Random items from a Saturday afternoon

Here’s a grab-bag of items and thoughts I’ve not had time to post during the past week, which, according to tradition is supposed to be one of the slowest of the year. Not so for me.

Nashville tech-related publicity: BusinessWeek.com posted a story on “Marketing to Millennials” that features Nashville startup Facecard.com and a local franchisee of Jersey Mike’s whose nearby unit makes regular deliveries to the RexBlog HQ.

Advice for bloggers: I forgot why I jotted down this note, but a recent project involved looking at lots of blogs, something that might surprise people to learn I rarely do. I read content from lots of blogs, but mostly via a newsreader and not the blogs, themselves. Looking at a hundred or so blogs in a row made me realize that many bloggers, even veteran ones, need the following advice:

1. Display in a prominent place the name of the person or organization who set up and maintains the blog.

2. Display in a prominent place a brief description of what the blog is about.

3. Display on every page something, anything that gives people a hint how to subscribe (via: RSS, ATOM, email or smoke signals) to your blog. If you know what that means, go look at your blog and see if you make it easy for readers to figure out how to easily add your blog to their newsreader or to their personalized “start” pages. If you don’t know what that means, here’s a link to page called Feed 101 maintained by a Google service called FeedBurner. Or maybe this popular video will help. Bottomline: Make it easy for people to find the URL of your feed.

I don’t care that the Chinese are going to win more Gold Medals than the U.S.: I’m happy to trade civil liberties and a non-totalitarian government without state-run sports-training programs for less medals. While I admire the efficiency and spectacle of these Olympic games, I’ve found it a bit too, uh, managed. This afternoon, I heard one of the NBC commentators illustrate how “dedicated” the Chinese women synchronized swimmers are by recounting something the team’s coach told her. “One of the players asked the new coach (who is from Japan) if she could have the weekend off to see her family.” Why?, asked the new coach. “Because I haven’t seen them in 12 years.”

That said, I’m not necessarily a big fan either of the U.S. system of medal-winning that depends on obsessed stage-door parents, elite university admission policies, government mandated college athletic scholarship requirements, the professionalization of NCAA athletics and corporate sponsorship dollars out the ying-yang.

Obama-Biden: As a word person, I like the alliteration in the paired-words, Obama-Biden. I also think that when Biden said in a debate, “If that’s his baby, he needs help,” it was the best one-liner of all the debates. Oh, and once I chatted with Joe Biden while on an early morning train from New York to DC. I can’t remember what we talked about. I’m sure he can’t either.