Paul and David this week discuss a few topics. First, the notion of automated phone attendants to provide outbound sales support is taking on new meaning when Paul’s got a call from Brian the fund-raiser. Turns out Brian wasn’t a real person, but it had Paul going for a couple of minutes with some very human-like interaction. We are reminded that some companies are making a solid business in this area, such as Conversica, which is bringing some interesting new artificial intelligence capabilities to sales support.
Next, perhaps it’s time to sharpen our use of language. Dictionary maker Merriam-Webster this week announced the addition of 1,000new words to its lexicon, including as NSFW and listicles. Sadly, older words like these are still in use:
What they all have in common is that they’re meaningless. These are the crutch words that marketers fall back upon when they don’t have facts in their favor. They often fill press releases and articles about innovative unique technologies (Hint!). Pundits have been advising against using these empty words for years, including David Meerman Scott with his Gobbledygook Index and Doc Searls with Buzzphraser. But bad habits die hard <*sigh*>.
David notes that the latest crop of domain name extensions is completely out of control. Given that the old standbys such as .com and .net are usually taken for the most common words, the Internet authorities now have dozens of new ones to choose from. For example, you now have domains that can end in .luxury, .bike, .clothing, .estate, .graphics and many, many more as shown in the screencap here from GoDaddy. However, this presents two issues: first, these newer extensions can be pricey, costing several hundreds of dollars per year for registration fees (and that is the retail price, not even considering what they could go for from brokers). Second, this makes it a lot harder for brands to know what to purchase, and it could up the ante if they are startups and have to purchase multiple names.
And speaking of domains this confusion has made it harder on security staffs to keep typo-squatted domains from infecting their networks. These are domains that look like the real domain, but are controlled by criminals or scammers. And the crooks are getting more clever: some now use Latin characters to make the domains more believable. Needless to say, the legit owners of these domains have filed legal disputes, claiming that users would be confused and at peril, given that the typo domains are used to distribute malware.
Paul will tell you that all of this negative news is overwhelmed by the victory of his hometown Patriots in the Super Bowl. He still hasn’t come down from the ceiling.