Scoble’s Business Blog Book

Microsoft Blogger, Robert Scoble, and seasoned PR pro, Shel Israel, are working on a new book about business blogging, The Red Couch. From their proposal to the publisher:

The Red Couch explains the why and how of blogging to business people.
Using recent case studies throughout its 250-300 pages, it will
demystify this disruptive technology and explaining why it is more
efficient, credible and effective than traditional business
communications tools and explains why it is likely to change or destroy
the usual marketing mix of ads, PR, websites and collateral materials.

What’s even cooler is that the writing of the book is going to take place on a blog so we can expect lots of interactive conversations to take place on the blog. They’re currently drafting the Table of Contents and are asking for input.

Current Events

Harley-Davidson, Japanese Engine?

I took my father in law out to visit a motorcycle distributor where he was hoping to get a distributor for the high end wheels made by Dymag, a company he owns. While it’s always interesting to step into a new industry and learn a bit about it, one of the more juicy bits of gossip that I learned was the nasty rumor that the Harley-Davidson is not really as American-built as some would like to believe. Not only are the wheels on most models made by an overseas company called “Inky” but the buyer we met also assured us that if you look carefully on the engines, you’ll see that they’re made in Japan!

He couldn’t remember which Japanese company makes the Harley engines which is a shame. According to him, all the engines are shipped to the US where they are assembled along with all the other parts which are sourced overseas. Makes me wonder if it’s all done under cover of darkness by a secret guild of factory workers sworn to secrecy.

If this is indeed true, it would be quite a scandal for the company that, when faced with cheaper imports from Japan, unsuccessfully tried to trademark the unique sound of their V-Twin engine.

Buzz Marketing with Blogs

I haven’t had a chance to skim this yet but it should be of interest to anyone thinking of adding blogs to their marketing campaign. I hope there’s a section that says there is no quick any easy way to launch a popular blog – it really comes down to having a site that is well-written, truthful to your motives, and speaks to the reader in a way that keeps ’em coming back.

Written by Susannah Gardner of Hop Studios self-described website designers ("Web sites. We make those."), you can order the book from Amazon here.

Update: Ah but of course there’s a blog associated with the book, due out in March.


Six Apart & Live Journal

The internet has been on fire the past few days here at Six Apart sales with the announcement that we are acquiring Live Journal. I’ll be the lazy meta man and link to our very own Jay Allen who’s done a great job of pulling together the “must reads” on the topic.

I will continue to plug Movable Type and TypePad as the best publishing tools for the corporate market because these products are best suited to achieve most business objectives that I hear about.

Continue to contact me if you’re interested in:

  • Purchasing a custom license of Movable Type for a large number of seats
  • Hosting Movable Type as an ISP or Hosting partner

Do not contact me for Live Journal partnership opportunities. Our intention is to do no more than touch it up a bit; smooth the edges & nothing more.

LiveJournal is going to be a separate brand from the Six Apart products much like there are Mercurys and Mustangs in the Ford family. Six Apart makes publishing tools that can be used to broadcast a message out to the world at large, Live Journal makes a collaboration & communication tool best used to keep members of a group in touch with one another. Weblogs & Live Journal are as different in application as email and IM – yes, they both communicate in the broadest sense but if you use both, they difference in use morphs the “culture” built up around them.

If anyone appreciates that, we do.

The funny thing is, you can have a weblog and a LiveJournal. The fact that some of the funniest and smartest people I know have both only reaffirms that we shouldn’t limit ourselves to one sort of publishing/communication mode.

Mena’s Corner
Current Events

Class of ’84 Update

Dear Middlesex School Class of ’84,

Last time around, a fair amount of people wrote in but only a few took advantage of the “comment” link below this post to put their updates online. According to a recent report out by the folks over at Pew, some 12% of Americans have posted comments on weblogs so I’m looking forward to seeing a few more of you jumping in and posting your news in the comments section below.

Credit History

So I’m almost done updating my addresses on all the various magazines, credit cards, frequent flier accounts, and other sundry organizations that like to mail me things from time to time.  Today I called Citibank and in the process of updating my address am given the gentle pitch to take advantage of their service which monitors my credit report.

Blah, blah, blah – free trial for 30 days – blah, blah, blah – will send you a notification anytime a new account is opened in your name – blah, blah, blah. I keep saying very politely to the lady obviously reading from a script that I was not interested. Curious to see what type of sales style she would use, I asked her an innocent question about the pricing. WHAM – she’s on the hunt and won’t take no for an answer. I’m immediately in the section of the script where if you don’t take advantage of this offer now, your credit history, identity, and family name are in danger of being hijacked by the dark side. Act NOW sir! I implore you!

I finally fended her off but as I hung up (no more please, no, really, I just wanted to give you my new address so I could continue using your card when I need it, that’s it, really, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!) I thought – that’s rich – the same people that I am relying on to protect my credit history and warn me about credit card abuse and all that fun stuff are now trying to sell me a service to monitor this stuff.

Kind of like a policeman coming to your door to sell you an alarm system.



For the last weekend of the year, we travelled two hours south to Monterey where we stayed for two nights to unwind a bit. We made no specific plans except to see the famous aquarium where the only captive white shark in the world continues to thrive in their big tank.

Things really clicked for us on this trip. We drove down without a lick of traffic and were greeted to a sun that parted the clouds that had been raining down on us for the past few days. Poking around for something to do that evening (it was New Year’s Eve after all) we found out that Monterey sponsors something called First Night in which the streets are blocked off to a host of roving bands, dancers, and other performers. For $15 you can drop into any number of events going on across town and in the space of a few hours we took the kids to see a world-class opera singer perform arias to us in California’s oldest playhouse, a local jazz band perform in a 1930’s era film house, an African drumming troupe, Greek line dancers, the local taiko dojo, flamenco dancing, belly-dancing, and a monkey with his organ-grinding master. We all picked up some elvish-looking hats with bells on them to keep things hopping. We stayed out as long as we could but the rain set in around 9 PM and after we took our showers and curled up in our bed we couldn’t keep our eyes open and ended up drifting off around 10:30.

New Year’s Day was perfect, the sun shone brightly and we awoke early and had a relaxed breakfast in our room and later somehow joined in member’s only early opening of the aquarium and were surrounded by lots of people that really knew their fish. The jellyfish exhibit was most impressive and ended up being the most represented in the photos I took of the weekend.

After lunch, just as it started to get crowded, we left the aquarium and, much to the delight of the kids, rented a four-wheeled cycle which we could power up and down the seaside path. They both enjoyed sitting up in a seat hitched up on the handlebars greeting everyone we passed. We later ended the day with a delicious seafood meal where Tyler & Julia had their first taste of lobster (Tyler was not impressed).

Today the rain started up again so we drove down 17-mile drive to Carmel and, after a brief look around, headed back home. A perfect weekend, especially for the discover that such beauty is only a short drive away.

I’m happy to announce our second Movable Type Hosting Partner,