Curtis Silver throws down the gauntlet with Amazon.com:
The Kindle e-book titled The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure crosses the line of free speech, spits in our face and then crosses back over the line. Everything that is happening here, with the existence and sale of this book is protected by free speech - unless a crime has been committed by the author. That is yet to be proven.
there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?!"
Difficult as it may be to believe, Christmas was complex even way back in 1965. Charlie Brown's disheartened
plea originated back in a day when things were a little less complicated and much
less consumer-driven than they are now… during a time when there were fewer
divided families (and divided Christmases) than there are now.
At our little church we have vowed to keep the Christmas Story simple. I am
weary of gazillion- dollar productions that can never even come close to what a
simple reading of scripture can. Let the profound truth of Christ break through
the confusion of consumer-driven life. We have the One Message that matters. We
have great reason to celebrate.
favorite philosopher hits nuthin’ but net on this timeless video.
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the
fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an
angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around
them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will
be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city
of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in
swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with
the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
May your Christmas be filled with the love that
changed the world.
Haggard will have his own HBO special titled “The
Trials of Ted Haggard” at the end of January. It’s produced by Alexandra
Pelosi, and if that name sounds just a little familiar, she’s the daughter of
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Oh, and Haggard is going on the necessary
junket to promote his documentary.
I simply cringed when I heard about this documentary and its promotion, I’m
also aware that we need to uphold the biblical truth that God’s grace and
forgiveness runs deep in all our lives, and is abundantly available and active
for Ted and his family. Certainly we can all pray that God will restore and recreate Ted’s
personal and family life. After all, God did not cast him out of His Kingdom for what he did - although, many
Christians would have liked that, I'm sure - and he is still a wounded member of the Body of
Christ. Certainly, the Scripture verse about being wise as serpents applies here, but God is faithful
to redeem us, even when we mess up so spectacularly.
Things are bad enough for Starbucks. Richard L. Reising at Beyond Relevance thinks they could be even worse off. They could be marketing like the typical local church.
ever tried really hard to make a point and when people say they get it, you are
just not sure they do? Sometimes it takes us seeing our world through new
eyes--something that it is hard to do as believers. Sometimes a little bit of
juxtaposition does the trick.
We made this video because we sometimes struggle in helping churches to truly
understand the disconnection between how we do things and the people we’re
trying to reach. Our thought was to showcase the visitor experience in a
completely different context and in doing so, we might help churches realize
how they might actually comes across to the world we are called to reach.
Starbucks marketed like the local church? It would probably all boil down to this:
Speaking its own private idiom, trumpeting its own unique goals, blithely unaware
how weird it looks and sounds -- and profoundly annoyed with the customers who just don't
seem to "get it."
Anna Papadopoulos has a great post at ClickZ on why we buy what we buy. Her column is based on Martin Lindstrom's fascinating book by "Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy," which is the result of a three-year neuromarketing research project conducted by the marketing
wiz. Lindstrom and his team applied functional magnetic resonance imaging
(fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) technology in determining what happens
in consumers' brains as they are exposed to specific brands and advertising.
terms, neuromarketing looks at physiological responses that consumers have to
advertising and brands to determine its effects and the likelihood if one will
purchase a product. The consumers' reactions will be specific to colors,
tastes, sounds, and so on. The findings can help marketers create products and
services that are more focused to the brain's responses, the subconscious --
not the conscious, rationale mind that is usually triggered in focus groups.
research is the largest compilation of neuromarketing data available, and the
results are impressive and surprising. There are several main takeaways that
link back to what it means to be a human being and our primal needs and
Fear sells, sex doesn't. Our primal instinct as human beings is to survive; therefore, fear and sex are key. Fear relates to our survival: Do I have enough to eat? Will I have enough money when I retire? Is that product safe? Sex relates to procreation. In this respect, Lindstrom claims that political fear-based advertising is effective because it taps into our primal concerns of survival. Sex-based advertising, however, overwhelms us physically, so all we take away is the sexual part and we disregard the brand associated with it.
Pass the cigarettes, please. Did you know that global cigarette smoking has increased 13 percent and that warning labels are part of the reason? In fact, Lindstrom's findings suggested that the warning labels stimulate the nucleus accumbens, a region of the brain that increases cravings. Tobacco companies have actually been able to increase sales even though cigarette advertising has been banned in most countries.
Forget product placements. This is a hard one to swallow, but according to the research 99 percent of product placements are completely ineffective. What about the 1 percent? The only effective product placements integrate into the content in a completely meaningful way. Here's a way to test it out: if your brand can be replaced with any other brand and it wouldn't make any difference, your sponsorship or product placement is probably a waste of money. However, if the addition or removal of your brand would affect the environment's context, you're probably on the right track. Think of "American Idol." AT&T is a good integration, Coca-Cola is ok, but Ford isn't good at all.
Logos are meaningless. In many cases, it's preferable to not even have a logo on your advertising. [Editor's note: This is my favorite point. I sent a Sept. 10, 2008 e-mail to non-profit consultant Nancy Schwartz of the excellent Getting Attention and the outstanding Nonprofit Tagline Report on why exactly we need a logo. Her response the next day was, "Great question and one I'll answer in a near-term blog post!"... which was the last I heard. Or read. I'd still like to know why logos are deemed necessary.]
Advertising agencies should hire rabbis, priests, and imams as consultants. Lindstrom claims that strong brands are like religions and how a Catholic feels when viewing an image of the Virgin Mary is how a brand evangelist feels when experiencing his brand affinity. Brands should try to create rituals that are similar to religious rituals. Think about green bean casserole and Thanksgiving. The two are so connected that one of the key ingredients, French Fried Onions, probably wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for this holiday and the classic American dish.
There's a whole lot more to consider. Read the whole thing. And check out this great audio interview with Martin Lindstrom on WNYC.
Why yes. As a matter of fact, these gift certificates can be used for an abortion, according to WISH-TV, Channel 8 in Indianapolis. Sure gives a Starbucks card a run for its money, eh?
Why not give Kate Shepherd, the media contact for Planned Parenthood of Indiana, a call today at 317-637-4324 and let her know how much you appreciate PPIN getting in the holiday spirit?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 25, 2008
MEDIA CONTACT: Kate Shepherd, 317-637-4324
Give the Gift of Health This Holiday Season
Looking for an unusual, yet practical gift this holiday season? Planned
Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN) is now offering gift certificates for services or
the recipient's choice of birth control method. The gift certificates can
be purchased in increments of $25 online at www.ppin.org or for any
amount at some of PPIN's 35 health centers. Contact your local
health center to see if they offer the certificates.
The gift certificates can be given to women and men to cover essential services like screenings and birth control. Services such as
annual exams for women, which include breast exams and Pap tests, typically
"Nearly 800,000 Hoosiers don't have health insurance and can't afford basic health services. Why not buy a
loved one a gift this holiday season that they really need and one that will
contribute to their health throughout the year?" asked PPIN President and
CEO Betty Cockrum. "The gift certificates are also a wonderful idea
for that person in your life who puts everyone else first and has been putting
off taking care of her or his own health. Now, there's no excuse for
those people in your life not to get the basic health care that they need."
This is the first holiday season that PPIN has offered gift certificates. They can be redeemed at any of the 35
PPIN health centers around the state, no matter where they were purchased.
These gift certificates are not just for the uninsured people in your life. PPIN does take some forms of
insurance and the gift certificates could be used for co-pays or medication.
Please join Planned Parenthood of Indiana and give the gift of health this
tail of retail rival Circuit City Stores Inc. filing earlier this week for
bankruptcy-court protection, citing the drop-off in consumer spending and the
erosion of vendor confidence, comes this news re competitor Best Buy:
from The Wall Street Journal.
Nov. 12, 2008
Consumer-electronics giant Best Buy warned of lower-than-expected revenue,
blaming the recent turmoil in the financial markets for weak consumer spending.
In October, U.S. same-store sales fell 7.8%.
"Since mid-September, rapid, seismic changes in consumer behavior have
created the most difficult climate we've ever seen," said Brad Anderson,
CEO of Best Buy.
How many people see the irony in this item from the ThinkorSwim Newsline:
stocks are falling after California voters defeated a ballot
initiative that would have required utilities in the state to generate 40% of
their power from renewable energy by 2020 and 50% of their power from renewable
energy by 2050. The proposition was defeated by a margin of about 65% to 35%.
First Solar (FSLR), which earlier this year signed a 20 year power purchase
agreement with California utility Southern California
Edison (SCE), fell $13.33, or 7.51%, to $164.19 in early trading. Akeena Solar
(AKNS), which has operations in California, dropped 24c, or 7.06% to $3.16.
Also weighing on solar stocks is SunPower's (SPWRA) reduction of its Q4 EPS
outlook, due to the strengthening of the dollar against the euro. Canadian
Solar (CSIQ) sank 9.20% to $11.35, while Trina Solar (TSL) declined 7.30% to
Meanwhile, Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (CLNE), an operator of natural gas
fueling stations founded by T. Boone Pickens, tumbled 15.29% to $7.70 after California's Proposition 10 failed by a margin of about 60% to 40%. Proposition 10 would have provided state-funded rebates for vehicles that burn natural gas.
grown up in a newspaper family, this sort of story really ought to hurt more
than it does. But the Internet has been spelling out the inevitable decline of
the too-little, too-late newspaper industry for some time now, as Kate Kaye
points out so succinctly in this report:
If newspaper publishers are to stop the bleeding, they may need to aim for
complete dismemberment. A new report makes crystal clear that newspaper
companies are not positioned to counteract the steady decreases in print
revenue they've been facing. Perhaps the only way they can generate the online
growth they need to balance their print revenue declines is to sever online
operations from their print operations.
. . .
people have tied [their online operations] too closely to their legacy media
which is in decline," said Borrell Associates CEO Gordon Borrell.
"That's just hitching their wagon to a falling star," he contended.
Ouch. That's going to leave a mark. But there's more:
report suggests pure-play Internet firms, along with television and radio Web
sites, are better poised for future growth than newspaper publishers. This
year, while pure-plays such as AOL, Google, Yahoo, vertical directories and
city sites comprised around 68 percent of all online ad revenue, newspapers
accounted for around 11 percent.
means, read the whole thing. I stopped taking the Indianapolis Star years ago
because of its increasing irrelevance. Ironically, the Star's advertising rates have skyrocketed, even though their bottom line sales figures have plummeted. Coincidence? I think not.
If Tim Burton ever wrote a spot for the Mini Clubman it would look like this. Several flies offer up their final respects for a fallen friend who met an untimely
but spectacular death. How did he die? Far be it from me to spoil it for you. Just see for yourself.
... but every now and then it does take Seth Godin to point out the obvious. He calls it fixing the one big thing:
Joe Biden is long winded. His voters say so, so does the press. And now his new boss does as well.
The feedback couldn't be more clear. So why not fix it?
Verizon has mind-numbingly bad customer service. People hate to call
them. People switch providers just to avoid this problem. So why not
DiFara's makes the best pizza in New York. But it takes 90 minutes or so to get a pizza. Everyone complains, so why not fix it?
In the case of DiFara's, the answer is easy: because fixing it would
make it normal. It would take away what makes the place special. People
wouldn't complain any more, but people wouldn't go, either.
If your 'one big thing' is a key part of what makes you successful, how dare you change it.
On the other hand, if momentum or laziness or lack of will (or
focus) is the thing holding you back, it's time to get serious. When
you remove the one big thing from people's list of objections, your
career and organization will take off.
Joe Biden can carry a timer in his pocket. He can become reticent in
public. He can, in just one day of hard work, solve his problem.
Verizon can invest focus and and money and solve their problem.
AT&T can invest and fix their wireless network. It just takes
commitment, not a miracle.
Jack Aaronson, hired gun on enhanced user experiences, customer conversion, retention, and loyalty, and CEO of The Aaronson Group, has a list of the Seven Deadly Sins of Site Design that are worth a second and third look. In his first installment, Jack deals with sloth, gluttony, pride, and lust. And in his second post, he covers wrath, envy, and greed.
Here's just a part of his offering on lust:
...It happens when everyone jumps on the same bandwagons. Not everyone
needs to integrate YouTube, Facebook, or MySpace into his site. Not
everyone needs an iPhone application. Not everyone needs Web 2.0 or
on her site. Techno lust and trend lust can be dangerous if you don't
have a road map for your functionality. Getting stuck in today's fads
-- without understanding how they affect your business model, brand,
and customer experience -- is a recipe for disaster.