Great talk sponsored by www.hillsdale.edu. The Imprimis is an excellent publication and I recommend it to anyone:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/newimprimis/2004/june/default.htm

Look at this article from FORTUNE:
http://www.fortune.com/fortune/services/sections/fortune/corp/2003_08direct.html

Paul Allen found a great deal on hosting with great bandwidth capabilities:

http://www.bluehost.com/

I need to save it for future reference. Thanks Paul. Another great resource is www.nureal.com which offers a great multisite package.

http://www.infobaseventures.com/blog/2004/06/09.html#a103

Finally, for www.familylearn.com we are going to switch to www.uvnet.net to host our servers. They have great packages and a more flexible plan than www.xmission.com

In an interview with Scott Heiferman, CEO of www.meetup.com, nPost asked:

What are your insights into entrepreneurship?

Scott: Focus on how you are helping people. Most companies are focused on helping people somehow. Whether the company that runs basic services, they are providing a needed service. More often than not people get so wrapped up in the scheme around the business that they lose track of the core value. They are talking more about member acquisition, when they should really be talking about how to ensure that customers are enjoying what they are doing.

nPost: They may have lost focus on the core value they provide to customers.

Scott: At the end of the day measure your success by whether you or helping people or not. So many things fail when people lose focus on what they are providing to customers.

http://www.npost.com/interview.jsp?intID=INT00099

I was talking to Trisha just the other day about how difficult it is to get people to change their habits for a new and better product. Just now when I had the chance to purchase cheaper high speed internet and a different cell phone service, I didn’t because I didn’t want to take the time to deal with it. It wasn’t worth it to me. Breaking tradition or making a paradigm shift is never going to be easy and quite frankly, that is what we are trying to do with www.familylearn.com. The industry is currently focused on data, names, dates and places. FamilyLearn is a new way to approach family history and life, learning from one another and our ancestors. But, from a marketing standpoint, this is going to be a very difficult task indeed. Seth Godin, the famous blogger recently pointed out: “You should also care if you’re trying to build something big and important. Because big and important things often come from changing the tradition. And if you can invent a new tradition, a new tradition around your innovation, that’s when you win big time.” ( http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2004/06/tradition.html )

The principle is in the article that is on love and I found it on Paul Allen’s blog:
LOVE

Certain People have personified this for me and I’m sure there are more:

My wife, who truly loves others more than herself.

My Mother, who loved our family enough to go through so much for us.

Alan Fluckiger, American Heritage Academy, who helped me realize my inborn love for learning again.

Dr. Edward Green, General Manager at Family Literacy Centers, Inc., who taught me the power of raising others rather than ourselves.

Dllon Inouye, Professor at BYU, who taught me the power of relationships and excellence.

Paul Merrill, Professor at BYU, Professor at BYU, who cared more for student success than his own.

Paul Allen, Internet Entreprenuer, Infobase Ventures, LLC, who openned my eyes to the goodness in business.

John Jonas, Internet Entreprenuer, Programmer and Friend, Search Engine Marketing Expert, who isn’t afraid to make mistakes and sets an example for me of a love for learning as well as always being there for FamilyLearn.

Jason Johnson, CPA, Entreprenuer, Mentor and Friend, FamilyLearn Vice President, who has risked so much for a love for FamilyLearn with me–mission driven.

Children are never too young to start learning about genealogy this article says.
http://morningsun.net/stories/062004/loc_20040620038.shtml

It appears that our competitors site utahrealestateconnection.com, who claims to be search engine marketing professionals, can’t use their superior page rank well enough from utah.com to move their site ahead of www.utahrealestatehelp.com. We are way in the lead with 64th ranking in Google for “Utah Real Estate” and their site coming in 339th. It should be interesting to see how quickly we can make it to the first page.

“You have to honor failure because failure is just the negative space around success.”

-Randy Nelson, Pixar Animation Studios

Best individual’s blog on the general topic of marketing and advertising

Awarded to: Adrants
http://www.adrants.com

Honorable Mention: Seth Godin’s Blog
http://www.sethgodin.com/sg/blog.html

Best group weblog on the general topic of marketing and advertising

Winner: AdLand
http://ad-rag.com

Honorable Mention: MarketingVOX
http://www.marketingvox.com/

Best PR-topic blog

Winner: CanuckFlack
http://www.canuckflack.com

Honorable Mention: PR Machine
http://prmachine.blogspot.com/

Best b-to-b marketing-topic blog

Winner: Dana’s Blog
http://www.danavan.net/weblog/

Honorable Mention: B2B Lead Generation Blog
http://blog.startwithalead.com/

Best blog on small business marketing

Winner: Duct Tape Marketing
http://www.DuctTapeMarketing.com/weblog.php

Honorable Mention: re:invention Blog – Biz and marketing soundbytes for women entrepreneurs
http://www.reinventioninc.blogspot.com

Best blog on online marketing

Winner: Search Engine Lowdown
http://www.searchenginelowdown.com

Honorable Mention: Adverblog Web & wireless advertising in a Blog
http://www.adverblog.com

Top readers’ choice write-in vote

Winner: Strategic Public Relations
http://prblog.typepad.com

How the Best Blogs were chosen:

In April 2004, we asked MarketingSherpa’s 173,000 readers (who are mainly marketing execs at medium-large businesses and the agencies who serve them) to nominate their favorite blogs on the subjects of marketing, advertising, and PR.

It’s awfully easy to start a blog on an impulse, but equally difficult to keep the effort up posting consistently over the long-term. So we cut nominated blogs that had been started after January 1st, 2004 (you guys can try again next year.) A total of 29 blogs qualified for the next round.

Next, we invited all MarketingSherpa readers to vote for the best Blogs in the six categories listed above, plus a write-in category where they could put any blog’s name. We included hotlinks to every blog so folks could check them out prior to voting.

We also allowed nominated blogs to post links to the voting form for their own readers, however we asked all voters to evaluate every nominee in a category and not just one single blog. (Which worked out fine.) However, MarketingSherpa staff were not allowed to vote, or influence results in any way.

Voters were asked to rate each blog in a category by one of three designations – "Excellent", "Not bad", and "Blah". To make sure everyone understood what was expected from an "excellent" vote, we included the following instructions:

#1. Personality:
Is there a clear personality? Do you feel like you know the writer(s)? Is there a feeling of intimacy that may be missing from mainstream media?

#2. Usefulness:
Is the information either darned useful or very enjoyable to read? Did it make you think, or laugh, or click? Are there handy links to other places?

#3. Writing style:
Is it a sales pitch badly disguised as a blog? Is it a long-winded column instead of a snappy, slightly-informal blog? Is it just news briefs without analysis or insight?

#4. Usability & design:
Is the typeface easy to read? Can you find links to archives? Is the writing concise and skimmable? Are graphics limited to what’s useful or fun?

#5. Would you revisit?:
Is it useful or engaging enough for you to visit it again someday? Or will you forget it the minute after you vote?

On June 2nd, we closed the voting form in order to tabulate winners. 826 people had cast votes. Roughly 35% of votes appeared to come from links from the nominated blogs. Interestingly, these voters swelled our numbers but didn’t appear to change the overall results. So, the same blogs almost certainly would have won even if only MarketingSherpa readers had voted.

Also interestingly, in several categories, the blog that was probably the best known to voters prior to voting, did not end up being the winner. So, fame didn’t make a big difference.

We did see some evidence of attempts to sway results in our write-in category, where several particular blogs were nominated in a rush of votes all at about the same time, and then never mentioned again. (The voting form did not allow duplicate entries per computer, but people with multiple computers or persuadable friends got around that a bit.)

However, our chosen write-in winner appeared entirely genuine, as it not only had the most write-ins, but also was repeatedly named throughout the entire 32-day voting period.   

What did winners get anyway?

Aside from fame, hotlinks, and glory, winners received an award icon they can put on their Blogs (if they choose) to impress visitors. They will also receive a lovely MarketingSherpa Best Blog 2004 t-shirt to wear all summer and make their neighbors jealous while mowing the lawn.

Again, our thanks to everyone who helped make our Readers’ Choice Blog Awards successful. Get your voting cap ready for next year!

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