Just about every column in the industry journalism egg-nog this time of year starts with the phrase “It’s that time of year again,” provides deep introspection into the past and then goes on to make some level of prediction about what life will be like next year. Said reminiscing and speculation is immediately followed by some kind of non-denominational holiday greeting designed to warm your heart.
You won’t get any of that sappy crap from me.
All of my worldly goods (including car and motorcycle) have been stuffed into the back of a truck that may or may not arrive in one piece in the next few weeks. The only mail I'll get will be from the IRS since they always seem to know where to find me. I am presently sleeping on an air mattress that requires re-inflation every 15 minutes and I am about to fly for 20 hours through eleven time zones.
Needless to say, I am a bit cranky, so as my farewell to 2004 and predictions for 2005, I offer you this poem from the search editor of Xmas past.
'Twas the Night Before Google’s IPO
or Account of a Visit from St. Cashola
Kevin M. Ryan (Mid 20th Century-)
Originally published by (in much better form)
Major Henry Livingston Jr. (1748-1828)
(previously believed to be by Clement Clarke Moore)
'Twas the night before Google’s IPO, when all through the search shop,
Only a lowly AE stirred whose bid management just couldn’t stop;
The stocks were hung a la eBay with care,
In hopes that St. Cashola soon would be there;
The search listings were nestled all snug in their servers,
With visions of shareholder equity and search that delivers;
Sergey and Larry off Googling, and I close to the Guiness tap,
Had just settled down for a long public offering nap,
When out front there arose such a clatter,
I sprang off my Aeron chair to see what was the matter.
Away to the office door I flew as my pint went splash,
Tripped and gave my head a nice bash.
What was happening I just didn’t know
This kind of behavior just wouldn’t go,
When, what to my blurry red eyes should break through,
But a man in a pricey suit, and eight hot chicks with brew,
What a great holiday, hotties that didn’t bring cola,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Cashola.
More rapid than eagles his earners they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now Froogle, now DESKTOP, now ANSWERS and TOOLBAR!
On LOCAL ! On NEWS! on, IMAGES and SCHOLAR!
To the top of the agency! We’ll all be walking tall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As cheap shares that before the wild PR hurricane fly,
When they meet with the hype, mount to the sky,
So up to the SEMs those endowed barmaids they flew,
With a limousine full of branded desktop ornaments, and St. Cashola too.
I heard a noise at the security door and began to reel
The clipping and clapping of each tiny stiletto heal.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
In through the air vent St. Cashola came with a bound.
He was dressed in a handmade suit, from that guy in Versailles
And adorned in Egyptian cotton with a seven fold tie;
A bundle of gluttonous goods he had flung on his back,
And it seemed like a carbetbagger just opening his pack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! His tie dimpled perfect!
His hair was soldered well, his nose like plastic!
His puffed up mouth, from collagen all over town,
Made him appear like a big scary clown;
The Mont Blanc pen he held tight in his teeth,
And I noticed a large PDA held tight in its sheath;
He had a narrow square head and rock hard abs,
One would never know he spent so much time in the labs.
He was bizarre and quite fearsome,
Though he looked almost winsome, I cringed when I saw him;
A scowl on his man-made face and a twist of his head,
Led me to believe my portfolio would soon be dead;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his effort,
And filled all the desks with collectable chotchke; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside his sculpted nose,
And giving a nod, up the charts the stock rose;
He sprang to his HUMVEE stretch limo, to his team gave departing instruction,
And away they all rolled at six-gallons-per-mile fossil fuel destruction
But I heard him exclaim, as he dropped back with a beer,
"HAPPY IPO TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD FISCAL YEAR!"
Incidentally, if you didn’t pick up on the sarcasm, here’s the abridged 2004 look back and 2005 look forward. 2004 was the first year that didn’t suck for online advertising and search marketing in particular in a long time. 2005 will suck even less than 2004 for online advertising and search.
About the Author: iMedia Search Editor Kevin Ryan’s current and former client roster reads like a “who’s who” in big brands; Rolex Watch, USA, State Farm Insurance, Farmers Insurance, Minolta Corporation, Samsung Electronics America, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Panasonic Services, and the Hilton Hotels brands, to name a few. Kevin believes in sound guidance, creative thought, accountable actions and collaborative execution as applied to search, or any form of marketing. His principled approach and staunch commitment to the industry have made him one of the most sought after personalities in online marketing. Kevin volunteers his time with the Interactive Advertising Bureau, Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, and several regional non-profit organizations.
Meet Ryan at the Vatican December 24, 2004.