With the recent news that Twitter got ‘popped’ at a billion dollar valuation, I got to weigh in–albeit briefly–on the subject in a Business Week article from Stephen Baker:

There’s a perception that Twitter will have a grip on the real-time Web, which connects customers to brands.

So what was I talking about?  Well, there’s a notion in marketing circles that Twitter is the ‘first hop’ on the information superhighway of what’s ‘en vogue’ now, and that stream of real-time consciousness is made more prescient by the never-ending-friending/following phenomenon that’s unique to Twitter.  Therefore, marketers have first look at what’s hot or not, what’s new or through, and that is valuable for market research, product feedback, trend analysis, etc.

However, a billion dollars is a ludicrous sum and I cannot justify that valuation, not at least until Twitter starts earning revenue of its own and shows a path to break-even.

That’s what some researchers in China have done.  Check out the sounds of your brainwaves:

In AdWeek, Brian Morrissey presents a good write-up of the analysis of social networking data and its implications.  He asked me to comment, and what made it into the article was:

Many ad buyers are maintaining a “test and see” approach, since it’s unclear whether behavioral data derived from online social networks will supercharge ad performance or merely provide incremental improvement. “The jury is still out,” says Eric Porres, a partner at New York digital agency Underscore Marketing. “Hypothetically, it makes a lot of sense.”

This was just a small part of our conversation. Suffice to say, it’s more than just hypothetical.  Social networking data presents an extraordinary trove of untapped potential for marketers to tap into active human interests (vs. the passive experience of consuming web page content).

Cover story of Business Week by Stephen Baker, author of The Numerati.

What do these relationships [Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn] say about us and the people in our networks? Companies armed with rich new data and powerful computers are beginning to explore these questions. They’re finding that digital friendships speak volumes about us as consumers and workers, and decoding the data can lead to profitable insights. Calculating the value of these relationships has become a defining challenge for businesses and individuals.

It’s a great article and worth your time.  Read it here.

Hi, today I was interviewed by Scott Hoffman (of Lotame) on Blog Talk Radio along with my Underscore Marketing partner, Tom Hespos.  You can have a listen here.  Enjoy!

I think my 3 1/2-year old might understand this one:

These are used for...

One of the most sublime commentaries made on the bong/Phelps/Kellogg’s fiasco (2 mins):

SNL – Really?!? – Michael Phelps, 02/07/2009

It’s all so damn good that I transcribed the last bit:

“…and if you’re at a party and you see Michael Phelps smoking a bong and you’re first thought isn’t ‘wow I get to party with Michael Phelps’ and instead you take a picture and sell it to a tabloid you should take a long look in the mirror because you’re a dick, I’m mean really.”

Anyone who has ever thought about the meaning of music, art, and/or contextual relevance should immediately put aside 45 minutes to ingest and ponder the experiment that The Washington Post conducted (Jan, 2007) in the DC Metro.  I don’t want to give it away, as it needs to unfold on its own:

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