What We Shouldn’t Be Talking About

Why we shouldn’t talk about click through rates. Really, is that the only value your expensive advertising has. Think about your brand.

Well, some good news for the online marketing industry at last:

Internet advertising is one of only two disciplines in the marketing services industry to report an increase in budgets over the first quarter of the year [Brand Republic]

and if we all stop talking about these online ad topics, what will we say to each other?

The biggest percentage of responders (13.1%) thought that click-through rate discussions are a waste of time. The second anti-productivity prize went to Branding vs. Direct Response debates (7.9%) [Media Post]

Other links of note I have been pointed to today:

  • Whoever buys the assets of UMS – and there are companies sniffing around – they will be doing so when there are signs, albeit tentative, of a recovery in the bombed-out dotcom sector. There are plenty of undervalued companies around – and also a lot of money. However, investors are still nursing their losses from the dotcom collapse and are reluctant to part with it [Guardian via Plasticbag]
  • Craig Newmark observed people on the Net, on the WELL and in Usenet, helping one another out. In early ’95, he decided to help out, in a very small way, telling people about cool events around San Francisco like the Anon Salon and Joe’s Digital Diner. It spread through word of mouth, and became large enough to demand the use of a list server, majordomo, which required a name [craigslist in London via Kottke]
  • A huge advertising campaign focusing on heterosexual tourists risks ignoring the increasingly important homosexual visitor [Sunday Hearald via Gay News Blog]
  • The new name for the Phoenix browser is ‘Firebird’ … In addition to securing Firebird, we’ve also got the OK from those contributing legal resources to use the name ‘Thunderbird’ for a mail client [via Mozillazine]

Elsewhere: Blitzed! The Autobiography of Steve Strange

In some respects it’s a fascinating tale of fame and hedonism. If, however, you’ve read biographies of other Eighties pop stars then you’ve heard a lot of it before. The story seems to have been repeated: humble beginnings drive creativity which lead to fame and then there is a some-kind of fa

I’ve just finished Blitzed! The autobiography of Steve Strange and posted my review to Amazon:

Steve Strange was an icon of the Eighties music scene, a visionary and a leader. I suspect he’s often over-looked but his contribution was vital. His clubs kick-started a movement and the band he fronted, Visage, were pioneers of – what became – the New Romantics: make-up, big hair, big hats and even bigger shirt lapels and cuffs. From the beginning of the decade, and out of the punk movement, came the classic Fade To Gray. Visage and Steve Strange were combining fashion and music in a radical new way.

Blitzed has an informal style which makes it quite readable. Strange name-drops his way through a decade and apologises quite a lot for his behaviour. It’s a cautionary tale of a rise to fame, money mis-management and drug addiction. It’s the story of London squats and club-land rivalry and of a community who knew they were changing nightclubs, the fashion scene and music – and doing it all in a few short years. It is a struggle to stop a man falling over the edge and trying to make sense of a life where once his name was in lights but the money is long gone.

In some respects it’s a fascinating tale of fame and hedonism. If, however, you’ve read biographies of other Eighties pop stars then you’ve heard a lot of it before. The story seems to have been repeated: humble beginnings drive creativity which lead to fame and then there is a some-kind of fall (usually, drink or drug induced). Blitzed is an enjoyable read but Boy George will give you more and Marc Almond will take you further. If you knew the club scene of the time there’s a insight into the door policies of the new breed of Eighties clubs and how they worked. If you are looking for the story of Visage then, obviously, it’s covered here and this will be a valuable reference – but it’s more about the man than the band.

If you remember the decade then you’ll read this book regardless but, sadly, I felt there could have been a little more. Nonetheless, Blitzed reinforces Steve Strange’s rightful place as a leader of a movement who’s certainly not about to fade away.