Monday, May 19, 2008

"I'm not finished, because I'm still curious." Barry Diller

"Nature is garrulous to the point of confusion; let the artist be truly taciturn." Paul Klee

"However much you knock at nature's door, she will never answer you in comprehensible words." Ivan Turgenev

Today's image: Claudia, lost in the Garage by Portrait and Fashion Photographer. Great shooting. Thank you for sharing.

Danger, Will Robinson: Thanks to Barron's scribe Alan Abelson we learn the updated report from those smart guys at hedge fund T2 Partners bears title language including "We are still in the early innings of the bursting of the housing and credit bubbles..."

Then there's the University of Michigan consumer confidence survey hitting a 28-year low, and that pesky $4-a-gallon gasoline. S&P 500 first-quarter earnings down 25.9% from the same quarter last year. [Up and Down Wall Street, 5/19]

The recent buzz about online rates is CPMs have headed south. My sense is online is still pacing up at 20 something percent. The danger for sellers is depending on the usual suspects to deliver their month. Sales leadership needs to be more focused on developing new business including new categories. While this environment is certainly challenging to sellers now is a great time for buyers to invest in advertising. Rates are attractive and you'll gain share of voice (especially valid should your competitors fail to spend). The most optimum time to advertise is when others are not. As baseball player Wee Willie Keeler famously said "...hit 'em where they ain't."

Buzz: Vegas odds say...Mr Softy buys Yahoo (at least Search now says Arrington) then Facebook (so say others). Stay tuned.

Pre-order: Outliers the new book by Malcolm Gladwell is now on offer at Amazon for $18.47 - info here. Related 800-CEO-READ

Say it ain't so: Firefox checks their own box. Do the custom install option and you can uncheck the box making Firefox your default browser. Shame on Mozilla. Opt-out, bad. Opt-in, good.

If I give you my business card, do I give you the right to publish it on the internet? The Comcast-Plaxo, CBS-CNET deals and the important data portability issue (think last week's Facebook smack down of Google) gets thrown around and the discussion is nothing less than informative, if not plainly and purely entertaining (thanks to Steve Gillmor, Sam Whitmore, Michael Arrington, Robert Scoble, Chris Saad, Marc Canter) in the latest Gillmor Gang podcast. Don't start tomorrow without it [Audio, MP3 Heads up, NSFW - language]. Bravos, guys. Good show! [Related: Marc Canter details his argument here]

Agenda item: The issues discussed in the Gillmor Gang podcast above are more important than one might first believe. We are at the beginning, the early days of a very real "data war." This amounts to nothing less than an arms race for some kind of control of user identity. Fair warning - get deep into this issue, now. What's in your ToS (and how well you play w/others) will play a role in the future of what's in your wallet.

Congrats & cheers: May sweeps winners, Fox leads 18-49, CBS leads in households and total viewers. The strike seems to have been the primary factor in 18-49 viewing being down almost 20% vs last year. The young guns of wireless being honored by Edison Media Research [names named here] Ken Fisher and team Ars Technica acquired by Conde Nast.[Ken's announcement]

Bonus x 3: 21 Accents + Ex-Boyfriend Jewelry + Ztail

Lost in space, the reality show: They call it "The Pioneer Anomaly." For reasons yet unknown something has dragged Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 a quarter-million miles off course. Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ's Science Journal editor chats about the anomaly in the following video. Could Newton and Einstein be wrong?