Monday, October 20, 2008

Viral Marketing: Old News With A New Name

Viral Marketing, the Godfather of buzzwords. After stripping away all of the corporate speak and nonsense surrounding the term, what remains at the core?

In chapt. 10 of The New Influencers, Paul Gillin said of viral marketing:
This specialized brand of promotion, also called "word of mouth" or "guerilla" marketing, is nothing new. Each person tells several friends and word spreads on a geometric scale. It is perhaps the oldest form of marketing, but the Internet has given it new power.
I couldn't agree more. I see the roots of today's viral marketing campaigns in the original bad boy of 1800s press agentry, P.T. Barnum. Barnum was able to generate buzz/hype/press for his shows well before they rolled in to town.

Using a combination of extravagant impromptu shows and strong word-of-mouth marketing, Barnum helped plant the seeds of modern viral marketing campaigns.

According to Effective Public Relations, Barnum even started the trend of coining language for his viral marketing campaigns, introducing the American public to jumbo.

My point, viral marketing is not a new idea that needs to scare, intimidate or confuse new practitioners. Viral marketing is an old dog with a new trick, Web 2.0.

So lets cut through the junk and start demystifying the "new" trend of viral marketing.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

ONU Dodgeball, Public Enemy # 1

Today, while reading the Ohio Northern University student handbook, I came across some shocking information.

Included on pg. 18 in the list of actions that can create a safety hazard, right after bomb threats, is dodgeball...

So I started to wonder, how many injuries really do result from dodgeball each year? My initial suspicion is alot; otherwise, why would ONU ban such a classic "sport?"

Fortunately, to my benefit, I found out that the Canadians keep careful records on this type of important information.

According to a Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRP) 2000-2002 survey, 646 of 47,484 or 1.4 percent of patients surveyed were treated for dodgeball related injuries.

Doesn't seem like much, right? Wrong. Dodgeball injuries surpass those of seemingly more aggressive sports like floor hockey, lacrosse and field hockey.

With statistics like these at hand I can no longer question the logic of Ohio Northern's executive staff.

Let this be a warning to any and all hooligans at ONU trying to play dodgeball. Thanks ONU, you always have my best interests at heart.