Old tech and new tech working together

Neil Sanderson ZL1NZ running the Twitter stream from ZL1ZLD Musick Point Radio

Running the Twitter stream from ZL1ZLD Musick Point Radio. Photo: Merv Thomas

I’ve always been fascinated by communications technology, and that’s been reflected in my career, starting out as a journalist/broadcaster, then as a writer and – for the past 15 years or so – in web publishing.

But for me it all began as a teenage ham radio operator. Back in those days, you had to pass rigorous examinations including sending and receiving Morse code. Then, before you could even think about using “voice” communications, you had to spend at least a year on the air “pounding brass”, and pass an even tougher exam including more Morse code, at higher speed. At this point, many hams put away their Morse key for good, but some of us still take pleasure in using what some have called “the original digital mode” of communication.

A couple of weeks ago, I got to enjoy old tech and new tech at the same time, as our radio club marked the 20th anniversary of the end of “professional” Morse code in New Zealand – the closure of the country’s marine coast radio stations. From our base at the historic Musick Memorial Radio Station, a former coast radio station in Auckland, we operated 14 hours continuously, and about half of that operation was using Morse Code.

It was wonderful to have about a dozen former operators from the station drop in for the event, and to see their eyes light up when they first heard Morse code coming from the operators’ console.

What about the new technology? Well, our operation was publicised around the world in advance using our club website, social media and online forums.

Then, on the day, as we changed frequencies every 30 minutes, I would post the current frequency and other information to our Twitter account.

In the photo above, my laptop (connected to the net by wifi of course) is sitting in front of some radio gear from the 1940s. Old tech and new tech, working together.

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The content marketing deluge

You’ve probably noticed it already. Content everywhere, yet so much of it a waste of time. Marketing departments churning it out with a focus on quantity, not quality. Plus search engines serving it up as readily as they do the good stuff.

Doug Kessler, in this amusing presentation, warns that although poor content is still on the rise, people will start to reject it.

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Meeker on mobile

Effective CPM on mobile internet

Analyst Mary Meeker believe we have only begun to see the growth of mobile usage.

But in her presentation on internet trends at the D10 conference today, she pointed out how low the returns are for businesses trying to monetise their mobile sites.

Average CPMs on mobile are a 5th of those on the desktop internet.

Average revenue per mobile user is 1.7 to 5 times lower than on the desktop internet.

Mary Meeker’s full presentation: Internet Trends

Posted in Internet, USA | Comments Off

Infographic: Google Panda timeline

The Google Panda Update, One Year Later

From Search Engine Land

Plus: Matt McGee with the latest on the Panda. Google hints at significant changes, but leaves search marketers guessing.

Posted in Google, Search, SEO | Comments Off

The long history of content marketing – in short

From Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute comes this entertaining timeline of storytelling by marketers. You can click on the graphic for a really big version.

Content Marketing History - click for larger version

Hat tip: Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute

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Companies need balance for content marketing success

Marketers are unbalanced, says a new report from Altimeter Group. (Insert your favourite marketing joke here.)

But in this case, it’s not counseling they need, rather a change in strategy to accommodate the trend away from advertising and towards content marketing.

In Content: The New Marketing Equation, Altimeter analyst Rebecca Lieb, writes:

Marketers are reeling from the enormous demands that continually creating and publishing media places not only on marketing departments, but also on the enterprise as a whole. Due to shifts in consumer attention, companies are challenged to move beyond episodic, short duration ‘push’ campaign initiatives into longer-term, often continual ‘pull’ marketing initiatives that require new strategic approaches.

Rebalancing resources, and company culture, to supply a stream of targeted, high quality content, will give organisations a marketing advantage, argues Lieb.

Her report is based on interviews with 56 representatives of B2B and B2C companies, and you can read it below.

Posted in Blogging, Marketing, Social media | Comments Off

Humour: ‘Facebook’ a dream-come-true for CIA

First published almost a year ago, this report from the Onion still makes me smile. But is it really just a joke?

Posted in Facebook, Funny stuff | Comments Off

Gap widens between top NZ news sites

Nielsen Top Websites General News Category Jan 2012

Latest data from Neilsen show that Stuff.co.nz/news has extended its lead in the General News category with growth of 29 per cent in the number of NZ-based average daily unique browsers when compared to the same category ranking a year ago.

The Wellington-based site, owned by Fairfax, now enjoys a lead of 48 per cent over long-time rival nzherald.co.nz, owned by APN.

Just six months ago, the margin between the top two sites was 25 per cent.

Stuff.co.nz/news has increased its New Zealand-based news visitors by more than ten per cent while nzherald.co.nz/news has lost almost seven per cent since August of last year.

Third-placed yahoo.co.nz/news is down slightly in the same period, while fourth-placed tvnz.co.nz/news and fifth-placed BBC (no URL cited) have both gained slightly.

All figures are based on NZ domestic traffic to the news sections of the various websites. They do not indicate total visitors or page views.

Posted in Internet, New Zealand, Web traffic | 1 Comment

Top New Zealand lifestyle websites revealed

Top New Zealand Lifestyle Websites, Sept 2011

Fairfax-owned news website stuff.co.nz has strengthened its lead in Nielsen’s lifestyle web ranking, which tracks New Zealand-based visitors.

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Mary Meeker’s internet trends for 2011

KPCB Internet Trends (2011)

As always, Mary Meeker’s analysis of internet stats makes fascinating reading. Her latest presentation occurred yesterday at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.

Her graph in slide 42 shows that Google’s revenue has risen to almost the same as the revenue of all US newspapers combined. Of course, Google’s revenue has grown impressively, but newspaper revenue has fallen even more quickly.

And it’s interesting to see (slide 16) how the sale of Google Android phones has increased much more rapidly than the sale of iPhones.

Posted in Internet, Mobile | Comments Off