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November 02, 2004


Max Blumberg

I appreciate Bob taking the time to discuss this topic here:

Bob Bly

David St. Lawrence should be more careful about stating facts without checking. For instance, he says:

"Bob Bly may be able to avoid being labelled a hopeless dinosaur if he changes his operating basis, but he faces a rapidly dwindling client base unless he takes immediate steps."

My client base and volume of business is larger than ever, and much of it is online marketing -- landing pages, microsites, e-mail marketing, online conversion, and online ads ... much of it very successful. One landing page generated a thousand subscriptions for a $400 a year service in 7 days....another produced conversion rates as high as 17% ....

David St Lawrence

Bob Bly claims on his web site that he is:
an independent copywriter and consultant with 25 years experience in business-to-business, high-tech, industrial, and direct marketing. I am sure that he has been successful or he would not have fallen into the trap of ignoring oncoming technology.

It appears that he made it on to the internet and stopped there. He made it through one paradigm shift (the web), but wasn't able to make the cut on the next paradigm shift (weblogs). There is a long history of people who became successful in a particular set of circumstances and couldn't come to grips with the next level of development.

His article sounds very much like the hilarious statements made by so many experts like Thomas Watson, Thomas Edison, and H M Warner, who did not realize that their game is over. I wrote a post on this phenomena some time ago: Yesterday's Experts - woefully out of touch

I have 47 years of high tech experience under my belt and the one constant I observed was that there is no plateau where one could sit contented in the knowledge that everything was going to continue smoothly.

Bob Bly may be able to avoid being labelled a hopeless dinosaur if he changes his operating basis, but he faces a rapidly dwindling client base unless he takes immediate steps.

Bob Cargill


The great respect I have always had for Robert Bly -- as a fellow direct marketer -- is exceeded only by how surprised I was to learn how little he thinks of blogs.

Of all people, such a successful, prolific copywriter and author as he would be one of the first I would expect to have a presence in the so-called blogosphere. Without a doubt, his wealth of knowledge would lend itself well to this powerful publishing tool. Don't you agree?

If most blogs he has encountered are “rambling, streams-of-consciousness musings about a topic of interest to the author, largely bereft of the practical, pithy tips that e-zines, Web sites and white papers offer,” (as he wrote in this DM NEWS column), then he obviously hasn’t seen yours.

Bob Cargill
Senior Creative Director
Yellowfin Direct Marketing
Boston, MA

Paul Chaney

I also rebuffed Bob in this post:

Sometime ago, I had asked him why he wasn't blogging. He emailed me with much the same response as he included in his article. In fact, let me quote his response, "To be frank, I don't get the whole blogging thing, never read them, so probably won't start one. But if you check my Articles page on and subscribe to my e-zine on the home page, you'll always have new content from me...."

Bob did add he felt he needed to get educated on blogs.

While I hold Bob in highest esteem, after reading his article, I STILL feel he needs to get educated on them.

Yvonne DiVita

I had a nice conversation with Robert...he's off the mark and nothing I said could convince him otherwise, but he was being honest and as open as we expect bloggers to, I will cut him some slack. That said, let's all get out there and show him what's what. I say blogging will begin to produce huge profits for the right folks, in short order. That means good content, attention to the readers, and authenticity...which will attract advertising and help market products and services. We'll show'em!


This poor guy's article is getting annihilated by every prominent business/marketing blog out there. I think he'll be carefully investigating his topic next time around.

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