Archive for October, 2006

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Oprah Sucks!

October 31, 2006

I was thinking today of who was the most untouchable person in America, the sacred cow that must be bowed down to.  It’s got to be Oprah Winfrey.

Somewhere along the way Oprah did more than find the tipping point to massive popularity; she found the tipping point to sainthood on earth.  You just don’t hear anyone badmouth her anymore—maybe they just all are hoping to get on her show someday.

When I was living in Chicago, I sort of tangentially knew a producer on the Oprah show.  You should have seen how people treated her when they found out she had close, personal access to Oprah.  They thought she was the bee’s knees, just for working there.

It may be hard to remember now, but it wasn’t horribly long ago that Oprah was OK with scrabbling around in the gutter with Jenny Jones, Sally Jesse Raphael, Rikki Lake (and let’s not forget Rolonda) to find guests that would tell their circus sideshow stories.  She wasn’t in Springer territory necessarily, but she hadn’t gone all Dr. Phil on us yet.

And then she shed the pretenders and now is Queen of All Media.  My favorite line to my wife while in the checkout line at the grocery store: “Guess who’s on the cover of Oprah magazine this month?”

I have nothing against Oprah.  I think she’s entertaining and it’s obvious why people are drawn to her personality.  But what was it that pushed her over the edge to become an untouchable?  When did it become bad personal policy to say an unkind word against Stedman Graham’s main honey?

More important, how can I and my business get me some of that?

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A Campaign of Hope

October 31, 2006

I went to college with the guy who is using this ad against his opponent in a bid to retain his seat as an Ohio state senator. Guess which party he is from.

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3-Way Plug By Claes Oldenburg

October 31, 2006

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Quotable

October 31, 2006

Stephen J. Dubner:

“For the past several years, newspapers have been reporting on their own circulation declines with a strange degree of intensity. They write prominent, mournful, self-flagellating stories of their own decline that remind me of a friend who used to sniff his own underarm when he knew it was particularly randy.”

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The Latest Bessed October 31, 2006

October 31, 2006

Every day Bessed adds new topics, updates others and expands the information you can tap into…

Reese Witherspoon is divorcing from her husband of 7 years, Ryan Phillippe.

Violent Acres is a new blog that is attacking “mommybloggers” and creating some blogosphere drama.

Mariah Carey had a show canceled in Hong Kong due to poor ticket sales and possibly some diva-ish behavior.

By request, we added Mammoth Lakes Real Estate, Online Advertising and Spa Vacations.

Other additions: Deborah Harry, Gawker Media, Healdsburg California.

Also, updates to Golf, Michael J. Fox and Search Engines.

Got a site that needs attention? Add yout URL to Bessed. We might not have a category that fits your site—if not, we’ll be happy to make one.

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So Many Details, So Little Time

October 27, 2006

I’ve become a regular reader of the blog Sack of Seattle. It’s from Andy Sack, the head of Judy’s Book, which is a consumer review/shopping deals site that is still ramping up and to a certain extent trying to figure out what it’s final business model is going to be. The reason I’m enjoying it is because Judy’s Book is trying to create something big while working with a relatively small staff, and what they are doing is rather time-intensive—it’s not simply creating a piece of technology and letting it loose; it requires a lot of human effort. Much like my own company, Bessed.

Sack wrote yesterday about getting some difficult feedback from a customer who likes Judy’s Book but is frustrated with some changes that the site is undergoing. If I understand correctly, though, some of the changes are necessary if Judy’s Book actually wants to make some money.

Sack responds to the customer’s comments well, but in listening to the complaints, I’m reminded of how difficult it is to create something that people want to use while simultaneously making a profit from it.

It’s easy to create something that people want, whether it’s a product or service. The question is, are people willing to pay, and, if so, how much? If they’re not willing to pay, can you translate the bodies/eyeballs into a workable business via advertising revenue? If you can, how much work will it take to make that process happen, both in terms of finding the advertisers and figuring out how to make their advertising pay dividends so that they continue to want to be associated with you?

In many startups, especially Internet startups, the first step is in building the offering. If it’s good enough to attract attention, you then have to convert some of that attention to actual money. And while you’re trying to get to a healthy monetization level, you still need to provide all the things you provided to begin with that brought you the visitors/customers in the first place. And you have to do this double work with the same staff you had when you were doing half the work, which already seemed like more than twice the work that most humans could reasonably handle.

Even more difficult, if your business has ramped up to a decent level but not home-run territory, and the money’s starting to run low, you may have to shift gears to monetization before you’d like to, thus forcing you to somewhat take your eye off the ball in terms of providing the service or product that brings you customers in the first place.

It’s no wonder that sometimes the details get lost in the shuffle, or that as a business owner you simply have to choose what is the most important thing that needs to get done at a particular time, and live with the fact that there is something else that needs attention but will not be getting it at the moment.

And yet everyone wants to be an entrepreneur these days.

e-mail me: adam@bessed.com

Adam Jusko is founder and CEO of Bessed, a Web site promising “search without spam”, thanks to human-edited search results and ongoing visitor feedback. Do a search, offer your comments, submit your site–help create the “bessed” search site in the world. 

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The Latest Bessed – October 26, 2006

October 26, 2006

Every day Bessed adds new topics, updates others and expands the information you can tap into…

Sasha Baron Cohen’s alter ego Borat is coming to theaters soon, and the buzz is growing.  Check out the first four minutes of his film and you’ll see why people love him and why others are horrified.

Lost had its best episode of the season last night, IMO. In fact, it drew me back in after a couple of weeks of starting to feel a little apathetic about the show.  Regardless, they need to wrap it up this year.  I won’t be watching the show for another season if they drag it out further. End it this year and it goes out on top.  String us along any further and you’ll end up talking to yourselves.

Dancing With The Stars kicked off Jerry Springer.  Has any show ever got by with so little content, and so many has-beens or never-weres,  as this one? I mean, other than The Love Boat?

By request, we added Astrology, Exercise Journals / Exercise Logs, Jewelry, Classifieds, How-To Videos and Florida Title Insurance.

And let’s not forget Harry Potter.  It’s almost Halloween after all.