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Liquid Democracy

Joi Ito has turned me on to an entirely new topic, a worldwide discussion I’d previously missed.

Some of it is tricky to navigate (it hasn’t been prettied up yet) but I think it’s worth a bit of your time.

LiquidDemocracy is a cool idea. What if we could restart the whole idea of voting–this time with the Internet as the enabling technology. Not what some are trying to do: forcing the voting machine online. Instead, it’s about proxies, real time voting, speed, flexibility and more.

Will we elect a president this way any time soon? I doubt it. But I do believe that smaller organizations will start using ideas like this for decision making quite soon, and it will grow from there.

Spam of the Week

Here, verbatim, is the first paragraph of a piece of spam I received today:

“tampers etude brained maternity bowdlerizes humanitarian microprograms
matronly exemplary expressive schooling accuse criticized plumb cower
countries imbecile accusal imagen boastings evaporation acquaintance
counterargument exploitations crimes illegal exerts coup teacher
existentialism $RANDO MIZE brakeman ideally adaptable plumes terror terrier
plump adumbrate hypothetical anatole cowerers pragmatics ponds boon
mechanical exponents popularizes criminals membership brazilian mental
melanoma poplar telemetry mightily brains tags scimitar admirable couched
$RANDOM IZE betsy mediate mens seaweed bhutan croupier poked microfilms
tapers criminally excresence mechanized antony berkeley evaporate
telekinesis mazes arcturus scrambling cow corresponding”

Now, if the sender’s only goal is to get past a filter, she succeeded. But other than annoying us, what’s the point. If you want more, feel free to visit: Spam fan club.

This whole thing is getting out of hand.

A big virus

Emphasis on the big part. Hummer Parody.

I think the interesting part is an ordinarily staid non-profit can find a way to interact with a large number of people by doing something that seems risky. Of course, it’s a safe strategy, compared to buying yet another ad, anyway.

Worth clicking through to the Experiment, the agency that built the site. A little too much self-reflection on the site, but also a neat way to look at how the death of advertising is changing the very agencies that make it.

I’d like you to meet Joi Ito

Just met him at the Fortune conference. What an extraordinary combination of business, politics and technology, all rolled into one.

When they talk about how blogs are changing the way people interact, they’re talking about Joi.

Joi’s Blog.

The polar bear is real. Really.

End of discussion. Thanks.

PS If you’re late to this party, you can read all about my bestseller and the seminars and free stuff at the Purple Cow site.

Sharp-eyed analysts…

say that the polar bear below is a hoax.

Next thing you know, they’ll take on the Tooth Fairy.

Maybe I’m just in a bad mood today

But these articles about the Postal Services sponsorship of Lance Armstrong (here’s one) are really annoying me.

The Postal Service didn’t get much “free advertising” out of sponsoring Armstrong. They mostly got some graft and free tickets and trinkets and stuff. I mean, I mean, do you really think someone sees Lance Armstrong and says, “Oh yeah, I gotta go out and mail some stuff!”?

The unmeasurable amorphous feel-good branding stuff can go too far, and this is a fine example of that. The sponsorship of Armstrong is almost without value because it does nothing whatever to increase awareness or consumption of the USPS, nor does it even give them much of a halo effect. Think about it: are many companies going to consider switching from Fedex to USPS (the only place they don’t have a mandated monopoly) because of seeing them in Sports Illustrated?

A story worth thinking about

Making your own change. How could it change your business?

I don’t make this stuff up!

Rob May pointed me to A purple polar bear. More proof if you needed it that various purple animals can, “increase visitor numbers to the zoo by 50%.”

The last workshop (for a while)

If you’ve been debating signing up for a Purple Cow workshop in my office, here’s your last and best chance for a while. September 10 near NYC.

The best part (for me, anyway) is how much fun everyone has. It really is a great day.

More details on the workshop.