Wenda’s Speech: About the ‘Schmattes’ Thing

wenda.jpgSince she uttered the line last night, several news stories, blog posts, and tweets have already referenced Wenda Harris Millard’s line that we shouldn’t sell our inventory like “schmattes.” For the record, the credit for that one should not go to Millard, but to IAB CEO Randy Rothenberg, who invented it earlier this month in a blog post that riffed — in part — on Wenda’s speech at last year’s IAB meeting. In that original speech she said (now famously) that we online media companies must “not trade our assets like pork bellies.”

Circular, I know.

In an echo of Wenda, Randy wrote earlier this month, “We must stop acting as if we’re selling schmattes, and start acting like the makers of magic that the best of us are — and always have been.”

Wenda liked his tribute so much that she quoted him in turn, resulting in a large number of attendees understandably giving the Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia co-CEO kudos for coming up with it.

So if the whole schmatte thing seemed to you a little too similar to the “pork bellies” remark in 2008, while at the same time being perhaps a bit nonsensical, that’s the reason. And if you’re unfortunate enough not to have come across the term schmatte before, it’s a Yiddish word meaning “a rag,” or alternatively something of generally poor quality. Now you know.

Read ClickZ’s full coverage of Wenda’s speech here.

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