Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Blog mail

You never know what's going to show up in the blog mail these days!

First, I received a note from Deirdre, a fellow doughnut-lover from Winston Salem. She wrote:

I just read your “Ode to Doughnuts” and absolutely loved it. I am in the process of writing a happy little (short) book about doughnuts and would like to include a snippet of it. May I do so? I shall credit you and site the source (url). Just let me know.

It never fails to amaze me what catches people's fancy. I'm sure a good ten per cent of my hits have to do with doughnuts in one form or another, mostly about Tim Horton's and Weight Watchers points. Oh well, it's not the worst imaginable internet legacy. And of course I told Deirdre that I'd be honoured if she quoted my post, and that I was grateful that she asked me first, rather than just lifting the text. And I told her I'd be happy to review a book about doughnuts on blog, since it seems to be a theme around here.

Back in February, I blogged that I was thrilled to be offered my first book to review, but that I coveted some of the other cool things bloggers had been offered to review, like DVDs and even trips. Offering free stuff to people who are considered opinion leaders among their peers is a new spin on the age-old word of mouth marketing technique, but this time around they call it buzz marketing. Get a few people who are respected opinion leaders to start talking about your product, and the buzz it generates can be more valuable (and way cheaper) than all the traditional media ad space you can buy.

A couple of days ago, I got an e-mail from a buzz marketing firm in Toronto called Matchstick. The e-mail said that if I met a few criteria, I might be eligible for a free multimedia smart phone - all I had to do was blog about and with it. Apparently we've found my price, and it's free. Free!! I'm all about the free stuff.

I had to stretch and wiggle a little bit to meet some of their criteria - I get about half the daily hits they were looking for, and am a week short of two years older than the age group they were targetting, but I blog daily and with enthusiam, and can be bought for the price of a single multimedia smart phone, so I guess that made up for my shortfalls.

They put the phone in the mail yesterday, so I'll keep you updated when it arrives. I feel a little disingenuous, because they think they're getting a respected opinion leader who is tech savvy enough to exploit the phone's many features, and they're getting a mediocre blog junkie and recovering luddite who is more than a little intimidated by a phone that does anything other than ring and dial out.

Not only is it a phone, but it's a digital camera (still and video!), it received e-mail and has an internet interface, and it's equipped with Bluetooth technology, which seems to engender appreciative nods and sighs from my tech-savvier friends.

Our existing cell phone ('our' because we don't even each have our own) is about four years old - not even a flip-phone - and the account is a bare-bones one grandfathered from an old employee plan back in 1998, so I'm curious as to whether it will support this fancy-ass new smart phone. (Being an existing Rogers wireless customer was one of the criteria.) Whether I'll be able to figure out how to even turn it on, let alone answer a call or take a photo or blog from it remains to be seen. But in the spirit of free, I'm more than willing to try!

And, as a post-script, in doing a little bit of research for this post and my previous one, I found this link to a blogger in Italy who is willing to give his 60G iPod Video to a random blogger who links to him before August 4.

I'm shameless, aren't I? I'd be embarrassed, but I'm too busy being gleeful over the free multimedia smart phone.