Monday, March 31, 2008

Age of Conversation: Part Deux


Basically anytime I can justify giving Hot Shots and Topper Harley a shout-out, I'm going to take it. Though I missed the AoC 1 bum rush this weekend, I didn't want to be the only participant not spreading the love to my fellow co-authors or promoting the first book (from which all proceeds were donated to Variety, the Children's Charity). I'll be putting some words (and hopefully full sentences) to paper for the second AoC book with subject: Why Don't People Get It? Specifically, I'll be writing about "Keeping Secrets in the Age of Conversation." More to come, but until then, here's the list of contributors to AoC 2 in all its glory...

Adam Crowe, Adrian Ho, Aki Spicer, Alex Henault, Amy Jussel, Andrew Odom, Andy Nulman, Andy Sernovitz, Andy Whitlock, Angela Maiers, Ann Handley, Anna Farmery, Armando Alves, Arun Rajagopal, Asi Sharabi, Becky Carroll, Becky McCray, Bernie Scheffler, Bill Gammell, Bob Carlton, Bob LeDrew, Brad Shorr, Bradley Spitzer, Brandon Murphy, Branislav Peric, Brent Dixon, Brett Macfarlane, Brian Reich, C.C. Chapman, Cam Beck, Casper Willer, Cathleen Rittereiser, Cathryn Hrudicka, Cedric Giorgi, Charles Sipe, Chris Kieff, Chris Cree, Chris Wilson, Christina Kerley (CK), C.B. Whittemore, Clay Parker Jones, Chris Brown, Colin McKay, Connie Bensen, Connie Reece, Cord Silverstein, Corentin Monot, Craig Wilson, Daniel Honigman, Dan Goldstein, Dan Schawbel, Dana VanDen Heuvel, Dan Sitter, Daria Radota Rasmussen, Darren Herman, Darryl Patterson, Dave Davison, Dave Origano, David Armano, David Bausola, David Berkowitz, David Brazeal, David Koopmans, David Meerman Scott, David Petherick, David Reich, David Weinfeld, David Zinger, Deanna Gernert, Deborah Brown, Dennis Price, Derrick Kwa, Dino Demopoulos, Doug Haslam, Doug Meacham, Doug Mitchell, Douglas Hanna, Douglas Karr, Drew McLellan, Duane Brown, Dustin Jacobsen, Dylan Viner, Ed Brenegar, Ed Cotton, Efrain Mendicuti, Ellen Weber, Emily Reed, Eric Peterson, Eric Nehrlich, Ernie Mosteller, Faris Yakob, Fernanda Romano, Francis Anderson, G. Kofi Annan, Gareth Kay, Gary Cohen, Gaurav Mishra, Gavin Heaton, Geert Desager, George Jenkins, G.L. Hoffman, Gianandrea Facchini, Gordon Whitehead, Graham Hill, Greg Verdino, Gretel Going & Kathryn Fleming, Hillel Cooperman, Hugh Weber, J. Erik Potter, J.C. Hutchins, James Gordon-Macintosh, Jamey Shiels, Jasmin Tragas, Jason Oke, Jay Ehret, Jeanne Dininni, Jeff De Cagna, Jeff Gwynne, Jeff Noble, Jeff Wallace, Jennifer Warwick, Jenny Meade, Jeremy Fuksa, Jeremy Heilpern, Jeremy Middleton, Jeroen Verkroost, Jessica Hagy, Joanna Young, Joe Pulizzi, Joe Talbott, John Herrington, John Jantsch, John Moore, John Rosen, John Todor, Jon Burg, Jon Swanson, Jonathan Trenn, Jordan Behan, Julie Fleischer, Justin Flowers, Justin Foster, Karl Turley, Kate Trgovac, Katie Chatfield, Katie Konrath, Kenny Lauer, Keri Willenborg, Kevin Jessop, Kris Hoet, Krishna De, Kristin Gorski, Laura Fitton, Laurence Helene Borei, Lewis Green, Lois Kelly, Lori Magno, Louise Barnes-Johnston, Louise Mangan, Louise Manning, Luc Debaisieux, Marcus Brown, Mario Vellandi, Mark Blair, Mark Earls, Mark Goren, Mark Hancock, Mark Lewis, Mark McGuinness, Mark McSpadden, Matt Dickman, Matt J. McDonald, Matt Moore, Michael Hawkins, Michael Karnjanaprakorn, Michelle Lamar, Mike Arauz, Mike McAllen, Mike Sansone, Mitch Joel, Monica Wright, Nathan Gilliatt, Nathan Snell, Neil Perkin, Nettie Hartsock, Nick Rice, Oleksandr Skorokhod, Ozgur Alaz, Paul Chaney, Paul Hebert, Paul Isakson, Paul Marobella, Paul McEnany, Paul Tedesco, Paul Williams, Pet Campbell, Pete Deutschman, Peter Corbett, Phil Gerbyshak, Phil Lewis, Phil Soden, Piet Wulleman, Rachel Steiner, Sreeraj Menon, Reginald Adkins, Richard Huntington, Rishi Desai, Beeker Northam, Rob Mortimer, Robert Hruzek, Roberta Rosenberg, Robyn McMaster, Roger von Oech, Rohit Bhargava, Ron Shevlin, Ryan Barrett, Ryan Karpeles, Ryan Rasmussen, Sam Huleatt, Sandy Renshaw, Scott Goodson, Scott Monty, Scott Townsend, Scott White, Sean Howard, Sean Scott, Seni Thomas, Seth Gaffney, Shama Hyder, Sheila Scarborough, Sheryl Steadman, Simon Payn, Sonia Simone, Spike Jones, Stanley Johnson, Stephen Collins, Stephen Cribbett, Stephen Landau, Stephen Smith, Steve Bannister, Steve Hardy, Steve Portigal, Steve Roesler, Steven Verbruggen, Steve Woodruff, Sue Edworthy, Susan Bird, Susan Gunelius, Susan Heywood, Tammy Lenski, Terrell Meek, Thomas Clifford, Thomas Knoll, Tiffany Kenyon, Tim Brunelle, Tim Buesing, Tim Connor, Tim Jackson, Tim Longhurst, Tim Mannveille, Tim Tyler, Timothy Johnson, Tinu Abayomi-Paul, Toby Bloomberg, Todd Andrlik, Troy Rutter, Troy Worman, Uwe Hook, Valeria Maltoni, Vandana Ahuja, Vanessa DiMauro, Veronique Rabuteau, Wayne Buckhanan, William Azaroff, Yves Van Landeghem

Friday, March 28, 2008

Inbox of Immaturity

It's not that I've gotten any more mature, I swear. It may be that my friends have. But likely it's it's that we've all gotten too busy at our jobs and planning/attending weddings/bachelor parties to indulge in (and more importantly, sift through and filter down to passing-along-worthy) all the immaturity online.

Thankfully, Noah has come to the rescue after seeing one of the College Humor guys at the PSFK conference yesterday show Minesweeper: The Movie.

Also, in case you haven't seen this yet, the winners of 2007 YouTube Awards have been recently been announced. Whatup Tay. Whatup Dash.

You may or may not have heard that the guy behind previously-featured, Stuff White People Like, has sold a blog-themed book for an advance of $350,000. Read what other internet meme have made that book money here at Observer.com. Now I know why I'm going to ROFLcon. Anyone else going, hollister at your boy in the comments.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I Found the Interestingness


Any non-RSS-readers may have noticed the comments in response to my "Where Has All The Interestingness Gone?" post last week. A few expressed how they're tired with, uninspired by, and feel a bit slave to blogging. They echoed my praise of Tumblr. A revolution was suggested (is that even possible?) to desert our blizzies (what the cool people are calling blogs lately...or not), and I was almost a willing and able recruit. Almost.

Last night I hit up the pre-PSFK-conference drinks thought-up by Noah and Faris. I got to meet F-bomb for the first time (which was a treat), shoot the shit with Jason (which was a treat), chill with some other acquainfriences (I know I'm off my term-coining game) living here, and meet a handful of others. And lots of those introductions and friendships were made and over the past year and a half or so have been developed because of this site right here.

So it's fair to say, last night I got a reminder that this blog is still a great catalyst for meaningful interactions. For me, the snippets of interestingness may happen over on Tumblr (for now), but the most interesting conversations are still happening in person and good, old-fashion blogging still works wonders for making those connections. Maybe it's that the blog (unlike Tumblr) allows comments—even if not used, it says I'm open to hearing what you think. Or maybe it's that bloggers share a mutual respect for the process (the ups and downs, freedom and captivity) that we all go through when writing a post, deciding to post...even deciding to keep posting somewhat regularly. I, for one, don't necessarily apply "are you just creating more noise?" filter to my Tumbles (or Tweets) like I do here. (Sure, that's debatable.) And though it may sound weird, I like that this platform is not as easy as it could be and not as conducive to my on-the-move lifestyle. That becomes the proof that I'm committed to it.

Wow, that last part felt like I was on a "Does Blogging Matter?" panel. Jealous that-I'm-not-over-at-the-conference much! Let's go New York.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Do Day: What? You Don't Have A Logo!?!

I was going to call this "Me-keting" or "Marketmeing" but I didn't think either of those qualify as new terms worth coining on putting in the subject. What's worse is I'm not sure they're even original. Either way, I've been thinking a bit lately about all my online accounts (from Seesmic—which I stopped using—to Y! Live on which I'm currently watching Aki)...and I've been thinking lately about my brand (El Gaffney vs. Seth Gaffney and specifically what is the persona I present online).

Also, I was talking with Clay and Eric about a side project (that hopefully I'll be featuring in a very near Do Day) for which one of them asked for a picture and a logo. "A logo?," I thought, "I guess I can hit them up with the El Gaffney side profile with drawn in mustache image." Though while it was done by a real designer (at my first agency), I felt a bit naked. Why didn't I have a logo? (Daddy, I want a golden ticket!)

Then, that same day, I saw Eric's post about Logobama over at Marketing.fm. This site has meets people's profile (logo) needs in such a smart and easy way—and more interestingly, the idea to create this site seems to have stemmed from online observation...

We’ve been noticing a trend of people displaying their support for Barack Obama’s Democratic presidential campaign by using his logo as their avatar, or visual representation on the web. We thought, 'what can we do to show our support?'

So we created Logobama, a place for you to create your own custom Obama logo and use it wherever you want. As Obama says, 'we are the change we have been waiting for.' That’s what Obama is representing... someone who wants all of us to participate in changing the world. And together, we can make this change, one logo at a time.

It let's you personalize his logo and download it at full size or for a variety of other places web-goers will likely have profiles. (i.e. YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, etc.) Here's the one I created:

Yes, very much in the spirit of "A More Perfect Union". And yes, I did have cornrows for a few days...until I started feeling gross and getting headaches.

So, all that said, I think as more and more young people grow up with many profiles and understanding the many dimensions of their online experience, they'll naturally think about themselves as brands. They'll know that while there are many profiles and dimensions, there is only one them (ME)—there is not your personal persona (friend one is different from family) and your business face, which you can present to each appropriate audience. And they'll learn quickly how to and be equipped to manage their brands. And yes, they'll probably have logos (and the skills sets and tools to make their own). So, I still want mine...and perhaps a more unique photo while we're at it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Do Night: Don't Haiti the Player

Probably (read as: definitely) an inappropriate title for the spirit of this post, but I couldn't help myself. There's no rule that says do-goodery can't be coupled with a little silliness (maybe there should be), and I wanted to inflect my voice into the setup of this post since I'm going simple to copy and paste an email from a friend—and fellow strategist—below. As he acknowledges, you likely get a lot of RFD's (Requests for Donation) but I'd rather hear about them (especially the personal ones) and help if I can (and connect) or just be inspired by the people making a difference. It's not easy to ask for help (especially monetary), but those who do not ask...you know the rest. Here's Alain's e-mail:

An Orphanage in Haiti

If you’re anything like me you’re bored of hearing pleas for help. Well, I’m sorry to say that herein lies one.

In this case it’s something much closer to home. Quite literally actually. The house my mother was raised in, in Port-au-Prince Haiti, has been converted into an orphanage called Enfant Haïtien Mon Frère. My 81 year old grand-uncle has run the entire operation for the past 40 years and helps place kids with families -- either safely at home in Haiti or somewhere else abroad.

But here’s the thing. These kids have come from the worst situations imaginable. Some come from extreme poverty, others have fatal diseases like HIV, and others are literally found abandoned in the streets. As you would suspect, Haiti is no home for kids in need.

My brothers, my dad, and I are all going to Haiti in early April. Partly to visit family and the country. And partly to bring some form of help to the orphanage.

So that’s what this is: a simple ask to donate money or stuff to this little Haitian orphanage.

The truth is that money is only one way to help. And often times it’s a tricky thing to ask for. So if there’s anything you can donate (ie, clothes, toiletries, toys, etc.) please do so. Just contact me, keeping in mind that I literally will be delivering things by hand. (My office actually has donated some computers, so that’s cool.)

Please feel free to pass this along. Thanks for even considering this and sorry to bombard email.
Alain

How to send money electronically?
PayPal is the safest and easiest way to send money.
Send whatever you can to alain@sylvain.com.

He lists some other things to send (i.e. children books in French) and his address, but I figured I'd keep that private. If that type of donation appeals to you, leave a comment or shoot him an e-mail. Thanks all.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Where Has All the Interestingness Gone?


A post by Michael K. yesterday questioned what happened to all of the planners blogging. I've noticed the same thing in my netvibes feed, especially recently. Now it's possible SXSW is one reason for last couple of week's declines, but I'm pretty sure it started before that. (And it would seem if planners attended they'd be coming back strong with the recap posts.) I can speak for myself and fill in "too busy" as my multiple choice answer. (Yes, fill in—not check mark or 'x' or half fill in because I want it to go through on the Scan-Tron.) However, it's hard to believe that the decrease in planner posts generally is merely a coincidence. Mike provocatively asks if blogging is dying. I hope not.

But it does seem it may be being squeezed by Twitter and Tumblr on one end and papers, articles, manifestos, books on the other (including The Age of Conversation: Part Deux, to which I will be contributing).

I, for one, have been far better at updating my Tumblr than my blog, and a look at the first page of each will show how much more interesting I've been over there. I almost wrote that I've "been spending more time on Tumblr," but that would be false. In fact, I have come to my blog to start posting a few times and realized I didn't have the inspiration, the words, or the time. Tumblr currently seems to fit into my life better at this point, and I realize I may be over-extending myself keeping both and perhaps even duplicating efforts. If anyone has figured out a plan for managing the blog + Tumblr efficiently or has a strong perspective I'd love to hear it. Frankly I'm jealous of Chet on a regular basis that he's firmly set and singularly on the the Tumblr platform.

Oh yeah, and of course there's also the upwards of a billion dollars being lost in productivity starting this week due to March Madness. I'd factor last week's Big East Tournament into my own productivity levels, but I'm certain many more people are likely impacted by the NCAA Tournament (which I've noticed many girls like to call "the Final Four" all the way through - as in: "Are you going to watch the Final Four on Thursday?" or "Are you filling out your Final Four bracket?"). Anyway, back to a crazy week of work, basketball, plays (yes, tonight I'm performing - I'll let you all know about the next shows on Saturday and Tuesday of the following week), and Tumbling.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Do Day: Become Legendary


Here's our W+K NY's most recent spot for Jordan brand. I would not be posting if it did not include some tight Hoyas footage of JTIII. Also, I'm trying to get over the fact that I'm missing tomorrow's game at MSG because I'll be out of town. Thanks to George for reminding me by passing on images of these Georgetown kicks.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Unnecessary Quotations

This is a nice thing to wake up to. An IOI-featured site, featuring a picture of mine from Cusco, Peru. It's funny, I went there and still am not sure if I should roll with an 's' or 'c' in the city's spelling. Regardless, I love the title they picked for their post.

See "The" Restaurant where I brought in this new year here.

Speaking of pictures, if you enjoy taking photos and want a chance to win some Jittery Joe's coffee, check out Photojojo for a contest related to the theme of yesterday's post.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Case of the...


Yes, you guessed it. Unfortunately I couldn't find a good picture of Brian, the Chotchkie's waiter with the amazing machine gun impression. So I'm settling for the flair scene above. And while I haven't (quite) been hit with a case of the Mundays, I am doing some down-and-dirty research (read as: I basically have no budget) on what stinks about this day.

Anyone who has been to the blog (vs. RSS) in the past week may have noticed a little poll I've got going on the sidebar asking which is worse Sunday nights or Monday mornings. It may surprise some of you that after 13 votes, Sunday nights has take a slight lead. I'm going to stay objective at this point, but I definitely have an opinion - as I'm sure most of you do too, so come vote at the very least.

Better yet, I have just set up a quick-and-clean blog called: Why Do Mondays Suck?

Go there to vote as well as give your perspective about what makes Monday so wack. You'll have a chance to win a $50 Starbucks card (which I know will probably only last you addicts through Tuesday afternoon.)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Inbox of Immaturity

I just realized this morning while reading about how a T-shirt "is an essential tool in determining the social rank, desirability, and value of a white person" that the IOI has never linked to, or featured (which it deserves), probably my favorite site in 2008: Stuff White People Like.

I was also reminded yesterday reading this post on Kevin Driscoll's todo mundo, where he has an excellent making up of a term—which, is something I hold in very high regard over here. He coins: "Poll media" - not push or pull, it is using a particular medium to ask a simple question in order to engage your audience. For example: Is Lost a Repeat?. Love it.

So, anyway, back to the blog. I encourage you to take some time and work you're way back from the beginning, like you're currently doing with The Wire. The posts keep getting better. They started with Coffee and their most recent (84th) one is T-Shirts. Without ruining all the surprise, I wanted to give you a quick taste of what you'll find. Here's an excerpt from #77, Musical Comedy:

It’s a pretty good idea because when you have jokes that aren’t that great and music that isn’t that great, you can mix them together and create something that will entertain white people.

What are you waiting for? Go get your laugh on this Friday afternoon...and then get some Mos Def tickets. See you at the show!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Don't Be Ben Jacobs

Came across this undeniably funny-because-it's-true article in the Onion today thanks to Chet. The article's title is "Ad Campaigns Appeals to Young, Hip, Influenced-By-Ad-Campaigns Demographic." An excerpt:

"This is exactly the type of customer we're looking to reach," said the campaign's chief strategist Ben Jacobs, 28. "It's showing tremendous impact on the cool, media-savvy rebels who distrust authority, prize alternative culture, think outside of the mainstream, and are willing to base their actions entirely on advertising images presented to them on TV. How dope is that?"

So this post is just a reminder for me and other Gen GuY and GalY planners (or creatives or account peeps) out there not to become Ben. And a reminder for marketers to really get to know their audience on a deeper level even if they've picked the demographic wisely.


via Someecards. By the way, this was the featured e-card when I just visited the site. Pure gold.

That's So Raven!

Two Sunday nights ago I skipped the Oscars and hit up Will Ferrell's FunnyOrDie Comedy Tour: Presented by 'Semi Pro'. Though Will would be "presenting" I assumed his role would be limited, and I went for the three comedians. I've always been a fan of Zach Galifianakis (who is responsible for the post title) and Demetri Martin (who my friends and I spied at Grey Dog's one afternoon making little charts and drawings on a notepad). And though I was unfamiliar with Nick Swardson before going and whose particular type of humor is not my favorite (more Dane Cook-esque), I couldn't help but get into his tales of drunkeness with the crowd. I was pleasantly surprised by Will Ferrell's presence, especially when interviewed Tom Brokaw (or T-Bo as he called him once) as Ron Burgundy.

Amy from the tour blogged her insider experience on FOD here. The New York Times blogged its take here, which includes a smart perspective on how the promotion of the tour underwriter, 'Semi Pro' was more subtle than limited. NYTimes concludes:

...this audience demonstrated how well Mr. Ferrell knows his fans, and how a Web site can drive an entire comic enterprise. Except for a quick opening clip, the stage show included nothing about the movie; with all the online hype, it didn’t have to.


I have to agree...and if you're new to this blog or it hasn't been apparent from recent IOI posts, I'm hooked on FunnyOrDie. Yet the point of this post was less to recap the event (that was just the hook) than to test out my new flip video. I bought it earlier that Sunday and have since found it ridiculously easy to take videos and download them to my computer—it runs on two AA batteries and has a USB arm that flips out (hence the name) and connects directly to your computer. Now I wanted to see how easy it is to upload my first-ever thirty-seconds of video (my walk to the show) to YouTube in order to embed here...and here we go:



Not hard at all though the .AVI file took a few minutes to upload to YouTube and then lowers in quality vs. viewing in Quicktime on my laptop. Any tips/suggestions from owners on process or use? Oh yeah, that and I hate my voice...but I knew that already. Unfortunately as I'm spending more time videotaping/being videotaped, videoconferencing for work, on Yahoo Live!, Seesmic, and who knows what else in the future, so I guess I'll get used to it.