Are you reading fewer books?

Are you reading fewer books? The NY Times is reporting that, “Internet users are more likely to cut back on reading books than to curtail their magazine consumption, according to a recently released survey by Jupiter Research.” I know that’s true for me. In 2002 and 2003, I listed all of the books I read. Back then, I tried to read at least one book per week. As soon as I stopped listing them on the rexblog, I stopped reading as many books. I think I’ll start listing them again later this week.

For the record, I still read as many magazines as I ever did. I’m sure of that.

Technorati Tags: ,

Superbowl advertising blogging

Superbowl advertising blogging: I’ve never done this before (usually, I’m interested in the game), but the assembled experts (photo to come soon) are judging anyway, so I decided to make it a “live” rexblog event. The reviews are in reverse, chronological order. (We don’t rate movie ads or ABC house spots unless they are exceptional.)

rexblog judges: The Clydesdale pony commercial was the best
spot of the night. Worst (tie): Diet Pepsi and Burger King.

For the record, the judges are
Steelers fans — specifically Jerome Bettis fans — and have decided
the game was better than the commercials.

Second Half

Westin Hotels: 5 – weak ad, but the judges like the no-smoking policy
Outback: 2 – the judges are falling asleep
Running Scared: 0 – the judges are getting tire
Nissan Xterra: 8 – the judges decided to give it a high score since it’s a Nashville company (update: local spot, apparently) 6 – the kids really loved it, wait a minute… (p.s.: if you mispell the domain,, it’s for sale.)
Honda Ridgeline: 7, definitely a male-female thing, the first ad to split by gender
Mastercard Macgyver: 7, the guys stuck in the 1980s loved it
Budweiser stadium cards: 5, the judges are getting testy: “they did it with a computer”
Fidelity Paul McCartney: no score, too old (like Paul)
Emerald Nut: 2 – however the 15-year-old “loves” those ads
Degree Deodorant: 7 – we’d score it higher if we could remember the product’s name
Sprint  Benny Hill: 6 – we’ve readjusted this score up after the booth reviewed the first call
Toyota Tocoma: 5 – appealed more to the important “youth” demographic
Slim Fast: no score – it’s judged “not a Superbowl ad”
Taco Bell: 3 – the judges need more to impress them, the longer the game goes, monkey/jackass: 4 – meanspirited
(Sorry, I missed the next commercial, the one with the hazmat suits, and no one can remember what is was for – so it gets a 0.)
Hummer H3: 2 – gross
Nationwide Fabio: 5 – even as a joke, we don’t want to see Fabio, says the judge
Budweiser Clydesdale pony: 10 – the parents among the judges insist
Sharpie: 6 – one judge says it’s goofy but it hits the giggle spot with another
Ameriquest: (airplane) 6 – although one judge scored it a 2
Disney “Im going to Disney World” practice: 8 – ahhh

Half Time

Addicted to Lost: no score, but I thought it was great
Nationwide: 5 – funny (or stupid, depending on which judge you ask)
Nissan Xtera: 2 – weak (update: local spot, apparently)
NFL Network: 8.5 – ahhhh.
Sprint “crime deterrent”: 5 – funny the first time you see it.

Second Quarter

Disney World: 4 – Those folks have an anniversary every year no score – judges don’t consider it technically a Super Bowl ad – tough group
Desperate Housewives: 8 – we’re not reviewing ABC house ads, but the judges like this
Gilette Fusion: 2 – It reminds us of an SNL parody ad
GoDaddy: 2 – What’s Godaddy? the judges ask. So much for all that controversy.
Michelob: 4 – predictable and misogynistic (tough crowd)
Ford Escape Hybrid: 5 – Nice use of Kermit, but still weak
Dove: 8.5 – how could we admit it if we didn’t like that? (although there was one 5.0 vote for not being funny) link love:
Cadallac Escalade: 5 – the car looks good (said by an Escalade owner) 5 – biggest spread, from cute to boring, say the judges
Mobile ESPN: 6 – a female judge says, “it’s sweet.”
Budweiser clydesdales and naked sheep: 8 – was there something Brokeback Mountain going on?
Panasonic Toughbook: no score – was that a Superbowl ad?
Diet Pepsi, Jackie Chan: 5 – the whole can thing is weak, but we like Jackie Chan

First Quarter

Lost ad: 10 – not really, personal privilege
Bud Lite rooftop: 7.5 – very funny
Ameriquest: 8 – doubt anyone will remember what it’s for, but it was very funny
Spock Alieve: 6
Diet Pepsi, singer: 2.5 – awful
V is for Vengence: we don’t rate movie ads – they’re all the same
FedEx Cavemen: 7 – the guy getting crushed at the end saved it.
Bud Lite – Grizzly Bear: 6 – amuzing
Toyota Hybrid: 5.5 – the kid was cute.
Magic Fridge: 7 – funny on both sides of the wall
Sierra Mist: 6 – funny, but just one joke that’s unsustainable
Whopperettes: 3.5 – dumb
Budweiser office: 5.5 – huh? give out a bunch of beers and everyone gets drunk?

General comments about the coverage:

Have Joe Namath and Suzy Kolber been on camera together? They’re both on the field. We want a reunion interview.

Technorati Tags:

‘Certified’ email

‘Certified’ email: The blogoshere is exploding over AOL and Yahoo’s plans (and here) to offer marketers (and presumably, media companies and others) to pay a fee to allow email marketing (the “permission” kind that customers have requested) to detour past the spam filters of their email services. Most of the response seems to be outrage and writing off of email marketing. I don’t understand the problem.

If people subscribe to something and they want to receive it, I don’t see any problem in their advertising-supported free email services offering marketers a paid-option to guarantee its delivery. Please remember, the AOL or Yahoo! email account user has already signed onto an email service that serves up flashing banner ads all around the email one is reading. That AOL and Yahoo! would charge those same advertisers a fee to help speed up a marketing message to customers who have subscribed to their advertising seems completely logical to me. It’s not like the users of AOL or Yahoo! are being forced to subscribe to the advertising- email or use the advertising-supported “free” email services of AOL or Yahoo!. There is a world of options out there if you don’t like what they’re doing.

Technorati Tags:

To replace email, RSS has to become brain dead simple to use

Fred Wison: “And as much as I’d like to see RSS replace email, it’s just not going to happen overnight. RSS has to become brain dead simple to use.”

(Explanation: Fred is respsonding to Steve Rubel.)

Update: Dave Winer says: “What RSS must do to break through.” Robert Scoble responds: RSS has already broken through.

What I say:

I don’t believe RSS has “broken through.” I’m dumbfounded by how few non-techy people I know use newsreaders. They seem comfortable enough using the Web by surfing websites and getting email and using Google for search (methods that have become, as Fred desribes them, “drain dead simple”).

My primary relationship with the web is through an RSS newsreader that allows me to have the information I want seek me. I rarely use a web browser except when using search. I never “surf” or “browse.” Never. (It’s almost incomprehensible to people when I tell them I can post to this weblog and track what’s on it without ever actually visiting it via a web browser, something I rarely do except to check out if some formatting is working.)

When it comes to my use of the Web, I want information and insight and knowledge and entertainment to seek me. I don’t want to browse for it. I don’t have time to surf for it. When necessary, I will search for it. But in a perfect world, it comes looking for me.

That’s what RSS does for me.

Unfortunately, how I use the Web is not brain-dead simple. I’m not a technical person (although Nick Bradbury claims to have proof that I’m a geek). Understanding RSS — more specifically, understanding how to “subscribe” to a Real Simple Syndicated feed — took me a while to get my head around and to fully understand how to access, organize and fully appreciate. Fortunately, I took the time and effort to do so four or five years ago.

Today, I can’t imagine not using RSS. Frankly, for me, not using RSS would be brain dead.