The Future of Advertising and how the Splinternet Impacts it

As online evolves, I’ve been comforted by the fact that the niche-play of social media will inhibit dominance by large players like the MSNs, Yahoo! and AOL of yesteryear.

But I’ve spoken too soon and in this day and age, and unless you’re hearing about Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple…. or even Wikileaks–at least once per day, the rest of the stories seem to pale in comparison.

The Splinternet is a topic that I’ve continued to delve into, especially as a marketer whose crossed the divide from online to social. As we get more social, it’s apparent that the internet divide grows increasingly larger.

Here’s my take on what that means to marketers and to the future of advertising. You can read the full story on

The courtship between Microsoft and Yahoo! isn’t going so hot…assume the honeymoon will probably be steamier.

It’s been a volatile courtship of sorts that has lasted many a fortnight — an atypical relationship that competes with most Daytime soaps for drama and suspense, leaving its avid watchers avidly waiting to see what’ll happen next. MSFT –> the dashing knight in shining armour riding in to save the day. Yahoo! –> the damsel, who is playing hard-to-get, resisting the advances of said knight at every turn. The Knight has promised they would rule the world together, staving off the evil, monopolizing King Google, who has extended his powerful fiefdom ten-fold… and now has been reportedly flirting with the gorgeous damsel obviously for more reasons than mere interest.

Now as this saga unfolds, the dashing knight has proposed an arranged marriage with an incredible dowry should the damsel say yes (odd, isn’t the dowry normally offered by the damsel’s family?). Up until now, the damsel resisted all temptations for marriage. As an independent, self-made success story, the damsel didn’t see the need for a rescuer. She did pretty damn well on her own all these years. But as all things, the world has changed. Suddenly, the world that was her oyster decided to turn on her and make way for the younger, more nimble generation. No one told her they would be so smart, learn quickly or move so fast to keep pace…..and even bypass her own or the good Knight’s successes. Suddenly, she was eating their dust and found herself struggling to play catch-up. She tried at every turn to replicate the innovation, drive and passion that resulted in past victories. And, there were many. But now she’s actually reaching middle-age…. a cougar by many respects…. too old to marry but young enough to entertain offers.

So, the damsel and the Knight haven’t spoken over the weekend. His offer has come and gone and she awaits to see whether this play-hard-to-get game will bring her more loot. In the meantime, King Google continues to expand his kingdom, ever wary of the potential claim on his fair maiden. Will he pounce and rescue the damsel? We all know that the two together will “search” the world over. But, alas, fair Knight, you need to up your dowry for the damsel to consider your proposal even noteworthy. Otherwise, take it to her children, and force an uprising from within.

In the beginning…..

Actually, the beginning is today.. April 7, 2008.  My virgin post…. is all about Yahoo!  I’ve been following the headlines intently since I am a former Yahoo! and I still hold shares in the company. It’s so sad to see such an institution relegated to the mercy of its long time rival. Dave and Jerry’s Yahoo! emulated the small start-up with the drive and gumption to succeed, never failing in the ability to think outside of the box and continue to innovate. I remember as a new recruit feeling proud to be part of this cool place.  The orientation sessions made everyone feel like they were part of this really fun place that was always trying new things and allowing their employees to be part of that innovation.  Whether you came from the online world or you were a newbie, you became a part of Yahoo! and soon this FUN and this PASSION became ingrained in you. The free lattes always helped!! The 24/7 mentality was mainstay and every Yahoo! knows that it was common to be online with other Yahoo!s late into the early morning as we conversed across multiple time zones. That was the culture and it was OK because we were part of something neat. And now the rumblings of layoffs, offices closing, consolidation and maintenance do not befit the very place that claimed to be fun and exciting. Hopefully, Yahoo!’s next life doesn’t change the very essence from which it evolved.  That would be a shame.

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