Friday’s links

The Dialectizer

Humorous translation tool.

Try this on your competitors’ websites for a real laugh.

Web Pages That Suck

Blog of bad websites. Some really horrible! Good comments from visitors, too.

Directory day

Had the new Thomas Register rep come in to pitch the “big green books”. We’ve always advertised in these, but the Internet certainly diminishes their value.

Also had the Ameritech “Industrial Directory” salesman in. This book competes with Thomas Regional directories (which we don’t use). Their directory looks just like a Yellow Pages, but is comprehensive for the state of Michigan.

How many people still use paper directories to find vendors these days????

Got a letter today

The letter was from Thomas Publishing Company announcing their new local representative. Looks like my old representative dumped them. The Thomas Register is a dying breed of directory. I was seriously considering killing it off this year, anyway. But if we spend $10,000, that’s the same as two trade ads, so it suddenly doesn’t look that bad.

I had turned on my old Register rep to the “Industrial Quick Search” business (see previous post), which apparently they are making a killing on. Ace for me to spot a trend, and a big F for not taking it on myself.

Cool email list to join

Zooba is an email newsletter list that is a cut above. They offer what I think are truly interesting, readable emails. I am signed up for the “Biographies: Leaders” and “Harvard Business School”.

The writing and focus is on par with some of my favorite magazines. They market books relating to the subject matter on each email, which has nice synergy. (Is it an effective business model, I wonder?)

Glad I’m not LookSmart

LookSmart is a web directory that powers some search engines, primarily They changed their listing price from a one-time $299 to 15 cents a click-thru.

Customers are irate. Here is an article by an search-marketing industry-leader that politely rips LookSmart a new one:

WebPosition Newsletter

Anyway, found this interesting from a business and web perspective.

Postcard deck advertising anyway

Despite my questioning bingo-deck’s future, I made another insertion order for one. I do see activity on my tracking URL that I use for my advertising (, so I think I can justify continuing this promotion venue.

Email from

How much of this is true and how much is a sales pitch? I think I’m starting to believe what she says is true.

Traditional marketing tactics – like print advertising and trade shows – are on the decline. Why? They don’t reach your target audience. Now engineers are searching online for the components they need during their product discovery phase.

Many leading product and component suppliers already know this . . .


Advertising spending and ad pages in engineering trade publications are significantly down. Ad spending in Design News was down 55% year over year. In ENR was down 38.43%. That’s just two examples in the trend among leading publications. (See others.)


Trade show attendance is down. National Manufacturing Week 2002 drew 35,784 attendees this year, only 56% of the 63,510 that registered to attend. The number of companies attending dropped 5%. That means fewer prospects to see your products.


Engineers aren’t going to trade shows and reading magazines as much. Instead, they’re embracing the Internet as their preferred way to search for products and components. 85% of engineers go online to search for products and 74% say it has shortened their design cycles (Design News 2001). GlobalSpec’s own experience supports these facts: our visitor traffic increased 1,000 percent in 2001.


If you change your marketing mix to maximize the use of the Internet, you’ll reach more of your target audience faster, more cost-effectively and at the moment they are looking to buy.