Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Branding and social media

Just a quick thought: your efforts in social media should be an extension of your brand. The best brands have emotional connections associated with them. If your efforts in social media are soul-less PR or marketing drivel you will dampen the emotional connection people have with your brand.

Engage people in real converstations and build relationships. Good relationships are emotional and so are great brands.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Update on the traveling trash can experiment

Despite the major inconvenience I've stuck with my trash can experiment. The first night was a little weird. I left the trash can where Cleaning Guy left it the night before. He came in. He saw the can. We made eye contact. He knew. It was awkward.

Over the last week or so I've let the cleaning crew guy put my trash can back wherever he wants instead of where it is supposed to be. Ideally, I'd have a camera with a wide-angle lens mounted above my office to provide a bird's-eye view of the journey of the trash can. Sadly,  I don't have such a camera so I sketched out a little map of my office and used an eraser to represent the route the trash can (Trashy) has taken. (You can click each image to zoom in.)

This is where my trash can is supposed to be: behind me under my desk:

This is where the can is directly in front of my desk drawers:

This one is even less convenient because it blocks to drawers while sticking enough to be tripped over:

Trashy made a big jump back under my little side table. Not a bad place for it - at least I could open my drawers:

It hung out in this area for a few days:

Finally it ended up almost smack-dab in the middle of my doorway. Tomorrow I'll move it back to where it's supposed to be and we'll see if Cleaning Guy gets the point.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Our ghetto apartment

I'm pretty sure that in most buildings (you for human inhabitants), walls are supposed to come down and meet the floor in some kind of secure, structurally supportive way.

This may explain the draft. And the ants. And the mice.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Why Apple won't best the Palm Pre

Kevin Rose is at it again. After some dubious predictions in the past he's saying the iPhone 3.0 will have copy and paste and, according to his source, "Brings it up to speed with all the Palm Pre stuff."

Copy and paste is probably a pretty safe bet. And I will be the first to admit that it's pathetic how excited everyone will be for a basic feature that should have been included in the original software, yet has taken TWO YEARS to make its appearance. (Assuming it's even coming - everyone has been expecting it from day one.)

As for the iPhone being brought up to speed with the Palm Pre, I doubt it. Why? Because one of the big features I see in the Pre is the ability to better manage your information. With the Pre, it pulls all your contacts from (for example) your work email, Gmail, Facebook, etc. and deduplicates entries automatically. So if my friend from work, Adam, is in my contact list the Pre will pull his work email, Gmail account and Facebook status and display them all under his name without any help from me. It does the same thing for calendars, IM, email, etc. all over the air without needing to plug the Pre into a computer. (For a good demo of the Pre click here and watch chapters 4, 5 and 6.)

Apple has failed when it comes to information management on the iPhone. They can't even get their proprietary, completely-controlled-by-them, specifically built for the iPhone, doesn't play nice with anyone else, $99/year MobileMe service to consistently work properly. Nor have they enabled the push notification feature which was supposed to be out months ago.

I'd love it if Apple pulled the same functionality of the Pre out of its hat. I really would. Especially if it's easily unlockable. I just don't think it's going to happen.

Besides, they have yet to conquer picture messaging, instant messaging, text message forwarding and all those other radically advanced cell phone features.

Thoughts? Any last-minute predictions for tomorrow? Am I delusional? Leave word in the comments.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Trash can for the bathroom


Practical design, don't you think? By Stephan Hauser.

Oh yeah. And this is my 700th post.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Elder Uchdorf on creativity

I think anyone would find this inspirational, regardless of your faith (best viewed in HD - click the "HD" button near the volume control in the player after you hit play):

The church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) has set up a channel on YouTube called MormonMessages and is creating short, informative and inspirational videos exclusively for the medium. You should definitely check it out.

About this video... what an interesting topic for a conference talk! I wish they had a link to the entire talk because I'd love to read it.

What do you think? How did you feel when you watched the video? Leave word in the comments.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This chick kinda looks like she has a hairy chest

Sorry Ms. iPod Shuffle Model. The combination of freckles, shadows, thin lips and ill-placed head hair makes it look like you've got some serious shag going on.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The trash can experiment

I walk into my office each morning and on a semi-regular basis find my trash in a place other than where I normally keep it.

You see, the cleaning guy doesn't put it back. He comes in and grabs it and tosses any trash that may be in it into a bigger trash can in the hallway. This is good. However, upon returning the can to my office, he only makes it about half way back and sets it on the floor in front of my desk drawers instead of tucked away under the opposite side of the desk where it belongs. I can only imagine a two reasons for this:

1. Short-term memory loss. The poor guy can't remember where the trash can goes despite picking it up just 15 seconds earlier. (Sad.)

2. He's lazy. (Also sad.)

Not to be overly critical, but I'm leaning toward number one because he never forgets where it goes when I'm in the office and he comes in.

So I'm going to do a little experiment and for the next little while I'm going to leave my trash can wherever he puts it. I won't touch it. If he puts it in the middle of my doorway I'll step over it. If he puts it on my chair I'll stand all day or find a new chair. (Don't any of you go giving the cleaning guy any crazy ideas. This is a scientific experiment.)

What do you think will happen? Let me know in the comments.

UPDATE: Dang it! I was still at my desk when he came in tonight. I tried not to make eye contact. It was awkward.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Got $1.4M to drop on a car? It should be this one.

Behold, the Aston Martin One-77. Why "One-77"? Because there are only going to be 77 of these cars hand built by the motor company. According to the article (link below), "...It represents the culmination of all the company has learned since its founding in 1913."

Check out this brief article with more pictures and info. Now you'll have to excuse me - I have to go change my pants.

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Kit to Thwart Writers Block

"The Kit to Thwart Writers Block was created after being asked to find something I hate, change it and make it better, and then advertise it. Because I hate getting writers block, I researched the many ways to solve it, and created a packaged kit. I advertised it by silkscreening depressing doodles on napkins that look like they could have been drawn by someone in the throes of writers block. Folded on the other side of the napkin is the logo of the kit. Napkins were dispersed at coffee shops, and other locations where one might go to try and avoid writers block."

A fun project. I wish she was really selling them. :) See more of the kit here.

An addictive chemical in the chicken

This scene is a classic. Still cracks me up. This time I watched it from the point of view of the friend listening to the story being told. Hilarious.