Six Pixels of Separation

Do You Know The Social Media Secret?

Mitch Joel | Posted 05.04.2014 | Canada Living
Mitch Joel

The San Francisco based startup Secret (that was founded by two former Google and Square employees) is getting tons of attention, followers and fans. In short, you can write anything that's on your mind, add photos or colors to the background and customize this content while being able to share it, free of judgment, and without attaching any of your personal information or profile to it.

Would You Buy From a Kindle Vending Machine?

Mitch Joel | Posted 04.05.2014 | Canada Business
Mitch Joel

When last year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) rolled into Las Vegas, many were surprised and intrigued by Amazon's presence. They didn't have a typical booth on the trade show floor. Instead, they set up a Kindle vending machine inside the Las Vegas airport (near the ATM and soda pop).

Why Websites Should Kill Their Comments

Mitch Joel | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Business
Mitch Joel

Whether we like it or not, the great discourse and online conversations are being clouded and polluted with spammy comments. If you have ever blogged, you will note how difficult it can sometimes be to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Is Smart Marketing An Oxymoron?

Mitch Joel | Posted 10.20.2013 | Canada Business
Mitch Joel

Contrary to popular marketing ideology, we do not live in a multiple-screen world. My world is about one screen: whatever screen is in front of me. Too many brands continue to build digital ghettos where the Web, mobile, social and even e-commerce occupy and have their own, unique, strategies. This leads to brands that are wildly different across their platforms. To put it simply? These strategies are stupid. Here's why.

In Business, You Can Still Be Kind

Mitch Joel | Posted 10.07.2013 | Canada Business
Mitch Joel

While the philosophy of why we work continues to evolve and modernize, it still feels like we hold on to the dogma of what business is supposed to be. Perhaps with all of this moral awakening, sharing on social media, connecting to others and events like Occupy Wall Street or the Arab Spring, we should be paying closer attention to the human bottom line rather than the financial one?

Baby, You Can Track My Online Activity

Mitch Joel | Posted 09.22.2013 | Canada Business
Mitch Joel

Before you start lighting up those pitchforks and come after us marketers with a mix of mass hysteria and moral panic, take a look at your own online behavior and ask yourself, which scenario you prefer? Go to Amazon and start shopping (presuming you have been there before), and ask yourself, "what is the experience like?"

Don't Turn Off Technology -- Turn Off Your Bad Habits

Mitch Joel | Posted 08.25.2013 | Canada Business
Mitch Joel

Thurston and others who have recently talked about their inability to keep up with the influx of digital inputs could be missing the bigger point: this is the inevitable outcome of success. All of this isn't technology's fault. All of this is our fault, because we're allowing the technology to manage us, instead of the other way around.

The Pageview Industrial Complex

Mitch Joel | Posted 08.11.2013 | Canada Business
Mitch Joel

It's hard to argue that most content-based webpages aren't all that annoying, but there is a cost for access and there is a cost for this content that must be paid by the consumers. Whether this is a paid-subscription model to underwrite the profitability of the business or ad-supported as the model, consumers have to accept that advertising and pageviews are going nowhere.

Is Google Breeding an Army of "Glassholes"?

Mitch Joel | Posted 06.30.2013 | Canada Business
Mitch Joel

It is becoming increasingly obvious that our connected computers will be more a "part of us" than ever before. Many are quick to dismiss wearable technology such as Google's Project Glass as a parlour trick and some are already calling those who use them "glassholes."

The Problem With Allowing Consumers to Opt Out

Mitch Joel | Posted 06.15.2013 | Canada Business
Mitch Joel

As a marketing professional, there is nothing I hate more than receiving any form of communication (email, Web experience, social media, mobile, whatever) and not see an obvious place where I can either opt out of the communication or protect how much information is being captured. As a consumer, I probably hate it more.

Is Automated Marketing the end of Creative Advertising?

Mitch Joel | Posted 06.02.2013 | Canada Business
Mitch Joel

We live in a world where hip creative directors are being positioned against ad monitoring technology that is able to create and serve the best-performing ad... regardless of how lacking it may be of creativity and a big idea.

Welcome to Digital Narcissism

Mitch Joel | Posted 05.19.2013 | Canada
Mitch Joel

Is it any surprise that flashy headlines and fake celebrity death memes on Twitter get so much attention? In this era of digital narcissism, where our gateway to content is through the lens of the people we like and admire most, traditional and digital publishers must now grasp for attention in an even flashier way.

The Other Story Of The Smartphone

Mitch Joel | Posted 05.05.2013 | Canada Business
Mitch Joel

Most people interested in media, marketing and technology think of smartphones as the device that is putting the PC world to rest. Yes, personal computers are still pervasive, but the growth of smartphones has been exponential and astounding all in one breath.

Have We Traded Our Iconic Brands for One Hit Wonders?

Mitch Joel | Posted 01.27.2013 | Canada Business
Mitch Joel

The speed with which our world now lives could well put an end to the world of iconic brands. Before all of this connectivity, a great brand could stand the test of time. It now seems like insanity. The Beatles were iconic. Do you believe that any of the musicians today that we admire will be able to leave this kind of legacy? What about companies?

Why Email Needs a Facelift

Mitch Joel | Posted 01.13.2013 | Canada Business
Mitch Joel

For almost as long as email has existed, people have complained about getting too many emails. We celebrate inbox zero as if we just gave birth to a new child. While some lauded the arrival of the first BlackBerry, many saw it as a digital manifestation of the ball and chain that would shackle them to their office.

The Perfect Marketing Strategy That Fell Out of the Sky...

Mitch Joel | Posted 12.17.2012 | Canada
Mitch Joel

When someone jumps from the edge of space back to earth and it's all supported by one brand, you know you are staring at a winner. Felix Baumgartner's supersonic freefall from 120,000 feet not only broke the speed of sound and a world record to go along with it, it practically broke YouTube as millions upon millions of people watched the drop from space online. And with that event, Red Bull also captured the hearts and minds of marketers all over the world.

Are Brands Failing the Speed Test?

Mitch Joel | Posted 12.01.2012 | Canada Business
Mitch Joel

It turns out that consumers want one thing: their issues resolved. And, they want it done fast. Faster than fast. The challenge is this: the majority of brands act fast... as fast as they can. Sadly, it's not even close to being fast enough for consumers. Now, brands and consumers are going to have move forward and figure out a way to define what the true speed limits are.

What Digital Media Can Learn From Comic-Con

Mitch Joel | Posted 11.19.2012 | Canada Business
Mitch Joel

After walking the floor at Montreal Comic-Con for a few hours on Saturday, one thing became abundantly clear: the majority of the commercial activity that was taking place at this physical event cannot be duplicated or replicated in a digital format. By cultivating true fans and giving them unique opportunities to connect and share, they're not only keeping alive a traditional media channel (or two), but they're inventing new and fascinating ways to extend their characters and build interest.

Is Podcasting Poised For a Comeback?

Mitch Joel | Posted 11.02.2012 | Canada Business
Mitch Joel

In short, everything that you thought the Internet wasn't about in a world of 140 character tweets, Facebook status updates and YouTube viral video sensations. These deep and rich treasure troves of content are also gaining mainstream attention, and it all seems to be drawing more and more energy towards podcasting: a medium that many have already written off.

Online Advertisers Still Don't Have it Figured Out

Mitch Joel | Posted 10.21.2012 | Canada Business
Mitch Joel

Last week, comScore released a white paper titled "The Economics of Online Advertising," that looked at the state of online advertising. You may think that online advertising is the future, and that as media dollars shift to digital (because that's where the eyeballs are) that online will be able to better serve brands in terms of delivering higher relevancy with better metrics. It turns out, that after close to two decades since the first online ad was served, that our industry still has a ways to go.

What New Media Has Taught Us About Truth

Mitch Joel | Posted 09.23.2012 | Canada Business
Mitch Joel

Where do we go for the truth... the whole truth and nothing but the truth? In essence, new media is most amazing because people are beginning to doubt what they read, hear and see. There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, it's probably one of the best thing that has happened to the news since it was created.

Is Your Business All About the Product? Or the People?

Mitch Joel | Posted 09.09.2012 | Canada Business
Mitch Joel

There is a major shift in business focus that is under way. Digital media has forced businesses to change. Dramatically. This is nothing new. What's interesting is that we're seeing two, distinct, breeds of business being born: product-focused businesses, and customer-focused businesses. Which one do you work for?

Are Startups The Future Of Media?

Mitch Joel | Posted 08.26.2012 | Canada Business
Mitch Joel

If you take a serious look at the media world, there are only a handful of significant players. While it may be easy to define "significant" as a company doing interesting things, it's more practical to look at the media landscape. Last time I checked, no media company was behind the creation of Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or any other new media darling du jour. My guess is that they'll be investors as soon as they physically can be.

Facebook Should Not Be Treated like Other Media

Mitch Joel | Posted 07.29.2012 | Canada
Mitch Joel

What does Facebook sell? You could say advertising. They sell advertising to the tune of several billions of dollars each and every year. If Facebook is a media company, we then have to ask ourselves: What kind of media channel does Facebook provide and how does it compare to those other media channels?

Can Breastfeeding Save Time Magazine?

Mitch Joel | Posted 07.15.2012 | Canada Business
Mitch Joel

When was the last time you discussed Time Magazine around the dinner table? Probably last week, when they published the one with the mother and her older child... breastfeeding (shhh, not so loud). Why did Time run with such a controversial cover story? They need to sell magazines.