Tales From Travel Hell, Part IV

Blogging from the Left Coast today, after flying ‘cross country yesterday. When you travel as much as I do, you can’t help feeling the impact of the lamentable state of the travel industry, particularly the airlines. So, yesterday my flight was on an airline whose name I will not mention, except to say that its initials are "Delta."

Because I am on an extended trip, everything I need won’t fit in one bag. So I am checking two. I am informed at the curbside check-in, that it now costs $25 to check an second bag. Also, there will be an "administrative fee" of $3 on each bag. Also, the news (accompanied by a significant look) that this does not include gratuities.

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If You Ain’t Bloggin’…

I started blogging, according to my archives, in June of 2004 which means — incredibly — that I have been doing this for four years now. Equally incredible, there seem to be a bunch of people who care. Here are some random astonishing (to me, at least) facts:

1. Alexa ranks SmartBlog traffic in the top 7.84 percent of all websites.
2. Technorati ranks SmartBlog traffic in the top 1.44 percent of all blogs (as opposed to the statistic above, which applies to all websites).
3. According to websitegrader.com there are 3,853 inbound links to the SmartBlog.
4. According to BlogLines, a leading RSS reader, there are 9,881 subscribers to the RSS feed for the SmartBlog. They note, however, "This is usually a small fraction of the total subscribers to the feed." I have no idea what that means. We also have about 2,500 subscribers through Constant Contact.
5. Typepad says that the SmartBlog has received 54,785 lifetime page views.

I have no idea how this happened, except that it didn’t happen through promotion. But it has definitely proved to me that at least two clichés about the Internet are true: 1. Content is king, and 2. If you build it, they will come.

My 12,500 or so subscribers must be small potatoes compared to Boing Boing and the Huffington Post, but I’ll take it as proof that persistence pays and soldier on.

The lesson for lawyers and financial professionals: If you ain’t bloggin’, you ain’t tryin’.

Apple: Masters Of Marketing

The New York Times has an interesting article on Apple’s introduction of its second-generation iPhone, which it chose to market with a 30 minute (!) video featuring nothing much more than the phone itself and Bob Borchers, senior director of Apple’s iPhone product line. Dressed in a black shirt against a plain white background, Borchers talks about the phone in simple, yet passionate, terms. The video arrived in my email box on Tuesday, with the subject line "iPhone 3G is coming…" Having identified me as a user of many Apple products, including the iPhone, I was getting a personal introduction to the new, improved iPhone. It was meant to make me drool, and it did. I’ve seen plenty of three-minute videos about law firms on YouTube, some pretty good, some pretty lame. I wonder how many lawyers could speak as easily and knowledgeably about their work as Borchers does about the iPhone. Would they be able to carry off a 30-minute video and make it compelling?