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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Cluetrain Revisited
You need to read this again.
Seriously. You're gonna be AMAZED at how relevant the the text is now -- perhaps even moreso than when it was published five years ago.

What does The Cluetrain Manifesto mean now that we're in the age of satellite radio, iPods, personal podcasts, and corporate strategies that include blogging?

I don't care what book is at the top of your stack right now -- put it down and re-read this one. Already gave it away? Sold it to a used book store, etc.? Buy it again or read it online.

See?
You don't even need to BUY a clue -- sometimes they're free.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Zombie Radio:
Dawn of the Dead (Air)

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NOTE: Thank you to everyone who's voted so far -- in a matter of hours the proposal shot to #1 in the ChangeThis Proposals Top-10, AND hit #1 in the email rankings (And I've got the screenshots to prove it) -- THANK YOU!
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About a month ago I submitted a proposal to Seth Godin's ChangeThis.com project, a site that is dedicated to helping spread new ideas through published 'Manifestos' available for online reading, download, and forwarding.

My proposal centers around my rather strong opinion that terrestrial radio as we know it is on its last legs. It's quite possibly already dead, and simply lumbering around on zombie-like reflexes in search of some new broadcasting "braaainnssss." If they don't change the way the think, program, and position themselves in the marketplace, they may find their value as an entertainment and advertising medium in a death spiral from which they may not recover.

I learned today that my proposal has been accepted, and if it captures enough attention I will be invited to write a full-blown ChangeThis Manifesto which will be published on the website for all to see.

But, I need YOUR help!
If I am to be invited to write the Manifesto, I first need to collect enough votes from people who think it might be worth reading.

Please visit the link below and cast your vote for "YES! Write this Manifesto!"
Zombie Radio : Dawn of the Dead-Air

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Zombie Radio:
Dawn of the Dead (Air)

About a month ago I submitted a proposal to Seth Godin's ChangeThis.com project, a site that is dedicated to helping spread new ideas through published 'Manifestos' available for online reading, download, and forwarding.

My proposal centers around my rather strong opinion that terrestrial radio as we know it is on its last legs. It's quite possibly already dead, and simply lumbering around on zombie-like reflexes in search of some new broadcasting "braaainnssss." If they don't change the way the think, program, and position themselves in the marketplace, they may find their value as an entertainment and advertising medium in a death spiral from which they may not recover.

I learned today that my proposal has been accepted, and if it captures enough attention I will be invited to write a full-blown ChangeThis Manifesto which will be published on the website for all to see.

But, I need YOUR help!
If I am to be invited to write the Manifesto, I first need to collect enough votes from people who think it might be worth reading.

Please visit the link below and cast your vote for "YES! Write this Manifesto!"
Zombie Radio : Dawn of the Dead-Air

---------
NOTE: Thank you to everyone who's voted so far -- in a matter of hours the proposal shot to #1 in the ChangeThis Proposals Top-10, AND hit #1 in the email rankings (And I've got the screenshots to prove it) -- THANK YOU!
---------

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Build Successful
Ideas From Trends
Want to create an idea you won't have to try so hard to sell? Innovate new products and services from statistics.


All Idea Guys and Gals are guilty of creating those ideas we're simply 'in love with'. We don't have a solid reason for personally believing the idea is great -- it's just a gut reaction. As such, it's much harder to sell others on the concept. Business minds and investors need facts and figures to buy into an idea, and a lot of the time the concept is so ahead of the curve that it's difficult to find any stats to back it up.

Save time convincing others of the idea's benefit
by starting with a stat, and innovate from that. You can find stats and numbers everywhere. The newspapers and magazines are full of statistical and trend data -- it's all in how you read it, and what you DO with the information.

Here's a stat for you:
"Four out of 10 active travelers are grandparents going with their grandchildren or extended family on vacation," said Peter Yesawich, author of Leisure Travel Monitor, which tracks travel habits, preferences and intentions of Americans.
May 6, 2005 - OrlandoToday.com

Do you simply read right past something like that, or does it scream "opportunity for innovation"? Knowing the Boomer generation is aging everyday, you can safely expect that stat to increase. What are you going to do with that knowledge?

A couple quick possibilities:
Service Idea...

Many restaurants offer a "kids eat free special" -- but what about the grandparents? Could resort restaurants capture more diners by rolling out this service?

What if amusement parks offered an area where the grandparents could ride the attractions WITH their grandchildren, rather that kids-only rides?

How about a "Great-Grandparents Great Escape" -- a senior-friendly area where the grandparents can getaway from their large travel group and spoil themselves silly for a couple hours? Excellent way to increase sales in spas or resorts.

Product Idea...

Travel versions of classic games that Grandma and Grandpa fondly remember, but will also occupy the kids during the trip. How about boardgames that hang vertically from the backs of car seats? Soft fabric playing pieces stay in place with Velcro, and the whole things rolls up for easy storage under the seat. (Hey, that's not bad!)

Any of the above ideas are viable innovations based on that single statistic -- and the article is FULL of them.


Travel not your thing?
Check trade magazines from an area in which you ARE interested. Every issue covers topics important to their specific industry -- and don't forget the hundreds of general magazines on every topic imaginable available at your nearest newstand.

Pick a page, choose a stat, and start brainstorming!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Music biz wary
of copyright

sharing movement
Well, DUH... of course they are.
Reminds me of a great quote from William Blake:
"I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's."
Here's a link to the Reuters article.

How wary would YOU be if the public (and a good number of your own clients!) so despised your business practices that they turned around and created their own business model?

Would you rethink your stance, or rush forward with self-imposed blinders toward your own extinction?

I think we all know what the music industry is doing...

Saturday, May 21, 2005

New ReleaSeS
Audible.com uses RSS feeds to provide new release alerts
Excellent use of RSS feeds to keep your customers informed. What a great (free!) service to provide your clients!

Clothing stores could let shoppers know when the new seasonal fashions are in stock, or when a delivery of new red shoes has arrived.

Music stores could alert feed subscribers of new releases and additions to their used-CD collection.

Restaurants could provide chef specials, bars could provide happy hour details.

Car dealers could alert interested buyers of available cars in-stock without ever seeming pushy or rude.

Go see what Audible is doing, and think about how can you adapt this concept to YOUR business.


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Riddler Makes His Final Escape
The phenomenal Frank Gorshin is dead at 72.
Sure, the Penguin was amusing, the Joker maniacal, and no one made being "bad" quite as attractive as the Catwoman -- but The Riddle was always my favorite villain on the Batman tv series. Whether it was the green spandex or his signature green bowler and question-mark covered suit, I thought Frank Gorshin was the most nattily dressed nasty on the show.

The Riddler's obsessive-compulsion to provide his caped counterpart with a cleverly worded clue to his next mischevious deed seemed a creative cry for help -- not exactly turning himself in, but providing someone with enough smarts to catch him. Almost as if he didn't want to be a villain, he was just bored and needed something to challenge his mind.

Frank Gorshin played the role with relish, and that goofy giggle of his has stayed in my head since childhood. I always liked catching Gorshin on television and hearing is spot-on imitations of folks like Kirk Douglas, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin, and James Cagney.

Mr. Gorshin died Tuesday from complications due to lung cancer, emphysema, and pneumonia. He was a talented guy, and I count myself as a big fan.

Frank Gorshin's final performance will be on Thursday's episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

I just hope he gets to ask a final riddle.
Losing Your Links
Just a reminder to all my blogrolling friends -- please update your links to MyBrainBlog. In just a couple weeks MyBrainBlog will be moving from this ".blogspot.com" address to a wonderful and wild domain of its own -- www.MyBrainBlog.com.

Don't worry about switching too early, the new domain is auto-forwarding until that fateful day when we turn off the lights and lock the door on the way out of our blogspot efficiency suite, and move into our new Trump-like digs. I picture the new place as a really cool loft apartment overlooking the city.

With the new domain will come a new look.
I'm really excited about the new design, and I can wait to unveil it -- a brand new look for both MyBrainBlog and the entire DTIG site. It's gonna be coool. (Just like that imaginary loft apartment in my head!)

Tom Peters has already linked to my new domain, why haven't you?

It is SO cool being able to say Tom Peters is linked to my site!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Dolphin Death Ray
For those of you paying attention, you've noticed I added a new link to my "other" blog at RedBirdPromo.com. It features printing and promotional products designed to build your business. Although, sometimes I does stray a bit...

Like today -- I've featured a bizarre new ad speciality that just gotta see to believe. Follow the link for a picture and explanation.

Laser Dolphin Death Ray of Dooom!

Friday, May 13, 2005

Audio Revised
If you listened to the earlier recording, I invite you to take another listen to the "Directors Cut" version. Many improvements have been made to audio quality, and I'd love to hear any comments on the content. Just post them below!
BrainBlog Broadcast
All Signs Point to Creativity
You know how I kept promising to add 'mini-seminars' to the new Idea Guy Jukebox at the top of the page? I finally did it. It was a little strange 'talking to myself' as I recorded the audio, but I'm happy with my first attempt.

It sounds a little like I'm talking from the bottom of a trash can, but my skill with the audio recorder will improve with practice.

Take a listen by clicking the PLAY button above -- leave a comment and let me know what you think. If there's a creative topic you'd like me to use for a future BrainBlog Broadcast, leave that in your comments as well.

If you'd like more info on the software I use for the audio player, click HERE for a review and details on The Wimpy Player.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

John The Idea Guy
He's no "Don" -- but he has a pretty cool blog on creativity, too. ;)
John's Ideas And Creativity

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Changing Your Mind
I have been completely obsessed with a couple books that are changing the way I think about life, work, and success.

The first has been my first-of-the-day read for about a year and a half. It's the first book that's taken me a year to read -- on purpose. Napoleon Hill's Positive Action Plan contains 365 entries (one for each day of the year) that give you a specific action/attitude/concept on which to focus for that day.

Sections are broken into monthly topics -- April was Goal-Setting, May focuses on Action -- with an daily dose for each day of the month. It's a sure-fire way to begin each day in the right frame of mind and develop your mental attitude over the course of a year. I hope I'm a little better this year than I was last year -- but I don't know for certain. As Jeffrey Gitomer says, I'm going to keep doing this for another 30 or 40 years and then decide.

The book is very easy to zip right through, and sometimes I find myself skipping ahead a few days -- but I always go back and address that single thought/action for that one day. You won't feel overwhelmed by the content, and you can make lasting changes over time (not over night!)

Positive Action Plan

The second book is almost the opposite -- The Success Principles by Jack Canfield is one big mo-fo of a book! It's over 500 pages long (vs. Positive Action Plan's 208). But the same basic principle applies -- small changes in your attitudes and actions will lead to big rewards in life. Not just financial (although it will help you increase your wealth as well), but it will help you build a more rewarding work life and family life.

The hardest thing about this book is lugging it around with you. It's only available in hardback right now, so the hardcover added to the 500+ pages makes it quite the paperweight.

Success Principles

It reminds me of the old joke about "how do you eat an elephant?" The answer is "One bite at a time." So, I've decided to simply start chewing on this great content -- a minimum of 5 pages per day. At that rate (only reading the minimum number of daily pages) it will take me over three months to complete! But this is valuable stuff, folks. I'll be a much richer person when I'm finished eating this elephant, and chances are (from the content I've read so far) that I'll go back for second and third helpings.

In 100 days my mind will be full of enough nourishment to keep me growing as a person for a long time -- and you'll just be 100 days older.

I suggest you start chewing.

--------------
PS: Many thanks to my buddy Michael York for telling me I simply HAD to read Jack Canfield's new book. This is a perfect example of why I always want friends who are smarter than me. Thanks, Michael!

Friday, May 06, 2005

Yes, I am a
commercial whore.

There's nothing wrong with making a buck (or two).
If you've noticed the growing list of banners down the right-han side of this page, you may have correctly assumed that I am a fan of webcomics. As such, I had an idea this morning while reading Jeph Jacques' QuestionableContent strip. The idea was sparked by the fact the main character (Marten) has posters of his favorite bands adorning the walls of his apartment.

Here's the idea --

Why not make the album art an interactive 'click-to-buy' link?

For those new to Questionable Content, much of the story revolves around coffee shop-type conversations about life, love, and music. Many of his episodes deal with the music of his favorite bands -- since he's already recommending music, why not link to music, books, products, etc. by using the background images to link to affiliate programs?

Jeph maintains the site through donations and profits made by selling his t-shirt creations. My idea is basically a plan for product placement like they do in films, but this idea should be MORE successful, because (unlike films) viewers of online comics have the ability to immediately buy a featured product. They don't have to leave a movie and remember the song they heard or the style of shirt the actor wore in the first 30-minutes of the movie.

Want to see the the movie Marten and Faye are talking about?
Click on the DVD case in the video store background and buy it from Amazon.

Like the music review or album art you see in Marten's apartment?
Click the wall-art and download the single from iTunes.

Think the shirt design Dora is wearing would look good on you?
Click the cartoon version and link directly to the QuestionableContent store.

The more people see ads, the more they become immune to their presence. Placing advertising in context with the content of whatever you're viewing simply makes sense. Those items (album covers, shirts, etc.) were already going to be IN the toon anyway -- I'm just giving you a way to make them more profitably interact with your visitors. Jeph's daily readers are already interested in buying his shirts and hearing his music choices -- the contextual links simply make them easier to purchase.

I think this could be a profitable idea for most any online comic.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

BirdBrainBlog
Have you had a chance to check out my new printing and promotion-themed blog at RedBirdPromo.com?

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

There are details on a great promo for sharp-looking business card cases, and a fun list on how to tell whether your business card is "Case-Worthy."

I hope you'll find the blog useful in your promotional efforts, and perhaps even find the RSS feed "Subscription-Worthy."

Visit the RedBirdBlog HERE.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Reason Why
I wrote a few days ago that the link to my blog will be changing from its existing home at a "dontheideaguy.blogspot.com" address to the much cooler www.MyBrainBlog.com (I'll wait here while you go update your links...)

My reasoning was that more people now find me through my blog than my website. I figured it was simply because more folks and friends were linking me from THEIR blogs and using the BrainBlog address. While that may be true, John Jantsch at Duct Tape Marketing provides a few more reasons why the BrainBlog gets better traffic than DonTheIdeaGuy.com.

I've shared a few of the reasons below (the ones that made lightbulbs appear over my head), but you'll have to read the article for the rest of the valuable advice.

A few excerpts from today's Duct Tape Marketing Newsletter...
---
...search engines are in love with real blogs. By real blogs I mean blogs that are set-up and run by businesses that offer useful content on them... When you understand a little about how blog software works you get a better understanding about why search engines love blogs.

Lots of Pages
Each blog entry is shown in chronological order on a blog’s homepage but, each entry is in reality its own web page, with its own unique URL and title. So, an active blogger can create hundreds of keyword rich web pages in a matter of months.

Wake Up Call
Because search engines love changing content, they are ever ready to visit a site when it is updated. One feature unique to blog software is something called a pinging. Basically, what you are doing is sending out a message to various blog directories to come and visit you site because it has been updated. Once a search engine has located your site, this is like a personal invitation to come back and get the new stuff.

RSS Directories
Blogs also have a built in distribution method known as RSS. This allows you to push your updated content out to people who subscribe through an RSS reader such as Bloglines or FeedDemon as well as Yahoo and MSN. This ability allows you to communicate directly with subscribers but it can also help get your main site noticed and indexed by the major search engines. Yahoo, for example, allows people (including you) to subscribe to your blog’s RSS feed. On the day you create your blog, you can subscribe to it via a free MyYahoo account and Yahoo will visit and index your blog for free. It has no choice.
---

DUH. It's so obvious (now that John has explained it.) Subscribing to your own feed causes the engines to seek out your site -- aggravatingly simple. It almost makes me think I need a blog coach. John has several more words of wisdom to share with you -- take a look at the most recent issue of his Marketing Tips newsletter.

I've got to go now -- I have some RSS feeds to which I need to subscribe... My own.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Creative Combos
Some of the best ideas come from uniting two seemingly disparate items. Of course, some of the weirdest ideas come about in the same fashion...

Click here to join ideas4u
Join the IDEAS4U
Yahoo Group


Sparking Ideas...


Anyone still here? Haven't you realized the blog h...

RSS Subscriptions When I asked in my previous post...

For want of a blog ...an RSS feed was lost. Still...

The Old One, Two, Squidoo Have you seen Squidoo? I...

Incredibly Bad Decisions About Incredibly Success...

Which will YOU choose? Brainstorm Black, Eureka Re...

Now Showing ...in another theater... If you're sti...

Why are you still here? I told you I moved. DTIG ...

The BrainBlog is now MY BrainBlog! The switchover ...

Be An Otter Great quote from a conversation betwee...


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DON the IDEA GUY

The Idea Department | PO Box 26392 | Columbus, OH 43226 | Phone/Fax (614) 340-7910
me@dontheideaguy.com