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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.

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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.

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(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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Wait…

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.

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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:

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