Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Why People are leery of events, part 4, and FaceBook

Back in Feb I wrote about the Economic Recovery event being offered in DC. I wrote about this 3 times, as it appeared to be a non-event, with no speakers and no real information. When you went to the web site, there was vistually nothing there; no real agenda, no speakers, etc. And then the venue kept changing and getting (seemingly) smaller.

Well, they are back, and the subject line in the email was "Register Now - Billions in New Spending!" and the email was from "Recovery Summit ". This is now a 2 day event which desribes itself this way: "The American Economic Recovery Summit is designed to introduce the specifics of the federal government’s massive economic recovery programs to American business and to the American people. "

I have yet to find someone's name associated with ANY of the emails that have gone out on this. Nor have any speakers been identified.

Draw your own conclusion. I have drawn mine.


re: My Facebook rants, also from February., in regard to facebook's privacy snafu. Well, I did not pull out of Facebook. A number of rasons, not the leats of which is there are many people there, who, for some reason, are not on LinkedIn. So, I am still there (sort of under protest), but I still concentrate the bulk of my social networking efforts at LinkedIn. Ahead of Facebook, the Federal Contracting Network (http://www.federalcontractor.us/) is now my #2 network.

Not that I have an opinion.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Congress pushes $750 million+ in Earmarks - Amtower's raection

Don't you love it when all of the self-serving people in D.C. do their little rat dance? While not all are involved, many members of Congress & the lobbyists who push earmarks are little more than slimy things that crawl out from under rocks several times a year.
Not that I have an opinion.

Book World & Washington Post Revisited

In the Washington Post (Sunday, March 8) in both the Business and Outlook sections, there are book reviews. Outlook has eight (one starting on the front page, with pages 6 and 7 devoted to books - history, a memoir. science and more The Business section has one in Michelle Singletary's column.

Keep it up, folks! It isn't book world, but they are trying. I've got to give credit to them and would love to see still more.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Is Space Advertising Dead?

I just received a question from a government marketing pro I have known for a long time, one I respect tremendously. Here is the question:

"Mark, Is print advertising going to be dead in federal IT over the next 12 to 18 months? I still see print as a big brand building tool for folks like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, etc.yes it needs to be integrated with online and new media but it will never be replaced. Am I way off base?"

Here is my response:

"Your instincts tell you the same thing mine tell me. Space ads are already on life support and anyone telling a different story is living in a fantasy world. Possible space will die, but hopefully not. Can the big companies afford to the let print venues die? I don't think so, as none seem to have a strategy to live without them and their (the pubs) ability to reach a very broad audience. Last August (in my Government Marketing Best Practices seminar- http://www.federaldirect.net/order2008gmbp.html) I said that trade (niche) publications that did not adopts social networking strategy would die. There is still time - but they have to move FAST!!!"

In the GMBP seminar last summer, I pointed out that trade publications (and trade associations) serve a niche, a community of people who share a market. These commonalities are perfect for creating a social network so the proactive professionals in that community could better interact. Further, I said that these communities were going to occur with or without the publications. I said straight out that trade publications and associations that do not adopt a social network on the back end of their publication or group would cease to exist. Information dissemination and digestion is changing, and it is changing fast.

Since that time we have seen the birth of two social networks in our market: www.FederalContractor.us (aka TFCN, The Federal Contractor Network, which serves the contractor community) and www.GovLoop.com (which serves primarily a Federal employee audience, with some contractors). These are robust forums and each is growing.

I don't think we can afford to see the demise of trade publications, as the quality of the information they provide is critical to the decision making process in the government and contracting communities - in our shared community. Each of the publications that serve this market provides the vital intellectual nourishment required for us to collectively grow.

I am not referring to unfettered, unregulated growth of government spending. I am referring to the growth of a joint community that better serves the needs of the government and us as citizens.

Your thoughts are welcome.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

FOSE reversal - expo is free to all

If somehow you have missed it, FOSE occurs next week at the DC Convention Center.

Over the last several weeks radio spots for FOSE were saying the expo was "free for DOD and Federal employees". The FOSE web site now says the expo portion is free for DOD, Federal employees and government contractors.

This is not the first time this reversal has occured. A few years back, under the previous owner (Post Newsweek Tech), FOSE did this when the contractor community balked at paying $50 to see exhibits. It seems overall attendance may be down again, and the last minute jolt might help. I understand the need to monetize the event in as many ways as possible, but charging contractors for the exhibits does not work and with fewer people in the exhibit halls, the show floor looks like a ghost town.

If you'd like to register, go to

I will not be attending for the 2nd time in 25 years. I will be leaving the country on the 11th and will have several things to do prior to that. Even if I were in town, there are fewer reasons for me to attend. High among my reasons for not attending is the lack of parking in the vicinity of the DC Convention Center. I hate going there. Whoever designed this place had an obvious Metro bias which does not servve the best interests of the event producers.

Last year I was at FOSE to do a live radio broadcast from the show floor, and it was fun having several of my friends who were exhibiting as guests on the show. This year my radio station - WFED, www.FederalNewsRadio.com - opted not to go, as did some of the exhibitors who were on my show.

I would like FOSE to succeed, but the age for the mega-tech show may be passing. MacWorld and others are going away. Some tech trade pubs are folding. VAR Business just put out its last issue and will now be part of CRN.

If companies have marketing dollars, apparently they are looking for other places to spend them.

FOSE must reinvent itself if it is to survive. It would be great to have one big event that attracted the IT community (other than the Input holiday party), but it is going to take some radically new thinking.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Ted Stevens and the ANC Legacy

Robert Brodsky at Government Executive has a good story out on the probable future of ANCs. Go here
The ANC issue has to be dealt with and the SBA best get on its monitoring hat with similar programs.