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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bravo IM2 Broadband 3.5G

Dengan bermodalkan pinjaman alat router ZTE MF 608 dari one of my best friend, saya mencoba jaringan IM2 utk koneksi Internet dengan 3.5G. Saya coba di kantor (Jakarta Pusat), luar biasa kecepatannya.

Kemudian pada malam hari, saya bawa ke rumah, di Bekasi, dan kembali hasil ping: 336ms, download: 364Kbps, upload: 293kbps.

Dengan biaya Rp.999.000 per bulan, ini benar2 hal yang menjanjikan utk project office yang mobile. Dan terpikir sudah oleh saya, beberapa hal yang dapat digunakan untuk menggunakan bandwidth ini. Tinggal apakah IM2 siap utk ini.

Bravo IM2!

Monday, December 22, 2008

10 Advertising Words to Avoid in 2009

Editor: Zoe Zhang
22 Dec 2008 09:44:57 GMT

Shun meaningless words like "a lot" and "guarantee" in your copy. It'll help you out a lot--we guarantee it.

The economy, unemployment, companies folding, people losing their homes--2008 has left consumers wary of businesses. And that lack of consumer confidence requires straightforward, honest advertising messages to regain marketplace security. In 2009, perhaps more than ever, the words you use in your copywriting can determine whether you make a sale or lose a customer.

Here are 10 words to avoid in your 2009 copywriting.

Ads that include messages about a free product or service promotions can work well during an economic downturn, but consumers need to see the products perform well. E-mail spam filters are tough on messages that include "free" in the subject line. While it might be tempting to use a subject line that says, "Open now to get your free widget," that's an e-mail spam filter red flag that will send your message to most recipients' spam boxes. When the economy is tough, you can't risk having your e-mails not make it to the intended recipients. Replace "free" with "complimentary" or "gratis" to sneak by spam filters without compromising the effectiveness of your message.

Few people believe in guarantees these days. Unless you can prove your guarantee is real, use the valuable real estate space in your ad for a more effective message that consumers are likely to believe and act on.

If you want to waste space in your ads, include "really" in your copy. This word does nothing to help your messages. Instead, it slows consumers down, and they are not likely to wait around for the complete message. Don't risk losing them by loading your copy with useless filler words. Make sure every word in your copy is there for a reason.

Does a message sound more compelling with "very" in it? Is "When you need very fresh flowers, call ABC Florist," more effective than "When you need fresh flowers, call ABC Florist"? If you answered, yes, reread the last paragraph.

Once you finish writing copy for your ad or marketing piece, reread it and make note of every time you use "that" in your copy. Chances are, you can delete 90 percent of them because "that" is a filler word that doesn't advance the consumer through the message. Instead, it slows down time-strapped consumers. Deliver the messages your audience is likely to respond to, and deliver them quickly.

A Lot
Don't use vague copy with words like "a lot" that do nothing to differentiate your business from your competitors. Instead, quantify your messages. If you offer 20 varieties of roses in your flower shop, say so. If you respond to customer service calls within five minutes, tell people. Which is more compelling: "You can choose from a lot of shoe styles at Sally's Shoe Boutique" or "You can choose from more than 100 shoe styles at Sally's Shoe Boutique?" No doubt, "100 shoe styles" is more intriguing than "a lot of shoe styles". A lot can mean different things to different people. Don't leave room for guesswork in your copy. Make your messages extremely clear with no room for confusion.

You're not helping anyone when you offer "opportunities" in your copy. Consumers don't want opportunities. They want to feel confident handing over their hard-earned money. They want to know they'll get the results they want and need, not the opportunity to perhaps get those results. Don't let them wonder what they'll get when they pull out their wallets. Tell them.

To Be (or Not To Be, For That Matter)
Write your advertising and marketing messages in the active voice, not the passive voice. If any form of "to be," "has been" or anything similar appears in your copy, rewrite it. Writing in the passive voice doesn't command action. Writing in the active voice does.

This overused piece of jargon has had a long life, but it's time to move on. Leave jargon and 10-dollar words out of your advertising messages. There's no room in copywriting for buzz words and words that consumers need a dictionary to understand. Consumers don't care about your "unique value proposition." They care that when they pay for your product or service, it will deliver the results they expect. Naturally, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as B2B copywriting, where jargon might be expected. In most copywriting, however, keep it simple.

Budweiser is already using "drinkability" in its ads. Seriously though, the point is valid--don't copy your competition. Instead, differentiate your product and business with unique copy and messages that your target audience is likely to respond to.
The rules of successful copywriting don't change from one year to the next, but as the marketplace and environment change, so must your messages. Use the list above as a guideline to writing great advertising copy in 2009.

Susan Gunelius has more than 15 years of marketing and copywriting experience working for some of the largest companies in the world. Gunelius is the president and CEO of KeySplash Creative Inc., a marketing communications company offering writing and copywriting services, and marketing and branding consulting. She is also a published author, and her latest book, Kick-Ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps, is now available from Entrepreneur Press.

Global economic downturn is picking up speed

Editor: Sharon Li
22 Dec 2008 07:01:16 GMT

By William L. Watts & Greg Robb

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The global economic downturn is gathering speed in Europe, Asia and the United States and while there is talk of a recovery in the second half of the year, it is far from a certainty, economists say.

The pace of the slowdown in China has come as a surprise to economists. The downturn in the European Union is now expected to hit all countries, not just the smaller countries like Spain, Italy and Greece.

And the United States seems set for the longest recession in the post-war era.

Most models see some pickup beginning after June. But the environment is not easy to forecast.

"The central fact is I don't think anyone knows how this will play out," said Martin Bailey, a former economic adviser to President Bill Clinton and now an analyst at the Brookings Institution.

Most annual forecasts are "notoriously wrong," said Steve Ricchiuto, chief economist at Mizuho Securities in New York.

Ricchiuto and other economists say that it will not be until May that it is clear whether there will be a rebound in calendar year 2009.

Simon Johnson, former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund and now a professor at MIT, is one economist with major doubts about a quick turnaround.

Instead of a V-shaped recovery, Johnson predicts it will look more like a "bathtub," with slippery sides that will be impossible for the global economy to climb.

There is a global pullback by investors underway, where the public wants to save more.

Governments around the world are stepping into the breach with stimulus plans, but because they didn't save during the summer days of the expansion, they don't have enough fiscal power to provide the necessary stimulus, Johnson said.

President Obama's economic stimulus plan is likely to top $775 billion, according to the latest media reports.

The British and French are proposing to spend between 0.5% and 1.5% of GDP, which is "inadequate," Johnson said.

And Germany is dragging its feet, which could damage the synchronized attempts to increase savings.

"It is a dangerous new world," Johnson said.


Recent business confidence surveys and activity gauges, including closely-watched purchasing mangers indexes for the manufacturing and services sectors, point to a deepening recession in the fourth quarter of this year across Europe. After contracting 0.2% in the second and third quarters, euro-zone GDP could fall by 0.6% or more in the final three months of the year, economists said. See full story.

"The basic theme there is that the short-term business surveys are dire," said Brian Hilliard, head of economic research at Societe Generale. "Output is really collapsing and fourth-quarter (euro-zone) GDP could fall 1% and the perspective is little better for the first quarter of next year.

"I think that's going to make itself evident in business investment in the euro zone as well, so that's going to do a lot of damage through the rest of next year," he said.

The downturn hasn't only hammered countries, such as Ireland and Spain that have echoed U.S. housing woes. It's also hit more robust economies, even sending European powerhouse Germany into a recession of its own, noted Jonathan Loynes, chief European economist at Capital Economics in London. The firm predicts euro-zone GDP will contract by 1% in 2009.

Deutsche Bank predicts that a steep near-term fall will make for a 2.5% contraction in GDP in 2009, marking the 15-nation region's worst recession since World War II. Growth will rebound in 2010, but the recovery will be more tepid than in normal recoveries, said economist Mark Wall, in part due to a lack of a coordinated policy response across the region.

Despite qualms, the European Central Bank will likely have little choice but to drop its key interest rate below 2% for the first time in its decade-long history, economists predict. The central bank has slashed its key rate from 4.25% to 2.5% in a series of rate cuts that began in October.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier this week said Germany would decide on a second fiscal-stimulus plan in January. Merkel has resisted calls by other European leaders to significantly boost public spending in the euro-zone's largest economy. Germany's current plan would boost spending by 31 billion euros over the next two years.

As for Great Britain, ideas the Bank of England will have little choice but to join the Fed in exploring the zero bound on interest rates have sent the pound tumbling to all-time lows versus the euro.

An aggressive round of rate cuts by the Monetary Policy Committee since October has dropped the BOE's key lending rate from 5% to 2% -- matching the all-time low since the bank's founding in 1694. Another big cut is expected next month.

"With the risks of a deep and protracted recession rising, we expect the MPC to cut rates to 1% next year. Unorthodox policy measures similar to those already in train in the U.S. will probably follow," wrote economists at Royal Bank of Scotland.

Forecasters see Britain, saddled with a burst housing bubble and outsized exposure to the troubled banking sector, bearing the worst of the global downturn. The British government was the first to effectively part-nationalize its troubled banking system and has implemented a controversial 20 billion pound fiscal stimulus package.

GDP is now likely to contract by at least 1% in the fourth quarter, Loynes said, setting the stage for a contraction of around 2.5% in 2009.

Societe Generale's Hilliard sees a 1.5% 2009 contraction.

The economy will likely begin to show some signs of life in the second half of next year as lending conditions finally begin to stabilize, Hilliard said.


Although the U.S. has been in a recession in last December, it feels like it has gained strength in recent weeks, economists said.

Fourth quarter growth in expected to be below negative 6% rate in the final three months of the year, and the first three months of 2009 look almost as bad.

The rough consensus sees flat growth in the third quarter and some form of growth in the final quarter.

Bailey, the former top economist for Clinton, sees a 20% chance of an upside surprise in growth in the second half of the year if things start to bottom.

Nothing Obama will do will stop the two negative quarters. But he may instill some confidence to lead to a turnaround.

However, there is a 30% to 40% chance that the economy stays in recession through the entire year, with the unemployment rate rising above 10%, Bailey said.

But some economists are optimistic about a rebound.

Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors, said that U.S. businesses are reacting quickly to the downturn and will be in better shape for a rebound after the first quarter.

"Businesses are reacting so quickly they are not going to need to keep cutting back, which is what typically keeps recessions going longer," Naroff said.

For Ricchiuto of Mizuho Securities, the biggest test will come quickly next year when the market will expect the Fed to follow up on its promise to keep printing money.

"Are they (the Fed) ready to walk the walk after they've talked the talk," he asked.

Spreads on many debt classes have come down dramatically in the wake of the Fed decision earlier this week.

"The Fed now has to validate or markets could get nasty," he said.

Overall, Ricchiuto is skeptical of any outlook.

The recent market declines have been so severe that there has been a permanent shift.

"People in their 40s now think they are going to have to work until they're 80," he said.

"Twenty years of savings have been wiped out. We can't assume the world is going back to normal.


Experts painted a grim picture for the Asian region in 2009.

"Asia is not doing well at all," said Son Won Sohn, an economist at the Martin Smith School of Business at California State University, Channel Islands.

"Decoupling, which looked for a while like it was going to work -- turned out to be a myth."

Japan is mired in a recession, South Korea will be lucky to reach 2% growth this year and Chinese growth could fall below 6%.

The downturn in global trade has just begun to have a negative impact on China's economy, but it is pressure that will last for most of 2009, according to Brad Setser, an expert on China at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York.

"The latest data for November was off-the-charts bad," Setser said.

In addition, China's own domestic cycle looks to have turned, he said.

"The pace of the downturn has been a little bit of a surprise," he said.

Global threats

Economists remain very worried about protectionism.

Despite pledges by the G-20 last month to cooperate and avoid protectionism, trade analysts see signs that the opposite may be occurring.

If China moves to protect its export sector, it will likely set off a hostile reaction in the U.S. Congress.

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