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

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An intensive, 4-week online workshop designed to accelerate leaders to become change agents for the future. Designed by Seth Godin, for you.



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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« December 2005 | Main | February 2006 »

Flipping the Funnel--new ebook

MovingfunnelThe ideas I've been playing with over the last few years came together over the last few weeks... and my funnel post was a small part of that.

This new ebook (3 versions, 18 pages each, PDF format) explains how I believe some of the new Web 2.0 tools (flickr,, squidoo and others) combine with ideaviruses and the Purple Cow.

Here they are. Free to download from this site, free to post on your site... or to email to your team and colleagues.

Download Flipping the Funnel

That's an edition of the ebook optimized for corporations and traditional marketers.

You can also download a slightly different edition for politicians: Download FlippingPolitics

and a third one for non-profits: Download Flipping non profits

Attention, trends and value

Googleyahoo I love looking at

check this out:

The red is Yahoo. The blue is google...

traffic over the last two years.

Now, google's value proposition is very different from Yahoo's. But if you're an investor and you see this chart, it's easy to panic. Without attention, it's hard to deliver value.

People hate my new logo

With a rabid passion they hate it.


Maybe you'll get used to it. Maybe I'll change it back. But it's an interesting experiment in how hard it is to change stuff.

Thanks for noticing.

PS okay, that experiment served its purpose. You can stop emailing me now.

Back from the seminar

Seminar1 Yesterday's seminar was one of my favorites ever. We had a great group (this photo is probably insufficient evidence... too many folded arms... but hey. Several intrepid seminar attendees were game enough to wear a fez, even.

Here's Mary Ann's take on it. I had enough fun that I might do another one in March... but let me catch up first. Thanks to all who made the trip from near and quite far.Seminarfez

Tim's thoughtful take on the seminar is here.

What's going to be on your tombstone

At a seminar last week, a woman asked me what to do if her bosses in the pharma industry insist on her doing ads she knows won't work. "They won't let me!" she said. I asked if she wanted that on her tombstone.

And then there's Gerry Mooney, who's quite rightfully proud of coining the ubernerd phrase: "Gravity: It's not just a good idea. It's the law."

The History of The Gravity Poster.

Fame does not equal brand

The 83 year old inventor of the Kalashnikov rifle (which has probably killed more people than the atomic bomb) traded his name for 30% of a company that makes umbrellas. Next up: mineral water and vodka. BBC NEWS.

Rulebreakers, and makers

I've gotten more email about Alex Tew's Million Dollar Homepage than almost any other specific topic, ever.

Most of the people who write believe:
a. they discovered it
b. I didn't know about it
c. there was a big lesson to be learned

I hesitated to post about it, largely because I didn't have a lot to add to the hooplah, unil I read Steve Yastrow's post on tompeters!

The interesting ideas in a changing world are those that inform us about how to behave in the future. New rules are worth learning.

On the other hand, if someone breaks a rule in a way that can rarely be duplicated, we don't learn a whole lot--unless there's a pattern.

I think Alex brilliantly manipulated the current architecture of the web in order to earn a substantial profit. And he did earn it... his investment of cash and time was substantial.

When I see the 10,000 copycats out there, all I can do is sigh. Why do they believe this is a new trend? Why do they think it's going to become an important part of the marketing mix, and are they really so naive to believe that they, and they alone, will earn even more than Alex did?

Yes, "? and the Mysterians" hat a hit song and wore masks, but that doesn't mean that wearing a mask and naming yourself after a punctuation mark is a new rule.

I'm frequently reminded of the lemming gene in mankind when I clean out my spam box. A subject line will show up and within minutes, it will be copied by 100 other spammers. Because copying the new rule feels easier and safer and more profitable than inventing a new rule. And in the world of spam, it guess it probably is.

In this case, though, I don't think you should quit your day job (Alex should, though, and apparently has).


The talented Mary Ann Davis has a thoughtful post about the opposite of globalization: davistudio: Techno Swadeshi.


Finalsmallisthenewbig150_1 Just got the cover for my new book, out late summer. It's more than 100 of my most-linked-to blog posts, essays, columns, etc. I really pushed the publisher hard, and I want to thank them, out loud, for being patient and doing great work. Especially Joseph.

The title post is here. It took a week to write... the short ones always do. Worth noting that Jeff Jarvis used the same phrase just a day before I posted mine--synchronicity is easy to find online, if you look for it. When I found his post later on, I dropped him a line, concerned that he'd be concerned about provenance. Like all great bloggers, he shrugged and smiled at the coincidence.

This might be the last time you see orange on one of my projects. Or maybe not.

Can you do worse?

Robert Jackson submits for "worst commercial website of all time" award (my title, not his).

Here are the rules:
a. must be in English (so we're qualified to judge)
b. must have an AdWords campaign to get traffic (to indicate that there's money on the table, at least at some level).

Here's the Google ad:


Here's what it looks like on my browser (Firefox on the Mac... no, this is not stretched):


Why change it?

Where do guests of Saturday Night Live stay? At the Essex House, of course, "high above Central Park." Well, the Essex House is under new management, and the name is being changed, they say, to the Jumeirah Essex House.

Think that'll help them in alphabetical hotel search results? Or on Travelocity? Or even on the radio? If they don't expect that people will use the new name, why change it?

Non-linear media

Lynn Russo just did an email interview with me about a phrase I hadn't thought much about. Thought you might want to read the entire thing:

First, can you tell me, what does the term nonlinear
mean to you when it comes to advertising and marketing

During the tv-industrial complex, shows and ads were
linear, because producers of media assumed we would start at
the beginning and sit till the end.

Enter the remote and tivo and the web and suddenly, you can
interact with what you want, when you want.

In what ways is online media already nonlinear?

online media has always been non linear, which is why every
single person or organization that has tried to turn the web into a big TV
has failed.

What value does this bring to the advertiser?

Most advertisers see a threat. Smart advertisers see a
chance to deliver anticipated, personal and relevant ads to
the people who choose to get them.

How do customers react/respond to the nonlinear aspects
of online media compared with the way they respond to a more
linear campaign?

Almost all "campaigns" are linear, because that's how
advertisers, producers, directors and story tellers think.

Are customers driving this nonlinear movement?

On the other hand, consumers of media don't think that way.
We browse. We reject the storytelling arc and just take what
we want, and then move on.

Where do you see this going? How will online media and
promotion become increasingly more nonlinear?

What works: messages from many places, not one, directed to
many different types of people, not one, that tell a story
we want to hear, but do it in many different ways

Can you think of any good examples of non-linear use of
the Internet?

all the stuff that works on the net... from chat to blogs to
adwords to google... it's all non-linear.

With squidoo, we're trying to build something that adds
structure to that non-linear nature. Organized non-linearity.

Fear and Creativity

The enemy of creativity is fear.

The enemy of fear, in the short run anyway, is not creativity. It's the fetal position.

The fetal position doesn't work. It feels like it ought to, but it just gives you more room for your fear.

In the long run, the enemy of fear is creativity. I'm sure of it.

Fear and airplanes

Why do people rush to get onto long flights--even when the plane isn't full?

It's not so they can get their carryons stowed... I notice that even people with no carryons push to get on.

(then they push to get off, at the end).

Even though they paid for the flight, it's not the flying they paid for. It's the getting there. And getting there means anxiety for some people. I think getting on and getting settled and not missing the flight no matter what are all steps that people take to reduce their anxiety.

Just wondering if that might apply to what you sell...

If you have more than 100 pages of content...

I hope you'll read this post.

For the few of you that haven't been bludgeoned by my past support of RSS, here's a quick two lines to bring you up to date:

1. anyone with an RSS reader, or MyYahoo or Bloglines or a Squidoo lens can read an RSS feed.
2. The RSS feed is a spam-free way to alert subscribers when something is new on your website.

You can sign up for my feed just down the column on the left side <---

This is great for a blog, obviously, because every time I post something, any subscriber with a reader knows about it and can check in and read it.

But what if you don't have a blog?

What if you have a catalog?

Or thousands of pages of web content?

What if it's Picasso's birthday and you want to ping your subscribers and point them to both the Wikipedia entry on Picasso as well as the three pages on your art site that sell his posters?

Now you can! Only $200. FeedCraft - RSS feed creation, tracking, and management.

You type in the URL and the copy and boom, it's done.

Stuff like this is really cool, imho.

Understanding the funnel

Funnel2s I've been talking about funnels for almost ten years, but realized I hadn't blogged on this... so here goes.

Traditional marketing divides the world into two groups:

Customers are traditionally undervalued, and prospects are all treated the same.

As marketing got more sophisticated, some prospects ended up being treated a little differently than others. Someone reading Field & Stream, for example, is a more valuable prospect to a bullet company than someone reading Bass Fisherman.

Missing from this demographically-based analysis is the idea that people can change. They change their posture, their attention and their attitude. And as the knowledge they receive increases, their value as a prospect changes as well.

I think marketers always knew this, but they haven't been able to do much about it.

Until now.

The Google funnel is easily measured and if you're marketing anything to anyone, you need to understand it (this idea is so powerful it's now built in to Google's free web analytics program, Urchin).

Imagine someone out there, surfing on the web. He is a prospect of your fishing bait company in that one day, he might become a customer. He's at the top of the funnel.

Now, he types "bass" into Google. Through that action, he has self-identified as a better prospect. He's moved down the funnel and become more valuable to you.

But, of course, he might have meant "bass" as in "bass guitar." Once he refines his search in that way, he's jumped out the funnel. For right now, he's not worth much.

But wait! He has refined his search by typing in "bass fishing." Now, he's worth a great deal more than he was just a moment ago. Which is why AdWords is such a good idea.

You have a choice when you run an AdWord ad. You can write copy that gets lots of clicks, or more specific copy that gets fewer, but better clicks. Traditional marketers believed that attention was free, and the more the merrier. But Google charges by the click, so new marketers realize that they are willing to pay extra for folks a bit farther down the funnel.

Now, if he's clicked on "Bass Lures for serious fishermen," our surfer's value has just increased immensely. And you've paid handsomely for borrowing his attention from Google. Now the prospect is on your site, and his value to you is quite high--and his cost is high as well.

At this point, your job is not to make a sale. Selling is just one option in a range of things you can do to further drive him down the funnel. You can engage in a dialogue (by phone or email) that takes place over time and avoids the all-or-nothing cliff of "buy now or go away forever". You can further inform or entertain, all in the service of your goal of increasing the interest, education and value of this prospect.

Now, finally, you have refined the traffic in the funnel. Everyone at the bottom is ready to buy, to engage with you, to become a customer.

Once you see the funnel, it's easy to understand how valuable your existing customers are, and easy to think about how you want to spend time and money in promoting and building your site. Most marketers are running a flat campaign. Embracing the funnel changes the way you treat people. And treating different people differently is what consumers demand.

What would David do?

David Meerman Scott reports that his new ebook The new rules of PR: How to create a press release strategy for reaching buyers directly is getting more than a thousand downloads a day. The ebook contains a simple idea, well presented. He also tells me that he's getting plenty of traffic from his Squidoo lens, which feeds his blog, which feeds his ebook and then back to his lens.

We're seeing a new ecosystem, where each of the pieces is slightly different from the tools we're all used to.

Everybody stalls

There's no question about whether you are procrastinating about something. The only question is: what?

Knowledge work creates myriad opportunities for stalling. You can stall about making a salescall, stall about redoing a website, stall about reorganizing your department... the list of areas is so long, it becomes a stall in itself.

But deep down, you already know where you're stalling. It's that thing that makes you uncomfortable, probably because it involves doing something you might be held accountable for.

The problem with Google AdSense is that it makes marketers accountable. Unlike Super Bowl ads, you can tell if your Google ads work. And so it's easy to stall.

The problem with inventing a new product that challenges the status quo is that whoever did it is responsible for whatever happens.

The problem with prioritizing your group's tasks and publishing the list is that it makes it really clear what you're on the hook for.

In very tiny, very motivated organizations, new employees are often stunned by how much gets done. That's because of how hard it is to stall.

Knitting for the blind

Ilana Rabinowitz writes:

I handle the marketing for a knit and crochet website. In response to an
email from a blind knitter who wanted to use our patterns, we programmed
a template so that all of our over 1,000 free patterns could be ready by
a Brailler machine, that creates Braille from text or by a text to
speech reader.  The response was overwhelming, with the most (in terms
of enthusiasm and quantity) positive comments we have every received.
Our site has been up since 1995. Most people who responded were not
blind. They just appreciated what we did so much that they swore to buy
our product exclusively from now on. Our next programming adjustment
will be to make all of our patterns available in large type. Now that is
a LOT of people, but the motivation to do this evolved from our first
modification when we realized that appealing to people with special
needs (these very targeted niches) was good all around.

Marketing to the majority

I_am_a_man Most marketing is focused on the biggest portion of the market, because most marketers believe that if you fill the biggest need, or market to the largest mass, the upsides are greater.

Today, in the US, it's a holiday to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unlike most American holidays that are just rituals, not rememberances (how much time do you spend thinking about Christopher Columbus?...), this holiday is fresh enough that it's worth thinking about what it means.

Here's a crux of the matter, at least from a marketing (not moral) standpoint: if you recognize a minority group, if you treat them not as an other but as a peer, and if you solve their problem, they will notice you, do business with you and remember you.

Not "minority" in the racial sense, necessarily, but in terms of any group that feels overlooked, or disrespected, or underserved.

I live less than a mile from the home of the first black millionaire in America. Madame CJ Walker practically  invented the idea of franchising... by creating a chain of beauty salons for black women at a time when no one else could be bothered.

PRESS BRIEFING BY LARRY SPEAKES (Press Secretary for Ronald Reagan)

October 15, 1982

The Briefing Room

12:45pm EDT

Q: Larry, does the President have any reaction to the announcement ≠ the
Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, that AIDS is now an epidemic and
have over 600 cases?


Q: Over a third of them have died. It's known as "gay plague."
(Laughter.) No, it is. I mean it's a pretty serious thing that one in
every three people that get this have died. And I wondered if the
President is aware of it?

MR. SPEAKES: I don't have it. Do you? (Laughter.)

Before deciding that a market (left-handed people, Mac users, people who speak Spanish) isn't worth the effort, it might be worth a moment's reflection. Sometimes, a purple cow is just purple because it's best at serving a nascent market. And it doesn't matter if you're marketing a political campaign, a non-profit or a soap.

I feel a little trivial talking about soap and computers in the same post that I mention civil rights and AIDS. But they're all branches on one tree. It's very easy to get caught up in rationalizing on behalf of the majority--but it's not always smart, and not always fair and not always right.


There's a long-running school of thought on the web that surfers make snap decisions about a web site. In The Big Red Fez, I said three seconds. No, said others. They said sites need to be deliberate and dense.

I was wrong. They were wronger. AJ points us to: news @ Web users judge sites in the blink of an eye. Potential readers can make snap decisions in just 50 milliseconds.

Headline of the year

Lisa Gansky points us to: Eminem remarries sweetheart he vowed to murder .


When I wrote about stuck systems, I wasn't looking for a bibliography system. But that's what I got. A bunch of them. One worth noting is Jonathan Otto's That's Crazy HOT!. Also this one from Devin. And a ton that were already built, which I won't get into here. Also heard from plenty of librarians about magazine articles, old books, etc. etc.

Each online solution works in its own way, but I wonder if anyone can figure out how to make the solution so viral it becomes the standard (which was the real point of the post). I'm glad to know, though, that I never have to hassle with a bibliography again!

Jeff is right...

In his inimitable way: BuzzMachine--Beware the Googeyman.

Jakob, on the other hand, inadvertently explains why keyword advertising is such a brilliant invention. And then goes on to explain why Permission Marketing is a pretty good idea.

Setting expectations

Diego Rodriguez is right, of course: metacool: On Seth and prototypes and storytelling. Your protoype is part of your story, and you need to make that clear. Show someone a photoshop page pretending to be a website and the expectation is that the site is working and this is what it's going to look like when it's done.

Show them a printout of that same page, and the story is very different.

I differ, though, in how you tell the story. Disclaimers don't work. At all! Instead, it needs to be in the way the prototype feels and is presented.

The problem with prototypes

"This is just a sketch."

"...a rough draft..."

"...something we threw together..."

I'm a huge fan of prototyping. Prototyping just about anything is faster and more effective than ever before. It makes hypothetical questions go away and surfaces real issues. It gets things moving. And most important of all, prototyping eliminates fear.


If you use a prototype to try to persuade someone of an idea, be careful. Most people you know are not as conceptual as you are, especially about stuff you really care about. The first prototypes for an iPod or a book cover or a Starbucks or a six-year public works construction project certainly did not impress the outsiders who saw them.

Too many times, I've gotten excited about an idea and created a conceptual prototype. And almost every time, people, smart people, didn't get it.

Here's my new prototype rule of thumb: your prototype has to be better (better build quality, faster interface, better lighting, whatever) than the finished product is going to be. That's what people expect anyway--they see your prototype and take off 20% for reality.

I was wrong

Trekking to Patterson, NJ tonight. Went to Yahoo maps, typed in the address and boom, "That address doesn't exist. Here are directions from the nearest town."

So I went back to my source. Checked it twice. Copied and pasted. Did a second Google search to be sure the address was right.

Turns out that Paterson only has one "t".

I share this with you because it's a great example of how dependent we are on the search engines to fix our mistakes for us. Should Yahoo Maps have "known" that Paterson is often spelled with two "t"s? Of course.

The danger zone is when only some of the obvious mistakes are caught. We're being trained to be sloppy, and expecting that will always work. Watch a kid search on Google--they don't even try to get the spelling right. Why bother?

Farming and hunting

Five thousand years ago, every human was a hunter. If you were hungry, you got a rock or a stick and you went hunting.

The problem was that all of the animals were either dead or really good at hiding.

Fortunately, we discovered/invented the idea of farming. Plant seeds, fertilize em, water em, watch em grow and then you harvest them.

The idea spread and it led to the birth of civilization.

Everyone got the idea... except for marketers.

Marketers still like to hunt.

What we're discovering, though, is that the good prospects are getting really good at hiding.

I hate it when facts ruin a good story

Jake Bialer kicks sand in my Windy City reference: The Straight Dope: ... And what about "Windy City"?.

The windy city

Chicago, it turns out, isn't so windy. They call it that because when they were bidding for the World's Fair in the 1800s, Chicagoans were bragging so much, they were "windy."

Which has nothing to do with this: - Whole Foods goes with the wind but something about stories with windmills in them leads to odd word selections.

Shea Gunther points out that buying wind power is a great marketing story. And he's right.

As the price of energy (and the side effects its creation cause) increase, the how and where of product origins are going to matter more and more.


If you're a new reader, here are some links to get you started:

There are several years worth of posts here. Here's last month's. You can use the archive links on the left to go further back in time.

My lens has lists of some of my most popular posts as well as an overview of my books and such.

This blog is being updated a bit, and we'll be adding search features eventually.

You can subscribe to this blog for free. Here's how.

What to do if you don't know what to do

Start a forum.

Ajax is a brand-new suite of programming solutions. Two people independently created non-profit communities where they could post questions, offer expertise and find fellow travelers:

Ajax Camp


This approach is fast, very inexpensive and pays huge dividends.

Your expanding customer base

House_vs_obesity_lg Dean Johnson wants you to see this chart of average US house size indexed against average US weight. Click on the image for the [big] version, and on Dean's link for the details.

How to be lied to

"Does this dress make me look fat?"

People lie to you every day. And it's most likely your own fault.

"Hi, welcome to our store. Can I help you?"

"So, tell me, what problems does your company face?"

"Why didn't your VC firm fund us?"

"Can you please blurb my book?"

"When do you think you will be ready to invest in this solution?"

"How am I doing?"

"So, when does the next budget cycle begin?"

"Do you like this product?"

"Would you recommend us to a friend?"

"Did you pack your own luggage?"

Every question represents a choice for the person you are asking. She can choose to take a risk and tell you truth, or she can dissemble, fib or outright lie, and save your feelings or avoid an awkward situation.

The way you ask the question, then, matters.

The easy answer to, "Can I help you?" is, "I'm just looking." On the other hand, the easy answer to, "Do you want to see what's on sale?" is, "yes."

Most of the time, we ask questions hoping for lies. It's easier that way.

But what if you really want to know? (and you should).

"What is the best thing about our product? The worst?"

"Now that you've read our business plan, if you could change one thing about it, what would it be?"

"Who's the weakest person on our team, do you think?"

The thing is, once you get someone to tell you tell you the truth, you have no right to argue with them. Punishing someone for giving you honest feedback just guarantees that they'll never do it again.

And when was the last time you persuaded someone they were wrong about their opinion?

The best tag cloud (for today, anyway)

Guy points us to: Current News cloud - Google News Tags by NEWZingo.

Crossing the line to less than zero

Blake points us to: HeightMax, a product few need and one that almost certainly doesn't work as advertised.

On the same day that it is announced that the American economy has crossed a line for the first time in 70 years. In 2005, Americans spent more than they earned.

Net savings rate: less than zero.

Lather, rinse...

From Scott Hampton: unNotified Bodies - Stubborn Resistance to Change.

Sometimes I use this as an example when I'm at client sites. I tell them the moral of the story, too: "If you can't change the little things in your methods, you'll never change the big things. Pick something, make it better. Don't worry if it is just a little thing. If you lather, rinse, and repeat that a few times, you will have made a big difference. BUT if you wait for everyone else to change BEFORE you will, remember that everyone else is thinking the same thing, and so nobody will change anything. Don't wait for permission, or worry about doing something different, or invent reasons why you don't have authority. Somebody has to make the first move. It might as well be you. Change your world, today."

If you aren't doing anything different, how can you expect to accomplish anything different?

Russ Oasis is angry

Radio is going through tumultuous times. This op ed gives you a glimpse of it: Radio Ink - The Voice of Radio Revolution.

I think it's notable for the exasperation as well as the content. There are very few industries that can simultaneously change their tires at the same time they go 55 mph. The answer almost always seems to be independent action in the interest of the consumer, not tortured compromise that protects the current lineup of players.

Guy's got a blog

Some of us have been waiting years for this:  “Let the Good Times Roll” by Guy Kawasaki: Guy’s Golden Touch.

Stuck systems

A young friend of mine needed to create a bibliography for a school project this weekend.

I had forgotten how annoying this task was. I was also pretty sure it was obsolete.

Why, exactly, does a teacher or reader need to know the city a book publisher is based in?

If your goal as a reader (or someone checking for plagiarism or quality of research) is to get to the books that the writer used, you need exactly one piece of data: the ISBN.

A quick online search didn't turn up what seemed obvious to me: a free service that would allow a writer to type in all the ISBNs used in creating a paper and then generate two things:

1. a bibliography based on looking up the data onlline and
2. a web page that would allow the reader/teacher to see the books, their covers, links to Amazon, libraries, online references, etc.

Then, when the student hands in the paper, she appends the bibliography created by the site, and there, right on top, is the web address with all the links.

Now, the typical middle-school teacher is going to explain that kids need to learn to write biographies because it's part of literacy. And a college professor is going to want to keep the tradition going because no one wants to be the first to end it. And an entrepreneur is going to hesitate to build the site I described because she's worried about how hard it will be to spread this idea and how much effort will go into making it the standard resource.

And no student wants to risk a grade by breaking the system.

So, the marketer faces a challenge similar to the disruption challenge that most marketers face--how do you take a system filled with an inefficient, annoying, time-consuming, wasteful and yes, even stupid task and make it better in a way that serves all sides?

If it were me, I'd focus on being cheap and fast and viral. And the more you break the system, the better your upside.

Seminar update

Happy new year and welcome back. Here's the promised seminar update:

UPDATE (1/2/06): There are only a handful of seats left for this seminar. Attendees that have confirmed include three people from one of the top 5 online companies, two from one of the world's biggest food companies and entrepreneurs from Australia, Europe and even New York. We'll be joined by someone who markets an industry assocation and by more than one mid-sized company CEO as well. It was also nice (but not surprising) to hear from so many worthy non profits.

If you'd like to come, please let me know as soon as you can, because it's pretty clear we'll sell out this time. 

Seth's Blog: The new whiteboard seminar (you're invited).


Last night, I made chocolate babycakes.

I had seen Nigella Lawson's recipe in the Times two weeks ago... I even ripped it out. But I lost the clipping and went back online to print out it. Alas, they wanted $3.95 to access it: Two Paths to Glory: Smashing Desserts - Free Preview. (The free preview is a paragraph).

Ever resourceful, I did a google search and found, gasp, 39,000 matches, including the entire recipe.

The key to charging for content is a limited number of channels or a secure "locking"  mechanism. The web offers neither. As people get better at searching (and they do, every day), the chances that you can charge for nuggets of non-custom information go down, relentlessly.

PS I wonder why I don't feel like I stole the recipe...

...If I hadn't lost the clipping, I certainly wouldn't have been stealing. And those 39,000 recipes didn't all come from Nigella... I wonder where Nigella got her version?

Squidoo update

As you can guess, my blog inspires a bunch of mail. Lately, some correspondents have been interpreting my musings about innovation adoption as being related to frustration with the take up of Squidoo. I just wanted to post a tiny post to let you know that the opposite is true.

We're learning a ton about what people want and how ideas spread, which I've been trying to share here. But the number of lenses (10,000) and the traffic and most of all the quality of what's being built is running approximately 800% ahead of what we were hoping for. Keep up with the SquidBlog.

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