Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

The idea that Microsoft, Intel, Google and IBM have banded together to figure out how to deal with the information overload they made—the glut of e-mail, instant messaging and cell phoning that we’re all drowning

With names like Eons, Rezoom, Multiply, Maya's Mom, Boomj and Boomertown, a host of new social-networking sites is seeking to capitalize on the growing spending power and computer savvy of aging baby boomers.

By Phil Minix, senior vice president of catalog and tours marketing at Reiman Publications Let's face it: We've gotten spoiled by the fact that we can count on our staffs to answer calls promptly, take phone orders efficiently, easily process Web orders, ship products to customers in a timely fashion and have the merchandise arrive in good condition. Since the processes often run so smoothly, we sometimes take them for granted. But should we? Here are six suggestions on things we could be doing — as an industry — to make customers' experiences more enjoyable and rewarding, and to ensure they

With Paul Barbagallo In June, freelance copywriter Robert Lerose was named "America's Greatest Thinker" after winning the 2004 Great American Think-Off competition in Minnesota. To enter, contestants submit a 750-word essay stating their position; four finalists are chosen, who then must argue their case in front of a live audience. This year's topic: "Should Same-Sex Marriages Be Prohibited?" Lerose was awarded the title and a check for $500. Lerose has scribed control packages for Institutional Investor, KCI Communications and Panel Publishers. He now pauses to reflect on his copywriting mentor, boring, product-centered copy and the lasting impression of Mother Jones. PB:

By Lois K. Geller And for direct marketers that means Real Honest A year ago, we all watched a ghastly tower of smoke and dust billow out of the site that was the World Trade Center. Not long after that, a lunatic started poisoning our mail with anthrax. The news then turned to a host of institutions that lied, cheated and stole from us. Last year, I wrote a column titled "Pinocchio Was Here" (Oct. 2001) about deception in direct mail. After the events of the last 12 months, and with the economy in the tank, I want to look at this

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