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Month: August 2006

New One Degree Feature Next Week

How would you build a “New Marketing” dream team for modern Internet marketing? That’s the topic we’ll be exploring next week at One Degree…

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How Digg.com Gets A Massage


I’ve got a bit of a fondness of the custom “we’ll be right back” messages some sites post when they are temporarily down for maintenance.
Last year I pointed out “Bloglines’ Plumber”:http://www.onedegree.ca/2005/06/26/i-love-the-bloglines-plumber and this spring I pointed out super-apologetic “Backpack Error Messages”:http://www.onedegree.ca/2006/05/18/helpful-error-pages. Flickr’s downtime message is so popular it’s become a “meme”:http://www.onedegree.ca/2006/07/31/the-meme-epidemic-a-case-study onto itself (do a Google search on “is having a massage”:http://www.google.com/search?q=+%22is+having+a+massage%22 if you’re not hip to the jive).

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My Conversation With Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L Jackson calling...
I’ve heard it said that good marketing, like good politics, is made good by getting personal. Good marketing touches people in a personal way, engages them and aligns a brand message with their life.
That’s why as a marketer, I was so impressed that Samuel L Jackson called me personally to invite me to see his new film, “Snakes on a Plane”:http://snakesonaplane.com/. I mean, right out of the blue, Samuel just called me up and then sent me a voice-based email to invite me to get out to see this new film, “Snakes on a Plane”:http://snakesonaplane.com/.
You wouldn’t believe it, but he asked for me by name, told me which of my friends had referred him to me and even, in his endearingly gruff way, told me to “stop marketing things that nobody wants” and to “get out of the gym” so I could see his new film, “Snakes on a Plane”:http://snakesonaplane.com/. It’s incredible that he knew what I did for a living and that I like to exercise.
Sure, the conversation was pretty one-sided and he had to get off the line before I really had a chance to ask him any questions. But the fact that he, Samuel L Jackson, called me personally to get me to see his film, “Snakes on a Plane”:http://snakesonaplane.com/, well, how could I refuse? Sure, the film looks over-hyped, low budget and poorly acted but Samuel took the time to call me personally and that’s what matters, isn’t it?

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Hard or Soft, How Do You Launch?

There seems to be a new approach to launching a website redesign. If you’ve been following the “Yahoo”:http://www.yahoo.com/ home page design since February you’ve probably seen their new site and had the option to swap between the new and old designs for several weeks.
Yahoo has only recently started forcing moving users to use the new interface but they still allows users in Canada to chose. They’ve been maintaining the two designs for a while and their home page isn’t the only example, they’re doing the same in the Yahoo Mail interface. Users can choose the flashy new AJAX interface and the old mail user interface.
Yahoo is not the only company following this soft-launch approach for site designs, Microsoft is doing the same with their MSN/Hotmail Mail and the new Live Mail Beta interface. Both mail products bring forward all of the user’s email, contacts and other personal data but just introduce a new user interface.
On the other end of the spectrum is the new “Digg”:http://www.digg.com/ v3 site redesign which took the hard launch approach. For weeks many of the top stories on the site related to the new design and how users want to maintain the previous look and feel. In some cases “Grease Monkey scripts”:http://darcasey.googlepages.com/greasemonkeydogg were developed to help re-create the older site design look and feel.

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Gmail Not In Scope? Excuse Me?

I subscribe to a great e-newsletter a friend of mine produces. The other day it landed in my “gmail”:http://www.gmail.com inbox but appeared totally out of whack. Trying to decipher it was like a scene out of the “DeVinci Code”:http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/thedavincicode/.
So I told my friend and he forwarded my email to his agency and asked if they tested email formatting in Gmail. The response was “Gmail accounts are not generally included in the scope of our projects.” Excuse me?
That’s pretty shortsighted in my view. If there are already thousands of Gmail users in only a couple of years, what happens when more email users shift to Gmail over time? What if Google moves from Beta, eliminates the invite-only option and makes Gmail public? The floodgates could easily burst open. Cracks are already appearing…
I contacted my amigos at Google for a ballpark figure for total Gmail subscribers but was very politely told to go fish. They are not at liberty to disclose even directional information (which I respect) however one can conservatively estimate Gmail adoption is rising. How many people do you know with Gmail accounts?

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