When spamming someone bites you back

I am almost in shock of this post on the wired editor’s personal blog that discloses the emails that he has blocked because he got unsolicited emails pitching Press Releases for products, services, and who knows what else because he is a PR person in public lists. I have to say it was a bold move to do that and he must have had clearance from his employer to do it.

It would have worked if he just blocked them personally, but publishing the list holds this to another level. A public standard of corporate acceptability. And that has gone out the window in buzzy boom market and companies where the greed level is high and the oversight is low. I applaud him for publishing them and it is very entertaining to read through the 199 comments on the post. This brings the issue into the online conversations of a lot of people and may even influence the future actions of overzealous PR people.


New Hospitality Marketing Trend

I walk to work here in Chicago and have noticed that there are more small boutique hotels popping up around downtown all the time. I have also been reading about the hospitality industry changing it’s strategy from big brands that offer exactly the same boring box rooms in every city to individually styled local flavor boutique hotels that are smaller and more intimate. They like this because they get to charge more money for this unique and higher class service. (take this Montreal Boutique Hotel for example) Some of these boutique hotels are also owned by the large hospitality conglomerates. I would compare it to people stopping shopping at department stores that have predictable offerings that are all kind of lackluster and the same like Sears and Macys in favor of specialty stores like pottery barn and crate and barrel who specialize in housewares and furniture only and have a lot more variety. In a world that bases growth on worldwide standarization of work roles and manufacturing processes this tells us that people like individuality. They like different things in different cities, and that local businesses should have an advantage against the huge global brands.

Holy Jebus Google Stock hits $700.00 per share

I thought that the Google stock had to top out at 3 or 4 hundred dollars. Apparently the $700.00 price proves I was wrong. What I wonder is why does it keep climbing? Are Google revenues still climbing that much? They aren’t doing that much more now than they did when they went public. Why is it still forecasting such growth? I have heard that stocks don’t represent present or past revenue and growth they represent what these forecasters and market traders think will happen over the next 6-12 months. So what’s in store that drove up the share price $100 bucks in less than a month? I work with google media and I have no idea. they lost out on facebook ad serving and selling and adwords is getting too expensive for some small and medium size businesses. And some forecasters still think it will hit $900 by years end in 2 months. I can’t possibly see that as a justifiable price. It so buzzy though and it does drive all other online media to be perceived as more successful right now. Is it a bubble ala 1999-2000 all over again? I am not sure, but I personally think there will be another recession around 2010. The old 30 year boom bust cycle has been condensed into 10 years by companies shortening the lifespan of products and maximizing their growth methods to grow revenue the same amounts in less time than it took pre- internet. If it becomes less than 10 years in each cycle it will be a really scary roller coaster ride. So lets not be all speculative and buzzy about everything on the net. Look at what drives revenue and converts into sales and don’t take too much buzz into account as far as what media to buy and what companies to invest in.

Bedbugs are awful

A few years ago I noticed some red bites on my leg and thought for a while that I had brought bed bugs into my house via a trip and hotel stay I had for work. (this makes you rethink the process of packing and unpacking with the suitcase on your bed) It turns out that there was no evidence of any bed bugs in the house so I was lucky this time. And they don’t usually hang out in the midwest which made it a little less likley. They prefer to live up east for some reason. Now travel is the main reason you get them and pick them up in hotels that don’t clean well. They are also different than dust mites. You can easily see them and the symptoms of bed bugsand you can’t see dust mites at all. Dust mites are microscopic. I do have these, as alomst everyone does, and encasing my mattress in a vinyl cover has stopped some of my allergies. I still need a duvet cover that is miteproof although it will have to be fabric and washed every 2 weeks which is somewhat a pain. Anyway, I just wanted to post the differences between these since they are getting so much press these days and everyone is going through a panic about finding out whether they have them or not.

Super Bowl Sunday 2008 Almost Sold Out

I’m not sure why the 2008 super bowl ads are almost sold out in October when the game isn’t till February but maybe the holidays inbetween now and then have something to do with it. If you are one of the people who is buying one of these very very expensive FOX $2.7 million dollar 30 second ad spots here are some tips:

1. First consider is it really relevant to advertise in the super bowl? Is there a need for your product in February? Is there a relevance to families, football and/or men? These are the core demographics. If it’s not a match, skip it no matter how badly you want the publicity. 

2. Make em laugh. Funny ads have staying power both at the watercooler the next day and for months afterwards. If people relate to the humor in the situation its even better.

3. Use something new. Don’t run some old ad we have seen a million times already. New creative or no creative is the way to go.

4. Don’t bother with celebrities. Unless its particularly relevant to your product. And I don’t ever really think it is. They raise costs dramatically and don’t really raise the appeal of what a super bowl watcher is looking for.

5. Remember to support this really expensive placement so it is not instantly forgotten before consumers get out their pocketbook. Support the super bowl ad with a well diversified campaign offline, online and everywhere else. This means everything from TV commericals for weeks afterwards, search ads, social networking if possible, blogs if possible,  a microsite or at least a mention of the ad on your home page and make it available to view online, print ads if you still do that, emails linking to microsite and coordinating online display ads too.

6. You can make spending this much money on an ad a publicity event in and of itself. It is cheezy though and people don’t really care unless they are benefitting from it. A press release can be ok, and reveal some hints about why the ad will be appealing, but leave the big reveal of the commercial for the actual game. But again this is totally stupid if your ads are not new, not edgy, not funny and not successful. So, proceed with caution here.

Review of Sidestep for traveling

I first heard about sidestep.com for traveling about 3 years ago. Someone in my office was using it to find travel deals on flights they had to make for work. The company did not have a policy about using a travel agency so it was up to each person to find their own flights and book them on their own. I still do this, since you never know if there will be a flight when and where you want it if someone else is booking. I am also really picky about which airlines and which airports I use. I have traveled enough to know some are crappy and so frustrating it’s not worth saving 20 bucks. So, I am looking at Sidestep again today and see that round trip flights for a week in Hawaii from ORD are $879.00.  (yes, we have a client in Hawaii, and some extra time there with Maui outdoor activities would be fun)   The site takes a long time to load the search results because it is pinging for data at so many other sites. After that I get a long list of airfares from all kinds of airlines. You get to purchase direct from the airline and Sidestep earns a commission for the sale. It pretty much condenses your search and really works for finding new airfares you don’t see listed elsewhere. So now about Hawaii…

How to prevent cancer? Be thin.

I have been more interested in how people can cut their risk of cancer latley since I found out that despite my family history of no cancer I am just as much a possible target as anyone else. Today the BBC email I get reported on a new study that had 10 points to follow for reducing your risk of all types of cancers. I found that it was much more specific that a lot of other lists I have seen naming foods specifically that you have to avoid. This makes these points easier to follow. Here is the list:



Limit red meat


Limit alcohol


Avoid bacon, ham, and other processed meats


No sugary drinks


No weight gain after 21


Exercise every day


Breastfeed children


Do not take dietary supplements to cut cancer