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Showing posts from June, 2007

A Week Without Yahoo Mail

Well, after dealing with poor customer service (4 business days to receive a response is not acceptible) via email, I was able to stay off Yahoo Mail for a week. Did I miss anything? Not at all. I will be switching a few subscriptions over for commercial interests, such as Borders Rewards coupons, but the rest is pure crap. In fact, here's how the last week's worth of email that made it into my inbox breaks down:

Spam: 22
Yahoo Groups & Freecycle: 4
Commercial: 39
Personal: 0

Of the 65 total messages since last Saturday, one third were pure spam, including a few "PDF" attachments via the spam message that are actually viruses. Wow.

I've had my Yahoo Mail account for years now... it's going to be sad to see it go, but it's so much like walking away from a bad habit that I'm going to be relieved to not have to deal with a tool I don't really use or need. One down, several to go.

How to stay relevant online - a lesson from Apple and Sub Pop

Everyone knows about iTunes. It's become the standard for updating the ever-hot iPod. But if you're like, over 26, you might not remember Sub Pop. For those too young to remember, that was the label that put out Nirvana's first album, "Bleach" and the "Sub Pop 200", a compilation of their best artists, including many that went on to larger grunge careers during the 1990s (Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees - ah, the good ol' days).

Back to my point. For fogeys like me, Sub Pop is a label that, in all honesty, I wondered if was even still around. Younger kids might know that The Shins are on the label, but the rest of the roster needs some serious promotion.

Enter Facebook.

The Sub Pop Sampler is available by joining the Apple Students Group and contains 10 free mp3s, including one by The Shins. Talk about two things the kids love - Apple and music. Wait, make that free music. The group has 415,000 members and, equally important, 11,443 discussions…

Welcome the new kid on the block

I've been looking for a good blog to add to my blogroll for some time now, and as luck would have it my brother sent me this. Holy crap is it candid (and funny)... George Parker is the blogger behind it, and in case you're wondering about the writing style it's kind of like if ad writer Bob Garfield was buzzed and even more pissed off than usual. I'm not going to say that George swears a lot, but, um, let's just say it's not going to make the recommended reading list for the school kids over the Summer. I mean, I'm prone to letting an F bomb drop out from time to time while having libations, but this is even borderline for me.

That being said, I'm guessing the reason I like it is because the raw language demonstrates his passion, intensity and frustration with the horrible ads being created. Welcome, George!

Study: Senior marketers afraid to "let go"

Last week my employer, MS&L, and PR Week did a study among senior marketers asking if they thought CGM was very important to their marketing platforms. Just 12% thought it was.

You might be saying "Well, 12% is pretty high, Dave."

I'm not disagreeing with that, but this was the kicker:

The survey also indicated that while marketers may be highly aware of the power consumers wield, most are still wary to give consumers more control. Just 22 percent said they were “very willing” to let consumers play a significant role in shaping their marketing programs.

That's incredibly low. I can understand why this whole "letting go" has some brand managers and marketing folks nervous, but only 22% are willing to let consumers play a significant role in shaping marketing programs? I'm stunned. This ain't the 1950s. It's not about "reaching consumers." It's about engagement. It's about listening and learning. It's about embracing their v…

More Vocus spam

I hate to call people out because, well, it's happened to a lot of us in this gig...but come on. As you may recall I ripped Vocus for their outreach efforts around their Golden Rules for Blogger Relations.

Well, let's add to their web marketing blunders: I got spammed from the now infamous Tami Queen to my work email address because I downloaded their Golden Rules for Blogger Relations. How do I know this is spam? Because the link at the bottom to be removed DOESN'T WORK. In fact, there is NO hyperlink - the words are black with no HTML in sight.

If you would rather not receive future email messages from Vocus, let us know by clicking here.
Vocus, 4296 Forbes Blvd, Lanham, MD 20706 United States

Want to avoid Vocus spam? Do a search for "vocus blogger rules relations" and it comes up, viewable as a PDF or translated into HTML -- so registration and subsequent spam isn't necessary.

So for those keeping score at home, along with blogger relations and email marketing…

Addiction is a terrible thing

Only 2 days in, I had to break the "week without" ban on Yahoo Mail... not because I wanted to, but because a profile I set up on an online store used it as the primary contact, so my recent purchase online's receipt (and subsequent complaint) both went there. Ugh. I promise, this addiction will end once I hear back from their customer service folks. Otherwise I'll be contacting Meghann et al at Consumerist. ;)

Speaking of addiction, now that Steve's boner is gone over it I think I'm going to start using my Twitter account again. I will only continue to use it if people outside of the "insular blogging circle jerk" (IBCJ) join me, though. Any takers? (Side note, folks part of the IBCJ are welcome to join me as well).

Now THIS is what they meant by CGM

Via Mashable, YouTube has launched ReMixer. Powered by Adobe, the Remixer is very similar to Photobucket's remixing tool. Let's do some simple math:

1. Brands upload commercials (a la Nike "Second Coming" clips) to YouTube
2. Fans make their own commercials
3. Friends and other fans view the ads and like 'em
4. (optional) Smart brand managers get permission to use those ads

Damnit, Ad agencies, better come up with another way to bilk your clients out of millions for CGM campaigns. Ok, I could've posted this without that snarky comment but this is a blog, right? :P

"A week without..." series begins

I've decided that after watching the cock waving contest between Ebay and Google that I'm going to conduct an experiment -- a re-evaluation of the routine I've grown accustomed to over the years, if you will -- by not using an online tool or service for a week. My feeling is that psychologically people get stuck in an online rut and acquire new services, bookmarks, RSS feeds, what have you, and never delete them until it's 5 years later and most of your time is spent visiting broken links.

First up? You guessed it: Yahoo Mail. I've bitched blogged about their service being down, and several commenters have made note that it's spam heaven, so that'll be numero uno on my list. They did just get rid of storage quotas, but that's a given nowadays. Give me something more if you want me to stay.

I'll post a follow up next weekend after one week without it and let you know if it's permanent history.

LeBron James Etch-A-Sketch

Even though they're down 3-0 to the Spurs on a bad no-call at the end of last night's game, the Cavs (yes, the same Cavs that ran my Pistons out of the playoffs) deserve some props. Today's gem comes via Steve at Adrants - Expert Etch-A-Sketch artist and Cleveland native George Vlosich III creates a tribute to LeBron James over on YouTube via this 3 minute fast-forward video. The real time version took 5 hours to complete. With over 214,000 views, 2350+ comments and 1680 Favorites it's time to officially welcome Quicken Loans and the Cavs to the world of viral video.

But what I want to know is - how come Clay C and the Diff team didn't pitch this to me?

MySpace adds new comment features

For those of us tired of deleting profile tracker and marijuana spam on MySpace, there's a solution: MySpace has added a few new features, including Block User, to the comment approval/deletion process. One feature that has me concerned is the Comment Back option - what's to stop someone from writing a script that manipulates it to provide an endless loop of spam between friend networks? NO, I DON'T WANT TO KNOW WHO'S VIEWING MY PROFILE! :P

Google maps introduces "Street Views"

I had an accounting professor in college who, while explaining his methodology for teaching the course, said that people learn in one of two ways: Mile roads and Land marks. For those unfamiliar with mile roads, the metro Detroit area's east-west streets, starting in the City, are marked by miles (although aside from Three Mile, a side street on the east side of Detroit, there aren't "Two Mile" or "Four Mile" Roads. Those who've seen the movie Eight Mile know that's the east-west line that separates Detroit from the suburbs (can I get an East Siiiide?).

His theory is that some people get literal, others are visual, which makes complete sense. In fact, I actually learned accounting in his course and understand the principles, even after "passing" my accounting 101 course (that Mile road bastard). Literally, it means you may understand if I told you to take 6th Avenue north to 51st Street, head west for two blocks before turning northeast on…

Would you miss Micropersuasion?

Does Micropersuasion provide such a unique product and customer experience that we would be saddened if it didn’t exist? Does Micropersuasion treat its employees so astonishingly well that those workers would not be able to find another employer to treat them as well? Does Micropersuasion forge such unfailing emotional connections with its customers that they would fail to find another blogger that could forge just as strong an emotional bond?

What say you?

(John Moore and Steve, I hope you're laughing)

A week's worth of random thoughts

If I thought anyone read Twitter posts (no long tail on this one, folks) I would have thrown these on there. Regardless, here are a few nuggets from the past week or so:

1. The RIAA sued more University of Michigan students last week by IP address. The U issued a response that they were investigating. I'm not saying they shouldn't protect their copyrights, but I'm not sure going after some of the best and brightest are the long term solution to extending the business model.

2. Q: What happens when an outdated product/company tries to make itself relevant?
A: Pay a few bloggers to write a code for you, then go against their Rules and spam people with it. People saidtheyreceived spam email from Vocus regarding their "5 Golden Rules For Blogger Relations". Vocus issued a response. I'm not buying it. You don't get it, please don't try to pretend. You paid for your company to become relevant and then botched it. Eat the $$ on this project and start over by b…