At 12:01 AM (CST) today, April 1, in Taiwan, it is believed the Chinese government, angered by Google’s decision to circumvent internet censorship rules, launched a global cyber attack on the company effectively hampering its ability to operate.

Initial denial of service attacks and shut downs in Europe and Asia are expected to spread to the Americas sometime today as Google scrambles to prevent further service cuts and begins to restore operations in affected regions.

Chinese authorities deny involvement in the attack.

Google’s vulnerability has been compromised and its stock price is expected to crash, losing as much as 75% of its current market price.

Google representatives are meeting with President Obama’s advisors as a security breach for the world’s largest search engine is also raising concerns for national security breaches across government and financial sectors.

The US Government is on full alert providing assistance to Google in an effort to identify the origin of the attack, determined to be centered in Asia.

Other search engines including Yahoo! and Microsoft appear unaffected but are nonetheless taking precautions. Baidu, China’s largest search engine and benefactor of Google’s exit from the country, is also unaffected.

Please note that it is already April 1st in Taiwan.

So, rather than appear foolish afterward, I renounce seeming clever now.

…William of Baskerville in “The Name of the Rose”.

Happy April Fools Day!


The 2010 RetailTech expo in Japan, biometrics played an important role in the unveiling of a new vending machine for Coca Cola.

The machine utilizes finger pulse recognition to identify the user using vein authentication technology. A selection is made from the machine and a credit card is debited.

A digital display on the machine also directs relevant messages to the purchaser with the option of receiving more information, free samples and offers by mail or digitally.

Awesome! No need to carry your debit card. No passwords required.

Check the video below for a demonstration.


Day Two at the Search Engine Strategies Conference (SES) in New York launched with a brilliant keynote address by Avinash Kaushik, author, blogger and Analytics Evangelist for Google.

If you can manage to hire away this brilliant mind from Google, do it! Avinash's take on the use of data analysis to build on business intelligence was short of super-genius.

At one point, the SEO Guru used Kodak as an example of poor (very poor) search marketing, focusing on the lack of keyword intelligence by their marketing department. If Kodak was in the audience they got a free analysis and examination of their search tactics (or lack thereof).

Go out and buy his book, Web Analytics 2.0 now.

Unfortunately, the afternoon keynote panel qualified for a big YAWN as the audience trickled out of the ballroom in search of caffeine. Topic -- Video Marketing. Ian Schafer, CEO of Deep Focus and part of the panel, attempting to start controversy, was trapped by a mediocre moderator and fellow panelists. Sorry, Ian.

Rounding out the day, a session on "Selling The C Suite" helped bring life back to the day with thoughtful tips by Kevin Lee, CEO of Didit and Fionn Downhill, CEO at Elixir Interactive. Suggesting what motivates the C suite --- Greed, Fear, Vanity, Loss and Competition were top of mind for Kevin. I would have added blackmail to the list!


The Search engine Strategies (SES) Conference in New York kicked off today with a blow out crowd estimated to be 5000 plus, signaling an approaching business turn-around.

The opening keynote by David Meerman Scott, author of the just released "Worldwide Rave" immediately connected with his audience focusing on the issue of content creation and its impact on attention. The content of his presentation held the attention of his audience with the video that follows as part of his "act". The video is for a German company (CWS) that manufactures self-cleaning toilets, generating attention and a viral connection with over 2 million views through "Word Of Mouse".

The mid-day keynote panel, moderated by Henry Blodget, CEO, The Business Insider, as no less impressive with a lively exchange on stage and with the audience. Jonathan Blum, CEO, Blumsday LLC, lit up the audience with witty no holds barred exchanges calling out iTunes as a "restrictive, clumsy, dumb product" and suggesting the web is becoming a "content slum". Blodget, ripped mobile advertising as just a "crappy medium".

Waiting for Day 2 to be just as lively.


At yesterday's South by Southwest Conference (SXSW) in Austin, attendees were expecting Twitter's keynote to unveil a new advertising platform. WRONG!

Instead, they skirted around a new feature dubbed @Anywhere. Details were very fuzzy and some likened it to Facebook Connect.

The press hammered the keynote as attendees made a beeline for the exit doors:

"Likely the most horrifically devastating keynote in SXSW history" (Fast Company)

Maya Baratz, manager at MTV, tweeted: "There are hundreds of people in the room. Someone. Anyone. Kanye this keynote and ask Evan a good question."

GIGOM: Twitter fails to live up to SXSW hype."

Twitter has been groping for a business model that will sustain the company as they begin to slow their growth and field questions on the value of a smaller-than-expected base of frequent users.

Frankly, they had their opportunity to execute on an exit strategy last year and blew it. The contagious YAWN at SXSW will not sit well with their benefactors as they watch their investment sour.


Having made the rounds of at least a dozen agencies over the last few weeks I am beginning to notice a few stress cracks for those strategists, communications planners, ad-ops managers and personnel dedicated to the digital landscape.

Doing more with less is the mantra executive offices are chanting in the face of a recessive economy. But to what end?

Paths of least resistance are followed in order to play "catch-up", often passing by initiatives that could enhance the outcome of media campaigns.

Who's at fault?

The economy, the bean counters at the agencies, marketers pressuring agencies to do more for less, the swarm of data vendors offering countless alternatives with questionable accountability or the publishers who barrage media and account teams with often short-sighted promotions?

"All of the above" will eventually wear down digital practitioners until the stress cracks shift to create burn out. We risk the loss of bright minds to other industries if we don't relieve the stress.