LinkedIn Gets Into the Personalized B2B News Business

15 03 2011

Professional social network LinkedIn has launched a beta version of a business news aggregation service that targets user interests based on what that member’s connection and industry leaders are reading and sharing. LinkedIn Today pulls together news from a range of business and consumer information sources into a personalized news page of headlines and blurbs.

According to LinkedIn, the aggregations takes three “social views” of the news for the reader. LinkedIn looks at the news that is being shared among your connections in the social network to determine relevance. The algorithms also look at news in your industry generally to see what others in that industry and outside of your network deem important. And finally, the system also sees what stories are trending across all industries and adds those to the personalized front page.

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It’s the Algorithm, Stupid

14 03 2011

The heart and soul of marketing is targeting strategy, and when it comes to digital advertising, that strategy is increasingly data-driven and algorithm-based.

Compared with traditional media, digital advertising has the advantages of targeting/personalization, precise performance metrics, and much greater flexibility in terms of reach and cost. These differences also spark two dramatically different views of advertising strategies like two dueling gunfighters in the Wild West.

In the east corner is the shotgun approach: let’s take advantage of the Web’s abundance of low-cost ad impressions and canvas the Web until we land on enough interested users to cover the cost. This is also known as cookie bombing.

In the west corner is the modern day sharpshooter: if the average response rate is around one basis point, only highly-targeted, well-placed ad messages can get the job done effectively. It’s a targeted approach with a well-researched plan (by strategically analyzing data to effectively drive performance), and no collateral damage.

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