How much?

So newspapers keep pointing to the massive numbers of dollars Google makes on advertising as proof that it, Google, needs to start sharing some of that money with papers. A key claim is that Google makes more from selling ads that appear against search results containing links to the paper’s content than the papers are making from ads on their own site.

But here’s a question: Are they?

Specifically, has anyone tried to figure out how much Google makes from ads that are placed against search results containing links to, for instance, The New York Times versus how much the NYT makes from that content? That seems to be a more apples-to-apples comparison than looking at what Google makes from all their advertising streams up against what papers are making. brings marketers and entertainment companies together

la-office-lounge-logoBrand placement agency L.A. Office has launched as a social networking and online marketplace for brand marketers and entertainment producers to meet each other and find opportunities for brand placement within TV shows and movies.

The site launched a little while ago and allows members to create their own profiles, blogs and more as well as participate in forum discussions, meaning there are a fair amount of opportunities just to connect with other people in the industry while at the same time conducting some business. There are other sites out there like this from other companies but L.A. Office has been doing this for quite a while offline and so brings with it a fair amount of name recognition and brand equity that give it some credibility.

What this reminds me of the most is an online version of the hallway of a conference after the keynote sessions are over. That’s where people mingle and talk and find interesting ways to work together in a very real and un-forced manner. So by enabling that discussion and those connections online I think L.A. Office might be a real tool for people on both ends of the product/brand placement equation.

The evolving role of businesses in social media

homersapienI was rereading some of the stuff I had both written myself and which others had written in early 2006 recently. I was honestly a little surprised by the tone of some of the posts, especially in regards to the role businesses had to play in social media marketing and online word-of-mouth. The prevailing attitude among a lot of people seemed to be that businesses had little to no part to play in the conversation and that whenever they did get involved it just got in the way of the free exchange of ideas.

It got me thinking about how much the landscape has changed in the last three years.

Maybe because smart, savvy people have made their way into the corridors of power at companies, but now participation is seen as an essential component of the marketing mix. The shift seems to have taken us from “Leave us alone, Big Company! We’re trying to have a conversation here” to “Why hasn’t Big Company set up a stand-alone Twitter account to address this single issue!”

It’s helpful, I find, to go back occasionally and read some older stuff. It puts what’s happening now in context, context that’s often lost as we zip along from this new bit of technology to that new bit of thinking and so on and so forth.