Welcome back.

Have you thought about subscribing? It's free.

Fred Wilson toots

the Permission Marketing horn.

It’s all true. A VC: Permission Marketing

Easier than RSS

I was waiting for someone to figure out how to do this, because RSS is a little scary for us mere mortals. Bloglines | Free, Web-Based News Aggregator let’s you put all the blogs you read in one place.

You lose the wonderful formatting that makes blog reading magazine-like, but it sure makes it easy to keep track of what’s up. Thanks to Ray Tse for the tip.

Purple Cow and a Red Urinal

Meike van Schijndel probably isn’t going to start selling bathroom fixtures any time soon. But a quick look at her site, Welcome to Bathroom Mania! sure makes it seem that way.

This is funny and clever and outrageous and it demonstrates her talent and drive. In fact, most entrepreneurs who say they don’t have the resources to launch their purple cow (and are worried that someone will steal their idea) can learn a big lesson here. Her idea is likely to catch on (if the interest is any indication) which means that someone will either license it or rip her off. Either way, if her idea spreads, she wins, because she’s the undisputed source of an ideavirus.

(Thanks to the Viral Marketing Blog for the tip.)

More proof of the end of the TV-Industrial complex

Jan Miner just passed away. You probably don’t know her name, but she played Madge in the Palmolive commercials for 27 years.

Try to imagine, just for a second, a new product launching on TV and becoming successful… and having that success be so profound that it could support the same spokesperson for 27 years.

Inconceivable. Yet it appears that’s what most advertisers continue to shoot for.

GoogObits: Obituaries and essays augmented by Google searches. There is a lot to learn from the dead. : Soaking In It

500 entries so far!

More than half a thousand people, organizations and companies have already been nominated to appear (for free) in my new ebook, coming out in May. You can check it out at: BULLMARKET 2004 :: COMPANIES THAT CAN HELP YOU MAKE THINGS HAPPEN

Another seminar in my office

The last two in January were terrific, so, by popular demand, I’m announcing a new seminar for March 25th.

If you send an email to sethgodin@yahoo.com (with the word PRACTICAL as the subject line) I’ll be delighted to point you to my seminar-only blog which will give you all the details.

The seminar lasts about 6 and a half hours and is designed to take you (and others from your company or organization) through a process that leads to lasting change… and gets you to the point where you can solve your own problems. The focus is on ideas, idea diffusion, brands, marketing, persuasion and web design. Mostly it’s about how to turn your group into a Purple Cow.

There’s a 100% money back guarantee, but no one has ever asked for a refund.

The fee is $1,000, which includes you and a colleague. Bring your boss too if you can. Space is really very limited, so I’m unable to grant discounts. If you paid for the last seminar but were snowed out, you get to come to this one for free!

One of those magical ideaviruses

Have you ever noticed that whenever people take a Polaroid picture (even professionals), they shake the film a little bit before they peel it?

In fact, I’ve never seen anyone NOT shake it.

Where did shaking start? How did we learn to shake? How does one person learn about shaking–from someone else?

Anyway, all that was answered today: CNN.com – Polaroid warns buyers not to ‘Shake It’ – Feb. 17, 2004

The problem with anonymous (part VII)

Virus writers are always anonymous.

Vicious political lies (with faked photoshop photos of political leaders, or false innuendo about personal lives) are always anonymous as well.

Spam is anonymous.

eBay fraudsters are anonymous too.

It seems as though virtually all of the problems of the Net stem from this one flaw, and its one I’ve riffed on before. If we can eliminate anonymity online, we create a far more civil place.

How hard would it be to do?

What if the five leading search engines all agreed to create default setting that only searched pages that weren’t posted anonymously? You could always opt to search the larger, seedier web, but most users wouldn’t want to do that. Google news could skip the anonymous news feeds as well. Authentication wouldn’t be particularly difficult—it’s really hard to get an anonymous credit card, for example, so a fee of $20 or $30 a year ought to make a certification agency awfully happy.

What if the leading mail programs had a simple method to block all anonymous incoming email? In this case, the easy way to guarantee that email isn’t anonymous is to sell stamps for a tenth of a cent each. The average user might have to pony up $2 a month—and all that money could go to fund the work I’m talking about.

It’s ironic that we’ve set up two very different standards for our trust. In the real world, we’re skeptical of strangers. At the supermarket the other day, someone picked up my favorite brand of olive oil. I waxed on about how great it was, and of course, the shopper put it back and bought something else instead. Online, however, we’re happy to believe whatever image someone sends along, or buy something from a spammer.

Looking for a few remarkable stories

As part of the PR push for my new book, the PR firm is looking for a few organizations that have been impacted by Purple Cow. If you’ve got a neat story to tell about how you put the Purple Cow ideas to work, and you want some free publicity, here’s what you can do:

Write a note to Erin Hollrah at erin.hollrah@warschawski.com.

Tell her your:
Name of organization/company
Contact information (email and phone number)
Agreement to be contacted for interviews
How you’ve used Purple Cow ideas to impact your job, your business or your organization.

I can’t promise anything, of course–it’s not me, it’s them. But if you want to take a shot at it… thanks.

Feedback on feedback

My new column in Fast Company (on newsstands now) appears to have hit a nerve. I’ve gotten more mail in the last two days than in the last few columns combined.

The question that a lot of people are asking is, “when’s the new book coming out?” This makes me quite happy, as I’m sure you can imagine. I’m delighted to tell you that it’ll ship in about ten weeks. I’m also pleased to tell you a secret: the first press run (and JUST the first press run) comes in a collectible package. (more on this soon).

If you want to be sure to get the first press run, visit