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BuzzMachine, disrobed

The rest of the story… BuzzMachine does have the Pam Anderson ad, and no, it’s not explicit the way you might think (get your mind out of the gutter.) It links to KFC Cruelty >> Celebrity Endorsements >> Pamela Anderson. I knew that before I posted the ad below, but you probably didn’t.

It’s a good ad in the sense that it shocks, interrupts your flow, causes brand disconnect ("why is that ad here?") and might even cause you to click. The question is… how is this good for the blogger? if it happened every day, how is it good for the surfer? Is it worth the $x per click?

I’m certainly not picking on my friend Jeff… I was trying to make a point about the future of how we pay for all this hard work. I’m not sure that the old model (as below) is more likely/better than the new overture/google/permisison model.

The scary thing about blog ads


Wish I said that

Link: gapingvoid.

But the fact is, for pennies (and I do mean PENNIES) on the dollar compared to standard advertising campaigns, we’re getting astrophysicists talking openly and intellegently about a bottle of $10 plonk.


Link: Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger on top blog lists…

RSS clarifications and amplifications (of course)

Happens every time I write something technical.

First, Jack Dahlgren points out that blogs don’t ping your reader, your reader pings the blog aggregators. Even that knowledge wouldn’t have helped me get into Cornell.

Rajesh Setty likes: Life Beyond Code :: Killer app on top of a killer app 🙂.

What’s RSS?

Yes, I still hear that question a lot. Yesterday, I got an email from Tricia asking me if I would email her when I update my blog, because the whole RSS thing is too complicated. When I explained (see below), she was delighted and is now done with the whole email thing. Totally 1990s.

This blog has one of the fastest-growing RSS feed lists I know of, but it’s still a scary-low percentage of my readership. With your help, we can fix that.

EXPLAINED: RSS is just a little peep, a signal, a ping that comes from a favorite blog or site, telling your computer that it has been updated. If you have an RSS reader (and they’re free and easy, and two of the easiest live on the web so you don’t even have to install anything), whenever a blog is updated, it shows up in your reader and you can catch up on the news. If there’s nothing new, it doesn’t show up and you don’t have to waste time surfing around.

GETTING IT: All you have to do to subscribe to this blog is ONE of the following:

a. Look down the left side of this blog until you see the little MyYahoo logo. Click on that and you’ll be taken to Yahoo where you can add this blog to your MyYahoo page (or add a MyYahoo page if you don’t have one yet.)

b. click on this icon:

Subscribe with Bloglines

c. Copy the text in red below into your RSS reader.


d. Easiest of all, just click the link below:
Link: Seth’s Blog – powered by FeedBurner.

EVERYWHERE: RSS is just about everywhere you want it to be. So add other RSS feeds on stuff you care about. And if you want a downloadable reader, just go to google and search on "RSS reader" and the name of your computer OS. You’ll find a bunch.

That’s it. You’re done.

Free, easy, permanent until you undo it and it’ll save you time, tire wear and help you avoid male pattern baldness.

Managing the vague

Marketing projects are almost always vague.
They almost always involve people who aren’t your direct reports.
And they almost always use people who have other stuff on their plate.

(this, btw, is very different than running a factory, where all three things above are never true).

So, here are three questions I’d challenge every person working on any marketing project to ask. Ask them whenever someone gives you a task.

–when is this due?
–what does it look like when it’s done?
–how important is it compared to everything else on my plate?

Rigor isn’t pretty, but sometimes it enables communication.

More on negative feedback

My earlier post on this topic got a lot of feedback (not negative!) because it’s counter-intuitive. One person reminded me of Jeff Jarvis’ summer long odyssey with Dell (BuzzMachine � Blog Archive � Customer service in reverse.)

I think the lesson is that marketers/corporations/organizations are way more interested in negative feedback because it’s quite useful. And I agree with Steve Rubel and others that are pointing out that using focused search, a marketer can identify unhappy customers long long before they find their complaints in Business Week (thanks, Pheloxi, for the link).

On uniforms

Let me assert for a moment that marketing is about storytelling (hence the Liars book). If you’re telling a story, though, that means that in some sense you’re an actor. Not that you’re con artist or doing something fraudulent… far from it. But that you’re an actor in that you are using emotion and amplification of ideas to make your point in a limited amount of time.

Actors do better when they wear costumes.

And at work, a costume is called a uniform.

Would a cop be as effective at keeping the peace if she was wearing jeans and flip flops? What about a surgeon in a bathrobe? Sure, they need to wear something in the operating room, but don’t try to persuade me that scrubs are just for utlity. It makes you more confident to know that they’re dressing special in order to cut you open.

So, fast food places are pretty good at getting people to wear uniforms, but what about where you work? Why don’t accountants or web designers or direct marketers wear uniforms to meetings? Not the bland invisible suit/dockers/gap uniform, but a real uniform?

For my new secret project, we’re going to buy uniforms from Crooked Brook. Hey, even if you don’t want to spring for the embroidery, you might want to try to get over your social weirdness uncomfotable about wearing a uniform to work mojo and give it a try.

Negative feedback worth less?

Wayne at Sellathon pointed me to an interesting phenomenon he’s noticing. People online are starting to discount negative feedback. He points us to eBay Member Profile for totalcampus.com and also to book reviews on Amazon where positive reviews are marked "helpful" nearly twice as often as negative ones (at least in his research). In both cases, you’ve got people saying "stay away!" and still, others buy.

I think the reason is classic cognitive dissonance. For unrelated reasons, you’ve already decided to buy. Now, the negative feedback needs to be ignored in order to validate your earlier hunch that you wanted to buy.

Supply and demand

So they said on the radio today that for the first time ever, oil consumption worldwide is exceeding oil production.

How does that change your world? How will it change your world a decade from now?