David Carr, Appreciation from a Blogger and Fan

This morning, there are countless remembrances of New York Times columnist David Carr, who died suddenly last night in Manhattan. Most are from the journalists with whom he worked, befriended and inspired.

While David Carr and I share a few professional friends and acquaintances, besides a couple of brief chats at SXSW functions or media conferences in New York (the kind that all blur together), I never knew him, knew him.

But this morning, I find myself feeling like I did know him in a way that long-ago bloggers (before we were told by experts that blogs were supposed to have a business model or fit into some SEO scheme) used to know one-another, especially if we blogged about overlapping topics.

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A Hands-free Review of the Interview

Note:  Due to hand surgery on Friday, my left hand is wrapped up in something that looks like a mitten and my arm is in a splint.  So I’m trying to write this item with dictation using the software Dragon Dictate. I’ve never been good with dictation but think that it will be better than one-handed typing so this is a Sunday afternoon practice run. Welcome to the first ever hands-free Rexblog post.

Not believing that it could be a movie worth investing a couple of hours of my life, I decided to wait until The Interview made it to Netflix before watching it. (It appeared there yesterday.)

Here’s my opinion: It’s funny in a Seth Rogen-James Franco inside-jokes you don’t get unless you have seen all their other bro-pack movies way. I’m aware enough of the references to get about  1/3rd of the jokes and to at least understand why 20-something- years-old guys might find the movie hilarious.

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New Clues for the Post-Cluetrain Era

“Markets are conversations.”

If you are an internet-marketing trivia master, you may recognize that quotation as Doc Searls’ prophetic observation that appeared 15 years ago as part of the Cluetrain Manifesto. Cluetrain began as a list of 95 theses posted on the website Cluetrain.com that captured the sentiments of Searls and three other tech-industry marketing veterans.

The Cluetrain Manifesto quickly evolved into a best-selling book that provided many early online marketers with a foundation for understanding and predicting how buying and selling would change when buyers have access to the same, or greater, data and insights previously controlled by sellers.

What would be different if a Cluetrain Manifesto-like list of observations, explanations and beliefs were created today? How would 15 years of reality override these prophecies?

We can now find out…

(Continue reading on the Hammock Blog.)

Review: The Podcast “Serial”

This is the post where I am officially joining the quickly-expanding fan club of Serial (Website | iTunes), the new audio podcast spin-off from Ira Glass’s public radio program, This American Life.

It joins Chicago’s WBEZ’s incredible lineup of podcasts that are setting a high standard for the production and distribution of media that are opening eyes (but more importantly, ears) for a coming revival of audio programming unmatched since the golden age of radio (which I’m not old enough to recall personally, despite rumors to the contrary).

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When Did PR Become This?

(See update at end of post.)

Because I’m not only the “head helper,” but also the “head recipient of email” at SmallBusiness.com, I receive an endless stream of pitches from people with titles like “PR manager.” Unfortunately, most (not all, but most) of the email is boilerplate crap sent to websites that sound like, maybe, they could be visited by small business owners.

Once in a while, I’ll see one of these worthless pitches and recall how long, long ago, I used to run a public relations firm. I can recall obsessing over to whom and how we would pitch a story. We would look for specific angles that benefit our client, but still provide the reporter plenty of opportunity to make it his or her story. I would often suggest people the reporter could talk with to get opposing or competitive sides of a story.

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