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Posts from March 2006

March 30, 2006

Sorry RSS, E-mail Is Here To Stay

bq. "Video killed the radio star..." That wasn't only the first "video":http://youtube.com/watch?v=8yKnQM46a1g played on MTV, it's also wrong. It seems that throughout history whenever a new medium for communication arrives, the death knell for the previous is sounded. Movies meant the death of radio, TV meant the death of both radio and film, and the Internet meant the end of everything. Lately, the death knell has been sounding for email. *Email for personal communication is unlikely to be replaced.* How we read that email and on what kinds of devices: that is anyone's guess. But business email is also unlikely to be completely replaced by technologies such as RSS(Real Simple Syndication). Why? h3. Ease of delivery Email is a killer app. An overused term, but a good one, because email was and is a killer app. For the majority of the population, there may have been other factors, but you bought a computer to be able to email regularly. RSS is never going to be an individually personalized delivery vehicle, but will likely become a standard for delivering customizable content. The value of email is immediately obvious ; RSS is more of a sell job and is likely to become an embedded technology versus a driving technology. In other words, you will still have an email address in 2020. It may not be called an email address, and it may not look like the email addresses we have today, but there will still be a way to delivery personal virtual messages into a semi-permanent mailbox.

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Solicit Post-purchase Reviews

Here's a "bright idea":http://www.onedegree.ca/category/bright-ideas courtesy of "Apple":http://www.apple.com. When I recently purchased some songs via "iTunes":http://apple.com/ca/itunes my e-mail receipt came with a link asking me to review one of the tracks. itunesreceipt.jpg I'm always surprised that sites (particularly commerce sites) don't make better use of e-mail and "thank you" pages to get customers more involved in the community aspects of their services. Note that Apple also wisely does some subtle visual up-selling with the "those who bought your selections also bought" sidebar. Very nice.

New Category - Bright Ideas

As you surf the web - _does_ anyone "surf the web" anymore? - do you ever stop and say to yourself, "hey, that's smart - why didn't I think of that?". If so, why not "drop us a quick note":http://www.onedegree.ca/contact to let us know and we'll tell the world. Watch for posts tagged "Bright Ideas":http://www.onedegree.ca/category/bright-ideas here at One Degree as we help generate lots of collective a-ha moments.

A Guide to CSS Support in Email

The folks at "Campaign Monitor":http://www.campaignmonitor.com have done a great service to anyone who's ever needed to style HTML e-mail. I'll let them tell you the problem they've helped you solve: bq.. If Internet Explorer is the schoolyard bully making our web design lives a little harder, then Hotmail, Lotus Notes and Eudora are serial killers making our email design lives hell. Yes, it's really that bad. Inspired by the fantastic work of Xavier Frenette, we decided to put each of the popular email environments to the test and finalize once and for all what CSS is and isn't supported out there. We'll dig straight into our recommendations based on what we found, followed by the results themselves with a few more details about our findings. p. Their "Guide to CSS Support in Email":http://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/archives/2006/03/a_guide_to_css_1.html is highly recommended, as is Campaign Monitor's e-mail marketing solution.

March 29, 2006

DemoCamp 4 Another Success For BarCamp

Self-confessed "strategy nerd" Mark Kuznicki gives us a "nice DemoCamp 4 overview":http://remarkk.com/2006/03/28/democamp4-its-alive/ at his new blog "Remarkk!":http://remarkk.com/. If you are not following what's happening with "BarCamp Toronto":http://barcamp.org/TorCamp you really should be. _(Thanks for the Diet Coke Mark!)_

The Business Blogger’s Dilemma: Trackback? Comments? Or Both?

I've been working on a blog project recently and one of the most vexing issues I've been grappling with is whether or not to allow the blog's readers to comment on the blog postings via the "Trackback" mechanism or "Comments" mechanism or both. The more I looked into the matter, the more I kept seeing contradictory signs. Uber blogger Seth Godin, for instance, favours Trackback and Trackback only on his blog. Based on what I uncovered during my research into Trackback versus Comments, I can hardly blame him.

Continue reading "The Business Blogger’s Dilemma: Trackback? Comments? Or Both?" »

March 28, 2006

Email Open Rate Declining

I regularly get asked about email industry metrics and best practices like: "what is the average open and click-through rates?" or "which day is the best to send email?" My typical answer is "it depends". There are so many variables to consider. Furthermore, two companies in the same industry doing the same thing will likely get different results. Marketers need to test to see what their own metrics are and which best practices work for them. This can start with simple testing like A/B split testing and advance to multi-variable testing. The key is to develop an internal benchmark based on the past and then work towards delivering against that in the future. Since I work with a lot of very smart people at "ExactTarget":http://www.exacttarget.com I have access to their knowledge and experience. One of my associates, Morgan Stewart, Director of Strategic Services, works with clients to audit their email marketing programs, benchmark them, apply testing and best practices, and optimize results. He has done a lot of research that is now public including his study on the "Best Day to Send Email":http://email.exacttarget.com/pdf/Best-Day.pdf _(pdf)_. His latest research is the "2005 Response Rate Study":http://email.exacttarget.com/lp/2006_BestDay_WP.asp covering over 4,000 email marketers, 230,000 email campaigns and 2.7 billion email messages.

Continue reading "Email Open Rate Declining" »

March 25, 2006

PR Disaster As Viral Opportunity?

Did April Fools' come a week early this year? Something *very* odd is going on over at "henderson bas":http://www.theniceagency.com/ this weekend. Their home page has been replaced by this: hbhomepage-springcleaning.jpg The page title has been changed from "henderson bas - the nice agency" to "henderson bas - the cleanest agency in Canada" (the company's url is theniceagency.com). What's going on here?

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March 24, 2006

Ken Schafer Joins Tucows

_This is a slightly awkward but, given my role as Publisher and Contributing Editor of One Degree and "background in the industry":http://www.schafer.com/kenschafer/ it does seem appropriate that One Degree break this story. Pardon me going all Michael Bolton and talking in the third person._ "Dave Woroch":http://resellers.tucows.com/about/team2#sales, VP Sales & Marketing for "Tucows Inc.":http://resellers.tucows.com/about/ today announced via an e-mail to all Tucows staff that industry veteran and Publisher of One Degree Ken Schafer is joining Tucows as Vice President Marketing effective April 3rd. Tucows provides "Internet services":http://resellers.tucows.com and "download libraries":http://www.tucows.com through a global distribution network of 6,000 service providers. This distribution network primarily consists of web hosting companies, ISP (Internet Service Providers) and other Internet related service companies. These companies use Tucows' provisioned services to offer solutions to their customers: enterprises, small and medium businesses and consumers. Tucows is an accredited registrar with ICANN(the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and earns most of its revenue from domain name registration services plus hosted email, spam and virus protection, "Blogware":http://www.blogware.com, website building tools, the Platypus Billing System and digital certificates. While Ken will be winding down his eight-year-old Internet consulting practice at the end of this month, One Degree will _(okay, should)_ be unaffected by Ken's new role at Tucows.

5 Questions for Alex Pejcic, Sonic Boom

a_pejcic_sbcm.jpg _Alex Pejcic is the President & Co-Founder of Sonic Boom Creative Media Inc., an interactive agency in Toronto, Canada. For over ten years Alex has been a guiding force at the agency and provides strategic direction to clients including Citibank, Bell, Honda and Harry Rosen. Alex has also collaborated with many of Canada's leading advertising agencies including Taxi, BBDO, GRIP and Grey in realizing profitable channel and integrated marketing opportunities for their clients._ *One Degree: Why "Sonic Boom":http://www.sonicboom.com/ ?* Sonic Boom is a tribute to a British musician of the same name who was in a band called "Spacemen 3":http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacemen_3. As time progressed the name Sonic Boom took a life of its own for the agency. It stood for anticipation, reaction and impact which was demonstrated through our methodology, approach and ultimately results. *One Degree: Sonic Boom is known for doing great "Flash":http://www.macromedia.com/software/flash/flashpro/ sites. Do you feel it is easy to get pigeonholed as a specialist shop based on the technologies you use on high profile projects?*

Continue reading "5 Questions for Alex Pejcic, Sonic Boom" »

CNMA Date and Location Announced

Earlier this week the organizers of the "CNMA":http://www.cnma.ca announced today that this years awards event will be held Monday, May 29th at "The Carlu":http://www.thecarlu.com a magnificently restored art deco venue in Toronto's historic College Park The 2006 CNMA(Canadian New Media Awards) Selection Committee, comprised of 130 new media professionals and industry experts from across the country, are currently collaborating online to select this year's finalists. *The finalists will be announced on April 12, 2006.* "Tickets for the Awards Ceremony and Gala will be available next week.":http://www.cnma.ca _(One Degree is a CNMA sponsor)_

5 Questions for Bill Sweetman, MacLaren McCann Direct & Interactive

Bill Sweetman _Bill Sweetman, "a One Degree Contributor":http://www.onedegree.ca/contributors/bill_sweetman "recently became":http://www.onedegree.ca/2006/01/12/bill-sweetman-to-join-maclaren-mccann Vice President of Internet Strategy at "MacLaren McCann Direct & Interactive.":http://www.maclaren.com/. Bill is one of the interactive marketing industry's most respected authorities, and his innovative work over the last 15+ years has been recognized by numerous awards, including the prestigious Internet World Impact Award for Communications. Bill has overseen Internet marketing campaigns for companies such as Alliance Atlantis Communications, CBC, Dupont, Enbridge Gas Distribution, Harlequin Enterprises, Hewlett-Packard, Pfizer Canada, and RBC Royal Bank._ *One Degree: Congratulations on the new role at MacLaren McCann Direct & Interactive! What made you move to a large agency after so many years of working on your own or in very small shops?* There were many contributing factors to my decision, however the biggest one was that by joining MMDI I would have the opportunity to do way more of what I'm best at and enjoy, which is acting as a coach, resource, and devil's advocate to lots of colleagues and clients. Although the role wasn't created specifically for me, it sure felt that way, and that is why I leapt at the opportunity. Over the years I had also come to realize that I missed the daily interaction with a group of people I would consider peers, and I had also grown tired of not having the client budgets or internal resources to act on the recommendations I would make to clients. There's an amazing team at MacLaren McCann that can do just about anything, and it's so wonderful to have that kind of engine at your fingertips. *One Degree: Big agencies talk a lot about integrating strategies across channels but often struggle when it's time to execute. How does MacLaren McCann approach this challenge?*

Continue reading "5 Questions for Bill Sweetman, MacLaren McCann Direct & Interactive" »

March 21, 2006

5 Questions For Sebastian Arciszewski, AdFight

seb.jpg _Sebastian Arciszewski is one of the founders of "SplitReason.com":http://www.splitreason.com/ a Vancouver-based online retailer selling apparel to geeks and gamers around the world. Along with his partner, Brian Penner, he is now embarking on a new project called "AdFights.com":http://www.adfights.com/ - a website which pits advertisers spending power against each other in a forum where the advertisers are openly mocked._ *One Degree: Where did the original inspiration for Ad Fights come from?* My partner, Brian and I have been brainstorming for a little while as to what crazy and unique ideas can potentially lead to a large windfall of money in a short period of time, with minimal effort since our daily tasks with SplitReason.com take up most of our time. Originally we had planned to mimic the Million Dollar Homepage _(see "One Degree's coverage":http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/09/09/the-million-dollar-home-page)_ but soon realized that it had already spawned literally hundreds of copycats. During an MSN conversation, Brian came up with the concept for AdFights.com – allow advertisers to compete for ad space in a concentrated arena of advertising, while mocking the ones not willing to pony up the money for premier placement. *One Degree: The site has a real attitude. How has calling some of your advertisers "cheap bastards" gone over?*

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5 Questions For StikiPad

StikiPad Founders StikiPad, Inc. is committed to providing solutions that enhance workflow both at home and at the office. Located out of Wichita, Kansas, the company is founded by two young entrepreneurs. Matthew DeWaal, 23 and originally from Chatham, Ontario, Canada, has over 6 years of experience in managing both online and offline marketing campaigns and communications. He graduated last year with a degree in Business Administration from Brock University. Matthew serves as CoFounder and Director of Marketing and Community for "StikiPad":http://www.stikipad.com/buzz/. Jonathan George hails from Coffeyville, Kansas, a small town on the Kansas-Oklahoma border. Also 23 years old, and a web programmer for over 6 years, Jonathan leads "StikiPad":http://www.stikipad.com/ as CoFounder and Chief Executive Officer. *One Degree: Can you give us a quick primer on what a wiki is and why we should care?* A wiki is basically a web-page that anyone can edit and contribute to without having to know HTML or any other programming language. From a personal perspective, wikis are a great organization tool as they allow you to keep information in one place, rather than scattered across mediums (i.e. e-mails, paper notes, etc.). And, from a business perspective, wikis are great collaboration tools as they focus on real-time communication and can help large or small teams communicate more effectively. Either way, wikis are a powerful tool that have multiple facets and can be used by just about anyone. *One Degree: How is StikiPad different from other wikis?*

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March 20, 2006

Has Web Dev Changed In 10 Years?

_Alex Pejcic is President & Co-Founder of "Sonic Boom":http://www.sonicboom.com/, an interactive agency in Toronto, Canada. We'll be following up this question with five more for Alex later this week._ *One Degree:* Has the business changed since you started "Sonic Boom":http://www.sonicboom.com/ 10 years ago and if so, how? *Alex Pejcic:* Yes it has changed! Here are 10 profound changes that I have experienced over the last decade: # Clients are much wiser and therefore better understand the value of interactive media in their marketing or IT mix. # The increasing importance of brand, user experience and psychographics in the strategic makeup of interactive campaigns. # The unquestionable need to qualify and quantify success of interactive campaigns to prove ROI on client spends. # With respect to Sonic Boom, large-build projects are less in demand, and smaller (but very significant) "campaign-focused" assignments are more requested. # The paramount role of customer service in retaining clients. Since interactive media is a living, breathing organism, our company required being modular and responsive in order to manage such business. This was the formula Sonic Boom used to secure the agency’s survival and ironically stimulate growth. # Online audiences are becoming much more demanding and therefore the "big idea" is king. Creativity in content and technology is a must in order to demonstrate prominence over our clients' competitors. # The emergence of online guerilla marketing tactics such as viral messaging, blogging and opinion polling. Who would have thought that clients would be comfortable in allowing consumers to provide insight to other consumers on their behalf in such a transparent manner? # Broadband connectivity, digital display mechanisms and mobile communication are becoming the norm in Canada and likewise gaining wide acceptance across the world. This will continue to open many doors for our industry. # When we started Sonic Boom in 1996 we were all part of a pending gold rush, then the bubble burst around 2001. Now here we are in a professed "renaissance" all in the period of 10 years. Are we on the verge of another revolution? # Words that had never existed before like searchability, usability, blogging, podcasting, texting, spamming and actionability have become an everyday part of my life.

5 Questions For Kyle MacDonald, One Red Paperclip

Kyle MacDonald *One Degree: OK, let's cover the basics first so people know what the heck "One Red Paperclip":http://www.oneredpaperclip.com is. Who are you, what is One Red Paper Clip and how did this all get started?* Kyle MacDonald. 26. From Vancouver. Live in Montreal. one red paperclip is my quest to make a series of up trades from one red paperclip for a house. I started with one red paperclip on July 12th last year after I realized I didn't have enough cash for a down payment on a house. I saw the red paperclip on my desk and decided to see if I could trade it for something bigger or better. I traded it for a pen shaped like a fish. Then I traded that for a doorknob. Then the doorknob for a coleman stove. After nine trades, I'm up to a recording contract at MetalWorks studios in Toronto. *One Degree: You've done an amazing job of integrating Web 2.0 tools into One Red Paperclip. I see "del.icio.us":http://del.icio.us, "MySpace":http://www.myspace.com, "Flickr":http://www.flickr.com, "YouTube":http://www.youtube.com, "Feedburner":http://www.feedburner.com, "Odeo":http://www.odeo.com, "Gmail":http://mail.google.com, and "Google AdSense":http://adsense.google.com. How has the availability of these tools impacted what you are doing with One Red Paperclip?*

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Spore - New Worlds, New Marketing

Have you heard of "Spore":http://www.spore.com - the new game from Will Wright, creator of SimCity and the Sims? The PC game won't be released for at least another 1 1/2 years but right now I'm pretty sure it is the best video game ever made. How can I say this? Well, I've seen Will Wright walk-through and talk-through what Spore is in both a "one hour presentation":http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-262774490184348066 from the 2005 Games Developer Conference and an edited 35 minute version. Here, watch it: I'm still getting my head around "micro-chunking":http://avc.blogs.com/a_vc/2005/11/the_future_of_m.html as a marketing strategy but I think there is something _really_ big here.

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March 17, 2006

5 Days Of 5 Questions

Make sure to check One Degree every day next week as we'll be featuring one new "Five Questions":http://www.onedegree.ca/category/five-questions interview each day. Better yet subscribe to the feed, sign-up for the e-mail update list, or (heaven forbid) make us your home page.

Where's IE7?

How many people do you think might go to "ie7.com":http://www.ie7.com/ or "ieseven.com":http://www.ieseven.com/ when they should really be looking for Internet Explorer 7 at "microsoft.com/windows/ie/ie7/default.mspx":http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/ie7/default.mspx ? _(tip 'o the hat to -John- "James Carroll":http://www.dotcarroll.com/)_

5 Questions For Francois Lane, NewsletterArchive

Francois Lane _Francois Lane is a Montreal-based Internet entrepreneur. Since 1996, he has spearheaded a number of projects in the French Canadian market, including an e-commerce store for computer equipment, a blog application, a networked community service, a viral contest website, and Web hosting and email marketing services. "NewsletterArchive.org":http://www.newsletterarchive.org is Francois’s first venture to target a global audience._ *One Degree: Tell me about NewsletterArchive.* NewsletterArchive.org is like Archive.org’s "Wayback Machine":http://www.archive.org/, except it’s for newsletters. The goal is to collect, preserve and provide public access to all email newsletters - past, present and future. You could also see it as a giant shared webmail account for newsletter subscriptions. Unlike Web pages, newsletters aren’t archived and available on the Web. This means that the portion of the Internet’s history contained in newsletters exists only in the personal archives of those who have received them and have decided to keep them. NewsletterArchive aims to gather this common heritage in one place, preserve it and make it available to everyone. *One Degree: Where did the original idea come from?*

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Avoiding 4 Big Language Traps - Free Teleclass

The "next Essential Message free teleclass":http://www.essentialmessage.com/workshops/nextfteleclass.php happens at 4:00PM ET on Tuesday March 23rd. Join Michel Neray in conversation with Jon Warshawsky co-author of _Why Business People Speak Like Idiots_. He'll talk about how we can avoid the four biggest language traps: # The *Obscurity Trap*, in which no one has a clue what we're saying; # The *Anonymity Trap*, in which we templatize our messages and try NOT to be memorable; # The *Hard Sell Trap*, in which we extol our countless virtues and talk about our marvelous long job titles, and # The *Tedium Trap*, in which we don't bother to entertain you because you're stuck here anyway. "Get details and register now.":http://www.essentialmessage.com/workshops/nextfteleclass.php

The Pitfalls of Run-of-Site Buys

ROS(Run-of-site) ad placements can be hard for interactive marketers to resist. Offered by most site publishers, these buys are widely available and provide access to a broad audience of Internet users. Because they usually involve remnant site inventory, they're also highly cost effective and can stretch an online ad budget far beyond expected means. All of this has led ROS buys to become a mainstay of many online ad campaigns. If you think ROS is a risk-free advertising option, however, think again. Last week, the New York Post ran a lead news story about the terrible sexual assault and murder of a female graduate student. The article appeared on its Web site as well. As reported "in an online marketing publication the next day":http://publications.mediapost.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.san&s=40713&Nid=18919&p=181626, the story was accompanied online by the most inappropriate ad imaginable: a banner for online dating service True.com that featured a woman who bore an uncanny resemblance to the murder victim. According to reports, the ad had been on a run-of-site rotation.

Continue reading "The Pitfalls of Run-of-Site Buys" »

Ad-tech Impact In Toronto Thursday

ad-tech Impact *UPDATE: One Degree readers can use Discount Code TPC2006 to receive US$195 off the public price (US$200 instead of US$395)!* We "told you all about":http://www.onedegree.ca/2006/01/18/adtech-impact-coming-to-toronto the great "Ad:tech Impact":http://www.ad-tech.com/impact/ event that is making a stop in Toronto on -Tuesday- _Thursday_ March 23rd. In case you weren't paying attention you should now consider yourself warned. Don't come crying to us that you missed out on a good event because we didn't tell you about it. Ad:tech has put together an amazing roster and feedback from the US stops on the tour has been very positive.

March 16, 2006

Ten Viral Marketing Best Practices

A colleague of mine recently asked me if I had a list of viral marketing best practices. I guess I do - in my head - so it's about time I jotted them down to share with others. And before I forget.

If you're plotting the next Subservient Chicken or Liberal Leadership on eBay, here are 10 best practices to keep in mind:

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March 15, 2006

NMBA iSummit 2006 Close To Sold Out

iSummit 2006 I just got word from the "NMBA":http://www.nmba.ca that "iSummit 2006":http://www.isummit.ca is close to sold out. They already have over 200 delegates registered and due to seating capacity restrictions, only limited numbers of seats are still available. You can get more details and register at "iSummit.ca":http://www.isummit.ca. _(Disclosure: One Degree is an iSummit "Industry Partner":http://www.isummit.ca/html/sponsor.php)_

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