email-symbols Internet Marketing

Tracy Beach 13 Nov, 2014

Symbols in subject lines, AKA the resurrection of Wingdings

I’ve worked at Portent for 14 years now and this is my first blog post. You might ask yourself, “why now?” “Why does he start with this subject?” The answer is that nothing in the past 14-plus years has been more exciting, more inspiring, and maybe even more important than the recent technological advancements that have allowed us… Read More

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Ian Lurie 23 Oct, 2014

How to: Hand off a task

Ah, the handoff. Passing a task along to a co-worker seems simple: Send a quick e-mail, or say, “OK, all yours” and you’re done. Wrong. That’s the kind of handoff that sends everything swirling down the potty. There’s a right way to do handoffs. I did a SlideShare about how I approach handoffs. Have a… Read More

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Ian Lurie 22 Sep, 2014

One-Trick Ponies: The ebook

You’ve heard me rant about strategy vs. tactics, and why tactics-only business relationships are getting marketing agencies fired. I’ve realized it’s a much bigger problem than that. If you look at the last 15 years, the drive to ‘productize’ services has ripped the guts out of any business that is paid for an individual’s craft… Read More

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Ian Lurie 10 Sep, 2014

Portent’s Ice Bucket Challenge: Spread the Wealth!

We got challenged! Some colleagues challenged Portent in the Ice Bucket challenge. Here’s the video: We changed it up. Here’s why: ALSA has now raised $111 million. That is freaking fantastic. It’s a great cause. 5,000-6,000 people are diagnosed with ALS each year, impacting tens of thousands of people. 30,000 or more Americans live with… Read More

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Ian Lurie 28 Jul, 2014

Net Neutrality: It’s more than streaming video

This is a broader, hand-waving bit about Net Neutrality. If you want to see how it might affect small businesses, and what you can do to mitigate the problem, read Josh Patrice’s post. The debate about Net Neutrality isn’t as clear-cut as some would have you think. Here’s how Tim Wu defined it back in… Read More

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Ian Lurie 18 Jul, 2014

Yep. I’m back.

Shortest. Career change. Ever. I’m back as CEO of Portent after six months as Chairman and Principal Consultant. I’m damned happy about it, too. Here’s why: We hit our goals. Steve came on board to get our business house in order. Frankly, I suck at that. Steve is great at it. He got it done.… Read More

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Ian Lurie 7 Jul, 2014

Presentation Horrors: Don’t Do These Things

I’ve done some pretty awful presentations in my career. Here, I’ve pulled them all into a single, truly horrifying ‘ultimate’ slide deck. First, I pull them all together. Then I do the same presentation again, with annotations explaining where I goofed and how to avoid it.

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Ian Lurie 5 Jun, 2014

10 Lessons After 19 Years In Business

Today, Portent is 19 years old. It can now legally drink in Canada. I’ve screwed up a lot of stuff. But we’re still here, so I’ll give myself a small pat on the back. Clearly, we’ve done something right. If I could tell 26-year-old self 10 things to improve Portent’s first 19 years, here’s what… Read More

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Ian Lurie 29 May, 2014

When Idiots Attack: How to Handle Web Site Plagiarism

Earlier this week, a ex-Portent employee-who-remains-a-fan sent me a note: Sure enough, it had happened again: Someone ripped off our site, images, text and all. They didn’t even bother to change the names. Apparently, we now have an office in Sydney: To me, there are three classes of plagiarists: The smart: They steal your copy,… Read More

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Ariana Burgess 13 May, 2014

My Ten Years: A Look Back at the History of Portent

I wouldn’t be surprised if some people in the internet marketing industry secretly called me an “old hat” behind my back. I’ve been at Portent for ten years now so maybe I deserve that. The average tenure at a company these days is 4.6 years . Fewer than 10% of people my age stay at… Read More

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Ian Lurie 19 Mar, 2014

Why I changed jobs

When we announced my job change, I figured it’d just slip by. Who’d care if I shuffled leadership at Portent? I’m just some guy. Man, was I in for a shock. I got literally thousands of ‘congrats,’ and hundreds of ‘WTFs?!!’ Which was flattering, and a little intimidating. Hopefully this explains the why, what and… Read More

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Ian Lurie 31 Oct, 2013

Why are the ObamaCare web sites so slow?

We did a survey of every Affordable Care Act health benefits exchange, including Healthcare.gov. I expected to find deep, complicated server latency issues or similar. Instead, we found some of the most ridiculous, simple-to-fix, small issues that are affecting site speed that I nearly popped a vessel. You can read our report, and see the… Read More

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Ian Lurie 28 Oct, 2013

Speechless

Well, not really. First, PORTENT DID NOT POST THIS. We never would. The guys who did may have been joking, I guess? Hopefully? Understand: This is exactly the kind of shock-jockey crap that makes marketing a joke. It doesn’t just insult an entire religion. It also insults our intelligence. I somehow doubt that the Christian… Read More

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Jack Martin 25 Sep, 2013

The 113 Best Google Tricks, Easter Eggs, April Fool’s Day Jokes and Pranks

At first Google was just a search engine; then it started to get funny. Now, Google tricks, or “Easter Eggs,” lurk behind every Google search. The right keywords or an “I’m Feeling Lucky” search will often lead you to odd and awesome Google jokes. And Google Easter Eggs aren’t just in Search, you can also… Read More

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Ryan Moothart 25 Sep, 2013

5 Tips to Help You Work from Home Effectively and Efficiently

For three years, I got to work in an awesome professional setting at Portent. Sure, the office space wasn’t as nice when I first started in the outskirts of Seattle as it is now downtown. But that didn’t change the fact that I became part of a close-knit community which thrives in the office environment… Read More

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