Move over, Emeril…

Sam the Cooking Guy
And meet Sam the Cooking Guy. We just heard the news that Sam Zien, one of the first folks to start using Emma back in the day, will be starring in his own cooking show every Thursday at 8 pm on the Discovery Health Channel. That's national television, people. We adore Sam for lots of reasons, but don't take our word for it. Here are his own:

"With no fancy equipment and by speaking English instead of ‘chef-speak,’ I’m sort of the everyman of television cooking. The show is shot right in my house â€" and I cook with my kids, dogs and neighbors occasionally around â€" just like we all do. There’s no fois gras…no white truffle oil, no ‘Peruvian mountain-raised squab in sesame-lime-soy marinade stuffed with braised forest turnips and wild inoki mushrooms in a hand pressed plum and raspberry glaze.’ I’m just a regular guy, using regular words showing how to cook easy, great food."

And to that, we simply say, "Yum." And also maybe "Nice goin', Sam." Watch back-to-back episodes of Just Cook This every Thursday at 8 pm. And get to know Sam by signing up for his (stylish!) email newsletter and visiting his site.
[tags]sam the cooking guy, sam zien, just cook this, email newsletter, myemma.com[/tags]

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Call it email. Just don’t call it a newsletter.

Eat My Words
Earlier this month, the folks at Eat My Words, a San Francisco-based naming firm, were kind enough to send us a copy of their very first Emma campaign. I said campaign, mind you, not newsletter. "The second you call it a newsletter, people are like, 'Yikes, I'm on a list,'" says co-founder Alexandra Watkins. "People don't need our services every day, so we need to constantly stay on their radar. The trick is not to be annoying or sound canned … we have to stay true to our brand, which is very playful. Email marketing allows us to entertain, educate and engage our audience."

Alexandra is not ashamed to admit that the goal of this first non-newsletter was to brag a little bit about landing Frito-Lay as a client. They approached the news with their playful brand in mind, beginning the article “As vending machine junkies…” and keeping the light-hearted tone for their other features (including “What Not to Name Your Company”). And when the numbers came in, it was clear that their lighthearted un-newslettery approach had worked. 86% of the people who clicked *any* link on their campaign chose to click the site link at the very bottom of the email.

That shows the gals at Eat My Words that the folks on their list aren't just opening and reading their campaigns – they're reading all the way through. And it shows the *rest* of us that people really do take the time to read an entire email from someone they know and trust. It just takes a little time and discipline to pick meaningful content and stay true to your brand when you present it.

[tags]eat my words, frito lay, email marketing, newsletter tips, myemma.com[/tags]

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10 favorite quotes about BarCamp Nashville

This past Saturday, members of Nashville's New Media community gathered at the Exit/In for 12 hours of speaker sessions, networking, drinking, and fun (presented in part by Emma). I could write a long summary, but I think breaking it down to the best quotes is the way to go. So, without further ado, here are our top ten favorite quotes about BarCamp Nashville (in no specific order):

1. "Barcamp Nashville is a bunch of folk guitarists that tend bar on the side who are going to sleep under the stars in their $300,000 RVs and sing cowboy songs around the propane log fire." – Going Like 60
2. "The entire day had the trappings of a Nashville entertainment event right down to the venue. Each city's barcamp needs to have its own flavor. And there was an unmistakable Nash-Vegas flavor at this one." – Shotgun Concepts
3. "I really only caught the beginning and end, because, let's face it – I have other things I'd rather do on a Saturday than hang out with a bunch of web nerds." – Selling Albums in a Singles World
4. "I'd love to have my product on Oprah. I'm working on that now." – Viva La Lesley
5. "A great coming together of minds and ideas." – Super Wonder Bang
6. "Learned some cool stuff about Google… more than I probably wanted to know, but I'll be sure taking advantage of Google a bit more." – Gavoweb
7. "Good Stuff – Good People – Right here in Nashville!" – WonderDawg
8. "Man it is hot in here…" – Brian Bruijn
9. "The BarCamp Nashville conversation needs to continue into the afterlife of BarCamp." – Music City Bloggers
10. "It just goes to show that for all the progress and connectivity of 'web 2.0′ — people still want a personal connection." – Shotgun Concepts

[tags]Going Like 60, Shotgun Concepts, Selling Albums in a Singles World, Viva La Lesley, Super Wonder Bang, Gavoweb, WonderDawg, Brian Bruijn, Music City Bloggers, BarCamp Nashville, barcampnashville, myemma.com[/tags]

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Response’s New Look

We've given the Response section an interface makeover, with a dashboard-style view that shows you what's sending, archived, triggered and more – all at a glance. Move that bus!

Much like the changes we made to Campaigns earlier this year, these interface tweaks will show you more at a glance and make past send-offs easier to find – with all those response details still just a click away. You'll also notice that the list of your active triggers, once housed in Campaigns, now lives here in Response. Plus, you can now differentiate between your active triggers at the top of the page and your closed triggers in the 'triggers' tab. The new icon on the left side of the screen still makes it easy to compare results of multiple campaigns (and delete the ones you no longer need). Let us know what you think, compadre…

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OSCON 2007

Last week, we headed to Portland for the Open Source Convention, lovingly known as OSCON, where thousands of open source software developers, system administrators and technology lovers from around the globe came to bask in the glory of unadulterated geek-speak. Naturally we had to gather our laptops and pocket protectors to be front-and-center at this event, since the promotion and development of open source is a subject dear to our heart. For those new to the phrase, open source promotes community involvement when building products, believing that collaboration and openness to review leads to the highest quality and most flexibility. We heartily agree, making this event high on our must-do list in '07.

We spent a lot of time enjoying the information exchange and general company of core PostgreSQL and PHP developers (those two technologies comprising Emma's database and the language her brain is written in, respectively). Erik Jones contributed his support by helping with the PostgreSQL table at the convention center – a booth that earned the unofficial distinction of having the most knowledgeable "army of nerds" in the exhibit hall (considering the crowd, that's quite a compliment). The conference sessions were a delicious (yes, delicious) array of topics on exciting new tools and technologies, and we've already felt the benefit of bringing them back home to Emma.

I also can't help but share my newfound love for Portland itself, and we explored the neighborhoods and parks using their excellent public transportation system until our cameras and feet simply couldn't take any more. From the pearl district to the famous Rose Test Gardens, we were completely charmed by the city and its culture. Portland, if it were possible to deck you in medals of awesomeness, we would do it.

In summary – new friends, new inspiration, and more pictures of roses than we've ever taken in our lives.

[tags]oscon, oscon2007, portland, postgresql, php, myemma.com[/tags]

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After Midnight…

This article in the Baltimore Sun talks about the increasing number of retailers who are sending special email promotions in the wee hours of the night, hoping to catch night owls and insomniacs in front of their computers. Companies like Dick's Sporting Goods, Sears and Kohl's are sending email campaigns featuring offers that are good for that night only. The overnight tactic is a relatively untested one, but I like the idea of making an offer time-sensitive. It creates a sense of urgency to respond *right now* to the email you're sending – no matter what time of day it is.

Anybody out there burning the midnight email oil and care to share your experience?

[tags]myemma.com, email marketing, online shopping, dick's sporting goods, sears, kohl's[/tags]

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Our Neighborhood Heroes

George, the Barista Hero
Medals

In our neck of Nashville – affectionately known as Hillsboro Village – we've gotten to know the friendly staff at Fido, a coffee shop down the street. Always keeping our coffee cups filled and our sweet tooths satisfied, they never fail to greet us with a smile (well, there was that one time…but let's say that smiling and scalding soy milk don't always mix).

So I can't say we were surprised when the staff at Fido apprehended (or, more accurately, physically tackled) an alleged thief yesterday afternoon, putting their barista duties aside to take down a man accused of stealing laptops and the like from other coffee shops around Nashville. And a few of us just happened to be there getting coffee and saw it all go down.

For their bravery, we salute these everyday heroes. And when we say "salute," we mean we decked each man of courage out with his very own Emma medal. Um, yes, we have company medals.

So today, when you pick up your grande skinny sugar-free vanilla latte with an extra shot of espresso, take a moment to say thanks to your local brewer. You never know what evil they're averting in your neighborhood.

[tags]myemma.com, fido, emma medals[/tags]

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