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Posts from July 2005

July 29, 2005

Big Fish - The Story Of Suck

suck.gif Remember "Suck":http://www.suck.com ? Even if you weren't around at the turn of the century to witness Suck in all its real-time glory, you really need to head over to "Keep Going":http://www.keepgoing.org/ and print off a copy of "Big Fish - The Story of Suck":http://www.keepgoing.org/issue20_giant/the_big_fish.html as your long weekend read. What Anuff and Steadman (et al.) did was brilliant and this very lengthy article (16 full printed pages) gives reflections from many of those involved. Suck was an amazing pre-cursor to the modern blog and the back-story is almost as interesting as their output. Reading Jason Calacanis' "Walden 3":http://calacanis.weblogsinc.com/entry/1234000540052285/ post made me think of the thrill of working at Suck and the (apparent) thrill of working for "Weblogs Inc.":http://www.weblogsinc.com/. Hopefully Jason can do a better job of watching the money than the sucksters did!

July 28, 2005

Laws Governing Online Selling In Canada Change Saturday

Jack Kapica at the Globe & Mail points out in "Ontario Tightens Online Sales Legislation":http://www.globetechnology.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20050727.gtkapicaontjul27/BNStory/Technology/ that anyone selling stuff online in Ontario or _to Ontarians_ will be covered by new consumer protection laws starting Saturday, July 30th, 2005. Here's a quote: bq. Under the new law, which is a consolidation and modernization of six previous acts, businesses will have to make sure their on-line ordering systems, such as their "virtual shopping carts," comply with the new standards. They will be required to offer customers full disclosure of the terms of sale before the two enter a deal; the process must be clear, comprehensible and prominent to the buyer, and it must be made available in writing to the customer. The "CMA":http://www.the-cma.org/ has "published their recommendations":http://www.the-cma.org/members/showdoc.cfm?section=/en/members/activities/bulletins&PageID=mb202 (available only to members) and the Government of Ontario has an "archive of a 30 minute webcast on the topic called Consumer Protection For The 21st Century":http://w.on24.com/r.htm?e=11796&s=1&k=EF3705AB5F3D17A7A268D6E382E6F58F that provides an overview of the legislation. And here is the actual "Consumer Protection Act 2002 legislation":http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/DBLaws/Statutes/English/02c30_e.htm.

Don't Call It A Blog

Is this a blog? Do you know? Do you care? From _my_ context this is a blog and I think most of our contributors consider themselves bloggers. But for you the reader these facts are largely immaterial. You're here for the ideas -and the free chicken wings-. How those ideas are added to the site and how they are presented on the page are of little importance. And the same probably holds of most of the readers of most of the blogs out there. Readers generally don't know or care that your blog is a blog. Jonathan Carson at BuzzMetrics crystallized my thinking on this in his post "Is blog going to be an industry term?":http://www.buzzmetrics.com/blog/archives/2005/07/is_blog_going_t.html. I think it already is. "David Galbraith":http://www.davidgalbraith.org/archives/000886.html#000886 came to the same conclusion saying: bq.. With magazines and professional websites being blog driven, blog refers to the way something is published not what. There is no more need to know what a blog is than know what an internal combustion engine is if you drive a car. This is a paradigm shift as important as the browser. Web 1.0 was about reading (browsing and searching), Web 2.0 is about publishing. For the investors that are looking to invest in blogs or RSS - that's like investing in HTML, the big story is publishing. p. When designing One Degree we went out of our way *not* to call it a blog and to avoid blogging terms like "permalinks". We failed in a few spots ("posts" and "entries" come to mind) and we're working on cleaning that stuff up soon.

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IM is in say American teens

Email is a great tool to use when you want to target specific individuals with relevant information. But how does it work with teens? According to a recent Pew Internet & American Life Project report, U.S. teens prefer instant messaging (IM) over email for everyday "conversations". They also believe email is more for communicating with adults. And it seems more girls than boys are using IM. Does this mean email is not an option for reaching teens? Luckily the report indicates that teens still think email is best to use for longer and more complex messages. And if you want to build on brand visuals email is the way to go. Here are some highlights from the "Teens and Technology" report, covering a November 2004 survey of 1,100 U.S. youth between the ages of 12 and 17, plus their parents:

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July 27, 2005

Five Questions For Derek Szeto - Founder, RedFlagDeals

derekszeto.jpg _Launched in 2000, "RedFlagDeals.com":http://www.redflagdeals.com uses the power of community to alert bargain-hunting consumers to Canadian retailing deals. Headed up by Derek Szeto, a recent university graduate, the site currently boasts over 800,000 unique visitors and over 12 million page views every month._ *One Degree: How does RedFlagDeals make money?* RedFlagDeals' (RFD) has two primary sources of revenue: traditional graphical/text advertising and commission sales. The key in terms of generating revenue is really volume. Now that we've proven our ability to drive traffic and conversions a lot of retailers are approaching us and we can put together some RFD exclusive packages that gives back to the community, drives sales for the retailers, and allows us to generate a bit more revenue. *One Degree: How much of your revenue comes from affiliate programs over more traditional display ads?*

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July 26, 2005

Strip For The Gap

watchmechange.jpg "Jeff Job" just sent me word of a new viral from "the Gap":http://www.gap.com/ called "watchmechange":http://www.watchmechange.com/. Well new to me. The first mention of this site seems to be about a week ago "according to Technorati":http://technorati.com/search/www.watchmechange.com/ but it looks like it's starting to pick up steam. Of course you have to look sharp to _see_ that it is from the GAP as their logo only appears briefly as the game loads and again in the "forward to a friend" e-mail you're buds will receive so they can "watch you change":http://www.watchmechange.com/indexe.php?pid=f076538ad5358e0d192b6353923f19d5

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What Can We Learn From Sears WebTV?

searswebtv.jpg On Monday "Marketing Daily":http://www.marketingmag.ca reported that Sears Canada had just launched a new "online shopping channel": bq.. Sears Canada is pioneering what could be the future of shopping: an e-commerce platform that combines TV-style shopping programs and online click and pay methods. The new website, "searswebtv.ca":http://www.searswebtv.ca, features an on-demand webcast, which links highlighted products directly to online shopping on "sears.ca":http://www.sears.ca. The program, still in its pilot stage, offers consumers online informercial-style videos in eight different categories, from women's fashions to fitness equipment and electronics. The 30-minute videos are hosted by Sandra Gayle, of HGTV's Design Challenge and include appearances by category personalities like aerobics champion Sharon Mann. While Gayle talks about the benefits of shoes and laundry machines, the products appear on the right side of the computer screen (outside the video), along with prices and details. Each product name is a link to its featured page on sears.ca. Frank Rocchetti, Sears’ senior vice-president of merchandising and marketing, calls the initiative "a key differentiator" for the mass retailer. p. I asked a few of the One Degree team a simple question: "What can we learn from Sears Web TV?"

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FutureShop Doesn't Pre-Announce Site Changes

futureshopemail.gif Last week I mentioned that "Black's Photo was pre-announcing site changes":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/07/18/should-you-preannounce-site-changes and I wondered aloud whether this was a smart strategy or not. Well, this week "Future Shop":http://www.futureshop.ca/ takes a different approach by waiting to send the above announcement (click the image for a full-size version) to their list until _after_ the new features went live at "FuturePhoto":http://www.futurephoto.ca - their online print shop.

July 25, 2005

Five Questions For SideCar

sidecar.gif _Something different this week as we ask Five Questions of "SideCar's":http://sidecar.to entire interactive team. SideCar, one of Toronto's newest boutique interactive firms, recently garnered press for making the shortlist, along with a few better-known agencies, for a very lucrative contract with web-newcomer CWM Inc. The team behind SideCar's upcoming pitch spoke with One Degree about opportunities, ethics and being a small fish in a big pond._ *One Degree: This pitch opportunity with CWM Inc. is quite a coup for small firm like SideCar. How did you get their attention?* Stephania, Creative Director: Well, since this is CWM's first foray into the e-business landscape, it's only natural they would be interested in taking the plunge with a company on the bleeding edge, a company _avec vision_. Suzanne, Account Director: Also, as newcomers to the web, they require a great deal of personalized attention. One of the ways we piqued their interest was the level of support we offer throughout the e-business development process. By presenting SideCar as a team who will BE there for CWM, from website genesis to revenue generation, we provided an attractive alternative to larger, more impersonal firms. Julie, Intern: I heard the client's assistant's boyfriend is a designer here. *One Degree: Can you let us in on some of the pitch tactics SideCar plans on using to secure CWM as a client?*

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Corporate Blogging 101

You've decided to add blogging to your online marketing mix. Now what? The basic rule to blogging is that any new addition to the blogosphere has to be cognizant that there is a community already established. There are no 'rules' per se, but there are underlying guidelines that will make or break your acceptance into the overall community. If you want to run a successful blog that is well-read and well-received, it is important to remember these general guidelines. h2. Be authentic There are many examples of companies who have failed when introducing 'fake' blogs - either through fictional characters (a.k.a. Character Blogs like "Captain Morgan":http://adweek.blogs.com/adfreak/2005/03/argh_captain_mo.html and "Uri Planet":http://www.uriplanet.com) or the fabrication of 'real' people (a.k.a. Flogs "Vichy":http://redcouch.typepad.com/weblog/2005/06/case_study_the_.html and "Sparkle Body Spray":http://utopianhell.com/blog/fake-blog-fake-bloggers). These companies ventured into the blogosphere assuming that either people that read blogs would be amused or they would be fooled. These blogs achieved neither outcome. These blogs did get a great deal of airtime on other blogs, but the result was not positive for the brands being promoted. h2. Be interesting Everyone is interested in different information. You don't have to produce lengthy articles and personal anecdotes if doing so is laborious (in fact, you shouldn't - you run the risk of being inauthentic). You can post product modifications and releases, news on upcoming events and demos, answers to frequently asked questions, customer feedback (both positive and negative), job postings, links to mentions in the press and any other information that may be interesting to a reader. The more you post, the easier it becomes. You'll find yourself in a meeting one day thinking, "I should blog this" and you'll know that you are a full-fledged 'blogger'.

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July 21, 2005

Diversion: Google Moon

It's a hot mid-summer in Toronto... take a break at this variation on Google Maps... be sure to zoom in. :)

Beat Spammers At Their Own Game

A recent Associated Press story on Yahoo! uncovers a new solution for recipients of spam to fight back...and beat spammers at their own game. Blue Security has a solution called Blue Frog that works by using a "do-not-spam" list they call "Do Not Intrude". Here's a quick overview of how it works: # Users add e-mail addresses to a "do-not-spam" list and Blue Security creates new addresses ("honeypots") designed to attract and catch spam # When a honeypot address gets spam Blue Security tries to contact the spammer and then triggers the Blue Frog software on the user's computer to send a complaint # If enough people complain it will knock out the spammer's website and hopefully encourage them to stop sending emails to the "do-not-spam" list. Simple enough! But fundamentally flawed, I think.

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July 20, 2005

Observed: I Skipped 'E-Marketing School'

It was an innocent enough question, and I really should have seen it coming, but it still had me scrambling for an answer since I've never been asked it before. There I was, meeting my client's boss for the very first time, when out comes, "Don't take this the wrong way, but where did you learn to do what you do?"

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July 19, 2005

Corporation, Meet Blogosphere

A "handful of companies":http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/81/blog.html run successful, high traffic blogs. A "handful of bloggers":http://www.bloglines.com/topblogs run high traffic blogs that can benefit companies who want to place strategic banner ads. Overall, though, a strategy that involves buying ads on blogs or running a blog for your company isn't the most effective strategy for influencing the blogosphere. Blogs can't be dismissed as a trend. The over 13.5 million voices online are covered more often in the press and linked to other blogs and websites more often than ever. The voice of one blogger can spread to hundreds of bloggers and readers within hours. Just search the recent London Bombings and you will realize that "London bloggers had incredible influence on the news":http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/techbeat/archives/2005/07/london_bombings.html. So, how would you go about harnessing the influence of the blogosphere to spread the word about your company? Could you pay bloggers to speak highly of your product or service?

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ThinData Announces Strategic Investment and Partnership

"ThinData":http://www.thindata.com/ just "made a big strategic announcement":http://www.thindata.com/company/news/DisplayArticle.asp?articleID=1229225. bq.. TORONTO, Canada, July 19 2005 – ThinData, a provider of permission-based email marketing programs for clients including Aeroplan, Air Canada, Delta Hotels and Direct Energy, announced today that the company has signed a partnership agreement with Eventi Inc. Under the terms of the partnership, Eventi has taken an equity stake in ThinData, an investment that the organization will use to: broaden its service offering, deepen customer service relationships, attract industry thought leaders to an expanded client strategy team, and invest in the continued development of its industry-leading email marketing platform – ThinData EMS. "The relationship with Eventi will help ThinData achieve the next phase in our evolution as a company," said Chris Carder, CEO of ThinData. "As a solidly profitable organization, we were looking for more than just capital from a partner. Eventi not only brings to the partnership an excellent track record in managing rapid growth for technology services businesses, but the strategic relationships and expertise to help us evolve effectively. Most importantly, Eventi and ThinData share a common vision and approach in maintaining corporate values and providing clients with outstanding service." p. You can read the "full announcement on ThinData's site":http://www.thindata.com/company/news/DisplayArticle.asp?articleID=1229225.

July 18, 2005

Dumbest Canadian Domain Mistake Ever?

Okay, I don't mean to pick on Black's today but they're making it too easy... Where would you find Black's Photo online?

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Should You Pre-announce Site Changes?

blacksphotonewsletter.gif I'd like to pose a question to you, the esteemed One Degree reader: *"Does it make sense to send a message to your e-mail list telling them that you will be launching a new web site 'very soon'?"* If you click on the image above you'll be able to see the e-mail I just received from "Black's Photo":http://www.blackphoto.com. I'm puzzled by this as the message seems to be saying "we'd like to interupt your day to tell you _not_ to come to our site now, but that you'll really want to at some point in the future, we just can't tell you quite when." Am I missing something? Is there a reason to send this kind of message? Black's isn't alone in doing this but I've never understood the logic.

July 15, 2005

Five Questions for Krista Lariviere - President, Hot Banana

Krista Lariviere _As President & Co-Founder, Krista Lariviere has led "Hot Banana":http://www.hotbanana.com/ through sustained growth and consistent quarterly profitability from 1999-2005. Hot Banana's _Active Marketing Web Content Management Suite_ allows non-technical users to fully manage Web site content, make changes on-the-fly, launch Internet marketing campaigns and use WebTrends analytics to measure results and Web site performance._ *One Degree: You call Hot Banana the "Active Marketing Web Content Management Suite". What do you mean by that?* Hot Banana is a Web Content Management System (WCM) with fully integrated Active Marketing functionality. We've built Hot Banana from the ground up, based upon the four pillars of Internet Marketing, or Active Marketing as we like to call it: # Web Content Management - the ability for non-technical editors and marketing execs to control Web content in a fast and flexible manner. With on-the-fly editing of the content, corporate Web sites, intranets, extranets and micro marketing sites can all be easily managed and updated with no IT help. # Internet Marketing - Hot Banana is a platform for the creation and delivery of Internet marketing and email marketing campaigns. # SEO - Hot Banana is naturally search engine friendly and optimized and organically ranks Web sites very well with all the major search engines. # Web Analytics - Hot Banana has WebTrends 7 fully integrated and therefore marketing Web analytics can be used to track and measure Web site behaviour and marketing campaign ROI. With these major Active Marketing attributes, Hot Banana is a platform for all kinds of pro-active marketing activities and therefore plays a significant part in the marketing campaign process cycle: content creation, customer acquisition, lead generation, branding, and customer retention. *One Degree: You recently did a major upgrade to your site at hotbanana.com. What key learnings from past sites helped you build this one?*

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CIRA Seeks Input On Governance

"CIRA":http://www.cira.ca/ just sent an e-mail to all .ca site administrators seeking input on CIRA governance: bq.. CIRA is seeking Member and public input on proposed reforms to its corporate governance framework. You are invited to participate in the public consultation by visiting "http://www.cira.ca/en/Governance/intro.html":http://www.cira.ca/en/Governance/intro.html and completing the Response Form, with any additional comments, by September 9, 2005. The proposed changes flow from the Strategic Plan adopted in 2004, for the 2005 to 2008 period. Under the theme of Efficiency and Effectiveness, one of the objectives is to “ensure fair and sound practices are embedded across the organization, its operating groups and committees, including appropriate balance of representation on the Board of Directors.” Through candidate Question and Answer Forums and other venues, Board Members, CIRA Members, and other interested parties have expressed concerns about the Board elections’ overall integrity and accountability to CIRA Members while fulfilling corporate objectives supporting broad national representation of Canada’s Internet community. Accordingly, the proposed corporate governance reforms would allow for more diverse representation, more accountable governance and opportunities for greater involvement by Members. Taking into consideration the results of the public consultation, CIRA will present amendments to its By-law No. 1 at a special Members’ meeting to be held in November 2005. If approved by the Members at that meeting, the changes would be in place for the 2006 election.

July 14, 2005

Five Questions for Dawna Henderson - President, henderson bas

dawnahenderson.jpg _Dawna Henderson is President & Managing Partner of "henderson bas":http://www.theniceagency.com, an agency that focuses on interactive, sales promotion, direct marketing, and campaign integration. Recognized as a leading agency by Marketing and Strategy magazines, henderson bas is renowned for developing superior creative that works. henderson bas discovers interactive and direct opportunities for great brands like, Coca-Cola, FedEx, Honda, Molson, Nike, Levi's, and Schneider Foods._ *One Degree: Why "the Nice Agency"?* Well, we're not the best looking agency, but everyone here has a really great personality. *One Degree: Many of the campaigns you work on (like Nike's runTO) are done in conjunction with other agencies. From the client's perspective, what are the challenges and benefits of bringing in best-of-breed agencies instead of handing everything over to one shop?*

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Googling illegal in Canada?

According to an article on Globe Technology earlier this week, Googling may be about to become illegal in Canada. Bill C-60, which was first read in the House of Commons on June 20th, ammends the Copyright Act and includes a provision to ban the provision of copyrighted information through "information-location tools". Hmmm - doesn't that sound like a pretty good definition of a search engine?

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July 13, 2005

Learned: The Importance of Avoiding "I-Neveritis"

I'll be the first to admit I suffer from I.N. every now and then, and so do a number of my e-marketing colleagues. "I.N." stands for "I-Neveritis" and the first step towards recovery is, of course, admitting you have a problem in the first place. There, I feel better already. What is "I-Neveritis," you ask?

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Five Questions For Jay Aber - President, 247 Canada

jayaber.jpg _Jay Aber, is President of "24/7 Canada Inc.":http://www.247canada.com and one of the industries most influential leaders. He is a member of the Board of Directors and the Internet Best Practices Task Force, and Chairs the Emarketing Council for the "Canadian Marketing Association":http://www.the-cma.org. He is also on the Board of the "Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada":http://www.iabcanada.com. He is the founder and past president of "AIMS":http://www.aimscanada.com/ (Association of Internet Marketing & Sales), Canada's largest association of Internet sales professionals and marketers. He is also a regular columnist with "Canadian Direct Marketing News":http://www.dmn.ca/ ._ _As division president, Jay has built 24/7 Canada into the leading permission-based email list manager/broker and Internet advertising sales company in Canada._ *One Degree: Congratulations on the launch of 24/7 Search in Canada. How has the market responded so far?* The market has been very positive. Many of our clients are first timers, or are in traditional marketing vs. IT, so the fact that we are solid marketers introducing them to search marketing means that there is already a connection or comfort level established. Our clients so far run the gamut from universities looking to attract applications from a wider population and encouraging people to apply on line, to tour companies trying to fill charter flights to the UK, to professional sports teams looking to sell incremental tickets. All have found paid search to be a great way too boost their acquisition campaigns. And with our proprietary Decide DNA technology, we are able to automatically optimize bids, rank and creative to achieve ROI targets across multiple search engines. We're also helping Canadians take advantage of the Yahoo! Search Paid Inclusion opportunity -- another pay per clickthrough search channel that ensures hard to index Web pages and content are listed in the Yahoo! Search (ex-Overture) engine. *One Degree: Some people (and by that I mean me) have questioned the value of e-mail as an acquisition tool. How do you answer concerns about poor ROI and possible brand damage from ill-conceived e-mail acquisition campaigns?*

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July 12, 2005

Five Questions for Mark Kingdon - CEO, Organic Inc.

markkingdon.jpg _Mark Kingdon has served as "Organic Inc.'s":http://www.organic.com/ CEO since January 2001. In addition to spearheading the company's remarkable turnaround and repositioning, he also leads business development and client strategy for significant accounts. Founded in 1993, Organic creates "exceptional online experiences" for Fortune 1000 clients by delivering comprehensive web development and interactive marketing programs that drive more profitable customer relationships. Organic has offices in Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Toronto._ *Organic prides itself on having a very user-centric design approach. Does starting with the user and working out make sense to large corporations or do you still need to sell this concept?* It's extraordinarily important for brands to adopt a user-centered design approach, especially for large corporations, because many stakeholders and agencies are responsible for representing their brand to consumers. Successful user-centered design always starts with a keen understanding of the user, often represented as a persona, or a fictitious person that represents the target market - their habits, media consumption patterns, preferences, pet peeves, and influencers. Three-dimensional personas give all marketers, working toward building awareness around a particular brand, a common framework - a language - that helps to create a cohesive brand identity, regardless of channel. The key is to make sure that your personas are based in real research and that they are actually used. *Janice Fraser of Adaptive Path's article "A Whole New Internet":http://www.adaptivepath.com/publications/essays/archives/000430.php has drawn both praise and criticism for its assertion that things are getting very interesting online right now and we're about to see a real change in the way things are done online. Do you agree with Janice that we're at the cusp of "a whole new Internet"?*

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IIMA Welcomes Two New Board Members

The International Internet Marketing Association (IIMA) this week announced the apppointment of three new members to its board of directors. Joining the board are Karen Liu and Dawn Sherizad. The BC-based IIMA is a non-profit professional association providing affordable, quality educational events to BC's Internet marketing community. The association also operates the CIMBS certification program for Internet Marketers.

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