Mission Accomplished?

Frustratingly sad…

New Babylonian Town Found: “He added that his team has come across several cuneiform tablets but ‘there is no one to read the ancient writing because Iraqi experts with the knowledge to decipher Mesopotamian script have fled the country.’ “

I feel like we’re living out an Arthur C Clarke story.

Web2.0 Expo and Bloody Hands

I’m in San Francisco for Web2.0Expo this week (see banner thingy over on the right). I participated on a great panel (I thought it was great) this morning with a few of my favorite people on the topic of affiliate marketing in the social media world… fun stuff.

I’m shooting some video that I’ll upload this evening. The best way to follow my whereabouts is via my Twitter stream (again, see the banner thingy over on the right).

In the meantime, here’s a great new vid from Mark of 45n5.com:

Why Most Cpa Companies Suck: “I know some great people at a few CPA networks and hope they don’t take it personally but Cpa networks suck because they run fraudulent offers in my opinion, and hopefully they will clean up their act.”

Mark’s comments go hand-in-hand with something I wrote four years ago about my disgust with parts of affiliate and performance marketing (and I still think it’s the best thing I’ve written about affiliate marketing)…

Looking for an Angry Fix: “Over the next six hours, I one by one dissected all the programs present and tried to figure out where things were coming from, who was serving them and how they got onto my poor father’s hard drive. Many were unexplainable. Almost all of them contained affiliate links to the big networks or affiliate programs that we are all familiar with and some that are even represented in this forum. I wrote down everything and was shocked at some of the brands, links and deliveries present. Of course the favorites were there but there were a good deal of surprises.”

Thanks for making me revisit that, Mark.

More soon from sunny San Fran.

Cloud Computing IS the Future (Not the Web OS)


I talk a good deal about cloud computing. If you listen to the GeekCast podcast, you might here me arguing with Shawn Collins over our cloud-based future and how it will be a reality as soon as variables, such as ubiquitous highspeed internet connections are available and accessible here in the US as well as the continued maturation of “cloud” based web apps such as GMail or Google Docs, are made more reliable.

I also talked with Andrew Wee about the cloud computing issue on his latest Friday Podcast and how I thought cloud computing was not only the future here in the West but also presented an amazing opportunity for more “developing” societies to leverage and improve increasingly complex web apps using cheaper and thinner computer machinery.

In other words, I’m a major proponent of cloud computing and see our futures there. However, I have to disagree strongly with this new post from Mashable…

The Web OS. It’s Coming, Just Not Too Soon.: “I’ll offer up my own prediction here that cloud-based operating systems will advance and grow to become popular, mainstream options for computer users in less than a decade’s time. Yes, 10 years from now, I imagine a portion of both the corporate and consumer populace will be logging on straight to the World Wide Web, without need for Windows Vista or Windows 7 or whathaveyou. If wireless broadband is to become a far-reaching utility and relatively inexpensive commodity – which I think it very well might, if telecoms really know what’s good for them – then there really will be no need for much of the public to continue to straddle the offline-online divide. The paradigm will shift. It is already doing so to large degree.”

My basic argument with this premise that we’ll be operating on a “Web OS” is that there’s no need for such a platform or system. In a decade’s time, the web will be omnipresent on our mobile devices, our HDTV’s, our AppleTV’s/DVR’s/TiVO’s/PS5’s as well as our more traditional web terminals that we have traditionally associated with desktops. However, we won’t need a web OS.

Web apps that work on our mobile devices, entertainment devices and more traditional computing machines will be OS agnostic and the browser will slowly but surely be the main “program” needed on a “computer.” Welcome to the fracturing.

Merchants and Affiliates Face the Tax Man?

Merchants and affiliate marketers have been able to avoid the complication of state taxes on transactions, but that may be coming to an end if a New York state bill is made law and catches on with other cash-strapped states…

InternetNews Realtime IT News – ‘Amazon Tax’ Lands in New York: “The so-called ‘Amazon tax’ closes a loophole for Internet retailers who derive sales through affiliate programs in which Web site owners place a link to the merchant on their site and earn a commission on sales made from referrals. In lobbying for the bill, the industry group representing New York retailers had argued that the exemption from the sales-tax collection requirement gave out-of-state online retailers an unfair competitive advantage. “

Keep an eye on this one.

How Will Mobile Browsing Change Web Marketing?

0ACD2C4A-11D3-4228-9343-5C78F23A0E25.jpgMarketing on the web is a constantly evolving practice mixed with a touch of art and success based on intuition. In other words, it’s very hard to come up with a solidified tried-and-true formula for marketing on the web that can be easily replicated. There are just too many variables, and time is an incredibly important vector in web marketing.

Add to this mix the realization that mobile web browsing will explode in the coming decade and web marketers should not feel guilty for scratching their heads and trying to figure out the best way to position themselves for the future.

Mobile Browser Market is Transforming and Will Grow to 1.5 Billion Units in 2013 | Press Release | ABI Research: “While a large number of phones today still use browsers with very limited web browsing capabilities, many smartphones are incorporating browsers that support the latest capabilities such as AJAX and RSS, as well as websites optimized for viewing on a mobile device. ABI Research sees this segment of the mobile browser market accounting for the vast majority of growth over the next five years, as the open-Internet browser (OIB) segment for mobile grows from 76 million in 2007 to nearly 700 million browsers delivered in 2013.

How do we, as web marketers, make sure that we are in a position to play in the exploding mobile field? Display ads as we know them don’t work in a mobile paradigm. So, here are a few thoughts and possibilities for how to succeed in the mobile world:

1) Increased focus on mobile friendly sites that work both on the web and on mobiles and include clear call-to-actions (either affiliate, branding or lead based).

2) Dedicated mobile sites that are light on bandwidth but heavy on immediacy.

3) Heavy reliance on geo and demographic targeting as well as device targeting. Marketing experiences on an iPhone are much different than on a BlackBerry or a Motorola Q (not to mention non “smart phone”). Mass marketing and mobile are not happy bedfellows.

4) Mobile landing sites that encourage the “learn more” approach where the viewer can get more information via email, rss or related channels. AdMob is doing very interesting things with this concept.

5) Diving even more into the long tail and finding communities and hubs where dedicated and highly motivated readers/participants are more likely to use a mobile device in a marketing scenario and follow through with a purchase/conversion/sign up.

Whether or not you’re interested in the mobile space as an affiliate marketer or as a merchant leveraging the affiliate channel, one thing is clear… you need to be interested. Turning a blind eye to mobile and not being prepared for the future will lead to an expensive exercise in playing catch up in the coming years.