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Google’s Take on Our Hybrid Workplace Future

I need a cellophane balloon wall robot in my life. If a meeting requires privacy, a robot that looks like the innards of a computer on wheels and is equipped with sensors to detect its surroundings comes over to inflate a translucent, cellophane balloon wall to keep prying eyes away. Source: The Googleplex of the Future Has Privacy Robots, Meeting Tents and Your Very Own Balloon Wall – The New York Times

Trying Out Neeva

“…advertising income often provides an incentive to provide poor quality search results.” – Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin in a 1998 research paper while they were doctoral students at Stanford I’ve been trying out the search engine service Neeva lately. You can read more about the founding of the company by ex-Googler Sridhar Ramaswamy here (it’s a fascinating story). I come from the time when the web was still in its primordial stage. …

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Tag Your WordPress Posts, People!

I stress to clients that they have to tag and categorize their posts on WordPress. It’s one of the easiest ways to increase your organic traffic and discoverability in Google, but it also helps the web find you. So tag your posts, people! Also, good checklist here for setting up a WordPress website on a hosting platform… If you’re not already on board, keep reading; a client of mine gets 100,000 unique visitors per month. …

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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 with Marriott, Blue Cross Blue Shield (caveat — our insurance co), Boston Scientific, and Commerce Bank. Bank of America (caveat …

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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 more exposure and likes (and follows) are the ones that are trending but not necessarily popular. So, if you’re looking …

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Friday, November 13, 2020

It’s been a week but still relevant: 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, I can’t come to your office for that meeting. We’re still hunkering down and trying to avoid indoor spaces when possible.” …

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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 its rebranded Meet product the defacto option in scheduling calls and chats within the Google Calendar interface. It’s not deal-breaking …

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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 moms, niche businesses, and aspiring dance stars here in the US is that it “feels” like an indie app that …

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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 help them make sense of it all. Contributing to the rise of OnlyFans is one harsh new reality: the “influencing …

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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 to say, ZOOM or Google Meet. It should be interesting to watch the adoption curve… Of everything announced today, Messenger …

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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 materials viewed by CNBC. Source: Google to cut marketing budgets, hiring freeze expected When companies like Google start slashing marketing …

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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 go elsewhere. All that to say, I don’t view this as cynically as the article here states: Last week, Google …

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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 in February, Minmin Chen, a Google Brain researcher, said it was YouTube’s most successful launch in two years. Sitewide views …

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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 sort of liberating oblivion. But data-extracting platforms don’t sublimate our personalities; they multiply and magnify them. And the Data Sublime, …

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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. You have to delete this,’” Ms. Lee said. “Nobody knew.” Source: Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and …

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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 the internet will bifurcate into Chinese-led and US-led versions within the next decade. — Read on www.cnbc.com/2018/09/20/eric-schmidt-ex-google-ceo-predicts-internet-split-china.html

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 : NPR Like anything else, you do need some expertise to make Facebook or Instagram or Snap or Google or …

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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 become unintelligible strings of gibberish combining components from third-parties or being masked by link shorteners and redirect schemes. And on …

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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 people into the door of your business or church, there’s a clear return on investment for a well-run Google Ads …

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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 voices and thoughts and without the need for a keyboard and mouse. Now we just need a good pair of …

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