About the Author:

With a career that has spanned advertising, production, technical services, and project management, Michael is able to articulate the wide range skills and professions that make the Internet work. This eclectic understanding and his desire to shine the light on those hiding behind techno babble has brought success to a wide range of projects.

Twitter @bissell

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Past Postings:

Using Dissent To Enhance Your Social Influence Online

Industry Profile - Author

Industry Profiles Full Time Employees - Professional Writer

Some Thoughts On Freelancing

Building Your Online Brand

Marissa Mayer and the Change in Yahoo's Remote Workforce

LinkedIn for Professional Writers

Fake Republican Twitter Accounts

"Did you mean?" -- Google's chiding nanny of search results

Branded Technology

Sharingspree.com -- Stealing more than GroupOn's Idea

The Internet Isn't Entertaining Enough

It's not your bank... It's Apple's and Amazon's

Violated by Madison Avenue

Google+ Scares Me

"We need to..." Internet Marketing Myths

Facebook's deal with the Devil

My cool new phone is a little too cool.

You are never alone

Promotion vs. Distribution... You'd think they'd know that one...

Publishing Industry Watch

Content for Social Media

Social Media Slot Machine

Anonymous vs Me

News from the Twitter Follow Campaign Trail

The art of Indiscriminate Twitter Following

The Cloudy Meaning of The Cloud

The Demand For The Loss of Creativity

Alien Technology and Government Conspiracies

Time for a New Reality

The Death of Email

Protecting Free Speech... Anonymously (and geekily)

Amazon Shouldn't Have Shut Down WikiLeaks

The Superpowers of the Hive Mind

Time for New Ideas

Comcast, Netflix and the Mystery of the Modem

The Great Technical Disconnect

New for the Sake of New

A Retail Store Built Like the Web

Disposable Personas

When did Google Start Policing the Internet?

Getting back to HTML basics, thanks to Apple

Inspecting my Navel Base

A shoebox vs. an online backup

Is Your "Resume" Website Recruiter-friendly?

iBooks -- Creative Epicenter or Gatekeeper?

The Failure of Success

The Economy is Going to Get Worse, but that's okay

Time lost on Twitter

Client Vendor Relationships

Twitter's back alleys and dark places

Social Media is NOT Advertising

Microsoft Courier

Form (designers) versus Function (geeks)

PDXBOOM -- The power of social media and the portland pipe bomb

China and Apple -- Different organizations, same management

The volume of screens


Google Adds Biking Directions to Maps


That magical little tablet

How your website can be in two places at once

Masterpieces created by sheer volume

Suing over lack of originality

A Primer on Internet Fame -- dancing babies, hamsters, numa numa, and more...

Checking my messages

Rules are made to be broken -- in a reasoned, systematic way

So many accounts, so few passwords

Who really uses Twitter? 60% of Twitter's traffic isn't on Twitter

The Web is a Jerry Rigged Kludge

Twitter: Asleep at the Mouse Wheel

Where regulation is good: Google Voice and Vonage

How Facebook is (unintentionally) forcing programmers to piss off users

The Twit Cleaner

Perfect Secretary's pitch for @Adbroad (and the Youtube API)

The Emotions of Text

The Shorty Awards Scandal -- Manual Spam is still Spam

Google Analytics, the cloud and missing numbers #fail

Helen Klein Ross & Michael Bissell Interview at Adweek's Social Media Strategies Conference

The Internet is the New 60's

Cougars from New Zealand (and I don't mean big cats)

Adding facts together, or why you can't charge your cell phone from wifi

Social Media and the Destruction of the World

Rabid Fans vs Passive Viewers -- The Coco vs Leno saga

How to tell someone to retweet (without using up your 140 characters)

You can't buy social media

A book unopened is but a block of paper

Building the LOST: The Final Season Sweepstakes

Holiday SPAM (or the lack thereof)

Archiving Twitter

Too Many Toolbars

Random Censorship with Google Adwords

Accessibility and Shopping Online

Twisted path to customer service

Flash: Shiny objects blinding your audience

Twollow and other gold rush scripts

GPS in a Laptop computer

Thinking outside the box... There was a box?

Twitter was designed for Text Messaging

It's not the corporations, damnit

Entrepreneur or Dreamer?

Adweek Social Media Twitter for Brands Presentation

Socializing is more than Social Media

Generational Marketing is a Myth (or Who's your Daddy?)

Social Media is Just the Way We Use the Internet

Twitter Followers Don't Matter (ask the porn sites)

The Internet is Gooder than Books

Sometimes you don't want your campaign to go viral

Best Twitter Branding Campaign

Like flies to crap, Spammy Twitter Followers don't really go away

iPhone SMS Security Hole

How Flipmytweet works

Cell Phones as Microscopes

Digg is not the Hijacker -- You Are

Steve Ballmer -- the walking dead?

Twitter as an open mic poetry reading

Automatic Social [un]Awareness

New York, New York

First splash for United Against Malaria

New Media/Old Media and the CLIO Awards

Interview at SXSW: Mad Men Twitter And Tracking

We've got an App for that -- it's called the Web

Understanding Google To Get Your Resume Noticed

Made it to SXSW in Austin

The trouble with Wordpress and other templates

Wayward Words with Baggage

Speaking at SXSW March 17th

The fleeting Memory of the Internet

It's okay to say 'I don't know'

Good Morning America, now Go Fight Traffic

More surreality in Portland

Nike Takes Over Conquent

Facebook owns this title

Excuses, excuses

A little on Social Media

Feeding on Content

Attack of the Bots

Irish Music in Oregon City

Landing on an Aircraft Carrier

Got Curry? And some bizarre art?

Web 1.0

Random Music and Random Life in Portland

To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump

Flight Simulator

Cold night, hot fire, happy cat

Net Neutrality

Walking to work in the snow

A window into Moreland of the Past

Getting clever with data feeds

Big and Little Beirut

The Other Credit Crisis

The Broadband Inauguration

T-Mobile owns Magenta and Other Patent Stories

The Risk-takers, Doers and Makers of Things

The noise of 20,000+ Twitter Followers

Reflections on my DC Trip

Born Again American

30,000 feet, 500 MPH Suburban Strip Mall

Cellphones, toilets and the Inauguration

The wall of pissing

National Treasure/National Archives

My trip to DC so far

Everyone is insane

Getting ready for DC

The End of Days (of song): Microsoft Songsmith Example

The Very Model of a Modern Major General

Browser Bigotry

The Death of your Soul: Microsoft Songsmith

Creative Development or Developing Creatively?

Race to Witch Mountain

The Myth of Wikipedia (or the Wiki-1400)

Online/Offline Sales -- is it really that bad?

Is PayPal Tacky?

Old School Web Design Still Works

Domain Squatting

Christmas Fire

Green Chri$tma$

QA 101

Portland Snow

Get some return on that web traffic

I think they have a backup...

I'd love to have that problem

The [un]importance of statistics

Don't be a tool of viral marketing

CAT Scan!

Follow up to the shoulder injury

Emails, discussions, blogs, wiki and web content

Ironic Injury

On the Santa Monica Pier

You Designed for Print First

You let someone else register your domain name

You figured .biz, .info, .us would work fine

What's after the Integrated Circuit?

Intelligent life is out there (but it's bugger all down here on earth)

Subject Matter Experts Talking Other Subject Matter

The Totalitarian Regime of Apple

Oversimplifying how people work


Creative Services for the New World

Reverse Anthropomorphism

The End of Time

Oil prices and birdsong

Watching Starship Troopers AGAIN!

Better Living Through Twitter

Lessons Learned From Apple

It's the Brand, Baby

Business Architecture vs. Web Construction

On Truth

You can't build life

Accidentally Drunk in Portland

Al Gore the Winner

Intelligent life is out there (but its bugger all down here on earth)

Aussie Rules Football

Trip to Nostalgia Land

I am such an idiot

Long day of travel

Miami -- as far from Portland as you can go in the US

Inverse Peter Principle

Random Knowledge

I'm fascinated with modern plumbing

Leaving Seattle (or why you should keep your ticket close)

On the Rails

The Hive

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Social Media is NOT Advertising
2010-04-11 09:41:47

I was reading an article on Mashable the other day (What Social Media Ad Types Work Best?) where they went through seven kinds of online advertising:
  • banner ads -- Plain old display ad on a web page

  • newsletter subscription ads -- Display ad in a newsletter sent to you

  • corporate profiles with fans and logos -- Primarily Facebook fan pages

  • corporate profiles without fans or logos -- Less interactive Facebook fan page

  • get widgets -- something you can download an post on your site

  • give widgets and sponsored content -- something you can send to a friend

They basically discovered that relevance trumps all. That is, if you want to sell soup, put a basic banner ad on a cooking website.

It is true that if you let people interact, that is give your "food fight" widget to a friend, thus putting your brand out there, you'll get more eyeballs seeing your soup brand. But you won't necessarily sell more soup, at least not directly.

What I came away with from this study is that social media is so much noise -- you can't control the noise, although you can inject your own noise into the cacophony of millions of updates and snapshots and illicit conversations.

Social media advertising isn't much different than driving a truck through the city with your company name on the side. It keeps your brand in front of people, reinforcing the campaign, but it has to be part of a broader campaign. Thousands of people might see your logo trundling by on the side of a truck, but if that's all you have, your logo disappears from their minds before they even realize they saw it.

Now, don't get me wrong -- social marketing is way more than advertising, which is all this study looked at. You can't buy good, social awareness. You have to institutionalize it, and you have to use every communication tool at your disposal to truly interact with people and reinforce why your company is better than the alternative.

And that has nothing to do with social media, but just good, old fashioned, business planning.

Ian Schafer: Re: Social Media is NOT Advertising
2010-04-11 09:48:53

I partially disagree. I think advertising has its rightful place within social media, the value exchange just needs to be made. Clicks need to give way to engagement, purchased, binary impressions to building lasting impressions.

We had some firsthand experience with this working very well in our Bing/Farmville integration (http://www.allfacebook.com/2010/03/bing-advertises-on-farmville-acquires-400000-facebook-fans-in-one-day/), and these new fans are sticking around and becoming contributing members of a Bing fan community, and with whom we continue to interact.

What I do agree with is that advertising needs to be a bigger part of something. That "something" should be a marketing/CRM continuum that builds value over time.

Michael Bissell: Re: Social Media is NOT Advertising
2010-04-11 09:56:54

Ian: Your Bing/Farmville example is great, and perhaps my "truck trundling through town" metaphor is a little harsh, but I think the All Facebook blog underscores that while it was a successful branding campaign, it remains to be seen if Bing actually leverages the half million fans it has to it's advantage.

Of course, Bing has the advantage that their business model IS eyeballs. No credit cards, no going to the store to pick up a can of soup. Which means Social Media Advertising can be the first and final step for them.

aliza sherman: Re: Social Media is NOT Advertising
2010-04-12 13:57:47

OK, I skimmed but my quick thoughts

Social media advertising is actually only covered at moment by Facebook Social Ads. And it is advertising with some pretty freaky cool features that give it some social features and functionality as well.

So there is advertising the traditional internet way, then there is advertising the Social way with Social ads.

Then there is Social communications, Social marketing, Social blah blahddy bah.

Of course, just putting Social in front of it doesn't make it so.

However, Social Ads are more like the icecream truck with the community piece included - NOT driving a truck through the city with your company name on the side. It is a segway to conversation reaching people who have actual social connections. etc. etc.

Ian Schafer: Re: Social Media is NOT Advertising
2010-04-12 16:21:59

The beauty of the FarmVille/Bing effort was that we knew precisely what a visit from Facebook to Bing was worth. By a) paying per-engagement (knowing what those engagements were worth), b) understanding how much more valuable visits to Bing from Facebook are to Bing, and c) keeping the fans by showing them how Bing can help them make better decisions -- even if those decisions impact their actions in FarmVille, we succeed in driving informed trials of something they never would have tried otherwise. And hopefully winning some people over with some non-FarmVille classy interactions and opportunities to boot.

Kristen: Re: Social Media is NOT Advertising
2010-04-15 15:53:42

I agree 100% that social media is not a stand alone tool. It needs to be used in conjunction with other pieces in a campaign. But there is one thing about it that makes it highly attractive: the audience it hits. I make a study of GenY and how to reach them and marketing is a major portion of my industry function (I'm a cruiter, and GenY is quickly becoming our talent pool of choice.)

It would be interesting to see the demographics breakdown of the study.

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