May 102006

Blogiversary, Part II

Blogiversary, Part II

So it’s now been two years since I launched OnlyOnce.  Last year at this time, I gave a bunch of stats of how my blog was going.

The interesting thing about this year, is that a lot of these stats seem to have leveled off.  I have almost the same number of subscribers (email and RSS) and unique visits as last year.  The number’s not bad — it’s in the thousands — and I’m still happy to be writing the blog for all the reasons I expressed here back in June 2004, but it’s interesting that new subs seem to be harder to come by these days.  I assume that’s a general trend that lots of bloggers are seeing as the world of user-generated content gets more and more crowded.

Not that I’m competitive with my board members, but I believe that Brad and Fred have both continued to see massive subscriber increases in their blogs.  They attribute it to two things — (1) they have lots of money they give to entrepreneurs, and (2) they write a lot more than I do, usually multiple postings per day, as compared to a couple postings per week. 

I don’t see either of those aspects of my blog changing any time soon, so if those are the root causes, then I’ll look forward to continuing this for my existing readers (and a few more here and there) into 2007!

Filed under: Weblogs

Nov 142005

A Typepad User, and Proud of It

A Typepad User, and Proud of It

SixApart showed huge corporate courage today when they emailed their entire blog user base, apologized (for the second or third time) for service interruptions the past month, then announced a cash remedy.

As a default, they’re giving everyone half a month of service for free.  This is obviously a huge hit to the company financially and probably more of a gesture than anyone expected.  But better than that, they allowed users to click through to their web site and automatically get a full month for free — or a month and a half for free — if they felt in good conscience that the service outages were more harmful to them.  They also quite intelligently allowed users to click through and decline the service credit if they weren’t inconvenienced by the outages.

This is everything that customer service is supposed to be.  Prompt.  Proactive.  Generous.  Allowing customers to be in the driver seat about remedies.  After a HORRENDOUS weekend of customer service gaffes by United Airlines (a story for another time), I couldn’t be more struck by the contrast.  And SixApart isn’t even an employee-owned company teetering on the edge bankruptcy.  Way to go, SixApart!

Aug 222005

For My Email (Bloglet) Subscribers

For My Email (Bloglet) Subscribers

Many of you rely on emails from an outfit called Bloglet to receive notifications that I’ve posted something to my blog.  However, as you no doubt know, Bloglet’s service is incredibly flakey, so many times, the notices don’t go out.

I am trying a new service called Feedblitz, which will serve the same purpose but appears to be MUCH more reliable.  For a couple of days, I will use both Bloglet and Feedblitz in parallel to make sure they both work, but then I’ll turn off Bloglet.  You don’t have to do anything to convert your subscription over — I will do it for you.  Just be aware that the emails will now be coming from a different source.

Thanks, and let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Filed under: Weblogs

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May 182005

How Much Blogging is Too Much Blogging?

How Much Blogging is Too Much Blogging?

After being completely (and blissfully, I might add) offline for 11 days, I have returned to find 247 new postings in my Newsgator folder.  Only a short year ago, I would have come back from vacation to too many emails…now I get to sift through too many emails AND too many blog postings.

On the bright side, I have at least these two images of the Barolo wine country Barolo_landscape_largeand the Amalfi coastAmalfi_coast_large solidly etched in my brain to ease re-entry to work. Anyone interested in a brief travelog of the Italian countryside, click here and follow the top link.

Filed under: Travel, Weblogs

Dec 012004

Now Selling Wit, Charm…Even Your Own Opinions

Now Selling Wit, Charm…Even Your Own Opinions

Full credit to Jonathan Schwartz from Sun for spotting this gem of an offer on eBay.  Come on, people.  Please.

Filed under: Weblogs

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Oct 272004

Why is Seth Godin so Grumpy?

Why is Seth Godin so Grumpy?

Permission marketing guru Seth Godin says we should all Beware the CEO blog. His logic? Blogs should have six characteristics: Candor, Urgency, Timeliness, Pithiness, Controversy, and maybe Utility — and apparently in his book, CEOs don’t possess those characteristics.

Certainly, CEOs who view blogs as a promotional tool are wasting their time, or are at least missing a fundamental understanding about the power of blogs and interactivity.

But many of the ones I read (and the one I write) do their best to be anything but promotional. One of my colleagues here describes my blog as “a peek inside the CEO’s head,” which is a great way of putting it. And I still stand by my earlier posting about the value of the blog to me and to the company — hardly “annual report fluff.”

How’s that for honest, timely, controversial, and pithy, Seth?

Filed under: Leadership, Weblogs

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Oct 172004

Giving Away State Secrets

Giving Away State Secrets

Ed Daciuk, one of my subscribers, questions me:

“I am wondering how a CEO who blogs balances the disparate goals of giving enough insight to be interesting but not give away trade secrets like positioning or financial drivers.”

Good question, and one that I thought about along with my prior posting. It’s a tough balance sometimes, but the goal is to stimulate thinking and communicate in broad strokes more than it is to detail things out, especially with non-public information.

So for example, in the prior posting, I didn’t mention the client’s name, industry, or location; the data was close but not exact; and I refrained from discussing some of Return Path’s efforts to solve this problem for clients. Despite those maskings, hopefully it was still an interesting posting with a couple of useful themes for marketers to stimulate their thinking.

Filed under: Leadership, Weblogs

Jul 212004

A New Blog About Wine

When a group of us had dinner back in May, Brad posted that it was remarkable that 4 of the 6 people had blogs. Then Amy started a blog, making it 5 of 6. Today, Mariquita and her friend Sharon launched their blog about wine, making it a clean sweep.

There is almost a complete dearth of blog information and commentary about wine. You can tell — the URL she was able to get on Typepad was wine.blogs.com! When Mariquita and I went looking into other wine blogs a couple months ago, all we found were one or two somewhat lame ones, one not updated since February, one not updated since April, none with interesting information that helps average people learn more about how to buy, pair, and enjoy wine.

I think this will be a fun single-topic blog. Enjoy the first posting, and welcome to the blog world, Mariquita and Sharon!

Filed under: Weblogs

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Jun 202004

Good Question – How's the Blog Working Out So Far?

My dad, one of the smartest people I know, asked me a good question last week. “How’s the blog working out so far?”

My answer was generally “I’m not sure,” but as I thought about it more, I saw “good” coming from four different categories, in order of importance to me:

Thinking: One of the best things publishing a blog has done has been to force me to spend a few minutes here and there thinking about issues I encounter in a more structured way and crystallizing my point of view on them. Invaluable, but mostly for me.

Employees: A number of my employees read it, although I’m not exactly sure who since RSS is anonymous. I know this is helpful in that some of the folks in the company who I don’t speak with every day can hear more directly some of the things I’m thinking about instead of getting a filtered view from normal communication channels.

Technology: One of the main reasons I started the blog was to get more experience with blog/alert/publishing/RSS tools as I try to learn more about new technologies related to my company. This has paid off for me well so far (the technology has a long way to go!).

Business development: I have met two or three other companies who may be potential partners for Return Path through this. I also believe that the postings on industry-related topics have been helpful for both business development and PR purposes.

I promised my Dad I’d do a posting on this sometime soon…so happy Father’s Day, Pops! (I also got him a real present, don’t worry.)

Filed under: Email, Weblogs

May 272004

Why Blog?

There was a good piece in the New York Times yesterday about blogging, including some good quotes from Jarvis.

I’m getting the hang of it, but I have to say that blogging in the bathroom is taking things a little bit too far.

Filed under: Email, Weblogs

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