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The Wisdom Of The Commenters

Posted by: Jon Fine on February 20, 2008

When I’m coldish and kvetching and dizzy from decongestants, it’s nice that some smart commenters can stop by and make arguments better than I could make even if I weren’t totally coldish and kvetching and etc.

Accordingly: big, big thanks to commenter (and Writers' Guild member) Ben Schwartz, who ably smacks down Michael Wolff’s assertion regarding the writers’ strike—that the writer’s got “nothing”:

What Wolff doesn't seem to get is that the studios were offering NOTHING prior to the strike. NOTHING. The studios caved in only three months.


What was in the minds of so many writers is the terrible 1988 deal on the vhs/dvd market, in which we underestimated the value of the new market and agreed to low initial rates until that market grea. Later, studios refused to adjust as it succeeded. 20 years on, it holds back writers to this day. It’s why writers jumped on this moment to get hold of the Internet, which they did in three months. That was the point of this strike, and we won it.

And a big hat-tip to commenter Detroit Media Guy, who in his comment on a previous post directed me to his account of his experiences with Google TV ads.

Let's just say that Detroit Media Guy's experience turned out to be slightly less positive than the one David Churbuck discussed (and that I linked to):

We have just spent almost $1 million dollars vetting the GoogleTV system to discover that it gives us absolutely no distinguishing proof of either commercial viewership, or viewing differences among individual Networks and dayparts.

Big thanks to both of you guys.

Reader Comments

David Churbuck

February 28, 2008 8:14 AM

DMG is free to hide behind his anonymous results for his anonymous client and declare that in his expert anonymous opinion that GoogleTV was a mess.

I have to hide our specific results behind the veil of corporate confidentiality -- but let state this -- I was using Google to sell PCs, not Buicks and I was able to attribute -- with some precision because we ran with Google in a controlled test -- a direct correlation between TV spots and inbound traffic on specific key terms to In other words, in the absence of other media in market, GoogleTV drove a significant traffic spike while it was running. Was it as precise as SEM or EDM? Heck no. Would I do it again? Heck yes.

I also suspect DMG doesn't know web metrics, is a media planner on the agency side, and perhaps didn't get as funky on the back end art cards as we did with Visible World. Apples to oranges and as he tosses me in the TV short bus (I never claimed TV expertise and indeed kick off my post by saying I used to hate the stuff as being stupid and one-way), I'll do the same by saying -- hey, it's a beta test, not a fully baked program and no I didn't declare this to be the second coming, but I did say it would probably put people like DMG in a world of career hurt.


March 5, 2008 12:54 PM

To Mr Churbuck,

The thing that "drove a significant traffic spike" was in fact TV ... not Google TV. That is only how you accessed the inventory.

Ask this? Did Google allow you to optimize your TV inventory based on "specific key terms" results? Whats more ... how would you be able to if you did not understand the relative scale v. cost of individual networks which were driving your results? And GoogleTV did not do that for you ... since they would not produce that level of "impressions" data by Net.

DMG in fact helped foster and institute the current web media metrics and optimization going on for our "anonymous" client. Believe me ...(or not), I get this stuff. (btw , I'm anonymous because I want to be ... and my client is anonymous because it has to be, in this context. Mr. Fine, on the other hand knows exactly who we are ... I simply want to supply an informed counterpoint.)

And am I willing to forgive hiding behind the "beta" mask while we pay for Google's R&D ... well, not so much. 'Cause in the end, Google is not going to cut either you or my clients a great deal ... or even a break ... in the grab for our ad dollars.

But one thing is true ... it absolutely is putting DMG (and others like me) into a world of career hurt.

Thats why we are participating in the "beta", and I am trying to understand it, and shape it so that the output is quality - not hyperbol.

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