The Best of 2009 from Out of My Gord

For those of you who follow me on Twitter (@outofmygord) you know that I usually tweet the top 3 posts of the week and the month. Now that an entire year has past, 140 characters just didn’t seem to have enough bandwidth to include the favorites of both my readers and myself, so I’m doing a special post looking back at the past year. Here, in somewhat scientific reverse order, is the best of Out of My Gord for 2009

10.  The Top 10 Reasons We Love Top 10 Lists

I knew this one was going to come back to bite me. This rant about Top 10 Lists actually ended up making my own top ten list. Yes, I know..the irony is delicious. Just shut up and read the damned post.

9. Who Says Subliminal Advertising Doesn’t Work?

Nothing like a viral video to get the retweets. But truly, mentalist Derrin Brown has an amazing example of the power of subliminal persuasion.

8. A New Way to Think About Attribution

An irresistible combination: Attribution models, the cognitive influence of ads and Avinash Kaushik getting married. A long and fairly involved post exploring a possible attribution model

7. The Usability Acid Test

Everyone says they do usability testing, so why do so many sites suck so bad? I think the answer lies in how deeply a concern for the customer is embedded in your corporate culture. Here are some sole searching questions to ask yourself.

6. A Lesson in Social Media from Glee

Fox’s runaway hit show is more than good TV, it’s a carefully planned assault on all social media fronts. Here I walk through what makes Glee so damned viral. Too bad they suck at search.

5. Aligned Intent: A Different Ad Engagement Metric

Another long post that was actually part of a week long series sparked by the cluelessness of Ruport Murdoch. Here I look at some of our recent findings about engagement with ads and the role of intent. I’m convinced this is really important stuff in understanding how online advertising works.

4. The Cult of Technology

Bell curves always have fascinated me. I am always amazed by how we all feel we’re unique, yet statistically we’re so much alike. This is also true for how we interact with technology. The truth is, all digital marketers are outliers on the curve, yet we make decisions assuming we represent the majority. Bad mistake!

3. Google: Bad Behavior

What would a year be without at least one rant at a search engine? Eager not to disappoint, I went off on Google and their plans for behavioral targeting in this post. And, predictably, my posts with the highest degree of bile seems to be the ones that attract the most eyeballs.

2. Microsoft’s Walk vs Microsoft’s Talk

Yes, another rant snagged the top 2 spot. Microsoft’s announcement of their $100 million campaign to support the release of Bing got me a little hot under the collar. I still think the alternative I offered in the last paragraph was brilliant, if I do say so myself. In hindsight, I still believe I was right, but I do have to say that I believe Microsoft is moving in the right direction. They’re just going far too slow for my tastes. Less talk and more walk – and I stand by that!

1. Your Brain on Google: Interview with Dr. Teena Moody

By far my most popular post was the transcript of my interview with Dr. Moody at UCLA. Dr. Moody was with the team of researchers that did the first fMRI study on search engine usage. This, of course, was right up my alley so I was eager to talk to Dr. Moody about it. We touched on a number of interesting areas.

In looking over the list, I have to say that with a few exceptions the readers got it right. My most popular posts were also my best ones. I’ve learned that quality comes with quantity. You just have to keep pumping it out – some will be hits and some will be duds. And, while I’m writing the posts, I’m a terrible judge of which will be which. As you have probably realized, I made a commitment back in the fall after an unforgivable lapse to regular blogging and so far I’ve managed to keep it up.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the posts over the last year.

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