What's Twitter, Anyway? Don't Ask Russell Simmons

Twitter might be, as Nate Westheimer writes, a billion dollar business (because they can become a P2P payment system, he says) , but that doesn't mean that most people know what it is.

For the Naked Media show, we took our mic and camera out to a park in financial district today, and of about a dozen people we asked -- including Russell Simmons, who happened to be sitting with a woman in the park -- only one (not Simmons) had even the vaguest idea of what Twitter is. The one who knew said she doesn't use it, doesn't blog either. "I read, not write" -- important for us all to remember, sometimes, that not everyone is a content creator.

Twitter might become as ubiquitous as eBay or Google or Yahoo. It ain't there, yet. And another way it could be a billion dollar biz (he says, hyphothesizingly) would be if it became part of something else, so people would be using Twitter technology without knowing it. In the same way that RSS is used in myriad applications, such as NetVibes or MyYahoo, with only a small fraction of the millions using them knowing what RSS is.

You'll be able to watch the episode, which was webcast live at noon ET, on demand soon, at ScribeMedia.org, or through TeemingMedia.com.

Ask Two Digital Strategists

Next guests on Naked Media: Chief Digital Strategist for Marsteller, Erin Byrne, and Ogilvy digital strategist Ben Ezrick. We'll ask 'em about viral video, crisis management, and just what a digital strategist is, anyway.

UPDATE: Great, fun show. Watch TeemingMedia.com to catch it on demand.

Upcoming Media-Tech Plays

Jordan Rohan, of Clearmeadow Partners, on what he "likes" as upcoming media/tech plays, after saying the companies that are going to change the landscape in next 5-10 years don't exist today. At the Digital Publishing and Advertising Conference in NY.


* Widget-ized contextual content and advertising ("two-in-a-box"). “Advertising and content need to go hand in hand.” Not syndicate content into somone else’s page. Don’t have to people bring back to your homepage to serve them content or sell an ad. Eliminates the problem some of the portals are going through now. “If NYT could figure out a way to sell ads against [their widget] they’ve got me looking at their ads for ever and ever.” (Later, NYT product manager Mike Foley directly contradicts this, saying "we’re in distributingg content in any way possible and GETTING THEM BACK TO THE SITE and getting them engaged.")

* Super local lead-generation platforms.

* Innovative iPhone apps. The $200 iPhone “will be selling on eBay for $300.” iPhone at $199 is “going to change everything.” The graduation gift of ’09, or Xmas gift of ’08.

* High-margin e-commerce companies with buying power. Company sells $6M of hammocks, with 50% margins. .. have buying power, because aggregate so much demand. ...

* Successful resellers of carbon emission credits for consumers.

* Commercial applications for Twitter: I am a business looking for something. ... it’s going to change some sector of the economy... some company is going to figure it out.

Twitter: Death by Success

Social Networking Apps for Mobile

It has to come to this: social networking through the mobile device.
(Story about a company called Frengo that lets folks use their mobile devices, cellphone and so on, to network through Facebook. One is a dating app.)

YouTube's Easy Fix

There's so much talk about whether YouTube can contribute serious revenue to Google's bottom line because they don't right now have the right to put ads on content they haven't licensed. That seems easy enough to fix: Make the right to show ads part of the uploading agreement for the average user.  Offer a rev-share to sweeten the deal for anyone getting over a certain number of views.

No? What' the flaw in this argument.

George Carlin, My Hero

George Carlin is one of my heroes. Not for the routine that made him most famous -- the seven (later 10) dirty words you can’t say on TV -- but for so much of his work that, while making us laugh, also made us look at ourselves and was really social criticism: his poem about his hair and its length (“wear it to there or to there or to there if you dare!”) and the goofy news guy (“In Baltimore it’s 6:43, now for the 11 o’clock report!) making fun of the supercilious seriousness with which so many newscasters intoned to us, decades before The Daily Show.

Comedy is one of the few ways (along with music) in the U.S. to do social criticism and gain mass appeal, fame and fortune, and sneak it under the radar. Early on, and a little bit still, I did comedy, and may do more of it. I can well appreciate the courage Carlin had, the the strength of will and energy. It's bad enough to be standing in front of a hostile audience that doesn't give a damn and is ignoring you through a drunken haze at 2 a.m., or working to fill the pockets of a sleazy club owner who pays you $15 and a drink, if that. But to stand up by yourself on stage in those conditions night after night for years, and build up an audience, and then continue to take risks, not play it safe, get arrested as Carlin was but be unrepentant. Carlin finally got the attention of the establishment, including Congress, for his list of dirty words. I have to think he knew what he was doing, that he knew he wouldn't be sneaking under the radar with those. I noticed in the NPR obit quoting Carlin today that when asked his regrets, he mentions his and his wife's drug use, not because of any edict or strictures, but because of how he felt it harmed his daughter.

My wife gave me a box set of Carlin CDs as a present a few years back, and while I seldom listen, I do cherish them. I'm not a big collector of DVDs or books or spoken CDs -- who has all that shelf space, and how many would you really want to read or watch or listen to more than once or twice? But Carlin's work is an oeuvre that to me goes far beyond comedic laughs. I saw Carlin live, once, at a circle theater in the New York area, and marveled at his mastery, his timing, physical prowess, voice control, microphone technique. A video of a 2003 HBO special under the writer credit says: George Carlin. Not only was he a master performer with impeccable skills, but he also wrote his own stuff. I don't know if others ever wrote for Carlin, but I do know that a great number of top comedians, especially later on in a career, will have others contribute a lot.

Words. Carlin believed in them, in their power, forever playing around with meaning and hidden meaning, while slipping in the social critique. (One of his chosen oxymorons: Military Intelligence.) Today, I admire Carlin's seven dirty words routine more than I did when it first gained fame. I see it for the boundary pushing bit it was, following in the footsteps of Lenny Bruce before him. And society in some ways has caught up to the man who was visionary in his own goofy ways: there are plenty of farts on TV now (watch the routine posted on Silicon Alley Insider, to see what I mean), and Jon Stewart says a barely bleeped "shit" on his show about every 5 minutes. (Granted, it's cable, but that means it's in, what, 85 percent of American homes?)

I was told today by a well-known comedian and satirist that Carlin last year at a show seemed old and tired, not on his game. I've seen a news report that he was performing to get out of tax debt. Both may be true. But neither can remove the wealth of humor and wisdom he left us.

Off the Media: China, Russia and ... West Virginia?

I used to complain on occasion that NPR's On the Media was too foreign, too fascinated with news from overseas. I do enjoy the coverage from overseas, but how much is too much? I enjoyed a lot of the coverage of the from-Russia show, and this week's from China. Co-host Brooke Gladstone has also spent a week in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Call me -- the founding international editor of ABCNEWS.com -- parochial, but I find it a bit laborious, or at least limiting, to listen to a whole show in a week from one country. Inevitably, a lot of the coverage will repeat truisms we've read elsewhere, and the mind will wander.

Why not some other special, themed weeks. OK, they did do "books" recently. How about, though, spending a week somewhere in the U.S. where the media landscape is changing? How about, say, spend a week in West Virginia and figure out what it is about the news coverage there that convinced voters Obama is a Muslim. What can we see about local TV and newspapers that tell us something about the U.S. trends, in general. And a parochial question: How are coal miners consuming the media and news? Are they more connected than they've been in previous generations, networking socially via the Web with like-minded folks?

Slightly drunken rantings here -- yes, I admit it, I had a little to much port this Friday evening, while watching Disney Channel's "Camp Rock" with my kids -- but I'm now listening to the On the Media podcast, and found myself back on this ground.

Yahoo Had a Lot First

Reposting a comment from Fred Wilson's blog, on which he says they need new management and a few folks are replying:

Others here are saying that if Yahoo had the team of 1997, they'd do great. Yahoo had a lot what's currency today before it was currency: social networking (Yahoo 360), bookmarking (MyWeb), email and, of course search.

The problem, from my perspective, was in the execution and sometimes the marketing. The email product was good for its time, but hasn't been updated in ages, and is still very glitchy. Small business email, paid, doesn't have the functionality of Gmail or many other services.

Web building services are more expensive and less functional than others who've overtaken Yahoo in functionality as a host. (A site I have there recently was very slow and it was only after I called -- 45 minutes on hold! -- that I found out they'd been having server issues. Then the told me they'd escalate the site.)

I don't know what team it was in '97. But I do see tons of great ideas and opportunities that were not seized on.

Jury Duty! Jury Duty?

I loved everything about the WiFi connection at the NY State jury room at 111 Centre Street except that for some reason it wouldn't let me log on to blogger to post here. Well, I got some other work done as I sat around all day. Was going to say WiFi for people waiting to be empaneled as jurors is one expense I don't at all mind paying for -- even though it also blocked my email client, Entourage, from sending outgoing messages. The laptop stations -- there was a room of about a dozen cubbies -- were full, and another dozen or two people with laptops working away, in a room of maybe 250-300 people.

But blogger.com and blogspot.com couldn't get through, instead giving me a NY Supreme Court page. Hmmmm. They thinking I'm going to blog the procedures? They care that I could do it over Wordpress or Typepad or Twitter (didn't try that, actually) or 100 other ways? They took my camera  (which I, darn, forgot to pick up from the security desk!), but I can just take photos from the computer or my other cellphone... Funny mix of 2008 and last century thinking.

It's all media, all the time. Showed the same video about the court system hosted by Ed Bradley and Diane Sawyer (whom I'm guessing got off jury duty by doing the video) as I saw five or so years ago. What if they put it online and just let us watch, and check off that we'd watched and come a half-hour later? That'd be too crazy.

Widgets Aren’t the Thing

Widgets aren’t the thing. Distributed content, yes. ways of getting people to import and export without having to go through any specific website, sure. But widgets, per se? Nah. That’s in a sense what VC Fred Wilson (above) thinks. Fred talked about a “river” of content, in a stream, as on his Tumblr, without any sidebars, or widgets that disrupt and are disjointed and can easily be ignored in sidebars, not to mention greatly slow the loading of the page. Event organizer Matthew Finley told me privately that maybe widgets aren't the right thing to hang this conference on, that maybe next year (the second, which he hopes will make a profit), they'll expand or better position it to include the larger message of what this is.

I like the idea that someone can get only what they want -- perhaps Fred’s musings on financials, without his musical selections. Different tastes, and the ultimate “widgetization” of content, to where I can say give me this of this person and that of that blog, and assemble it for me as I want. Maybe I WANT to be able to ignore something most days, but know it’s there when I want to glance.

Fred calls this “The Implicit Web,” and it’s something you don’t have to even ask for. A user’s action and behaviors “should inform the browser as to what services to call up.”I should have a different experience when he comes to his blog than you, and should be what the Web collectively knows about me, vs. you.

I interviewed Fred and Stowe Boyd on tape, and hope to have it soon. Also, Fred’s keynote. One striking thing Fred said: “A friend named Darren whom I’ve never met” who did a widget mashup for him. One of the striking things he didn't talk about: money. For a VC, he seems rather unconcerned with making revenues from this stuff.

Playing with Widgets

. That theme came up at least three times today at the Widget Web Expo in Brooklyn. (It was there, said the event organizer, because space was hard to come by in Manhattan.)

VC Fred Wilson: “The Web is becoming more intelligent, social, mobile and playful. Playful is very important.” Stowe Boyd: General Motors did very well and showed courage by letting people mash up videos of its SUVs, even though many were critical. “Wouldn’t it be funny if they made fun of themselves?” he asked, suggesting they, maybe, let users show how to shrink the cars? “Playfulness is another part of the courage thing.” Patrick Sexton of SEOish.com was nothing but playful, showing excitedly (after his formal remarks) how he’d widgetized a half-dozen pieces of Stephen Colbert-related content to get the attention of the execs at Comedy Central’s parent, Viacom (he did, he said).

OK, then, let’s play. Serious fun. Jon Stewart’s news is more honest than the “real” shows. David Pogue creates a fake musical to the iPhone. Hey, if a comedian can play a journalist, how about the reverse. One of my attempts is in the first part of this video interview with Dave Morgan. Another attempt, that will grow and get better is here. I used to be a comedian. So, now I'm a former comedian, who's now a journalist, doing some comedic stuff.

Who predicted the end of irony? Right.

What's With the Illegible Word Verification?

Am I the only one who's noticed the Blogspot verification codes are getting impossible for human eyes to decipher?

When I'm told to "Enter the letters as they are shown in the image," I'd like to see what they are.

The Real Danger for AP

UPDATED: Clarifying a few points.

= = = = = =
There’s a lot of grumbling and retorting about the AP’s attempt to then sort-of retreat from making bloggers either paraphrase or take down their pickups of material from the venerated wire service. But there’s a more immediate problem that runs deeper than complaints from bloggers like Michael Arrington, Jeff Jarvis or Jeff Nolan.

A few weeks back the editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer on "On the Media" talked about how newspapers in Ohio were reaping great benefits trading material, and linking and cross linking. More importantly, she said she was no longer reliant on The Associated Press for her stories from the region but instead was getting the original versions direct from the other sources around the state rather than paying “a big chunk” of her budget, about $1 million for rewritten AP stories. Picking up directly, on the Web, and putting other papers’ stories directly in the newspaper was also better quality, she said, and readers were noticing:

“I mean, we've always had access to news from all over the state. It was just, you know, it went through the AP mill. I frankly think we're getting better, more distinctively written stories because they're not going through the AP mill.”

If local papers skip the AP, that means the core constituency is in revolt. That will potentially be more corrosive than the fight with the blogosphere over fair use. "As long as there are are two papers to trade articles, the AP will exist," one rake at the wire service -- where I worked for seven years on the international desk and as a foreign correspondent -- quipped to me once. But what if the members form their own cooperatives and cut out the AP as middleman?

I’m not saying this will happen immediately. AP, whose core business is the not-for-profit cooperative dues of member newspapers, has offered to cut its rates starting next year. Newspapers, despite ad and circulation declines for decades, have been notoriously slow moving, and many will be reluctant to pick up content from papers they might think of as competitors; the AP has given them the cover they sought to do so less blatantly. But the economic pressures are only increasing as revenues and readership decline more precipitously, and any success in Ohio could be the thin edge of a wedge. “We've set up this little cooperative,” said the Plain Dealer editor, Susan Goldberg. “I don't know how it'll work in the future, but right now it's working really well.”

Add to that AP’s deal to have its direct results placed higher in Google than member papers, further pissing them off, and newspapers will look harder at the Ohio example. We're talking months or perhaps years, certainly not decades. The example could spread nationally or internationally.

CEO Tom Curley has been leading the AP into a future in which an increasing share of its revenues comes from sources other than member dues, such as direct photo revenues, Web content services and broadcast fees. But the transformation may not be fast enough. AP doesn't have the luxury of Bloomberg or Thomson Reuters in which news gathering can be supported by financial terminals that really bring in the bucks.

AP should own the Web. It has its roots in the trading and sharing of information. It gets a significant chunk of revenue from providing the backbone through which others pass content. It coded and tagged and parsed content with everything from category codes to prioritization markings, and ways to match text and photos decades before those practices became fashionable for everyone. But culture and old habits are very hard to change, and I fear for the company's viability while hoping it can work out a more creative win-win solution for all.

Twitter Book

UPDATE: Very disappointing. The book's not serialized on Twitter. The tweets just point to the blog serialization. Harumph!

= = = = 
Thanks to Fred Wilson for pointing to the launch of a book being serialized on Twitter:

Tom Peters' 100 Ways to Succeed/Make Money. Launches in 3 days.

Also, "Jane Austen" and "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom".

Mobile On Mobile - Let the Games Begin!

Outside the Mobile Marketing Forum, couldn't help but notice this ad, trying to get people to text in (didn't see anyone in front of the billboard playing the game, in Times Square) but there were winners listed later. Perhaps the ad was shown in multiple locales.

Also, the bottom area, where CNN was listed, also tried to get folks to log onto CNN's mobile app.

We're going to see a lot more of this -- again, like the early days of the Web, trying to get people to interact with mobile content, apps, games, and such, and in exchange give up some info (they're defacto giving up their mobile number ...)

A Mobile Carrier Responds

It’s tough without jumping through various PR hoops to get a mobile phone carrier to talk on the record, but I did get one carrier exec to counter the assertions of folks at the Mobile Marketing Forum, run by the Mobile Marketing Association, who say the carriers don’t play fair, do all kinds of nefarious things that hurt the market and the industry. The assertion, and the unattributed rebuttal, below:

- Carriers ask too much of a revenue share on ad and marketing campaigns:
* If it’s too costly, don’t do it. It’s business. I’m not in business to keep you in business.
* Our customer acquisition and retention costs are really high. Customer only has 1 carrier (and take a lot of time and energy deciding). They can get content from a dozen, two dozen places.

- Carriers unfairly block applications and things people want to download onto their phones:
* If the application doesn’t work well, customer doesn’t call the one who made the app, call 611. We have to deal with it.
* Customer experience is paramount.

You’re not sharing data on customers, age, location, etc, which hinders our ability to target them with services, etc:
*Has to be worth it. Generally, he who controls the data, controls the game. Very valuable. Have to give us a reason to share it.

The Coming Collision With Mobile Carriers

UPDATE: A carrier exec gives a rebuttal.

= = = = =

Spend almost any time with people in the mobile (meaning mobile phone) content, advertising or applications industry, and you’ll surely hear something about how the cell phone carriers are making life more difficult for them. At the Mobile Marketing Forum in New York today:

Rene Rodriguez of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.: “We still often don’t even know who our users are ... Targeting our users in arena, our fans, and I have no access to that information” because the carriers refuse to share it.

Gene Keenan, VP, Mobile Strategies, Isobar (ad agency holding company): “In some instances we can’t target as well on the mobile phone as online [because demographic information such as age] is held pretty closely” by the carriers. And, he says, he isn’t allowed to give content away, even though many brands want to, as part of a marketing or branding campaign.

Tom Daly, Group Manager, Strategy & Planning, Global Interactive Marketing, The Coca-Cola Company: Carriers are making it tough to bring content to consumers for free (because they see it as competition to premium content. “We created 20,000 songs, 15,000 artists in Europe ... We created a great platform for everybody ... You share it with us, we’ll share with the world. The artist wins, the consumer wins. We hope some of that love wears off on Coca Cola.” But it’s not easily done.

And on and on, like at a recent iBreakfast where Randy Haldeman of Apptera says that mobile so far is about 99% spam free, because the carriers block it, but they’re responsible for whatever spam there is.

The arguments I’ve heard in favor of the carriers are:

*They can’t just enable everything on their networks, make it an Internet-like free-for-all, because they need to protect the golden goose: voice communication. They can’t let a bazillion people sending rich ads and video and pictures clog or freeze the network and endanger their biggest most important task. They’ve invested a lot to build their networks, which are not government-initiated with multiple agnostic redundancies, as is/was the Internet, and also have to recoup that investment.
* When I said content creators are complaining about the amount carriers charge for their content, one carrier exec said to me that there is no real reason content makers should be able to charge for the same content multiple times on different platforms. Not sure I understand the argument, but it is what he said.

Regardless of the arguments, though, the tide is, I think, turning away from the restrictive nature of carriers, their locked phones and their plans. Not only is Google Android coming, which will create open standards for cellphones on new network bandwidth (if I understand correctly), but the Supreme Court has allowed a case to go through that will challenge restrictions on unlocking phones. Add all the voices of the Mobile Marketing Association and friends, and you’ve got quite a clamor for more openness and fewer restrictions. Government policy here in the U.S. allowed cellphone networks to develop as competitive fiefdoms, rather than a blanket network with a single standard, and we’re paying the price for that today, with all the restrictiveness, confusion (quick, tell me the rules of your mobile plan, in detail), plethora of mismatched services and devices, and the U.S. lag in many ways behind other countries.

Future of the NY Times

Twittering on Argyle Executive Forum on Future of NYTimes. Right column or Twitter.com name: DorianBenkoil.

But Mac Also Opts for (Sigh) Control, with new iPhone

Well, my to-be-consummated love of the iPhone is less likely now that I have this detail: Apparently, you'll have to activate the thing in the store, or AT&T will penalize you.

I still have, I think, about 5 months left on my T-Mobile contract, and had thought, "well, I'll get the iPhone, use it as an iPod, THEN get an AT&T contract" and have the best of all worlds. Looks like, instead, I'll have to carry two contracts at once, if I do want the iPhone. Grrr.

Twitter for Journalism II

More on Twitter for journalism, from OJB:

Finding contacts (UK is the example, but valid elsewhere), tools, publishing and distribution, etc. Good tips.

Mobile Me: Mac Does it Again

I'd been struggling with my Windows Mobile 6 device, and actually went back to my years-old Blackberry 6710 in frustration. (A tad embarrassing today when I was moderating at a Magazine Publishers of America event on new mobile technologies to pull out my old clunker.) Part of the reason I'd been waiting rather than switch to the iPhone today is because a) I have a contract until October with T-Mobile and I've heard a few horror stories about cracked iPhones and b) the new iPhone was coming out today.

Well, with the new features, and the new MobileMe (I already have .mac, so apparently I'll be upgraded automatically), I'll now be able to get the features AND the synching I want with the iPhone -- good email, contacts and calendar available, and updatable all over... I'll be a happy camper, it seems.

I don't always love the Mac, but I love the way they keep trying. I can't see how this doesn't mean great things for Apple and the decline, if incremental, of some of its competitors.

Smart Republicans

It's often said Republicans do a better job of marketing themselves and their Party than Democrats.

Look what sponsored link atop the page came up when I googled "Democratic Convention" (needed some info to see if I won a bet). That's trying to capture the swing vote, eh? (Click the image to see it larger if you need.)

You're Taking Ballmer Too Literally

There's a discussion on a listserv (remember those?) I'm on as well as some Internet discussion about Microsoft leader Steve Ballmer's remarks that paper media will go away in 10 years. Only he doesn't say that, exactly. He says it's immaterial whether it's 8 or 10 or 14 years. The exact timing isn't his point.

He also doesn't literally mean, I would guess, that all ink on paper production will cease in toto, full stop. Horse and buggy still exists, as do books made by hand, despite the invention of the press and moveable type. But his point in a larger strategic sense is, I think, well-founded. That the lion's share of media -- media that matters in a larger, societal and business sense -- will be delivered over an IP network, at least in the industrialized world. Who can refute that, honestly? Newsprint and fuel costs rise, we're choking on garbage and need to recycle, our forests are becoming denuded. Meanwhile, the technology of the next next next generation Kindle and Sony reader and iPhone and e-paper and tablet computer will all be better better better, and eventually get good enough that people will be comfortable opening their flexible, reaable (and listenable and watchable and networked) thin, bendable screen (or goggles or mini-projector or who-all knows what?) as they do a newspaper or book today.

People love books and magazines and newspapers not because they're ink on paper, but because they're right now the best technology around: quick, easy, never need rebooting, easy to fold, put in a bag, read in nearly all conditions, don't need power, etc, etc. If the IP device technology approaches those attributes, it will be immaterial on what surface people read, and the cost- and other pressures I mention above will move folks to digital (or IP, if you prefer).

Sure, some glossy magazines will still give a "luxury" experience that won't be well-approximated by the screens. And some may get news on paper -- those at the bottom rung who can't afford digital or at the very top who CAN afford good apper -- but the mass will probably be digital. So, yes you'd win the bet if you said there will be print around in 10 years. But if it's 14 or more, you might lose if you say it will have primacy above digital.

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Jay Rosen on Naked Media

'Schizophrenic' NY Post Website

If you're a regular NY Post reader, you've already had this lady pop up and say "since you read the paper so much, wouldn't you like to subscribe" (paraphrasing). Then, perhaps, you could get a newspaper that's designed for a reader, and not by a "schizophrenic." That's the word used by 24/7 Wall St., in giving the Post Web site a grade of C in their evaluation of top newspaper sites (from Silicon Alley Insider.) Here's some of their slam:

"The local news coverage is particularly weak, a surprise for a paper in the nation's largest city, a metropolitan area with an especially wide diversity of neighborhoods, events, and information. There is a lot of very good scoop in the gossip section of the paper, but this section looks like it was designed by a schizophrenic."

End of the GRP and 'Oxymoron' of Targeted Reach

I was at the Streaming Media East show the week before last and a bunch of executives on a panel ("New Advertising Platforms and Networks") were talking about video measurement and what kinds of measurement is possible. They kept using common industry jargon until someone in the audience frustratedly blurted out, “What’s a GRP?!” After a little befuddled fumbling on stage, and a quiet gnashing of teeth in the audience (“how can this guy not KNOW?!” I could hear some people thinking) one panelist kindly explained that GRP is a gross rating point, a way of trying to figure out what proportion of the people in my target audience -- say men 18-34 -- have seen my message, my ad, how many times. Have 50 percent of men 18-34 seen my underarm deodorant ad five times each? Then that’s 50 x 5, or 250 gross ratings points. Gross is really the right word because it’s a very loose estimate and attempt to apply mathematics to something that’s not really all that mathematical or well-measured.

Mainly, though, I was reminded that:

  1. We all have our jargon and in this converged and disrupted mediaverse we have to remember that a lot of people making a lot of decisions aren’t necessarily fluent in the currencies that other people they’re dealing with have and
  2. we may be seeing the end of the GRP. I recently worked on a research report for JackMyers Media Business report about measurement in the advertising and media space and found that media buyers -- meaning the folks who take the money from companies and figure out how to spend it on ads -- were talking a lot about measurement and reaching their audiences and so on, but they weren’t talking a lot about GRPs or even necessarily TRPs -- a more refined version for more closely targeting an audience. I think we might be inching toward the end or at least gross diminishment of a measure that’s been a primary currency in the advertising business for decades.... and we’re going to increasingly see people looking to hit their targets in a very targeted way.

One of the people who makes me think this way is Dave Morgan, who told me that the “behavioral targeting” technology he helped bring into the world helped achieve the “oxymoron of targeted reach” -- a huge swath of people (reach, like an advertiser gets with, say, the Super Bowl), but in a targeted way (like an advertiser gets when they know exactly who you are because you’ve registered for soemthing and send you an ad based on your preferences). He’ll be a guest on Naked Media on Wednesday at noon, ET, then On Demand later. You can watch the first interview, with Jay Rosen, here.