Anne Holland

Private Editor's Email Discussion Groups

February 10th, 2003

If your publication reports on technology in a niche or upcoming marketplace where you may not have too many competitors (yet
anyway), consider having your head of editorial start a private email discussion group with the tech vendors in the industry to
discuss stuff together. It’s a great way to help editorial become true insiders and partners with the people and trends they cover, and inadvertantly build relationships that may turn into ad dollars later.

However, you have to be very careful not to allow your ad sales reps into the discussion or use this as an overtly commercial thing that serves you only, because everyone will desert in droves. You also have to promise that stuff revealed in discussions will remain absolutely private (not for publication) unless your reporter specifically gets permission to quote.

Today Euromap newsletter announced their editor is starting one for language technology suppliers.

“This community venture will be devoted to exploring new ways of raising awareness about market-ready speech and language
technology in Europe rough events, collective marketing actions, partnering, etc.” Group moderator: Andrew Joscelyne (EUROMAP). If
you are interested, please send a request to
ajoscelyne@bootstrap.fr.

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Anne Holland

Amazon Ceases TV & General Print Ads – Keeps Web Ads

February 10th, 2003

According to a story in the NY Times today, Amazon has ceased its $50 million per year TV and general print advertising campaigns and moved the ad staff of five into other jobs. Instead the company plans to concentrate on word-of-mouth, affiliate, Web and Sunday paper insert campaigns to get more customers into the site, and then to spend $100 million on free shipping offers to convert more of them into buyers.

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Anne Holland

Weatherbug GM Defends Brand's Pop-Under Activity

February 10th, 2003

Andy Jedynak GM Weatherbug just emailed in that Weatherbug does serve pop-unders to installed users which appear when you close the Weatherbug window. However, they limit this in three ways to keep users’ trust:

1. “Severely” limit pop-unders to 1-2 per day per user, no matter how often that user opens their Bug.

2. Never ever serve contextual ads based on clicks or other surfing activity data the user displays. The only data they base ad serving on is the data the user voluntarily provides them in the registration form and other user surveys where it’s clear answering questions will affect your Bug. No surfing privacy is invaded.

3. Ads stop the minute a user decides to uninstall the Bug.

Jedynak added, “As for what IT guys told you, I think they pronounced us guilty by association. Since we’re a downloadable application, occasionally people will assume we do the same questionable things that other downloadable apps do, then rumors fly. It’s unfortunate…”

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Anne Holland

Will iCopyright's Sale Affect Your Reprint Profits?

February 10th, 2003

The iCopyright “service” has been sold by its parent company Data Depth Corp to Reprint Services, who will continue to operate it under the new name RsiCopyright.com. This change should not affect publishers using the service too much, for now at least.
The companies were already partners with Reprint Services doing all the hard copy printing iCopyright clients requested. It will be interesting to see how this plays out because Reprint Services is a traditionally telephone sales rep-built company. iCopyright was an online self-serve reprints purchasing operation.

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Anne Holland

Assurance Systems Publishes 4th Qtr. Email Blocking & Filtering Report

February 8th, 2003

Assurance Systems has released its Fourth Quarter Email Blocking and Filtering Report. It’s only two pages long, but it tells us two very interesting things:
  1. Roughly one in five messages sent to Yahoo and AOL is being filtered. This lines up neatly with the numbers that SilverPop reported from their own study, which they released at @d:tech in November.
  2. Truly informative research provided by vendors will (a) be reported, (b) be trusted (as long it’s not too far out of line with other published research), and (c) increase the credibility of the vendor publishing the research.

I included that second item on the list because there is a lot of poor research being published, and a lot of good research not being published by vendors who are concerned it will appear too self-serving. If you’ve got something good, send it my way alexisg@marketingsherpa.com. Just because it supports your business model, doesn’t mean it isn’t also true.


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Anne Holland

Why Do Some Readers Prefer Text Email?

February 7th, 2003

Lynda Partner at GotMarketing got together with Janet Robers of Ezine-Tips to conduct a reader survey of email preferences: Text vs. HTML. What was more interesting is that they went on to ask *why* readers who preferred text email did so. The most popular response was that they wanted the substance over the style. Incidentally, only 9% of readers indicated that they could not receive HTML in their email clients. Read the entire issue here.
Complete the survey here.

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Anne Holland

Vexed By Lotus Notes? Click Here!

February 6th, 2003

If you’re vexed by Lotus Notes, then you’ll definitely want to click over to the most detailed discussion of the big “gotcha’s” of Lotus Notes we’ve seen. Nice information and nice attitude. Lotus Notes & HTML Email Newsletters

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Anne Holland

Weatherbug Tarred By Disreputable Download Brush

February 6th, 2003

Just got an email from a ContentBiz reader about today’s issue on Weatherbug, asking if we would expose their “dark side.” While no company is perfect, I can safely say here that Weatherbug doesn’t have a big dark side.

The reader wrote, ” I used Weatherbug for some time, liked it, thought it was a great, creative way to provide a service and put ads in front of people. At the same time I noticed that I was being hit with a large number of seemingly random pop-up ads. I got sick of them, and uninstalled Weatherbug. The damn pop-ups continue. I mention it to our IT guys who told me that Weatherbug is infamous for this, and they have a tool that they could use to really get rid of the application. Maybe these ads got there some other way, although I really doubt it, and the IT guys knew right away who the suspect was.”

Moral #1 of the story: While they are smarter than us mortals, IT guys don’t know everything. According to my sources inside and outside Weatherbug, in this case IT was completely wrong.

Moral #1 of story: There are a lot of, shall we say less-than-scrupulous-about-privacy, download providers out there who are doing stuff like this and even experts, like your IT guys are easily confused about which download brands are safe and which are not. This may be the *biggest* challenge the newly-re-emerging Web-based download publishing industry is going to have to fight.

It’s on par with people complaining to super-strict permission- based double opt-in lists, “Hey you sent me extra spam” when it wasn’t the list owner’s fault, a spammer just happened to harvest the same name at about the same time. Stormy weather ahead!

Link to Weatherbug Case Study Part I:

http://www.contentbiz.com/sample.cfm?contentID=2259

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Anne Holland

Neil Budde's New Web Site

February 5th, 2003

Neil Budde, until recently Publisher of WSJ.com, has just resurfaced after a quick vacation as the head of Neil Budde Group, a consultancy in New Jersey. He cleverly got permission from WSJ to use his old black and white “headshot” so it’s a bit like viewing Ann Landers’ photo, the image is the brand. I am*not* putting his email address here (you’ll have to go to his site for it) because he frets that spammers might harvest it and then he’ll be deluged. In fact, on his site it’s presented as an image instead of text for that reason.

http://www.neilbudde.com

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Anne Holland

Heavy filtering May Be Sign of Virus or Worm

February 4th, 2003

Tim Johnson over at the Financial Planners Association just emailed in that one of his broadcast emails was severely filtered by a number of systems, including MailWatch, because his email message included a link to a PDF file. His link included the snippet getfile.cfm which according to MailWatch is a sign that the broadcast might be carrying a worm or other virus.

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