poelog: Commentary, thoughts and opinions on the web, ebusiness and marketing -- a web log by Rob Poel
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Thursday, May 30, 2002

CNET's News.com: The check's in the Net - Internet consumers can get instant messaging, watch on-demand video and trade stocks as the market moves, but most still can't pay their bills in real time. This is one of the major complaints I have with online banking. In fact, it's one area where online banking is worse than offline. Not only do I still have to pay my bill 5 days in advance but online the money is taking out of my account on day 1 and not deposited into the payee's account until day 5. When writing a check I can play the float game and write the check but not have it come out of my account for 5 days (occasionally allowing me to receive a paycheck in the meantime to cover the payment).

Thursday, May 23, 2002

Business Week: Web at Your Service - In the next big phase of the Net, computers hooked to different Web sites will communicate behind the scenes, saving money and boosting productivity. More buzz on web services. A few hurdles that are keeping web services from taking off: the lack of XML-based vocabularies by industry and the lack of a universal online identification system (Microsoft would love for Passport to be that system).

Business 2.0: Amazon's Secret Sauce - It's not the discounts, the free shipping, or even the strong merchandising. The key to success is great software. Agreed. That's why I got so sick of hearing every analyst or pundit roar that Amazon's stock price was way too high given that "all they really are is a retailer." Think again. Yes, Amazon is a retailer ... but it's also a software platform ... and the margins in that area are much higher than those of retailers.

Monday, May 20, 2002

ClickZ: Seven Things Marketers Want From Vendors - Good article ... here's the cliff-notes version:

1) Banners are on the way out.
2) Direct (read email marketing) is in. Big time.
3) Search engine optimization is hot.
4) The time to build (your web site, that is) is over.
5) Marketers understand the value of research.
6) Content continues to be a big issue (creating it, not managing it).
7) CRM remains an enigma.

Thursday, May 16, 2002

If you have a chance, stop by the local bookstore and read Why Business Models Matter in the May 2002 edition of Harvard Business Review (the link above is to an extract ... not the full article). I've always been intrigued by business models and business strategy and this article does a good articulating the difference between the two as well as highlighting examples of each. Dell and eBay are two classic examples of companies that attained market leadership by initially coming up with innovative business models. Walmart, on the other hand, is a company that took an existing business model (discount retailing) and instead grew to dominance through a strategy of building it's stores in small, rural markets rather than the large metropolitan areas that other discount chains targeted.

Forgot to mention ... I ran the 25k River Bank Run this past weekend. I felt great and was happy with my time. Here are the times for all 4188 runners. I was 26th in the men's 30-34 age group. Now that the race is done I can stop getting up at 5:45am to run and can go back to just playing recreational hoops (and probably also gain back the 10 pounds I've lost since I began training on January 1).

Monday, May 13, 2002

Olivier Travers (Web Voice), comments on the increasing frequency of marketing blogs (including yours truly). I have to agree with his comments. Even when I started blogging a little over a year ago I commented at the time that there was a shortage of blogs on marketing. What a difference a year makes.

Megnut discusses an article at Wired called Flash: Blogging Goes Corporate that reveals Macromedia's blog strategy. Yes, a corporation with a blog strategy. I've covered this topic in many past posts. It was bound to happen ... and now ... I suspect it will soon be everywhere. I can just see the title on a business card: Chief Blogger. The real question, however, is will these blogs be "successful" ... in other words, will they both achieve the goals of the corporate sponsors while also aligning with the interests of the community they seek to reach? I think the Wired article states it correctly: the blogging community is ... self policing, and if the blog isn't valuable to you, don't read it. And if it's transparent, people won't read it.".

Monday, May 06, 2002

The New York Times (on Yahoo!) - Meg Whitman and eBay, Net Survivors - A key to eBay's success: [they] seem unusually obsessed with trying to see the world through users' eyes.

Friday, May 03, 2002

Happy Birthday to POELog. A year ago this past Wednesday (May 1, 2001), POELog was born. Here's my inaugural post.

Thursday, May 02, 2002

This should be fun to follow. Agency.com has started their own blog - acl: Applied Concepts Lab. The tagline: Choice Cuts: Points of view on enhancing digital experiences within and beyond AGENCY.COM. I'm curious to see: How honest will their dialogue be? To what lengths will they try and "control" the message that is delivered by the handful of Agency.com contributors? Whether it's "successful" or not, I give them credit for trying (via rini.org).