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Sunday, August 29, 2004

Comic Catch-up
Updating the toon linkage
Many of you may have latched-on to the fact that I'm a big fan of webcomics. There are several daily stand-bys and few weeklies to which I am completely devoted.

A few of you have sent links to other toons you thought I might enjoy, and I've added a new roster of mini-banners to my comic linking area down the left-hand side of this page. My two newest favorites are Return To Sender and Questionable Content.

I've followed Return to Sender from the beginning, and I love the concept, but I'm so hooked that it KILLS me to have to wait for each update! The artist, Vera Brosgol, is only 19 years old and is talented beyond belief. Check out her primary website (it includes an online portfolio) and you can pretty guess she's got great things ahead of her.

Questionable Content is a comic I just discovered this past Saturday. Storytelling takes the spotlight in this comic, and you can feel the plot move forward with each update. I was so captured by the work that I sat and read every page from the first episode to the current one in a single sitting (175 pages!) The other thing I like about this comic is the rapport the creator (Jeph Jacques) builds through the journal-type entries that accompany most updates. If he makes an obscure reference, he'll explain it. If he mentions a favorite song in the strip, he'll hook you up with the information about the band and a review of their latest release. If he does/doesn't like the way something turned out, he'll tell you. It's a real pleasure watching this guy's style evolve as the strip progresses.

Jeph recently went from updating the comic three days a week, to a full five days per week. This guy takes his work seriously, and we get to benefit from daily story updates!

Do yourself a favor and visit the comic sites to which I link. I think you'll be surprised to find that most of them are way beyond anything you'll find in your newspaper funny pages.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Things I Believe
Tom Peters Adds Monster Manifesto to ChangeThis
Tom Peters is easily in the top three of my list of 'coolest people that cause big trouble' (Jeffrey Gitomer and Seth Godin would be the other two.)

When two of the three get together on a project, you just KNOW the result is going to be revolutionary.

Seth Godin's new ChangeThis collection of monumental manifestos has just added one authored by Tom Peters. Peters' contribution is "This I Believe! - Tom's 60 TIBs" is it's awesome. It's also free, so just follow the link and read the PDF file.

While you're visiting ChangeThis, browse around and read another manifesto or two... or three. There's some great ideas to be found!

Monday, August 23, 2004

It's About What it Means to be a Human Being in a Global Society
It's about what it means to be a human being -- period.
A Closer Walk is the first film to depict humankind’s confrontation with the global AIDS epidemic. The film’s director and producer, Robert Bilheimer, is an Academy Award nominee for his film Cry of Reason, a profile of the South African anti-apartheid leader Beyers Naude.

A Closer Walk was conceived with the late Jonathan Mann, architect of the World Health Organization’s response to global AIDS. A Worldwide Documentaries production, A Closer Walk has been produced in association with the Global Health Council.

The Dalai Lama, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and Bono of U2 all appear in the film. Glenn Close and Will Smith provide narration.

Visit the site, read the text, watch the movie trailer.
The next question has to be -- What can I do?

Friday, August 20, 2004

Sue A Spoofer
Spoofers skirt spam securities
Turns out trademarking your domain name can give you legal recourse for those bastards using your good name to slip into in-boxes.

ClickZ expert, Ann Mitchell shares the low-down on how to get back at those low-down dirty scoundrels.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

That Old Black Magic
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke made the remark above in his book Profiles of the Future.

The same opinion is held by Satyam Cherukuri. He's the Chief Executive Officer of Sarnoff Corporation and quoted in the Hindu Business Line as saying "It may look like black magic but there is a lot of discipline and thought behind innovation." It's a pretty good article -- take a look.

Props to my creativity-minded new friend, Naina, for linking to the story in her ASIDE Innovation Blog -- also a pretty good read. I encourage you to make a visit.

Monday, August 16, 2004

What's All The Flap About?
TruckerBoy Turns Tables
We've all seen those chrome silhouettes of nekkid women on the mudflaps of trucks on the highway, but how many of us have actually done anything about it?

In the eternal quest for equalilty, TruckerBoy now offers a little something for the ladies...

Monday, August 09, 2004

No Position?
How do you know where your Brand stands?
Laura Ries, president of Ries & Ries, an Atlanta-based marketing strategy firm, and heir apparent of Papa Al Ries' title of "Positioning Guru" started an excellent blog a couple months ago on the Origin Of Brands.

One of my favorite posts is her refresher course for people who think Positioning is dead -- they're wrong.

Read about it here -- Positioning is Alive and Well.

Laura is also the author of several best-selling books on the subject, not the least of which is the invaluable 11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

For Angus...
Is this link big enough?

Friday, August 06, 2004

Dove Foundation
Ruffles My Feathers
Bad marketing choices will cook this bird's goose.

I received a telemarketing call this morning from a company called The Dove Foundation. They wanted to speak with the lady of the house (there isn't one), then launched into an explanation about how they would call back to discuss better entertainment choices for children (there are none of those in the house either) -- everytime I tried to give this guy information that could help him realize I was not in their target demo, he talked over me.

By the end of the call I was just trying to tell him not to call again and remove me from his list -- but all he wanted to do was spit out his script, speeding through it and shouting me down whenever I tried to speak.

I'm in marketing. I like the sales process. I enjoy speaking with other marketing professionals. I was truly trying to help this guy -- but he just wanted to spew his script to anyone on the other end of the line.

I don't give much thought to telemarketing.
I guess it can be effective for some companies, but it's a choice that seems to upset more people than it sells, so why bother? If you make one sale out of a hundred calls, do you think it's worth the effort?

Let me put it another way...
If you pissed-off ninety-nine people out of every hundred you called, would you still want to make those hundred phone calls?

When was the last time a co-worker told you about getting call for a great deal on lawncare or replacement windows? It's more likely they told you about some rude idiot who called you during Friday night's episode of Monk about some crappy product you didn't want or need. Now you've got two people who hate you, and your telemarketer didn't even speak to one of them!

I don't think of telemarketing as the evil thing so many others believe it to be. Basically, I don't believe telemarketing itself is "bad" -- I just think there are lots of "bad telemarketers."

For instance, I'm on the National Do Not Call list. By rights, this guy from Dove shouldn't have even phoned me. But again, I really don't care. I just joined the list to reduce the number of calls I receive. If I truly don't want to be interrupted by phone calls, I simply don't answer the phone.

We've all visited businesses where we received less than great service -- heck, usually it's less than average service -- but we tend to blame ourselves. We say "I never should have gone there in the first place", "I should have stuck with the other-guys", etc. But with telemarketing, you're reaching out to people who may not have heard of you -- people who never considered your product before. The whole idea is to make a good impression, and see if you can get them to consider your product or service in the future.

The Dove Organization didn't do this.
They most likely selected the telemarketing company that came back with the lowest bid for executing the project, and the highest quantity of phone numbers they could call (apparently because the telemarketers didn't care if the numbers were qualified buyers, nor if they were on the Do Not Call List.)

So, instead of telling you about a company that may or may not have a solution for finding better entertainment choices for your children, I'm telling you about a company whose name I now associate with a phone call that pissed me off.

I wonder how many other people they called this morning?

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

First the Chicken...
Now for something a little "fowler"
Subservient President picks up where the chicken left off. Type in a valid keyword and the "President" will obey.

The ones I've learned so far?
Cut Taxes
Raise Money
Question (this one is a little sick)

...and my all-time favorites: WMD and Secrets.

If anyone else runs across more command words, please post them in the comments section below.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Curses... Foiled again!
Matthew Homan beats me to another great post on creativity.

Matt -- of [non]billable hour fame -- found an excellent post on "How To Be Creative" written by Hugh Macleod in his Gaping Void weblog.

Matt chose #1 as his favorite, but I'm having a harder time picking a favorite -- they're all great! I think I'm going to read this list everyday over my morning cup o' caffeine. It can serve as an incredible pre-game pep talk for all us creative-types.

Holy Crap!
This guy's a genius.
Free IDEAS-4U!
Ten more ebooks plus a PowerPoint presentation
As subscribers to my FREE "IDEAS-4U" newsletter know, once you signed-up for the mailing list you received a link to a special "Free Stuff" page with about a dozen ebooks, half that many guides and workbooks, and access to my ever-growing collection of creativity bookmarks and weblinks.

Well folks, it's time to visit that freebie page again!
This morning I added links to more than TEN additional ebooks, including a PowerPoint presentation on the 'two types of customers' and a collection of three audio books dealing with intellect and intuition.

It costs zip, zero, nada, to access all this valuable content -- you just have to sign-up for the FREE IDEAS-4U newsletter.

Upon registration, a welcome message will be sent to your email address -- scroll down to the letter's "PS" and you'll find the secret link to unlock access to all the valuable content listed above -- and much more.

You can sign-up for the newsletter by visiting this page.
Hundreds and hundreds -- thousands! -- of ideas await you!
There's something terrifying out there in the dark
Quick, Robin - to the Bat-Time Machine!
If I had a time machine, I would set it for Summer 2005 and go see the new Batman movie, Batman Begins.

I mean, sheesh! What a cast --
Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman... and have you seen the new Batmobile???

SIGH... But until that day comes, I suppose the trailer will have to do.

Well, the trailer and watching Tim Burton's version of the Caped Crusader. Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne is still one of the most inspired casting choices I can think of. Looks like Christian Bale will be pretty cool too!

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