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    Online observations of public relations, marketing, advertising and social media; the occasional frivolity; and The Rundown show notes. Jump in, the water's fine.

    Please Note: Everything posted on this blog is my personal opinion and does not necessarily represent the views of my employer or its constituents.

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How much for the inside of your eyelids?

We all knew this was coming, but it’s becoming more real. Not only are we constantly bombarded my by messages nearly every second, there appears to be some space we haven’t covered up yet.

The floor wasted on walking? No it’s ad space!

The handrail of the escaloter just for safety? No, it’s ad space!

The inside of your eyelids? Well, hmm, how much?

The toiletpaper just for – ah, well, there’s one place I’ll gladly accept an ad or two.

The International Herald Tribune‘s Louise Story wrote this article about it. It’s an interesting article that doesn’t go into much detail except that it hints at advertisers thinking this is a great idea and that people are already sick of it.

Reminds me of this scene from Minority Report. Scccaaaaaarrrrryyyy. (feed readers, click here)

The article states: “Some advertising executives say that as long as an advertisement is entertaining, people do not necessarily mind the intrusion — and may even welcome it” Of course! These are the people who have never had a second alone with their own thoughts! They’d be shocked if they were forced to just…*gasp* sit and think! The mere attention-span fragmenting concept puts some people into hysterics. I honestly don’t know how I’d live in a big city.

And what’s worse, is that communicators already know that no matter how stupid your message, it’s never going to get the attention you want. It’s the quality of the message that counts. Unfortunately, the further into this landscape of adscape we go, the harder it is to get real messages out. Thank God for our innate ability to ignore things.

And people, did I mention people?

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Forward Meet-up

Well, after faking a geek dinner with some of my PR heroes, I finally had the opportunity to really meet some of my PR folk face-to-face this past weekend. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. WAY more.

In what turned out to be the best Forward meet-up in Ohio this year, Erin Caldwell, managing editor; Paull Young, director of the Forward Podcast; and I, principal contributor, got together to discuss the state and future of young PR professionals; share some great dinners; and enjoy each other’s company. Forward, of course, is the on-line springboard for up and coming young PR professionals. Paull stopped by on his way back from Canada and Erin made the journey direct from DC. My ever-patient wife and I hosted the Forward meet up.

We spent some time wandering aimlessly through the rolling eastern Ohio landscape surrounded by horses, buggies, and our own voiced ruminations.

It was a great moment of social media flexing the social aspect of its name. Real people with real relationships from places in the world real far away meeting face-to-face to discuss the things that brought them together in the first place. No one knows this better in this space than Paull.

If you’ve not had your first meet-up with on-line faces, it’s all true what they say. You feel right at home. Of course, I was at home, but you know what I mean.

After a fresh change of batteries, the three of us recorded hours and hours of audio of our groundbreaking, intellectual discussion that was only interrupted by the sound of my wife pointing out that we’d been talking into the TV remote for three days. As it was too late to record any more, I dropped them off at the airport.

Thanks for the visit, Forward team, next time we’ll try to choose our recorders more carefully. Enjoyed every second. Peace.

Friday Frivolity – Aussie Humour

As many of you know, Paull Young is on his world blogging tour. Having been all over the east coast, he’s now in Canada enjoying some of that fine Celcius weather. Not to worry, he informed me that he had the proper winter sandels on, so he’ll be fine.

I’m thrilled to announce that Paull and I are going to meet-up today in an undisclosed location, share stories, have a few beers, and probably do something stupid.

In honor of my inevitable and real meet-up, I’ve found a website about everything Australian that I’ve enjoyed reading over the last few days. It’s called Convict Creations: The hidden story of Australia’s missing links (no comment from me) and I just stumbled upon it one day. I have no idea if it’s accurate, I’ll have to ask Paull, but I’m certain that at least some of it is. Either way, it’s brilliant and I’ve enjoyed the information.

This website is huge, and you can get quite lost in it. It’s fun, though, and I’d be interested in knowing others opinions on it. I, personally, have a “thing” for emus.

I’d like to leave you with a few quotes out of the Austrialian Humour page.

  • It is proper to refer to your best friend as “a total bastard”. By contrast, your worst enemy is “a bit of a bastard.”
  • Historians believe the widespread use of the word “mate” can be traced to the harsh conditions on the Australian frontier in the 1890s, and the development of a code of mutual aid, or “mateship”. Alternatively, we may all just be really hopeless with names.
  • If it can’t be fixed with pantyhose and fencing wire, it’s not worth fixing.
  • If there’s any sort of free event or party within a hundred kilometres, you’d be a mug not to go.
  • If invited to a party, you should take cheap red wine, but then spend all night drinking the host’s beer. Don’t worry, he’ll have catered for it.
  • When tipping in a restaurant, we add 10 per cent, and then round down to the nearest large-denomination note. Yet, miraculously, we still believe we’ve tipped 10 per cent.

Podcasting suggestions, advice from a guy who doesn’t podcast

mic.jpgSo I’m not a podcaster. I’ve participated in a few podcasts. I’ve recorded things on my computer, but never made a podcast. I’ve never even recorded a Skype call. So you might be wondering what qualifications I have to make suggestions or give advice about said medium.

Well, first of all, I’m not going to, because Donna Papacosta already podcasted the concept I was cooking up and going to write about, so there! (I’ll be coming back to this.)

Secondly, I listen to a lot of podcasts. And to me, knowing what one likes or doesn’t like about podcasts really gives that person ample qualification. Plus, I was in a band for over six years, engineered two full-length CDs and still record my own little ditties occasionally, so I know a little bit about recording equipment.

Tertiarily, this is my blog. I don’t have to have authority, experience or knowledge, I just have to have an audience. Which I’m sure I’m losing at about 6 readers per word at this point. Hey, isn’t that the point sometimes when you’re blogging? Isn’t that the blogosphere motto: Don’t have any facts, figures, or knowledge, but write vehemently about stuff you don’t understand.

Gosh, I’m snarky today. Sorry I’m so cynical, but you’ve got to tell me you’ve noticed. It’s either an echo chamber or it’s a blind rant…no, wait, those two things aren’t mutually exclusive, sometimes it’s a complete echo chamber of ranting blindly. You wouldn’t know it, but I do love the medium. I love the whole shebang, bad and all.

Anyway, I’ve been listening to many, many podcasts since I first discovered them, oh…late 2005. Some good, some bad, and they’re getting better. I started thinking I’d write up a little top ten on what my suggestions would be to future or newbie podcasters. Things that people wouldn’t ordinarly think of without a little recording experience. The beauty of the medium is that the barrier to entry is so low, right? But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some things you should think about first.

However, in traditional I-used-to-live-in-New-York -and-then-I-moved-to-Canada-so-long-ago- I-forgot-how-to-carry-my-own-illegally-concealed-firearm fashion, Donna Papacosta came out with this great podcast on January 10th titled Insider’s Podcasting Secrets: 10 Things Every Podcaster Should Know, which is a cumbersome title and not one I would have used, but it’s straight forward and to the point. It was also featured on the Feedburner site, which must mean something because I know what Feedburner is and therefore what Donna has achieved must be important.

No, for the title of this post/podcast I would have chosen something with a little more panache. Something like, “Ten Ways To Cast Your Pod Appropriately” or “Don’t Screw This Up: How to avoid making your podcast the laughing stock of the entire freakin’ world,” or even “Podcasting suggestions, advice from a guy who doesn’t podcast.” But it’s Donna’s show, so she can call it whatever she wants.

This is a must listen – I’ll repeat – This is a must listen! Put your eye right up to the monitor just so you get it – this is a must listen for the podcast novice or anyone who has ever thought that maybe they would podcast or even participate in one just once. Even if you’ve done 10 shows, listen to this podcast. Her advice is simple, to the point, and very important. My big argument about podcasting is, yes, content is king, I’ll gladly put up with the occasional poor audio quality of a presentation because I know it’s going to be worth it. Better yet, next episode I might be able to actually hear something. It all evens out. But I have – those of you with weak stomachs might want to skip to the next paragraph break – but I have unsubscribed – YES, I ADMIT IT, unsubscribed to podcasts because they were the audio equivilant of fingernails on a chalkboard.

Oh, wait, that is audio. Bad metaphor.

Anyway, it was terrible to listen to episode after episode and no amount of “great content” can stem the flow of unscribes to that malodorous effluent. Yes, I had to look those words up.

One thing Donna doesn’t cover is sound effects. And this might seem a bit advanced, but it’s the only original thing I can come up with that she hasn’t covered. All I’m asking for here is a “ding” a “ping” or a “bong.” A musical trill, the sound of a drill, a reverberous gong. Arpeggio, just so you know, three notes of a chord. A puff on a flute, a little horn toot, a boat horn on the fjord. The point is, sometimes a little musical umph (technical term) can help separate segments of your show. I hate to brag, but one person who does this really well is Donna Papacosta. Just short little anythings can help tell your audience that something is changing. Visually, we’d see paragraphs indented in print or a super-bright flash in a video. Aurally, we need the help. So if you’re introducing an interview, ending an interview, going to a new segment, or having a flashback of an earlier show – help an ear out. And I like them short. I love FIR, but I can’t stand the musical introductions to their segments…too long. You could listen to Inside PR for the jingle I wrote for the Inside PRoper English segment…funny how they only used it for two shows…

Now, go listen to Donna’s Trafcom News podcast #48.

I have the Power of 150, you insignificant noisemakers, you

No, wait, I wrote that incorrectly. I am one of the pr/marketing bloggers that made it into Todd And’s The Power 150: Top Marketing Blogs. In fact, I’m lucky number 100! Take that Steve Rubel of Micropersuasion! Oh, wait, he came in at 15. Take that Kevin Dugan of Strategic PR and The Bad Pitch Blog! No, shoot, both of his blogs beat me at 24 and 45, respectively. Who else, ah, have at thee, Shel Holtz! Crap, he’s 28. I’ll bet I beat that good-for-nothing Todd Defren – let’s see…curses! He soundly beats me out at 34. Ha! I beat eSoup, whatever the hell that is.* I guess that’s some consolation.

Todd rated these blogs using Google PageRank, Bloglines Subscribers, Technorati Ranking, and the ever subjective Todd And Points. I’ve got to admit, when I set up those other 234 Bloglines accounts and subscribed only to my own blog and The Daily Dilbert, I felt kind of stupid. But it’s all paid off now.

Seriously, I think what Todd has done is really quite amazing. You can read his original post here. If I weren’t so busy faking podcasts and writing about the important pr/marketing issues that made me of the the Power 150, I’d have thought of something equally as clever and subjective. Something like “The Chainmail Armour 200,” “125 Blogs in Shining Armour,” or, perhaps, “The stuff I try to cram in my head every week from smart people on their blogs 2.1!”

Honestly, Todd, thanks for taking the time, for enjoying my shambles…uh, rambles, and for contributing so joyfully to this social media space. Congrats to the other 149, yes, even those of you from 1-99.

*note: I’m just kidding. Well, I wasn’t, but I wanted to know what eSoup was really all about, so I visited the site and it looks really good. Sharon has some impressive things on both eSoup and her own website. So, no hard feelings, Sharon, I just…I went for the funny line, okay? Please forgive me. I mean, eSoup? It’s a punchline in this context. How’s that for a tagline? eSoup: simplify, organize, punchline

Friday Frivolity – Star Wars parody

So I’m revealing a little of my inner geek today, but I couldn’t help it. Occasionally, you can stumble upon something on YouTube that strikes the funny bone in a way that surprises even you.

I’m a child of the 70s and 80s, so Star Wars is a big part of my life, and, well, my name is Luke. Do you know how many people I meet actually say to my face (heavy breathing) “Luke, I’m not your father” and then laugh like ninnies? 60% of them, I swear.

Anyway, here’s a little Star Wars clip from [adult swim], work-safe, but definitely geek revealing. Hilarious, though. Enjoy.

Feed readers can click here to get the vid.

Update: I love it when a Friday Frivolity actually produces useful news. Speaking of YouTube, Podzinger just announced that it now searches audio of YouTube videos. From the Podzinger blog:

“YouTube has garnered a huge amount of press and interest over the past year. Its reputation as a grass roots online forum for sharing is cemented by it being the driving force behind Time Magazine’s choice to name the online generated content user/owner as their Person of The Year. Now with this new PodZinger feature, you can access and search YouTube material allowing for more specific search of their user generated content. Now besides simply searching on the metadata of the video files, you can search for terms that are actually mentioned inside the audio, allowing for a greater likelihood you will find relevant material. We’re also automatically organizing the videos into channels based on the actual content of the video. Today you can narrow your search within entertainment, sports, and anime. And we’ll continue to add more.”

This is huge. If you’re not aware of Podzinger, you need to be as it’s a revolutionary product that allows you to search audio and video. I’ve used it quite a bit, and it’s not perfect, but it’s getting better and it’s a fantastic start to searchable audio.  Thanks to FIR for pointing me to this news. For more information about Podzinger, check out the site or this FIR interview or Managing the Gray interview.