THE BOUNCE: Facebook will Make it More Difficult for Brands to Reach Audiences. Why That’s a Good Thing (for everybody).

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my very first post in a series dedicated to marketing/media/tech news which I am calling ‘The Bounce”. I know, the title is super lame, but hopefully I can make up for it with some high-quality content about the marketing world. Let’s get started with Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement late last week about the future of advertising on the social media juggernaut known as Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, announced in a blog post on January 11 that he’s given Facebook’s product teams a new goal going forward to focus on helping users find relevant content and have “more meaningful social interactions” while using the platform. His decision will mark “a major change to how we build Facebook”, Zuckerberg said.

Changes to all Facebook products will be implemented in the coming months, with the most obvious changes happening to the News Feed. Users can expect to see fewer posts from businesses, brands and media. Content that does appear from these entities will be held to the new standard — that it should help users have more meaningful social interactions. The changes are likely to result in people spending less time on Facebook, and for some engagement metrics to drop.

The move shocked many in the tech world, and was enough to get Wall Street a little rattled (Facebook shares dropped 5% early in the day on January 12….the biggest decline since November 2016), mainly because a decrease in engagement could mean a decrease in Facebook’s ad revenue.

So why would Zuckerberg, who was named the world’s fifth-richest person by Forbes magazine with a net worth of over $56 billion, put a cap on his possible return from advertisers who are eager to publish on the social network?

For starters, Zuckerberg set a personal goal for 2018 to make sure Facebook isn’t being misused. Practically, that means fewer sponsored posts and more personal content on Facebook. Zuckerberg said that users’s News Feeds will now contain more stories, photos and videos from friends and family, and fewer from advertisers.

“The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being,” Zuckerberg said. “We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long-term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good.”

Facebook has also come under fire for its role in allowing “fake news” to run rampant on the platform, without a true way of authenticating published content. There is also a growing backlash against the amount of time that consumers are spending on social media.

Alright, so this is a big win for Facebook’s reputation and for all of us end-users, right? But what about the brands who will be shunned by Facebook’s algorithm? Aren’t they the ones getting a bad deal? Maybe not.

See, rather than publishing content, marketers and agency partners will soon be guided to publish quality content. Rather than pushing out numerous social media posts, auto-play videos, banner ads, and retargeting ads, marketers will soon be encouraged to create content that the users actually want to engage with. If done correctly, the content will pass Zuckerberg’s “meaningful social interactions” test, reach its target audience, create a positive experience for the user and in turn develop a healthy and prosperous relationship between the brand and the audience. The best advertisers are already doing this, but certainly the more that begin to take this approach, the better it will be for marketing as a whole.

It’s Facebook’s world, and we’re just living in it. Here’s to hoping that world is a little more authentic in 2018.

“Best way to sell something: Don’t sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect and trust of those who might buy.”

Rand Fishkin, CEO and Founder of Moz

RAPID FIRE: Reaction to a Wild Weekend in Mizzou Athletics

It wasn’t supposed to be a dramatic weekend for Missouri Tigers fans….but that’s sure how it turned out.

Mizzou supporters were left with more questions than answers when the smoke had cleared after Cuonzo Martin’s Tiger Basketball squad fell 77-75 to the visiting Florida Gators. Let’s jump back to Friday, January 5th and try to piece together the weekend that was for Mizzou. (By the way, I am writing this post from my iPhone while my laptop is experiencing difficulties…..so apologies if there are any bugs with this post)

Blake Harris says he plans to transfer; leaves program

Freshman guard Blake Harris, who was among the extra recruitment prizes for first-year coach Cuonzo Martin following Michael Porter Jr.’s commitment to Missouri, announced that he plans to transfer from the University and effectively left the team.

“We will support him in any way possible” Coach Martin said in a statement Friday.

Harris, the Chapel Hill, NC native, was ranked among the top 100 prospects out of high school by ESPN. He originally committed to the University of Washington but was granted a release from his commitment after the firing of then head coach Lorenzo Romar. Harris then followed Michael Porter Jr. to Missouri. Porter was said to have recruited Harris personally.

Harris is the second member of his recruiting class to announce his decision to leave the program this year. Fellow freshman guard C.J. Roberts transferred to Texas Tech University this past December (Missouri placed the redshirt on Roberts this season, suggesting that his playing time would be minimized with a loaded back court).

I have to say guys — I was shocked when reading this news Friday morning. Point guard play has been an area of concern for this young team. At times the position has appeared to be on a “by committee” status. But when watching it looked like Harris had the best shot at securing the 1 guard spot. It’s disappointing to watch a kid as talented as Blake to walk away mid-season. One may point to key losses to West Virginia in the AdvoCare Invitational, where the Missouri guards buckled under pressure from Bob Huggins’ team (Harris played only 6 minutes), and to Illinois where Harris has his best performance with 10 points and 22 minutes played.

Harris’ ball handling and ability to cut into the paint — an area that hasn’t been this team’s strong suit all year — will surely be missed. But in an attempt to make myself feel better I would offer that poor attitude may have been a factor in his decision to transfer. Harris didn’t make it a secret that he was unhappy about playing time. In a call with the Post-Dispatch’s Dave Matter he said,

“Of course I’d like to be playing more, but that’s not all of it. “I just think it would be better if we went our separate ways.”

**Deep sigh**

Harris gave the basketball equivalent of “I think we owe it to ourselves to date other people” on his way out the door. But before you cast Mizzou as the ultimate ugly step-sister consider this: Blake transferred high schools multiple times. He was rumored to not support his other teammates while on the bench. He displayed negative body language at times when being taken out of the game. Read into that how you will. It could be surmised that Harris and Coach Martin didn’t see eye-to-eye and maybe we shouldn’t have been as shocked when he made the decision to transfer. Either way, I wish the young man the best of luck in the future. I always strive not to rip into 18 or 19-year-old kids, though it is not easy at times.

Derek Dooley named next Mizzou Football Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach

Just as we thought our news day wasn’t busy enough, Mizzou announced Friday that former Tennessee Head Coach Derek Dooley would join Coach Barry Odom’s staff as an Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach. Dooley has most recently been on the sidelines in the NFL, where he coached Wide Receicers for the Dallas Cowboys. Dooley has served as a graduate assistant, assistant coach, head coach and athletic director for the University of Georgia, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana State, Souther Methodist and Tennessee programs. He’s known for producing a pro-style offense, which may benefit Missouri QB Drew Lock, should he decide to return for his senior season in 2018.

As it goes these days, I went to the one place that tells me how I should feel when I am unsure about a topic — Twitter.

Folks, certain Missouri fans are NOT happy with the Derek Dooley hire. These “fans” have come out of the woodwork and behind the screens of their devices to declare the season as “finished” and the hire “a disaster”. But my favorite of these social media trolls are the ones who penned their Tweets “I am from Tennessee and I know that….”. Give me a break! Tennessee fans, in light of the dumpster fire which was started during their search for a head coach, now have the authority to tell Missouri fans how they should feel about their own school’s hire. Okay.

Nevertheless, I searched for some more prominent opinion on the OC hire and came away with this. Love him or hate him, Clay Travis of Outkick the Coverage is a man who knows Tennessee Vols football, and SEC football in general. He shared some thoughts on Mizzou’s newest staffer.

93B9DDEA-127F-4A3A-BB1B-4DB99A64030C

Former Missouri WR L’damian Washington offered this.

D2287114-5F93-48D8-8E9C-4D30F6D0406A

For the record, I would be elated if #2 joined Dooley as an Offensive assistant some day. But to summarize, it is far too early to say whether Dooley is the right hire or not. There will always be those strongly in favor and strongly opposed to a coaching decision. My take on the matter – I trust in the mind of AD Jim Sterk. Sterk has seemed to right the ship after the shaky tenure of Mack Rhodes, and MU Athletics has found its way back into relevancy again. The man who since his time as AD has passed the approval of the south end zone expansion project, overseen construction of new baseball and softball facilities, and pulled the trigger on hiring Cuonzo Martin and effectively securing the commitment of the #1 recruit in the nation, is more fit to insert an OC than the Twitter trolls. Here’s to Drew Lock coming back home and putting up video game numbers in the SEC for one more season.

Mizzou falls to Florida in final seconds

On Saturday, January 6, Mizzou Basketball lost to Florida 77-75 after the Gators’ Chris Chiozza broke up a pass from MU guard Jordan Geist and took it coast to coast to score an uncontested layup with 0.1 seconds remaining. The Saturday afternoon contest was a thriller — Missouri led by as many as 12 points but the game was very much back and forth late in the second half. CBC High School grad Jordan Barnett went off for a career-high 28 points and shot 67% from 3-point range.

Folks….this one hurt. Even while the score was close, this writer felt during the entirety of the game that Mizzou would come away with a 2-0 conference record. Instead, heartbreak. An all too familiar feeling for the True Sons and Daughters.

I am a bit of a fan boy when I write about Missouri sports, I admit. I also try to take an optimistic approach when watching the Tigers. So let me offer some healthy cynicism in the wake of this loss. Coach Martin butchered the end of this game. With the score tied 75-75, Missouri called a timeout with 17 seconds remaining. Coming out of the timeout, the ball wasn’t in the hands of Kassius Robertson or Jordan Barnett, but instead Jordan Geist. Geist’s turnover cost the Tigers the game. It appeared that Mizzou wanted the last shot. Why, then, Martin didn’t trust his two studs to put the game in their hands, and at the very worst send the game to overtime with a missed shot I do not understand. It’s very possible that this loss will eliminate Missouri from entering the NCAA Tournament when selections are made come March.

Yes, this one hurt quite a bit. But let’s all of us take solace in the fact that this year is different than other recent years. This year, it matters more. This year the Mizzou brand is relevant again. Sure, much of it is due to the injured Michael Porter Jr. coming home to Columbia. But for a program that squeaked out 8 wins last year, no one can deny that things have improved and improved quickly. How much further they can go in 2018, though, remains to be seen.

MPJ: ‘My time is coming.’

The saga continues in Columbia, Missouri.

Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr., whose college career has been held to just two minutes due to injury, spoke to local media during a men’s basketball press conference Tuesday for the first time since the 2017-18 season tipped off in November.

The 19-year-old has only given one public interview since Mizzou announced he would miss 3-4 months following surgery of his L3-L4 spinal discs, making his attendance at Tuesday’s media day somewhat significant. His only other interview since being injured occurred during the ESPN broadcast of December’s Braggin’ Rights contest versus Illinois. ESPN commentators Jordan Bernfield and Tom Crean never addressed what’s been on the minds of Missouri fans all year – ‘Will MPJ be healthy enough to make a return in the black and gold this season?’.

PowerMizzou publisher Gabe DeArmond, however, was not shy in asking the question when Porter Jr. and freshman center Jeremiah Tilmon met with the media Tuesday morning.

“Rehab is going great. I’m getting stronger every day. Right now it’s too early to tell,” Porter said.

“Everybody’s different with this injury, their recovery time. So I’m doing everything I can to recover as quick as I can. I’ll feel 100 percent before my back really is 100 percent. Eventually I’ll be 150 percent because I’ll be playing without the pain and limitations I had before.”

At 6′ 10″, Porter Jr. is ranked number 1 in the high school Class of 2017 according to Rivals.com. Porter was named a McDonald’s All-American in high school and is widely regarded as a lottery pick in this year’s NBA Draft. And if that weren’t impressive enough, the kid won the one-on-one tournament at Steph Curry’s SC30 Select camp…twice. TWICE! He won the 1v1 tournament at what is considered the elite camp for high school prospects back-to-back years. One look at film of this guy really says it all.

mpj

Folks, I am rambling about this young man and his appearance at a seemingly routine press conference because this is not a kind of player Missouri lands often. It took a strange series of events, in fact, for Porter Jr. to suit up with the Tigers at all. But suit up he did, against the Iowa State Cyclones at Mizzou Arena on November 10, 2017. And within two minutes, it appeared that it would all be over.

The freshman took a seat shortly after scoring his first two points as a Tiger. Porter Jr. appeared to be hampering a knee injury, as he rocked back and forward on the Missouri bench for the remainder of the first half. He wouldn’t return. Panic sets in.

The hoop squad would go on to secure its first win of the season, but fans (including this writer) had already feared the worst for what Porter Jr.’s absence meant for the rest of the season.

In the days immediately following the season opener in Columbia, speculation was abound without an official announcement from the University. It was a leg injury. No, wait, it’s a hip injury. Now it’s a back injury?

Eventually, Mizzou fans got their answer. The talented Porter Jr. would likely miss the rest of the season, and the situation would soon be referred to by some as “the most Mizzou thing ever”.

All hope is lost….but does it have to be?

Despite MPJ’s cautious responses to the media on Tuesday, hints of a possible return have come to surface from different sources since the announcement of the injury.

First there was Porter himself — in the form of an Instagram Story post.post

Well….isn’t this interesting?

The post was shared by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dave Matter in late November before being removed from Porter’s Instagram Story. Surely, MPJ wasn’t taking a shot at the MU training staff, but rather hinting that his rehab is progressing better than expected.

But then there was the interview with famed sports surgeon Dr. Rick Lehman, who has treated athletes including Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Cam Newton, during the Press Box with Frank Cusumano (a St. Louis sports-talk radio show).

When asked if Porter would be ready to play by the Braggin’ Rights game on December 23, Lehman bluntly stated “No. But I think he’ll be back in 4 weeks, and that’s ‘more than just a guess’.”

Okay, now I’m paying attention. It should be noted that Dr. Rick has had no involvement in treating Porter Jr., but his comments do carry some weight in the sports medicine world. Could he actually play again this season and help solidify the young Missouri team’s bid for a NCAA tournament?

One more clue was left behind via a New Year’s post.

Screenshot 2018-01-03 10.14.05

In another tease, Porter Jr. concluded his post with two emoji’s with the text “back” and “soon”. Also note the choice in photo. Is he hinting that he may play in the Missouri uniform again? Not sure. Is it healthy to psycho-analyze the words of a 19-year old in the form of a social media post? Probably not. But, until a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’ are stated, Missouri fans will continue to wonder as the Tigers open SEC play vs. South Carolina January 3 at 8 p.m.

It’s tough. I just have to be patient. My time is coming. I just can’t rush it.

Featured

Welcome

Let’s get one thing straight — this isn’t the “Mouse House”. I’m Matt Maus (pronounced MOSS — like the stuff that grows on rocks) and this is The Maus Haus!

My story is a simple one. I’m 24 years old, a son of two accountants, product of Catholic school, and a True Son of the University of Missouri. Today I work at an advertising agency with hopes to one day become a legit marketing guru.

I started this blog because my voice has always been stronger written rather than spoken. I was a shy kid in school. I couldn’t express my ideas in person like I could through a piece in my school newspaper, or even my personal musings of another Blues season coming to an end. Something about writing out my ideas gave me a confidence boost that hasn’t left me yet.

These days, I haven’t been able to write much at all. That’s why I started The Maus Haus  to share my stories (with my 3 – 4 readers) and write some shit down just for fun for the first time since my short stint as a volunteer student-writer at GaryPinkel.com. In this blog I will do my best impression of a legit journo, and share some thoughts on Mizzou Tigers sports, general sports #HotTakes, St. Louis sandwich reviews, some tech/marketing news and whole lot more. Thank you to the 3 – 4 people for checking out my site, and I hope you enjoy!

“I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really — I was alive.” 

Walter White, Breaking Bad