It's true. If you're between the ages of 25 - 60, your ability to use websites declines by 0.8% per year.
Want to feel even worse? I've added the world-famous clip of that stupid five year old, kicking ass on Guitar Hero. Just turn off the machine and go home.
Art Director Andy Tider decided to leave his agency, BBH. But on the way out, he figured he'd take a few things. And capture the process on video. And then send the video back to his friends at the agency.
Awesomely funny. And I'll bet it generated a ton of resumes to BBH.
Just a little bit of duct tape can create a whole bunch of wonderful. Awesome street art project that utilizes an ordinary chain link fence and some tape. I sooo want to run out and do this today. But I'll probably just sit in front of the computer, instead.
Someone's creating plastic bag zombie animals, that come to life with the fresh air of a subway grate. They lie dead on the sidewalk, until the train passes through and pushes the air up, bringing the bagged beast to life. So awesome. Can only imagine what that looks like at 3:00 in the morning, on an empty street.
This is a shoot that looks like fun. Imagine getting to cover Miami in foam. Sony has rocked the blogosphere repeatedly with their Bravia spots. And they're doing it again. They invited some bloggers to the shoot of their new spot. Sent others (like BrandFlakes) behind the scenes shots (above). All to build anticipation about an upcoming video spot.
This is working, because we've all loved the consistently wonderful spots, and want to know more about how they're made, and what's up next. PR people - pay attention. This is how you build buzz.
Summer tour planning cranked up to full speed this week. We're officially looking for sponsors, who wouldn't mind having their brand in front of a couple hundred thousand early adopter/marketing types. Let us know if you're interested.
We've had a couple of tour planning meetings, and work has already begun on some of the tour sites. One may launch as soon as next week.
We pitched a smaller piece of business that we really, really, want - and that we'll be talking about a lot, if it happens. Fingers crossed.
RJ and Steph began their Plaid careers this week. Neither broke into tears, or threatened to harm other Plaid employees, so we may be good.
We started interviewing for the producer position that's open. Already met some stellar candidates, that we'd be honored to have on our team. More interviews in the coming weeks.
I'm starting to get stoked for Blogger Social '08, taking place in NYC next week. I'm looking forward to getting together with some truly inspirational bloggers from across the globe, for a weekend of fun.
Steph is a total geek. And she needed a home. As a part of our support for the adopt-a-geek program, we've agreed to let her work at Plaid.
Random facts about Steph:
+ She likes Star Wars. (Totally awesome)
+ She likes Macs. (For this alone, we love her more than other coders)
+ Born with mad Segway skills
+ She can drink almost as much coffee as Justus. (Have you seen the size of Justus? He's like 9 feet tall.)
You can follow Steph on Twitter at Stephanie_42, or email her funny Star Wars YouTube videos at Steph (at) ThinkPlaid.com.
RJ is one of two new talents to join the Plaid team this week. RJ is our latest addition to the client services/office management team. He'll perform crazy stunts like buying odd props for shoots, researching weird things on the interweb, and helping to keep Plaid running smoothly.
We love that RJ has PR talents too. He can actually put words together in a real sentence. We've seen him do this.
Some random facts about RJ:
+ RJ likes baseball. (gross)
+ He doesn't drink soda. (This is weird, and scares us.)
+ Likes chili cheese fries
+ Sports a fauxhawk (we're going to get him drunk, and shave the sides.)
Say hi to RJ on Twitter (iRJ) or email him pictures of real mohawks at RJ (at) thinkplaid.com
This is pretty funny. Blogger buddy Lee Washington has just completed some work on a Facebook application for Nip Tuck. The application allows you to test your Facebook profile photo, and see how beautiful you are.
Unbeknown to Lee, I've been conducting my own little experiment on Facebook. I'm using an old photo of myself, after a mountain biking accident, as my profile pic. (Really funny to see how people react to you, when they think that you look like a monster.) What a perfect test of the Nip Tuck application!!
Lee and his team will be happy to know that it worked. My smashed up face is only 22% beautiful. (Ironically, thanks to a wonderful plastic surgeon, I'm now completely healed, with all of my eyelids intact.)
I re-did the test on a current photo, and discovered that my face is "76% perfect." My plastic surgeon will be happy to hear that. And I'm now available for fashion shoots.
After making 364 kabillion dollars on design, Philippe Starck says design is dead and that he's retiring. He claims that “I was a producer of materiality and I am ashamed of this fact.”
How ashamed, Philippe? Then why don't you give everything back? Come live in my house, and I'll live in one of yours. Ok?
Back in the olden days, there was this thing called a cassette. Essentially, a throw-away mp3 holder. Before mp3's existed. People even sung songs about them. Anyway, people used to use cassettes to make mixtapes for their friends. It was like social networking before social networking or the internet existed. You could share your custom mixtapes for someone's birthday, going away party, or whatever.
Muxtape has created today's version of the mixtape. Upload your mp3's, and share your mix with the world. Or your friends. People are really digging this simple tool, and it's buzzing up the internet.
Andy Sernovitz has an excellent point: In grocery stores, why don't they have a 'super lane' for shoppers with $200 of groceries? Two cashiers, two baggers and they're treated like stars. Instead of rewarding only the shoppers with 10 items or less.
I say - why not reward all shoppers? Have the super lanes for overflowing carts, and the 'lite' lanes for shoppers with a few items.
How could you make your customers feel special, in an industry changing way?
Facebook just launched a pretty cool new feature - people you may know. Looks like they're pulling people who your friends have in common.
A quick look at my list shows a bunch of other bloggers and social media nuts. And a couple of old once-removed friends. Pretty cool feature - very similar to what that less-liked social application, LinkedIn has had for some time now.
Ummm...and I don't think I can speak for the rest of the day. I'm too embarrassed after visiting the Tampon Crafts site. An entire site devoted to crafts that you can make with...tampons. Someone needs to turn this internet thing off.
(Just so you don't think I'm Googling "tampon crafts", I found this on Sk-rt. Equally embarrassing, I guess.)
Chris Brogan writes another typically brilliant post about maintaining our online personas, and points to someone who gets it - Gary Vaynerchuk.
Think about it. You have a Facebook profile, you're on Twitter, LinkedIn, and about 68 other social sites. Are you the same? What image are you projecting? What is your personal social media brand?
Gary points out a lovely side effect of personal online branding- bad guys can't hide. Good guys will prevail. Transparency is a wonderful thing. People that are evil are being found out and identified for their actions - faster than ever in history. So here's to genuine, honest, great personal branding. Woot!
Here's a pretty cool promo for the movie The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep. Outdoor made from water and projections. I'm going to try this at lunch today, and spit water across the table in the exact shape of a scary sea monster. My coworkers will be impressed.
Wolff Olins has created a cool project in London and New York titled BrandNext. The show takes place at The Store for Tomorrow which explores the idea of brands as platforms for action, and inspiring people do more and do better.
An exhibit where the people attending are a part of the show. The New York 'store' opens later this week. From Brand New.
The Twitter lords have laid yet another glorious Twitter tool upon us. Tweetburner monitors the most popular shared urls on Twitter. There are two charts - the top 10 of all time, and the top 10 of the last 60 minutes. A great picture of the twitterverse. Twitter be with you.
Just discovered a cool new blog, (thanks to Kevin Dugan, via Facebook) centered around retail history. Especially sweet are the photos of dead malls.
We've seen the zombie movies, and know what can take place in abandoned malls. So it's nice that the people from Labelscar have put their lives on the line documenting this for us. Consumer culture gone dead is fascinating and sad, at the same time.
If you haven't checked out VBS.tv yet, you should kill some otherwise productive time today. Led by Creative Director Spike Jonze, they've really built a wonderful dashboard of content, and some awesome films. I got hooked on the North Korea episodes this weekend. Once you start watching, you won't stop. Thanks Devon!
In the future, they'll have spray deodorant again, because the ozone will already be dead. And in the future, this deodorant will protect you from the most dangerous things that will exist in your everyday life. And in the future, you'll always be fresh.
Think bees are scary creatures with daggers in their asses, ready to strike you down? Well, you need to lighten up and fall in love with them. Thankfully, Haagen Dazs has made that easy - and removed all of the fright from the bees' brand essence.
Put the insecticides away, and visit Help the Honey Bees. You'll completely forget that bees can swarm, sting and kill. This piece has been produced to raise awareness about the plight of the bees, and helps to show why we need them. And to promote ice cream. (Beautiful design/illustration work, too.) From Adverblog.
Have a professional photographer take it, paparazzi style. Methodizaz is just that company. Tell them where you'll be, what kind of mood you'd like to be photographed in, and they'll take care of the rest. When you least expect it. For now, the service is only available in NYC - but I suppose it's just a matter of time before people in the great state of Kansas can get paparazzi, too. From swissmiss.
It's official. We're doing another Plaid road tour. Last year had us traversing down the east coast into the deep south. This year, we're headed WEST.
The Plaid tour kicks off on July 21, in VANCOUVER. We head south, and make stops in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and ends in LAS VEGAS. Vancouver to Vegas, with California in-between.
Here's the tentative schedule:
Monday, July 21: Vancouver
Tuesday, July 22: Seattle
Wednesday, July 23: Portland
Thursday, July 24: driving day
Friday, July 25: San Francisco
Monday, July 28: San Francisco
Tuesday, July 29: driving day
Wednesday, July 30: Los Angeles
Thursday, July 31: San Diego
Friday, July 31: Las Vegas
All along the way, we'll be visiting brands and other agencies, and sharing our love of the latest social media tools. (If you're on the route, and want us to stop by, let us know!)
We need sponsors! We'd love a hotel sponsor, and/or cash sponsors to help cover at least some of the ridiculous expenses. (You have no idea how much it takes to feed a Plaid van with fuel, and a Plaid staff with food.)
So - if you're working with a brand that could benefit from an audience of over 250,000 blog readers, would love the social media coverage on our blogs, our dashboards, our videos, Twitters and more - let us know. You're welcome to reach out to me directly at darryl AT thinkplaid DOT com, for more details.
Just four months to go!
FIRE! Some garbage in the back alley of the building next door caught fire. The sirens kept getting louder and louder, and then we saw smoke coming from the back of our building. Nothing says Friday like a good building fire.
Giuli celebrated her birthday, yesterday. We supplied a cannoli blast. What's a cannoli blast? Imagine a 50 pound cannoli that's filled with about 648 mini cannolis. Mmmmmm. We're still debating Giuli's actual age, but it's safe to say that her 20's are long gone. (I mean it's accurate to say - it's not at all safe to say this.)
We wondered what it would sound like if we rode our Segway over a roll of bubble wrap. There's only one way to find out - and you can see the video on Facebook.
Next week, two new employees start at Plaid! Both have us pretty stoked. Stephanie, (who we've already code-named Lisa Skywalker) will be writing some supreme code and developing sites, and Ryan (no nickname yet) will assist the project management team.
We've started the tour planning process. We'll be announcing an exact schedule and route in the next couple of days. We plan on knocking California right off the map. Or burning it down. Or doing whatever happens when a Plaid van drives down the fault line at full speed, leaving only a trail of empty energy drink cans.
May your weekend be conference call free, and filled with chocolate marshmallow bunnies.
Design Miami is coming to New York. So, we can only assume that everything else "Miami-style" will be acceptable for the month of March.
Design Miami has become the most awesome display of stuff you can't afford. And stuff that would look ridiculous in your apartment. And stuff that's completely inspirational. And now it's coming to New York.
Here's a new twist on a social protest. The flash mob done in a new way. Alarmists. Set your alarm (cell phone, watch, desk clock, whatever) to go off on the 11th day of every month, at 11am. And when your friends look at you as if to say "what a dork - turn that thing off - we're trying to work here," tell them what it's all about. And they'll tell two friends...
Or - you could wear a FlavaFav style clock around your neck. One of those old school alarm clocks with the big bells on top.
Soon, at 11am on the 11th, we'll all be stopping, and listening to alarms. Cool idea.
Internetebrity ZeFrank recently started using Twitter (again?), and kicked off something grand the other day. He started color wars. Harking back to the days of summer camp, where we were assigned a team, identified by color, and then participated in whatever field day events they had planned.
ZeFrank has brought color teams to Twitter. It started with a simple declaration of "I'm on the blue team", and a revised avatar. And then it spread. And spread. There are people who have now joined teams who don't follow Ze Frank, don't know why there are teams, or how this even started. But they're a part of something...to be determined.
If you follow a bunch of people (and if you don't, what are you doing??), maybe you've seen all the color announcements and references. I hear there was an insult match or something late last night, but didn't stay around to watch.
Are you on a team? What color? I haven't picked a team that I can identify with yet. Looking for inspiration.
Here's some interesting information about users of Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Max Freiert has compiled some research showing popular sites that users visited, in addition to the social sites. (He calls them "addicts", without any real background on addiction...I believe he actually means "heavy users.")
Max concludes that:
+ MySpace addicts are somewhat vain – focusing heavily on establishing and fine tuning their online personas by customization of their personal profiles
+ Facebook addicts focus more on engagement – interacting with applications, music and people both on and off the platform
+ Twitter addicts are most interested in fostering communication and exploration.
Not sure I completely agree with his conclusions, but regardless - this is some cool information. From Johan Bryggare, via Twitter.
A lot of people are chatting about how the website as we know it is doomed, and a thing of the past. That mashups, feeds and other tools have made full-on sites an unnecessary thing. You can see this happening slowly, already.
Modernista just put it into fast-forward, with the the launch of their new site. That's a screen grab of the site - in the upper left corner, in red. That's right - only a few pixels wide.
The first page lands on the Modernista Wikipedia page, or keeps the site that you've clicked from in the background. And they've used existing social tools to show you their work, their history, their news.
Uber smart concept, and a creative way to show what's possible using existing tools. Beats the hell out of those Flashturbation sites so common with the other big agencies. Totally, totally, awesome.
While I absolutely love my moleskine notebooks, I'm trying hard to stop using paper for note taking.
So what a delight to discover MetaNotes. I've just started experimenting myself, but it looks to be the most robust note taking application ever created.
Having everything web-based is totally sweet...but there's more. This is a tool that will have you wetting your note-taking-pants.
You can give your notes tags. You can share your notes with others. You can even take group notes - in real time - together. This is an awesome tool for conference calls. Put the agenda right in front of everyone, and then take notes live. Everyone on the call can add their input, live. Add video. Photos. Whatever. And when the call is over - everyone has access to the document.
Are you already using Metanotes? How have you applied this to your day?
LG has teamed up with fabric designers from the Designer's Guild to create the most wonderous dirt removal machines that you have ever laid eyes on.
Until your friends come over and say, "oh, you're still rockin' with the Design Guild machine? That's so ollllld. I'm washing with the new Nike version." What? It could happen.
A cool article in Everywhere Magazine led me to Jonathan Haeber. The Everywhere Magazine piece has some cool shots of an abandoned cruise ship from the 1950's. Awesome yes - but then I discovered Jonathan's site. And then his Flickr page.
Jonathan has the ability to get into places you're typically not allowed entry to. Maybe he's invisible. However he does it - he's captured some stunning shots of odd and beautiful places. Like Neverland Ranch, above.
Data lovin' monkeys, rejoice. Here's loads, and loads, and loads of free data. I guess you could even say monkey loads of free data.
Infochimps.org is a new community built to assemble and interconnect data. They want to built the most gimonkeyous free almanac, with tables of data on every imaginable subject.
If you're the type of person who loves to play around with Microsoft Access or Excel, instead of drawing pictures, well this is your lucky day.
Alternately, do you have data just pouring out of your desk drawers, and you don't know where to put it? Upload your own datasets, and set them free to live on their own data island, with monkeys.
Put all of your work aside today. Here's something fun that you can do instead. Re-create that stupid scene with you and your co-worker from yesterday, only this time, you get to put your own words in his mouth. And you can give him a bald head and big nose.
Bitstrips lets you create your own comics. You can use the existing library of characters - or create your own. Add yourself and your friends to your scenes.
This is an awesome tool, with loads of possibilities - not all of which are unproductive. What about a slide for that PowerPoint presentation, featuring your boss as a character?
Advertising Age asked some of their favorite bloggers what was the most important technology that marketers should be paying attention to in 2008.
Wisely, they included my opinion. I will now be appearing at carnivals and road shows, predicting the future for all, with my social media crystal ball. I'm also available for parties.
Some are saying that the big hit to come out of SXSW this year is Sched.org. You can view the schedule I attempted to stick to here.
People used it to get a feel for what was happening at the conference, to see what their friends might be doing, and to keep track of where they were supposed to be going. It exports to your iPhone, and so much more. I saw it open on countless laptops while at the conference.
Made by Chirag Mehta and Taylor McKnight, this is certainly a tool that has some wonderful opportunities - and at the very least, should be a part of every future conference.
Mike Rohde took some really good notes, while at SXSW. Yes, he captured the most salient points of the panels he attended. But unlike you or I, he managed to beautifully illustrate them.
These super glorious notes weren't done after-the-fact. This was done LIVE, during the panels, sometimes even in the front of the room, on a huge sketch pad, for all to see. I watched them myself during at least one of the panels. And now you can enjoy them all, in his Flickr photoset. Amazing.
You should invite him to your next event's keynote, and then give limited edition prints of his notes to all of the attendees.
While David, Rob and I were at SXSW last week, one of the events we popped into was 20x2. They ask 20 people a question, and each person gets 2 minutes to share a response. The question for this event was "What's the difference?"
One of the best responses was presented by Thomas Crenshaw, with a video, which just found its way to YouTube. Enjoy. (Conservatives: Contains the F word in it's printed form. Hopefully you won't faint.)
This is a blog has discovered the secret to corporate productivity. And it doesn't involve lighting the conference room on fire. Or duct taping anyone's mouth shut. (Although, those would be very good, in some companies.)
Introducing the TaskWatch. A whiteboard with a clock built into it. You can schedule an agenda around a clock that's in everyone's view.
They should have wall sized versions of these installed across the corporate world. Like world leaders should band together today, and require it. The end of senselessly long meetings. Thanks for saving the world, This is a blog!!
I have no idea why they decided to put this into a blog instead of a campaign site (they heard blogs were a really big thing? They think video contests = social media?), but this is at least a fun idea. Put Peeps in a video. All you have to do is make something better than the 4 minute borefest they've launched as an example. Easy.
So, you get to buy peeps, play with them until they get stale, and then munch them down. Win/Win.
Lifehacker is having a cubicle decorating contest.
We still believe that cubicles are the biggest lie ever presented to employees. A false sense of privacy. Sure, you won't see your co-worker picking his nose, but you still have to listen to music in headphones, and can't have a private conversation. If it's not private, why pretend to be private? Why not celebrate collaboration, instead? But don't get me started.
We love it when workers break out of cubicle boredom and annoy their neighbors with tacky, stupid decorations. Bring it on. Paint the grey orange. Light your khakis on fire. Revolt, and celebrate creativity. Bored cubicle dwellers, unite!
Another post of brilliance from Ben at Thought Gadgets. Lots of wondering about the pending challenge of an ad crunch. People are ignoring ads on social media sites, and mobile devices don't have room. Some interesting points that will be fun to watch play out in the very near future.
Maybe you've read some of Chris Anderson's writings about the coming 'free' economy. There was a good discussion regarding the theory at SXSW this week, between Mark Cuban and Michael Eisner.
It's happening. The free economy saved David's life the other day. We had just enjoyed some "nuclear" tacos at the SXSW conference. Rob was crying like a little baby, and his nose was running, and his belly was aching. Then the hot hit Dave. He ran out of the taco area, like a man on fire. And what did he find?
The Ice Cream Man. Not just any ice cream man - but the Ice Cream Man who's on a quest to giveaway 500,000 free ice cream treats. Through sponsors, love and goodwill, it's working.
What could your brand make free?
Ummm...I don't know what to say about this. Abercrombie and Fitch Hospital. Do you have to have six pack abs to get in for treatment? Or, if I go there, could I leave with six pack abs? Do they have those giant half naked teen pics up in their lobbies?
I'm completely fine with title sponsors, especially when it makes sense for both parties involved. But Abercrombie Hospital?? Oh, what I would paid to have been in the meeting where a committee thought that was a grand idea.
Don't you just want to put on a corporate logo embroidered polo shirt, slam down a few beers and do a presentation?
The hottest new happy hour is all about PowerPoint Karaoke. Drunk office workers, geeks and marketing people take completely random powerpoint slides, and attempt to tie them together as best they can. Hilarity ensues. Sweet.
If we were one of those massively humongous agencies, with cash flowing out in wheelbarrows, I'd build an art gallery wing off our office, purchase every piece of Jeremiah Palecek's work, and place them on permanent display.
Absolutely amazing. Artwork inspired by internet memes. These need to exist all together, in one place. From Boing Boing.
I've got pockets and pockets full of business cards. At a conference like SXSW, there are a lot of cards attempting to be great. Many try so hard to be "creative" that they just end up blending in. Or look like an invite to a party.
But Brian Shaler is different. Brian Shaler has reinvented. His card is pictured above. You're probably thinking that the back of the card has all of his contact information, laid out in a clever way. It doesn't. Just his name, backwards.
At a party, I was talking to Brian, and someone came up to complain. "C'mon Brian - I need a real card. I need a card with your email address, or something."
"You have everything you need to contact me, on that card. If you can't find me by using that card, then we really don't need to communicate." (Or something to that effect, probably said more eloquently.)
Genius. Absolute, pure internet genius. And he's right. I'm not even going to link to him. If you want to get in touch with Brian, you have his business card, above.
Admittedly, I am a txting walker. But instead of creating a padded world for these zombies, why don't we just dig holes in the sidewalk and let them drop in? Wouldn't that be a cheaper, more enjoyable solution? From MakeTheLogoBigger
Since it's not available yet on Google maps, how are you supposed to find your way around Middle Earth, while on vacation?
I'm pretty sure that GPS units don't work there, either. Thankfully,
Chris Taylor has created a scalable, vector-drawn map that you can print - as large as you can imagine. For your navigating and adventurous fun.
If you're going, you might want to wait. This week is spring break, and it can get kind of crazy there.
Technically, this is not new, but it's new to me, and if you believe that I am the center of the universe, well then, this is new.
Zoomr is a photo sharing site that lets you...share photos. Says Zoomr: "communicate securely through both photos and text messages in realtime."
I haven't used this yet, but if you have, and love it, please share, in the comments!
From Drewolanoff, via Twitter.
Thanks to everyone who sent this link. You know we love our Twitter. If you haven't yet converted, here's a great clip that answers the question I'm most tired of answering: "Why should I use Twitter?"
Guy Kawasaki recently launched an aggregator of the top blogs, sites and content in a bunch of categories. It's called Alltop. The official BrandFlakes policy is that aggregators suck, unless they include us.
I'm happy to say that Alltop rocks. Here's another great starting point to build an RSS feed, if you haven't already done so. (And you can find a sweet link to BrandFlakes under the "social media" category.)