Archives For 2012

Earlier today I was telling a client about Facebook’s recent Edgerank algorithm tweaks that further hamper the organic visibility of Brand Page posts in a user’s timeline.

You may have noticed fewer posts from brands on your own timeline (or that the majority of posts you do see from brands are photos or “like-bait” updates that are designed to drive attention rather than communicate messaging). This is all by Facebook’s design to retain users, drive engagement and monetize brands.

Simply put, Facebook is slowly clamping down on marketers’ free ride on the platform, and paid media will continue to emerge as a necessity when building marketing programs on Facebook.

Today, Facebook took that quest for maximum likes, comments and shares to the next level, introducing promoted posts for the average user.

That’s right. If you want to make sure more people see your update about that garage sale, block party or ham sandwich you’re eating, just pony up a few bucks to reach a wider audience.

From Techcrunch:

After you publish a post, a Promote button will let you pay to bump up its rank in the news feed — making it appear both higher in the feed, and to a larger portion of your friends. Unpromoted posts are typically only seen by 12-16% of your friends.

After you Promote a post, it will be marked “Sponsored”, and you can check to see how many more people saw it because you paid. For example, you’d see “So far you post has had 3.8x as many views because you promoted it.”

Promoted posts are already live in about 20 countries, and although detractors are shouting the rich will soon own the newsfeeds, I tend to believe we’ll adjust to in-stream advertising from our friends more readily than from brands vying for our attention.

Here’s the new option in action:



Would you pay to promote your own status? Maybe I would pay for you to see this post. Or maybe not.


I got pretty amped about drone journalism this time last year, and it’s slowly catching on within grassroots media organizations and those looking for an affordable, accessible way to tell a story from the air (election protests in Russia, Improv Everywhere in NY).

You won’t see CNN or NBC with drones flying above the Presidential inauguration or next high-profile court case — this year. But it’s my bet major news organizations are going to adopt this technology very soon. It’s cheap. It’s nimble. And nevermind those pesky privacy laws, drones get you into spaces journalists typically have to break trespassing laws to view.

Personally, I’m still waiting for the client opportunity where we can buy a camera-mounted hexacopter drone to capture brand content for a client. But, they’re a little pricey… today. We’ll get there.

And that’s why I’m excited for this organization who is creating high resolution maps using low cost, DIY technology like kites, balloons and cheap digital cameras.

Their most impressive effort to-date was mapping the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf Coast. Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science’s (PLOTS) maps were the only high resolution images available at the onset of the spill and spread all over the world media because access to airspace was restricted and planes could not capture aerial photos using traditional methods.

Sunlight Foundation just posted a very good video feature on PLOTS. It’s worth watching and reading the entire piece if you have a few minutes. PLOTS website is also a treasure trove of cool technology capturing stellar images.

At the very least, I expect one client event activation in the next 6 months to include kite- or balloon-mounted cameras. That’s a dare!

Construction season

September 10, 2012 — Leave a comment

New sewer, new water main, new street, new storm sewers, new curbs, new boulevards, new sidewalks, new trees and lots of noise and dirt. And cutting down century-old trees…



And still a long way to go.



Minnesota State Fair

August 29, 2012 — Leave a comment


We had another great turnout for our National Night Out in historic downtown Chaska this year. It was our third annual event for the neighbors in West Downtown Chaska, and it’s been fun to see it grow year over year.

The Chaska Herald came out to snap some shots and WCCO-TV sent a camera guy to get some footage for their Good Question segment about if we really know our neighbors.

Per the topic, our neighborhood uses a combination of offline and online techniques to connect. Although our email list is getting to a substantial size and it’s been fun to watch the Facebook Group for the neighborhood grow, we still take time to chat to one another on front porches, festivals or at the park. We share tools, produce from the garden and schedule play dates for the kids.

Arguably, the people you live near have a more direct impact on your day-to-day life than national and global news. Knowing your neighbors is just the first step of contributing and living in a community. And National Night Out is a fantastic catalyst for creating those connections.