Wednesday, June 12, 2024


One of the things that sucks about the World Wide Web, as I have written so many times before, is that it was created as a dumpster of information, not a library.

During the first of my two stints at Schmogilvy on IBM which lasted from 1999 to 2004, I tried to bring some editorial "reason why," to IBM's dot com. The phrase I was fighting against was this, a phrase I coined and repeated. "The IBM website has 4.5 million pages, that's 20,000 225-page books, and you can't find the same thing twice." 

My plan was to work to make business' and technology's "first-read" every day. Like the stock pages and the Wall Street Journal are Goldman-Sach's first read, the Racing Form is Nicely Nicely's first read, and Advertising Age used to be the ad industry's first read, back when it was an industry and people could actually read.

Of course, making something a "first-read" requires money. Money for good writers, good designers, good editorial people. But IBM was unwilling to spend, say, $100,000/month promoting something they were spending $1,000,000 sustaining.

There's no Dewey decimal system for the online world. Finding things when you need them is hard. It's contingent on your own organizational abilities, your memory, and sheer luck. Search engines like Google (which I believe has about 93-percent marketshare) have been sold to the highest bidder. Type in something precise and you're likely to get something, instead, wholly off-base that someone paid for a chance to sell you. Perplexity, the AI-enhanced search engine, ain't much better. They all remind me of trying to get someplace with nothing but the Joan Blaue's "Atlas Maior of 1665," to guide you.

It's all nice to look at, and maybe interesting, but it ain't no road-map.

Through my decades as an advertising person, and my decades before that as an academic, I've done a good amount of work and spent a lot of time training my prodigious memory. 

I've found it helps to store things.


Especially if you've developed a system that can help you find those things with greater than fifty-percent accuracy. (Serendipity is not to be discounted, it's also part of finding things.) 

Through those long years, the hard-drive on my personal Mac computer has expanded along with my waistline. I always max out the storage my Macs--because I want the things I save and need and reference to be near at hand.

I've looked at clouds from both sides now. I prefer filing cabinets.

I feel my ability to store and recall--the basic functions of human and computer intelligence--are part of my competitive advantage in a world with so many people willing to charge less than I do but who are invariably cooler and more glib, too.

I wish I had the ability to organize like my long-ago and now-and-then partner Sid has. His Pinterest page is worth decades of acumen and millions of dollars.

Below, for your whatever, a bunch of my favorite commercials through the years. I have thousands catalogued on various hard drives. That's all just the tip of the arugula. 

Storing things I like and feel I can learn from works for me. When my mind is stuck I have things to help get it out of a ditch. 

Besides, I don't know any other way. 


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