Thursday, September 23, 2004

This Blog is a Phlog, not a Plog


Here I go.

This is an historical moment. I'm going to do something now, something I normally abhore. I'm going to get up close and personal.

I'm actually going to post a plog blog about this blog being a phlog, not a plog.

And I'm going to try to convince you to buy a cereal box at a bookstore.

Confused? Don't be. Here, I'll explain what I mean, and everything will be fine and dandy.

I admit it. I've been reading Seth Godin's blog, and loving it. He's really smart, hip, and funny.

His Free Prize Inside book is packaged in a cereal box. I like that.

It reminds me of the Vandals (or the Violators? or the Viletones? some V punk band) vinyl 33 rpm record album.

It was cynically packaged in a cardboard album cover -- that had a large sheet of sandpaper glued on both sides.

So their album destroyed the album covers of other albums every time you slid it in and out of your album collection. Devious, but funny and brilliant.

The essence of punk: an album that attacks and wrecks the covers of your other albums.

A marketing program must likewise, though in an honest and benevolent manner, attack and wreck the unjustified sales resistance of customers, the over-stated claims of competitors, and the lethargy and latent mediocrity of the company itself.

Does your marketing campaign have sandpaper glued to both sides?

Seth invented the phrase "viral marketing" and explains how ideas are not imposed by hammering, but are spread via infection, thoughts leaking out and gaining ground unexpectedly. He calls it the "idea virus." I agree with him.

How I wish boring Vaspers was as interesting as Seth Godin.

Seth says don't try to be complexly perfect, be remarkable. Unfortunately, Vaspers is good at remarking, but isn't very remarkable. Not very commentable. Or is he?

But don't be too hard on Vaspers. See, Vaspers the Grate is, er...well, it's not a real "blog" site in the normal sense of the phrase.

Vaspers already told you in the "Blog Voice" article that he doesn't care for "blah blah blah blogs."

The trendy blogs that deliver excruciatingly personal details of tiresome, mundane thoughts and activities. ("I had a blue potato pizza today. Do you like blue potato pizza? How about chocolate anchovie chilli?")

Vaspers The Grate is a phlog, not a plog.

A "blog" is a "web log" meaning a log, diary, or journal published on the web. Thus web log = blog.

A "plog," as Seth Godin (Mr. Idea Virus, Purple Cow, cereal box book) explains, is a "personal blog."

A "phlog," as Vaspers the Grate invents and defines his new term, is a "philosophical blog."

A "phlog" contains rather long essays on important technical topics or conceptual issues. In a "phlog" you will not find short, off the cuff remarks on random items. That's what "plogs" tend to be.

Hey, this article is as close to a "plog" blog article as you're likely to ever get from VTG. So enjoy it while you can.

Now, go read my newly published article on the Brussels web site Usability Special Interest Group.

It's the first article of the August 2004 issue.

In this article, I explain basic forms and procedures for web site user observation tests, based on a recent test conducted by STREIGHT SITE SYSTEMS.

The home page of this web site is:

If you type in what's above, but ended it with /newsletter/0408-user-observation [dot] html, instead of /newsletter/index.html, you'll be taken right to my article "User Observation Testing: Forms and Procedures for an Information-driven Website. "

If I provided the entire direct URL here, it would stretch unbroken across the text field and break the layout of this blog site, shoving things around in an unseemly manner. I'm still perfecting this site, so bear with me.

P.S. If you see Seth's cereal box book, Free Prize Inside: The Next Big Marketing Idea, buy it immediately. Few copies remain. It is being issued in a new printing, minus the cereal box packaging, which will now be a collector's item. I saw one copy at Barnes & Noble a few days ago. Pray that it will still be there tonight. I'm leaving right after posting this to go buy it-- and his book Purple Cow.

UPDATE EDIT: Yes. The last copy Barnes & Noble had of the cereal box version of Free Prize Inside was still there. (Was that an awkward sentence?) I purchased it. There is more inside the box than just the hardbound book.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Seth's 'idea virus' is a meme; the concept has been around for a while...