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Robert Scoble's Blog Predictions


Just about this time last year, at an AMA speakers' dinner for Blogs: Marketing Beyond the Website at Elliot's Oyster House in Seattle, Robert Scoble talked about why he thought vlogging would take flight. Seems Apple was about to launch a video iPod.  With Ben McConnell - Church of the Customer, Bill Flitter - Pheedo, Dana VanDen Heuvel -then Blog Savant - now Pheedo, Clare Nelson, AMA and moi, Diva Marketing around the table, it was not a "geek dinner" but very much a "bloggers' dinner."

Apple's new iPodIpod_video plays up to to 150 hours of video. Curious about how the images look? Check out the DeFunk's vlog of a video iPod. DeFunk has a bunch of videos for your browsing pleasure including how to subscribe to video podcasts in iTune. Cool!

Now go and check out Millie Garfield's son, Steve Garfield's Vlog Soup. Steve, the Divo of Vlogs, has put together a vlog demonstrating different styles of vlogs. Cool!

Over local brews, Robert made another prediction. His thoughts were that during 2005 blogs would continue to grow in popularity and visibility as a marketing strategy. Crystal_ballBut it would not be until  2006 that blogs would really take off. With all of the blog books that were released this year and more about to drop next year, Robert just might just be right. Cool!

Business Blogging Books
-We Blog, Paul Bausch, Matthew Haughey, Meg Hourihan
-The Weblog Handbook, Rebecca Blood
-Buzz Marketing with Blogs For Dummies, Susannah Garden
-Unleash the Marketing & Publishing Power of RSS, Rok Hrastnik
-Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation That's Changing Your World, Hugh Hewett
-Blog, David Kline & Dan Burstein
-Blog On Building Online Communities With Web Logs, Todd Stauffer
-Blogging: Genius Strategies For Instant Web Content, Biz Stone
-Blog Marketing, Jeremy Wright

Coming Attractions Business Blogging Books
-Naked Conversations, Robert Scobel & Shel Israel
-The Everything Blogging Book, Aliza Sherman Risdahl
-The Corporate Blogging Book, Debbie Weil
-The Rough Guide to Blogging, Jonathan Yang

Find more books about blogging at Blog Revolt
Heard it from: Debbie Weil, The Corporate Blogging Book

If you come across any new business blog books drop a comment. Let's keep track of the new releases. Please and thank you!

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Hollypops_3_1Need to loose a few pounds before the holiday festivities begin?  Hollypops could be your answer. Comes in three flavors: lettuce, water, espresso. If the pops don't help with your diet the scary heads sure will!

"The photos are shocking, not because the women are so thin....but because their heads are so HUGE compared to their stick-like bodies. Nicole Richie, Teri Hatcher, and Christina Ricci have collaborated to create a guilt-free snack that is causing a sensation in Hollywood.  These NO calorie, NO fat Hollypops are the perfect meal for the gal who just can't seem to get thin enough."

Sometimes Friday Fun needs to be just plain silly. And this one sure is...enjoy your weekend!

Heard it from: Gallery of the Absurd


Traveling Hope


Wood_trailTraveling Hope. A special blog project that reinforces that blogs are about people-talking-to-people. The creator Jeannette best tells what it's all about.

This project blossomed out of the exchange between bloggers who share one common concern: cancer. If you have read the many beautiful, angry, touching, bitter, honest, caring, inspiring words, then you understand the virtual community that has been built and the value of that support. Unknowingly we have inspired one another with our words and honesty on our blogs. We have found a connection with one another and shared our hearts, our fears, our tears, and our laughter with one another. What if we could take our words, thoughts, even pictures, one step further?

How can we capture this in something other than our archives? How can we get these words into the hands of other people who most need to hear them? Through these questions “traveling hope” has become a reality.

The idea is to send several journal notebooks out to people and have them each enter a journal entry in written words or pictures (or both). Then each journal is sent off to another person and it continues until each journal is full, at which time the journals are returned. The Traveling Hope Project is open to those who have been touched by cancer: survivors, caretakers, family members, medical professionals, etc. The intention is to create a traveling exhibit to bring awareness to cancer. This is intended solely to be used to bring awareness. No one will ever profit financially from this project. The hope is that someday we can have the journals bound and copied and distributed free of charge to cancer patients.

Please consider joining this project. Share your story. Leave a legacy.

Heard it from: Cary Miller, Cancer-News-Watch

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Wheelin' & Dealin' - Online Marketing & Ads


What's your exit strategy? If it's to get "aquired" the M&A list that Cliff Kurtzman, CEO of ADASTRO and moderator of the excellent The Online Advertising Discussion List, put together of the 2005 deals in the online marketing and ad space might be helpful. Most of the deals involve companies who are involved with online content. I found the movement and the players interesting.

Sidebar: Since Gawker's deal with Yahoo! is *only* to provide content ... guess we won't see one that on Cliff's list.

November 2005
PlanetOut acquires LPI Media for $31.1M.
MashBoxx acquires Grokster
AtomShockwave acquires Addicting Games
WebMD acquires TheHeart.org for $19M (approximately $150/member)
Microsoft acquires media-streams.com AG and Foldershare
News Corp buys Propertyfinder.com for $25.3M
AOL acquires MusicNow
Think Partnership (CGI Holdings) buys Web Diversity for $2M
Aegis/Isobar acquires Planete Interactive and Webcontents for $11M
Omnicom acquires Resolution Media
VML acquires Studiocom
Ziff Davis Media Game Group acquires FileFront.com
Boulevards acquires SF Station
Leisure & Gaming acquires Nine.com for $36M and Engllish Harbour for $16.5M
ThriftyChick.com acquired by Papierdoll.net
Stoddard Hill Capital acquires iNET Interactive from Aberration! Ventures
Alebooks acquires BookFinder.com
LocalMatters acquires AreaGuides.net
Yahoo! acquires Softbank's shares of Yahoo UK, Yahoo Germany and
Yahoo France, and Yahoo Korea for $500M
First Advantage Corporation and The First American Corporation
jointly acquire a 75 percent ownership interest in LeadClick Media
for $150 million.

October 2005
AOL purchases Weblogs, Inc. for $25 Million
Yahoo acquires Upcoming.org
Verisign buys Moreover for $30M
MTV Networks buys IFILM for $49M
J. L. Halsey acquires EmailLabs for $19.5M
Omnicom acquires ipsh!
AOL acquires Weblogs (est. $25M)
Aegis/Isobar acquires Kirowski Rt. for $12M
Yahoo acquires WhereonEarth
eBay acquires VeriSign Payment Gateway for $370M

September 2005
Trendum acquires BuzzMetrics
Microsoft buys Alacris
eBay buys Skype for $2.6 - $4 Billion
Rakuten buys Linkshare for $425M
Alliance buys Bigfoot Interactive for $120M est.
News Corp (Fox Interactive) acquires IGN for $650M
DMG World Media acquires iMedia
Media Contacts acquires Iando

August 2005
Microsoft acquires Teleo (VoIP Tech)
AOL buys Xdrive
AOL buys Wildseed
News Corp (Fox Interactive) acquires Scout Media
ValueClick acquires Fastclick for $280M
Incisive Media PLC acquires Clickz.com/Search Engine Trade Shows from
Jupitermedia for $43M
Aegis/Isobar acquires glue for $26M
Experian acquires Vente, Inc.
Vector Capital acquires Register.com for $200M
Yahoo! invests $1B in Alibaba, which acquires Yahoo! China

July 2005
Marchex buys IndustryBrains for $30.6M
Yahoo buys Konfabulator
News Corp (Fox Interactive) buys Intermix/MySpace for $580M
Google acquires Android
Google acquires Akwan
Cheetahmail (Experian) acquires Harvest Solutions
Aegis/Isobar acquires Digithais Network for $6M
Experian acquires ClassesUSA.com

June 2005
Gannett acquires PointRoll (est. $100M)
Amazon.com buys CustomFlix
Yahoo acquires Dialpad
eBay buys Shopping.com for $620 Million
Millward Brown acquires Dynamic Logic
I/PRO acquires Accrue
ValueClick acquires Web Clients for $141M
ValueClick acquires E-Babylon for $15M
MTV Networks buys Neopets for $160M
Jupitermedia acquires PictureArts for $63.2M
Falk North America acquires FPBA Group/Commflash
IGN acquires AskMen.com
E.W. Scripps acquires Shopzilla for $525M
Aegis/Isobar acquires HYPERmedia for $8.7M

May 2005
Jupitermedia acquires JGuru.com
Horizon buys Mass Transit Interactive
Refinery buys DirectMASS
Google acquires Dodgeball
J. L. Halsey acquires Lyris for $24M
Experian buys LowerMyBills.com for $380M
eBay/Kijiji acquires Gumtree.com and LoQUo.com

April 2005
Amazon.com buys BookSurge
Amazon.com buys Mobipocket.com
Hellman & Friedman buys Doubleclick for $1.1B
Yahoo acquires TeRespondo
Aegis/Isobar acquires Molecular for $31.5M
Experian acquires Thermo Media, LLC (Affiliate Fuel)

March 2005
Francisco Partners acquires WebTrends from NetIQ for $94M
Acxiom acquires Digital Impact for $140M
WebSourced acquires Smart Interactive
adMarketplace acquires AIBITS
IAC/Interactive Corp buys Ask Jeeves for $1.85 Billion
Microsoft buys Groove Networks
Yahoo acquires Ludicorp Research (Flickr) for $40 Million
Google purchases Urchin Sofware for $30 Million
GOT Corporation acquires Smart Solutions International
Silverpop acquires Digital Oxygen
360i acquires SearchIgnite
Think Partnership (CGI Holdings) acquires PrimaryAds for $10M-$26M

February 2005
Websidestory acquires Atomz for $4.3M
comScore acquires SurveySite
NY Times buys About.com from Primedia for $410 Million
Interchange acquires Inspire Infrastructure 2i for $22.5M
Ask Jeeves acquires Bloglines

January 2005
iVillage acquires Healthology for $17.2M
DigitalGrit acquires Liquid Marketing and Insight
Aegis/Isobar acquires FarFar
Aegis/Isobar acquires De-construct for $11M
DMG New Media acquires AD:TECH $19.4M est.

Update: Cliff is updating this list on the Online Advertsing Discussion List website.

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Fortune Smiles On Yvonne DiVita


FORTUNE's new blog Business Innovation is leveraging the creative talents of the blogosphere. An interview with Yvonne DiVita, Lip-Sticking, is front and center. Yvonne shares her views about marketing to women online. It such fun to see Yvonne on the other side of the virtual mic after reading  Lip-sticking's Smart Women and Smart Men interviews.Pink_boa_7

Big take away - many companies are asking questions but few are really listening.

Yvonne is one diva who does both! A toss of the pink boa to you Yvonne.

Sidbar: Business Innovations, would you please format in blog scannable paragraphs. It's sometimes difficult to read huge chunks of information when paragraphs run long. And dahling, we do not want to miss one word of Yvonne's interview.

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George Orwell Would Have Been A Blogger


1984The Ministry of Truth is alive and well and living in Orlando, FL. It's now called METROPlan Orlando.

Josh Hallett, hyku, presents an excellent case study of what can happen to a blog  when it succeeds. The  METROPlan blog provided an opportunity for people to exchange ideas and offer suggestions. Hats of to METROPlan for their innovation. Especially when part of its mission reads: "As the regional MPO, METROPlan Orlando provides the forum for local elected officials and transportation experts to work together to improve mobility for Central Florida residents, businesses and visitors."

But wait! Josh's post title, Death of a Blog, is a dead give away that in this situation success aint a pretty picture.  I would guess that some of those comments were not always kind to the bureaucrats behind the scenes. Kill the blog! Kill the messengers! No more blog -except in caches, of course!

Similar to the mission of The Ministry of Truth in George Orwell's novel 1984, seems METROPlan wanted to control truths for its citizens. And to protect themselves from public critique and conversations.  From the a disscussion about the METROPlan blog from a transcript of METROPlan Executive Meeting - September 14, 2005 Mayor Cutty: Why would we as elected officials on board open ourselves up to this and sometimes you don't have an email. I'm against it.

Perhaps METROPlan doesn't realize this is 2005 and not 1984? Perhaps they haven't heard of citizen journalism? So your blog or mine or anyone of a million others? The conversation will still take place. The only thing that has changed is METROPlan, you don't have the home court advantage any longer.

Playboy's Bunny Blog


Move on over FORTUNE and Business Week - another mainstream pub has joined the blogosphere. Playboy UK is blogging and podcasting too. Be warned...the blog is very riske...rated XXX...  Surprisingly few comments. Hef baby, can a sexy U.S. Playboy blog be far behind? (oops sorry!)

The Playboy blog includes some of the easiest to understand explanations about RSS and podcasting I've come across - including screenshots.

What is podcasting?
It's Sky plus or Tivo for internet radio shows. You listen to a show you like, then you can subscribe to that show (for free). This means that everytime there is a new episode of that show, iTunes will download it for you. Automagically.

What is RSS/XML?
Right. Don't worry. This is easy. My mum understands it.

In its most simple form, RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a way for your PC to be told every time a web site has something new to read so you don't need to waste your time surfing sites that haven't been updated.

Rather than use the bookmarks that are easily forgotten about, you get a little notification that the site has new content. You can 'subscribe' (for free) to RSS feeds and then you'll be told as soon as there is something new to read.

Now, you may not have noticed but lots and lots of sites use this technology now. Especially news sites. BBC, Guardian, New York Times, even Arsenal's site has an RSS feed. You can tell because Playboy_marilynthey use this XML/RSS button to let you know what the feed is.

Playboy triva: Marilyn Monroe was the first center fold.

Heard it from: if.psfk.com
By the way, porn comments and trackbacks will be zapped!

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The Speaker (of The House) Speaks


Dennis Hastert, Speaker of The House, has launched a sort of blog. Here we go into that what defines a blog conversation ... comments are not open. But there is an RSS feed. Mister Speaker calls it a "journal" so perhaps that's a nice compromise. Oh, there are also some mp3 clips.

Welcome to the blogosphere Mister Speaker, hope your blog/journal lasts longer than the blog of Mayor Tony Williams of DC.

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Friday Fun: A Goblet Fit For A Diva


Shall it be a cosmo or dirty martini or perhaps a cab would better suit your style tonight? Girlfriend, Martini_wine_gobletif you can't quite make up your mind ... this unusual Rashid wine/martini goblet designed by Gaia&Gino was created for you.

It was commission by MOMA in celebration of its 75th anniversary.  What a lovely and elegant way to toast one of the greatest museums. A perfect Diva gift! I'm putting it on my holiday list ... hint hint! Happy Friday Fun.

Heard it from:design*sponge

Innovation Fortune Style


Gotta love the tag line of FORTUNE's Innovation Forum - Innovation is Everyone's Business.

Successful companies have made innovation a strategic priority. But what exactly is innovation? Is innovation creativity? In business, can we say innovation begins with creativity that then leads to ideas for new products and services that .. here's the key .. are marketable?

Andrew J. Parsons, McKinsey&Company, encourages business to stimulate a restless culture. I would call it a culture built on curiosity. Questioning the status quo. Understanding latent consumer needs. Determining how to leverage trends.

How do you build a process and a culture that ensures a continuous flow of ideas? Business Innovation points to an article in Detroit Auto News Inside about how a very traditional company - Ford Motors - is creating a grassroots culture of innovation.  The Strategy: Zap the bureaucracy and make it easy for employees to communicate with a responsive management. Then innovation becomes -  "Everyone's business!"

Tips for Creating Innovation
-Launch an internal blog or a wiki dedicated to innovation
-Reward ideas
-Hold creativity or ideology sessions
-Tap into your your customers
-Respond to suggestions...don't let ideas fall into a dark hole
-Celebrate success
-Encourage risks ... celebrate failures too
-Use mind maps
-Mix up work teams
-Understand drivers of consumer behavior
-Incorporate "innovation" into job descriptions

If you can't make the FORTUNE's conference or your budget doesn't include the $1895 registration fee,Cat_in_the_hat you might find an idea or two on the companion blog Business Innovation.

On innovation - by Dr. Seuss
And ZATZ is the letter
I use to spell Zatz-it
Whose nose is so high
that 'most nobody parts it...
So, to get there and do it,
I built an invention:
The Three-Seater Sarz-it
Nose-Patting Extension.

Sidebar: FORTUNE must think Diva Marketing is innovative - they've included a link to Diva on the BlogRoll. Sweet!

Read More About Innovation
Creativity? Innovation? Are They Different Do We Need Both?
Innovation DNA
Innovation Baby Steps
Think Smart Blog

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