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Twitter: @thisissethsblog





Seth Godin has written 18 bestsellers that have been translated into 35 languages

The complete list of online retailers

Bonus stuff!

or click on a title below to see the list


All Marketers Tell Stories

Seth's most important book about the art of marketing




Free Prize Inside

The practical sequel to Purple Cow





An instant bestseller, the book that brings all of Seth's ideas together.




Meatball Sundae

Why the internet works (and doesn't) for your business. And vice versa.



Permission Marketing

The classic Named "Best Business Book" by Fortune.



Poke The Box

The latest book, Poke The Box is a call to action about the initiative you're taking - in your job or in your life, and Seth once again breaks the traditional publishing model by releasing it through The Domino Project.




Purple Cow

The worldwide bestseller. Essential reading about remarkable products and services.



Small is the New Big

A long book filled with short pieces from Fast Company and the blog. Guaranteed to make you think.



Survival is Not Enough

Seth's worst seller and personal favorite. Change. How it works (and doesn't).




The Big Moo

All for charity. Includes original work from Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Peters and Promise Phelon.



The Big Red Fez

Top 5 Amazon ebestseller for a year. All about web sites that work.




The Dip

A short book about quitting and being the best in the world. It's about life, not just marketing.




The Icarus Deception

Seth's most personal book, a look at the end of the industrial economy and what happens next.





"Book of the year," a perennial bestseller about leading, connecting and creating movements.




Unleashing the Ideavirus

More than 3,000,000 copies downloaded, perhaps the most important book to read about creating ideas that spread.



V Is For Vulnerable

A short, illustrated, kids-like book that takes the last chapter of Icarus and turns it into something worth sharing.




We Are All Weird

The end of mass and how you can succeed by delighting a niche.



Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

The sequel to Small is the New Big. More than 600 pages of the best of Seth's blog.



THE DIP BLOG by Seth Godin

All Marketers Are Liars Blog

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Member since 08/2003

« December 2004 | Main | February 2005 »

The end of candor

One of the reasons blogs worked so well for so long is that we could believe them.

One person, one blog, just the truth. The truth on the surface (it's a simple interface and you're not missing anything) and the truth a little below the surface (it's a personal, authentic monologue).

There have been plenty of signs lately that this is officially over. Today's Times drives that home: The New York Times > Arts > Pro-American Iraqi Blog Provokes Intrigue and Vitriol.

With corporate blogs and fake blogs and cia blogs and calculated traffic-driving blogs, it's not authentic media any more.

I'm not whining, here. Instead, I'm pointing it out because your expectations as a reader and a writer have to change. The benefit of the doubt is gone.

[added a few hours later: I've gotten a bunch of mail assaulting my "endorsement" of the NY Times. Hey, I have no idea at all if the NY Times is right. I have no idea if the CIA is running the blog in question. That's not my point! My point is that with all the movie producers, drug marketers and PR firms running blogs now, it wouldn't surprise me in the least that the CIA is running a blog. That's the point. If our confidence in the authenticity of this medium is that thin, then we're already on the slippery slope. Just like email before it, nobody can know you're a dog (or not). So don't assume that you'll be trusted.]

Do not use for personal hygiene

It took years before I could admit that I actually ripped the tag off my mattress when I was a kid. Thanks to Helene for the link.

Link: MSNBC - Warning: Don't brush teeth with toilet brush!.

More entries:  Welcome to MLAW.

25,000 copies sold

That's what it takes to make the #1 spot on the UK pop charts.

That's 25% or less than what it used to take.

You can publish a New York Times hardcover fiction bestseller and sell just 5,000 copies in a week to reach the same milestone.

More and more, it takes less and less to be #1. That's because the market is wider and flatter than in any time in history. In other words, the bestselling book, song, beer and car is "other."

Link: Yorkshire Post Today: News, Sport, Jobs, Property, Cars, Entertainments & More.

In violent agreement!

Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Watch writes,

“Search marketing is more than buying ads -- SEO is the search world's equivalent to public relations. It also doesn't mean that you have to link spam, comment spam or content spam. Content-driven SEO -- I'm writing more about this next week -- is something anyone should be considering.

You can have all the great content you want. Neglect some basic things to make your site search engine friendly, and you aren't getting in. It's like saying that you need never reach out to the press, they'll just somehow magically discover you've launched a new product, done something interesting. Search engines are better at discover, but outreach still helps -- SEO is that type of outreach.”

While Danny might be surprised to hear this, I completely agree with him. I’m not a harsh critic of SEO, despite what you may have heard.

I want to clarify two things.

First, the entire Search Engine community is now more important than it was a year ago. By far. It’s now an “industry” the same way movies and TV media cabals have become an industry. No, there’s no Daily Variety and they don’t report hirings and firings in Entertainment Weekly, but the astonishing success of Google and of AdWords means that just about every organization is now concerned about what’s going on. It’s not just for geeks and tweakers. That’s a sea change from the old days.

Which leads to my second point. Just a short time ago, SEO was seen as a shortcut by marketers unwilling to do the hard work of actually making a product and a site that mattered. In that era, SEO was the quick way to get cheap traffic—cheap so you could afford to waste it.

Today, it’s different. The bar is higher. People have figured out how to make online offers that work. Once you’ve done that homework, it’s important (probably imperative) to streamline your site so that it works better with search engines. Why wouldn’t you?

Link: Search Engine Watch: Tips About Internet Search Engines & Search Engine Submission.

Mob justice

One of the side effects of the massively many-to-many publishing model that is the blogosphere is the following math:
1. controversy is fun to write
2. controversy is fun to read
3. piling on is safe and fun
4. undoing 1, 2 and 3 is no fun, hard work and easy to avoid.

When I was a kid, there was a fair amount of mob justice. A bunch of kids would spread a rumour, a posse would appear, ask no questions, beat the crap out of you and move on.

A friend of mine is now in a similar situation (and, as Arlo Guthrie famously said, "you may find yourself in a similar situation..."). And the question is, what should he do.

If he takes the time to point out to those bloggers that they're wrong, that they've taken one data point and blown it out of proportion while ignoring the facts (and there are many facts that they've ignored) he's just adding fuel to the fire. "Of course you'll deny it," they've said to him on the phone, "that just proves we're right".

Bloggers love a good fight. They love the give and take and the comments and the links. So my friend keeps his mouth shut and waits for it to blow over.

And it will blow over. Blogging is about speed, and no news is bad news if you're in the hunt for an easy score.

So that's the right way to deal with the mob, but it's not fair. It sucks, actually. The mob wins and nobody learns anything.

No one knows you're a dog

Well, it turns out that Think Secret - Mac Insider News, the site that was sued by Apple for leaking its big secrets, is run by Nicholas M. Ciarelli, a 19 year old Harvard student. He started the site when he was 13.

I've been reading the site for years. I figured that Nick (his nom de plume) was about 50, a burnt out engineer shopping at Fry's and living in the Valley.

Go figure. A 13 year old kid starts a site that takes a nick out of the stock price of a Fortune 500 copy and so annoys them that they sue him against all better judgment.

My oversight

But you, my loyal readers, were quick to clarify:

You can also find good Search Engine juice at: Search Engine Watch: Tips About Internet Search Engines & Search Engine Submission.

How to Sell Anything To Anyone just one easy step.

Make something people want to buy.

Five years ago, when I first got to Yahoo, I was excited. All my life I'd been selling media... sometimes I failed slowly, other times I barely succeeded. I was pretty good at it, if you compared me to everyone else in the field, but it was by no means easy.

The Yahoo guys were different, though. Where it took my staff and me months or even years to make a million dollar sale, Yahoo's salesforce was doing five or ten million deals every week or so. They knew the secret. They were supertalented, highly trained and very, very motivated.

So, now I was at Yahoo, playing for the winning team, and I was invited to go along on a sales call. I was vibrating in my shoes in anticipation.

You've probably already guessed the punchline. It was one of the single most inept sales presentations I'd ever seen. A lousy powerpoint. A non-charismatic, non-empathetic salesperson who faced the wall and read the fine print on the slides aloud. At the end of the presentation, he mumbled something about being able to take a check.

A few minutes later, the prospect handed over four million dollars.


Sometimes it seems like the very best stuff sells itself. That explains why some car dealerships have waiting lists and sell stuff for a premium, while others look like ghost towns.

Sometimes, salesmanship is overrated. What matters more is real marketing, marketing that involves making the right product, not hyping it.

Is there a "search engine industry"?

There is now. If this is a brand new form of effective media, somebody ought to be telling us what's new, what's working and what's absurd.

Check out: SearchViews.

Speaking of Apple

What is it about Apple that makes pundits want to talk about it all the time? I know I do. Why is it so unique? Why is Steve Jobs singular among CEOs, not commonplace?

I have no clue. I do know that this iProduct announcement captures the essence of what I'm talking about: iProduct.gif (GIF Image, 640x1050 pixels).

PS this is the third post of the day in which the thing I'm pointing to contains profanity. It's not on purpose, I promise. I'll try to do better.

« December 2004 | Main | February 2005 »