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RSS Addict!

I promised myself I’d write less about inside baseball blogging sort of stuff, but this is worth it.

Yesterday, Bloglines (Link: Ask Jeeves Results -bloglines.) stopped working on my Mac.  All my bookmarks, as well as direct typing of the URL or even using Google would just hang. I figured the site was down post-acquisition. (I even tried it on my other Mac).

So after 30 hours, I started getting itchy.

It’s amazing how quickly you can get dependent.

It turns out it’s just a Firefox glitch (I’ll figure it out, I’m sure). Bloglines is working fine on my other browser.

The second side effect is getting there to discover hundreds of unread posts. Yikes! I think I’ll need to start posting less often, just to give fellow RSS addicts a break.

Questions for Seth Godin

Another interview, this time with ClickZ.

Link: Questions for Seth Godin. More good stuff at Seth Godin – Liar’s Blog.

Astonishing

If I hadn’t seen this link from Jason Richardson with my own eyes, I would have thought it was a prank:

Link: http://www.ibackups.net

NOTICE TO ALL IBACKUPS CUSTOMERS:

As most of you are aware, iBackups is down due to issues beyond our control. We are sorry but there is nothing we can do at this time to resolve this.

Also, we cannot stress the seriousness of our terms regarding our refund policy to our customers. Filing a chargeback or dispute with your bank will result in legal action against you. We are sorry we have to be so blunt regarding this matter. However, anyone who has ordered from iBackups that has not received their disc and some download customers will be issued a refund so please bear with us while we prepare all of this. Thank you.

Nathan Peterson
President- iBackups, Inc.

Godin’s Leveraged Effort Curve

GraphAmong highly-compensated workers, the amount of work you get paid for actually goes down as you get paid more.

A talented doctor spends no more than ten or fifteen minutes a day actually doing the thing that she’s actually gifted at

An insightful web designer spends just a few minutes a day actually doing insightful web design.

A great lawyer might be pushed to the edge of his talents once or twice a week.

The same goes for salespeople, farmers, novelists and hockey players. The baseline level of talent in most professions is pretty high, and the really exceptional people shine only rarely.

There’s too much overhead. A doctor needs to fill out forms, meet salespeople, answer phone calls, travel from hospital to hospital, manager her staff and every once in a while, see a patient. And most of those patients are run of the mill cases that a medical student could handle.

I’m talking about knowledge workers, obviously. Knowledge workers get paid extra when they show insight or daring or do what others can’t. But packaging the knowledge is expensive, time consuming and not parituclarly enjoyable for most people. As you get better at what you do, it seems as though you spend more and more time on the packaging and less on the doing.

(and yes, I know the chart above is about infected acorns, but it had the right slope)

The exception?

The intense conversations you can have with your customers and prospects, especially via a blog. Once you get the system and the structure set up, five minutes of effort can give you four minutes of high leverage idea time in front of the people you’re trying to influence.

When the net is broken (spam, popups, cc lists, most instant messaging) it just adds more "time overhead" to what you do. But when it’s working, it allows ideas to be stripped down to their essence and allows you to really push.

The temptation, when living without the time overhead, is to invent new overhead so you can stall. All these features available on blogs allow bloggers to spend time doing diligent housekeeping, with the excuse that it’s necessary. In fact, by stripping away the time overhead, what it means to be a knowledge worker might just change.

All Marketers...

Hearty, charbroiled, grilled au gratin

The National Restaurant Association has you pegged. Or at least pegged into one of four categories. It turns out that people who go to restaurants have one of four worldviews, divided equally among “Adventurous, Health-Conscious, Carefree and Tradtional”. And each group wants to hear a different story.

One group looks at strawberry baked alaska and wants to hear more because they’ve never had it before. The next person at the table would never ever consider ordering it for exactly the same reason.

Unscientific research published by the group goes as far as talking about which words work best with each group. Today’s quiz: match the four words below to the group that’ll go for it:

GROUND   FRIED   RAW   INFUSED

That one was easy (they were flipped, first to last).

Let’s try one that’s a little subtle:

WILD   STIR-FRIED   HEARTY   HOMEMADE

Still not so hard (they were in the order of the groups). What’s salient here is that the very same dish could have been described with any of these four words.

End of discussion

A lot of us have been talking about this day for a very long time, but it appears to be here.

The end of FCC controlled content
The real beginning of the pro-am content revolution
The final straw for ad-supported media
and
The nail in the coffin for businesses that need selfish advertising to succeed.

Yep, that sounds like a lot of hype, but check out:

Link: Ourmedia Homepage | Ourmedia.

It is now supercheap to serve up media
It is also supercheap to make music and video and text
and
the big guys can’t afford to make good stuff any more, so it’s all reality TV and recycled music anyway.

What Ourmedia does is power the long tail.

There needs to be money in the system, imho, not to pay for it (as this site shows) but to serve as an editor and an arbiter and an assigner of value. In the meantime, if you’re basing your success on the three local TV network model of the universe, this is worth a look.

(Sumner Redstone’s daughter is the new heir apparent of Viacom. The question is: will she inherit anything at all?)

Think about parsley

Parsley_2I had breakfast with my friend Jerry today. We ate at Naples 45 in New York. I ordered the $12 omelette.

This is what I got: (I know I asked for no potatoes, and it’s true that the muffin didn’t come with a bite already in it.)

Who eats the garnish? No one does. What a waste, right? But once it’s gone, you notice. You notice that there wasn’t a sprig of parsley or even a strawberry on the plate. It’s a vivid reminder that you were just ripped off.

All of us sell parsley. Sometimes, in the race to cut costs and increase speed and figure out how to fight off Wal-Mart, it’s easy to decide to leave off the parsley. No focus group ever asked for parsley!

Right next door to Naples 45, the little cafe serves breakfast with a smile. And garnish. That’s my stop next time.

Randall on a trillion commercials

The very very perceptive Randall Rothenberg writes in Ad Age today about computer-assisted ad creation and serving software that lets marketers show a different commercial (eventually) at every house if they choose.

It’s behind the annoying adage.com registration page, but here’s the link and an quote:

ANOTHER LOOK AT ADDRESSABLE TV ADVERTISING.

Visible World is a marketing-services company headquartered in a dreary Manhattan stretch near the banks of the Hudson. Led by a couple of renegades out of BBDO and a tech whiz who helped create Prodigy, one of the first online services, it is showing the way toward customized TV spots, using the video version of Internet Protocol, addressable cable.

Assembling custom TV spots
To a client base that already includes Ford Motor Co., 1-800-Flowers and others, Visible World is offering a technology that allows marketers to automatically assemble TV spots from components stored on a remote server and customize them to a ZIP code, even a few hundred households linked by the cable operator�s head end.

Good news about marketers and RSS

New Jupiter study shows that big time marketers aren’t excited about it. DMNews.com | News | Article.

Which gives the rest of us more time to get it right. Hurry, before the spammers show up!

An interview with Hugh