Please Support this Blog by visiting Advertiser Sites...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday and Thanksgiving-weekend 2009 Shopping Round-up

Last year we had way more all-night shopping options. We chose the Tanger outlets in McDonough, Georgia and found great deals at Ralph Lauren, Nautica, Nike, and Coach.

Not so in 2009... This year we had already decided not to do the Tanger sale and nothing much besides was happening until 5am.

For those of you that don't want or have time to read the full report, here's the synopsis... It sucked! Really. Especially Macy's sale.

We opted for a power nap from midnight to 4am before we hit the streets. We packed into the car at 4:20am and headed to Best Buy, Target, Radio Shack, and Macy's.

I'd consider Target a success. They had great prices on Nintendo DS games and kids toys. Ethan and Calli have a slew of young cousins to buy for and you couldn't beat the prices on DS and board games. Many of the shoppers were there for the Star Wars and Lego Star Wars deals which were all gone within the first hour. Oh, and I can't forget to mention the Phillips LED Christmas tree lights were on sale for $9 each. These are the BEST lights. Highly recommend them - they use less electricity, really do burn cool and are beautiful bright light.

If you don't own a Nintendo DS lite yet, Best Buy had a great deal on the special edition Mario Red which looks similar in color to the Crimson DS but features an iconic 'M' painted onto the front. and comes with a copy of New Super Mario Bros. and my fav the Ice Blue version with a copy of Brain Age and a custom carrying case for $129.99.

Macy's was a huge disappointment!!!!!!

Macy's was offering a $10 off Macy's was offering a $10 off $25 coupon good from 5am - 1pm and a 10% or 15% coupon on regular and clearance priced items, but "some exclusions did apply." SOME! Everything was an exclusion. Macy's 2009 black Friday deals were a HUGE disappointment!

Let me say that again, louder - Macy's 2009 black Friday deals were a HUGE disappointment!

I shopped women's shoes... nothing special. Some minor discounts despite their flyer touting "shoes and boots from $29.99-99.99." Where the hell were those shoes? Most were $65-$130. I did find some beauties for $54, 98, $103, $103, and $130. Ok, not the deal of a lifetime, but some very HOT shoes and considering the 10% of coupon this would be a price I could live with.

Get to the register and find out the coupon does not apply to a single pair of the five pair of shoes I'm buying. Not one. Why? According to the fine print and sales consultant, because they're "designer."

Why the hell do you even shop at Macy's if not to buy designer merchandise? Your kidding me! Big disappointment. My only deal - an overpriced to begin with Hello Kitty shirt for my daughter that was originally $30 for $6. Hardly worth the trip but she'll treasure it.

Preliminary reports from major retailers including Macy’s, KB Toys, Best Buy, and Toys “R” Us, and mall operators across the country said the crowds were at least as large as last year's. That equals ALOT of disappointed shoppers.

Is it just me???? Did anyone out there find the awesome deals? I haven't heard a single tale of sheer shopping ecstasy yet that wasn't an online deal. Next year everyone is bringing their laptop to my house and rather than hitting I-75 we'll be hitting the information highway (i.e. Internet) for all night shopping online. Best part -- we can throw back a few bottles of red wine while we do it. :)

So, how about some great News!?! has announced that they will be extending their Black Friday deals into Saturday! If you ask me the best deals are online.

Amazon will continue offering amazing deals on Saturday to help you get your holiday shopping done for less. Shop for all the top deals of the season, all from the convenience (and comfort) of your keyboard.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Who's got the best auto insurance?

Stumbling through the web on a Monday night I found a really cool tool for graphing relational information. For example, I was car shopping with my sister over the weekend. She also wanted to re-evaluate her auto insurance. So I'm searching and I come across the chart above which began a new quest, map every bit of relational data I have!

Touchgraph has a Facebook app that maps your friends and networks. Very cool.

And a Google search version too.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Real Manners, Virtual Worlds: The Same Rules Apply

Yesterday I read a post by Rotini on the the happenings inside the 3D virtual World of Kaneva. It reminded me of a social study I heard of about a year ago in SL.

If I remember correctly, a software bot that masqueraded as an ill-mannered avatar / human user within SL was being used to investigate the psychology of virtual world inhabitants. The bot would start a conversation with human users and deliberately invade their personal space to see how they would react.

Ok. So I had to Google it and get the facts straight...

The software, dubbed "SL-bot", was created by Doron Friedman, Anthony Steed and Mel Slater at University College London, UK, to compare the way people act inside a virtual world with real-life human behavior.

It revealed, as in real life, basic etiquette rules the virtual world too. Specifically, female avatars protect their personal space less than male ones, a sex difference that mirrors the real world. Out of 28 avatars approached this way, 12 simply moved away and 20 also responded via text chat. (They were just looking to cuddle.)

In short, be polite to others, people value their virtual personal space, or there will be some informal punishment, like shunning. Avatars are berated, kicked or banned for a variety of offenses, some real... some imagined.

I'll leave the rest to Rotini... Read his original post on real manners in the 3D virtual World of Kaneva.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Viral marketing is not a marketing strategy

This is big. Ok, I gave it all away in the headline but it seems like you have to say it a few times before it sinks in. Viral marketing is not a marketing strategy. Often I’ll hear and see, “viral marketing” mentioned as a marketing tactic. Not by me.

For the love of god people... Viral marketing is not a marketing strategy.

I say this and people nod their heads in agreement only to return with a quip about their viral marketing plans.

No single product feature or marketing campaign determines the virality of a product - instead, it’s part of a viral loop that connects a disparate set of functions into a cohesive motivation for the user to tell their friends. If the fundamental product doesn’t drive a viral motivation from its users, then it’s very hard to force it with a marketing campaign.

Here is a great article on the subject,

Another great reason to collaborate and start all of your product development with MRDs that define the user and hence what will motivate that user.


(I’m a BIG Andrew Chen fan! and check-out Rotini a newcomer on the gaming scene.)

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Power of the NPS

Have you been asked the ultimate question yet?

No, not the "big" question. I'm not your mother nagging about your single status. The "ultimate" question.

I've spent a great deal of time lately doing NPS surveys. NP... huh? Net Promoter Score.

Monitoring our Net Promoter Score is Kaneva’s customer satisfaction indicator, a reliable indicator of the company’s ability to grow. We systematically survey and categorize customers into Promoters, Passives and Detractors, based on their answer to a single, “how likely are you to recommend” question and 0-10 point rating scale.

Often referred to as, the ultimate question, NPS is a quick barometer of brand or product perception wrapped up with customer satisfaction into one easily digestible number for CEO consumption.

• Promoters (9 or 10): loyal enthusiasts, urge others and fuel growth
• Passives (7 or 8): satisfied, but don’t help growth
• Detractors (0 through 6): unhappy, can damage the brand and impede growth

To calculate your company's Net Promoter Score (NPS), take the percentage of customers who are promoters (those who are highly likely to recommend your company or products), and subtract the percentage who are detractors (those who are less likely to recommend your company or products).

% of Promoters - % of Detractors = Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The Power of the NPS
The NPS provides the means for gauging performance, establishing accountability, and prioritizing investments because it connects to growth. If a company's "growth engine" were running at perfect efficiency, it would convert 100% of its customers into promoters. The worst possible engine would convert 100% of its customers into detractors.

How Do Companies Stack Up on This Measurement?
Those with the most efficient growth engines - companies such as, eBay, Costco, Vanguard, and Dell - operate at NPS efficiency ratings of 50 to 80%; the average company 5-10%.

NPS All-Stars from the guy who wrote the book - literally

USAA 82%
HomeBanc* 81%
Harley-Davidson 81%
Costco 79%
Amazon 73%
Chick-Fil-A* 72%
Ebay 71%
Vanguard 70%
SAS 66%
Apple 66%
Intuit 58%
Cisco 57%
Federal Express 56%
Southwest Airlines 51%
American Express 50%
Commerce Bank 50%
Dell 50%
Adobe 48%
Electronic Arts 48%

Monday, November 3, 2008

How to Eat for FREE on Election Day




  • Afraid your candidate might lose? Daily Grill is extending their happy hour prices on drinks and food until closing on November 4. Plus, get a free happy hour appetizer after presenting an "I Voted" sticker or ballot stub.
  • After finishing your appetizer, head to Shane's Rib Shack where your sticker will get you a free Vote America Meal, consisting of hand-breaded chicken tenders, fries, and a 20-ounce drink.
  • Now that you've had dinner, it's time for dessert. Head to participating Ben & Jerry's from 5pm to 8pm local time for a free scoop of ice cream.

I blog about...