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Posts from December 2005

December 21, 2005

One Degree's Top Stories Of 2005

We're taking the next few weeks off to enjoy the holidays without worrying too much about what is happening in Cyberspace (remember cyberspace?). If you _are_ looking for some holiday reading, here are *One Degree's Top 20 Stories of 2005*: # "Saw The Viral, Bought The T-shirt":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/08/30/saw-the-viral-bought-the-tshirt # "Toyota's Quirky Uncle Yaris":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/09/27/toyotas-quirky-uncle-yaris # "Liberty Village Renamed *Toronto’s Porn Alley*":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/08/06/liberty-village-renamed-torontos-porn-alley # "Five Questions For Seth Godin":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/05/26/five-questions-for-seth-godin # "What Google Earth and Google Video Download Pages Tell Us About Google":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/06/28/what-google-earth-and-google-video-download-pages-tell-us-about-google # "What Is Buddytown?":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/08/09/what-is-buddytown # "The Million Dollar Home Page":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/09/09/the-million-dollar-home-page # "5 Questions For Michel Neray, Essential Message":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/11/02/5-questions-for-michel-neray-essential-message # "5 Questions for Darren Pereira, Indusblue":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/08/31/5-questions-for-darren-pereira-indusblue # "Yahoo Canada's New GM":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/04/19/yahoo-canadaas-new-gm # "Learned: The *Get GOT* Gotcha with Campaigner":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/10/05/learned-the-get-got-gotcha-with-campaigner # "Toro.ca and LeeValleyTools.ca Disputes Resolved":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/09/20/toroca-and-leevalleytoolsca-disputes-resolved # "Kraft Tries RecipeCasting":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/08/29/kraft-tries-recipecasting # "5 Questions For Alexander Younger - President, MGT":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/08/14/5-questions-for-alexander-younger-president-mgt # "5 Questions For Mark Organ - CEO Eloqua":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/05/16/five-questions-for-mark-organ-ceo-eloqua # "5 Questions for Andrew Goodman":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/06/13/five-questions-for-andrew-goodman # "5 Questions for Barry Martin - Creative Director, Hypenotic":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/10/25/5-questions-for-barry-martin-creative-director-hypenotic # "Under The Hood At Driving.ca":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/11/17/under-the-hood-at-drivingca # "5 Questions For David Feldt - MD, Organic Toronto":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/10/24/5-questions-for-david-feldt-md-organic-toronto # "Live 8... A Marketing Opportunity?":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/06/28/live-8-a-marketing-opportunity We'll see you in 2006 with new features, new contributors, and a bit of a facelift. Now turn off the computer and get outside!

No TheRedCup.com In-store Promo At Starbucks

Starbucks Red Cup I was at my local Starbucks last night and noticed that _nowhere_ in a store full of "Red Cup" promotional signage does it mention that there is a related (and "very good":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/12/07/starbucks-serves-us-theredcupcom) web site called "TheRedCup.com":http://www.theredcup.com. I can't think of a good reason _not_ to promote the site in-store. Can you?

Twelve Months of Interactive Marketing

With 2005 drawing to a close, it's time for the interactive advertising year in review. If you're like me, you can't remember what happened in July let alone way back in January, particularly where interactive marketing trends are concerned (have you noticed that there's a considerable amount of overlap with these sorts of things?). With that in mind, I thought I'd offer a month by month recap of the units, formats, and channels that made this a watershed year for interactive marketing. h3. January: Vlogs Given the popularity of blogs in 2004, we had to expect the trend would continue this year. The newest blogs, however, were a lot richer. Video blogs (blogs that incorporate video clips) made their presence known this year, thanks to vlogs like Peter Jackson's "Kong is King":http://www.kongisking.net/index.shtml. They're sure to continue to flourish, thanks to distribution channels like multimedia search engines. h3. February: Podcasting Podcasting ended up being big all year long, but February "saw the introduction of the world's first podcasting ad network":http://www.clickz.com/experts/media/media_buy/article.php/3483571. Just think how much our "options have expanded":http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB113167835201394489-6RLXo50JXniwqPt59a3cCUJPXsM_20061111.html?mod=blogs) since then. h3. March: Online Video After the Superbowl, which brought with it a number of TV ads that subsequently found audiences online (remember "GoDaddy?":http://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/superbowl05/landing.asp?isc=wscfwst304&se=%2B), marketers took a longer, harder look at online video. Can you think of a current online campaign that doesn't include it?

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Canadian Net Marketing To Grow 60%

bq. "The amount of money Canadian companies commit to marketing on the Internet is poised to increase 60 per cent over the next three years, overshadowing more modest gains predicted for TV and newspaper advertising, according to a study released yesterday." This is what I read in the "Toronto Star":http://www.thestar.com recently in their article "Web-Ad Buying Forecast To Grow - Internet to Top Other Media":http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/939176011.html?did=939176011&FMT=ABS&FMTS=FT&date=Dec+9%2C+2005&author=Rick+Westhead&pub=Toronto+Star&desc=Web-ad+buying+forecast+to+grow%3B+Internet+to+top+other+media+Most+sectors+will (registration required) article on December 9. According to the "ZenithOptimedia":http://www.zenithoptimedia.com study (available at a cost) referenced in this article Internet advertising in Canada will increase $100 million per year from $500 million in 2005 to $800 million in 2008. That's up 60% over three years. Here's what some of the other advertising sectors will do according to the ZenithOptimedia survey:

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December 16, 2005

Toronto's First DemoCamp A Success

_This article is by guest contributor Leila Boujnane._ How many people does it take to impact the software development community in Toronto: one! Just one angry David Crow! He was the initial instigator of TorCamp and Monday night's DemoCamp was part II. Organized by Albert Lai from Bubbleshare and hosted at the BubbleLabs, it was a blast. Vive the unconference! The meeting room was crowded, folks were excited about demo-ing their applications/stuff. Simple rules: you have 10-15 minutes to demo, you can field questions as you demo or leave them to the end, you can ask for help, constructive criticism or simply feedback. No PowerPoint. Some great demos:

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December 15, 2005

Microsoft Adopts Firefox Feed Icon

feed-icon32x32.png This is great news - Microsoft "just announced":http://blogs.msdn.com/rssteam/archive/2005/12/14/503778.aspx that they'll be using the Firefox feed icon as _their_ official feed icon in upcoming releases. This is a big boost to consistency around a crucial technology that is still mired in overly technical language. I strongly recommend that publishers start using this icon to identify feed availability on their sites. We'll be doing this with the next iteration of One Degree (due shortly). Now we just need to get everyone to agree to call them all *feeds* and forget about identifying particular file formats (RSS, Atom, XML, RDF, etc.) - another consumer unfriendly hold over from the early days. (And no Google, "web clips" isn't going to stick - they're feeds.) (via "Memeorandum":http://tech.memeorandum.com/051214/p54#a051214p54 and "Neville Hobson":http://www.nevon.net/nevon/2005/12/a_standard_symb.html)

Kate's Top 10 Feeds Of 2005

_This article is by Guest Contributor Kate Trgovac._ For me, 2005 will be remembered as the year my feedreader exploded. There is a lot of great content out there. Of course, great content existed prior to 2005, but this was the year where small content publishers took advantage of RSS to reach niche markets and Main Stream Media seemed to finally buy in. These are the feeds that I never miss:

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December 14, 2005

5 Questions For Albert Lai, CEO Bubbleshare

Albertlai2 Prior to BubbleShare, Albert Lai has been involved in founding and launching a variety of start-ups for over a decade in the fields of educational software, electronic marketing, online publishing, e-commerce, peer-to-peer software, and commercialization of alien technologies. He loves photography, small animals, and coming up with crazy feature ideas. During his spare time he likes long walks on the beach (except when it’s snowing in Toronto), candle lit dinners, being grilled by prospective investors, and writing silly little bios like this one I forced him to write just now.

One Degree: It was great to see you at Torcamp.  I’d lost track of you after MyDesktop but I always assumed you were up to amazing stuff.  What have you been doing since selling MyDesktop To JupiterMedia? Fill us in on the last five years or so.

The first thing I did after selling MyDesktop in 1999, which at the time was the largest technology focused media network in Canada, was to work on starting a spin off from MyDesktop called BuyBuddy, and raising the first round of financing from the U.S. We had bootstrapped MyDesktop, and wanted to see what it was like to go down the venture capital route.  BuyBuddy was one of the first comparison shopping engines on the net, and an early implementation of the concept around paid search/referrals (We got paid for referring qualified leads to e-commerce partners.)

After BuyBuddy I spent roughly two years traveling back and forth from Silicon Valley while working on a p2p storage software company called IdleAgent that was founded on the premise that there were vast amounts of storage capacity going unused, and that there was a commercial opportunity to bring some far ranging research down to a real world backup application level to aggregate and virtualize this unused capacity. The vision was to do this using self-healing, and self-optimizing software agents distributed on PCs across the network.  Unfortunately, I founded this around the same time the NASDAQ plummeted and no one was interested in funding far-ranging visionary ventures that required any sort of runway before revenues/profitability.

Most recently, I started BubbleShare.  We built BubbleShare to be the best way to share photos and tell your stories online.  With BubbleShare, our users can immediately create photo slideshows or albums – without registration – and narrate their photos with their own voice right inside their Web browser.

One Degree: BubbleShare rocks.  Really.  It rocks. This is one of the smoothest online apps I’ve seen.  Finally someone is using all that Web 2.0 ajaxy goodness to aid the average person rather than making more eye-candy.  Well done!  Can you tell us a bit about the design decisions you made with BubbleShare?

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How Fast Should Your E-mail List Be Growing?

This week I read something from "MarketingSherpa":http://www.marketingsherpa.com called "Media Industry Shamed - Whose Email Lists Are Growing Fastest (and Whose Are Not)":http://www.marketingsherpa.com/sample.cfm?contentID=3140. _(Hurry to check this out this article is only available for free for a few more days.)_ This covers a topic that many people have asked me about: What are typical growth rates for email lists?

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Observed: Bill Sweetman's Top 10 Highlights of 2005

What an amazing year it's been. For me, 2005 will be remembered as the year I...

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December 12, 2005

Search Engine Strategies And Media Integration

There are _some_ benefits to being a Canadian living in America, and one of them is proximity to the big US Internet industry events. Last week, I had the pleasure of attending (and speaking at) the "Search Engine Strategies":http://www.jupiterevents.com/sew/fall05/ conference in Chicago, where industry insiders congregated to discuss both organic (natural) and paid search. There were a number of interesting sessions, ranging from writing effective paid search copy, to designing search engine friendly sites. One issue that came up time and time again, particularly in the advertising-oriented sessions, was media integration.

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December 09, 2005

Tis The Season To Send eCards

iStudio Holiday 2005 Are you starting to get holiday eCards from all your webified clients, customers and buddies? Every year web agencies go out of their way to send clever ecards and do fancy flash animations to highlight their skills. I expect this year to be the same. An early entrant on my list of best holiday promos has to be "istudio":http://www.istudio.ca, based in Ottawa and Toronto. Earlier this week iStudio sent out there holiday greeting, and "they blogged about how this year the task was a different experience for them":http://www.istudio.ca/blogs/archive/2005/12/08/72.aspx.

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Email Design Guidelines for 2006

Just to keep the momentum going from Stefan's series on optimizing your e-mail messages, I thought I'd point out that the wonderful folks at our e-mail service provider "Campaign Monitor":http://www.campaignmonitor.com/ recently published their own "Email Design Guidelines for 2006":http://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/archives/2005/11/html_email_desi.html. They've used lots of real world examples that make the problems they (and Stefan) talked about very clear, so it is definitely worth a read.

Optimizing The Look Of E-mail Marketing

_This is the last of our *5 Days To Optimize Your E-mail Messages*. You can catch up with "part one":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/12/05/5-days-to-optimize-your-email-messages, "part two":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/12/06/optimizing-for-different-email-clients, "part three":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/12/07/optimizing-for-the-preview-pane, and "part four":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/12/08/optimizing-email-for-different-devices.­_ When I set out writing an initial post about optimizing the look of email I didn't want to make this about creative and design. My focus was based more on testing and the technical aspects of how marketing email looks when viewed by recipients. To wrap up this series here is a list of my personal recommendations and tips to optimize the look of your e-mail marketing messages:

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December 08, 2005

Can You Take "Less" Too Far?

To follow on from my "Getting Clients Involved In Less":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/12/08/getting-clients-involved-in-less post, I thought I'd share what I've done with my corporate site at "schafer.com":http://www.schafer.com/. My site has gone through many changes in the just under 10 years I've been running it (the site will be into double digits in January). It shrinks and expands in direct proportion to the clarity I have around what I'm offering my clients. Usually when I introduce a new service or change what I'm doing, I end up adding more to the site to make sure people understand the new stuff we're offering. But after a while I realize that most of what I was saying didn't really matter and could be done away with. Then the site starts to shrink again. A few weeks ago I launched a new version of the site - probably the sparest iteration since our "hello world" page a decade ago. It's four pages long. The logo is the only image on the site. Nothing dynamic, web 2.0, Flash-enabled, or even particularly exciting.

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Getting Clients Involved In "Less"

There is a growing movement towards "less design and more constraints" in designing for the web - much of it sparked by "Jason Fried of 37 Signals":http://www.37signals.com/svn/archives2/less_as_a_competitive_advantage_my_10_minutes_at_web_20.php. At last month's "Torcamp":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/11/28/torcamp-rocks-in-to I had an interesting conversation with "Jon Lax":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/10/06/five-questions-for-jon-lax-teehan-lax about this concept and how the biggest problem facing companies that want to adopt "less" as a design sensibility is client buy-in. Clients typically want _more_ not _less_. When you're paying for something the first reaction is that more is always better, but of course that isn't the case.

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Optimizing E-mail For Different Devices

_This is Day Four of *5 Days To Optimize Your E-mail Messages*. You can catch up with "part one":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/12/05/5-days-to-optimize-your-email-messages, "part two":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/12/06/optimizing-for-different-email-clients, and "part three":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/12/07/optimizing-for-the-preview-pane.­_ More and more I am seeing people use their portable devices to access email. The Blackberry has been joined by Palm Treo devices, handhelds that work on Pocket PC and Windows Mobile platforms, and even cell phones that read email. But have you taken a look at how your email - or other marketers' email - looks on these small, mainly text-based devices?

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December 07, 2005

Seth Godin's Squidoo Launches

squidoohomepage.gif "Squidoo":http://www.squidoo.com is now live in beta and is definitely worth checking out. They may have my favourite home page right now (see above). How's _that_ for minimalism! I was one of the alpha testers for the site and did what I think many people will do - I built an "About Ken Schafer":http://www.squidoo.com/kenschafer/ Lens (Squidoo's term for a web page). Actually, I don't mean that everyone will make a page about Ken Schafer, I mean lots of people will build lenses about themselves - just in case you thought my ego was completely unchecked. Earlier today Heath Row of Squidoo sent this e-mail to all the alpha testers:

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Who Would You Ask 5 Questions?

Probably the most popular feature here at One Degree is our "5 Questions" series. We've done over *thirty-five* interviews since we started in May. If you have thoughts on who we should be interviewing in 2006, add your two cents worth in the comments below, or "drop me a line":http://www.onedegree.ca/contact. In case you're new to One Degree, here are our first 165 questions:

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Starbucks Serves Us TheRedCup.com

Starbucks The Red Cup "Starbucks":http://www.starbucks.com is running great retro-looking TV and print ads this season - all of them matching in-store merchandising for their seasonal "Red Cup" promotion. And, wisely, all ads lead to "TheRedCup.com":http://www.theredcup.com. Check out the site. I think they do a really good job with this site. I can't quite put my finger on why I like it so much, but I really enjoy it.

Optimizing For The Preview Pane

_This is Day Three of *5 Days To Optimize Your E-mail Messages*, here's "part one":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/12/05/5-days-to-optimize-your-email-messages and here's "part two":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/12/06/optimizing-for-different-email-clients.­_ In a recent "DM News":http://www.dmnews.com article, "Study: B2B Readers Don't Open Emails":http://www.dmnews.com/cgi-bin/artprevbot.cgi?article_id=34779&dest=article, we find out that most B2B newsletter subscribers use the preview pane to view emails. * 69% of B2B newsletter subscribers "frequently" or "always" use the preview pane to view emails * 49% said they only look at the first few lines of the preview pane * 19% said they delete messages if insufficient information is displayed B2B email recipients use their preview panes. Many also check their personal email at the office and likely apply the same preview pane to their POP3 ISP-based email. How does your marketing email look in the preview panes of the most common email clients?

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Observed: Canada's Most Influential Online Service Turns Ten

There were no official announcements made, which is a shame, but last week Canada's most influential online service celebrated its tenth anniversary. On the morning of November 29, 1995, at simultaneous press conferences in Toronto and Montreal, the Sympatico Internet service was announced. Although the Sympatico signup software kit was intended to go on sale the following day, some curious and keen Canadians showed up at Bell stores on the 29th asking for the software and were able to purchase it 24-hours ahead of time. (By the way, you can often tell who some of the very first Sympatico members are by their email addresses. Some of them were lucky enough to be able to create accounts using just their first names, such as john@ as opposed to john.smith2000@.) Original Sympatico Homepage Backed by a (somewhat unruly and definitely ungainly) consortium made up of most, but not all, of Canada's 10+ regional telcos at the time, Sympatico would go on to become Canada's largest and most well-known consumer Internet service provider with millions of subscribers. The Sympatico.ca Website, later to be christened a "portal," grew and grew to become Canada's number one Internet media property, with over 15 million unique visitors a month.

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December 06, 2005

Optimizing For Different E-mail Clients

_This is Day Two of *5 Days To Optimize Your E-mail Messages*, here is "part one":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/12/05/5-days-to-optimize-your-email-messages.­_ People who receive email use a wide range of email clients ranging from "Outlook":http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/FX010857931033.aspx and "Outlook Express":http://www.microsoft.com/windows/oe/ to "Eudora":http://www.eudora.com and "Thunderbird":http://www.mozilla.com/thunderbird/. They also use web-based mail solutions like "Hotmail":http://www.hotmail.com, "Yahoo":http://www.yahoo.com, "AOL":http://www.aol.ca and now Google's "Gmail":http://www.gmail.com. Each of these handles incoming email a little differently. And if you send a lot of B2B email or sned to recipients who might be checking email from within large organizations, you will come across "Lotus Notes":http://www-142.ibm.com/software/sw-lotus/products/product4.nsf/wdocs/noteshomepage?OpenDocument&cwesite=notes, an email client that is very tough on HTML and other formatted email. Lotus Notes will often chew up your HTML email and spit out some pretty awful stuff for the recipient.

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5 Questions for Alexander Bosika And Jim Brown - Founders, Mobile Monday Toronto

alexanderbosika2.jpgJim.jpg _At "Phantom Fiber Corporation":http://www.phantomfiber.com/, Alexander S Bosika is responsible for corporate branding and marketing communications, partner relations and business development in addition to investor communications. He has an Honours Degree from York University in Economics and Business and studied at the London School of Economics._ _Jim Brown is responsible for managing the growth of "VoCoMo":http://www.vocomo.ca/html/main.html, including strategy, service development and tactical execution. Prior to this Jim worked with Rogers AT&T Wireless, Bell Canada and Bell Mobility. He has an MSc from the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. Jim is also a graduate of the University of Toronto Continuing Education Strategic Leadership program._ *One Degree: What is Mobile Monday?* Mobile Monday Toronto ("MoMo-TO":http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MoMo-TO/) is a group dedicated to cultivating and accelerating Toronto’s mobile and telecom sectors through leadership, technology, government relations, research, education, mentoring, investment, recruitment, networking and promotion. Through active collaboration, we aim to generate new ideas, concepts and business relationships with the end goal of developing a "strong mobile eco-system" for the Greater Toronto Area to further support mobile initiatives. *One Degree: What inspired you to start a Toronto Chapter?*

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December 05, 2005

5 Days To Optimize Your E-mail Messages

I often get asked about email best practices. What is the best day ("here's a PDF on that one":http://email.exacttarget.com/pdf/Best-Day.pdf) and time to send marketing email? What are typical open and click-through rates? How do I optimize my email marketing?

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