Online Ads are Alive and Well

November 25, 2008

Despite our current financial crisis, US Internet ad revenue rose in the 3rd quarter of 2009 according to Yahoo Finance AP Writer Rachel Metz.

Metz goes on to say “The report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP said that online advertising revenue totaled almost $5.9 billion in the third quarter, up 11 percent from the same period last year. It marked a 2 percent rise from the second quarter.”

Seeing an increase regarding any economic activity these days is a good thing, but it’s certainly encouraging for the online world to see stories like this.  The manner in which online advertisers can performance (when a consumer clicks on ads) is a direct indicator of it’s success.  Other media doesn’t offer the ability for the advertiser to track ROI.  Online advertising is truly Direct Marketing on Steroids.

FINALLY – Good news!

Advertisements

Keys to the Kingdom

November 20, 2008

I have a confession: 

Among the mix of hardcore business books, and Harvard Business Review Podcasts I so ravenously devour, I sometimes pick up a podcast from Oprah (stop laughing please).  I feel she’s a thought leader in spirituality and becoming ones true self.  Since I’m all about self actualization, and self improvement – you can see the tie-in.

Last night I listed to her podcast when she interviewed Daniel Pink, author of a book called  A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. Apparently Oprah liked the book so much, she decided to share this book with the entire graduating class at Stanford this Spring when giving their commencement address. I haven’t read the book yet, but I felt like I needed to offer a post for

2 reasons:

1. I’m certainly going to read it (or listen to the audio book)

2. It seems to be the perfect marriage of spirituality or self actualization and business converging.  Nice.

Some key elements:

The new world we’re living in is being taken over by right brained individuals. Over the past few decades the world has been run by a certain type of person (mostly left brained) Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants.   Pink uses words to describe these people like have the ability of “symphony”  – aggregating disparate ideas and being able to articulate them in a manner that’s comprehensible to lay-men.  He also mentions the ability to tell stories that evoke emotion, play, and experience empathy. Right brained, right brained, right brained.  You get the idea.

He argues that while logical and linear brained thinking is great, and effective, it’s not enough.  The world is coming around to the right brain.  Pink comes to this conclusion by evaluating the facts (he’s a self assessed left brainer himself).

Years ago we were in the agricultural age, then industrial, information, and now conceptual. Left brain activity is activity that can be replicated by computers (anyone can look up the capital of Yemen on Google).  Right brained activity cannot (at least not yet). 

The paradox of prosperity contributes to this phenomenon as well.  The more prosperous we are, the more laborious things are automated, and the more time we have to sit around and ponder – why am I here? (cool, right?).  So as the world becomes more prosperous (baby boomers in particular), the more evolved the world is becoming.  Right brained people are no longer being viewed as new-agey  individuals because the efficacy of spirituality/meditation etc is being measured by science. 

I’ll talk more about the book after I’ve read it of course, but I felt it was worth sharing.  Let me know what you think?

Right brainer’s UNITE! Here’s a link: A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future


F.A.S.T.

November 18, 2008

Day two at Miva, and things are going really well.   I’ve found the coffee, met most of the team in the New York office (if I haven’t met you yet, come by!), and found the men’s room (very important).  

Now it’s time to get things moving in the right direction as quickly as possible and with as little interruption of current business being conducted.  I’ve already identified a few things that need to be remedied that will help to streamline our process and assist our team as we grow the Alot.com brand and cultivate relationships with large branded advertisers like Better Homes and Gardens. 

Credit to Harvard Business Review for the acronym F.A.S.T.  I’ve taken some great points make in the last issue, and customized them some that apply to the issues we’ll be dealing with in the coming months.

Focus

Review all current processes with the team.

Accelerate

Identify operation initiatives that can be implemented in relatively quick and easy fashion – ie, road map an internal process, and formalize each step.  This will assist in stream-lining all aspects of Account Management, and assist in the implementation of additional deals.

Strengthen

Identify two to three obstacles that may have hindered the team in the past, and address each as soon as possible.  Address the steps that need to occur in order to get things running as smooth as possible in preparation for additional new business.  We’ll make sure that we can handle explosive growth.

Tie it All Together

Integrate our new streamlined process and refine as we go.  I’m communicating to the team that this will be an ongoing strategy and that I’ll need their full commitment and cooperation.  We’re already off to a great start!


MIVA News

November 14, 2008

Entry into a Material Definitive Agreement

 

Item 1.01. Entry into a Material Definitive Agreement.On November 10, 2008, MIVA, Inc. (“MIVA”) and Google, Inc. entered into an Amended and Restated Google Services Agreement (the “Google Agreement”), effective January 1, 2009, which amends and restates MIVA’s current Google Services Agreement which was set to expire on December 31, 2008. Under the Amended and Restated Google Agreement, MIVA, and its subsidiaries, have agreed to utilize Google’s WebSearch, on an exclusive basis, and AdSense Services, on a non-exclusive basis, for approved websites and applications. Approved websites and applications include websites and applications from MIVA’s subsidiary MIVA Direct, Inc. that have implemented Google WebSearch and AdSense Services under the current Google Services Agreement. Pursuant to the terms of the Amended and Restated Google Agreement, MIVA and its subsidiaries will generate revenues when consumers click through listings to Google advertisers’ websites. The Agreement has a term of two years and contains customary termination provisions.

Look Up Interactive

November 13, 2008

Yesterday I finalized my logo for Look Up Interactive.  

logo

For the past few months I’ve been trying to come up with a name for a consulting business that I’d love to start regarding online advertising.  So many people have come to me asking questions/advice I thought I’d try my hand at consulting.  I’m not certain if I’ll be able to get this up and running while starting a new job – but I thought I’d share the logo.  I used a great service called Elance. I described the project, look and feel that I was going for.  I received about 15 bids for the work. I reviewed each of the proposals – taking a look at their sites, previous work  , and reviews by individuals that had hired them in the past.  I ended up hiring WebDesignsGURU – I highly recommend their work.  They also designed a logo for my wife’s pilates business.  logo-_72I think both logos came out really great.  The service at Elance was really easy, and for someone with limited knowledge of logo design it’s a great resource to reach out experts that get it, and are highly accessible.

My wife Laura is my hero – she’s has been a 5th grade school teacher for the past 10 years.  She’s been home since the birth of our daughter Talia.  Before the baby came she also started her certification in Pilates.  After the baby was born she went back and completed her mat certification.  I think it’s going to be great for her to start building a client base here in Chappaqua.  I’m going to set her up with a URL, and Blog.  

Finally, I need to give credit to Gary Vaynerchuk for the tag line of my consulting business/logo “Legacy is Greater than Currency”.  This is something that Gary talked about during the Web2.0 Expo speech in New York.  This statement resounded with me so greatly that I thought it would be a great tag line for my business.  I think it’s a powerful statement in a world where it seems like everyone is focused solely on money.  I know that money is great to have and it’s certainly a necessity. I suppose since the birth of my daughter Talia I’ve started to look at the world a bit differently.


Alot.com

November 13, 2008

Next week I’ll officially start at MIVA, Inc.  I’ve been reading as much as I can about MIVA Direct, and Alot.com so I can hit the ground running.  Since I’ve never been exposed this type of sell specifically, I’m really looking forward to learning from everyone involved.  I thought I’d share some preliminary details about Alot.com:

  • Vertically Focused toobar brand launched in Q4, 2007
  • Over 3.3 million live users as of Oct. 2008
  • Fully configurable toolbar and homepage product launched Oct 2008 – Beta versions launched July 2008
  • Flagship brand of MIVA Direct, a dvision of MIVA, Inc (NASDAQ:MIVA)

The more I get settled in, the more information I’ll share. Right now, I’m looking to expand relationships with any brands that would like to partner with us for their own personal toolbar. There are over 35 verticals thus far.


Top Audiobooks I’m listening to now

November 12, 2008

Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao

This may be a bit too “touchy feely” for some people, but Wayne Dyer is a bright guy, and  I love the way he applies the teachings of the Tao to everyday life.  I’ve read the Tao in a few different translations – the teachings are open to interpretation, and therefore mean different things to different people – but the Dr. adds his own (practical) spin to each. There’s great truth in his writing – so I give it a strong thumbs up.

Harvard Business Review on Leadership (Harvard Business Review Paperback Series)

I can never get enough of HBR. The quality of content is unsurpassed. I also recommend the HBR podcast (see below).  There’s nothing wrong with a daily dose of HBR.

Winning

Jack Welch’s book.  The most practical business book I’ve ever read (or listened to).  Jack’s no BS attitude can be abrasive, but he give some great insight on how to get things done, and how to produce results.  If you’re listening to the Audio book – take notes.  He offers some serious gems that you can apply to your work life today.

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (Oprah’s Book Club, Selection 61)

I recommend this book so strongly that I’ve given it as a gift to numerous friends and family.  I listened to it numerous times since the first listen about 6 months ago. It’s powerful on a few different levels, and will make you view the world in a new light. If you liked the Secret – you’ll love this.  Sort of the natural progression for anyone that felt a chord was struck in the Secret.   Strong recommendation.

Podcasts 

Best of YouTube 

Great to break up any monotonous commuting.  Careful though – you may find yourself laughing out loud while staring at your ipod.  Funny when you’re sitting with friends. Not so funny when you’re on the subway.  Although I’m sure a good conversation starter…

Harvard Business ideaCast

Part of my morning routine/toolbox.  Another one to take notes on.  Interviews with thought leaders in business.  The format is entertaining and informative. This is a must listen to….save the $$ on the HBR, and listen to this podcast daily. You won’t regret it.

Meditation Oasis

Guided Meditation. Helps if you feel like you need a helping hand to decompress.