Archive for September, 2006


Saturday Reading with Jeremiah

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Stuff I’m reading/watching this fine Saturday, not all of it is related to Web Strategy, but hey, it’s Saturday!

Aside from this post, what are you reading? leave a comment.

SteelPixel Web Hosting and their No-Advertising Model (Word-of-Mouth-Marketing)

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Meet Josh and Chris of the Web 2.0 Show and Steel Pixel
I really like Josh and Chris, they’re the hosts for the popular podcast “The Web 2.0 Show” which I’m subscribed to. I first met Josh at the Future of Web Apps conference (my day 1 and day 2 notes), I heard a familiar voice behind me. After a few hours I realized they were directly behind me. I few times I accidentally blinded them with my camera flash while I was trying to take picture of folks asking questions on the mic. If you’re a web developer, designer, or marketer in the Web 2.0 space, I highly recommend subscribing toe their show, they have quite a few interesting guests.

Listening to your marketplace
Recently, we’ve been covering some issues with Andy’s web host Dreamhost (I’m also hosted with them, but I’ve few issues, other than the outage a few months ago). Josh and Chris have a business in addition to the Web 2.0 show called Steel Pixel. They contacted me via email with an offer for Andy and I to take up two months of hosting for free and a discount for anyone else that reads my blog, or just wants to switch.

Here’s the comment they left:

Jeremiah,

I am sorry to hear that your friend is having such a tough time with hosting. We (The Web 2.0 Show podcast guys) run a hosting business and we would like to invite both you and Andy to give it a try (two months free). We would like to also offer a 10% discount to all your blog readers, they can just use the discount code “switch” when they sign up.

We try to keep a very human feel to our hosting, we use IM and campfire to allow real time chat with customers. We don’t really spend money on advertising because we feel the dollars a customer spends with us should improve the services we provide them. We are very much a fan of “Creating passionate users” :) . You can read more on our ideas at our blog.

They don’t advertise
A few times on their show, I’ve heard them talk about they don’t like marketing, which is interesting as Word-of-mouth is indeed a form of marketing. It appears they’ve modified this statement to suggest they don’t like advertising. For them, this appears to be a very successful way for getting the word out. Harnessing the blog platform and network is indeed a strong way to get the word out for folks that need web hosting.

Small community of passionate users
Josh also told me via email that by having a smaller group of clients, they could provide greater service and support. He raves that his client base tends to be well informed and technologically savvy that they are usually able to self-support or ask intelligent questions. Perhaps another benefit of word of mouth marketing among a specific technical audience, you attract only a certain niche.

Josh, Chris, great job listening to the market, learning how to strategically insert your message via a comment, and building a successful marketing and business model. Brilliant!

Marketing Sherpa Reader’s Choice Blog & Podcasting (Add to your Feedreader)

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Michael sent me this link to the Marketing Sherpa Reader’s Choice Blog & Podcasting Awards 2006 awards, very cool list.

Best B-to-B Marketing Blog

Best Blog on Email Marketing

Best Blog on Search Marketing

Best Blog on Advertising

Best Blog on Marketing to a Specific Consumer Demographic

Best blog on Affiliate Marketing

Best Blog on the Topic of PR

Best Podcast on the topic of Marketing

Best Blog on Small Business Marketing

Best Foreign-Language Blog

Best Blog on General Marketing Topics

Honorable Mentions: Five More Blogs That Deserve Your Attention

Why Alexa is not Worthless

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John thinks that Alexa is worthless but it’s not. Like a survey it’s a sample of an audience, while it may not be completely accurate, there is no other tool out there that can provide measurement across all sites as we don’t have access server analytics on all websites.

My former manager explained that analytics in themselves are pretty useless, they vary from one system to another. The rule is to follow and look for trends, patterns, spikes and valleys and how they tie to events on the websites or around the industry.

John, while it may not be very accurate (and a bit easy to manipulate) it’s not worthless, as it’s the best we have.

Playing with features on new Camera (This is not Photoshop altered)

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Green Bottle

Taken by Shirley with the new Canon PowerShot SD700 IS ($350)

This photo was not altered in photoshop, it’s a camera feature called “Color Accent”

Pretty cool, once you access the settings, a small box appears on the screen which will help you to select the color (like an eyedropper feature in photoshop)

Once you select that, any color in your photo that is close to that will appear in color, the rest won’t. Kind of like a ‘mask’ in photoshop.

I’m amazed at how camera technology changes so fast in one year. Oh, and the 2gig memory card is only $35, sheeesh. (oh, and there are no easily available Hitachi cameras I could find)

Update: This is funny, HP camera’s have a slimming effect, so anyone can look thinner than they really are.

User/Citizen/Amateur/Participant/People/Consumer created content to increase by 2010

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Great article User-Generated Web Content Will Grow Rapidly Through 2010 that reports the following:

  • The size of downloads/views are estimated to eclipse 1.1 exabytes of data by 2010, with uploads growing to more than 9.1 petabytes.
  • 23% of the dozens of UCG sites studied currently support mobile access, with others making announcements for this support in the near future.
  • YouTube holds the highest market share for video, but MySpace has the most visitors.

I heard on the Joseph Jaffe podcast that by 2010, that 50% of all media will have been created by Users. By the way, I don’t know the correct term for content created by ‘the people’ so I just said

“User/Citizen/Amateur/Citizen/People/Consumer”