Why sign up to an inactive blog?

Let’s get real. this post, written in march of 2013 is the first new post on this site since early 2011. It’s not that I don’t like this blog, or that I’m not interested in the subject matter, but rather that it is a busy life and other activities have taken priority.

Despite the great and obvious inactivity of this blog, there has been a steady stream of new signups to the site. I regularly get email notifications that some new user has signed up to this site.

But why? What does this accomplish?

I’ve heard of “comment spam” and indeed there’s a fair amount of junk comments submitted, like “hey, your post really said it well. I learned a lot from it.” from “bonerpillemporium.com” Well great. but really what is the point? why do people do this? Does someone actually make money this way?

Left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing Dept: Gmail tags Google email as spam

Google, the all-knowing, sent me an email promoting its service, Adwords. Google wants me to try and then buy its contextual advertising.

Google (the all-knowing), emailed me this promotional email to my gmail account. (For the Rip van Winkles in the crowd, “gmail” is a web-based email service created by and provided by Google.)

But does this important email message from Google show up in my gmail inbox? No. Instead, gmail identified this email, from google as spam, and shunted it into the spam folder.

Algorithm uber alles? You decide.

Blogging Geekitude… WordPress Wordcamp NYC 2010 I wanna go

WordCampNYC – Oct 16-17

Well, I might yet be able to make it. Still trying to get there. Last year’s was interesting and fun. So, we’ll see. There’s so much else to do. Projects. Chores. Responsibilities.

(And, for all you search engine spiders, I’m talking about WordCamp in New York City, where bloggers and techies who have devoted themselves to the WordPress blogging platform come together to talk about what’s going on with WordPress, learn new tricks, new substantive knowledge about the inner workings of WordPress, how to make one’s blog better, how to do what you want to do better and more easily.

Charming visionary Matt Muhlenweg, who created WordPress showed up last year and talked for a while.

In sum, last year’s Wordcamp was insteresting, fun, and informative. Plus I met good people. It would be nice to do it all over again this year.

Persuasion, Selling, and a Baseball Renegade

With Game Four of the 2009 World Series now in the bottom of the fourth inning, I’m multitasking, watching the game, listening to announcer Tim McCarver and crew, and looking over notes I made recently about bond-trader-turned-journalist Michael Lewis’s stupendous book, first published in 2003, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game.

In Moneyball, Lewis chronicles the efforts of Billy Beane, renegade general manager of the Oakland As, to make his team competitive even though he had only one-quarter of the money to hire and pay salaries of players, as compared to top competitors like the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

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What is Success Anyway? Another Look

Novelist and philosopher, Alain de Botton, author of On Love: A Novel and How Proust Can Change Your Life has a talent for out-of-the-ordinary interpretations of what is visible to all. For example, he reports the following headline to describe Oedipus:

“Sex With Mom was Blinding!”

And, pity the Ferrari owner: he suggests that “the next time you see someone driving a Ferrari, don’t think of  them as greedy, but as someone incredibly vulnerable and in need of love.”

In the following presentation, courtesy of ted.org, Botton offers a kinder, gentler view of “success” and “failure.”

Even the Best of the Best can go Through Hard Times

Anyone a little bit interested in professional tennis knows Roger Federer. He is the most recent best of the best. He was untouchable. Two years ago he tied, or was about to tie, former best of the best’s Pete Sampras’s record, and was heading toward beating it.

And man was he cool. He’d play, he’d win, he was always cool and calm, poised and charming, confident, magnanimous and easygoing.

Then came the 2009.  In February, at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal, of Spain, beat Federer.

And formerly cool and collected Federer cried during the award ceremony after losing to Nadal,

Then, a couple months later, at the Sony-Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, after blowing a forehand in match against Serbian contender, Novak Djokovic, Federer threw down his racket in frustration and broke it.

Suddenly, Mr. Unbeatable-cool-and-poised-on-and-off-court was being described by tennis pundits as being a “very emotional player.” Even, “he was always a very emotional player.” Always? Really?

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How to Pitch Like a Pro

First things first: we’re not talking about pitching like Roger Clemens or anyone in major league baseball. We’re talking about pitching stories to reporters.

Most reporters are inundated with thousands of pitch phone calls and emails from business owners and publicists every day.  At some point, reporters stop reading pitches, or at best, give them very slight attention.  Against these odds, getting your message to stand out from the crowd can seem like a near impossible feat.

Ask Yourself: Why Should the Journalist’s Readers Care?

The secret is to think carefully and creatively about what you are going to pitch a reporter.  Don’t waste the reporter’s time, and most importantly, don’t waste your own.  A reporter will bite on only the most compelling of pitches.

The most important part of an email pitch is the subject line.  If this fails to capture the reporter’s attention, it is unlikely that your email will even be opened.  A truthful, but attention-grabbing subject line is essential.  The subject line should contain the most compelling reason the reporter should read further and consider writing a story o n your subject and client.

Imagine You’re Shouting Good News to a Neighbor Across the Street

When creating a powerful subject line, I tell my young associates to imagine that they are yelling some wonderful news across the street to a neighbor.  The key here is to communicate the most interesting and newsworthy part of your story in the most concise manner.

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Great moment in good service prompts loyalty and gratitude

Recently this blog spilled electronic ink on the importance of giving good service (see http://marketingandprlab.com/service-matters/ ).

And just today, I had what looked and felt like really good service from a company on which I rely  — the web hosting company, Hostgator, which makes this website visible.

What happened was this: I tried to surf over to here, Marketing and PR Lab. Instead of seeing this page, I got “page load error” and “website can’t be found” messages, and in two different browsers.

I was on a conference call at the time and so could not telephone the support line. Instead, I sent a quick cry-for-help email to Hostgator’s support dept.

Six minutes later I received an email acknowledging receipt of my message and assigning a case number.

After another six minutes a support staffer sent a second email reporting that they identified the problem, fixed it, that my site should be visible again, and to

Please check to confirm.
If you have any questions, just let us know.

In fact the site was up and running again. It was really a relief to get such a quick response and resolution. While it is certainly possible that an outage could last longer, this treatment really inspires confidence. What a difference from the company discussed in “service matters” (below), who lost a sale by being so very unresponsive.

So, as a thank-you for Hostgator’s good service, I’m posting a little banner link of theirs here, in this post, right below. They’ve been good. I appreciate it, and, if you’re looking for a good web host, hostgator should be considered.

Be in 40 places at once with this cool tool

The old question: How can you be in two places at once? Makes you think of Schrodinger’s Cat — it’s alive and dead at the same time? Hmmm. (See Wikipedia’s discussion.) Or the Firesign Theatre’s album, How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You’re Not Anywhere At All?

Where ever you may or may not be, you’re on Facebook, and Twitter, and Linked-in, and Plaxo, and who knows how many other social networking and social bookmarking sites. All or most of them have the micro-blogging function which asks you to answer the question, “What are you doing?” in 140 characters or less.

If you happen to be updating your blog, you might want to be telling your friends and followers on Twitter, Facebook, Linked-in, Plaxo, etc., that you have a new blog post, like, “My New, Slimming Burrito” or “Get Paid Interest to Carry a Balance On Your Credit Card,” or whatever.

Rather than type in your 140-character-post two, three, seven, twelve, or more times to tell each of your social networking sites, type it once into this cool little aggregating tool, Hello Text, at http://hellotxt.com, to be in 40 or more places at once.

Just join once (it’s free), link it to some or all of your social networking sites, and then enter your update at HelloTxt, and it will automatically post your one update to 40 or more different sites.

The interactivity of blogs can get your message seen faster

Should your website be a blog, or blog-based, or a regular static, web 1.0 site?

When I first heard of “blogs” a few years ago, back in the old days when they were still sometimes called “web logs,” (and a friend took a look around what’s now called the blogosphere and emailed me, thoroughly unimpressed, referring to what she saw as “blahhhgs” – though that was before politico.com was born), I thought, what is the big deal? – I’ve already got my website for my law practice, and it’s not a blog.

I created and maintained it with Microsoft FrontPage, and it’s easy to make quick, little changes using this “web-authoring” software, so why bother with a blog? It is also easy, technologically, to make not only quick, little changes to the website, but also big ones as well with the authoring software. (Question: when did “author” become a verb, and why? Is this really an improvement of the English language? Or an impoverishment of it?) Continue reading