July 20, 2001

  • Thought

    I’m looking forward to moderating the “Permission Panel” at the AIMS event on July 31st (if you’re an AIMS member you should have received your e-mail invite by now).

    The panel looks great:

    Nancy Lee Jobin

    President & Founder, Graffiti Direct & Interactive

    Kevin Krossing

    Managing Partner, Net Perceptions

    Farhan Merchant

    CEO, PointSite

    I’ve got a bunch of questions I want to ask, but if you’ve got some burning questions about permission-based marketing, personalization and building loyalty online, drop me an e-mail and I’ll try to get them to respond.

July 19, 2001

  • Thought

    Here’s Wired News’ wrap up of this year’s Webby Awards:

    Webby Winners Have Their Say

    I wish I’d been there simply to hear the acceptance speeches, which were wisely limit to five words. Yes, words, not minutes. Here’s my favorite speech — from travel site Travelocity.com — quoted in its entirety: “Thanks, now please go away.” Very clever.

    The article also includes a handy list of all the winners by category with links, so when you’re looking for inspiration, start clicking.

  • Thought

    PICTOPLASMA is a site that I’ve been meaning to mention here at imho*.

    The site is dedicated to illustrated characters and it is absolutely packed with some of the cleverest design you’ll see on the web. It’s great inspiration to do a bit more with design. Of course, the usability of Pictoplasma is atrocious as it is with most “arty” sites. Once you figure out how the site works I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll want on a T-Shirt. Hint: the Archives page you’ll want to hit first is NOT the yellowish ball marked “archive” but rather the yellowish ball ABOVE that yellowish ball.

    Here is a great example of what you’ll find there:

    Auflegen by Kabeljau_blum

  • Thought

    The Online Journalism Review has a great article on the effectiveness of online advertising. How refreshing.

    I particularly like this quote from a Pepsi exec…

    The advantage of advertising on the Web, DeCecco said, is that “you can’t get a database off a TV commercial.”

    We need more success stories! If you’ve got one, send it to me and I’ll post it for the world to enjoy.

July 18, 2001

  • Thought

    There isn’t much point in developing a web strategy and not knowing what you want to do, why you want to do it, and how you will know that you did what you set out to do.

    Web Analysts can help decode the gems of knowledge in the flood of data that a typical web site generates in a day (look a TRIPLE mixed metaphor!).

    ZDNet: eWEEK: Analyzing a good Net career

July 17, 2001

  • Thought

    Another piece in the NYT worth checking out is “Virtual Revenge and the Decline of the Dot-Coms”.

    Here’s a quote from the article:

    “What most irks Tim Cavanaugh, the former editor of Suck, an online magazine that stopped publishing last month, is the sense that all that is good and successful about the Internet is being wrapped into the collective repudiation of it.”

    Just because some overzealous investors backed ideas that shouldn’t have got off the cocktail napkins they were written on doesn’t mean the entire Net was a figment of over-active, over-greedy minds.

  • Thought

    This New York Times Article (registration required) is interesting. It presents the case of the publisher of andrewsullian.com, one Andrew Sullivan and the commotion that was caused by him taking sponsorship dollars from a company in an industry he has spoken positively about. It seems that the separation of editorial and advertising church and state (already problematic online) are exaggerated beyond some people’s comfort zone when both are housed in one person.

    Maybe part of the problem is the word “sponsor”. Would it be better if it was “patron”? Or does that imply even more control of the content? Anyone interested in being imho*’s first patron, please drop us a note.

July 13, 2001

  • Thought

    It’s just before lunch, so it’s time to check out one of my favourite personal sites zefrank.com. This guy seems to have more hours in the day than the rest of us.

    DO NOT visit this site if you have anything useful to do in the next two hours.

    FYI, my “Ride The Pony” T-Shirt should be here any day now! (check out “How To Dance” for an explanation)

July 12, 2001

  • Thought

    Kudos to the SiliconValley.com for running a positive story about e-commerce:

    Don’t cry for Webvan: E-commerce is thriving (7/11/2001)

    I’m becoming more and more interested in the “mini-web”. There are lots of companies collapsing today not because the ideas were bad but because investors and management insisted on “go big or go home”. These little guys are using the web in very efficient ways that allow them to be profitable almost from the start. Someone should have told Webvan to slow down!

July 10, 2001

  • Thought

    “My Mother”

    Whenever you need to test whether a data/trust/permission concept is okay, try substituting the words “my mother” for consumer or user.

    So instead of saying “Company X has revised their privacy policy to allow for third party access to consumer commerce data”, try saying “Company X will sell my mother’s shopping habits to anyone who wants them.” Feels a bit different.

    Note I said “my mother” not “my” to make it more real — marketers are generally more comfortable with giving data to try out services so don’t use yourself as an example of the average Jane or Joe.

    (Interestingly enough companyX.com is available! Maybe the “company changes” mentioned on their home page have something to do with the way they treated my mother!)

  • Thought

    Kozmo.com or Cosmo.com? (or Kosmo.com? Or Cozmo.com?)

    Okay, the example isn’t that great now that Kozmo is no more, but I was always struck by the poor choice of name for a netco.

    Online, puns and cute names are a hinderance. While every hairdresser in the world works on some cute pun, think about whether you could find your site if you heard about it on the radio.

  • Size Matters

    Most web developers have had the fact that images have to download fast drilled into them. But sometimes, consumers WANT huge files. If I’m about to buy a $600 couch, an $800 stereo or $25,000 car, I won’t mind waiting to get a REALLY big picture that shows lots of detail.

    I wanted to buy an a/v receiver recently and the remote control’s ergonomics were a major consideration. All the sites I visited had either no picture or a small picture of the remote. Before I would buy I needed to see DETAIL on the remote — a two-minute wait for a high-resolution large size image would have been quite justified.

    Of course, this isn’t supposed to give designers an excuse to put huge images all over commerce sites. Add a link beside your products, or features of products that allow for detailed images and note the file size and/or download time.

July 5, 2001

  • Every Cabbage Has Its Pimp

    Every once in a while you find a quote that seems to mean something totally different from what the author intended. Since the following quote is from Jean Giraudoux’s 1945 play “The Madwoman of Chaillot”…

    “I remember a time when a cabbage could sell itself by being a cabbage. Nowadays it’s no good being a cabbage — unless you have an agent and pay him a commission. Nothing is free anymore to sell itself or give itself away. These days, … every cabbage has its pimp.”

    For some reason this made me think of affiliate programs on the web. I have a strong preference for contextual links from content that allow you to find stuff or buy stuff. I guess sometimes a cabbage should just be left to be a cabbage though.

  • Thought

    Well, since this is imho* #1, it only seems fair to send a big virtual “thank you” to the first “blogger” I happened upon (in fact possibly the first blogger period). And that is Dave Winer. I became aware of Dave through his DaveNet e-mails and started to follow his daily musings. If you’re looking for inspiration for imho: look no further.