September 24, 2002
Many e-mail marketing experts recommend “Double Opt-in” as the best approach to building your e-mail marketing list. Double Opt-in means that the subscriber must respond to a confirmation e-mail before they are put on the list (i.e. you sign up at a site, get an e-mail saying “confirm subscription”, and only if you reply to that confirmation e-mail do you get put on the list). This is done to ensure that there is no abuse of an open e-mail list (for example, some people have been known to sign up enemies to lists they know they will hate — like baptists on the Barbie Fetish list.)
Yahoo seems to have taken this to some perverse extreme by introducing “Double Opt-out”.
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While double opt-in is good because it keeps consumers off lists they might not want to be on, double opt-out is bad because it keeps consumers on lists they clearly want to get off of. Another move by Yahoo! that shows that they just don’t get the ‘Net anymore. Very sad.
(And the pop-up ad for a casino on the Yahoo!Groups homepage didn’t help much with my opinion either.
September 22, 2002
The world’s favorite statistic about phone use is no longer true. Clay Shirky debunks the myth that 50% of the people in the world have not made a phone call in this short Wired article.
September 19, 2002
September 18, 2002
This article from the Washington Post (via BizReport) talks about another effective use of the Net I don’t see covered much — micro-commerce sites. By focussing on incredibly small niches and keeping costs tight, a small company can build a nice business online. Instead of thinking about e-commerce as producing the “next Walmart”, I think it is more interesting to look at its potential to create the next “corner barbershop”. i.e. a nice business for two or three people to profit from that serve a specific need of a community.
Of course, online, that community is not defined by the neighborhood they live in, but more likely by an obscure passion.
Here’s a quote:
“In many ways, the very same aspects of the Internet that benefit the largest global marketers can also offer benefits to the smallest outfits,” said Dan Hess, vice president of ComScore Networks Inc., an Internet research firm. “It offers an unmatched, unparalleled ability to reach niche groups of consumers. There is no other medium that can do that.”
September 14, 2002
I always find Clay Shirky’s writing insightful.
The posting on his site called Broadcast Institutions, Community Values talks about the problems that publishers can get into when they start hosting communities. Communities look like natural extensions of what publishers do, but they live by different rules, and this is what Shirky points out.
Media people often criticize the content on the internet for being unedited, because everywhere one looks, there is low quality — bad writing, ugly images, poor design. What they fail to understand is that the internet is strongly edited, but the editorial judgment is applied at the edges, not the center, and it is applied after the fact, not in advance. Google edits web pages by aggregating user judgment about them, Slashdot edits posts by letting readers rate them, and of course users edit all the time, by choosing what (and who) to read.
This also applies to blogs which seem to be to be like online communities without an organizing body or software of any sort.
September 11, 2002
Good article by Clay Shirky on why it is often hard for broadcasters to develop true communities (as opposed to calling their audience a community):
Shirky: Broadcast Institutions, Community Values
September 10, 2002
I rather sheepishly did something today in the AIMS ADL that I don’t normally do — point people to my own site.
In general I’ve preferred to keep my personal opinions out of my moderation of the ADL as much as is possible (which is not entirely of course). But I included a post about blogs in this issue and I felt that my blog was a good example because it IS NOT the perfect blog. I don’t get to it nearly as much as I should to make it a really vibrant and living thing. And I don’t feel I’ve found a definitive “voice” for it (although you may hear it when you read my /opinions).
In any case, if you got here from the ADL, thanks for following my humble link. And if you didn’t get here from the ADL, here are the links I provided in my post:
Articles on Weblogs
For those of you now hooked, you can read Chapter 8 (Weblogs in Business) from the book “We Blog” here:
My questions to the ADLerati out there:
Do you Weblog? If so, why? Business or personal?
Do you see business advantages to Weblogs?
Do weblogs replace or supplement other communications?