January 31, 2007

  • Stupidest. Blog Article. Evar.

    I get that not everybody loves blogs. Really. But to say that blogs are isolating and bloggers lonely sorts living in a fantasy world shows that Calgary professor Michael Keren is seriously out of touch with reality himself. Read this Globe And Mail article called Author laments lonely life of bloggers then come back here, scroll down and share your thoughts on whether blogging has made your social life stronger or weaker.

    Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on January 31, 2007.

January 30, 2007

  • Cornerstone Lands Rogers Publishing Business

    We don’t normally report on business wins here at One Degree but I thought this press release from Cornerstone was interesting as it shows a big company realizing that a) SEO was important and b) that they might benefit from outside help.

    Cornerstone SVP Don Lange remarked that “The Rogers multi-magazine site was beautifully designed and written. What we brought to the table was a series of guidelines and reports that provided both content writers and developers with a series of blueprints and best practices to ensure that when search engines visit, the site clearly identifies the most relevant content. Our ongoing monthly service monitors where the site ranks with the most important keywords, tweaking the site when required.”

    Good to see.

    Update: Cornerstone is a sponsor of One Degree. They didn’t pay or ask for this coverage but in the interest of transparency, we note that they do help support One Degree financially through their sponsorship.

    Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on January 30, 2007.

January 24, 2007

  • Epicurious Doesn’t Want To Hear From ME

    A regular reader writes:

    I love Epicurious — I go there daily. A few days ago I got an email from them asking me to participate in a survey. I don’t usually do surveys, but since Epicurious is a site I use and the idea of maybe getting money from a credible source like AMEX sounded good so I decided I had a moment to spare (ha) and started the survey. After the third page is was clear to me that this wasn’t about improving their site or my needs to cook — it was about credit cards! I think less of Epicurious now. In my mind and probably that of many others, this diminishes their reputation and my trust in them. If One Degree is looking for examples of what not to do to your regular readers, this is a great one!

    Interesting. Look at the survey message our reader forwarded:

    To: [email protected]
    Epicurious.com Wants to Hear from You Epicurious.com sponsored e-mail Dear Epicurious.com member, We need your help! We’re always looking for ways to provide you with content that you care about. Please help us out by answering a few questions in our brief survey. As a thank-you for your participation, you will be automatically entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of three American Express Gift Cheques valued at $3,000, $1,000 or $750! Access the survey at: http://services.inquisiteasp.com/cgi-bin/qwebcorporate.dll

    Thank you, The Epicurious.com Team

    Not too bad, although I can see at least three things that could be immediately improved. Can you spot them? Add your suggestions in the comments below. Still, no matter how well-crafted the email is, the experience of completing the survey clearly left this faithful site visitor discouraged and upset. Upset enough to take those feelings of being tricked public.

    Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on January 24, 2007.

  • Internet Marketer Tamara Bonar Dead at 39

    Yesterday Marketing Magazine reported that one of the industry’s most active members took her own life earlier this month:

    Tamara Bonar, the finance director at the Advertising Club of Toronto and longtime ad industry denizen, died Jan. 10. She was 39. The cause of death was suicide, said her sister, Lyn Bonar. She was discovered at her home in Toronto by her boyfriend, Thomas Hepditch. In a career that spanned two decades, Bonar’s experience included work for marketers big and small. She broke into the business as a research assistant at Chatelaine magazine in 1987, moving on to work at places like Young and Rubicam as an account executive in 1991. In 1994, she became a marketing manager at Avis Canada, before moving on to jobs at Sony Music Canada and CanWest Interactive. Most recently, she was president of Torq Brand Fuel, a marketing services consultancy in Toronto she helped start last November.

    I knew Tamara from her time at Sony Music and CanWest but mainly from my course for the CMA where she was at the top of the class and a wonderful contributor. AIMS’ Kathryn Lagden posted a tribute today on the AIMS blog that highlighted some of her volunteer work:

    Tamara Bonar brought much energy and passion to her volunteer role on our event and registration committee. Considering how full of life her outward persona was, it saddened and sobered me to realize the inner conflicts and despondency Tamara must have suffered, when hearing that she chose to take her own life. Information received yesterday from the Advertising Club of Toronto (where she also volunteered as its director of finance) and from Marketing Daily, spoke of her vast experience and acumen as a marketer, and her commitment and passion to her colleagues and workplaces, most recently as president of Torq Brand Fuel, a marketing services consultancy in Toronto she helped start last November. That sounds like the Tamara we knew here at AIMS; that is the Tamara we will very much miss. Our thoughts and condolences are extended to her family and friends, and work and volunteer colleagues.

    I would like to second Kathryn’s sentiment. We’ll miss you Tamara.

    The photo was originally posted by The Advertising Club of Toronto a few days ago.

    Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on January 24, 2007.

January 22, 2007

  • Marketer’s Toolkit — SearchStatus

    One tool I use every day that most marketers I talk to have no clue about is SearchStatus a simple but powerful Firefox extension that you should install right now if you aren’t already using it.

    In a nutshell, SearchStatus adds useful information about the page you are on to the status bar at the bottom of Firefox. Here’s what the bottom of my browser looks like when I’m on the One Degree homepage:

    How cool is that? A quick visual representation of PageRank and Alexa Rank for every page you go to. Mouse over the bar graph and you’ll see the exact numbers. Better yet, right-click on the “Q” and you get a contextual menu with a ton of juicy details:

    How useful is that? So if you haven’t already stopped reading and done so, head over the quirk.biz and download SearchStatus

    Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on January 22, 2007.

January 12, 2007

  • Fertility, Fellatio, and an Amazon Database Foul-up

    Amazon does tons of stuff right — they’re one of the best sources of best practices you can find on the web. But that doesn’t mean they’re perfect. For example, this page has some rather odd information on it:

    So next time you find a typo or a missing link on your site, just be thankful you weren’t responsible for that page!

    BTW, the promiscuous text “MY MOTHER IS STANDING IN FRONT OF THE BATHROOM MIRror smelling polished and ready; like Jean Nate, Dippity Do and the waxy sweetness of lipstick…” is the opening chapter of Running With Scissors the first book on the page in question. Seems like a useful insight for debugging this…

    Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on January 12, 2007.

January 11, 2007

  • Introducing “Ask A Marketer”

    Most Wednesday nights I teach the Email Marketing Certificate Course for the Canadian Marketing Association here in Toronto. As always I’ve got a great group of marketers and would-be marketers taking the course this semester. We’re a bit behind on the curriculum right now because they just can’t stop asking me questions! This got me to thinking, “I bet there are loads of One Degree readers that are dying to ask another Internet marketer a question or two”.

    We do of course have a feature here where we ask you a question — QotD — but it occurs to me that we’ve never really let you folks ask your questions of us — the One Degree Contributors. So, starting next week we’ll have a new feature here at One Degree called, cleverly enough, “Ask A Marketer”.

    I’ll take a crack at answering any question you might have about Internet Marketing. If I can’t answer it I’ll open it to the other One Degree Contributors. If none of us can answer it we’ll put it to the readership as a QotD. And of course the comments will be open on our answers so if you disagree or have a different approach, you’ll be able to add your two cents worth.

    If you’d like to help kick us off, take a moment and think of a pressing question you’ve been working on, or something you’re a bit embarrassed to admit you don’t know (last night it was “how the heck to cookies work anyway?”) and send it off to . And yes, “Ask A Marketer” is an homage to Ask A Ninja — not that we’ll ever come up with as good an answer as the Ninja’s answer to What is Podcasting?

    Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on January 11, 2007.

January 9, 2007

January 5, 2007

January 4, 2007

  • Rewind ’06, Fast Forward ’07 — Ken Schafer

    In our final contribution for our pre-holiday rewind of 2006 and fast forward to 2007, One Degree’s creator Ken Schafer shares his thoughts on the year past, and the year to come..

    1. Rewind — What trends in Internet marketing surprised you in 2006? The incredibly rapid growth of video really caught me off guard. I’ve always been a believer in Internet Video but never saw the tipping point that was YouTube coming.

    2. Rewind — Did you add any new tools to your online marketing toolkit in 2006? Not really. I’d say that I moved from thinking of “Social Media” as an interesting concept to being core part of the online marketing toolkit, but I’m not sure I’ve done that much to really integrate it into the work I’m doing. The closest I’ve come is the Tucows Squishies on Flickr that I wrote about earlier and the Tucows Blog but I’m not sure I can claim those to be truly social.

    3. Fast Forward — What do you see as the biggest trends in Internet Marketing in 2007? At this point I’d say that Email, Paid Search, Organic Search, and Display Advertising are “Traditional Internet Marketing”, while Blogs, Feeds, and Video are the trends to leverage — if you’re not getting serious about these in 2007 you’re missing the boat. Trendsetters wanting to get ahead of the the curve or with early adopters as their target markets will be exploring Social Media and Branded Entertainment in 2007.

    4. Fast Forward — At the end of 2007, what do you expect we’ll be looking back at as overhyped? My guess is that most marketers can safely ignore mobile marketing, virtual worlds, and any location-aware marketing for another year without any career damage at all.

    5. Fast Forward — Any SPECIFIC predictions for 2007? Buy-outs, bubbles bursting, records broken, reputations toppled, break-out companies? I think we’ll see a new type of agency establish itself this year — “Branded Entertainment Agencies”. More companies are understanding that entertaining advertising can be more powerful than advertising around what entertains. Traditionally we’ve left it to the marketers to sponsor (through ad dollars) the entertainment “producers” create. Virals, video, flash-apps, innovative micro-sites — all of these require a level of story-telling and creativity that goes beyond what we expect of typical ad agencies. Some smart agencies will realize that self-identifying as “a leading branded interactive entertainment agency” will get them the mindshare and differentiation they crave.

    Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on January 4, 2007.