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Archive for July, 2005

  • Connect

IBM Wins This Weeks War…

James of Redmonk has an interesting analysis of Microsoft and IBM’s big announcements this week.

IBM wanted to frame the debate using terms like "collaborative processing" and collaborative design. What the hell is collaborative processing? Who cares, as long as it means brand z9 and brand IBM are associated with one of today’s hot memes, collaboration. And the association worked bloody well, as these links show.

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Learning from Lance…

A great, great OpEd from Thomas Friedman. He makes the point:

There is no doubt that Lance Armstrong’s seventh straight victory in the Tour de France, which has prompted sportswriters to rename the whole race the Tour de Lance, makes him one of the greatest U.S. athletes of all time. What I find most impressive about Armstrong, besides his sheer willpower to triumph over cancer, is the strategic focus he brings to his work, from his prerace training regimen to the meticulous way he and his cycling team plot out every leg of the race. It is a sight to behold. I have been thinking about them lately because their abilities to meld strength and strategy – to thoughtfully plan ahead and to sacrifice today for a big gain tomorrow – seem to be such fading virtues in American life. – NYT, July 27, 2005

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Spanking Analysts…

I’ve had many "moments" with analysts – all flavors in fact. These include "moments" where I’ve recommended companies stop funding certain industry analysts. But that is very different than Altera’s moves covered in the NYT this morning. They are cutting a financial analyst out, claiming it is not in the interests of shareholders to work with him. Bad move on their part. No need to do business with them if you don’t like their views, but I beleive companies have a responsibility to communicate.

First, this sends entirely the wrong message to shareholders. So you are going to make calls on who gets to ask questions and who gets information? As a shareholder I want you to be entirely transparent. Opacity is a reason to sell, not to buy. Assuming we don’t have the smarts to read and interpret research is insulting.

Second, we’re in the Participatory Age. That means fostering participation through engagement and transparency. It doesn’t mean cutting out people whose opinions you don’t agree with when you have a responsibility to deal with them on behalf of your shareholders. All this does is call into question your business practices.

I’m selling.

  • Connect

A Very Big Ad…

Thought you’d like this one

  • Connect

Quit You Whiners…

I’m tired of all the bloggers whineing about being pitched by PR people. Get the heck over it.

The irony here is that the less the bloggers want to be like traditional media, the more they sound like them – complaining endlessly about PR people; screaming self importance from every rooftop; trying to figure out how to manage a profession that can’t even police itself…

So, big tip – do what Dan Gillmor did years ago and let the PR people know what works in terms of pitching you, and what doesn’t. They’ll listen. Well, at least the smart ones will. As for the rest, stupid is as stupid does. You get to punish them in your own special way.

Some asked for feedback on what to do, so here is some. I have zero interest in navel gazing at conferences or group policy development… or another stupid manifesto that the A list salivate over while the real world struggles to even remotely grasp tagging… zero. Instead, I suggest we go with the flow and let people participate. That we encourage participation. That is what all this is about. PARTICIPATION!

You wanted it. You got it.

Russ’ idea of pretty little boxes telling PR people might work for the A-List – and hey, it involves colored boxes which most of us can deal with (red = bad). What it ignores though is that the vast majority of these pitches are the worst kind – they are just PR spam. And just like email spam doesn’t come from legitimate marketers, PR spam doesn’t come from legitimate PR pros. And spammers don’t care about pretty little boxes. Your email has probably made it onto a list and is being used by people who have never visited your blog. My recommendation – reflected in my policy – is that if someone is harassing you and they aren’t listening – drop their client’s CEO an email. PR people tend to react to that pretty quickly. I do like Russ’ other guidelines and thoughts though.

We need to let folks know what works for us as individuals. As far as I am concerned, shoot me news, ideas, pitches. I’m listening. There is a 90% probability I won’t write about anything you send me. If I feel you are wasting my time I’ll let you know – and if you don’t respect my request I’ll let the CEO of your client know. I’m not so important. I’m very proud to be not A list. I just like hanging out here and think its cool you might want to share something with me.

And, if you work for Apple, Audi, Porsche or Canali I definitely would like a pitch that involves me getting a freebie…  (sorry, couldn’t resist that…)