Sunday Afternoon Thoughts Part 5


Hopping around to different blogs, I see a lot of colleges are developing content management systems, as we are. I’ve met with our IT folks several times over the past few weeks. The fact that I find this leap incredibly exciting leads me to conclude that I should get a life. Seriously, the prospect of my own PR page that I control opens up a world of possibilities integrating text, photos, audio, video and interactivity. It also scares me because it will be a virtual Jabba the Hutt demanding a continual feast of Web food.

We’ll be the first department to go live. I’ll keep you posted and look forward to your ideas and comments. As I’ve said before, this is a pioneering time when there are few rules and they can be broken. As Mike Moran says, “Do It Wrong Quickly.”

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I spent at least two hours on Kyle James’ Links of the Week he posted Feb. 22nd on his site, There’s a wide variety of sites with lots of useful information, software and news.

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The Association of National Advertisers’ new survey shows the trend of advertisers migrating to the Internet continues. Among the survey findings: 62 percent of advertisers feel TV advertising has become less effective in the past two years and 50 percent are experimenting with new ad types to work with DVRs and VOD programs. “Eighty-seven percent of advertisers believe branded entertainment will play a stronger role in TV advertising in the coming year.” (My italics). Even though I’m in the marketing/branding business, I really have mixed feeling about this. God knows there’s so much competition for your brain space, simple truth has become a footnote. I say this knowing that everyone of us (and our president) would thank God in seven religions to see Peter Parker wearing our university sweatshirt before he morphs into Spiderman and kicks Sandman’s grainy butt.

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While poking around branded entertainment sites I came across Fuel Industries which nearly leaps from the screen.

For a eye-opening inside look into this industry check out Inside Branded Entertainment.

I don’t know if this is a future direction for small schools but I have colleagues at some Ivy Leagues meeting regularly with Hollywood producers to include items from their institution in movies.

BTW, it works. Years ago, Bill Cosby wore a Mansfield University sweatshirt on the Cosby show. Our bookstore had orders from across the U.S. for “that sweatshirt.”

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Check out Footnoted from Academic Blogs and read the entry of Abel Pharmboy who blogged about his vasectomy on his science blog, Terra Sigillata. He did it, he said, to educate men on how mild it is compared to a tubal ligation of their female partner. The blog is well done and the numerous comments are even more interesting. When the Chronicle of Higher Education noted it, a batch of bloggers picked up on it, inadvertently doing just what Abel wanted: spreading the word and educating the masses. Good example of marketing 2.0 even if Abel hadn’t planned on the viral nature of his blog. Abel Pharmboy is the pseudonym of an “academic researcher and educator who holds a PhD in Pharmacology.”

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Note: I love this wiki, a list of obsolete skills & new skills. Found it on Scobeilizer

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7 responses to “Sunday Afternoon Thoughts Part 5

  1. Dennis,

    The obsolete skills blog is some pretty facinating stuff. Truth is I don’t know if I could operate half the things mentioned…

    Glad that you enjoyed the links. Seems like I run across so much awesomeness online each week it’s mindblowing! Sometimes the hardest part is to wait until the end of the week and wrap it all up instead of posting lots of small posts through the week about this tool or that. I just have to remind myself that people just don’t have the time to read 15 small posts (I don’t really have time to write them either).

  2. What can I say? I felt bad about using my vasectomy as an excuse not to get a post out on Thursday.

    In all seriousness, as you noted, I wanted to use my self-effacing account to draw attention to a relatively painless yet effective procedure that men rarely discuss amongst themselves. Judging from the blog reactions and the comment threads, we got some good dialogue going and have dispelled many myths. I’m still a little sore but I feel like I did a good thing – for my wife, for my blogging community, and for men who continue to come by and comment on their own experiences and ask questions.

    I joked at Footnoted that I’ve been a prof for 16 years and taught for another 5 previously but I’ve never been mentioned in any arm of The Chronicle until now. Too bad I can’t do it more than once.

    By the way, I’m not sure if it was a Freudian slip but you referred above to tubal “litigation” – a vasectomy is less trouble than that as well!

    Thanks for the link and the thoughtful commentary. Abel

  3. Abel,
    “Litigation” instead of “ligation” was a slip alright. What a difference an “it” makes. From the hospital to the courts!
    I think if you follow the vasectomy with a sex change the Chronicle might pick you up again.
    Seriously, your account was well-written, entertaining, informative and needed in a society where males don’t speak of such things.
    I’m curious. How many views have you had since posting?

  4. Kyle,
    Once a week is perfect. I hope you can keep it up. These sites and the info are really useful. Your list also keeps a “package” for easy reference.

  5. Thanks very much for the gender reassignment recommendation and the serious compliments. It’s been a real pleasure to see how widely this story has been received with the response overwhelmingly positive.

    WRT traffic, even though I am at ScienceBlogs.com I have a relatively modest specialty audience that averages 250 / 400 visits / pageviews per day during the week. My Treo only allowed me to liveblog to an auxillary site with the account not appearing on my blog until about 8 pm Thursday, but here are the numbers (visits/pageviews):

    803 / 1,214 (Thurs)
    5,879 / 7,283 (Fri)
    2,172 / 2,591 (Sat)
    1,067 / 1,413 (Sun)

    So, in 4 days I’ve gotten just about 5-6 weeks of normal traffic. My only other comparable big spike was a link from Daily Kos last May that gave me two days of ~3,000 hits each. So, this is the winner so far in just over two years of blogging.

    I should also note that about 2/3 of the links to my account have come from blogs that I had never read before. I’m very happy to have learned of yours because I am very interested in the use of blogs to augment PR and research dissemination efforts of academic institutions. So, you’ve got a new fan now!

  6. The numbers are amazing. Well, the subject is useful and written in a concise, entertaining way. Congratulations on having it spread and attaining your educational goal.
    The other interesting thing to me is that your site was my number one referrer the past two days.
    Finally, thanks for your kind words. I hope my blog is helpful in your future efforts.
    Keep up the great work.

  7. Pingback: Sunday Afternoon Thoughts Part 6 « The Higher Ed Marketing Blog

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