Thursday, March 31, 2005

Love Comes Quietly - Robert Creeley

Love comes quietly,
finally, drops
about me, on me,
in the old ways.

What did I know
thinking myself
able to go
alone all the way.

from For Love: Poems 1950-1960, Charles Scribner & Son's 1962

The Rain - Robert Creeley

All night the sound had
come back again
and again falls
this quiet, persistent rain.

What am I to myself
that must be remembered,
insisted upon
so often? Is it

that never the ease
even the hardness
of rain falling
will have for me

something other than this,
something not so insistent ---
am I to be locked in this
final uneasiness.

Love, if you love me,
lie next to me.
Be for me, like rain
the getting out

of the tiredness, the fatuousness, the semi-
lust of intentional indifference.
Be wet
with a decent happiness.

from For Love: Poems 1950-1960, Charles Scribner & Son's 1962

The Language - Robert Creeley

Locate I
love you some-
where in

teeth and
eyes, bite
it but

take care not
to hurt, you
want so

much so
little. Words
say everything.

love you

then what
is emptiness
for. To

fill, fill.
I heard words
and words full

of holes
aching. Speech
is a mouth.

from Selected Poems, Charles Scribner & Son's, 1976

The Carnival - Robert Creeley

Whereas the man who hits
the gong dis-
proves it, in all its

Even so the attempt
makes for triumph, in
another man.

Likewise in love I
am not foolish or in-
competent. My method is not a

tenderness, but hope

from Selected Poems, Charles Scribner & Son's, 1976

Robert Creeley - Passes on

Yes, Robert Creeley has left us. He lived a long and full life with a bunch of poetry published.

''There are two things to be said about Robert Creeley's poem," the critic John Simon once wrote. ''They are short; they are not short enough."

I am amongst those who liked the shortness of his poetry. He wrote in a normal everyday language more in the William Carlos Williams vein than in the T.S. Eliot literary reference vein.

I have only two of his books on my shelf. Some pages are marked with the corners turned down. Reviewing them now takes me back quickly to a time long ago. Life was so much different then. They do contain some memorable lines.

I'll post a couple of my favorites here. It may be an introduction to someone you had not read before. You can still read him. His legacy is such that he has left that behind for us.

Goodbye Robert!

Monday, March 28, 2005

5 Blog Email

This is the text of the email (per Seth's 5 Things To Do Today) that I just sent...

If you were to read only these five blogs, you would have spent the time well.
Seth's blog introducing his new book, always good marketing advice
Tom Peter's blog, he rants, he raves, but on the blog you are safe from his spitting
Evelyn Rodrigeuz writes very well
Boing Boing, a group blog, that is a collection of 5 writers (not always suitable for work)
Yes, Manolo's as in the shoes... attitude personified!

I would caution you that even starting with these five, you can follow links within them that will lead you to places you did not expect to go.... enjoy the journey!

Seth's 5 things to do

Seth Godin always has some thought provoking postings. He has cranked it up recently with a new blog and a new book.

I liked today's entry:

  1. I wish I could go (okay, what is really stopping me?)
  2. I already have subscribed to his blog
  3. I should do this. I have said thanks recently but not today
  4. The furnace was cleaned recently (and is scheduled usually for the off season)
  5. I definitely should do this (and so should you!)

Go ahead, find five good blogs (from your RSS Reader, or Bloglines, or Blogroll or?) and send that email. This has got to make a little dent into the unknown!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Tools & Motivation behind Project Success

I like the wiki concept. I have written about it before. I am trying to get it used in our work environment. I think there are some good uses for it there.

Found this great quote on the reasons behind the success of wikipedia from Jimmy Wales, the founder: (the Bold text is mine for emphasis)

He reinforced the vaguely-known wisdom that motivated people will collaborate with whatever tools they have. The thing that makes a thriving system is the project--the best tools in the world will not save a project whose people lack motivation, and most of what the system needs to do is get out of people’s way (this is true of physical offices as well, subdividing meeting rooms into different units by function would be a disaster).
Yes, keep it simple. "Where there is a will, there is a way" is very true!

Thanks to Jeremy Faludi for the link.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Google Fight

Thanks to Michael Pollack at smallbusinessbranding for the link.

Simple competitive comparison between two keyword searches in Google.

Who wins?

Try it and find out.

I must warn you.
One of the classic fights is between "googlefight" and "waste of time".

Needless to say, "waste of time" is the winner.

Blogging and Ads - the latest

From Jeff Jarvis (BuzzMachine) comes this link to a WSJ story by Jessica Mintz on "Many Advertisers Find Blogging Frontier Is Still Too Wild".

Why spend time on ad placement when you can spend time with your customers?

Why even spend money on ads when you should be spending that money to get to know your customers?

If you don't know your customers, you should.

Once you do know who they are, then you should start the engagement with them.

Once engaged, listen to them. Act upon what you hear when you listen.

It will be a challenge but it will work.

There are only two things of importance.
One is the customer, and the other is the product.
If you take care of the customers, they will come back.
If you take care of your product, it doesn’t come back.
It’s just that simple. And it’s just that difficult.

—Stanley Marcus of Neiman Marcus

Schiavo Recap

The media continue to lead with developments on this story

Google shows Results 1 - 10 of about 4,150,000 for schiavo. (0.10 seconds)

Amongst all this, I found this recap a good summary of the real issue
and how it continues to get twisted for political and religious reasons.

Quote: Andrew Taylor on Engagement

I found this when it was posted.
Marked it as something to return to,
just did not have the time at that moment.

Andrew wrote:

"I'd suggest that the deeper answer to engaging audiences is not just in teaching, but in learning...not just in talking, but in listening. Then we can all discover -- audience, artist, arts organization -- what meaning we make together, rather than one side defining the terms for everyone."

This works on so many levels.
First, back to the basics, between two people.
One and one should equal three or more.
It is not always that way
that's okay as long as it is still respectful

It gets more challenging when one of the two entities is not a person
but an organization, business or otherwise
The corporation has some legal standing as a person for tax purposes
but unless the people that work within it
are willing to open the discussion
to enable the interaction of a two way street
the organization has no persona for interaction

it's all push
marketing hype
relentless, ultimately clueless droning
eventually ignored

Don't go that way
That should be the road not taken

We want the other way
where we make meaning together

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Showdown Continued

The showdown between Steve Pavlina and Fred Gratzon continued for Day 2 here and Day 3 here.

Good questions, good answers, lots of food for thought.

I need to continue to sleep on this before deciding the "winner".

Did you choose?
If you could let us know, I would be curious who you chose and why?

Who would you work for?

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Art of Blogging - Brian Weaver

Good posting by Brian on the Art of Blogging. He compares writing to editing photos with Photoshop and then quotes from William Gibson.

Good writing. Good quote.

Good link to follow.

Thanks to Troy for the post to the Hitchhikers Guide to the Blogosphere.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Showdown Day 1 - Steve Pavlina vs Fred Gratzon

There was an alert here last week about this coming and fasten your seatbelts, the time is now and the full postings are over at Slacker Manager.

Steve answers to the list of definitions requested.

Fred does his lazy thing.

I was impressed with the interwoven ideas in Steve's response.
I was impressed with the simplicity of Fred's response.

I think to help sort this out, I need to sleep on this.

It is probably no surprise that Fred has not updated his blog about the event today.

Or that Steve has written this which concludes

"As Rabindranath Tagore wrote:

I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold, service was joy."

I still need to sleep on this
but I think that I will awake joyfully!

"Why not torture terrorists?" - Jeff Jacoby

The Boston Sunday Globe carried Jeff Jacoby's column yesterday (as it does normally on Thursday's and Sunday's).

I think the headline is deliberately open to interpretation.

I originally took it to mean for torture and expected reasons for justifying the practice.

As you read this, it is not the case. Although, one could take some pieces of this out of context and make the case, Jeff's conclusion is clearly and unequivocally against torture.

I will agree with him.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

"It's a very sane business approach to work towards a long-range goal where people seek you out." - Evelyn Rodriguez

The quote from Evelyn is my new goal.
Yes, I said I was going to provide "Personalized coaching to create the wow experience!"
So how am I really going to do that?
One person at a time.
And until my front porch is approachable, it will be slow.
Slow is good.
Slow is gradual.
Slow is still making progress.
Slow avoids injury.

At work, I am a source of info.
I make connections.
My network was built slowly. Still is active and growing.
"It's not about who you know. It's about who knows what you know."
The call me because I either know, or know who to go to.
Now to extend that to running.
Now to extend that to blogging.

I facilitate the network and then let the net work.

If you call or email or comment, I will listen, read and respond.

Release therapy

Rich posts on iPod Therapy at "Hello_World"

This sounds good.
I wish I had an iPod.

Which got me thinking, always a dangerous thing.

You do find this release in other ways.

The release concept is what is important.

So, fill in the blanks!

  1. Wait until dark
  2. Get your ........
  3. Head somewhere quiet (take a quick peek for neighbours)
  4. Select your ...........
  5. Turn it up
  6. Close your eyes
  7. Breathe deeply
  8. Go crazy!

How would you fill in the blanks?

Friday, March 18, 2005

The Power of Approachability

I have a thing for porches.

As a newspaper delivery boy, growing up in the old neighborhood many years ago, I found success in getting the paper to land "just so" on the mat on the porch. It saved me many steps, and would let me finish the route quicker so I could get to the field to play baseball with the gang.

At home, our three decker had a porches along one side. During the summer, ours would be screened in and this would become my bedroom during the summer months home from college. I recall many nights falling to sleep listening to the traffic (we lived on a busy street) with the telephone pole mounted streetlight as my "night light".

Our current home, has a wonderful back deck (modern term for porch). We converted part of it to a three-season room and this past winter has been so cold, I have spent very little time out there. I am looking forward to the warmer spring. To the trees starting to spread their leaves. To the sun rising in the morning, rays steaming their way through the greening trees.

Our front porch needs railings. This is one task I am not too willing to tackle myself. I feel comfortable painting, wallpapering, and performing some other round the house stuff but hesitate with this opportunity. It could turn into more than I bargained for or am prepared to handle.

Scott Ginsberg, author, speaker, creator of "Hello, my name is Scott" has a new book about to come out; The Power of Approachability. He has the first three chapters available for free as a teaser on his web site.

I like free but I like it even better when it seems like something I would buy.

I have had problems with approachability. I do not make "small talk" well.

I have been aware of this for some time and have made great progress.

This book is coming along at a good time. I am ready to take the next step.

I like his explanation of creating a front porch. An easy concept to understand.

With a welcoming front porch, the approachability becomes easy.

What is your front porch? What works for you?

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Well, it took you long enough!

I first saw the BBC article on Tuesday. Then other news sites picked up on it.

The DaVinci Code was published in March of 2003.

Another 10 books were published explaining the references.

And only now, March of 2005, the church is deciding it is high time to stop selling the book in its own stores and to speak out against its "shameful and unfounded lies".

I have read the book twice already.
I have also read each of the other books Dan Brown has written.
I will probably read this again before the movie comes out to freshen the story in my mind.

Sorry, but you are a more than just a little late on this one.
I think your actions are not relevant.

A Celtic Sojourn - Brian O'Donovan

Every Saturday afternoon in the Boston area, Brian O'Donovan introduces good music of a Celtic origin on WGBH-FM, 89.7 on the dial. With internet broadcasting available, almost anyone can tap into this.

So let's celebrate St. Patrick's Day, when everyone is at least Irish in spirit (if not with an excuse to enjoy some liquid spirits) and follow the link to hear some good music.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

"Warm Canto" - Ron Slate

Given the "snow" england landscape we have here, the warmth is appealing, even if so serious.

For this is serious stuff about heat and life, death and reality.

From Slate

Productivity blog showdown

Slacker Manager posed a question on getting Steve Pavlina and Fred Gratzon together for a blog showdown.

I have read Steve and posted about his writing recently. I have not read Fred, so there will be some work for me to do.

Anyway, this should be interesting.

The showdown is on.... check out the post and comments at Slacker Manager!

Seth's grabbed the Long Tail

Seth Godin has one and two posts on the Long Tail.

I agree. He says that in the old days it was "who you knew" that mattered.

He did not state the corollary for today, so I will: I would say that it is "who knows what you know" that matters.

He does summarize by saying success requires persistence, patience, and low overhead.

These three things will enable you to maintain some sustainable living while the word spreads that you know what you know.

What do you think?

Updated: Says Jean Otte, 59, founder and CEO of WOMEN Unlimited, "It's not about who you know. It's about who knows what you know." From FASTCompany magazine.

Monday, March 14, 2005

My two cents says this Steve's triple is for you

So, the word play was enough of a hook to catch you this time.

Which means that I have only a few seconds left to write something to hold your attention.

  • What is your personal productivity efficiency?
  • Are you so efficient that you can afford to spend time elsewhere?
Okay, you don't have enough time to hang around, other items are pressing for your attention.

Just come back here later!

Thanks to Steve Pavlina for the inspirational link.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Another foot - Snow weighty dogwood - #3

Snow weighty dogwood
Originally uploaded by shersteve.
Winter is becoming oppressive, the weigh of so much snow, coming so often is beginning to weigh heavily on the dogwood tree, and all of us "Snow" Englanders as well.

Taken from inside our dining room.

Looking out into the snow covered back yard.

If I were to take this again now, the sun would be sparkling in the snow.

As much as we do complain, it is a glorious day after!

Another plus: our reservoirs should be full this spring and summer with the snow melt.

Another foot - A view the otherway - #2

A view the otherway
Originally uploaded by shersteve.
The poor mailbox is getting dwarfed by the snow.

We have so much now.

And at the end of the driveway, there is only so many places to put it.

Is spring really around the corner?

Another foot - the morning after - #1

A view up the street
Originally uploaded by shersteve.
A view up my street.

Grey white morning.

Sun trying desparately to break through the remaining cloud cover.

It is warmer than forecasted.

The street is already melting clean.

A couple of hours ago, when I left to go running, there was still a slight coating.

Now that frosting has been eaten by the sun.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Sport of Business - Mark Cuban's Way

Mark has a longish post on The Sport of Business.

He writes:
"The edge is knowing that you can fail and learn from it, and just get back up and in the game.

The edge is knowing that people think your crazy, and they are right, but you dont care what they think."

I think this can be attributed to Mark's confidence in his abilities. In fact, he wraps up this posting with:

"The ultimate competition. Would you like to play a game called Eat Your Lunch. We are going to face off . My ability to execute on an idea vs yours. My ability to subvert your business vs your ability to keep it going. My ability to create ways to remove any reason for your business to exist vs your ability to do the same to me. My ability to know what you are going to do, before you do it. Who gets there first? Best of all, this game doesnt have a time limit. Its forever. It never ends. Its the ultimate competition."

He seems to be successful at this. What do you think?

Friday, March 11, 2005

Incomplete Manifesto - Starting Points

Design is important. Tom Peters says so. I have come in my own way to the same conclusion.

So I am looking to find more to read in this area. Donald A. Norman's Design of Everyday Things was a good read. I found he has a sequel to that: Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things. I'll get to that one eventually.

Found this Incomplete Manifesto by Bruce Mau Design.

48 points. All good.

You could take anyone of them as a starting point for a dialogue on design.

I especially like #3.

It guides how I plan and execute my running.
After all the training, once the start is sounded, the race is you versus the clock.
So you maintain focus on the execution of step after step, keeping form, maintaining breathing...
If the process is followed, the results will take care of themselves.

I also like #17.

Which one(s) do you like?

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Good Interview - Jimmy Wales by Mark Hurst

The line in the interview that got me is where Jimmy Wales says:
"I was recently on a panel with the head of He said they have 300 million pageviews a month. I said that's good; we have 400 million. Then he said he had 180 people on staff. I said I have one part-time person who helps me with the servers. There's something new going on here. It's not about broadcast, it's about interaction."

You can do the mental math.

What is the value proposition that Wikipedia brings to the table?

How about volunteer interaction? A passion for goodness?

This is also confirmed by Jimmy later:
"But really, the vast majority of changes on Wikipedia are made from a hard-core group of users. It's not a Darwinian phenomenon of millions of people, but rather a community of people. That core group is in constant communication, via IRC, and on the Web itself - they're always talking, in 40 languages, about the articles. That's how the site gets corrected so fast. People notice the change and very quickly communicate it through the community. The tight-knit group of users makes all the difference."

The Bold was added for my emphasis.

That is a group I would be proud to be part of.
Very much like my running buddies with the Norfolk County Pacers.
Individually driven.
United by a common cause.
Mutual supportive!

Why can't all aspects of life be this way?

Thanks to Mark Hurst for the link. I will be attending in the Good Experience Live coming up in New York on April 28-29. Jimmy will be one of the many speakers. If you have the opportunity to attend, I would recommend it.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The test for authenticity

From Evelyn Rodriguez comes this gem: (The bold is her's and continued here)

"I've learned that if I could not be authentic and in integrity (more in the sense of being whole, and reclaiming the disowned fragments of your soul) in business, then that says more about me than it does about the big bad Corporate World.

Personal authenticity is not situational.

Here is one of my tests that applies in business settings: If I would say or do anything differently whether I have $14 or $140,000 (liquid, not 401K or real estate holdings) or $1.4M in the bank account - then it's not authentic. "

When you take the test, how do you do?

The Riddle of the Shrink

"The Riddle of the Shrink" By Nuar Alsadir is available on the Slate web site.

The page includes a link where Nuar reads this aloud.


Deterrents to Passion

In addition to Yak Shaving, this listing of deterrents to passion is something to be aware of.

Awareness is the first step.

Then even if it is a small step, a hesitating step...

You there, take a step away from self-doubt
Please put you hands on something you can do quickly
and easily to rebuild your confidence

Thanks to Curt Rosengren for the link.

UN Landmine Ad that won't show on TV

Alex Halavais has joined with Joi Ito and Boing Boing in posting about this situation.

And now I do as well.

According to the UN Factsheet, approx. 110 million landmines exists.
Approx. 2,000 people are killed or maimed by landmines each month.

If there were landmines here, would we let this continue?

Why should we let landmines continue anywhere?

Word for Day: Yak Shaving

Yak shaving... yes, it can be intense.

Going through Bloglines, I find a posting and that strikes a spark.

Do I comment right now, or write about it and track-back?

or do I continue reading and combine it with something else?

The answer depends on how close it hits home, I guess.

And how much room I find left for me to add my two cents.

If there is no room, I will likely comment
to provide that positive feedback and encouragement we all need

If there is a little room, I will likely write about it and track-back

So much to read, so much to do and so little time to accomplish it all.

So I need to focus and finish
before the loops and subroutines get out of control!

Thanks to Joi Ito for the link.

Monday, March 07, 2005

What a day: Truth or Lies, Bullshit and Wishes

I only wish that this were true...

You Are 23 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.
13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.
20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.
30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!
40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Bullshit! How did I miss this?

Yes, this slipped by me last week.

There are probably a dozen reasons why but no good excuses.

"... bullshit is defined not so much by the end product
as by the process by which it is created."

For more information to properly feed your own bullshit detector,
read the full article here.

If you have not grown your own yet,
you can get a cheap knockoff here
or here
or here.

Guys Don't Link - Shelley knows why

Shelley is back and in great voice!


Do not pass Go!
Do not leave a comment here (I'll survive without it).

And go read Shelley's take on why guys don't link.

Yes, she includes an interview (wink, wink) with Summers of Harvard.
You've heard of the guy!

Welcome back Shelley! I have missed your voice.

truth about lying, or is it?

Seth Godin has a new book coming out in May and a new blog to talk about it now.

All Marketers Are Liars is the title for Seth's new book.

Seth is a marketing guru.

Does that mean Seth is a liar?

Does that mean there are no Purple Cows?

Does that mean you don't need permission to market?

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Public Listening; Public Reading

The blogosphere is growing daily. More people, more companies, more causes are coming to the blogosphere to express themselves. Who is reading all this? How is my posting going to be found in all this?

In the couple of hours a day I have for this, I can barely make it through the blogs already queued up in Bloglines or in my RSS Reader. Hearing of others who scroll through hundreds a day raises a question as to how much time they can spend doing the reading. If it takes as long as it does to read what I have, how will I expand my horizons to find other voices that I should read? To find those that should really be part of my community and I of theirs?

Speed reading will only get you so far. Filtering takes you further but also will leave you at risk for missing something. Key words or tags only get you an opportunity to go further, but do you really? Am I missing something? If I am, please help me out here.

So the question that comes to me: How do we know our audience? Does the current web stats process really tell us what we need to know?

Along comes the Public Listening Project. Simple. A couple of guys show up regularly in public places, like a train station. They wear t-shirts with brief but open questions.

People "select themselves" to talk to us. Once approached, we generally encourage them to discuss their viewpoint as much as they would like to, always listening respectfully, and asking other questions whenever it is appropriate.

How calm, cool, and simple! They are walking the talk or more explicitly, standing to respectfully listen. Recall that a conversation is between two parties. If one always is talking, where is the exchange?

A number of people who initially "vent" their feelings towards us, usually calm down, acknowledge that they appreciate being listened to, and then will want to know our opinion. The fact that people genuinely want to know what we think after they have had the opportunity to "let off some steam" is to us a sign that they are much less suspicious and more open to a mutual dialogue then when they first approached us.

The exchange is made by being listened to. There comes the realization that these two guys are serious about what they are doing.

New people approach us for the first time after having seen us at the train station for quite some time. This tells us that people feel increasingly safe to express their views openly due to our consistent, non-threatening presence.

Consistent, non-threatening presence! We need more of this. I think this would take the rhetoric volume down a notch or two. Settle folks back on their heels, off their toes, relaxed, less tense.

Then after doing more of this in public places for the spoken word, we should start something for the written word. Some sort of simple mark to say, “Steve has been here and read this”. Today, unless we leave a comment, or write about it, or do a trackback, there is no deliberate trail left behind for what we have read.

The more I think about it; the readers in the blogosphere could be categorized according to their level of engagement with a particular blog:
  1. Those who have not visited our site (either not aware of it or deliberately avoid it for now) (These are the “unengaged”)
  2. Those who read the post (These are the “partially engaged”)
  3. Those who comment on the post (These are the “fully engaged”)

Now someone who reads but instead of commenting sends an email directly could get counted by the blogger as engaged for they were fully engaged, just not in the public view on the proposed revised blog stats counter.

This level of engagement proposes to ignore the anonymous or IP address level of detail. Instead it gives the reader an identity. Gives the writer some feedback on the reader’s presence where they are partially engaged but for whatever reason fall short of commenting.

I also considered a weighing method for comments over reads over no-reads, but in the end wanted to follow the KISS principle (Keep it simple simple). The reader would be counted equally amongst their peers. Those who want to be engaged would be counted equally with those who did not want to. This levels the playing field by deemphasizing the web stats in favor of the level of engagement. So the reader would leave their mark to acknowledge their presence on the site.

Of course, there would need to be some safety check to prevent spamming or taking advantage of the system. Someone always wants to find a way to game it. But there are enough smart folks in this technology world that we can put our heads together to figure it out.

How would you leave your mark?
I think it should be simple but something that would require a deliberate action on our part. Something like the color change within our RSS readers that would leave a little mark on the posting that said "Steve read this".

What would the blog writer see?
For the blogger, to see the results on their page, I would recommend rolling them up into a plus sign with a total, the plus sign could be expanded to see specifically who did the reading.

My proposal would show (and these are hypothetical numbers)
Partially engaged -> 151
Engaged -> 25

Where is the unengaged number?
Well, that would be open for discussion. Do we use the population of the world? Or the population of those enabled for internet access? Or do we just leave it open? Your thoughts are sought on this aspect.

How would this help the reader?
I think it would provide the Reader with some incentives. As a reader, I do read many blogs, more than are listed on the Blogroll on my page. Some I read more seriously than others, some take more time than others, some take no time at all. Some actually generate a comment, or even an email conversation. For those for which I would have a negative comment, I leave alone. I prefer to deal on the positive side and if I can't say something good, I don't I say anything at all. The problem with this is that I currently have helped the blogger’s stats by visiting and spending time on their site. In the proposed scheme, this would be discounted.

Yes, web stats would still be available but I think the better method of measuring your customer base is with this level of engagement.

What do you think?
Are you ready to listen?
Are you ready to read?
Are you ready to make your mark in this world?

PS - Thanks to Frank Paynter for this link.
Thanks also to Troy Worman for his thoughts and feedback in the development of this proposal.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Probation Violation - A Good Laugh

For a good laugh, follow the link to the Manolo Shoe Blog for this posting on Martha's outfit as she exited prison.

I hesitated to provide her the extra ink.
She does not need it.
She needs to rebuilt trust.
That will take time.

In the mean time, I enjoyed the laugh!

Wrapping up "The Gates"

As posted here, here and here earlier, my wife and I took the train to NYC last Saturday to see The Gates in Central Park.

We had been to Central Park during February 2002. Our niece was performing with the Chicago Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall. Now, some performers wait years to get there and our niece was fortunate to get there while still a senior in high school. So several members of the family made the trip down for the weekend to catch her performance. On the Sunday afternoon after the concert, we took a walk through the park and were remarking on how quiet it was. Granted this was only a few months after the tragedy of September 11th but this was a big city with lots of people and seemingly, no one was around.

Well, needless to say, this Saturday, The Gates certainly can be credited with drawing the crowd. It was wonderful to see so many people around and about. We had our digital camera and a camcorder but I felt out of place as so many others had camera phones.

Walking amongst the gates, in with the crowd, we were unable to avoid hearing parts of several conversations.

One NY guy (no, I do not normally stereo-type but this guy was clearly a New Yorker) was remarking derisively to his female friend: "They took this f.. real place and turned it into an art piece!"

Another lady was describing to her family gathered around her; "It's sorta like the Olympics, very sorta flaggy."

After stopping to let a family stroller cross the walkway, while the father caught up to the twin little ladies in their Sunday best (including white tights), another female in a group also passing by was heard to say: "When I was that age, those white tights wouldn't stay white for long."

Heard from amongst a group of teenage males; "You can't sit down, you gotta keep walking to experience the gates!"

I enjoyed the walk.

white snow
orange gates
hosts of colorful people
bare trees
against the city skyline
a lasting memory

If art is defined as an experience to create a conversation, this was definitely a success!

Thank you, Christo and Jean-Claude!

Bloglines is hiring

Yes, if you live in the Los Gatos, CA area or would consider relocating there, this might be worth considering.

Hitchhiker's Guide Started

A joint venture blog has just started: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Blogosphere.

Troy Worman and I will be posting to this blog other blogger voices
that we find in our travels through the blogosphere.

The "Blogger Voices Discovered" tha I have posted here
will hence forth be found on the Hitchhiker's Guide.

I am having fun doing this.

I hope you will have fun reading and exploring with us too!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Experiential Marketing or What is the value of an Advertising Budget if you don't deliver?

Good posting from Michael Pollack at SmallBusinessBranding.

I like the photo and commentary.

I especially like the closing:

"The next time you consider writing a check for an advertisement of any type, ask yourself if you're just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Ask yourself if that money would be better invested in your customer's experience. Ask yourself if your company looks as good naked as it does underneath all the fancy advertising."

Good advice!

Focus on the basics of the customer experience.
Treat your customers well.

Treat your employees well so they will be able to serve the customers well.
The front line does not lie.

Link Policy from Jennifer Rice

Jennifer Rice spells out some good advice in her link policy.

"So I suppose to sum up this post on driving traffic:
1. Compare your blog to others in your space... do your posts sound distinctly "you"? Or could they appear on someone else's blog and no one would know the difference? What unique value are you adding to the blogosphere? This is the "product development" phase.
2. Participate, participate, participate. Give first in order to receive. This is the "marketing" phase. "

Nothing new but still a good reminder. Thanks Jennifer!

Find your own voice.

Use it wisely.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Survey Request: Who are you readers anyway?

I am working on a posting about blog readers and found this posting via the Dynamist Blog. Thanks, Virginia.

Blogads is conducting an admittedly unscientific survey to determine who reads blogs. Please go to this link and answer "Steves2Cents" to question 16.

Stay tuned for more on readers and the blogging market place. While the Blogads survey will be good data, it should not change what I am writing on. I hope you'll like it.

Blogger Voices Discovered

I missed blogging yesterday so to help catch up I'll introduce two folks today. I came across their blogs in the past couple of weeks and have been reading them since. Two different and unique voices but both well worth reading.

Coincidently, today Kris posted that Nathan was on a roll with some posts about Art and Censorship. I did follow the link and caught up on what he was saying.

Follow the links to each of their blogs and enjoy!