Monday, June 30, 2008

Best City Ever - June 30, 2008

San Francisco is the best city in America. I love it here. Besides the debaucherous street festivals, marijuana stores, liberal clothing rules, thriving art scene, ever evolving music industry, and incredible landscape, it is the heart of revolution and revival for the United States.

I feel that I have been apart of history as Gavin Newsome pushed the evolution of our societal and cultural norms. Finally, gay marriage is legal, and it's about time. Although I am not gay, I can easily relate to the elation that the gay community must have experienced when the Supreme Court of California voted in favor of gay marriage. To this day it is beyond me as to how someone today could disagree that the suppression of gay people is different from the racial inequalities that took place in our cities during the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s.

I went out yesterday to experience the gay parade, and I witnessed and felt the tremendous energy exuberated by the crowd. A true sense of pride filled the air, and everyone was relieved to know that America is soon to be forever changed.

I know this post may sound a little over the top coming from some straight guy, but hey, that's the way I feel.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Analyze My Flickr - June 27, 2008

I recently checked out what photos from my Flickr account were getting the most attention. Flickr breaks it down for you by: most interesting, most commented on, most favorited, and most viewed. So for today's post I'm sharing the results with you.

Most Interesting:
Title: "Superman Pantsless"
Views: 119
Most Commented On:
Title: "Work Doodle"
Comments: 5
Views: 10
Most Favorited:
Title: "Grateful Naked"
Times Favorited: 2
Views: 166
Most Viewed:
Title: "Big Lips"
Views: 470
Overall, I'm not sure exactly how to draw a conclusion from these results, so I won't try.

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

URLs That I Think I Might Buy - June 26, 2008

In a time where domain names are all the rage, I'm predicting that these URLs are going to be highly valuable in the next 20-50 years. For being my super loyal readers, I want to let you in on theses, as I know I can't purchase them all. Without further adieu, here's a sample of ten of these incredibly smart URLs to own:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's Like a Mini TED Conference - June 25, 2008

This July I'll be headed to PSFK San Francisco. I like to tell my friends and colleagues it's like a really mini TED conference, geared slightly more towards marketing.

Essentially, PSFK's favorite thinkers will present their ideas, projects and opinions. They will cover local topics (including technology and sustainability) and international themes (including collaboration and design).

Some great speakers will be there, including:
Eric Ryan, Method
David Armano, Critical Mass
Liz Dunn,
Jean-Marie Shields, Starbucks
Ed Cotton, Influx Insights / BSSP
Charles Ogilvie, Virgin America
Andrew Hoppin, NASA

Favorite Tagline Today - June 25, 2008

I saw this as I was getting ready to head to work. I've seen it before, and every time I'm just in awe of how ridiculous it is. All that being said, it still made me remember it, so maybe it worked?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Man vs. Banner Ad

This speaks for itself:

The London Logo - June 24, 2008

Do you all remember when London revealed this logo for the 2012 Olympics? OMG I still want to puke!!!

Why oh why is this the logo? The jagged emblem, based on the date 2012, comes in a series of shades of pink, blue, green and orange and will evolve in the run-up to the Games.

Okay, so when do brand people sound like pot heads? Well, when they say things like this:

"It's not a logo, it's a brand that will take us forward for the next five years," said Seb Coe, organizing committee chairman told BBC.

The design cost £400,000.............

WTF!!!???!? Seriously?

Just a random thought for the day.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Twitter Sentiment - June 20, 2008

Summize, a service that allows users to search & discover the topics and attitudes expressed within online conversations, specifically Twitter, just launched a new product from their labs. The new product measures the overall sentiment about a keyword or phrase.

So far, I'm not quite sold on it's legitimacy, and I'd love to hear how they gather this information, but for now, it's a fun new toy. To test the waters I put in some queries (George Bush, Global Warming, and Bikini) that I thought would deliver interesting results. You should try your own search. I'm not convinced it works, but I think it's going somewhere for sure.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Girl Talk released his newest album today. It's Radiohead style, so you can pay as much or as little if you like. The more you pay the better the quality gets, as well as receiving the actual CD when it gets published.
Click here to download the album:

Likemind Tomorrow - June 19, 2008

Tomorrow is June's Likemind meeting! As a reminder to my minuscule readership, Likemind is about people coming together to talk about trends, ideas, inspirations, and things like donuts and coffee. No pressure to even say a word if you don't want to. Write me if you want to go with me.
Likemind was founded by Piers Fawkes and Noah Brier. Noah recently launched Brand Tags, which is a pretty cool little project where you can visually see what words people readily associate with logos and brand names.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sculpture - June 18, 2008

This little sassy sculpture from Ivan Witenstein pretty much has the best title I've seen.

Kiss Your Little Girlfriends Golden Lunchroom Face Raise Your Middle Finger High Special Afterschool Embrace

Monday, June 16, 2008

Stimulate Me Please - June 16, 2008

Filling out your profile and posting a picture for your avatar may not be enough anymore, well, in the mind of the owner of the technology service you’re using.

I was reading an article on Matt Dickman's blog last week about how social technology applications are continually employing unique methods to encourage users to participate more frequently and meaningfully. So what exactly does that look like?

Think about your LinkedIn profile. Let’s take a quick look at mine:

“OMG, I’m only 90% complete, oh not, what have I done wrong. I must solve this immediately!!!” Right? That’s how LinkedIn wants you to think.

Or maybe the new service Plurk (aka Twitter rival) where you get awarded Karma points and new icons for using the service like it’s no one’s business:

Or perhaps it’s getting a special badge of honor next to your username like Yelp’s Elite:

All in all, I think that these technology services are utilizing interesting social stimulants to perplex the users and convince them to continue reviewing, micro-blogging, testing, etc. However, I think the best tidbit of all is actually inviting someone to an event where you can honor them for all their greatness. I know Yelp does this with their elite, but I recently was invited as a “Cake VIP” to go to the HQ of Cake Financial:

Needless to say I didn’t attend particularly because they asked me to dress to impress, but I still thought the gesture was a grand one. Another issue I have with the invite was the fact they sent it via Evite, which I particularly hate. Overall though, I think they did a decent job of encouraging local community participation, I hope to see more from them in the future.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tweeting Hot Chicks - June 12, 2008

I heard that people used Google Trends to predict the winner of American Idol. Why not use Tweet Volume to determine who America (or just us geeks) thinks is the hottest chick. I did two different searches.

The first graph pertains to the Holloywood hot chicks. From this graph you can see that people have twittered the most about Lindsay Lohan. Does this mean they think she's the hottest...who knows? I hypothesize that because she gets herself into legal trouble quite frequently, people are twittering about that and not her hotness. Additionally, I think they probably tweet about her in the form of a joke, once again not about her hotness. That all being said, I think the hotness award needs to go to Scarlet Johansson. Yay!Now, for the hotness of the geeks? What internet chick wins it all? Well, I plugged in the name of five of the hottest girls of the web (according to my friends and I). iJustine barely edged out Amanda Congdon, so she get's the award, however, some honorable mentions should be given to Natali Del Conte and Sarah Meyers.
I could always use Summize to check the sentiment and tone of the tweets about these celebrities, but I'm too lazy, so I hope you like the choices.

Just Hook Me Up to a Car Battery – June 12, 2008

I maintain my online identity fairly well, and I’m an active contributor to websites like my blog, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and a few others. However, it’s gotten to the point that there is a service or technology to record, share, send, etc for everything I do.

The people of the world are continually looking to share their experiences and knowledge with friends, colleagues, and strangers for the sake of improving the overall quality of content on the web. Facebook has more than 80 million active users, and is the 6th most-trafficked website in the world. Every minute, ten hours of video is uploaded to YouTube, and 35% of all internet users watch at least 1 video a month. Twitter now has 1.2 million regular users, and it’s traffic has grown 850% in the past year. Last but not least, Instructables has over 13,000 DIY projects listed.

It also worth mentioning that more and more Americans are gravitating to grabbing their news from blogs, just look at the adoption and usage rate from this eMarketer chart:

So, why are people into sharing and creating so much information? I think that we can break this down into six simple reasons:

  1. To express oneself (Flickr or Yahoo Live)
  2. Persuaded by a behavioral or emotional trigger (Join LinkedIn)
  3. Because they were influenced by someone else (“poked”)
  4. There was a deep amount of content to wade around in (YouTube)
  5. It was easy, only one click away (Leave a Comment)
  6. It had a level of novelty or utility (Stumble Upon)

The world is continuing to live life online, and there are a plethora of ways that allow us to express ourselves and spread information across a variety of networks and sites. However, it’s beginning to be too much. A simple search on Wikipedia shows that there are over 98 social networks worth mentioning. And by worth mentioning I mean that they have at least 3 million users. There were over 12 sites that had 30 million members, and many other sites hovered within the 10 – 30 million range. That’s a lot of places to recreate your information!!!

I’d like to show David Armano’s novelty curve, which I think does a fantastic job of summarizing how we all feel when it comes to the latest social technologies. We don’t want to get left behind and be the last person to sign up for a service, but we are getting tired of all the different things to sign-up for.

Long story short, while I encourage innovation and crave things that are going to improve my personaltivity, I want developers and entrepreneurs to think long and hard about why their products are going to be drastically different and vastly better than an existing product.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Monday, June 9, 2008

Brewing Some Booze - June 9, 2008

Ahhhh…nothing’s tastier than reaping what you sow, especially if it gets you a little tipsy.

This past weekend I spent a good part of Saturday afternoon brewing beer with Johnny D of the Jo-Tel and Shannon, adjunct professor to the Jo-Tel. Johnny D and Shannon are avid amateur brewers, so they were the perfect people to tag along with for this experience.

Brewing first kicked off with a trip to San Francisco Brew Craft off of Clement Street in the Richmond district so we could pick up the grains, barley, malt, and yeast. The store was great, and the brew master, Griz, was happy to write recipes on the spot, as well as claim that technologies like cell phones and digital cameras were ruining the intellectual capital of the world.

We then headed back to Shannon’s joint to concoct a brew called “Lawnmower.” The brewing process took about 3 or 4 hours, so we made sure we had plenty of snacks and other home brew to drink. We also threw back a couple of Underbergs to make sure our tummies didn’t get upset.

The brewing process isn’t as complicated as I initially thought. Here are the steps (in pictures and words) that we followed:

Step #1 - Get your supplies

Step #2 - Bring the water to an almost boil and insert the grain bag into the hot water.

Step #3 - Let the grain bag soak in the hot water for 45 minutes

Step #4 - Remove the grains, and bring water to an almost boil, at which point you’ll then add the malt

Step #5 - Bring the brew to a boil with the malt in it, and add the hops intermittently throughout the boiling.

Step #6 - Cool down the beer using a copper coil

Step #7 - Pour beer into plastic container, and add yeast halfway through

Step #8 - Let sit in container for x number of days, then transfer to glass container for final fermenting process which will also take x number of days depending on the brew

I'll post the bottling of the beer once we get to that phase.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Good Sign? - June 5, 2008

If there ever was a sign that the apocalypse is upon us, this could be it.
Thoughts, suggestions, sage words of wisdom to the NKOTB...just stop, stop while you are ahead. Please end the pain.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Proper Misuse of Yahoo Answers - June 4, 2008

Yahoo Answers is a place people go to pose questions concerning topics they believe the community on Yahoo might know. It's also a place where people can go to peruse the questions, rather than having to be an active participant.

I decided to toy with the system to see just how reactive they would be to a couple of asinine questions, and also to determine if people are actually utilizing Yahoo Answers.

So with that being said, see the screenshots below of the questions I posed, as well as the community feedback. Mind you, these were only so flagrantly abrasive as to solicit response, and they in no way, shape, or form are a determinant of my actual behavior.

p.s. the first post got flagged and removed within about 15-20 minutes

Monday, June 2, 2008

Social Technographics – June 2, 2008

Forrester recently published a book, Groundswell, which I’ve been occasionally reading as time allows. So far, I think it’s a good read for a marketing executive who has absolutely no idea what social media is, and the propensity it has to change the way products go to market.

To aide marketers, Forrester developed six distinct personas to define the ways in which people utilize social technologies. The personas are as follows:

- Creators (publish a blog, upload video/photos, etc)

- Critics (post ratings/reviews, leave comments, edit a wiki)

- Collectors (use RSS feeds, add tags to content, vote)

- Joiners (maintain a social network profile)

- Spectators (read blogs, watch videos, read reviews, etc)

- Inactives (none of the above)

I think that they are all fairly self explanatory. Now, what should a marketer do with this information? Let’s say you’re launching a new product. Let’s say your target market is women, ages 25-34 that live in the United States. If you were to launch an online campaign to raise awareness about your product, and encourage engagement with your product, what would you do with social technologies?

The Forrester social technographic tool will help you decide what type of social technologies your target audience is most comfortable with. See the snapshot of the tool’s profile of women, ages 25-34 living in the U.S.

Bars indicate the percentage of the selected demographic that are in each social technographics group. The white marks indicate the same percentages for the whole population of the country selected. The index indicates how the demographic compares to the population — a score of 100 means the demographic is the same as the population average.

According to this chart my target audience is comfortable with social technologies given the high indexing across the board, but they are most likely to be spectators and joiners. That being said, a decent amount of my target audience is also likely to be a critic or creator.

Essentially, I could then take this information and feel good about executing an online campaign that embodies many of the social technologies that my target audience lives and plays with.

Given these profiles are somewhat generic, I think they are a good step in the right direction for giving marketers the confidence they need to incorporate social media into the mix. It would be great if they could breakdown the profiling even further (e.g. men into sports, ages 18-24 who live California).