I Let My Pickup Expire

The ugliest grille design ever conceived?
Yes, truly a face only a mother could love. But that’s not the point.

This new Lexus could be scaring small children away from your driveway— by subscription. It’s a new ownership model several car manufacturers are working on.

More automakers will soon offer vehicles through subscription services. Lexus today announced its upcoming UX crossover would be available through one and Bloomberg published a report today stating BMW is about to announce a subscription pilot. These automakers join a growing list of makers offering models through new financing vehicles. Currently, Volvo, Cadillac, Ford and…

via BMW and Lexus look to car subscriptions — TechCrunch

Happy Hosts

Who do you use?

I’m often asked who I recommend for web hosting, domain names, etc. Here’s the answer…

Domains
I register domains through Go Daddy. Despite pushy upsells and tacky advertising campaigns, they have been reliable over the years. Regardless of who hosts my site, all domains are centrally managed through one Go Daddy account. The only “add on” I recommend is the privacy option. There is so much spam and junk mail targeted at domain registrations it really is a worthwhile addition.

30%* off! The products you love at a price that loves you back!

Continue reading Happy Hosts

To Dream of Flying Cars

Stay tuned for the Alfa Romeo halftime report.

Wha?!? Not sure what was more surprising– hearing those words on national TV, or the fact I happened to be watching the Super Bowl to hear them!

alfa-romeo-quadAlfa Romeo made a big splash yesterday. A Super Bowl-size splash with an inspiring advert for the new Giulia sport sedan called Riding Dragons. The commercial beckons, “You’ve always dreamed of flying cars. Your dream just became reality.” Continue reading To Dream of Flying Cars

Increase Traffic with Permalinks

 

IBlogging Tips from Rex Brownf you’re a WordPress user and you want to elevate your site’s visibility in search engines you should start with Permalinks. Changing the default setting for Permalinks for your hosted blog is probably the quickest and easiest Search Engine Optimization (SEO) trick on the planet!

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When Good Marketing Goes Bad

I’m constantly amazed just how wrong some marketing efforts can go. Even the big guys manage to mess it up.

Stock Photography - Canadian CoinsLast week we received an offer by mail from a large retailer. This retailer (who shall remain nameless) was rolling out a new shop-online/pickup-in-store service for groceries. To entice us to try it they were offering a respectable credit: $10.

Continue reading When Good Marketing Goes Bad

Please Pay for all Magazines and Books Before Sitting at the Fountain.

Aficionados will recognize that sign as a longtime fixture of the soda fountain at the now defunct Steve’s Sundry.

Steve's Sundry

Steve’s closed their doors for the final time Tuesday, December 31, 2013.

The dire warning above was intended for any unscrupulous patron that might have dared to peruse a periodical while seated. If you ever cared to read while sipping your malt it required two trips to the checkout line: Pay for your magazine; Return to the counter; Eat; Walk up front and pay for your food.

Never mind the fact that you could thumb through Wired for hours if you stood at the magazine rack. Continue reading Please Pay for all Magazines and Books Before Sitting at the Fountain.

The Comedy of Errors Known as AT&T

Left Hand, meet Right Hand.

“There you are, your own number on your very own door. And behind that door, your very own office! Welcome to the team, DZ-015.”

Telephony NirvanaMy recent switch to AT&T Uverse had me feeling like a character from Terry Gilliam’s cult classic movie Brazil. Every step of the way we discovered a different department that operated some obscure nuance of the AT&T bureaucracy- yet operated as a wholly independent entity. The Uverse people can’t help you with wireless services, a traditioinal landline is another department, legacy DSL is handled completely separately and on and on.

Continue reading The Comedy of Errors Known as AT&T

Still Your Buddy?

The popular website and mobile app GasBuddy has been acquired by Oil Price Information Service (OPIS).

GasBuddyThis is probably good in the near term, as it means better access to a database of wholesale gasoline prices. Most of the current pricing information provided by Gas Buddy comes from volunteer price spotters. But consumers should probably prepare for more ads as the integration with OPIS matures. They plan to accelerate development of OpenStore, a system for c-store owners to promote their car wash and burritos through social media.

Gaithersburg, Md.-based OPIS, a subsidiary of UCG, is a leading source for worldwide petroleum pricing and information It publishes daily spot prices for all refined products, more than 30,000 wholesale gasoline and diesel rack prices and more than 110,000 retail fuel prices Through its subsidiary, Axxis Software, OPIS also provides software for petroleum marketers to automate price collection, data storage and repricing of dealer and commercial accounts.

Source: CSP Daily News

What’s In a Name?

Bad Marketing Idea No. 237

Earlier this month the well known e-commerce site Buy.com officially changed its name. The new name is about as forgettable as, well… as the old name is memorable.

Buy.comThe short and sweet simple moniker has been replaced with “Rakuten Shopping.” No, I’m serious. They’re eventually ditching the domain and all branding which they claim “unifies its brand internationally.”

Buy.com has been around since 1998 and sold $111 million of goods in its first year. A record for first-year sales at the time. Originally selling only electronics and computers, the site is based on a marketplace approach- in other words they hold no inventory. Instead they represent thousands of sellers offering over 17 million products.

Rakuten is a Japanese company that is also a big player in this e-commerce enabler game. In 2010 they bought Buy.com for approximately $250 million and announced plans to rebrand it last January.

In my opinion the name change is a tremendous faux pas- one that rivals New Coke enormity. Consider that Rakuten sounds a lot like racket- which isn’t exactly a favorable business term in English. Ditching such a simple and easy-to-remember name like Buy.com for something so, well… foreign- just seems like a huge mistake.