Marketing inspirations

It’s Friday. It’s late. I’m tired.

Enough of the excuses already; this made me laugh and I have to share it:

"At the Oakland airport there’s a vendor called Your Black Muslim Bakery. I’ve been told their products are delicious.

I think we should all be happy that civil rights have matured to the point where “Black” isn’t the part of their name that hurts sales. But I have to wonder if the “Muslim” part of the name is a good marketing idea after 9-11, especially since their business model is selling loaf-sized objects of indeterminate composition to people who have already passed through airport security.

Let me be clear that the Black Muslims organization has nothing to do with terrorism. Still, it was a gutsy move on their part to keep the name. You know their business had to suffer after 9-11. I have to respect them for sticking with it. If that were my business, on September 12th I would have repainted the sign to “Freedom Bread” and doubled my prices."

For the rest of the post, go to Scott Adams’ Dilbert Blog. It gets even better.

There are only two dedicated-funny blogs that I like — Scott Adams and the wonderful Bonnie Writes. Anyone have any other witty recommendations (emphasis on the wit, please)?

Manners maketh the blog

Like Sharon J, I love blogging. But also like her, there are some things I definitely do not like about it.

Sharon puts it this way: she loves blogging "BUT — and there always has to be a but, doesn’t there — there’s one thing about blogging that I don’t like and that’s the way some bloggers seem to think that because they’re on the Net rather than face to face with you, they can be quite aggressive in the way they react to you."   Concluding: "it wouldn’t hurt for each of us to stop and think before we post comments. Just a second or two where we ask ourselves “would I say this to the person’s face?” and “would I like a similar comment left on my blog?” "

It is hard to strike a balance between reasoned opinion and hostility. I have noticed a particular unpleasant practice whereby one person comments (or a blogger blogs) showing a particular prejudice, and then a tranche of visitors post "chiming in" comments, often sycophantic and always failing to show much individuality of thought. (I find it rather boring to read a post that has attracted a lot of comments, go into the comments, and find 17 people have written variants on "aren’t you wonderful and isn’t Tony Blair/George Bush/Osama Bin Laden/political belief system of your choice/uninformed reaction to TV news item/petty bureaucratic injustice that has personally affected the blogger that day dreadful?) When I started blogging I signed up to a lot of the "Britblogs" but have gradually dropped them all for their mindless, simplistic ranting — the ones that have endured are qwghlm, "retired ramblings" and the London Underground blog.

Of course, one nice thing about blogging is that one does not have to go back to a blog where this kind of thing goes on. I think the commenting part of a blog shows as much about the personality of the blogger as the blog itself. Books, Inq, View from the Pundy House and the deblog are examples of blogs where the comments are  a pleasure to read — not sycophantic (indeed, in the case of Books, Inq., quite a few comments take different positions from Frank Wilson, the blogger — and the ensuing debate is informative because it involves people who think for themselves and write what they’ve synthesised), but stimulating, amusing, wry and casting some new light on the post or the article linked at the post. I always look forward to my daily read of these and other similar blogs, and feel sure that the nature of their comment fields has a lot to do with the nature of the blogger in each case. For me, what makes blogging so interesting is the cognitive aspect, and the individualistic (often very funny — eg Tom and Susan on the deblog) responses of other bloggers in the network.

Omnipresent but blogless

We were talking about "delightful cross-pollinators" a few posts ago. This same subject came up on the deblog, in that serendipitous coincidental way that makes blogging such a pleasure. Debra referred to her friend "Blogless Michael" in a post about lost TV theme music, so I suggested that "delightful cross-pollinators" is perhaps a more flattering description.

Debra’s response to my comment:

"Has anyone actually *seen* Dave Lull, Maxine? He may just be a computer program."

Well, if he is, he beats any search engine I’ve ever encountered into a cocked hat.