Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Archive for November 2003

CNN on business blogging

CNN has a short feature on how blogging is being adopted by businesses.  Some interesting quotes 😉

Written by Tom Murphy

November 17, 2003 at 4:53 pm

Posted in General

Lies, damn lies and statistics…

As Weblogs continue their lazy progress across the Internet there has been a lot of new research appearing that looks at the number of blogs or weblogs and what the biggest new trends are.

These research reports are interesting, though not something I’d hang a business plan on.

But what’s more interesting is actual numbers.  Rather than taking a sample and extrapolating the Internet, there are some interesting stats emerging that are based on actual numbers.

David Sifry is the brains and the brawn behind Technorati – the web service that allows you to track the hot topics being covered in blogs and more importantly for bloggers the sites that are linking to your content.

Anyhow, David has some really interesting statistics on blog growth:

  • November 2002: Technorati was adding 2,000 – 3,000 new blogs a day
  • March 2003: That figure had grown to 4,000 – 5,000 new blogs per day
  • November 2003: Technorati is adding 8,000 – 9,000 new blogs daily
  • They are currently tracking in excess of 1.2 million weblogs (1,229,516  to be precise)
  • Based on their figures a new weblog is created every 11 seconds and a weblog is updated every 0.86 seconds

Now that’s growth!

[Link courtesy of Boing Boing]

Written by Tom Murphy

November 17, 2003 at 12:18 pm

Posted in General

United Airlines' Viral Marketing Efforts

Business 2.0 has an interesting look at United Airlines’ viral campaign around the launch of its new low-cost airline, Ted.

Not much more to say on that particular item…

Written by Tom Murphy

November 14, 2003 at 3:46 pm

Posted in General

Spam update….

Just to let you know, the anti-spam product I wrote about yesterday, Qurb, has stopped over 600 spam messages so far with a 99% accuracy rating.

Written by Tom Murphy

November 13, 2003 at 4:04 pm

Posted in General

Another step to making PR over RSS a reality…

Phil Gomes, PR Firm G2B Group’s resident blogger and RSS advocate broke some new ground recently by undertaking a client pitch via RSS and his blog.

He invited any journalists who were subscribed to his RSS feed, of which there are quite a few, whether they might be interested in meeting with executives from Cornice Inc. a client of his.

I’m not sure of the take up for interviews, but Phil has been in receipt of a lot of plaudits from some major journalists. Dan Gillmor of the San Jose Mercury News and Mark Jones of Infoworld have both been singing his praises.

Mark Jones comments that:

“…the media, would love to see more PR people publish product and company news via RSS. Ultimately I’d like to see PR companies offer RSS feeds for specific technology categories. For example, Scott Tyler Shafer could use an RSS news reader to subscribe to networking, storage and processor press releases from the PR firms he knows.”

Just think about that for a second, because that nicely sums up the huge opportunities RSS offers to every PR professional.  If journalists are subscribed to your PR RSS feed it opens a whole new type of communication.

Kudos to Phil Gomes and a plug for Cape Clear, we’ve been offering our press releases over RSS for ages 🙂

If you don’t have a clue what I am talking about, or have never come across RSS before you can read a 101 Guide here, read Phil’s thoughts on how RSS and PR collide here and read other RSS and PR related topics here.

That should keep you going.


Written by Tom Murphy

November 13, 2003 at 3:55 pm

Posted in General

Stepping over the line with media testimonials…

I’m a regular reader of Good Morning Silicon Valley (GMSV) which is a fantastic mix of the topical and the off-beat in the world of technology.

In today’s issue, GMSV’s Editor, John Paczkowski points to a misquotation on Microsoft’s press site for Windows Media Player (read anti-Apple site).

Microsoft’s PR team have a quote purported to be from Paczkowski on the limitations of Apple’s iTunes service. So far so good eh?  Well it was until it turns out that the quote is actually (very very clearly) from a Microsoft spokesperson in a story Paczkowski wrote. Tut tut tut.

The original story is here and in case Microsoft pull the quote, which is highly likely, they include the entire quote from the story but remove the Microsoft spokesperson. This is either: a) an honest mistake or b) some very lame attempt at “spin” in its worst form.

The latest issue of GMSV should be posted here later today.  The referring story is entitled “I’m a Microsoft mouthpiece”.

Written by Tom Murphy

November 12, 2003 at 7:11 pm

Posted in General

PR as a strategic weapon

News that Microsoft is using PR to launch its latest assault on Linux isn’t exactly news, but it does underline the continuing importance of Public Relations as a strategic tool in achieving corporate and sales objectives. And that’s good news.

Best of luck to Red Hat, Novell and the rest of the Linux community 🙂

Written by Tom Murphy

November 12, 2003 at 1:23 pm

Posted in General

How the media interprets a press release…

The Motley Fool has an interesting article looking at how the media treat the same press release differently.

The example they use is McDonalds recent results press release. In the release they announce excellent financial performance (sales up 18%) but warn that there will be charges in the fourth quarter to support it’s “revitalization” plan.

Author Devan Goldstein points out that the news was covered subtly differently by different outlets, e.g.:

“McDonalds sees more revamp costs” – CBS Marketwatch

“McDonalds same-store sales up 8.4%” – Reuters

Devan advises readers:

“As you sort through the news, remember that you may not be getting the whole story from any one source, and that the dizzying array of headlines may be quite conflicting. So be a Fool and educate yourself. You’ll be much better equipped to deal with the news and numbers that speed your way every day. After all, while we do our best to give you our take on the news every day, you can’t base your investment decisions on just one point of view.”

Sound advice indeed…

Written by Tom Murphy

November 12, 2003 at 12:42 pm

Posted in General

The ultimate tactic for an end-to-end PR strategy

While we are on the subject of e-mail, what about

For $9.99 (the subscription lasts three years whether you do or not) you can have send out e-mails on your behalf when you expel your last breath.

And they say innovation is… em… resting


Written by Tom Murphy

November 12, 2003 at 12:35 pm

Posted in General

Useful anti-spam application…

As regular readers will know I regularly cover the problem of e-mail spam.  For PR people, whose e-mail addresses accompany press releases and are posted on websites, spam is becoming a critical issue in managing electronic communications.

Most of us don’t have the luxury of server-side spam tools as we want to make sure an e-mail from a journalist, analyst, freelancer or client is mistakenly blocked.  However most of the many spam products I’ve tried really don’t do a good job.  In many cases the product block as many good messages as bad.

A new approach to this spam problem is provided by Qurb. Qurb takes a different approach.  It scans your e-mail software (currently only Outlook and Outlook Express) and builds a list of legitimate e-mail addresses from your contacts, sent e-mail and other folders.  Any e-mail address not included in that list is then “Quarantined” into a sub folder.

If the folder includes e-mails from authentic senders you simply tick a box and that e-mail address is added to your allowed sender list.

It’s simple and easy and is already providing me with better results than the other spam products I’ve tried.

Couple of provisos:

It only works with Windows, and only works with Outlook 2000+ and Outlook Express 5.5+. 

When you install it, a default feature is sending a message to “unauthorised” senders telling them they’ve been quarantined.  I recommend turning this off immediately. You simply click on the Qurb button and in options uncheck the confirmation box.

Getting it:

You can download a free trial here. It costs $29.95

Written by Tom Murphy

November 12, 2003 at 11:19 am

Posted in General