Visualizing the Internet Strategy Forum Summit 2009

For the second year in a row, I live Tweeted and Visualized the Internet Strategy Forum Summit at the Governor Hotel in Portland, OR.

jeremiah-owyang-tweetstreamMy goal was to track Twitter volume, speaker quotes, and general buzz around the event of every attending Twitterer in the audience. I had to formalize the data and take samples during many parts of the day to get a solid visual.

Instead of digging through pages of Twitter data with the search term #ISF09, the method here allows the audience as well as speakers to see how their speech ranked in comparison others at the conference. This way, one can see exactly the topics that hit the audience the hardest.

I used a Java Applet called StreamGraphs to visually track the Internet Strategy Forum Summit. The app was built by Jeff Clark. You can follow him @JeffClark on Twitter.

Standardizing the Data

StreamGraphs has some limitations. It only shows the last 1,000 tweets and thus it must be queried in real-time, during an event, to get usable results. The first thing to do was to standardize the hashtag. Some Twitter users were Tweeting with @summit, #isfsummit09, or #isf09. For the best data to be presented, users had to Tweet using one hashtag. I did a Twitter search for everyone following @summit OR #isfsummit09 OR #isf09 OR the Governor Hotel and began following them. Then I @’d them, welcoming them to the Internet Strategy Forum Summit and added an #isf09 hashtag to the end of each Tweet. I watched for people questioning as to which hashtag to use and informed them that #isf09 was shorter and better.

By 10:47, I had regular data and was able to begin tracking the Internet Strategy Forum Summit. Katherine Durham’s Tweets were not able to be recorded into the graph, but Shelia Tolle and the speakers after her were picked up. This was due to a limitation of the StreamGraph Java Applet (StreamGraph only shows the last 1,000 Tweets). So alas, we missed Durham’s excellent words: “Flat is the new up“.

And the second sample was taken from 10:08 to 2:37. The second sample did a better job at gathering the overall sentiment and buzz of the conference. It is evident from the image that Jeremiah Owyang was the speaker that captured the audience’s attention the most.


What Was Shown:

The interesting part about visualizing data in this way is that it shows that there is an inherent difference between what a speaker says and what they audience values. The conversations bursts worked just like sine waves as audience began to engage with the material of each new speaker. As memorable quotes were released into the audience, a lot of tweeting and retweeting coverage occured, melding some of the terms into like-groups. The graph shows that people tweeted about the speaker during the middle of the speech as opposed to at the beginning or end of the speech.

The First Burst: Shelia Tolle

Vice President of Marketing, Intuit Small Business Group. TOPIC: Combining eCommerce and Community: It’s a New Normal…and, There’s
No Going Back

The three words most associated with Shelia’s speech were online, Twitter, and Social.


BenZee: Fastest growing group on Twitter and facebook is people over 40.

CommunityMGR: Fastest growing group on Social Networks (ie: Facebook) are over the age of 45! Social Equillibrium from young to older. #ISF09

CommunityMGR: Channels like Twitter allow companies to help customers WHERE THEY ARE. Personalize with indiv photos, NOT logos as avatars. #Intuit #ISF09

TMMPDX: Intuit helping customers where they are – Twitter. @intuit draws the ire from professional haters online – Sheila Tolle. #isf09 #isfsummit09

cyndibrigham: Help customers where they are. This is the work I focus on through online syndication. Go to where the people shop and research #isf09

tmmBosley: turn bullhorn around, be part of the community, live your higher purpose, create amazing, embrace chaos! #isf09 Sheila Tolle

The Second Burst: Lisa Welchman

Here we can see the major takeaways from @lwelchman‘s speech on change.

Top tweets: “orgs need to handle change internally. All communications need to change, and people don’t want to grasp impact, says @tom_bennett and @tmmBosley.


@smdempsey: @CommunityMGR Game has changed, but the internet was just the impetus. Time to rethink the model; biz as usual is not sustainable.

@blocheads: Effecting change is hard. I’ve asked clients to agree to a “We promise to do whatever you say clause, but no takers yet.
@tmmBosley: What to do? Systematic change: Figure out guiding principles in your organization (like Intel has done right @bryanrhoads?

Key Point: Chief Content Officer

At 11:11, @lwelchman brought up the idea of the Chief Content Officer, or the Chief Web Officer.

rahelab: Time has come for a Chief Content Office, Chief Web Officer, ect as these areas have become critical to web ops.
close2open: “Why can’t there be a Chief Content officer?
tmmSabrina: Lisa from @welchman Start a management REVOLUTION! Chief Content Officer, Chief Web Officer, ect. Amen Sister!

But I was told later that it was not about hiring a Chief Content Officer, but about becoming one.

Retweets of this comment appeared again at 11:49.

10:40: We all have a ‘wierd background’ – I’m a philosophy major w/Phorics minor and did did vocal opera. what does that make me? a Web person.

Caseorganic: RT @jeffreybunch: @lwelchman inspiring the oppressed web masses at #isf09!

imeldak: The CIO should be responsible for driving content, web and technology revolutions in the C Suite

@lwelchman was an excellent speaker.

The Third Burst: Jeremiah Owyang

The audience took away major points from Jeremiah Owyang’s speech, including ideas related to the web, context, users, eras and years, pages, and community. The social theme resonated most with the audience, as well as being a major theme of the conference.

The idea of eras was a new and interesting take on the standard ideas of business the and social web. One of the main takeaways concerned the fact that a company could actually have a 5 year media plan instead of a year to year thing. He outlined the social eras to come so that businesses might plan instead of being left behind.



CommunityMGR: 5 eras of social web: Relationships, Functionality, Colonization, Context & Commerce.


Webtom_bennett: Allow users to surf the web within your experience (put your wrapper on it).

msdouglass: Social web colonization is coming to your business. Will you be France? Belgium? Ivory Coast? USA? Offline lessons abound.


jdenizac: People will surf in social contexts, even if your site is not social. eg, digg bar.

tom_bennett: Social Context – contextualized experience based on universal IDs is coming.


agray: Registration pages are going away – the way you collect leads online with change.
@thisKat: @agray More details! Live Tweet this! So many marketers are slaves to the registration page.
NathanJWagner: Registration pages will change…lead gen and CRM reporting will change…SM sites will get more traffic than corp sites.
Caseorganic: Registration Pages Going Away. May be able to measure by # of fans, engagement you have instead of signups.


Tom_bennett: Agencies will appear that represent communities, not brands.
tom_bennett: Functionality – shatter your corporate website and let it spread within the community.
CommunityMGR: Social Networks will become next generation CRM Systems. Ad agencies may flip to representing the Community.


caseorganic: Social networks becoming operating systems – can put apps on top like Scrabulous and interact with users where they are.
Rahelab: Social functionality: more like operating systems. Apps on top of platforms-Facebook, LinkedIn apps. “Go where users are.” Not mature yet.
BenZee: On the web: technologies evolve, users adopt then companies adapt.


Johan’s speech about Intel Corp’s Keynote spurred a lot of Tweets about Intel, and thus the Intel name is associated with it. Most of the Tweeting was done towards the first of part of Johan’s speech, as well as the discusion of a very nice Intel ad about the co-founder of the USB. Towards the end of the speech, and the subsequent panel, the electronics in the room ran out of batteries, making it impossible to cover the event via Twitter. I was told that iPhones and Blackberries were also running out of power. Although some battery life may have been restored during lunch, the life quickly ran out. I saw many audience members turn towards pen and paper to take notes for the rest of the conference.


There are many graphs like this available online. Most are made by students at colleges, and a lot have to do with graphically displaying content volumes. I found this analytics visualizer to be exceptionally powerful because of its ability to track word volume over time.

The applications for this type of visual presentation of information are vast. During the ISF after party, I determined that these graphs would be an invaluable tool for examining PR statistics over time. If I sat down and pulled apart the code with someone, it would be fun to develop this graphing system into an extremely granular tool for online reputation management.

Data Dimensions:

My research depends on attending conferences because my current focus is on visualizing data with 4 main dimensions.

1. Time
2. Volume
3. Keyword
4. Event/Person

In this way, data becomes more like an audio file, and even closely resembles it. It is a friendlier way of viewing trends, and is more accurate (because of the added dimension of volume) than

Tool Limitations:

Currently, the tool I am using is Java based. It does not yet allow the user to set periods of time, and does not have the server capabilities to store server data. It is a brilliant data analytics tool, and if it were to allow a greater amount of granularity (in terms of keywords), as well as time range, it would prove to be an invaluable tool for tracking Public Relations. Currently, it is possible to do this, it just takes a longer amount of time to do so.

I approached Jeff Clark, the tool’s developer, about collaborating with him to create a more robust version that would incorporate a larger time frame, clickable data formats (I have a paper prototype of all of this), and a zoom feature. He declined, so the tool will stay where it is. If he releases a new version, I will be the first to use it.

There are so many great potentialities with a tool like this, because being able to visualize data over time with an extra dimension of volume is really exciting. Please let me know if you’d like to work on an open source version of it with me.

Now What?

Systems are optimal when the amount of time and space it takes to get pieces of relevant data from one person to another continues to decrease. Those designs/processes that exemplify this paradigm will be successful in the future economy. Systems like these that track the most important data points will be an important part of your complete data breakfast.


Amber Case is a cyborg anthropologist, internet marketer, and speaker from Portland, Oregon. You can contact her at caseorganic at, or on Twitter at @caseorganic.

Many thanks to Steve Gehlen for running the Internet Strategy Forum Summit and inviting me back to the conference to visualize the data streams.

Cathy Marshall, Microsoft Research, Silicon Valley – Reading and Collaboration in a Digital Age

cathy-marshall-chifoo-microsoftOn July 8th, the Computer-Human Interaction Forum of Oregon (CHIFOO) hosted Cathy Marshall of Microsoft Research at Jive Software (CHIFOO’s new location). Marshall’s presentation, titled Reading and Collaboration in a Digital Age: or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Screen, was a mental tour de force that reexamined assumptions of how we read, annotate, and look at text.

Approximately 60 people were in attendance, and the audience and speaker discussion was lively and relevant. There was never a dull moment or boring segment. I sat there furiously trying to capture every piece, as you will see evidenced below.

A Short History of eBooks

Marshall: I know lots of you are thinking, “what does reading have to do with collaboration?”.

eBooks have really been around for a long time, since around the 1980’s. The first generation was really about hypermedia and multimedia. Kind of the excitement of having these things on the screen, to be able to do things that you couldn’t do before. Peruses was a site about ancient Greece — the reason people loved it was that you were able to look up words in Greek and have them available immediately.

Generation 2 had P-books, or portable books. This turned out to be a bad name. There were multiple jokes about it. There was even a Zippy comic that made fun of it.

The comic shows Zippy and his friend flying through the city on the back of a book. Zippy’s friend says, “I head that the E-book trend never really took off, sales of the things are tanking.” and zippy says, E-books will never replace P-Book!”.

There’s some more text discussing the comparative values of books over electronic media, and the cartoon ends with Zippy saying, “E-books are spineless”.

Marshall: I think there’s a real sort of cultural anxiety about the end of books, and the death of text. And there was also skepticism about reading on computers, Like Sven Birkerts, Richard Harper, who wrote about how paperless offices didn’t work. There were also people in library science who said that these things wouldn’t work out well eighteen.

Marshall brings out a slide of an old cell phone displaying a partial sentence from Moby Dick on its tiny, pixilated screen.

Marshall: For many people, their worst fear was of having to read something on a cell phone while being trapped in the airport.

But there is no reason to laugh about this anymore because people in Japan are actually reading and writing novels on cell phones.

In Family Circus…by the way….does anyone think Family Circus is funny? I think they must have some hidden message or something , and that’s why people keep publishing them.

Audience: I have some friends who carefully cut out Family Circus every day…and then replace the captions with something else. Then they’re funny.

A Family Circus comic shows up on the screen. The kid is talking to his mother. “I’m never going to start reading eBooks,” he says, “it’s too hard to curl up with a monitor”.

And one last point was from Clifford Lynch in the battle to define the future of the book in the digital world. He said, “Try to think of eBooks as personal libraries instead of books” First Monday, 2001. “>First Monday 2001.

Generation 3 – 2006-2008

By the time Generation 3 happened, the generations were getting closer and closer together (as they say in future shock).

In this generation, we asked ourselves, will eBooks somehow renew the social side of reading?

Why was it so hard to see what’s coming?

Reason 1: Changes aren’t always in technology.

There was a very famous article written by Vannevar Bush about a system he called a Memex (portmanteau of “memory extender”). It’s heralded as the introduction to the hyperlink, that you could go from one place to another and record that hyperlink.

“The advanced arithmetic machines of the future…will have enormous appetites. One of them will take instructions form a whole roomful of girls armed with simple keyboard punches and will deliver sheets of complicated results every few minutes”. – Vannevar Bush in As We May Think, 1945.

I took typing class too, on those big clunky computers. And there were no boys in the class. You weren’t a boy in my class unless you were in drag.

An audience member nods.  “Were you in drag?” Marshall asks.

“Depends,” he responds, “what year was that again?”

Why is it hard to answer this question?

Answer: Because it is often difficult to see the whole cost/benefit analysis side of the picture, like this panel I cut out from the back of a box of Shredded Wheat that says,

“Dear NABISCO Shredded Wheat Users”.

Reason 3: Reading is Invisible

“Nothing is more commonplace than the reading experience, and yet nothing is more unknown. Reading is such a matter so common that at first glance, it seems there is nothing to say about it. ”
Tzvetan Todorov, quoted by Nicholas Howe in The Ethnography of Reading.

Marshall: I’m kind of a feral Ethnographer. Sarah has worked with me and knows that I like to have principles.

I was sitting there on the airplane and I was sitting there watching this man read his magazine. There he was, reading this magazine. I thought I was so discreet. And at some point he got up and went to the restroom.

And he looked over at me and said, “you stole my magazine”. and I said, “I did not!” and he said, “Let me look in your briefcase”. And so reading is invisible. And it’s very dangerous to watch people read. And people think it’s creepy!

But in this talk I’m trying to summarize 15 years of studies on cooperation, and reading tech, to really find out what reading is. So you’ll have to bear with me as I tease out a definition.

I starting looking at intelligence analysts – how people gathered and collected things, and then how people annotated things, and found that they aren’t quite the scholarly things people see in the margins, and then looked at it in law offices and law school. Those also who came in and talked to the Vice President and President and briefed them every morning. And I actually got to be there when President Bush got the Osama bin Laden briefing.

I went to work at Microsoft and looked a Microsoft reader, and then I looked at shared annotations, and then how people clipped things out of magazines and how they read. So we looked at reading in some detail. Then I worked with some people t Microsoft at the New York Times Reader application. Does anyone have one of those?

One audience member raised his hand.

Well then, it was a tremendous success! The photos in it are really nice. You don’t really notice how nice the photos are in the Times until you view them in that reader.

Then she showed a photos of a guy sitting on the subway reading a newspaper seated next to a guy who was sitting there with a tremendous cathode ray tube monitor and keyboard on his lap, the computer unit on the ground underneath his feet. It was making fun of Reading, of course.

How Do Most People Think About Reading?

We think it’s private, individual, stationary and passive. We think it’s something as immersive, and sometimes soggy (she shows a picture of a guy reading a newspaper in the bathtub).

But what we found instead was that reading is mobile. That’s why reading on a screen was so dismal at first, because nobody wanted want to carry around a screen with them everywhere. Because reading was so mobile. What we found at first was that mobility overwhelmed many things at first.

“If I’m going home to Colorado, I have to be really sure I’m going to read something if I’m going to bring it. Otherwise, why should I bring it [if it’s large, heavy]. [The Pocket PC] is small, it’s handy.”. Quote from a college student talking about a Pocket PC with his course texts.

Marshall: Note that he actually didn’t end up reading his coursework on over the break.

So reading is mobile, material, passive.

In The Places of Books in the Age of Electronic Reproduction, Geoffrey Nunberg of Xerox Palo Alto Research Center and Stanford University said this about eBooks:

“Reading what people have had to say about the future of knowledge in an electronic world, you sometimes have the picture of somebody holding all the books in the library by their spines and shaking them until the sentences fall out loose in space” (Representations 24, Spring, 1993). Also in Howard Bloch and Carla Hesse, eds., Future Libraries, University of California Press, 1994.

“You get this little screen, so you get no sense of even how long the work is…but you have 600 pages, which means what? No one knows. So I definitely don’t see it as a literary experience”. An English Lit Grad student talking about reading on the Jordana Pocket PC.

(Note from Amber Case: This is what I continually think about when I encounter a computer, because no matter how much data I stuff into it, it never gets heavier. A book weighs the same as a leaflet – nothing).

Marshall: Navigation is fundamental to the material of paper.

“Something else that I think I sometimes do when reading an article: I’ll be like, ‘boy this has been going on a long time, and sometimes I’ll even flip ahead and think, how many more pages do I have? And if it’s going to end on this page, then I may just read it. But if I see it’s three more pages, the…I may just either give up. Or just go into scan mode, where I just flip, you know, see what grabs my attention”

Marshall: Reading has a basic physicality.

(Note from Amber Case: Here, the materiality allows scanning, weight, and thickness).

“I usually read in one of the chairs in the living room. That’s partly because I don’t have a desk in here. The chairs are very comfortable. There’s a occasionally much too comfortable, that’s why I have blankets around every chair in the house, so I can always be prepared to go to sleep.” – An English Lit major talking about where she reads.

Then Marshall shows a quote from the French philosopher Jean Baudrillard.

“I can’t read this without a French accent,” she says, “else I can’t get away with it. Does anyone have a French accent?”.

No one in the a audience had one.

“The compact disc,” says Baudrilliard, “It doesn’t wear out, even if you use it. Terrifying. It’s as through you’d never used it. So it’s as through you iddn’t exist. IF things dont’ get old anymore, then that’s because it’s you who are dead”. Jean Baudrilliard, Cool Memories II.

Marshall: Maybe you don’t want the pristine copy – you want the one that is like the one you first bought in the 70’s. The one that is used. The one that is well read.

You think about how interact with books online – you don’t have to think about that with a paper book. You don’t have to think about how to annotate.

Audience: The medium of the book is to have it be as transparent as possible. But when you have these different mediums that have types of media placed, you can’t read them anymore. You’re inhibited by the medium. You notice it.

We’ll get back to that later – I have a big rant about that too.

People interact with text far more than they own up to. People don’t remember making the annotations, they idealize them, they make far more than they actually remember. And when you show someone their annotations from a few days back, they don’t know what many of the annotations were referring to.

Audience Member: Have you ever heard of the book as a sacred object? Because I’m a librarian and I can’t annotate a book. I buy one copy for me and another to annotate.

Marshall: And what about the Ebook? Do you value the Ebook?

Audience Member: There’s nothing sacred about an Ebook because it doesn’t have a material embodiment. And I know I’m not going to pass it along to anyone else.

Marshall: Not unless you violate the DRM you won’t!

Audience Member: Is that sacredness of the book genetic, do you think?

Audience Member: Well I don’t know.

Librarian: Well, I was one of those, “Matchbox car collectors, a ‘never open the package’ kind of person.

Audience: What about the notes taken by college students?

Marshall shows the image of a page that’s been completely highlighted.

Like this? Or some people carefully save all of their college notes and them look at them later, or think they will look at them later. Or value them highly, but never look at them.

Literally, though, this highlighting goes on for pages. If you find that at the beginning of a math book, it means that the person’s going to drop the class.

Audience: I could never buy a book that was already annotated, because I’d go through the book and be like, “that’s not worthy of being annotated! or that section is not important enough to be highlighted!”.

Audience: Can you tell me the context of this study? How it was formed? Where you got the information?

Marshall: I’m smushing together many years of research here, but I can tell you about a few experiments.

For instance, for the highlighting, annotation one, I staged myself in the Stanford bookstore and pretended that I worked there, and I stayed there 2-3 weeks, looking through 1000’s of textbooks, watching people buy used and new textbooks, eavesdropping on whether or not they would buy what kind of book, and interviewed them about f they would by

And a lot of them would look through books to see what had been outlined before they decided on purchasing them.

This was a study I did a dozen or so years ago. It was one of the first studies I did, and it was just to get an idea of what people did when they purchased textbooks.

Audience: Did you ever find out the answer, “why did you highlight this entire text? Like why so much?

Marshall: Well, I think it happens in instances where there’s really complex information placed in front of someone who doesn’t understand it. The highlighting becomes more of a tracing of general attention. Sometimes it is from multiple readings.

In Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren’s How to Read a Book, there’s a whole section on active learning. Sometimes I see those results. One time I saw a book with multiple different colors and I found a student who said, “Oh, I do that!”. I asked why, and she said, “Oh, I just change colors when I get bored”. Evidence of why it is important to ask.

Annotations May Quickly Lose Their Value or Be Forgotten

“Some of them are absolutely ridiculous and I can’t believe that I actually wrote this in pen in the book. Some of them are – I have no idea what I’m talking about. Some of them are really interesting, and it’s something I’ve forgotten. It just depends on the notes….when I did Milton, we were doing the epithets about Satan or something, so I underlined all of them. And when I was going back through it, I’m like “what on Earth!?” A grad student talks about annotations she made as an undergrad.

Marshall: The reason I found out about the subconscious stuff is that I’d go back with them through their notes a week after they’d done it and ask them about it, the notes, the diagrams, and some of them would say, “I’m sure it had some meaning at the time”. So annotations have more meaning than we think.

Reading is Interrupted and Variable

I think this is at the root of “what is reading”. It’s not this image of a little girl in the window seat and she’s totally engrossed in a book, uninterrupted.

“We do not read everything with the same intensity of reading; a rhythm is established, casual, unconcerned with the integrity of the text; our very avidity for knowledge impels us to skim or to skip certain passages (anticipated as ‘boring’) in order to get more quickly to the warmer parts of the anecdote…” – Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text.

Marshall: Reading is not a single, undistracted stream of concentration. Has anyone read all the words of Proust, or War and Peace?

Audience member: Yes. But it was not normal circumstances.

Marshall: Right, most of the time, reading is fragmented.

Turning a Page as a Complex of Lightweight Navigational Acts

A series of actions: Constance is reading the first page of a review, but halfway through the article she turns the page halfway over, so she can see the next article while still reading the first one.

She looks at the cartoon before she goes to the next page because she thinks it’s funny.

She goes through the next page, which looks like a lengthy review, looks at the ads, because the likes to look at the ads.

She successfully flips over the magazine so that she can read the next article.

She changes the orientation of her hands so that she can comfortably read again.

I have so many videos of people moving their hands to their face or moving them when they’re

I’m going to claim that reading is social. Not that it is intensely individual, as many people may think.

“It is also worth noting that solitary reading always was, and still is, inherently social: how we read is ultimately determined by social convention and community membership”. -David Levy, Scrolling Forward: Making Sense of Documents in the Digital Age

Marshall: Now I’m going to bring up our old friend, the CSCW matrix.


When, Where, same time, different time, Same place, different place. It’s been around so long that I couldn’t figure out how to source it.

Audience: Stands for Computer Supported Cooperative Work.

In the upper left: reading together, same time, same place.

We were watching students read on the web and we seated each one in front of a computer. We just told them to ‘go and browse the web’. And very quickly they had organized themselves in twos or threes around the computers instead of individually exploring the web alone.

And then we did studies with an early Web TV, and I thought, “ ‘ho hum!’ big deal, the Web on your TV!”

But then I watched as one kid was messing around with the Web TV, and another kid joined him. Before long, they were negotiating about where to go next on the web.

And then there were situations designed to read socially, like reading groups.

One of the things I noticed is how people stayed together while reading together. One of the problems with some books is that people go to the used bookstore and buy different editions, and people all have to align in class on the same class. They’re all different ways people use to get to the same page. Chapters, indexes, page numbers, ect. What we noticed is that people can be productively engaged in the discussion but not actually on the same page. This sort of things people would get punished for.

Audience: Was it established why it was important to be on the same page? Reading together: on-the-spot research enhancing discussion or digression?

Marshall: Well, we did some studies where there would be a line in the reading like “Did they really hang dogs a witches?” This was an interesting quote so all the kids reading on their pocket PC’s began to look it up. Some teachers found it to be good, and others a distraction.

But a problem with sharing reading materials occurs when one tries to share them electronically, especially with a Kindle.

Audience: You can share books on a Kindle!

Marshall: Even DRM ones?

Audience: You can share them if they’re in the public domain.

But that’s not the same as sharing a book. The problem is that you have to have an ID or account to share that data. You can’t just pass it to the next person, like you would with an analog book. You can’t share the data itself, or annotations, or things you’ve torn out.

Speaking of tearing out data; we all have experienced this. Tearing out data makes us this of our mothers, our mothers or brothers or sisters, tearing something out and mailing it to us.

H3>A Few Questions About Sharing Encountered Information

How important/ubiquitous is the information? Do people cut out things to annoy people?

It’s kind of like, you buy a magazine because of the things you might find in there. But you don’t know what’s going to be in there.

Audience: I now look at people’s Twitter feeds to see what I should look at.

At this point, @brampitoyo said (on Twitter) “@caseorganic Twitter is made for sharing artifacts encountered everywhere else. RT is one of the forms.”

Marshall: What are some of the reasons people share?

1. Sharing for mutual awareness.

2. At work, in customer-focused jobs.

3. At home, keeping up with friends and family
short of a way to keep in synch.

4. Sharing to educate or raise consciousness. Valued by sender — perhaps not by receiver.
Mostly occurred for personal topics/home

Audience: I was thinking with Twitter how funny it is, how the more boring Twitter users just send out links, and we don’t get to know them as person.

Audience: Well, I like those people!

5. Sharing to strengthen social ties
“I’m thinking of you”
“We have common concerns”
“We have the same sense of humor”.

Audience: Or sometimes you’re sharing to make people think you’re smart

Yes, we just notice it because it’s so obnoxious, but it’s rally not that prevalent. Just sharing knowledge to show off.

Audience; Or sharing to “hint”, like “I’m thinking about getting a camera”.

P2, a high school student, receives links to online article from her dad sometimes as often as 2 or 3 times a day. She usually reads he article son the screen and doesn’t keep them. For example her dad recently sent her an article from the NY Times. “Sending these articles is nice. I don’t know how we started doing it, but it feels nice to know people are thinking about you. It’s our way of keeping in touch.

Marshall: Here’s an example of sharing to educate.

P15 has a pre-adolescent son has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of high functioning autism. The mother found an article on educating children with Asperger’s syndrome and photocopied the “really good” article from Time. Then she told the her son’s teacher that she should read it.

The Social Role of Sharing: Myth Busting

All four participants in our study shared information. None of them dominated in sharing the inormation, and none of them were the single sharers of information.

This busts the idea of people setting themselves up as “information brokers’ not many people just
send out completely, or one-way. Everyone sends out a few links.

Audience: There are some people on Twitter who Retweet. I don’t really like that.

Audience: Tell them!

Marshall: I’m worried about you and Twitter. We should talk later.

Audience: I work alone, so it’s my water cooler that I check every few hours.

Marshall: Still, I think you’re spending too much time on it.

It’s more complicated than that!

Riox looked at why people share or don’t share data.

Do I have the recipients email address at hand?
What will it look like?
Will this seem impersonal?
Will the Email look like spam?
(Riox, 2000).

Form is important.

A technological solution for sharing should:

-Present a sense of layout and article boundaries.
-Allow the sender to limit or expand scope or context (compare sending a photo plus text vs. part of text).

Modes of Sharing are Important

“My plan is to actually give a hardcopy of an article from nature to him and talk to him about it, rather than just put it in his inbox because he’d kind of wonder where it came from or why he was getting it. And I’d rather say, hey, I saw this online and it’s pretty interesting. Check it out”.

Because he wants to get this higher into another person’s attention instead of the low attention the recipient might give the article should he receive it through a digital source.

“I have come to view margins as a literary commons with grazing room from everyone – the more, the merrier”. – Anne Fadiman, Ex Libris : Confessions of a Common Reader, London : Penguin Books, 1998.

Of course, sharing annotations is more complicated than it looks.

See, for example, Shipman et al., ECDL 2003.

I was working at Microsoft Research and a guy on my team said, “wouldn’t it be cool if the annotations you wrote would be sent to the author of the book?” and I said, “No! I’d be dead!”.

But, I thought, is there a way to take multiple highlighting, annotations of multiple copies of the same book and see commonalities between them, in order to deduct the most useful pieces of text — a sort of wisdom of crowds sort of boil-down?

Annotations in the Aggregate

Consensus is significantly more common than predicted by strict probabilistic calculations of overlap.

Annotators converge on important text that is different than the text that the authors and publisher designate as important.

Annotation; collective effects. If you had dozens and dozens of books, could you use a ‘wisdom of crowds approach to zoom in on something that was important? Something that many different people underlined across all of the books? Some essential passage?

Audience: The Folksonomy of Cliffnotes? Is that what you’re getting at?

Marshall: Maybe… Kind of.

Audience: Or like a Wiki?

Collaboration and reading technologies; What of displays – are we thinking enough about “looking on” or shared focus?

How do social expectations interact with restrictions introduced by Digital Rights Management?

Which collaboration architectures will work for people using the same collections (i.e…annotation, reading rooms, bookmark servers)?

Are there new modes of collaboration enabled by digital devices?


XLibris studies: Morgan price, Bill Schilit, and Gene Golovchinsky at FXPAL.

About Cathy Marshall

Cathy Marshall is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, Silicon Valley; she has knocked around in both the product and research divisions at Microsoft. Cathy has long worked in the disciplinary interstices of computer science, information science, and the humanities, with occasional collaborations in the arts and the sciences. She was a long-time member of the research staff at Xerox PARC and is an affiliate of the Center for the Study of Digital Libraries at Texas A&M University. Cathy won the ACM Hypertext conference’s best paper award in 1998 and 1999, and the best paper award at the IEEE/ACM Joint Conference on Digital Libraries in 1998 and 2008. She has delivered keynotes at WWW, Hypertext, Usenix FAST, CNI, VALA, ACH-ALLC, and a variety of other CS and LIS venues.
MS Reader study:
Contact info:

cathymr [at] Microsoft [dot] com.

About the Writer

Amber Case is a Cyborg Anthropologist studying the effects of technology on the way humans think, communicate, and act. She can be reached at caseorganic [at] gmail [dot] com or on Twitter @caseorganic.

Tracking the Internet Strategy Forum 2009


If there’s a Portland conference this summer that you don’t want to miss, it’s Portland’s Internet Strategy Forum. Where else will you be able to meet top-level experts and analysts like Jeremiah Owyang of Forrester Research, or Katherine Durham, VP of Marketing at Hewlett-Packard?

For less than $200, you gain access to a class of experts that will only be in Portland for a day.

Event Tracking with StreamGraphs

Last year, I used StreamGraphs to visually track buzz around Internet Strategy Forum 2008. This method allowed me to see which speakers had the most audience support and interest. This year, I’ll be doing the same thing, and my results will be made available two days after the conference (check back here for a complete report).

Neoformix Graph for the Internet Stragety Forum

Follow the Visualization

If you want to follow my progress as I track and visualize the conference, feel free to follow me on Twitter @caseorganic, or subscribe to Hazelnut Tech Talk by RSS.

Event Details

The conference occurs on Friday, July 24th from 8:30Am – 5:00 Pm, and check-in begins at 8:15 Am. If you don’t yet have a ticket, you can get one at the Internet Strategy Forum website. The conference will be located at the Governor Hotel, which is at 614 SW 11th Ave., Portland, OR 97205.

Out of Town?

You can attend Internet Strategy Forum remotely too, and the cost is just $175.00.

Need More Information?

For more information, call 971-223-3838 or E-mail

Speaker Bio – Jeremiah Owyang

Jeremiah Owyang is a leading research analyst in the social computing industry and is the author of the influential Web Strategist blog. He ranks #2 on the Twitter Power 150 list.


TOPIC: The Future of the Social Web (based on new Forrester report)
Although social networks have caught the attention of brands and consumers, today’s social landscape is a primitive series of unconnected islands. Expect new technologies to emerge that connect all systems and communities together –that allow communities to spread and share from one another. This simple technology changes the web landscape as consumers rely on their peers to make decisions, any web experience can now be personalized, and social networks become as powerful as CRM systems. Marketers must be ready for the drastic changes to come as power shifts to micro-celebrities, communities, and social networks –not traditional marketing. Jeremiah’s presentation will cover these changes in detail.

Speaker Bio – Katherine Durham

Katherine Durham is the IPG-A Vice President of Marketing. In this role she is responsible for building the HP brand and driving demand for imaging and printing products with Consumer, SMB, Enterprise and Public Sector segments across the U.S., Canada and Latin America. In addition she is responsible for Environmental Leadership — compliance, sales support and marketing — across the Americas.

Since joining HP in 2000, Durham has held a number of positions in the Americas marketing organization. From 2005-2007 Durham was the Director of Business Planning, Market Insight and Operations where she re-architected the market insight team to deliver more differentiated customer insights, established TALC (technology adoption lifecycle) for the region and built a global delivery team in India. Before that Durham was the Director of Communications for IPG’s consumer and commercial business as well as the PSG’s consumer businesses, responsible for advertising, in-store execution, on-line communications, events and more. Durham also held roles as the e-marketing manager and NA brand manager for IPG-A Marketing.

Kent Lewis recently interviewed Katherine Durham about her keynote at Internet Strategy Forum.


Photo of Jeremiah Owyang courtesy of brad_crooks.

You can register for Internet Strategy Forum 2009, or learn more at the Internet Strategy Forum website.


Amber Case is a Cyborg Anthropologist and New Media Consultant based in Portland, Oregon and elsewhere. You can follow her on Twitter or Contact her at caseorganic at gmail dot com. She wrote her thesis on how mobile phones and their growing role in human interaction. Read The Cell Phone and Its Technosocial Sites of Engagement.

Wordtracker Experiment | Finding Out What People Search For

Wordtracker Labs Logo

People are searching for things all the time on the web. If you’re a blogger looking to write good content, it is a good idea to get out there on the net to find what people are searching for. There are a few tools for doing this, but I wanted to isolate one of them and play with it for a minute.

@marknunney posted a link on Twitter about a “new tool from Wordtracker for content ideas”, so I clicked over to the site and read the following:

“People often type complete questions into search engines: if you find these questions and answer them, you could get some great search traffic”.

Below it was a box for entering in a word, so I tried a few words out. The results were amusing enough for me to want to share them. Further analysis follows.

Find Questions People are Asking

Results for Life

I found the results for the word ‘life’ to be what one might expect. Right now, people are wondering about life insurance. However, the ‘color of life in ancient egypt’ is something that is phrased in such as strange way that it could warrant further research — especially since it was looked up 156 times. At #6, ‘what is the meaning of life’ is asked. I guess life insurance and ‘how time of my life was chosen for american idol’ were more important.

Life Wordtracker Results

My personal favorite is #13 — ‘how to summon a real life dragon’. I bet if someone were to write a post on that, they’d get lots of hits. Maybe lots of Diggs too. I’m not sure how I’d go about researching that one. It’s probably better than trying to write a post on #8 — ‘how to ruin someone’s life’.

Results for E-mail

How does E-mail work? Apparently people are asking this question. But there is an important trend happening elsewhere in these question results. That would be the address of one (or rather two) ‘cole sprouse’. They happen to be identical twins, and are, according to the Cole Sprouse Wikipedia article, “known for their roles in the film Big Daddy…and for portraying the title characters on Disney Channel sitcoms”. Good luck finding their E-mail address, as well as the address of Prince Harry, Zac Efron and Jamie Spears.

E-mail Wordtracker Results

But you can write about how to E-mail pictures, or #9’s ‘who invented E-mail’. That one actually seems particulary interesting. The narrative histories of everyday things are always a joy to read about.

Results for Business

‘How to write a business plan?’ Can’t one just download a template from Microsoft Word or something? That question is really a broad one. It depends on what kind of business one wishes to start. #3’s ‘how to start a cell phone business’ is pretty good. #10’s ‘what is the best business opportunity’ is a really intense question that cannot totally be answered. #11’s ‘how to start a web design business’ is actually very answerable by a variety of sources such as Design Float and Smashing Magazine.

Business Wordtracker Results

#8’s ‘how to start a business with no money’ is interesting. I think it’s never been easier — and more difficult. It’s probably time that’s the big issue. Taking a lot of time really works. A cell phone business might manifest as an online reseller of cell phone accessories.

Results for Google

I was confused by these search results. I didn’t think they’d be this broad, or this ill-informed. Are Google founders Larry and Sergey that obscure? I wonder what sources Wordtracker is using for its search queries.

Google Wordtracker Results

It might also be interesting to create a post on the founders of Google just to see what happened to it. I’m sure Wikipedia and Google have this question answered already.

Results for Yahoo

I queried Yahoo! just to see what would happen. Very similar to Google’s results, except there was a question of what Yahoo stood for. I’m actually wondering that myself right now (goes off to find the answer).

Yahoo Wordtracker Results

The answer as to what Yahoo! stands for comes from’s ‘Internet for Beginners’. The answer is that “Yahoo! (spelled with an exclamation mark) is short for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle”. Apparently, “The original name: “David’s and Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web”, was appropriate, but not exactly catchy“. You can read the rest of Paul Gil’s Yahoo! article for the whole story.

Results for Money

The search results for money really surprised me. I had no idea that so many people wanted to know about ‘what presidents are on money’. I wonder what demographic asks this question the most. Is it youth? Is it due to a bet? Is it a homework assignment? Perhaps it is to clarify the use of slang words.

#2 and #3’s ‘how much money does it cost to open a bar’, and ‘how can kids make money’ are interesting. I’m wondering if more kids than parents searched for that phrase and if there a way to tell. As for #2, a lot of people seem to dream of owning and running their own bars.

Money Wordtracker Results

I thought that #7’s ‘how to make money’ would be higher up on the results than that, but apparently the presidents on money trumps that. It’s also a much easier niche to write for than the seedy ‘how to make money’ post. #8 and #9’s ‘millionaires who give money to help’, and ‘millionaires who give free money’ make a lot of sense. Those questions make me wonder how many millionaires out there actually give money out to strangers who ask for it over the Internet. Generally, processes and charities are involved. Darn! Perhaps Google or a blogger will write about another way?

Results for Puppy

Puppies. They’re somewhat irresistible. So irresistible that a lot of people question just how large they’re going to get, apparently. It would be useful to make a site that gave information on how large any breed of puppy was going to grow. It would be complete with a puppy weight calculator, to answer question #3 as well. One would simply have to enter in the breed and the age of the puppy and the Internet robots would do the rest. Hooray for calculators.

Puppy Wordtracker Results

I wonder how many new pet owners typed in #7 after watching their new puppy pee on their freshly installed carpet? Is there any way to tell? Perhaps they should’ve just stuck to drawing a puppy instead of owning one, like those who searched for #4’s ‘how to draw a puppy’.

Results for Read

This was wild. I did not expect to get results on horoscopes, tarot cards or reading palms. I’m not sure what I expected originally, but it wasn’t this. I thought people liked books more than daily horoscopes. My college experience has given me some explaination for these results. Everyone in my dorm was obsessed with reading their horoscopes to each other. Some of them even printed out astrological charts. I didn’t participate.

Read Wordtracker Results

But result #6 makes a lot of sense in this respect. Aside from horoscopes, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is one of those books that’s assigned to the majority of school districts across the United States. I’m assuming a lot of kids didn’t want to purchase the book, lent it to someone else, forgot it at home or at school, or were looking for a quick way to read a chapter before an annoying quiz after lunch or homeroom period.

Results for RSS

What *is* RSS? Oh man. It is probably the greatest thing since the last iteration of really cool stuff that people enjoyed. It allows the quick and easy access of content without having to browse for it. I recommend watching RSS in Plain English instead of searching for RSS in Google. It’s an extremely short video by the Common Craft show. Totally sweetopian.

RSS Wordtracker Results

Hmm…#13’s ‘how do i find my twitter rss fed url’ is curious. Not only is fed spelled incorrectly, it is searched for 7 times. I’m sure there’s a great tutorial on this out there somewhere. …Or is there? I suppose that’ for random people to find out.

Results for SEO

These were not surprising. ‘What does seo stand for?’ Search engine optimization, of course. How does one ‘become a certified seo?’ Well gee whiz, that’s a hard one. Probably from showing it on your own site, and the sites of your clients. And by not selling links from bad sites. Also, by educating people thoughly about your techniques.

SEO Wordtracker Results

‘How to set up seo?’ Go through a standard checklist on your website, checking for alt tags, title tags, a sitemap, ect. I like the free Website Grader from HubSpot for a really quick website check and grade.

Results for Six

I wondered about numbers next, so I checked out an the number six. Purely arbitrary (by arbichance? arbitration?). I was amused to find such a long phrase at the top of the question results. ‘The six basic fears and how to eliminate them’. That is totally a book by Sharry Harris. #2’s ‘what are the six terms of geography’ totally sounds like a query taken directly from a homework assignment.

Six Wordtracker Results

#3’s ‘what are the six parts in a business letter’ has reminded me to re-examine my business letters for the correct number of parts. Perhaps I can do that while developing a six pack while using Six Sigma techniques.

Results for Twitter

‘What is Twitter?’ Ahh…if only there were an easy way to explain that. ‘How to use twitter’ is even more complicated. See, it is the emptiness of a vessel that gives it use-value, and Twitter is an empty vessel. The question of ‘What are you doing’ is never fully answered. Thus, how to use Twitter is like telling someone how to use a vase. The emptiness gives it many uses, whereas a tutorial can only give a finite amount of use-cases.

Twitter Wordtracker Results

Finding the Twitter RSS feed URL is another matter. Simply scroll down to the bottom left corner of your Twitter page and click on RSS. Or you can right click to ‘copy the address’ to place it elsewhere with ease.

Results for Unicorn

So Unicorns are very important to the state of the world. They give us a fantastic antithesis with which to view things. I assumed that I would get different results because of this mindset, but I did not. The number one search for unicorn relates to finding free Unicorn pictures to color. That is a total let-down.

Unicorn Wordtracker Results

I guess people are interested in drawing Unicorns, though. Perhaps they’ll make some awesome viral Unicorn videos when they get older. Like Charlie the Unicorn.

Final Verdict

WordTracker’s new tool is pretty fun, but I’m not sure how terribly useful it really is. I think you’re the judge for that.


Amber Case is a Cyborg Anthropologist and Internet Marketing Consultant from Portland, Oregon. You can follow her online @caseorganic.

WebTrends Connect ’08 Seattle – Data Warehouses and Customized User Engagement

Yesterday I attended WebTrends Connect ’08 in Seattle, Washington with Ryan Summers of ISITE Design.

The event was three hours long, and fast-paced. We arrived at 9:00 Am to find a speaker from WebTrends discussing the future state of news. He asked us to consider what could happen if one used online traffic to drive what is written about in analog newspapers.

As the seminar progressed, the ability to stitch together a holistic view of customer experience became a primary area of concern. One of the first major points was that Marketing and IT need to be working together.

“There is a lot of information locked behind closed doors”, said the next speaker, who was from TeraData. “There is no way to get the data out of the web analytics solutions and into the reporting dashboard.

He proposed the idea of business intelligence tools that could access this online visitor data and put it into an enterprise data warehouse.

He pointed out that one of the current difficulties of using data is that we are making a transition from 2nd Generation Enterprise to 3rd Generation Enterprise systems.

The 2nd Generation is Closed + Proprietary, whereas the 3rd Generation is Open standard-based. You simply can’t inegrate data systems when they are separated by proprietary, closed systems.

As O’Reilly once stated, “The internet is becomnig an enormous database that can be quiried, sorted, and applied to existing models and practices to change things”. WebTrends, TeraData, and other new systems seek to integrate many different systems with Analytics. The only way to streamline the spaces between data and change is to remove the closed doors betwen that data.

He stated that tech solutions should be open source based. These technologies seek to implement solutions that bring the two together and erases the nodes between them. He also pointed out that standards need to be in place that everyone agrees about across the organization.

Data Flow and Analytics

Online data can influence customer marketing, call centers, data warehouses, CRM and merchandisers.

Business Centric
Business strategy
Performance Management
People — Processes
Analytics Processes
Analytics Applications
BI Platforms
Information Management Infrastructure.

The next speaker was Paul Barrett
Global Director, Customer Management and DIgital Advertising

“How does one create one vIew of your customer?”, he asked, responding that the solution was “an Interactive marketing Intelligence across the enterprise”.

“Marketing an IT don’t like to play together — they have completely different mindsets.” A solution is to create Integrated Data warehouses so that the website and the customer service can blend into each other. Bringing that relationship closer together allows a more holistic view of all of the data coming into a company.

One of the most difficult issues is getting the recommended changes implemented in a shorter period of time every time.

It’s not about the data you can get at, but the risk of not knowing the data you’re missing.

The metrics are cheap, bu the metrics you don’t know are not.

Case Study: Travelocity

Tavelocity took the idea of using the CRM to drive customers to offers through the website. They had to avoid things like, “if you get a flight to NY for $500, and you log back out, when you next visit the site you can’t be shown an offer for $300, since you just bought the $500 one”.

They have a lot of dynamic decision making since you’ve already placed an order for $500.

Whne you become able to share the data between these systems, you become able to provide customized experiences for your customers with data that revolves around them.

You can also begin to bring unstructured data, such as the data on blogs into analytic understanding. For instance, when people blog about your website you can bring that data into your data warehouse.

The next speaker was Kevin Bobowski: Vice President, Client Services at Statigent

Stratigent is Partnering with Exact Target to provide a variety of KPI’s, such as benchmarkeing, competitive intelligence, visitor engagement measurement, optimization, proactive reporting and analysis, website testing and optimization.

“Don’t start with strategies that are too high-level that you don’t see value from them in the short term”, Bobowski said.

Primary challenges facing organizations today:

  • So many initiatives and not enough time to implement all of them
  • Picking and choosing what to do in a timely matter reduces liability
  • Intense pressure to produce results
  • Increasingly complex demands (coming from your business stockholders — their demand for information, customer insights)
  • New marketing technologies create more data and more silos
  • Balance to Building out these Capabilities

Strategy + Business Process

Do you have a unified strategy and clear goals that are measurement?


Is realible and flexible technology in place to meet the evolving needs of ke sakehodes?

Value Creation Tactics

(Any processes a business uses to glean value from your data, testing, campaign analysis, conversion testing, customer segmentation).
What actions are you taking — on a consistent basis – to drive ROI?
Are the building blocks in place for this?

Isolated Successes vs. Long-term success

An organization with isolated successes – look at the successful campaign. This is often an indicator that there’s an executive sponsorship.

Where did you get your data, how did you get your data? instead of how to analyze your data.

Building a ‘culture of analytics’

The organization needs to invest in value creation tactics.
Demonstrate short term results that allow you to gain greater sponsorship and credit for lager projects — with the long term strategy and goals in mind.

He coined the term ‘Stratactical’, which he defined as, “of or relating to a strategy driven-approach using value based tatics”, adding that “while it’s great to have a long term strategy, you also have to balance it with results on the short term. You need to develop reliably, stable success.”

43 Percent of organization say they’ve started the process — but they’re not seeing any value.

How can you get hte results? How can you guarantee that those results will net short term wins

Key Preformance Indicators

It is difficult to show ROI from a seamless cross-channel customer experience with personalization and customization in place.

It is less difficult to Show ROI from a trigger-based communications program with customer profiling and predictive modeling.

4 tactics for a successful business case

-Build an actionable strategy
-Connect your marketing data
-Establish relationships (where are the shared pain points across the organization? Data silos make it difficult to have everyone on the same page).
-Optimize, Test, and Repeat…
-Incorporate resting to amplify the value you generate

Building an Actionable Strategy

-Optimize the Media Mix (return on ad spend)
-Increase the most productive spend
-Increase E-mail spend if cost per acquisition is less than direct mail and other marketing tactics
Reduce acquisition costs and increase profits per customers
Find and understand the total cost per Acquisition.

5 Types of KPI’s

-Outcome/Business driver

Return on Ad spend (Answers the question of”how well am I doing?”

-Diagnostic metrics (Helps you answer the question “how can I do better?”. An example is a conversion rate — click through to a landing page).

-Smoke alarms (Helps you anticipate potential problems that may exist. Example is number of unopened E-mails. That’s an indicator that something might not be right — might be sending E-mails to the wrong audience. Allows you to dig deeper).

-Predictor KPI’s (Allows you to look into the future — Answers the question of will I do better tomorrow? A client may invest in a banner campaign. Customers may need an amount of time to evaluate the purpose. Banner clicks might not convert immediately — in a day, week or month. Some organizations know up front, and they can prepare for revenue and stock — for how well they’ll be doing in 45 days).

-Latent KPI (the most valuable of all. Helps you answer the question of where are my marketing opportunities. Can take the form of customer surveys on the websites. This data sometimes sits solely in the marketing department and is not let out, but the data there should be shared across many channels — because it can help every department understand how others are seeing their organization).

Business Philosophy

Don’t let the KPI’s change every week or month, or else everyone in the organization will have a difficult time synching with each new idea, method, or direction. Focus, and slough off things that don’t match that focus.

Connecting your Marketing Data

The question is where are you as an organization? If your organization is not advanced enough

ExactTarget Email Integration

You can exact a customer’s E-mail address and the Product SKU’s they’ve purchased/looked at, as well as sales funnel abandonment info.

You can use ExactTarget automation to pick a file up, bring it in, and send and email leveraging that data.

Creating a targeted,one-to-one message using our proprietary scripting language.
Press the “Start” button and go about you your daily business.

Promote product A, but you know that customers who purchase product A also purchase products B and C. So you can include those in dynamic E-mails based on their interest in product A.

Promote product B and C automatically, but only if that product is in stock.


Optimization is bigger than testing but testing plays a key role in the organization. Testing can drive short term wins.

Optimize emails creatives to increase click-throughs

-Call to actions

Try different calls to action — when you begin to use multi-variate testing, you increase the capability to really increase your ROI.

Increase lending page conversion rates by multi-variate testing in the same way

-Form field
-Color scheme
-Calls to action

1. Be Stratatical. Make sure that strategy is actionable.
2. KPI’s. Abolsutley essential.
3. Breaking down data silos allows data to flow into larger areas. These data areas combine into one bigger view of the customer. Which allows a richer view of the customer.
4. Optimization testing. It cannot be said enough how important optimization testing is. How else can you know what is successful in the site and wha epople are looking at.

KPI’s can exist on every level.

For copies of the Slides, E-mail:

Many Ways to Get One View

Barry Parshall, Director of Product Management

The more plugged in the rest of the organization is, the more successful that organization can work together.

We see more and more organizations taking the data out of WebTrends and turning it into their own

Microsoft has categorized all of their key metrics into dashboards.

WebTrends 8.6 Demo

The UI was taken from Microsoft Outlook.

OTBC Drivers

A means for getting direct access to WebTrends data bins with an ODBC-compliant application.

Same driver for WebTrends Analytics and WebTrends Marketing Warehouse

Easy to install and use.

Demo, WebTrends ODBC Driver

-Open Excel 2007
-Click Data from other sources —> from Microsoft query
-WebTrends Demo — the data source for WebTrends already set up.
-Click ‘ok’
-This will connect you to the webtrends backend — select the profile. double click the ones that one cares about. Can grab multiple data channels and pull them into the same Excel data sheet.
Next –> you can sort by anything you want.
-Choose ‘sort by revenue’, descending.
-Click Finish.


Ryan Summers informed me that, “you can only quiery one time period at a time. You can’t query two time periods”.

Datalinks for Microsoft Excel

From Business Intelligence, Inc. (a Portland, Oregon Company).

You can join all of that data with other data sources. Provides a real simple way to join that data with other data sources. Will also export the data intelligence to Excel — so that you can go to Excel, hit refresh, and Excel will auto update all of the fields.

Webservices API —> can directly implement data in and out of the data warehouse. Bi-directional data transport for WebTrends Marketing Warehouse
Based on SOAP.

TechnologyLeaders (New York)

Dynamic Alerts lets you know when to act — when a variable changes dramatically, you are sent a notification E-mail.
Event envelope based on historical norms. Alerts are sent when activites exceeded historical norms.

DataMind (Seattle, Wa)

They produce a very slick custom scorecard offering the capability to export all of your analytics to one place. There’s also a browser overlay application.


All Excel based. Data arranged by tabs. Capturing a thumbnail of your website and overlaying the analytical data over it. Consultants customize the scorecard for your business.

Data Scheduler
Allows the scheduling of an export for the underlying analysis tables that contains hundreds of thousands of data sources.

The WebTrends Marketing Warehouse

-A true data warehouse, based on Microsoft SQL Server 2008.
-Stores and maintains discrete records of visitors, and all “events” taken by them.
-Every campaign click-through, ect.
-Limitless correlations and audience segmentation capabilities
(Get me a list of visitors that met all of this criteria).

The fundamental difference between aggregate web analytics, and customer centric web analytics is the ability to run queries.

Case Studies

Orbitz, a TeraData customer, is using it for:
-Web behavior connected with offline transactions
-Combine data analysis, reporting in its own warehouse.
-Web scoring accurately segments diverse audiences
-Use WebTrends Score to assign point values to particular onine actions (as a mean to quickly asses consumer interest in some products vs. others)
-On a nightly basis exact
use this to populate further interaction .

The Microsoft SQL Database is automatically populated with data and assigns each user action with a number.

Polaris Home Page (rule sets)
New vehicle interest: 1 (user clicked here but left after a few seconds)
Racing Interest: 0
Parts and gear interest: 15 (user clicked here and watched a video on parts and gear)
Engaged (how interested is your user?): 10 (video watching)
Total Score: 26



While some of these techniques are not new, it was nice to see many of them presented in three hours. It is apparent that bringing data from different sectors into common areas will help many to understand how users and companies are interacting. Analytics are becoming essential for companies to efficiently connect and deal with many customers at once while providing them with customized experiences.

I look forward to watching industries and products that help reduce the data silos that affect many current companies. The technologies are there — it is just an issue of getting these technologies into companies so that more users can be understood. I am sure that interest in these tools will only increase in the future.



Amber Case is a Cyborg Anthropologist and new media consultant living in Portland, Oregon. She likes to attend events and meet people in the industry. You can follow her on Twitter @caseorganic.