Playlist Goodness (non-business post)

While traveling from Austin to San Francisco last night, I decided to create a playlist for my iPhone. I have to admit, it’s pretty random but as I listened to it, I was pretty pleased with the outcome. So much so that I tweeted about it thus eliciting responses from several friends. Their challenge? If it’s that awesome, why not post it.

Well, if I was really fancy, I would find a way to create a dynamic picture that people could click on and buy songs via iTunes or Amazon if they liked. But I’m not. Not one to be thwarted by technology, I found a low tech solution i.e. snapping pictures of my iPhone screen with roughly 8 songs per screen. Below is the resulting playlist.

If you like it, cool. If you don’t… oh well. What songs would you add? Subtract?

Are You Our Next Digital Producer?

As some of you know, I work for a company called WCG. We are a global communications company that empowers clients to connect with audiences in ways that are both meaningful and relevant. Our fully integrated communications, creative and interactive services bring our clients messages to customers – wherever they are.

As you might have guessed from the title of this post, we are looking for someone to join our interactive team to help lead digital marketing initiatives for our clients. Ideally this person will take point on many of our digital projects, interacting directly with clients on a day-to-day basis and coordinating with the internal creative and technical teams. This position will be primarily focused on managing website development efforts, but a working knowledge of other digital services (search, social media, mobile, online advertising) is a big plus.

Requirements:

  • 5-10 years marketing (healthcare experience is a plus), product or brand management or other equivalent business experience
  • Experience in consulting, corporate strategy, business development and/or new product development is preferred with deep agency history
  • 4+ years of agency experience leading Web development projects and managing client interaction
  • Solid command of information design and architecture and how it supports the user experience; must have experience creating site maps and wireframes
  • Organized and capable of directing multiple projects simultaneously
  • Excellent communication skills – verbal and written.
  • Thorough understanding of custom application and content management system development
  • Experience working within a content management system environment
  • Familiarity with search and website usage analytics
  • Working knowledge of HTML, DHTML, CSS, Flash Development, .NET, PHP, Java, ActionScript, Cold Fusion, and other Web technologies
  • Experience with launching mobile applications for iOS/Android and websites

    Responsibilities

    • Lead Web development projects, assist account staff in managing client relationships, and collaborate with design and development staff
    • Organize and manage resources, schedules, and documentation to keep projects on time and budget
    • Work with Technical lead and vendors to create development strategy and project requirements
    • Create site maps, use cases, and wireframes
    • Work with technical groups to write project documents including scoping, testing, QA, and service plans that can be delivered to the client
    • Communicate with creative, technical, account, and management effectively
    • Work with New Business team to develop budgets, schedule, and staffing plan for new projects

    So what do you think? Is this you or someone you know? If you are interested, please e-mail me at astrout AT wcgworld DOT com. Or If you follow me on Twitter, feel free to ping me there.

    Filters

    I’ve been thinking and talking a lot about curation recently. It is one of the things that I firmly believe will be a key differentiator for companies in the future — those that curate great content beyond their own for customers, and those that don’t. Some of this curation will be of the human varietal and some will be algorithmic. One of the things I had not been thinking about, however, is the danger of what happens when things get over-curated or over-filtered.

    This morning, I listened to two thought provoking angles on the danger of too much curation. The first was via John Moe who does the Marketplace Tech Report on our local NPR affiliate, KUT. The segment I’m referencing was focused on Internet radio pioneer, Pandora, and it’s recent addition of comedy to its service. For those unfamiliar with Pandora, it takes a unique approach to serving up music (and now comedy) by hand scoring each song along hundreds of different criteria (genre, number of band members, male or female singer, etc.) What struck me as interesting was the concept of using Pandora’s Music Genome Project technology against news, the potential downside being only being served up news you want to hear versus news you need to hear.

    On the heels of listening to the piece about Pandora, I watched a TED video I discovered courtesy of friend (and valuable personal filter), Adam Cohen. The video featured author, Eli Pariser, author of the book, The Filter Bubble. I’ve embedded the video below which I strongly recommend watching. The essence of Eli’s talk was what happens when the things we should know about or need to know about start to get curated out of our streams based on our natural preferences. As an example, he talked about seeing the balance of liberal and conservative friends posts in his Facebook newsfeed start to tilt completely toward just showing his liberal friends’ posts. The problem with this is that while he is self-admittedly liberally leaning, he values the opinions and links of his more conservative friends.

    This got me to thinking more about the role of curation and the importance of showing us things that might be counterintuitive to what we’ve selected in the past. This may include things that make us uncomfortable, or unexpected. For instance, what if Pandora gave me a little Billie Holiday in my Red Hot Chili Peppers stream? At the end of the day, I can always vote with my feet and give the song the thumbs down. The same could be (maybe should be) true with Google and Bing. Or with any service that starts making choices on our behalf. As Eli stated in his video, it’s okay to filter for us but make sure that the criteria is transparent and easily changeable.

    I’m still considering what this means for companies? Do they show competitor’s products along with their own in their curated streams? Or perhaps highlight the occasional negative review to reinforce their commitment to authenticity? I would love your thoughts.