One of the really great things about Twitter is the way that it enables you to build up real, but virtual, and in some cases one-sided, friendships with people in other countries that you would otherwise never have met. I now have about 30 such Twitter friends (as well as 100+ Twitter acquaintances) whose postings I usually look out for. Here are a few of them, in an East to West order: Virginie Clayssen, I like that her tweets are mostly in French, Ian Davis, whose technical tweets are worth attention, Eoin Purcell, whose taste in sandwiches is probably reliable,, Jose Antonio Furtado, with an unrivalled stream of topical epublishing tweets, @Personanondata, who should probably be forgiven for being a Man U supporter, Fred Wilson, a NYC VC with lots of ideas, @MikeCane whose tweet stream is sometimes too fast and fran/phrenetic for me, Don Linn who has a dry sense of humour and a touch of Damon Runyon in his tweets, KatMeyer who has a Pacific Coast style of tweeting, as does DannySullivan (roller blades) and Kirk Biglione (shades and cocktails), who in typical Californian style, between them know so much more about search engines and DRM than I could ever get to grips with.
Thanks then to my Twittering friends and twitting aquaintances (are there really 124 of them?). I learn a lot from them every day. This is all by way of also thanking an email friend (Alain P) who sent me a link today to a blog post by Bill Hill, all about advertising in newspapers and magazines. I like this line in the blog:
Web technology today doesn't yet support ads you really want to view.
Bill Hill thinks that getting this right -- making ads really glossy and seductively attractive is one of the next big tricks for advertising on the web. I wonder if he thinks that this free and open service from Dazed & Confused is yet doing that? The Exact Editions platform is pretty close to delivering high quality photo-shoot ads such as are found in Dazed & Confused in such a way that you really want to look at the ads. These rich visual ads are of course even more seductive to subscribers who get the full size page. Put this rich visual delivery onto the iPhone and the fact that all the phone numbers in the directory are clickable, is a step which delivers exceptional value to customers and advertisers alike. I dont think magazine and newspaper publishers have yet taken stock of the fact that iPhone digital editions will greatly leverage the value of direct response from the ads themselves. See this direct customer response from printed phone numbers in the Exactly App video. The screen of an iPhone is already crisp and bright enough to deliver a really good view of a glossy ad, the trick which the advertising and publishing industries now need to solve, is how to make those phone numbers as valuable to the advertisers as they are convenient to readers. This is not a big step.