Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, June 14, 2021

To whet consumer desires for its youth-targeted Scion specialty vehicle, Toyota has set up a pre-teen oriented affinity website called, curiously, “Whyville”.

My question: Are the denizens of Whyville as no-nonsense and bad-assed as this renegade Seuss-derived Whoville crew?

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 06/14/2006 11:10:16 PM
Category: Internet, Advert./Mktg., Pop Culture | Permalink | Feedback

Today’s USA Today features a nice rundown of the current Web marketing landscape, including the Google-juicing power of blog integration. It certainly identifies the “how” in building website popularity, although I think it whiffs on the “why” (which I’m not going to reveal here).

However, notice the opening, which introduces the reader to the article’s featured case study:

Jennifer Boulden spends hours a day trying to woo online users to her idealbite.com website.

And this is presented as a preferable route instead of buying advertising space, online and off.

Um, hello? This means that Boulden’s daily working hours are less valuable than what would be a relatively nominal fee for some ad buys.

It’s silly. Obviously, a small business has to limit expenses wherever it can. But this ain’t the way. No way does this balance out, unless you accept the idea that the co-owner’s time and skills are worth so little. Rather than sink so much of Boulden’s sweat equity into Web-trekking, ideal brite would be better off buying a modest amount of ads (on Google and elsewhere) to generate a lot of traffic in very short time, thereby rededicating some of Boulden’s time to more productive pursuits.

This illustrates a couple of curious behavioral tendencies in the business world:

1. Small businesses are practically allergic to investments in advertising and marketing. The high attrition rate among small businesses (last I looked, something like 75 percent failing within two years — but don’t quote me) is, I’ve always felt, attributable largely to that deficiency. For some reason, these owners expect to do nothing more than open the storefront, and have floods of foot traffic pour in. No one has that many friends/colleagues, and after they’ve stopped by and granted their token business, you have to actively draw people in.

2. Search engine optimization is, largely, a scam. The goal is valid: To maximize indexability for drawing traffic. But the methods advocated are so often not much more than gimmickery: Keyword seeding, code tweaking, and other surface ploys. Rarely is a ground-up approach, where optimization is built into a site’s architecture, offered; instead, the equivalent of band-aids are offered for poorly-organized sites. And it’s really easy to overindulge in these techniques, to the point where it drains resources away from solid site content creation and maintenance, which is what makes for a truly optimized site.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 06/14/2006 10:13:12 PM
Category: Internet, Bloggin', Advert./Mktg. | Permalink | Feedback

big-stonedWalk through the doors of the Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle, and you’ll see this hefty character a bit toward the back, accompanied by a nearby twin.

How does this 10-foot-or-so-high bronze sculpture, which resembles nothing so much to me as a naked sumo wrestler (note the, ahem, attention to anatomical detail), represent the Time Warner media empire? I guess you could infer that the corporate entity is fat and happy… And shameless.

I’m sure there’s a story behind this work of art. There’s probably ample information about the artist and how his work fits in with the lobby, and it’s probably located somewhere onsite. But instead, I’ll take in, and present here, the image just slightly out of context.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 06/14/2006 09:27:06 PM
Category: Creative, New Yorkin' | Permalink | Feedback