One Exhausting Post!

This amazing post wore me out just in “quick scan” mode – I can only imagine the work that went into creating it!

Best Internet Marketing Posts of 2007 –  Over 250 links, consolidated by Tamar Weinberg (Techipedia), on just about every topic imaginable touching on internet marketing. Lots of gems here!

Age of Conversation Revisited!

Yes, it’s that time – perhaps an annual event now? – the call for authors has gone out for a collaborative marketing book.

alien_aoc.jpgLast year’s Age of Conversation was a great experience. This year, it should be even better.

Who has “signed up” so far? Well, at least this group has gone public (and surely others are sharpening their keyboards once the topic is announced):

Drew McLellan, Luc Debaiseieux, Ryan Karpeles, Greg Verdino, Lori Magno, Gavin Heaton, Connie Reece, The Kaiser, Katie Chatfield, Tim Jackson, Doug Meacham, C.B. Whittemore, Becky Carroll, Gordon Whitehead, Daniel B. Honigman, Daria Rasmussen, Jay Ehret, Jasmin Tragas, Jamey Shiels, Organic Frog, Bill Gammell, Nathan Snell, Stephen Landau, Stephen Collins, Stephen Smith, Mark Earls, Steven Verbruggen, Neil Perkin, Brett Macfarlane, Dino Demopoulos, Chris Wilson, Asi Sharabi, Angela Maiers, Sandy Renshaw, Steve Woodruff

Here’s the place to go if you’re interested in signing up (from Drew McClellan’s blog).

The authors from Age of Conversation:
Gavin Heaton
Drew McLellan
CK
Valeria Maltoni
Emily Reed
Katie Chatfield
Greg Verdino
Mack Collier
Lewis Green
Sacrum
Ann Handley
Mike Sansone
Paul McEnany
Roger von Oech
Anna Farmery
David Armano
Bob Glaza
Mark Goren
Matt Dickman
Scott Monty
Richard Huntington
Cam Beck
David Reich
Luc Debaisieux
Sean Howard
Tim Jackson
Patrick Schaber
Roberta Rosenberg
Uwe Hook
Tony D. Clark
Todd Andrlik
Toby Bloomberg
Steve Woodruff
Steve Bannister
Steve Roesler
Stanley Johnson
Spike Jones
Nathan Snell
Simon Payn
Ryan Rasmussen
Ron Shevlin
Roger Anderson
Robert Hruzek
Rishi Desai
Phil Gerbyshak
Peter Corbett
Pete Deutschman
Nick Rice
Nick Wright
Michael Morton
Mark Earls
Mark Blair
Mario Vellandi
Lori Magno
Kristin Gorski
Kris Hoet
G.Kofi Annan
Kimberly Dawn Wells
Karl Long
Julie Fleischer
Jordan Behan
John La Grou
Joe Raasch
Jim Kukral
Jessica Hagy
Janet Green
Jamey Shiels
Dr. Graham Hill
Gia Facchini
Geert Desager
Gaurav Mishra
Gary Schoeniger
Gareth Kay
Faris Yakob
Emily Clasper
Ed Cotton
Dustin Jacobsen
Tom Clifford
David Polinchock
David Koopmans
David Brazeal
David Berkowitz
Carolyn Manning
Craig Wilson
Cord Silverstein
Connie Reece
Colin McKay
Chris Newlan
Chris Corrigan
Cedric Giorgi
Brian Reich
Becky Carroll
Arun Rajagopal
Andy Nulman
Amy Jussel
AJ James
Kim Klaver
Sandy Renshaw
Susan Bird
Ryan Barrett
Troy Worman
Neil Vineberg

Then, of course, there’s the upcoming Blogger Social, where real live face-to-face conversation will be happening for one glorious weekend in NYC. CK has all the info over on her blog – but you need to sign up by February 15th! Here’s who is signed up to attend so far:

Susan Bird Tim Brunelle Katie Chatfield Terry Dagrosa Matt Dickman Luc Debaisieux Gianandrea Facchini Mark Goren Gavin Heaton Sean Howard CK Valeria Maltoni Drew McLellan Doug Meacham Marilyn Pratt Steve Roesler Greg Verdino CB Whittemore Steve Woodruff Paul McEnany Ann Handley David Reich Tangerine Toad Kristin Gorski Mack Collier David Armano Ryan Barrett Lori Magno Tim McHale Gene DeWitt Mario Vellandi Arun Rajagopal Joseph Jaffe Rohit Bhargava Anna Farmery Marianne Richmond Thomas Clifford Lewis Green Geoff Livingston Kris Hoet Connie Reece CeCe Lee Jonathan Trenn Toby Bloomberg Seni Thomas Darryl Ohrt Debbie Weil Marshall Sponder Chris Kieff Tara Anderson Joe Kutchera Paul Dunay

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Off-Target Blogging

off-target.jpgAmy Jussel of Shaping Youth took aim at a Target promotion that, in her opinion, was promoting a promiscuous approach.

Target’s reply to this blogger was quite enlightening:

“We are unable to respond to your inquiry because Target does not participate with non-traditional media outlets. This practice is in place to allow us to focus on publications that reach our core guest.”

Ahhh, so now we in the blogging community – the non-traditional media outlet types – are unworthy of attention. Somehow, Target must have obtained some inside information that NO-ONE WHO WRITES OR READS BLOGS shops at Target.

What a dis. And since the story was then picked up by the NY Times (and others), how short-sighted. My guess is that Target will soon pay a lot more attention to “non-traditional media outlets.”

More here, from CNet.

Pharma Web Branding, Part 7 – Abbott

In my occasional series on how effectively pharma companies present themselves on their website home pages, today we arrive at Abbott labs (Abbott.com).

abbott-home-sm.jpg

I will admit right off that I’ve never been a fan of the Abbott logo. I find it singularly uninspiring and I wish that a company that has so much going for it would project a more engaging image. And, the first thing that I noticed on this page was the sub-optimal way the logo is treated, in 2 respects:

    1. The main huge “A” (too big, btw) on the top left is crowded way over to the edge of the screen – no visual buffer. This isn’t Internet 1997 – such placements are easy to control, and this presentation is jarring.
    2. The “Abbott” name just to the right of the huge “A” is a different typeface than the one over at the top right. That’s just wrong. Graphic Design 101 – you have one logo, one typeface, one image.

OK, that’s out of my system. Now, on to white space. Interesting, this site has a lot of it – but unfortunately, it is poorly used. It has what I call “scary” white space – disproportionate placement of the elements in a sea of white, so the viewer feels disoriented. The graphic in the middle seems like Kon-tiki drifting in the vast Pacific. There are too many varying shapes and sizes that don’t fit “pleasingly” in the white.

At least there is a tease to view a patient story front-and-center, which is an element I believe is very important for companies in our industry. However, the rest of the navigation scheme is strictly in the ho-hum “list” motif – “here’s a whole set of links to stuff, find what you want.” That doesn’t crystallize, for the viewer, who Abbott is – what is this company about? What is the mission? What is unique? Why should I care? By this, I don’t mean some dry mission statement. I mean a punchy, summary phrase that immediately grabs my interest and pulls me into the Abbott story (note: the first link under Features, at the bottom of the above graphic, could be a great angle – the story of founder Wallace Abbott).

Once you get past the home page, into the sub-menus, the site is quite pedestrian – a very basic and non-engaging design. I would classify this site as firmly rooted in the past – a Web 1.0 “let’s present information” design that hasn’t yet grown up into effective engagement. It’s safe, it’s conservative – it’s there. Abbott can do better.

Prior pharma website reviews (contained on my Impactiviti pharma-focused blog):

Wyeth

GSK

Pfizer

J&J

Novartis

Sanofi-Aventis

Steve’s Sticky Stuff 1_26

Who doesn’t like to save money? Here’s a page with 21 money-savings sites around the web.

Create your own, instant, no-cost, ad-hoc chat room on-line (ChatMaker).

Fun with time-lapse photography. 13 very cool time-lapse wonders. It’s hard to pick a favorite, though the Milky Way clip is really astonishing. This is a 3/4 cup of coffee stop on the web, so give yourself a few minutes…!

Do’s and don’ts with babies. Hysterical.

7 Wonders – some interesting links to various “7 Wonders”. You’ll have to go there to find out more.

Simple math. This is why I quit any further mathematics study in my first year in college.

If the same wine is either $90 or $10, does it taste the same? You might be surprised to find out

Make your own wine review! This “generator” will allow you to weave in all the upper crust wine descriptions at the press of a button! (example: In the glass, this wine opens up beautifully to offer rich, dense and intensely flavored qualities. This wine is soft and succulent in feel and flavor, with notes of mustard seed and cheese puffs remaining in the forefront thanks to mercifully subtle use of oak. This would be exquisite paired with richer pastas, wild mushroom risotto, grilled salmon and herb-crusted pork tenderloin.)

I laughed so hard it hurt. Forwarded by a sister-in-law: Mrs. Hughes. If you have kids, you’ll especially enjoy this!

Dick’s buys Chick’s

You can’t make this stuff up. Headline spotted this week:

Dick’s Sporting Goods Agrees to Acquire Chick’s Sporting Goods

I guess that’s one way to keep it all in the family. I knew I should have launched a Rick’s Sporting Goods!

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A Jeep on the Altar

One minor scratch.

cherokee-tbone-sm.jpgThat was the toll, on a rainy and rather traumatic night this past week. Yes, the Jeep was totaled after being thoroughly T-boned by an 18-wheeler, but the driver – my son – walked away with only one scratch.

And that is why we bought the Cherokee in the first place. So, consider this an advertisement for selecting first cars that offer some significant protection in an accident, when your kids are of driving age.

And, consider it one more advertisement for the Amica Insurance company, whose customer service I have praised on this blog before. Before we could even get down to the stricken car the next day to remove personal effects, the adjuster had already been there, and within two days of the accident, we had a full report, followed the next day by a phone call to clarify a few items as the settlement was being calculated. As I’ve told various friends, when it comes to price comparisons, this is one of the only areas of life where I don’t even bother. Decades of stellar customer service have convinced me that I can’t possibly find a better insurance company.

All that aside, we are incredibly grateful to God for preserving our son in what could have been a horrible event. As much as I hated seeing that totaled vehicle getting hauled off, I felt nothing but gratitude that it (like a sheep on the altar) took the blow, while my son walked away. I never before considered how the theme of vicarious sacrifice might apply to cars…

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