Seventy five years ago today, a New York City NBC affiliate broadcast the world's first TV spot – 9 seconds for a total charge of $9. From Slate:


"On July 1, 1941, the NBC-owned station WNBT in New York aired the first legal commercial in television history. Advertising was banned on TV until the Federal Communications Commission gave commercial licenses to 10 stations on May 2, 1941, to go into effect July 1. WNBT was the only station to air an ad on that day.


"The commercial played before a Brooklyn Dodgers–Philadelphia Phillies game at Ebbets FIeld. It was a brief spot called the "Bulova Time Check," which showed a watch face with the second hand ticking while a voice-over read the time. Bulova paid $4 for air fees plus $5 for station fees."


American Horror Story: The Zombies of Stock U. (Very funny...)

Stock pix of student life



Check out the jaw-dropping feats (and feets) in this video from DDB Worldwide / Chicago.


Most amazing of all: it’s all totally for-real. Real people. No CG. No post-production trickery.


The “online film” (I guess we can’t call it a “spot” since it's not on TV) promotes McDonald’s “GOL!” 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign.


The campaign’s centerpiece – what you find when you visit the url shown at the end of the video – is an “augmented reality app that transforms boxes of fries into a soccer field…You can test your trick-shot skills by bouncing a virtual ball off real-world objects…”


The app is cool. But not as cool as the video. (Maybe it’s an age-thing?)


"The minute we saw Kendra Eash's brilliant 'This Is a Generic Brand Video' on McSweeney's, we knew it was our moral imperative to make that generic brand video. No surprise, we had all the footage," explains Dissolve, the stock video company that produced this dead-perfect, hilarious parody.


It’s got it all, beautifully mixed: just the right video clips with supers in spot-on typography, the right music (solo piano, of course) and, in Dallas McClain – the narrator channeling Sam Elliott – the ideal voice.


We think first
Of vague words that are synonyms for progress
And pair them with footage of a high-speed train.


And advancement
….Are all words we chose from a list.


Priceless. When I write my next script, I’ll try not to blush – or giggle.

OK. We can laugh. We’re not the advertisers whose ads landed in… the wrong spots. Or their agencies (thank god).


Jesus_For Lease


UPS Delivers


Turkish Airlines


Run Baby


Dont Let Em IN


Obama_Whiter than white





See more LOL mis-placements here…


Whoa. Take a look at some mind-blowing stats compiled by, Digiday and others:


  • 77% of web display ads are never seen
    –  54% of web ads are technically impossible to see
    –  23% of the ads are viewable but not seen
  • Average time spent viewing an ad: just 1.7 seconds
  • The average person is served over 1700 banner ads per month
  • Average click-through rate for display ads is about 0.1%
    –  Another way of putting it: 99.9% of the folks who see your average online ad will ignore it.

Fact is, response rates for display ads have been steadily decreasing for the last 15 years. Average click-through rates in 1996, not long after the birth of online advertising, were around two percent. But by 1999, display CTRs had dropped to an average of 0.5 percent, and continued to decline over the next decade until 2010, where they hovered at 0.1 percent. That’s about where the CTR average has stayed ever since.


But, of course, lots of advertisers have seen results from online ads – and online advertising continues to grow.


In March, Nielsen reported that online advertising expenditures increased more than 25 percent year-over-year as of the second quarter of 2013.


Are all these advertisers wasting their money? No, not all of them.


Online advertising isn’t always a waste. But bad online advertising – badly planned, badly executed, badly managed online advertising – is.


Couldn’t the same be said about any advertising?


Read 'em and weep: Stats from Sticky research. Read all about it...

Sticky_Online Ad Stats


Facebook has announced that video spots will start to appear on the News Feed within the next few months.


The silent ads will time-out at 15 seconds and will stop playing if the user chooses to scroll past. Tapping the video will launch a full-screen view of the video with sound.


But Facebook is being cautious about who can advertise initially and the quality of their videos. It will use a quality-control company to assess how engaging a spot is before it appears on News Feeds.


What Facebook is calling “Premium Video Ads” will be rolled out gradually while the social media giant observes how users react.


GotMilk_RIP_LEFTIn October of 1993, the California Milk Processor Board launched a TV spot created by San Francisco’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners – about a nerdy history buff who couldn’t enunciate the answer to a radio trivia question, Who killed Alexander Hamilton?,  because his mouth was stuffed with a peanut butter sandwich and he didn’t have a glass of milk to wash it down. It was the first of many brilliant ads in what a whole lot of veterans in the ad biz regard as one of the greatest ad campaigns ever.


Two years later, the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), the national milk processors’ promotional group, licensed got milk? and distributed it nationwide.


Backing up the TV spots was a long series of print ads and posters featuring celebrities with milk mustaches.


By the mid-nineties, 91% of adults surveyed in the U.S. were familiar with the campaign and its tagline – which was repurposed or spoofed countless times, “got Jesus” to “got democracy?”, the headline of an anti-Iraq War poster.


But there was a problem: got milk? didn’t actually get people to buy more milk


  • Daily consumption of fluid milk—as opposed to milk-based products like cheese, yogurt, and butter— steadily declined from 0.96 cups per person in 1970 to 0.59 cups in 2011.
  • Between 1977-78 and 2007-08, the number of children who did not drink milk on a given day rose from 12% to 24%.
  • Americans born in the 1990s are less likely to drink fluid milk with lunch and dinner than their counterparts born in the 1970s, a USDA report announced last year.


So MilkPEP has dumped got milk? – and replaced it with “Milk Life,” a new campaign  focusing on nutritional and (hence) life benefits of milk. (Ho hum. Will it move the needle? Not much, I expect. MilkPEP may be right: a lot of folks probably don’t know that milk is a source of protein. But that isn’t the reason people aren’t drinking as much milk as they used to...)


Is there a moral to this story?

In an interview with AdWeek, Jeff Goodby recounted the origins of got milk?


Milk, he said, “is perhaps the most boring product imaginable…Milk is not new. It is not improved. It is white.”


So here’s what happened. Goodby and some colleagues were at a focus group when the clouds parted. A woman said, "The only time I even think about milk is when I run out of it." Goodby scrawled "got milk?" on a poster board and decided it might be a tagline. Silverstein set the line in its now-famous font, then little-known, Phenix American – and the rest was history-making.


Maybe the moral boils down to this: When the ads themselves are more engaging than the advertised product (or brand), results may disappoint.


But got milk? was still a great campaign – an exemplar that both inspires and humbles those of us who toil in advertising’s hinterland vineyards.


You’ll find an interesting account of how got milk? happened in Truth, Lies & Advertising, the 1998 book still very much worth reading by Jon Steel, the GSP account planner involved in the project.

Douglas B. Holt, L’Oreal Professor of Marketing at Oxford (if you please), in his detailed and laudatory “case study” of got milk? says that in 1994, the year after the got milk? launch “California's milk sales increased for the first time in over a decade, to 755 million gallons from the previous year's 740 million.”


got milk? even has its own Wikipedia article.


Lululemon logoIs the value of brands on the wane? Check out “Twilight of the Brands,” James Surowiecki’s essay in this week’s New Yorker.


Surowiecki’s springboard:  a sad, sad story – hilarious in its way for those who have been following it:


“Twelve months ago, Lululemon Athletica was one of the hottest brands in the world. Sales of its high-priced yoga gear were exploding; the company was expanding into new markets; experts were in awe of its ‘cultlike following.’ … But then customers started complaining about pilling fabrics, bleeding dyes, and, most memorably, yoga pants so thin that they effectively became transparent when you bent over. Lululemon’s founder made things worse by suggesting that some women were too fat to wear the company’s clothes. And that was the end of Lululemon’s charmed existence: the founder stepped down from his management role, and, a few weeks ago, the company said that it had seen sales ‘decelerate meaningfully.’”


The moral Surowiecki draws: “It’s a truism of business-book thinking that a company’s brand is its ‘most important asset,’ more valuable than technology or patents or manufacturing prowess. But brands have never been more fragile. The reason is simple: consumers are supremely well informed and far more likely to investigate the real value of products than to rely on logos.” [ Emphasis added. I’ll get back to the bit about logos…]


“For established brands, this is a nightmare. You can never coast on past performance…”


Surowiecki is one of the sharpest business and econ commentators out there these days. This time, he comes close to missing the important point – and buries the real lede.


Here’s where Surowiecki’s essay goes wrong, IMHO: A brand isn’t mere cosmetics. Your brand is who you are – not simply who you say you are or who people think you are or remember you as having been, once upon a time.


You can’t separate brand from “the real value of products” – or from how you actually do what you do.


Lipstick on a pigSure enough, you can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time. But lipstick on a pig won’t save your bacon in a competitive arena. Neither will “past performance” without current continuation.  Thus it has ever been.


Consider an analogy. The sharp-dressed, sharp-talking, successful fella who worked his way into a corner office can go a long, long way on style and “past performance.” But if he fails to deliver, it’s probably going to catch up with him sooner or later. (The arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice.)


So it is with your brand. If you want to maintain brand value – if you want your brand to work for you – you’ve got to keep your “brand promises.” You’ve got to walk the talk. (Memo to Surowiecki: Any company that thinks it can “coast on past performance” won’t have a strong brand for long. And that was true long before 1995 when the Internet was invented.)


What’s different today? Simply this: in our info-age – when it’s easier than ever to get size-ups of any product or service in side-by-side comparison with competitors, not to mention comparing notes with fellow consumers around the world – it’s more important than ever to walk the talk. If you don’t, customers will find out and word will spread – faster then ever.


That doesn’t mean you’ve got to be perfect. In fact, if you’ve built and maintained a strong brand, customers may forgive you when you screw up (if the screw-up isn’t too disastrous for your customers, and screwing up isn’t par for your course). “New Coke” (remember that?) is the example that’s always trotted out to drive the point home.


By the same token, if you’re better than people think – if you have an undeserved bad rep (or even a “meh rep”) that’s hurting you in your marketplaces – you need to do a better job letting people know who you are. You need to do a better job communicating and raising awareness of your brand and what it stands for. (This goes for the hard-working, without-whom-nothing patsy in the corner cubicle whose raise is long overdue as well as some companies I know.)


Surowiecki does hint at some of this: “If you build a better mousetrap, people will soon know about it… Hyundai has gone from being a joke to selling four million cars a year.” (Memo to Surowiecki: Hyundai has not coincidentally built a stronger brand along the way – by building better mousetraps, selling them at better prices, etc…) And “for brands like Lululemon, there’s only one consolation: make something really great and your past sins will be forgotten.”


But the real lesson to be drawn from the Lululemon story is buried in Surowiecki’s essay. You’ve got to dig for it.


“The reason is simple: consumers are supremely well informed and far more likely to investigate the real value of products than to rely on logos.


My hunch: Surowiecki’s essay misses because it banks on a misconception: the all-too-common, dead-wrong idea that your “brand” is really (or mostly) your logo


Understandable, I suppose. After all, the concept of a “brand” is rooted in an all-American livestock management metaphor – the symbol burned into poor Bossy’s hide by the cattle rancher. It’s a powerful and thought-provoking metaphor. But, like most metaphors, it can be deeply misleading…

Upside Down FB Like w spaceIn today's NY Times: "It turns out you can buy love, after all. Well, at least affection on social media sites. For a price as low as half a cent per click, companies, government agencies and entrepreneurs can get a small army of people in developing countries to “like” their Facebook page, endorse them on LinkedIn or follow them on Twitter, according to a recent Associated Press story."


Facebook's most recent quarterly report estimated as many as 14.1 million of its 1.18 billion active users are fraudulent accounts. Hence: frequent "purges."

• YouTube wiped out billions of music industry video views last December after auditors found some videos apparently had exaggerated numbers of views. Google, Youtube's  parent-company, is also constantly battling people who generate fake clicks on their ads.

The NY state attorney general announced in September a settlement with 19 companies after a yearlong investigation into fake reviews of restaurants and other businesses on sites like Yelp.

• "What is perhaps most surprising about this trend is that it is not confined to struggling or little known businesses trying to burnish their reputations in the hopes of finding new customers". The inspector general of the State Department recently criticized Foggy Bottom for spending $630,000 on advertising campaigns that some employees said amounted to “buying fans” on Facebook."


So why would anyone buy bogus social media "results?" Hornswoggling clients (or bosses) with zowie stats probably plays a role. So does the irresistible attraction of easy "solutions." But recent research suggests that a snowballing, "50,000 Frenchman can't be wrong" effect often plays a big role in going-viral success: the more Likes you collect, the more folks will like you. Even if the Likes are fake...?

At all events: let the browser beware.


Shouldn't every Season's Greeting go viral?

So... How small does this make you feel, with that weenie family photo card you ordered online...?


In its “Christmas Miracle” video posted on Youtube Sunday, 12/8,  Calgary-based airline WestJet sets up electronic Santa chat boxes in terminals at the Hamilton and Toronto airports. Travelers giggle at the chance to talk live with Santa through a screen, and parents and kids alike tell him what they want for Christmas.


But the surprise is far from over. While the flights soar to their destination in Calgary, WestJet shoppers pick up everybody's Christmas wishes: 357 gifts, from socks and underwear to a “big TV.”


When they get to baggage claim, tired travelers see their luggage – and big blue boxes with their names on the front and their dream Christmas gifts inside.




The video had 315,000 views in the first 24 hours – and 1,657,328 by early afternoon the next day. (I think that’s called “going viral…”)


The airline promised when the video views hit 200,000, it would donate flights to reunite a family over Christmas through Ronald McDonald House. Most recent news reports say the family has not yet been chosen.


Details at Huffpost – and here…


To the brilliant, big-hearted folks at WestJet: Thanks! Your Christmas Miracle makes us proud to be marketeers.


And to all our friends, near and far: Have yourself a very Merry Christmas!


New Yahoo LogoParturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus.


 After "30 Days of Change" – a month-long online preview of mostly mediocre candidates -- Yahoo rolled out a new logo at midnight ET on Thursday, introducing a design that wasn't one of the 29 floated throughout the past month. Instead, it's a completely new design—one that CEO Marissa Mayer explains at length in a Tumblr blog post, “Geeking Out on the Logo.”

 “One weekend this summer, I rolled up my sleeves and dove into the trenches with our logo design team…”

Huh? No question, Marissa Mayer's an amazing phenom. B.S. in “symbolic systems” followed by an M.S. in computer science from Stanford. Google employee #20 (and Google’s first woman engineer). Named President and CEO of Yahoo at 37 (on the same day she announced her pregnancy). And one of Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women in biz – five years running.


But a roll-up-her-sleeves, down-in-the-trenches logo designer? Who knew?


Here are the 29 also-rans. Which would you have voted for?


I’m sticking with Google.

Should marketeers stop chasing youth and start courting boomers? "According to a Nielsen study of 'Marketing’s Most Valuable Generation,' consumers over 50 years of age represent 44% of the U.S. population, control 70% of disposable income, and account for 49% of all spending on consumer packaged goods.


"But less than 5% of advertising is geared specifically toward this age group,"


Interesting pitch from the happily named Lor Gold, chief creative officer for SGK -- here...

5-13-20_OK Tornado Damage w TravelOK blurb

Well, maybe one comment fits: WTF,

Mashable_TV vs Digital Ad Spending


This just in from Mashable:


"Though the print and radio industries have both suffered from the rising popularity of online advertising, one industry remains immune: television. U.S. advertisers are expected to increase their spending on TV this year by nearly $2 billion to $66.35 billion, according to forecasts from e-Marketer. By 2017, that number is expected to reach $75 billion, an increase of 14% over five years. At that rate, it will be some time before digital ad spending surpasses TV in the U.S., though it's expected to grow at a much faster rate (over the next five years, 18%)."

Scope Bacon website April Fool's Day 2103


Bacon-flavored Scope? The ultimate skinny jeans – painted on?


Here are two of this year’s crop of April Fool’s Day ad pranks – from P&G and American Eagle Outfitters.


For more 4/1 funnies, check out AdWeek’s collection here.


Never underpay your proofreader.


NYC Big Anus Bus Poster

As I type this, there are 315,104,800 people in the U.S – or so says the Census Bureau’s “Pop Clock.” But according to a report released today by the market research firm The NPD Group, there are 425 million devices connected to the Internet in U.S. homes.


NPD Group - Internet Connected Devices in USThat’s right. If NPD’s survey-based estimate is correct, there are now 35% more computers, smart phones, tablets and game consoles in the U.S. than there are human beings.


NPD’s Connected Home report found that while computers are still the primary connected device, numerous others are “diminishing the computer’s relevance to the broadband content marketplace. This trend is being fueled by devices such as gaming consoles and Blu-ray Disc players adding to the number of Internet connected HDTVs, and the connectivity piped directly to the TV itself. Strong consumer retail sales in developing categories such as tablets and smartphones are also impacting the traditional computer’s share of Internet connected devices.” 


The NPD report predicts a shift towards more screen-sharing across devices by the end of 2013. Smaller screens such as the smartphone have the greatest reach now with an estimated 133 million users, with tablets contributing another 31.8 million screens. But the development of the shared screen experience, allowing users to project from smart phones or tablets onto their TVs, is producing a convergence of devices (or “ecosystems” as NPD terms them) and will “allow for over-the-top content to become even more prominent on the TV,” NPD says.


The NPD report was based on a survey of 4,000 U.S. consumers. E-readers were excluded from the survey “due to the limited content array they offer.”

Obama thumbs upHow did President Obama win reelection? In a recent New York Times OpEd – a must-read for marketeers of any political stripe – Richard Parker credits the Obama campaign’s brilliant, game-changing use of social media. Highlights:

“Yes, demographics helped Obama beat [Mitt Romney]. But so did the changing landscape of media consumption. The very groups — young women, Hispanics, African Americans, Asian-Americans — that made the difference are among the fastest adopters of social and mobile media."

•  The 50.5 million Hispanics in the country have higher rates of mobile and social media than Anglos. African Americans and Hispanics have adopted Twitter at faster rates than whites or Anglos.

•  More than three in five women who are of African American, Hispanic or Asian-American had a smartphone in 2011, compared to just one in three white women, according to Nielson.

• Fewer than one in five adults under 30 watch cable television news, while over half of people over 65 do, says Pew Research.

“Generally speaking, social media has not proven itself able to change someone’s mind as much as it is capable of putting together communities of like-minded people. We don’t know the correlation of 'liking,' say, on Facebook with voting behavior. But putting people together who are like-minded allows them to take other actions: to reach out to more friends online or to join old-school telephone drives and events and also to take more committed actions, like raising money. Obama raised $147 million from small donors who chipped in $200 or less, nearly three-and-a-half-times as much as Romney.”

“In 2008, much of the after-action analysis of social media was of the “gee-whiz” variety — Obama outperformed McCain in this new medium! — yet the precise effect was not exactly clear, other than that it helped win over younger voters.

“But the Obama effort in 2008 built more than buzz; it created conversions, according to academic research performed by Jennifer Aker, a business professor at Stanford, along with researcher Victoria Chang. The campaign built 5 million supporters on social networks, had 2.5 million followers on Facebook, and 50 million viewers watched 14 million hours of video on YouTube, which was then pretty new. This translated into huge offline results: 230,000 events and $639 million raised from 3 million donors. On Election Day, every supporter with a mobile phone number the Obama campaign had in its database got three text message reminders to vote. Obama won by more than 8 million votes.”

• An exhaustive study of Obama’s social media in 2012 has not yet been conducted, but the initial reporting indicates a similar performance. The president’s team, with the head-start of a huge database of supporters, just out-muscled Romney’s campaign. By September 2012, Obama’s Facebook page had 1.2 million likes — while Romney’s had just half as much,

• While Obama lost a few points off his overall 2008 white vote, he still swamped Romney among all people under 30 in 2012, the first and fastest adopters of social media, by 5 million votes (even though fewer younger voters turned out than in 2008).

“Republicans may lament that this is not their father’s country anymore.  More to the point: this is not their father’s marketing either.”

New York Times: November 15, 2012. Read the full text here.

Richard Parker is president of Parker Research in Austin, Tex. His commentary is syndicated by McClatchy-Tribune.

Crawl-Run-Walk Social Mdia

Back in the bad old days, there wasn't much advertising in Soviet Russia. With few products to market and no competition for marketshare, there wasn't much reason to advertise. (Most Soviet advertising was political propaganda, confined to billboards and wall posters -- usually featuring models wearing overalls, gazing bravely, heroically across sunrise landscapes into Mother Russia's future. With clever, catchy headlines like "Communism Equals Soviet Power Plus Electrification of the Entire Country!")

Those bad old days are gone, babushka, gone. In advertising, as in many other areas, today's Russkies have adopted Western ways. They even have political ads. Really weird political ads.


Take this recent TV spot for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his United Russian Party, for example:


Message to Tulsa's own Fred Davis – now the go-to guy for top-tier GOP advertising: Hard to imagine Mitt Romney in a spot like this. (Newt would've been better casting.) But maybe worth a shot? Sex sells!



“We’ll find out, little beauty, who fate has in store for you.”

“You know, I hope it’s for love.” Blink-blink-blink. “It’s my… first time.”

“The cards will tell the truth… I see it will be for love… without deception…”

A Putin card is revealed.

“Wow. It’s him!”

“You’ll be happy with him. He’ll protect you like a stone wall.”

 Putin. First time — only for [heart/checkmark]

Like most marketing newsletters, the MarketingProfs e-newsletter often makes the obvious sound like rocket science – ladling jargon over plain common sense. Every other article offers a “How-To” or promises some specific number of “tips” or whatnots: “23 Tips for Using LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for Business,” “The Four Relevancy Commandments of Lead-Gen Marketing.” And 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover?


But issue after issue, there are enough solid-gold nuggets on a wide range of hot topics in marketing – interesting, surprising factoids, smart ideas and so on – to make Marketing Profs worth a look.


And did I mention? It’s free. (Sure, MarketingProfs will try to sell you stuff. These folks are marketeers, after all. But you don’t have to buy a thing…)


Here’s where you sign up:


How did we live – or work – before e-mail?


It’s no surprise that e-mail has become so indispensable – and, hence, so overwhelming.


•  In 2010 the Radicati Group estimated that 294 billion emails get sent every day. (Surely, the number has gone up over the past two years…)


•  All too many of us get more than our fair share. A Harris poll, also in 2010, found that 50 e-mails a day is about all most of us can manage to read, digest and act upon. Yet all too many of us find ourselves on the receiving-end of 100 or more e-mail messages in a single working day. And for people who have work to do – writing reports, preparing presentations, or (who knows?) thinking out smart marketing strategies or coming up with clever headlines – being interrupted 50 or 100 times a day makes it hard to stay focused and on-task.


All of which makes e-mail etiquette more and more important.


Here, as elsewhere, etiquette boils down to consideration – considerateness –  and common sense.


“I’m too busy to show common courtesy – or make my meaning clear” is not a subtext message your reader will welcome – and bad e-mail habits are counter-productive. They waste time and increase the chance of miscommunication and foul-ups.


Here are a few oft-offered rules that would make life and work a whole lot easier for all of us if more people followed them.


1.  Be concise. This is one I would be wise to remind myself of daily. Long e-mails are a pain – especially when a dozen or so other e-mails are waiting to be read. Keep it short – and to-the-point.


Yes: e-mail is a great way to document an exchange of information. The recipient can read or re-read at leisure – or print the e-mail and use it as a checklist if you’re transmitting a detailed list of items that all need action or attention. Barring some catastrophe, the e-mail will stay where it’s put in the computer for future reference – without taking up much space or wasting trees.


But keep your e-mails from being longer than they need to be to do the job. And never forget that any long e-mail will be an inconvenience to your recipient – and, often as not, won’t be read (or read carefully). So send a long e-mail only when its usefulness outweighs the inconvenience and the likelihood that it won’t be read attentively. If a long e-mail seems to be a good idea, tell your reader, upfront, that it’s a long e-mail: please read this at a convenient time.


2. In the Subject: line, clearly state the content or topic. Two days, two months or two years later, it’ll be a whole lot easier for your recipient to find the e-mail. “Hi” or “Hello” won’t be much help.


But it’s seldom a good idea to pack your entire message in the Subject: line. Even if you end it with “EOM” (End Of Message – which most folks won’t understand in any event).


And if you get an e-mail Subject-lined about X, don’t send a Reply about Y, a different topic. Send a separate e-mail with a Subject: line that matches your message.


3.  Be clear. Tell your reader clearly what your purpose is in writing – and what you want as a response. Write clear, complete sentences. And make sure you include all relevant information needed to understand your request or point of view. Too busy to be clear? Wait until you have time for it. Otherwise you’re wasting your time –and your reader's.


Tip: Read your e-mail out loud before hitting “Send”. You’ll weed out a lot of unclarity that way.


4. Don’t send giant attachments. Big attachments take too much time to download, even with a fast Internet connection. Plus, if you send a big attachment, you risk blocking other e-mail addressed to your recipient – because your oversized attachment may fill the recipient’s mailbox “quota.” Anything over a megabyte or two: .zip it. Anything over, say, 5 mb: Send it via an online delivery service – or the like.


If you must send a big attachment in an e-mail, ask your recipient when it would be a good time to send it – and send it then.


5.  Use “Reply All:” only to keep people in the loop who need to be. Don’t keep or include anybody on the “Reply” list that doesn’t need to spend valuable time reading what you have to say.


6. If you can’t read an entire e-mail on your Smart Phone / mobile – or respond to it clearly – don’t respond until you’re in front of a computer and have had the time to read the whole thing.


And remember, e-mailers: all too often your e-mail WILL be read on a mobile. So keep it short. Etc.


Here are a few web pages where you’ll find lots of other tips on e-mail:

And if you’re looking for a long list:

Often as not, when you ask for a photo nowadays, you’ll get a jpeg – a digital file with the extension “.jpg”. It’s the most common photo format for most digital cameras and Smart Phone cameras.


The name stands for “Joint Photographic Expert Group,” the committee that developed the jpeg format – starting back in the ‘80s.


JPEG is a method of “lossy” file compression used to make digital image files smaller – to reduce storage size, upload/download times, and so on. But the “lossy” is key: When the file is compressed, some of its “information” – its original digital content – is lost, permanently. And that means the image loses some measure of quality – some of its sharpness and clarity. The more you compress the file – the smaller the compressed file size – the more quality you lose.


What most people don’t know: Every time you save a jpeg, it loses more of its quality.


From one “Save” to the next, the quality-loss usually isn’t obvious But save a jpeg photo again and again and the quality-loss becomes noticeable. Eventually, very noticeable.


So here’s a tip: When you get a jpeg, keep it in a safe place (and NAME the file so that you’ll know what it is). Then, whenever you open and save the photo, use “Save As” to create a separate file – say, by adding the date to the file name. (Example: If you open a digital photo file called “Cat.jpg,” use Save As to save it “Cat_10-16-12.jpg”)


That way, you’ll keep your original in its original condition.


Better yet: Keep working copies of your originals in some “lossless” format – like TIFF.