Friday, October 31, 2008

You Can Vote However You Like (flash)

Kids from the Ron Clark Academy performing live "You Can Vote However You Like," a parody of TI's "Whatever You Like" (rated PG).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

3-Minute Story of Mixed Emoticons (flash)

Rives tells a typographical fairy tale that's short and bittersweet (rated PG).

Synchronized Presidential Debating (flash)

A montage of synced-up footage from all three presidential debates and the candidates' repetitions (rated PG).

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dedicated Radio Host (flash)

Radio host keeps working as studio burns around him (rated PG).

Monday, October 27, 2008

CityWall Helsinki (flash)

Large multi-touch display installed in central down town Helsinki which acts as a collaborative and playful interface for its urban surroundings (rated PG).

New York Times API is Live

The Times quietly announced in May that it would soon be publishing APIs, which are means by which outside developers can access NY Times data for use in other applications, interfaces and mashups. We believe that steps like this are going to prove key if big media is to thrive in the future

(from ReadWriteWeb).

When we first started talking about creating and releasing APIs for databases collected by The Times, campaign finance data from the Federal Election Commission was a natural choice. The upcoming presidential election has seen record fund-raising by the candidates and a host of new donors. Now we want our users to be able to analyze and reuse some of the data we’ve been looking at while reporting on the campaign

(from The New York Times). They plan other APIs for other items, like movie reviews, in the future.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Forrester Under Estimates Feed Use

Forrester's What's Holding RSS Back? under reflects the number of people using syndication feeds for several reasons. The Forrester questionnaire defines RSS obtusely to anyone not particularly tech savvy; they ask in a way that will slant the numbers down:

RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, is a technology which aggregates or collects frequently published or updated content, such as blog posts, news headlines, and podcasts. These updates are collected by software using a feed or RSS reader like MyYahoo or iGoogle, which contains either a summary of content or the full text.
RSS makes it possible for people to keep up with their favorite web sites in an automated manner rather than checking for updates or new content manually. Do you currently use an RSS feed?

Forrester report also states For example, MyYahoo allows members to subscribe to content, often without showing the technical guts of RSS - users subscribe without ever knowing they are using 'RSS' technology which also points out that many survey respondents said they don't use feeds but actually do.

If children are asked "what would you put in a cupboard?" they may not have an answer, but if asked "what would you put in a cabinet?" they will have all sorts of answers. Forrester also omits atom and other feed reliant systems from their question (e.g., friendfeed).

Update March 2, 2009: There has been data about users not understanding what RSS is since 2006, though the idea of a feed is clear in the word itself: something is being fed to something else.

Invest in Social Media In This Economy

...within digital, the more 'traditional' forms (banner ads) will slump compared to online video, widgets, and social networks, on which spending next year will increase by 70 percent. The more accountable the media, and the more targeted, the better

(emphasis added, from MediaBizBlogger).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Queen visits Google London (flash)

Her Majesty and His Royal Highness tour the Google building in London (rated PG).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Importance of Names

Sam Lawrence's twitter:

iPhone? Odd. Why didn't they call it "Apple Telephony Device 2008 Personal Edition?"

Connecting to Friends is the Key of Web 2.0

Web2.0 reshaped the face of the Internet. The vast majority of people out there are driven by doing things with people that they know. They were using IM and email to talk to these people online, but they weren't participating in the public parts of the web which was primarily interest or information-driven. Web2.0 introduced a series of technologies that enabled friendship-driven public spaces

(from Understanding Socio-Technical Phenomena in a Web2.0 Era).

7 Books Secretly About People and Communication

Their insights echo in my mind, they have good perspectives, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on them (I haven't written any of these).

Virus of the Mind
An Appealing introduction to memetics, how ideas move through and between people. I once made a crib sheet synthesizing its ideas, which appears in my mind's eye when considering how to connect people and ideas.
Naming matters. A rose by any other name wouldn't sell as much. Nor would it inspire as many emotions and cultural artifacts and antecedents. The ideas in this book may not be new, but they are surprisingly widely ignored.
Part anecdotal "case studies" and part impressive recounting of the authors' accomplishments, this book illustrates what makes some ideas business as usual, and others transcendent this-idea-is-now-a-cultural-force-to-which-all-others-seem-to-react ideas.
The Experience Economy
You are what you're paid for is part of the thesis, and the idea that if you can charge admission at your "door" (physical door or otherwise) is a compelling one: American consumers now spend more money on entertainment than food.
The Attention Economy
Selling your time for money is very 20th Century (or perhaps industrial revolution). Attention, not time, is the scarcest and most precious commodity.
It's Not How Good You Are, Its How Good You Want to Be
Predating the "The Secret" phenomena, it's partly about goals and communicating with yourself, and partly a guide to the advertising world written by an expert. It's helped me see the unseen.
The Change Monster
Bad change management ruins plans and misses opportunities and good change remakes the world and gives people purpose. A change consultant (I think that's what the author does) tells what makes change at work work. How organizations change, and don't, is about people.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

If Movies Had... (flash)

If some movies featured cell phones, they'd be much shorter (rated PG-13).

Friday, October 17, 2008

Firework Battle (flash)

Every Easter on the small Greek island of Chios there is a massive firework battle between two small towns (rated PG).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I Love Progress Bars (flash)

A far-reaching treatise on progress bars and spinning stuff. "When can I go on to the next experience and then wait for that to end" (rated PG-13)?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

12-Year-Old Boy Scouts Offer To Give Breast Exams (flash)

Two prospective Eagle Scouts explain how they are preventing breast cancer by helping women examine their breasts (rated R).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hugh Laurie House Audition (flash)

Hugh Laurie audition tape when the role of House was being cast (rated PG-13).

Social Media Transforming How People Buy

The result of this new revolution is that we look to and trust new sources for information and the research clearly shows we now trust the opinions of strangers we read online as much as our closest friends and certainly more than advertising. This demonstrates the fundamental importance of the social media revolution that we are living through now.
What do we say to our clients? Participation in social media is not a choice, it is now a default. This is a consumer revolution, they choose who takes part and they are already talking about and commenting on all brands. It is down to companies to decide whether to be actively or passively involved.
Secondly, transparency is essential. Consumers are constantly commenting on products and brands, so honesty and openness are vital. Companies should share their inner workings. Mistakes have to be admitted quickly and control has to be loosened to allow consumers to discuss, share and interact with your brand

(emphasis added, from

Friday, October 10, 2008

RSS in Plain English (flash)

Good introduction of how RSS feeds work and a little about why they're cool and useful (rated PG).

Explode Your Content Online - Portable Logins

If you want to give a unique experience to your visitors across many different sites and offline experiences, you cannot build a closed portal style anything. People no longer seek a single place outside their control to experience all of their digital lives.

Their digital lives are a seamless part of their lives in a broader sense. People at parties take pictures and share them online in seconds. Video can be broadcast live from phones to the web live. It can be watched live from anywhere at anytime.

Audience expects to watch, read and listen to what they want and where they want at any time on any device. Lengthy registration or unportable log-in credentials result in lower sign-ups, block emotional connection and in the end, cause product irrelevance. Registration systems must be flexible like Facebook Connect or OpenID to allow for agile online, offline and hybrid systems. Building closed, un-integrate-able and un-mash-up able things is to build irrelevant things: unused, and therefore useless, things.

Dancing Monkeys (flash)

Lab monkeys dancing (rated PG).

Disney Blu-Ray Has 120 Pages of Legalese (news)

Sleeping Beauty is Disney's first classic animated film to make its way to Blu-ray, and it's loaded with legitimately compelling BD-Live extra features. Format War Central tried to check these out, but got smacked with a 57 page EULA followed by a 63 page Privacy Policy before they could view any of them

(from Gizmodo).

Shakespeare Sketch (flash)

Live Shakespeare sketch with Hugh Laurie and Rowan Atkinson (rated PG).

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Media is the Marketing

The biggest factor in a viral video's success is what happens when the viewer presses play.

When to Start Social Media

If you want to get involved in social media, the time to do so is months before you want to use the platform to push a message. Building a reputation in a community and laying the groundwork for search engine optimization and traffic should be occurring months before you write the first piece of code or buy your first ad


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Got A Back-Up Plan (flash)

Truck bails out truck and then needs bail out (rated PG).

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bert and Ernie Gangsta-Rap

Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie Rap, or at least are re-cut to lip sync (rated PG-13).

Ask an Astronaut (flash)

Astronaut Greg Chamitoff, 220 miles above Earth aboard the International Space Station, is taking your questions (rated PG).