JaySmallarchive Small Initiatives site archive, 2009-earlier. Use menu links for Jay Small's new blog and Ka Small's APODEXI site.

February 2009

Posted by Jay Small

I follow stories on ESPN.com via the site's RSS feeds. Lately I kept looking and wondering what was different about the items -- my copy editor sense was tingling like crazy.

Now I realize: Most of the headlines include full team names, when teams are mentioned, and full names of people.

A headline that, written for a newspaper, might read, "Jones mum on TO's release," now reads like the highlighted headline in the screen shot accompanying this post:

"Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones rebuffs ESPN report on Terrell Owens release discussions"

Posted by Jay Small

The marching pace of sucky economic news for American newspapers and their holding companies quickened again yesterday.

Papers' suffering began before the current economic crisis. We already occupied the front seats as the roller coaster started down this twisty slope. Sweeping global deleveraging makes quite the thrill ride, like an out-of-body experience during your own massive heart attack.

Posted by Jay Small

Just in time for me to forget (almost) that I'd done it, today ReelSEO published an interview with me from September 2008 on the subjects of video content strategy and search optimization.

I'll tease you with an excerpt:

Q: What do you believe are the major challenges/obstacles for newspapers to get their videos out to the search engines and social media networks (and show up prominently in those spaces)?

Posted by Jay Small

Greg Sterling reminds us why we all chase advertising dollars from locally focused, small and medium businesses:

"We're in a recession; everything is down including local. And local is harder than other segments because of some of the factors mentioned above. SMBs are hard to sell to and they don’t spend lots online. But there are millions of SMBs online in various forms today. As I've argued before, from consumer behavior perspective, local/offline is a much, much bigger deal than anything else going on online. It's just often hard for people to see it."

Posted by Jay Small

Elway had this way of looking at you that made you feel like you'd kidnapped his mother.

Ka and I took yesterday off work, expecting to share a rare day of down time. Instead we took Elway, our noble terrier mutt extraordinaire, on his final ride.

We knew the day would come soon -- he was diagnosed with late-stage lymphoma last month -- but hoped for a few more weeks of the ol' Elway vitality. Over the weekend, though, we realized he just could not run the yard, eat or even rest comfortably. We took him to the veterinarian, who agreed the time had come to put Elway to rest.

Posted by Jay Small

This week, I have either led or participated in at least 12 conference calls with online presentations, aka Webinars. Let's face it, no matter how elegant, all forms of virtual meetings pale in comparison to real face time. But given the effect of our dire economy on many companies' travel budgets, time spent on conference calls and Webinars probably will grow for lots of product manager types.

After many hours every week spent on speakerphone, desktop sharing and compressed PowerPoint slides, I feel compelled to share advice for Webinar hosts, especially vendors trying to sell their wares and services in virtual meetings:

Posted by Jay Small

It appears people who still rely on wire-coiled Pringles cans for TV reception may have a few more months to pick up those Everybody Loves Raymond reruns without a digital decoder.

When I worked for a TV manufacturing conglomerate back in 2000-2001, everyone presumed the big switch to digital TV would happen on schedule -- in 2006. We also thought, of course, that one-gigabyte MP3 players would always be impossibly expensive or too huge to be portable, so I'll shut up now about what we thought.

Posted by Jay Small

Troubling research findings reported by AFP: TV and video games increase teen depression risk.

Key points:

"Time spent engaging with electronic media may replace time that could be spent on social, athletic or intellectual activities that could guard against depression. ... Being exposed to media at night may also disrupt sleep important for emotional and cognitive development."

I'm not one of those people who believes today's young people have been dumbed down or made unproductive by media saturation, or spoiled by common access to privileges we considered unattainable in my middle-class, small-town childhood. Young people today are smarter and more worldly than we were.