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You heard it here first. My nearly 500 page ebook directory, BULLMARKET 2004 :: COMPANIES THAT CAN HELP YOU MAKE THINGS HAPPEN is up and ready for you to read. Includes a bonus section on cool blogs.

It’s not really free, of course. A $21 donation is solicited, but you can have it for free if you want.

Have fun with it. Makes an excellent doorstop, too.

Differentiation and Segmentation

that’s what the person in the audience wanted to know. “Basically,” he said, “all you’re talking about is differentiation and segmentation…”

Before he could catch is breath, I pounced. I hate it when I pounce, but I couldn’t help it.

“Nope, it’s not that. Sorry.”

Here’s the thing: differentiation means thinking very hard about the market and your competitors and somehow making yourself different. Any rational person spending a fair amount of time with perfect information will have no trouble figuring out why you’re different.

Segmentation is a variation of that, but it involves breaking the audience into pieces you invent, and then differentiating yourself for that segment.

Both are selfish.

Both assume that people care about you.

Both don’t work the way they used to.

Used to be that you could buy enough ads and interrupt enough people to make this strategy work. No longer. The filters are too strong. People are too resistant.

You don’t create a purple cow by being different. You do it by creating something worth talking about!

Banana Guard!

Courtesy of David Paull.

Purple in its sheer inanity: Banana Guard

Bigger than blogging

I’m working on this new secret project, and we’re using a wiki to make it work.

I have to say, I can’t imagine ever again collaborating with anyone for any reason without using a wiki.

This is just a huge advance in the way people do projects, which, after all, is all we do now.

No, it’s not perfect, but yes, you need to try it.

EditMe – The web site solution for wikis, blogs, content and collaboration sites. – Edit Your Web.

just cause it’s weird…

doesn’t mean it’s remarkable.


Here’s a statue of liberty facsimile… in Las Vegas. No one told me about it, I just saw it, standing 100 feet high by the side of the road.


Who knows.

You need to be more than unusual.

Prematurely edited!

My (former) editor at Fast Company wouldn’t let me put my most recent photo alongside the column in this month’s issue about clowns.

Given that I’m getting a bunch of kind mail about the column, I thought I’d post the photo here.


(that’s supposed to be a clown nose. Hey, I take the photos myself, and my arms aren’t so long.)

Stick with me kid

Mere days after I posted about how most people don’t know how to search, this:

Search Engine Positioning and Web Marketing News: Google Launches Keyphrase Suggestions

No, I don’t give stock tips! Or pick horse races either. But thanks for asking.

Tracking the conversation

With more than 2,000,000 blogs out there, there’s a whole bunch of chatting going on.

What are people chatting about? Is there a way to track it coherently?

Here’s on attempt that is fascinating (though the algorithm is hard to understand) Technorati: BookTalk

People don’t know how to search

One of the great secrets of the web is laid bare by the new UI of Froogle. It now lists a bunch of recent searches.

What you’ll discover is that when it comes to finding things online, people are dolts.

Some samples?



and the always popular


This reinforces my contention that Google never succeeded because of the vast size of their database. Who needs 2 billion matches for Britney Spears? Google works because the UI is so simple and because the sophisticated users (the sneezers who spread the word) discover stuff they like–and then folks who search for “Web” believe that they’ve got the best answers.

I think we need a search engine that does a great job on the 2,000 most common search phrases. Handbuilt, useful answers to bad searches. Better still, why not train the search engine to ask clarifying questions after you’ve done a bad search? Type in “shoes” to froogle and it could give you a second page that asks for your gender, or price range or size or intended use…

But I digress.

Some bars are higher than others

American Airlines lost my wife’s luggage last night. This morning, the driver brought golf clubs, not her bag, to our house.

The thing is, every single person who walks into the Lost Baggage office is annoyed, disappointed, upset or angry. And the hurdle that American has to get over is trivial.

“Hi, guys. You look like your luggage is lost. I’m really sorry. Would everyone in the family like a lollipop?”

What would happen if every single AA rep said that (with as much sincerity as they could muster) when each rightfully annoyed person walked in?

Instead, of course, it’s a lot of grumbling, poorly xeroxed forms, irrational procedures, delays, and most of all, passing of the buck.

This is true: Yesterday, I watched the supervisor give a woman $95 for a suitcase worth triple that. American had totally trashed the bag, and the victim wasn’t pleased with the settlement. The woman behind the desk snapped, “Hey, you should be grateful. I’m being nice because it’s Easter. I could have made you get me a receipt for your bag!”

Amazingly, sometimes all you need to do to be a Purple Cow is say, “I’m sorry.”