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January 08, 2008




This is a Fantastic Post. I meet so many people every day that think I'm the weirdest thing since the television. Why? Overwhelmingly it's because of what my favorite thing to do is.. come up with different ways to make money.

What's weird is that a lot of people think that means I'm single minded or shallow when in fact, it makes me happy...

I don't tell people who majored in German Polka History that they are shallow or misguided...

However, it is leading me more and more to like minded people that I enjoy being around.

masks are silly.


Sonia Simone

Always good to see you, Joe! And thank you for not making fun of my German Polka History major.

Colleen Wainwright

I'm taking it that by "mask," you don't necessarily mean brand. I mean, some (bad, mostly) brands are masks, but you can be you and a brand, yes?

Of course, if you're into German polka, you could also just be a *band*. (Hahaha! I'm hiLARious!!!)

Craig Daniels


Thanks for the post, I love your sense of humor as you draw out your story.

I'm going to send a few of my clients to read this. My approach has been more heavy handed in getting them to see how great it can be to be themselves in business.

I think I need to remember "from birth to death it's just this" and I'm sure I will be more helpful in moving my clients forward.

Thanks again


Sonia Simone

@Craig, I love that, thank you.

@communicatrix is hurting my mind with the German polka puns. Ow! Ow! No, it is a good point though--stories & brands are creative and good. God knows I don't advocate a tiresome kind of Berkeley sincerity that makes no room for storytelling or playing around. There's a difference, I think, between trying to bullshit your audience and trying to tell them a good story. Smart brands do the latter, dumb brands do the former.

Practical Archivist


Your definition of the long tail is my favorite so far.

Me? I geek out about historical photos, photo organizing, preserving family history and internet marketing. There is NO WAY I would have met as many fellow travelers as I have without access to the "portable New York City."

I was one of the folks who cheered when that blogger (1) came out and (2) called shenanigans on some of the ickier internet marketing tactics.

P.S. I live in Wisconsin, so I'm not even gonna touch the German polka thing except to offer to buy you a beer at The Essen House or Der Rathskeller if you're ever in Madison. Plus I'm smart enough not to get in a pun war with communicatrix. Fershizzle.


I said when I first started seeing those horrendous single-page sales pitches that they would never sell anything through them. (Someone had the guts to ask me to critique their "brand new concept in web marketing" and I tore shreds off him in utter disgust.) I said no one would fall for that kind of blatant manipulation. Okay, so I was wrong about that. People did buy, big time. But I'm convinced customers bought *despite* the manipulation and the seedy webpage, not *because* of it.

Sonia Simone

I know, Daoine, I'm really of two minds about those. On the one hand, I don't want to dismiss something that works (especially if I'm working on behalf of someone else).

On the other hand, ewwwww.

My suspicion is that it's the long form that works--answering all of the objections, walking the person step-by-step through the sales process to get completely comfortable and answer all of their questions. My suspicion is that the yellow highlighting and red flashing arrows aren't needed, that you can do the same thing with intelligent headers.

I may be delusional. On the other hand, Seth had a good post today about what you get when you dumb down your marketing--dumb customers. And who wants to be in a relationship with dumb people?

Timothy Coote

Yeah, I've had to explain myself too as to why, after such a promising start to a career in the arts, I threw it all away to work with companies to help them communicate.

The funny thing is it doesn't feel weird to me. I don't think I have needed to deal with the closet as such but anything vaguely abnormal, after all is said and done, is still considered kooky by even the most open-minded (and regardless of financial success). Oh well, good post anyway.


Amazing and interesting post. Not to be spammy or selfish, I felt like the post that you commented on my blog (about my friend) helped me to break out of myself, my own conceptions...it helped me to step outside of what was expected. Maybe it wasn't a clean or predictable thing to do, but it was honest and open, and I think it reached people.

I'd rather have someone honestly disagree with me, than agree with me for the sake of agreeing.

Sonia Simone

Hi G, thank you for dropping by!

Opening up and revealing ourselves is so scary, but it's so rewarding as well. I find that the more I do it, the more courage I find. But I don't think it will ever be easy for me.


While I enjoyed the post overall, my favourite part was your likening the internet to "a portable New York City."

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