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The News According to PK: Week of September 6

In the hustle and bustle of every day at official Preston Kelly headquarters in Northeast Minneapolis, we make advertising happen. But we also aim to carve out a minute or two to check out the stories that crop up in our daily RSS feeds and Google Alerts—or the recommendations that our Twitter followers chirp at us. So each week, we’ll offer up to the blogosphere a list of the stories we’ve been tracking. Chances are those stories will be related to the ever-changing business of advertising. Some of them might seem obvious. Others might appear tangential at best. But we’ll try to hone in on the ones that meet at the intersection of marketing, technology and communication.

And then, we’ll even include one story that has nothing to do with our fair industry. Because there should always be a wild card.

“The Future of Ad Agencies and Social Media”

Source: Mashable

The very phrase, “the future of advertising,” is pretty darn hollow—after all, any agency worth its salt operates in a constant state of scramble to keep up with the latest thought leadership, technologies, design trends and other innovations. Even though the future is now, we like to stare into the crystal ball and try to make sense of the fog. Between the proliferation of location-based networks, the emphasis on the hive mentality, and the growing expectation that agencies will take on the roles of web and app development shops, there sure is a lot of shape-shifting going on.

“Google Instant Makes SEO Irrelevant”

Source: The Steve Rubel Stream

Love it? Hate it? Either way, a legion of Google loyalists—also known as the population of the world—suddenly discovered a strange new phenomenon as the search engine started actively guessing their queries. Before they even finished typing. Already, the new Google has sparked debate about the future of SEO and advertising. While the company argues that Google Instant only changes the time it takes for users to find the best results, others—like Edelman’s Steve Rubel beg to differ: No one will see the same web anymore. And that makes optimization virtually impossible.

“Google CEO: The Next Great Stage of Search is Automatic”

Source: ReadWriteWeb

Speaking of Google, the company’s CEO Eric Schmidt revealed his vision for the future of search, and it goes a little something like this: Your mobile phone (which, let’s face it, will eventually include a human brain in its microchip) will automatically deliver pertinent information to you based on your location and your interests. Yes, you read that right. According to Schmidt, “When I walk down the street, I want my smartphone to be doing searches constantly – ‘did you know?’, ‘did you know?’, ‘did you know?’, ‘did you know?’” And you thought Google Instant opened the door to some pesky logistical headaches.

“Digital Advertising: Perhaps the worst is over”

Source: Edward Boches, Creativity Unbound

In Part One of Edward Boches’ take on the current state of digital advertising, he suggests that Apple’s iAds might—just might—be good for business because they (sometimes) offer engaging content and they’re far less interruptive than banner ads, etc. But in Part Two, he questions the role of branded display advertising on the web—especially since the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s standards that require digital ads to work on every website often hinder creativity and cause ads to remain unnoticed by consumers. But the IAB is trying to change those standards, and Boches hopes that will lead to more engaging digital ads that capture people’s attention, allow them to learn something new and to share information with their networks.

“NPR Takes Web-First Approach to Blogging. What Does That Mean?”

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

While distinctions were far easier to make in days of yore, the forces of content, community and branding are merging in ever-evolving ways. One intriguing example of this is the launch of NPR’s Argo Project, which comprises a collection of 12 news blogs devoted to topics that range from immigration in Southern California to the fight against global poverty in Seattle. The driver? To deliver locally specific content that’s nationally relevant. In short, the project gives NPR a leg-up in reimagining the way people consume information—and, in turn, an opportunity to reposition the brand around content and community in platforms other than radio.

“Apple’s New App Guidelines Pave Way for more iAds”

Source: Ad Age

Alas, the fortress of Apple has opened a window—but debate ensues over what exactly this means for advertising. With increased competition from the Android and search engine numbers plateauing, Apple has seized the moment by relaxing its notoriously strict development rules for iPhone and iPad apps. So while developers can now use the once-banned Adobe Flash tool to enhance the design of their apps—which will also increase the number of apps added to the 250,000-strong inventory—the seemingly beneficent gesture might just be aimed at boosting the number of iAds Apple users encounter along the way. Still, the new App Store Review Guidelines also include a few menacing suggestions that Apple could also be in a position to censor content if it “crosses the line.” What line, you might ask? Apparently, Apple will know it when it sees it.

Wild Card of the Week

“In ‘Still Here,’ A Fully Committed Joaquin Phoenix”

Source: NPR

So there’s this guy named Joaquin Phoenix who suffered some strange nervous breakdown before an infamous David Letterman appearance, swore off acting for good and decided instead to make a bid at Rap Star of the World. Some people thought he looked like a rabbi on Quaaludes during this peculiar phase. Only he failed at achieving his special goal. Pretty miserably, as a new “documentary” called I’m Still Here, umm, documents. But speculation persists that the film is the stuff of performance art designed to mock our obsession with celebrity. So this week’s wild card question: Is it real or is it a fakeroo?

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