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  • Sam Decker

Carnival of the Capitalist (March 27)

Keep your hands and feet inside at all times…unless you don’t want to. Whatever. Hello…my name is Sam Decker and I’m your Carnie this week for Carnival of the Capitalists!

This week I’ve included some of the best submitted posts, and found some others I liked that cross leadership, entrepreneurship, marketing, ecommerce, word of mouth, customer centricity…and more! I hope you find them useful. Be sure to check out next week’s host is Jotzel. Enough carnival music…on to the ferris wheel!

Marketing & Sales

The Wisdom of Niches: Why Experts Still Matter (Rob May) The "wisdom of crowds" is becoming a business panacea. While crowds do have their place, this post looks at why experts are still important, and why entrepreneurs can create more value with deep expertise than by tapping into the wisdom of crowds.

Your Marketing Sucks – an interview with author Mark Stevens (Mark Ramsey) Mark Stevens comments on radio’s effectiveness as a marketing channel. There’s something about radio that Google and television cannot do: Radio is very personal. You can’t beat the personalization of radio.

On Creating Passionate Users (Kathy Sierra) A Penny For features some streaming thoughts, ideas and principles they picked up from SXSW2006 (visit us next year in Austin!)

Meaningful Marketing in Business Jurassic Jargon (John Moore) John Moore corrects himself on the definition of meaningful marketing.

Rethinking positioning: are Ries and Trout still relevant? (Peter Kim) Kim writes, A couple of recent articles on renaming Guatemala (Ries) and word-of-mouth marketing (Trout) have got me thinking about whether these marketing legends are still relevant in today’s environment of media proliferation and technology adoption.

Who should speak? (Steve Rubel) Increasingly when big corporate news breaks the community doesn’t want to just hear just from the CEO. They want to get the perspective of someone they trust even more, the corporate blogger.

Customer Centricity

Open Up or Shut Up, Part 1 Always On Network suggests that CEOs, marketing executives, and PR professionals who don’t have the courage to deploy new open media tools will be left behind.

Rules of Engagement: Or Are We Still Dating? (MarketBlog) Commentary on the New York Times rules of engagement article and tapping into the customer zeitgeist.

Always Recommend the Right Products (Sam Decker (me)) Thoughts on truly building the health of your business by incorporating custom-centric values.

Failure of the Last Mile (Ramit Sethi) Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You to Be Rich blog features a prolific post about something we have all experienced as customers, and should pay attention to as marketers. Related to this, you can read my post on The Word of Mouth Company — spend more upstream and you spend less downstream.

The Customer-Centricity Dilemma (Chris Lawer) Chris Lawer confronts the flaws in customer centricity and poses ways to perfect and use customer centricity effectively.

More on Customer Centricity (Brian McManus) Brian McManus itemizes what it takes to create a customer centric enterprise.

Buyer-centric vs. customer-centric: Missing the point (Chris Lawer) Author Chris Lawer explores the distinction between buyer centric and customer centric states of mind.

Are there limits to customer-centricity? (Graham A. Jarvis) Author Graham A. Jarvis discusses the motives and processes behind customer centricity. He also asks the question how are you going to become customer-centric?

Future of Advertising / Yellow Pages – are Google and local directories going to oust them? My sense is that for all the value in the Yellow Pages / brand, and for all the legacy value in the local sales relationships that someone like Yell have, they will be eaten away from above and below and that their real value is in being a (B2B) data provider and not a consumer brand.

Who’s your PodDaddy? (Joseph Jaffe) Jaffe gives Podshow props for their new foray into podcasting capabilities but questions total reach opportunity.

The Decline and Fall of Advertising (David Wolfe) David Wolfe’s blog about the end of Madison Avenue. The author encourages you to follow another link to an interview with Al Reis. This author does not suggest what replaces advertising…join the discussion and lets figure it out.


Business Communications Best Practices: Royal Caribbean Cruise Email Campaign (tessa) Anne Holland of Marketing Sherpa gives us another best practice case study with the Royal Caribbean Cruise’s interactive email campaign launched in 2005.

Comparing Custom Search Boxes (The Browster Blog) Lots of little start-ups are cropping up trying to provide niche-y, customized search experiences. But can they really beat Google at its game?

Visitor Traffic Logs: Put them to Work for You (Wayne Hurlbert) Where do you find content ideas for improving your search results? The answer may be in your own visitor traffic logs.

Closing the tactile gap between offline and online (Brett Hurt) Brett Hurt, CEO of Bazaarvoice, outlines some of the current technologies supporting a more realistic online life while finding a way to incorporate the word smell-o-vision.

How Hispanic Clicks (Juan Guillermo Tornoe) There are 14 million Hispanics online and if you’re targeting them online you’ll want to read Juan’s post on How Hispanics Click from Hispanic Trending

New York recoups $34 million in unpaid sales tax for web/catalog purchases About 20 states are recouping revenue lost to unpaid sales tax on web and catalog purchases by simply asking taxpayers to estimate it in their tax returns.

Blogging, Podcasts, and such

Edelman-Intelliseek Blog Report Tips for corporate PR and communications folks on how to deal with bloggers

Jory on Outward-facing (Nancy White) Nancy expounds on the value of blogging as an outward face to your company/community.

Social capital in markets (Johnnie Moore) Johnnie Moore’s insightful quote on the sociological meaning of blogs

Small businesses and blogging (Ben McConnell) Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba Champion the reasons as to why blogging helps small businesses.

Entrepreneurs Hope Podcasting Has Potential (Doug Kersten) Blogger Doug Kersten on podcasting and the potential for small businesses.

Tagging (From SXSW) Tagging, word-of-mouth’s new best friend. Someone’s personal highlights from a panel he attended at SXSW about tagging.

Analyzing the Content of Blogs (Regina M. Miller) Regina M. Miller muses on the resources blogs can provide when looked at critically.

Smart advice for PRs engaging with bloggers (Neville Hobson) Neville Hobson’s weblog discussing the proper use of blogs and how companies should interact with blogs.

A blog is a great CRM tool (Guillaume du Gardier) Guillaume du Gardier’s: entry on the use of blogs as a customer service tool.

Newspapers to Syndicate Blog Content (Marketing VOX) A Marketing VOX blog about new movements in the blogging world.

Word of Mouth

Movies are not like pork chops. Really. (Jackie Huba) Why are movie-theater revenues down three years in a row? It all adds up to bad word of mouth.

Edgy is Hot & Has Blogging 1.0 Souled Out? Digging into the Beat mystique and the Apple mystique, this post digs into "Edgy is Hot" marketing and notes how tempting it is to succumb the smoothing the edges that give us differentiation.

Customer Service IS a Profit Center (Zane Safrit) A solid blog about gaining customers and the power of WOM.

How to Buy Word of Mouth (Roy H. Williams) This is an older post, but one that needs to be in here and worth reading for those who haven’t seen it. This comes from Roy William’s Monday Morning Memo.

Jack Trout Attacks Word of Mouth Marketing (George Silverman) How do you know when Word of Mouth is getting attention? When branding guru Jack Trout posts a contrarian view. Here is author George Silverman’s response to the Jack attack on word of mouth.

Bad Profits and the Incredible Power of Word of Mouth (Brett Hurt) Do you have good profits or bad profits. Bazaarvoice CEO, Brett Hurt, explains how Blockbuster and GM lost their way with bad profits. Think about the decisions you are making today that effect word of mouth!

Wharton: Bad WOM Gets Badder Over Time (Gary Stein) As bad WOM stories get repeated, they get embellished. That is, the clerks get ruder, the line gets longer, the Muzak gets more annoying, each time the story is repeated. I have no idea how they quantified this, but by the time the story is repeated a few times, the negative effect is actually 5x the original damage.

Change Leadership

Thoughts on Speaking Out (Adrian Savage) For leaders at every level, no news is decidedly bad news. They depend on others to let them know what’s going on, preferably in time to take action. Fear of speaking openly means people look away, rather than confronting problems.

The Art of Sucking Down Guy Kawasaki takes a contrarian view to sucking up to A-list people. Suck Down.

Creating a culture of winning A New Dog Old Trick blog about corporate culture and what a winning culture is.

Five Biggest Mistakes CEOS Make in Public Speaking (and how to avoid them) (Bert Decker) Bert, who has coached CEOs to communicate better for 25 years (including Charles Schwab) has completed mistake number one and number two


How can you avoid being ‘The architect of your own demise?” A reminder that where there is profit, there is competition.

10 Ways to Delegate Without Hiring Staff If you are "it" in the business, who can you delegate to? Here are some ideas.

Immigrants Can Fuel Entrepreneurship (Jeff Cornwall) Immigration is fast becoming a major political issue in the US. And while illegal immigration is a valid concern, we need to be cautious not to restrict legal immigration

DDO Book Review: TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald TrumpNation is an entertaining and quick read that gives an interesting history of the Trump business "empire" and various shenanigans, from the best (Trump Tower on 5th Avenue) to the worst (everything else).

Entrepreneurial Proverbs (Seth Goldstein) Seth Goldtein’s little nuggets of wisdom for bite-sized nutrition.

Best of Getting Things Done 43 Folders summarizes the best from David Allen’s book Getting Things Done

To Be Smarter at Work, Slack Off If you’re in a startup, you know the challenge of multitasking. This Fortune commentary from Anne Fisher suggests to be smarter at work, and beat competition, you should do less. Looking for ideas of how to get some time back? Here are 12 Places to Say No.


The Week Ahead: Your Financial Roadmap for March 27-31, 2006 Upcoming economic indicator releases, select earnings calendar items, Treasury bill/note schedule, FOMC meetings, etc. I link the actual results to this post as the week progresses.

Stop buying cheap imported Why the dollar is loosing value: we are selling our nation for trinkets. Quotes from Warren Buffett.

Posts That Caught My Eye

Cubicles: The Great Mistake (Julie Schlosser) Propst is the father of the cubicle. More than 30 years after he unleashed it on the world, we are still trying to get out of the box.

No Room for Error (Big Picture Guy) A valuable story about hope vs. expectations.

Meeting the Value of Time (David Daniels) Suggestions to value time more effectively.

How to Become an Early Riser (Steve Pavlina) Steve gives us some advice night owls like me can use. What gets me out of bed is avoiding traffic…but that’s not in here. What’s next? How to not sleep at all. (Notice the Google ad targeting on this page!)

Krugle (Don Thorson) Don Thorson’s case study account of the creation and launch of Krugle, a search engine for source code.

Circumventing Competition: The Perverse Consequences of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Timothy B. Lee) Commentary and analysis of American courts’ management of copyright challenges created by new technologies.

How to Give Yourself the Best Chance in Life (Adrian Savage) The greatest and most persistent blockages to your progress in life usually come from a single source — yourself. Here are some simple, practical ways to give yourself the best possible chance of living a good life

Will Your Preparer Sell Your 1040 Information? Proposed IRS rules trigger worries that preparers will sell client tax return information. Are those worries 32 years late?

The Story of a Software Failure Was the FAA’s Advanced Automation System for air traffic control "the greatest debacle in the history of organized work?"


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