Leveraging The Internet In The Recession – Forbes.com

Mark Babej has good thoughts on the strength of net marketing as cash strapped consumers use the interweb for price comparison and deal seeking.

Leveraging The Internet In The Recession – Forbes.com
In good times, when consumers feel cash-rich and time-poor, they can afford to be less diligent about their spending. But as economic pressures mount, sentiment changes. People feel cash-poor and are more willing to invest time and effort in getting the best deal.

What sets the current recession apart is that, for the first time, consumers have a tool that empowers them to subject everyday buying decisions to the kind of scrutiny formerly reserved for big-ticket items and large business-to-business transactions.

Marketers should anticipate this shift. They will not be able to rely on ads to pull the wool over consumers’ eyes–or on imagery to wow them.

Maybe even more important, it won’t be as easy for companies to control the expense line to make up for the loss of top-line revenues. In past downturns, cutting corners on quality has been a virtually foolproof way to cut costs and boost margins, at least in the short-run.

Not this time. Not when consumers can set the bar higher and easily find what they want at the lowest possible price. Not when any degradation of product quality or crummy service experience is subject to being instantly “outed” by the bloggers and reviewers on the myriad user-generated consumer review sites.

Gillmor blogging at eWeek — Twitter as the platform

Cote of RedMonk twitters that Gillmor is blogging at eWeek. This is good, but interestingly, he’s chasing the Twitter thing as I have been for the past couple weeks, rethinking my initial skepticism thanks to the convenience of twhirl on the desktop.

Today’s brainstorm is Twitter. When it first surfaced I circled it like a bear does a baby seal – not quite looking at it, not believing it could be such an easy target, having no idea whatsoever of its apparent or eventual usefulness. But something about this stupid 140-character limit and haughty self-promotional beacon in the cybernight gave off an eery glow, the faint hint of what is coming. Twitter, when combined with such obscure hacks as TinyURL, podcasts, blogs, and most disruptively I suggest, executable code, has spawned a communications platform that will blow right past everything except platforms that allow it to dominate.

tecosystems » St Patrick’s Day 101

tecosystems » St Patrick’s Day 101

Always take St. Pat’s advice from someone who’s last name has an apostrophe in it. From Mister O’Grady:

What to wear when you’re eating and drinking
Something green, I think. Though apparently the answer was once blue, which I hadn’t known. To be honest, my attention to the dress aspect of St Patrick’s day is only slightly better than that I devote to dress generally. The only thing you absolutely cannot wear is orange. Particularly in Southie; just trust me on this one.

And on this fine day, thinking of our man in Beijing, Mister Mann, who found a good use for a Chinese tailor.

The Hibernians

In acknowledgment of St. Patrick’s Day – a holiday arguably bigger than Christmas for many people in Eastern Massachusetts – I want to go back in time to the early 1980s when I was the statehouse bureau chief and political editor for the gritty Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, a mill city PM daily with a circulation of 60,000 and a reach into southern New Hampshire. I do not recall my days at the Eagle-Tribune fondly. It was an amazing underpaid stress-fest only made interesting by the lunacy of the subject matter.

Last month, on the day of the New Hampshire primary, I blogged about my days chasing the 1984 presidential campaign through the Granite State, but that was nothing compared to the St. Pat’s tradition of the political lunch at the Ancient Order of Hibernians in Lawrence. Every alderman, mayor, state representative and senator, congressman and ex-congressman, party official, attorney general, judge, even presidential candidate would cram into the AOH and roar with well-greased laughter at the patter and jokes of Billy Bulger, the leprechaunesque president of the Senate (brother to Whitey Bulger of the Winter Hill Gang, and the fugitive the Jack Nicholson character in Scorcese’s The Departed was loosely based on).

I was a minor leaguer, the home town guy in the grand scheme of things, an anomaly due to the perception by most local pols that I must be a closet Republican due to my very detestable English middle name, my prep school and Ivy league ties, and my incurable shyness and propensity to blush when made fun of, which most of my sources delighted in doing constantly and in public. But … I was the grandson of Kenneth McKiniry, who had coached a local town’s football and basketball teams to several state championships, and once I dropped that name I was given a hug, a mug of green beer, and that paragon of Bay State cuisine: the boiled dinner (corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes).

I was also bartending a few nights a week in Boston to make ends meet and attempt to pay down my college loans. Boston bartenders live in utter dread of two days every year – St. Pat’s and the Boston Marathon. St. Pat’s because every suburban amateur drunkards floods into Boston for a day of public intoxication and micturation, and Boston Marathon because bulimic mid-life crisis cases would stagger into the bar in their running shorts and Nikes wrapped in a silver mylar space blanket and celebrate their four hour ordeal from Hopkinton with a Sam Adams which would invariably lay them out on the floor.

I don’t think working for a global PC company would have crossed my mind in those days of bare knuckle reporting and bartending. The smell of cabbage, sour beer, and the sight of the Celtics logo will always bring such memories rushing back.