August 24, 2002

  • Thought

    Many people focus on the personal and journalistic uses of blogs. But they are also very useful for companies to use to enhance (or establish) communications between themselves and their customers.

    A great example of the power of weblogs in business is Oddblog by Oddpost.

    Oddpost itself is an amazing company that I’ve mentioned before, but I found that I loved them even more after finding their idiosyncratic blog, which on the face of it tells you about bug fixes, but in reality, if the personification of their brand.


August 23, 2002

  • Thought

    Hit Charade — The music industry’s self-inflicted wounds by Mark Jenkins is one of the best articles I’ve read on the problems with the music industry these days. As a former music industry insider, this all rings true. One of the main reasons I left the music business was the anti-fan, litigious nature of the industry’s approach to the business. Hopefully there is something that can do for the modern music malaise what MTV did in the early 80s.

August 17, 2002

  • Thought

    A good New York Times article on the foibles of voice recognition.

    For example, here is a list of “wordos” that author David Pogue’s software created (some quite funny):

    bookmark it -> book market
    Motorola -> motor roll a
    modem port -> mode import
    a procedure -> upper seizure
    and then stick it in the mail -> and dense thicket in the mail
    movie clips -> move eclipse
    I might add -> I my dad
    inscrutable -> in screw double
    hyphenate -> -8
    suffocate -> Suffolk 8
    a case we summarily dismissed -> a case we so merrily dismissed
    or take a shower -> Ortega shower
    the right or left -> the writer left
    oxymoron -> ax a moron
    ArialPhone guy -> aerial fungi

    Still, I can’t help thinking that voice input is inevitable — as are translation errors. I wonder if it is possible that humans will modify pronunciations to accommodate the machines. This would be analogous to Newton failing in writing recognition but the Palm succeeding because it used “Graffiti” a made up alphabet. It was easier for the humans to learn to deal with the ambiguity than the machines.

August 13, 2002

  • Thought

    “Eight by Eight” looks like it is going out the window.

    This NPR audio stream counters pretty much every myth about water that you didn’t know was a myth.

  • Thought

    Jim Sterne, who is always a great read, has an article on Boxes and Arrows called “Customer Experience Meets Online Marketing at Brand Central Station.”

    The only weak thing about the article is the title. Jim starts out discussing branding in general:

    “A brand is the culmination of all of the interactions that all the people in a marketplace have with the firm.

    He then goes on to talk in more detail about how this plays out online and what measurements you can use to judge your effective you are at reaching those overarching branding goals.

August 10, 2002

  • Thought

    More reasons to love the Internet:

    “Silophone is a project by [The User] which combines sound, architecture, and communication technologies to transform a significant landmark in the industrial cityscape of Montréal.

    Located in Montréal’s old port, Silo #5B-1 was built in 1958 and has been cited by Le Corbusier as a masterpiece of modern architecture. The structure, constructed entirely of reinforced concrete, is 200 metres long, 16 metres wide and approximately 45 metres at its highest point. The main section of the building is formed of approximately 115 vertical chambers, all 30 metres high and up to 8 metres in diameter. These tall parallel cylinders, whose form evokes the structure of an enormous organ, have exceptional acoustic properties: a stunning reverberation time of over 20 seconds. Anything played inside the Silo is euphonized, made beautiful, by the acoustics of the structure. All those who have entered have found it an overwhelming and unforgettable experience.

    Silophone makes use of the incredible acoustics of Silo #5 by introducing sounds, collected from around the world using various communication technologies, into a physical space to create an instrument which blurs the boundaries between music, architecture and net art. Sounds arrive inside Silo #5 by telephone or internet. They are then broadcast into the vast concrete grain storage chambers inside the Silo. They are transformed, reverberated, and coloured by the remarkable acoustics of the structure, yielding a stunningly beautiful echo. This sound is captured by microphones and rebroadcast back to its sender, to other listeners and to a sound installation outside the building. Anyone may contribute material of their own, filling the instrument with increasingly varied sounds.”

    Can you imagine explaining this to someone 10 years ago?

  • Thought

    Tessa Wegert disagrees with me on the iVillage pop-up ban in her ClickZ article “Why Nix Effective Formats?”

    I think the reason to “nix effective formats” is to preserve the long-term value of the iVillage audience. If iVillage keeps going against the strong disapproval of over 90% of their audience they won’t have much of an audience before too long.

    The problem here is that a lot of things that work for marketers (at least in the short run) are not good for the Net (in the long run). We all need to work on ways of making money online that let the Net work well for all concerned. I can’t see how Intrusion Marketing will fit into this (in the long run).