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Archive for March, 2012

17 Things I Really Like

March 29th, 2012 by Bob Bly

For reasons unknown, a lot of my readers ask a lot of personal questions about me. To help answer a few, I’ve compiled this list, in no particular order, of 17 things I really like:

1. A train whistle blowing in the distance late at night.

2. Cold weather.

3. Rain.

4. Cloudy, gray skies.

5. The ocean.

6. Lakes.

7. Rivers.

8. Books.

9. Reading The New York Review of Books.

10. Newspapers.

11. The 2nd movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony.

12. Jimmy Smith playing the Hammond B3 organ.

13. The novel A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. 

14. A kosher hot dog.

15. Pink grapefruit juice.

16. Oranges.

17. My dog Princess.


Category: General | 86 Comments »

iPad? Who needs it?

March 27th, 2012 by Bob Bly

There’s a bunch of popular gadgets that everybody’s making a fuss about which I don’t own and do not believe I ever will: a Kindle, Nook, iPad, iPod, iPhone, Bluetooth, any other Smart Phone, apps of any kind.

Why not? Just don’t see the need for them, and don’t want to own more stuff. They take time to learn, and every electronic gizmo eventually is going to have problems, another headache I don’t need.

I DO own a GPS because I have no sense of direction. And I own a laptop because I travel and give talks requiring PowerPoint.

My colleagues and friends are trying to convince me that I need an iPad. They demonstrate all it can do. None of it I need. Seems like a toy to me.

They also want me to get a Kindle. I’d rather hold and read a physical book. I have no need to carry my whole library with me when I travel.

My kids love their iPods. Again, I don’t need to carry 900 songs with me.

Do you own these things? Why?


Category: General | 159 Comments »

More Bad News for Print

March 13th, 2012 by Bob Bly

Kindle and Nook already threaten to make paper books obsolete. Now magazines face the same danger.

According to an article in BtoB (3/12/12, p. 4), Penton Media’s  technology media group will stop printing all its magazines. These publications will exist solely as digital editions.

In February Ziff Davis Enterprise took a similar step with its print titles.

I like sitting on the couch or in the backyard reading magazines. Now it looks as if this pleasure may soon vanish.

Stop the world; I want to get off.


Category: General | 59 Comments »

Should I Work for You for Free?

March 8th, 2012 by Bob Bly

Should I consult or otherwise work for you for free?

RS seems to think so. She writes: “I am asking about the landing page on my web site at URL. I have had very low response and have sold very little product.”

Of course, I cannot answer unless I click on the link, go to RS’s web site, and analyze it.

RS expects me to do this for free. Should I be flattered or annoyed? Mostly, I am the latter.

She is asking me to do for her, for free, work that my clients pay for.

Why should I?

This happens all the time, by the way. People ask me almost every day, “Can you take a quick look at my web site?” When I tell them “No, I can’t,” they are offended. 

Never mind that their auto mechanic charges to give their car an inspection. They automatically assume I should work for them for free.

If I looked at and commented on all the web sites people want me to review without compensation, I would have no time to serve my clients, who are the ones that pay my bills.

How is that fair?


Category: General | 64 Comments »

Is Long Copy Dead?

March 7th, 2012 by Bob Bly

Yes, according to my subscriber GB.

“I don’t know anyone in today’s age, other than a very bored stay-at-home, who has the time or patience to read through all those pages of copy, and God forbid, having to sit through those horrendous dragged-out sales videos,” she says. “I’m at the point that if one of those videos comes up, there’s no message or product on earth that’s worth such a waste of time and I delete it on the spot.”

She is particularly critical of Agora Publishing, a company that has pioneered long-copy landing pages and video sales letters. “Agora needs an overhaul,” she says. “It’s no longer working for busy people. Needed: one page, short and focused with impact.”

The problem with GB’s argument is that Agora makes a fortune from those long sales letters and videos, to the tune of around $300 million a year — kind of demolishing GB’s premise that long copy doesn’t work for them.

Your thoughts?




Category: General | 101 Comments »