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Showing posts from April, 2010

Bad ads:Ironman + Oracle

Really? Someone thought this was a good idea? Enough to launch a massive advertising campaign? :)

I just started reading this book on advertising, where one line (paraphrased) resonated with me, "Just because it works and people remember it, doesn't mean you should be proud of it."

Quick review: Kick-ass

Crazy week, but I did catch this one and loved it.:)
Hit Girl steals the show, and this may be the best thing that Nicholas Cage has done in a while.:)
While I'm reviewing things the WSJ app on the iPad is pretty slick, and this book(Very Nice Ways to Say Very Bad Things) isn't as funny as the title suggests. I picked it up from the library at work and stopped reading it after 5 mins. If you've read it and liked it, let me know and I may dive back in.

2 incredibly beautiful things I had in my hand today

My newborn niece:

My new iPad:


:)

F8: Facebook developer conference keynote notes; Summary: wow

I was at the Facebook developer conference for part of the day yesterday. The vision outlined in the keynote was incredibly impressive and ambitious. There's plenty of analysis across the Web, but my raw notes just on the keynote below.
I came away very impressed with their vision and their strategy, especially the open-graph and graph api, the limits they’re pushing on privacy and their attempt at building the semantic web; how they’ll use it to benefit the FB experience and other sites. I caught myself saying “Whoa” a couple of times during Bret Taylor’s preso

Raw Notes:
Ambience: I couldn’t help comparing since this venue plays host to a number of conference including Of all the conferences this year, the clear winner is Paypal X; Violinists beat canned, loud rock hands down. Parking was more expensive than I remember it. Keynote was very packed. The person checking me in seemed to become less friendly the minute she saw Google on the badge (Reminder: next year go back to regist…

Two random pictures of things I'll see more of

After my last two flights, I've decided that taking the Window seat and avoiding have to get up 3-4 times during a flight (painful if you've got a laptop plugged in and/or are in the middle of work or a movie) trumps the extra leg space I get from taking the aisle seat. So Im hoping I'll see sights like the ones to the left more often.
Also I'm officially addicted to to the hot chocolate (with white chocolate) from L.A. Burdick, so I'm hoping to see to see a lot more of this as well.:)

About users and the tools to influence them

I found this great preso on "Seductive Interactions" over at NoteandPoint.
The style is great, and so is a lot of the content. The preso reminds us about the basic tendencies of users (Slide 71) e.g., users are curioususers are lazyusers like to be guidedusers respond to organization...etc etc.It also talks about some basic psychological tools that designers have to influence their users (Slide 138) including social proofreciprocityimagery...etc. etc.The key is recognizing which of the tools you can use to influence human behavior to achieve the goals you have (Slide 140.)

The pre-purchase iPad review

One of these days, hopefully sooner rather than later, I will have a magical and revolutionary device to call my own. However, I won't bother waiting till then to start reviewing the damn thing. :)
I played with it for a little more than an hour at the Apple store next door to the office, and then some more when I'd visited the store again...and then again. Yes, I've heard of buying things on the Internet, but I'm determined to walk out of a store with one now. :)
There are enough reviews out there and I'm joining the unwashed faithful that are buying the device to see what the hell it is. So instead, I'll list the reasons why I think I"m going to get frustrated by the device despite by plans to buy one soon; maybe I'll be proved wrong No multitasking is going to suck big time: I'm very used to music in the background while surfing. Apparently I'm going to have to wait till Fall till the update. Sigh.The screen size means I keep wanting to use it…

"Welcome, finally, to the civilized world"

I got a new laptop at work today. :) I also moved from a PC to a Mac. Said an engineer who walked past as I was transferring my files: "Welcome to the civilized world!"
So far, so good! Civilization agrees with me. Fiddling around with settings is a little rough and the WiFi at home isn't playing nice, but surprisingly very little's changed so far.
I realized just how much of my day I spend in the browser and the few times I need to leave it to install software, the Mac versions exist and are pretty solid. The first presentation I need to whip up is likely to result in some minor anguish though. :)
Stating the obvious so far, the trackpad finger gestures are so much more intuitive, the UI is so much more awesome, and I'm really enjoying the fact that putting my screen up-and-down doesn't send the operating system running for cover.

Before and after Pics (with gelaskin transfer completed!) below:
Before




After


Why 9:41?

Wow...apparently this is how carefully Apple plan their keynotes and product demos. Impressive and kinda scary!Well, I guess if you have the gumption to market a "magical and revolutionary product at an unbelievable price", you're driven enough to spend a lot of time getting the little things right too. I still can't believe they went with that tagline. :)
The average Microsoft demo on the other hand is probably a success if there are no blue screens involved. The average Google demo, I dunno....we don't have as many unveilings on the same scale and they're much more dependent on the individual presenter. Eric is ridiculously good though and as a presenter, Vic gives Jobs a run for his money.

Quick reviews: Tuned In, Saatchi & Saatchi, Date Night

The easy one first: Date Night: it was fun. I expected it to be hilarious in both a slapstick and smart kinda way, and it was. I wasn't expecting it to try to layer on too much emotional/romantic stuff and it did, but that was pretty good too. :)
I got about a third of the way through Saatchi & Saatchi: the Inside Story before I stopped. The book's fine, but focuses more on the personalities and politics, rather than the breakthrough advertising and after a while that got less interesting.
I did get through "Tuned In", which I picked up from the library at work. Its a good book and at first glance I thought I wouldn't learn anything that I hadn't in an introductory marketing class, but the book's a great reminder on how easy it is not get the basic things wrong and how often even folks that should know better, don't; or even if they know better aren't able to act in a way consistent with that.
The book goes over ways to understand your custome…

Just say "my bad' already.

As my mind wandered on the bus back to NYC today, I thought about apologies and how reluctant people are to make them, especially at work.
A few weeks ago I'd gotten a little annoyed coming out of a meeting, simply because I'd seen a familiar type of behavior just go down. It was meeting similar to others I'm sure happen everyday in most companies. Something had gone wrong; someone had caught it; the team discussed it; discussed alternatives/repercussions and a fix, and then moved on.
Sounds normal enough. So what bugged me? The folks who made the decision that necessitated this entire conversation took responsibility and ownership of the fix, and portrayed extreme competence in doing so. However, at no time did they acknowledge the mistake, let alone apologize for it.
This has always bugged me. I think part of being a professional or a leader or for that matter just a functioning human being is being able to recognize not just that you made a mistake but acknowledging to oth…