Traveling with an iPad...

On my last business trip I left my laptop behind to see if it would be possible for me to get by without my laptop. I’ve done it for personal travel and the results were the same – aside from wanting to jump into photoshop a couple of times and having to wait on that, I have been able to get by on the iPad alone. One test point was international – I was down near Cancun, Mexico so I bought the international data plan for one month. It seemed a bit slower than the 3G connection in urban Boston, but it worked very well. I did find an issue that travelers should be aware of though: I bring the component cable with me so that I can charge it and plug it into the hotel TV to watch my own movies or TV series. The problem was that I also use the iPad as my travel alarm clock. When the component cable is plugged in, it disables the internal speaker so if the alarm goes off you can’t hear it. The only good news is that the component cable and the charging cable can both use same AC adapter, so you just need another cable, not a second wall wart. Also on the iPad front, if you are into using a stylus, I got a Stylus Socks Pro to review and have added that to the Best Stylus for the iPad post. Shape Dad also has styluses for those who need a mouth stick, or a T-Stick for more...

The Marketing Over Coffee Awards...

Three years ago, around the end of 4th quarter I was talking with Christopher S. Penn about the shortage of interesting things going on in the industry at the end of the year. Everyone is trying to close business for the end of the year, retailers are flat out with the holiday crush, and the back to back dietary threat of Thanksgiving and Christmas eliminate the chance of much excitement in marketing headlines. We had talked about awards many times on Marketing Over Coffee and Chris joked that we should do our own awards. To get the full impact of the joke you need to know that in Marketing and PR circles awards are often given little respect. There are many that aren’t much more than “pay your application fee and get a trophy” (and half ass agencies hope to dupe green clients into believing that they really are “award winning”) and then there are others that large organizations shoot for, and at these companies there’s often a person that has applying for awards as one of their major job functions. I do have to say that when recording some audio with David Meerman Scott a few years ago, he did get me to see an angle I had missed. There are certain awards that you should pay attention to because of who the judges are. In many industries there are awards judged by influential people that you might already be trying to reach through your normal marketing channels. Paying a couple hundred bucks to get some guaranteed time with the right people is a no brainer if there’s a fit. Our joke was, we would give the awards to who we liked. If you were doing something cool, and you were a fan...

What is the Best Dog Food?...

With the passing of our dog Hannah, an economic turning point was reached. She was allergic to many common dog food ingredients, so we ended up having to buy her very expensive dog food. At first it was a prescription food, until we found out that it was actually a lot of low quality ingredients. We were able to switch to a higher quality of food that was less expensive (around $70 for a 30 lb. bag). When we adopted Carter from the shelter he had been eating whatever garbage he could find on the streets, so we knew that even the crappiest dog food on the market would still be something he would suck down so fast he wouldn’t taste it anyway. Eating stuff like your own crap must kill the whole gourmet experience… My first stop was Consumer Reports, an excellent site, but outside of their major categories I often come up short. In this case they have a pet food study going on now, but no results yet. Next stop was the Google, and it did not disappoint. I found Dog Food Advisor, an amazing site. From what it says there, Mike’s dog was a victim of the dog food industry’s lack of quality control. Like any true hero, he has stepped up to right what has been wrong. It was very easy to check out the 5 star foods and find a number of alternatives. At this point though, my background in Economics kicked in – Yes, there was a ton of data on the quality of the food, but without pricing information there was still work to do. I fired up Google Docs and started building a table of pricing from Amazon. We are Amazon Prime Members so for...