Best Music of 2012

I used to have this thing called a blog where I would write about music, sports and web analytics. It’s a new year, so let’s try to get back on track shall we?

Here are the albums I enjoyed in 2012:

1) Frank Ocean – “Channel Orange” I find myself listening to songs from this album everyday. I think Frank has an interesting talent for making mundane everyday kind of things sound extraordinary. Almost like an album made from ramblings from Twitter. Plus the dude can sing.

2) Passion Pit – “Gossamer” – Their style has changed from their last album and I think for the better. I think some of their songs are written a little heavy handed but still a damn good album and sounds unique.

3) Andrew Bird – “Hands of Glory” – I love the sound of the album, the rustic nature of it. It isn’t his finest work by any stretch of the imagination but I like the sound. I listen to “Three White Horses” constantly.

4) The xx – “Coexist” – not as good as their debut but still decent

5) The Walkmen – “Heaven” – growing old gracefully.

6) The Avett Brothers – “The Carpenter” – sound nothing like they did 4 years ago but you have to keep moving. Also, I had to have an NC band on the list.

7) The Weeknd – “Trilogy” – technically this stuff had all been out there before but was re-released as a cohesive package in 2012. For some reason in 2012 I was really into dark R&B.

The jury is still out on as I haven’t listened to them enough to properly evaluate them:

Kendrick Lamar – “good kid, m.A.A.d city”

Grizzly Bear – “Shields”



Measuring PR part 2 – The Wrath of Khan

I just updated the Capstrat blog with the 2nd post in an ongoing series/journey on how to measure public relations. If interested, please click over to the blog : Evaluating PR’s Return on Investment – Part 2

The new post outlines some potential measurements and approaches on how to determine effect of PR. If you have any suggestions please feel free to write me. Or if I am delusional, I’d love to know that as well.

The next post waiting in the hopper will explore web analytics techniques specific to the measurement of PR and will probably bleed into Social Media, though I really don’t want to. The last few posts in that series will explore some hypothetical situations which have occurred in real-life and how to go about measuring it. In all likelihood those posts are going to take me a little bit of time to piece together in a somewhat coherent manner, almost like choose-your-own-adventure stories.

As soon as I am done with that series I’ll return to more of a hodge-podge collection.

Measuring PR

Since I am now writing in 2 places, I am testing which spot gets the most traffic and how many folks cross over to the Capstrat blog. I am wondering if my little blog generates more traffic than the Capstrat blog based on the same topic. So thanks for being part of my experiment. For those that haven’t bookmarked the Capstrat blog, here is the link to my latest post: Evaluating PR’s Return on Investment – Part 1

This particular post is part of a series I am working on that hopes to give some insight in how to go about measuring public relations efforts while also incorporating some of the tricks I’ve learned over the years of doing web analytics followed up with some potential case studies. If you have any suggestions please feel free to write.

Best Music in 2009, according to me

Well, I don’t really have my pulse on the music scene these days, too busy of sorts, but I still listen to a crapload of music on a daily basis, so here is what I thought was relatively decent in 2009.

1 – Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (I almost listen to this album everyday)

2 – Passion Pit – Manners

3 – Handsome Furs – Face Control

4 – The xx – xx

5 – Avett Brothers – I and Love and You

6 – Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Pains of Being Pure at Heart

7 – Bon Iver – Blood Bank

8 – Grizzly Bear – Vecaktimest

9 – Franz Ferdinand – Tonight:Franz Ferdinand

10 – Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures

11 – Dinosaur Jr – Farm

12 – Megafaun – Gather, Form & Fly

13 – Flaming Lips – Embryonic

14 – The Antlers – Hospice

15 – Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion

Adobe’s acquisition of Omniture

Still not sure what I am doing with having 2 blogs, but I just posted my thoughts on the Adobe acquisition of Omniture on the Capstrat blog. Timely I know, as it happened like 2 months ago but better late than never. Actually just working thru my queue of topics that I hadn’t completed based on my transition and writer’s block/laziness.

I think I have 2 more posts lined up for next week, and hopefully get into a cadence of every 4 or 5 days.  So all 5 of you keep on reading!

My new gig and other assorted items of interest

Greetings to all my loyal readers (all 3 of you)…

Its been a while and for that I apologize. Lot of things going on…

1) I switched jobs recently. I am now working at a fantastic advertising/pr/communications/interactive agency in Raleigh called Capstrat. Yes, I made the plunge to the agency world. Its definitely an adjustment (billable hours) but one I think we will offer me a different set of challenges and a chance to do some interesting things in web marketing/analytics. Really, really excited. Being around people paid to be creative and the unique workplace has been energizing in a way that I needed at this point in my life. That being said, it was tough to leave a lot of my colleagues that I worked with at Lenovo. I’ve been at IBM/Lenovo for almost 10 years and largely its all I know professionally and with it all the relationships that were built up over that time. I will always miss the people there, but needed a different path.

So what am I doing at Capstrat? Basically I am here to set up a worldclass analytics program to not only help Capstrat measure and optimize campaigns and sites that we create but also work with clients in helping them measure their business. In addition to offering guidance into what needs to be measured, we’ll also have the capacity to help deploy tools (Omniture, Google Analytics, etc) as well as maintain (or improve) them. I’ve met a lot of companies over the years that already have web analytics solutions in place but either have it set up wrong or don’t know how to use it. I plan on helping those companies.  On top of that, a majority of companies lack internal staff with expertise in web analytics and we can help by acting as a virtual team member to help with reporting, analysis, and optimization. If your company needs help in these areas, please feel free to contact me or go to OK, sales pitch over. 🙂

2) As part of #1, I am immersing myself in what Google Analytics has to offer as a lot of our clients are using it, so I figured it might be a good idea for me to become really good at it. As a result, I took the certification test last week and passed…so now I am certifiable. I have a post in the works about my impressions of using GA after years of Omniture experience. There are definitely good things and trade-offs as well. Hope to post more within a week on that. I also plan of taking a lot of time learning some tools I haven’t dealt with in the past such as Yahoo Analytics, Unica, and Webtrends to see what they have to offer.

3) Been reading Avinash Kaushik‘s excellent 2nd book, Web Analytics 2.0. Its been refreshing to read especially during the transitional period I am in now. I’ve been reading it almost as it was a playbook on how to approach new clients where I don’t know too much about the business. It offers step by step instructions on the process of analytics which is helpful even for people that have been doing it as long as I have. Additionally, I think Avinash has great views on campaign attribution as well as the big topic of the day, social media measurement. Its a must read for anyone wanting to get into web analytics or marketing in general in 21st century and because Avinash is about as passionate (and humorous) as anyone in this space. As a side-note whenever I mention Avinash’s name, traffic spikes on this blog (from 3 to 6), coincidence?

4) Finally, but not leastly (is that a word?)…I’m going to be a father again in late November. Super excited, but also not mentally prepared for the sleeplessness! As a result of the late nights, maybe I’ll write more?

So there ya go…you have a quick synopsis of what I am doing. Once I get my head on straight I hope to right a lot more than I have.