37Signals: Best Description i’ve seen Of the Role of the Analyst

37signals has a great job opening. But, i really like their description of what the business analyst job is all about: 

You’ll be responsible for reviewing daily sales, upgrades, downgrades, and cancellations. You’ll spot trends, establish and review analytics, monitor conversions, propose, implement, and measure strategies to increase revenues, grow profits, and improve margins. Using data and numbers, you’ll tell us things we didn’t know about our customers.

I'm going to steal that last line and use it forever. 

Khoi Vin’s Take on Magazines & iPads: Worth Reading

Of course, small, nimble apps won’t necessarily solve the long-term revenue problems of major magazines. So is there a bigger solution for magazines, one that will bring in significant revenue along the lines of what they saw in the pre-digital world?

via www.subtraction.com

I especially like his point about the loss,during translation, of the social aspects of reading/sharing on the web. Most magazine apps i've seen are much, much more like CDRoms than something new. Gourmet Live is the best i've seen, primarily because its nothing like a magazine at all.

This is a Pretty Good Sign That The End is Beginning for Network TV

ABC, CBS and NBC are blocking TV programming on their websites from being viewable on Google Inc.'s new Web-TV service, exposing the rift that remains between the technology giant and some of the media companies it wants to supply content for its new products.

via online.wsj.com

Uh, guys, this isn't going to work. You should embrace it, figure out how to get onboard, and roll into the future.

The Future of Television & The Digital Living Room | Both Sides of the Table

The digital living room battle will take place over the next 5-10 years, not just the next 1-2.  But with the introduction of Apple TV, Google TV, the Boxee Box & other initiatives it’s clear that this battle will heat up in 2011.  The following is not meant to be a deep dive but rather a framework for understanding the issues.  This is where the digital media puck is going.

via www.bothsidesofthetable.com

This couldn't have been posted at a better time. Well worth a read.

From Buzz to Something Real: The Peril of “Earned Media”

Like most marketers, we're trying to figure out just how real the promise of "earned media" is. Truly earned, positive exposure for your brand is almost unicorn-esque: it takes a fantastic product, a clearly articulated brand story, and a lot of elbow grease to get it started.But more and more, we're talking to brands about how "earned media" can be a powerful benefit from great marketing.

But, we're nowhere near close to being able to answer the legitimate questions we'll be getting from smart marketers about how to equate the value of earned media to the stuff we're hoping to displace. So, when marketers ask "what's the value of earned media", we don't have the tools to really answer that question.

We know, generally, that exposure for the brand that we don't have to actually pay for is good. But, can you put a media value on the amount of blog posts, tweets, mentions, comments, etc? How do we go from vague "buzz", to real, legitimate "media value" from the conversation?

(Yes, i know the whole question is kind of crass. But, it's still legitimate. More importantly, as paid media gets less effective/efficient, we'll need to understand how to prioritize our efforts in the social space. Which brings us back to how to value the conversations… )

Here's the nut that needs to be cracked:

* the promise of "earned" media is that it could, theoretically, replace "paid" media, if we could get our arms around it.

* to get our arms around it, we need to be able to track the activity over time and see real trends emerging from the data and, eventually, make connections in the data, leading to legitimate insights

* to track it, we need a consistent definition of "earned media", and a clear, consistent categorization of the forms that earned media takes, from blog posts, tweets, comments, "likes" etc.

* To measure it, we need to see the differences over time, and equate some sort of value to each of the instances we see it. Even if that value is relative (*this* is better than *that*) and not financially quantifiable. Ideally, we'd be able to identify some causal relationship between "earned" media and cash register rings. But, until then, we'll need some sort of objective way to rank/force rank the desirability of the forms earned media takes.

* all we have – right now – is an "impression" as the common media unit. We have to be able to do better than that.

So, what I guess I'm looking for is a tool that will help us track and categorize the "earned" media we're getting like we track our paid media. I've got all sorts of tools that show me activity, some that can show me sentiment, and one or two that can give me semantic insights in the deluge of text. But, how do i know how much it's worth? It's the unicorn tool, i'm afraid.