Walmart sells off German stores, leaves Germany
The company that so many people seem to like hating, Walmart, has announced an interesting change in its international line-up: according to the Wall Street Journal the company is exiting Germany by selling its 85 German stores.
Walmart is often portrayed as a steamroller of cheap foreign labor-power progress, and when I'm deep in the Midwest, it's hard not to be aware of the influence -- and popularity -- of Walmart on the local communities.
The company also has a level of confidence in itself that's sometimes breathtaking too. In Versailles, Missouri, for example, Walmart is actually building a newer Super Walmart directly behind its existing Walmart store: the two buildings co-exist and once the new one is ready, they'll just rip down the older, smaller building and pave it over as an extended parking lot. Most other companies would just add square footage to the existing retail venue.
Continue Reading "Walmart sells off German stores, leaves Germany"
Why Companies Can't Profit from the Long Tail
As a long-time evangelist for findability, the rise of search engines as a fundamental change in how we consume information, and the inherent implication that as the Internet grows you'll be able to find more and more obscure information online, I have been very interested in Chris Anderson's writings in WIRED, the resultant business book The Long Tail and its inevitable book blog.
Something about Anderson's basic premise that best sellers and truly popular items were basically a thing of the past as we all "spread out" into our larger and larger information space always seemed incongruent with what I've observed, however, as I dig through the reams of information out there on Web usage, product sales and similar.
Finally, Lee Gomes of the Wall Street Journal pegged it with his superb rebuttal of "The Long Tail" in It May Be a Long Time Before the Long Tail Is Wagging the Web, in which he provocatively writes "... you can make the case that the Internet is amplifying the role of hits, even in relation to misses, not diminishing them."
Continue Reading "Why Companies Can't Profit from the Long Tail"
Get Out Of Hell Free
This is a great entrepreneurial marketing story that should provoke creative thoughts for your business too! First, it's irreverent and pokes fun at a lot of self-important people, which I like, but perhaps even more importantly, it's a great example of how having a fun idea and executing on it can produce really great results. Oh, and did I mention that the purveyor of this idea is a friend of mine? Even better.
Yes, it's a rip-off [parody] of the "Get Out of Jail Free" Chance card from the board game Monopoly, but for Randy Cassingham, it has turned out to be a splendid way to promote his amusing site This Is True and spread the word.
How much has he spread his URL through this means? He just announced that he's shipped his millionth Get Out Of Hell Free card.
Continue Reading "Get Out Of Hell Free"
The distortions of Ben Edelman, or how Vonage isn't spyware scum
The ever-suspicious stone-turner Ben Edelman has released an interesting report explaining how yet another major computer vendor has affiliate programs and related campaigns that are picked up by spyware vendors and, through multiple levels of indirection and redirection, generate revenue for the spyware vendors from the vendor. This time the accused party is Vonage, the troubled VOIP company.
There's more here than meets the eye, however. I've heard Ben explain his basic research methodology at the Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas earlier this year and was struck by how phenomenally difficult it is for affiliates and other marketers to control the dissemination and evolution of their campaigns once they get into the affiliate / pay per [action] space.
The real issue, however, is how reporting on this issue again demonstrates the how both bloggers and the media bend and distort stories as they travel from blog to media to blog, round and around. Let me show you what I mean...
Continue Reading "The distortions of Ben Edelman, or how Vonage isn't spyware scum"
Maybe affiliate marketing isn't such a good idea after all?
I'm here in humid Orlando, Florida for the Affiliate Summit, along with over a thousand other people. I'll be giving a presentation about blogging, talking both about how it can help companies with affiliate programs connect with their affiliates and how individual affiliates can try to stand out from the pack by blogging about the products or services for which they're affiliates.
But one topic I am also going to raise that I believe is worth some serious discussion in the blogosphere is whether there's ever any reason for someone to actually become an affiliate.
Continue Reading "Maybe affiliate marketing isn't such a good idea after all?"
How I got a free iPod video from Apple Computer
Alright, I didn't really get a free iPod, it's more like they lost the unit I sent in for repair and are replacing it, but I wanted to share the story since everyone likes to write about bad customer service experiences and it might be refreshing to hear about a good one.
About four months ago I bought a 30GB iPod Video for testing and because my first gen iPods were getting very long in the tooth (but still work great!). I rarely used it as a portable device, however, and instead preferred to use it hooked up to my stereo to gain easy access to my entire music library, all 18GB or so.
When I did unplug it and take it with me on a walk or ride, however, I noticed that the battery life was far inferior to my many year old first gen iPods. So I started to try and identify exactly how it retained battery charge. I figured out that my iPod, fully charged, remained fully charged for about 24-30 hours, then lost all of its charge and was dead as the proverbial doornail even though it was off and the hold switch was engaged to ensure it couldn't accidentally turn on again.
Continue Reading "How I got a free iPod video from Apple Computer"
Is that photograph really going to work?
Most of us bloggers think in terms of words rather than images. It goes with the territory, I think, given that most of the smart blogs are written, not recorded, videotaped, or even produced in a graphics editor.
If you're working on a marketing campaign, advertisement, or considering adding some photography on your site -- a portrait of either yourself, someone you know or a model -- is the picture going to convey the image and idea you desire, or will it detract from the site?
As a photographer myself (see my portfolio at Colorado Portraits), I think a lot about portrait work myself, which is why when my friend and colleague Don Crowther of 101 Public Relations wrote about this topic, I was darn interested in seeing what he had to say.
Continue Reading "Is that photograph really going to work?"
Elsewhere in my
Latest Entries at
The Business Blog