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    This is the personal blog of Simon Kendrick and covers my interests in media, technology and popular culture. All opinions expressed are my own and may not be representative of past or present employers
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Recommended Reading – 26th March 2010

These five posts got me thinking over the past week:

Justin McMurray from Made By Many has laid out a manifesto for agile strategy. I particularly like the idea of simplicity of purpose over the reliance on a mystical “insight” (which may well rest on top of a house of cards)

Gareth Kay points out the flaws in Millward Brown’s latest “viral” research. I don’t want to get into the semantics of viral versus spreadable, but there is an interesting debate in the comments where both Gareth and Duncan Southgate from MB defend their different viewpoints on the nature of “viral”.

Jeff Jarvis has an interesting take on blog commenting. He believes that they are an inferior form of discourse to other social media commentary, but also that the host has a responsibility to maintain a certain level of quality – such as fully framing an argument for feedback rather than relying on the crowd to spot the flaws for you

This HBR piece on the cost of being omniscient looks at how the feedback from passive data collection can influence our behaviour (think eco:DRIVE or Nike+)

And finally, this Marketing Week feature looks at online research, specifically “real-time” research and neuroscience. I find “co-creation” techniques can be useful in certain circumstances, but I am still yet to be convinced by the benefits of neuroscience techniques.



Links – 13th October 2008

I’m away for the second half of this week so I am running two 10-day link updates, rather than have a gap later this week

(This is in no way related to me not having time to get this together last week)


Can marketing survive without the Grand Gesture? (Chroma Inc)

A great overview and analysis of Digg’s recent problems with crowdsourcing (Mashable). My post on crowdsourcing is here

A very thorough summary of the major players in the online conversation tracking market (Ryan*MacMillan)

Ben Goldacre highlights a form of Bad Science/research that is not only biased but borderline fraudulent. And ICM put their name to it. (Guardian). My post on bad science/research is here

Adrian Chan on why, in pursuit of the long tail, the power curve shouldn’t be overlooked (Gravity7)

John Battelle on why Google (and Google Maps) needs to add the human community element to their algorithms (Look Smart)

Nigel Hollis of Millward Brown defends the rational AIDA approach of the Link Test on his blog. He raises some valid points, but I remain slightly sceptical. Saying that, I cannot propose an alternative, cost-effective approach

Market Sentinel take a look at how to measure online campaigns. My post on online audience measurement is here

Seth Godin imparts some further PowerPoint tips


Jay Walker has created the most amazing library ever – check out the photos on Wired

100 skills every man person should know (Popular Mechanics)

Rolling Stone offer a character assassination of John McCain – the level of partisanship in US media continue to shock me. Republicans may (from my viewpoint) go further below the belt, but Democrats aren’t angels. Irrespective of whether the bulk of this article is true, the underlying vicious tone turns me off

A slightly lop-sided split there but particular commendation to RMM London’s analysis, problems with crowdsourcing, Bad Science/research and the grand gesture


Thinkbox Event – TV & The Brain: How Creativity Wins


Last Wednesday, I attended the Thinkbox event TV & The Brain: How Creativity Wins. The half-day conference explored how psychology plays a role in brand communications and advertising. The argument is that we should be looking towards the emotional and not the rational.

As a researcher, this is a challenge. Rational messages are easy to measure – emotions aren’t. I went into the event wanting to build up my knowledge on the theory, to learn of any practical applications and to leave with ideas on how to improve our understanding of advertising evaluation.

The event was split in two – half on theory, half on application. Personally, I found the first half far more rewarding. My knowledge of psychology was limited to Malcom Gladwell books, but the three excellent speakers broadened my horizons considerably and left me with a lot of things to ponder. I found the second half a disappointment. There were few specifics and the talks were dangerously close to sales pitches.

Tess Alps, Chief Executive of Thinkbox, opened the event in the customary fashion of selling TV as a medium. Continue reading