Blog Your Blessing Sunday


A Blessing for Happiness

May everyone be happy and safe,

and may their hearts be filled with joy.

May all living beings live in Security and in Peace--

Beings who are frail or strong,

Tall or short, big or small,

Visible or not visible, near or far away,

Already born or yet to be born.

May all of them dwell in perfect tranquility.

Let no one do harm to anyone.

Let no one put the life of anyone in danger.

Let no one, out of anger or ill will,

wish anyone any harm.

The Buddha's Words on Kindness (Metta Sutta)


The Blue Panther Experience is host for Blog Your Blessings. Click this link, grab the blogroll code, add the code to your blog, leave a comment on Blue Panther Experience and post your blessing. Quick and easy!


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Latent Semantic Analysis

I am still on vacation at the beautiful Texas coast, but I have found time to do some reading that I want to share. Remember, I am, first and foremost, an Internet researcher.

Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) and Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) are increasingly important concepts in search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO).

LSA is a statistical technique for extracting and representing the similarity of meaning of words and passages by analysis of large bodies of text. In addition to recognizing keywords on a page, LSI searches all documents in the index, looking for similar terms. Documents that have many words in common are considered semantically close; documents with few words in common to be semantically distant. This method of classification is almost human in its scope. The LSI algorithm does not know the meaning of the words, but recognizes patterns that emerge from semantically close words.

Why should you, as a webmaster or marketer, care about LSA and LSI? Google changed its algorithm and has achieved success with displaying natural search engine results, versus keyword-driven search engine results. With keywords, the search engine results will include only those documents containing these exact keywords. With Latent Semantic Indexing, the search engine results will contain documents whose content is considered to be semantically close to your keywords.

To be continued . . .

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My Christmas Wish for You

May all the days of all your years left by God,
Be filled with every joy and grace;

May hope of heart and peace of mind
Beside you ever stay,

This is my only wish I have
For you on this Christmas Day!

Merrry Christmas and a Prosperous 2007


Would You Like to Simplify Your Life?

Back in March I wrote Socialize This--Social Bookmarking Tool, a post on CoolAdzine for Marketers blog.

The Socializer is a tool for automatic submission of social bookmarks. At the time, I thought it was a neat tool and I added it to all my blogs. There were maybe five existing social bookmarking sites then.

This is a partial list of the social bookmarking sites today:
  • Backflip
  • BlinkBits
  • Blinklist
  • BlogMarks
  • BuddyMarks
  • CiteUlike
  • del.icio.us
  • Diigo
  • Digg
  • dzone
  • FeedMarker
  • Feed Me Links!
  • Furl
  • Give a Link
  • Gravee
  • Hyperlinkomatic
  • igooi
  • kinja
  • Lilisto
  • Linkagogo
  • Linkroll
  • Look Later
  • Magnolia
  • Maple
  • MesFavs
  • Netscape
  • netvouz
  • Newsvine
  • PlugIM
  • Raw Sugar
  • reddit
  • Rojo
  • Scuttle
  • Segnalo
  • Shadows
  • Simpy
  • Spurl
  • Squidoo
  • StumbleUpon
  • tagtooga
  • Tailrank
  • Technorati
  • unalog
  • Wink
  • wists
  • Yahoo My Web
  • zurpy
Now, I truly appreciate Socializer! You have seen those blogs that have 25 to 50 icons for bookmarking each post. How would you like to have the same capability without the clutter? With Socializer, add one link to your blog and your readers may use any social bookmarking service they wish.

Socializer adds new social bookmarking sites as they become popular, so you will never have to worry about finding the correct code for each social bookmarking site and placing it on your blog. Add just one snippet of Javascript or PHP and its done.

On the Socializer site are plugins for Wordpress, Movable Type and ExpressionEngine. There are also detailed explanations for using Blogger, Blogware and Zen Cart.

Simplify your life and unclutter your blog with Socializer.

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16 Things that Took me 50+ Years to Learn

1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

2. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings."
decorated reindeer
3. There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

4. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

5. You should not confuse your career with your life.

6. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

7. Never lick a steak knife.

8. The most destructive force in the universe is gossip.

Christmas snow globe9. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.

10. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.
decorated tree
11. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age eleven.

12. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.

13. A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)

14. Your friends love you anyway.

15. Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.

ice houseThought for the day: Men are like fine wine.. They start out as grapes, and it's up to the women to stomp the crap out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.

by Dave Barry, Nationally Syndicated Columnist

Christmas lights

Blog Your Blessing Sunday



Hold on to what is good even if it is a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe even if it is a tree which stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand even when I have gone away from you.

~Pueblo Blessing ~

The Blue Panther Experience is host for Blog Your Blessings. Click this link, grab the blogroll code, add the code to your blog, leave a comment on Blue Panther Experience and post your blessing. Quick and easy!


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Book a room at the world's first $500 million dollar underwater hotel

"A group of commercial developers is hyping the creation of the $500-million Hydropolis Undersea Resort. A sprawling 1.1-million-square-foot complex
—with lavish suites, a ballroom, a shopping mall and a missile-defense system to ward off terrorists." from, Popular Science. Check out the virtual video tour, pretty amazing.

read more | digg story

Flogging and the Federal Trade Commission

Great article today on Gaming Insider from MediaPost. The fake blog that I wrote about a few days ago (Sony/PSP/Zipatoni flog) really has people upset. Bloggers and gamers all over the Internet are calling for action, patting themselves on the back and generally creating a huge buzz about it.

There is talk of the Federal Trade Commission becoming involved! If things are not confused already, lets bring in the government. Maybe there are a few other rights we can afford to lose, hey?

Sony took down the flog, AllIWantForXmasIsaPSP.com, which was targeted at gamers. You may view a mirror site here if you want to view the flog at its finest. I am not sure if the gamers are angry because of the fake blog or because the portrayal of the two supposed gamers on the flog was so very lame. You look and tell me.

Photograph from AllIWantForXmasIsaPSP.com

AllIWantForChristmasIsAPS3.com is a knockoff blog that portrays Sony’s PSP as an expensive, ill-conceived, inferior choice to other gaming machines. Warning, knockoff blog is a bit rough (R-rated).

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Another Flog Brought to You by Zipatoni

Ad Freak spotted another fake blog (flog), brought to you by Sony and Zipatoni ad agency.
All I Want for Christmas Is a PSP pretends to be a fan blog (run by a guy named “Charlie,” who says he’s helping his buddy Jeremy get a PSP for Christmas), but it’s a poorly disguised marketing effort—the URL is registered to Zipatoni. . . . “Charlie” keeps posting his denials, in pseudo hip-hop speak. More than once he writes, “yo where all u hatas com from... juz cuz you aint feelin the flow of PSP dun mean its sum mad faek website or summ... youall be trippin.” Pathetic. . .
Adrants has quite a bit to say about the fake blog (flog) that ad agency Zipatoni has set up for Sony PSP

Now take fake blogs. You've heard of them. Edelman knows all about them. They are the things marketers seem to think are the holy grail of this new social media thing. Let's get down with our customers. Let's "join the conversation." Trouble is, a fake blog - one that pretends (badly) to be all hip hop on our ass - is like an idiot that shows up at a black tie event wearing American Eagle cargo shorts and a t-shirt. The natural reaction to that is, "Who the fuck is that idiot?"

I just have one thing to say, floggers are damned. The name of Edelman is already written on the wall of hell, and I just consigned Zipatoni and Sony to the same fate. It is an insult to us, potential customers and fellow marketers, to lie, plagiarize, playact, pretend, and scam us with some fake blog written by an advertising agency.

Honesty is not optional and deception is always exposed. Ask Edelman, ask Zipatoni.

Hey, big time ad guys: if you need a set of blog ethics, you can use mine. You might also want to view and use the disclosure. On the other hand, you can remain in hell for all I care.

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Lessons From the Center of Collective Intelligence

Why has collective intelligence become such a big deal? With the rise of social media (wikis, social bookmarking sites and socially driven news and content aggregation sites), it seems that everyone wants to get on the bandwagon.

read more | digg story

Blog Your Blessing Sunday


Traditional Buddhist Healing Blessing

Just as the soft rains fill the streams,
pour into the rivers and join together in the oceans,
so may the power of every moment of your goodness
flow forth to awaken and heal all beings,
Those here now, those gone before, those yet to come.

By the power of every moment of your goodness
May your heart's wishes be soon fulfilled
as completely shining as the bright full moon,
as magically as by a wish-fulfilling gem.

By the power of every moment of your goodness
May all dangers be averted and all disease be gone.
May no obstacle come across your way.
May you enjoy fulfillment and long life.

For all in whose heart dwells respect,
who follow the wisdom and compassion, of the Way,
May your life prosper in the four blessings
of old age, beauty, happiness and strength.


The Blue Panther Experience is host for Blog Your Blessings. Click this link, grab the blogroll code, add the code to your blog, leave a comment on Blue Panther Experience and post your blessing. Quick and easy!


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Carnival of Blogging Chicks : Christmas Humor

Below is my entry for the Carnival of Blogging Chicks. I hope that everyone takes this in the joking manner in which I am posting. As a victim of depression and survivor of abuse, I have learned to laugh when I have a chance!




Christmas Carols . . .
for the

P
sychiatrically Challenged



SCHIZOPHRENIA ~ Do You Hear What I Hear?
MULTIPLE PERSONALITY ~ We Three Kings Disoriented Are...
DEMENTIA ~ I'll Be Home For Christmas, I think . . .
NARCISSISTIC ~ Hark The Herald Angels Sing (About Me)
MANIA ~ Deck the Halls and Walls and Lawn and spare no cost . . .
PARANOIA ~ Santa Claus is Coming To Get Me . . .
PERSONALITY DISORDER ~ You Better Watch Out, You Better Not Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, and maybe I'll tell you why.


DEPRESSION ~ Silent anhedonia, Holy anhedonia. All is calm, all pretty lonely.
OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE ~ Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock. Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock... (YOU GET THE IDEA)
BORDERLINE PERSONALITY ~Thoughts of Roasting in an Open Fire
PASSIVE
AGGRESSIVE ~ On the First Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me (and then took it all away)


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Google Click Fraud Funding Al Qaida & Hezbollah Terrorist Groups

At the Chicago SES, Jim Hedger is holding a press conference which is making public the investigative report that Google is serving Adwords & Adsense adverts on Google properties and the sites of AdSense members who are connected with Al Qaida, Hezbollah and other terrorist groups, benefitting from revenue which is originated by Google advertisers.

read more | digg story

Carnival of Blogging Chicks : Laughter

Carnival of Blogging Chicks
Carnival of Blogging Chicks is being hosted by Of Making Many Books this week. The theme for this Carnival will be:

Holiday Laughter or Laughter in General

Stop by Of Making Many Books on Sunday and visit the carnival. No better way to spend a Sunday in my opinion.

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Looking for Deals Online?

If you wish to save money this shopping season, you may want to visit NCNatural's Adventure Resources--Your Guide to North Carolina Nature, Entertainment and Culture.

To help support their travel site, they have put together a great list of online coupons for online retailers that ship to North Carolina (and the rest of the USA).From Adidas to wine, you will find a selection of Online Coupons here that will save you time and money. The site is updated on a daily basis with offers from hundreds of merchants.

Here are just a couple that I found: Vision Direct offering $25 off $75 purchase or free shipping with an order of $99. There is also Toshiba offering free upgrade to XP Pro and Office Small Business 2003 on Toshiba Satellite M110 laptop.

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2007 May Be "The Year of the Scent"

Consumers groups on behalf of individuals with diabetes, allergies to chocolate and obesity, quashed a Got Milk? outdoor ad campaign that released the scent of chocolate chip cookies around bus shelters. The Metropolitan Transit Commission yesterday ordered the scent strips removed.

While reading about this,I found some interesting facts and figures. Did you know that currently 83 percent of all commercial communication appeals only to one sense--our eyes, but 75 percent of our emotions are influenced by what we smell.

According to AdAge:
Mars has recently used scent technology to spread the aroma of chocolate around its M&M's World retail outlets and put Pedigree dog-food-scented stickers in front of supermarkets and pet stores. Pepsi spread the smell of black-cherry vanilla with People magazine inserts and store displays for Diet Pepsi Jazz.
According to Wired Blog, Table of Malcontents:
Digiscents, Inc. is developing the iSmell Personal Scent Synthesizer, a device that will let smells be transmitted through the Internet, and consequently allow us all to finally smell Goatse.cx or Tubgirl. And the Aroma Geur lets you smell the radio... including Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern and Tom Bell.
According to ScentAndrea, marketers are using scent to differentiate their brand and help sell more product. ScentAndrea predicts that 2007 will be the Year of the Scent.
Since scent is the closest sense linked to memory, people recall smell with up to 64% accuracy after one year. Today├é’s consumers are more likely to buy a product that has a scent attribute that is familiar and pleasing. In a recent vending machine test 60% more chocolate was purchased when scent was used. And it sold out in 24 hours!
Past uses of scent technology include:

So, if you want to be successful at marketing, add the sense of smell to your marketing. Just be careful what you use. Make sure it is organically grown, with no additives or preservatives. The scent of chocholate, nuts, shellfish or milk should not be used. All items must be kosher. You would not want to cause an allergic reaction in one of your potential customers.

I can visualize it now, dodging around atomizers, slipping under scent triggers, hoping to be able to remain scent-free just long enough to get to the deodorant in the back of the drug store.

Now cheating husbands have an excuse: "Honey, I just went to the drug store..."

What about the poor dieter, walking past all the smells: hot dogs, chocolate, popcorn, pizza. It would be dieting HELL.

I think I will pass on scent marketing. We are assulated from every angle with advertising: tv, radio, magazines, cell phone, Internet, email, billboards, bus stops...

Let it stop here. Leave one sense inviolate, forever. LOL

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Internet Authority in Scientific Research

According to a national survey conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project in collaboration with the Exploratorium, 40 million Americans use the internet as their primary source of news and information about science, and 87 percent of online users have at one time used the internet to carry out research on a scientific topic or concept.

For Americans with high-speed Internet connections, the internet is as popular as TV for news and information about science. Young adults with high-speed connections at home rely more (44 percent) on the Internet for science news and information, compared to television (32 percent).

Over 70 percent of Internet users say they turn to the internet for science news and information because it is convenient; 65 percent say they have encountered news and information about science when they have gone online for a different reason.

The study found that 87 percent of online users have used the Internet to look up the meaning of a scientific concept, answer a specific science question, learn more about a scientific breakthrough, help complete a school assignment, check the accuracy of a scientific fact, downloaded scientific data, or compare different or opposing scientific theories.

When asked about stem cell research, 2/3 of respondents said they would find information on the Internet; 59 percent said they would use the Internet to find information on climate change.

From the press release:
Users of the internet for science information also report better attitudes about the role science plays in society and higher assessments of how well they understand science. Specifically:
  • 78% of those who have gotten science information online describe themselves as "very" or "somewhat" informed about new scientific discoveries
  • 58% of remaining internet users says this
  • 48% strongly agree that to be a strong society, the United States needs to be competitive in science
  • 33% of remaining online users strongly agree with this
  • 43% strongly agree that scientific research is essential to improving the quality of human lives
  • 27% of remaining online users say this
  • 59% of Americans have been to some sort of science museum in the past year, such as a zoo or aquarium, natural history museum, science or technology museum, or planetarium
  • 49% of internet users have gone to a website whose content is devoted to science, such as the Smithsonian's website or NationalGeographic.com.
  • The report also shows a relationship between the two behaviors: those who have gone to a science museum are more likely to visit science websites, and vice versa
Note: The Exploratorium website is a great beginning to any scientific project, with links to many educational sites and sources. Check out the science behind skateboarding, surfing, baseball and other sports; space weather; faultlines; robots.

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Buzz Words at Search Insider Summitt

The information in 1-10 below was taken from The Buzz At The Search Insider Summit (November 29, 2006). Aaron Goldman, Director of Client Strategy and Development for Resolution Media, attended the Search Insider Summit and kept a running tally of how many times a particular buzz word was mentioned. His sense of humor and scorekeeping gives us a very unique look at search engine marketing.

1. Branding-27 mentions
It seemed like a single panel did not pass without someone offering up a new way to harness the power of search for driving brand awareness, preference, or purchase intent.
2. Integration-24 mentions
Speakers and attendees alike were in agreement that search cannot live in a silo, and the most effective marketing programs incorporate and are informed by search.
3. Engagement-13 mentions
With the focus on search as a branding tool, engagement emerged as the key metric for measuring the impact of search on purchase intent.
4. Assists-9 mentions
. . . term Yahoo has introduced to speak to the ability of certain keywords to . . . assist a conversion event . . . anything that puts hard data against softer search metrics will help us fight the branding battle.
5. Mobile, Local tied with 8 mentions each
Certainly, the engines are all improving their local capabilities and enhancing the user experience with smart features and maps. However, it's the wireless carriers that hold the power as mobile content improves and WAP-supported handsets and Web sites proliferate.
6. Long Tail-4 mentions
From describing keyword selection to content availability, the Long Tail has become the analogy du jour of media and marketing insiders.
7. E-mail-2 mentions
Craig Swerdloff from Return Path described how basic e-mail strategies can be used to improve search performance and vice versa.
8. Click Fraud-1 mention (tied wth 9 and 10 below)
It seems click fraud has become something of a non-issue, as most search agencies and internal marketing teams already have strategies in place for monitoring and acting on it--just like any other variable that contributes to poor campaign performance. And, clearly, the engines are working tirelessly on stopping it.
9. Truthiness-1 mention (tie)
Stephen Colbert fans will applaud Chris Heuer from Social Media Club for using this term as he recommended best practices for leveraging social media. Take heed, floggers!
10. Relevance-1 mention (tie)
Collectively, we need to find a way to make all advertising as relevant as search. Then we can flip the script and move from talking about how search can be used for branding, to how all media can be used for searching.

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AIDS Awareness Day/Week/Month/Year

Support World AIDS Day


Meet the iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition. Apple will give $10 of its purchase price to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa. Just introduced, the iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED is an Apple Store exclusive and will not be sold through other retailers.

Apple Store

If 50,000 people buy iPod nano RED = $500,000 to fight aids. Spread the word and remember someone special this holiday season.

Sleek, lightweight, and just $199, the 4GB iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED delivers everything your customers expect from the world’s best-selling digital music player. A brilliant, 1.5-inch color display. Up to 24 hours of battery life. Seamless iTunes integration that lets you import CDs and shop for songs, podcasts, and audiobooks on the iTunes Store, then sync them in minutes. All in a durable aluminum enclosure that tells the world you have chosen to join (RED) and to help stamp out AIDS.




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Stereotypical Purchasing for Christmas

A study from BIGresearch, commissioned by the National Retail Federation (NRF) to find out what parents are buying for their children this Christmas.


TMX Elmo is the top choice for boys and Barbie is the top choice for girls. This appears to be stereotypical and I wonder if we advertise to girls different than we advertise to boys? When does the difference begin? TMX Elmo is a gift that is liked by both boys and girls. Why do legos not appeal to girl children (or their parents)? Why are more iPods being purchased for girls than boys?

Get all the information from eMarketer.

Blog Your Blessing Sunday

Celtic CrossI arise today
Through a mighty strength:


God's power to guide me,
God's might to uphold me,
God's eyes to watch over me;
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to give me speech,

God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to shelter me,
God's host to secure me.

~Bridgid of Gael~


The Blue Panther Experience is host for Blog Your Blessings. Click this link, grab the blogroll code, add the code to your blog, leave a comment on Blue Panther Experience and post your blessing. Quick and easy!


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Ethics for Bloggers by WOMMA

With all the problems of disclosure and ethics in regards to bloggers, advertising agencies and public relations firms, I am posting the WOMMA Ethical Blogger Contact Guidelines-10 Principles for Ethical Contact by Marketers.

Advertising for Success already has a full disclosure policy, but I am adding word of mouth marketing ethical standards as well. Not all apply guidelines apply to my websites, but I wanted you readers to have the full set.
  • I will always be truthful and will never knowingly relay false information. I will never ask someone else to deceive bloggers for me.
  • I will fully disclose who I am and who I work for (my identity and affiliations) from the very first encounter when communicating with bloggers or commenting on blogs.
  • I will never take action contrary to the boundaries set by bloggers. I will respect all community guidelines regarding posting messages and comments.
  • I will never ask bloggers to lie for me.
  • I will use extreme care when communicating with minors or blogs intended to be read by minors.
  • I will not manipulate advertising or affiliate programs to impact blogger income.
  • I will not use automated systems for posting comments or distributing information.
  • I understand that compensating bloggers may give the appearance of a conflict of interest, and I will therefore fully disclose any and all compensation or incentives.
  • I understand that if I send bloggers products for review, they are not obligated to comment on them. Bloggers can return products at their own discretion.
  • If bloggers write about products I send them, I will proactively ask them to disclose the products’ source.
Honesty is not optional and deception is always exposed. Ask Edelman.

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Edelman May Be Out of WOMMA

Edelman is on 90-day probation with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association for failure to adhere to the WOMMA code of ethics.

The public relations firm has acknowledged it is behind a series of flogs, or fake blogs, for Wal-Mart. These flogs are Wal-Marting Across America, Paid Critics and Working Families for Wal-Mart.

Edelman appears to be violating their own Ethical Approach to Business as stated on their website:
Principles:
* Edelman is committed to honesty.
* Edelman is committed to transparency.
* Edelman is committed to fair dealing.
* Edelman will ensure activity aligns with the interests of its employees,
clients and critical stakeholders.
* Edelman will strive to model best practice in the marketplace.
* Employees will not violate legal obligations or prohibitions where
Edelman does business.
If you wish, you may download Edelman's 25-page Code of Conduct that:
. . . provides a uniform understanding, informed by our Values, as to what is expected of Edelman employees and embodies our commitment to excellent counsel and service to all stakeholders.
While bloggers are disclosing their relationships and posting their blogging ethics , Edelman, the only independent global public relations firm, continues to be guilty of the most rampant case of non-disclosure on behalf of their clients.

If you would like to read more about this debacle, please visit MediaPost for the full story. If you wish to tell Edelman what you think, you should email them at contact_us@edelman.com

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The Answer IS: There are Limits!

American consumers sent a very clear message last week to Rupert Murdoch and the rest of the media world: We have standards. They may be low and not terribly visible, but we do have them.

Sparing the Public From a Despicable Marketing Stunt
By Scott Donaton
Thank god we can still feel outrage. That was my first thought on hearing that Rupert Murdoch had scuttled plans for what would've been the most despicable stunt in the history of marketing: a book and two sweeps-period TV specials in which O.J. Simpson was to detail how he would have almost decapitated the mother of his children and viciously stabbed another man to death had he in fact been the one who almost decapitated the mother of his children and viciously stabbed another man to death. Which, of course, he didn't. Unless he did. Or something.
Marc Brownstein: Small Agency Diary Blog
It's pretty sad when we glorify a figure like O.J. Simpson just to boost ratings. Is Fox that devoid of compelling content that they have to stoop to new lows? But what's reassuring is that the free economy worked: advertisers balked and were heard.
Has the Fox Brand Sustained Long-Term Damage as a Result of the O.J. Simpson Debacle? Vote Yes or No here.

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Blog Whore is New Service for Bloggers

BlogWhore is just that. Do not waste your time. Post deleted 2/17/07/

Click & Comment Monday

C&C MondayWant to play?

Click my renter or a blog on my blog roll. Comment on that blog and then click their renter or someone on their blogroll and comment on that blog. Repeat.


Try to click and comment on at least 5 blogs if you have time. I guarantee you will find some cool blogs and you will increase your readership if you do this every Monday you are able.

Leave a comment here so I know to visit your blog on C&C Mondays, and so that I can add you to the C&C blogroll for Advertising for Success.

To add your site to the official C&C Monday blogroll, please visit Cat, the wonderful blogger who thought up this great idea.


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A Cowboy's Thanksgiving Prayer


Dear Lord,

This last year was rough on us cowboys
With calf prices bein' low.
And the drought, and the snow last winter
Didn't leave a lot to show
For a lot of really hard workin'.


There were times, I confess,
That I lay awake nights and wondered:
Lord, how do I get out of this mess.
But I turned it all over to you, Lord.
Put my trust in your capable hands.


And I thank you that you let us keep on
Makin' a living off of your lands.
I thank you for every morning
when the sun rose over the trees,
and spread light over the meadows.


And thanks for that cool summer breeze
That cooled sweatin' backs in the hay fields.
And thanks for new friends I made,
for the joy of seein' baby calves
curled up, asleep in the shade.


Thanks for these good friends and neighbors
and the love and the help that they give.
And I thank you Lord for these old cows
and the cowboy life they let me live.


And thank you Lord for my family,
my little girl and my wife.
And for the chance we have to raise a child
to live the kind of life
That most folks only dream of,
spending days outside,
Feedin', checkin', and sortin', and looking
where old cows hide.


So, Lord, on Thanksgiving,
as we take a break from our chores,
We thank you for this year's blessings,
and for what you have in store.


By Steve Lucas

Click & Comment Monday

Want to play?

Click my renter or a blog on my blog roll. Comment on that blog and then click their renter or someone on their blogroll and comment on that blog. Repeat.


Try to click and comment on at least 5 blogs if you have time. I guarantee you will find some cool blogs and you will increase your readership if you do this every Monday you are able.

Leave a comment here so I know to visit your blog on C&C Mondays, and so that I can add you to the C&C blogroll for Advertising for Success.

To add your site to the official C&C Monday blogroll, please visit Cat, the wonderful blogger who thought up this great idea.


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Opening for Success Blog

Say goodbye to Mystickal Incense & More Blog. Bookmark Mystickal Incense & More Blog and remember to visit when looking for that unique gift for someone. Sweet smelling soaps, candles, aromotherapy oils, and more ...

Traffic stats for the last week
558 impressions
291 unique impressions
44 clicks
15 unique clicks

Click here to rent Advertising for Success this week.

New Free Service for Bloggers

Working on the principle that free stuff is good stuff, BlogWhore brings bloggers and advertisers together in one place.

There are three main purposes behind the BlogWhore philosophy:

1. Giving the small time blogger a chance to show off his site to potential advertisers who may never have found it

2. Giving a high-trafficked blog the opportunity to “cut out the middle man”, and pocket all of what the advertiser is paying

3. Giving advertisers the opportunity to buy ads on higher quality sites for the same price, as part of their budget is not taken up in commissions.

I have registered Advertising-For-Success blog and will report on the process. This post (not paid) and the link on the sidebar are the only requirements to apply.

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Blog Your Blessing Sunday

San Marcos River rock
Sufi Prayer for Peace

Send Thy peace O Lord, which is perfect and everlasting,
that our souls may radiate peace.


Send Thy peace O Lord, that we may think,
act and speak harmoniously.


Send Thy peace O Lord, that we may be contented and thankful
for Thy bountiful gifts.


Send Thy peace O Lord, that amidst our worldly strife,
we may enjoy Thy bliss.


Send Thy peace O Lord, that we may endure all, tolerate all,
in the thought of Thy grace and mercy.


Send Thy peace O Lord, that our lives may become a Divine vision
and in Thy light, all darkness may vanish.


Send Thy peace O Lord, our Father and Mother, that we
Thy children on Earth may all unite in one family.


Amen


The Blue Panther Experience is host for Blog Your Blessings. Click this link, grab the blogroll code, add the code to your blog, leave a comment on Blue Panther Experience and post your blessing. Quick and easy!


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Blogging Chicks : thanksgiving carnival


The Carnival of Blogging Chicks will be hosted by Suspension of Disbelief on Sunday. The theme is thanksgiving; whether you are talking turkey or counting your blessings, blog it on the carnival.

Not a Chick? Curious about Carnivals? Attend the carnival at Suspension of Disbelief. Visit the blogs, read the posts, comment if you like. If you like it, join the Blogging Chicks. Make friends, have fun, enjoy visits and comments on your blogs.

It is an enjoyable, relaxing Sunday activity that gets you all pumped up for Click & Comment Monday!


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Brown Betty Used to be Dessert

I think I have lost my appetite . . .
CINCINNATI (AdAge.com)...Betty Beauty, a New York startup that is getting big PR play by marketing hair color for the nether regions. Billed as "color for the hair down there," the company began really building buzz this summer...
Betty? And another name for women's pubic area is born. The picture featured on my last post is pubic hair dye products. All natural hair colors, Brown Betty, Blond Betty, Auburn Betty and Black Betty, and a PINK one for special occasions.

pink pubic hair dyeApparently there has been a lot of interest in the product from women ages 60 to 85 as well as men.

is your Betty ready t-shirt
Bettybeauty.com also sells T-shirts that state: My Betty is ready and I am a true blond.


Phillips Norelco launched its website Shaveeverywhere.com for their BodyGroom product, encouraging men to shave their back, shoulders, armpits and those short and curlies elsewhere. They promise that shaving down there will add an optical inch to male anatomy. The video on the website is pretty funny really, unless you take it seriously.


Unilever is running magazine ads for Sunsilk De-Frizz products in which a curly-haired woman complains, My hair's so frizzy I should give it a Brazilian. Their tag line is Sunsilk provides real solutions to women's everyday hair needs everywhere.



What is next? Hair Club for Betties? Pubic hair transplants, pubic hair weaving and topical minoxidil applications? Tattoos? Just when we thought it was safe to go au naturel, it is back into the dark ages for women.

Maybe we should just let it all hang out and decorate our Betty for all to see. I think I will add highlights, braid and weave beads and feathers through it. Start a trend. . . Let me see. . . ? Braveheart Betty? Betty from Jamaica? Betty gone wild?




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Wordless Wednesday

Betty Beauty Pubic Hair Die
SIgn up for Wordless Wednesday at the official WW HQ

Love Me, Love My Renter

The Success Blog of the Week is Mystickal Incense Blog - the blog for a sweet-smelling business called Mystickal Incense and More. Looking for a natural way to improve both your emotions and your health? If so, then you must visit Mystical Incense Blog.

Stephanie, the owner, creates incense, candles, bath and body products, soaps and crafts. She just recently branched out to blog hosting (WAHM Hosting) and has some great packages for bloggers.

It is her birthday today, so please wish her Happy Birthday and tell her CyberCelt sent you.

Show My Renter Some Love

November 14th is World Diabetes Day

November
is National Diabetes Awareness Month in USA!
Fifty-four million Americans, one in six, have
pre-diabetes and most don’t even realize it.

Learn the Warning Signs of Diabetes
One in three children born today will develop diabetes.

Assess your risk!
Take the 2 minute on-line
Defeat Diabetes® Screening Test


November 14th is World Diabetes Day

Listen to Online Retail Holiday Forecast

JupiterResearch forecasts that 2006 online holiday retail sales will grow to $32 billion and 114 million users will buy online! What can online retailers do to maximize on this growing interest? What can we learn about last-minute consumer behavior? Listen to the podcast here.

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Blog Your Blessing Sunday

Divine Blessing

Almighty Lord, if we offer you a devoted mind and heart, you will offer to us every blessing on earth and in heaven.

You grant our deepest wishes. You give food to the body and peace to the soul. You look upon us with the love of a mother for her children.

You created this beautiful earth all around us. And in every plant and animal, every tree and bird, your spirit dwells.

You have revealed yourself to me, infusing my soul with the knowledge that you are the source of all blessing.

And so I sing your praises day and night. I who am feeble, glorify you who are powerful. I who am nothing, devote myself to you who are everything.

Atharva Veda
(c. 1500 BC)


The Blue Panther Experience is host for Blog Your Blessings. Click this link, grab the blogroll code, add the code to your blog, leave a comment on Blue Panther Experience and post your blessing. Quick and easy!


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Blogging Chicks Carnival on CoolAdzine

Carnival of Blogging Chicks
Holidays made easier is the topic for Blogging Chicks Carnival this Sunday and will be hosted on CoolAdzine for Marketers. Come one, come all... to the Carnival of Blogging Chicks.

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The IDEA Conference Recap 3

This is the third post on the IDEA Conference: Redefining Creativity and discussing implications for small businesses and online marketers. You may view all the recommendations on the IDEA 06 microsite.

10. Flatten management structure -"We don't have enough managers, and we intended it to be that way," said Google's chief engineer, Craig Neville-Manning, who credited that lack of bureaucracy as a big reason for the search giant's success in bringing new products to market.
Run your organization lean and mean. For small business people, this means wearing multiple hats and using contract and temporary employees for special projects.

11. Market to the interested - In analyzing a recent Iams campaign, David Verklin, CEO of Carat Americas, found that 40% of the American population owns a dog. "When I run an ad on TV, 60% of the people watching have no interest in it. It's bad for the client because they don't want to advertise for people who aren't interested. And it's certainly bad for the delivery system, putting ads in front of people that are boring them."
"Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half" (John Wanamaker). Know your target market and your product or service. Do not advertise unless you can track your results. Be flexible and adaptable and do not get attached to any one format or media type. See (8. Prototype early from yesterday's post)

12. Go for a brand back rub - Eric Plaskonos, director-brand communications at Philips Electronics North America, introduced the concept of "brand chiropractics" to the crowd in his closing statement, citing Philips' recent innovative spreads in Gourmet and its sponsorship of commercial-free football games. "It's slightly unorthodox and [hands-on], but when it works it makes you feel really good."
Sponsor a little league or soccer team. Rent a table at a charity benefit and give your tickets to members or customers. Whatever you can do to help members of your online or offline community will pay off in customer goodwill, name recognition and better public relations.

13. Give consumers some control - "Once you've allowed the consumer to create something around your brand, you have to assume that is not something you can control," said Jeremy Allaire, founder and CEO of Brightcove. Brightcove allows marketers to build video-content channels of their own -- and provides users with the building blocks for their own creations. This way you can make sure the ideas are still coming from the marketer, and that's the key to successful consumer-generated media, said Mr. Allaire. "It's highly empowering to consumers and helps to accentuate those brands as opposed to diminish them.
This is a followup to (.7 from yeserday, Let consumers inside). Engagement, interactivity and a rich media experience allows customers to shape their interaction with your brand. You benefit with access to consumer-generated content and clients who are invested in your brand.


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The IDEA Conference Recap 2

This is the second post on Advertising for Success blog detailing highlights of the IDEA Conference: Redefining Creativity and discussing implications for small businesses and online marketers.

5. Digitize everything: Not just your ads, but also your store, your product and even your employees. Here to help you is Linden Labs CEO Philip Rosedale, creator of the virtual world Second Life. What was once the futurist domain of "Tron" is now something anybody with a broadband connection├é—and potentially an ailing first life-can tap into. Think you can't make an emotional connection in the digital world? Then you should have seen the star of a heart-tugging video Mr. Rosedale screened, a woman who found a husband and a career in Second Life.
Second Life is a huge online community, with real estate, employment, singles groups, you name it. Want instant status? Purchase an island. This 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents, 1,320,732 virtual citizens. There are even virtual reality shows-really!

6. Nostalgia is death: Quoting Bob Dylan, Paul Budnitz, founder of Kidrobot, took aim at the marketing world's tendency to slavishly ape bygone pop culture. (That means you, VH1 and Hello Kitty.) Mr. Budnitz said there's no creativity behind thinking derivatively=—like, for example, when marketers create toy spinoff- of blockbuster films. He offered the notion that real creativity is about making something that is "entirely new and in the moment." He did, however, distinguish nostalgia (bad) from appropriation (good), in which familiar themes serve as a jumping-off point for the creation of a completely fresh idea, as evident in the twisted work of Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami.
Murakami's work ranges from cartoon-like paintings to minimalist sculptures to giant balloons and many other promotional items inscribed with his signature character, Mr. DOB.

7. Let consumers inside: For the Barenaked Ladies' first independent release on the Nettwerk record label, co-founder Terry McBride wanted them to be able to work outside the 12-song-per-album box. Their recording sessions yielded 29 songs, from which Mr. McBride pulled 250 tracks for fans to mix into their own versions. The mixes will be submitted for a forthcoming fans' EP. "It's not about control, but the fact that the fan owns the brand," Mr. McBride said during the Corbis "Who Owns Your Brand?" breakout session. "Fans do all the marketing for us."
Choices. Give your customer choices on your website. Fresh, varied content. Extraordinary products and services. Interactive features that empower customers and clients to find what they want on your site. Make your site "sticky" so people stay.

8. Prototype early: That way, said Paul Bennett, chief creative at IDEO, you won't end up with "dinosaur babies" (a product "so ugly only its mother could love it"). Creative teams can sometimes get so wrapped up in a project they can't let go or realize it's not going to work the way they initially intended. Making prototypes early on in the creative process helps with troubleshooting and allows for feedback on the more complicated areas of the product. "The notion of prototyping is, if it's bad, you can let it go."
Prototyping. Try your product or service out before you are committed to costly development and distribution costs. This IDEA seems to conflict with the "trust your gut" philosophy advocated by David Jones (See 2. from yesterday's post here). What do you think?

9. Drugs won't supply your 'Aha!' moment: They no longer fuel the creativity of Alex Bogusky, chief creative officer at Crispin Porter & Bogusky. "There was a time where I'd be working on something where I'd need to drink," Mr. Bogusky said. "The problem is, the longer you do it, the smaller that window for creativity gets. And then you're trashed." He also pointed out that getting to that eureka time requires hard graft and is often about ripping up lots of OK ideas and starting over. (And you thought it was just brilliance and the occasional bong!)
This was a personal declaration and makes a very good case against substance abuse. This is good advice for any occupation, but makes you wonder how about Mr. Bogusky!


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The IDEA Conference Recap

More than 550 people gathered in New York to attend the IDEA Conference: Redefining Creativity, sponsored by Advertising Age and Creativity Magazine. In a real surprise action of free exchange, Advertising Age and Creativity Magazine has posted editorial analyses, photos and excerpts from the speakers at the IDEA 06 microsite.

For several days, Advertising for Success blog will be posting these highlights and discussing implications for small businesses and online marketers.


1. Limitations and small budgets are inspiring : "I can be at my most creative when I have constraints," said Anne Saunders, senior VP-global brand strategy and communications, Starbucks. The coffee behemoth started out humbly as a small Seattle chain. "When I have a lack of time or money, that causes me to think differently. We don't spend a lot of money on traditional advertising." Less than 2% of Starbucks' operating budget is spent on advertising. Instead, word of mouth and the physical presence of each location have been its best tools.Small businesses and online marketers understand small budgets and other limitations, so this message is worth pondering. Positioning where your product or service is needed, either in bricks or mortar or in the virtual world of online marketing, makes sense.
Word of Mouth (WOM) Marketing is where you may differentiate yourself from your competitors. Never underestimate the power of an angry client or customer. While a satisfied customer may send you 1-5 customers over the years, an unhappy customer or potential customer may blacken your reputation to 50-100 potential clients. The dissatisfaction follows geometric progression.

2. Trust your gut-not research : Pointing out that Steve Jobs didn't create great ideas by doing market research, multilingual ad man David Jones, global CEO of Euro RSCG, exhorted ad execs to stop asking permission. Drawing on British comedian Vic Reeves' assertion that "96.2% of all statistics are made up," Mr. Jones argued that the best ads aren't based on research.
Rather than talking about how to redefine creativity in a fast-changing world, Mr. Jones wants advertising agencies to get out there and do it. David Jones is not a fan of consumer-produced commercials and believes the ad industry must continue to lead the way in marketing. "Our industry cannot delegate the creation of brilliant ideas to consumers. We have to be at the starting point," he said.

He said that makers of ads should see their role as creators of short-form content. According to Mr. Jones, the 30-second TV spot is not dead, it just needs reviving. Drawing on the work of British comedian Vic Reeves, who said "96.2% of all statistics are made up," Mr. Jones argued that some of the most successful ads are not based on research, pre-testing or focus-group results, but on the "gut instinct" of what consumers will like.

For example, Target has been able to thrive and coexist profitably with Wal-Mart while Kmart was bankrupted. This success is attributable to two key factors: the right kind of differentiation and distinctive marketing communications. Target repositioned itself as a mass merchandiser of affordable chic goods.

3. Think like a band : "What does a band actually do? They create music and they don't know whether it's going to sell," said Chris Stephenson, general manager-global marketing for Microsoft's entertainment business, which launches its much-anticipated MP3-and-video player, Zune, on Nov. 16. "They'll tour-—they're not sitting in an ivory tower behind their desk. It's a very do-it-yourself culture, but ideal. This idea of thinking in a really open-minded, expressive way like an artist is really important."
Become an artist: create, tour and try new ideas. Although listening to this advice given by staid and stiff Microsoft is a bit ludicrous; it is, nonetheless, good advice. Get out amongst your customers and target market. Listen to what they say and what they want. Conduct surveys and informal polls of your website or store visitors, but do not take the results as an absolute. Give your creativity free reign and watch for results.

4. Approach your consumer from a 'molecular level' : The first thing Steven J. Heyer, CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, asks himself when it comes to designing a new hotel is: "What do we want our guest to feel?" He and David Rockwell, founder and CEO of the Rockwell Group, discussed the innovations they've made to the luxury-hotel industry by designing experiences that appeal to the traveler who hates traveling but loves being there-—think mountain views, health spas and expanded bars.
"The customer's perception is your reality," according to Kate Zabriskie of Business Training Works. We do not view ourselves as Coach class seat or Gardenview room people. We all strive to be more and to want more bang for our buck. We want the glorious view, the fruit basket and homemade cookies, the concierge level treatment. Your mission, if you accept it, is to deliver this service on a shoestring budget.




Well, that is probably enough creativity to digest in one day. Besides for blockquotes and any text marked with quotations marks, which are word for word from the IDEA micro site, the thoughts are mine. Feel free to comment upon or continue this discussion in the comment area.


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Political Ads: Red vs Blue, Google vs Yahoo

The Rimm-Kaufman Group conducted a study to observe the use of paid search advertising in the final hours of the 2006 US midterm elections (PDF).

RKG queried Google and Yahoo for terms related to the 2006 US midterm elections from November 3, 2006 to November 6, 2006. They found:
  • There are few political advertisers using pay-per-click search engine marketing
  • Political pay-per-click advertisers use Google and not Yahoo Paid Search
  • Most prevalent advertisers within this query set were Accoona (search engine), Gather.com (social network), CafePress (retailer), and GOPSenators.com (National Republican Senatorial Committee)
  • Red ads outnumbered Blue ads 2:1
  • Blue ads were 3x more likely to be negative than Red ads
  • President Bush was not mentioned in any ad
  • Iraq and Al-Qaeda were mentioned only twice in ads
  • Only two ads linked directly to videos
  • Blue ads were longer than Red ads
  • The length of words in blue and red ads were the same
  • Blue ads were more likely to include an exclamation point
  • Red ads were more likely to contain a question mark
From the report:
We believe political pay-per-click advertising is in its infancy . . . we predict campaigns and political action committees will move aggressively into paid search advertising as a marketing channel in future elections.
Red = pro-Republican or anti-Democrat
Blue = pro-Democrat or anti-Republican


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