January 25, 2002

KFFL Case Study
Content Biz from MarketingSherpa provides a great case study on a business model that works. KFFL is an online fantasy football site that has become one of the best NFL news sites on the web. The case study even claims pro-trainers and scouts use the site because it's so up to date. A mix of subscription fees and ad revenue keeps them up and very successful. Text ads dominate and advertisers get calls from KFFL if their ads suck and need to be changed. Some advertisers have been loyal for years.

January 24, 2002

Charles Munat on Design
Charles Munat creates a compelling vision of web design. Charles argues that designers are stuck in control mode. All forms of creativity before the digital age were in a fixed space. The designer always had the illusion of controlling the design. But as Charles points out, that was never the case. Every creation has never truly replicated the designers intended presentation. Films in crappy theatres (one of my favorites), paintings with unintended lighting and muted TV commercials. What makes the internet different is it is truly interactive. It has the potential to illuminate the control put on viewers. It puts the audience and the creator in a conversation where the experience for the audience (or users) is truly democratic. Or so Charles would argue.

Or is this a pipe dream. I think the web makes this more possible. But not entirely possible. The designer is always in a sense going to control the user's experience. Every designer has a vision. And, I think, by definition that means they want to control how the audience views his/her work. Now, a lot can be said about increasing interactivity. After all, it benefits "the establishment" to design for the needs of the user.

David Weinberger brings Charles' argument down to earth in Darwin. David argues that pure collaboration is undesirable and that there is a price to severing content and presentation. I'm just curious what David thinks that price is.

January 18, 2002

Did Eric Norlin go Blogump? No posts since January 9th? Where is the fearless warrior of the Internet? Did he take on another fearless covert mission of his former self battling bin Laden's cronies in the trenches of Afghanistan? Or did he conspicuously disappear with that "funky chick that he met through a Colorado professional association?" Will we ever know? And if we did, would he have to kill us?

January 15, 2002

Coaching Carousel
I remember the days when football in January used to be about playoffs. Dirt. Mud. Grud. The best of the best. Battling head to head. But it's the NFL and it's New Economy owners (e.g. Danny-Boy) have created something more of a As the World Turns than (read in NFL films voice) The Packers At Lambeau Field. Really, I thought the WWF was the soap opera for guys. No, no. It's the NFL. What's next. Check out the rumor mill.

I want my NFL. Not these Days of our Lives.

January 14, 2002

Spurrier Routs Schottenheimer
Joel Achenbach - How the rest of the NFL failed to land Spurrier while Danny-Boy goes for the bomb.

January 08, 2002

Does Advertising Even Work?
Market Profs asks this question and follows up with, if so, when and why. But we should be also asking how advertising works (or does that fit under why ...) There is so much focus on which type, which medium, which vehicle, which formula is best. What about good old creative? I truly believe advertising works, but it is becoming less effective for two reasons: There is increasingly more of it, and increasingly more of it sucks. Why? We are less engaged with customers. We don't connect, except in very few cases. There must be more attention paid to how we connect with customers. They are smarter and more cynical.

The article from MarketingProfs is a good start. But I think the answer to the question posed above runs much deeper.
The Media Grok back with a New Face: Media Unspun
The editors and creator of the Industry Standard's Media Grok ezine are back. Of course International Media Group retained the naming rights to Media Gork and Industry Standard, but Jimmy Guterman promises the same quality as the original Grok. This is really what the new media journalisim needs ... I'm glad they're back.

The only bummer is they will be charging $40 for the subscription come March once it becomes a daily. I hope it works. But some have their doubts. Until March, though, I know I'll be eagerly awaiting. And who knows, maybe I'll chip in for a sub.
Bad Customer Service .... Right Back At Ya!
From Doc Searls' blog - the greatest complaint I've ever seen. This makes you want to jump up and shout, "yeh! one for the team!"

January 07, 2002

Gonzo Engaged - Real World Quesitons
There's a great thread going on a Gonzo Engaged about the profitability of Gonzo Marketing and how to gauge it's true value to a company. I'm not sure what stance I would take ... I really need time to go back through the thread. But Clay Shirky asks the question any sane business will ask and that we Gonzo Marketers need to have a business friendly answer for ... can a company utilize Gonzo Marketing, spend less money and get a better return: "If you tell P&G you have a way to sell more Jello, you'll be politely shown the door. If you tell them you have a way to sell more Jello for the same money they're spending now, you'll be told to take a number. Only if you tell them you have a way to sell more Jello for less than they are spending now will you be ushered into the marketing directors office."

to be continued ...
The Media Monopoly & The Big Ten
Chris Locke directs us to a great article and chart from The Nation about the monopolizing of information sources. Honestly, only skimmed the article, but I want to put it here to explor later in greater depth.
The Truth About Asking too Many Questions
This is a great article by Dev Bhatia at ClickZ on the New York Times' attempt to collect more data from its online registrants. I've always heard and intunitively known the more questions, and more personal the questions, one asks (no matter how valuable their brand is, i.e. NYT) it doesn't make much web sense.

From the article:
Instead of asking the registrants for the answers to these questions, what if The Times had gone to a third-party data bureau and simply appended this data to its files? Demographic data of this sort is a commodity and can be had for pennies per record. Had The Times done this, it would likely have gotten more accurate data, because appended data is much more likely to be accurate than online-form data, which is notoriously unreliable. So, it could have expected to raise the price of future advertising even higher. In addition, The Times would not have suffered from the drop-off in conversion rates, which occurs when too many questions are asked.

In economic terms, The Times could expect to make more advertising dollars in the future by measuring its cost as the cost of appended data rather than that of lost registrants. It would be creating revenues without harming its asset. Clearly, The Times's online enterprise is valued by its total number of subscribers.

January 04, 2002

POELog Links To Hyper-Conversations
Thanks Rob Poel for linking to my blog .... you're the first that I know of. Check out Rob's Blog.

January 03, 2002

Google's 2001 Zeitgest
Nostradamus is the big winner this year. Honorable mentions go to: World Trade Center, Anna Kournikova, CNN, Osama Bin Laden and Harry Potter. The big losers are: Election Results, Pokemon, the Olympics.

January 02, 2002

The Adventures of Cy Netson
Year: 2084
Place: Somewhere in the Mid West

Cy: Mom, what is that symbol?
Mom: What symbol?
Cy: Everytime I get mail, this squarish thing with a triangle in the middle pops up on my Com.
Mom: That's what they called an envelope.
Cy: What's an envelope?
Mom: When I was just a little girl we used to receive messages on paper. They were enclosed in an envelope and delivered to a physical box, we called a mail box. You would call it an inbox. All the companies couldn't afford to keep sending mail.
Cy: How much did it cost?
Mom: I could send your grandmother a letter for $3.17.
Cy: Grandmother didn't have a Com?
Mom: No, she came from a different generation.
Happy New Year!
I'm ready to kick some butt in 2002! Starting with making my Q1 goals, losing 40 lbs and kicking my career in the upward direction (this plateau has worn out its welcome!).

Another good Gonzo Review.
Locke's Cluetrain cohort, David Weinberger, reviews Gonzo on Darwin.

I got Sean Carton's Dot.Bomb Survival Guide for Christmas this year. So far, I'm enjoying the read. Lot's of facts and figures backed up with Sean's web sense. So far, the only thing I don't like is I wish Sean would put in more analysis. Because when he does, it's right on.