Stereophonics USA tour

Stereophonics have just annonced their US dates for their Pull the Pin tour!

L.A. on September 16th. Cool! I was afraid it would conflict with BlogWorld.

All set up...

All set up...
All hotel rooms should come with the bare essentials!
All set up...
900 WATTS UPS, should be enough...

All right, almost a week into California: I got my cargo shipment from France, I unpacked it all, I bought the missing pieces at Fry's (like US power cables and a 110 Volts UPS) and transformed my dining table into a compact geek desk.

Only thing missing is a proper internet connection. However, I have my AT&T line set up and they tell me DSL will be activated tomorrow. I also hope I'll get the broadband router in the mail, otherwise it won't be of much use.

After that, no more excuses: I'll have to work again!

Until then, and since the WiFi just plain sucks (as always with shared WiFi), I guess I have no choice but to spend another day at the pool...

Testing web hosts...

Lately I have been re-testing most of b2evolution's hosting partners... As the number of hosting test sites grows though, it takes days just to update the testing software on all of them. I guess I'll have the automate that ;)

But that's nothing compared to writing and updating the webhost reviews: I can hardly handle more than one a week and still do it seriously. And that I don't think i'll ever be able to automate :(

Finally it dawned on me that an increasing number of potential users don't even have a clue about web hosting, what it is or exactly why they need it. I started by writing a short intro to web hosting, but I don't think that's enough, especially for people who "just want a blog". Educating them about webhosting is a long an windy road... and I'm wondering if it wouldn't be easier to just host the blog for them... :roll:

Some Press Release Q & A

Some Press Release Q & A

Interestingly enough I just stumbled upon an old IRC conversation where I was asking some PR questions to Robin "Roblimo" Mille, editor of NewsForge. It's pretty old (the file date says April 2004), but I thought it was still interesting...

fplanque: should we position our product against the competition by mentioning competitor names and pros/cons

roblimo: fplanque, This is touchy. A company we'll called "TinyLimp" to disguise their true identity is currently giving Linux great credibility by telling people to compare it to a product we'll call "Doors."
How many people would not have considered Linux at all without reading the TinyLimp sponsored case studies that "prove" TinyLimp products are better?

Comparisons are good when you're the underdog, but are usually not smart when you dominate a market.

(If any TinyLimp people are reading this, I hope you keep your present course, though.)

Let me add to this a bit....
*Honest* comparisons work, and dishonest ones don't. Ad maven Jerry Della Femina once said nothing can sink a bad product faster than a big ad budget.

His example was a beer hardly anyone liked that his agency designed a successful campaign for.
The problem with PR and promo is that it can get people to try a product, but that's all. If the product sucks, they'll try it and kick it to the curb. Getting more people to try a bad product just makes it fail faster.

This is the underlying point, always: Stumbling, badly written PR for a great piece of software is *always* better that slick PR for crap.
PR is simply telling the world that your project exists.

fplanque: should we write different press releases for each journalist, making each one more focused on the interests and backgroung knowledge of a particular publication?

roblimo: That would be a lot of work. I'd say it's more practical to write press release for different types of publications.

Think of a guitar notation program. You'd make one press release for music pubs, another for software pubs -- and if it's FOSS, yet another one for FOSS pubs, which is where a plea for developers or testers might be best.

Quote of the day - Strategy

"Giving up the illusion that you can predict the future is a very liberating moment. All you can do is give yourself the capacity to respond... the creation of that capacity is the purpose of strategy."
- Lord John Browne
Chairman of BP