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2 September 1999

Here's a clue for Internet marketers: Any e-mail you send that contains the words 'THIS IS NOT SPAM', particularly if you feel an urge to use all capital letters, is spam. If it weren't spam, you wouldn't feel the need to protest so much, would you?

I watched The McLaughlin Group a few weeks ago for the first time in many months. Wow. It was beyond even self-parody. It's just McLaughlin asserting questionable (sometimes laughable) things and bullying the faceless panelists into agreement. It's enough to make you miss Fred Barnes.

Not only that, its web site uses frames to limit the reading area to only a few square inches when the content is often very long (for example, transcripts). Talk about aggressively inappropriate design...

Not only that, but they don't even spell their own panelists' names right. 'Micheal Barone' is hardcoded into a GIF, though it at least links to a properly-spelled 'Michael Barone' page.


Jack Germond wrote a book, Fat Man in a Middle Seat : Forty Years of Covering Politics (coming in November) which will include a lot about his experiences on the show, including why he left. An excerpt from it was in this month's Brill's Content (the one with a clay Chris Matthews on the cover). Looks like an interesting read.

While looking for information on Germond's book, I just noticed that Yahoo is selling books. (I know it's really been happening since November, but hey, it's the first time I've run across it in my travels.)

Of course! How could I have missed such an obvious concept! I'm searching for a city's chamber of commerce or a person's home page I've forgotten how to reach, and Yahoo somehow knows that what I really want to do is download ads and buy a book!

I miss the old Yahoo -- you know, when they tried to be a directory to Internet sites. Guess I should pay more attention to the Open Directory Project at I'll try going there for my site-finding needs for a while & see how it works out. (Incidentally, I've been using Google as my primary search engine for a while and am very satisfied.)

How long until Amazon starts its own web directory? Or has it already? I miss so many press releases, you know.

Or better (worse) yet, how long until Amazon and Yahoo merge? Oo, I wonder what their stock prices would climb to then...

Of course it's a bad idea, but can't you just see it happening? Buying Geocities was a bad idea too, but Yahoo did it anyway.

This would naturally beg the question of what the resulting entity would be called. I helpfully note that isn't taken yet.

More Friday, including followups on the joke that is Hotmail, the new Power Macintosh G4 and The Matrix on DVD. (Amazon's 40% discount isn't the cheapest!)

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