death of the daily

Almost two years ago, I wrote a scathing review of the new iPad only newspaper “The Daily”. Today, News Corp announced they’re closing down the Daily.

While I’ll stick with much of my initial critique of why it ultimately failed, there’s a simple distilled reason of its failure. A digital newspaper failed for the same reason that traditional newspapers are failing. It’s not about the platform, whether that be an iPad or newsprint. It’s about the content and the audience (and the revenue model)

i need to stop making suggestions on this blog

come fly the friendly skies
come fly the friendly skies

Last May, I made a outrageous suggestion in a blog post with the caveat not to laugh because it may happen.

Well, it may be happening. Sure, the CEO seems a little spacey…

“Michael makes a lot of this stuff up as he goes along and while this has been discussed internally there are no immediate plans to introduce it,” Stephen McNamara said in a statement.

But the key quote there is that it has been discussed internally. And while this airline’s PR flacks are trying to put out this fire, you know it’s been discussed at every airline.

When it does eventually happen on U.S. carriers (because we know how much they care for their passengers), I will be using my 3-1-1 bottles and clear plastic quart bags for other than intended purposes as a protest.

I wonder how much the airline industry will have to mistreat customers before there’s a pushback.

update on nyu journalism mediashift

I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about an NYU student who wrote a post about the online knoweldge of GenY in her journalism class.

From communicating with Alana, I knew there would be a follow-up from the professor’s point of view. But as with most things you watch for, I missed it yesterday until a reader tipped me off. (Thanks, Simon!)

The professor didn’t necessarily respond, but PBS Mediashift’s facilitator Mark Glaser did dig a little deeper and found some interesting things.

and the dominoes started to fall

I called it.

Today’s announcement — United is following American’s lead.

Of course, when your industry is hated and someone else has already taken the brunt of the PR backlash — decisions like these are pretty easy. Way to step out, United.

And behold the power of contextual ad placement:

fishy facts

  • Approximately 23% of the year’s sales of Filet-O-Fish sandwiches at McDonalds are purchased during a 40 day window that began today.
  • Filet-O-Fish was invented in 1962 by a Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky McDonald’s franchisee who had stores located in a predominantly Roman Catholic area.
  • The franchisee, Lou Groen, originally made the sandwich with high quality halibut, but the corporation made him switch to the cheaper Atlantic cod.
  • In order to get the Filet-O-Fish on the menu, Groen was challenged to a sales contest by Ray Kroc who also had a meatless idea called the Hula Burger which was nothing but a slice of pineapple on a bun. The Filet-O-Fish won.
  • The Filet-O-Fish was the first item added to the original McDonald’s core menu.
  • I have blogged my weird fascination of the relationship between fish, marketing, and Lent before.
  • I can’t eat a Filet-O-Fish without my gag reflex kicking in at least once.

All facts (except for the gag one) from the Cincinnati Enquirer.

charity case

Two conflicting thoughts in my head about this story.

1) Wow. What a great business.
We should all strive to create products that customers crave. Products that customers are willing to become involved in (emotionally and financially). We should be developing a customer community that people are willing to fight for. Toscanini’s apparently has done this and has a fan base that is willing to band together to try to save Toscanini’s.

2) Wow. What a horrible business.
Making ice cream is fun, but you first have to keep the lights on and pay Uncle Sam. If you don’t do the basics to stay in business, you won’t be in business. And it’s an insult to your customers. As one commenter on their blog said —

“Honestly, I think it’s a slap in the face to everyone who has been a loyal customer to take their money for taxes, ‘lose’ this money and then ask for donations to get them out of a mess they caused themselves with bad management.”

This is not a rare occurrence. It’s happened right in my own backyard to a place that I have eaten lunch at and blogged about.

In addition, there’s a business in my hometown that apparently couldn’t make it with just charging membership dues. So they had other businesses become sponsors to “help the kids”. Oddly, the kids still pay for gymnastics and cheerleading lessons.

If your business needs a benefit charity drive or sponsors to keep the doors open, then maybe it’s a sign that the doors should close.

mediaspam

I subscribe to an industry trade that sent me the following email this weekend —

Thank you for being a Mediaweek customer. Neilsen Business Media, Mediaweek’s publisher, is committed to keeping its customers informed via email about products and services from third party advertisers that might be of interest to them. Each email will be preceded by the name of the company offering the product or service, so that you know the source and purpose of the message before opening it. If you do not wish to receive these informative emails, please register your preference by following this link…

I’m glad they’re watching out for me by making sure I’m “informed” by sending me spam.

No matter how much you think your list might like it…
Or how “informative” you think it is…
Or how much someone is greasing your pockets to let them “borrow” your list…
…if I didn’t ask for it and you send it to me, it’s spam. And you’re a spammer.

A media and marketing trade magazine should know that. Maybe they missed my pizza spam post.