Monday, November 28, 2005

Carnival of the Capitalists is up at the Gill Blog

Check out this very comprehensive look at what people are blogging about business, marketing, consumerism, customer service and more.

There are a slew of interesting posts around the topic of Hurricane Katrina and other natual disasters: business continuity concerns, a look at price gounging and more.

Our post about it being a little over-dramatic to talk about the "end of process" has kindly been included.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Blog posts vs. feed? No contest!

I can't even imagine doing what Jason Calacanis suggests and subscribing to someone's feed rather than their actual blog. (In addition to, maybe.)

Perhaps it's because I know my own del. habits are random enough that I'd hate for someone to use that to "understand" my perspective. I tag tons of things. I tag posts where I've commented. I tag posts I think might be useful later...either personally or business-wise. I tag things relevant to clients, to friends, to a lot of things. If you think (as Jason seems to) that my del. feed will give you insight into what I'm considering potentially blog-worthy, you're thinking wrong in my case. The fact is I tag something in del. as a memory replacement and archive.

If I'm thinking about blogging something it's either in an open tab or saved to my desktop until I decide what to do with it.

Lastly, I've mentioned this before: I understand why people like to read live-blog posts from events, for example, to get a sense of immediacy and literalness. But for me? I'd rather let someone go over their notes and distill their most pertinent and pithy thoughts about what they have seen and heard. I'd rather read the marinated results, not the raw meat.

And that's what I'd like people to read of mine too.

Hat tip: Scoble

We won't say "I told you so."

Ded Space has a post about a recent Fortune article that uncovers the plight of American men and their 80 hour work weeks.

She points out, and frankly I must agree, that this is the same plight that American women have been pointing out for order to succeed one must a) have a wife [of either gender, mind you] to take care of the household and b) sacrifice being a full participant in one's household.

And let's not forget that an 80-hour work week in the office does not imply that those are all the hours one works. Today's "always on" culture guarantees that we are taking calls and checking emails in our hours away from the office too. And that too is necessary to guarantee that one is perceived to be a team player and real animal.

Yet, we seem to be losing our dominance in many areas of industry. How can that be? Perhaps more hours doesn't equal productive hours. Ya think? There are few people who can be as sharp and as brilliant and as creative in the last 3 hours of a 12-14 hours day as they can in the earlier hours. Don't you sometimes wonder if all the cockamamie corporate ideas you run across came up at the end of an all-day offsite meeting where execs and managers were desperate to get out of there with some "actionable goals" and "deliverables"?

I've been in some of those meetings!

PS-this is my first test post using the Flock blogging tool. I'll be curious to see how it looks in the blog. I can't tell if the paragraph breaks are going to look how I want. I can't tell where they place the link to the post that motivated me to click on the "blog this" link. And I'm curious to see what they do with the tags I put in the Tag box. (Some of you may know I'm one of those anti-tag people who can never make myself do it. The interface here in Flock certainly makes it easy. I'm just looking forward to seeing the code it generates. And no, I don't feel like reading the Help information. I'm just going to hit 'Publish' and see what I get.

UPDATE: OK, I think it's a silly thing that Flock lets you create a blg post directly from a URL, but then doesn't include that URL anywhere in the post autmoatically. Also, I am a little disappointed Flock just uses Technorati tags. It's not tagging I object to, it's having a little ad for Technorati in every post you write.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Bloggers and their "rebel" reputation

Boy, I think it's about time that the media stop having such a simplistic view of blogging and bloggers.

Today's case in point: this NY Times article about how companies are starting to spend ad dollars on blogs and how that may risk the "rebel reputation" that bloggers have.

Their first example is Anita Campbell and her Small Business Trends blog. (And if I were Anita I'd be pretty damn annoyed that the Times manages to embed links in a dozen other places in the article, but not to her blog!) Now, I ask you, while Anita may be a person who was on the leading edge of business blogging, perhaps even a true innovator in this space...would anyone categorize her as a "rebel"? She's a business woman doing business and using her blog to help her. Exactly who is going to be shocked and appalled by her advertising? Hasn't blog advertising gone pretty mainstream? I feel fairly anachronistic because I only have 1 little ad running, and some of my blogs run no ads at all.

So far not too many people seem to be talking about the story. Steve Rubel focuses on the numbers they present in the story, which are interesting and don't surprise me. I'm just surprised at the whole tenor of the article. That image of a blogger who is eschewing the mainstream may apply to some percentage of bloggers, journalistic, political, maybe even tech or business...but this idea that bloggers are a wild-eyed bunch of anti-establishment online anarchists is soooo 2003, don't you think?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Letters, we get letters...mostly indicating why BlogHer is not passe.

OK, someone help me out...was "Letters, oh we got letters..." the little ditty they sang on Pee Wee's Playhouse, or was it some other TV show?

Anyway, I've noticed a new phenomenon, I'm sure it is linked to the fact that we've announced BlogHer 06 and made it clear that we are moving onward with the BlogHer Mission to provide education, exposure and community by for and to women bloggers.

The phenomenon is that I get cc'ed on emails from frustrated women naming various conferences and events they've been invited to or heard about, and pointing out the dearth of women on the speaker list. In at least one case the woman didn't feel she could safely blog it herself. But was trying to spread the word to others who might.

There are some of us who blog this topic often:

-Lisa Stone did the math on the most recent Always On conference.
-Liz Lawley occasionally does "Speakerwatches" on, most recently checking out the abysmal Web 2.0 figures.
-Halley Suitt mentions it on Halley's Comment.
-Shelley Powers is a constant voice on this topic.
-And I mention not only speaker lists, but how media coverage distorts the role of women at industry events. And how, yes, conference organizers get exactly the speaker roster they believe it's important to have.

Nonetheless, there are lots of women who feel loathe to make waves, especially pointing fingers at conference organizers or conference sponsors, because they actually want to be invited to speak at those conferences. When we ask: "do you play the game, or change the rules?" who can blame lots of us for trying to do both?

So let me point out a couple of examples making waves with women, and try to offer a few suggestions.

Example #1: The Word of Mouth Basic Traning Conference, sponsored by WOMMA
Sent to me by a BlogHer 05 speaker (who must remain anonymous) who shared the following rant:

"I mean, aren’t there ANY women in the WOMMA world??!!! Featured keynotes: All men. Featured Authors: 1 woman and 7 men. And one session workshop entitled: "How to Get Women Talking." Puh-leaze. Okay. Maybe there’s more here than meets the eye. Somebody tell me where I’ve gone wrong."

To be fair when you dig into their agenda there are a few more women speaking in individual sessions, including one woman on the "Talking to Women" panel. So perhaps as disturbing as the disparity is the fact that these organizers don't think the women speakers are a good draw from a marketing perspective. They highlight in their marketing email 99% male speakers. Is this because the men actually are more illustrious/respected? Or is it because the organizers believe that their potential audiences will find men more reputable?

(Ironically the person whose name I recognize most is the one woman: Jackie Huba.)

Example #2: Les Blog 2.0
Sent to me via email with the following comments:

"Les Blogs 2, organised by Six Apart and sponsored by no end of esteemed organisations, is cramming in 51 speakers and 7 moderators over the course of 2 days. How many women have been invited to speak? a grand total of 4 - including Mina Trott - and 2 modorators. How is it that post Blogher sponsors (particularly Movable Type) are not asking about the parity of women represented at events they are paying for? The only conclusion is that they don't give a damn about women's acheivements. It's clear that the organizers feel the same way."

Again, to be fair, I counted 5 women speakers...and now don't you feel so much better? And yes, there is a woman from SixApart listed amongst the conference contacts, along with BlogHer friend Elizabeth Albrycht.

Do I agree with this emailer's contention that both the sponsoring comapnies and the organizers "don't give a damn"?

Actually I'm sure they care in the abstract. I doubt it has never crossed their mind. But as I made clear in this post I believe it is a matter of prioritization, and no, they didn't prioritize diversity. They didn't care enough.

Enough for whom, though? Clearly they cared enough for their attendees, who signed up in numbers allowing them to call the conference "sold out." But they didn't care enough for me, or for my emailing friends.

So, what should we do? What are my SUGGESTIONS? Make some noise. Join a growing chorus.

My anonymous friend was invited to the WOMMA conference. I would suggest we start responding to such invites with a pointed reply explaining why we won't attend, rather than just automatically sending the email to trash.

And I would suggest blogging it. David Weinberger was invited to an elite discussion group on a topic in which he is most interested in. And he declined because there was not a single woman on the list of 20 participants. He declined, telling them why. And he blogged it.

I know of another BlogHer who was invited to a similar event, and was the only woman to be so, (by a woman organizer no less) and she declined, telling the organizer that she was not going to be the only (read: token) woman at these events anymore. She didn't blog it, as far as I know, so I won't out her, but she has decided this is her way to try to take a stand.

AlwaysOn, which I think I signed up with in its very earliest days, recently conducted a member survey. The one comment I left was to tell them that every email I received from them (and it's multiple emails per day) comes with a sea of white male faces. Every. Single. One. And that it bored me. And that I was tired of not seeing anyone like me. And that I would never go to one of their expensive events when a major element of my perspective wasn't valued enough to be represented.

Does that mean that you'll suddenly find yourself in the wasteland, without opportunities to network and speak?

No. It really, really doesn't. Because some organizers get it. (And I'm not even talking about the all-women speaker BlogHer credo.)

SXSW Interactive, as an example, only about the hippest, coolest conference on the planet. And their (male) organizer reached out to BlogHer the organization, and to BlogHers as a group, to solicit proposals and ideas. Not only did BlogHers come through (proving that we are perfectly happy to submit when we feel there's actually a chance we'll be taken seriously) SXSW came through. It's not just the 4 sessions that BlogHer (the org.) is co-producing with SXSW, there's a deep list of women speakers on the agenda. And we should be blogging these positive developments too.

NewCommForum 2006, organized by two women, so far has a list of speakers that's about 50/50. These organizers also reached out to BlogHer for ideas and suggestions.

Even BlogOn 2005, which was hardly at 50/50, did have about one third women speakers...which when we're talking about "reputable" conferences settling for 10% or less, represents progress.

These are the kinds of conferences we should seek out, support and attend. And we should let them know why. $$$ and positive reinforcement for the good guys, economic embargo on and bad press for the bad guys.

And keep sticking your neck out: ask for speaking slots, submit proposals and don't forget to list yourself on the Speaker's Wiki. There are organizers using it, I know for a fact.

What else would you suggest?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A Tough One: Are you Likable? Do You Have To Be?

Jennifer Warwick has written a terrific post, Like Me...Like Me Not.

It's a tough one for me to read. As she anticipates, there are people who are going to want to "rail against" the fact that "research shows that women gain influence in groups by being friendly, cooperative, confident, considerate, and non-confrontational", and I just might be one of those people.

Just yesterday a woman was trying to counsel me about the difference between "assertive" and "aggressive", a woman! And I was in no mood. I honestly felt like she had been brainwashed by going too many rounds up against the old "a man is a go-getter; a woman is a bitch" straw man.

The thing is that I think I am pretty considerate and nice. People often think I'm good at networking, and it's because I genuinely like most people, and like to keep in touch.

But there's something about feeling like the requirement is different for women than for men that sets my teeth on edge.

Jennifer's post is a good reminder to me to just step back, take a deep breath and...get. over. it.

So, read it.

The Carnival of Marketing doesn't motivate me

And I've written a rather verbose post over at my personal blog to explain why.

So now we've determined that I write things over on my personal blog when I can't keep from cursing.

And also, apparently, when I'm going to wax really, really verbose.

I'm noting these criteria because, of course, it's rather relevant to the SXSW session I'll be moderating: We Got Naked...Now What?, or as I like to call it: Getting Work.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Carnival of the Capitalists is up at

I guess we've given up tracking what edition of COTC we're at, as the last couple of weeks hasn't included that bit of information. Here is this week's Carnival. It includes my post looking at the Cisco/SA deal.

This week the approach is extremely organized, with a minimum of editorializing about the posts. Frankly this makes the Carnival extremely accessible, if a little less creative than usual. And I feel like a bit of a dolt that I don't understand what Gongol's category icons actually stand for (and don't see a key.) Clearly the dollar sign is a recognizable indication, but my category is represented by a lightning bolt. What do you suppose that means?

Anyway, it might be a great week to check out the COTC if you never have before, because this arrangement of posts is about as clear and simple as you could get.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

End of Process? I'm going to be simplistic on this one.

Read Ross Mayfield's recent post about The End of Process with interest, and immediately headed over to Ethan's The Vision Thing to see what he thought. I was right. He had commented on it (and disagreed as I suspected.)

Ross' piece seemed a little "Cluetrain-y" to me, in that there were lots of sweeping statements about how companies are operating that didn't really resonate with me, even thought I've worked at plenty of f&*^ed-up companies. (Here's my review of Cluetrain where I expand on this thought.)

The primary elephant in the room of his post is quite simple: processes can be and should be designed to include regular process reviews. The idea that once a process is created it is immutable is false. Not only that, but the idea that a deviation from process can't be approved and signed off on is also false. Processes I have encountered have almost always had a, yes, process for deviating from the process!

The other thing I have found about process is that it is not the failing only of executives to rely too much on stagnant and outdated processes, which stifles innovation and slows development. My experience is that all along the chain people can and will use process as the excuse. A dysfunctional company finds many ways to demonstrate its problems. Including clinging to process to avoid moving forward. Having worked in dysfunctional companies before I can say that lack of process contributed to more chaos than process. And that in a dysfunctional company, with lack of clear strategy or reliable leadership, chaos can never be productive.

Fixing the process won't fix the problem.

Eliminating the process won't fix it either.

Process is a great scapegoat, but that seems like all it really is.

Chick podcasters getting sponsorship

Now here's a trend (albeit a mini-trend right now) to keep an eye on: Major non-tech advertisers buying sponsorship on podcasts in a big way.

Podcasts have had sponsors before. One of the few podcasts I listen to is Coverville, and he's had iPodderX and other sponsors the whole time.

But the two deals announced the other day are intriguing: Dixie is sponsoring Mommycast, a dual-mommy effort, and Nature's Cure acne treatment sponsoring Emo Girl Talk, a podcast provided by a 15-year-old girl.

These aren't tech companies. These aren't small players. These aren't companies that still assume people who listen to podcasts are early adopter geek (and male) types.

Now if you talked to some of my marketing-to-women expert colleagues, such as Yvonne DiVita, Toby Bloomberg or Andrea Learned, I bet they'd say: about damn time. (OK, maybe they wouldn't curse.) We know the figures: women are responsible for the majority of purchasing decisions in the home, even the decisions on products that aren't thought of as "women's", like cars and electronic devices. And the statements made by the male head of Women in Technology Int'l. aside, women can be plenty interested in the technology, new media, new content, new entertainment.

The landing of these deals is significant and very very interesting. I would bet the deals have reasonable out clauses for both parties, and I will look forward to seeing whether the companies stick with it, or even expand their presence in this space. That, my friends, might convince me we really were starting to become mainstream.

Souce: MarketingVox

Friday, November 18, 2005

News from my old life: Cisco buys SA

I'm a cable gal. Or at least I was for 7 years. I competed against SA and Cisco every day. Cisco was the borg in our world, not Microsoft. SA was one of the old stand-bys, not always the company leading the charge on new technology, but being #2 in set-top market share and a significant infrastructure player, they were nothing to get complacent about.

Now Cisco has bought SA for almost $7 billion.

Om Malick has a good run-down of the details and the possibilities that ensue here.

Cisco has been the dominant data player in the cable space for years now. Not only the routing back-end, but the #1 CMTS vendor by a huge margin. CMTS stands for cable modem termination system. CMTS products are pretty sophisticated devices that are typically both an IP router on the back end and a termination point for the RF access network on the front end. Cisco obviously always had way more mature IP routing feature sets than any of the other CMTS vendors out there. It began to matter less and less that their RF side was only so-so, because buying decisions became more and more centralized, and the guys in the central office were less and less often "old cable guys" and more and more often networking guys. Not only that, but as cable operators upgraded their access networks, they got more and cleaner bandwidth anyway. And Cisco wisely did invest in improving their RF side, and in bringing more of the IP in-house, rather than relying solely on Broadcom as their silicon supplier.

Their home-grown attempts to get into the household from a data perspective never got that much traction, so they recently acquired Linksys and were able to truly sell the "end-to-end" cable data system they had been talking about.

Cisco was never much of a video player. Not that they didn't try. They acquired or investigated acquiring just about every little video player out there. They actually did acquire a couple, but never made any of those acquisitions pay off. SA ain't no little video player. They are a large public company with projected $2 billion dollars in revenues next year. And they are everywhere Cisco isn't...providing the cable infrastructure between the headend (where the Cisco CMTS sits) and the home. And being deep inside the home.

For years the industry has talked about the all-powerful, all-in-one home device that would manage a customer's voice, video and data services. I could argue that people don't want a single monolithic device...cost, single point of failure, complexity. But with both Linksys and SA in the house, Cisco now has the shot to make it happen.

So does Motorola, their only real competitor now, when it comes to being a full portfolio vendor.

If I were Cisco and were dreaming about how to leverage this new capability I would start to dream about how I could bypass the cable operators altogether. Cable operators wants to commoditize everything, and they don't want to pay for valuable innovation. And there are so few of them, and there is so little competition amongst them that you end up with a market where the purchaser (the cable operator) has all the power. Only the big companies, who can in turn squeeze their suppliers, like Cisco and Moto, or the overseas companies, who can make true commodity products like cable modems for a pittance, survive in this environment. Really. Check out the other vendors in the cable space. All struggling.

But after all this blather, wanna know the first thought that really popped into my head after reading about this deal? Here it is:

If Cisco paid about $7 billion for a company with a huge established customer base, both on the operator and consumer side, a company with $2 billion in annual revenues, can someone explain to me again why eBay paid $2 billion for Skype?

San Jose Merc's brief mention of the deal.

This week's Site of the Week:

This week's site of the week on my Worker Bees site is a link to the Holiday Gift Guide.

Yes, they include my client hip & zen.

But they have a whole list of other online sources for modern, eco-conscious products.

I'm the rare bird who loves holiday shopping, and loves getting it done well and done early.

I'll take all the help I can get, including this Holiday Gift Guide.

Special bonus: here's a link to a perennial favorite personal blog post of mine: The Secrets of a Savvy Seasonal Shopper.


And follow my advice.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

DC seems pretty hip to blogs

I guess I shouldn't be at all surprised, given that the political blogging around the 2004 campaign was a big part of what brought blogging to the forefront over the last year.

I do get the impression from talking to various folks here that they see much more of the negative impact/ramifications of blogs than the opportunity for the positive.

Again, no big surprise, given the WaPo's generally negative take on blogs. Just on one small page section in yesterday's WaPo they managed to feature 3 little items that generally dissed blogs. (I'll see if I can find and post the links when I get home.)

Typical stuff: just a bunch of talk, echo chamber, blog mob type complaints.

I'm not sure why they don't see the slight contradiction in blaming blogs for being all talk and then turning around and blaming blogs for being action-oriented enough to be blamed for Rather's downfall, Lott's downfall, etc. etc.

Must just be me though, huh?

These words brought to you by Ogo. Find out more at

Thursday, November 10, 2005

See you in a few

I'm off for a few days...and will actually try to stay offline. We'll see how it goes.

Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Clients we love...

Was talking on the phone last night with one of my clients, Karen Clothier, the proprietor of hip & We were talking about a variety of things, and had gotten off the basic topics of business. But somewhere in there Karen proved she "gets it."

Basically she said: we can't be afraid to state an opinion on ou hip & zen blog for fear of scaring away a customer or two. If we tried to please everybody it would just be bland and boring. What would be the point?

So true, Karen, so true.

The again I've been lucky. Emily from is perfectly fine with me railing against right-wingers who would block the cervical cancer vaccine on and Scott Milener doesn't mind when I tweak Google or Microsoft on The Browster Blog.

People ask how I can write 9 blogs, and how I can write so many for all these other companies. Well I can do it because I find the subject matter interesting and because I'm writing for people who appreciate and in fact encourage me, as the blogger, to write with my own voice...even if it's not always perfectly safe.

I'm a lucky gal.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Does Autumn make you dream?

I recently wrote a post imagining a new way to use a tool for competitors to band together. What if, I asked.

Over at Crossroads Dispatches BlogBuddy Evelyn Rodriguez is dreaming up new ways to use blogs too. Or I should really say dreaming up new reasons for companies to consider sponsoring bloggers.

I think her vision can and even should happen.

Now Evelyn is a little more prone to such ideating than the RFK model, I'm more prone to blog about what is and blog about why, while Evelyn blogs about what never was and asks why not. So, what inspires us both to think big and think outside the box this week? Could it be the advent of Fall. To start working while it's still dark and to not push back your chair from the desk until after dark...doesn't that turn your entire work day into a kind of dream state? Does the shortening of days bring a sense of urgency to our lives...days growing shorter, time running out. I don't know. Are we both watching all the Web 2.0 hype and wondering what the fuss is about? What good is Web 2.0 if it only enables people to do the same old things? What if it, instead, prompted new kind of business models altogether...and new kinds of community?

People sometimes call me pragmatic. What did Jory call me? The most "to-the-point" among she, Lisa and me. But I think pretty big behind all that pragmatism. I really do think if people like Evelyn keep pushing for a different kind of business model that they will make it happen...and change the world. I really do think that if we do it right, BlogHer could help a lot of women achieve a lot of things they want to achieve. And help them learn how to get the credit they deserve for it.

I think Autumn is the perfect time to thing big and take actions to make things happen. Summer seems so not serious. The holidays are so distracting. And spring seems like the time to get physical. No, Autumn is the time.

What big idea are you percolating?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Lessons from the sandbox

There's quite a blogswarm happening over John Cook, from the Seattle P-I, and how he quoted's Tara Hunt in his wrap-up of the recent Seattle Mindcamp.

It made me so aggravated that my rant about it involved some cursing, hence the post has been put on my personal blog where I can curse to my heart's content.

Now, yes, I fully agree that we should have a little conversation about why I feel comfortable cursing on my personal blog, not cursing here...but have no problem pointing to the cursing over there? Good fodder for the panel I'm moderating at SXSW Interactive, "We Got what?" which is all about drawing bloggy lines between the personal and professional.

But I'll leave that for another time. For now, I wanted to point you to my take on this dust-up and get your opinions on it.

Carnival of the Capitalists is up at Part-time Pundit

Don't miss this week's best writing about business, economics, marketing and more.

I submitted my post about High-risk Corporate Blogging. (which, BTW, Amy Gahran wrote about with this very interesting post.

Part-time Pundit apparently had broadband issues all night, so he published this Carnival against all odds. LIke any good capitalist would do!


Sunday, November 06, 2005

If you've been procrastinating about hangin' with the Ratpack...

Then you better get on it, 'cause they're headin' back to Vegas.

I've been doing the online marketing for the Ratpack Tribute show called, imaginatively, Tribute: to Frank, Sammy, Joey & Dean for months now. It has been a very popular run at the Post Street Theatre, and has extended numerous times.

Seems like it is definitely going to need to close in January, though, because they've announced the next show heading into the Post Street: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which will make its West Coast Premier at the Post Street in February.

The Spelling Bee looked really charming on the Tony Awards earlier this year, so I will definitely be in line to see that one. (And hopefully doing the online marketing too.)

So, if you have been putting off hangin' with the RatPack, it's time to buy your tix (getting the 25% off Worker Bees discount of course!)

Saturday, November 05, 2005

High-risk Corporate Blogging: getting a message out that your customers may not want to hear

What do you (and your competitors) do when you're in an industry that dominated by a few, very large and powerful customers?

What do you do when all the power belongs to those purchasers? When they have banded together in "consortiums" whose actions really feel a lot more like collusion?

When innovation is not valued and instead each new innovation is treated like something to be commoditized?

And what do you do when you know that you (and your competitors) are too cowed by the power of these big players to tell them that their plans for the future suck...and that they'll eventually lose if they don't modernize and accept investing more in their business, their infrastructure, their marketing and in their customer service?

You start to dream about blogs being the great tool of the revolution of the squeezed vendors, that's what!

First you dream about writing an anonymous blog that really tells it like it is. Until you realize that there are very few anonymous blogs that can really stay anonymous...especially if inquiring (and annoyed) minds really want to know.

Then you dream of secretly sponsoring someone to blog about it. Let that blogger, someone who has no vested interest in staying best friends with the powerful players in your industry, get all the attention and take all the heat. Until you realize that unless that blogger has connections to your industry, people would inevitably wonder where they had suddenly gotten expertise in the industry (see Amy Gahran's investigation of Panasonic's blogger as a case in point.) And if they do have connections in your industry (or any standing in the blogging community) they are not going to be willing to take on some kind of "secret" sponsorship. (That pesky blogging=transparency ethic.)

So finally, you stop dreaming, and you wonder...what if I and my competitors worked together to sponsor a blogger? Formed our own consortium of truth? Give the blogger editorial control. Give yourself plausible deniability and strength in numbers. Sure, you might still go down, but you'd all go down together. But what if it worked the other way and the powerful, but blinded companies who run the industry woke up and caught the Clue?

Impossible dream? Or innovative new blog about to be launched by an unprecedented cooperation between competitive companies?

Too soon to tell. But it's a fascinating idea, don't you think?

Found an online version of my interview with Greenhouse Growers Magazine

It's been a while since I did an ego-surf on Google, so this morning I decided to check in and see if I found anything unexpected. I did.

Some time back I noted that blogging was being explored by even the least tech-oriented business people out there, including greenhouse growers. Their industry magazine conducted an interview with me about blogging and posted many excerpts from it in an article. Now the magazine itself doesn't post their articles online, but apparently a sight called does.

So, if you want to hear what the greenhouse growers heard about blogging from you go.

What's also interesting to me is that I don't think the magazine itself signs up for this service. I asked the magazine if there was an online link to the article available, and they said, 'no.' So this is a site that moves print articles online, giving proper attribution, but without permission.

I presume they make money from the advertising.

Obviously I think this is a great resource. But what do you suppose the magazine publishers think? And is this different from what Google and others plan to do with books etc.? And in the vast majority of cases isn't this giving exposure to ideas and resources that would otherwise never reach people?

What do you think?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

If ever a post proved the opposite of what it was trying to prove...

It would be this one by Joi Ito.

He comments that he has fallen out of the Technorati Top 100, and attributes it to his lower level of posting output.

He uses his own example to say "Power Law, Schmowerlaw"...meaning, I suppose, that if the powerful stayed powerful he'd still be up there on the list.

I, on the other hand, see this as an example of the exact opposite.

I've subscribed to Joi's blog for probably a year now. I don't know him, but I know he's considered a thought leader, but this past year of blogging would not demonstrate why. I'm not trying to be insulting. What I'm saying is that he doesn't post often, nor at length. And often not in a particularly timely manner on hot topics.

I'm hardly one to talk. I like to marinate on hot topics and come back 2 weeks later to share what I've distilled my thoughts down to. That's not very bloggy, I realize. So all of this is to say that if Joi want to blog at a low volume, and focus on his travels, and World of Warcraft and his entrpreneurship and whatever else, then more power to him.

But the fact that he's still ranked at #104...out of 20,000,000 blogs...and that it's taken this long for him to even drop that statistically insignificant amount is evidence to me that his reputation, past prolific blogging, and yes, power, has taken him very far indeed. I would hardly call droping to #104 evidence of "churn at the lower levels."

And it is also one more piece of evidence that the Myth of Meritocracy in the blogging world is just that...a myth.

PS-I tried to post a comment to this effect (although much shorter) on Joi's blog, but it's been a few hours and hasn't shown up, so I thought I'd come record my thoughts in a post.

This month's Silicon Veggie

This month I discuss how to survive the upcoming season of travel, dining out and family dinners.

Silicon Valley version

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Kittens grow up to be cats...which can be let out of the bag for reals

Yes, I can now officially say it ain't just me showing up at SXSW Interactive in Austin TX this March.

In fact BlogHer will be co-producing a set of sessions for SXSW.

Check out the announcement on the BlogHer site for all details, but I will briefly tell you that we're co-producing 4 sessions under the BlogHer umbrella:

1. Public Square or Private Club: Does exclusivity strengthen or dilute?

2. We Got Naked...Now What? (I'm moderating this one.)

3. Meet Judy Jeston: How technology is transforming 21st century teens

4. Respect Your ElderBoggers

Again, check out the BlogHer announcement for more details and our list of moderators and panelists so far.

Hope we'll see you in Austin next March.

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