static3Social Media: Allison turns over the reigns of OTD to Auburn professor Robert French, one of the most inspirational and interesting voices in the social media world, for him to explain how his students are being shaped by the new media world he’s educating them about and within.

Greg Verdino voices something I’ve been thinking about lately, which is how Twitter is the new Second Life in terms of overblown hype and projections about just how mainstream it is. I think he goes a little too far – Twitter, after all, doesn’t require software downloads and avatar creation and such – but the point he makes in deflating some of the pie-in-the-sky thinking is well worth taking.

Advertising and Marketing: Chief Marketing Officers are saying, via a couple of surveys, that the tough economy is making their lives harder as they fight to justify their efforts and budgets. That scrutiny is leading to frustration with the agencies they work with, though I have to wonder how much of their dissatisfaction with the work being turned in by the agencies is the result of those agencies not being given clear direction.

Ad spending in and around virtual worlds is expected to decline in the next few years, due largely to the fact that such spending is still seen as “experimental” and in a tight budget world “experimental” efforts are usually the first ones on the chopping block.

Advertisers are beginning to realize that people’s activities on smartphones provide them with a wealth of information about those users, information that comes with the ability to target ads to them based on activities, location and interest. Of course privacy advocates are alarmed and users likely will be at first but then stop caring because they actually find targeted coupons and other ads really useful.

And speaking of targeting, Google is rolling out on a limited basis (for now) “interest-based” advertising which is essentially behavioral targeting, but with a lot more control, it seems, for users to be able to limit what sort of information is or isn’t used in that targeting.