Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Few Interesting Offline Observations Today

Despite working online and spending way too much time on a computer and on the Internet, I still do enjoy reading offline publications. As I've mentioned in the past, I'm an avid WSJ print edition reader. And Thursdays is my favorite because it's the tech edition, featuring Walt Mossberg. Today, as I was reading his Mossberg Mailbox, something caught my eye.

Walt was directing a reader to one of his old product reviews and listed the URL. In the past, he's included the full URL and because the way his site is structured, it's often a very long path with lots of /'s. But to my surprise today, he listed a short URL using While is often discussed in reference to Twitter, I have never seen it in print before! Often times, authors are promoting their websites and want people to not only to go to their site but also to do some brand awareness building from just the impression in the publication. But using a URL shortener would obviously defeat that purpose and readers can't click through from a print document to see your actual URL. I guess if you're as famous as Walt Mossberg, you don't need to promote yourself any further =)

As long as I'm talking about print publications, I was also skimming my latest issue of OMMA today and laughed when I saw this ridiculous job title!

If you work for Nielsen Online, the digital arm of Nielsen, why do you need Digital in your department name? Isn't that implied if you're in the online division? No disrespect to Pete Blackshaw here. But come on? Nielsen Online Digital Strategic Services? No one, not even someone in the copywriter group, read that and thought it was redundant???

I know Intel was getting trashed today by "arm chair branding geeks" for its announced product line name changes. And they have a very complex problem, given what they sell, and as a former brand strategist, I don't think there is one "correct" answer. But this Nielsen thing seems like a no-brainer.


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