July 31, 2005
BlogHer Session: $$$ and Sense
Moderator: Elisa Camhort
- Toby Bloomberg
- Carolyn Elefant
- Susannah Gardner
Elisa, one of the co-mothers of Blogher is also the Queen Bee at Worker Bees, a company she founded in 2003. She blogs on no less than 7 blogs including Health Concerns.com, a blog sponsored by eHealth Insurance, to speak about the layperson's perspective on health care and coverage.
Toby is a marketer consultant, a blog evangelist who blogs at diva marketing.
Carolyn, a lawyer whose blog MyShingle.com brings her clients and also inspiration to other lawyers with solo or small practices.
Susannah is co founder of Hop Studios Internet Consultant and the author of Buzz Marketing with Blogs for Dummies. At one point, she was a senior editor of the Online Journalism Review and was one of the editors responsible for the launch of the Los Angeles Times website.
Where do you draw the line when you start thinking about money.
Are you trading credibility when you put ads on your blog?
Each person has to decide whether it's worthwhile to earn coffee money. I started my blog to publicize my book, Buzz Marketing with Bogs for Dummies and that was my primary goal.
Darrell at Problogging is making about $10,000/mo but he writes a number of blogs
Tip jars for lawyers make me wonder if they can run a business or whether they'll 'nickle and dime' me.
I'd draw the line at too many ads that overwhelm the content. Also Businesses with tip jars are questionable unless they're non-profits.
Question to Audience
Do you consider your personal blog your brand. Most of them.
I have a sponsored blog that pays me a monthly retainer. My sponsor eHealth originally brought me in to learn about blogs. They quickly realized they were too heavily
My personal blog is ad free, but I'm planning a commercial blog focused on tea and all the countries where tea comes from and plan to get sponsors or ads
Audience member. Just so it's transparent.
Question to audience
How many would take a sponsor for their ads.
A. About half.
Her experience of creating a blog for Gourmet Station, an online company that sells beautifully packaged food.
T. Alexander is their icon character on the website and introduces newsletters. The blog strategy was to use the character T. Alexander as the blogger who would bring value to their customers with good information.
I blogged the experience on my blog, Diva Marketing. It launched in April and shortly was picked up as 'faux blog' by a marketing professor.
Soon a firestorm of flames by some bloggers who were incensed that their vision of blogosphere, of real people that talked to real people, was threatened. Some of it was ugly and personal. Others supported the character blog and Toby. Even as all the traditional rules of transparency were followed including the character revealing himself in the first post.
Hugh of Gaping Void was one of the those bloggers that reacted badly but was mollified when the company responded in his comments.
The net effect on the business is unclear. The character blog continues. The writer of the blog still offers value-added content and engages in conversations with customers.
Q from audience. How to price it.
Sponsorships and ads are being broken up. Sponsors depend more on time the blog writes about the sponsor. Ads usually depend on click throughs.
Elisa. I went to blog ads as a customer and looked at the traffic of their biggest blogs and prices from there
Susannah. Ask for as much as you could possibly get and go down from there.
Carolyn. I use my blog to leverage new clients. Now, I'm thinking about tools I can sell to solo practitioners. I offer a link to any solo practitioner and sometimes will write a post about them.
Elisa. This generosity of bloggers is the 'light' side of the blogosphere.
Audience member. I've blogged about the science experiments I created for a first grade class and put on Google ads. I made $200/year which I'm donating to the school. A lot easier than a bake sale.
July 30, 2005
BlogHer Con -
This is the start of Blogher live blogging. I've got my coffee, the room is packed and a video Sheryl Crow is playing on the big screen. Now it's Tina Turner, 63 and looking great.
A long jam-packed day means an early start. Attention to detail highlights:
- good breakfast, lots of fruit, small sized muffins, bagels already.
- wireless throughout the lobby and the entire tech center provided by Google
- good looking and skinny folders with all the information we need and no more
- lots of small tables for small groups to talk
- the variety of women from around the country is astounding - a punk rocker next to a middle-aged marketing professional behind a fashion model behind a mommy blogger, in front of the techie, with a lawyer on the side.
- Best tote bags ever from Google
- power strips everywhere
The four co-mothers of the conference, Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort, Jory des Jardins and Katrin Verclas. Congrats to all of them for all their good, hard work in record time.
Lisa Stone begins
Taking women blogging to a whole new level, pushing way past where are the women bloggers.
We know 43-56% of all bloggers are women
At the closing session, we'll create the mother of all to-do lists
Three questions we'll be asking
- what have you learned
- what will you do with this information
- what would you tell other women not here
She thanks all the women who came and showed up. She thanks the sponsors.
Elisa Camahort, reports on the survey. Jory on the guidelines.
Halley Suitt and Charlene Li debate "Playing by the Rules"
Lisa Stone say women bloggers are not showing up in the search results. They're not on the top 100 bloggers on the Technorati lsit.
Charlene Li, from Forrester. There is a game out there, characterized by the 80/20 rule. Some of us want to be on the A list, others blog for their own personal satisfaction. You have to play by the rules .
Haley: Wasn't blogging begun so as not to play by the rules. Weren't the personal stories told by Jeff Jarvis and others influential in changing even the New York Times to
Charlene Li 's rules
1. Be good at networking
We're not as good at networking as the men are.
- Tell people what you can give.
- Ask people for what you need.
Haley says ask for links. ASK. Women don't ask. ASK again. ASK the third time.
2. Be relevant
3. Be unique
Will men only link to other men? Do you have to write about politics? Who cares about the Technorati 100? Don't we have all have our own A list?
Audience says it's key words and search and you can always find the blogs who write on the subject.
Another says traffic is not an end in itself, your goal is. Think about what you want to achieve, traffic is just the means to get there.
Dina another become credible in what you care about. She gives her example of a citizens group in Texas fighting an attempt by local phone companies to ban broadband.
A female tech CEO says its your own sphere of influence that counts. Let's come up with a new metric that measures female bloggers - a new code.
Another Everyday Goddess: let's have more versions of the lists.
Another: join up in networks for woman bloggers
Complaints about Technorati's reliability in posting all the posts tagged Blogher.
Mary Hodder who once worked at Technorati, is working on a community algorhythm that looks at more than inbound links.
Miriam, who speaks five languages, can write in only one - even though she writes primarily about Africa and Asia and people of color.
Mena Trott, President of Six Apart
Live Journal 72% women and under 21
Typepad about 50/50 women, men.
She says she, Meg (founder of Blogger), Katherine of Flick'r are often dismissed, sometimes by other women
Mark: Empower yourselves, all these companies have open APIs, create your own BlogHer 100.
Amber, a teen blogger says send postcards, offline means work too.
Halley. Blog-whoring - isn't that a female derogatory term. Let's not use it.
Charlene, Ask for links when it's relevant
Halley. Push the medium. Start your own companies.
BlogHer -Session #1 Political Blogging Grows Up
Moderator Courtney Lowery
Courtney is a former AP writer and editor who's interested in the intersection of politics and environment and launched a network of blogs called New West .net to talk about growth and change in the Rocky Mountain West.
Roxanne writes at Rox Populi and is the director of sales and marketing for the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies.
Ambra from Seattle works at Google and writes a political blog - Nykola.com and wants to steer people away from the lemming mentality and encourage them to think independently.
Courtney. We're still compartmentalizing political discussions and taking our talking points from the top political blogs. How can we open up the discussion.
Amber. I'm from the more conservative side and I find a lot of the political blogs very boring. They're reporting, not opining. I'm black, Christian, 23, and most interested in opinions, not what I can hear on CNN. I
Roxanne. People who repeat messages in the "parrotsphere" get links. If you have your own voice, you don't get linked. It's too much of an echosphere.
Courtney. You can make politics sexy again by bringing the personal back. The personal resonates. What politics means in your everyday life counts.
Amber. People who don't vote because they don't see the relevance in their own lives. Blogs have the ability to make it real. I've gotten more understanding about social security by reading blogs than by reading any party's website. People are numb to copy written messages. Too many people don't understand and are intimidated by complexities.
Q. How do you break things down for your readers.
Amber. I just write for myself, but what I can do is come at it from a philosophical standpoint. What's the philosophy behind a proposed law And I like to critique political leaders' fashion.
I hear from my emails that people really respond to that.
Q. What can we do to write in a more common language? As a librarian, we need to teach critical thinking. We need to teach what are credible sources.
Roxanne - Who are the experts? I think that expertise can come from a two-way discussion
Q. Bill Clinton tried to start a discussion about race. But it never happened.
Amber. Don't be an anonymous blogger. I emailed one and said you can't keep this up because what you think comes from who we are.
I put up my photo as a black woman and what I think for most people doesn't track. I'm a deviant from black people, I'm a deviant from conservatives. I'm a deviant from woman. Or at least what most people think black, female conservatives should think. I'm myself.
Roxanne. Engage people more from the other side. They're just yelling at each other. I comment a lot on other blogs and ask them - respectfully - why do they think the way they do.
Audience. When I read bloggers on either side, they're much too hostile to the other side.
Amber. If you think that yelling at people will convince them. There is too much mud-slinging. I hate Ann Coulter.
Audience member. She needs a sandwich. She needs a makeover.
Roxanne. But people like conflict, they like drama.
Audience Matthew. He's from England and sees America is a very apolitical country, apart from the 15% who read and write in the blogosphere. How do you get people to get interested in politics?
Courtney: We make it personal. Isn't that what women are really good at.
Audience member. Apart from making it personal, let's get more facts. The news focuses on the polls. Those aren't the facts that people need to make a decision.
Courtney. Where do we want political blogging to go. How do we break out of the echo chamber.
Roxanne. It's marketing. Give them sugar. Weave politics into culture blogging.
Amber. I don't think that people need sugar. They need the truth. I think you just have to be who you are. I'm come across far more interesting pro-life blogs then any
Roxanne. Blogging about Ann Coulter's clothes is the sugar.
Courtney. Too much of the mainstream press dumbs down the issues.
Amber. Everyone should understand politics if they're old enough to vote. The black community often doesn't understand the issues.
Audience member. I'm part of a group blog focusing on second generation South Asian Americans. We have bloggers from all sides of the aisle. It's a unique niche, a void that's become a gathering place for all sorts. It's real, with a variety of voices. Sepiamutiny.com.
Roxanne. You're providing a real service that the mass media isn't.
Audience member. I'm black, married to an Italian, just back from Kenya and I'm really interested in South Asian Americans. Now I know where to go.
July 29, 2005
BlogHer: Chromosome X
Despite the amazing growth of the blogosphere, most of the voices you read are men's.
BlogHer, the first convention of women bloggers, will change that in ever-widening ripples of influence and effect.
Jory des Jardin, one of the founding mothers of Bloghercon, has a series of four pieces at FutureTense, also cross-posted on her blog Paus entitled Chromosome X , that's quite good for setting the context.
Part One examines her own experience of working with women - good and bad. She quotes Tom Peters who says that a woman's model of leadership must prevail if business is to prevail
Women practice improvisation better than men.
Women are more self-determined and more trust sensitive than men.
Women appreciate and depend upon their intuition more than men do.
Women focus naturally on empowerment, rather than on hierarchical “power”.
Women understand and develop relationships with greater facility than men.
Part Two examines why women are different from men and that results in quite different management skills.
My point is that it’s natural for men to want to dominate, and for women to relate and collaborate. ...Let’s not rate any quality as better or worse than the other. Both inherent natures are valuable in the workplace, but with a more networked and global model of doing business becoming the norm, women's inherent skills, ones we’ve often relegated to off-hours endeavors, are the skills required to make things happen.
Part Three uses the BlogHer conference, set up in only four months, record time, as a real life example of some of those skills in action.
It occurred to me: Such a strongly collaborative model as the Do-ocracy was the only way we would be able to pull this thing off.
In my final installment I’ll report more on the experiment and dare to ask the question, is this really a feminine based model, or just a good model of leadership that I like to call feminine?
With humility, Jory concludes
The skills that we have used here have been, yes, detail work—lots of planning. But in larger part we networked, corralled, spread the word, and removed our desire to control the outcome. We simply steered the conference where it seemed to be going, then helped it culminate into action.
This model has provided a huge amount of freedom for me to move. Having full and open discourse and complete trust in the people I work with, a number of my personality glitches—some of my less attractive aspects—fall to the wayside. For instance, I take things far less personally....
To that point, I include this from Evelyn Rodriguez:
“The blogosphere represents the first medium to integrate both the masculine and feminine: a truly androgynous mindset. And integration isn’t a combinatory function but a fusion. More a soup than a salad.”
Perhaps, it is more like Elisa says—good leadership is not enforcing male or female qualities so much as it is about blending them both into androgynous good management, more soup than salad.
July 27, 2005
The eBay Way
In the first half of 2005, Americans sold $10.6 billion of stuff on eBay.
724, 000 Americans make their principal income from buying and selling on Ebay and another 1.5 million supplement their income through eBay.
Connecting buyers and sellers through eBay is up 68% since 2003.
HT. David Weinberger who got it from the Center for Media Research
July 25, 2005
Ideas to Change the World
Funny piece in the London Observer on the recent TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) Conference, called the G8 of the mind, with a stated aim this year of finding, "Ideas Big Enough to Change the World." What's the Big Idea?
According to the reporter, this is how the scientists see tomorrow's world.
1. Climate change is going to happen, whether we like it or not. We should start adapting to life in the tropics and use the money currently spent on well-meaning but largely pointless Kyoto endeavours on something else.
2. The solution to disease in the developing world could be found in a drinking straw that purifies contaminated water. See www.worldchanging.com.
3. Aid doesn't work. At a debate on how the $50 billion for Africa agreed by the G8 nations ought to be spent, the single most applauded idea was that it should be given to the developed world in order to pay off French farmers etc and then abolish the trade tariffs. Ashraf Ghani pointed out that he managed to prise $27.5bn out of the West for Afghanistan but what he needs is to be able to sell his country's products.
4. Aubrey de Grey hopes to bring an end to ageing. But first, he needs £100 million a year in funding (see www.gen.cam.ac.uk/sens/index.html). However, according to Kari Stefansson of Decode Genetics, this could bring about 'global catastrophe'.
5. Buy carbon. It could earn you a 30 per cent conscience-free return. See www.climatechangecapital.com
Or you could just go to TED itself.
100 milestone documents
The 100 milestone documents in our nation's history from 1776 to 1965.
From the National Archives and Records Administration at www.ourdocuments.gov. Nice name. Good use of flash too.
July 22, 2005
Boomers Good Work
There's a deep strain of idealism among boomers a Survey by MetLife Foundation/Civic Ventures finds.
The survey shows that half of Americans ages 50 to 70 want jobs that contribute to the greater good now and in retirement. They want jobs that give them a sense of purpose, that help those in need, that improve their communities and that make a difference.
Next year, boomers start turning 60. Time for the next chapter in their lives.
They are the healthiest, best educated, and largest generation of Americans ever to reach this age.
Never before have so many had so much experience and, given the gains in longevity, so much time to use it
Boomers Guide to Good Work An introduction that jobs that make a difference by Ellen Freudenheim.
Given the critical labor shortages facing education, health care, and social services, the fact that so many people are interested in good work "offers heartening evidence of a potential win-win opportunity of staggering proportions. We could be looking at a huge experience dividend," said Marc Freedman, president of Civic Ventures, a nonprofit think tank and incubator that works to make the aging of America an asset.
"Never before have so many Americans had so much experience and - given longer, healthier lifespans - so much time to use it," said Sibyl Jacobson, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation. "We have a chance to make the most of a huge human resource windfall by capturing years of investment in human and social capital."
Baby boomers, often maligned as self-centered, are ahead of the curve: 58 percent of those age 50 to 59 are interested in these "good work" jobs, with 21 percent saying that they're very interested.
Maybe those baby boomers -and I'm one - will redeem themselves in their retirement.
I wrote more on the optimistic view of the graying of America at Future Tense.
July 21, 2005
Mapping the Moon
July 20 marks 36 years since we walked on the Moon. If you haven't seen Google map the moon. you should.
Click on Apollo 16 and enjoy the ride down to the bottom.
Blogs in Space
BloginSpace.com is beaming web feeds of blogs into deep space using a powerful satellite broadcast.
So when the aliens come, they will know all about Hampsterdance, the Dancing Baby and probably will be singing, "This Land is Your Land, this land is my land" which they will have learned from Jib Jab.
Just some of the top ten web fads according to CNET.
If you want them to know what you're thinking and writing about, add your feed and beam it into deep space and whatever alien life force is out there. Mindcomet says, "Aliens Love Blogs too."
Via BL Ochman's What's Next
July 20, 2005
When WOM becomes WOW
1. Money will be spent syndicating and placing brand relevant content at different points all over the Internet instead of building a perfect website.
2. Use of holistic online environments to manage content we create, purchase and the people we share it with.
3. Fewer celebrity endorsements, more sponsorships on consumer-created sites and more customer-helping-customer services, think Tupperware parties.
4. Media planners who can track, buy and plan media will be the new stars eclipsing the ad agency creatives.
5. More direct marketing and tracking of what happens to a brand message.
We'll see how these pan out as more and more companies try to figure out how to get more word of mouth. Look for WOM to become WOW
July 19, 2005
Packaging for Boomers
10 Tips for Packaging that sells products to boomers from JoAnn Hines, the Packaging Diva.
1. Don't call them old
2. Make it easy to use
3. Make it easy to read
4. Keep the product secure
5. Create relevance. Don't use 20 year old models
6. Don't use celebrity endorsements
7. Make it easy to open
8. Keep it simple
9. Use language that connects
10 Forget about age.
It's Public Relationships
Terrific post by Dave Weinberger on Joho saying it's not public relations, it's public relationships.
PR needs to get out of the intermediation business. It means that more voices have to be allowed to speak from within the corporation, since relationships based on a committee-produced controlled voice will fail. It explains why blogs are such a useful tool: They are public relationships. It assumes there's persistence to the relationship, not merely press releases thrown in our faces whenever the company has some new crap to flog. It assumes mutuality. It relies on the relationships being based on frankness and transparency.
Building public relationships seems to me to be a useful rubric for all that PR agencies do, including the traditional services they will continue to provide.
For example, PR agencies are going to continue to scan editorial calendars looking for opportunities to get coverage for their clients, and they'll continue to monitor and measure what's being said. But if they do that within the context of building public relationships, perhaps they can help their clients get past their obsession with column inches. It's not about that and it never was. It's about building long-term, continuing, honest, mutual public relationships
Google, Yahoo and soon Microsoft are publishing documentation making it easier for programmers to link any Internet date to Web-based maps. Marrying Maps to Data for a new Web Service.
One of the next big growth areas on the web will be contextual advertisements tied to specific locations. The ads would be embedded in the map you generate in a search inquiry.
Say you could view all the houses you were interested in a certain area, all on one map. That's what Paul Rademacher created in housingmaps.com when he overlaid real estate listings from Craigslist onto Google maps
Mash -ups they're called, hybrid web services, part of Web 2.0.
"Web 2.0," a new generation of Internet software technologies that will seamlessly plug together, much like Lego blocks, in new and unexpected ways.
"These are small pieces loosely joined," said Tim O'Reilly, chief executive of O'Reilly Media, a publishing and conference company based in Sebastopol, Calif. "People are creating new functionality by combining these different services."
Yahoo is hoping that groups of Web users will emerge to overlay its maps with restaurant reviews and other kinds of contributions.
"This is not so much about creating a virtual world, but rather helping people with the real world," said Paul Levine, Yahoo's general manager for local services.
This is a Blog
Blog readership is far larger than you imagine.
Almost two-thirds of blog readers don't realize they are reading a blog!
Jonathan Carson has the staggering report at BuzzMetrics
He also asks whether "blog" will be a B2B term that consumers will never embrace.
Fatwah on Blogger
Seems as if the first Fatwah has been issued against the blogger Anarchangel and his family.
A Fatwah has been issued against me by a known terror group. Corresponding groups have responded indicating that I will be eliminated shortly.
They have my name, address, telephone numbers, and the names and addresses of my friends and loved ones.
The FBI has been unable to tell me of any actionable threat, however they beleive that the threat is real. They have warned me to take the standard anti-terrorist precautions, suitable for Bogota or South Africa not Phoenix.
They are also contacting the people on the list that was distributed, including my mother, my stepfather and step siblings, and the people who worked on Team Infidel with me.
Now I don't know how many other bloggers are going to post pictures like Team Infidel shooting a Koran, but it's a disturbing development to learn that some are threatening the lives of bloggers for what they post.
July 15, 2005
Part of the Corporate Memory
A salute to IBM who will be adding blogging tools to its forthcoming 2.5 Workplace collaboration platform.
Interesting that corporate officials see the main benefit to incorporating blogs into business communications is that they become part of the corporate memory
Money Against Data Theft
Soaring 900% this year says Tech Confidential
In an analysis of Fortune 1000 companies, the Ponemon Institute LLC, a Tuscon, Ariz., think tank, projected that spending on technology to safeguard private information will soar more than 900% this year as compared to 2004, with these corporations collectively spending more than $150 million – or $478,000 each – in 2005.
July 13, 2005
Word of mouse
Are Internet searches overtaking personal recommendations, long considered the best source of word of mouth?
In the travel industry, consumers around the world are turning to the Internet first as they figure out where they want to go on vacation.
As blogs continue to evolve as personal filters, presenting only choice bits and commentary, I expect their recommendations and their slams to become more powerful.
If I weren't a Mac addict, and I were shopping around for a new computer, I sure wouldn't buy a Dell after the Dell Hell Jeff Jarvis experienced.
Word of mouth, word of mouse.
July 12, 2005
BBC Hails Blogs
After the London bombings, the BBC calls blogs, the "ideal news resource."
All of a sudden, the blog turned out to the ideal news resource. At their most mundane, weblogs record the minutiae of the author's day; on Thursday, this trivia became the biggest story in the world.
Every feature of blogging found a new use. Comments sections became "Are You Alive?" sections. PayPal accounts became donations to buy beer for the emergency services.
And long before politicians had a chance to make a statement, Londoners' own reactions were being quoted as the voice of Britain around the world.
As the media and emergency services tried to work out what was going on, many of the clues came from the bloggers.
Acts of violence can cause damage in their aftermath; they can frighten people, and they can turn them against each other. This time, there was a new tool available - blogs - and they've been used for communication, help and humour. So much for terror.
Trusts in Brokerage Firms
When you think of trusts, you probably think bank, private bank. And yes, banks have a lot of personal trust assets. The Bank of America has over $125 billion, Wells Fargo has $62B, PNC Bank has $38B, and JP Morgan Chase has $28B in personal trust assets.
But times they are a changing and so is the source of wealth which is most likely to come from an individual's own efforts than from inherited wealth. That, coupled with dissatisfaction with the performance of many banks, has led many people to brokerage firms,
Today, brokerage firms have a 32% market share of institutional and personal trust business, up from 5% in 1991.
Many banks have been slow in coordinating the various departments involved in asset management. Mergers disrupt long-standing relationships between upscale customers and personal trust officers. These factors create two distinct advantages for brokerage firms. First, an increasing amount of US wealth involves “first generation” money; the emerging affluent crowd is heavily populated by entrepreneurial business owners and corporate executives. Second, younger consumers prefer integrated and automated services and view regional brokerage offices as a reasonable substitute for bank branches.
Source. Tiburon Strategic Advisors, Report on Leading Distribution Channels, July 8, 2005
July 7, 2005
Wiki for A Killer Flu
I am happy to report that the wiki I suggested the writers of Effect Measure put up in my post On Borrowed Time has been up now for about a week under the instigation of bloggers at Effect Measure, The Next Hurrah and Just a Bump in the Beltway.
The Flu Wiki is a wonderful experiment in collaborative problem solving in public health and self-reliance.
A Wiki is a form of collaborative software that allows anyone to edit (change) any page on the site using a standard web browser like Explorer, Firefox or Safari.The purpose of the Flu Wiki is to help local communities prepare for and perhaps cope with a possible influenza pandemic. This is a task previously ceded to local, state and national governmental public health agencies. Communications technology has now become sufficiently available to allow a new form of collaborative problem-solving that harvests the rich fund of knowledge and experience that exists among those connected via the internet, allowing more talent to participate.
Already there have been 23,000 page views with contributions from scientists, epidemiologists, sociologists et al according to the DemFromCT, the contributor from the Next Hurrah.
Declan Butler emailed me from Paris as soon as it went up. He's the senior reporter for Nature magazine and the author of the fictional blog that first alerted me to the danger. It's still the best piece for imagining what it will be like when a pandemic breaks out.
If you can contribute do so. Otherwise, just read so you know what's happening and what's not. Here's some other links to get you up to speed.
From Trust for America’s Health, June 2005, A Killer Flu, which projects over half a million Americans could die and 2.3 million could be hospitalized if a moderately severe strain of a pandemic flu virus hits the United States.
In Foreign Affairs, July-August, 2005, The Next Pandemic, by Laurie Garrett. If the H5N1 virus becomes "capable of human-to-human transmission and retains its extraordinary potency, humanity could face a pandemic unlike any ever witnessed."
Avian Flu blog - What we need to know
July 6, 2005
Kodak gets it
The Wall St Journal today, Kodak sharpens digital focus on its best customers: women (subscription only)
Says Chairman Daniel Carp, "Throughout history, women have been the keepers of family memories."
July 5, 2005
Yvonne DiVita whose engaging blog about marketing to women online never fails to enlighten, amuse and instruct, in her musings on marketing links to a wonderful post by Mary Hunt at Attract-Her. (I'm also delighted that she liked Twisting the Lion's Tail.)
Provena St Mary's Hospital in Kankakee, Illinois, has found a sure fire way to attract moms to their birthing center. They've hired photojournalist Bill Jurevich to capture the moment when a newborn first goes eye to eye with their family. That magic moment is captured on DVD and given to every new mom. Of course, they love it and they tell their friends and the hospital benefits in that halo. They are part of that beautiful "touchy-feely" personal moment.
It's called experiential marketing, creating bonds with customers through the sharing of our human experience.
It's the touchy-feely stuff that connects women --- and men too.
Just because it can't be measured easily, doesn't mean it doesn't work. After all, you can't measure beauty, truth, goodness, friendship or love either and they are the things we most value in life.
One of the many wonderful things about the Web is that it allows companies to be more human, more personal by engaging in many different conversations, by listening to many different voices. What after all are markets but conversations in human voices, "open, natural and uncontrived" asks Cluetrain
"We are not seats or eyeballs or end users or consumers. We are human beings - and our reach exceeds your grasp. Deal with it." The Cluetrain Manifesto
Before anything, we are human and it's what's most human about us, the mystery of our very lives, that binds us together. With everything becoming commoditized, it's the touchy-feely stuff that counts.
A Restful Finality
About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.
Calvin Coolidge, 1926, Philadelphia. Via Powerline
Cyber fireworks here
UPDATE: This Mideastern view of the Fourth of July will surprise you.
UPDATE 2: This photo is priceless.
July 1, 2005
It's cheap to be an entrepreneur
From the entrepreneur's channel and Boopy, It's a great time to be an entrepreneur.
His top four reasons;
1. Hardware is 100x cheaper
2. Infrastructure software is free
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Holistic wealth management for boomers.
Via Financial Advisor News, a report from Tiburon Strategic Advisors., strategic consultants to financial institutions on estate planning and charitable giving through life insurance and trust accounts. I can only report their highlights because their full report costs a lot of money.
• For the next two decades, attracting Boomers as clients will be the key to success for financial service companies.
• Their $17 trillion in investable assets will grow to over $30 trillion by 2010, almost doubling in 5 years.
• The highest growth and highest margin business is the wealth management business. The key to winning in the wealth management arena is estate planning. So say executives in the financial services industry.
• Over half of high net worth investors in one survey would like holistic wealth management services beyond traditional investment advice.
• Less than half of all US consumers have created a will and only one-quarter have created powers of attorney for healthcare.
• Since 1997 the number of personal trusts has more than doubled, reaching almost 4 million today, holding almost $3.3 trillion in assets. Since 1998 the number of non-bank trust companies has increased five-fold. I would venture most of them in the twenty-three states that have abolished the rules against perpetual assets, meaning trusts in those states can pass to multiple generations without federal taxation.
• Over $250 billion is donated to charity each year with people, not corporations or foundations, making almost three-quarters of all donations.
• The life insurance industry is consolidating, though it's still fragmented, with 1100 companies today, about half the number of 2000 in 1994. The number of life insurance policies has remained flat, about 167 million individual policies in force.
My bet. Look for a lot more advisors selling life insurance and trusts TO FUND YOUR LEGACY, the charities you select to carry on the work you want to see done in the next decade.