Thoughts from Boeing on A380

Randy Baseler is the Vice President of Marketing for Boeing’s Commercial Planes division.

Baseler has started what he calls a web journal. Later in the entries, he refers to having done research into web logs. I think his “web journal” needs permalinks and an RSS feed, but it is a start. I sent him an email about it. We’ll see if her responds.

Now for the thoughts. Baseler starts with this:

Along with the A380 being an engineering marvel it also represents a very large misjudgment about how most passengers want to travel and how most airlines operate.

It’s quotes like these which can come back to haunt, but I think he backs it up to a certain extent:

Airbus is calling for a significant shift in recent trends. It believes we will all fly from hub to hub, with one or more connecting flights to complete our journey. Boeing believes airlines will continue to give passengers what they want — more frequency choices and more non-stop, point-to-point flights.

Consider that Airbus says London’s Heathrow will use the most A380s during the next two decades. Yet, the 747’s share of departures at Heathrow hasn’t changed during the past twenty years. Airbus lists Tokyo’s two airports and Hong Kong’s as major A380 hubs. But at those three airports, the 747 as a percentage of departures is about half of what it was in the 1990s. If large airplanes solve congestion, the 747 departures would have been going up.

I am fascinated to see how the rivalry progresses and it is great to hear comments direct from Boeing.

[via commoncraft]

The A Penny For… BizLinkBlog Launches

I am officially announcing the launch of The A Penny For.. BizLinkBlog.

People tell me they can’t read all the blogs I do. The APF BizLinkBlog is a solution. I read lots of stuff in print and online. I don’t have time to comment on everything and alot falls through the cracks. I am hoping the linkblog will help capture the lost and provide value to my readers.

You may just get a link, an excerpt or the whole post, depending on length and value.

I am playing with the format a bit. I want a format where I can copy and paste quickly over to the linkblog. So, it might change over the next couple of weeks as I work it out.

If you want one feed that give you the best of the 150+ business feeds I read, you can subscribe here.


What are you talking about?

The headline is not meant to be said with a classic Different Strokes emphasis. I was thinking about what it is I have been talking about lately on the blog.

If you look down the page, you’ll see less posts. I think that is driven by my work over at 800-CEO-READ and my many side projects.

I have been talking more about blogging than business. I think that reflects where I am spending my time right now. I don’t do the searching I use to for interesting business stories. I am going to try and get back to that a bit. For example, did you see there is a shortage of high quality audio tape? [WSJ, sub. needed]

I also find I am talking more about life events. I was a little hesitate about that, but today’s post from Evelyn reminded not to be. I don’t know if what I am doing is compelling, but the things I talk about I am interested in and I think some passion comes through. So, expect more of that too.

I am also going to launch a linkblog devoted to business posts. I hear lots of people say that they can’t read all of the blogs I do. I understand that. So let me offer to a way to see the things I see that are interesting, but don’t have time to post. There really isn’t any linkblog that offers you a pure business feed now. I will have that up and running in the next week.

So, there is my thinking on the blog right now. Hope you like it and keep on reading…

Lots of Reasons

As we head into Blog Business Summit next week, I thought I would post some of the recent blogging links for marketers, advertisers, and PR people.

It started with Bob Cargill at Brand Republic stating his ten reasons “Why advertising, marketing and PR pros should blog”.

Then Tony Walsh at Clickable Culture responded with this ten reasons for “Why advertising, marketing and PR pros should not blog”.

I then ran across an older article from, where Linda Burton gives 6 reasons for marketers to get out there blogging.

If you are unclear about my position after all of that, I think businesses need to be blogging.

My year in review

This year has been great and so much has happpened.

When I started the year, I was working with my father. A month later, I decided that I needed to do something else. That something else started with staying home with my one year old.

That gave me some time to do things with this blog. The Business Blog Book Tour started in February. I held Brand Week and Finetuning later in the year. I also tried wikis with the BizBlog Directory Wiki.

I tried my hand my hand at distribution with the Kaospilots A-Z book. Fast Company reviewed the book and I stepped in to provide US distribution. I sold 40 copies of the $50 book. It was not a runaway success, but it was a great learning experience. What was better was getting the chance to visit Uffe and the school in September.

The BBBT led to an introduction with Jack Covert and 800-CEO-READ. We hit it off and started a blog to see what would happen. That led to another blog to run book excerpts. And that led to starting a podcast about business books.

On a sadder note, I lost my grandfather after a year of poor health.

We were able to travel quite a bit this year. We spent five weeks in Europe on two different trips. I spent a weekend in San Francisco after BlogOn. This last week I have been able to enjoy the beauty of the Colorado Rockies.

Finally, I have met so many wonderful people this year. I would not even know where to start in listing everyone here. I think you all know who you are.

At the beginning of last year, I could have never predicted where I would be now. Some might say I didn’t plan very well. I don’t see it like that at all. I think I am going the right direction. I think it will be interesting how opportunity presents itself in 2005.

To an even better 2005!!!

Top 24 list grows

Just wanted to let you know that I have been adding to the Top 24 blog. I added four lists on Tuesday and three more today. If you want in, send me a note at top24 at apennyfor dot com with a link to the post on your blog.

Happy New Year!

A Penny For…’s Top 24 of 2004

I think this tells of the story of my year pretty well. These represent things I have done and thoughts that I still think are important:

  1. Business Blog Book Tour
  2. Building Properties
  3. Would You Like Technology With That?
  4. Business in France
  5. MmmBop
  6. Building a Business
  7. Food and Thought
  8. Selling Chopper Style
  9. Comic Book Advice: What You Are Not
  10. Seinfeld on Attention Span
  11. Prices Are Rising
  12. Wiki @ A Penny
  13. I Want It Now
  14. Marketing is Definitely Hard
  15. Worthwhile Thoughts
  16. Doing More Stuff (With Ben and Jackie)
  17. Podcasting
  18. Beer.
  19. Filling the [Vioxx] Gap
  20. Why I Left
  21. Note to Pixar
  22. [Brett Favre]…Keeps Going and Going
  23. Gamesmanship in the Air
  24. This Year’s Holiday CD

SvN – Case Study in Progress

The guys over at Signal Vs. Noise have changed their RSS feed and are now including advertisements with posts. They are testing a new service offered by Feedburner.

This is the post that announced the change and the response has been fast and furious. Some have been supportive saying things like “It was bound to happen.” I think there is a very vocal contingent who is very upset and disappointed with the change. While everyone expected ad-supported feeds to be a progression, I don’t they expected SvN to be at the forefront as a beta tester. I think many thought you would never see something like this on SvN.

From the responses by SvN, they seem to be digging their heels in. They feel they can do what they want.

This is a perfect example of how customers are the ones who own the perception of a company. People have a vision of what SvN is. Ads in feeds doesn’t seems to match well with that customer-held perception. Do something that doesn’t match that perception and you run a great risk of alienating some of your greatest supporters.

I am waiting to see what happens next…case study in progress…

Today’s Must See Blog

You have to go check out BlogJam.

I think it is great.

Lots of folks blogging about everything that is business-y.

It is a controlled form of controlled chaos.

It started yesterday and ends today.

BTW, my contribution was a comparison post between the books Free Prize Inside by Seth Godin and Free Gift Inside by Stephen Brown. I may put up one more today.

QuickBooks Blog

Steve Rubel writes about the launch of the QuickBooks Online Blog.

I think the blog is a great start. I agree with Steve that it is a little stiff right now. The other observation I have is that it is like watching TV and flipping through a different channel with each entry. I wonder if there shouldn’t be some separate blogs/channels for different content.

I just started using QuickBooks, so it will be interesting to see how the blog helps me through this learning curve.

Update: This blog is for the online edition of QuickBooks. I think that might confuse some others too.

Film Blog

Zach Braff of Scrubs fame is writing a blog to promote his new movie Garden State. He wrote it, directed it and stars in it with Natalie Portman.

I think the entertainment industry could benefit greatly from using blogs to promote projects. There is always a built in set of people who are passionate about a project. It could be because of the love of the actors, the director, the original writer of the material, etc. The key is to have the person producing the passion be the one who is blogging. Consider Zach’s blog. He is getting between 60 and 300 comments on each entry. People want him to succeed.

[link courtesy of David at Dial.Log, photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures]

More questions…

Suw Charman has a new blog at Corante called Strange Attractor. You may know her from her blog Chocolate and Vodka. She says:

In this blog, I want to understand the processes and functions that create these strange attractors, these swirly folded patterns. What makes for a successful blog? How do we counter high churn rates and rapid abandonment? And how do we implement blogs in business in a way that engages users and brings most benefits? [link]

More people asking questions…


I just like posting a reminder every once in awhile about the bizblog directory wiki. We have just over 80 people now listed. If you are looking for some new reading, check it out. If you are blogging about your business or business in general, add yourself to the list.

Why you do you (corporate) blog?

Here are my answers’ to John Cass’ Corporate Blogging Survey.

  1. Why do you blog for your company?

    I have been doing A Penny For… for about a year and I like blogging. I pitched a project to Jack (Covert) at 800CEOREAD about starting a blog about business books. He liked the idea, so we went and did it.

  2. What goals did you set for the blog?

    Our first goal was to generate traffic for 800CEOREAD. We wanted to have 1000 a day reading the site. In three months, we are pretty close to meeting that goal. Our second goal was to become the best single source for information about business books. We do that through a combination of aggregated content and original material. Again, I think we are close to reaching that goal. Our third goal was to provide a PR medium for authors. We write reviews, invite authors to host the blog, run excerpts, etc. We do alot of that now and have more planned for the future. Our fourth goal is to sell more books.
    That is a long-term goal.

  3. How do you think your blog fits into your company’s communications strategy?

    We think it builds both sides of our business. On one side, we build our brand as business book experts with readers. Readers of our blog are spending 2 to 7 minutes with our brand every day. That is pretty compelling. On the other side, we build relationships with authors.

  4. Tell me about the publishing mechanics of your blog. How often do you publish? How do you decide what to publish? Any special publishing techniques?

    We publish on working days and put up between 2 and 10 posts a day. Our content is based on what we see in business media, what we see people reading (from their blogs), and what new books come across our desks.

  5. Who writes the blog? Who contributes to the blog on a regular basis?

    I am the primary writer. Jack probably contributes the second most material. After that, we have volunteer reviewers like John, Diego, Rich, Cathy, and Evelyn. We have authors like Tom and Susan.

  6. Have you achieved your original communications goals?

    Not yet. I think we are 30% to 50% of the way there.

  7. Were there any any unexpected communications or learning consequences as a result of publishing your blog?

    I feel a little more pressure on the 800CEOREAD blog versus on A Penny For… I think it is really important to maintain a steady stream of new content on the corporate blog. Keeping it fresh and interesting can be a challenge. I don’t think personal blogs have the same pressure. It is much more “write when you want to”.

  8. How have you built better relationships with customers?

    It is still early, but we think so. We know we have added new customers because of it.

  9. Macromedia, Microsoft and other companies are encouraging more of their employees to blog. How do all of these different voices together affect the direction of a company?

    I don’t think they do. Blogging allows you to see more of the goings-on, but blogging doesn’t in itself change the strategy of the company. Maybe others can provide proof the other way.