Some of the best things in life online—Twitter, YouTube, podcasts, whitepapers, ebooks, Pandora on the Blackberry, CoolIris—are free. Does a digital marketer need anything more? Not really, but in our experience digital marketers are just so darn lovable that loved ones do tend to want to shower them with gifts over the holidays.
Is someone demanding to know “what you want” this year? To spare you the effort, we’ve prepared the following list of 10 suitable gifts. All you have to do is distribute it—and maybe add on or refine in the Comments (above).
1. Something to hang
Who dictates what you do online? OK, I see your point, no argument, it is Compliance, got it. But what external force is all-powerful? Google, of course, and we’d like to see you get in on that somehow this holiday season.
Depending on the depth of your loved ones’ pockets, maybe they can gift you some shares, after clearing with your firm, of course. If not, how about asking for a single share (priced at this writing at $1,134 from GiveAShare.com).
2. Something that's even smarter than you are
Seriously. If you’re not familiar with iPhone and Droid smartphone browsers and applications, how will you know what your customers and prospects are experiencing—and how will you plan for your organization’s inevitable content delivery to the mobile Web?
To further justify asking your gift-giver to pony up for the hardware (and service), download the iPhone app for your Google, WebTrends or SiteCatalyst analytics.
3. Something to read
After staring at a computer monitor all day, the last thing you may want to do is stress your eyes further by reading a book. Man or woman up, climb into your Snuggie and grab the new Web Analytics 2.0. Count on it to give you new inspiration for understanding exactly what’s going on with your Web site and online campaigns.
Web analytics guru Avinash Kaushik is the real deal. I've referred to Kaushik’s first book Web Analytics: An Hour A Day so much that the pages are tearing away from its soft binding. Still, I have to say that I like the sequel even better.
The whipped cream on the hot chocolate you sip while you read: 100% of the author’s proceeds from the book will be donated to two charities, The Smile Train and The Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation.
4. Something to celebrate with
We’re guessing that your day is filled with its share of crises and triumphs. While crises tend to draw a crowd, some of the most meaningful victories in our days are solitary. With its bass and snare drum sounds, two rack toms, a floor tom, hi-hat, crash, and ride cymbals, the gift of a drum mousepad ($39.95 from Hammacher Schlemmer) can change that for you.
5. Something to love
If you’ve resolved that 2010 will be the year your firm starts syndicating content (and we really hope that you have), then you need a Chumby. (The same is true if you just need something to love.)
Not a computer, not a smartphone, the Chumby is a cute wifi device the size of a 12-inch softball that can take all forms of content sent to it. It plays Internet radio, will cycle through the Weather Channel, YouTube videos, RSS feeds and serve as an alarm clock. How soon before Chumby aficionados can subscribe to your firm's content?
6. Something to wear
If, as has been speculated, Twitter is nominated for Time magazine's 2009 Person of the Year, you're going to want to be in fashion.
TWItoShirt enables you to strut your stuff with a t-shirt bearing a favorite tweet. I was thinking of creating a Twitter account and tweet to produce t-shirt invitations to a family party. But...something tells me that the family has had its fill of Twitter this year.
7. Somewhere to belong
Kick your search engine optimization efforts up a notch and meet new people in the new year with a professional membership to SEOMoz. Included are a range of professional-level tools, access to professional SEOs and a lot more. Your cost would start at $229/month ("Big Business" level).
8. Something to pass the time with
Suitable for office or cubicle, nothing says that you live on the digital edge more than a Tukaiz wall ($19.99) or desk calendar ($14.99) personalized with your name or the name of the legend you've become. Not to be a homer but there’s a Chicago WGN version available, too.
9. Somewhere to go
Your employer may balk at this conference’s direct relevance to your work, and that will be too bad. Since when is mind-bending not a workplace value?
But if you’re on the receiving end of some cash and maybe have some of your own to add to it (registration fee: $3,750), register for TEDActive, a high-definition live simulcast of the TED Conference held in Long Beach, CA, from Feb. 9-13. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design—three broad subject areas that conference sponsors say are collectively shaping our future. The presenter list is a who’s who of influence and innovation in our times. Your application will need to be reviewed and approved.
10. Something to watch
The risk in working in real-time online is loss of perspective, of one's place in the universe beyond the World Wide Web. That’s why we’re recommending this 2001 documentary of a startup Internet business (govWorks.com). It's about two friends who in 1999 secured venture capital, grew their business and then presided over its collapse. These were digital marketing's early days. You'll recognize influences that continue today, just 10 years later, but you'll also marvel at the naivete.
Do you have a gift-giver who enjoys the hunt? The DVD has been discontinued but as of this writing could be found on Amazon.com, available from sellers, and on eBay.