June 28, 2003

Google Toolbar

The new Google Toolbar is quite something else. I can see why the other blog software folks are in a tizzy.

But what do they expect, I wonder?

Let's see, Google shells money out for blogger and then DOESN'T incorporate blogtrinsic applications into its Google Toolbar? How stupid would that be? Catch up and get over it. The leaps and bounds acts by Google are good for all of us, because in the end they make all of you move faster to give us better.

I'm using the little "blogger" button at the top to see how the "Blog This" feature works. Apparently, you can post on the fly when you find a page that's worth writing about using this nifty little deal.

My goodness. Imagine... I wonder if it's post specific--i.e., if I'm visiting Halley's blog, can I "blog this" about a specific post? Maybe right click on the permalink or something and have the "Blog This" option appear?

That would be sahweeeet.

This is pretty sweet itself.

bye bye little "blog this" window--going to post and publish now...

June 27, 2003


Have you heard about this one? The world's first "Internet Baby" will arrive next month.

No, this doesn't mean live blogging from the event, or web-cam assisted delivery, which I'm pretty sure have already taken place. In fact, the story is about man not included, a site that nearly removes the man from the conception equation.

FAQs here.

The service, which is marketed as a kind of e-marketplace or match making service between interested parties--both sperm donors and primarily lesbian couples and single women--gives me the willies. Especially the name, and the branding which has all the panache of a dot.com with a rather twisted business model. Guys--if you didn't know what you were good for before, you do now. Ante up the sperm and get lost.

I see a lot being done to ensure peace of mind and security for the sperm consumer, but I don't see fuck-all about making sure the parents to be are legitimate. I'd feel a lot better if I knew no boy children would be born from those drawn to the site.

The notion of "home insemination" with donor sperm from an online matchmaking service that overtly male bashes and now controls the most sacred of data from participants takes conception to a new level: somewhere between a back alley rape and a sterile motherboard insertion.

I wonder when they'll come out with onesies for the children? Imagine the blonde-haired, blue-eyed toddler boys of the future running around with this logo on their chests. Destiny pre-determined.

Am I being too hard on the site and its members? Maybe. But I'll take that chance.

And I'll even do the favor of giving them a tagline for free--one they would no doubt be proud of: "No guy, no lie."

cross posted on Blog Sisters.

Now, this is getting interesting

Some really smart talk is going around on blogging and business. If you're looking for people with less of an axe to grind who are thinking this through--some in ways that make good sense to me--read them:

Alan Karl
Stuart Henshall and again here
Dina Mehta

June 26, 2003

JBMCSE: The Only Guaranteed Approach to Corporate Weblogging

To my surprise, given that not a soul has commented over here in DAYS, I made a run on Daypop yesterday, and I caught the attention of Corante, Tom, Rodent Regatta, and The Happy Tutor, the latter of which always does a fine job of making my jaw drop. Thanks to the tutor, many who meet me read my open-mouthed amazement as a run-of-the-miill, stress-induced facial spasm caused by the lack of a day job. If they only knew it was his fault. All of them.

At any rate, encouraged by someone noticing what I write for a change, no offense to my 96 regular readers each day, whom I love more than buttered toast, I decided to put a positive spin on this corporate blogging thing and come up with Jeneane's Blogging Methodology for C-Suite Executives (JBMCSE).

No, it's not proven. No ROI to speak of.

But results are, nonetheless, guaranteed!

JBMCSE: The Only Guaranteed Approach to Corporate Weblogging

Discovery Meeting: Our weblogging consultants will meet with your management team to introduce the JBMCSE methodology and get a better understanding of your business challenges. During this phase, we will provide you with the latest information about weblogging, micromarkets, and what pundits like Jupiter predict for the future of blogging and corporations. We will then try to frighten you away by using the word “risk” frequently without putting “reduces” before it. Please don’t tell your lawyers about this meeting. Counsel is not invited to attend.

Requirements Gathering: Our work with thousands of your customers (through extensive hyperlinking) and competitors (or people on our blogrolls who work therein) means that we bring unique knowledge of your business and marketplace to the requirements gathering process. During the Requirements Gathering phase of JBMCSE, we will work with you to outline your current processes and document the specific improvements weblogging can deliver. We will also outline critical success factors which must be achieved prior to initiating your corporate weblogging program, such as: 1) You’ve used a computer at least once before. 2.) You passed eighth-grade English class. 3.) You don’t want to be on the cover of Business Week just because you blog. Remember, we promise nothing, but guarantee everything!

Current and Future State Analysis: Where is your business today? Are you effective in communicating with your customers and stakeholders? Are your employees satisfied and motivated? Do you have the ear of key influencers in the media? In this phase we will examine the current state of your sales and marketing processes to determine how effective you are in communicating your messages to your market. The JBMCSE’s exclusive technology and tool set are designed to benchmark your current state against the goals of your organization over time--say the next five minutes. Through Gap Analysis, we can identify the process improvements that will enable your organization to rapidly achieve future state success through weblogging.

Recommendations -- The JBMCSE Roadmap: At the end of the JBMCSE process, the team will present you with your tailored JBMCSE Roadmap, which serves as a blueprint for putting your weblogging strategy into action. Recommendations we’ve made to current and former blue chip clients, include:

1) Rip up your org chart, or forget that you’re on the top line, for at least eight weeks.

2) Read six weblogs a day for six months before you type anything.

3) Tear up 4 (four) of your own business cards and put the pieces in your coffee mug. Every time you think about blogging, try drinking them to remind youself you’re human first.

4) Don’t touch the computer until every one of your employees has been encouraged to blog freely.

5) Tell your counsel that you won’t blog a single controversial word, and then do the opposite. Be prepared to cut them a big check.

These are just a few samples from JBMCSE Roadmaps we’ve developed for organizations just like yours. Remember, weblogging strategies are dynamic and complex. What’s “in” today may not be the savvy approach next week. With JBMCSE, we’ll keep our finger on the pulse of weblogging so you don’t have to. The benefits of our approach are rapid and far-reaching:

1) Cost savings: You can fire your PR agency if you do this right.

2) Efficiency gains: Imagine getting all of your paperwork done at the office so that you can go home and blog all night!

3) Happy Customers: No more expensive, resource-intensive CRM programs. Your weblog comment boxes will put you in direct touch with your constituents who never—not ever—mince words.

4) Improved product and service offerings: Test your products and services first via your weblog so you can roll out the right offerings faster, the first time and every time. For example, our “Stone Throwing” Program lets your weblog readers throw actual (i.e., real live) stones at your laptop when you post about planned product enhancements. (Note: It is important that your medical insurance premiums be up to date prior to launching our Stone Throwing program.)

5) Rapid time to market: Your market is “always on” with blogging. Time to market is dramatically reduced—or, well, eliminated!

These are just some of the tangible benefits you can expect from the JBMCSE approach to corporate weblogging. What’s more, ours is the most affordable blogging methdology in the marketplace. For pricing information or to set up a meeting, visit our web site at www.sessum.com. If that doesn’t scare you away, then you’re already a blogger and you don’t really need our services at all. Congratulations!

June 24, 2003

Holy Mother Nature!

Jenna and I drove up to her best friend's grandparent's place in Big Canoe today. We climbed the twisty mountain roads for what seemed like forever, two minivans with two impatient little girls traveling caravan style. All the while I couldn't stop looking around, then back to the road just in time to keep from careening off a tight edge.

A tornado came through Big Canoe not too long ago. What amazed me was that you could still see the paths it cut through the woods, trees gone or split so far down at the roots, some completely uprooted, that the destruction took my breath away. I wish I had taken the camera with me. But to be honest, I didn't know what to expect at Big Canoe. I guess I expected... well.... a big canoe and a lake.

In fact, Big Canoe is l-i-v-i-n-g. It sort of made me hanker for a real job and a 401-K plan. I walked through the fitness facility, the indoor pool, swam in the saline-filtered (with MINERAL water) outdoor pool, took the kids to a flat area where they could ride scooters, watched them build sandcastles on the beach, tromped around in the lake, watched folks canoe and ride paddle boats. And I'm thinking, some people get to do this EVERY day. What the heck must that be like?

This saline filtration thing they've got going on now in the world of pools is truly amazing. The water has the bouyancy of the sea. It's crystal clear, clean, and it doesn't sting your skin or eyes at all. An honest confession that you probably wouldn't believe: Today I opened my eyes for the very first time under water. Yes, it's true. I've been swimming with my eyes closed my whole life. Chlorine always hurt my face and eyes so badly that I never dared open them.

I saw a sign with the name of the filtration system on it: Chlor-King, and of course, since a website was listed, I had to come back and spread the news. In this saline mineral water stuff, you can open your eyes and it actually feels g-o-o-d. soothing. Your bathing suit doesn't get all smelly-crummy, and your skin feels like you've come from the spa (like I know what that's like. ha.) Smooooth and silky.

I am hooked. Could easily become addicted.

Now, where'd I put that darn lottery ticket.

June 23, 2003

something you will never read about on the Jupiter blog

She's a fish.

A low swiming, slip sliding, butt up in the air, no floatie wearing fish.

Today the floatie swim suit came off, she had her first swimming lesson, and the rest is history. By the end of the day she was diving off the edge and swiming half the length of the pool underwater. Our little girl can S-W-I-M!

She was so excited by this quantum leap in ability -- just yesterday she couldn't put her face in the water without gasping and cringing -- that the water felt electric with her in it. She was a supercharged power boat.

"I can SWIM, Mom! I can SWIM! I'm FREEE!"

I was surprised by my own emotion when I took the suit off later in the day and told her to practice what she learned. She didn't of course--instead she took off swimming like an underwater bullet. So much for the bubble blowing exercises. The confidence boost was all she needed. But as I watched her reach this latest milestone, I had tears in my eyes. Swimming today, driving tomorrow, leaving home the next: I'm FREEE!

And I don't know whether to be happy to have instilled in her the value of freedom, of individuality and ability, or devastated that she's already getting her sea legs.

Can't I put her back in? Just for a day? A week or two? A lifetime? That is my unbirth instinct--to put her back inside. Where I can keep my hands on her and love her and protect her and look forward to all of this instead of watching it pass too soon.

Tom gets it

And writes about it way better than I ever could have. And I'm not saying that just because he references my post.


You know, I've been in the business world--marketing in particular, PR against my better judgment--for 20 years now. I know motives when I smell them. It was my job to spin them for the biggest of the big for a long time.

I am not saying CEOs shouldn't blog. I am saying corporations shouldn't blog. They should connect with bloggers and support our voices because, well, duh, we are their customers and we are their employees.

I am saying that CEOs shouldn't look at blogging as a way for them to write their own press releases, sound "smart," and save some money on marketing. Because that's really not necessary: WE ALREADY KNOW YOU LIKE YOUR OWN STUFF.

If "legitimate executives" decide to blog, they ought to show something of themselves. They ought to write about the car accident they had last week, about who they talked to on the plane to London and what ideas the conversation sparked, and they ought to do that more than they talk about their next seminar. [Link to Mr. Meckler's blog absent because he doesn't have permalinks yet.]

I've seen companies go at blogging early and wrong. I was at one of them. In most of the cases, the company's marketing department or web design group is being charged with the task of "getting us into that blogging thing," and the result is a dramatic increase in pixel-litter on the web. Nothing more.

One of the largest companies in the U.S. was picking my brain about weblogging recently. They were unable to get their heads out of demographic-think and into micromarket-think. They can't stop targeting and start talking. They just can't. And if you think the corporate lawyers will let them think differently, then understand that those lawyers--at least in this case--are paid good money not to let them.

To me, there is more evidence that the business value of blogging lies in the way we connect as 'people' first (people who share passions or concerns AND who happen to work somplace or doing some thing for a living). Then, through this discovery of one another we're doing through blogging, if we click, we go to the marketplace together.

And, damn. I didn't know George Partington had gone until I read Tom's post. That sucks.

the last one off the ledge is a rotten egg!

Who will join me in leaping to a firey death after reading The NY Times article on "The Corporate Blog"? Kudos to Halley for fine placement and well-deserved recognition, but now that I got that out of the way, for the love of all that is holy, I must take my own life.

The "corporate blog?"



Please, please, if a single executive is left among my readers, READ THIS from ME:

DO NOT blog as your business card title.

Do not blog as a CEO. First, last, and always, Blog as a father, blog as a mother, blog as a lover, blog as a gardener, a kick boxer, a trail walker, a brother, a sister, a pianist, a lover of literature, an auto freak, a war monger, a peace lover, a door hanger, a little league coach, a cross-dresser, a rock-n-roll fanatic, a gadget lover, a cancer survivor, a computer nerd, an antique train collector, a griever, a lover of striped ties or fancy underwear--whatever. Blog from your gut, your places of passion, blog about what brings you joy, what socks you in the middle and knocks the wind out of you, but for pete's sake, don't blog from your BUSINESS CARD TITLE!!!

"Legitimate excecutive" voices like Mr. Meckler's? OH MY, ouch. chest pain. severe. Let's read the humanity in the snippet pulled from his blog in the article, shall we? All together now:

"If an organizer truly pushes the intellectual side first with a well thought out and honest seminar program, critical and financial success ultimately comes one's way. Just like the movie `Field of Dreams' — `if you build it, they will come.' "

If you write one more word, I will puke.

Yes, I understand that legitimate executives like Mr. Meckler are passionate about their business. Fine. Then let them write a book about it. What they bring to THIS place should be something else, should be their genuine voices to share. Splash the seminar speak in along the way if you can't restrain yourself, but don't expect anyone to read it for long.


And I'm not talking field of dreams.

If we like you, if we connect on that level, then we meet in the marketplace, maybe.

Got it? Get it.

Because you won't win here. If you drive us out--if "corporate weblogs" drown out the genuine voices here--we'll find a new place, and the brains and hearts will go there. And if you try to chase us there instead of attempting to listen, understand, and talk with us, we will reject you there too.

God Bless Tim O'Reilly, the voice of reason in the article:

"He views blogging as a way for chief executives to do an end run around the company's public relations firms and "glossy brochures" and speak directly to customers and vendors."

Tim, may you live long and prosper. Please, reproduce soon and often and send your child bloggers here.

Look, I should be sleeping. I am tried. I tried. I thought, NO Jeneane, don't even write about it. It's too far gone. Let it pass.

But I couldn't sleep without addressing this.

Instead I called a blog buddy and said, "Have you heard? Weblogging is dead."

Okay, maybe I'm overreacting. But I fear I'm not. I said that the Jupiter conference was bad news--it had the wrong taste, flavor, and I was afraid the artificial sweetner would kill us all.

Diet Coke anyone?

June 22, 2003

summertime summertime sum sum summertime...

someone's learning to swim. someone's learning to relax.
We love we love we love the water.

happy summer, ya'll.