December 28, 2002

As you can tell ..... I'm making major changes here. Bare with me for a few days while things get fixed up. Thanks!

December 23, 2002


Chris Locke: (with a shake of sarcasim) "Unlike the mindless "content" offerings of television, the World Wide Web -- especially via the hot new phenomenon called "weblogging," "blogging" ... has proven a much more thoughtful, intellectually penetrating medium."

Locke has a new blog on Corante called Ad Hominem.

December 09, 2002

Should Small Businesses Brand?

Being that much of what I do for a living is online strategies for small/local business, this article really piqued my interest. Not many small businesses think branding is worthwhile. They don't have big budgets. Their owners work day and night to operate their business. They're advertising budgets are focused on things that drive business directly to their bottom line, not things like "branding."

But Branding is much more expansive than most people realize. I'd venture to guess that most small businesses brand without even knowing it. Brand Channel's latest issue takes up the issue:

So, the good news for small businesses is that the brand is already there. It lies in the staff, their expertise and conduct; in the product and its qualities; in the name, the logo, the marketing. It is just a question of finding its essence and letting that guide future decisions.

The even better news is that this doesn't have to cost the earth. "I'd be lying if I said we never thought about branding," said innocent drinks’ Dan Germain -- who admits his brand manager job title is as much tongue in cheek as a description of his work -- "but our major focus, at the beginning and always, is on getting the product right. If you get the product right it makes branding easier. We never sat down, had a meeting and said, 'So, what about branding?' "

Yet innocent drinks certainly has a strong brand. The UK company, founded in 1998, makes pure, fresh fruit juices and smoothies. "Being innocent informs everything we are trying to do," said Germain. "We wanted everything to be innocent -- paper from sustainable resources, a fresh tone on our labels, vans painted like cows, staff games in the park, going into the country to help pick elderflowers for our juice."

December 08, 2002

The Art of Blogging

There's nothing groundbreaking here, but George Siemens very simply and eloquently lays out all the nuggets of wisdom on the benefits and implications of blogging. (via Doc).

December 02, 2002

City Blogs

John Hiler has come up with one of the coolest, most bad-ass blog business ideas I've seen to date. Tagged, "City Blogs," John has combined city guides and blogs into one. John's inspiration came about after he moved to New York and was in search of local events. Searching through traditional city guides left John feeling like he was missing something. There was no personal perspective from people who were interested in the same thing he was interested in. John explains more:

What I really wanted was someone to find the most interesting events and tell me which ones to go to. I wanted that someone to be an expert in their field. And I wanted that someone to cover niche categories that just weren't in the local event listings: jazz jam sessions in the Village, kickboxing matches in Queens, or Haitian dance classes near Union Square.

In short, I wanted a local events blog. And so, was born.
This is very Gonzo. And I think it further exemplifies the power of the first person perspective in new media.

Shane Bowman and Chris Willis at Hypergene Media Blog add some good ideas on how to make City Blogs work:

Get collaborative: Hiler will need a cartel expert bloggers that he can depend upon to really make this work. He should consider making each blog — cinema, books, talks, etc. — run by about 3-5 bloggers. In a city like New York, there's now way any one person can effectively cover a given scene. Hiler should also consider dedicating a blogger to fact-checking, which is critical to events guides.

Allow comments: Currently the NYC blogs do not allow for comments. It doesn't matter how expert you are on any niche scene, there's always room for others thoughts, tips and opinions.

Provide listing feeds: Since you probably won't have a decent marketing budget, you'll want to use all the viral tools in the box. RSS feeds will allow other blogs and sites showcase your event recommendations on their sites. (We never really understood why the excellent Corante blogs, such as Blogging News and Idea Flow don't have RSS feeds. What's up John?)

Make the content open source: As noted in a previous post, you could increase the exposure of your content, by allowing others to repurpose and distribute the content.

Personality needs a face: None of the blogs on this site are currently designed so that it is clearly apparent who the author is. For example, on the cinema blog, there is nothing to suggest that John Hiler is the author. The items just say, posted by John. Personality, as Hiler suggests, is critical to the success of this blog. But personality needs an explicit face. Put more information about the blogger in the "About this Blog" section.
The surface is just being scratched here, and if John can bring in some solid traffic I can't think of a way he couldn't make some cash off this blog idea.

November 27, 2002

Convenience Is King

Most of the time, simple reasoning makes the most sense. If the entertainment industry would just use this thought process I think they'd be much more successful at marketing their wares.

Make it more convenient. And people will pay for it. Duh!

Arnold King nails it:

It really is simple. If you have the most convenient distribution system, then you do not have to worry about somebody "stealing" your songs, or you movies, or what have you. People will pay for convenience. On the other hand, the more you try to "protect" your content, the less convenient you make it, and the less revenue you are likely to earn from it.

November 26, 2002

Blogging Defined

If Webster could see us now. I've been helping to put together a quasi-blog panel for DCDOTCOMM, the upcoming online marketing and advertising conference in Washington, DC. It's made me think more about how business, blogs and marketing can work together. And how the general ad industry will react to the idea of blogs in marketing. We (the industry) can be stuck in the ways (especially in stoggy DC) of traditional marketing concepts -- which must remain -- but can sometimes hinder the implementation of new concepts. But this panel should be a big eye-opener and I think Halley Suitt gives us a great start with her definition of "What is a Weblog?" Starting from the very basic to the very contextual ... I think Halley nails it.

More on the panel and the conference later ... it's shaping up to be very a good one!

November 11, 2002

Marketing Fix

Rick Bruner, Robert Loch, Oliver Travers, John Engler and Steve Hall have launched a new marketing news site, Market Fix -- Independent E-Marketing News (until we sell out). "For busy professionals who need to stay informed about the online marketing and media industry and learn from best/worst practices, we aggregate the most interesting news and analysis from hundreds of sources to one spot every day, with insight, brevity and occasional sarcasm."

This should be a great new site and I already see more potential value in it than eMarketing News, Ad Age and Adweek (being that I read these guys more than I pick up those three pubs combined). Items are categorized into about 40 sections with most recent entries first. Looks like it's powered by blogging tool Moveable Type. What I think is interesting is that the "attitude" of the new site is less blog, more straight-ahead e-marketing news. But there's some great people behind the aggregating. So I bet it will be good.

November 05, 2002

Drunk Guerilla

Looks like Robert Loch has another blog .... Drunk Guerilla - Marketing Out of the Cage (from which I do have a link). Not sure how it differs from Net Marketing, but it looks to be organized a little better, less blog, more news and commentary, more sophisticated. There's a registration ... which I don't know what it's for ... I think Robert is setting up a multi-user blog. Cool stuff. I just registered.

November 04, 2002

Is Content Going to the Blogs?

Susan Solomon's latest ClickZ addresses blogging and business. I agree with Susan's sentiment that most blogging is full of blown up egos .... but I think she misses the point that blogging is just a utility to make communicating with customers easier. It's not about easy. It's about engaging in conversations with your customers, and letting them yap away.
Thoughtful P2P resources .... Smart Mobs and OpenP2P.

KaZaA to Utilize P2P Marketing

This is really timely ... my girlfriend, who is getting her MBA at the University of Maryland, just took a final for a technology class. One of the questions on the exam asked what Sony should do in light of file sharing. I recommended they should develop a superior file sharing software utilizing the Gnutella network that would surpass all others. It would permit regular file sharing, but would include collaberative filtering which would make recommendations based on files searched, enable communities for people with similar musical tastes and enable customers to find quality downloads ... better than any other software available. I know, easier said than done. But it looks like KaZaA is starting.

Hello, hello, hello / Is there anybody in there? ...

...yup, still here -- and I won't bore you with where I've been, what I've been doing, who I've been -- nevermind.

Looks like there's been some notable additions.... Rick Bruner has started an email newsletter (actually, looks like he re-started it) and has a new column on MediaPost (maybe I'll start reading it again). Robert Loch has totally redesigned his website and it looks great! (although he's dropped me from his blogodex, but who can blame him?). Not to mention this whole Googlism thing (or is it's 15 minutes up?).

Anyways .... I've read a ton of things that I've wanted to blog about, but haven't had time. I'll try digging them up! Stay tuned!

October 14, 2002

RSS Advertising

Interesting discussion going on at Kottke about incorporating advertising into RSS feeds. I'm a bit skeptical, but I like what Chris Willis has to say:

One of the great advantages of RSS is that it can provide specific information to be integrated and used any way you like. Diluting it with content that makes it less effective for your special use seems inconsistent with this.

I'd suggest a service that creates just the advertising feed you want. Go to Banana Republic, enter your sizes and wait for the right piece of apparel to scroll your way. That would be useful. Sign me up

I still don't entirely understand RSS, how you can incorporate the feeds into your site, how it relates to XML .... ahhh the trials and tribulations of being a non-techie. Anyone care to email me and explain?

[later: I've since done some diggin around on Chris Willis' blog and he has some great basic stuff for anyone who's in the same boat as me. Check out this, this and this .... and this.]

Good Marketing Defined

John at Iluminent eloquently defines good marketing on his blog:

I'd agree with this argument that text advertising does a good job of 'selling stuff' online, but would argue that 'selling stuff' isn't everything that marketing is about.

I buy crap all the time, but that doesn't mean I'll buy the same crap again... that's what marketing is all about. Getting people to buy crap over and over. (okay, that didn't come out how I meant it to, but it works to get across the point.)

Back to the basics.

October 06, 2002

Nick Usborne: Copywriting and Technology

As you can tell, it's been pretty slow around here lately. Traveling just comes in spurts with me and this is a big one. Was in Ft. Lauderdale and Chicago most of last week and I'm off to Colorado Springs tomorrow. At least I'm going to some fun places. But in my free time Nick Usborne's latest Excessive Voice caught my eye ....

Nick Usborne has a great email newsletter, Excessive Voice, he sends out every now and again (I highly recommend you sign up here). Nick is the web's premier copywriter and truly gets "it." The first profession in advertising I was attracted to was copywriting ... and part of me still wants to tackle it, so I have a bit of a passion for it. Nick shows us how valuable(and how often that value under-stated) copywriting is to businesses online.

In Nick's previous Excessive Voice he asked his readers "about the impact of technology on the quality of our writing. Did we write better when we had to write slowly with a pen and paper, or clunky typewriter? Has the ease of writing with word processing software made us lazy, and reduced the quality of our copy?"

This is an interesting question. I think the availability of technology has its advantages and disadvantages to writing. I often find, if I really want to tackle anything I write (or create for that matter) I need to start off with a blank sheet of paper and a pen that flows (literally, I love how Uni-Bal pens allows my ideas to flow on paper). Because feewriting is so important to starting the writing process, I find the computer has limitations. I can jot arrows across the page and link things together in a flash. But once I've jotted out my initial thoughts, even a rough draft, I think the computer is invaluable. Not only can you make quicker edits and print out drafts to edit by hand with greater ease, but you can picture your copy in its graphical format ... which can have an incredible impact on how those well-crafted words are perceived.

Nick published Maggie Ball's response to his question ... which I find good enough to put down here too:

Couldn't resist this one Nick (and writing it quickly). While I find that my own writing quality works better on computer than with pen and paper, simply because I've grown accustomed to working this way, I do tend to agree with the great writer Julian Barnes. Producing something with your computer makes it look too professional too quickly. I can knock up a great set up book covers, professional TOC and index before I even start my book. By the time I've begun the difficult composition process, I'm itching to send off my professional looking novel to publishers simply because it "looks" so ready. It would take many drafts to get it looking as physically neat if I were using a quill (or even a typewriter). The re-writing in those drafts would be significant. I don't think I'll ever go back to pen and paper for composition, but I do think it helps to remind ourselves that good writing takes time, many iterations, and usually some peer and professional input (a point that you make very well in Networds). Just because it looks clean, and is well formatted doesn't mean it is ready for the world. In our fast pace world where we are continually encouraged to write quickly and get our work "out there", we mustn't forget the crucial editing steps. Editors (including that internal self-editor) are more important to good words than ever.

September 26, 2002

Nirvana - You Know You're Right

Coincidentally, I just put Nirvana's In Utero CD in my car changer this week. What a great album. John Mudd -- who has a great PR and Marketing blog BTW -- points us to the new (old) Nirvana song, You Know Your're Right, which I haven't heard yet. Really cool song. Makes me realize what a great artist Cobain was. I think the musical landscape would be entirely different if he were still with us.

September 25, 2002

Neil Armstrong

Got this email from my Dad ....
Guaranteed to make you smile......especially, since it's a true story.

On July 20, 1969, as commander of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module, Neil Armstrong was the first person to set foot on the moon. His first words after stepping on the moon, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind", were televised to Earth and heard by millions. But just before he reentered the lander, he made the enigmatic remark: "Good luck, Mr. Gorsky." Many people at NASA thought it was a casual remark concerning some rival Soviet Cosmonaut. However, upon checking, there was no Gorsky in either the Russian or American space programs. Over the years many people questioned Armstrong as to what the "Good luck Mr. Gorsky" statement meant, but Armstrong always just smiled. On July 5, 1995, in Tampa Bay, Florida, while answering questions following a speech, a reporter brought up the 26 year old question to Armstrong. This time he finally responded. Mr. Gorsky had died and so Neil Armstrong felt he could answer the question. In 1938 when he was a kid in a small Midwest town, he was playing baseball with a friend in the backyard. His friend hit a fly ball, which landed in his neighbor's yard by the bedroom windows. His neighbors were Mr. and Mrs. Gorsky! As he leaned down to pick up the ball, young Armstrong heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky. "Sex! You want sex?! You'll get sex when the kid next door, walks on the moon!"
True story.

September 23, 2002

Eldred v. Ashcroft

I've been doing a lot of absorbing of this case and the issues surrounding it which is just weeks away from argument in front of the Supremem Court. Deborah Branscum points us to an excellent and very well written article by David Streitfeld of the L.A. Times. Streitfeld captures the history of the case and Lessig's conviction in the cause. What's facinating is how Lessig "reframes" the copyright argument and becomes the first person to challenge copyright extensions to the Supreme Court in 180 years. I'm rooting for him. I think his argument is sound and this will be a great win for the "advancement of science and useful arts" and the freedom of speech.

September 22, 2002

RSS At Last

Being that I'm the furthest thing from a techie, I thank Rick Bruner for passing along this link (for those of you who are in my boat) and explaining what it's all about. It's very quick and easy if you have Blogger Pro.

September 19, 2002

Rick tells a really funny story about an email screw-up at a "big well-known company" where a newly married guy meaning to send an email to his wife --- one of those emails --- accidentally sent it to some other important people in the company. Check it out.
Personalities and Conversion
Really, really interesting issue of the latest GrokDotCom email newsletter by Future Now. Grok talks about different personality types and how they affect the "paths of activity" when going through the buying process online. Paramount to success is designing your site to meet each personality type, keeping in mind that personality types are not clear cut and are usually combinations. Then listen and adapt (Grok says optimize).
Attitude: Personal, activity oriented
Using Time: Undisciplined, fast paced
Question: Why is your solution best to solve the problem?
Approach: Address values and provide assurances, credible opinions rather than options

Attitude: Businesslike, detail oriented
Using Time: Disciplined, methodically paced
Question: How can your solution solve the problem?
Approach: Provide hard evidence and superior service

Attitude: Personal, relationship oriented
Using Time: Undisciplined, slow paced
Question: Who has used your solution to solve my problem?
Approach: Offer testimonials and incentives

Attitude: Businesslike, power oriented
Using Time: Disciplined, strategically paced
Question: What can your solution do for me?
Approach: Provide options, probabilities and challenges

...Acknowledging personality types online is critical - you are conducting business in a self-service medium. You aren’t there to modify your persuasion tactics when you notice they’re falling on deaf ears. You only notice you’ve missed the mark when you check out your Web logs.

Online, it’s the responsibility of your hyperlinks to establish, maintain and offer alternatives to your “dialog.”
aggghhhh, just hit backspace and lost this entire post ... will try to recreate ....

My company just sent out this release on our new partnership with Trellix. The main purpose of the agreement is for what we call dealer page programs .... we design templated web pages for our clients that have distributed networks of franchisees, authorized dealers and/or retail stores.... now they can use Trellix to update their pages, customize them, etc. But what I'm really excited about is that Trellix has a blogging application. Been working on ideas on how to use Trellix's blogging tool as a solution for our clients so they can better engage with their customers. I'm really excited about the possibilities. Might be pretty groundbreaking.

Also, MonsterMoving, a great site with lots of useful moving tools (if you happen to be moving anytime soon) just acquired (actually, TMP acquired ....) This could be really exciting. Of course we're not sure how the two will co-exist. But both are tremendous resources, so check them out.

This gives you a little taste of what I do .... since I don't touch on that much here.

September 17, 2002

When I Grow Up I Want to Work in Advertising
Anyone working in advertising or aspiring to work in advertising has got to check this out. Hysterical!

[I've since noticed everyone else under the sun has posted this clip ... but conisidering I work for TMP ... parent to Monster ... I don't feel so bad ;-)]

September 16, 2002

New marketing blog. Reading it purely for the articles ;-) You'll see what I mean.

September 12, 2002

Feeling Renewed

I have been reminded over the past year of things that I have always known, but sometimes allowed to be clouded by the frantic pace of day's events. You get up each day and roll with the punches and jabs that the world throws your way. Some days the world is gonna knock you on your butt. At that moment you have the choice to stay down or to dust yourself off and get back on your feet. At that moment you decide what kind of person you are and what kind of world you want to live in.

September 11, 2002

Leap - By Brian Doyle
I thought I was done posting for today, until I came across this.

A couple leaped from the south tower, hand in hand. They reached for each other and their hands met and they jumped.

Many people jumped. Perhaps hundreds. No one knows....

But a man reached for a woman’s hand and she reached for his hand and they leaped out the window holding hands...

I try to whisper prayers for the sudden dead, and the harrowed families of the dead, and the screaming souls of the murderers, but I keep coming back to his hand and her hand nestled in each other with such extraordinary ordinary succinct ancient naked stunning perfect simple ferocious love.

It is the most powerful prayer I can imagine, the most eloquent, the most graceful. It is everything that we are capable of against horror and loss and death. It is what makes me believe that we are not craven fools and charlatans to believe in God, to believe that human beings have greatness and holiness within them like seeds that open only under great fires, to believe that some unimaginable essence of who we are persists past the dissolution of what we were, to believe against such evil evidence hourly that love is why we are here.
September 11, 2001
Never forgetting ...
NY Times

God bless.

September 10, 2002

Gary Turner shares with us his rememberence.
A Smaller Circle of Friends
Ed Cone bares his heart and tells us his story of September 11th.
Communication Arts Annual Interactive Annual
Nice designs but some of these almost seem to slick for the web. I think next year they should add an amatuer publishing category. This year's categories include Advertising, Info Design, Business, Self Promotion and Entertainment.

September 04, 2002

Less is More
Tig just spent three weeks in Europe and writes about his pleasant experiences with the advertising environment across the pond in the latest ClickZ. I've always believed clutter is one of the biggest problems with the state of advertising in the U.S. I don't care how good an ad is, how is it supposed to work it's magic when it's surrounded by so much noise?

Online news browsing was pleasantly free of pop-ups. TV news would run 10 minutes before a commercial break. The experience was like surfing rather than By the time a sponsorship appears, the viewer's ready for a break. Creative receives a great deal more viewer attention as a result. European advertisers don't squander that attention. They run with it.

Tig also says something else which really made me think about the full potential of online advertising. Tig is talking about offline media, but think online:

Creative is more engaging, using humor, cleverness, and eye-stopping images. An American gets the impression Europeans trust their audiences to understand word play and subtle nuances of humor. Of course, Europe's smaller markets are much more ethnically and culturally unified compared to our vast melting pot. A more tightly knit community can be trusted to get the joke. [emphasis mine]

Although I hate the "C" word when it comes to marketing, the internet is best for allowing tightly knit communities to exist without the physical boundaries of space. An advertiser who is truly engaged with a community can deliver a message to that community better than if he is an outsider.

Blogging To My Own Clock
It's been 13 days since my last entry ... almost 2 full weeks. You ever get to the point where you're blogging because you feel the need to have an opinion on absolutley everything? You write about everything you find remotely interesting? While I know it's the blogger's mantra to write what you think and ask for forgiveness later, I am trying to instill a little dicipline now and then. Afterall "they" always say a good conversationalist is a good listener.

August 22, 2002

More Good Stuff
Stumbled across these on a "marketing" search on Daypop: Marketing Myopia is great: "Marketing Myopia is a place to vent, and call out the darkside of marketing and advertising.... ad campaigns, bullshit marketing ploys, evil corporate P.R. machines, etc." The have a poll going: "What will you do with your X10 camera?." We're calling you out, shameful marketers! Also, found ASAP, "A Stand Agains Pop-Under ads." Show your support. Sign up today.
So many times I find myself on the same wavelength as Steve MacLaughin on his blog, Saltire. Steve points us to some interesting stuff today. First, he points us to Andrew Hinton's review of David Weinberger's Small Pieces Loosely Joined. Great revew. Check it out.

Then he points us to Tara Grubb's blog. She's running for the House as NC's rep on the Libertarian ballot. Great idea. Every political candidate should be doing this. I'm sure at some point in the future all candidates will, and I think this could be a tremendous benefit to our democracy. I wonder who the first official who gets elected will be because he/she blogs.

Next, Steve chimes in on the Doc, Winer, Lessig debate on copyrights (for those of you who have been following, if you haven't start now). I don't know where I stand here. I guess somewhere in the middle. Yes, creative people should be paid for their work. But business' control of copyrights is really hampering creative, scientiffic, etc. progress. I really am ignorant on the facets of the debate. Listen to some people who aren't. This is a vitally important issue for our marketplace of ideas.

August 20, 2002

Anne Holland chimes in with notes from her interview with Michael Zimbalist, Executive Director Online Publishers Association, on some of the blury issues revolving around the report (she also initially comments here).

August 19, 2002

New PR & Marketing blog: Mudd PR & Marketing. (via Glob of Blogs ... errr Globe of Blogs)

August 15, 2002

Happy Blogday to Me
I randomly checked out some of my archives and realized I made my first post a year ago today! Of course it took me until November to make it to my second post.
Executive Summary Responds to Vin Crosbie
Rick responds to Vin Crosbie's ClickZ article on the OPA's report (which I blogged about here and here). Vin understandably is cautious of the over-hyped PR ... afterall that is partially to blame for the bubble burst. But I think the OPA's report was perfectly transparent and defined exactly what it identified as content. Bottom line, we need to define "content" on the web. Because this medium is interactive, conversational and transactional online content cannot be identified as we define content on TV, magazines, etc. If anyone is to blame, it's the news media for not clearly reporting how content was defined.

August 14, 2002

Why do Humans Speak?
Nature released a new study today show compelling evidence of why humans can speak and animals cannot. From the Washington Post:

The findings, released online today and due for publication soon in the journal Nature, provide the most compelling evidence to date that the gene, which researchers described in detail only last year, may have played a central role in the development of modern humans' ability to speak. Researchers said that could have given them a critical advantage that allowed them to supplant more primitive rivals.

A mounting body of research suggests that the mutant gene conferred on human ancestors a finer degree of control over muscles of the mouth and throat, possibly giving those ancestors a rich new palette of sounds that could serve as the foundation of language.

The article goes on to say scientest may try to insert the mutated gene into mice, but doubt it will work. Animal Farm, anyone? ;-) At the very least we'll have a bunch of squeaky "cheeses" if it works. Sorry for being so cheesey .....okay I'll shut up.

Neat stuff, this is something I've always wondered about.

August 13, 2002

Speaking of critics, Saltire points us to Blogcritics.
Economics or Lies?
Vin Crosbie isn't too keen on the new report issued by the Online Publishers Association and comScore (which I talk about here, and Rick Bruner talks about here). While I see the point Vin makes on blurring the line between product, service and content, it seems Vin ignores the point he made in a previous ClickZ article. Unique sells on the web -- if there's a need, economics says one can sell his/her content.

August 12, 2002

Critical Flaws
With the advent of online publishing tools like Blogger, the web has become a whirling opinion-fest of amateur critics and professionals alike. This is great. But with this expanded marketplace of ideas comes a lot of drivel, unintelligent mud.

An article in Sunday's Washington Post caught my eye, by Philip Kennicott, who is the Post's classical music critic. Philip has also noticed this onslaught of critics (he names magazines, newspapers, websites, blogs, TV) ... who utilize some pretty lowly tactics. I am amazed at how many "professional" critics lower themselves to these tactics (like, ironically enough, the Post's David Futrelle review of David Weinberger's, Small Pieces Loosely Joined) ... and how many amateurs take the high road.

Kennicott lists 10 most abused tactics, which I think all of us in the blogosphere should take note of in both how to read critics and how to write critically:
(paraphrasing excerpts)
1. The High-Low Switch - Typical forms include the guy's guy, who announces at the beginning of the article that he knows nothing about opera or ballet, and then proceeds to lampoon the oddities and peculiarities of a world in which he remains an outsider. Or the opposite: the "sophisticated" critic who over-analyses, over-examines and over-emotes about sports, cars or barbecue.
2. How much for that Degas in the window? - The essential gambit is to reduce art to money and then marvel at the absurdity of a human nature that places extraordinary value on such inconsequential things.
3. There are people starving in Africa - There are nine coal miners trapped in Pennsylvania, but there are millions about to die of starvation in Africa. The critic is saying that you, the reader, are worried about the wrong thing; but that means the critic is worried about you being worried about the wrong thing, which, to be blunt, is rather a silly thing to worry about given that there are people starving in Africa.
4. The sinister extrapolation - Telltale signs of the form include evidence of spongy social science ("Some researchers see a connection between ...") and the nagging sense that the author hasn't, in fact, actually seen the movie, read the book or gone to the women's greased mud-wrestling exhibition that prompts the dire prediction of cultural collapse.
5. The rag and bone shop - A form that flourishes during crisis, when the "courageous" critic steps forth to voice the dark thought that no one else dares express.
6. Modest Proposal - The critic proposes the unthinkable to shine light on moral prejudice and hypocrisy. It is, unfortunately, much harder to carry off than its venerable status would suggest.
7. The straw man as whipping boy - The best sign of the straw man as whipping boy is an article that begins by vaguely imputing the false assumption to somebody else: "Some people think quilting is just for grandmothers, but don't tell that to the Men's Stitching Society of East Rutherford." The article then proceeds with a string of people contradicting the assumption that no one, in fact, really made in the first place.
8. Mozart was a talentless hack - Part of every critic's responsibility is to rethink and reevaluate the received wisdom. But for a sure-fire attention grabber, take an elephant gun to a sacred cow. Dredge up some momentary annoyance you may have felt when a concert ran on too long, or your mind wandered reading Shakespeare, or your feet ached at the van Gogh show.
9. The author was a scoundrel - Which doesn't, of course, mean that he wrote a bad book, but that has never stopped critics hoping to find that elusive philosopher's stone that connects personal misbehavior with bad art.
10. The Revival - The author, who generally leads a sheltered life, hewing to the same cultural habits for years, accidentally discovers that "swing dancing is back." Or "mah-jongg is sweeping the nation." Or "bowling is hot in the inner city." In fact, no actual trend may be discernible, but it sure seems that way if you dip into the cultural margins for 10 minutes and then report back to the mainstream on developments that are new only to you.

After Googling Kennicott, I stumbled across a few other goodies here and here, and here.

August 09, 2002

PR: Pitching Blogs
Rick Bruner (via Nick Denton) points us to an interesting article from the PRSA on how PR should "pitch" blogs. Cautiously, honestly and with smarts. I think they're on the right track.
Marketing Profs: Design for Community: An Interview with Derek M. Powazek
Rob Poel highlights some of the highlights of this fantastic article by Derek Powazek. I though the article was so good I went to Derek's website. His website was so convincing that I needed to buy his book. And I just did. Check out Rob's site for more info.

This just reinforces what I already believe. The future of online marketing is enabling your customers to talk to one another and giving them voice-ownership in your web site.
Deep FUN
What's life if you can't laugh. Bernie KeKoven makes sure we do (via Doc).

August 08, 2002

Back to the Future -- VCR: Personal Video Recorders (i.e. TIVO) :: Salem Witch Trials: McCarthysim
Doc links us to this great testimony circa 1983 on all the damage VCR's are going to do to intellectual property rights and the effectiveness of advertising. Deja Vu anyone?
Doc quoting the testimony:

Mr. VALENTI: "But now we are facing a very new and a very troubling assault on our fiscal security, on our very economic life and we are facing it from a thing called the video cassette recorder and its necessary companion called the blank tape. And it is like a great tidal wave just off the shore. This video cassette recorder and the blank tape threaten profoundly the life-sustaining protection, I guess you would call it, on which copyright owners depend, on which film people depend, on which television people depend and it is called copyright...

"Because unless the Congress recognizes the rights of creative property owners as owners of private property, that this property that we exhibit in theaters, once it leaves the post-theatrical markets, it is going to be so eroded in value by the use of these unlicensed machines, that the whole valuable asset is going to be blighted. In the opinion of many of the people in this room and outside of this room, blighted, beyond all recognition. It is a piece of sardonic irony that this asset, which unlike steel or silicon chips or motor cars or electronics of all kinds -- a piece of sardonic irony that while the Japanese are unable to duplicate the American films by a flank assault, they can destroy it by this video cassette recorder...

Now, let me tell you what Sony says about this thing. These are not my words. They are right straight from McCann Erickson, whom you will hear from tomorrow, who is the advertising agency for Sony and here is what they say. They advertise a variable beta scan feature that lets you adjust the speed at which you can view the tape from 5 times up to 20 times the normal speed.

Now, what does that mean, Mr. Chairman? It means that when you are playing back a recording, which you made 2 days or whenever -- you are playing it back. You are sitting in your home in your easy chair and here comes the commercial and it is right in the middle of a Clint Eastwood film and you don't want to be interrupted. So, what do you do? You pop this beta scan and a 1-minute commercial disappears in 2 seconds.

Mr. RAILSBACK. Is that all bad?

Good Stuff
I've been reading more and more of Robert Loch's Net Marketing Blog. Two interesting articles from today.

The first is by Joseph Jaffe. He discusses the Agency of the Future where two entities emerge: Generation (ideas) and Integration (execution). Very interesting concept once you give the article a read. My initial thoughts are that Generation and Integration are so closely tied together, can they be separated and still operate effectively?

The second article comes from Emerging Interest. Great piece on how to differentiate your pitch in today's environment. Some oldies but goodies and some solid newbies too.

August 04, 2002

Why We Should Never Falter on Our First Ammendment Rights
URLs Blocked in Saudi Arabia. (from Nick Denton). Some low-lights: - AltaVista provides the most comprehensive search experience on the Web!
Answering Islam, A Christian-Muslim Dialog and Apologetic - Yahoo: Society and Culture > Religion and Spirituality > Faiths and Practices > Islam > Opposing Views - Free online translations: English to French, English to German, English to Italian, English to Portuguese, English to Spanish, French to English, French to German, German to English, German to French, Italian to English, Portuguese to English ...
Women In American History - Google: Society > History > By Region > North America > United States > Women
Israel Defense Forces - The Israel Defense Forces Army Spokesperson's Office, Providing the latest objective, accurate and timely information from the Middle East.
the farting contest - Entertainment > Humor > Tasteless > Bathroom Humor > Farting (looks like Austin Powers is out of the question) - A Website 5,762 years in the Making! - : offers busy women a community in which to share advice. Join other women like you to talk about, books, parenting, careers, computers, diet/fitness, food, money, pets, relationships, beauty, shopping, travel and working from home.

August 01, 2002

US Customers Spending $300 Million in Fee-Base Content in Q1 2002
The Online Publishers Association and comScore have release a report on the increase in customer spending for online content. Rick Bruner brings it to our attention as does the New York Times and this Press Release.

This is a great report and really validates the belief that fee-based content can be a substantial revenue-stream for some online publishers. Customer spending for Q1 2002 was $300 million, an increase of 155% over Q1 2001. Whereas the newspaper advertising to subscription ration is 3 to 1 the online ratio is 11 to 1. There is someways to go, but it shows that online revenue streams are diversifying.

One thing to keep in mind here is, not all content can make it as fee-based. In fact, I doubt very few content sites will. This report not only shows that people will pay for content, but it takes a special kind of content to make it. Fee-based content must either be highly unique and/or valuable or tied to a service.

Highly Unique and/or Valuable
The report breaks content into several categories: Business Content, General News, Entertainment, etc. Within each category you can start to see how and why these sites charge for content. Under Business, top performers are, eMarketer, Here, the content is information. Valuable, unique information. Excite couldn't get away with charging for access to their news stories. But WSJ can because they are second to none. Playboy, which falls under Entertainment, also ranks up there. Their content is also second to none (so I've heard, of course ;-)). Consumer Reports delivers top-notch product research.

Content Tied to a Service
What gets me is most of the fee-based content isn't information based. The "content" fullfills a need and provides a service. sets you up on a date. provides a means to receive streamed content. enables you to send greeting cards. Online gaming sites replace your Nintendo and let you play against people online. These are really online services with an element of content.

So what does all this mean? Primarily nothing we already didn't know. You need to be unique and have value to sell your content online. What we may not have known, is people are willing to pay for content. 12.4 million people. $300 million worth in one quarter.

July 31, 2002

Three C's of Interactive Marketing
Communication, Collaboration, and Context. This is a terrific article by Robert Manning an account director at Found it as I was looking around, a site I haven't been to in a while.

The end game of interactive marketing should be fostering greater communication and collaboration; its real value has never been as a transactive medium. But to achieve status as a great communicator, you first have to develop listening skills.

Robert argues that P2P marketing will be the only truley effective means of marketing on the Web. "Collaberative P2P Space" will allow a company to "facilitate a forum of creative statement; establish a brand new collaborative space where the company sponsors creative statement" for members restricted by previous communications media. This reminds me a whole lot of Chris Locke's Gonzo Marketing. And I really do believe, in conjunction with weblogs, this is the futre of marketing.
Kodak's Sharper Focus
Being that I used to live in Rochester, Kodak has always had a place in my heart. You see, Kodak is Rochester. At least it's economy anyway. When we were going through the last recession (early 90's), Kodak was especially slammed, and never really recovered. Their main problem, from what I understand, is in the post their revenue came mostly from film sales. Then 2 things happened: film became a commodity because the competition matched Kodak's quality; Digital happened.

Kodak has never really grasped the potential of the Internet and the synergies with digital photos. Marketing strategy after marketing strategy, Kodak has failed. Kodak is starting yet another marketing initiative, "Project Next." But this one might work. Project Next will entail, "revamp[ing] its website to improve customer satisfaction and usability, more tightly integrate the company's many online businesses, and ultimately cut costs and put it in a better position to compete as photography moves from film to digital"

While that's a little vague and abstract, what I did like was the next sentence: "Kodak .... will launch a new, XML-based website in the first quarter of 2003." While XML alone doesn't say all that much, it really makes me think. For the non-techies out there (like me) blogging is based on XML coding. I'm taking this to mean, Kodak is giving web-voice ownership to its customers.

The possibilities are far-reaching. If I were running the Kodak marketing department, here's what I'd do. Allow customers to create Photo Blogs (or Photo Journals, not to scare the blogger-phobs away). Date-stamped, customers could keep photo blogs online, link to friends who have similar interests ... even create photo blogs around hobbies ... for example, a family who's kid swims competitively could post pictures (embarrassing as it may be to the poor kid) or their son's or daughter's achievements and link to other swimmers who have started similar blogs. .... thinking out loud now, but this is how Kodak could rebuild it's brand and start those high profit-margins again.

July 29, 2002

Even William Safire is writing about "blogs." (via Saltire).
''Will the blogs kill old media?'' asked Newsweek, an old-media publication, perhaps a little worried about this disintermediation leading to an invasion of alien ad-snatchers. My answer is no; gossips like an old-fashioned party line, but most information seekers and opinion junkies will go for reliable old media in zingy new digital clothes. Be that as it may (a phrase to avoid the voguism that said), the noun blog is a useful addition to the lexicon.

July 22, 2002

The Microcontent News Blogging Software Roundup
John Hiler has finished his beast of an article outlining all the blogware that's fit to print. Save your appetite, this is a 7 course meal --- but I can't wait to dig in!
Amazon Web Services in Use: Amazon Light
This is the first example of work using Amazon's new Web Services program which allows anyone to create their own Amazon store front and get commissions on sales. This design by Kokogiak is terrific. Originally modeled after Google's simplicity (the lawyers put that to a stop), the site is to the point and delivers what you want. I really think the opportunities are endless here. Anyone in ecommerse should roll something like this out. Combine it with blogging and imagine what you get.

July 16, 2002

Tom Hespos - Content Revoluion is Just Beginning
Tom is one of my favorite writers covering online advertising -- the guy just makes sense. I started reading him on ClickZ and iMarketing news years ago.

Tom is a regular columnist for Media Post -- a newsletter and website dedicated to online advertising media. Tom, like me, always saw the Internet as a revolution in the Marketplace of Ideas. The problem, Tom points out, is it was very difficult to be a publisher without having a skill set in online publishing. Tom is psyched (me too). Because of tools like Blogger this new Marketplace of Ideas is becoming closer to reality.

Easy-to-use content management systems are a great first step toward truly leveling the playing field. But we still need further innovation in this area. It would be nice to see a company come along and make animation and graphics as simple as Blogger and LiveJournal have made content management. ....How long will it be before we see something that makes manipulating graphics and images so simple and intuitive that even the "technology-impaired" can easily construct photo essays and online newspaper-type layouts?

I'm betting that a lot of this technology is not very far off. And once it makes a splash, we could be looking at an explosion of new content sites. What could this do to online media planning five or ten years down the road? It might be wise to think about what the marketplace might look like if a wave of independent publishers suddenly started entering the game en masse.

Tom just started blogging over on his new company's (UnderscoreMarketing) website. Look for more to come -- Tom has a keen sense in how advertising will be reshaped on the Web.
Rick Bruner: Pop-Unders: Cockroaches
That's one way of putting it. I think the pop-under is the equivalent of a street peddler. They have no concern as to what you are in the middle of. They usually peddle some gimmicky product that has no legitimate value. They're persistent little buggers, who can't take a hint.

The web is my place -- "our" place. The argument that we'll "get used to" this scum of advertising is ridiculous -- and this is how most marketers legitimize this trade. We succumbed to TV advertising, 468X60's, Radio Spots, Billboards -- we'll succumb to pop-unders. This couldn't be further from the truth. Customers "own" a portion of the web. Pop-unders trespass on our property. There is absolutely no value to customers -- and businesses -- for that matter in pop-unders. Someone had the idea of posting a pop-unders not served here on sites that don't use them. I think that's a terrific idea. The pop-under is destroying online advertising's credibility and is minimizing it's potential to something simplistic and hated.

Kudos to Organic for refusing to buy them for their clients. Nice work.

July 12, 2002

Subscribe Now!
Alrighty - get WebSense delivered to your inbox, so you don't have to remember to come back! Put your email address in the box to the left, and everytime I post something new, you'll get it via email. This is from Bloglet, which I got from POELog.
Why Most Internet Advertising Fails - The Meaning of a Link
In Small Pieces Loosely Joined, David Weinberger discusses how linking is a way of showing visitors what a site creator's passions are. For example, I really enjoyed most of David's book, so I linked to it. I enjoy reading those blogs over there on the left, so I link to them. There is an underlying understanding between site visitor and site creator that the links on a page show the site creator's passions (if not passions at least links to sites their visitors will find useful). And if the site visitor likes what the site creator has to say, he/she will probably like what the site creator links to.

Theoretically, this makes online media placements (e.g. paid-for links) the equivalent of a bribe in the eyes of the site visitor. "I'll give ya a hundred bucks for puttin my link on your page." What does that say about the integrity of the link to the site visitor? The only relationship between the site creator and the advertiser is a financial one. And that's what drives the decision to place an ad. And because this is apparent to the site visitor, the ad holds no true value in their eyes, unless if their one of the .03% lucky ones who actually see an ad that's is relevant to their needs.

One place this theory doesn't hold true is on search engines -- which may explain why keyword buys get a good response -- and really any kind of data driven site (i.e. Internet Yellow Pages). Here there is an understanding between site visitor and site creator that the site is going to provide reliable data, whether it be businesses in my area selling air conditioning repair service, or sites created by people who love to knit (trust me there's a bunch).

Where does this leave Internet advertising and marketing?

July 09, 2002

AKMA Reviews Futrelle
AKMA has some more intelligent and "constructive" things to say about the Post review of SPLJ than my little rant below.

July 08, 2002

Essential New Media Books
Saltire lists New Media books must haves. I haven't read one of them! D'oh! BTW, here's my "Advertising Brew" Amazon list on listmania.

July 07, 2002

??? David Futrelle (Washington Post) Review: Small Pieces Loosely Joined
Cool! A review of David Weinberger's Small Pieces Loosely Joined!

And then the disappointment sets in .... some bitter (he admits this himself) has-been who told too many people to buy too many tech stocks and then got a taste of his own feet decides he needs to bait David Weinberger ....Did this guy even read the book??? And why is he reviewing it? I think he skimmed a couple chapters online, said, this shit is over my head, and slammed the book. Futrelle hated the book before he even pretended to read it. He starts bashing Cluetrain (is this a Cluetrain review or SPLJ review?) and then can't stay away from this obsession of David's (W.) use of the word "we." I guess Futrelle's lack of understanding of where this book is going reduces Futrelle's review to David's (W.) use of the first-person singular and the first-person plural. All Futrelle can say about the strengths of the web is that we're "simply sitting on our posteriors staring dully at a computer screen." (Note Futrelle's use fo the first-person plural).

This review was trite and awful. On to our regularly scheduled programming.

July 03, 2002

Meet Up
Stumbled accross this cool tool on Doc's blog. If anyone in the DC area wants to meet up (or if you want to meet other bloggers in your area) click below. I'm recommending Flannagans.

Digital Identity --> The Big I -- Eric Norlin TDCRC
Eric Norlin gives an incredible dissertation on Digital Identity, something, Eric, is sure will be the next business phenomenon online. This is something I should be more familiar with, but am not.

It is precisely at this intersection of the real and virtual worlds
that digital identity sits. Digital Identity is not simply an online
phenomenon. Rather, it is a third state, a bridge that lies between
the real world and the world of ones and zeros. The liminal quality of
digital identity is precisely what makes it so significant.

If digital identity were nothing more than the ability to shop easily
online -- to auto-fill out the forms for ordering a book on Amazon --
then, quite frankly, digital identity would be very boring. It most
certainly wouldn't be some business altering force. But digital
identity is not simply contained to the online world; it straddles (or
is moving toward straddling) the two worlds of the real and digital.
As cell phone makers move towards location-based identity, as General
Motors deploys OnStar systems, as Fortune 500 companies use identity
management software to manage employee processes -- in these and many
more instances, digital identity is the bridge that ties the
electronic world to the physical world.

This makes me think of another "Big I," Digital Integrity.

July 02, 2002

Fee or Free: It's Economics!
Vin Crosbie gives a common sense reason to why content on the Internet is free in his latest ClickZ column. Vin plays down those who say we need to "educate" people to pay for content. There's an information surplus. Companies can't charge for content when it's so abundant. Now, if you have content that is on-of-a-kind, you'll be able to charge for content, and you should.

The Internet eased consumer access to information and astronomically increased choice of information sources. Most information is no longer scarce. It's becoming surplus. Publishers who distribute information are economically compelled to charge increasingly less.

Those of you who didn't nod off in economics class may remember how supply and demand works: You can charge much for something scarce or otherwise hard to obtain, but you must charge less if that something is surplus or otherwise easy to obtain.

Technological progress continually makes products more surplus and easier to obtain, even information. Result: Prices for information make ineluctable progress toward zero. Or, as Brand's observation is partly remembered, "Information wants to be free."

This makes me think about the homogenous nature of media in general. Few providers provide all of the content. It's become the same and it's everywhere you look. Mainstream media has become dull, and this is why I think Saltire is right when he says, it's all coming crashing down. There's no diversity in media today. And the media giants have shot themselves in the foot because they all thought their little formulas were going to deliver a constant flow of billions of cash-o-la. Someone forgot about the Golden Goose.

This is one of the reasons why the Web is so revolutionary. While there is an abundance of similar information, there is also an abundance of truly unique commentary. Conversations. Real talk.

But as I think out loud, and I'm thinking about David Weinberger's new book, Small Pieces Loosely Joined, which I just started reading, and he's talking the web as a space, not a medium. We go to places on the web, they aren't delivered to us -- as in the traditional sense of media. Because it's a place where conversations occur, not just the pushing of content, I wonder how we'll ever charge for content on the web. Would you pay a quarter every time you talked to your neighbor?

I say yes and no. I would pay to read some blogs, because they are so valuable. Others I wouldn't. I'd pay for the Wall Street Journal (I don't because my girlfriend does). But that's less conversation, more content...... anyways, enough meandering... back to work.

July 01, 2002

Micromarkets & Blogs: Chris Locke on NPR
Here is a transcription to Chris Locke's piece on NPR Marketplace talking about the blog phenomenon.

Garbage to one person is of high value to another, and the way the Internet works is that people group together around things that interest them. So the audience isn’t the mass audience, it’s little tiny micro audiences that aggregate around things people are saying that resonate with their own concerns. There has been an enormous amount of stuff written and said about the phenomenon of weblogging, which two years ago didn’t exist, and today there are something on the order of two million of these things in existence. It’s been a hockey stick spike. Mapping Search Engine
Rick Bruner points us to which gives search results visually. I like the use of Flash on this site. Looks like some kind of Meta-Search Engine. Looks pretty neat, but I'm not too sure of the usefulness of it. I'll have to try it a couple more times.

June 21, 2002

New to Me
Adding 2 blogs to the blogroll today. XPlanes' bblog (via POELog) which has some good marketing and business blogging. And Boing Boing (via Rick Bruner), which points out the interesting and annoying things in life, like why Blockbuster requires you to rewind DVD's.

June 20, 2002

NPR Clueless
Marek J writes an open letter to NPR on their assbackwards policy on requiring permission to link to their (see, I did it) web site.

June 18, 2002

Blogging Giving Voice to Women in Iran
JOHO points us to a very neat story about women blogging in Iran -- allowing them to express themselves freely for the first time in history. Check them out here -- I can't understand a word of it, but I like the idea.

June 17, 2002

Sean Carton: ...Death of the "Official Story"
Sean's latest in ClickZ talks about Macromedia's use of blogging to "promote" their new products. Sean points us to a very important study by Edros and Morgan which found only 10% of consumers trust Internet advertising.

I think blogging and other forms of C2C communications (Sean mentions instant messaging, SMS, email chat rooms .... BTW, I think what makes blogging so powerful is that its truly in the public sphere, where as apps like instant messaging are private communications...) are the future of "marketing." "Marketing" in quotes because as oppposed to B2C marketing, where a company pushes a message to a customer, C2C marketing is where businesses facilitate and encourage the communication between customers. And going back to that stat where only 10% of people trust internet advertising, I think customers are looking for some kind of communication that is lower in the bullshit and higher in real value. As marketers we need to facilitate this marketing and ensure its integrity and honesty is upheld above anything else (including -- and don't jump -- negative commentary).

From Sean's article:

Whether Macromedia knows it or not, what it's done is merely institutionalize a trend that's been building up in the consumer landscape for years, a trend that many commercial advertisers are loathe to address: that the Internet now makes it virtually impossible to create a unified "image" consumers will swallow. Sure, you can still create "brands" people can identify, but now, if that finely crafted brand image doesn't match reality, you're gonna be found out.

Interestingly, Mike Chambers, one of the Macromedia bloggers, said that it wasn't a decision by Macromedia to start the blogs but a decision by the 5 community managers who are blogging for Macromedia today.

June 10, 2002

Facing the Music: Michael Wolf
This has got to be the most realistic and honest look into where the music business is heading. Saltire chimes in with commentary on the piece too. From the New York Magazine:

Starting in the fifties, and then gaining incredible force in the sixties, rock-and-roll performers eclipsed authors as cultural stars. Rock and roll took over fiction's job as the chronicler and romanticizer of American life (that rock and roll became much bigger than fiction relates, I'd argue, more to scalability and distribution than to relative influence), and the music business replaced the book business as the engine of popular culture.

Now, though, another reversal, of similar commercial and metaphysical magnitude, is taking place. Not, of course, that the book business is becoming rock and roll, but that the music industry is becoming, in size and profit margins and stature, the book business....

Radio, heretofore ad hoc and eccentric and local, underwent a transformation in which it became formatted, rational, and centralized. Its single imperative was to keep people from moving the dial -- seamlessness became the science of radio. ...

From mono to stereo to Walkman. It just happens that the next stage of technological development in the music business has largely excluded the music business itself.

I would comment, but I think it's all been said.
Search and Ye Shall Find
Kottke searches the top 10 search engines for the top 10 search engines. Pretty neat.

June 05, 2002

Doc on Advertising and Blogs
Doc has a lengthy piece on Harry Copelands Blogonomics piece in Pressflix:

Agreeable stuff, indeed. But Henry's going somewhere with this, and it's not a place all of us will want to arrive at. .... Advertising..... So maybe there's a market there. But it's one that will exist between bloggers and advertisers. Not between bloggers and readers. ....The minute this blog turns into an intellectual property business, or the minute that I need to "monetize" it in some way, it will have a different purpose than the one that brings readers to it now.

I tend to partly agree with Doc. But I think we're looking at this blogging and business concept from the wrong angle. It's not about placing ads on blogs. It's about turning bloggers into advocates for your products and/or service and connecting networks of common communities (i.e. common groups of blogs) to larger websites of mass appeal. So several micromarkets are connected to a corresponding mass market (i.e. corporate web site).

Blogging opens up honest conversations about products, issues, companies, hobbies and habits. With that said, it is essential that "the system" helps maintain the integrity of bloggers. I think Jeff Jarvis has got it dead right (in a Gonzo marketing kind of way) when he says, "the wise marketer will recognize a community of shared interest and will underwrite that community .... 'we share an interest and affection for this community.'"

June 03, 2002

Gonzo Marketing & Blogs
Lot's to catch up on, since I've gotten back from Hilton Head (thank you very much). This is a really interesting read on applying Gonzo marketing to blogs. And so is this. These two pieces are really central to this idea I keep thinking about, incorporating blogs and business. From Jeff Jarvis:

that instead of intrustive advertising, the wise marketer will recognize the power of blogs and join that power by joining the community. Instead of buying ads on blogs (which we'd all love, but which would not work even if it happened... witness other failed Internet ad movements; we will be spared that humiliation thanks to timing) the wise marketer will recognize a community of shared interest and will underwrite that community, will help make it possible, will say by that act "we share an interest and affection for this community."

And Corante has a pretty cool diagram which, I'm sure, will be similar to what I'm thinking too.

May 22, 2002

A Brief History on Blogs
Rebecca Blood blogs a history of blogs .... pretty interesting (via msnbc, which by the way, is a terrific mainstream article on blogs -- see what'd I say about equalibrium, it's already kickin' in ;-)).

May 21, 2002

A Fine Farewell
Rick Bruner blogs a fine farewell to Andy Bourland in Executive Summary. Andy has decided to move out of the interactive field. Why, I'm not sure. He still has a great mind for it, no matter what he says. Nonetheless, I remember first subscribing to ClickZ, which Andy co-ounded, ran and operated. It was the best commentary on internet advertising, marketing and media. A lot of those old articles would probably still inject wisdom into this infant industry. I still find ClickZ one of the best sources of commentary. In a way, ClickZ has always been a collection of blogs by industry professionals -- even though they were never referred to as such. Best of luck to Andy.
Attack of the Blogs
There's been a lot of mainstream press lately on blogging (Corante has got a complete list) ... and I don't think the press has it entirely right. Newsweek ran a story, "Will Blogs Kill Old Media?" -- San Antonio Express: "Are Media Being Blog-rolled?" The list goes on.

The real story isn't Bloggers vs Mass Media. It's really about bloggers and mass media, and how they will co-exist. The Newsweek article quotes Dave Winer as saying, "By 2007, more readers will get news from blogs than from The New York Times." I say without the New York Times blogs won't exist, and without recognizing blogs, the New York Times won't exist.

News media slowly allowed corporate powers to control their stories. Advertising, ratings, political correctness, cross promotion and corporate bias crept into the newsroom unchecked. Because there was no counter balance, it grew out of control. Blogging creates an equilibrium. The " unbespoken outsiders—impassioned lefties and righties, fine-print-reading wonks, indignant cranks and salt-’o-the-earth eyewitnesses to the 'real' life[er's]" will keep those giant media companies in check. Now maybe we can start trusting the news again, wherever it may come from.

Scott Rosenburg is thinking along the same lines in Salon:

Typically, the debate about blogs today is framed as a duel to the death between old and new journalism....

The rise of blogs does not equal the death of professional journalism. The media world is not a zero-sum game. Increasingly, in fact, the Internet is turning it into a symbiotic ecosystem -- in which the different parts feed off one another and the whole thing grows.

Weblogs -- which often consist of annotated links to media Web sites as well as to other blogs -- would barely be able to get by without the informational fodder provided by the mainstream media. Meanwhile, time-strapped reporters and editors in downsized, resource-hungry newsrooms are increasingly turning to blogs for story tips and pointers. No one has enough time to read everything on the Web; blogs offer a smart reader the chance to piggyback on someone else's reading time. Good journalists would be fools not to feed off blogs.

Weblogs expand the media universe. They are a media life-form that is native to the Web, and they add something new to our mix, something valuable, something that couldn't have existed before the Web....

It should be obvious that weblogs aren't competing with the work of the professional journalism establishment, but rather complementing it.

So what's mass media to do? I say, embrace blogging. Make it part of your entity. Or watch your entity disappear.

Or just listen what rageboy has to say (how does he do it? Speak with such honesty?) Great to see him back, btw. He's really been writing up a storm (here too).

May 13, 2002

Marketing Blogs Unite!
Been very, very busy lately and not much time for blogging as I would like. So much to blog, so little time.

But I wanted to give a big thanks to recent mentions from other "marketing bloggers." My traffic has really been heading up. Thanks to Deborah Branscum for the link, Oliver Travers for his mention on Web Voice, Rick Bruner for the perma link under his Blog Marketing links and Rob Poel who I think was my first visitor, ever. Oh yeah, how could I forget, and Steve MacLaughin for his thoughts on my Jack Feuer blog.

May 07, 2002

ClickZ: Seana Mulcahy on Advertising and Blogs

Could this be the future of blogging?

Blogging isn't widely used, accepted, or provided by companies to employees. The technology would be an excellent forum for workplace communication. Quite often, my clients are trying to target the at-work audience. This would be a perfect fit. Not only would it be a great way to brand or promote products and services online, it would also allow advertisers to gain planning insight. Have you ever watched postings on an online bulletin board or lurked in a chat room? It's amazing what you can find out about people's interests, needs, problems, and attitudes toward a brand.

Many pundits strongly disagree. They believe blogging is built on trust. I agree. They think promoting a mobile phone or airline tickets or soft drinks on a blog would be horribly wrong. That's where I say, "Give me a break."

Open a newspaper, use the remote control on a TV, flip through a magazine, listen to the radio. What are you surrounded with? Advertising, of course. Perhaps these cynics want to protect and preserve the untouched atmosphere. I respect their opinion.

But I still say, "Why not slap an ad on it?"

There are many things that just don't jive here and is typical of what is so prevalent in advertising today. If it moves, "slap an ad on it."

First, I don't think advertising and blogs mix. I said it below, and I'll say it again. Seana treats blogging as an unusually effective outlet for advertisers. I don't get this. Why is a blog a better place to slap an ad? To me, its just another place -- if not, a worse place. When a real voice is juxtaposed against advertising, the real voice wins and the advertising loses.

I don't really consider myself a pundit. I'm in advertising just like Seana. But I don't think "promoting a mobile phone or airline tickets or soft drinks on a blog would be horribly wrong," I think it would be horribly ineffective. Why would it work? I can appreciate the use of blogging for planners -- to gain insight into customers -- But that's different than slapping an ad on it.

That's not how you use the web in business. You talk with. Not talk at.

May 03, 2002

Rick Bruner, who originally blogged about Nick Denton's new venture (see last entry), writes about some of the possibilities of blogging, marketing and, now, PR (and the unfortunate coinage of "adverblogging").

Rick blogs about how Macromedia is backing the launch of their new MX platform by creating a blog maintained by 5 staff developers. The internet tears down the boarders between customer and company where marketing-speak dies and real voices thrive (rhyme not intended). Rick claims adverblogging is inevitable. While I'm not sure about "adverblogging," the term, I know Rick is right.

P.S. Rick has a really cool section of his site slapping fun at all the un-creative logos with swooshes and orbits.

May 01, 2002

Nick Denton, founder of, is starting a new venture revolving around the idea of making it easier to search for blogs (good idea). The plan would be ad-supported (bad idea).

Denton plans on mixing blogs and advertising. Advertising and blogs don't mix. Unless if you're "advertising" someone elses blog (Pyrads, Blogsnob, for example).

The way I bet it roles out, advertising gets distributed on this blog network, the network gets paid for advertising, maybe bloggers get a portion of the pay (in which case, this might work). Now, Denton's plan is vague, so I may be totally off the mark. But the fact that it sounds like a purely adsupported revenue model instantly raises my skeptisim.

Bottom line: Why would advertising a company's product or service resonate on anyone's blog? When a real voice is juxtaposed against advertising, the real voice wins and the advertising loses.

For info go here, here, here, here, here and here.

April 29, 2002

One of the Greatest Things about the Internet are Gems like this
I quote:

I said this is what is happening on the net. We have never in our
lives had a channel to say this, to tell what it's like to be human ....

I don't want to be a hero, I said. Don't want to have a thousand
faces, launch a thousand ships. But I wonder why we think this way.
Where our sense of shifting destiny has gone. For better or worse, I
said, I am trying to live my life in public. Online. We've never had
any channel for this. No models. And the models we need are not
"model" lives but real ones. Uncertain and afraid, crippled, broken.
Trying to make sense of our minds and our hearts and the world we
encounter out here. Telling each other what it's like to be human.
Making what we can with all we've got. Not shitting ourselves and each
other with facile platitudes, easy formulas, empty slogans. A human
life for all to see, for what it's worth. It may not be worth much,
but that's what I'm doing here. Not a model life, but writing that
shakes and shivers and burns and speaks for whatever life we have. Blogs It
This is a very, very cool new blog by the folks at I think this takes a lot of courage. For an ad agency to open up their conversations to the rest of the world is pretty revolutionary. (Thanks to SherpaBlog for the link).
John Hiler on Blog Marketing
Deborah Branscum interviews Coronte Microblog creator John Hiler. John shares with us how blogging will be important to marketing. Not sure I agree with all of John's conclusions, but an interesting read nonetheless.