We’ll Rent Out Your Bedroom!

That’s what I was told when I announced that I was going to get married. My mother wanted to make sure I understood the gravity of what I was saying — if I decided as suddenly that I didn’t mean it, after the fact, I couldn’t expect to flounce back home to Mom and Dad’s. I stuck to my guns, got married,¬† my mother stuck to hers and my father shook his head. Within months they had the house remodeled. The second floor became a darling little apartment, which my new husband and I did not ask and were not invited to rent.

I think my bedroom became the kitchen. I saw it in a memory flash when I looked at airbnb to find out what the fuss is. Airbnb seems to be on everybody’s short list of brilliant marketing hackery examples. Then, in the catalog of available spaces on the airbnb site, I saw an address that’s just a couple of neighborhoods away. And here we are with a large second floor that’s been an empty nest for years. I often think it’s a shame to waste the space, but it’s always an idle thought. Maybe I missed the marketing hacker boat.

Neenah “N” in Paper Sculpture

From Neenah in GDUSA – touchy feely folding project to experience NEENAH Folding Board paper.¬† Very nice paper. Holds its fold permanently, doesn’t crack along the crease, responds well to perforation. Foil embosses beautifully. Is it meant for hand-folded projects? Probably not.

The sample sheet insert invited me to tear out the dimensional “N” and fold it. So I did. Very carefully. I would say that this particular demo concept wasn’t the greatest idea. Sending an irrelevant and untested demo to an unsupervised audience is a sure way to get counterproductive results.

Have You Decoded Social Media Marketing?

What’s the the score on social media as a marketing platform? It looks even less promising than it did when the services first came online, bent on making a salesworthy sociogram of the planet. Remember? “People don’t do business with companies; they do business with friends.” It was so compelling that thousands of real world small business owners were willing to breach the confidentiality of their client lists to look good to strangers. Imagine, asking your clients to do your marketing for you, for free, without giving anything in return.

I was fascinated when I noticed, accidentally, that a clique of prominent bloggers seemed devoted to promoting each other. They each had original, valuable, and intriguing ideas to discuss, and their collaboration¬† worked. Following one introduced you to the others and everybody benefited. Their elaborate system of getting email signups in exchange for high quality, mainly marketing, information was a good idea. I’m always happy to hear from them and about them.

Not so, the dozens of copycats who plague my mailbox with reiterations of the one idea they have to serve as information, tempting me to buy their courses in how to make big bucks on the internet by reselling as information products the stale directions they bought from merchants further up the pyramid. Ironically, the e-commerce forums are full of questions from people who want to sell their online marketing how-to information, but don’t know how to get customers for it.

In the past two weeks, Google cracked down on reciprocal guest blogging as a way of manipulating search engine ranking, Facebook cracked down on spam in the newsfeeds and LinkedIn cracked down on freewheeling use of their service for advertising. I suspect that the social media services resent being gamed. They’re supposed to be the gamers. It has to ruin their recordkeeping to have members leaving their garbage clogged systems.

So where does that leave social marketing? The same place marketing always was Рin the body of Communication theory. The theory promoted from Aristotle forward is that communication is a two-way transaction, involving a speaker, an audience, a social script,  invention and an element of uncertainty to make it exciting.