Author Archives: Eleanor Dowling

It’s finally happening – HBO will sell over the Internet next year

This is some of the most exciting TV news I’ve heard all year. So exciting that it made me want to update this poor, neglected blog!

Remember a while ago when there was a petition to have HBO offer a standalone service? I never thought it would actually happen, and many people in the industry argued that the money and politics just wouldn’t work out. Obviously we were wrong, and that’s awesome.

More coverage on Re/code. And this, which made me giggle:

#CannesLions 2014: A life-changing experience

I just got back from ten amazing days in France, where I was working for Twitter at the #CannesLions advertising festival. It. Was. Fabulous. It was also incredibly hard — 16-17 hour days, juggling tons of things at once, lots of hurdles and challenges…but I emerged stronger and damn proud of myself!

So, what exactly did I do there? I live-tweeted selected sessions from @TwitterAds, edited and uploaded all our #dronies (drone selfies!) to Twitter, uploaded other awesome videos that our filmmakers were creating on-the-fly and wrote recap blog posts each day for advertising.twitter.com.

Check out my blog posts for highlights from the week.

One year later…

My last post here was on February 4, 2013.

Today is February 5, 2014.

A lot has changed in one year:

  • Twitter acquired Bluefin Labs and hired me into the b2b marketing org
  • I sold my car and moved to NYC, a city I swore I’d always hate…that I now totally love
  • I went from running the @bluefinlabs handle (~couple thousand followers) to running @TwitterAds (almost 300K followers and counting!)
  • I’ve been challenged in ways I’d never imagined, and have emerged stronger than before
  • I went through my first IPO
  • I discovered just how bad I am at making things look pretty in keynote…but also discovered just how good I am at finding and crafting content for said keynotes :)
  • I GOT ENGAGED and started planning our wedding

I could go on, but I won’t because you get the picture. It has been an incredible year – one full of changes and bumps in the road and exciting new places and experiences and new people. If all of this happened in the last 12 months, I can’t even imagine what the next year holds.

BRING. IT. ON.

Oh – and because I still love seeing how brands use real time marketing, I’ll leave you with a gem from this year’s GRAMMYs:

This is the Future of Advertising

The Super Bowl was last night, and as I’m sure you’ve heard if not seen, there was a major blackout during the third quarter. This problem for the game itself was actually a golden opportunity for advertisers.

I was thrilled to see a couple brands immediately take advantage of the situation. The key to this is timing, and having the ability to make quick decisions, execute, and most importantly – have those upstairs execs sign off on your creativity.

Here’s the best of the social TV advertising last night:

This is advertising I can get behind. It’s not a faceless corporation screaming messages at unconcerned consumers – it’s a dialogue where humor wins and personality shines through. I love it!

One Year in #SocialTV

One year ago today I started working at Bluefin Labs.

It’s hard to believe how much has changed since then – It’s been a TREMENDOUS year of professional and personal growth, of good times and stressful times, of fun and crazy amounts of work.

Last year's Super Bowl was during my first week at Bluefin. What an intro to social TV!

Last year’s Super Bowl was during my first week at Bluefin. Here I am wearing my old basketball jersey, watching the data come in. What an intro to social TV!

Above all else, I can’t help but feel truly blessed to have had this opportunity to work at a fantastic start-up, with some of the most brilliant, funny, and caring people I’ve ever met.

Bluefin Olympics Fishy

Jessica (Bluefin’s second social captain) and I decorated a tuna for the Olympics!

In the past year, I’ve:

  • Grown @BluefinLabs from 1,100 followers to almost 5,000
  • Blogged  about social TV in drama, comedy, and reality series, plus TV commercials and special events
  • Challenged my writing and editing skills with The Crowdwire, Bluefin’s election project. Director Bill Powers and I were especially proud of my “Lesson Learned” post on Super PACs.
  • Played a big role in the development of Bluefin’s company culture and Social Committee (so much fun!)
  • Confronted my fear of public speaking and taught social media at Boston Startup School

There’s no way to know what the next 365 days will bring, but I can’t wait to see what happens.

IMG_9475

Anjali, Jeff, Mike Proulx of Hill Holliday, and me at Bluefin’s holiday party. Mike & HH’s TVNext was my original intro to social TV way back in 2011!

Jumping on the Rocket Ship

Since starting at Bluefin in January, I haven’t updated this blog very often. I’ve been immersed in social TV and blogging/tweeting for Bluefin, plus I ended up having to move twice this summer due to various lease reasons.

I’d really like to try and write more about social TV here, but the truth is that I’m not sure how often it will happen. (So…follow Bluefin’s blog and twitter!)

For now, I just want to post a quote that has touched me deeply this week – one I wish I had heard way back in my freshman year of college, and one that I urge you to take to heart because of its simple truth. (Hat-tip to Adam Kmiec, whose blog I saw this on originally)

“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on”

These two sentences came from Sheryl Sandberg’s graduation speech to the Harvard Business School class of 2012, but it was originally Eric Schmidt of Google who uttered those words of wisdom. You can read Sheryl’s full speech and the quote’s context here.

I am so glad that I snagged a seat on the rocket ship called Bluefin Labs. Big things are coming. I can’t wait.

Big Data & What it Means For Today’s TV Industry

Since I began working at Bluefin Labs, the industry that revolves around big data has fascinated me. I wrote this blog post for Bluefin a couple weeks ago summarizing the idea of big data and how it’s affecting the social TV industry today. Check it out!

What’s the Big Deal with Big Data?

These days it seems like you can’t check Twitter or browse news articles without coming across the term “big data” at least a couple times.

But big data isn’t exactly new, so why all the hubbub now?  Well for starters, the scale of data collection today is of legendary proportions.

To call what’s happening a torrent or an avalanche of data is to use entirely inadequate metaphors. This is a development on an astronomical scale. And it’s presenting us with a predictable but very hard problem: our capacity to collect digital data has outrun our capacity to archive, curate and – most importantly – analyse it.

-“Why Big Data is now such a big deal” John Naughton, The Guardian

When I say legendary, I mean it – we’ve had to create a whole new set of multiples to describe the volume of data being collected – from terabytes to petabytes, exabytes, zettabytes and yottabytes!

Ok, we’ve got a boatload of information. So…now what? John Naughton again:

Hidden in those billions of haystacks there may be some very valuable needles. We saw a glimpse of the possibilities when Google revealed that by analysing the billions of queries it handles every hour it could predict flu epidemics way ahead of conventional epidemiological methods.

Retailers such as Walmart, Tesco and Amazon do millions of transactions every hour and store all the data relating to each in colossal databases they then “mine” for information about market trends, consumer behaviour and other things. The same goes for Google, Facebook and Twitter et al. For these outfits, data is the new gold.

Mr. Naughton may not be exaggerating. In a GigaOM post Robert Greene notes:

According to a 2011 study by the Aberdeen Group, organizations that effectively integrate complex data are able to use up to 50 percent larger data sets for business intelligence and analytics, to integrate external unstructured data into business processes twice as successfully, and to slash error incidences almost in half. The connection between a company’s success and its ability to leverage big data is very clear.

The new gold, indeed. But let’s circle back to one of Mr. Naughton’s initial observations:  “it’s presenting us with a predictable but very hard problem: our capacity to collect digital data has outrun our capacity to archive, curate and – most importantly – analyse it.

In an Ad Age blog post, CRM expert Hal Brierley calls this an “Achilles heel of [the advertising/marketing] business: we don’t have enough specialized knowledge to adequately draw insights from all the data we have. Frankly, we are amid a talent crisis.”

On Monday eMarketer released a report outlining how marketers are struggling to link digital data to the big data picture.

“Without the ability to integrate big data collection and usage processes, companies are certain to fall short in delivering a truly personalized customer experience integrated across ad formats and channels. Such a mandate is of significant importance as consumers increasingly interact with brands across multiple channels and screens.”

Continue reading on the Bluefin blog…