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Why Native Ads Won’t Replace Banner Ads Any Time Soon

sharethrough native ad liftYou’re skimming your favorite tech website and settle on an article about ways to save money on your cell phone bill. This is good information so you read it without noticing the notation that says it’s a sponsored story from T-Mobile. Or more accurately, you don’t realize that you’ve noticed. Your brain caught it, processed it and now associates T-Mobile with saving money on your phone bill.

Ah, the insidious power of the native ad. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. . I’m saying, it’s a thing and it explains why native ads are more effective than banner ads.

Native ads make natural connections – banner ads are disjointed connections. Which one is the brain more likely to latch on to?

[Infographic] What Makes A Top Marketing Executive?

Top Marketing Executive PreviewMarketing executives are an interesting bunch because the field is one where a very broad spectrum of capabilities is needed to do the job well. It’s hard to be an introverted tech guy if you are a marketing executive, so you have to be a people person as well as technically aware etc.

To sum it up, when painting the picture of what it takes to be a top flight marketing executive you need to use a rather broad brush.

The folks over at The Content Strategist brought a graphic to our attention that comes from Killer Infographics. As with all infographics you need to bring your critical thinking skills to the table to measure whether the information, while graphic, is also accurate.

Check out the full infographic below.

USA Today Sports Launches Social News Site

And in sports, Bryce Harper shares a terrible photo of his bedroom, Roy Hibbert and David Lee really, really dislike each other, and Andrew Luck’s cell phone looks almost as old as him.

Hmm. . . that might sound like a slow news day, but those are actually three of the top stories on USA Today’s new sports site. It’s called ‘For the Win‘, “the first mainstream sports media property focused exclusively on “social news,” with a steady stream of stories that fans are, or will be, talking about right now.”

for the win

The whole thing is sponsored by Right Guard so it feels a little like an advertorial when you hit the page. Once you get past that, it’s an intriguing, new way to deliver light news.

LinkedIn Jumps on the Feed Reader Craze, Buys Pulse

pulseEvery since Google announced that they were shutting down Google Reader, a dozen others have popped up with plans to fill the void.

Today’s entry comes from LinkedIn. Instead of reinventing the wheel, they bought one – Pulse: Your News, Blog, Magazine and Social Reader. The app was designed as a class project by two Standford boys who were looking for a better way to keep up with their favorite blogs and newspapers.

Now, 20 million people use Pulse to keep up with their favorite content streams in 190 countries. Pulse says they consume more 10 million stories a day and that’s music to this writer’s ears.

LinkedIn bought Pulse because well-written content is slowly pushing random blurbs off the page.  Here’s a quote from their announcement post.

MapQuest Reinvents Itself with Priceline Partnership and New Customer Tools

Every company has to grow and change with the times, but it’s even more vital when you’re in the internet biz. In a few short years, we went from using AOL and dial-up to Facebook and high-speed modems. Reinvention isn’t an option, it’s essential.

MapQuest spent the last 16 years helping people find their way. But now, everyone has a GPS system in their car or their phone and when we do look up an address online, we expect more than just turn-by-turn directions. So MapQuest reinvented itself as a travel discovery engine not just for actual travelers but for armchair travelers, too.

In November of 2012, they introduced MapQuest Discover. It’s Pinterest for places.

mapquest

Blurring the Line Between Editorial and Ads

blurryBack in the Golden Age of television, most shows were “sponsored by” one or two products. Between acts, TV characters proclaimed their love of a certain product and today we have product placement that requires the cops of Hawaii Five-o to stop and eat a Subway sandwich.

In other words, we’ve been blurring the lines between editorial content and advertising for a long while. We took a little break in the 80′s and 90′s and now we’re finding all new ways to mix brands and content.

Taking the Brand to the Content

Tanzina Vega of the New York Times published a piece this week on this very subject. She points out a collection of space tech articles on Mashable that were sponsored by Snapdragon (a Qualcom brand of computer chip) then remains journalisticly neutral, presenting both sides of the issue.

Revitalizing the Classics: About.com and Digg Say They Have a Plan

1415159_47821948Is anyone surprised that About.com is still standing? Before Wikipedia, it was the best place to find a lot of specific information about a wide range of topics with everything from Action Figures to Zoology.

What sets the company apart from standard blog sites is their extremely specific template style which leans heavily on evergreen resource pages. They’re also known for the amount of text they publish on a page and they are the reigning champs when it comes to internal linking.

They’re also king of the adsense placements. They weave so many plain text ads into their template it’s often hard to tell what’s content and what’s not. And I guess that’s the point.