Category: Writing

The hurting

I recently came across Will Patrick’s website. His writing is humorous and has a fast fun cadence to it.

One of his posts, Notes From A Flat Earth Conference (archived copy) talks empathically about Flat Earth believers. I stepped away with a feeling that, of course, something had to go wrong in these people’s lives in order for them to take on this fringe identity.

Thinking further, there have always been quacks and conspiracy theorists. Will himself admits this. At a time of personal turmoil a person is suddenly “open” – cults and terrorists know this. They’ve always looked out for people undergoing transitions. These are the ripest recruits.

This one is probably about group identity and belonging.

The post reminded me of a brilliant piece of writing by Jeff Atwood called They Have To Be Monsters (archive link). And had me going on a tangent:

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Marketing Operations Tools

A reference for myself. And maybe for others.


Sercante Creuz Your Data tool – when you are creating Pardot rules for matching prospects, you can create a string of semicolon-separated conditions up to 250 characters long. This tool splits up multi-condition rules that are longer than that into separate rules up to 250 chars each.

My own tool for embedding Pardot iFrame forms in a way that resizes the iFrame on the fly according to the content of the form. This prevents little scrollbars from appearing next to a form that gets longer during submission.

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New misleading metrics from FB, and the ineffectiveness of online ads

I was recently reminded of a fantastic article about how ineffective digital advertising is:

“The new dot com bubble is here: it’s called online advertising”, by Jesse Frederik and Maurits Martijn. Published in the (now defunct) Correspondent on 6 of November, 2019. [archive link]

Someone linked to it as part of a discussion around the latest nefarious behaviour by Facebook.

It came out that Facebook knowingly mislead advertisers about the size of “potential reach” for campaigns. They overestimated possible campaign reach by including an extra 10% of fake + duplicate accounts.

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Toronto’s most beautiful baby

As part of a local art project, I was looking for old photographs of the Mt. Pleasant and Eglinton neighbourhood in Toronto.

What I found was a “Google Streetview Time Machine” of sorts. A project called OldTO which places over 30,000 photos from the City of Toronto Archives on an interactive map of the city. (Just like Streetwiew, it was created by Google. This one, as part of Sidewalklabs’ aborted attempt to romance our city into an unwholesome who-knows-what.)

I was puzzled by one of the first photos I saw.

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Common SPF Errors

I saw an interesting discussion about SPF and email infrastructure on hackernews.

User citrin_ru shared the following list of common SPF problems they see:

  1. No space between directives: "v=spf1 ip4:"
  2. Space inside a directive: "v=spf1 ip4:192. 0.2.0/24 -all"
  3. Bad mechanism: "v=spf1 ipv4: -all"
  4. No mechanism: "v=spf1"
  5. = instead of : "v=spf1"
  6. Unicode in SPF, mostly dashes (but I’ve seen zero-width spaces too): "v=spf1 all"
  7. Two SPF records for the same domain: "v=spf1 -all", "v=spf1 ?all"
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Presentation: Bet you didn’t think you could put that in an email!

On December 11, 2020, I spoke at Pardot conference Pardreamin’ about unusual types of content you can put into emails. If you are one of the 88 people who attended: thank you for your time and kind comments!

For a copy of the slide deck, click “download” below:

And here is the video recording:

And the hyperlinks that were used on the slides with a “Resources” section:

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CanCon Treasures

“Can Con” is a Canadian system of quotas that require radio stations to set aside a percent of airtime towards playing Canadian-created music. If you want to go down the rabbit hole of what qualifies as Can Con, here is a great Can Con writeup from the Frontside Group.(archive link)

Because of this system, you sometimes get exposed to some unexpected acts here in Canada. Musicians that never made it big globally.

This is a collection of Canadian “Can Con” gems that I like.

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6 Ways marketers can be productive despite their “bad data addiction”

Recently Jacques Corby-Tuech, a Marketing Technologist with skills and attitudes similar to my own, wrote a post about how Marketers are addicted to bad data (archive link).

Jacques showed some great examples where marketing data is seen as reliable – but is actually broken. Even the processes used for decision making around marketing data are often broken (ex: split tests and statistical significance)

Because I’m passionate about the topic of marketing data, I’d like to add 2 types of Bad Data to the original list and offer 7 tips for marketers to stay productive despite this issue:

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