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February 2007

Getting Press at your next tradeshow


Rachel Meranus of PR Newswire has a good column at Entrepreneur magazine with some pretty sound advice on how to get noticed by the press at your next tradeshow.

There are a few basic and cheap to free tips she left out.

1. Ask the show manager if they have a “new product” or “first time exhibitor” show case. More and more shows are doing this for one simple fact. The number one reason buyers attend tradeshows is to find new products and services. The same is true for the press. Get your product in these cases and get noticed. Oh and some showcases are judged. Want to get press at a tradeshow?

Win an award and it doesn’t matter how big or small your company is; you will get press. Not to mention you can talk about that award to every potential client and in all of your future advertising.

2. Publicize your participation in any advertising you do. Most trade magazines and show producers cooperate on this stuff. So it is really easy to add a stock “see us at BlogWorld & New Media Expo booth #123” widget to your ads. Any trade journalist worth his salt reads his own magazine as well as his competitors and will see these ads.

3. Prepare press kits and leave them in the press room. If you do you will be part of about 10% of all exhibitors who take advantage of this very common program. Any major tradeshow will have a press room. Again any good reporter will be perusing these kits for real news. An innovative new product or service is good copy.

4. If you have been thinking about running ads in any trade magazine or journal contact them and inquire about this several months before the show. Editors and Publishers will always tell you the editorial side is completely separate from the ad side of the business. Baloney!

Worst case it sure can’t hurt to let a magazine know you are considering spending money with them.

5. Many tradeshows particularly large ones will have special programs to attract international buyers and press to the show. For select major shows this is supported by the US Department of Commerce. Key international buyers and press have part or all of their travel expenses paid by the show organizer or sponsoring association. Find out if the shows you attend have a program like this. They will usually include a guided tour of exhibitors who have signed up for the program, and some sort of reception. Get on that tour, and attend that reception. These are usually free or very low cost and can land you some nice international press coverage. These programs also sometimes include an “export directory” again usually cheap or free. Most exhibitors fail to take advantage of these and the ones that do stand out.

One more related note, some show managers and/or associations will ask exhibitors to “nominate” the international buyers and press that they are going to invite to the show. Want to make a lifelong friend of a foreign journalist?

Nominate him to be a part of this program and make sure he knows you put his name in the hat. If he gets a free or discounted trip due to your efforts, you are going to get some kind of coverage from that magazine.

6. Rachel suggests contacting your show manager and finding out what their PR plans are and trying to tag along. That is a great idea but I will take it one step further. Send your show manager and/or the sponsoring association your press releases particularly releases related to the show, celebrities or industry experts appearing in your booth, education programs being held at the show, or your industry’s hot button issues. Find out if your show has a PR company and send the releases directly to them as well.

Many show producers have to beg exhibitors to get stories out of them, or find out on site some celebrity is appearing in their booth. Show managers are looking for stories to tell the press and they have lots of press who will run every release a show manager gives them. The same old “we have sold more booths than ever, we expect more buyers than ever” release is just plain boring.

Quigo in the news


The NYT has a nice write up on Quigo today. CEO Michael Yavonditte seems to think the door is open to pass up Yahoo as #2 in the contextual ad market.

“We are gaining a lot of share,” said Michael Yavonditte, the chief executive of Quigo. “This has become a multibillion-dollar industry with no clear second-place company. There’s a lot of opportunity for other companies to put their own stamp on it.”and mainly points out the opportunity for a #2 in the contextual ad market below Google their business model.

While this is a positive piece I couldn’t help letting this comment from ad exec Jason Klein get a little under my skin.

said Jason Klein, co-chief executive of Special Ops Media, an interactive ad agency.

“Because traditional networks are blind, I’ve always assumed that many of the places where your ads come up are on B- and C-level sites,” Mr. Klein said. “With Quigo, you know it’s on ESPN.com, not Joe Schmo’s sports blog. It’s a premium site, and you’re willing to spend more money.”

I wonder how much traffic you have to get before you surpass “Joe Schmo” status for Mr. Klein. Is this blog good enough?

How about this one?
Others blogging this story: Seth Godin (who knows more about this stuff than I ever will) thinks it was more than just an insensitive comment by Mr. Klein

So, does it matter where the ad runs if it works?

Media buyers sure think so. Jason Klein at Special Ops Media says, “With Quigo, you know it’s on ESPN.com, not Joe Schmo’s sports blog.”

I can understand why a media buyer would say this. I can understand why Jason Clement at Carat said, “We had essentially pulled all of those big advertisers off of the ad networks [Google, Yahoo] by the end of the year.” After all, the media buyers need to demonstrate that they are using their hard-earned intuition to actually earn their commissions.

But if I were one of those ‘big advertisers,’ I’d think really hard about whether Jason is doing me a service. The hard work of running contextual ads is testing. Run an ad, test the landing page, see what works. If it works, do it more. If it doesn’t work, do it less.

So I guess I wasn’t just being sensitive. Read all of Seth’s post. You don’t want to miss his killer close.

Andrew Goodman takes it a step further:

Seth, both the intuition and the data point towards there being nothing inherently wrong with Google’s approach to matching ads with content. No, the program isn’t perfect, but placing high-CPM ads on big brand sites just because I want to appear respectable isn’t exactly a challenge. It’s more of the same: take too much of the client’s money, and waste it, and claim the blue-chippiness of that approach as a benefit.

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LA Times sees value of blogging


Kevin Roderick at LA Observed put up a very interesting post yesterday that includes a memo from LA Times Business Editor Russ Stanton:

From: Stanton, Russ
Sent: Friday, February 23, 2007 1:05 PM
To: yyeditall
Subject: Newspaper/website update, Ch. 2
February 23, 2007 Training: The staff-wide Internet 101 sessions will begin Monday, March 5, in Los Angeles and Washington, DC. The masthead got a preview of the presentation last week and it has since been tweaked and shortened. Next week, you’ll be getting an email from Editorial Hiring & Development telling you how to sign up for one of the sessions.

This is a great development for the LA Times and for new media. It demonstrates the the LA times understands that blogs and new media are going to be very important to its business model going forward.

At the same time it is just the latest validation of New Media as a legitimate journalistic medium.

Read Roderick’s post for the whole Memo.  /HT to The Blogging Journalist

Thats right internet TV


CNN Money’s article today says Web TV is real, has lots of viewers, and is making some serious coin.

major media companies, TV networks, and production studios are starting to migrate shows and movies to iTunes, their own websites, and other places online. “You will see an increase in consumption,” says Disney-ABC TV’s executive VP for digital media, Albert Cheng, “because you are opening the pipe by which consumers can get their shows.”

Call it TV 2.0, Net TV, or whatever you like: The building blocks of a new Web video industry are falling into place.

New forms of programming and distribution promise viewers an infinite menu of content, new advertising models are in the works to funnel all that new viewing behavior into streams of cash, and new search technologies are stepping up to, as Adelson says, “help you choose what you want to watch, when you want to watch it, and where you want to watch it.”

For those of us old enough to remember the days before cable, MTV and satellite this is will be a similar type of revolutionary experience only multiplied by 1,000.

If you were a teacher and porn popped up on your classroom computer….


What would you do?

Imagine you know next to nothing about computers. You’re a substitute teacher for a seventh grade class. There’s a computer in the classroom and, knowing you’re going to be sitting there for a while, you ask a fulltime teacher if you can use it. He logs you in with his password and tells you not to shut it off because you couldn’t get back on.

Not that you have a clue about this stuff, but that computer is running Windows 98 and the outdated Internet Explorer 6.02. Its filtering and anti-virus software have expired, and it has no anti-spyware software.

You step out of the classroom for a moment. When you get back the kids are clustered around the computer, checking out hairstyle websites. But one is actually a link to porn sites, and it loads a Trojan onto the unprotected computer.

Suddenly, pop-ups start appearing — X-rated popups.

You start to panic. You’re not supposed to shut the machine and you don’t realize you can just shut the monitor. You try to block the screen, but — like normal seventh graders — the kids are curious and pushy.

You run to the teacher’s lounge for help. Finally you get some and the crisis ends. But the kids have seen the porn. They tell their parents. The parents tell the school.

You tell the school administrators what happened, but they don’t bother (or don’t know how) to check the computer for the adware you described. Instead they fire you.

You have to read the whole very strange article at USA today.

USA today reports after being convicted of multiple felony charges Ms. Amero is awaiting sentencing and facing up to 40 years in prison. I do not know the facts of this case so I am willing to be convinced otherwise but 40 years for accidentally downloading porn on a classroom computer sounds like something out of a crazy dream or bad movie, not to mention far beyond excessive.

What I will say is that a person lacking basic computer skills is unqualified to be a middle school teacher in today’s world.

On a side note Ms. Amero’s husband and friends have their own blog set up for her legal defense fund.

Download Squad says the school Principal and Superintendent :

should both be charged with criminal negligence for allowing the Kelly Middle School’s lack of Internet-security to ruin the life of an innocent woman.

State V. Amero blog has more.

That mysterious RSS


Rick Klau has a fantastic post up at the FeedBurner blog today.

Some interesting tidbits from the post:

FeedBurner is publishing 604,533 feeds on behalf of 347,000 bloggers, podcasters and commercial publishers,

On any given day, FeedBurner sees more than 3,000 clients capable of reading all kinds of feeds, including podcasts and video feeds.

Is there any hope of these reports becoming standardized any time soon?

The FeedBurner folks have posted a great glossary of terms and have a chart showing how some of the leading web based aggregators report their statistics.


MyYahoo!, Google, and Bloglines Dominate Audience Engagement for Web-Based Aggregators

Today’s key takeaway is that feeds represent only one aspect of a publisher’s overall content consumption.

If you are half as confused about RSS, what these statistics mean and how to make sense of all the different aggregators out there I highly recomend you read the whole thing.

Why does the interweb make people mean?


This isn’t just a blogging phenomenon; you see it anywhere people interact digitally, message boards, chat rooms, MMORPG’s text messaging, etc.

The International Herald Tribune ran a story two days ago examining what causes people to react differently and say things online that they would never say to someone face to face, or even over the telephone.

Flaming has a technical name, the “online disinhibition effect,” which psychologists apply to the many ways people behave with less restraint in cyberspace.

Who knew?

In a 2004 article in the journal CyberPsychology & Behavior, John Suler, a psychologist at Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, suggested that several psychological factors lead to online disinhibition: the anonymity of a Web pseudonym; invisibility to others; the time lag between sending an e- mail message and getting feedback; the exaggerated sense of self from being alone; and the lack of any online authority figure. Dr. Suler notes that disinhibition can be either benign — when a shy person feels free to open up online — or toxic, as in flaming.

The emerging field of social neuroscience, the study of what goes on in the brains and bodies of two interacting people, offers clues into the neural mechanics behind flaming.

This work points to a design flaw inherent in the interface between the brain’s social circuitry and the online world. In face-to-face interaction, the brain reads a continual cascade of emotional signs and social cues, instantaneously using them to guide our next move so that the encounter goes well. Much of this social guidance occurs in circuitry centered on the orbitofrontal cortex, a center for empathy.

This cortex uses that social scan to help make sure that what we do next will keep the interaction on track.

Socially artful responses emerge largely in the neural chatter between the orbitofrontal cortex and emotional centers like the amygdala that generate impulsivity. But the cortex needs social information — a change in tone of voice, say — to know how to select and channel our impulses. And in e-mail there are no channels for voice, facial expression or other cues from the person who will receive what we say.

And I thought it was just pencil necked geeks feeling free to flame people and act like jerk offs because they felt safe behind their computers.

Seriously though there must be some progression from face to face interaction, to telephone conversations, to a digital communication.

Ever notice some people will say things over the telephone that they would never say in person. Even still that rarely approaches some of the vile and down right mean things people will say and do online.

HT/ Techdirt (you have to read the comments under the post). Some funny stuff. Which raises another point, a really good flame is usually pretty funny.
Anyone have a particularly great flame or flame war to share?

Another blogger enters fray of Presidential Politics


John Hawkins of Right Wing News has announced he is now consulting for GOP Congressman Duncan Hunter’s Presidential campaign via TCV Media. Here are details from his post at RWN:

On February 3, Nathan Tabor from TCV Media got in touch with me and asked if I’d be interested in consulting for the Duncan Hunter campaign. We bantered back and forth, came to a basic understanding that Saturday, and then finalized the deal the next day. Long story short, TCV Media brought me on board to be their point person in building up buzz for Duncan Hunter online.

Since I am a blogger who’s doing some consulting on the side, not a consultant doing blogging to get his name out there, I did attach a condition to my employment that Nathan was willing to go along with:

#1) I agreed to work a maximum of 3 months for the campaign — which should be, in my estimation anyway, plenty of time to give Hunter a huge boost in name recognition and prominence in the blogosphere.

Additionally, while I am working on the campaign, I’m not planning to blog about any of the 2008 Republican contenders on RWN unless a story too big to ignore hits the wires. That’s because I don’t want to come across like a shill for Duncan if I eviscerate one of his opponents or talk him up. Additionally, if I’m done by May of 2007, at the latest, it’s not as if it will be too late to get in on the serious 2008 discussions.

Being a San Diego Native I wish John and Congressman Hunter the best of luck

Working for a newspaper starting to look a lot like blogging.


This was my first visit to Matt Waite’s blog, but if this post is any indication he is my kind of journalist and an exception to the rule. Waite is a staff writer for The St. Petersburg Times.

As he points out in his post he isn’t a web editor or an audio producer. Last month however he had an idea to compile and edit a slew of voicemails from St. Pete Times readers responding to a recent story about a local girl who was suffering from hiccups for the last three weeks. Over 300 people offered cures for the stricken girls hiccups.
He pitched the idea to the web editors but everyone else was too busy to do the work. Matt did it himself and got it up on the papers website. Matt’s instincts were right. It is great content. I also noticed a follow up to the story is still on the front page of the papers website.

Matt Waite may work for an old media newspaper but he has new media instincts.

Others blogging. Invisible Inkling asks:

What exactly, is your job description as a journalist anyway?

To inform? To tell a story? To entertain?

Matt gained another fan at Webomatica:

The content contained in a newspaper is totally interesting to me. It’s the dead tree media – the delivery mechanism – that I despise

and still another at Innovation in College Media.

Waite and Sholin are part of a new breed of journalists who are going to go far in this business because of their ability and willingness to adapt

Blog to the Chief follow up


Lawrence Bush the facilities and events director at The Dole Institute has posted video of the panel discussion here.

I would like to thank Lawrence, Bill Lacy, end everyone else at The Dole Institute for hosting us and particularly Professor Perlmutter for putting the event together and moderating the panel.

As for the bloggers; all I can say is Wow! No matter your political views or interest I encourage you to watch the video and am confident you will be as proud and impressed as I was at how well they represented the blogosphere.

Jerome, Erick, Patrick, Scott and Joan absolutely know as much about modern politics as any beltway insider. What you will see in the video is really just scratching the surface. Sitting at the bar after the event I felt like I was at some post election reunion where the winners and losers get together over a beer to reminisce over the highlights and lowlights of the recent campaigns and which political stars inspired them and offered hope for a better future.

The animosity and hyper-partisan sniping that the political blogosphere is famous for at least for this evening was set aside. This night everyone agreed new media offered new hope for our political process. Certainly not a guarantee but hope.
I certainly felt privileged to be among this group of patriotic Americans who couldn’t disagree more with each others politics but who all deeply loved their country.

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