An Axe to Grind

While at WordCamp Atlanta (#wcatl) I heard Sara Cannon speak about branding. She referred to the branding by Best Made Company, and axe maker with a stunning website. Yeah, they make axes, and their website is beautiful. Check it out at

When I see something like this it reinforces my belief that any product – and, in fact, every product – can have good branding.


January 9, 2010 at 3:47 pm Leave a comment

Props to Delacorte Press

Publishers are in a difficult situation these days. Many authors are self-publishing. Books are available digitally, to be read on a Kindle (or similar device).  Websites like lulu and Scribd make it possible to avoid publishing altogether. Advertising is expensive. How to promote a book?

I was pleased to see Delacorte Press launch a simple and elegant promotion. This promo involves passionate fans, builds loyalty and costs very little. Here is the original post from Diana Gabaldon’s website:

My publisher asked me to post this message:
If you’re here, you’re an Outlander fan. The seventh book in the series, An Echo in the Bone, is coming out 9/22/09 (really!!).
Help us spread the word about this amazing series with FREE copies of Outlander. We all know it’s a book that you tell everyone they have to read, so let’s get more people reading it!
And it’s Outlander as you’ve never seen it before—with a cover just for the uninitiated.
Special Outlander cover
Here’s how it works: We’ll randomly select 100 winners from those who fill out an entry form on or before 7/31/09.
Each winner will be sent a carton with 24 copies of Outlander.
Your mission is to give them away for free: to your friends, family, colleagues, the people you see at the gym, the bus stop, the supermarket. You get it. Hand them one. You know you’ll be giving them an amazing novel, and people love to get free books.

Brilliant, eh?

So, the publisher will send 2,400 books out to 100 highly engaged fans – and those fans will have the pleasure of sharing a book that they love with 24 people who are unfamiliar with the series. Making your customers feel like heroes is a great way to engage and build loyalty.

This campaign will be highly successful, I predict. Props to Delacorte for keeping it simple.

September 8, 2009 at 12:20 am Leave a comment

Clip Art Must Die

The days of cartoon-ish clip art are over. The trend in slide presentations is photos.   That is, high quality, legal, royalty-free photos. You can find them by searching the web using these key phrases: creative commons, free photoswikimedia commons.

Here are a few sources I found for photos and images:
The Morgue File Free images for your inspiration, reference and use in your creative work. – Indexes over a million Creative Commons photos for your use.

Wikimedia Commons – The central clearing area for the Wikimedia projects CC files.

Flickr Creative Commons search – Search Flickr for all the derivatives of the Creative Commons licensing. – A travel & tourism photo site offering photography for everyone’s use. – A wiki for travellers with a large collection of CC licensed travel photography.

August 31, 2009 at 8:27 am Leave a comment

Chris Brogan is coming to town! Woo hoo!

Matt Fagioli is putting together a killer event (September 25, 2009) and he kindly gave me a 10% discount to share with friends.

According to the New Media Atlanta website, It’s time to take a hard look at the business case for Social Media. New Media Atlanta is for the business professional who is tired of the hype and wants to see where the rubber really meets the road.

Early bird discount passes (only ’til 8/31) $89.10  (Discounted 10%)

Read all the details: and you can register here – use the discount code NAGEL for 10% off

Have you been curious about what social media can mean for your own business?

Are you interested in learning from a group of experts who have the experience to guide you along the way long-term?

This conference is meant for you and other business owners who are curious about social media but haven’t quite made the leap, or maybe you have and want to get better at using social media to improve your business.

Consider this:

  • The Association of National Advertisers completed a recent study – 2/3 of marketers now use social media: Facebook (74%), Youtube (65%), Twitter (63%), and LinkedIn (60%)
  • Google and YouTube are the number one and number two search engines respectively.
  • Almost 60% of Americans interact with companies on a social media Web site, and 25% interact more than once per week, 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study says

Chris Brogan will be a key presenter talking about his new book ‘Trust Agents‘ he co-wrote with Julien Smith. Chris Brogan is President of New Marketing Labs, a new media marketing agency, and home of the Inbound Marketing Summit conferences and Inbound Marketing Bootcamp educational events. He works with large and mid-sized companies to improve online business communications like marketing and PR through the use of social software, community platforms, and other emerging web and mobile technologies.

This conference aims to teach attendees more about social media and how to leverage its power to build your company, product, brand, service, etc. You’ll have an opportunity to ask your burning questions of the speaker panel and get real answers.


August 25, 2009 at 5:13 pm Leave a comment

The enemy of the great is the meh

A meal at Oak Street Cafe will not be cheapest in Roswell (that honor probably belongs to Rhea’s) nor the most expensive (Pastis? Rice? I’m not sure).
But it might be the best meal in Roswell.
I believe in eating at independent restaurants over chains or franchises.
I’ve been eating at Oak Street for about four years now.

Oak Street Cafe is owned by Joe and Kim. I’ve never had a bad meal, which is good recommendation, right? But I’ve never had a mediocre meal at Oak Street Cafe, either. Which is why I keep going back.

The menu is small, which I prefer to having a gazillion choices to sort through. And the menu evolves over time, as Joe tries new dishes.The atmosphere is calming, and not snooty. The service is consistently good.

Every time I walk out of there I feel satisfied and pleasantly full. I never feel like I paid too much – quality food is worth the price, because it’s good for body and soul.

This is why Oak Street Cafe is great, I think: They keep it simple and focus on quality food and a quality experience.

Kim and Joe do very little marketing. They have a website. They tweet the daily specials. It’s all word of mouth that grows their business…and the word is good.

The simplest marketing strategy of all: have a consistently great product.

P.S. Sometimes Joe’s aunt will bake a cake, and they’ll sell it by the slice at the counter. Buy a slice. Trust me.

August 24, 2009 at 2:20 pm Leave a comment

The Conversation Prism

The Conversation Prism by Brian Solis and Jesse Thomas

I am in love with this graphic. Love love love it.

Love the color, showing the spectrum of social media channels.

Love the 360 degree design. Love the concentric circles.

August 16, 2009 at 7:33 pm Leave a comment

How good is your online identity?

I am digitally distinct! Visit

Online Identity Calculator

Today, if you don’t show up in Google, you don’t exist. Whether you are applying for a new job, being considered for a board position or trying to get a date, you can count on being Googled. So knowing what Google says about you and proactively managing your personal brand online is critical to success.

Our Online ID Calculator‚™ is the first and leading tool that will help you make sense of your Google results and give you advice on how to build a stellar online identity that’s aligned with your real-world personal brand.

August 10, 2009 at 9:40 am Leave a comment

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