The Blog You've Been Missing

Numbers 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,

February 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:35 pm

If you have ever wondered where the numbers we use came from…take a look. It’s really quite elegant.


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Arianna and

February 7, 2011

Filed under: Journalism,Management — Tags: , , — admin @ 4:21 pm

I’m a big fan of and their local news gathering operation – even if they are owned by AOL. It was interesting to hear Arianna Huffington being interviewed today about the puchase of her Huffington Post site by the AOL content empire (at least in their own eyes).

The only AOL division she chose to name while answering question on The PBS Newshour was I’m not sure if it was a random thought, or if I should be nervous that Ms Huffington will start monkeying around with what has become a pretty successful formula for local news gathering.

AOL and Arianna had conference calls with all the AOL properties which will be under her control but singling out would make me a bit nervous if I was one of their local editors. I’m not the only one expressing concern.

Only time will tell, but I really hope I don’t wind up reading local news as dictated by the folks in Washintgton D.C.

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How Not To Compete in a Digital World

February 2, 2011

Filed under: Management,observations — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 7:36 am

As a former professional photographer I was sad to hear that my local photo shop, was going to close – so I decided to stop by and see what was up. The manager insisted that they were not going out of business,  – just looking for a smaller location. There have been published reports of the imminent demise but I figured I’d play along with his story if they hadn’t made a formal announcement.

But I couldn’t help thinking the store was textbook example of how not to compete in a digitally based, internet-centered world. I’ve patronized the store for many years. They processed my film ‘in the old days’ and when I had questions about what digital camera to buy, that’s where I got advice. And to pay them back for the service I bought three cameras from them – even though I knew I could get them cheaper online.

They are a family-run two-store chain where I used to have to wait in line for service. No more, the store is pretty much deserted as film has disappeared and  people discovered they could order good quality prints online, or simply upload digital files to a website where grandma and grandpa could log on and see the kids anytime they wanted.

That was about 60% of their profit.

Then, when web sites made it possible to compare prices online and postage-free, tax-free delivery was available from anywhere, the rest of their profits started to melt away.

My local store never bothered to put up a website that was anything more than a place saver. There was no on-line store to buy anything. There was no listing of products beyond general terms, there was no buying advice about how to choose the best digital camera and there was no online marketing to make sure that even their most loyal customers knew they were still around.

In short they just seemed to stick their head in the sand and hope it was just a poor economy and that business would come back. The store manager says they are working on all those things, but I’m afraid it may already be too late and my main street will have a vacant store front and just a bit less traffic.

The tragedy is, it could have been avoided with a little effort put into leveraging the expertise and good will they had built up over 20 years of business. There are numerous example of small local businesses who have able to survive in the digital age but unfortunately there are many more  who simply become case studies of how not to compete.

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An Answer When You Need It

February 1, 2011

Filed under: Management,observations — Tags: , , — admin @ 3:53 pm

You can’t scan many blogs before you find a rant from someone who had to deal with a customer service ‘telephone tree’ and came away much worse for the experience.

I’ve done it in this space and have read many others. So, I thought it would be appropriate to give credit where credit is due and offer a compliment when things went right.

I had a question for my local bank, about a form they sent. So I dialed the customer service number listed and was pleasantly surprised to hear a real person answer. I asked my question she gave me an answer and I hung up in stunned silence.

Maybe businesses are starting to get the message.

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