Least Crowded Channel

A while back, Tom turned me on to some great interviews on Mixergy.com, and in particular an interview with Tim Ferris – the author of The 4-Hour Workweek. One of the many great ideas that came out of that interview (just go listen to it), was the idea of exploring and using the least crowded channel for communication. Tim figured out that if he wanted someone’s attention, the best way to do that was to use a channel of communication that wasn’t already crowded and noisy. For example, if you want to establish a relationship with an A-list blogger, the easiest way to actually get on their radar is not by sending them an email. These people are getting tons of email. Instead, Tim made a point of attending conferences where there were a more limited number of interactions.

Of course, that doesn’t just apply to people on the A-list, or even the B, C, or D-list. And it also isn’t just that face-to-face meetings are better. If you’re meeting people constantly in real life, but you have a new account on Twitter, maybe that is the best way to approach you. I wonder if that is/was part of the beauty of Twitter – especially at the beginning. There weren’t that many people on it, and so it was an uncrowded channel.

Today, I had my own little Least Crowded Channel experience. I’m online. There’s Twitter and email and Facebook, and a woman today took the time to find my phone number. Huh. It’s not exactly like a face-to-face meeting, but I get fewer phone calls than I get emails, so it worked. She wanted to submit a testimonial to YosemitePark.com about her family’s long-standing relationship with Yosemite to celebrate her parents’ 69th anniversary (they honeymooned in Yosemite in 1940). Today. And she called me at 4:30 as I was starting to think about winding down for the day. But, she had such a sweet and beautiful story, that I couldn’t resist. If she’d sent me an email – I may have skimmed it before I left. Maybe. But I’m sure I would not have felt as compelled to stay a little late to put her testimonial up today – much less give it front-page billing.


Other notes:

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Happy Easter from Vermont

The Lambert Family
The Lambert Family

So many things are going on. The next generation is getting ready to head to college, and our nephew is relocating (much to our delight) to our end of the continent for work. It’s such a good thing to be able to get everyone together for a not-so-quick family picture. The only person we missed was Tom’s sister, who got hit with migranes late last night and couldn’t make it down for the family photo.

The birthday/Easter celebration went incredibly well, and I met so many of Deny and Maria’s good friends – many people that I’ve been hearing stories of for a long time. Maria’s memory may not be as good as it once was, but it was clear that her friends are so important to her, and she wandered the room, with Deny’s help, saying hello to everyone. The Easter Buffet at the Trapp Family Lodge was exquisite, and there was plenty of options for vegetarians, and even the Celiac’s among us.

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Zappos legendary service as good as they say it is

Zappos. I’ve heard so much about their legendary service, and had a chance to experience it first hand today. The short version is that I bought a pair of boots there, that I’ve been dreaming about for years, and when I got them a zipper was broken. It was terribly sad, but you don’t find out about a company’s service until something goes wrong, and at that point Zappos transcended all my expectations.

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I just finished listening to Buyology by Martin Lindstrom yesterday morning while I was running on the treadmill. A decent book, but this kind of book is really better to read in a paper version so that it would be easier to flip back, and look through the interesting bits again. Having gotten to poke around a friend’s Kindle, in some ways *that* would be ideal – a place to take notes and write in the margins without actually having to write in the margins.

The most interesting part of the book, for me, was the concept of using fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to look inside the brain for activity in various regions, to gain some insight into the ways people are really responding to your input and how they will behave. Unfortunately for me, the science was ‘popularized’ for the book, and so I ended up having a lot of questions about methodology and the interpretation of results.

It’s a little sci-fi big-brother creepy to find out that in many cases looking directly at brain activity can be a better predictor of someone’s behavior than what that someone actually says they will do. But Martin suggests that by knowing how your brain responds to various inputs, will at least make you aware of the tricksy things that Marketers are trying to pull.

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Leaning In or Leaning Back

Seth Godin is my marketing hero. The author of a dozen or so books, including “The Dip” and “All Marketers are Liars”, Seth’s books and blog have been a constant source of insight and perspective since I first started looking into his stuff. One of the concepts I picked up out of the many ideas in his book, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, was this idea of leaning in or leaning back. It’s not even one of the big ideas in that book, but you never know where you’ll find something you can use.

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