It’s interesting when a book you read influences how you see events after you’ve finished it. Two examples today are sticking out to me. The first is all the flap over Sony’s DRM Rootkit. A recent post on the Sysinternals blog titled Sony, Rootkits and Digital Rights Management Gone Too Far seems to have really set the ball rolling, and posts are springing up all over the place. This has been around for a while–my buddy Mike Righi (rhymes with ‘jiggy’) covered this way back in June with his Use Sony DRM, Format Your Hard Drive post (sidenote: Mike’s a Java guy, so it figures he’d still be buying CDs–real developers have iPods). This story has gained a lot of traction in big media outlets today, and all of this amounts to bad press for Sony. But where’s there response? This seems like a perfect time for anyone at Sony to read Chapter 13, “Blogging in a Crisis” (Maybe Shel or Scoble will e-mail them a PDF of the chapter). I’m not exactly sure what can be said for installing something rather evil on someone’s machine, but “we’re sorry and here’s an easy fix you can download” would be a big start. If Engadget’s post is correct, and Sony is distributing cracking instructions via e-mail, they’d probably get more traction out of a blog post with the same information. We’ll see how this plays out, but there are already a lot of people claiming lifelong boycotts of Sony music.
Second item come to life is the little guy vs. big guy story. The big guy in this case is Leed’s, a huge producer of promotional materials, and based in nearby New Kensington, PA; the little guy is 4Imprint Group. I’m measuring big and little based on the swag I have from each company. ASP Alliance sent their authors nice notepads from Leed’s last year, and the totebags and other materials from SAF 2005 were also from Leed’s (yes, I do look at the tags inside the totes, I’m curious like that). I can’t seem to find any swag in my collection from 4Imprint. Based on my exposure to them, I would have looked at Leed’s if I were ever in the market for promotional products. But, 4Imprint has started a blog called 4Imprint Chatter, on what appears to be a dressed up version of .Text (their main site is .NET also). The posts are pretty interesting to read, and you get a real feel for the people you’ll be dealing with. It’s endearing, which is probably exactly what they were hoping for. Leed’s, well, not so endearing (although their site is ASP). Despite the fact Leed’s is local, and I have some of their stuff, I’d be more inclined to go with 4Imprint. I feel like I know them, and that’s because of their blog.