Monthly Archives: June 2008

Speaking of viral videos…

Here’s one of the better ones I’ve seen in a while.

It was sponsored by Gatorade, but you wouldn’t know unless I told you. That’s the genius.



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Will travel for money

My friend Guy (that’s his name, and his gender) sent me a note yesterday.

He was frustrated. You see, Guy and I share a dream that a lot of people probably have – we’d like to travel the world, drink gallons of strange liquor, eat foods we couldn’t pronounce, see exotic locales and basically high-five one another most of the day in celebration of living the dream.

Obviously there are some obstacles involved, the biggest of which being money. But none of the obstacles (including money) seem big enough to stop us from talking about it all the damn time.

So yesterday, Guy sends me this link.

Here’s some dude who went off and stole our idea – and somehow got paid to do it. He even has a Wikipedia page!

But, being the optimist, I responded with this note:

Haha, this is cool.

But you shouldn’t be disappointed by this. If anything, you should be psyched. This is a case study, proving it’s possible.

Consider it a roadmap, not a roadblock.

But that inspirational Facebook post is all the further I’ve gotten. So here’s an open forum where you can help me and Guy out. How do you do this? And if you have the answer, why aren’t you doing it?

P.S. However tempting it may be, don’t bother suggesting making a viral video. Sernovitz already convinced me viral is an effect, not a cause. Causes wanted.

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A Good Monday Link

It’s Monday.

You’re going to need something refreshing.

In light of that, here’s a link to a site devoted to the Year of Creativity – 2008. Go there. When you come back, let me know what you’ve picked as your new business card.

P.S. Hat tip to Andy Nulman for pointing to this.

Add his blog to your feed, it’s a constant stream of fresh and unique good-ness.


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The value in giving it away

Given the recent discussion here on the value of encouraging folks to “steal” your goods – I thought it was pretty interesting to see Seth’s post today on how his friend, Dave Balter, is giving away his new and otherwise $45 book for free as an ebook (click that link to head to Seth’s post to get it).

Balter put a twist on the give-away by only letting a few select people like Seth offer it.

Of Balter’s tactic, Seth says:

He realized that the ideas in a book are different than the book itself. The ideas are free. Dave made the ideas even easier to share by putting them into a PDF. If you want the souvenir edition, the one you can hand to a friend or read on the beach or store on your shelf, that costs a lot of money, but you don’t mind, because you’ve already decided you wanted one (no risk, cause you’ve read it!).

What I especially found interesting was that Seth referenced his original free ebook that he released more than seven years ago:

That book was a total homerun for me and for my readers–it has been downloaded, emailed and purchased millions and millions of times. I’m surprised the tactic isn’t more popular.

Is this really so different from cartoons and photography? Or even jewelry?

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Don’t steal

This is the note I got when I tried to download an image from a photographer’s Web site.

I was going to post it here, proving to you that visiting to see the other photos was worth your 2-3 minutes. But instead, you’ll just have to take my word for it.

This begs the question – how easy do you make it for your ideas to spread?

I think we could all take a lesson from Hugh MacLeod. Hugh is one of the most successful and highly-regarded marketing, branding and Web 2.0 gurus in the world today. He didn’t get that way by telling us not to steal his stuff. Rather, in many ways, he encouraged us to do so.


Filed under Branding

The saddest brand in the whole wide world…

And even their supply of Nintendo Wii’s are picked over.

I’m bummed.

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How big box retailers are doubling their customer base

I was in a meeting the other day, listening to a research consultant describe some of her experiences with big box retailers, a la Best Buy and Target.

It’s not surprising to hear about big companies losing touch with their customers. After all, this woman has made a career out of telling companies what their customers think and want.

But this comment got me thinking:

The majority of big box retailer leadership views their online customers and in-store customers as two different people.

The belief is that some people shop online, others come in the store. Neat.

You, of course, are proof that this isn’t true. You shop online. You go to stores. And all with one brain.

But they don’t quite get it. Why would you go online if you also plan to go into the store?

To get reviews and comparisons, of course.

And why would you go in-store if you also go online?

To touch and taste and smell and avoid shipping fees and hassles, of course.

So what’s the solution? What can we do to better mesh the experiences?

For starters, where are the in-store product reviews? This could range from fancy displays near the product to more simple kiosks that allowed me to browse customer reviews, as well as submit my own.

And virtually, how about online chat or similar customer / representative interaction? What if I could talk to other shoppers? How about better product descriptions? How about more coordinated delivery options?

It might be best to start by seeing me as a single consumer.

What do you think? Why do you shop online and shop in stores? What would you like to see?


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