January 16, 2008
Around the Consortium: Web 1.0, 2007 in Review, and The Playboy Professor

I wanted to start off this week's update from "Around the Consortium" by pointing toward a blurb that appeared on C3 Alum Ilya Vedrashko's Advertising Lab site back last month. This is directing people toward Jakob Nielsen's piece on some of the dangers of the Web 2.0 mentality. It's not that Jakob is against Web 2.0, per say, but rather the way that they are implemented.

In particular, Jakob feels (correctly, I believe) that too many people get the "get me one of those" mentalities that Stacey Lynn Schulman talked about at Futures of Entertainment 2, wherein they think very little about why they need some aspect to their site but rather that they should because it's the trendy thing to do. I believe very much in social connectivity on the Web, but not just for the sake of doing it. I think back to the conversation I had with the journalist who said she had put a camera in the newsroom as an example of convergence, as if that is inherently a good idea and little to no thought needed to be put into what comes next and what purpose that camera would serve to covering stories more comprehensively.

Why is still an underrated question, and while I don't believe in beating good ideas down with it, it's good to always have a game plan or approach in mind with these new tools.

Ilya quotes him as saying, ""Instead of adding Facebook-like features that let users 'bite; other users and turn them into zombies, the B2B site would get more sales by offering clear prices, good product photos, detailed specs, convincing whitepapers, an easily navigable information architecture, and an email newsletter," a viewpoint Ilya succinctly ties up with "Get Web 1.0 right first." The full piece is worth a read.

Meanwhile, over on The Extratextuals blog that C3 Alum Ivan Askwith is involved with, there has been an interesting series in place in which The Extratextuals look back at what they consider the best (and some of the worst) extra texts they've seen. The first piece, from Derek Johnson, was published earlier this month. Derek looks at franchising, merchandising, and licensing.

Finally, I wanted to point out, for those who haven't heard, that Robert V. Kozinets is now more than just a savvy marketing professor, a dedicated consulting researcher to the Consortium, and a prolific writer. He's also The Playboy Professor. See his piece about the latest of many interview requests he's gotten for pieces about the Playboy brand, and see the resulting piece on Playboy from John Intini at Macleans