Brand and Strategy at Rhapsody in Cool: A Working Brunch

Olivetti from Wikimedia Commons free of copyright

Welcome back to the salon. It is my honor and pleasure to share these words with you:

 “A triumph… an astonishing tour de force.”

 “A romp through the English language such as you’ve never experienced.”

 “It’s the blog I have waited for all my life.”

What are these? They are quotes I made up, then pasted close to the name of my blog, so search engines could find them. It’s called marketing, my dears! If we are going to do this, we must do it right.

I hope today’s presentation will give you a clear idea of our business plan at Rhapsody in Cool, and an appreciation for the countless—well, two—hours of unpaid toil I put into creating this spot of heaven. It didn’t just pop fully formed out of my forehead—although that does give me an interesting idea for an avatar. I burned calories for this.

Now, WordPress, it should be said, has done a fine job of anticipating the needs of a blogger with few technical skills and the attention span of a Mayfly. But picking a “theme” is still a frowny and difficult task. It took me most of a morning to try on all the themes, zipping them up and spinning around in front of the mirror to see if that one set of my eyes, or this one made my thighs appear thick.

In the end I picked a theme that felt like me—classic, simple, and free.

But what’s a new dress without gaudy jewelry to match? Pages and posts are not enough: now I need buttons in the sidebar. Like me on Facebook! Validate me on Twitter! Make me your centerfold on Pinterest! Please. And this business about providing a list of my favorite blogs? After all the trouble I’ve gone to, you expect me to show you other things to read? If you think there’s more for you at those other blogs, then fine: be my guest.

You’ll be back as soon as you realize that Heather Armstrong can’t mix a dry martini like I can.

Frankly, I just don’t see the point of all this absurd page-hopping. So you visit me on Facebook (I am not making a Rhapsody Facebook page) where you see my re-Tweeted status update or my “poke” or other rude jabbing motion that leads you, by link, back to this blog. For God’s sake, just sign up to “Follow Me” and I’ll send one old-fashioned email each time I post. It’s much less awkward than having to call you.

I’m afraid if we get ourselves in such a whirling dervish of clicking and buttoning, we’ll forget the point of this enterprise, which is for you to walk in the front door, pour yourself a drink, put your feet up on the divan (shoes off, please!) and pay attention to me, while I say interesting things at you.

See? Simple, and free.



Can you hear that wonderful humming energy all through this blog, like an appliance that’s not quite properly grounded? There are so many possibilities—too many to pursue all at once.  It makes me feel a little frantic. When Rhapsody is made into a film, this will be the segment that depicts me, with a soundtrack of heart-pumping Dave Brubeck, pounding away feverishly at my Olivetti typewriter (all the best bloggers use them) and chain smoking through the night, until finally, as dawn breaks, I rip the last sheet of onion-skin paper from the rollers with a satisfying zzzzing! and realize—hands trembling—that I have cracked the literary world wide open.

Or something. Suffice it to say it’s a very exciting time.

Rhapsody’s spouse has certainly noted that the posts are totting up almost as fast as the billable work hours are going down, and if this continues, we may have to wallpaper this place in advertising—the blogger’s equivalent of selling plasma. (Your plasma.) Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.


Finally, for our last agenda item today, I’m afraid I have to delve into a touchy subject. You see, I’ve been asked if this blog has a “topic.” It used to be that people didn’t ask such personal questions, but all right—let’s get this out in the open.

Rhapsody in Cool is about whatever shiny objects have caught my attention. And as I have said, my attention does not alight anywhere for long. This lowers the risk of reader boredom at approximately the same rate that it tamps down reader engagement. So basically, we come out even.

If you still fret about the lack of a topic, I refer you to the Seinfeld Rule, which tells us that very, very good things do not need a subject because they are above such strictures. And there’s no reason that a blog with three posts and 12 followers cannot be usefully compared to one of the most successful sitcoms in history.

So just give all your attention to the woman behind the curtain. While Rhapsody cannot give you courage, a brain or a trip back to Kansas, she will try very hard to reward your efforts to get here.

And then abandon you, via hot air balloon, while midgets sing.



P.S. Gracious, I nearly forgot! Any business plan worth its salt must have metrics, so let’s try this one: by June of 2014 we must be at least 50 followers strong. We’re going to need all those bodies for our first Rhapsody Flash Mob.

P.P.S. Now finish your Bloody Mary and I’ll be back in a tiff with Rhapsody’s holiday issue!


One thought on “Brand and Strategy at Rhapsody in Cool: A Working Brunch

  1. Just be you….no buttons, no links, no bells and whistles…. I just want you, dear Rhapsody, I thrive on your clever wit and unpredictability. Always have. But you have said it better than I could!

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