May 30, 2006


    Have you heard about “” yet?

    If not you really need to “visit the site” now. I’d love to get some feedback from you my ever-faithful One Degree reader — yes I know who you are. My gut says this is one of the most effective microsites ever, but I’d love to hear pros and cons on the site and the overall marketing strategy at play here.

    Key questions for discussion are, how would Philips ever market an electric “everywhere” groomer without this site? Where would you find the target market if not online? How would you get their attention without the tongue-in-cheek style and edgy humor? How would you get them to buy such an embarrassing product without offering an online purchase option?

    Side topic: How do we feel about a world where male body hair is considered as unsightly as female body hair (in North America at least)? I used to joke with my kids that people would swear they had “ear odor” if P&G started marketing ear deodorant.

    Originally published at on May 30, 2006.

May 24, 2006

  • Dotcom Baseball Tournament In Toronto

    “Tucows” “uber-blogger” “Joey deVilla” just let me know about some semi-competitive dotcom softball fun happening Sunday, June 25th, 2006 at Riverdale Park West here in Toronto, starting at 9:00 a.m.

    14 local Internet companies will be fielding teams:

    • Chum Interactive
    • CTV / Discovery / TSN
    • MSN.Ca
    • Radio Inc.
    • Teletoon / Family / TMN

    Festivities start with a pre-tournament social/team placement event on Thursday, June 22nd.

    Originally published at on May 24, 2006.

May 23, 2006

  • MobileMonday Toronto Launches

    Last week I failed to mention that “Alex Bosika and Jim Brown’s” “MobileMondayToronto” had its official launch last week.

    Here’s the announcement:

    MobileMonday, the global organization for mobile professionals, has announced the launch of its Toronto chapter. Based on the successful expansion to over 20 locations globally, Toronto was targeted due to the large concentration of mobile technology players in the area.

    MobileMonday Toronto will provide on a monthly basis a casual venue for mobile professionals to get together and network, share ideas and grow the mobile industry in the Toronto region. It will also provide an outlet for Toronto area companies to showcase products or services to other global partners. Co-founders Alex Bosika and Jim Brown believe the timing is right, “The whole objective of setting up this chapter is to help local companies bridge opportunities on a larger stage. With a high concentration of Mobile Carriers, venture capital investors, marketing firms, universities and technology companies, it’s a natural extension of the community. The Toronto region is a hotbed for talented individuals and companies; we are hopeful MobileMonday Toronto will have a positive impact and foster greater cooperation among industry players.

    “We’re excited to be a part of this global movement.” Jari Tammisto, CEO of MobileMonday in Helsinki, Finland, is leading the global development of MobileMonday and is very pleased that the Toronto chapter is being launched. “Toronto is an important hotspot for mobile technology and business innovation in North America, so we were naturally extremely happy when Alex and Jim decided to put forth the effort to set-up MobileMonday’s second Canadian chapter. We will support the Toronto chapter as best we can and we look forward to welcoming its members into our global network of mobile professionals.” MobileMonday Toronto will work closely with the Vancouver chapter in the sharing of knowledge and information regarding the Canadian market. For details about the initial meeting for MobileMonday Toronto, go to “”.

    One Degree wishes MoMoTo much success!

    Originally published at on May 23, 2006.

May 16, 2006

  • Update on

    Back in January, I pointed out that “some people think is always offline”.

    For some odd reason TD had overlooked the need to redirect to the official and an error message ensued if you didn’t bother with the www.

    About a month later I met one of the top guys at at an industry event and he told me they were working on a fix after someone tipped them to the problem, after reading about it at One Degree. If you go to “” today you’ll find that you’ll be automatically redirected to “”.

    I’m happy for TD and their customers but I’m a little sad because now I need to find another example of a big brand missing this basic best practice. Anyone else have a major site that doesn’t load without the dub-dub-dub?

    Originally published at on May 16, 2006.

  • Sig Files In Action

    A few weeks ago “I asked you to show us your sig files” and while my inbox isn’t exactly overflowing with examples, I did get a few interesting specimens I wanted to pass along.

    Chris Adams of “Hot Banana”:http uses a very simple animated .gif after his contact information. Beside the .gif (shown here) Hot Banana also highlights any recent awards they’ve won via a second smaller .gif (not shown).

    <image lost to link decay>

    As Chris explains:

    “This is dynamically programmed via Hot Banana so that, instantly, if our VP Marketing wants it changed — it is done — without having to install a new sig file for each Outlook user.”

    Jeff Ginsberg of “The Email Company”: offered to share 1 of 3 signature files his company sends depending on the type of contact the message is going to. Here it is:

    <image lost to link decay>

    As an aside — what is wrong with you people? I ask for sig files and say I’ll post good ones and you don’t send me anything? This is free advertising people! Take every opportunity that presents itself! Stop being so humble Canada!

    Originally published at on May 16, 2006.

May 9, 2006

  • Using The Internet To Get McFly

    “Internationally famous sneakerographer” “Al Cabino” is fighting for your right to wear sneakers inspired by the film “Back to the Future Part II.”

    Cabino launched a petition requesting that Nike release a shoe modeled after the grey moon-boots worn by Michael J. Fox in the 1989 movie. Nike originally created the sneakers for the film, but they were never made available to the public, something Cabino is hoping to change.

    One Degree: “Al, why do you want to own Marty McFly’s sneakers from Back To The Future II and how is the Internet helping you achieve your dream?”

    Al Cabino: That’s an excellent question. Everyone dreams of walking in a movie star’s shoes. The McFlys are the Holy Grail of movie sneakers. The McFlys were created just for the film, never worn beyond the silver screen, and I’ve always been fascinated by them. There is a sneaker legend that says that in 2015, Nike will come out with them. But I’m not going to wait 9 years. There are a *lot* of people who don’t want to wait 9 years.

    The Internet is definitely helping me to achieve my dream to get the McFlys. This is now the world’s first and only international sneaker petition. So far, “there are more than 15,000 signatures from over 50 countries.” I receive hundreds and hundreds of letters from fans around the world every day, from Tokyo to Los Angeles, from Paris to New York, from Madrid to Montreal. It is surreal.

    Sneakers are universal, and the Internet has helped me to turn this into an international sneaker campaign. There’s still a possibility that I will travel around the world to collect signatures but the power of the Internet has kickstarted this sneaker movement. Without the Internet, I would just be one guy from Montreal who wants the McFlys, but with the power of the Internet, I am getting closer to achieving my dream and the dream of thousands of sneaker fans to get those sneakers.

    Originally published at on May 9, 2006.

May 8, 2006

  • It’s Mom Week At One Degree

    Mother’s Day is only a few days away (ahh!) and we’ve decided to talk a bit about our Moms. Our Moms and the Internet that is (this is One Degree after all). I got the idea for this feature when “Kate Baggott” of “” contacted me about my mom. She’d read my blog post from last year about “my Mother’s poem on using the Internet” and was (justifiably I must say) impressed by her attitude.

    Last week Kate published her column called “You’ve come a long way, mommy” that included this ode to my mom:

    Ilse Schafer, mother of Tucows marketing vice-president Ken Schafer, was determined to prove herself as an adaptable career woman. More than 20 years ago, Ilse delayed her retirement so that she could undergo training on the new computer system being installed at the University library where she worked. “She wanted to show that she could do it and as soon as she’d finished training and could do it — she retired, triumphant,” Ken Schafer remembers. Upon retirement though, technical innovations were the last thing on Ilse’s mind. Ken doubts that his mother even understood what he has done for a living for the past 12 years. Her former triumph was to return, though. Ilse conquered her fears of unknown technology when she realized it was the only way to remain connected to her children and 10 and 12-year-old grandchildren. For Christmas 2004 the Schafer family set Ilse up with a hand-me-down computer and high-speed access. She’s been online several times a day ever since. Not bad for an 84-year-old.

    So now my (now) 85-year-old mom is using Gmail, checking photos on Flickr and using Gtalk and MSN to chat we me and the kids. (Wanna talk about your mom and the Net? Drop me a note if you’d like to do a full post or add your story to the comments below.)

    Originally published at on May 8, 2006.

May 7, 2006

  • Making “Get A Mac” Viral

    I get the whole “new marketing” thing that “Joseph Jaffe” talks about in his “Life After The 30-Second Spot”. TV just isn’t what it used to be. But that doesn’t mean that all TV ads are a waste of money.

    If you are “Apple” and you want to take another shot at convincing people to Get A Mac then TV might be the right place to do it. Tell me the ads in the “Get A Mac” campaign aren’t brilliant and compelling. Still, Apple could have done a much better job of making the online part of Get A Mac more viral.

    Here are seven things I would have done to make this spread faster:

    1. Add them to “YouTube”: and “Google Video”: Who cares where people see the ads. Getting them on these highly viral networks in “official versions” (not the fan-uploaded ones you find now) would be a great step forward.
    2. Make each video linkable. Right now while there is a unique URL for each video at each resolution these don’t seem to be visible to the user. All the ads regardless of content or size seem to come from the same URL. This makes it hard to naturally link to something or to bookmark favorites.
    3. Make them easy to download. Yes, you can download the .mov files if you know what you are doing, but adding a “download this ad” link wouldn’t hurt.
    4. Copy YouTube and GoogleVideo and make it *very* easy to share the video online by including a “Share this Ad” to e-mail a link, a “Link to this Ad” with a short URL to get to the specific ad, and an “Add this Ad to your Site” link to an embedded player (like the one I used above from YouTube).
    5. Create a feed people can subscribe to if they want to get new Apple ads sent directly to them via iTunes or a Feedreader. Apple’s ads are so entertaining that I’m sure many people — even non-Mac users would sign-up for amusement sake.
    6. Archive older ads so that people can always look back at how far we’ve come.
    7. Bribe people with “link love” by cribbing YouTube’s pseudo trackback for video plays. Called “links to this video”, the feature shows how many people have clicked through to the page from other sites (with live links to the URLs).

    I’m kind of surprised that Apple isn’t paying more attention to these techniques to spread the word. Every Mac Fanatic (I now count myself as one) wants nothing better than to tell on their Windows-using friends about these ads and anything Apple can do to make that easier is an easy win for everyone involved.

    Originally published at on May 7, 2006.

May 3, 2006