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Archive for December, 2006

What, Me Worry About Spam Filters?

December 18th, 2006 by Bob Bly

In the 1960s, Mad Magazine spokesperson Alfred E. Neumann made famous the saying: “What, me worry?”

In the 21st century, one of the things e-marketers worry about is e-mail deliverability.

Some e-mail marketers devote large amounts of time, attention, and money to making sure there e-mail marketing messages are not blocked by spam filters and other mechanisms interfering with deliverability.

Their reasoning is that if an e-mail isn’t delivered, it doesn’t get opened, read, or responded to.

But some of the e-mails they product are so sterile … and look so odd (e.g., “f-r-e-e instead of “free”) … they have (to me) little impact.

On the other hand, some e-mail marketers just write the strongest copy possible — as if they are saying “spam filters be damned!”

Which school are you in?

Do you worry about spam filters and content filters when composing e-mail marketing messages?

Or do you ignore all the “rules” of e-mail deliverability and still get great click through rates and sales?


Category: Online Marketing | 62 Comments »

No Jobs for Us Over 50 Folks!

December 13th, 2006 by Bob Bly

In an interview with Bottom Line Personal (1/1/07, p. 7), Richard Bolles, author of “What Color Is Your Parachute,” says companies don’t want to hire workers over age 50, even though age discrimination is illegal, for fear the will:

1. Lack energy.
2. Retire soon.
3. Strain the company’s pension or health care plan.
4. Demand hefty salaries.

As an old guy myself, I am increasingly prejudiced against youth. I am hesitant to hire workers under 30, for fear that they may be:

1. Too inexperienced.
2. Immature.
3. Lacking in knowledge and track record that can only be gained through years of working in their industry or profession.
4. Ignorant and arrogant–there are things they should know but don’t, and worse, they don’t know that they don’t know.

Who’s justified in their fears of hiring workers who are too young or old?

Bolles? Bly? Neither?

Is there any truth to any of the above fears of hiring the young or old?

Are there advantages to each age group that Bolles and I don’t acknowledge?


Category: General | 146 Comments »

Another Nail in Print’s Coffin

December 12th, 2006 by Bob Bly

“The American newspaper industry is on the brink of a collapse [and] nothing can prevent this,” writes media consultant Paul Gillin in BtoB (12/11/06, p. 10).

Among the facts he cites:

* The percentage of people under 25 who read newspapers is half the number of people over 65 who read papers.

* While the U.S. has added 40 million new households in the last 30 years, newspaper circulation has actually declined.

* One study reports that news aggregation Web sites have cost Bay Area newspapers $50 million a year in lost ad revenue.

The problem, says Gillin, is that “newspapers still operate as if they were the gatekeepers of news, but that gate has swung wide open.”

Gillin believes that over the next 20 years or so, most of America’s 1,450 daily newspaper will die — to be replaced by special interest online communities.

What do you think?

Are newspapers dead?

Or will they still be thrown on lawns daily in 2106?


Category: General, Writing and the Internet | 59 Comments »

A Generation of Dunces?

December 11th, 2006 by Bob Bly

Will the Internet spawn a generation of uneducated louts?

John Halenar, who reads two newspapers a day, is concerned that it might.

“Although the Internet is valuable for searching out facts, very rarely do I stumble upon something of interest while browsing online,” writes John in a letter-to-the-editor in The Record (12/10/06, p. O-3).

“I look at two newspapers every day, and I’m always amazed at how many interesting stories I find–oftentimes on topics I never even suspected would be of interest to me.”

Do you agree with John that the Internet’s ability to instantly search and find the content you need is both a blessing and a curse?

Or does surfing the Net make you as well read as — well, reading the daily newspaper?


Category: General | 67 Comments »