Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Join The Conversation

06 Jan 2008

As mentioned in the previous post, I’m about to dig myself a way through a pile of structurally ordered letters that make marketing sense when read in the right direction. I’ll be combining the joyful read of AnnaMaria Turano & John Rosen’s Stopwatch Marketing with Jospeh Jaffe’s Join The Conversation. Jospeh’s book is all about conversation, because there lies the true power of brand marketing. Other than offering a decent product in a perfect fashion, the talking about it and the reviews that satisfied customers have afterwards with their friends and relatives build up a brand image that is more stronger and powerful than any PR activity could achieve on its own. Third party recommendations are stronger and more dedicated and stand tall. Combine that with a decent strategy and well adjusted ideas from a book as Stopwatch Marketing and I’m pretty sure your brand/product/idea will be a hit with the right dose of both approaches.

Joseph’s book is a fistful of well aimed thoughts about how brands and marketing can profit from the power of conversation. If you look at the line-up of the chapters, you’ll get the drift.

  1. Talking “at” versus talking “with”
  2. The many-to-many model
  3. Can marketing be a conversation?
  4. The birth of Generation I
  5. The rise of the prosumer
  6. The new consumerism
  7. The six Cs: Three phases of conversation
  8. The consent-conversation relationship
  9. What conversations are in your future?
  10. Why are you so afraid of conversation?
  11. The 10 tenets of good conversation
  12. The 5 ways you can join the conversation
  13. When conversation isn’t a conversation at all
  14. Where does conversation fit in?
  15. Conversation through community
  16. Conversation through dialog
  17. Conversation through partnership
  18. Getting started: The manifesto for experimentation
  19. Does conversation work?
  20. Do you speak conversation? Take the test

Again, just as I wrote a few hours ago: I look forward to reading this and write down my thoughts. Check back soon for a decent review.


Stopwatch Marketing

06 Jan 2008

January/February will be a month of reviews in between advertising rants and campaigns, because yesterday I offered to review a book from Jaffe Juice, and today I got contacted by John Rosen who was kind enough to put me on his list to review the Stopwatch Marketing book. I am delighted to have some new books to put on my bedside table or to read on the train rides back and forth from Amsterdam, and I’m looking forward to write down my findings for the readers of this blog. Stay tuned for that. Below is a short overview of Stopwatch Marketing. More information can be found on the dedicated blog.

    Sometimes shopping takes minutes, but is still too long; sometimes shopping takes months, and the shopper is sad to see it end. In Stopwatch Marketing, you will learn that time isn’t money; it’s much more important than that. Understanding how much time and energy consumers are willing to spend shopping for a particular purchase – their shopping strategies – is the single most important (and overlooked) thing you need to know in order to succeed in selling your product or service to them.

    In Stopwatch Marketing, we identify four basic shopping strategies – impatient, reluctant, painstaking, and recreational – and show how to analyze, evaluate, and exploit the time that represents every shopper’s most important resource; how to understand and measure the length of time your customer will spend searching for your product or service; and how to make absolutely certain that your product or service is close to the front of your customer’s queue.

    Many of America’s best-known and most successful companies are using the principles of Stopwatch Marketing™ every day to achieve spectacular growth in both margin and market share. The book includes fresh company examples such as Tempur-pedic, Microsoft, Goodyear and MasterLock as well as completely original interpretations of popular case studies like Lexus, Charles Schwab, Apple, Commerce Bank and Whole Foods. Our book not only shares their stories, but offers step-by-step guidelines for building an entire marketing strategy around stopwatch principles. Our success in applying these principles to our clients’ businesses gives us confidence that we are on to something quite new and interesting in the marketing world: the criticality of the customer’s time demands in reaching a purchase decision.

This certainly seems to be an interesting read, and to be honest, seeing Microsoft in their list of examples made me quite curious to know which of the techniques or tactics are being applied. (I work for Microsoft, in case you missed my switch). Other than that, I really look forward to dig deeper in the strategies to get consumers to spend as much as they can in the shortest amount of time possible, without blasting them over with an overload of teasers or bombing them with spam. To be continued…


55 Ways To Have Fun With Google

24 Jun 2006

Free download of the day:

55 Ways To Have Fun With Google

The full .pdf of Philipp’s book, 55 Ways to Have Fun With Google, is now available on As the book is Creative Commons licensed, you are encouraged to copy, read, share, remix, convert, quote, browse, and print the .pdf to your liking. If you do create conversions, e.g. an HTML version, please send the URL so Philipp can link to it from

If you’re a true booklover or papersniffer, you can also buy the book, which contains over 220 pages and is available at for $16.50 or at Amazon for $19.66.

Download the .pdf (7.88 Mb)
There’s also a .zip file with the Word document (7.5 MB)

Read the review I did after proof-reading the book.


55 Ways To Have Fun With Google

26 Apr 2006

I’m almost finished proofreading Philipp’s book about Google, which is cunningly titled “55 Ways To Have Fun With Google”. I had a great time reading it and there’s a lot of cool things about Google that I didn’t know yet which Philipp explained and now make more sense. I was surprized to find out how many Google Games there are to be played and indeed, Google is more than just a search engine. It’s a source of happiness, fantasy and fun. Google can become a way of life, not just a tool to help you look for answers.

Excerpt from “Chapter 30: Ten signs You Are Addicted To Google”:

  • When people talk to you, you try to optimize their keywords.
  • Your reply to “how are you?” is “I’m feeling lucky”, combined with a clicking gesture.
  • You are convinced that “What’s your PageRank?” is a good pick-up line.

I especially liked chapter 42, the science-fiction interlude. Truly, inside Philipp hides a great novelist. Of course it’s not the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, and no, it’s nothing like 1984 either… but it comes close. I was really excited while I read it and the tales intrigued me. I couldn’t let go of the book once I started a chapter. I even read while I was walking home from the train station because it was so captive that I couldn’t just close the book in the middle of a story.

What are Google Robots?

Google Robots are our human-like machines that walk the earth to record information. They do no harm, and they do not invade your privacy.

The book is a must-have. If you like, love or hate Google, this is what you need to read. You’ll never regret having ordered your copy, but you’ve got to wait a little more because it isn’t for sale yet. If you follow Philipp’s Google Blogoscoped or you’ll definitely see the date of launch being posted when it’s ready.

I asked Philipp what his main reason was to start writing the book and what he learned:

I don’t know exactly what triggered my decision to start writing this book. I guess it was inevitable because my head is overflowing with Google trivia, which I collected in 3 years of writing a Google blog. I also wanted to give people something to take with them on the beach, onto the airplane, or whenever else you’re not in front of a PC. It was a lot of fun writing the book.

As for what I learned… – I learned a lot about Open Office Writer, but finally had to buy Microsoft Word and convert the document. The sad truth is that when you’re using an “exotic” tool, even though it’s free, you’re likely to run into problems with online tools and help sites… most help pages online will be about the most popular tool, Word, and most online converters (like’s self-publishing book converter) will also only support the most popular tool.

The book is rated ‘G’ for Googlish.


Posted in Reviews


Experience The Message

13 Apr 2006

For the past two weeks or so I’ve been reading Max Lenderman’s work of art, “Experience The Message, how Experiental Marketing is changing the Brand World”. I must say this book was a real eye-opener to me. Max not only captures the essence of creating buzz, he lives and breathes it through every word. Because of his experience with advanced event marketing, guerrilla marketing and all the other forms in which experiental marketing exists, the book is like a collection of testimonials that are illustrated by tons of similar examples pulled together from all over the world.

The book reads like a train which came in handy because I read it on the train whilst commuting from and to the brandbreeding agency where I temporarily work. I’ve been totally brainwashed and I liked every second of it. Every time the train stopped at my destination, I felt bad because I’d have to wait until the evening to be able to read more. I’ve never actually seen a collection of examples that’s so big and so clearly explained. Really, if you’ve got the time you just got to read this. I learned a lot.

Max points in all directions, stating do’s and don’ts, placing campaigns in and pulling them out of context in a meaningful way. A lot of things became clear to me, stuff that I’ve heard of but never actually knew (until now), campaigns that have been launched recently that are being analyzed to the bone… I liked it a lot. I enjoyed every letter.

“On the surface, buzz and roach marketing have indispensable experiental elements. Word-of-mouth is certainly a one-on-one interaction. Many consumers find it a benefit to know of new product and sites first, and often the imparted information is beneficial also. Buzz marketing is also heavily dependent on new technologies, or a new application for existing ones. The use of blogs for marketing effectiveness, for instance, is a perfect example. And clearly, word-of-mouth is principled on grass-roots activation. These are all hallmarks of successful experiental marketing. Yet without authenticity, the experience is muddied by ethical constraints, and the consumer’s adverse reaction to a blurred and ethical boundary is palpable.”

Order it on Amazon or eBay. You won’t regret it. You’ll feel complete when this book is in your marketing library.

Read Max Lenderman’s blog.

1 Comment

Posted in Reviews


YouTube, Veoh & Other Video Archives

28 Dec 2005

YouTube is really on the roll now. Almost daily there are changes to the interface, making it better and better to experience the online video viewing and sharing. Nathan recently posted that YouTube possibly bypassed GoogleVideo in a race for video content on the web, and I’m the first one to agree on that. YouTube is very web 2.0, has thousands and thousands of users and allows those users to add personal value to each clip. From comments to bookmarks, to creating custom playlists, it’s all there. I’m a very satisfied users, and I think I made Nathan switch to YouTube too.

"YouTube, founded by Internet commerce pioneers from PayPal, has developed a new service that allows people to easily upload, tag, and share personal video clips through and across the Internet on other sites, blogs and through e-mail. The service also allows users to create their own personal video network." All you need is a Flash Player, which almost all of the surfers nowadays have installed already.

I remember Nathan asking me a little while ago why I didn’t upload all these clips from my archive to the GoogleVideo site, and I said it was far too complicated to then access them afterwards. With YouTube, I can browse on the tags I gave the clips, I can embed the clips into my blog, I can subscribe to RSS feeds from users, or have RSS feeds being generated on a specific tag or a combination of tags. It’s not just the amount of videos online, it’s the way I can use them. You can also add or invite friends to your personal friends list, making it even more easy to track recently uploaded clips by people you want to stay in touch with or of whom you like the things they’ve uploaded so far. Another thing that comes along with adding friends is that you can also access their favorites, so you even have a lot more clips to look at. Also very popular is the starred rating option which allows you to express your fondness of clips other people have uploaded.


I made my own archive on YouTube, uploading every funny/shocking/deranged/sexy clip I’ve received this last year. I’m up to 488 clips, and it’s still growing. I did this because I got tired of the forwarding, with my ‘out’ box always filled with ‘pending sending’ mails. Also, due to spam regulations, a lot of companies are blocking video clips or file extensions for their employees, making a lot of emails to former colleagues bounce or just redirect to the junk folder. Forwarding a short (especially compared to GoogleVideo !) URL to someone is a very good way to bypass this corporate rule and doesn’t cause my email load to exceed human limits.

You can also use YouTube to share private videos with friends or family, making it very easy to upload clips from family reunions, dinner parties or birthdays and share them with other loved ones online. Yeah, YouTube really gets to it. It’s a perfect community. No doubt. If Google should decide they want some web 2.0 action, like Yahoo has it’s Flickr… they should buy YouTube and forget about their GoogleVideo stuff. To be honest, I haven’t really used GoogleVideo since I came across YouTube in July because the time between uploading a clip, and actually being able to use it somewhere online is just way too long. With YouTube, depending on the filesize (max 100 mb), it only takes a few minutes before it’s available. And instantness is a very high-valued quality of any web service.

Adult footage isn’t allowed, and the self-regulation between users is pretty high. You can flag a clip for unreasonable content, and be sure it’ll disappear very very soon. Not at once, but the review monkeys over at YouTube are very alert and step in very often to remove copyrighted or obscene material. And another wonderful thing about YouTube is: there are no porn ads, no adult friend finder ads or whatsoever, making it a very clean site for all ages.

I can recommend YouTube to all of you, so y’all can broadcast yourselves.

Links :

* Signing up at YouTube (for free, of course)
* Coolz0r Videos

So now what? Well, YouTube is a perfect online sharing tool. But there’s offline fun too. And in comes Veoh, an initiative very much like YouTube, but with some extras. I’ll take you through the extras and explain a little how it works.

Veoh is an Internet Television Network that is able to reach anyone with a broadband Internet connection and a PC or a Mac.  All you need to do is download and install the Veoh software, and you’re off. (Took me about a minute to set it up, downloaded .exe file size: 2.38 mb)

Veoh allows anyone to create and broadcast their own TV show or a Channel full of shows. Not small streaming videos, but FULL-Screen, TV-Quality video. Veoh does not transcode the content, whereas YouTube renders it all and makes a Flash clip of it. Veoh offers it in it’s native encoding, and does not limit the file sizes/length of video. YouTube has a 100 mb limit. Veoh’s goal is to become the platform for producers of all sizes (from individuals to studios and everyone in between) to have a democratized TV broadcasting system. Democratized means unfiltered, thus including adult material.

Veoh has over 10,000 shows available for immediate consumption.  If you’re worried about being exposed to Adult content, Veoh has a built-in family filter that is on by default.  You can choose what rating not to go above. Filters are: TV-G, TV-PG, TV-14, TV-MA, Adults Only and ’shocking & offensive’. Altering those filters requires the password to be re-entered.


Veoh has a stand-alone function built in, so what you’ve downloaded is also viewable when you’re not connected to the internet or on the move with your laptop. Prior to watching, the show must be downloaded to your computer. Veoh makes this process as easy as clicking a download button. Most shows will download within minutes or even seconds, others may take longer. Once a download is complete, you can watch the show. If you like the show, you can “subscribe” to it, and automatically get every new episode that the broadcaster publishes. It is FREE to subscribe to all shows . Think of this as a TiVo for Internet TV.

One of the coolest features is that you can manage your Veoh video queue remotely. So if you have Veoh installed on your PC/Mac at home, you can log into our system from work, and add stuff for your Veoh to download, so that you have it when you get home.

Veoh also has an integration for iPods, with over 3000 videos ready to download and play.

Veoh is based in San Diego, CA, is venture capital backed, and built by some pretty cool guys :-). CEO- Dmitry Shapiro built Akonix Systems, (an IM/P2P security company with over 1 million deployed enterprise seats), Chief Scientist – Dr. Ted Dunning built MusicMatch’s recommendation engine (sold to Yahoo). Full bios can be found here.

Getting Started :

* Download the tool for Mac OS X (10.3.9 and +) or PC (WinXP)
* Take a Tour, hosted by Veoh’s CEO, Dmitry Shapiro
* Learn how to make Veoh use iTunes to download videos

What other Video Archives are there left?

Not really plenty. I haven’t found or heard of any others that are building upon social networking, but there are some cool places where you can access pretty funny viral material.

* Viral X
* iFilm
* (register)
* ViralMeister
* Lycos Viral


Artext Turns Your Images Into Text

04 Dec 2005

Nice toy in trial version : Artext’s Photo to Text allows you to convert your colour photo’s/images into colour text versions. Pretty unique is that you can type any message that you want, the converted image will become a full colour, readable text version of your original colour photo. From a distance it looks like a photo, up close you can read the text with your words, thoughts or story. This tool reminds me of Toogle, something I’ve posted earlier, except this time, you can customize the text and pictures yourself.

The set-up as I’ve done it to try this out :

1. Download the tool trial for PC or Mac
2. Install the zipped file & run it
3. Click on the ’select image’ button, then browse for an image
4. Click on the ’save as’ button and name the output file (will be html)
5. Select a font type from the drop-down menu
6. Set a font size (you might want to keep the ‘-1′)
7. Set the alignment
8. Set a format
9. Set the page background color
10. Set the text mode to ‘Custom Text’
11. Leave the ‘html header’ for what it is. (you can change it later)
12. Enter the text in the big textfield below
13. Click the ‘Convert’ button

Notes : You’ll have to clear the text box first. There are four options right above it to modify some more, but I’ve only disabled the third one (‘auto save name’), the rest is ‘checked’.

Use the ‘image preview’ to modify the selected image, though it didn’t show everything when I did that. The trial version has alerts that pop-up when you want to export. That’s because they think you should consider buying the tool if you like it. It didn’t disturb me, but I just wanted to add it so you know they’re present, and it’s normal.

What it looks like in an image :

Links : [Artext] – [Reviews] – via [ThrashTalk]


The Big Moo & Being Remarkable

12 Oct 2005

I just finished reading a copy of the pre-release of ‘The Big Moo’. – they’re in fact ‘advance uncorrected proofs’, and the book itself is on sale starting Oct. 20th – It took me a few days to read it, because I really had a lot of things to do and fewer time to blog, but once I got started, I tended to sacrifice all the precious free moments I had to reading this remarkable book. I’ll try to make up for not blogging… by blogging about this book.

The Big Moo is an unprecedented collaboration of 33 of the world’s smartest business thinkers, blending their best ideas on how you can remarkablize your organization. Being remarkable means: stop being ordinary, stop trying to be perfect. Desire change. Act now !

Two excerpts from the book :

“There isn’t a logical, proven, step-by-step formula you can follow. Instead, there’s a chaotic path through the woods, a path that includes side routes encompassing customer service, unconventional dedication, unparallelled leadership, and daring to dream. Is this a path worth staying on? Only if you want to grow. Only if you’re tired of being a cog in a dehumanizing machine. Only if you are willing to embrace the quest for the big moo.”

Golden rules to become a failure :

  1. Keep secrets.
  2. Be certain you’re right and ignore those that disagree with you.
  3. Set agressive deadlines fot others to get by in – then change them when they aren’t met.
  4. Resist testing you theories.
  5. Focus more on what other people think and less on whether your idea is as good as it could be.
  6. Assume that a critical mass must embrace your idea for it to work.
  7. Choose an idea where number 6 is a requirement.
  8. Realize that people who don’t instantly get your idea are bullheaded, shortsighted or even stupid.
  9. Don’t bother to dramatically increase the quality of your presentation style.
  10. Insist that you’ve got to go straight to the top of the organization to get something done.
  11. Always go for the big win.

Thank you : [Marco] from [MarketingFacts] to connect me to [Roy Van Veen] who sent me a copy of this brilliant book. I’ll pass it on.

[Seth Godin] – [Pre-Order a Copy] – join [Remarkabalize] and learn.

[Remarkabalize* is a new kind of network that helps organizations develop their stories and deliver on creating the next generation of business growth.]