The evolution of mobile search

2015 was the year of mobile in the digital industry. Mobile search traffic exceeded desktop search and the search god Google gave priority to websites that were mobile friendly in search. Mobile search will continual to evolve in several ways.

First mobile search queries will lengthen and will become more like natural language search as voice recognition technology in Siri and Google Now advances. We will see the intelligence of voice searches advance to give you answers rather than web pages.

IMG_6505I’ve already seen an advancement in Siri’s ability to handle multi-level search this week in my own personal use. Rapper and actor Ice T was on the show with his new daughter and wife, Coco. I was trying to figure out how old Coco was so I asked Siri how old Ice T’s wife Coco was. i thought this query was too advanced for Siri, but I had already asked how old Coco was and Siri gave me Coco Chanel. I was wrong. Siri handled my advance query breaking down Ice T and recognizing the association with his wife Coco and giving me both of their ages using Wolfram Alpha.

We will also see search become a primary factor in the evolution of navigation on smartphones. You can see this in IOS’s spotlight search providing search results from app content as well as web contact. It is now even more important that you have an app and the app content is search friendly. Google also see’s the mobile search battle coming and is releasing an IOS keyboard to help it’s search functions to compete on a level playing field with Siri and IOS spotlight search.

Four posts down. 361 to go.

Two days down and I missed one!

reid-hoffman-quoteSo I restarted this blog with the idea that I was going to write every day for 365 days. Well, I made it two days and then missed a day. So, I keep going. I make it up. I start again.

In his writing everyday, Seth Godin recommends being completely analytical in your writing. I am so much an observation type personality that I struggle between the differences in observation and analysis. For me they are very much the same as I see things that others miss or find patterns that have not been revealed before.

I’m so glad that digital is forgiving– that I can miss and catch-up. That we can launch and then adjust.

Targeting data will make advertising useful to the end user

I talk with clients a lot about all the data that is available to target digital advertising– Facebook ads, display ads, pre-roll videos, etc.  I am still amazed when I review the list of all the targeting options available from the basics like location and sex to other third-party data like credit score or homeowner and then to interest and intent to purchase information. While at first it can be spooky how a user can be targeted eventually most clients realize how useful it can be to their organization to target the specific user who can use their services with the ad. It is also extremely useful and convenient to the audience, the end user, to have advertising precisely targeting them presented to them on whatever news story they are reading or video they are watching.

For example let’s say I’m shopping for a new car and I’ve made several searches for full-size truck. All of data partners will pick-up on that and put in their list to be in-market for a full-size track.  Now, all the ads that I see will adjust to show me ads for full-size truck from the manufacturers and local cal dealerships. The ads on the site (which I am consuming for free– a topic for another blog post) are actually benefiting me.

Finally let’s flashback to my grandmother who I observed reading her local newspaper, the Evening Times in West Memphis, numerous times. As she aged she used a huge lit magnifying glass to read the newspaper everyday making it easy to see what she was reading. On every page she turned to she first looked at the ads on the page– what was on her sale at local grocery star, Big Star; the special at her dress shop, Colony Shop. The ads in the newspaper were useful to her as a reader, a subscriber.  This is the goal for online display ads– the ads should be useful part of the experience to the reader, the end user.

Two down, 363 left to go.

Delivering: Writing new every day


Three years, three months and a few weeks. That was the last time I wrote on this blog. Not the last time I wrote, but just the last time for this blog. I’ve tried writing for it since then and there are numerous drafts hidden in the admin panel on this site, but nothing has been published. Until today.

seth-godin-quoteLast week as a listened to the weekly EntreLeader podcast with Dave Ramsey interviewing Seth Godin. Seth issued a challenge to write analytically everyday preferably on a blog where you publish it for everyone to see. As I was approaching my forty-first birthday this seemed like an appropriate challenge for me for year 42– to write on a blog (this old blog of mine) everyday for 365 days in a row. So on my forty-first birthday, March 23, 2016, I’m reviving this blog with a new theme (new password) and plenty of WordPress updates and a new post. The first of 365 new posts.

I don’t have an agenda or a topic for my next 365 posts. I’m sure much of will be reflective of where I am and what I’m thinking about. At this point I’m very curious how much private information I will share– I like to think I’m transparent, but frankly I’m sure I have my closets I don’t want to let anyone into just like everyone else.  I’m sure I’ll talk about Team SI and what it’s like leading a digital firm that changes every week. I’m sure I’ll write about storytelling and digital marketing. Then of course there’s the areas where I think I’m a SME– healthcare, higher education and journalism. And maybe even posts about my family. We  have some milestones we’ll cross this year. In the search of 365 posts I will probably even delve into those topics you are supposed to avoid– religion and politics.

One down. 364 left.


Chasing less to reach more

“Success is catalyst for failure.” “The undisciplined pursuit of more.”

It’s almost like you can’t really win when you win.

Greg McKeown on the Harvard Business Review blog recommends purposely pursuing less by using extreme criteria to eliminate what’s not essential to you. You’ve probably heard that before, but then he goes on by encouraging you to quit giving more value to something just because you already have it.

Instead of asking, “How much do I value this item?” we should ask “If I did not own this item, how much would I pay to obtain it?” And the same goes for career opportunities. We shouldn’t ask, “How much do I value this opportunity?” but “If I did not have this opportunity, how much would I be willing to sacrifice in order to obtain it?”

I’ve had a quote from German theologian Frederick Buechner in my desk draw for about 6 years that directly relates to finding that point of what’s absolutely essential to you.

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”