Coursera – Understanding Media by Understanding Google

classThe course is part of the journalism program, what gives it a different perspective compared to an average marketing course.  The course is evaluating “what is” rather than “how we can use the medium for promotion of our company” – what is a very legitimate question 🙂

This different perspective does broaden horizon of the topic.  Marketing is changing…  the newspaper industry is probably experiencing a more dramatic change…  or rather dealing with the consequences of the change.

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The quote from the course: every medium at first becoming a container of the old one.  When radio just appeared, it was used to read the content of the local paper.  Glossy magazines spent millions crating iPad apps for their magazines that were not accepted by users…

New medium (online news and social media) demonstrate what kind of news people find the most interesting – disasters… celebrities… politics probably depends on the country 😉

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Interesting: Google became important enough to deserve a class in the school of journalism… 😉

Book – In The Plex

in-the-plexThis book sheds light on many events in the industry, which shaped current form of internet and online marketing.  As Google is a dominant force of its domain, it is very interesting to see insight accounts of the events that are still very fresh in the memory of every marketer 😉

Some of the most curious points from the book:

  • Google Analytics (my very much loved Google Analytics! 😉 had a rather interesting history.  Google needed to help its advertisers to make better decisions and to evaluate the effectiveness of their campaigns.  The system that Google had at that point was clunky and difficult to use. so Google looked for something to buy.  The criteria for the purchase was an GoogleAnalyticseasy to use analytics that would be beneficial for marketers and allow marketers to make better desisions.  Google bought Urchin. Originally, Google did not plan to provide the analytics completely free of charge (it was planning to charge $500 per month for the service with discounts for AdWords customers), but the payment system was not ready…  Instead of waiting for the payment system to be built, Google decided to help its advertisers and released Google Analytics for free.  Even with provision of additional capacity in the expectation of increased demand, the popularity of Google Analytics exceeded all expectations and Google servers crushed.  It became known as the most successful disaster.
  • Hiring project managers: Google founders would not approved hiring of many professional project managers that were needed in the organization; they did not feel that these people fit into Google…  The solution was to hire computer Science graduates and train them to become project managers…
  • orgAt one point, Google founders tried to setup a very flat organizational structure for engineers.  The structure organized several people into groups, but did not assigned managers assuming that the managers were not needed.  During the discussions of the structure, engineers themselves said that they actually wanted to be managed.  Larry Page wanted to know why, and the reasons were to have somebody from whom engineers could learn, and when discussions reached an impasse, they needed someone who could break the ties.

The book is a fantastic overview of Google’s journey through triumphs and mistakes, through China and social media, through experience of digitizing books and legal jungles.  Highly recommend 🙂

MN Search – Google+

Google-plusGreat event as usually – Search Snippets is an excellent format!  We have opportunity to hear opinions of local gurus and, hopefully, smaller time frame does not put too much burden on them.

Food was also delicious (even for the person who is more interested in fruits than drinks 😉  ).

Interesting points from the event:

  • Ha!  Google+ might be understated, but it is definitely deserves more attention.  As James Svoboda pointed out, it may be an “Unsocial social Network” – but it does exists and has some unique features.

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  • Jeff recommended to use very reasonable metrics for Google + activity (he recommended to be in over 1000 circles…  hm… I found my barely active profile…  which is in 110 circles only – I guess, I need to start learning more about Google +  😉  ).
  • Jeff also found a song (with over a 1,000,000 views about Google+
  • rippleGoogle+ has an interesting Ripples feature.  Ripples show spread of a post throughout the community, which can be watched as a video – very interesting!
  • Bob (it was a pleasure to see you again and to listen to you presentation!) shared a few interesting points on using Google+ for the sports/entertainment industry.  Bob reserves Google+ for exclusive content, which is not available on any other networks. However, other networks are used to promote the content that resides on Google+.
  • From the perspective of sports and entertainment, Bob is trying to bring the arena to the screen and the screen to the arena – to provide the most important part that the audience wants – access to the stars.

Josh

Josh brought Google Glass to the event – it was beyond interesting!  A few of us absolutely had to check it out and the experience has been amazing!  The screen is visible very well and easy to activate.  Voice commands (take a picture or video) were received and interpreted by the device very quickly (despite my accept); the curious part was that search terms with my accent were not “understood” by the device – but humans have the same problem occasionally 😉   Thank you, Josh!!  It was a treat! 😉

(Josh wearing Google Glass – Google Glass has been used to make recording of MN Search presentations)

book-and-iAnother thanks to Mn Search and Josh for providing a free You Should Test That! book from the couple of events ago.  I am reading the book and love it.  Oh, I should have come on the correct event two months ago early enough, but I barely made it before the presentation…  I will officially blame traffic 😉

It was a wonderful event with plenty of material to investigate…  and a wonderful incentive to pay attention to Google+  to make sure it won’t become one of the abandoned networks where I once registered my profile.