman Communicatie, SCG, and CMS Watch launch “ECM3Boston, MA, USA; Bangalore, India, and Utrecht, The Netherlands — Enterprises striving to align their business and technology efforts for improved Enterprise Content Management (ECM) can now assess their existing readiness and guide their ECM roadmap going forward, using the ECM Maturity Model (“ECM3“). The model was jointly developed by leading consulting firms Wipro Technologies, Hartman Communicatie, and Smigiel Consulting Group, along with independent analyst company CMS Watch, and released under creative commons today.

Enterprises must manage ever-increasing volumes of content and address related challenges such as: mitigating legal and compliance risk; following storage, archiving and disposition policies; reducing paper usage; and more. This requires planning and developing a comprehensive strategy for effectively deploying of ECM systems. However, CIOs typically have difficulty juggling the complex human, information, and systems aspects of ECM.

The ECM Maturity Model provides a structured framework for setting priorities to address these challenges. “Like all maturity models, it is partly descriptive and partly prescriptive,” notes CMS Watch Principal, Alan Pelz-Sharpe. “You can apply the model to audit, assess, and explain your current state, as well as inform a roadmap for maturing your enterprise capabilities.”

Shridhar Rajgopalan, Global Head of the Portals and Content Management Practice at Wipro says, “In today’s cost-sensitive environment, it is important to follow a model which helps enterprises identify, prioritize, and implement the initiatives that give them maximum value for money. This maturity model will help organizations in achieving this.”

The model suggests graded levels of capabilities ranging from rudimentary information collection and basic control, through increasingly sophisticated levels of management and integration, finally resulting in a mature state of continuous experimentation and improvement.

“The model is particularly oriented towards ECM Business Champions, Business Analysts, and IT Leaders,” explained Erik Hartman, founder of Hartman Communicatie. “However, it should be helpful to any consultants and practitioners of ECM strategies, solutions, and tools.”

Key features of the model include:

  • ECM3 proposes thirteen dimensions of maturity (ranging from “IT Expertise” to “Content Findability”), across five maturity levels
  • ECM3 provides detailed descriptions of the five maturity levels, along with hypothetical narrative examples of organizations residing at each level

 

The Enterprise Content Management Maturity Model can be downloaded at www.ecm3.org under a Creative Commons license.

The PaaS Era – Parts I and II (A Era PaaS-Plataforma como um Serviço- Partes I e II)

fevereiro 28, 2009

Eis abaixo um post (em duas partes: a parte I é complementada com a parte II mais abaixo) do blog www.crmbuyer.com sobre uma tendência que está vindo para se tornar padrão em TICs: PaaS – Platform as a Service (Plataforma como um Serviço).

Nós já havíamos tratado este assunto aqui  neste blog no dia 13/02/2009, mas aos poucos a literatura a seu respeito vai ganhando densidade.  É uma evolução mais elaborada do SaaS- Software as a Service (Software como um Serviço) que tratamos logo no início da criação deste blog, e que promete muito nesta era da Web 2.0!

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The PaaS Era, Part 1: Everybody’s Pounding Out Mashups
By Erika Morphy
CRM Buyer
02/24/09 4:00 AM PT

Companies are finding that one of the best ways to foster interest in their applications is to distribute SDKs and let developers have at them. A growing trend toward delivering Platform as a Service capabilities means that mashups have sprung up in the thousands, making the notion of old-fashioned software customization seem almost quaint.

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Earlier this month Zuora, a startup that’s less than a year old, launched Z-Commerce, a platform that gives developers access to its applications as well as Z-Force’s API (application programming interface) documentation, sample code and toolkits. There is also a sandbox environment, currently available in private beta.

A few years ago, this might have seemed like an overly ambitious undertaking for small company. Today — thanks to developments in the Software as a Service space — it has become almost expected.
Those developments were fueled by Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) More about Salesforce.com, which in 2007 introduced its Force.com platform to third-party developers so they could build apps that integrated with its existing services. This move was a runaway success for Salesforce.com. Since then, not surprisingly, it has been duplicated in various ways by other vendors.

Some Caveats

Salesforce.com hardly deserves all the credit, though. Social media, the advancement of Web 2.0 in the enterprise space, and Web services in general have all contributed to the development of next-gen customer relationship management applications that are far more open and able to incorporate dynamic, third-party information.

Also, to be fair, there were other vendors experimenting with this approach around the same time — although not at the same scale. Salesforce.com, though, was inarguably the best at promoting it, mirroring its success a decade ago selling the SaaS delivery model.

Vindicia, for example, opened its CashBox billing platform to developers three years ago, enabling them to build their own applications in one of six programming languages, noted Vindicia CEO Gene Hoffman. CashBox provides a standards-based API for automatic subscription-based and one-time billing services.

Hoffman is not surprised that this model is gaining traction: “CRM and other software companies are increasingly encouraging developers to build applications on their platforms and to distribute those applications online as a turnkey solution,” he told CRM Buyer. “In addition to the distribution and ecosystem benefits for developers, this Platform as a Service model offers vendors an opportunity to expand their reach with developers.”

There are, however, limitations to this approach. “Salesforce.com certainly is on the mark, making its application open and ready to integrate. Doing that advances the value proposition of any Platform as a Service,” Francis Carden, founder of OpenSpan, told CRM Buyer.

“But CRM applications in any form might only represent between 10 percent to 30 percent of an enterprise’s core legacy application set. The rest might be financials, shipping, inventory control and the like — split among mainframe, Web, Windows native, Java More about Java, even virtualized applications. Even if a CRM Platform as a Service comes ready to work with some of these, there are often many legacy applications with no obvious APIs or other integration points, and little IT appetite or budget to approach them, he explained.”

Service-oriented architecture, or SOA, was one integration promise, but changes to existing SOA take time and can be expensive. “Thus, true enterprise-wide desktop integration remains a challenge,” said Carden.

Striking Contrast

Still, the contrast between what was possible a few years ago and what even small companies can do today is remarkable.

BatchBlue Software, for example, opened its BatchBook application development platform to partners and users in early January 2009, CEO Pamela O’Hara told CRM Buyer.

The public API allows both customers and partners much more flexibility when working with the BatchBook application, including a more streamlined tool for sharing data with other applications, she said. “For example, one customer used the BatchBook API to migrate their CRM data from another application into BatchBook. A BatchBlue partner is using the API to develop a tool that all customers can use to sync profile information with a popular social media network.”

Many CRM vendors, in fact, are taking advantage of applications that providers of corporate data are offering, such as Jigsaw.

Last year Jigsaw launched its Open Data Initiative, an open source More about open source program that allows vendors to import or preload its data into their own applications. Since then, vendors such as NetSuite, Oracle, Sage, SugarCRM, Entellium, Landslide and Maximizer have inked partnerships with the company to incorporate its data into their own applications.

These, of course, are mashups: Web applications that combine data from one or more sources — usually outside the original application or database — into a single integrated tool.

While their use has become ubiquitous, many companies are not aware they are using them, Yankee Group analyst Sheryl Kingstone told CRM Buyer. “When we query users we ask about mashups and they either don’t understand what the term is or they say they are not interested — but when we dig a little further, they are obviously using them.”

Their value, though, is clear. “There is a lot of data stored in a variety of places — whether in third-party social networks or CRM databases,” Denis Pombriant, principal of Beagle Research More about Beagle Research, told CRM Buyer. “It is very helpful to be able to seamlessly access the information as if it were all part of one database.”

For instance, many mashups focus on “perennial pain points.” he continued.

The integration of dynamic contact information into a CRM application, for example, address a sore need for this functionality on the part of sales and marketing staff, said Pombriant. “Rather than company databases becoming obsolete, social networking mashups have the potential to keep them up to date. Having these capabilities gives us the opportunity to let our imaginations go wild.”

Indeed, the mashup capabilities with third-party data represent only the tip of an iceberg.

Stay tuned for Part 2.

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The PaaS Era, Part 2: Who’s In It All the Way?

By Erika Morphy
CRM Buyer
Part of the ECT News Network
02/27/09 4:00 AM PT

The PaaS trend is still in its infancy, but it has gained so much popularity already that vendors are scrambling to let developers experiment with their applications. Not all PaaS vendors are alike, though. Some offer limited mashup-creating capabilities, while others — NetSuite, Oracle, SugarCRM and SalesLogix, for example — really let devs get their hands dirty.

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Part 1 of this two-part series describes the emerging trend toward Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings and touches on how some vendors are experimenting with this model in the customer relationship management software space.

Open development platforms and their offspring — mashups — are behind the significant changes in CRM functionality that have been introduced over the last year or so. These are early days for Platform as a Service, though, and each vendor is approaching the technology on its own preferred path.

Following is an overview of who’s doing what in this space, focusing on the major vendors whose roots are in CRM. Clearly, there are other major providers: HP (NYSE: HPQ) More about Hewlett-Packard, for example, has been offering Software as a Service for more than eight years now and recently launched a Platform as a Service offering.

Also, the number of vendors that have opened their architecture enough to allow developers and users to create mashups is too large by far to mention all of them. “There are a lot of permutations out there,” Yankee Group analyst Sheryl Kingstone told CRM Buyer.

NetSuite’s NS-BOS

Those that offer limited access are on the lower end of the Platform as a Service industry spectrum, according to Kingstone.

“The higher value-add offers have actually opened up their platforms,” she noted. Although there are few companies that meet the fully open criteria, Kingstone believes their numbers will grow.

NetSuite More about NetSuite is one example. It introduced its own version of a development platform in 2008. In contrast to Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) More about Salesforce.com, however, it based its Business Operating System, or NS-BOS, on open standards.

NS-BOS uses industry standard JavaScript as the basis for its programming capabilities; developers use it to create suitelets or applications that can either leverage the NetSuite user interface or a different UI.

The application includes SuiteFlex — NetSuite’s platform for customization, verticalization, integration and business process automation — and SuiteBundler, capabilities that allow independent software vendors to deliver vertical solutions to SaaS customers in a packaged, repeatable manner.

Omnify Software, Configure One, SuiteCommerce, and SPS Commerce are among the NetSuite ISVs and VARs (value-added resellers) that have used NS-BOS.

Oracle On Demand

Then there are the companies that have opened their applications up to allow users to create their own mashups. Some are more flexible than others, bordering on mini platforms in their own right.

Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) More about Oracle On Demand is one example. Oracle is still maintaining and expanding the on-demand CRM application it inherited with the acquisition of Siebel. However, it has also introduced mini applications — or “gadgets,” as Oracle calls them — that are essentially highly advanced mashups.

It first introduced mini-applications that provide enterprise data and service leveraging Web 2.0 content last November, along with the application’s Version 8.1.1 rollout.

Generally speaking, their purpose is to improve the user’s productivity, mainly through leveraging Web 2.0 content such as corporate information, public data or personal information from social networking sites. Indeed, one of their key selling points is the ability to quickly access information without having to launch a browser or log onto a corporate network.

Other gadgets are available in Contacts, Accounts, Deal Management, Search, Sales Quota and Sales Prospector. Oracle also introduced Oracle Mobile Sales Assistant, a mobile app add-on with features designed to make life easier for on-the-road sales reps — getting driving directions to an appointment via PIM (personal information management), for example.

In fact, “with release 16 of Oracle CRM On Demand, we’re seeing a push to offer some of the similar things that Salesforce.com did with Force.com,” said James Brehm, senior consultant with the information and communication technology practice at Frost & Sullivan More about Frost & Sullivan.

“It’s not quite the same thing as offering a platform as a service, but does give end users more control and customization capabilities,” he told CRM Buyer. “Who knows what could happen with the next offering?”

Sugar Data Center Edition

SugarCRM More about SugarCRM ratcheted up its open source More about open source bona fides last year with its own development play, Sugar Data Center Edition. It bundles existing software, systems management More about system management, monitoring, subscription and license management tools, as well as activity reports, so partners and customers can control the deployments.

It allows developers and partners “to create, manage and monitor cross-instance reporting of entirely different versions of SugarCRM,” Martin Schneider, the company’s director of product marketing, told CRM Buyer at the time.

The company recently enhanced this functionality with new tools and features introduced at its global developer conference earlier this year. It launched a new Web services framework and mobile customizations and rolled out connectors linking third-party data to Zoominfo and CrunchBase. Users can tap them as lead generation engines or for use in sales or marketing activities. It already offered connectors for Hoover’s (Nasdaq: HOOV) More about Hoover's JigSaw and LinkedIn More about LinkedIn.

This latest wave of innovation has given SugarCRM a significant boost, Denis Pombriant, principal of Beagle Research More about Beagle Research, told CRM Buyer.

SalesLogix 7.2

For its version 7.2, which debuted in spring 2007, SalesLogix More about SalesLogix rebuilt its architecture using standards-based, scalable Web technologies that set the stage for the company to expand in a number of directions. The offering includes its own version of mashup capabilities.

SalesLogix uses Representational State Transfer (REST) Web services to request data via embedded URL-style addresses to enable Web applications including Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) More about Google Maps, Jigsaw, LinkedIn and Zillow.

For example, using REST, a CRM application can access inventory data in an enterprise resource planning More about enterprise resource planning application from a Web browser. This data can be made available to third-party applications and services as well.

 

 

 

 

China market: 2008 online advertising valued at over 11 billion yuan (Mercado da China: propaganda online de 2008 valorada em mais de 11bilhões de yuans)

fevereiro 28, 2009

Eis aqui alguns números de online advertising vindos da China.  Os dados são do blog www.digitimes.com!

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China market: 2008 online advertising valued at over 11 billion yuan

Press release; Adam Hwang, DIGITIMES [Friday 27 February 2009]

Providers of online advertising services in the China market generated total revenues of an estimated 11.81 billion yuan (US$1.7 billion) in 2008, growing by 67.4% from 2007, according to consulting company Analysys International.

Banner (advertising space) and keyword-search accounted for 50.7% and 43.3%, respectively, of the 2008 total revenues, and Baidu, Sina, Google, Sohu and Tecent were the top-five providers of online advertising service, Analysys indicated.

But Who´s Counting (Mas quem está contando?)

fevereiro 26, 2009

Matéria super-interessante que saiu na nova edição da revista Technology Review, do MIT, nos EUA!

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But Who’s Counting?

No one really knows how many people visit websites. A San Francisco startup and Google are both working to change that.

By Jason Pontin

 

0309-konrad_x220

He counts: Konrad Feldman, a cofounder of San Francisco–based startup Quantcast, sees big business in audience measurement.
Credit: Toby Burditt

 

In August 2006, when Roger McNamee invested in Forbes, he did so in part because its Web audience was thought to be huge. McNamee is a founder of Elevation Partners, a Silicon Valley private-equity firm that counts Bono of the rock band U2 as one of its managing partners; it specializes in big, bold investments in media and technology. Onstage at EmTech, Technology Review’s annual conference, he said, “Look: I’m not investing in Forbes for its dead-trees business.”

At the time, Jim Spanfeller, the chief executive of Forbes.com, claimed that more than 15 million readers around the globe had visited his site in February, making Forbes the world’s leading business site. He supported his boast with research from ­ComScore Media Metrix, one of the two leading suppliers of third-party traffic data for the Web. The numbers seemed safe enough: Forbes­.com’s internal server logs showed even greater Web traffic. It was embarrassing, therefore, when ComScore announced that it had changed the methods it used to estimate worldwide audiences, and that little more than seven million people had visited Forbes.com in July. That placed Forbes’s online audience below those of Dow Jones (whose sites include WSJ.com) and CNN Money (whose sites include Fortune). Bitchy press accounts suggested that McNamee had been overcharged–if not actually robbed–for his investment, which was variously reported at between $250 million and $300 million.

More than two years later, McNamee claims he always knew there were broad discrepancies between what the internal sever logs of Forbes.com showed and what third parties reported. “To be a headache, it would have to be surprising,” he says. Instead, he suggests, he invested with no very precise idea of Forbes.com’s audience: “I looked at every indicator that was out there. They were all bad. In the end, I had to think about it differently. I invested in Forbes because I thought the market was underserved, and because they had made fewer mistakes than anyone else.” (To this day, McNamee declines to say how much he paid for how large an equity stake.)

People still can’t agree on how many readers visit Forbes.com. “According to ComScore, we have six to seven million visitors [per month]; our own logs say 18 to 20 million,” says Spanfeller. But while the difference between third-party and internal measurements is, for a variety of reasons, particularly striking in the case of Forbes, confusion about the size of online audiences is universal.

No one really knows how many people visit websites. No established third-party supplier of audience measurement data is trusted. Internal Web logs exaggerate audiences. This matters to more people than investors, like McNamee, who worry that they have no way to evaluate new-media businesses. The issues involved are technical, and occluded by ugly jargon, but they concern anyone anxious about the future of media as print and broadcast television and radio shrink in importance.

Happily, a California startup and Google are working to measure Web audiences in new and better ways.

The Price of Journalism
Why care about something as arcane as dodgy audience measurement? Here’s why: where content is free, as it is on most websites, the only thing that will pay for quality journalism–or, really, anything valuable at all–is advertising. For most new-media businesses, “display” or banner advertising is the main source of operating revenues. But the general inability to agree on audience numbers is stunting the growth of display advertising.

Every year, advertisers spend billions of dollars online; ­eMarketer, a research firm, predicts $25.7 billion in 2009 in the United States alone. Marketers study Web audiences to help them decide which sites to spend money on: they try to divine the number of people who visit a site every month, demographic details about those visitors, the length of time they stay on the site, the number of pages they view, and the relationship, if any, between the ads they see and the way they behave. The people who actually buy ads–media buyers and planners at advertising agencies–use this information to choose appropriate sites for campaigns. Finally, publishers use the data to set advertising rates.

However, the correlation between the size of Web audiences and their value to advertisers is not direct. In print, the relationship between audience size and advertising spending is simple, because the prices of ads derive largely from a publisher’s audited statement of circulation; media planners buy the total audience. Online, it’s more complicated because the currency of display advertising is ad impressions, or the number of times a specific ad is served to a particular part of a website. “Audience numbers don’t affect my buying decisions very much,” explains David L. Smith, the chief executive and founder of Mediasmith, an ­interactive-media planning and buying agency whose clients include the National Geographic Channel and Sega. “If we were buying the total audience of a site, it would be different. But most of the time we buy packages of impressions.”

Jim Spanfeller, who is a past chair and current board member of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the industry association that represents sellers of online advertising, agrees with Smith that unreliable audience measurement doesn’t directly affect ad spending, at least at larger sites: “If you’re an established site like Forbes.com, you’re selling on an ad-impression basis. The problem arises when an agency is thinking about moving money from one medium, like print or television, onto the Web.” Then, Spanfeller says, media planners can’t show their clients whether Web audiences replicate or complement the audiences that advertisers are reaching through traditional media. “We need believable numbers so that we can do cross-media comparisons,” he says. Additionally, bad audience measurement “hurts smaller sites with more targeted audiences that don’t have a lot of impressions”–the class of sites that Spanfeller, like many digerati, says occupies “the long tail.”

Thus, the real consequence of the audience measurement problem is a chilling effect on the transfer of advertising from older media to new. Meanwhile, another form of online advertising is growing quickly–but it’s not the ads publishers sell. The numbers clarify. Spending on “keyword” or search advertising (the sponsored links that appear near search results on Google.com and other search sites) grew 21 percent in 2008, mostly at the expense of print, local television and radio, and Yellow Pages advertising; it now constitutes 45 percent of all online advertising. That’s because the effectiveness of keywords is unambiguous: advertisers pay directly for click-throughs or purchases. There’s no need to appeal to anything so disputed as the size or composition of Web audiences. This growth in keyword advertising has mainly bene­fited the search firms. By comparison, the display advertising that media companies sell grew only 4 percent the same year.

Four percent growth might sound all right to some, but it occurs at the same time that advertising revenues in print are falling rapidly. For instance, ad spending in newspapers will decline from $50.8 billion in 2007 to $45 billion by 2012, according to Borrell Associates, a research firm. Even Forbes is sweating. As a private company, it does not disclose its revenues, but the number of ad pages in its magazine has been shrinking since 2000. At the same time, the company’s online advertising revenues are reported to be between $55 million and $70 million, a figure Spanfeller did not dispute. That’s not so much for a publication with an audience of 20 (or even seven!) million. In the glory days of print advertising, publications with much smaller audiences earned as much or more: Red Herring, which I once edited, earned more than $50 million in print advertising revenue in 2000, and its circulation was only 350,000 readers, according to Ted Gramkow, the magazine’s former publisher.

Display advertising was meant to fund the great shift of readers to new media. It’s not happening. For more than 100 years, advertising paid publishers and underwrote their production of great journalism; now, those ad monies are being funneled to search firms that create nothing but code. As Roger McNamee says: “Getting this right is absolutely necessary for publishers to be able to continue to do interesting things.”

online_spending_graph

Adding it up: Although print, radio, and television still account for a large percentage of total advertising revenues, their share is decreasing as more and more ad dollars are spent online. But this isn’t necessarily a boon to new-media publishers who rely on display advertising, because “keyword” or search advertising dominates the online ad market; it now accounts for nearly half of all online ad revenues.
Credit: Chart sources: Jack Myers Media Business Report; eMarketer

Panel Discussion
What’s wrong with existing methods of measuring Web audiences? Lots.

ComScore and Nielsen Online, a division of the Nielsen Company, are the established leaders in the field of audience measurement and the sale, to advertisers, agencies, and publishers, of the data that audience measurement produces.

These third-party audience measurement firms exist because the internal logs of publishers are notoriously unreliable in quantifying user activity on a given site. “When publishers use their log files, there are many limitations,” David Smith says. He says that the limitations of using these internal logs (a practice sometimes called “census measurement”) include, in ascending order of impact, overcounting individuals with multiple computers or Web browsers; counting “mechanical visits” by Web “bots” and “spiders” (for example, when Google crawls the Web to estimate the popularity of sites) as visits by real people; and overcounting individuals who periodically flush out the “cookies” of code that sites stash on browsers so that returning visitors can be recognized.

To create more-accurate audience numbers, ComScore and Nielsen Online rely on a methodology inherited from television audience research: the panel. Nielsen, for instance, has recruited nearly 30,000 panelists for its flagship product, called Netview. Panelists agree to have their Web browsing monitored through interviews and through “meters,” or spyware, installed on their personal computers.

But what worked with television doesn’t work nearly so well with the Web. “Panels are always problematical,” says Spanfeller, “but on the Web they’re super-problematical. Panels undercount by one-third to one-half.” In short, publishers simply can’t accept that their audiences are as small as panel-based measurements suggest they are.

Among the problems with panel-based audience research, according to both Spanfeller and Smith, is that it tends to undercount people who look at sites at work, because most companies’ information technology managers won’t install strange spyware on their computers. Sometimes, panelists lie to interviewers. Also, both say, there is a straightforward “sampling error” (what statisticians consider the misprisions that derive from sampling too small a portion of a general population): with as few as 30,000 panelists, the audiences of smaller sites are often grossly underestimated or missed entirely.

A final problem with panel-based measurements is that at the moment, neither Nielsen nor ComScore has itself been audited by an independent party. Who knows, both Spanfeller and Smith asked darkly, how valid the firms’ reporting methods really are?

Nielsen defends its panels. “I guarantee you, if our numbers were higher than the publishers’ server data, we wouldn’t be having this argument,” says Manish Bhatia, the president of global services at Nielsen Online. Bhatia notes that Nielsen does sell products, such as SiteCensus, that install software tags on publishers’ websites and measure server logs. “In combination with panels, they’re useful,” he says. “But panels are more reliable, they provide demographic information, and they tell you what people do after they’ve seen an online ad.”

For its part, ComScore also concedes that server logs have their place: they disclose which Web pages a publisher served, and when. But like Nielsen, the company insists that only panels provide an accurate measurement of audiences and their demographic makeup. “Servers don’t measure people,” says Andrew Lipsman, director of industry analysis at ComScore.

Why are Nielsen and ComScore so wedded to panels? According to David Smith, “The incumbents have a huge amount of money invested in their methodologies–and getting them to admit they have a problem isn’t easy.”

Roger McNamee is more blunt. “I understand why Nielsen is so bad,” he says. “But why isn’t there anything better? There’s a huge market opportunity for any venture capitalist who is willing to fund a system that audits actual traffic.”

“What we need is a third-party Omniture,” says Spanfeller, referring to the website analytics software that many publishers (including Technology Review) use to log their own traffic.

Measure for Measure
Recently, I visited Quantcast, a San Francisco-based startup that is hoping to provide just such a service. Founded in 2005 and funded with $26 million, mainly from Polaris Ventures and Founders Fund, the company wants its service, which launched in 2006, to overthrow traditional panel-based Web audience measurement.

Konrad Feldman, the company’s youthful, redheaded, British-­born chief executive and cofounder, met me at the company’s headquarters overlooking the Yerba Buena Gardens and the Moscone Center. In a large conference room with a cement floor, decorated according to the precepts of venture-capitalist high minimalism, he asked whether Technology Review was “quantified”–that is, whether its online visitors were tracked by the startup’s software tags. After we confirmed that our site had been quantified for some time, he opened his laptop and searched for our URL at Quantcast.com.

An elegant dashboard of audience information was swiftly served: TechnologyReview.com, it said, had 342,000 “global ­people” and 205,000 “U.S. people.” These numbers, which measured monthly visitors to our site, were not so low as those reported by traditional third-party audience measurement firms, but they seemed suspicious: throughout 2008, Omniture reported around 650,000 unique visitors to TechnologyReview.com every month. But we also learned that 32 percent of TechnologyReview.com’s readers earned more than $100,000 a year and that 24 percent had postgraduate degrees, which seemed about right. (A peek at Forbes.com, which is not quantified but whose numbers the startup had extrapolated, showed that the business site had 4.9 million “U.S. people,” who were richer than TechnologyReview.com’s readers, although not as highly educated. Because Forbes was not quantified, Quantcast didn’t supply Forbes.com’s total worldwide audience.)

Quantcast’s service, like that of existing audience measurement firms, begins with panels–or, more precisely, panel-like data in the form of “reference samples,” provided to the company by third parties such as market research firms, Internet service providers, and toolbar companies, among other sources. These statistical methods create a basic model of U.S. Web traffic. But when publishers install Quantcast’s tags on their servers, Quantcast gets more details; the startup adjusts for spiders and bots, people with multiple computers, and cookie flushers. The two methodologies are combined using something Quantcast calls its “mass inference algorithm,” created with the aid of two Stanford University mathematicians and refined by the seven mathematically minded PhDs who work at the company. This algorithmic analysis of panel research and server-based measurement is unique in Web audience measurement (although Nielsen more coarsely combines the two methodologies with a service called VideoCensus, which tracks online video viewing). The resulting audience information, says Feldman, is much more reliable than anything offered by ComScore or Nielsen.

“Publishers and advertisers have used panel-based research for nearly 75 years,” says Feldman. “So there’s obviously an established way of doing things. But equally, there’s a pretty clear recognition in the marketplace that something has got to change.”

Because Quantcast’s audience information is free (where ­ComScore’s and Nielsen’s measurements are not), the company hopes to make money by charging publishers who enroll in Media Planner, a service launched last May that helps media planners spend their clients’ cash. Although Media Planner is wholly free for now, Quantcast wants to expand the service so that it can finely describe demographic subsets within websites’ audiences, a ­utility for which the company believes the sites themselves will pay. ­Feldman explains this tricky idea: “You have a sales force at ­TechnologyReview.com, and they can’t possibly speak to everyone who might value your audience. But if you can expose that audience to buyers, then you can create a way whereby buyers can discover the parts of your audience they find particularly valuable.” Feldman says that Media Planner allows media buyers to find appropriate audiences, “but it’s the publishers that should pay, as they’re the ones getting higher rates for their audience segments.” More ambitiously, Feldman hopes Quantcast’s audience data, in combination with ad impressions, will create a new currency for advertisers, advertising agencies, and publishers that will make display ads more effective and therefore more valuable.

Feldman and his cofounder, Paul Sutter, the company’s president, do not approach the problem of audience measurement as veterans of media. Feldman, a computer scientist, was the cofounder of Searchspace (now Fortent), which developed software to help financial-services firms detect money laundering and the financing of terrorists. Sutter founded the network optimization company Orbital Data (later acquired by Citrix) as an expert on high-performance computer architectures, a background that has proved useful as Quantcast processes the thousands of terabytes of data it has collected.

When the founders first conceived the company, Sutter says, “we just asked the most simple, kindergarten questions, and it soon became clear that the language that media buyers and planners were speaking was nothing like the language of Internet advertising, with its cost-per-clicks and so forth. Media planners liked to talk about audiences, demographics, and lifestyles. So the answer was quantcasting, which means just reaching the people you want to reach.” Today, the company claims that 85,000 broadly defined “publishers” have elected to be directly measured by Quantcast, including the Disney-ABC Television Group, NBC, CBS, MTV Networks, Fox, BusinessWeek, and Time’s SI.com and CNNMoney.com.

Quantcast is not the only company with the bright idea of replacing panel-based audience measurement. Last June, Google announced a new service, Google Ad Planner, which uses the company’s detailed knowledge of Web traffic to provide interested parties with a more accurate understanding of Web audiences. Wayne Lin, Ad Planner’s product manager, demonstrated the service to me when I visited the GooglePlex in Mountain View, CA. Because Google owns DoubleClick, one of the two dominant systems for serving ads, Web audience data can be combined with the ad-serving system so that media planners know which sites are best suited for which ads. The combination should be powerfully attractive for media planners and marketers, says Lin.

How do media planners regard the two new audience measurement services? “We use Quantcast now at Mediasmith, but they are not complete enough yet to be a total solution,” says David Smith, who briefly advised the startup during its formation. The difficulty, according to Smith, is that the site’s audience information won’t be really useful–let alone a new currency–until more publishers elect to be quantified. Jim Spanfeller agrees. “They’re to be commended for working hard on the problem,” he says. “But it’s very much a chicken-and-egg thing.”

As for Google’s Ad Planner, Smith says, “the agencies will never stand for it.” Smith, like everyone I spoke to, argued that media planners will resist Google’s audience information because no one wants one company to be so dominant in online advertising: were Ad Planner to be widely adopted, Google would be selling keywords through its search advertising network, AdWords; selling banner advertising through its display advertising network, AdSense; serving those ads through DoubleClick; and advising media planners on where to spend their advertising dollars.

Ad Planner also lacks a number of important features that an advertising agency might expect from an audience measurement service. According to Smith, it offers neither very detailed demographics nor a full explanation of its methodologies. Patrick Viera, TechnologyReview.com’s own digital strategist and West Coast advertising manager, said disdainfully when I asked his opinion: “Yeah, I looked at it. It doesn’t do anything you want. It’s just a tool for selling AdSense.”

Still, says Smith, there’s demand for something new. “Publishers have to use third-party measurements, but third parties [such as ComScore and Nielsen] may underestimate audiences, and the truth is probably somewhere in between. That’s why new companies like Quantcast have a chance.”

Growing Pains
But neither Quantcast nor Google nor improved products from ComScore and Nielsen Online could, by themselves or in combination, fix display advertising and thereby ensure the future health of media.

Whatever audience measurement tools are adopted, they will themselves have to be validated by an independent party. Quantcast, ComScore, and Nielsen Online (but not Google) are all in the process of being audited by the Media Rating Council (MRC), which was established by the U.S. Congress in the 1960s to audit and accredit the ratings of broadcasters. Accreditation will smooth disputes about the different audience measurement methodologies, according to George Ivie, the chief executive of the MRC: “It will help bring the numbers closer together; and it will explain and make transparent the differences between the census and panel systems.”

In addition to the disagreements about the size of Web audiences, though, online advertising suffers from deep structural problems that must be addressed before media planners and their advertising clients will spend really large sums. These are various and dauntingly technical, but according to David Smith, they all involve, in one way or another, the absence of commonly accepted, automated means to create, sell, serve, and track the performance of online ads.

Fixing all that will take years, as will the adoption of undisputed audience measurement methods. “This industry is only 13 years old,” says Smith. “It grew rapidly with few standards for six years. Then it collapsed, with very little research and development for four years, and has just been getting back to the right kind of R&D and standards in the past three.”

Still, by any estimate, the general confusion about Web audiences is the reason why the online medium has matured in so ungainly a fashion. “It’s an amazing topic,” wrote Roger McNamee in a conversation using the messaging service of the social network Facebook. “You could see it coming a mile away. Unfortunately, the remedy is not yet obvious.”

Jason Pontin is the Editor in Chief and Publisher of Technology Review.

Yahoo now targets ads based on search behavior (Yahoo agora foca propaganda baseada em comportamento de busca)

fevereiro 25, 2009

Eis aqui notícia (do blog news.cnet.com) mostrando como a propaganda online está se especializando cada vez mais!

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February 24, 2009 8:51 AM PST
Yahoo now targets ads based on search behavior

As part of its effort to make its core revenue engine more powerful, Yahoo introduced new ad targeting features Tuesday, including the ability to select advertisements based on what a person has searched for.

The technology, called search retargeting, is one of three new features designed to tailor ads based on user behavior. The other two are enhanced retargeting, which lets advertisers tune ads according to what users have done on the advertisers’ Web sites, and enhanced targeting for search, which lets advertisers adjust ads shown next to search results according to user age and other factors.

Yahoo has argued that it’s a stronger company when able to serve both online ad formats, the search ads next to search results and the “display” ads such as graphics and videos. Indeed, as evidence of its hybrid philosophy, it’s begun testing display ads next to search results, something rival Google doesn’t do.

New Chief Executive Carol Bartz thinks Yahoo is stronger as a whole than “pulled apart and left for the chickens.” Of course, if Yahoo did sell its search business, a possibility that Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer indicated he’s still interested in, it could arrange the partnership to use that search engine and thereby get access to the same search query data for targeting display ads.

The new targeting technology is an example of online advertising’s advantages over conventional print, TV, radio, and billboard ads. At least in theory, ads can be shown to people whose characteristics or behavior give some indication they’re the people advertisers want to reach. Search ads have long had this ability, since they’re selected on the basis of specific search terms.

Although Yahoo’s advertising business has suffered from the recession, it hopes the new technology will make its ad options more compelling.

“As the economy continues to put pressure on advertising budgets, marketers are looking for increased accountability for every dollar they spend. Yahoo’s new targeting products significantly improve the ability for search and display advertisers to reach their target audience, providing increased efficiency and accountability,” said Michael Walrath, senior vice president of Yahoo’s advertising marketplaces group, in a statement.

Stephen Shankland covers Google, Yahoo, search, online advertising, portals, digital photography, and related subjects. He joined CNET News in 1998 and since then also has covered servers, supercomputing, open-source software, and science. E-mail Stephen.

Microsoft Advertising: “last click shouldn’t get all the credit” (Propaganda Microsoft: “último click não deveria ter todo o crédito”)

fevereiro 24, 2009

Após alguns dias de “recesso forçado”  deste blog, em função do carnaval, eis-me aqui de volta à rotina de sempre. E o retorno é com uma notícia de ontem do blog www.liveside.net !

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Microsoft Advertising: “last click shouldn’t get all the credit”

Last year at Advance08 Microsoft announced both a new name for their advertising strategy – “Microsoft Advertising”, and the concept of “engagement mapping”.  The thought is that a consumer may look at numerous ads, websites, and brand impressions well before making the “last click” to make a purchase, so why should that last click get all the credit?  Of course Google has built an empire on precisely the notion that the last click is the only valuable one, so it makes sense for Microsoft to attack it.

Today Microsoft reiterated its attack on last click thinking at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) Annual Meeting.  At the meeting, according to Twitter accounts of the proceedings, Howe likened last click to the NFL:  “if the NFL only paid the top sco(r)ers, teams start losing because there’s no defense or offensive line.”

Howe was “engaging, informative and entertaining” as he announced MS PubCenter (which has been in beta under the name adCenter Publisher) the Publisher’s Leadership Council and the Microsoft Media Network, although some in attendance weren’t entirely sold: “can MSFT be trusted as a leader in “Transparency and Trust”?”

The Publisher’s Leadership Council, according to a press release issued today by Microsoft,

“comprises digital media executives and discipline-leading practitioners, including charter members from IAC, Dow Jones Online, The New York Times Co., Time Inc. and Viacom Inc. This group will provide firsthand perspectives and insights to inform PubCenter features and functionality, including enhanced targeting, measurement and reporting functionality. Partner company executives will form a steering committee, focused on framing the key challenges and opportunities facing the digital media industry”

Microsoft is counting on changing the game in online advertising, and Howe said “Our competition isn’t with each other. It’s with offline, and waste”, but others weren’t so sure, saying: “this is not good for publishers. microsoft is not unbiased. more concerning than google doubleclick acquisition”.

Microsoft today also released some documents related to engagement mapping, purporting to show that “94% of online advertising interactions are actually occurring prior to a conversion or a sale and concludes that while web publishers are doing their job in engaging with consumers before they purchase, they don’t get the credit they deserve in reaching them”.

As Microsoft moves (or is pushed) into a more services and advertising oriented model, getting advertisers excited about changing the game away from last click thinking is emerging as a core strategy.  Will it work, especially as the advertising world is shaken by the economy?  Howe seems to think that “adversity must fuel innovation”.  We’ll have wait and see if he’s right.

Forecasters: Economic Recovery in Q3 2009 (Previsores: Recuperação dos EUA no Terceiro Trimestre de 2009)

fevereiro 19, 2009

Mais uma notícia do blog do Prof. Mark Perry (de 17/02/09), desta vez sobre a recuperação econômica dos EUA. Empresas de projeções estão otimistas para o segundo semestre deste ano!

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Forecasters: Economic Recovery in Q3 2009

 

The U.S. economy is headed for two quarters of negative growth in the first half of 2009, according to 43 forecasters surveyed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The forecasters project that real GDP will contract at an annual rate of 5.2% in the first quarter and 1.8% in the second quarter of 2009. The survey participants expect economic recovery to begin in the third quarter of 2009. On a year-over-year basis, growth is expected to be -2.0% in 2009 and 2.2% in 2010. See chart above.

Wal-Mart’s Global Sales Top $400 Billion (Vendas Globais do Wal-Mart atingem US$ 400 bilhões)

fevereiro 19, 2009

É incrível! O Wal-Mart tem uma receita de vendas de mais de US$ 1,0 bilhão de dólares por dia!  Dados do dia 17/02/09 do blog do Prof. Mark Perry.

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Wal-Mart’s Global Sales Top $400 Billion

 

FT.com Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, beat expectations after its US discount stores accounted for about 50% of all US retail growth during 2008 – while its full-year global sales passed $400 billion for the first time (see chart above), and profits hit $13.4 billion.

30 most important innovations from last 30 years (As 30 mais importantes inovações dos últimos 30 anos)

fevereiro 18, 2009

Eis aí uma lista interessante do blog de Don Dodge no dia 16/02/2009! Concordo plenamente!

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30 most important innovations from last 30 years

 

PBS??? Nightly Business Report today published a list of the 30 most important innovations of the last 30 years. The list will be made public on Nightly Business Report tonight on most PBS stations. The list is presented in ???count down??? fashion and includes many of the innovations that today seem normal but were truly revolutionary when they were brought to market. The top 4 choices are obvious and essential parts of our everyday life; the Internet, PCs, cell phones, and email. I would be lost without any one of them.

Here are the complete results:

  1. Internet WWW
  2. PC/Laptop computers
  3. Mobile phones
  4. Email
  5. DNA testing and sequencing/Human genome mapping
  6. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) 
  7. Microprocessors
  8. Fiber optics
  9. Office software (Spreadsheets, word processors)  
  10. Non-invasive laser/robotic surgery (laparoscopy)
  11. Open source software and services (e.g., Linux, Wikipedia)
  12. Light emitting diodes (first real devices in 1960s; in products in mid-70s) 
  13. Liquid Crystal Displays
  14. GPS Systems
  15. Online shopping/ecommerce/auctions (e.g., eBay)
  16. Media file compression (e.g., jpeg, mpeg, mp3) 
  17. Microfinance 
  18. Photovoltaic Solar Energy
  19. Large scale wind turbines
  20. Social networking via internet
  21. Graphic user interface (GUI)
  22. Digital photography/videography
  23. RFID and applications (e.g. EZpass)
  24. Genetically modified plants
  25. Bio fuels
  26. Bar codes and scanners
  27. ATMs
  28. Stents
  29. SRAM flash memory
  30. Anti retroviral treatment for AIDS

To compile this list, thousands of nominees were submitted by Nightly Business Report viewers.  The finalists were then judged according to seven different criteria determined by senior Wharton School faculty who served as judges:

1.  Did it have a direct and/or material effect on quality of life?

2.  Did it address a compelling need?  Did it solve a compelling problem?

3.  Was it a fresh, new breakthrough?   Was there a “WOW” factor?

4.  Did it change the way business is conducted?

5.  Did it increase the efficiency of how resources are used?

6.  Did it spark an ongoing stream of new innovations on top of the original innovation?

7.  Did it lead to the creation of a vast, new industry?

What do you think? Do you have any additions to the list? Would you have a different priority order? Imagine what the list will look like 30 years from now. There are a lot of entrepreneurs out there working on The Next Big Thing for the next decade.

How Google Decides to Pull the Plug (Como Google decide puxar o plug)

fevereiro 16, 2009

Eis aqui uma matéria que revela um pouco de como Google incuba idéias e projetos (a matéria veio de The New York Times)

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How Google Decides to Pull the Plug

 

Published: February 14, 2009
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.

GOOGLE recently set the blogosphere abuzz by announcing that it was pulling the plug on several products.

The victims included Lively, a virtual world that was Google’s answer to Second Life; Dodgeball, a cellphone service aimed at young bar-hoppers who wanted to let their friends know where they were hanging out; Catalog Search, which scanned paper product catalogs so they could be searched online; and Notebook, a simple tool that allowed people to take notes on Web sites they had visited.

Google also said it would stop actively developing Jaiku, a microblogging service similar to Twitter, and instead turn it over to its users as an open-source project they could tinker with as they wished.

What’s that, you say? You don’t care? You couldn’t tell a Jaiku from a haiku, and the last time you thought about dodgeball was in elementary school gym class?

You’re not alone. When evaluating nascent projects, Google takes a hard look at interest — and in these cases, the interest simply wasn’t there.

“There’s no single equation that describes us, but we try to use data wherever possible,” said Jeff Huber, the company’s senior vice president of engineering. “What products have found an audience? Which ones are growing?”

All of the shuttered projects failed several of Google’s key tests for continued incubation: They were not especially popular with customers; they had difficulty attracting Google employees to develop them; they didn’t solve a big enough problem; or they failed to achieve internal performance targets known as “objectives and key results.”

You’d think that Google, a highly profitable engineer’s playground, would keep supporting quirky side projects as long as someone wanted to work on them. The company, which is best known to consumers for its search engine, is famous in business for promoting innovation by letting engineers devote 20 percent of their time to projects outside their main responsibilities.

But in this difficult economy, even Google is paying more attention to costs.

Profit-and-loss calculations play an especially important role in evaluating Google’s advertising products, which provide virtually all of the company’s revenue. For example, Google announced Thursday that it was ending an expensive effort to sell radio ads, laying off up to 40 people, because the project had failed to live up to expectations.

With services that don’t generate much cash, the company looks less at money spent than at measures of usefulness and the opportunity cost of devoting employees to one project over another.

So let’s take a look at the thinking behind a couple of the projects that Google recently killed or revamped.

Lively, Google’s entry into three-dimensional virtual worlds, was publicly unveiled last July. Four months later, when the company decided to close it, only 10,000 people had logged into the service over the previous seven days. That was well below the targets set by Google’s quarterly project review process, and far behind Second Life from Linden Lab, which had about half a million users in a similar period.

“We didn’t see that passionate hockey-stick growth in the user base,” said Bradley Horowitz, Google’s vice president for product management. Management decided that the half-dozen people working on Lively could be more productive elsewhere.

Dodgeball, a service that uses text messages to allow users to share their location with buddies, presents a different story.

Dennis Crowley, one of two co-founders who sold Dodgeball to Google in 2005 and stayed on, said that he had trouble competing for the attention of other Google engineers to expand the service. “If you’re a product manager, you have to recruit people and their ‘20 percent time,’ ” Mr. Crowley said.

He found the task especially challenging because he was working in New York, far from the Silicon Valley headquarters. He became frustrated and left Google in 2007. Mr. Crowley is back in start-up mode, developing a location-based service called FourSquare that will be available next month.

Mr. Huber said that Google eventually concluded that Dodgeball’s vision was too narrow. “Maybe it worked in Manhattan. It didn’t fly in Chicago, or St. Louis, or Denver, or the rest of the world,” he said.

Still, Google found the concepts behind Dodgeball intriguing, and early this month, it released Google Latitude, an add-on to Google Maps that allows people to share their location with friends and family members. It’s more sophisticated than Dodgeball, with automatic location tracking and more options for privacy and communication.

For many ideas, Google’s first and most important audience is its employees, and it typically tries products internally before releasing them.

Google and other technology companies refer to this as “eating your own dog food.” Through such “dog-fooding,” Google learned that the early version of its calendar program was fine for parents tracking children’s soccer games, but not robust enough to meet a corporate user’s need to book rooms, reserve equipment and delegate scheduling.

EQUALLY important is listening to users. Most products have an official blog to explain changes, and customers are encouraged to share their thoughts.

Harry Heymann, the last engineer working on Dodgeball, is publicly commiserating with distraught fans. “I know this is kind of a bummer,” he wrote on the service’s Web site. “You are cool as all get out, and you are living in the future.”

Google’s willingness to take risks offers a lesson to other companies about the nature of innovation, said Jeff Jarvis, director of the interactive journalism program at the City University of New York and author of the new book “What Would Google Do?”

“Perfection closes off the process,” Mr. Jarvis said. “It makes you deaf. Google purposefully puts out imperfect and unfinished products and says: ‘Help us finish them. What do you think of them?’ ”

Mr. Horowitz says every failed idea contributes to future Google products. “There are not a lot of platypuses, these oddities that went nowhere,” he said.

“It’s much more evolutionary, in the sense that you can look at the wooly mammoth and say, ‘That shares a lot of DNA with the elephant.’ These things are learning experiences.”


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