Being Useful

I have no efficient system fo keeping track of interesting sites that I find online. So thanks to Amy Gahran for showing how to use a site called Furl to park links in a findable spot and tag them by category of interest. Her tutorial starts with a Poynter Institute blog posting. Leave yourself time to read some of the embedded links where she suggests how to make use of Furl. Time spent learning Furl should pay off in ease of finding resources down the line. (FYI: Gahran talks about other tools for video searching and collaborative writing but I could only absorb so much in one sitting.)

Switching to the pod-space, a snippet in MediaPost touts Podbridge as an easy way to slip ads into podcasts.

Even direct mail marketers should be useful, says an article that suggests the inclusion of how-to information in marketing pitches. I’ll endorse this from personal experience. Once upon a time I had a typesetting shop and our best marketing tool was a periodic newsletter in which we tried to help our customers — designers, printers, business owners, newsletter publishers — pick up some trick or technique to improve their own work. My only regret is that I wasn’t more disciplined about doing this (my wife, who was my partner in that business, used to joke that it was the quarterly newsletter that came out twice a year.)

And always try to throw in an odd tidbit for the stalwarts who read to the end, such as the research note that says the number of persons who use only a cell phone and therefore fall out of the pool of randomly-selected respondents for polls is reaching the point where the sample may not reflect the real universe of interest. Quoting from the research summary:

” … cell-only Americans, an estimated 7%-9% of the general public, are significantly different in many ways from those reachable on a landline. They are younger, less affluent, less likely to be married or to own their home, and more liberal on many political questions.”