Our Editor in Chief, Chris Frietchen, was interviewed by Jill Bennett (who I used to watch all the time on NY1) for a piece on BusinessWeek TV. I thought it came out well so I'm embedding it here:
Last Saturday night, my wife and I had the (increasingly rare) opportunity to go out for a nice dinner and we stayed fairly local choosing Frank's Waterside in North Bergen, NJ. Having made this and many other dinner reservations through OpenTable, I was surprised to get an email from them two days later entitled, "How was Frank's Waterside?". I'd never received a follow-up email like this and when I clicked on the link in the email I was taken to this "feedback form":
The stated purpose of the form is to "create Top 10 Lists for the OpenTable website and to provide feedback to restaurants." I find this to be a very interesting move on OpenTable's part and I have to wonder if they have grander ambitions than they let on. OpenTable is in an incredibly unique and desirable position when it comes to restaurant reviews: they actually know where and when you ate.
Currently OpenTable links out to its partner websites (e.g. Zagat, Citysearch, Time Out) for reviews for its restaurants. I could see OpenTable replacing these review links or giving priority to its own reviews once they have critical mass. It seems like they're in the early stages of this program - I only found one other blogger who mentioned getting a similar email and it was also in the last few weeks.
Update (4/14/08): This post is an edited version of the original published on April 4, 2008.
|I only made it half-way through Mark Hurst's Bit Literacy book (though I did just throw it back in my backpack with the intent to finish). However I have taken one of his key messages about managing the "bits" (the sum of the digital info we consume) to heart for the new year. That message is that one way to manage the avalanche of bits we are becoming overwhelmed by is to simply reduce the bits. I have such a voracious new media appetite that I have found myself drowning in email and blog subscriptions. I've also noticed significant overlap in the content of many of my subscriptions . So I've begun a massive campaign to unsubscribe and it feels GOOD. I'm not looking to cut myself off from the information that I care about so I am keeping the sources that are most valuable and comprehensive. And because of the great Viigo RSS reader for my BlackBerry, which makes it easy to keep track of what I have and haven't read and catch up on information nearly any time and anywhere, I am leaning more towards blogs and away from email newsletters (call me old-fashioned but I still like these). So if you're feeling a little overwhelmed yourself, start thinking about that unsubscribe link.|
Last night I happened to notice a new header and navigation menu across the top of Amazon.com. The URL below explains the changes and indicates you may not always see the new navigation yet because they're doing a phased roll out. I didn't play with it extensively but my first impression is that it's cleaner. I also like that it's easier to access Gift and Wish Lists.
In this month's Business 2.0, Susanna Hamner profiles Fetchback, a three-month old online advertising start-up. Fetchback's niche is "retargeting" which means that it follows visitors to your site after they leave and shows them a sequence of your ads as they browse other web sites with the hope that each incremental exposure, and potentially more enticing offer, will ultimately get them to click on your ad. Hamner notes that retargeting isn't new and that "online ad giants like Blue Lithium, DoubleClick, and Right Media have experimented with it in recent months. " Try for 9 years. DoubleClick launched its Boomerang service 9 years ago that did exactly the same thing. I know because when I was at i33 communications we tested it out for Sprint which was a client at the time. I'm amazed at how much the cast of characters in online advertising technology has changed in the last 9 years yet the technology has remained largely the same.
On Saturday I went to Bagels N More, our favorite bagel place in Edgewater, to pick up some bagels and I noticed a flyer for FreshDirect on their counter. It seems that Fresh Direct has expanded to New Jersey and is covering the "Gold Coast" towns of Weehawken, West New York, Guttenberg and Edgewater. Makes sense given these towns proximity to NYC - they're fairly close to FreshDirect's Queens headquarters and many residents work in NYC so are probably familiar with the service. Kind of odd, though, that the bagel place would help promote Fresh Direct since they're sort of a competitor.
|Then yesterday on my way home I saw a FreshDirect truck across from our apartment - looks like some neighbors are already trying it out. The free $50 introductory offer ($25 off the first two orders) is pretty enticing and we'll likely give it a whirl. Plus friends of ours who still live in Manhattan (we moved out before FreshDirect took off) say it's great. Hopefully delivering into our gated community won't be an issue.|
Tonight I saw an interesting combination of television network cross-promotion and product placement on Law & Order ("Kingmaker"). It's not uncommon for television networks to promote their other series by cross-pollinating characters from one to the other. And while more commonly found in movies, product placement is prevalent in TV as well. In tonight's Law & Order episode, the three main characters from the District Attorney's office were shown watching a video clip of an interview with one of the characters from the episode. The video was shown to be "live" from MSNBC News but rather than watching it on a television, the DA's office was watching it on a PC. The Law & Order camera clearly and deliberately showed the PC displaying the MSNBC website with a streaming video of this "interview" open in a window over the website and even stayed focus on this long enough to allow the Assistant DA to click the fullscreen button and see how the video quality remained high even at that size. This was clearly a subtle attempt by NBC to highlight the video capabilities of its sister website MSNBC. Without a doubt 2006 has been the year of online video and this is the latest proof.