Google Gets Hit With Fine for Obstructing FCC Investigation

Google’s Street View is a very helpful tool when you’re driving to a place you’ve never visited before. But what are we willing to give up in return for the convenience? No one wants to pay in cash for the service, so how about you turn over your web history and email instead?

More than a year ago, the FCC began an investigation about the data collected by Google’s Street View teams. It was learned that in addition to photographing an area, the happy little cars also scooped up data from unprotected wireless networks.

Google has never denied the data collection, but they have had a variety of explanations. According to a report in the LA Times, Google first went with the theory that an “unauthorized engineer” put the plan in motion without permission from the company. The data was collected but no one did anything with it.

Google Looks to Make Search Ads Move Mobile Apps for Advertisers

Today Google announced several improvements to existing services like click-to-download for mobile advertisers. Using language that is starting to sound very familiar to those who follow the search giant the new systems are meant to create a “holistic solution” for businesses looking to take advantage of the rapidly expanding mobile app world.

From the Google Mobile Ads blog

Mobile search is a powerful channel for businesses to engage with customers that are searching for them or for their application. Last year, we introduced improvements to click-to-download ads, and for publishers, launched Custom Search Ads for Mobile Apps. Today we’d like to share several new features that will make it even easier for AdWords advertisers to promote, track and monetize their mobile app. For the first time, businesses can use AdWords mobile search ads as a holistic solution to promote, monetize and track their app downloads.

New TweetCharts Tool Helps Get Twitter Data

HubSpot’s Social Media Scientist, Dan Zarrella, is up to something again and this time the result is a free Twitter analysis tool called TweetCharts.

The idea behind TweetChartsi the ability to get an analysis of activity ranging from links, retweets, replies, mentions, media used in tweets, questions and more. Here is a result screen for you.

Zarrella’s post introducing the post gives us the genesis of the tool

Enter any word, phrase, hashtag, URL or username and TweetCharts will return a comprehensive report, including data on reply, retweet, and link percentages as well as the most common words, most mentioned users, most used hashtags and more.

I began working on TweetCharts a few weeks ago actually on a plane. I did some pen-and-paper wire framing somewhere over the midwest, woke up the next day and began cranking on it.

AMC’s The Pitch Makes Advertising Entertaining

If you’ve ever thought of advertising execs as naked, glistening, sword-wielding gladiators, then have I got a show for you.

AMC’s The Pitch is like Mad Men but without the cool clothes. each week, the series follows two real-life agencies as they meet, brainstorm, create and pitch their campaign concept hoping to win the big client.

In the first episode, which airs tonight, April 30, at 9, mid-size agency McKinny goes up against “envelope-pushing” WDCW on a campaign for Subway. The sandwich shop wants to convince millennials to buy their breakfast at Subway and that’s a tall order.

McKinny, smartly, brings in some young guns of their own and invites them to compete against each other. They come up with animated sandwiches and a rap music video.

Study Shows Social Media Marketing Management is Haphazard at Best

A surprising number of people are still confused about social media marketing. They know it’s on trend and that it’s probably good for business but logistically, it’s still a bit of a mystery for most.

EPiServer recently surveyed 250 UK marketing decision makers and their thoughts on social media marketing were all over the board. On the upside, 77% of them said they were running some kind of online community and 35% said they’ve been using social media for more than a year.

Of those with a social media marketing strategy, 30% said it’s increased their customer loyalty, 25% said it increased web traffic and 21% said they saw a direct increase in sales. Bravo. But only 1 in 10 said they had an effective means of measuring the benefits and that’s crazy.

Cup of Joe: Don’t Waste Your Time Learning To “Code”

null Every now and then I hear a friend of mine that works in the tech space, but in a non-technical area like marketing say, “I am going to teach myself to code”. A lot of the times I hear this around January or February. “This year I will learn PHP!” or “This year I am going to become a Javascript ninja.” And even, “Oh yeah I am excited to learn Ruby!!”. Every time, with out fail I quietly think to myself, “Don’t learn how to code, you are wasting your time.”

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to rain on anybody’s parade. In fact I think we need more enthusiasm around learning new things. But I honestly believe that learning how to code is a complete waste of time unless it is part of the major functions of your job, or you enjoy programming as a hobby.

YouTube Gains as Facebook Numbers Continue to Slide

Nielsen just released their Top Web Brands stats for March 2012. The usual suspects made the list, but when you compare the charts to months back, you can see an interesting trend. YouTube’s audience is growing — as it should. Facebook’s audience is on the decline — no comment.

Here’s the newest data:

Compared to August of last year:

Facebook is still easily holding second place and they rule the world when it comes to time per person. YouTube’s growth hasn’t been enough to raise them up out of fifth place, but even a slight gain in audience beats a decline anytime.