Wordsmathering

aandm.jpgSeems there should be a word like wordsmathering to describe the blending in of new words into our language, a cross between wordsmithing and an activity like slathering frosting on cake, smushing the gooey stuff all around to cover the surface.  aj.jpgaj.jpg

Well, the folks at the American Dialect Society have been busy, tallying votes for THE word of the year, and the emergent victor was subprime, undoubtedly winning for familiarity factor, with its ceaselessly being bandied about in the press.  Many of the words nominated for this distinction reflect current news events, such as last year’s winner to be plutoed, to pluto, to be demoted or devalued,following the debate about whether this was a necessary humiliation for one of our galaxy’s fondest celebrity bodies.  Others are great tongue-in-cheek social commentary, such as “Cambodian accessory,” accessoryfrom that must-have item to sling on the hip of a different celebrity body, aka, Angelina Jolie, who is never photographed these days with her gel-styled haired adopted Cambodian kid and other cuties in tow.

It is a list worth following, as many of the words proposed during the almost two decade the Society’s been assessing these words has become accepted into common parlance.  For example, 1990’s entries included politically correct, PC, adhering to principles of left-wing social concern, from ’95: starter marriage, a first marriage not expected to be the last, and 1996’s Ebonics, African-American vernacular English.  Yet other, though quite amusing, slunk into oblivion (or maybe I just travel in the wrong circles), like crotchfruit, a child or children, and whale-tail, the appearance of thong or g-string underwear above the waistband, from 1995. 

Published in: on January 14, 2008 at 7:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Head for them hills, an email glut’s a comin’!

JupiterResearch has predicted that e-mail marketing will double by 2012. The amount that companies are forrun-for-the-hills.jpgecast to spend by 2012 on filling your electronic mail boxes is $2.1 billion, meaning they are going to ramp up double what you’re currently now weeding through!

The silver lining, if there is one, for the far majority of us who already feel inundated by TMI, is that 1) no trees were directly harmed in the production of all these communiqués, and 2) much of that spending will focus on retention e-mail, which should mean that it’s mostly opted in to begin with, and if a company’s smart, they will make sure the emails are appreciated somehow rather than just be that much more trash.

run for the hills

Published in: on January 11, 2008 at 5:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Today’s topic is marketing…little bits and pieces, bytes and morsels. I’ll through an a few quasi-philosphical musings for good measure.

I’ve been thinking that marketing success or succeeding at the game of life in general takes a lot of trial and error. Fortunately for most people in the marketing biz, we have a healthy curiousity that should propel us to the top our game, and help us ferret out new ways of navigating the ever-growing sea of solutions and managing the often bewildering technological options that float up to the surface during the process. My personal way of coping is to learn a teeny bit every day, carving out a healthy but not grossly exagerated block of time to try to uncover new tools, and figure out how to apply them.

In this struggle to keep current, it’s often helpful to get a little assist from time to time, by a knowledgeable friend or professional. For example, a virtual friend I’ve encountered has inspired me, along with my local buddy, to get blogging. The two of them together are helping me understand out RSS feeds, for instance. Discoveries in one area often carry over into another.

Here’s an interesting observation. I find that the addictive little habit of doing Soduko puzzles has helped me with both focus and general problem solving. It’s as if being so right-brained by nature (yes, left-handed, too), the discipline of these logic challenges force me to quiet my tangental thoughts and think a little more doggedly to problem solve. And perhaps it’s the surprising joy of learning that I’m improving on my ability to solve progressively difficult Sodukos that has given me a little more goal orientation in other areas.

In the interest of learning, organizing and sharing information, I’ve been compiling a marketing terms glossary for a while and it will be posted before too long on my website that’s under development. It’s chock full of fun terms like churn, B2C, white papers, etc. Today doing a little surfing I found this great link for a similar site…It’s for EmailLabs’ list of commonly-used terms or Email Marketing Glossary & Terms. I also would recommend their Email Marketing Best Practices & Quick Tips page. A word to the wise, anyone doing email campaigns should figure out the optimal frequency for email communiques, because when you start getting to the point where you find some emails are being opened without being read, you’ve got a good indication you need to consider consolidating your messages to reduce frequency.

Here are some interesting trends concerning companies’ use of new media types for marketing, from another site I like [BtoB Magazine (subtitled the Magazine for Marketing Strategists), which you can subscribe to in a digital format free, at the bottom of their home page]:

Top tier, or most important new media types that companies are investing in include “proprietary Web sites, e-mail marketing, online ads, search engine optimization, search engine marketing and webinars. The middle tier includes blogs, RSS feeds, podcasts and video on demand. The bottom tier consists of wikis, mobile, viral video, social networks and Second Life.” Now there are some new terms…viral video…yes, and hhmmnn…need to investigate what that Second Life thing is…wonder where I could get one (sorry, sleep-deprived detour!).

Tune in again soon for the next little foray into marketing murkiness, and hopefully some more clarity and perhaps even some inspiration!

Published in: on January 4, 2008 at 8:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Social Networking…Facebook facing the future

Six Degrees of SeparationFacebook has officially been named by PRNews as one of the top brands of 2007.  Looks like some professionals are giving it a trial spin for business/networking use…
“The social networking site hit its stride this year, becoming a must-join among business people. It was able to address users’ concerns about privacy swiftly and managed to preserve its loyal following, as well as snag a $240 million investment from Microsoft.” http://www.prweekus.com/Book-of-lists-2007/article/100023/

Update: For a fascinating forum of people weighing in on social networking, see Matt Keegan’s 2/18/08 blog entry and responses,  I Don’t Want To Be Your Friend

My predictions are that during 2008, Facebook will enjoy even greater popularity, rapidly growing in use by an older demographic, as parents and grandparents climb on board in an effort to keep up with family activities, relatives in other states, and kids off at college.

One interesting new user group is boaters, who have a virtual community online at Facebook called “Boatbook,” which might serve as a floating post-office for live-aboard boaters. Another interesting phenomenon on the site is “Six Degrees Of Separation – The Experiment” which during the first week of the New Year boasted over 3.5 million members. It’s a sure sign of people needing to belong and connect in an increasing fragmented but shrinking modern world. One of my friends on the site sweetly puts his hometown simply as “Earth.”

Published in: on January 4, 2008 at 8:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Eyetracking

Blundering around the internet is a lovely distraction, and it’s nice when you learn something or discover a great new site to bookmark with the optimistic if sometimes unrealistic intention of revisiting that site.

As a professional marketer, a novice webdesigner, and someone who’s interested in psychology I find the evolving study of eyetracking fascinating.

A nice serendipitous discovery today was the site:

Alertbox: Current Issues in Web Usability (at http://www.useit.com/alertbox/), which notes:

“So what are the top three design elements that draw in the most eyes ?(based on eye tracking studies):

  1. Plain Text
  2. Faces
  3. Cleavage and ‘Private’ Body Parts”

I wonder if they do gender-based eye tracking?

Published in: on January 4, 2008 at 8:22 pm  Leave a Comment