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Original articles from Andy Weiss.
 
Zig When Others Zag
Stop me if you’ve heard this one. Client: “We want a Facebook program.” Agency: “Why?” Client: “Because there are a lot of people on Facebook and all our competitors are there.” Having a lot of people in one place does not make good strategy. Sure, it helps with execution and scale, but it’s not the strategy. It is the channel. And just because the competition is doing something in the channel does not mean you have to as well.

The Mobile Paradigm Shift
Fact: Mobile is exploding and the combined smartphone and tablet usage is rapidly usurping desktop. This mobile trend is driven by increased application-based actions (e.g., posting photos via Instagram, checking in on Foursquare) and task-oriented web usage (e.g., location-based searches). As digital marketers, this presents serious strategic challenges to website development and online advertising. We are in the midst of a paradigm shift, and now is the time to rethink our approach. If more users are accessing your site from mobile devices, should the web development process start with the desktop experience and then port to mobile or vice versa?

Today’s Lunch Special — Food Trucks and Social Media
Location. Location. Location. That’s the name of the game for any retail business and it’s especially true for the food truck business. The success on any given day for these roving food establishments is based on where they can park and the foot traffic they can drum up. These restaurants on wheels are not tethered to single location and its corresponding trade area.

The Responsibility of Digital Marketers
Forget the certification programs. Forget the years you logged at the dotcom. And even forget the iPhone app that the client’s CEO wants you to build. Your responsibility as a digital marketer is to crawl inside the head of your target and truly understand the role digital may or may not play in her life. It’s more that reading the strategy deck or research report. It requires getting out there and observing and interacting. As digital marketers, it is easy to insulate ourselves in a digital cocoon.

Are You Qualified To Be A Digital Marketer?
What qualifies someone to be a digital marketer? Or better yet, what makes someone an expert who entitled to dispense advice and guide million-dollar programs? With interactive marketing spending expected to reach $76.6 billion (Forrester Research estimate), these are questions the online marketing world is just beginning to talk about. But is there a solution? The talent pool is shifting toward more digital skills.

Bandwidth Shortage Predicted: How to Survive
A major Internet bandwidth shortage is predicted to sweep across the United States beginning at 12:15 pm Eastern Time on Thursday. Experts project that the shortage will occur again on Friday — oddly beginning at the same time. The web congestion is expected to cause workplace productivity to plummet, with the latest estimates pegging the financial impact on the private sector alone at north of $190 million. Careful preparation can help you survive the expected Internet slowdown.

The Most Important Thing You Will Read Today
It’s Friday and stats show that my Friday posts tend to perform lower than those of any other day. Fairly confident that this trend is not a reflection on my content, but rather an indication of the Friday behaviors for Digital Pivot’s readership. It’s the end of the week and minds have already begun to shift toward the weekend.

The Leapyear Project #lyproject
Happy Leap Day! Since this day comes but once every four years, it creates all kinds of strange quirks. But one 26 year-old named Victor decided to mark the special day and year by taking action to see what he could do change the world around him but in a practical sense and in doing so created The Leapyear Project.

Is Flickr Flickering Out? Or Is It Turning Pro?
Next week Flickr is introducing the first of many changes to the Flickr interface. The revamping bears the stamp of Markus Spiering who took over the Yahoo product’s helm a year ago. The retro blue link look with its small photos has apparently been shed for a more robust, photo-centric look complete with drag-and-drop and a new upload tool.

Going Paperless
As a self-professed digital geek, I felt compelled to go paperless. I figured it would not be that hard as digital devices from PalmPilots to BlackBerrys to iOS devices have been constant companions over the years. Little did I know that it was going to be harder and require more discipline than I imagined.

Redefining the eBook
Though I write for this blog, I'm not a writer in the traditional sense. I have several book ideas and, yet, have never put pen to paper. For me, the barrier hasn't been as much the time or the discipline needed to write as much as it has been the odds of anything I wrote ever being published that has stood in the way. Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing started to open that process up.

Has Dropbox Become The New Napster?
Despite all the best efforts of the recording industry, the simple fact is that we love sharing music with each other. The act of saying “Hey. Listen to this,” imparts meaning and a sense of discovery to music. It’s a human behavior that has been immortalized by Nick Hornby and Rob Sheffield. From a technology standpoint, the cassette player unlocked the mix tape. Then there were CD mixes. But those were mostly one-to-one efforts. With the advent of MP3s, we suddenly had Napster.

A CES Mad Lib
It’s time for the mother of all tech trade shows. That’s right. The Consumer Electronics Show is going on right now in Las Vegas and virtually every electronics manufacturer or software company will be making some sort of announcement that its newest product is going to revolutionize the way people do X, experience Y, or connect with Z.

Twitter Snubbed by Pulitzer
Tim Tebow’s pass on Sunday may have just set a record for the number of sports tweets per second. But one thing the Denver quarterback can’t overcome is the Pulitzer Prize Board's decision to limit its Breaking News category prize to real-time reporting that appears on a website. There was speculation that Twitter-based coverage would be eligible. However, the recent clarification and distinction effectively eliminated real-time tweets from prize consideration.

Your Digital Workout Companion
With New Year’s just around the corner, it’s resolution time and many of us will pledge to get in better shape or lose some weight. Fortunately, we have some digital tools that can keep us company, motivate us, and track our progress along the way. Several have social media components so we can compete against our friends and have them push and challenge us to stay on track. So grab your smartphone or tablet, add some of these apps, and let’s get to work.

'And Pineapple the Twinkle-Toed Elf says…' Amazon vs. Google (vs. Facebook) — Part 3
Amazon equals online retail. But now Google has it squarely in its sights. But is Google the most viable challenger? How about Facebook? Amazon established its e-commerce reign based on three basic pillars — products, data, and reviews — that any challenger needs to match. Parts One and Two examined Google and Facebook’s ability to compete on product and data.

What Are You Doing With My Data? Amazon vs. Google (vs. Facebook) — Part 2
This is the second installment in a three-part look at what it would take for Google or even Facebook to challenge Amazon’s e-commerce dominance. Amazon is the undisputed king of online retail. Google has set its sights on Amazon.

E-commerce Battle Royale: Amazon vs. Google (vs. Facebook) — Part 1
Amazon is the undisputed king of online retail. Sorry, eBay. If there was any debate, Google squashed that when it recently announced that it was seeking retail partners to help it challenge Amazon’s dominance.

A Thanksgiving Digital Challenge
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to relax, unwind, and reconnect with family and friends. It's also an opportunity to uncover just how digitally connected you are. Between travel, shopping, and gathering with family and friends, there are a whole host of chances to venture into the digital world — whether realized or not.

5 Smartphone Tools for Surviving Holiday Air Travel
Next week marks one of the busiest travel periods of the year, especially for air travel. Inevitably there will be long lines, delays, and cancellations. Fortunately, there are several ways you can use your smartphone to make your travels a little more palatable. 1) Get flight updates pushed to your phone by entering flight information into apps like FlightTrack and FlightView.

What is the Future of LinkedIn?
If you were starting a professional networking site today, what would it look like? Would you base it on work histories, skill sets and recommendations? Or would you steal a page from Salesforce and build your new networking tool around personal relationships, connections and contact lists? And how do you envision people using your networking site?

How to Speak Spanish Today
For all the discussion about Siri, it helps perform a lot of neat personal assistant type functions from looking up the weather forecast to rescheduling meetings and even locating locksmiths. But what do you do when you're in a foreign country, you need to perform some of the same tasks and you don't speak the language? It's probably too late to do a crash course in Spanish from Rosetta Stone. And currently, Siri does not perform translation services. Fortunately, there's a host of apps that can come to the rescue and help you order your beverage around the world. Fortunately, there's a host of apps that can come to the rescue and help you order your beverage around the world.

Hey, Where Are You Guys?: The Problem With Location-Sharing Apps
Ever try meeting up with a group of friends at a crowded music festival or sporting event? Finding Waldo is easier. Everyone around you is trying to locate his or her own friends. Or, better yet, they are posting pictures to Facebook, tweeting status updates, or checking the lineups or other scores. The cell phone networks are overloaded. If you can get a signal and reach a friend, it’s often impossible to hear the conversation. Then you need to repeat this process for everyone in the group all while they are doing the same to locate you. There has to be a better way. Enter group messaging and location-sharing apps. At this past SXSW, several start-ups tried to solve the one-to-many group communication challenge.

Avoiding Me-Search
Admit it. You’ve made a marketing decision based solely on your own perception of whether someone, namely you, would visit a particular site, click on a banner, use a certain app or engage with a social media promotion. Look, we all do it. We evaluate options and make decisions based on our own experience. It’s our own little focus group of one, or simply me-search. For most traditional marketing, conducting me-search is okay. But in the digital era, it can be costly, limit innovation, and hurt engagement.

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