Archive for January, 2006

Nutrisystem

Monday, January 30th, 2006

I’m trying the Nutrisystem diet, and I have to say that so far, it’s affordable, easy to follow, tasty, and shows results. That’s good marketing!

I thought their foods would be tributes to salt and totally out of balance as many pre-prepared diet foods are. They’re not. They’re tasty (for what they are), and they are moderate on the salt. It’s not like you only taste the salt. :) There are many meal choices, so I was available to avoid foods to which I’m allergic while having plenty of menu choices at each meal.

I decided to try it after seeing a TV ad about a special they were running. You could get 28 days of food for around $280. You do have to buy some groceries, but I still thought that $10/day was very fair.

I was recently on a business trip, and it was easy to eat the food. Some only need hot water, some need microwaves, some are ready as is. I couldn’t fill in the groceries I was supposed to eat, so you have to choose carefully while on the road. But it was still easy to follow while travelling.

Good on Nutrisystem for coming up with what seems like a great plan.


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The “Ove Glove” Could Kill Me

Friday, January 27th, 2006

There are TV commercials for "The Ove Glove." It’s a glove made of special heat resistant materials so that people who are cooking can grab hot things without being burned. Sounds like a good idea.

But the commercial shows the chef wearing the glove touching the food with his gloved hand. I thought it’d be good to take hot things out of ovens or grab hot pot handles. He’s grabbing the food. That means that this glove could kill me.

I have a very acute allergy to certain fish. I once got an attack because the diner cook had used the same spatula or grill spot to cook fish and then cook my non-fish omelet. That means that if you use the Ove Glove to grab someone’s fish and then grab what you’re cooking for me, I will probably become seriously ill for hours, and there’s nothing I can take that gives me any relief. I just have to sit around in pain until it goes away. If the contamination were enough, I’m convinced that my fish allergy could kill me.

So Ove Glove users and cooks everywhere, please consider that a cross-contamination you considered too small to be a bother could trigger a serious allergy in someone.


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Mucus From Brooklyn

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

There is a commercial for a drug that evidently gets rid of your mucus. This is demonstrated by having a cartoon "husband and wife" mucus moving into a guy and then being evicted when the guy takes the drug.

The mucus has lines. They have plenty to say. The husband and wife characters have thick Brooklyn accents. They’re characters who are designed to be unlikeable… they’re mucus! They weren’t unlikeable enough as mucus. They had to have Brooklyn accents too just so you could be SURE they were crass and unlikeable… I guess!


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No Cows

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

I saw an ad on TV for a community that I’d never heard of. The commercial promoted retirement living, and they showed people walking around a building that had big lettering saying:

SIN VACAS

What? "Without Cows"? Is that some special marketing draw? Then I herd (ha!) the announcer say that this was Rancho Sin Vacas (ranch without cows), and people enjoyed life here, plug plug plug.

I’m giving it a "good marketing" assignment since I thought the name was cute. I guess it has a ranch feeling, but you won’t have to deal with livestock.


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My Website is “1995”?

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

FastCompany magazine is running a contest where they’re trying to find innovators. They selected me as a finalist, and put my entry on their website. Oddly, they are allowed anybody to publicly comment on any entry. If you read my and other entries as well as their comments, you might get the feeling that the only innovators on the planet are ad agencies whose goal is to be the best ad agency around. Innovative (NOT)!

Some of the public comments I’ve received have made me laugh out loud. A few comments about how nobody needs help with eBay, so there’s no use for my services (try telling my clients that). Or how people shouldn’t bother paying us… just use free services and free advice as that’ll be the same (OK prove it :) ).

But the latest comment I read has me really laughing. Someone said my website is very 1995. I was creating websites in 1995, and I can say that you could not have built this in 1995. Then why does my website look like that?

  • I don’t believe in using tiny fonts or "European" styling. I actually want my website visitors to be able to read what’s on the screen.
  • I don’t think that all good websites are done in Flash. I believe that some of the people who visit my site are printing out multiple pages. It would be harder for them to do that in Flash, and I’d be making more work for everybody if I had to link to a printable version of every page.
  • I think that simple and straightforward matches the way the eBay buyer and seller think. I can’t find a good reason to overwhelm people with design or eight million choices on the home page.
  • And most importantly, nobody has ever emailed me to say that my website was just too simple, so they’re not going to hire me. I tend to hear that people were very happy with how much information they found, allowing them to consider our company without having to email or call us to ask questions.

That makes me feel like I have the right site for the right audience. If I were trying to attract Fortune 500 companies, I’d have to have a different site. While I’m trying to attract the small businessperson of the world, my site connects to them, so I’m calling this good marketing. I always say our work speaks for itself.

To the people who wrote negative comments about how nobody needs us, I hope I run into you at the annual eBay convention. Of course, you’ll be there to learn more about improving your eBay business, so evidently all the free services weren’t helping enough AND the idea that nobody needs help with selling on eBay would have to be out the window. :) See you there!


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Do Not Take If You Are Pregnant

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

We’ve all heard drug commercials that tell us not to take whatever it is if you are pregnant or might be pregnant or are planning on becoming pregnant. The best, of course, is the one that says that woman who are pregnant or might be pregnant shouldn’t HANDLE the pills because the unborn baby will end up with birth defects. OK, but men should take this stuff?!?!?

The newest interesting one is a drug commercial I saw today. It said you shouldn’t use it if you’re pregnant. It’s a birth control device. Are there a lot of women out there who try to use birth control pills or other devices (with the goal of birth control and not avoiding disease) WHILE they are pregnant? Where did they get that great idea?


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Diapers Are for Personal Use

Friday, January 20th, 2006

Yesterday, I wrote about an eBay seller that really threw me for a loop. While looking at his eBay Store, I found that he only had one item listed right now for 4 packs of adult diapers. May I quote from the listing?

this item is for personal use,adult family home,ect.,, These are Pull Ups Tear Away Sides,Good Luck and Please see my other items on Ebay Stock up Winter is Coming dont be caught in a snow storm or ect. Stock UP NOW

Thing 1: Personal use. As opposed to……..? Business use? International use? Use of one diaper by your entire family? Pet use? Wrapping on your car?

Thing 2: If you read yesterday’s entry, this seller’s eBay Store says that he offers "Pre Quality Used Household Items." Are these diapers used?

Thing 3: I like the grammar of "these are Pull Ups tear away sides, good luck." It’s like "I shot an elephant in my pajamas." Good luck with those tear-away sides!

Thing 4: Don’t be caught in a snow storm or et cetera!!! I would imagine that if you require adult diapers, you probably tend to stock up ahead of time. You probably don’t wait for a snow storm, tornado, hurricane, flood, or earthquake to consider that you may need more adult diapers.

The next time you see a TV show or magazine interview where an eBay seller complains that eBay kills their business and their sales are down, please wonder if that person is this seller. So many sellers shoot themselves in the foot on eBay with bad listings, bad pictures, bad descriptions, bad reputations, and more, and then blame eBay.


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Pre Quality?

Thursday, January 19th, 2006

I stumbled upon an eBay Store recently. The first thing that caught my eye was that it broke just about every suggestion we have on our website about your eBay identity. The second thing I noticed was this sentence in the description:

We Sell Gr8T Pre Quality Used HouseHold Items

I’m afraid to ask, but what is a pre quality used household item? A used toothbrush? A partially eaten fish? Half a bottle of Windex? Oh yikes. The only item he has on eBay as I’m typing this is 4 packs of adult diapers, which he describes as "for personal use." I think I’ll blog about that tomorrow.

Pre quality. What comes before quality? Mediocrity I guess.


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Your Secret Question

Wednesday, January 18th, 2006

I went to log into my cable/internet account online, and it recognised me, which was amazing. But it wouldn’t let me go further. I have not told it what I want my secret question and answer to be!

It told me to click for a live chat with a rep who will take my secret question and answer.

What?

I should tell somebody I don’t know my secret question and answer? Is that really the best way to go in this age of identity theft? How about you ask me some questions about my bill or my service to determine that I’m me, which is what the rep would ask me ANYWAY. Match that up in your database, and then let me put in my secret stuff online.

It’s not secret once I’m telling it to a stranger.


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I’ll Just Be Aggressive With YOU

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006

A family that looked like a husband, wife, college-age daughter, and her boyfriend were eating behind me. This Mexican place was now offering their burritos "wet," meaning that for an extra price, you could get it topped with sauce and more cheese.

I overheard the daughter say this evidently to the boyfriend:

"I forgot to tell her I wanted it wet, and I didn’t want to tell her, so I just figured I’d have some of yours."

Translation? I don’t have the balls to tell a counter worker at a fast food place that I meant to get sauce on my lunch and could she please add that, but I have the balls to eat my lunch AND yours. And don’t you forget it.


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