Me ThinkPad, it’s Sick

Two lines, one red and one blue, run vertically down the middle of the screen. doubtlessly caused by some screen carelessness on my part while travelling.

Then, just now, the active protection sensor just reported a malfunction. I didn’t know how much psychological comfort I received from knowing that feature was protecting my drive until it told me it was not feeling well.

Oh well, off to the service team for a fix. Best notebook I have ever owned — this X60s

Online branding — possible or not?

I am coming to the conclusion that building a brand online — in any interactive medium — by buying awareness, is a fool’s errand. Sure, there are some online only campaigns that have established companies — Vonage is generally cited. The X10 Web Cam pop-under was inescapable … but I am eager to find a brand that primarily built online, or, at the very least, changed itself through an online brand campaign.

I think one can change demand through online buys, but brand is a function of:

  • Citizen marketing: users telling other users whether a product/company is worth doing business with.
  • Search: the game changed with Google when prospective customers can work the consideration process with total recall and accuracy
  • Buzz: whatever buzz is, it seems to be activated online via viral, YouTube is an enabler, but buzz seems to be ephemeral and something you find, not plan.

If I were to invest in brand building online I’d pour my money into the social media side, not impressions.

Route 128 Ghosts

Driving around Boston this morning to escape the rush hour I passed the old headquarters for Wang, then the exit for DEC, then past where Data General used to be ….

And I wondered, what happened to the tech sector in Eastern Massachusetts? It’s gone. Poof. Sure, there are some pockets here and there, but the dot.com era seems to have passed the region by (CMGI and Lycos were hot in their day, but aren’t a shadow of their former selves), hardware is long gone, software sort of became irrelevant after IBM did its hostile takeover of Lotus.

Just weird to realize with the exception of EMC, there just isn’t a lot going on in what was one of the richest tech corridors in the country. Old news I know, but still, sort of an indication of why I fly to RTP these day and don’t drive to a marketing gig outside of Boston.