a really cool movie that i can't tell you about

In London, they're producing movie nights in odd places (like parking garages and defunct theaters) by invitation only. You can sign up on the Secret Cinema site, and they'll email you the details to the next event.

Sounds a little bit like the rave scene of yesteryear. Expect this in New York, next. (Unless it's already there, and I just didn't get invited.) Bring your glow in the dark lipstick.

Cool idea for a nationwide festival or brand tour.

second life: getting a second life.

There are some interesting things going on at Second Life. Former Organic CEO is headed over to the virtual organization to head things up.

Catharine P. Taylor has some really nice things about his character and leadership abilities. We've seen recently that there's still a viable audience on Second Life, spending more time "in world" than before.

This will be interesting to see what the future holds in that wonderful second world that we all like to talk about so much.

three search engines walk into a bar...

Sounds like a cute promotion for a company's services...until it goes on way too long, and is mis-handled in the blogosphere.

There's a back story here, that's FAR more interesting. Trust me. Read the comments to the post over at Make the logo bigger, for the real entertainment.

Here's the thing - if you're going to produce a promo piece using other people's intellectual property (like songs), and use logos without permission, in an off-brand way (like Microsoft and Yahoo), you might want to be careful about throwing threats around. Not that that's what happened - I'm just just being hypothetical, of course.

campaign brands by swag style

Animal New York has an interesting view of the democratic candidates - judging them by their campaign swag style. Obama has cool stuff, Hillary has stuff that only older white women would wear.

I wonder if the campaigns are designing to the audiences that they already have, or are they missing opportunities? Is their swag a reflection of the audience they're targeting, or a reflection of the design teams that are creating them?

If Hillary had cool t-shirts, would hipster white guys identify with her? If Obama had gold embroidered sweatshirts in bad fonts, would the old women taking the bus to the casino like him? Just wondering.

how greenpeace does beauty

Today being "twist on the beauty spots day", I thought you might also enjoy the Greenpeace version of the now classic Dove spot. Saw this on Adverblog, first.

some people need to shave more than others

Those people at Philips really know how to shave a guy. This is a pretty cool twist on showing product benefits from someone who might know a thing or two about shaving some tough hair.

This is already all over the internets, but I really like The GirlRiot's review of this spot, best.

a bunch of stuff that you already knew...

but that's ripe for sharing with your boss: This social media stuff is really, really popular.

Universal McCann just released a new report showing that people really dig social media. That people watch video online. And are participating in social networks. And are beginning to understand RSS.

You will probably say "DUH", but you know you need these bullets for that PowerPoint presentation to the board:

- 83% watch video clips, up from 62% in the last study in June 2007
- 78% read blogs, up from 66%
- 57% of internet users are now members of a social network
- RSS consumption is growing rapidly up from 15% to 39%
- Podcasts are now mainstream digital content, listened to by 48%

More highlights of the 17,000 internet users surveyed last month on ReadWriteWeb.

The photo of Rob's smirk has absolutely nothing to do with this post. I just thought a graph or chart would be really boring. Let's just pretend that Rob is thinking of social media trends in this pic. Which, I believe he is.

what to do with those ugly malls

A recent episode of ScobleizerTV features a tour of the new RackSpace facility, in Austin Texas.

You may find this interesting on a few fronts. They're converting a massive shopping mall in a previously dead neighborhood in San Antonio, to RackSpace headquarters. Imagine having your office in a dead Orange Julius??

In this episode, they tour the space in development, and talk about how they convinced a couple thousand people to move to a neighborhood that was pretty much abandoned. You'd think that with all of that space, that they'd be spread across the joint "I call the Gap! I call the food court!" But instead, they've kept their people tight. To foster community. (A little too tight, in my opionion.)

They've reduced real estate costs, reduced power costs, and have tons of space to have fun in. This is an interesting piece for anyone into urban planning, architecture or workplace design.

best podcast ever recorded

Maybe even the best audio ever recorded. Imagine hearing my voice - drone on and on, about the new Zyrtek campaign, about Earth Day, and online ethics (!)

Now you can. Thanks to The Custom Scoop Magazine and their Media Bullseye Roundtable.

I'm featured on the latest episode, along with experts Sarah Wurrey and Jennifer Zingsheim. Listen to be dazzled. Or listen to count how many times that I say "um."

This is a great series, featuring some really intelligent discussion about marketing, branding, social media and our industry in general. They've lowered their standards for this episode on a one-time-only basis, and assure me that the rest of their shows will feature real guests. Who don't say "um" as much.

desktops are back

Desktoptopia has released a product that feeds desktops to your computer. You can rate them, and it learns what you like, and continues to feed your desires. And there's a kabillion beautiful, cool and fun images.

Hal Thomas, VP of Marketing at Desktopia, says they're open to including brand-styled desktops, too. Not the trashy stuff - but think entertainment properties, lifestyle brands, and things people would actually like on their desktops.

I'm intrigued, because desktops have largely been ignored for the last few years. Not long ago, it was presented as the future of communication.

What elements exist within your brands, that people might want on their desktops?

how to write a novel. 140 characters at a time.

NL Belardes works in the ABC newsroom. He's got an interesting side project: He's writing a novel, titled Small Places, 140 characters at a time. Using Twitter, of course. (If you start reading now, just make sure you start at the bottom.)

I wonder if he's actually posting as he's writing, or if he's got a portion of the story "in the can" and posts it periodically? (I've asked him via Twitter. Follow his personal Twitter stream , and maybe we'll find out.)

This is an interesting writing technique - because once it's posted, it's published. He can't go back and edit. That's got to be a real challenge for the author of a novel. This is a fun, and really cool idea.

this week at Plaid

We had a proper send-off party for Giuli, who's leaving us, and moving to Ohio. Eliza invited everyone over to her house (on a lake!!). Yeah - pretty bold thing to do. Not only could we have burnt the place down, but everyone knows where she lives now. Trouble.

Eliza: don't be surprised when Rob knocks on your door one night at 3AM, in a drunken stupor, looking for a ride home. Or when you see flyers downtown, promoting a show for Matt's band..."live at Eliza's."

We got some good press and blog coverage. The Fairfield County Business Journal is doing a profile on me, and my obsession with sneakers. Should be pretty pathetic. The social site that we launched for Segway got a nice piece in AdWeek, and some sweet blog coverage.

Plans for the summer Plaid tour are well underway. The tour dashboard will launch (first stage) next week at PlaidNation.com. The tour's blog is live. We're already scheduling a handful of meetings, and even arranged to meet a certain very well known internet blogebrity who will be profiling us. His name might rhyme with "roble". More soon.

If you're from Ohio, please, please, please reach out to Giuli. Show her and her almost-cool husband the town. Let her turn your agency around, into a profit rocket. You can still contact her through her email here: Giuli (at) thinkplaid DOT com.

the elevator is lying to you.

This is an interesting factoid, about human behavior, and product design. You've probably seen the clip that's made its way around the internets, featuring the guy stuck in the elevator for 41 hours. Yech.

This leads to a fun fact about elevator design. It turns out that the handy "close door" button doesn't work. In ANY elevator manufactured since the early 90's. It's only there to make you feel like you have a sense of control.

When I read this, it made me angry. Why can't we be honest?

There's a new Quiznos spot running, featuring a yummy looking chicken thing. And in the new spot, it features the sandwich as "naughty." I laughed, because I saw that as honest. I'm not going to eat a mega-calorie gut buster because I think it's the healthy thing to do. I'm going to eat it because I deserve it. Or because I feel like being naughty. (In the eating, kind of naughty way.)

So, bring on the honesty. Let's stop deception. Let's get naughty.

make your wii mii into the real you

Now you can get your personal Wii character made into an actual sculpture. These are going to make wiilicious gifts. For the right people. Other people might just stare at you, and say things like "you got me a stupid statue? For our wedding anniversary??"

interactive at the bus stop

Here's a cool way to make your outdoor work interactive. They should put a big tub of hand sanitizer next to the piece, too. But I'm pretty sure everyone at the bus station has clean hands, so we're probably good. (photo by Alexander Pihl)

what if everything were made of pixels

Or what if it already is, and we just don't have the resolution to see it?

Really cool pixel graffiti, found in NYC. Ironically, tagged later by another graffiti artist.

spreading brand hate, via twitter

LessAccounting is taking advantage of the fact that there's a lot of disdain for for their chief competitor, Quickbooks. A quick scan of Twitter shows that the majority of chatter about QuickBooks is negative.

So LessAccounting is celebrating that fact with the creation of We All Hate Quickbooks, Do You?.

This is awesome, for LessAccounting. They've now illustrated to internet workers that:
+ You're not alone in your hatred for QuickBooks;
+ There's an alternative to the product you hate using.

As a small agency that uses Quickbooks - we're in the demo. And we've looked for alternatives to the nasty Mac version of Quickbooks, to no avail. We'll be checking out LessAccounting - because they've captured our attention.

This is a great lesson on both sides of the fence. LessAccounting is capitalizing on a situation that the larger competitor created with a less-than-spectacular product.

Quickbooks needs to do a better job of monitoring the chatter about their product, and become a part of the conversation. They can't hide behind their #1 status forever. They could be using this conversation to their advantage, and improving their product.

In the meantime, tweet away about how much you loathe using QuickBooks. LessAccounting is paying attention.

how bloggers vacation.

At Plaid, we love road tours. We're just a little bit partial to them.

So I think we've found some love for Patrick Curl and his wife, who plan on touring 50 states, in 50 days, and visiting a blogger in each state. Wow.

the fix for hair loss, small breasts and beer belly.

Funny series of print ads for an online dating service.

overheard on twitter

About once a day, you see something on Twitter that you just want to share with the entire world. Yesterday, it was a quote from HookEmSarah:

"Presenting a communication audit on @JetBlue. Strategy? Be awesome and they will come."

And there you have it. Your new marketing strategy.

yesterday is so today

70's and 80's are the new 90's. But if you love graphic design from the 20's through the 80's, then you'll love this gallery of retro-design.

no really, i'm working.

If you use Facebook for business and pleasure (it's like a good mullet - business in the front, and party in the back), then you're going to love the new Get Stuff Done application for Facebook.

Organize, create lists, share files - this is one of the most robust applications that I've ever seen on Facebook. They've actually thought out how you might use Facebook as a project planner - and by the looks of it, supplied everything you need to get started. See a detailed overview on 5ThirtyOne. So, what are you waiting for?

embrace your inner dorkness

Dorks just became really cool. Geeks have had their day, and remain awesome, but dorks are the new hot. And it all happened thanks to the release of Dork Magazine, an online publication dedicated to art, habitat, and people.

The current issue is really good. If you enjoy BrandFlakes, you're going to love Dork. Issue #5 includes articles about Nike, Uniqlo, SmartCar, the Murakami show in Brooklyn, and sooo much more dorkaliciousness.

overpasses finally get their photo glory

Sure, everyone takes photos of the mountains, and the flowers and the animals. But what about those impeccably designed, human engineered roads in the sky? Why does the overpass always get treated like the ugly kid at the party?

Finally, the overpass gets its day in the sun. Ironic Sans has dedicated a portfolio of shots devoted entirely to overpass beauty. Overpass in the day, at night, naked, it's all there. It's like concrete porn.

second life: second wave?

There's been quite a bit of Second Life noise buzzing around the internets lately. The rumor that Apple is opening a store there.

That news that the time spent in-world by Second Life members is increasing.

Now that the hype is over, (and real estate in SL is tanking), perhaps we can all participate in something meaningful. Something that doesn't involve investing 2. 3 million to talk to 2.3 thousand. There's a real audience still spending their real time in that other world. And, by the looks of it, more and more of their time. What opportunities will be realized?

a new way to waste away productivity with twitter

If Twitter isn't already stealing enough otherwise productive time from your day, you may want to play with TwittEarth. See tweets from around the world, but on a wonderous 3D globe. Like Twittervision, but cuter. I guess. Originally saw it on Mashable.

that dude's in his undies.

You'll especially appreciate this if you're from Europe. Or South Beach. Or if you're just a dude who likes his banana in a hammock. Oh yeah - or, if you like ice cream.

a very rare, good copy idea in a banner ad.

When was the last time you clicked on a banner ad? When was the last time a banner ad did anything other than 'make an impression?' In a world where "creative" means Flash rollovers, this was refreshing. It's so rare that copy is even considered in most banners. Usually, it's "re-purpose the art from this or that."

Don't get me wrong - the design here sucks. Beyond bad. The savings copy on the bottom is completely unnecessary. But the ninja copy? Totally sweet.

this week at Plaid:

Here's what happened this week at the world's most happy-it's-like-summer design and branding firm:

We launched Segway Social. This is a pretty amazing social site - that allows Segway owners to connect with each other, across the globe. They can find other owners in their area, create groups with owners they have things in common with, share photos, map their "glides," and so much more Segway goodness.

RJ and Steph, the newest members of Plaid, received their bobble heads. Once they're photographed, they'll get installed onto our agency's site.

A few of us went to check out Matt's band, Pop Heroes, last night. He rocks. Buy his music here.

I met the other Darryl Ohrt. Only he spells his name with one "r" instead of two. Twitter buddy Doug Meacham alerted me to his existence - and I still can't believe there's ANOTHER Darryl Ohrt. If that's not enough, we work in the same industry! He's a User Experience Lead at Avenue A/Razorfish. Hmmm. If I start acting like a zombie, be suspicious. I'm pretty sure he's a body snatcher, here to replace me.

Springtime finally came to the northeast. We celebrated with a good round of gumbdrop baseball. Basically, we hit gumdrops off the roof of our building, with a wiffle ballbat. (Don't worry - they're just gumdrops. It's not like they can break windows or kill people, or anything.)

We hired Sara! She'll replace Giuli, who's moving to Ohio. Who knows what Giuli will do in the middle part of the country. I think she's going to turn Amish, or something. More details about Sara are coming in about a week. We have a feeling that you're really going to dig her. We already do. (Giuli is sooo last week.)

The grey skies are gone, and Plaidsters are set for a fun weekend of mountain biking, drinking and Comic Con.

the sky is waiting

This is the coolest invention of the week. A device that spits out foam and gas in the shape of type and artwork.

Flogos lets users publish their artwork and ideas to the sky. The gas blaster can send art into the sky at a rate of every 15 seconds. Who needs Twitter or Microsoft Word, when you can just type your message across the atmosphere?

They're affordable too - renting out at about $2500/day. Not a horrific expense to the right event budget. They come in versions that produce 24", 36" and 48" flying logos.

This has so many fun possibilities - from retail, event promotion and creative art installations. We need one for our agency's roof. Oh, the fun we could have.

unexpected licensing that makes sense

Two licensing deals this week caught our attention, and are great examples of brands coming together to produce greatness.

Levis is partnering with snowboard apparel company 686. Snowboard culture and 686 brand awareness bring much needed cool factor to Levis. 686 gets a unique product line, and credit for helping to reinvent Levis in a new category. Win-win.

Burton is partnering with Playboy. They've done this before, just not at this level. Their new fall line has some pretty sexy boards that are sure to get attention. And melt snow. Burton makes Playboy relevant, in a world where magazines no longer matter. Playboy bunnies look super hot on boards. Win-win, again.

What brand could you partner with, to create unexpected success?

what the pope is doing for fun this weekend

If you're looking for a reason to stay indoors this weekend, (and live in the northeast,) here you go: New York Comic Con. A festival of geekiness about comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies, television and other nerdy gems.

A handful of the dorks from our agency will be there, so keep an eye out for us. If you're too cool for this level of geekdom, then we'll do our best to give you the highlights here on BrandFlakes. Or on Twitter. Or Flickr.

(We hang with geeks, so you don't have to.)

Giuli loves her husband more than she loves Plaid.

We've got some sad news to share. Giuli's husband has accepted a wonderful new position at P&G. In Cincinnati. That's a bit of a commute from our offices.

Over the last few weeks, we've attempted to convince Giuli that it's time to leave her husband, and commit to a life of Plaid. That her job here is like a marriage. That we have needs, too. So far, she's not seeing things our way.

So next week, Giuli's leaves for Ohio. The place that's not next to the ocean. That state that doesn't have New York City. The part of the country that almost touches Canada.

She'll continue to work with us (from Ohio) to help us with the transition to her replacement (more on that, next week!)

In the meantime, we have some advice for Ohio. If you want to be prepared for Giuli's arrival, we suggest:
+ Open a Uniqlo and Crate&Barrel store.
+ Have really good sushi.
+ Be less cold.

If you live in Cincinnati, and would like to show Giuli (and her lousy husband) the town, introduce them to other creative people, or offer her employment, please contact her at Giuli (at) thinkplaid (dot) com. She's Plaid-certified AWESOME.

those are some mighty sweet slacks

This is either a great idea or licensing gone too far. Apparel with over the top Kellogg's cereal brand licensing.

I never would have thought that kids would trick their cars out in tribute to brands either, but they do. So maybe somewhere, there are people who will really, really dig Froot Loop pants. Or a Honey Smacks hoodie. I might like them if they came in the skinny fit, instead of the sooper baggy style. (Toucan Sam and I go way back, so that's me.)

Thanks David's sister!

keep it down out there

In an effort to get people to shut up and to appreciate the nice quiet appliances they make, Electrolux has launched an outdoor campaign in London, Madrid, Berlin, Brussels, and Milan. The billboards feature live LED decibel meters.

There's a nice campaign site that measures the current noise level of each city with the billboards. (So far, it looks like Milan is the most peaceful.)

Awesome work that creates brand awareness and city self-awareness of the noise around us. Nice job.

how is microsoft still in business?

It is absolutely astounding that this exists. That money was spent on this. That people approved it. I know the money must flow out of faucets over there, but couldn't you hire a better conceptual team for this?

At first, you'll think it's bad on purpose, and all a part of the joke. But as you get about halfway through, you realize there's no punch line. It's real. Real embarrassing. Reboot, please.

giant shoes bring together east coast and west coast. all is well.

Part art project, part street-team, part promotional stunt. This Adidas promo rocks. (Stupid Flash site won't let you link directly. Click on "superstar.")

Two giant (no really - GIANT) adidas shoes get painted by street artists. One on the west coast (the left shoe), one on the east coast (the right shoe). They meet in Venice Beach, and live happily ever after.

Only one thing leaves me uncomfortable. Why does the east coast shoe have to travel to California? Was the left shoe too lazy to meet halfway? Couldn't the giant shoe meet-up take place in Chicago? Over deep-dish pizza?

From mmcgreevy, via Twitter.

ten rules of lois

The April issue of Metropolis has a wonderful spread devoted to the Esquire cover designs of legendary ad man George Lois.

The piece features ten covers, with George's "rules" on their design. The Ed Sullivan cover above, accompanies rule #5:

"If your magazine doesn't have the clout to sign up the celebrity you need for your idea, attack him at the stage door."

You'll have to (gasp!) invest in the paper copy of the magazine for the other rules, because unfortunately, Metropolis doesn't have this spread available on line.

You can view a truly inspirational gallery of covers with George's commentary, on his official site.

verizon clueless?

Apparently Verizon is including text ads on all of the photos uploaded to services like Flickr, from any of their cellphones. I really hope this isn't true. Really hoping that one of the largest cell phone providers isn't that out of touch with what's important to their users, to the industry and social media.

I couldn't find examples in a quick search on Flickr, so I opted to include a photo of Rob, enjoying BBQ, instead. I think it's just as appropriate.

simple = better.

No stunning photography. No gorgeous models. No design. Just a simple message. Absolutely love this street campaign for Zyrtec.

darryl: too sexy for online adage

AdAge readership is expected to soar this week, as they've printed a super sexy pic of me, in their article Separating Brilliance from Blabber. You'll need to buy the print copy to see my headshot - it was too damn sexy to include in the online version.

You can also get a good view of my left ear, in the group shot. Mmmm. Hot. Obviously, my quotes were even too brilliant for an article with 'brilliance' in the headline.

I will be appearing at Borders this Friday night, signing copies, and accepting gifts. Links to pics of less attractive bloggers can be found on ToddAnd's coverage of the piece.

human resources wants to see you. about your avatar.

Late last year, I met an IBM employee at a party, and we were chatting about Second Life. He was complaining that he couldn't wear certain (let's call them "attachments") while in-world, when he was at work with IBM. I was laughing, and a little frightened of his attachments.

Well, we can thank the corporate HR departments for keeping us all safe. IBM does indeed have a Code of Conduct for virtual worlds. (Of course they do.)

New employee orientations must be a blast. "And now, we'll tour our Second Life offices....please ignore those unsightly people to your left, and take pride in your Second Life khakis..."

reach out to the person staring at you, on the train

How many times have you fallen in love with a hottie on the N train? Now, you can reach out and connect. Providing that hottie is also reading the new subway dating site, Subway Crush. And providing they recognize your ad calling out to them.

Gothamist reports on the launch of the new site that will certainly launch thousands of relationships in the naked, gritty city.

The subway crush style ads were always the most entertaining in the back of the Village Voice - back in the day when people read print publications. So this will be fun to check in on. And I can't wait to meet "B", who obviously has a crush on me.

microsoft: let's be more like apple.

Rumors have it that Microsoft is planning to go into retail. You know, just like Apple. Only, they won't be selling Apple products. Bummer. From Brian, via Twitter

how not to do social media

Please stop doing YouTube video contests, and pretending that it's a new, or exciting social media campaign. It's old, tired and lame, ok?

The people in those anti-fashion gold jackets have launched a YouTube campaign to show your house, and promote their real estate company. Here's the clincher: You must list your house with them, must include your listing agent in the video, and must shoot the video while the sun is at 43 degrees from the horizon. Yikes.

YouTube contests have become so ho hum that some bloggers even refuse to cover them any more. Amen. Please, please, please hire an agency that uses social media to create your social media campaign for you. Just sayin'.

you really can buy friends

Maybe it's to make a statement, maybe it's a big fat joke, a PR stunt, or maybe it's just meant to take advantage of ridiculousness. Rocketboom creator Andrew Baron was selling his Twitter account, with all of his friends, on eBay. As of last night, it was going for over $1000. This morning, the auction has been removed. We may never know the how, why or what. Or ever care.

UPDATE: It's back!! Bid away for Andrew's friends!

Originally found this story from JJ Projects, (via Twitter. Duh.)

what to do with that useless watch

The Naughty Secretary Club has a fun DIY project for those old, broken watches. Paint them in florescent colors, and make them the hottest fashion accessories. Such a cool idea. You should even do it to that brand new watch. Everyone knows that watches are so old-school, and nobody needs them for time anymore.

This might also be great for sneakers. I've seen a famous Plaid employee paint some sneakers silver once, and they rocked.

Found on BoingBoing. (They don't need the link, and I'm too lazy to go find it right now. You know where to find them.)

montana: not the best place to get your meth anymore

I always thought that Montana was filled with beautiful mountains, trees and bears. Turns out, that until recently, it was also filled with Meth addicts. That is, until the Montana Meth Project launched their campaign a couple of years ago. Meth use is down substantially.

Thanks to their really disturbing print ads, tv spots and a campaign that has you reaching for anti-bacterial gel, the campaign says that meth use has declined 45% and adult Meth use has declined 72%. That's an ad campaign that's done something great. Which means that we can think of Montana for trees and mountains and bears again. Nice work.

last week at Plaid:

Damn. Two weeks in a row where we forgot to post happenings at the greatest agency in all of the land. Here's what's happened in past days:

I attended Blogger Social '08, and met a few of my favorite bloggers from across the world. A truly inspirational event that took place in meatspace, not internet space, so I was a little uncomfortable.

We normally have a strict policy that says khaki wearing geeks aren't allowed in our studio. But the marketing and brand people from Duracell were so nice, that we made an exception. They included Plaid on their scavenger hunt field trip, that had multiple teams of marketing geeks traversing the area to complete challenges. (Winning team of Mark, Mark, Greg and Dan, pictured above.) We had them navigate a Mac, in our conference room. Hilarity ensued.

RJ is in the midst of making hotel arrangements for our summer tour, which has us totally stoked. Matt's designed the first batch of tour t-shirts. Can't wait to hit the west coast.

We interviewed for some of the open positions here. Interviewed, and interviewed, and interviewed. Almost there. We've met some really awesome, talented people, and it's going to be tough to narrow it down.

We're casting for a part in a video we're shooting, and having a tough time finding just the right person. David, Giuli and RJ continue to work through demo reel after demo reel.

This is going to be a busy week, so stay tuned for more awesome fun.

lowes launches bear penis ad campaign

Some people watch tv spots closer than others. And some people believe they have seen an exposed bear penis in the new Lowes spot. This had us worried, and unsure of what to do, or who to call.

Lucky for us, the trusty folks at Adland have launched a full investigation. Mostly because they own the AdLand Bear Penis Detector Zoom 3000. With this tool (no pun intended), they can detect bear penis on any television spot. I suspect they've been quite busy, as that's a regular problem in our industry.

Read the Adland investigation and decide for yourself if there's penis in the air. And then head to Lowes, to go shopping for wood. And a good screwdriver.

how competition fuels bloggers

Not all will admit it, but bloggers are pretty damn competitive. Publish a list, a chart, a link guide, and watch everyone scramble to get a better position. So how do you best channel that competitive spirit into a friendly, positive promotion?

Rohit Bhargava did exactly that, to promote his new book Personality Not Included. Rohit created a contest where participating bloggers interviewed Rohit via email, and the public could vote on their favorite interview. Genius. Multiple bloggers interview Rohit, talk about his book, and reach out to their networks to garner votes for their interview.

Linda Sherman (who placed second in the contest) writes a wonderful post about how the promotion fueled her competitive spirit.

Need bloggers to talk about you? How can you get them to rally together, while competing with each other?

in the old days, creative people actually worked for a living.

On your most stressful day of slamming out emails, or creating wonderful things by clicking a mouse, take a look at this piece on how they made the HBO show open. In the old days, before computers.

This would be a funny concept for a behind the scenes piece that shows the making of something obviously digital, but pretend that it was produced in an old school way. I can already see this in my head, and trust me, it's genius.

who says print is dead?

Totally awesome fun with flipbooks. Outstanding.

the cool kids have needle and thread

If I knew how to use a needle and thread for something other than poking myself or my friends, I would be a famous embroidery graffiti artist.

I'd leave my tag sewn everywhere. Even on clothing for sale at retail, so people could purchase it unknowingly, and wear my tag around. But I only know how to use a needle for poking. What about you?

what's new?

At our office, we're always sending each other great internet finds. Like this beauty.

And I'm an obnoxious ass-hat, when I receive stuff that I've seen before. I usually hit reply to all and just say "olllllllld." Yeah, I'm a really charming guy like that.

Last night, Rob sent this piece. This is the third time I've seen this, since sometime last year. And it made me realize something pretty cool: Great, timeless entertainment will always feel fresh to those who haven't seen it. Even on the internets.

Even the things that have seen millions of views have only reached a small percentage of the internet audience. And that audience grows a little larger, and a little fresher, every day. Think about how many people in your circle of friends outside of the office still don't know what RickRolling is.

Everything old is new again in a year, on the internet.

So here's to keeping it fun, keeping it fresh, and glorious 1970's fashionistas.

a five minute break that you really deserve

Send this to the guy three cubes down from you. The one with the veins popping out of his neck, and beads of sweat dripping onto his keyboard. The guy that moans or growls when you walk by.

It's a 5 minute relaxation break, using self-hypnosis. A great self promo for Multiverse Labs.

If this site embeds some secret command that has you waking up naked in a cornfield an hour from now, not remembering anything, I can't be held responsible. Blame Thought Gadgets, because that's where I found this gem. (Don't worry. Just because it happened to me, doesn't mean it will happen to you.)

mmmm. vintage coke.

It's all about the packaging. Coke is releasing limited edition versions of their 1906 "diamond label" bottles. These are the bottles that helped establish Coke as unique. (They had to do something, after removing cocaine from the ingredients.)

From the girlriot, via Twitter

stop fixing your hair

Super vixen CK just nailed one of the best realizations about photographing life's wonderness.

At any event, there's always the "we need a photograph" moments, where everyone stands in a group, arms over shoulders, and does their best not to blink when the flash pops (I am not capable of this, and it's ruined my modeling career.) In the end, it's these photos that always suck.

The photos that make their way to the top, and into people's hearts are the shots that capture real human emotion. CK writes a beautiful post about the above photo of her meeting Arun for the first time.

If you're a photographer, you're probably saying "duh" right now - but for the rest of us: can we all just refuse those group shots from here on?

putting hearts together one at a time

Really cool business card design for a couples therapist. From mmcgreevy, via Twitter.
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