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Phil Gomes

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Thursday, December 27, 2001

Posted by philgomes 6:50 PM

Down Economy Inspires Weeping, Wailing, Gnashing Of Teeth, And Prodigious Amounts Of Name-Calling: Dan Fost's column in The San Francisco Chronicle demonstrates what the economic downturn has done to members of a certain business sector that was flying high during The Boom: new economy publications. It would seem from the article that the respective editors of Fast Company and Business 2.0 have taken to bitch-slapping each other on the way down.
FC's Alan Webber on Biz2: ""I still think it's the department of lost souls. [AOL Time Warner] will not kill it, but that doesn't mean it deserves to live. There's too much ego involved in it."
Biz2's Ned Desmond replies: "For my money, [FC has] a very tired formula. It's one of the reasons why we have a lot of confidence. They have been playing out their own theme, 'Free Agent Nation,' 'Be Your Own Brand'...in a monthly format, and it gets very tired after a while."
The article also points out some interesting facts: FC was worth $340 million to Gruner + Jahr AG and Biz2 was snapped up by AOL Time Warner for $68 million. All told, not a bad way to cash out.
Both are fine publications and service very different readerships, in my opinion. It makes no sense to me why they are beating each other up, save for the fact that they are perhaps fighting for the same ever-dwindling advertising dollars. However, I do find that Mr. Desmond's criticism is valid: FC's cover story almost since its inception has been "self-as-brand" and "do your job better this month." Valuable advice (I write to you from a so-called "at-will" state, where employers or employees can terminate a relationship for no good reason, while the former laments the lack of loyalty in today's workforce), though somewhat meager gruel with which to sustain people's fickle interest.
That said, I've always felt that this article about the U.S.S. Benfold stands in memory as one of the most inspirational pieces of journalism I've ever read.



Posted by philgomes 11:54 AM

Danger: Gloating Below: C'mon! Say it! "Phil and his team are PR bad-asses!!" Say it!!! I just can't hear it enough!
Going into 2002, remember: "All your base are belong to me!!" ?Quien es tu papa? !?QUIEN ES TU PAPA?!



Posted by philgomes 11:44 AM

Even In A Downturn, Maximum Productivity Is Marketed To Consumers: Now, your Palm-based handheld can regulate your power-naps to ensure optimum productivity. The JETLOG 24x7 PowerNapping Module boasts "Strategic Wakeup" functionality and "Maximum Recovery In Minimum Time(TM)."
People: The bubble has burst and, with it, I thought that this maniacal drive toward redlined (and red-eyed?) productivity would decelerate somewhat. No such luck.
Inc. Magazine editor Jill Andresky Fraser has some opinions about this trend.



Friday, December 07, 2001

Posted by philgomes 5:53 PM

They Should Have Left It Off: Reuters is running a story about some religious zealot who, thinking that his johnson was causing him to sin, sliced it off with a machete.
All religious zealots who do harm to self (i.e. this shmuck) and others (i.e. those "jihad"-shouting bastards to the east) all deserve to have their one-eyed trouser snakes removed. Perhaps with a blunt machete!



Monday, December 03, 2001

Posted by philgomes 11:09 AM

Ginger Finally Launches...And It's Unbelievably Anti-Climatic!!: The U.S. hype machine again took a perfectly fine technical idea, hyped it to death, and subjected it to a humiliating and anti-climatic introduction. Yes, "Ginger" has launched.
This was worth a $250,000 book advance from Harvard publishing? This is what inspired ejaculatory praise from Steve Jobs? This is what inspired Jeff Bezos' notoriously honking laugh?
This is why I struggled to get up in time for Good Morning America?!?
My beef isn't with Kamen; he's a brilliant inventor whom I have greatly admired ever since The Smithsonian did an article on him in 1994. (In fact, Kamen shrugged off much of the wild speculation.)
But are we as Americans so desperate to find the next big thing that we take a nationally renowned inventor and hype his perfectly fine (though less-than-futuristic) invention to death?
Kamen is a genius. Shame on us.



Sunday, December 02, 2001

Posted by philgomes 1:30 PM

Tech Journalism Continues To Disappoint: Check this out, as supplied by a prominent source acquisition network for journalists:
For a feature article, a reporter with a weekly technology trade magazine would like to interview enterprise users of CRM ["Customer Relationship Management." -pmg] technology who've experienced CRM vendors overpromising what their products could do. She's looking for companies that have experienced severe overselling and can provide good detail on the ill effects of getting tied up in CRM software that promised the sun and moon but couldn't deliver.
Now, maybe this is an artifact of phrasing rather than intent, but shouldn't the question be "I would like to determine whether CRM vendors are delivering on their promises, or over-promising?" The cast of this article by an ostensibly impartial journalist has already been determined based on the parameters of the sourcing. If she's lucky enough to find three disgruntled CRM customers (probably an easy task), then she has her "CRM Vendors Are Evil Shysters" article, irrespective of the hundreds of customers that might actually be happy with their six-figure CRM purchase.
For a great opinion piece on the technology journalism of the past few years, check out this piece by Steve Gilliard. (However, I find the writer's stance a little too strong.)




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