I’m sure there’s no one left here, but if there is, I’ve transferred this blog to

Please check it out there!




SXSW makes me realize my neglect…

As I’m getting ready to head to SXSW Interactive next week, I realized that I haven’t been overly diligent in keeping this site up to date.

Thankfully, no one’s reading it anyway!

But, I figured I should have somewhere to send people on my business card, so it’s time to start posting regularly and building a home base as Chris Brogan talks about. Sure, I’m on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. but I need that central hub. So, it’s time to get to work and build this up.

Step one is going to be a series of posts about my experience at SXSW Interactive as a newbie. I’m really looking forward to the event and hope to record my experience during my first year there.



SXSW makes me realize my neglect…

Will the iPad revolutionize fiction?

With all they hype surrounding the iPad, it’s likely that this has been touched on already. If so, I apologize. I was thinking the other day about the potential for this device to completely change the way the world digests fiction.

Here’s what I mean.

If you’re not familiar with J.C. Hutchins, he wrote a book a short while ago called Personal Effects: Dark Art. If you haven’t read it, go get it now…it’s a great read. (Incidentally, read everything he’s written. Once you do, you’ll understand why this post makes me so sad!)

I won’t go into the whole plot, but I will say that this book is a thriller that is more an experience than a book. Long before Dan Brown put a phone number connected to an answering service in his most recent book, JC wrote a book that sent out out of the pages of the book to phone number, websites and even included materials within the book to help spread the story outside the pages.

You could follow the clues to various other places that would deepen the story much more than if you simply read the book.

It’s these types of experiences that lead me to believe that the iPad could revolutionize the way we consume fiction. Instead of reading about a website and having to put down the book to go check it out for the story, you can tap and see it right there. Or bring up a photo or audio or video file. Or maybe someday even tap and have your nearby iPhone dial a phone number.

I think that the iPad and similar devices have the opportunity to revitalize the world of fiction reading and expand it into a fiction experience. I can’t wait to see what happens.

Will the iPad revolutionize fiction?

Is this the future of TV advertising?

I was watching this season’s first episode of Wipeout the other night. (Incidentally, if you’re not watching this show, you should check it out)

Since I was watching on a DVR, I was about to fast forward a commercial when they did something I had never seen before. They were going to commercial and said, “Stay tuned during the commercials for some never before seen Wipeout footage.” Then, halfway through the ads there were a few clips that hadn’t been on the show.

Is this the next attempt of TV advertisers to hang on to some sort of relevance?

Will we see more shows putting outtakes, unseen footage, or even essential plot elements in the middle of ads in an effort to keep people watching? Do you think it’ll work?

By the way, I just fast forwarded to the clip, watched it and fast forwarded the rest of the ads.

Is this the future of TV advertising?

When "aggressive marketing" really means spam?

Recently I heard of an industry competitor planning some “aggressive marketing campaigns” that would be launching today. They did, in fact launch, but not in the “aggressive” fashion that I expected.

What the person telling me meant was not an aggressive marketing strategy, but an expanded strategy.

Reach or spam?

To me, when someone tells me that there is an aggressive campaign coming, it means that they are going to the edge. Maybe they’re targeting a competitor and really going after them. Aggressive means they are taking some chances and pushing the envelope.

What they meant was they are getting aggressive and putting out a lot of marketing. Ads, banners, web ads, you name it. They’re getting aggressive by making sure you can’t turn around without seeing them…whether you want to or not.

How is that different than spam?

If you’re going to “get aggressive,” then get aggressive. Call out a competitor. Showcase your advantages. Try something new or different. Take a chance.

Don’t just churn out more crap marketing and call it aggressive. If you believe that’s the way to succeed, then I’ve got an email explaining how you can claim an inheritance in India.

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When "aggressive marketing" really means spam?

The secret to recommendations and word of mouth

It’s no secret that it’s cheaper and easier to keep current customers than to find new ones.

An extension of that for many businesses is that their most successful form of marketing is through their current customers. Call it recommendations, word of mouth, even viral…the concept’s the same. People will trust their friend’s (your customer’s) opinion far more than any piece of marketing you send them.

This leads numerous companies to figure out how they can “get” their customers to talk about them. Many times this looks like trinkets/cards or other collateral that they can pass on to their friends.

It seems to me that a better tactic would be to give them something worth telling their friends about.

Make their experience with your company so great that they can’t help but tell their friends.

It’s probably cheaper than a bunch of keychains.

The secret to recommendations and word of mouth

Why design is the beginning of trust

I read this post today by Todd Henry at Accidental Creative. (As an aside, if you’re not listening to his podcast or reading his blog…you should be!)

He references the following picture that he saw while driving around his town the other day.


His contention is that, when you are asking for a great level of trust (such as turning your kids over to someone) you need to present an image worthy of that trust.

I couldn’t agree more. I think that the first step toward earning this trust, no matter the context, is quality design.

Too often, people/companies create something like that sign for their website, their marketing collateral, their tradeshow booth, or numerous other things. They make something functional, rather than appealing.

Is that sign functional? Absolutely. It tells you the number to call if you need childcare with weekend pickup. It functions to give passerby the message the owner wants to distribute. But, by simply being functional, the sign fails to build a level of trust necessary to achieve the outcome the owner may hope for.

It’s the same with all other parts of your business. You can build a website that “gets the job done.” Or, you can put the time in to make something that presents the image that you can be trusted. Plus, that same level of design can go beyond simply trust and become desire. It can take someone from feeling comfortable at the thought of working with you to wanting to work with you.

Sure, there’s more to it than than as the relationship builds, and you’ll have to keep earning that trust, but that’s the first step. Like they say, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Do you really want that impression to be “functional” or “good enough?”

Why design is the beginning of trust