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Upgrading the blog experience

Red Maxwell points me to Blogbox.com. The good news is that your blog just got more powerful and a lot slicker.

The bad news is that it will distract you from your writing.

“The ads might become irritating…”

Amit pointed me to Boston.com / Business / Next stop, ad buzz.

I think gotcha by surprise advertising has its place, and thirty feet underground is fine with me.

My new google idea

How come they never have sales online?

Today, as most consumer-obsessed Americans know (hey, movie grosses are now considered big news) is the big shopping day. People line up at 5 am to shop at Walmart. There’s excitement in offline, real world retail. Better buy it now before the sale ends.

Online, though, it’s quiet and static.

So, as I was reading Google News I thought about froogle.

Froogle is google’s shopping engine.

Here’s my idea:

Not news.google.com
but
news.froogle.com

A place you can go to and see news about sales and bargains and closeouts and new stores. Probably would need a human editor, which isn’t very google-like, but hey.

[addendum: thanks to all who wrote about sites like fatwallet and techbuys. I’m aware of those, but this is different because of the tone of voice of the site… but yes, it’s not my most original idea!]

should the IT guys run your website?

This is quite possibly the single worst transactional website run by a major corporation: Air Canada – Welcome!.

Example? Well, Safari, like IE, autofills forms. If you try to buy a ticket from Air Canada, Safari fills in the form, but under the box for area code (labeled here country code), Safari puts in USA instead of 914. An easy error for the program to make, because Country Code reads a lot like Country.

The problem is that the AC site then responds more than 100 times (I counted) with a javascript error that says, “text input where number was expected [OK].” There’s no way to kill this loop… I ended up having to force quit Safari and then use a different browser to buy a ticket.

My concern isn’t that they’re losing some ticket sales, it’s that they don’t appear to know or care. That no one is benchmarking and simplifying and reality checking a site that accounts for a huge chunk of their revenue.

How can this be? You ought to design your website with a pencil and paper or with photoshop and hand it over to the IT guys once you get the marketing part right.

PS to my non-international readers, happy Thanksgiving!

If you have a yahoo account

…you can use the rss feature in my.yahoo.com to track your favorite blogs. Including this one:

Link: My Yahoo! – Find content for seth godin.

Thanks, it’s working!

My ebook The Bootstrapper’s Bible is now the most popular pdf in the short history of changethis.com. Not only is it #1 in downloads, but it got there in half the time as any other title.

And it’s free.

But they’re all free, so that doesn’t explain it.

We’re still trying to figure out what makes one manifesto pop faster than another, but you can see the popular ones here: ChangeThis :: View manifestos by popularity and draw your own conclusions.

Free to read, free to print, free to email to your friends and to people who need shaking up.

[YIKES… so many people are visiting changethis.com that it is running slow or even crashing. If you run into trouble, please try again later. Sorry, but that’s what happens (sometimes) when it’s free.]

Hoodia!

Stopped by the Yahoo! Buzz Index – Buzz Log for the first time in a while today. Biggest breakout new idea? Hoodia. I had no idea.

The index is organized primarily around actors and media, which is pretty trivial stuff, easily explained. I’m far more interested in the larger trends, the stuff that represents what people are paying attention to that might actually have a half life.

So what’s the most interesting takeaway? For me, it’s that the stuff that changes the most is banal. The teen star of the moment and the sports team of yesterday. People don’t like big changes but they obsess about the little ones.

PS according to the BBC, all those Hoodia ads you see online are frauds. They don’t have real Hoodia in them. Just thought you’d want to know.

Summer Camp?

It’s the beginning of winter and this is a blog about marketing and respect and ideas, but a few of you will end up being grateful for this link.

If you’ve got kids between 8 and 15, I’d really like to recommend Camp Arowhon. I used to work there and count the director as one of my closest friends. Joanne has built an extraordinary place and has been rewarded by being completely sold out every year no later than November.

But, she’s interested in finding kids from outside her usual area. So if you’re from New York or Cleveland or even Dubai, drop her line. I think she’s holding on to a few slots.

Sorry for the off-topic interruption. We now return to our regular programming.

The limits of ecommerce?

Sanj asks, “I wonder how many Amazon sells?” Link: Amazon.com: Jewelry: Ladies Diamond Cut Bezel Link Necklace With Princess Cut Diamonds Diamond 21.08cttw.

Notice that you can’t buy it with one click shopping. Prevents real impulse purchases, I guess.

What’s neat for me about this is that it highlights what people really buy when they buy a necklace for $169,575. And it’s not the necklace.

private goes public, again

I’ve been talking a lot about this phenomenon… turning previously private stuff public.

Now comes ringbacks, which allow you to change the way your phone sounds in the ear of the person calling you.

Too cool. Link: T-Mobile introducing ringback tones soon – Engadget – www.engadget.com.

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