One of the hottest recent stories in the tech industry has been the rapid rise of the messaging service Twitter. Starting from a small base of enthusiast users, the service has rapidly risen to prominence in the media, with extensive coverage of its adoption by celebrities. In the last month, Google counted about 65,000 news stories mentioning Twitter, and the web tracking service Alexa reported a remarkable 400% increase in traffic to Twitter.com in the last four months. In April 2009, Alexa reported that daily visits to twitter.com surpassed those to cnn.com:
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Congrats on your new role. For many of us in the tech industry, Yahoo is more than a company, it’s a Silicon Valley icon. By putting in the kind of strong management you represent, I hope the board is signaling the company’s intent to reinvent itself and thrive once again. Your opportunities speak to opportunities for every tech firm, so we’re going to make this an Open Letter in the hope that everyone can learn from the experience you’re about to have.
Last Friday, I went to a party in Atherton and met two CEOs who used the word “community” as their secret sauce.
One thing the marketing industry and the tech industry have in common is that they’re both periodically swept by fad ideas (call them memes if you want to sound hip) that enchant everyone to the point of obsession. That obsession then produces a backlash that causes everyone to swing the other way and completely dismiss the original idea. We’re going through one of those cycles right now with the idea of influencer marketing. As usual, the reality is somewhere in between the hype and the backlash–influencer marketing is not the be-all that some people made it out to be, but it’s not bunk either.
We all want to be new school and know that the latest top hit song (via iTunes) is a song called SOS by Jonas Brothers. I had to look that up. Because what I pay attention to the most are things I already love. While I’d like to be super hip, the songs that run through my head are more like “The Way We Were” if I’m feeling melancholy, “Sweet Home Alabama” if I feel good, or Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” if I feel, ya know, sassy.
What does this have to do with marketing, you ask?
A colleague recently bent my ear regarding mobile commerce and how she can barely wait for some of the new services (like this one) to become available in her area. I love a good gadget as much as the next guy, but having lived through electronic wallets and many of the other “great ideas” on the front-side of the dot com boom, I’m a bit skeptical.
For those that are willing to learn, failures teach us more than successes, so this got me thinking about what the past can teach us about these new service offerings. I’m not talking about ringtones and wallpaper; I’m only talking about stuff you buy with your phone, not for your phone.