A Blog of Very Little Brain

'What does Crustimoney Proseedcake mean?' said Pooh. 'For I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words Bother me.'

Posts Tagged ‘PR

Buzzword compliance test

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I saw Scribd‘s embedded web document on a couple of sites; although I think the “web-document-format” is a good idea, I was sort of turned off by two elements. The first is the actual document format, which is Flash (blech). Making it less of a Web-based document and more of “embedded element”, which isn’t quite the same. The second being the “document” name: iPaper.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but naming your product after the latest brand-buzz doesn’t sound like “the here-to-stay next-development-in-web-technology”, but more like “Take the Money and Run“. In a sense, iSomething is akin to eSomething from the days of Ye Olde Web, and there’s not much going around that carry that moniker.

To test that, lets run Scribd’s “platform page” through my imagined iBuzzWorth scanner and see what we find out:

1: Company name is spelled in a "cool, vowel-less" web2.0 name.
2: Product is being presented as a development framework.
3: Use of Apple's iProduct trademark
4: Product is described as "beautiful". No explanation is given to this.
5: Description terms are capitalized, as if they represent a term rather than an adjective.
6: Simple CRUD interface for uploading/embedding documents, no added horsepower to vindicate the claim to power.
7: Usage of the plural form of API, indicates this isn't the technical term, but the marketing one.

There’s more, naturally, but I’ve turned the program off.

Written by Erez

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 11:40

Posted in Internet, Marketing

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Cynic’s corner or: why I don’t buy it.

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Saw this on Last.fm’s blog:

One of the nicest bits of feedback we’ve had here at Last.fm HQ in the past few weeks was a message from two users who had just started a life together. They wrote to say that it all started through common musical interests on Last.fm, which led to them becoming friends online, and, over time, to discover that they were true soulmates. Yes, honestly.

Honestly? Don’t buy it.

I may be an old cynical, with my romantic nerves rugged and my soul tattered, but I’ve seen this too many times. It just happened that they got a way-too-cool-to-pass PR story that *just* coincides perfectly with the way they’ve “been using the idea of a musical soulmate (…) to guide the development of our new neighbours service”. And they don’t put their names, or faces, on it?

Yes, its quite the thing, I think its a PR thing, since they didn’t make it look like a PR thing. But think, if this was a true story, you’d get down their names, or even their Last.fm usernames, with those funky avatars they have. Its not like they have confessed to liking bestiality, and for a few dollars, this story could’ve made much more sense and go much better than an opening paragraph in a blog.

On the other hand, I’ve seen this before. The just too good to be true story, with no names, no real details, just a ‘believe you me, ’tis be ‘onest tale’ hand around the shoulder confidentiality. I worked in this place, where as incentives to the more efficient employees, used to give raffle tickets to the lottery. When asked, the managers used to tell how “once, this girl actually won 10,000 NIS from one of those”. She didn’t, but the story got carried on, even appeared in a couple of articles on the company. It’s a white lie, no real harm done, win-win situation, so to speak. I just don’t buy it any more.

Update: And not two minutes after posting, I read this item in ValleyWag about what Venture Capitalists really think about the start-ups they invest in.

Written by Erez

Friday, August 22, 2008 at 17:30

Posted in Blogging, Culture

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