Friday Wrap #48: Marissa speaks, Facebook revises Pages, organizing for content, stories from data2013-04-26
(c) Can Stock PhotoHere’s your weekly wrap-up of news and useful posts you may have missed during the past week. I select these stories from those I’ve collected during the week at LinksFromShel.tumblr.com.
Yahoo’s Mayer finally dishes on telecommuting policy
Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s CEO, made waves when the company issued an edict ending telework practices and requiring employees to do their jobs on-site—even those who took the job in the first place because they could telecommute. Mayer defended the decision, reiterating the language in the HR memo that kicked off the controversy: “It’s not what’s right for Yahoo right now,” she said, adding that the idea that she opposed work-from-home policies industry-wide was mistaken. Mayer acknowledged that people are more productive when they work alone, but emphasized that “they’re more collaborative and innovative when they’re together,” writes Christopher Tkaczyk, senior editor at CNN Money. “As an example of that collaboration, Mayer touted the newly-launched Yahoo Weather app for iOS, which uses built-in geolocation technology in Flickr photo albums to help users get a more accurate image of local weather—an idea, she explained, originated by two software engineers who work in the same office.” Mayer made her remarks in the closing keynote at the Great Place to Work conference in Los Angeles on April 18.
Facebook launches customized Pages for brands
On Facebook, a brand page is a brand page is a brand page, right? Not any more. On Tuesday, the social network launched customized Pages for different business categories. The feature will appear initially on mobile web views and the iPhone/iPad app. Writing for FastCompany, Sarah Kessler reports, “Redesigned mobile Facebook Pages will look slightly different depending upon whether a Page owner categorizes itself as a brand, local business, city, or in any of several other categories. Pages for brands with local branches, for instance, show a map with locations nearby.” Additional features for different types of companies may also be introduced.
New Altimeter report focuses on organizing for content
The Altimeter Group is out with another free research report, Organizing for Content: Models to Incorporate Content Strategy and Content Marketing in the Enterprise. Written by Rebecca Lieb (with Chris Silva and Christine Tan), the report argues that, while content marketing is top-of-mind in most organizations, these same organizations “have not yet addressed content on either a strategic or tactical level,” according to Jeremiah Owyang, an Altimeter analyst. The report identifies six models organizations can employ in organizing for content, including a Center of Excellence, an executive steering committee, and editorial board or content council, a content lead, a cross-functional content chief, or a content department/division.
Is Twitter initiating a trend with the hire of a data editor?
Simon Rogers is Twitter’s first Data editor, a position created “with the sole job of uncovering stories from tweets,” according to Leah Gonzalez, writing for PSFK. “(Twitter) has proven to be a significant tool for journalists in telling the news in real time or even sniffing out potential stories,” Gonzalez writes. “Rogers’s skill in data journalism, in breaking down data and making it understandable to readers, will certainly be put into good use when he officially joins twitter in May.” The idea of a staffer dedicated to sifting through data in search of stories to tell seems a natural fit in content marketing efforts. Perhaps Altimeter Group can find a place for such a position in its proposed structures for content.
PR pros chide media for trying to hard to keep up with Twitter
PR experts are advising media to focus more on accuracy than speed in the wake of a rash of bad reporting emerging from the Boston Marathon bombing. Competing with social media just doesn’t work for the mainstream press, according a PRWeek report by Sarah Shearman. “PR professionals agree Twitter was by no means the bastion of accuracy, with misinformation spreading quickly over the platform. But in their attempts to break real-time news, traditional media outlets also fell afoul of factual errors.”
More evidence that QR codes continue to thrive
Of all the “X is dead” memes, none is more persistent than that imposed on the QR code. Hated by many since they first appeared on the digital media scene, detractors now have scads of reasons to dismiss them, ranging from the imminent rise of Near-Field Communication to the lack of integration into smartphones. But there’s plenty of evidence to contradict the naysayers. One of those naysayers, 312 Digital‘s Sean McGinnis, recounts an experience with a QR code that he liked (finally, he adds). Red Robin restaurants was behind the campaign, sending the code along with the bill. The code leads customers to a satisfaction survey designed for mobile. On another front, while it’s not exactly a marketing opportunity, but QR codes are poised to appear on luggage tags, according to Julie Campbell, writing for Mobile Commerce Press. “By adding these barcodes to luggage tags, someone who finds misplaced baggage can contact its owner,” she writes. “In theory, an airport employee or good Samaritan will scan the QR codes so that the owner can be contacted. From that point, arrangements can be made to ensure that the baggage with the QR codes will be returned to its owner. Through the GoCodes service, there are a number of different features available in terms of various forms of barcodes and contact options.”
Coke produces its first all-digital campaign
After conducting panels with teens, Coca-Cola has introduced its first digital-only campaign called “The AHH Effect.” Adweek‘s Christopher Heine reports that the campaign is made up of 17 digital experiences, including games with names like Ice Toss and Guide the Bubble, all designed for consumption over smartphones. “This is meant to be a constantly iterating campaign,” according to Pio Schunker, Coca-Cola North America’s senior VP of integrating marketing communications. “We fully expect to end up in a completely different place compared to where we started.” Heine writes, “A digital media push involving 19 teen-friendly media partners like Alloy, Vevo, Buzzfeed, Facebook and Twitter will be in the offing, while a 15-second video teaser went live (the morning of April 23).” Additionally, the company will employ channels including Facebook and Twitter “to encourage teens to create their own software-based experiences for the brand. Out of the submissions, 25 will be selected to be included in ‘The AHH Effect’ run.” Ultimately, the effort will produce 61 experiences with dedicated AHH.com destinations, each adding a new “H” to the URL.
UK social networking growth strongest among middle-age and senior users
Financial services and healthcare brands were last to the social media game, holding back because of compliance fears. Similarly, middle-age and senior consumers are late to the game because social media first attracted younger demographics often identified as digital natives. Was there ever any real doubt they’d show up? The UK’s telecommunications regulator, Ofcom, has released research depicting strong growth of social networking by older Internet users. “More than a third (35%) of 55 to 64 year-old Internet users created a social networking profile in the last year—up by half in just one year (24% in 2011),” writes TechCrunch‘s Natasha Lomas.
What makes infographics work?
Most infographics, well, aren’t. They’re actually infoposters, grahics that marry text and images to convey information in a non-narrative fashion. They’re generally towers that require considerable scrolling. An infographic, on the other hand, is (as Edward Tufte says) the visual display of quantitative information. These days, “data visualization” is the term of choice, and Jim Stikeleather offers some insight into how to make them work in a post on the Harvard Business Review blog. First, he says, it understands its audience. Second, it sets up a clear framework: “The designer needs to ensure that everyone viewing the visualization is on common ground about what it is representing.” And third, the visualization “is really a dynamic form off persuasion,” Stikeleather writes. “The visualization needs to tell a story to the audience.”