Finally, I plucked up the courage to purchase my shiney new Samsung Galaxy S3 (more on that later) and whilst reading the latest news on the Guardian app I noticed that they (or their ad server people) still don’t know how to do ad targeting properly.
See my screenshot of the app below, taken on my new Samsung Galaxy S3 and showing me an advert for… wait for it… the Samsung Galaxy S3.
Obviously I’m never going to click that ad. I already own an S3. I’m using it!
The worst bit is that it’s easy to detect that I’m using it. They should know that I’m using an SGS3 and remove that ad accordingly. Any marketer wanting to keep their job should be aware of this and be eliminating such horrendous wastage from their marketing budget. You’d think the Guardian would want to make their offering useful, too.
Okay, rant over. As you were.
After a not so great week I’m really glad I got off my arse and made it to Birmingham Social Media Café. Whenever I go to these things I always wonder whether I’ll get anything out of it but there’s always been at least one thing that’s made it worthwhile. Today was no exception with a few good conversations but one really stood out.
A few minutes after standing myself next to Rebecca Sykes she turned to me and told me how she’d been hoping to talk to me just to say how much she liked The Lichfield Blog. Rebecca has recently moved to Lichfield temporarily and has found the blog really useful for keeping up to date with happenings in ‘ye olde city’ and knowing what’s on in Lichfield.
It comes the same day as I discover that we’re in amongst the top ten nominees for the Best Local Blog at the Mashable Open Web Awards.
Following a frustrating week, these two things have really picked me up. I’ve been congratulated/thanked on a job well done by many people and it’s really a credit to the great contributions we have from Ross (who as I write this has written 1,161 of 1,404 posts), Nick who has provided some fantastic photography (hire him!) and the fantastic contributors, many of whom are professional journalists.
This is all on top of the great press coverage we’ve been getting recently from the likes of the Guardian and the BBC.
We’ve often said we’re not in it for the money. We can’t be, there’s isn’t enough money there! It’s days like these where you get that little bit of a pat on the back that make it worthwhile and the little nod that we must be doing something right.
I like the Guardian, probably because it’s so tech savvy, but I was dissapointed reading Simon Hoggart’s column (via The Lichfield Blog) having a bit of a moan about Michael Fabricant MP’s use of Twitter.
Hoggart takes the typical response to seeing Twitter;
“I don’t understand it, therefore it’s just full of toilet trip talk and sandwich fillings from people who have nothing better to do than seek all the attention in the world as best they can in 140 characters.”
His article was, in essence, an elongated version of exactly the kind of drivel he assumes Twitter is constructed from. There’s about as much interesting reading there as there is on a pack of B&H.
I can sympathise with his viewpoint though. After all, Twitter is faster than traditional media at reporting the news.
To my extreme satisfaction, The Guardian newspaper has become the first in the world to offer full text RSS feeds, representing a significant step in the evolution of the World Wide Web. This step should be a paradigm shift of sorts; the first domino to fall; and hopefully more newspapers will follow suit.
Full text feeds have been shyed away from because they offer much less in advertising revenue than on-page ads. Offering a summary instead forces readers to click-though from their feed reader to the full article.
This is a good example of where the user experience has been sacrificed for the sake of advertising revenue. Instead of directly giving the user what they want, the newspapers force a path to benefit themselves. Ultimately, this will only lead to dis-satisfaction and abandonment.
The Guardian, in opening up their RSS feeds, has invited much more user engagement. Users will be more likely to read the news articles and therefore much more likely to share and re-distribute over the social web. The Guardian will gain more exposure for it’s stories than before, giving a significant advantage over the competition.
Hopefully now other newspapers will follow the example, and deliver content in a way that remains true to the spirit of the open web.
Via the Google Reader blog with hat tips to Mashable and ReadWriteWeb.