October 2004

marketing transparency

There’s a new plan for media-neutral marketing:
it’s here.


Except it’s not there at all.

No matter how smart the model is (and I don’t know, because I haven’t seen it), it won’t change anything unless folk use it. And if they don’t know what it is, they can’t use it. Too much marketing is based on the notion that the industry is a dark art: it’s high time that it was shown to be a set of simple decisions – which take skill and judgement to make for greatest effect.

So ‘open source’ this model – share it, for the greater good of the industry.

Because you can be sure of one thing: trying to keep the model hidden is an industrial age attitude. At some point it will escape onto the web. Don’t fight that – work with it. Anything else is simply rearranging deckchairs on a submarine.

social blog searching

In parallel to the social side of search, there’s similar stirrings in blog directories.

Kinja users cluster/summarise their blogs & share that summary… easier to see than explain – here’s Kinja’s editors take on food. One step beyond a simple blog directory & search, like technorati.

It’s a natural maturing step. You might even say ‘legitimisation’!

I’d expect these pages to rank well with engines – they’re focussed on one topic, and updated regularly, which should make them a valuable space to advertise, or snag the attention of target interest groups in some other way.


search – or share?

My old stalwart meta-search tool Copernic (v useful as it seems to search just abbout everything except Google) has launched a desktop search tool… I’m downloading now to see what’s what.

The Google Desksearch tool seems to find things that Blinkx misses – but is focussed on MS’ internet Explorer & Outlook – and I don’t really use either – so no matter how smart Google’s searching it’ll always miss webbpages I’ve visited & documents received bby email. Pity.

And all three of these tools rely on careful ranking of existing materials… but should search be ‘specific’ or ‘suggestive’ – I like the way that Last FM uses its network of listeners to play me music similar to my own profile. There are times when ‘suggestive’ search like that would be just fine. I’m trying Furl & Backflip to see if they do provide useful expansions on my webb searches.

Instinct says that the networked community-based product will be most useful.

invisible tech under the hood

Dana Blakehorn’s ‘clue’ this week makes smart points on the evolution of the USA’s mobile business, & its threat from WiFi.

For me the winning hand goes to the industry that hides their technology. Ask most folk to day how their car works, and they can maybe just about start to tell you. Which is a sign of mature technology that ‘just works’. When WiFi gets as easy to use as a phone, it’s in with a chance.

Though WiFi’s main chance may be the sheer complexity of your average mobile phone – as soon as you dig beyond simple tasks their usability falls apart.

Clark County Vote: why not?

The Guardian is asking readers to write to unregistered Clark County voters, advising them on how to vote.

It’s pulled a lot of 1776 responses on Perfect World – no surprise there. How would we Brits feel if well-intended French folk advised us how to vote?

Still (as a Scot) I do sometimes wonder how English folk feel about the Scots having their own parliament, providing a disproportionate number of Cabinet & gov party mp’s, (it’s a cultural thing!) and still voting on English issues in the British parliament.

spam talk & agreement

An international action plan to communicate and cooperate on enforcement action to tackle spam has been agreed by 19 bodies from 15 countries attending the workshop.

The meeting took place in London: full details and list of signatories here.

While welcome, it does read like snow in hell… the two examples of ‘success’ quoted are small & old – spam is a growing daily problem. The safety tips are basic self-defence for anybody with a networked computer.

Shouldn’t this be the meeting where ‘they’ cry out

“for heavens sake people, don’t encourage spammers – you only make things worse…. get filters, firewalls, anti virus, and most of all, don’t open this stuff!”

Spam is costing the networked world a fortune. Where are the tv commercials and (heavens to betsy) the tabloid coverage of the war on evil spammers?
In the meantime, even this meeting noted that “90 per cent of spam in a user’s inbox is traceable to a hardcore element of 200 organisations, with those in the US being the clear leader.”
er, what’s so hard about finding and shutting down those 200 souls?