Tuesday, May 26, 2009

So exclusive, even you can have one

Here's an ad for the super-exclusive new Visa black card. "It's not just another piece of plastic. Made with carbon, it's the ultimate buying tool."

Amazingly, it's limited to just 3,000,000 people and advertised with full page ads.

When mass marketers try to market exclusivity, the paradox always catches up with them...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Google 'falling behind Twitter'

Google's co-founder, Larry Page, admitted today that the company has been losing out to Twitter in the race to meet web user's demand for real-time information.

Instead, the search engine's chairman and chief executive, Eric Schmidt, hinted that it could become a partner of the micro-blogging site. Twitter has come from nowhere to become the third most visited social networking site in the US in just three years by allowing its users to broadcast their thoughts, actions and news instantly.

Google's search engine, in contrast, can take hours or even days to update. While this is usually not a problem as accuracy of results is more important than speed of updating, as the internet community comes to demand ever faster information Twitter has left Google in its wake.

"People really want to do stuff real time and I think they [Twitter] have done a great job about it," Page said in a closing address at Google's Zeitgeist conference . "I think we have done a relatively poor job of creating things that work on a per-second basis."

He told the audience about the impact of technology on the world and that he has been asking his research teams to get faster. "Now I think they understand that," he said. "I think we will do a better job of some of those things."

But he admitted that there is a trade-off between making information instantly available and ensuring its accuracy.

The rise of Twitter has sparked speculation that the cash-rich Google could buy the business. Speaking after the event, Schmidt refused to comment on that speculation but admitted "they have done a very good job of 'what am I doing right now' – their tagline – it is very impressive."

He stressed that because of the way that Twitter is built, which allows any developer to take its stream of real-time messages, or tweets, and build applications around them, Google does not need to buy the business to get involved in the indexing of real-time information generated by Twitterers.

"There is a presumption that somehow you cannot have multiple solutions that co-exist," he said. "We can talk to them ... there is all sorts of stuff we can do. We do not have to buy everybody to work with them, the whole principle of the web is people can talk to each other."

Earlier in the day, Page was forced to defend Google's Street View service. "Putting someone's house on Street View is not the same as putting it in a newspaper," he said. "It's radically different."

From Media Guardian

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Secure website authentication questions

By Joel Gunz

- What is your mother's maiden name?

- What is your older sister's favorite Monopoly game piece?

- Who did your paternal grandfather vote for in the 1956 presidential election?

- Why did you choose a liberal-arts degree when your entire family urged you to go into finance?

- In what year did you begin working on your novel?

- How many weeks away was graduation when you dropped out of college?

- What was your score on the civil-service employment exam?

- Where were you sitting when your girlfriend told you she was pregnant?

- Where did you never end up going for your honeymoon?

- In what year did you begin working for the post office?

- What is the name of the hedge-fund manager your ex-wife married?

- How many hours did it take you to drink that bottle of Jack Daniel's yesterday?

- What time was it when, in a drunken rage, you threw your novel into the fire?

- If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


A blog post specially for Marie over at Woman Who Talked Too Much... I came across these fantastic designs for a set of interactive beer mats and posters to promote the World Scrabble Championship. The beer mats are perforated so each printed Scrabble piece can be ripped off individually and played with.

I like. I want!

The Evening Standard says sorry, or perhaps it's Sony?

In anticipation of its relaunch next week, The Evening Standard has launched this surprising new campaign (by McCann Erickson), which aims to firmly distance itself from the newspaper’s previous incarnation.

The London newspaper, which was bought by Alexander Lebedev from the Daily Mail earlier this year, has had a reputation for having a somewhat negative take on life in the UK capital. This poster campaign seeks to signal the changes on the way by apologising for various perceived sins, including complacency, predictability and the afore-mentioned negativity. None of the posters mention the newspaper by name, but simply carry its Eros logo.

In my opinion the typography's not great. No power. The Economist would have handled the campaign much more intelligently, and if the Daily Mail were to do something similar, how could it possibly apologise enough?....