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The Hall of Stupid High-Tech PR

Amazingly Stupid PR Release from 8e6 Technologies

8e6 Technologies Cautions Companies of Employee Obsession With Online News

Several Online News Services Become Available as the
Country is at the Brink of War

ORANGE, CA - 03/17/2003 - 8e6 Technologies, a leader in enterprise level Internet Filtering and Reporting, cautions companies that current national events may lead to a workplace productivity slowdown due to employee obsession with news on the Internet.

The company calls attention to a number of new subscription services offering live and archived video on the Internet. Last week ABC News launched a service called “ABC News Live” which is focused on breaking news and live events. Yahoo introduced its premium online video service “Yahoo Platinum” earlier this week. CNN also has a subscription service called “CNN NewsPass.”

“The customers of these services are obviously looking for updated video news while they are away from their televisions,” said Eric Lundbohm, Vice President of Marketing for 8e6 Technologies. “That means they will largely being using them at the office on their company’s computers and Internet line, producing additional amounts of traffic and load on the company’s network bandwidth.”

Online news sites, always a popular Internet destination, have grown substantially over the past year. According to Nielsen//NetRatings, visitors to Internet news sites grew more than 20% over the past year, from 67.5 million in January of 2002 to 82 million this past January. This can cause a problem for companies trying to keep their employees focused on their work.

“Internet news is an attractive, always-available alternative while at your desk,” said 8e6’s Lundbohm. “All companies that have employees with Internet access should have an “Acceptable Use Policy” or “AUP” in place that is communicated to employees, along with a robust monitoring tool that lets management know where and when things have gotten out of hand.”

The seemingly inevitable war in Iraq will likely increase employee’s inclination to focus on constant news updates. However, as 8e6 points out, all news is not created equal in the potential effect on company resources.

“It’s one thing to check the Yahoo headlines to see if war has broken out,” Lundbohm added. “It’s totally different and a potentially huge drain on company resources to be watching the war live through an online video feed.”

About 8e6 Technologies

8e6 Technologies is a privately held software and hardware developer, specializing in Internet Filtering and Reporting (IFR) solutions for thousands of businesses, ISPs and schools throughout the world. Located in Orange, California, the company assists clients in managing the impact of the Internet on employee productivity, legal liability and network resources, through flexible, accurate and high speed filtering of Internet content. For more information visit: www.8e6.com.

Contact for media and analysts:

Eric Lundbohm
8e6 Technologies
Phone: 714-282-6111 ext. 161
E-mail address: elundbohm@8e6.com

That’s the ticket! While America’s sons and daughters bleed and die on distant battlefields we need America’s Geeks to insure we don’t worry our little heads too much about it. We suspect Eric is consulting with the same media group helping Saddam Hussein win friends and influence people!

Exhibit of Crocodilian Intelligence
by Cooler Stubbies

We need to set the stage for this exhibit. As some of you may know, we maintain www.SoftwareMarketSolution.com, a free site that contains a directory of resources for software and high-tech marketers, articles and other resources. We send a weekly newsletter out to subscribers informing them of new links and articles on the site. An entry in the directories is free; all we require is that a member of the company join the SoftwareMarketSolution Weekly mailing list.

In April we received the following E-mail from an Australian company called “Cooler Stubbies”:

We came across your website while searching for related pages. If at all possible, we would really appreciate a link from your website, possibly this page http//www.softwaremarketsolution.com/software_salespromotions_pg.htm. Our website is directly related to the other websites listed on that page. Here is the information for the link:

Title: Cooler Stubbies Drink Holders
URL: http//www.coolerstubbies.com
Description: Supplying a range of stylish and innovative drink coolers which make fantastic promotional items.

Kind Regards,
Mike Akerman
(Project Manager)

Here is our standard reply to a link request (we send this after visiting the site to determine that this is a legitimate business):

Hi, Mike. We require a member of your company to join our mail list before adding your company to the directory. Once they have, send us a brief blurb about your company and contact info and you will be added to the directory. Also, if you have a resources or link section, we request a reciprocal link to www.softwaremarketsolution.com.

Here is Mike’s reply:

We already offered to add your site to our links page, however, if you would like us to join your spam list plus add a link to your site plus send you our linkage info for a third time plus waste more of our time plus lick your anus, please disregard our request.

Kind Regards,
Mike Akerman
(Project Manager)

Now, we enjoy a nice anus licking as much as the next person and feel Mike is just the guy to administer one, but still. This does seem a bit harsh. And considering where Cooler Stubbies representatives appear to like to place their mouths, we don’t recommend purchasing any food handling implements from the company!

This is a classic example of what happens when you entrust your marketing communications to someone clearly unfit for the task. Remember. In the age of the web, crude and stupid behavior tends to be “persistent” and more likely to stick around to hurt your company’s image. For over two years, when you typed in "Cooler Stubbies” this page was held a top 10 ranking.

G’day, Mate!

The Dalai Lama. He doesn't use hosted CRM software
The Dalai Lama.
He doesn't use hosted CRM software

Holy Silliness from Salesforce.com0

In Search of Stupidity describes in chapter six, The Idiot Piper: IBM and OS/2, how IBM’s trespass on Paramount’s Star Trek copyrights led to the disastrous OS/2 Warp advertising campaign. Salesforce.com repeated history in its own right when it decided to create a series of posters that included the image of the Dalai Lama, who, to the best of our knowledge, does not currently use hosted sales automation software. The poster’s caption read “ There is no software on the path to enlightenment.”

The Dalai Lama was reportedly not amused by a campaign that used his likeness to give an implied commercial endorsement, and when rumors reached Salesforce.com that the Tibetan holy man had retired to a mountain retreat and was praying that the company’s marketing group be reincarnated as earthworms, Salesforce.com promptly capitulated. The posters were recalled and destroyed, company president Marc Benioff publicly apologized, and hopefully Salesforce.com’s marketing personnel will enter the next cycle of existence in the form of creatures whose principal diet does not consist of forest refuse.

Now, the next time some genius in your marketing group thinks it’s clever to have, for instance, the Pope endorse your business intelligence package (Only Someone Who Talks to Him Will Know More About Your company), you’ll know better.

HP Threatens to Hunt Down PDA Enthusiasts and Sue Them

When Jeff Tarter of Soft*Letter sent us this information, we temporarily suffered a flashback wherein we hallucinated that it was still 1988, we were back at Ashton-Tate, and Ed Esber was in the process of enraging every last dBase developer on the planet.

For several years HP has been running what they call an “enthusiasts” program wherein PDA fans get advanced looks at forthcoming models. In return for early access to the systems, program participants sign an NDA promising not to post up info about the new units on their web sites, blab details to the press, etc. The program makes for all concerned. HP gets to build early buzz for its products and obtain feedback from expert users on potential problems. The enthusiasts get to play with their favorite toys before anyone else and enjoy that special geek frisson you can only obtain by being on the inside.

Of course, when you’ve got a good thing going, the only thing left to do is make a complete mess of it by sending a nasty, lawyer-rattling E-mail to your enthusiasts demanding that not only do they not discuss pre-released versions of your product, but insisting that they run around deleting posts on their web boards from other people discussing rumors and leaked information on HP products. Of course, HP’s marketing group should be on its knees thanking the Gods that anyone is interested enough to gossip about a handheld PC.

The results of this stupid behavior? Several of the most prominent HP enthusiast sites told HP to go pound sand.

You can read more about this classic bit of PR stupidity at http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/articles.php?action=expand,

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