Random observations about recent events First, let me say I deserve three lashes with a wet noodle for not blogging over the past few weeks. I've never gone so long without an entry and my excuse is just that - an excuse. I've been traveling a lot (and carrying only my Blackberry), plus we bought and set up a second home (which was quite time consuming), so my blog went on hiatus. Hopefully, it won't happen again. Gosh, I do hope you readers were able to get some work done despite my absence. Anyway, there has been so much in the news lately that's interesting, instead of focusing on one subject today, I'll take on several. First, I'm so glad Katie Couric has now taken over the CBS Evening News. We can finally quit speculating about whether a person with ovaries can actually read a teleprompter to criticizing her because she doesn't always do so. Gimme a break. Would you Rather (ha!) she sit stonefaced pretending to be someone other than the perky, cute boomer that she is? Who was really surprised that she came out from behind the anchor desk to do interviews (and show off her gams)? She's Katie Couric. That's what Katie does. It's a marketing strategy, an attempt to make the news relevant to people who might watch morning TV, but not a news show. Let's move on already. YouTube. Wow. I feel like an Internet neophyte because I haven't posted a video yet. I like to have as much fun as the next nobody, but I just don't understand the appeal of watching total strangers do stupid things, even though I do it too sometimes. It's a guilty pleasure, I suppose. I still marvel at the Coke and Mentos fountains and I've done my share of passing on the dancing comic. But the skeptic in me has a hard time believing my chain isn't being yanked a lot of the times. I guess it's hard to believe that real nobodies actually make some of these videos just to entertain themselves and whoever else comes across them. It won't be long before Youtube becomes a huge playground for marketers hungry to to make their mark. Meanwhile, it's as good a place to waste time as any. I guess you've heard about how Facebook owners are getting their underwear in a knot over the new RSS feeds that were added. It's another example of solving a problem that didn't exist. I agree with the thousands of college students who yelled "Get the hell off our space!" The very idea of making it possible to proactively send a notice whenever someone's Facebook profile changes is absurd. Essentially, it's mass-e-mailing thousands of people to let them know that Jimmy and Tonia broke up is not only a waste of the technology, it can cause extreme and unnecessary embarrassment. Moreover, how irritating would it be to get several notices a day about things you don't care about? Can you say irrelevant? That's what RSS on Facebook is. Finally, I'm still chuckling over a conversation I had with a CEO of a small company who wanted to know what I thought about his company name. I won't further embarrass him by citing it here, but the net is this: I had to find a diplomatic way to say, "Are you frickin' crazy?" He thought it was so clever to name his company a word, except he purposely misspelled the word because he thought it would make the name more interesting. Let's say it was LIVE. Only he spelled it LIIIIIIVE because he had the idea that each of the i's stood for something they do. Sometimes, people need saving from themselves. I told him that 1) nobody would ever be able to find his web site; and 2) he'd irritate more people than he'd attract. He'll never have enough marketing dollars to go around knocking on every door in America to explain the name. He didn't get it. He thought he could "PR" his way into fame. I absolutely love PR, but even I wouldn't take on that challenge! Lesson: use some common sense when naming a company or product. It doesn't matter that you love the name if nobody else does.
Are you relevant? Here's how to know: if you're absolutely certain what you offer really matters and you've won the mindshare and heartshare of your clients and potential clients, you "get" the SPUD Factor. SPUD stands for Strategic, Proactive, Universal, and Dynamic. If you aren't sure how relevant you are, or you fear becoming a SPUD Dud, this blog's for you. Find out what it takes to remain relevant in the face of change. Learn from good - and bad - examples how relevancy drives longevity.