The Announcer is watching you

When I’m sitting on the bus, I sometimes think about my fellow travellers. You may have noticed that. I suspect we’ve all had thoughts like these: “Passengers filling in answers on their Sudokus, please accept they are just crosswords for the unimaginative and are not in any way more impressive just because they contain numbers.” […]

Happy Sesqui, William Blake!

Today is the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the birth of William Blake, the British engraver, illustrator, poet and all-around artist. It might be my Anglo-Saxon heritage, where this hymn is virtually required at every church service, but Blake’s Jerusalem really evokes an image of England midway through its industrial development. These videos evoke […]

Poll reveals marketers still clueless

Keith, the new honcho at com.motion*, was kind enough to send over the results of their exclusive survey of 444 senior managers and marketers. As Sean pointed out, it’s always helpful to have detailed public opinion research on any aspect of our little marketing and public relations world – especially social media. Especially when the […]

Late Night TV you’ve never seen

Albuquerque’s alternative newspaper runs through the programs on RFD-TV – a cable network aimed at rural Americans. “…Last week, I had the singular pleasure of witnessing “The Roping Show” with Tyler Magnus. Watching “The Roping Show” is a little like catching a Japanese game show or a four-hour Mexican variety show–it’s funny because we really […]

Businessman’s pornography

While Paul Kedrosky liked a profile written by Michael Lewis for the “barrels over Niagara Falls” analogy, I much preferred this quote from efficient markets theorist Eugene Fama: “…Hence, the market is not inefficient. Everything else in the stock market he dismisses with a single word: noise. “You can tell a story every day about […]

Square greeting cards – left out of the ballet

Packaging can be key to a consumer’s perception of a product. In some cases, packaging forms a substantial part of the product – like the greeting card industry. I didn’t realize this, but the U.S. Postal Service charges a surcharge for mail that isn’t oblong or rectangular in shape. It seems that equilateral mail screws […]

Age of Conversation makes a great holiday gift

Remember the Age of Conversation? 103 authors from across the marketing, public relations, interactive media and community manager disciplines? It’s still on sale at – but only for another week. Gavin and Drew’s little idea has pulled in over $11k for Variety Village, but the idea is to expand the possibility of people coming […]

Crayolas and toilets

I won’t deny it – I read gossip blogs. But only for the marketing leads! Like Sean Kingston’s sharp Crayola 64 assorted crayon pack worth of bling. It’s a must look! As always, I love the comments: “…Wow, that’s all kinds of tacky. 64 to be precise…” Dlisted also pointed me to Molly Shannon’s latest […]

By viral, I mean poisonous

I knew this was how the magic happened. There is no such thing as a viral video. It’s all a den of deception, payoffs, spam emails and keyword optimization. The Secret Strategies Behind Many “Viral” Videos I found one comment just as enlightening as the post itself: “Nice post. Nice fuzz and nice flaming comments. […]

Be careful about exaggerating brand and product attributes

A few weeks ago, the restaurant critic for the New York Times wrote about “restaurantspeak”: the attempt by restaurant owners and employees to add colour and emotion to the rote recitation of dishes and ingredients. In some ways, the flowery language used by wait staff and menu writers echoes the work of copywriters and marketers. […]

It appears that Colin is an outlier

New research tells us: more doughnuts, less pay: “…Our results indicate that increased body fat is unambiguously associated with decreased wages for both males and females…” from the abstract for Body Composition and Wages, authored by Roy Wada and Erdal Tekin. I’d quote more, but the SSRN wants $5 for the whole paper – and […]

Why Lou Dobbs became a curmudgeon

This from Roger Ailes, the head of Fox News: “…Mr. Ailes, who said he admires Mr. Dobbs, compared the CNN anchor’s approach with Fox’s leading opinion-dealer, Bill O’Reilly. “I think Lou got a peek at O’Reilly’s contract and saw what you can make doing opinion — particularly if you’re cranky.” from the New York Times.

Dear Rockers: a letter of apology and gratitude

Darren Barefoot is a genius. As rockers and alt-artists and indie bands turn to their fans to find revenue sources, Darren issues a challenge for us all to come clean about our music thievery: “… I’ve owned over 250 CDs, but I’ve also downloaded a lot of music or received it from friends. That process […]

Lululemon, CSR, and product attributes

This is a point about corporate social responsibility, using consumer marketing and Canadian company Lululemon as an example. While consumers are willing to invest a fair amount of faith and goodwill in a company without proof of a detailed CSR plan, at the first sign of a crisis, they tend to look for evidence, independent […]

A generation of virals in 4:30

h/t to Sean at BuzzCanuck [tags] viral, WOM, word of mouth [/tags]

Seven degrees of social networking

Call it a workaround. Call it a hack. But I’m not sure twittering your status updates to your Facebook profile says anything other than “I don’t check Facebook regularly.” That’s quite a bit of front-end setup for a tool you really don’t want to use. [tags] Facebook, Twitter, TinyURL, status update [/tags]

Wear your social identity on your … belly?

After spending all that time building intricately detailed and personal profiles in closed-off social networks, how in the world do you bridge between identities? When you’re cruising so successfully in your tight slacks, how do you alert the world to the vast repository of flixster reviews, TV trivia team scores, thrown sheep and ironic 70s […]

Spice Girls, with commentary

Even though you’re ten years older. Even thought they’re all mothers. Even though you swore you would never like Britpop again. You will enjoy this alternative commentary for the new Spice Girls video, Headlines (Friendship never ends). “…Ginger and Scary started this all grown-up and classy and wearing ballgowns. And now look at them. It’s […]

I’m a faux social media expert: hear me roar!

Have you ever had a moment, sitting in a meeting, when you realize that the person sitting beside you is blowing it out of their ass? Social media has become the subject du jour in our communications meetings, and everyone seems to be reading and repeating snippets from articles in Wired and BusinessWeek. And then […]

Journalists, pseudowanks and TED powerpoints

Two comments from the fabulously named Noodlepie, Graham Holliday’s blog about journalism, food and other wonderful things. First off: one commenter notes that journalists largely treat the internet like an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet. Sometimes the entrees are tasty and refreshing, other times they’re old, stale and previously touched. “… The internet is a pub. The […]

Third Tuesday goodness

It’s that time again. The Third Tuesday extravaganza, where you get to meet and mingle with the public relations, marketing, digital design and web marketing. Next week, November 19, I’ll be under the spotlight. I’ll be talking about encouraging the adoption of social media and new technologies as a government communicator. Judging from the reception […]

The first sign of suburban decline

Close your eyes. Imagine a scene from the Dukes of Hazzard. No – the television series. Imagine what Cooter‘s house must have looked like. Single pane windows. Rough grass alongside a gravel driveway. Likely a big block Chev up on blocks in the yard. And a cord of firewood on the porch. Which is why […]

My first impressions of retail architecture

When I was a kid, I lived overseas. My exposure to the marketplace was at the street and store level: in Milan and Hong Kong, the majority of retail stores fronted on a street. In Hong Kong, there were very few malls, aside from China Products, a fantastic bazaar for consumer goods made in the […]

Ever been rope-a-doped by a media organization?

The BBC is rolling with news that cutbacks and layoffs are imminent, and significant television and radio personalities are speaking out about the impact on the hallowed institution. The BBC is criticized for its split personality: a world class news gathering organization, and a melange of popular television and radio channels. Canada has a similar […]

Writer’s strike: hug it out, bitch!

You know why agents, managers and representatives take a big chunk of an actor’s pay? Because they take care of their clients. Because they know how to work a room. Because they know how to make a seemingly heartfelt gesture yet seem completely aloof from their circumstances. Like bringing a plate of delicious churros to […]

We don’t need no stinkin badger watch

What is the connection between badgers and webcams? If only I had known about the badger watch sooner, I would have had an effective and historically accurate retort to every person who questioned the entertainment value of webcams. Get your minds out of the gutter! I mean webcams circa 2000 – before countless entrepreneurs hit […]

A small blunder colours FEMA crisis communications

Remember the faux news conference put on by FEMA last month to brief about the response to the California wildfires? The Department of Homeland Security has completed an “internal investigation,” and some people have fallen under the bus. Apparently, some poor decisions were taken in deciding to hold a news conference at short notice, then, […]

Writer’s strike with extra douche

Wondering what exactly is happening with the writer’s strike in California? Stee at Plaintive Wail has a running narrative of the strike and his work on the picket lines. “… I also got into an email battle with the super-douchey reporter Dave McNary whose coverage of the strike in the trade rag Variety has been […]

To Quote Dean Wormer

“Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.” That’s from Animal House, of course. And the image below is from a profile on Bebo. [tags] Bebo, social network, Animal House, cheater, Kent Dorfman [/tags]

Suits and 50 Years of Oppression

Fifty years ago, a bunch of suits stood against basic human rights, democracy and the rule of justice. This week, in Pakistan, it’s the suits that have stood up against false claims of democratic support, oppression and unwarranted claims to power. I acknowledge that both situations were much more complex, but the reversal is startling.

Temporary Flights of Fancy

Yet another selection of snippets from my feed reader: The Booty Block – your guide to breaking into rollergirl competition. Rex Humbard, the original televangelist Dark Side of Brands – fantastic graphic, I’m kinda late to it. Stevie Ann covers Brit Brit’s Toxic in acoustic guitar – quite quite well – over at Coverville. Rules […]

Walking the talk

Okay, people. It’s taken four years, but I’m finally getting some work done at the office that relates to my online obsessions. A friend of a friend of a friend … a flash presentation about social networks and privacy. Before you complain: yes, it should have an embed link. It should be available on a […]

Rick Astley, Federline and the Roll

Courtesy of the Federline/Spears divorce proceedings, we now have proof of two things: Viral campaigns MUST be supported by quality content and activities in other media channels the market knows how to value the singing talent of Kevin Federline What proof? Kevin Federline made $3300 in royalties for his 2006 drop “Popozao.” In honour of […]

i am a sad internet addict

I am addicted to the internets. It is really sad. How addicted, you ask? I am writing this post from the middle of a hiking path in the Laurentian mountains. My management team is spending two days at very a secluded hotel, discussing our priorities for the organization in the next year The hotel has […]

Media Snackers: they’re just not filling

The premise, as posited by Jeremiah, Kami, Kevin and others: content generators need to develop materials and vehicles that communicate effectively with “media snackers,” those new economy animals who bounce from medium to medium picking up information and filtering it. That means short blog posts, interactive web tools, podcasts of varying lengths, videos, Twitter streams […]

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