According to InsideFacebook.com, Facebook may launch a virtual currency. If true, it’s a big deal.

The emergence of the Facebook Platform has enabled a new ecosystem of apps to flourish. The most successful games appear to be casual games like Farmville and Mafia Wars. These apps generate massive profits as players buy virtual currency via PayPal and by completing incentivized offers.

If Facebook launches a virtual currency then it’s likely that third-party ad networks such as OfferPal and SuperRewards could suffer greatly. A Facebook currency would enable players to utilize currency across multiple games and would likely lower the mental transaction costs involved in one-off impulse buys. But a 30% cut for Facebook would significantly cut into the profit margins of apps as well as squeeze out any benefits from cases where consumers buy more currency than they ever plan to use.

RT @dherman76

Very interesting concept, SharePost. I haven’t looked too deeply at it but I like the underlying premise of the site.

Refreshing video interview with @bogusky by Jeremy Abelson from The Huffington Post. Thanks @agencyspy.

CP+B has been bold with their beta website by automatically reposting any tweets related to CP+B directly on their front page. It’s not necessarily a tactic that every brand should use but I commend CP+B for experimenting with it.

Also, Creativity, The Eureka Moment, Part I: Is Entrepreneurship for You? from Creativity is a good read for any would-be entrepreneurs out there.

@faris RT a post from Naked NY’s Eric Pakurar, everything communicates: the view from the sidelines.

Pakurar posits that most ad agencies are quite limited in their ability to impact brand perceptions because they usually don’t get to address the customer service experience.

First, a fact: The way a business operates — customer service, for example, or delivery, or sourcing, or employee training and incentives — can communicate a great deal to consumers. Everything communicates.

if we are expert communicators hired to give advice to brands, and if a brand’s business operations do indeed communicate a great deal to consumers, then by the transitive property, agencies need to be prepared to offer an informed point of view on how operations can better communicate to a given audience.

But the marketing industry is, by and large, unable to do so.

The value of a supreme 0:30 commercial is easily and immediately undermined by poor customer service.

This ties into Faris Yakob‘s most recent post, Customer Service Is Marketing.

I agree with his core recommendation:

Decide Customer Service the MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU DO, because the only route to profit is MAKING CUSTOMERS HAPPY and do it in PUBLIC, reach out to people, don’t put the onus on the individual to battle through the firewall, constantly monitor the social web for people who are unsatisfied with the product or service you sell and MAKE THEM HAPPY.

Then, customer service becomes marketing, and every person you make happy will sing your praises across the web.

Customer relations (in-person communications) and customer service are one of the biggest opportunities for marketing communications agencies. The largest firms (and government) tend to poorly design user experience from both the in-person and digital/OOH side.

The interesting question is, how do we break the siloes down to address and upgrade F500 customer service?

I think the key is going to show how poor customer services shrinks revenues and profits (assuming they do). If we can show this, and show how fixing it is cost-effective and lucrative then we have an opportunity to make corporate experiences a bit more humane.

Google’s announcement of Chrome has been a big discussion topic all day on Wednesday.

I particularly enjoyed Jon Fortt’s skepticism about Chrome’s market potential on CNBC.

That said, I’m not sure Google really cares about creating an amazing OS.

Google’s foray into the OS market isn’t about making Microsoft-level revenues on an OS but instead about weakening Microsoft’s vibrant revenue streams.

Google knows that Microsoft is one of the few companies with the potential to beat Google in search.

If Microsoft develops a truly more effective search engine than Google, then Google becomes incredibly vulnerable.

Although there are plenty of barriers to entry to building an incredible search algorithm (e.g. servers, coordination between servers, etc), there are few lock-in factors that can keep consumers using Google’s search product. Google always has to be percieved as the best search engine or the company’s health is at risk.

And Google’s search product isn’t that good relative to what will be doable in the future.

If Google can develop an operating system that is good enough compared to Windows and continue to build out its Google Apps suite (if not throw support behind OpenOffice) then Google can chip away at Microsoft’s profit centers and knock Microsoft out of commission as a search competitor. Classic disruptive innovation situation. Google is smart to try and rally the open source community around this. It’s a strategy that Microsoft literally cannot afford to take.

Also Worth Reading
John Gruber’s Putting What Little We Actually Know About Chrome OS Into Context
Anthony Ha, Microsoft VP says Google’s playing defense with Chrome OS

I’m working on a school project — one section of the project involves developing digital marketing plans.

Here’s a very rough draft of one for smoking cessation.

The plan definitely falls within the branded utility category — with a little bit of inspiration from Nike+, eco:Drive, and this month’s Wired cover story, Living By The Numbers.

I’ll be expanding this (needs a ton of elaboration and an appendix with some of the standard media plan fare) and doing some additional ppts throughout the rest of 2009.

Yes, I really know how to rock a summer hard.

I love reading how designers, art directors, and creative directors think.

Creativity’s short interview with CP+B’s Matt Walsh is short and good.

A lot of the ideas we come up with often have a lot of complexity to them: concepts, technology, structure, designs, messaging, etc. A big part of our job as experience designers is to take all of this complexity and make it invisible to the user. Our products and sites need to feel simple and intuitive to engage with. This is no easy task, and the quest to capture it provides inspiration for me on most projects I work on.

For more profiles, read on at, Creatives To Know

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