Martha-sentencing update

marthettesMartha-sentencing watch: (Martha sentenced, above.) In the work-up to the Friday morning Martha sentencing (this weblog has been remarkably restrained), one of the most ridiculous stories has to be one in Friday’s WSJ that explores what her sentencing will mean to the Martha Stewart brand. (Is it just me? Hasn’t this dead horse been beaten enough?) Remarkably, the reporter was able to get “industry observers” to say things that can be interpreted loosely as, “Martha going to jail will be good for the brand.”



Ad-agency executives believe the lifestyle expert’s sentencing is the crucial first step on a path toward rebuilding the image of Ms. Stewart and the company that bears her name.

For the record, this weblog believes Martha Stewart getting any jail sentence is ridiculous no matter how good it is for the brand. Also for the record, it was over two years ago when the first rexblog post on this topic appeared. That lame “Martha in Orange” illustration that accompanied the first post continues to bring people to this weblog every day via image searches on Google.

Old publishers never die

Old publishers never die: The rexblog doesn’t do personnel announcements unless they are about friends who are “stepping down” (what the heck is that?) like Albie Del Favero, who, according to David Fox of, is “stepping down.”


Albie Del Favero, who led a group that acquired the Nashville Scene shopper in 1989 and transformed it into a financially successful weekly newspaper, is resigning his post as publisher. His departure becomes effective in December, when his employment contract with parent Village Voice Media expires.

1989. No way. Let’s do lunch. You pay.

Google — the enemy?

Google — the enemy? This weblog has just gone from being a Google fan to being a Google skeptic and is quickly on its way to becoming a Google conspiracy theorist. I just read this article from PC Magazine via Yahoo! News regarding the Google toolbar’s new “browse by name” feature that sounds vaguely “RealNames”-like. I use Safari which has a Google (at my preference) search field next to the URL address field. But this article implies that Google’s intention is to “default” the toolbar so that the “browse by name” option is presented as the preferred method.

If Microsoft tried to do something like this (gee, they did when they “partnered with” RealNames), the evil-empire critics would come out of the wood work. The same thing needs to happen here: If Google dominates the world, it will start acting like other evil empires always do. It will attempt to devalue the URLs and the branding investments companies and individuals have made in supporting those URLs with its own proprietary (and, oh-by-the-way, you can pay us and show up when people type in your competitor’s brand name) methods.

Re-reading the Danny Sullivan essay when RealNames closed down, I ran across this interesting quote:

Now imagine that Google rigged its toolbar — with millions of installations — so that any common words entered into the Internet Explorer address box resolved automatically to the top web site in its search results, an “I’m feeling lucky” resolution. Most likely, most people would hail this as a great innovation, given Google’s legacy of working for users. In short, two different companies could do the same thing, but given their public perceptions, the reaction from the public could be completely different.

That was two years ago, I wonder if “the public” reaction will be that different.

Update: Article by’s Chris Sherman.