Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
February 6, 2006
Everyboy’s favorite British social software guru, Euan Semple, has a new business website.
Euan just left the BBC, where he was in charge of working on all the internal blogs etc. Eight thousand internal users, or something like that. So now he’s gone into business for himself. Good luck, Euan!
PS: Euan’s blog is here.
[MEANWHILE:] BMW gets banned from Google for messing around with its stats. You have been warned.
February 5, 2006
English Cut moves the “$300 shirt conversation” forward by revealing to the world who will be making them for us. Thomas also mentions why we chose the manufacturers we did.
To make a long story short, my favourite shirt is one I’ve owned for over eight years. It still hangs in my wardrobe. It’s all dog-eared and worn, because I’ve enjoyed wearing it so often. Sadly, the label only mentions the retailer who sold it to me, not the actual manaufacturer. The retailer I bought it from went out of business a few years ago, however there was something special about this one, so I kept it around as a reminder of how a real shirt should feel.
When I decided to start selling shirts, I promised myself that this old favourite shirt would be the inspiration. This old shirt embodied everything I was after.
I’m happy to report that after doing some digging and a lot of phone calls later, I finally discovered the manufacturer of the shirt. Rayner and Sturgess Ltd, based in England’s garden county of Kent, about an hour South of London.
English Cut is making no claims to being master shirtmakers [unlike SOME prominent English brands that I won’t mention].
What we are claiming to be is a most excellent interface between customer and shirtmaker.
If our customers go for it, they go for it. If not, at least our losses will be minimal. Rock on.
February 4, 2006
I’m still in Geneva. Having a very jolly time.
Right now I’m at Hamish’s house with Sigurd. As I write this, Sig is across the room, demonstrating Thingamy to Hamish.
Pictures of LIFT can be found on Flickr here, and hear what people are saying about it via Technorati here,
The video footage for LIFT is already up. So you can watch my presentation if you feel like it.
Kudos to Laurent for putting on a really good show.
Meanwhile, there’s only one gapingvoid t-shirt design left [the CFA one above]. Once they’re gone, they’re gone etc. You can order it here.
January 30, 2006
[Haven’t posted this cartoon for a while. It’s one of my favorites.]
The Artic Monkeys make pop music history by having the fastest-selling British single since The Beatles.
Whatever People Say I Am, That
Technorati has now reached over 26 million blogs.
What does this mean? I have no idea. Depends how much you’re personally invested in the whole blogging thing working out.
Here’s the Memeorandum link for the whole “Venture Capital 2.0″ thread.
All of the people cited there are worth reading. Check it out.
So far I’m not seeing any seismic shift in the VC industry. I’m just seeing some intellectual growing pains going on. Fair enough.
[NEWSFLASH:] Everybody’s favorite fashion model, Anina has been told by her agency to stop blogging.
Another dinosaur doing a power move etc. Sucks.
January 29, 2006
Stormhoek makes an appearance at Barcamp Dallas.
Kudos to David Parmet and Brian Oberkirch for making it happen
[Bonus Link:] Rick Segal speaks more about his “Venture Captial 2.0″ idea. Rick is up to something, this post sheds a little more light on the subject etc. [Also see:] Dave Winer: “How To Reform The VC Industry”. I can’t decide if I love or hate this idea. Blogshares with real money. Who knows?
English Cut gets a nice mention today in The Sunday Telegraph, one of the big UK papers.
It’s an article about Prince Charles no longer wearing “bespoke”, instead opting for the cheaper “made-to-measure”.
Two points of personal interest:
 Thomas is cited as “one of Britain’s most respected tailors, who made Prince Charles’s suits for three years…“
 Thomas is quoted directly:
“Twenty years ago — when he was wearing Anderson & Sheppard — he looked so elegant. But in the photograph two months ago he looked bloody awful in a made-to-measure suit.”
I’m not sure if describing the Prince’s dress sense as “bloody awful” is good PR for us. Maybe, maybe not. But being called “one of Britain’s most respected tailors” from a national Establishment newspaper isn’t exactly bad news.
[BACKGROUND: Thomas used to work for Anderson & Sheppard, as undercutter to the great Dennis Halberry. While there he was also the main cutter for their most important client i.e. Prince Charles.]
January 28, 2006
From Fred Wilson:
Fraser Kelton has an excellent post on the challenges facing the venture business up on his Disruptive Thoughts blog.
Fred also adds this thought:
I would suggest one rule and only one. Be the entrepreneur’s partner. Help him or her. Be there for them. Support them. Counsel them. Share the risk with them. Have fun with them. Laugh and cry with them. And make boatloads of money with them. It’s a time tested formula and it will work forever.
Ok, so what sayest Rick Segal And Doc Searls?
[Rick and Doc are having an ongoing conversation about how the venture capital business can work in a “Web 2.0″ envirionment, when large helpings of cash aren’t always needed. How then does a VC add value, if his main raison d’etre [i.e. Cash] is not needed in the equation?]
So one of the people over at Stormhoek told this to me:
The Stormhoek boys were having a meeting with one of their largest customers, a UK supermarket chain.
After a long presentation explaining what they were trying to do with the blogosphere, an exec at the supermarket called it nothing more than “Chatroom Rubbish”.
The guy obviously doesn’t get it. So they sent him a paperback copy of The Cluetrain in the hope that it provides him some food for thought.
In supermarkets, everything is a commodity– the management, the products, the customers, the suppliers, the employees, and of course, the supermarket itself.
It’s interesting to me that a exec in a commodity business would describe conversations between people who spend money in their stores as “Chatroom Rubbish”.
Interesting, but not surprising.
I call this phenomenon “Running up against the Commodity Wall”. We bloggers are already very used to it.
January 26, 2006
Stowe Boyd has left Corante and started a new thing.
Rock on, Stowe!
From Mark Evans:
One thought — and it’s one that came from a recent discussion — is the VC is even needed within the Web 2.0 environment. If you can develop and distribute a new application/service with little capital, what roles do VCs get to play if they can’t bring money to the table? Maybe this is what Rick is working on.
Enquiring minds want to know– is there something afoot in the Venture Capital business? What sayest Fred Wilson?
Blog Goddess Elizabeth Spiers is launching a new blog this March.
Gawker, her former employer, snarks about it.
People forget how influential Gawker was back when Spiers and Denton first launched it.
Like I said earlier, the folks at Stormhoek are crafting some in-store retail promos for major UK retailers.
Here’s our idea: Because of our thing we’ve got going with the blogosphere, we think it would be a fun idea to maybe cross-promote a “Web 2.0″ products in the promo. Something on a case card or on the bottle? Counter display? That kinda thing.
[1.] The offer would be seen by millions of mainstream UK wine drinkers.
[2.] Ten dollar wine people would seem to be the perfect target for a lot of techie offers, methinks.
Anybody have or know of some products they would like to see promoted in the UK? Software, hardware, geek toys, websites, it doesn’t matter.
Drop me an e-mail and let’s talk about it. Thanks.
“How To Be Creative”, a 10,000-word blog post I wrote a year and a half ago, just got picked up by Digg.
So far, it’s been “Dugg” 1,097 times. Is that a lot? I don’t know much about how Digg works.
[Thanks to Jose for the pointer.]
[PODCAST:] Johnnie Moore and James Cherkoff interview Jason Korman from Stormhoek.
Nice to get another perspective on it from someone close to the business. Jason, Johnnie and James all had some fascinating thoughts about it.
NB: Johnnie and James do this thing called the “Open Sauce Workshop” which is really interesting.
From the highest-spending brands, to the smallest agencies, everyone is wondering how to succeed in a brave new world of marketing.
It’s a world where people are better informed, better connected and have more choice. Where the media are increasingly fragmented.
Open Sauce workshops are a lively, practical way to get to grips with this world.
[BACKGROUND STORY:] “Blogging doubles Stormhoek sales in less than twelve months.”
Seems a new conversation is starting about Venture Capital between two of the smartest people I know, Doc Searls and Rick Segal. Click on their respective links to find out more. Interesting stuff.
[Bonus Link:] Web 2.0 is dead, it’s official. Not that it was ever that alive to begin with [Thanks to Fred for the link].
January 25, 2006
Thomas is down in London today, talking to a shirt manufacturer.
The current plan:
1. Make a limited number of insanely expensive bespoke suits every year.
2. Make an unlimited number of insanely expensive shirts every year, selling via an e-commerce website.
3. Forget massive retail operations and extensive line extensions. Just focus on a few core items, and make it easy for people to shop online.
4. Keep it all “Made in England”.
There’s an interplay here between the quality of the suits, the quality of the shirts, the dialogue happening on Thomas’ blog and the actual shirtmaker who manufactures for us.
A reader left the following comment on English Cut:
Fascinating post as usual. I get such an education reading this site. For those of us who grew up well outside the realm of Savile Row, it feels like secret society information is regularly dispensed here. I’m sure your blog is doing more Savile Row and Jermyn Street than anything else for a century. I think you really fill a need for people who want the best, but have remained ignorant in the dark surroundings of today’s popular culture. Thank you for lighting the way for us.
If that’s not our target market, I don’t know who is. Somebody who wants the best, enjoys learning about it, but still doesn’t want a lot of fuss.
A far cry from the commodified, fashionista hell hole that is contemporary luxury retail.
January 23, 2006
From Paul Graham:
How To Do What You Love.
To do something well you have to like it. That idea is not exactly novel. We’ve got it down to four words: “Do what you love.” But it’s not enough just to tell people that. Doing what you love is complicated.
Also from Paul:
A Unifed Theory of VC Suckage.
The problem with VC funds is that they’re funds. Like the managers of mutual funds or hedge funds, VCs get paid a percentage of the money they manage: about 2% a year in management fees, plus a percentage of the gains. So they want the fund to be huge– hundreds of millions of dollars, if possible. But that means each partner ends up being responsible for investing a lot of money. And since one person can only manage so many deals, each deal has to be for multiple millions of dollars.
[Hat tip to Gavin Bowman for the link.]
January 22, 2006
The English Cut $300 shirt story is moving along quickly.
We’ve been talking to lots of shirtmaking people. Going well. Looks like we’ll be launching the shirts when Tom next visits America in February.
The market for $3000 English suits is pretty limited. A couple of thousand of people, tops. But the potential market for Engish shirts is much greater. Look at Thomas Pink.
Our plan is basically to offer a shirt of a higher quality than Pink’s, at much lower overheads for us.
We’re thinking about ways to scale the business upwards. We’re going to do it all via online to begin with. If it goes well we’ll see if it warrants opening an offline operation [selling in retail outlets].
Right now our mailing list is a few hundred people. I would like that number to reach well into five-figures before I’m done.
Even the more insane side of me thinks one hundred thousand could be doable, if we execute it well enough.
Marketing guru, entrepreneur and all-tround nethead Jack Yang finally has a blog. Worth a read.
[ALSO:] The Thora Institute, a small think-tank dedicated to “serving Black America”, is also blogging.
Great Copyright rant from The Head Lemur:
Protecting stuff comes from fear. Believing that someone is out to take it, raises the question of what led you to the conclusion that whatever it is has such a potential for destroying your way of life? And since you have reached this conclusion, where did the idea come from to put it on the web?
January 21, 2006
It’s official: Stormhoek is coming to America in March.
[NOTE TO SELF:] How do I ruthlessly exploit this for personal gain?
[ALSO:] I was in Maryport earlier today. I actually saw the now-famous dolphin swimming around. Poor creature.
January 20, 2006
1. A well known writer has a website. Been online for a number of years. Already has a reputation for being tech-savvy and “wired”.
2. He starts a blog just over 2 weeks ago.
3. It increases his traffic. Just a tad.
4. Make of it what you will.
So what happens to marketing now that we have all this jolly post–Cluetrain action happening? Read this great post from Tara Hunt.
I particularly like Point Number Six:
6. A good marketer gets involved in the community.
I’m not just talking throwing a few dollars of sponsorship in their general direction in exchange for a banner. I’m talking about getting your hands dirty. Getting involved. Taking up the cause for yourself. Starting initiatives. Supporting initiatives. Getting to know everyone.
I’ve tried taking a similar aproach with Stormhoek and how it interfaces with the blogging/Web 2.0 crowd.
Who says Web 2.0 is just about internet technology? Who says wine is just about fermented grape juice? Where are the edges? The fun thing about the Stormhoek project is that I get to find out.
[UPDATE:] Taras’s follow-up post on Point Number Six: “How how does a marketer get involved in the community without it being a bullshit PR move?“
[Here’s a pic of me and Tara in London last month.]
January 19, 2006
Already full up:
The fifth TechCrunch Meetup is on Friday, February 17, 2006 at the TechCrunch house in Atherton, California. We will celebrate the launch of Naked Conversations, the new book by Shel Israel and Robert Scoble.
I’ve already read Naked Conversations, thanks to their publishers kindly giving me an advance copy to read. It’s a great book. [Amazon link here.]
I get asked this all the time: “Yeah, I’m sure blogging is great and all, but how can it make a difference to MY business?“
And Robert and Shel’s book address this question better than anyone I know about.
The thing is, there’s no one single answer. Every business has its own issues.
My standard answer these days is, Forget blogging for the minute. Think instead about “The Smarter Conversation”.
[Disclosure:] The “English Cut” story get a lot of ink in the book. That’s thanks mainly to Shel, who followed the story closely from pretty much Day One. Thanks, Shel!
January 18, 2006
Yes, it really, truly is:
The Best Blonde Joke Ever.
Damn. I’ still laughing.
Go back to my New York days in the late 1990s, long before I had my own website.
If I found a cool website or product, I’d tell, I dunno, maybe a few people about it. Maybe a dozen.
Now when I find something I like and I blog about it, hundreds, maybe thousands of people find out. And a lot of the people I tell have blogs of their own. So that thousands of folk might cascade into tens of thousands quite easily.
In short, my 5-year-old Dell and a simple piece of free blogging software has upped my “viral effect” by many tens of thousands of percentage points since New York. And the same has happened for thousands upon thousands of other people. Some more than me, some less, but still, collectively it’s huge.
Whatever business you’re in, your product’s success or failure is going to become more and more dependant on “sneezers” like me. We are not going away. We are getting more viral by the day, while other ways of spreading ideas– TV, newspapers etc– are becoming less effective by the day.
This steady transfer of power and influence from big media to the sneezers won’t happen overnight, but it is a permanent state of affairs.
And there is nothing, repeat nothing you can do about it.
Doc Searls said back in April that The Cluetrain hasn’t left the station yet. Doc Searls was wrong.
January 17, 2006
Forget power laws, A-Lister oligarchies, The Long Tail, The Cluetrain, The Hughtrain, Citizen’s Media, or any ideas of meritocracy, fraternity, democracy, equality or fairness.
The Two Immutable Laws of Blogging:
1. “Nobody’s going to read your blog unless there’s something in it for them.” –Seth Godin.
2. “Nobody’s going to link to your blog unless there’s something in it for them.” –Hugh MacLeod
[NOTE TO SELF:] Diversity. Freedom of Choice. Equality. Pick Two.
[NOTE TO SELF:] Paraphrasing Ben Hammersley: “Though markets may be conversations, conversations are also markets.”
Here’s a term I just coined:
“A-Listology”. The study of “A-Listers”, and the social dynamics that go with them.
Often confused with useful and original thought.
[Bonus Link:] Tom Wark, one of the best wine bloggers out there, does a great job fisking the Stormhoek story.
Decanter Magazine writes about the “Blogging Doubles Stormhoek Wine” story.
And one of my favorite writers in the Blogosphere, Anil Dash writes about it on the Six Apart Blog:
Last year, Stormhoek, a popular South African wine, started a business blog powered by Movable Type and sent out one hundred complimentary bottles of their wine to bloggers across Europe. With the assistance of well-known blog marketing expert Hugh Macleod, Stormhoek bet big on blogging, counting on the influence and voice of those bloggers to help get their message out.
The result? As you can see in Hugh’s Movable Type-powered blog and in today’s story on Decanter magazine’s website, Stormhoek doubled sales of their wines.
PS. You should read the blog post Anil wrote the week after he got married. Possibly the most moving blog post I read in 2005.
PPS. Anil wouldn’t know this, but it was him who got me using Movable Type. Long before he went to work for Six Apart [the company that makes MT software], I read his blog avidly; I was a real fan. Noticing that he was an MT user, I said to myself, “Good enough for Anil, good enough for me.” This was the first time I ever came across MT. True Story.
“Blogs are about being changed, more than changing others.“
This what I mean when I’m talking about “Internal Disruption”.
Johnnie Moore, in my opinion is one of the most lucid voices out there, when it comes to new ways to think about marketing. I consider him currently the best “marketing blogger” in the UK. I hope you’ll add him to your blogroll.
[Bonus Link:] Me and Dennis “Don’t shoot me because I’m an accountant” Howlett are having an interesting exchange over here in the comment section.
January 16, 2006
TOP TEN REASONS WHY NOBODY READS YOUR BLOG:
1. You’re not a good-looking female who likes posting naked pictures of herself.
Pretty damn obvious, if you ask me. [Not safe for work. You’ve been warned.]
2. There’s nothing in it for them.
Yeah, people really want to spend the short time they’ve been given on this Earth to find out what an unemployed managing consultant dork has to say. Dream on.
3. “Passion & Authority” are just buzzwords to you.
Yeah, I’ve read the Cluetrain as well. So has my pet canary. Get back in line.
4. A secret cabal of A-Listers got together and decided that you should be excluded from the conversation.
Yeah, they sit around sipping champagne, eating caviar and laughing about you.
5. You have nothing to say.
The fact that you haven’t figured this out yet surprises everyone.
6. You’re not The Assimilated Negro.
TAN is smart and funny. You are not. Get over it.
7. You didn’t recently sell your company to AOL for $25 million.
Somehow your eighth-grade English teacher managed to convince you that truth & beauty were more important to people than money & power. And you’ve been paying dearly for it ever since.
8. The very fact that you’re whining about traffic makes people not want to read your blog.
Instead it makes them want to emulate the champagne-swigging A-Listers currently mocking you.
9. You’ve only been writing the damn thing for a week.
And you’re already whinging. See Point Number Eight.
10. The Long Tail is very, very long.
And thanks to folk like you it’s getting EVEN LONGER. Rock on.
[FURTHER READING:] “Top Ten Blogger Lies.“
[BONUS LINK:] Kent has a very different take on things.
Stormhoek is looking for a marketing guy with consumer goods experience to help create and execute in-store promotions with some of the large UK retailers.
This is not my field at all. Anybody know someone who might be interested? Please e-mail me with “marketing gig” in the title. Thanks.
It just occured to me– gapingvoid will be five years old in a couple of months. Wow. That seems like a long time.
It first started life as place to publish my cartoons [Click here to see the old site.]. Then it evolved into a kind of marketing, “Hughtrain” blog.
Then English Cut and Stormhoek came along in 2005 and changed everything once again.
Went from “cartoonist” to “copywriter” to “marketing consultant” to “entrerpeneur” in a few short moves.
I like it when a blog re-invents itself, my own or someone else’s. When that happens, career re-invention inevitably follows in its wake. And to me that’s what blogging is really all about.
Who said companies never listen to bloggers?
This is about as good an example as I’ve seen lately. Thanks for the heads-up, Markoos!
NB: You need to read the comments to get the full story.
Congrats to rememberthemilk for getting a clue.
[Bonus Link:] Ignore the “Long Tail” at your peril etc.
January 15, 2006
Sarah Blow, everybody’s favorite girl geek is looking for a job.
She told me it was OK to post this, though for whatever reason her current employer won’t let her post it on her blog.
She’s 24 and very, very bright. She tells me she’s not adverse to the idea of moving, even moving countries. Here’s her CV.
I told her she should move to Seattle and go work for Microsoft. Robert?
English Cut has now added a monthly newsletter to the equation.
A lot of people have signed up so far. A couple of hundred in the last day or two. I’m hoping we can add a couple of zeros to the final number.
We see it as a good way to touch base with our customers, let them know what we’re up to etc, without them having to read the blog on a regular basis [not everybod wants to read blogs, believe it or not].
Sure, there’s nothing too radical about this approach. It’s just straight ahead “Permission Marketing”. That being said, it does excite me. I really like the idea of being able to find all the business you need, just from the simple act of writing an engaging e-mail every month and sending it out to a willing audience [working in tandem with the blog, of course].
Beats the hell out of conventional advertising, which I usually find slow, complicated, inefficient, painful and expensive.
Please feel free to sign up. Thanks.
January 13, 2006
It was funny walking down Savile Row yesterday. There were a lot of “SALE” signs in the windows. It’s January, post-Christmas etc, so it wasn’t exactly surprising. But this month we’ve been turning down business. And thinking about raising our prices. When others zig, zag. Exactly.
Thomas and I were down in London this week visiting shirtmakers, to make for us wholesale.
We’ve found somebody. And they’re bloody good. And we like them. And they also supply my favorite Jermyn Street shirtmaker. And the shirts are all made in England, unlike SOME nameless Jermyn Street companies that manufacure in India, Portugal, Pakistan and China.
[NB: Jermyn Street is to hand-made shirts what Savile Row is to hand-made suits. They’re a few minutes’ walk from each other.]
I was holding a competitor’s shirt in my hands yesterday.
1. The company’s illustrious name was proudly emblazened on the collar label.
2. “Jermyn Street” was proudly emblazoned on the collar label.
3. The “Made In China” bit was not-so-proudly emblazoned on a tiny, hard-to-find label nowhere near the collar.
Not that there’s anything wrong with having a Chinese shirt. The quality in this case was high, and the cost was very competitive.
But we think our customers want the “Made In England” story. So do we. Sure, it’s going to cost more, but we think it makes the “English Cut” story more authentic. And “Authenticity” is what people are ultimately buying into, not the actual molecules.
As soon as you start cutting corners, you start cutting into your own narrative. Sometimes the cost savings justify it, but not always. The world is already awash with compromised stories and diluted brands. Sure, the accountants love it, but they’re just looking at the numbers. They’re not the ones who have to go out into the big, wide world and find the actual paying customers.
January 12, 2006
I’m currently in London, back home tonight.
It looks like Stormhoek will be spending more marketing efforts in the USA starting this year, which might mean I get to spend more time in New York, after a few years away from my most beloved city.
Also, there’s some interesting things happening with English Cut on the company front. Since most of our customers are American, I can’t see not spending more time over there for that as well.
I’ve no real interest in living there full-time again [Honest!]. I’m not Wall Street material, nor does Big Media or Madison Avenue do much for me these days. Right now I’m thinking a few days every month or so would be good, not unlike the frequency I currently visit Paris and London.
It’s funny, even five years ago doing what I’m doing outside a big city would be nearly impossible. But the blogosphere changed everything.
A $5000-a-month Tribeca loft is far less appealing when you don’t actually have to live there in order to get ahead.
But yet, in spite of the internet making things possible for so many people near and far, the property prices in New York, London and other central hubs do nothing except rise. And rise fiercely.
What’s going on? The Pre-Cluetrain crowd having one last gasp before the party ends?
January 10, 2006
More coverage on the “Blogging Doubles Stormhoek Sales” story.
So you want to know “What comes after Cluetrain”?
Marketing Hub nails it:
The stumbling block to “markets as conversations” for most companies is that they see a world in which only one of the participants in the interaction is open to change. This would be the customer, by default — they are the ones who are putting their money down and making room in their lives for your product. The company providing the product has historically not been open to change in the process.
The next step for Cluetrain, as this article discusses, is companies willingly allowing themselves to be genuinely disrupted by the process.
Johnnie Moore also has some good thoughts on it:
There’s a parallel at work for bloggers — the value may not be the immediate impact of their words on the market, but how the conversation changes the blogger.
The best example I can think of is how Robert Scoble and his blogging colleagues are changing Microsoft internally.
But Microsoft is a tech company. What I’m not seeing is more non-tech companies following their lead. I guess it’s not surprising.
A year ago, I was very excited by the idea of corproate blogging, spreading like wildfire. But the more I’ve talked to large companies over the last 12 months, the less I’m convinced they actually want to get into the process.
For all the “Blaze New Trails” rheotoric the corporate PR machine likes to feed the media, most corporate types don’t like rocking the boat. And good blogs rock boats– they can’t help it.
So what comes after The Cluetrain? Companies gladly and willingly allowing themselves to be actually changed by The Cluetrain. But don’t hold your breath.
[FURTHER READING:] “Disrupt Or Die.”
1. I don’t consider myself an A-Lister.
No, but I turn up for speaking gigs at all the big conferences anyway. Uh-huh.
2. I don’t care about traffic.
Of course I don’t. Even though I’m a freelance consultant, and my blog is my primary way of marketing myself. Rock on.
3. I’ve read your blog.
Yeah, well I read the “Musings of an unemployed tech consultant” bit on the title bar, before clicking off. That counts.
4. I started blogging back in 1999.
Of course, back in 1999 a Flash-animated, brochureware homepage was considered a blog. Kinda sorta.
5. My blog has no commercial agenda.
I’m far too sexy to care about money. Exactly.
6. I only have advertising on my blog as an experiment.
That explains why the adstrip is right under the “Musings of an unemployed tech consultant” bit. Indeed.
7. I’ve never liked the unegalitarian term, “A-Lister”.
Even though I am one. Oh, the irony.
8. I’m proud to be a D-Lister.
Even though I spend 7 hours a day writing the thing. Right.
9. He’s a big hero of mine.
He’s got more traffic than downtown Mexico City and I’m hoping to God he links to me one day.
10. I really admire what she’s doing for the blogosphere.
I’ve noticed that she’s currently single.
[Inspired by Mr. Kawasaki, of course.]
[BONUS LINK:] “Top Ten Reasons Why Nobody Reads Your Blog.”
January 9, 2006
I’ll be speaking at Lift in Geneva, February 2 – 3.
Robert Scoble, Cory Doctorow, Anina and Euan Semple will also be there. Rock on.
From my best estimates, I’d say at least 90% of English Cut’s paying customers have never heard of or read gapingvoid.
What does that tell me? That blogging doesn’t work in the cause-and-effect way a lot of people think it does.
Indirectly. Blogs are a great way to make things happen indirectly.
But so many people live or die by metrics and “deliverables”, they can’t get their head around that.
January 8, 2006
[This cartoon is one of my all-time favorites. Which is why I repost it all the time etc.]
Back when I was new to this whole internet thing, I would check my stats at least once a day. Now I’m lucky if I check them once a week, tops. Stats don’t really tell you that much. OK, so let’s say hypothetically you got 30% more visitors in December than you got in November. Whatever. How many of this 30% offered to shower you with money, or sex, or brandy & cigars? Exactly.
My new metric of choice is how well Me and Thomas’ Savile Row business is doing on Google. This week’s been a good one. So I’m in a good mood.
Now here’s the thing. Savile Row is famous for dressing heads of state, movie stars, captains of industry, the great and the good etc. Of course, we’re delighted to have their business. But unbeknownst to many, the lion’s share of the business comes from the United States (and that is true for all of the Row, not just our little company). We’re mostly talking highly paid professionals– investment bankers, corporate lawyers, that kind of thing. Very East Coast.
Where are the next generation of East Coast $4000 suit customers finding out about Savile Row? Fashion mags? Books? Hardly. They’re finding out via Google and Yahoo and MSN.
I can see why people diss MSN or Google or Yahoo. Big company power ticks people off. But what I mostly feel towards them is gratitude. Because what all these three companies have done for me this year is make me money, not to mention for millions of other people.
To these three companies, I say, keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t change a thing. Keep sending me all those droves of high-paying customers, and I’ll be loving you forever.
Jeff from Texas states the obvious: Thomas the Savile Row tailor hasn’t been updating his blog often enough.
So I write in the comments:
Tom is REALLY busy these days, thanks to the blog. So he doesn’t have as much time to post new material as often he would like.
When you have dozens of customers waiting for their suits to be finished, THE LAST THING they want to see is you spending lots of time online.
A lot of bloggers like to write about “Creative Destruction”. But rarely do they include the creative destruction of their own blogging in the equation.
Am I the only one who sees the paradox?
[NOTE TO SELF:] My Alexa rankings are at an all-time high. What’s the deal with that?
A real gem from Fred Wilson. All to do with the US telephone companies patheticly trying to muscle in on Google and iTunes’ action, for no other reason than jealousy.
Sounds like they’ll have an uphill struggle. Like Fred says::
The Telco’s had their chance back in the mid 90s to develop all these value added services to run on their networks. They didn’t do it. They bought back stock, built golf courses, defrauded their shareholders, took on enourmous debt, and generally did everything other than take advantage of the incredible opportunity that they had with the coming of the Internet. Bottom line — they screwed up.
PS: Fred Wilson is on my “Must Read” list [along with about a dozen others]. Skip him at your peril.
January 6, 2006
This got my attention:
The New Dress Code:
The most dramatic change in menswear will be the shift towards formal suiting and structured garments. This year we will see the return of the suit, a fashion phenomenon not seen since the 1980s. Tailored jackets are the key item and the most effective way of updating a man
January 4, 2006
[Gift Idea:] A “Wirearchy” t-shirt, designed by Yours Truly.
Like Jon says, a good gift for anyone who belives that blogging and social software will have a big impact on business and society in the next century.
[Bonus Link:] How to avoid that corpse-like feeling you get from working in a large company. “The Art of Intrapreneurship” by Guy Kawasaki. [Thanks to James Governor for the link.]