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Archive for the ‘Posts for Self Improvement’ Category

The Coffee: QT Hazelnut with some sugar.

The Art:

Kristina Collantes :: Black Bottom Warbler :: water color and Photoshop

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The tunes:

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katz

Tomorrow morning I leave for New York, and I decided that it was time to prepare for my trip in a new way. I’ve already been using Twitter search to find some cool places and learn about real people’s experiences. Now, as seen in this blog post, I’m using Flickr.

A simple search of “favorite place New York,” and, hey, look at that. Results.

So thanks to Flickr users I can now see through their camera lens these great places. I can visit the fountain at Bryant Park. I can try out some breakfast at Square Diner. If I’m not hungry, but in need of inspiration, I can go to the New York public library to consult the marble statues.

Bam, no need to buy a $20 travel guide.

Click here to see all the results for the search query “favorite place New York.” Trust me, I left you a lot of treasures to discover on your own. 🙂

{Katz pic by jasonyungny}

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Picture 13

So where does the image come from? Yooouuutuuube.com, a website that takes youtube videos and visualizes them in a cool way. The site really made its debut when a video of Disney’s Alice and Wonderland (one Alice’s songs played backwards) made the ranks of Digg.

I thought that a video could make for a good background. So I tried screenshots of different videos visualized on Yooouuutuuube, and I settled on concert footage of Daft Punk’s Alive tour.

Before visiting Yooouuutuuube, make sure you have the latest version of Flash and decent memory. That or get ready for LOTS of buffering.

I’m going to go back to watching the Alice video…

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Lovers, I found some videos for you as my valentine. Here are some great videos that use stop motion to tell stories of love!

Update: Sigh, WordPress won’t let me embed Vimeo vids. So until I figure that out, here are the links to my favorite vids from Vimeo:

GelGems: A Love Story from Dave Heinzel on Vimeo.

Sonata from Jan-Edward Vogels on Vimeo.

The Sweetest Little Song from Alexandra Fletcher on Vimeo.

True Love from THANK YOU on Vimeo.

There are tons more love videos than my choices! Go out there and make your own love story tonight ; D

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Maybe this year we’ll learn that love isn’t shown with money.

Us men have had our cookie-cutter ways for so long. We stick to roses, cards, and chocolates. And while those things are great, we know you can love your honey without them. You can make an action go so much further than a product.

Gentlemen, these sites will clue you into some ways to express your love.

  • Lovingyou.com – This site has a huge database of user-generated stories. They’re little blurbs about what makes their romances special. Read them to be inspired, or read them to be moved. Either way, take some time to check out the dating ideas section. Particularly I enjoyed the “Absolutely Free” section.
  • Urbanspoon – If you’re unfamiliar with Urbanspoon, it’s an online service that helps you find restaurants in your city. If you can’t swing the trendy restaurant this year, find a mom and pop place. You know, a little Italian place with Christmas lights and a secluded booth for the two of you.
  • FoodNetwork.com – If you have cooking skills in you, I think it’s time for you to check out Food Network’s romantic recipes. It’s the smallest gesture, and according to Cognitive Daily’s recent poll, women find home cooked dinners to be more romantic than any card or bouquet.

If anything, just give your girl a big squeeze, kiss her, and tell her how much you appreciate her wonderfulness.

Goodluck, gentlemen.

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The creative common license, as seen on sites like Flickr and Zhura, allows people to share their ideas with the community. These artists probably enjoyed writing chain stories in 5th grade English class (just like me.) The artists also understand that beyond their private projects there is something to be created in shared ideas.

And to be honest, there is an arms race in the ideas sector. If we don’t copyright our book, script, photo then someone else can benefit from beating us to the punch.

We race and race, but an idea is just an idea. It’s a starting point. Two people will take different journeys, or they discover new territories.

Don’t be greedy with your ideas; you can’t create all of them.

Besides, the idea isn’t yours. No idea really belongs to anyone because even the best ideas can be thought up by several people. So instead of an arms race, share. The artistic community will flourish with new products from your one seed.

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The homeless man & the email marketer.

I’ve been the, how to put it delicately, victim of several email marketing campaigns. Theatres, products, Politicians – every single one of them are begging me for their money. Much like a homeless man.

Now, my friends, do not let the email marketer’s suit fool you. Right now, this person holds the same job as a bum. I figured this out in the parking lot of Barnes & Noble. A guy was begging people for some change. I didn’t run into him, but I definitely observed his methods. Try one target with one story, try another target with another story; keep trying until someone breaks. It’s the same as any other bum.

And it’s the same as any email marketer. See, our inboxes get flooded with emails because each marketing campaign is designed to try different methods until we break. I’m going to point a finger at MoveOn.org. As a fairly liberal person, I don’t like calling you out, MoveOn.org. I’m sure money comes in, but only because we’re attacked by 10 emails a day (and it was worse during the election.) One email comes from a celebrity liberal, the next a politician. Your third one is with video. The fourth is from the executive director. And it goes on….until you break.

Theatres do the same. They send emails about their shows, new reviews about their shows, new programs that need funding, subscription deals, mid-season subscription deals, emails from the artistic director, from the stars, from the show’s director….get the point?

This is my second post today that references Seth Godin, but the man’s thoughts seem so goddamn relevant to me. He teaches us permission marketing… Consumers and donors only want information when they ask for it. It seems simple right? Yet, email marketing continues to cram information down our throats.

And worse…it’s all asking for money.

The guy in the parking lot is relentless. He’s going to ask and ask. Rather than allowing me to donate money to organizations that help the needy, he’s going to ask me for money in the parking lot. It annoys me (and I never give money to a person begging in a parking lot.)

Consumers want everything on their terms and conditions…not the companies. When I feel like donating to theatre, I will. When I feel like buying a product, I will. And when I want to help the needy, I will. Any request before that moment is noise.

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