Quora Greenlights Self-Promotion

Marketers, start your engines! As of right now, Q&A site Quora has not only lifted their ban on self-promotion, they’re actually encouraging it.

The old policy said that content that was “primarily self-promotional” was prohibited. Here’s why they changed the rule.

Quora’s key principle regarding content is that users should make the site a great resource for people who want to learn. The quality of the answer is what we care about. Evaluating the intention of an answer does not support this policy.

We want to encourage users to provide answers based on personal experience, and this often involves — or even requires – discussing subject(s) in which the writer has personal experience. Personal experience is an asset, not a liability, and is a key element of many of the best answers on Quora. In other words, we want users to write about what they know and care about – companies, organizations, causes, people, products, etc.

Should Digital Magazine Ads Cost Less Than the Print Equivalent?

Hearst, Time, Inc and now Conde Nast are all jumping on the digital train, with deals that allow subscribers to buy their most popular magazines on the iPad. Sports Illustrated, The New Yorker, O, the Oprah Magazine — it’s a wide reach, but are readers ready to pass on tearing out articles in favor of a digital bookmark? Magazine publishers hope so, but magazine advertisers aren’t so sure.

Right now, this whole digital subscription idea is rather speculative. We may find that business people love having all that information at their fingertips, while casual readers prefer having pages to turn. The trouble is, ads have to be priced and paid for now, before the data is in.

There are three options:

  • Digital ads cost more than print ads in the same magazine (not likely).

Are You a Social Expressionista or an Alpha Trendsetter?

According to AOL, a social expressionista “defines herself as using the web to connect with others and to express her views, her art, and her projects.”

Sounds like a great person for marketers to hook up with, unfortunately, says eMarketer, only 8% of women online fall into this category so you’re going to have to stand in line to get your shot.

The study, which was conducted by the Bovitz Reseach Group on behalf of AOL, involved 2,000 women in the US between the ages of 18-55. In it, they were asked a series of key questions to help classify the way they share information online.

From here, they developed seven Women Identity Segments including:

Prices Are Up But Consumer Spending Isn’t

My gas station and my grocery store are in cahoots. They both keep inching up prices, waiting to see which one will bankrupt me first. Well, forget it, boys. Like many other American’s I’m finding new ways to get what I need without spending more than I was before.

Gallup’s newest poll shows that even though the cost of living has increased, consumer spending is down from February and was virtually flat over March and April.

Gallup says that last year, spending was on the rise and there was talk of “frugality fatigue.” This year, it’s a whole different story. Of course, we’ve seen it in the popularity of deal sites. In the beginning, these sites were loaded with luxury buys from spa days and high-end restaurants to helicopter rides over the city. Now you can buy sampler packages from food manufacturers and other basics. Deal sites aren’t simply trendy anymore.

M-Commerce Campaigns Grow 30% Over Last Quarter

It’s time for another MillennialMedia SMART report. Today, we have the full results from Q1 2011 and it’s good news for mobile marketers. What we’re looking at are charts showing the potential actions attached to a mobile marketing campaign. As I understand this, the percentage does not indicate the number of users who availed themselves of those actions. However, it’s likely that there’s a correlation, right? More download options likely means more people are downloading.

Q1 2011

Comparing now (top) with then (below), you can see a nice little bump in M-Commerce from 10% to 12%. Application downloads also got a hefty rise, from 17% to 26%, as did campaigns that result in an enroll or join function. Basically, there was an increase in mobile activity across the board.

Facebook To Buy Skype? Say it Isn’t So!

Who has more registered members, Facebook or Skype?

The average person is going to say Facebook, but since I’m asking the question, you’re probably going to pick Skype. The truth is somewhere in between. According to their S.1, Skype has 663 million registered users. Back in July, Facebook crossed the 500 million mark, so it’s likely they’re very close to Skype’s number about now.

So what will happen if these two giants join forces? I’ll be very unhappy. I’m sure that’s not going to affect Facebook’s decision, but I’d rather see Skype go to big brother Google. Why? Because Facebook is about bells and whistles and forcing people to share and smile. It’s the social media equivalent of a Coca-Cola commercial.

ROI of Social Media is Unknowable and Other Wisdom from Fashion140

Do you ever wonder why no one every asks you the ROI for print or TV? That’s because they learned a long time ago that you couldn’t measure the direct response from consumers through either one of the channels. And yet, when we talk about digital marketing, ROI is all anyone wants to know. What’s my ROI for Twitter, Facebook, video advertising. . . ?

Those statements (paraphrased a tad) came from David Sulute, the VP of Technology for 9 Threads. Sulute was one of the speakers at today’s Fashion140 Conference in New York and thanks to the miracle of live streaming, I got to listen in.