Current Events

Tesla drives coast-to-coast

Tesla supercharger network

Elon Musk announced last night that by the end of this year you will be able to drive a Tesla across the United States for free stopping every 200 miles for a 20 minute charge. More details on the Tesla Supercharger page.

Current Events

LinkedIn Mobile Splash Page

Every time I start the LinkedIn mobile app, I always wondered about the city street featured on the splash page. I took a screenshot of it and tried Google Image search to look for something familiar. No avail.

Leave it to a Finnish developer friend to fire back a hit to my crowdsourced query. Mystery solved! Thanks Jyrki!

LinkedIn mobile splash page

LinkedIn iPhone app splash page and Google Street View.

LinkedIn Android App

LinkedIn Android App marketing creative

Current Events

Advertising Hacks – Pele in Puma

I love Quora. So many good stories.

Puma paying Pele to tie his shoes in the middle of the field seconds before the kickoff of the World Cup final in Mexico (1970)… The camera made a close up and the whole world realized that the best player back then was wearing Puma shoes… Life changed for Puma after that event…

Roberto De Leon

Pele in Puma

Current Events

Time Travel


Leave it to the Lutherans.

100 years ago, on April 22, 1913, the Ladies Aid Society and the First Lutheran Church in Oklahoma City sealed a time capsule which has been sitting under a grill set into the floor of the church. Last month, the Century Chest as it was called, was opened. The contents were in pristine condition and included newspapers & periodicals, a brand new telephone, a straw hat, clothing and correspondence, all in mint condition.

Oklahoma Century Chest

Several letters and objects were addressed to future descendants of local families. Imagine handing your youngest daughter or son the package above and telling them it was from their ancestors and addressed specifically for them.

Further reading:


Advertising, paywall or a bit of both?

GigaOM posted the audio to a fascinating session at last month’s paidContent Live conference. In it, there’s a great insight/throw down by Bob Bowman, CEO of MLB, Advanced Media. Right around the 15-minute mark Bob calls those that read metered sites such as without subscribing, rooting around their 25 articles/month limit are, “professional freeloaders” of no interest to advertisers. He goes on to state that gets 4X the CPMs for ads served to their paid subscribers than the CPMs served to free, logged out users.

Bob’s argument is that media sites that have a paid audience are more valuable to advertisers. While the audience of subscribers may be smaller than the audience of drive-by readers via the social web & Google – it is the subscribers, the true fans, that are more valuable to a media company. While CPMs on non-paywalled sites are driven downwards by the infinite number of impressions on the public web, subscription audiences get better CPMs because advertisers know that subscribers have a relationship with the site on which they are running their ads. There is an opportunity to further increase CPMs by taking an editorial interest in making sure the advertising compliments, not competes, with the editorial, making the advertisements even more relevant.

Screenshot from Recurly, popular subscription management service.

The challenge for a subscription site is how to gain new subscribers. You will always have churn so you need new subscribers to come in and replace those that are lost. Free sites do not have this challenge. Paid sites always have a bar that new readers will have to clear to read their content and the broader question is how much do you show before you require a potential reader to pay? Give too much and they don’t realize the value. Give too little and they never scratch around enough to try.

WSJ on Jaguar

One innovative method a desirable subscription site such at the can try to bring more potential subscribers in the door is to have the occasional open house where paywalls are dropped and the public invited in to poke around. According to the presentation from where the slide above was pulled, advertisers have been pleased with the campaign delivering 126% of the impressions anticipated. While the profile of those that see those impressions may not be as well-defined as the logged in subscriber, they are still an attractive segment of aspirational readers and therefore suitable proxy for the core audience. I have not heard of other publications using this same tactic and how effective it is in gaining new subscribers. A paidContent piece written about the Open House concept suggested that the benefits may be primarily for advertisers but I’d be interested to hear how effective they are in gaining new subs as well.

Christina Hendricks & Johnnie Walker

I watched Mad Men last night and as I DVR’d through the latest three episodes it struck me that the regular spots of Lincoln and Johnnie Walker featuring Roger Sterling and Joan Holloway blurred the lines between content and advertising. The brands are as much a part of the identity of the series as the characters. The two compliment each other perfectly so it makes perfect sense to have them underwrite each episode in just the same way it fits that Jaguar would invite me to enjoy 24 hours with The Wall Street Journal.

Something to watch.

Current Events

Skateboarding in the 60s

skateboarding in the 60's

From a series of photos taken in New York City by Life Magazine photographer Bill Eppridge. Click to see thru to see more from the series. /via TEDR

Current Events

This Happened to Me, On Medium

I finally figured out what to post over on Medium. I wanted to have a story that would stand alone as it’s own – not a short snapshot or an passing thought but something more substantial. Blog posts on everwas are part of a continuing narrative, posts on Medium are short stories. They must be written to stand alone, without context and part of the assigned or crowd sourced collections on that platform.

My story is about a trip I took to Guatemala when I was a student at UC Berkeley. Finca de Mike – Stumbling across beauty & terror in the jungles of Guatemala

Tikal - Guatemala

Tikal, Guatemala in the late-80’s


Is Goldman Sachs the Canary?

As reported in today’s New York Times,

Bloomberg said the functions that allowed journalists to monitor subscribers were a mistake and were promptly disabled after Goldman Sachs complained that a Bloomberg reporter had, while inquiring about a partner’s employment status, pointed out that the partner had not logged onto his Bloomberg terminal lately.

Privacy Breach on Bloomberg’s Data Terminals

There is no excuse for what the Bloomberg reporter is accused of doing, but it doesn’t surprise me that Goldman Sachs was the one to complain. Back when I was a Product Manager of, a news database where Goldman was one of our clients, I remember an IT person at Goldman telling me that they would run 100 different searches against our database, throwing all but one which was what they were really interested in. The other 99 were chaff.

There’s no doubt that the lines are fuzzy when a media company (including my employer, GigaOM) reports on the news while also running a website where they can see who is reading what. Secretive companies involved in funding, acquisitions, and IPOs have every right to be paranoid. Several times the product team at GigaOM has been briefed on upcoming features that we were under NDA not to tell our colleagues on the editorial desk. In this new world where lines are blurry, your honor & word are all that’s left to keep that ethical line straight and true.

I remember thinking, when the GigaOM Principles were published, that I’d hate to have Om invest in my company because that means that he would never write about my company. But it’s the right thing to do, there’s no other way to look at it.

Current Events

Sprinkling Pixie Dust at Disney

My good friends over at PechaKucha redesigned their site months ago and I have been remiss in pointing out what a great place it is for inspiration. Think of it as an archive of narrated slideshows – 20 images, self-advancing every 20 seconds – six and half minutes to tell a story. Like Twitter, the limitations of the format bring out the best in people.

Today’s featured presentation tells the story of someone who spent time working with Disney’s “guest services” with some great snippets about Disney’s attention to detail and customer service.