Tech companies freezing political spending and why tech still matters

This is the death knell of PACs for tech companies with activist employees,” one source told Axios. “This is the final straw.” — via Axios This is a really fascinating development. First Microsoft and now Facebook are suspending PAC (Political Action Committee) spending in Washington. They’re joining financiers Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Citigroup, along……

Google Shopping Gift Guide and Importance of Trending vs Popularity

Google’s annual Shopping Gift Guide is out for 2020. While it’s a handy tool for personal shopping, it also has some incredibly helpful stats for marketing and messaging. The trick is to focus on trending items using data. The same is true for Instagram… the hashtags that you should be incorporating into your posts for……

Friday, November 13, 2020

It’s been a week but still relevant: https://twitter.com/AynRandPaulRyan/status/1324295586795827200?s=20 Here in South Carolina, I’m seeing a mix of responses to the spiking Covid rates. Some of our friends (especially parents of young children) are full of despair and “over it” to put it lightly. I also have clients in-town who seemed confused when I say “No,……

ZOOM and Google Calendar

Just received this email from ZOOM regarding changes to how Google Calendar allows for default conferencing options… Many of us in the post-Corona Virus world have learned to love the integration between Google Calendar and ZOOM available in Google Suite / Workplace. Google evidently has noticed that and is pushing out a change that makes……

About the Microsoft and Walmart Acquiring TikTok Deal

The idea would be to help turn TikTok U.S. into more of an e-commerce app for creators and users, much like what TikTok parent company ByteDance does with a similar app in China. Source: Microsoft working with Walmart on TikTok deal – Axios One of the main reasons TikTok has taken off with influencers, soccer……

Rise of OnlyFans, Decline of Influencer Marketing

Interesting dynamics for the marketing world (something I’ve been arguing for since “influencer marketing” became a thing years ago) as we continue to see re-evaluations of things like Google Ads and social media marketing as well. The landscape is changing rapidly and I’ve been on a ton of strategy calls with clients lately trying to……

Facebook Launches Messenger Rooms to Go After ZOOM’s Market Boom

Interesting play that was pretty predictable. But I do wonder if Facebook’s presence with nonprofits, churches, and small businesses will mean that Messenger Rooms takes off on a steep path of adoption? I think it just might because so many people in those areas are “already on Facebook” and comfortable with the platform as opposed……

Google Slashing Marketing Budget

Read the tea leaves, folks. Things aren’t “re-opening” anytime soon. This is a long term situation and those at the top of the food chain are very much aware of the coming choppy waters… Google is slashing its marketing budgets by as much as half for the second half of the year, according to internal……

Google’s Ads Updates in Search Results

We manage a number of Google Ads campaigns for clients. We’ve definitely noticed an uptick in desktop CTR’s since the updates (same as what happened with mobile last year). But a Google Ads campaign is only as good as the conversions it drives. If the quality tanks b/c of more junk clicks, ad spends will……

YouTube and “Reinforcing” Psychologies

“The new A.I., known as Reinforce, was a kind of long-term addiction machine. It was designed to maximize users’ engagement over time by predicting which recommendations would expand their tastes and get them to watch not just one more video but many more. Reinforce was a huge success. In a talk at an A.I. conference……

The Sublime and Silicon Valley

“The sublime—whether a feature of the natural world, or of UFOs, or of religious experience—is a sense of our own vanishing smallness before something impossibly vast: a mountain range, a churning ocean, the universe, God. What we get in return for being so existentially demeaned is freedom from the tyranny of our own personalities, a……

The Apps You Should Really Be Concerned About with Your Privacy

After examining maps showing the locations extracted by their apps, Ms. Lee, the nurse, and Ms. Magrin, the teacher, immediately limited what data those apps could get. Ms. Lee said she told the other operating-room nurses to do the same.“I went through all their phones and just told them: ‘You have to turn this off.……

Will the internet split in two?

Not to mention the impact that artificial intelligence will have on the web and our daily lives within the next decade (which China is investing in much more heavily than the US Government)… Speaking at a private event hosted by Village Global VC yesterday night, tech luminary and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt predicted that……

Do Facebook Ads Really Work?

Within the advertising industry, the debate about whether advertising works on Facebook is not new. A survey last year showed over 60 percent of small business owners felt advertising on Facebook was ineffective. The lawsuit takes it a step further, saying Facebook is misleading advertisers. Source: Does Facebook Really Work? People Question Effectiveness Of Ads……

Links Are (Still) Dead

I first wrote that “Links Are Dead” in 2006, and pretty much got shouted out of the blogosphere. I kept up the mantra over the years. Looks like Google agrees with me now… But over time, URLs have gotten more and more difficult to read and understand. As web functionality has expanded, URLs have increasingly……

Harrelson Agency and Google’s New Responsive Search Ads

At Harrelson Agency, we manage a number of Google Ads campaigns (formerly AdWords as of July 24, 2018) for clients. Simply put, there’s really no better way to drive web traffic to a site or a landing page regardless of your budget, size, or goal. Whether you’re selling stuff, raising awareness, or trying to get more……

Overwriting Monuments with AR

I do think augmented reality and voice-first computing (Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant etc) will get us out behind computer screens and keyboards and into the “real” world. What “real” means is subjective, and that will only intensify in the coming decades as computing comes full circle to being something that we naturally do with our……

Google To Start Marking Sites Without HTTPS as Not Secure in July

If your nonprofit, church, or business website isn’t https:// with a reputable SSL certificate, Google’s Chrome browser update will start showing a warning message when visitors arrive. This will affect your site’s trustworthiness. Get in touch if you need help or what to know more. You can also read a great take (and much needed……

Is your site http or https? It’s going to matter soon

This is going to bite a number of nonprofit, church, and community org sites hard when Google’s Chrome browser switches how it defines http sites as insecure… Plus, in July 2018 in Chrome version 68, Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as “not secure.” Source: Google’s Chrome browser to drop secure label for all HTTPS sites……

Your Domain and Your Home Address

I often shock potential small business or nonprofit clients by knowing their home address or cell phone number during our first or second call. It’s easy if they have already purchased a domain. I don’t do it as a scare tactic, but as an educational moment about the need to plan ahead and think through……