teampembo

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Nice story in the Sun (via Media Guardian)

The manufacturers of the Eamonn Holmes-endorsed DVD game Spell have
had to pulp 10,000 copies after getting his name wrong on the
packaging. Holmes spotted the second 'n' missing from his first name when he
was sent one of the DVDs to sign.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Viral growth

Good graph which we could use to illustrate viral marketing...

Basically this is a group that set themselves up with the express purpose of seeing how many people they could get to join it.

There's no incentive for people to join this group, apart from their own personal interest...

In case the URl doesn't work for non members of facebook

the group was made on October 11th

DAY 1: 1,000
DAY 2: 6,000
DAY 3: 15,000
DAY 4: 40,000
DAY 5: 100,000!
DAY 6: 175,000!
DAY 7: 270,000!

Day 8: 350,000!
Day 9: 400,000
Day 10: 430,000
Day 11: 470,000 woop woop
Day 12: 517,000 More people than Wyoming
Day 13: 553,000 We have passed the Apple Students group!
Day 14: 580,000

Day 15: 608,000
Day 16: 620,000 (?)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Dell The Journey

I don't know what to say about this. So I won't say anything

Thursday, October 26, 2006

NASDAQ - Visionaries

Going back to the idea of CEOs being some kind of hero again.

It's a good idea in some ways, but probably tired for me. Especially so soon after the sentencing of Skilling...

Bush used the Google

HOST: I’m curious, have you ever googled anybody? Do you use Google?

BUSH: Occasionally. One of the things I’ve used on the Google is to pull up maps. It’s very interesting to see — I’ve forgot the name of the program — but you get the satellite, and you can — like, I kinda like to look at the ranch. It remind me of where I wanna be sometimes.

Search efficiency

Article on search efficiency in the Google interface.









Not great ideas in my opinion but an interesting discussion, particularly in the comments.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Islandoo

The makers of the poor-man's-Big-Brother, reality show Shipwrecked started a website called Islandoo.com for people to sign up on if they wanted to audition for the show.

Well, 18,000 profiles and 10m page views later, its become a fully fledged social networking site.

The makers are now going to export it to the US (as reported in Media Guardian and the FT).

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Film Actors Guild getting active again

After we've shown how brilliant we are at humanitarian interventions in cultures we don't understand, it might be time to start another war.

I'm sure all the troops sent into this area will be welcomed by villagers with flowers.

The best possible option would be to go to a rock concert. That'll show the Janjaweed...

Techcrunch » Blog Archive » SpaceShipOne Mystery Solved

Techcrunch » Blog Archive » SpaceShipOne Mystery Solved
Another good example of user interaction.

The rumour went round yesterday that Google had bought SpaceShipOne (the privately owned spacecraft that hit orbit last year).

Within 24 hours this writer on Techcrunch had managed to not only get video of the actual ship itself within the Smithsonian museum but also pictures of the replica being moved into Google.

He didn't go anywhere, just asked people to look into it.

An equation

Internet + Patriot Act = Scary

Racism in the morning

After a newroom revolt backed by the National Union of Journalists, the Daily Star scrapped a page mocking Muslims, entitled "The Daily Fatwa". Not just racist but poor journalism - that's not even a pun.

Using words of no more than five letters, the page included a "Page 3 burqa babes" special and the strap line “no news no goss no fun”.

It was banned as "staff voiced fears of violent reprisals" rather than due to any sort of morality.

Since then Zoo magazine actually published its own version, including a rubber stamp mark which read "Pending approval under shariah law".

You wouldn't get this rubbish in the Sun.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Interesting Song

Great - song about the internet.
Good for buzz words too.
Machinima, mashup web 2.0 blah blah

Think this would be good for a blogging presentation

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Cool new viral I found on You tube



Pass it on..

Nike Advert

Not sure I agree with the use of the song. Probably fits the ad, but there's something slightly bad taste about it

Little Less Gravity

Beautiful ad. Want to see this in the cinema

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Blogging is good

This is exactly what we want to be doing for Smile.

This is one of the forums discussing a computer game that is going to be coming out in the next couple of months.

The (slightly Ramzi-esque) users were looking through some information to do with the game. They built up their own (probably unfounded) rumour that there would be spyware installed on their machines when they tried to play the game.

Cue large amounts of bitching.

Then, however, instead of just leaving it to rest, someone 'official' (DICE) comes in and starts telling the moaners exactly what the company is and isn't doing.

The change in tone is pretty much immediate - once they've had attention paid to them, the moaners calm right down. Obviously there's some people still moaning, but some people get brave enough to get on there and say that they LIKE the idea of having adverts in their games.

Of even more interest is this:


This post was done on a gaming blog with a much larger readership than the initial forum. This was greeted with dismay, but further down someone puts on DICE's reply. Although it takes slightly longer, the anger slowly dies down there. Even more people on this blog suddenly start asking if in game advertising is that bad a thing.

Online advertising for the gamer generation

Interesting article.


EXTREMELY TECHNICAL

But, if you have a read it shows you exactly what Massive's system is capable of. It'd be interesting to find out how many people are playing advertising enabled games in the UK.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Monster

Note the fact he wants a beer afterwards...

A VC: Who Should Buy Yahoo!

Now this WOULD be news.

In some ways, it would make sense to break up Yahoo!

The fact that Yahoo! owns the search technology doesn't really come through in the way Yahoo! sells it's inventory. There are definite disconnects in the different arms of its business.

We buy from different representatives for search, display and Kelkoo. The 'wonders' of Yahoo! (in my opinion) are not effectively pushed by the staff. Where's the advertising on Del.icio.us? Where's people pushing ads on Flickr?

In my opinion, Yahoo! long ago passed the point where it could easily grow organically. The rash of acquisitions it has been engaged in show that the management are aware of this.

We are still awaiting the next update to their search interface. They are about to start pushing a rival to YouTube, hoping to be able to use the Yahoo brand to recruit large numbers of people to the site. All this requires money and has no clear advantage to the company.

Risks require a good chance of return at the end of the process, I don't believe Yahoo! are leading the way in this.

To be fair to them though, they still own a couple of VERY large golden geese. Yahoo mail is definitely one, and the Yahoo portal will has one of the highest reaches of any internet area in the UK. They're not going to be gone any time soon (though someone else might own them!)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

MPs are backing The Big Ask

398 MPs have provided their backing to The Big Ask, Friends of the Earth's climate change campaign to cut UK's Co2 emissions by at least 3% a year. The Guardian reported that a climate change bill is likely to be included in next month's Queen's Speech. Environment secretary, David Miliband was alarmed by the the affect of CO2 emissions on Global warming, "more alarming... than previously thought"... Well better late than never.

Well done to The Big Ask! The next big campaign can perhaps help the Government in drawing up a legislation that lays out the means to achieving the annual CO2 targets. I have some suggestions: fewer jags, the use of public airlines for holidays, smart cars to replace all military tanks abroad and cutting down the use of Harriers in playing games of chicken(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbqQr2EEtHA)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Webcameron

Yo! Wanna see the original Webcameron spoof? That's cool. Click here.

And an Armando Iannucci-esque edit-job here:

Friday, October 13, 2006

NMA is in touch with developments in new media

News | Google gobbles YouTube in £886m buyout - NMA
Well done NMA. You're really quick with the news.

New Media Age. You would have thought they'd be able to report on this slightly sooner?

They'd be forgiven for being slightly late. Days late is just stupid.

Dangers of exaggeratin

This article shows the danger of making slightly dodgy claims.

Offsetting carbon should be about reducing emissions, not soaking up cabon. Planting trees does absorb carbon, but it is hard to argue what the land being planted was used for previously. Does a small forest absorb more CO2 than grassland? How quickly?

The correct method is to give money to developing countries to pay for them to use technologies that really do make a difference. This is the technique being used by most 'genuine' green companies. Planting trees needs to be clarified.

Why are we planting trees while still chopping down forests in the Amazon?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

USATODAY.com - Courts are asked to crack down on bloggers, websites

USATODAY.com - Courts are asked to crack down on bloggers, websites
This is the kind of thing which shouldn't be going to court.

Although blogging is often seen as a relatively faceless pastime, everything that is written passes through a search engine filter at some point. A good rant can often be ranked highly for firms with unusual names that don't have good presence online.

For brands and companies with names and reputations to uphold there is an overwhelming temptation to take legal action. However this can be regarded as short sighted - although they are extremely likely to win; it could be a pyrrhic victory. The impression given by legal victories is that the big nasty company came and beat up the nice independent guy.

Far better (as long as the opinion is actually wrong) to engage the wronged party in robust debate. Yes there could be a bit of an argument but it should be seen as an opportunity to discuss particular aspects of a company. It is usually better to show that brands listen to customers rather than slapping them down.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Green Jeans?

Jumping on the organic bandwagon Levi's has just launched sustainable 'Eco' jeans made from organic materials, including coconut shell buttons, natural dye and recycled cardboard labels. The catch? They cost a not so organic £85!

Digital CVs - how not to apply for a job!

'Impossible Is Nothing'

Describing himself as 'Aleksey Vayner, CEO & Professional Athlete', this video was put together by a Yale graduate and posted to prospective employers...and then the world! It shows him (supposedly) lifting a 495-pound weight, serving a tennis ball at 140mph, performing a rather impressive rotating jump while skiing, and – in an extended sequence – ballroom dancing with an underdressed lady while clad in a figure hugging black polo neck.

I knew the video of me sky-diving while resiting the benefits of online advertising would seal my job.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Neil's Replacement


Neil is on holiday this week, so we've had to get in a temp to replace him. He seems slightly more happy in his work than Neil...

Watch your back!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Google Puts Lid on New Products - Los Angeles Times

Google Puts Lid on New Products - Los Angeles Times: "
'They created a bunch of crap that they have no idea what to do with,' Rob Enderle, principal analyst with Enderle Group, a Silicon Valley consulting firm, said of Google. 'What a huge waste of resources.'"

While I would agree that some of their products could be improved, I would not ever say Earth, Reader, Mail or News are crap.

Part of the whole charm of Google is the idea that it just allows the techies to get on with making stuff they think is cool. If you look at the numbers alone then maybe it is a waste of 10% of their time. However, another way of looking at this 'waste' is as motivation and training. They're spending 90% of their time doing something mind numbingly complicated \ boring, but they can have their own little project on the side.
Go Google.

GigaOM » MySpace Is Gray, Confirms MySpace

Fair enough, though I still think the numbers are smelly.

I'm surprised at the number of my friends who have entered correct details into the age box though. I will stow my suspicions elsewhere.


Might be worth getting some stats out of them though. I'll have a pester about the UK stats tomorrow.

Comscore says 50% of people on Myspace are over 35

I don't believe this stat. At all.

If I was comscore I wouldn't have published this data.

I suspect people who install the free programmes that Comscore gives you are the kind of people who also use myspace heavily.

Also the idea that they can distinguish between users of the program based on the typing speed seems questionable.

Wish we could get some trustworthy data!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Fast Film

This rocks.

I bet this technique will surface in an advert some time soon

Market Quarter, Banbury - Barteak

Market Quarter, Banbury - Barteak
Now that we've got adsense on, we can start seeing how relevant the ads Google serve are.

Just after we had the nice post about digital rights management, there have been some ads about DRM.

Now there are some about flats in Banbury. Witney too.

Where did that come from?

I hope they're not bidding too highly.

Maybe if we talk about porn we'll get some interesting responses.

Google Search Mash revealed

Well, turns out I wasn't crazy.

Google have a new, but unbranded, site at www.searchmash.com where they can "test user interface ideas without Google's brand skewing the tests".

More likely it's unbranded because the one they're testing right now looks terrible - with image results down the page next to the main results - and no doubt it would sully Google's name if more people knew.

Interchangeability

Nce little promo thing trying to get people a little worked up about DRM (Digital Rights Management).
I think many of the rights holders are going too far.
When I buy music I want to be able to play it across my laptop, my home computer, my work computer and my phone. If someone wants to borrow the tune, I want to be able to lend it to them.
The companies are giving you a choice - pay for the protected, legal file or don't pay for the unprotected illegal file. What will people do?

Friday, October 06, 2006

For Daniel


Thursday, October 05, 2006

the future of television..itPTV

the decline of Tv will be speeding up soon...

Those guys behind Kazaa and Skype have started accepting signups for a peer to peer video streaming service they say will deliver high quality full screen TV across the net.

The Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom-backed Venice Project is in internal beta, and should be going to public beta soon. Viewers should be able to watch, well, something before Christmas.

The Venice Project is in discussions with major content providers, including TV companies, and has already truck deals with serious content providers, Friis told El Reg today. The Venice Project will also allow smaller content producers and individuals to upload their content. The service will be supported by advertising.

Friis and Zennstrom's time at Kazaa was marked by trench warfare with the big record companies, but this time they are nailing down the copyright issues before the service goes live.

"This is not a file sharing network," said Friis, adding that “We have a lot of experience with copyright.”. The service will be DMCA compliant, and content providers will be able to “de-authorise” content, he said. At the same time, if users upload illicit material, he said, it can be tracked down and taken off.

From the viewer's point of view, Friis is promising something that combines the best of the TV, i.e. professionally-produced content that tells a story, with the internet's ability to search for and access content on a whim, produce favourites list, forward these to friends along with comments, and the like. Users will create their own channels which could span programmes from the big production houses, independent documentaries, home movies and You Tube-like clips.

"This is a secure P2P network," added Friis. Users simply need to download the client software. Content providers will be able to access tools to upload their content, and crucially, ensure they get a cut of the advertising revenue it generates.

When content is uploaded, files will be atomized, Bittorrent-like, and distributed around the users on the network. However, users will be able to access the content as streams, giving the same sort of viewing experience they would expect from television.

Or at least that's the aim. Right now the service is in an internal beta, so outsiders can't see it. When it goes to open Beta, the company will use a Gmail-type viral invitation to spread the word - and generate a tidal wave of interest and hype.

The TV venture is backed by Friis and Zennstom, together with private investment. Friis said the company had offices in Europe and the US. Most of the development is being done in Europe. However, he was vague on where the firm is actually headquartered.

Friis and Zennstom still have day jobs at eBay - the internet bazaar bought Skype last year. Friis said the new project would not upset relations with their employer. He said The Venice Project “sits quite well“ with eBay “ adding: "Meg [Whitman, eBay CEO] is very encouraging."

Zennstrom will continue as CEO of Skype, and will be on the board of the new project. Friis is also on the board of The Venice Project, but in a much more active role. He retains his Skype title of director of strategy and innovation. The Venice Project's CEO is Fredrik de Wahl. The company is not disclosing the names of other board members yet.®

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Google mashup

Google apparently has registered 60-odd domains containing 'Mashup' in the name.

The Google people who visited today claimed ignorance of this despite using the word 'mashup' literally loads of times in their presentation.

I'm assuming 'mashup' to mean some sort of integration between their products, and they definitely need more of this I think. Gmail has quite a lot of integration - it shows addresses on a map or invites you add something to your Google Calendar when your email contains a relevant word, and more obviously it has a bar across the top of the screen now linking to other Google products.

It's interesting to learn Google have a team specifically working on integration between products.

GigaOM » DVD Jon Fairplays Apple

Interesting article - this (relatively) famous hacker has managed to crack Apple's right management system.
Rather than give the solution to the public, he is trying to sell it to other companies. It's a good idea since it opens up the ipod to secure content that's not directly approved by Apple.
If Apple were willing to release this, they wouldn't have run into their recent issues with the French government.
Personally I am against the idea of DRM. As many of the people on the web will tell you, DRM limits the use you may have of goods you have bought.
It is similar to the idea of speed limiters in cars. They would fit perfectly with the law, but it wouldn't allow you to rush to the hospital or run away from someone chasing you.
Current DRM makes it difficult to create legitimate backup copies of DVDs. For example, software that (il)legally bypasses DVD encryption needs to be purchased to transfer DVDs from your computer to your PSP \ iPod.

Digital Rights Management is yet another example of rights holders being short sighted and focusing far too much on short term revenue.

I've been to the cinema twice this month. Both times cost more than purchasing a generic DVD in HMV (£10.50). I'm sure I'm going to read about declining cinema audiences. It'll be blamed on piracy.

At the moment, I'd much rather download a film illegaly rather than give the company who made it over £10 just for the privelege of seeing it.

The films I have seen this month annoy me in particular, these are films which I definitely will end up buying on DVD. It would make sense (from a consumer's point of view) to be able to purchase both cinema ticket and DVD at the same time.

Why don't they do this? So that they can preserve the number of people coming into the cinemas to watch their precious films.

It seems strange - you wait for a film to come out on DVD (so that you can pay twice for the same film. You have therefore deliberately chosen to ignore the other option - download the illegal copy. This copy comes sooner (sometimes at the same time as UK film release), cheaper and often better. Downloaded films can be transferred to other devices. You don't have to worry about where the dvd is. There's no annoying non skippable trailers at the beginning.


Rights holders need to get their acts together, and soon. They're in the process of losing a generation of regular content purchasers. The Swedes are in the process of creating an untraceable 'darknet' that will allow comfort in downloading illegal content.
How long can they wait before genuinely embracing the new wave of distribution?

GigaOM » DVD Jon Fairplays Apple

Interesting article - this (relatively) famous hacker has managed to crack Apple's right management system.
Rather than give the solution to the public, he is trying to sell it to other companies. It's a good idea since it opens up the ipod to secure content that's not directly approved by Apple.
If Apple were willing to release this, they wouldn't have run into their recent issues with the French government.
Personally I am against the idea of DRM. As many of the people on the web will tell you, DRM limits the use you may have of goods you have bought.
It is similar to the idea of speed limiters in cars. They would fit perfectly with the law, but it wouldn't allow you to rush to the hospital or run away from someone chasing you.
Current DRM makes it difficult to create legitimate backup copies of DVDs. For example, software that (il)legally bypasses DVD encryption needs to be purchased to transfer DVDs from your computer to your PSP \ iPod.

Digital Rights Management is yet another example of rights holders being short sighted and focusing far too much on short term revenue.

I've been to the cinema twice this month. Both times cost more than purchasing a generic DVD in HMV (£10.50). I'm sure I'm going to read about declining cinema audiences. It'll be blamed on piracy.

At the moment, I'd much rather download a film illegaly rather than give the company who made it over £10 just for the privelege of seeing it.

The films I have seen this month annoy me in particular, these are films which I definitely will end up buying on DVD. It would make sense (from a consumer's point of view) to be able to purchase both cinema ticket and DVD at the same time.

Why don't they do this? So that they can preserve the number of people coming into the cinemas to watch their precious films.

It seems strange - you wait for a film to come out on DVD (so that you can pay twice for the same film. You have therefore deliberately chosen to ignore the other option - download the illegal copy. This copy comes sooner (sometimes at the same time as UK film release), cheaper and often better. Downloaded films can be transferred to other devices. You don't have to worry about where the dvd is. There's no annoying non skippable trailers at the beginning.


Rights holders need to get their acts together, and soon. They're in the process of losing a generation of regular content purchasers. The Swedes are in the process of creating an untraceable 'darknet' that will allow comfort in downloading illegal content.
How long can they wait before genuinely embracing the new wave of distribution?

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Head Heeb: United we call

The Head Heeb: United we call
One of the reasons for the explosion in mobile telecoms in Africa is the ability to swap credit by SMS. It's allowed the operation of small economies in the backwaters of certain sub saharan areas.
Now one of the market leaders (I think, don't know this for sure) has allowed cross border SMS swaps. This means that for some people (and probably a sizeable slice of the population), SMS credit will become as important as the local currency.
Given a large proportion of these economies are fully interchangable with dollars at a street level, should mean that the local people rely on the local currency to a lesser extent.
Thinking about it, if your income is decided by what you can grow and trade, you don't need the local currency. In some ways you could probably get away with no currency at all.

Economists?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Techcrunch » Blog Archive » All Women Team Takes Yahoo Hack Day Top Prize

Unfair I know, but I was surprised at Yahoo for managing to lead with some kind of technical innovation.
All too often Yahoo seem to be guilty of 'me too' products and services. It seems very rare for Yahoo! to come up with something genuinely new or groundbreaking.
Having said that, it's extremely difficult to do something new and innovative. Google haven't yet done anything particularly innovative (someone else had done search, someone else had done their purchasing model and someone else had found a way to put textlinks on 3rd party sites).
I think the problem is that Yahoo have done very little to promote their new funky stuff. I think Yahoo answers is a good idea, but it doesn't position them as leaders.
Not sure what Yahoo represent as a brand. They're kind of similar to Sainsbury's - there's nothing they do extremely well, but you can have faith that whatever they do will be good enough...

Fair and balanced

Another post about my favourite pet hate Fox News, who this week interviewed Bill Clinton purportedly about the hot-topic of climate change, but which turned into an attack on him for not catching Bin Laden of all things!!

The video's 11 minutes long, but well worth watching to see Clinton sock it to 'em!



Here's a few Clinton excerpts from a transcript of the interview:

"Now, I will answer all those things on their merits, but first I want to talk about the context in which this arises. I’m being asked this on the Fox network..."

"So you did Fox’s bidding on this show. You did your nice little conservative hit job on me."

"And you’ve got that little smirk on your face and you think you’re so clever."

"You set this meeting up because you were going to get a lot of criticism from your viewers because Rupert Murdoch’s supporting my work on climate change.

And you came here under false pretenses and said that you’d spend half the time talking about — you said you’d spend half the time talking about what we did out there to raise $7-billion-plus in three days from 215 different commitments. And you don’t care."

Go Clinton!