Blogs and Comments Are Stressing Out Professional Writers

Longform writers feel under tremendous pressure from the free-flowing and often ill-considered commentariat – so says a rather longwinded* but amusing article by Gary Kamiya in Salon. The degradation of the traditional barriers between professional writers and their critics is creating pressures that may affect the development of the form – and the author. Frank Shaw […]

Television tie-ins: a career opportunity for bloggers?

Party Animals, launching tonight on BBC2, is the latest drama to dig into the lives of political assistants and the others in orbit around the seat of government. Drawing on the saucier aspects of the character’s lives, it has also created a blatantly fake online community tied to the programme – and is beginning to link that community […]

Prepare for the risks of social media – and keep your job

In the evolving world of social media, it’s the wild fliers you have to look for, you know. That solid homerun with the unintended consequences. Like a blogger relations strategy that goes hinky. Or a word of mouth campaign that slowly builds up some substantial and negative street-level karma. It’s like going to a baseball game with the gang […]

Filthy Wal-Mart: truth or consequences?

Piles upon piles of clothes at Kohls? Paul’s post and pictures prompted a corporate reply – AND a staff blog to pursue the issue. This is a trend that could really take off, and leave no leeway for overworked store staff. Take a look at the 119 comments in reply to the Flickr gallery “Filthy […]

Fabio needs a widget

The advertising community is still stunned that Fabio is a continuing draw for online audiences. Nationwide Insurance’s Super Bowl ad, which featured the long haired bohunk poling down the canals of Venice (or the Venetian hotel in Vegas), kept pulling viewers long after its first airing during the 2006 Super Bowl. In true “B” star […]

Gmail may be revealing your financial information

In case you didn’t know, Gmail has some problems. And that means problems for you, the Gmail user. The service doesn’t recognize “dots” in an email address – unlike every other email application in the world. This means “cmckay” and “c.mckay” and “catherine.mckay” may all be treated the same. I own the c.mckay email addy. […]

Chronicle slaps around its most irritating readers

“Aren’t you there to make sure the English language isn’t pissed on by your sub-editors? … Is it sinking into your thick skull, you high school dropout?” (SF Chronicle)  The San Francisco Chronicle has begun to make selected voice mails from readers available as a podcast. The series is called Correct Me If I’m Wrong. […]

An eloquent way to say no comment

“There’s always going to be two sides to every story. Mine’s going to be `No comment’.” That’s Malcolm Lee, the head of a bus company in Northern England. Upon losing a labour tribunal ruling, he was ordered to pay 2,300 pounds to a former employee. He paid up in full – a one thousand pound […]

McDonalds pie desserts are channelling 80s hair metal

Enjoying a sweet dessert sensation from McDonald’s this afternoon, I noticed some highly unusual packaging. Here’s a hint: She’s my cherry pie Cool drink of water Such a sweet surprise Tastes so good make a grown man cry Sweet cherry pie Oh yeah (Warrant – Cherry Pie) This item on the value menu seemed to […]

Stick figures in peril – a risk averse society run amok

Stick figures in peril, the Flickr group. Looks like kids have particular concerns: being struck down by the evil cloud of electricity, and concussions from daddies in a rush. This sign from Italy warns young lovers that it’s especially risky to try to recreate the “train scene” from Risky Business: not only could you fall out […]

Rant: I know what you’re doing with that camera

I’ll tell you what disappoints me about the future. ‘Cause you want to know. You really do. You know what disappoints me? The haphazard application of perspective. I remember how the future was supposed to turn out. Handheld computers with touch screens? Check. Phones that plug into your ear? Check. Overbearing governments with exaggerated sense […]

A fake letter from Craig Newmark to Chad Hurley

Once again, a fake letter from Craig Newmark. UPDATE NOTE: Obviously, this is not a real letter. It has not circulated anywhere. It’s meant as wry commentary on the fickle nature of the media and their eagerness to find a simple answer to complex questions. Craig is too nice a person to write something like […]

You, Mr. Blogger, are no Royale with Cheese

“Say Blogosphere Again” – from

A question for Steve about compensation

From Steve Rubel’s post about his cheque from the Blogburst network: “Clearly the way journalists and bloggers are being compensated is changing. However, everyone really should disclose the mechanics of how they are rewarded. Why should there be a double standard for the level of disclosure for journalists vs. bloggers when it comes to new […]

Some impulse shopping at the grocery store

  Today,  I came across an animated gif used to illustrate a retail solution for an unnamed supplier. Even at first glance, there are some strange things going on in that shopping cart: Bread and eggs. Two different damn corners of the supermarket. Two big bottles of white wine. Are your friends coming over? Right beside the red peppers […]

Authentic counterfeit – it’s the new black, red and/or pink

Counterfeit is the new authentic. Your knock-off kicks have a better story, have been involved in far shadier locales and with more suspicious characters, than those limited edition Nikes your girlfriend found online. And they, IN NO WAY, have come near an MBA-bearing product manager, his latte or her beemer. Abe Burmeister: “…Once it’s made, once […]

Adliterate on the benefits and orthodoxies promoted by blogging

Dammit, I like Richard Huntington’s Adliterate post on the benefits of blogging for planners. “… I have often joked that it is only planners that blog in advertising because account people have nothing to say and creatives have better places to say it but maybe its more that blogging was built for us. … Blogging has given […]

Jack Bauer’s missed marketing opportunity

With the new season of 24 upon us, you know what product placement would have made a lot of sense? Jack Bauer using an iPhone. Ed pointed to a Cracked magazine piece on the technical specifications needed for Jack Bauer’s phone, and I’m pretty sure Steve promised all those and more. Sure, Apple doesn’t need […]

Now you can be an American Idol Judge

American Idol premiere tonight, folks. These are the best hours – the tryouts and the flaming disasters. The nationally televised performances that pop a hole in the delusions of many erstwhile singers and rap stars. And now you validate your insensitive and soulless armchair criticism with an official-looking judge’s scorecard! [tags] American Idol, Paula Abdul, Simon […]

Just a thought about Strumpette

There’s a tempest in a teapot brewing over at Blog Herald, and commented upon by Joe at ProPr. My only thought at the moment? A lot of Amanda Chapel’s comments* across the blogosphere have nothing to do with debating a finer point, and hell of a lot to do with promoting and protecting the Strumpette […]

Edelman picks some restrictive places to make its point

For Edelman, it makes perfect sense to establish and communicate the limits of your dealings with the blogosphere – especially if the stumbles of your high profile client programs are forever being highlighted online. Richard Edelman has posted the general guidelines Edelman employees will follow when a conversation about their practice and their client develops […]

Brand Beckham – an analysis of his move

[tags] Beckham, Galaxy, Real Madrid, football, soccer [/tags]

More PETA … now with added Jackass

… and I don’t mean Kid Rock. Steve-O has signed up with PETA to expose animal cruelty at Ringling Bros. circuses. He seems to have first brought up his distaste for animal abuse while visiting the Tom Green Show (I know! Who knew he was still around!) – and I was surprised to actually hear […]

Naked Ladies and fried chicken … again

PETA’s got a good thing going, this protesting animal cruelty by showing up at fast food outlets and disrobing gig. Last week some PETA supporters showed up at a KFC in Cleveland. The Cleveland Scene was on the … uh… scene: “Some scalding hot chicks stripped naked for an important cause last week, bearing all […]

I’m not saying anything, but ….

[tags] consultants, social media practice, blind leading the blind [/tags]

Corporate personality: business can (heart) online communities

Corporations have no problem establishing an identity in the online world: where they have a problem is maintaining a believable “corporate personality” that helps moderate the ups and downs of public perception and criticism in such a responsive and rapid environment. At the moment, corporations cheat in their outward communications. Their real world and online […]

Third Monday in Ottawa – new year, new location!

You’ve certainly already broken some of your New Year’s resolutions. Those new career goals are likely moving slowly. That commitment to learn more about social media is still holding strong, though. So come on down to the Clocktower Brew Pub on Monday the fifteenth for the next Third Monday social media meetup. Flogs. Splogs. You, […]

How can the government promote User Generated Content?

Michael Geist, a noted copyright policy expert in Canada, has posted a number of suggestions for how the Government of Canada could react to the UGC revolution in his “the Policy Response to the User-Generated Content Boom” post. There are many insightful points in his post, but I thought online audiences would find one particularly interesting: […]

Gossip bloggers provide “energy and immediacy to reporters”

How do traditional print gossip columnists react to the accelerating competition from every apartment-bound celebrity hound with a laptop and a Blogger identity? A comment from Micheal Musto, the columnist for the Village Voice: But how thrilled are you about all the gossip bloggers moving in on your turf and co-opting our brain cells? Don’t […]

A sweet promo for taxi riders

A brilliant promo item for the holidays, courtesy of PopJustice. A London taxi firm sent out a box of chocolates to its clients, each one imprinted with the face of a celebrity known to take taxis. PopJustice provides a guide to the celebrities, including Daniel Bedingfield, Rachel Stevens … and a bunch of Brits I’ve […]

Silverado and Mellencamp’s “Our Country” – not so patriotic

As a small market, Canada has to get used to repurposed advertising. We’re a touch British, really quite American, and believe we’re cosmopolitan enough to buy into anodyne international campaigns developed by a holding company’s European office, shot by an American subsidiary and distributed through a centralized media planning shop. Scott Feschuk now writes a […]

Rose Parade, Stormtroopers and Brand Strength

Oh, I’m going to get flamed by the Star Wars loyalists on this. The 501st Legion is a group of Star Wars fans dedicated enough to create storyline-authentic costumes as Stormtroopers. They appear at fan conventions, local events and support charity work. This past weekend, as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations of the Star […]

I’ll take PotPourri for $400, Alex

Survey bias, pimping to kids, GTD, music promo and local journalism – talk about a potpourri of topics! “What it takes to be a [local] journalist” – from the Boston [Lincolnshire] Standard. Fantastic Getting Things Done templates for the Moleskine notebook. Cultural and spatial bias could be affecting your survey results – if you use […]

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