Saturday, December 29, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
We were about to enter the 3rd Annual Jo-Tel’s Top 15 Songs of 2007 Listening Party. Within the grasp of my digits was my personal claim to fame…a carefully crafted art piece intended to represent one of the fifteen best songs of 2007. I was a true pugilist. Trained not with an intent to harm, but to invent wondrous creations that stimulate and provoke the mind. Fourteen other individuals were selected by Shark to develop smart depictions of the artists and the songs.
Last year, Shark gave a few of us pieces of construction paper to convey our interpretations of the top 15 songs of 2006. I could tell this year would be much different from last year, as we were only assigned the artists and songs sans predetermined media. We were free to let our brains roam.
As the music played and the booze lingered down the gullets of our throats and swam in our blood, the brilliance of the art prevailed. There were paintings, sculptures, drawings, writings, and maybe even some performance art. A community passionate about music emerged from the electronic debris (email, blogs, google groups, etc) from which it was formed, and electrified the night.
- Finally meeting Deepa
- Recording a video of everyone watching a video Hip E made of two girls watching 2 girls 1 cup
- Impromptu dance party
- Sosia’s mind boggling creativeness
- Break dancing until my knees were bleeding
Check out more pics on my Flickr page, and enjoy this video of Mark's primal scream.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
- I was drunk
- I had too much to drink
- I was passed out from drinking
- I was too hungover to move
- My friends tied me naked to a tree
Regardless of the reasons, I’d really like to avoid the whole, “Sorry I forgot to call or text you…I the lamest person in the world…please forgive me…I promise to never do it again…you can have my first born.”
Enter PreTxt. It’s a service from a company called Mobile Campus, which allows you to schedule text messages to be sent out to your friends whenever you want. I learned about it at work, and I hope this year it will help me avoid those awkward moments. To use it, all you have to do is sign into the service on the Internet, create your message, enter the mobile numbers of who you want it sent to (up to 42), and then select when you want your message sent. The rest is history.
Now…where did I put that eggnog?
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Here’s what it looked like:
Ok, so tell me again why I would want to click on this? Why has Facebook allowed advertisers to buy space in the news feeds section of Facebook? I thought the space was reserved for news relevant to my sphere of friends? Last time I checked Dell wasn’t one of my friends.
Even though the Dell website is somewhat cool (see pics below), and has a good viral aspect to it (you can send videos of cheesy celebrities to your parents/friends telling them to buy you ___ gift), the manner in which they engage Facebook users is weak sauce.
Has anyone else received really lame Facebook news feed ads?
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I beta-tested this really interesting conversation monitoring product from a company called BuzzLogic. In theory, it allows a user to enter a set of key terms into a search query box, at which point the product will then crawl the web and identify key blogs and conversations relevant to the search query. It measures things like frequency, relevancy, level of influence, key influencers, etc. It also creates a map of how the blogs link together, and gives them a rating of what ones are most important. In their own words, BuzzLogic says it can, “Surface the influencers leading conversations that matter and target your messages to them and their audiences for the highest return.”
I tried it out, and found it to be somewhat useful. It requires a high level of involvement, and I wasn’t 100% positive that the algorithms they used to identify key influencers were right. In the end I’d rather have this tool than not.
If you don’t have any money to subscribe to a service like BuzzLogic and you’re interested in trying a beta-test of a social monitoring technology, try checking out Scout Labs. It’s got a demo you can watch that shows you what its technologies can accomplish. Sign up to test their product and see what happens.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Palm had the opportunity to really kill the market when they had the chance, but for whatever reason they chose to remain stagnant. While the Treo has remained successful with business folks, it has minimal appeal to the consumer, which invariably limits their potential market.
Here are three factors that I think put Palm in its situation today:
1. Inability to recognize the mobile shift
I once had the opportunity to sit down with the CEO of Palm, Ed Colligan, in the summer of 2006. In our conversation I explained to him that cell phones were no longer going to be about making calls, writing emails and texts, and adjusting office documents on the fly. The evolution of consumer generated media, location identification (GPS), real time reporting, video, and information sharing are going to push the definition of what a “cell phone” really is. Furthermore, I painted a picture of their target audiences and how they have evolved and will evolve in the next few years. The conversation was enjoyable, Ed was a great, down-to-earth guy, but I don’t think he quite bought my argument. His loss.
2. Terrible advertising
Need I say more than showing you these ads? They suck! Nothing intriguing. Nothing unexpected. It doesn’t play on my emotions. Lame lame lame! Thanks Young and Rubicam.
Their first opening wasn’t terribly disappointing as one might expect from a student run studio. Some of the works were fairly unique and innovative, while others dull and lacking inspiration. In the end, I’m proud of this group banding together to form a rogue gallery, and I wish them the best.
Here’s their somewhat functioning website:
Monday, December 17, 2007
Maybe it’s a subvert tactic to show the over inflated value of Google. Honestly, I’m puzzled as to why Apple would want to highlight Google, essentially a competitor of Apple, in their commercial. It makes no sense to pay millions of dollars to create and broadcast a TV ad, only to make their audience think of a different company during a portion of the commercial.
I know Apple and Google have aligned to battle Microsoft, but should they make this relationship so obvious?
Weird. Anyone have an answer to this?
Where oh where can one find this magical beer? Murio’s Trophy Room in the Upper Haight. It’s sketchy, sometimes smelly, borderline dump, and might have women’s underwear stapled to the ceiling. I recommend heading to Murio’s for a PBR, checking out some music at Amoeba, then another beer at Murio’s, and finally some grub at Cha Cha Cha…guaranteed good time.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Unfortunately, some companies do a terrible job of creating outbound messages to describe what their product/service is about. Below is a great example of a message that is used to explain an extremely popular service that over 50 million people around the world use:
“______ is a social utility that connects you with the people around you.”
Any guess what it could be? It’s freaking Facebook. Wow! Mark Zuckerberg could use a lesson or two in marketing. This phrase, which is the most visible on Facebook’s landing page is more of an internal rallying cry versus something that should ever be said to a potential user.
Imagine if Zuckerberg had his way with these taglines:
Nike “Just Do It” would be transformed to “Providing motivated individuals with the essential equipment to achieve their goals”
Cingular “More Bars in More Places” would eventually become “Wireless telecommunications for individuals from Arizona to Azerbaijan so that they can reliably talk to each other and whoever else they want to in any place at any time”
Coors “Tap the Rockies” might end up as “Genuine mountain water cold filtered adult beverages that enhance experiences and friendships once imbibed”
Thursday, December 13, 2007
As a male consumer (and a purveyor of cool), I enjoy hearing about intriguing new products and stuff geared for my lifestyle. How I learn about that stuff is a different story.
I’ve suffered through thousands of feminine hygiene advertisements, I’ve been bombarded with erectile dysfunction messages, and I’ve been subjected to retirement commercials more times than I have seen my own face in the mirror. The PROBLEM is that these ads have absolutely nothing to do with me, however, the companies paid millions of dollars to make sure I heard their message.
Rather than annoy me with crap, doesn’t behavioral and targeted advertising make sense? The Center for Digital Democracy says no! The biggest gripe the CDD has with marketers is that they violate personal privacy as they gather and accumulate data (online and offline) about their target audience. Jeff Chester, founder and executive director of the CDD wants companies to be able to deliver appropriate messages to niche audiences, but the data about the “target” can not be personally identifiable.
This poses a huge paradox; People only want to see ads that interest them, but marketers aren’t allowed to collect personal data about their audience. How then are marketers supposed to deliver relevant advertising? Of course marketers can develop highly detailed personas that are representative of their target audiences. However, marketers must observe the true behavior of the audience in order to develop the most effective media and messaging to reach them.
It should be interesting to see what the Federal Trade Commission deems appropriate. More to follow on this later.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The word "vexillology" is a synthesis of the Latin word vexillum and the suffix –ology meaning "study of". The vexillum was a particular type of flag used by Roman legions during the calassical era. Unlike most modern flags which are suspended from a pole or mast along a vertical side, the square vexillum was suspended from a horizontal crossbar along its top side, which was attached to a spear.
Source from Wikipedia
Model Landscapes – Make your picture look like a miniature model
Mini-Planets – Turn your picture into its own planet
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
What do you want from your mobile phone?
The Open Handset Alliance is going to try its best to make sure your phone does what YOU WANT it to do. I wonder if the 3 billion cell phone owners in the world think that their phone is just what they want.
Cell phone providers and manufacturers have long provided us with the best equipment possible, as well as the best applications and services to run on that equipment. Wait! Even though these companies have tried their best to fill their customers needs, it’s not good enough. They have finally come to the realization that they aren't filling our needs and they are taking steps to rectify the situation.
Much like how Facebook opened up their doors to outside developers, the world of wireless is going to do the same. A basic operating platform, Android, is going to serve as the base that everyone has to build their applications for. Completely "open" phones will support Android and any applications run on it.
Companies from Sprint to Intel to Google to Ebay to Motorola have all joined the alliance in hopes of elevating the usefulness of what phones can offer to users. To elevate the stakes, Google is offering a $10 million dollar prize to encourage companies to develop truly useful and innovative applications for the Android platform.
The next three years are going to be freaking awesome! There'll be mash-ups of all kinds, so much mobile commerce I'll want to puke, and a radical shift in the way Americans use their phones.
How it works: Basically, everyone gets a turn to select what they think were the best Indie albums of the year. The order of turns is determined by a random draw of names from a hat. (See Patsy drawing names below)
Everyone then gets a turn to name one artist that they thought was the best that year. The process is repeated until everyone has chosen eight artists. No artists can be repeated. Our results are then compared against Pitchfork, Coke Machine Glow, and Rolling Stone’s reviews of the best artists' albums of the year.
Points are awarded to individuals who have selected artists that are listed in any of the critic review sites. Various point levels are determined by the placement of the artists within the individual critic review lists. For instance, anyone who picked an artist who was in first place would receive 50 points, but if they picked an artist in 50th place then they would receive 1 point.
After all the critic review sites are reviewed and points assigned to each participants’ lists, total point values are compared. Whoever has the most points wins.
Like I said, we’re dorks.
Here’s the final list of artists and a video of us in nerd action. I’ll post results once completed.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Hmmm....I wonder which one would get people to buy more cleaning product?
Consumer Made Ad
Sunday, December 9, 2007
I’ve kinda always wanted a tattoo, but not really. First off, I’m not entirely sure what I would want on my body for the rest of my life. Secondly, tattoos look great at first, but then they fade and loose their brilliance. Hmmmm, what’s a boy to do? Scarification? My god, yes! (totally still not for me, but I will continue to write about it)
Scarification has served as a right of passage for men and women for thousands of years. From the tribes of New Guinea and New Zealand to the streets of Manhattan, and every individual has their reasons for cutting into their skin. Check out this video, and if you haven’t become nauseated, click on this link.
Friday, December 7, 2007
I LOVE JetBlue, and I fly it whenever I can. After a recent trip (no pun intended…hahhaha) to their website, I noticed that they were advertising a new payment method. Basically, anyone can buy a JetBlue ticket today, and not have to pay for it for 90 days.
That’s brilliant! As long as JetBlue has their financials in order and don’t go bankrupt financing a bunch of trips that never get paid for, this could be truly disruptive to JetBlue’s competitive set.
I give this an 8 on the disruptive scale. It’s smart because it offers travelers who can’t afford to pay for a trip in full the option to finance their excursions. This set obviously includes the lucrative college-aged audience, as well as low to middle class Americans.
I look forward to seeing if this trend continues across the board.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Facebook, however, is really pushing its user base to make everything about their lives as public as possible. CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to create this social grid to connect people online just as well as they are connected in real life. Oh yeah, he also has this tiny little idea of giving advertisers the tools they need to bug the hell out of you online.
So here’s the deal. Facebook recently launched Beacon, which is a way for companies and marketers to infiltrate your Facebook world. Think the "Eye of Sauron" from Lord of the Rings. Essentially, all companies and marketers have to do is install a couple lines of code into their website, and if you go to their site and do anything transactional, it will be posted into your Facebook account unless you opt out of it. In Facebook’s own words, here is what Beacon will do for businesses:
“Facebook Beacon enables your brand or business to gain access to viral distribution within Facebook. Stories of a user's engagement with your site may be displayed in his or her profile and in News Feed. These stories will act as a word-of-mouth promotion for your business and may be seen by friends who are also likely to be interested in your product. You can increase the number of friends who see these stories with Facebook Social Ads.”
Uhmmmmm….if they are going to use me as a piece of media, where the hell is my cut of the pie?
I highly suggest you opt out, or perhaps you want your friends to know about those adult diapers you bought on Amazon.
Log into Facebook. Next, click on the privacy settings tab.
Then click on “External Websites” setting within the privacy tab.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
No, it has nothing to do with checkered blankets, French cheese and wine, or a set of bocce balls. Picnik is the most awesomest greatest free photo editing tool ever! If you have a Flickr account, all you have to do is click the “edit photo” button, and you can begin adjusting that awful red-eye, and add that mini-cartoon Santa Claus into the picture that you always wanted there but didn’t have any idea how to do it so you just gave up and settled for a nice scenic view (whhheeww).
You can also upload pictures into Picnik from Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket, and Webshots. It’s super duper easy to set-up an account! Just do it!
Of course, an upgrade can be made with Picnik so that you can have unfettered access to all of their delightful magical photo editing goodies.
Twitter’s biggest problem is that it doesn’t make it easy for non-tech people to adopt this technology. If they want to gain critical mass, it needs to be more viscerally navigable, otherwise people will stick to the technologies they know: text messaging, blogging, email, Facebook/MySpace, or IM.
The founders had an intention to get people to quickly and precisely tell everyone what they are doing in less than 140 characters, just like a text message. In principle, I think the idea makes sense as a supplement to an established offline relationship. However, by not allowing users to elaborate on thoughts or ideas within Twitter, one ends up saying nothing meaningful at all. Although Twitter has immense possibility to facilitate flashmobs and culture jams, I have yet to see how Twitter is better than IM, email, or texting.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Read more about them at Wikipedia:
Check out the Untergunther site (one of the "teams" within the Les UX):
Chris De Wolfe -
- "Online social destinations work best when creativity and development are collaborative concepts"
- "The evolution of social networks is kick-starting a broad global shift for how people, content and culture collide on the web."
- "Fundamentally, all social destinations must expand while staying personal"
Chad Hurley -
- "Video broadcasting will be the most ubiquitous and accessible form of communication."
Maurice Levy -
- "Prescribed time - the 7 o'clock news, the Friday night out at the cinema, etc - is now becoming multitasking time."
Biz Stone -
- "The power of the internet is not limited to the PC"
Peter Norvig -
- "Instead, our interaction [with the Internet] will be more fluid, our computers will accept our requests in many forms, and will scan our environment proactively"
Monday, December 3, 2007
Peace, Love, Unity, Respect.
These words were meant to guide the raver’s behavior and actions. I guess you could call it the rave scene’s “brand driver” for all of you ad geeks. Not a bad sentiment, however, from my perspective the scene was anything but that. What I do like is the fact that cultural groups and movements generate and seal their identity by way of some outward phrase or statement.
Regardless, I was reminded of this word from the depths of my mind, and I wanted to write about it. Now, enjoy the glowsticking video.