Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Picture 1UPDATE: This ridiculous episode continues with Apple expecting developers to refund app customers out of their own pockets. READ.

UPDATE: Fast Company comes out with an article titled ‘Seven (More) Reasons to Ditch Your iPhone

@willgcrawford, @therealecar and I (@miketobias) had lengthy conversation about telecommunication companies. We all agreed that there is too much power given to this utility. These companies should not be restricting applications like Google Voice, an app that allows you to set up a 10-digit phone number, make free calls to other users, and send free text messages.

News broke recently that the Apple app store will not have Google Voice in its catalog. The reason? It resembles existing apps on iPhone…

It’s something that angered a lot of people.

So here’s where we’re at…

New iPhone 3GS. Sprint says screw you on MMS and Data Tethering. We’ll get to it when we get to it.

Termination fees to upgrade.

Large price tags. You may be able to get a $99 iPhone, but that data plan empty your wallet.

Fragile devices.

And finally this GV bullshit.

So in regards to that whole iPhone/GV thing that made Michael Arrington give up his iPhone, I say he’s dead right to boycott the world’s most popular mobile device.

Jump to Post>>

Read Full Post »

So, at a poolside BBQ yesterday, an advertising professional was talking about how brand war strategies are really just real war strategies applied to marketing. I like this notion. It makes me think of Duplicity when Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti, playing two execs, fight each other in slow motion on the tarmac of an airport.

If the minds behind our advertising think of media as a battlefield, my question is how do I destroy my competitors on community-like sites like Twitter. Well, first, I think it’s all about promoting your great ideas first. Then of course subtly hinting that your ideas are slightly better than the competitors.

I don’t know. I’m just picking up some manuals on warfare from the Revolutionary War. This way I can learn how to overcome a brand by bludgeoning them with my musket before a pint at the Pioneer Inn.

Read Full Post »

(Michael steps into his home to find his blog sitting on the couch.)

Michael: Hey, honey.

Blog: Hello, Michael. You’re in late.

Michael: I brought home Chinese. I got your favorite: shrimp lo-mein

Blog: What? You should’ve called. I spent the last two hours cooking you dinner.

Michael: Oh. Then I’ll put this in the–

Blog: You’ve been coming home late all week.

Michael: Right, well work. You know work.

Blog: You work from home.

Michael: Right. But…

Blog: What’s her name??

Michael: Oh god. Okay…I can’t do this anymore. You deserve better. Her name is Twitter.

Blog: Michael, how could you?

Michael: Twitter, well, it’s just newer and — and

Blog: Younger. How old is Twitter?

Michael: It’s not important.

Blog: Oh god, she IS younger than me.

Michael: Look, if it’s any consellation, I still think you’re a more reputable source of information. Maybe slower…

Blog: Slower!?

Michael: No, I mean. Uhhh, I used to take so much time working on you..

Blog: So I’m a piece of work!?

Michael: No, no, no…Damn it. It’s just you both serve different purposes. When I’ve thought about something, and I mean really thought about something, you’re where I put that information. While Twitter, well, Twitter–

Blog: Is where you get your kicks, hm?

Michael: No. Just. Communicate. I get to communicate with more people. There’s a conversation. Here I would probably reach a few people with my posts, but Twitter let’s me converse with so many more.

Blog: So you’re saying I’m obsolete…oh god, Michael…

Michael: Blog, no. Don’t think that! What we have is still special…even though…uhm, I’m not really sure what we have now. I’m figuring out how to use you.

Blog: Hmph, I already feel used.

Michael: Ugh, no, I mean I’m not deleting you.

Blog: You’re not?

Michael: No. I’ll find a way to utilize you, and I swear we’ll both grow from there.

Blog: Oh, Michael, you’ve made me the happiest blog on the planet.

Read Full Post »

So, I’m working on a screenplay to shop around in August, and at the same time reading Robert McKee’s Story. Rather than applying the principles of storyteling to my screenplay, I’ve found myself applying them to web design and marketing.Stories are very important to our lives. Not only do they allow us to escape into exotic places with interesting characters, but everything shapes itself into a story. Consider your clothing, the people you know, news and political events, the places you go, and even your jobs; all of these things are stories.

Godin says that any company tells a story, and a marketer’s job is to enhance that story in its marketing. (I’m not a marketer, so even though I read the book Godin will do a better job explaining his ideas. Check out his book!) So the next question is, “What are the principles of storytelling?” It’s easy to understand that a good story can sell anything. Harder to, well, make a good story.

That’s why I’m recommending this book to marketers. Combine Godin’s principles of marketing with McKee’s principles of storytelling, and you’re golden.

Read Full Post »

So, I still have a computer virus, and this morning I’ve been thinking about what Chuck Person would do in this situation.

Let me expose some more Chuck to you. According to my sources (wikipedia), Chuck had an ongoing rivalry with Larry Bird. Now, even the sports layman knows that Larry Bird is an all star in the basketball world. In the end, Chuck probably lost. To be frank, he went down (standing or not.)

Now, I’ve been fighting this virus since last Thursday. I’ve done all the normal tricks: system restore, anti-virus software, etc. The virus has continued to outpace me, and I nearly pulled out all my hair on Saturday. I thought I was bigger than the virus. I thought I had the necessary means to beat it. Now, I’m dealing with the fact that I’ll need to rely on a specialist.

Ugh, defeat is ugly. Chuck knows that better than myself. And he chose to say, “These people haven’t seen the last of my face. If I go down, I’m going down standing up.”  And that makes a lot of sense to me right now. You see, the first part of the quote is very prideful. I’ll get the last laugh! But then he adds an amendment. If he goes down, he’ll still be prideful.

I’m very proud of myself for knowing more about computers than the average person. If this had been a simpler virus, I would’ve beaten. But this virus was a bitch, and for that I’m going down.

Read Full Post »

Ugh, you know, I’ve gone my entire computer owning life without a computer virus. I’ve avoided Napster, Limewire, shady sites, weird emails, untrusted programs. BUT NO!!! Where do I get a virus? A TRUSTED BLOG THAT WAS HACKED TO INCLUDE A VIRUS!

So thus begins the epic battle between man and computer virus. Man is simple, 23, and only armed with few weapons. Virus is a Goliath competitor with its ability to snake into my computer files without my knowledge. Yes, the bookie has informed me that everyone is betting their money that virus will win. Virus nearly always wins. See, because he doesn’t stop at infecting your computer. No, that would be too kind. He makes you drag your computer tower to the nearest Geek Squad, and laughs at you while they charge you out the butt to fix it.

And this is a snarky virus. Okay, get this…

Okay…yes, it’s all my fault. The license expired on my anti-virus software, but I thought, “eh, it’ll be alright. I don’t visit hazardous sites.”

Everybody say it with me: “Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong wrong.” Sigh. “Wrong wrong wrong wrong.”

And the snarky virus has chosen to mock me for my oversight. See, it’s infected my computer to point to websites that sell anti-virus software, change my background to say “Hey, computer’s infected dumbbutt. Maybe you should get anti-virus software,” and if it could it would just go through my personal data, purchase anti-virus software, and tell me that it, a computer virus, is smarter than me.


Okay…I think my computer has just purchased anti-virus software for me…

Goddamn it, virus. You just couldn’t stop. You had to kill every little inch of dignity within my body.

Read Full Post »

Yes, it’s a vice. If you’re guilty of grafitti, keep on tagging.

You might’ve been tempted to make a resolution to stop tagging walls. If so, here’s the best motivation to continue your passion: Street Art of the legendary John Lennon:







Read Full Post »

There are many things I can bear. For instance, I can bear sitting in a church where the preacher only speaks Spanish. I can bear the fact that CSI (and its mignon spinoffs) is popular.

I can’t bear life without the internet.

Did you ever see that episode of South Park where the whole world freaks out without internet. Yeah, my life is exactly like that. Panic, restlessness.

I wanted to check IMDB earlier today to learn more about David S. Goyer. I couldn’t. I am catching up on news because I’ve grown wearier of the daytime CNN anchors.

The past two days have been hell.

It’s all compacted by the fact that I’m on an actual island…the punchline, the entire island survives on dial-up except for one coffee shop that is closed until after Christmas.

I tried surviving on the other great time waster, Television, but it does me no good. I hate the limitations of television. I love Hulu.

It got so bad that I printed pictures from my computer to make a real life Facebook. I updated people’s statuses as I contacted them. If I wanted to see them add pictures, I’d have to print off pics from my hard drive – or in desperate times Photoshop them into new pictures I took with my camera.

Instead of Twitter, I just step outside and shout how I’m doing. No @replies yet.

People decided to contact via snail mail. Someone asked me for the Condo’s address, but I couldn’t remember how to tell someone a real address. I told them michaeltobias@damnthisisland.com

The days, I swear, are getting darker. Definitely colder. I have set up smoke signals on the beach, hoping that someone with an AT&T connect card will rescue me.

The only hope is that this post will make it to the internet. I have set up some aluminum foil and a shirt hanger to establish a connection…

If the post makes into the real world, tell everyone I loved them. Tell everyone that, if I had the ability to post on their Facebook wall, I’d tell them how I had no regrets about my internet usage on the mainland. No regrets, just precious memories of Hotmail and A.I.M.

Your home boy,


Read Full Post »

You’re wired off that Starbucks seasonal latte you had at 10PM, and you’ve already checked your Facebook 500 times (And Sheila still hasn’t poked you back…)

What’s on Tv? Infomercial. Sigh. Shamwow? That must be bulls#$%It can’t pick up that much water. It’s cheap, but before you consider buying one you turn off the tube.

But then you remember a post you read (maybe this one) about 5 guys who decided to perform comedy on a streaming video network.

Hallelujah, there’s something to do.

Tonight at MIDNIGHT, you’ll get to watch a professional improv show via your computer. No need to RSVP, pay anything, or sign up….

Just show up to this link anytime around 12AM:  http://tr.im/2gk9 We look forward to seeing you there!

Read Full Post »

Have you ever paid for a professional account on LinkedIn. Jesus, talk about expensive. A small account – which really doesn’t offer much more than the free account – is $20/month. Making this expense $240 a year. Not bad.  But not really worth your money.

But while we’re talking about things not worth your money, the professional account costs $200/month. Yup, math wizards are now gasping at the $2,400 a user pays for a professional account. I mean good god, I do not have that much money to use a simple service.

For those unfamiliar with LinkedIn, it’s a social network dedicated to allowing business professionals to build connections and introduce your current associates to new people.  Basically, everything you do at a conference. You can upload your pic, current position, experience, skills, resume, and connect to third party apps.

The golden $200/month professional account (as well as the smaller paid accounts) allows you to send messages to people….cool? Er, and the professional account let’s you only send 50 of those per month.. Use ’em wisely. Plus you get more search results when looking for people…..yay, more search results…. And send requests for introductions.

So, actually, the features are pretty sh***y at $200/month.

But there’s something else going on. Some of you might have guessed it.

Perceived value.

If you’re a Fortune 500 business person, why on earth would you use Facebook? There’s no value to it, or I should say no gates to control who gets prominence.

So, there are all these business people, a lot of them unfamiliar with social networks in the first place, who are willing to throw their money at LinkedIn because it costs some coin.

By all means, it’s inferior to Facebook’s ability to control privacy and integrate with 3rd party applications that assist business networking. But Facebook is free, has a bunch of teenagers, and has that goofy bumper sticker app. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is somber and costs money.

This is why I’m starting my social network, RICH AS F*CK. It’s open to the first 3 people who give me a million dollars each. And premium features include the abillity to message the other two members of this super exclusive network. Anybody wanna sign up?

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »