The Story of Google’s Algorithm [Infographic]

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February Brilliance: Nine Awesome Articles You May Have Missed Because Of Charlie Sheen

1. Piggybacking Medicine On Coke’s Distribution Channels

Osocio’s “Colalife at TEDxBerlin”

“The idea is simple. Use Coca Cola’s distribution channels to provide remote communities in third world countries with essential medication and water cleaning tablets.”

Read the rest at Osocio

2. The Cream Of TV Isn’t On TV

Doc Searls’ “Al Jazeera in Egypt is cable’s ‘Sputnik moment'”

“Fifteen years ago, the promise of TV was ‘five hundred channels.’ We have that now, but we also have billions of sources — not just ‘channels’ — over the Net. Cream rises to the top, and right now that cream is Al Jazeera and the top is a hand-held device.”

Read the rest at Doc Searls Weblog

3. Simple Leadership Advice

A VC’s “What A CEO Does” and “What A Management Team Does”

“The best management teams create cultures that people enjoy working in. And from that comes great things. I see that every day. As Scott Heiferman said recently ‘teams win.'”

Read the rest at A VC and A VC

4. Simplify, Optimize And Understand

Hacker News’ “Why Your Startup Needs A Visual Dashboard”

“… But we know this, we know what we should be doing, and we’re getting there. So it’s worth sharing our knowledge to date.”

Read the rest at MyGengo

5. Exceptional Work Requires Effort, Not Money

Chase Jarvis’ “Care, Time, & Vision Beat ‘Budget’ Every Time”

“Whether you like HdSLR’s, projection, pop-up books, or not there are a few essential take-aways from this piece for any creative…”

Read the rest at Chase Jarvis Blog

6. Now Here’s A ‘Big Idea’

Mitch Joel’s “The Time Has Come For The Marketing Hacker”

“Digital Marketing is about many messages (and stories) in many different places (or, as I call it, ‘many big ideas’). It can be text, images, audio, video and it can be in the form of content, contest, advertising or conversation. The line is not as clear as simply saying, ‘it’s online advertising.’ Because it’s not.”

Read the rest at Six Pixels Of Separation

7. The Experience Doesn’t Have To Be Complex

Brandflakes For Breakfast’s “Cookies… Delivered”

“And the one and only thing that you maybe think of even more than sex is… cookies. And then it hits you: a sign with a bag, hanging from a window of a two story apartment.”

Read the rest at Brandflakes For Breakfast

Update: Whoops, looks like they were shut down for not having a permit.

8. The Rewards Of Building A Following (491 Comments!)

A VC’s “Blogger’s Block”

Read the rest at A VC

9. Guilty As Charged

Chris Brogan’s “Why You Aren’t As Successful As You Want To Be”

“If you take your head out of those little numbers, you’ll get a lot more of your head back where it belongs. In the game.”

Read the rest at Chris Brogan

the Keys

the Keys

Creating Advocacy And Humanizing Your Brand Means Sharing Control

Gaga tweeted “she is the future.” And Maria Aragon’s career was born, while Lady Gaga’s brand was further humanized, introducing a remarkable story that we can’t stop sharing.

(In case you missed it, here’s the video that sent Maria jetting to multiple talk shows and has earned her phone calls from agents and producers. As of this post, up to 17MM+ views in two weeks.)

There was no user-generated contest, no copy written, no casting. Just a community member who loved a song and let her passion show. The Mother Monster found it, tweeted the link, handed the keys to the community, and launched a rocket.

She could have just said ‘Thanks!’ As many brands are wont to do in social media. Instead, she rewarded her creative fan with a tweet that compelled millions to click — “Can’t stop crying… This is why I make music. She is the future.”

Last night was the culmination of chapter 1 in this story, as Maria Aragon performed live in Toronto with Lady Gaga, thanks a quick hook-up on Toronto’s Virgin Radio.

This is Lady Gaga’s best video. Better than Bad Romance, better than Telephone.

A single tweet earned Lady Gaga a ridiculous amount of positive press, a new level of respect from her existing fan base, and consideration from a broader market who would normally dismiss the cigarette-sunglass-wearing oviparous pop star.

What could you do to hand the keys to a community member? Sometimes, you have to do more than just say thanks. Trust me, you’ll thank me for it.

the Drive

the Drive

May All Your Campaigns Win Lions


I really don’t care about Cannes. I don’t even know how to pronounce it properly.

(I do, however, care about pronounciation, so… Wikipedia says it’s pronounced “kan,” like “plan.”)

If you’re in to all of that, great. If winning a Lion for your ad is what gets you excited in the morning, fantastic. In fact, if that dangled carrot fills you with passion and drive that pushes you to excel on a project I happen to be working on, I’m even happier.

But it’s not what drives me.

To be fair, if we won one, I’d celebrate it and congratulate all those involved. I’d be proud of it. But I’m not clamoring for it.

I measure my personal and our collective success differently. I want to know:

  • Did we strike a chord with our target?
  • Did we create an idea that people will talk about?
  • Did we build loyalty; build a community or tap into any others?
  • Did we sell the product or the brand, not the product type?
  • Did we increase sales?

I believe the best way to manage a creative team and create great work is to understand what drives each individual, and figure out how that plays into the project. We’re not all there to stand up on stage with a golden cat.

Now, let’s go out and make some magic. The awards will come.

January Brilliance: Eight Awesome Articles You May Have Missed Because Of All The Snowmaggedons

1. Last Come The Idiots

Harvard Business Review’s “Why Do Smart People Do Such Dumb Things?”

“[Warren Buffett] called this progression the ‘three Is.’ First come the innovators, who see opportunities that others don’t and champion new ideas that create genuine value. Then come the imitators, who copy what the innovators have done. Sometimes they improve on the original idea, often they tarnish it. Last come the idiots, whose avarice undermines the very innovations they are trying to exploit.”

Read the rest at Harvard Business Review

2. The Big Brands Are Starting To Create Big Content

HubSpot’s “Arm Yourself With Content, For Goliath Is Coming”

“I must warn you, stalwart defenders of Inbound Marketing, that Goliath is figuring out how successful Inbound Marketing can be. While P&G has a historical record of being on the cutting edge (when it comes to advertising as a giant consumer manufacturer, at least), it won’t be long before other large companies in the B2C space start doing the same. Soon after that, companies like Microsoft, Adobe, and IBM will realize that there are ways to adapt techniques that work B2C, and try them out with B2B sales.”

Read the rest at HubSpot’s Inbound Internet Marketing Blog

3. Building (Or Fixing Up?) A Loyal Community

The D.C. Baltimore Egotist’s “What I Learned in 2010: Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Community, I Learned From My Mechanic”

“Aside from standard business adjustments, he credited most of his stability and success to the carefully planned, strategic relationships he built and nourished over the years with his suppliers, partners, customers and neighbors. This brake shop owner had mastered the now familiar online/social media strategies decades ahead.”

Read the rest at The D.C. Baltimore Egotist

4. Twitter Brand Squatters’ Days Are Numbered

Erin Bury’s “My Twitter Battle vs. The Other Erin Bury”

“For those of you looking to lay claim to your real name on Twitter follow these steps. Or just keep sulking from a distance – that worked for me for a while.”

Read the rest at Erin Bury’s Random Musings

5. The iPad Is Not “Television Part 2″

Mitch Joel’s “The New Mass Media Is The iPad”

“Things have to change. Marketers often talk about mobile as the “third screen” (the first being TV and the second being the computer screen)… and it turns out they (and I include myself in this bunch) got it all wrong. “

Read the rest at Six Pixels Of Separation

6. Pride In Ignorance

Julien’s “How To Recognize an Idiot”

“Everyone is so proud of their ignorance in this world that it baffles me. So can everyone just do me a personal favour and make their resolution to stop acting like they know something when they obviously don’t have a clue!?”

Read the rest at In Over Your Head

7. Empathy Trumps Genius

Mark Hurst’s “The myth of the lone genius innovator”

“Great ideas, great products, great experiences come from creating something that is especially useful, meaningful, or fun for another person. Masters of experience design always have an orientation toward benefiting ‘the other.'”

Read the rest at Good Experience

8. Expanding Past Venti

Olivier Blanchard’s “Starbucks: Managing a brand’s expansion – Part 1″ (and Part 2)

“There is no doubt that Starbucks needs an overarching brand to tie all of its product categories and businesses together. But it also needs to establish clear branding for each of its new verticals, starting by preserving the integrity of its core business: Starbucks Coffee.”

Read the rest at The Brandbuilder Blog and Part 2