Using Math in Reality

Great piece…

The Unreasonable Ineffectiveness of Mathematics Education: “We should teach our students mathematics because they can use it to describe reality. They can use it to discover facts about the universe. Facts about their retirement funds, their living rooms, and the rate of fish food consumption in their fish tanks.

Mathematics is a tool to explore reality. We should teach our students to use it.”

Reminds me of what my 7th graders are up to in class right now.

Minnesota Bans Coursera



Minnesota bans Coursera: State takes bold stand against free education.: “As the Chronicle notes, with admirable restraint, ‘It’s unclear how the law could be enforced when the content is freely available on the Web.’ And keep in mind, Coursera isn’t offering degrees—just free classes. Nevertheless, the startup appears to be playing along, posting on its terms of service a special notice to Minnesota users. It reads, in part:”

Time to rethink this, Minnesota.

Rising Cost of Pay Per Click

We like to preach about discovery (social media + organic search engine optimization + paid search) because we realize that channels such as Facebook Ads or paid search are not as effective at getting people to your site and performing an action there alone as they are in a healthy combination.

This report in the NY Times today comes as no surprise to us…

This concern has become increasingly common as online advertising has become a standard channel for large companies. Attracting those additional advertisers has been great for Google, which reported  a 42 percent increase in paid clicks, year over year, for the second quarter of 2012. But the heightened competition has driven up the prices for keywords and made it harder for small companies like Mr. Telford’s.

While about 96 percent of pay-per-click advertisers spend less than $10,000 a month, according to  AdGooroo, a research firm that studies the pay-per-click market, big-budget advertisers spend hundreds of times more. In the first half of 2012, Amazon reportedly spent $54 million, and the University of Phoenix $37.9 million. “AdWords can bleed many a small business dry,” said Sharon Geltner, an analyst at the  Small Business Development Center at Palm Beach State College in Boca Raton, Fla.

It’s no secret that paid search is highly effective if you know what you’re doing with setup, keyword selection and eventual optimization.

What we do (and what we really enjoy doing) is helping small businesses realize that tactics such as targeting demographics or locations or keyword buying with a specific goal in mind can help level the playing field of the competitive pages of a Google result.

Here’s the Future of Books

My daughters will read far more books than I have (and I’ve read quite a few) simply because they will grow up with the ability to read more books than I ever dreamed of having access to…

The Humble eBook Bundle: “Pay what you want. Support charity. Read.”

Here’s to the future.

Club of Honest Whigs

The name of my next band…

Benjamin Franklin – Wikipedia: “Whilst in London, Franklin became involved in radical politics. He was a member of the Club of Honest Whigs, alongside thinkers such as Richard Price, the minister of Newington Green Unitarian Church who ignited the Revolution Controversy.”

Geez I love Ben Franklin.


We don’t pretend that we don’t need inspiration, too. ​

In fact, as we are grocery shopping or eating lunch or filling up our cars with gas, we are noticing and observing how businesses are telling their stories. ​

Today as we gathered for a team lunch, we noticed the diner had placed a paper 4 x 6 card on the table to sign up for their newsletter. Being the curators of ideas that we are, we picked it up and examined it and wondered if it was effective. ​

Five minutes later, we noticed the older couple at the table next to us had picked up the same 4 x 6 card. The following conversation resulted:

Woman: Did you see this?

Man: Aren’t we getting those emails all the time?

Woman: Not from here. You can get discounts.

Man: I think we probably are on too many email lists already,

Woman: But we eat here an awful lot.

In the digital world, these would be called impressions. We picked up the card and talked about it. This older couple picked up the card and talked about it. ​

The result is the diner is spreading their story. ​

See, we’re still talking about them! ​

Mobile Means Disocvery

We like to chirp on and on (and on) about the need for companies to invest in what we call Discovery (again… a blend of organic SEO, paid search and social media campaigns that all tie nice and neatly together at the end of the day and/or month).​

However, one thing that we don’t get to chirp about directly, unless you’re in a client meeting with our team, is how insanely powerful mobile marketing is for everyone.​

Mobile is not only the new hotness, it is the next wave of consumer interaction.​

Here’s a great article from Matthew Creamer in AdAge about the Marketing’s Next Five Years that makes our point pretty well…​

To put it bluntly, there needs to be more ad spending on mobile, which now comprises only about 1% of budgets, according to a recent study from the consultancy Marketing Evolution. Based on ROI analyses of smartphone penetration, that figure will be about 7%. In five years’ time, that number will need to be in excess of 10%.

75% of the world will be covered in 3G wireless data connections in 5 years. Let that soak in for a moment.​

We’re in the middle of a radical transition from laptops and desktops to iPads and mobile computing devices (which are capable of making the occasional phone call).​

Being prepared for this reality in the coming months/years is going to be (or should be) a major part of each of your strategy sessions.​

Sample Weekly Discovery Report We Provide Clients

Here’s an example of the weekly (or bi-weekly) stats and analytics report we like to provide to each our clients​ about their Discovery (SEO, Paid Search and Social Media Optimization/Ads) marketing campaigns

​(The text, report and analytics are all real-life examples but we’ve changed the client’s name with their permission):

Harrelson Agency WEEK 2 Discovery Report for SAMPLE

Sweating the Details, Apple Style


Apple’s Tribute To Steve Jobs, Yo-Yo Ma, And The Prelude From Bach:

As it turns out, Ma plays the first four Bach suites tuning down his cello a full semitone, and there is a specific reason for doing so. In baroque times, instruments like cellos sounded a little different: the musical note A (A440) didn’t have a frequency of 440 Hz, but was more around 415 Hz — something known as the baroque pitch.