Everything seemed to be flowing logically until I got to this statement "No traditional marketer would have figured this out" (referring to integrating a Craigslist post into Airbnb). To that statement my question is why couldn't a traditional marketer imagine that functionality? They probably wouldn't have been able to create the actual implementation themselves but that would be a job for an engineer regardless of who came up with the idea. If the marketer happened to be an engineer great, if not, it seems like something that would just be delegated to a technical member of the team.
From what I understand Airbnb did a fair bit of spamming to craigslist prior to the very slick layout you see there so the idea of marketing via craigslist was already baked into their strategy regardless of it's implementation.
I wouldn't say that they couldn't figure it out, but it wouldn't be an intuitive solution for someone who doesn't hack. We want marketers that can code for the same reason that we want designers that can code. We want that because some of the most important design decisions happen in code. A corollary to this would be that some of the most important marketing decisions happen in code.
The most obvious of this would be recognizing how you can programmatically hook your application with 0 users to another system with thousands to millions of users. An obvious solution that a regular marketer may recognize is simple address book integration. A less obvious solution that a hacker with API experience would recognize is how to hook into the Twitter search API, programmatically recognize hashtags and generate responses that appear legit from a real user.
Any sufficiently advanced spam is indistinguishable from content. It often takes a hacker to make the decisions that further advance field of spam to the level of content.
I agree. In fact, I would go even further and say that a non-technical person could come up with even better ideas because they are not constrained by what is technically possible. They think you can do absolutely anything with software. Whereas an engineer might (even subconsciously) be discouraged because they know it would take a lot of hard work to do the thing.
that could be true in some instances, in my experience (and the majority of the time), traditional marketers are not always thinking about the more technical opportunities (and more often than not, they are coming up with awful+old school initiatives). hackers on the other hand are always trying to figure out how to hack something for their own benefit... looking at packets to see if something can be reversed engineered or scanning services that are relevant + popular and could help grow your company. I've been in situation (multiple times) when the marketing person is not even aware of such places. This is why someone who has the technical chops and is dedicated to growth could be very interesting. I would not hire a marketing guy without tech experience
The last paragraph made me laugh because it reminded me of when Google started to discount the power of link directories years ago. All the cutting edge SEOs just moved to new techniques and the exact same thing will happen again. It's a cat/mouse game and the people who continue to win are the ones who continue to innovate new ways of gaming the system.
The guys who were really successful were the ones who were doing forum and comment spamming before someone decided to write a program that allowed absolutely anyone to do it. You can be sure none of them are lamenting Google Panda ... they'd moved on to new techniques long ago. Stuff like this is just one very basic example - http://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/the-truth-about-infographic....
From my experience it all depends on the size of the site. If you have less than 200 pages on your site I'd recomment that you try and stick to no more than domain.com/folder/page whenever possible.
But, one other thing I would strongly recommend is to never create extra or redundant folders unless they really add a lot of value to your site usability. And, never, ever, create empty folders ... it seems like a no-brainer but it happens a lot more frequently then you might think with people using them to force a specific heirarchy on their site or for the sake of stuffing keywords into their URLs or just because they think the final URL looks 'nicer' that way.
Last thought on why flat is normally better, homepages are likely to accumulate more links than any other page on your site and often more links than the rest of the site combined. So the closer an interior page is to the homepage the more benefit it will derive from the inbound links pointing to the homepage.
That is not a good analogy. The reason knowck-off luxury purses get confiscated is because they are using the luxury brands' marks. The fashion industry is actually the perfect example of not being able to sue for 'look and feel'. There are very few trendsetting concepts or designs in fashion and 99% percent of the products sold are knock offs of some other product. The fact that you can't sue to protect a design is why there is tons of innovation and creativity in fashion.