Online Obits: Nix the Registration and Ads, Please!

Yesterday I was greatly saddened to learn of the untimely death of my longtime friend and colleague, Kevin Carmody. I knew Kevin since the early 1990s through my work with the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Kevin was one of SEJ’s founders, an incomparable and journalist, most recently writing for the Austin American-Statesman. He also was gracious enough to help make a nervous recent college grad feel not only welcome and needed but a true peer when among the stars of the profession. I can’t tell you how much I will miss his rich laugh, his cowboy boots, and his unflinching willingness and skill in tackling the most complex stories.

This morning, the American-Statesman ran a thoughtful obituary for Kevin. I was glad to see it. However, I really wish they’d removed a couple of obstacles in getting there…

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AmEx\’s Marketing Miscalculation

Sometimes the real world is simply beyond parody. Recently in the mail I received a free calculator from American Express as a gimmick to tout new discounts they’re offering in partnership with companies such as FedEx and Hertz.

Yesterday when I was paying bills I decided to try it out. Boy, that was interesting!

Okay, here’s Direct Marketing Rule 1: If you want to promote your business with a free gizmo, it had better work. If it doesn’t, you’ve just seriously undermined your own credibility and value. In other words, you’ve just spent a lot of money to sabotage yourself….

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Still Swamped…

Just a quick note, because some of you have been asking. I haven’t been posting much lately because I’ve been totally swamped with client projects. However, I will try to get a few items out this week, I do have lots I things I wish to share.

Of course, I’m always looking ahead to new projects. Here are a few quick updates on some new services I plan to debut. I’d really like your input….

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In Atlanta? Come Meet Me for Drinks This Evening!

As I mentioned earlier, this week I’m in Atlanta, looking after my brother who just had foot surgery yesterday. (The operation apparently went well – thanks to all of you who sent best wishes to my brother.)

At 6:30 tonight I’m meeting CONTENTIOUS reader Lucas Mire (of Weather.com) for drinks at Padriac’s Restaurant in the Vinings section of Atlanta. Feel free to join us if you like! I’m buying the first round for CONTENTIOUS readers.

More info…

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MP3 Cell Phone: Podcasts Edge Closer to the Masses

Just a quick note – I just read that Sony is debuting the first-ever combination mobile phone and MP3 player, the W800i. (Well, they claim it’s the first such combo device, but I haven’t verified that.)

Anyway I’m intrigued by the emergence of this kind of device, because I can see my larger vision for podcasting starting to take root in reality…

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