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PyroMarketing: The Four-Step Strategy to Ignite Customer Evangelists and Keep Them for Life
PyroMarketing: The Four-Step Strategy to Ignite Customer Evangelists and Keep Them for Life
by Greg Stielstra
Edition: Hardcover
65 used & new from $0.01

4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable principles, June 19, 2006
I found his metaphors and principles about fire, tinder, flame-fanning, etc. reasonable. I particularly appreciated his insistence on honesty and integrity (vs. puffery) in marketing. I am one of the many people who resent being mass-marketed to. I will *avoid* companies (and their products) that subject me to advertising -- the opposite of the effect intended. I like to reward businesses that have *not* polluted my life with advertising.

While the metaphors were provocative and useful, I got the sense that the book was padded. It seemed that the concepts could have been presented, in their entirety, in a short article. The concepts were repeated and/or rephrased many times, and some of the elaborations were more distracting than helpful. Of course, you can't sell an article -- even if its content is very worthwhile -- like you can sell "a book."

I also am wary of all of teaching intelligent design in public schools, Mel Gibson, and Rick Warren (if you want a Purpose-Driven life, you must literally buy Rick Warren's version, where Purpose-Driven is a registered trademark) -- there are strong implicit endorsements of all throughout the book.

I am further wary of the way in which some people do, or may be tempted, to "keep coals" because this can easily involve violations of privacy -- e.g., tracking your purchases. It's particularly disturbing if/when customers are not really aware, or fully informed, that their purchases are being tracked. Given his emphasis on integrity, I don't think Mr. Stielstra would endorse this, but, in practice, businesses do not work very hard to make customers aware that their habits are being tracked because customers would (rightfully) rebel. Examples include grocery store club cards (evil things, if you ask me, trading on manipulation) and internet cookies.


Mediterraneo
Mediterraneo
Price: $6.99
43 used & new from $3.90

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite music, January 27, 2006
This review is from: Mediterraneo (Audio CD)
(Should be 5 stars -- can't seem to edit the stars.) I was first exposed to this recording in a high school Spanish class. I was blown away. Through some difficulty, I eventually came to own the LP. My comprehension of the lyrics has faded, but my appreciation for the music has not. Serious ear candy. It's amazing stuff to these very American ears. Some of it has a "get under skin" quality that is especially pleasing. I recommend this CD to everyone, even if you don't know a lick of Spanish.


The New Dare to Discipline
The New Dare to Discipline
by James C. Dobson
Edition: Paperback
473 used & new from $0.01

36 of 60 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A recipe for poor mental health, January 23, 2006
Dobson's techniques promote what Alice Miller called "the vicious cycle of contempt" (see "The Drama of the Gifted Child"): If you treat a child meanly and unempathically, they will grow up to be mean and unempathic, or at least some combination of repressed, depressed, anxious, or susceptible to brainwashing. I have no doubt that Dobson's own parents were wildly insensitive people who had little true compassion for their child. (I suspect Dobson is so profoundly repressed that he will never feel his feelings about this.) I think Dobson' behavior as an author and media minister is one big act-out.

I don't think Dobson's advice is "all bad," but hitting and name-calling of your own children is a dreadful mistake. It's un-Christian and sinful.

I strongly recommend Aletha Solter's "Tears and Tantrums" and "The Aware Baby" as alternatives over this book.


Information Anxiety 2 (Hayden/Que)
Information Anxiety 2 (Hayden/Que)
by Richard Saul Wurman
Edition: Paperback
67 used & new from $0.01

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Risk of getting a headache here, January 9, 2006
If you want a kind of phone book full of thoughts and grousing and preaching on information and how to handle it, "Information Anxiety" is for you. But don't expect something you can actually "read like a book." A mishmash indeed, and disappointing. Wurman seems to project his own information anxiety onto the reader, assuming the reader suffers from it, when that may or may not be the case. I personally have no trouble passing up reading newspapers, magazines, websites, etc. I read what I want or need to read. If I don't read everything that I could possibly read, so what. Life goes on, and has other sources of fulfillment. In fact, maybe people like me are just not in his intended audience. I can see how his books might be valuable as a source of ideas for improving various communications. But, *very* ironically, the format he uses screws up what could have been much more useful material if it were organized better, and streamlined, and easier on the eyes. For the life of me, I don't understand why someone who wants to reduce information anxiety would put non-linear information (e.g., quotes) in the margins, so the reader doesn't know what to read first, and may easily lose his or her place. It's like he throws information at you compulsively and without restraint while telling you about the woes of being deluged with information. What's up with that?


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