The RSS Imperative

There’s been a huge amount of discussion about America Online and Yahoo’s plans to start using a system that gives preferential treatment to email messages from companies that pay for delivery. As is typical, there are arguments both for and against the idea of “email postage.”

Some of the arguments “against” may be missing the point.

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Snarky Doesn’t Sell

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the push for mass adoption of business blogging, and how the generally snarky tone that pervades the blogosphere would work out in conjunction. I started to write an article explaining why snarky will kill sales materials, and how it may not even be a good idea for a conversational business blogging voice (even if you’re naturally sarcastic and cynical).

I then started to think about what really bothered me about the whole snark thing. And it boils down to this: some people are trying to be “blog snarky” when it’s not really who they are offline.

They’re not naturally sarcastic and cynical, they’re just pretending to be. So they end up saying things online they would never say to a person’s face, thereby dragging down the level of discourse just a bit more.

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This Article Rocks… I Guarantee It!

Copywriting 101

There you have it. You just can’t go wrong reading this article.

I’ve guaranteed your satisfaction. Those are powerful words, right?

But what does my guarantee really mean? What if you think this article is actually marginal at best? There’s no money to return. And I can’t give you back your valuable time if you feel it was wasted.

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Long Tail Wind

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the main theme of a business book gain such huge traction – before the book is even released – than The Long Tail by Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson.

In case you’ve not caught this hugely prevalent meme, I’ll let Chris explain it himself:

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How to Influence People
(And Sleep Well at Night)

Senores y Senoras, nosotros tenemos mas influencia con sus hijos que tu tiene… pero los queremos.

Translation: “Ladies and Gentlemen, we have more influence over your children than you do… but we love them.”

I always thought this introduction to the Jane’s Addiction song Stop on 1990’s Ritual de lo Habitual was poignant. It’s an interesting way to open an album, but the message is also important.

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“Kids Eat Free” and Other Irresistible Offers

Copywriting 101

The sign says it all – “Kids Eat Free Every Monday and Tuesday.” It’s out in front of a Mexican food restaurant on my way home.

That’s called an offer. It’s not the restaurant’s main offering (which is trading Mexican food for money). As far as that goes, this is probably the third best (out of four) Mexican food joints in my hometown.

But every Monday and Tuesday night, the place is packed. They’ve made an appealing offer that caused people to take action.

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