Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 7, 2005 2:23 AM. The previous post in this blog was Back in action. The next post in this blog is Keeping busy. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Friday, January 7, 2005

Urlameme and me

Last year, I wrote a weekly newspaper column for a while. I had a relatively open-ended contract with the publication that ran it, but after three months or so I had to hang it up. Although I'm able to churn out line after line of random drivel on this blog, having to come up with something new and on-topic, right on cue every week, was tough. I gained a new respect for guys like Phil Stanford and the folks at Willamette Week who have to produce one or two columns of a specified length each week. It may look easy, but it quickly gets to be work.

As the time rolls around for me to draft another weekly post-for-hire about Marqui, the communications software company that's paying me and some other bloggers to write about it, I'm feeling just a tiny bit of that same pressure. Technically, all I've got to do to earn my weekly pay is to mention Marqui and link to its product demonstration -- which I've just done, so my contractual obligation for the week is fulfilled. But since they're shelling out bucks for this, I feel it's only right that I say something more.

You know, there ought to be a designated Muse for blogging. The Greeks had the nine mythological sisters who inspired all sorts of creative arts: Calliope for epic poetry, Terpsichore for dance, and so on. We bloggers need a modern descendant of those grand gals. But what would her name be? Urlameme? Instalanchia? Googilio? Let's work on that.

Meanwhile, I've been prowling through the Marqui site, scratching around for an angle. As best I can boil it down, they're tech managers of the written word, mostly for marketers. They have been operating out of Vancouver, B.C., and now they're moving down to Portland. Given their previous location, they list a number of clients in Canada, but they've got some here in the States as well.

What the heck, I'm thinking, why not take a look at some of the clients' sites?

BC Ferries is a cool one. British Columbia is full of beautiful waterways, and in a lot of places, the only sensible way to get around is by ferry. I remember many summers ago cruising around B.C. on the way back to Portland from Jasper, Alberta, and a couple of long ferry rides were among the highlights of the itinerary. Anyway, the ferry system now has a fairly sleek and tight website, including a news release archive that looks pretty active. There's some information there that might not mean much to you or me, but it could make or break somebody's day. For example, all you folks who are planning to ride on the Duke Point -- Tsawwassen route next week! A modified schedule will be in effect from Monday, January 10 through Thursday, January 13, 2005, while the regular vessel the Queen of Alberni is redeployed to the Departure Bay-Horseshoe Bay route. For this period, the slower Queen of Saanich will be the temporary replacement vessel. And the Queen of Saanich carries fewer overheight and commercial vehicles than the Queen of Alberni, so you might want to get there early if you're driving a big rig.

With that cleared up, I mosey over to see what's up with Friends of Canadian Broadcasting. This group is based in Toronto, and unlike the ferry outfit, it doesn't sport a Marqui logo or even mention Marqui on its site, as far as I can tell. But Marqui's got it listed as one of its clients.

Anyhow, Friends has also got an active site, including secure donation pages along with lots of news releases and links to reports about Canadian broadcasting issues. Did you know that Friends recently gave the president of the Canadian Broadcasting Company a C-minus grade on his last five years in office? They also run an essay contest every year on "the link between democratic values and the quality of the media in Canada." Man, can you imagine that kind of thing down here in the Lower 48? You'd get entries like "Rupert on Survivor: Jeffersonian or Hamiltonian?" and "Egalitarianism on Jerry Springer."

I get a good feeling from these sites. Part of it's because these seem like benign organizations, and part of it's because their sites are clean and work well, at least for a casual visitor like myself. Now to be honest, I'm not sure how much, if any, of the credit for that should go to Marqui. But it looks like they've got some good clients, at least.

(Note: I'll be mentioning Marqui at least once a week on this blog, at least through mid-March. As noted here, they're paying me to do it. My other Marqui posts are here and here. You no like Marqui posts? You no read.)

Comments (11)

This commentariat complies with a paperwork reduction act...

If you are reading this digitally, consider yourselves Instarquied... (smile)

Jack, I respect your desire to give your advertiser his money's worth. I would remind you, however, that while you're getting paid to write this, we're not getting paid to read it. :-)

Well said Mr. Roberts.

As I say, you no like, you no read. There will be a Marqui post once a week, probably on Thursday or Friday. The word Marqui will appear somewhere in the first few paragraphs.

Jack, don't turn sensitive on us. As a Republican, I admire entrepreneurial endeavors. Who knows, if you sell enough product placements on your blog, you may come to appreciate Bush's tax cuts.

Jack, what I really want to use this blog for is to make you the next governor.

Why? Oregon seems to be getting along just fine without one.

LOL. He almost missed his damn election party after barely showing for the campaign. I kinda knew that was a clue.

What a tough, depressing choice that was.

Hey Jack... since you're having trouble coming up with Marqui posts, I'll pose a topic for next week.

Armstrong Williams. Marqui. Compare/Contrast.

Thanks, I'll let you do the honors on that one.

You no like, you no read.

Hmmm.... 'Twas a legit question. I do think there are some contrasts that look favorably upon Marqui here. For starters, Marqui and its writers are fully disclosing what they're doing. Armstrong Williams did not. Secondly, Williams got paid with tax dollars - which is worse.

Another example that's bad, bad, bad comes from Mazda - who did a fake 'grassroots' blog and had to yank it under fire.

I may have my own opinions about all this Marqui business - but I'm more interested in exploring how this aspect of the whole blogging thing is going to work out.

Since you banned "snarky", I've tried to be less so - just trying to engage in an actual conversation about this blogging-for-money phenomenon.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Urlameme and me:

» Marqui "Pay Bloggers to Blog" update from Marc's Voice
Mamma is musing about it, Robin Good is bitching about it and Geek News has a recording of it. Folks are earning their money in the Marqui blogging program. And people are reacting - as well. When they have something to say - they say it. When they lik... [Read More]


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to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
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Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
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Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
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Conundrum, White 2013
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The Occasional Book

Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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