Daily Life


The conference wraps up today and I have a dilemma. I really want to go over to Universal Studios to hang out but I looked over the agenda and there are no sessions that I can say “That’s a good one to skip”. That’s the best endorsement I can give for any conference. Hopefully we’ll stick to the timeline and wrap before 4pm so I can get myself a fake plastic Oscar for my desk.

The other related important stuff: I got to check out SkyBar. I need to pick up a striped collared shirt that I can leave untucked, and some better jeans.

Mike Tyson was having dinner there. There are a lot of critics out there but to me he’s still the young guy that went on an undefeated tear years ago that was incredible to watch.

Mr. Penn and I still cranked out a Marketing Over Coffee via Skype, looking forward to getting back to Studio DD next week.

Daily Life


Just some random observations today:

A friend of mine that works for a Fortune 500 company asked for some brainstorming on a contest: whoever comes up with the best name for the company store wins a trip for two to Europe.

From my hotel I can see Vivid Entertainment (they make enough on adult films to have a building near Universal Studios), I thought “Wow, that’s right across the street”, but then I counted – that’s 20 lanes of traffic.

And with that, it’s back to work.

Email Marketing

Mother’s Day Marketing

Lots of stuff going on this week, but I did want to take a second to reflect on the importance of always trying to improve marketing tactics, always getting as close to 1-to-1 communication as possible.

I’ve purchased from 1-800-Flowers before, because (don’t tell my wife) I look at flowers as a commodity. Granted, I do know enough about Winston Flowers in Boston (the Tiffany’s of flowers, if you will), but most of the time I need to have flowers sent for some kind of social obligation. I think I get some AmEx points or some other kicker for 800-Flowers, so that’s who I’ve used.

They are heavy on the email, I’ve noticed that I get numerous messages around all the major holidays. There are two schools of thought here – one is that every subscriber has a lifecycle, that you hit them hard for as long as possible until they break, and that’s fine. The other is that you go conservative and see how long you can hold them.

I hit the breaking point this week on flower-grams though. My Mom passed away back in 1999, and after receiving what felt like the 15th email about Mother’s Day Specials, the tipping point was reached. The important point to note here though is that these emails are not the reason I buy from them, and even though I’ve unsubscribed that won’t stop me from being a customer. The brand momentum is already there, so unless someone else comes up with a substantially better way of doing all this, my business is not going elsewhere.

Podcasting SEO and Paid Search The Marketeer

The Latest M Show and Super SEO Juice

Get your latest dose of 10 minutes of News, Talk, and Entertainment in the Audio Form from the newest episode of The M Show, the Best Business Podcast.

In other good news David Meerman Scott’s new book is coming out, here’s the all-star list of new media folks that he’s thanked. Plenty of great reading in this list:

Robert Scoble Scobleizer
Adele Revella Buyer Persona Blog
Joe Wikert Publishing 2020 blog
Steve Johnson
David McInnis
Mark Levy
David Hamm
Mike Levin
Colin Delaney epolitics
Steve Goldstein Alacrablog
Todd Van Hoosear
George L Smyth Eclectic Mix
Mark Effinger
Michelle Manafy EContent magazine
Kevin Rose Diggnation
Grub Street Writers
Dave Armon
Britton Manasco
Jordan Behan
Nettie Hartsock
John Havens
John Blossom ContentBlogger
Larry Schwartz Newstex
Steve Smith
Melanie Surplice
Nate Wilcox
Ian Wilker
Cody Baker
Dianna Huff
Brian Carroll
Ken Doctor
Jonathan Kranz
Barry Graubart
Steve O’Keefe
Ted Demopoulos
Debbie Weil
Paul Gillin
Matt Lohman
Seth Godin
Rob O’ Regan
Steve Rubel Micro Persuasion
Paul Gillin
Joan Stewart The Publicity Hound
Glenn Nicholas Small Business Inspiration
Mac MacIntosh The B2B Sales Lead Expert
Jill Konrath Selling to Big Companies
Guy Kawasaki How to Change the World
Court Bovée and John Thill Business Communication Headline News
Grant D. Griffiths Kansas Family Law Blog
Robin Crumby The Melcrum Blog
Jim Peake My Success Gateway
Eli Singer Refreshing the Daily Grind
Duane Brown Imagination+Innovation
Scott Monty The Social Media Marketing Blog
Ian Lamont
Blog Campaigning
Rich at Copywrite Ink
John Lustina SEO Speedwagon
Adam Tinworth OneMan+HisBlog
Scott Clark Finding the Sweet Spot
Amanda Chapel Strumpette
Jennifer Veitenheimer reinventjen
Morty Schiller Wordrider
Matthias Hoffmann the power of news
Erin Caldwell’s PRblog
Ferrell Kramer Talking Communications
Anita Campbell Selling to Small Businesses
Karl Ribas’ Search Engine Marketing Blog
Tony D. Baker Advanced Marketing Techniques
Tom Pick The WebMarketCentral Blog
Tina Lang-Stuart
Bryan Eisenberg Jeffrey Eisenberg Robert Gorell and the rest of the team at Grok Dot Com
Michele Miller WonderBranding
Publicity Ship Blog
The Media Slut
Brad Shorr Word Sell
Sasha Where Business Meets the Web
Ellee Seymour ProActivePR
Chris Kenton The Marketers’ Consortium
Paul Young Product Beautiful
By Ron Miller
Michael Morton
James D. Brausch
Janet Meiners Newspapergrl
Andrew B. Smith The New View From Object Towers
Cristian Mezei SeoPedia
Jim Nail Cymfony’s influence 2.0
Denise Wakeman and Patsi Krakoff The Blog Squad
Forward Blog
Ben Argov
Zane Safrit Duct Tape Marketing—Business Life
Will McInnes Online Marketing Guide
Robbin Steif LunaMetrics
Mike Boss
Marc Gunn Music Promo Blog
Nancy E. Schwartz Getting Attention
Kami Watson Huyse Communications Overtones
Todd Defren PR Squared
Michael Stelzner Writing White Papers
Dee Rambeau Adventures in Business Communications
Glenn Fannick Read Between the Mines
Owen Lystrup Into PR
Morgan McLintic
Mark Batterson Evotional
Jay Coffelt
John Richardson
Robin Good MasterNewMedia
Shel Israel Naked Conversations
Robert J. Ricci Son-of-a-Pitch
Mike Sigers Simplenomics
Dan Greenfield Bernaisesource
Brian Clark copyblogger
Lee Odden TopRank Online Marketing Blog
David Weinberger
Carson McComas
The FutureLab blog
John Bradley Jackson Be First Best or Different
Wired PR Works by Barbara Rozgonyi
Mark Goren Transmission
John Wall Ronin Marketer
MarketingProfs Daily Fix Blog
John Koetsier bizhack
Steve Kayser Squareballs Entertainment
James Robertson’s Smalltalk Blog
Linas Simonis
Dale Wolf The Perfect Customer Experience
Eric Mattson Marketing Monger
Scott Sehlhorst Tyner Blain
Seeds of Growth blog
Hugo E. Martin
David Phillips leverwealth
Terry Affiliate Marketing Blog
Gavin Heaton Servant of Chaos
Mark White Better Business Blogging
Eric Eggertson Common Sense PR
Michelle Golden Golden Practices
Liz Strauss
Tony Valle Small Business Radio
Chris Heuer’s Idea Engine
David Evans The Progress Bar
Todd Andrlik The Power to Connect
The New PR Wiki
Pelle Braendgaard Stake Ventures
Lisa Banks Search Engine Optimization Eblog
Chris Brown Branding & Marketing
Graeme Thickins Tech-Surf-Blog
Ardath Albee Marketing Interactions
Lauren Vargas Communicators Anonymous
Lori Smart Lemming
Dane Morgan
Jason Leister Computer Super Guy
Bill Trippe
Jason Eiseman Jason the Content Librarian
Reuben Steiger Millions of Us
Taran Rampersad Know Prose
John Richardson Success Begins Today
Valentin Pertsiya Brand Aid
Bill Belew Rising Sun of Nihon
Joe Beaulaurier An Ongoing Press Release
David Koopmans Business of Marketing and Branding
Chris Anderson The Long Tail
Roger C. Parker Design to Sell

More to come with my trip to PR Online Convergence this week!

Brain Buster Productivity Booster The Marketeer


Covering the dry technical stuff first. From everything I’ve seen over the past couple of days I’m boiling widgets down into three types:

Type 1: These are additions to web pages, most often tools over in the sidebar that provide some additional functionality, most often for a blog or (shudder) a MySpace page. A classic example would be a flickr widget, it grabs some photos from your account and makes a little slide show type thingy (technical definition, I know). See it in action, and grab your own if you want from here. Most of these are trying to enable a viral spread of the application.

Type 2: Freestanding tiny little applications. Folks over on the Mac side are very familiar with these, you activate the widget page and all these crappy little clocks and temperature gadges pop up. Like most cool features on the mac, they’ve showed up in the next edition of Windows (Vista). I’ve found these things to be of not much use since you can do most of the same stuff on web pages, but that’s probably the cranky geek in me shining through. If you have a personalized Google desktop you can run Google Gadgets, which are similar and supposedly if you have Google desktop installed you can run them in pre-Vista Windows. This is all heresay, I don’t have Google desktop installed.

Dr. Penn made a good recommedation in this week’s Marketing Over Coffee, there’s an app called Amnesty that allows you to transform widgets from one form to another, or promote them up to a Type 3.

I didn’t take good notes yesterday so I can’t find the name of the presenter that described Type 3, but it’s the most interesting category. He referred to them as BDAs – Branded Desktop Applications. These are full fledged apps that often reside in the tray on Windows and are running all the time allowing content to be pushed out to them. Some great examples are Southwest’s Ding, and a Disneyland’s Thing that I can’t find a link to. Both of these are full fledged apps, and in Ding’s case provide unique pricing that is available only through the app.

This category has a ton of potential as it elbows even the browser out of the picture. Thinking about it now, I realize that the best example of this is iTunes. I’ve had a mental block because I’ve always considered widgets to be small items, not apps capable of going full screen, but these are the most powerful. It’s also interesting to note that apps of this type have tried to get on to the desktop before, but were hammered down by the fear (and actual use) of spyware.

So, why would you build a widget? We can see from Ding and iTunes that if you have some exclusive content this can cement your relationship with your customer, and eliminate the allure of other web pages which is always a risk from within the browser. Another reason would be to encourage the viral spread of your application. You’ll also have to consider the impact widgets on your analytics and bandwidth. These aren’t going to be page views but will start requiring serious bandwidth (especially if you do go viral). Again, as cranky geek I don’t want to add more to my tray, but I think Joe Sixpack is looking for simple apps since he has some trouble with “the tubez on tha intranets”

Another interesting application would be using a flash widget as an alternative user interface – think of the mini player for itunes. There’s a lot of potential there to make things easier to use, and opening them up for content to be pushed to them (get a pop-up when your favorite artist has released a new tune, etc.).

All of this is pretty cool but not earth shattering, until you consider widgets for cellphones. This is an area that could explode. The fedex package tracker, or drop off box locater is not worth more as a widget vs. web page on my PC, but when I’m driving around looking for it a phone widget could be a killer app. As I think more about it – how about GPS enabled widgets? Your phone pings you when you are within 100yds of a Starbucks. Better yet, in your car the widget on your GPS starts telling you to drive there.

Ok, that’s it. Brain exploding…

Thanks again to David Beisel over at Venrock for hosting the event, and Christopher Penn for dropping some Widget Wisdom on me so I had some ammo at the session.

Addendum: My new Arch Enemy Mike Champion took much better notes than I did. *shaking fist*

Seriously though, if you are into live music check out his project.

Daily Life

Bad day?

Have you ever had a day where you just can’t pull it together? Like my yesterday. The 9-5 was fine, but I was going to a meeting that night and it was one of those deals where everything went wrong. I thought I would try Route 2 instead of 95 and that meant 30 minutes lost waiting to get through a traffic light. That meant showing up late (but fortunately not late enough to look bad).

Here’s another bizarre problem. The office I work in is always 60 degrees or less. Even in the dead of summer there are people wearing sweaters and using space heaters. Have you ever seen the pictures of Shackelton’s South Pole Expedition? These guys were in the cold so long that when it “got up to 20 degrees” they’d be outside with no shirts on playing football.

I’ve become one of those guys. Put me in a room at 70 degrees with a golf shirt and I start to sweat.

Thankfully I was able to shotgun 2 ice cold sodas so I didn’t look like a freak, which was great because by luck of the draw I got to sit next to a guy who sold some software to Microsoft. You may have heard of it – Internet Explorer?

But the good news is, I got to meet some great people working on very cool stuff. And I’ve got a line on one of those astronaut suits to keep my temperature down outside the office. That will make me look cool.

Daily Life

Brain Blowout

Some interesting discussion about widgets tonight but I’m too tired to try and wrap it all into a coherent post. You can get a good primer from today’s Marketing Over Coffee which is taking shape nicely.

More tomorrow.

Brain Buster


I felt like I slipped into an alternate universe this morning when Chris Pirillo had a post where he is seems to be channeling David Meerman Scott (who has a new book out this month).

If David announces Gnomedex East I’m going to have to grow an Evil Spock goatee.

Brain Buster Geek Stuff The Marketeer

Widgets and Snippets

Tomorrow night some of the greatest minds in business and technology (and yours truly) will be talking about widgets. David Beisel (who just announced a move to Venrock) will preside. I have to admit that I’m old school and have been loathe to use widgets. I’m even not really comfortable with snippets, but do use them because the benefit is too great.

For those who don’t think web page structure is “wicked dope”: Widgets are little boxes on a web page that do things – calculators, Flickr photo slideshows, audio players, etc.

Snippets are chunks of web page code that you can’t see but they do things behind the scenes. Most common is a few lines of code that many add to their pages so that Google can give them site analytics.

I still fear the dark side, an both snippets and widgets are passing your site traffic data on to the party that provides the widget or snippet. Being raised in the age of dial-up there was also the issue of having to wait for a page to load until someone else’s snippet or whatever downloads. Broadband has made this no longer an serious counter argument for any but the curmudgeonly (ie – again, yours truly).

On the other side are widgets that can make you money, such as playing Revver videos or running Google Adsense. I’m all for making money.

More on this as I get it. Any favorite widgets or snippets out there? I currently nominate the / Google Snippet as the greatest of all time (GOAT).

Email Marketing Lead Generation Productivity Booster

List Management

For the past couple of weeks it’s been all about the lists. List management is ultimately the blood supply of all your marketing efforts. Anyone doing direct marketing knows that the company usually kneels to the ultimate power of “the house list”. The best part of an organization that grows quickly is being able to farm the list management out to a database specialist. I don’t know too many people that get all juiced up on dumping spreadsheets into database tables, and the arcane arts of ETL (Extracting data, Transforming it to the right format, and Loading it in). I’ve picked up a bunch of ghetto tricks to simplify a lot of this, and thankfully does a better job of it than anything that’s come before.

If you are going further ghettostyle and don’t have the Salesforce API, there’s a great tool called RingLead that can make your life much easier and your data much cleaner.

Recently I’ve been hunting for names that are very focused and I’ve been able to get lists from individual publications, but another tactic is to use a list broker, someone who rents lists and has a broad range of knowledge about publications. I had favorite vendor here, but some of these folks have been having some trouble making the transition from the world of Magazines to the Web. For example, I couldn’t find a web page for my vendor of choice. Something for me to dig into further this week.

I’ll spare you the rest of the details of these mystic arts… unless you want to hear more?