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Book Review: The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited - Memory Markers - Monaco Wins Broadband Jackpot - Optimization Week of October 14, 2009

Optimization Week Issue #110, October 14, 2009

This time we've got two new articles for your reading pleasure, plus one book review. First up, if you haven't read "The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited" be sure to pick up a copy. This book will get your mind percolating with new ways to promote your company. Next we summarize new research on "memory markers" and how we time slice experiences and estimate their duration. During rich experiences, time seems to fly by but well afterwards we recall a longer experience. This research has implications for Web developers that create rich Web 2.0 applications. Finally, we report on the latest broadband data with some worldwide statistics from Point Topic.

The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited
Emanuel Rosen has done it again. The newly revised (nearly 70% new) book delves into how to trigger, spread, accelerate, and measure mainly positive buzz about your company. The book shows the importance of a good story behind a product or service. A good backstory helps word of mouth marketing spread more rapidly, and is much more compelling than dry facts about a product, service, or company. And stories it has in spades. Case studies abound throughout the book illustrating the author's points. In fact, there are so many examples and case studies some critics claim there is not enough room for concrete tips on how to actually create and spread buzz. I look at the book as more of a call to action, an idea generator to get your marketing team brainstorming. The final Chapter 24 titled "Buzz Workshop" asks a series of questions that will help marketers focus on what makes their stuff buzzworthy.

Don't be normal. Don't write the usual marketspeak press releases. Surprise people with a different perspective or radical claims (that you can back up). Find and angle and exploit it. Give them something to talk about. The first example is the NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School's) veggie bus that runs on vegetable oil. Like the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, the Veggie Bus drives around to college campuses and gets people talking about the school. The book emphasizes the importance of targeting hubs, or what Malcolm Gladwell, author of the "The Tipping Point," calls connectors. These are people that know lots of people, and influence other people to act on their recommendations. While it is important to target hubs, Rosen says to not rely on them exclusively. About 15 percent of the population is responsible for 30 percent of the buzz, but 70% of the buzz is created by nonhubs. Cultivating "weak ties" turns out to be more important than strong ties. You want to break into as many circles of acquaintances as possible, and weak ties generally know different people than stronger ties like close friends. The author shows how extensive seeding (sending out thousands of review copies) of books can create a "global cascade" to sell millions of books. Of course, you need to have a good product in the first place to be buzzworthy. Best of all, the book is a good read.

Memory Markers and the Subjective Duration of Experience
New research shows that Web developers need to balance the need to create rich, immersive experiences with tolerable download times and scant distractions.
Monaco Wins Broadband Jackpot
Monaco trumped the world with the highest broadband penetration rate of 47.4 percent among all countries surveyed. The UK dropped from 14th place to 17th place in broadband penetration over the past two quarters.