So, it's no secret to those of you subscribed to Shake Well Before Use that the frequency of posting is not what it used to be. Due to recent exciting announcements, I've been quite busy and it's been difficult to lock into a regular schedule for blogging. Just wanted to make a quick post that I have NO intention of letting this blog die. The frequency may just be lower than the once 2-6 posts a day for a while - so don't turn that dial!
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Movable Type Open Source 4.1
August 4, 2008
July 10, 2008
Playboy picks the top 2.0 girls that make them giddy. The short list includes Julie Alexandria, Sarah Austin (formerly Sarah Meyers), Veronica Belmont, Violet Blue, Amanda Congdon, Brigitte Dale, Sarah Lacy, Natali Del Conte, and Xeni Jardin. Though flattering, it appears that Playboy didn't clearly tell the "contestants" that voting by the public would determine who they would ask to pose in their publication. While some may be okay with the opportunity, others can safely shoot down any chance of that happening before the votes are in.
Recently: I was informed I was in the Top 20 Bloggers We Want To See In Bikinis
Photo: Courtesy Brigitte Dale
May 19, 2008
April 29, 2008
Shake Well Before Use is going through some Movable Type changes. Apologies for filling up your RSS reader!
April 13, 2008
I'll be joining the forces with the fabulous team at Adrants and the ad:tech blog to provide coverage of the upcoming ad:tech conference in San Francisco, April 15-17.
General housekeeping of where else to find me:
• arielwaldman.com - My new blog that has more about myself and social media consulting.
• Engadget (Movie Gadget Friday columns!)
• Twitter, Pownce, and Upcoming
Oh, and I'll most likely be lobbycon-ing the Web 2.0 Expo in SF from April 22-25 with a few out-of-towners.
December 13, 2007
Update: The agency who created the site and Garnier appear to have been unaware of any activity executed by PayPerPost. The campaign itself is a cute spoof site, but didn't have the intention of marketing without transparency. Adrants is currently investigating who was behind the PayPerPost marketing.
We're begrudgingly posting this to out
Garnier's lame attempts at viral marketing and potentially another blogging blunder from PayPerPost (though, we're sure they're smiling at the idea of getting any buzz):
Shake Well Before Use received an email from email@example.com:
"Hey- So I saw this video on youtube- I guess Garnier pulled sponsorship of this show, the harry situation, b/c it was too sexed up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQGOZaG0kOg -deana"
Of course, any attempts to Google this email address fail.
The YouTube video shows a supposed Garnier employee telling viewers not to go to http://theharrysituation.com in a very *wink wink* manner.
The Harry Situation site is a
horrid attempt at a spoof site, not naming what networks, lawyers, etc. they were working with, but somehow managing to spill out the fill name of "Ganier Frucits" at any chance. A quick WhoIS lookup gives a vague address and another un-Google-able Gmail address.
Googling the name of "Todd Gruyere" only pulls up a handful of sites where you can post for free on (mostly free blog ranking sites). The sites that do contain blurbs about the situation, are all written in a similar style with the same facts on each blurb. Interestingly, these blog posts only link to "The Harry Situation", almost always twice in one blog post, and usually one of the links is a TinyURL (not surprisingly, various blogs are linking to the same TinyURLs, but somehow not to each other, nor to where they obtained this information from), something that isn't used often for blog links.
On this particular blog post, the site is again, linked to twice (with 2 TinyURLs). One of which is supposed to go to Todd's "blog", but when you click on the link, it (surprise!) takes you to an image of the "show" hosted on PayPerPost. Also, "interestingly", the same name of the image is used on the Harry Situation blog, only this time appropriately hosted on the site. Other blogs that host the post load PayPerPost data when you visit them.
Our investigative conclusion? Not only has PayPerPost
Garnier (and potentially associated ad agencies) attempted to "game" bloggers, by somehow believing that they will link to anything without credentials, but it seems that they are incredibly insatiable in making themselves and any blogger associated with them become an evil empire of ridiculousness.
Dear PayPerPost, PayPerPost bloggers, and PayPerPost clients
(possibly, but not yet confirmed, Garnier), please stop lying your way to links. It's pathetic and disrespectful.
Update: Adpuppet researches Deana Burke further.
Update 2: The content creator (Kirt) left a few comments below. It appears that Kirt and Garnier were unaware of the PayPerPost efforts.
December 12, 2007
Best Buy has never been a popular brand amongst bloggers with all the buzz around their Geek Squad stealing porn. Recently, LaughingSquid received a cease and desist letter from the ruffled retailers for coverage of Improv Everywhere's trademark intrusion apparel. Apparently, Best Buy viewed blogs as promotion, rather than an authentic news source. Contrary to many Consumerist reports of bad customer service, LaughingSquid was pleasantly surprised with an apology letter and follow-up call from their PR department. However, despite the "front-of-the-house" apology, other departments within Best Buy is aggressively trying to shut down the blog, sending a DMCA notice to LaughingSquid's data center.
Update: The C&D letter was misclassified as a DMCA notice. More updates likely to come from Twitter.
[img via Scott Beale/LaughingSquid]
October 21, 2007
September 16, 2007
August 31, 2007
Mashable recently posted a Wordpress plugin that needs far more coverage than it's getting. The Douchebag Plugin allows for you to visually tag your commenting trolls with an official douchebag icon. Certainly the Gawker and Weblogs, Inc. networks could make good use of this. Even better, would be a community-generated douchebag icon, when specific commenters are consistently complained about. Unfortunately, Shake Well Before Use operates off of Movable Type, but there's always other ways of publicly calling out dbags.
August 26, 2007
August 3, 2007
Shake Well Before Use celebrates its first blogiversary today (one year ago: Check out my guns). Quite a bit has changed in a year, and only for the better. While I typically don't make personal posts, a blogiversary is the perfect excuse for it (and for cupcakes!). With that, there are even more changes happening right now that I wanted to share.
After 8 solid years at VML, an interactive WPP agency, I am resigning as Digital Insights Analyst to pursue social media insights consulting. During my time at VML, I had the opportunity to work with a variety of truly amazing people from whom I learned a lot.
I'm currently in the process of relocating from Kansas City to San Francisco. You can also find me in different places across the web. I'm currently writing for Engadget and Suicide Girls, discussing the intersections between advertising, sex and technology. I may also be popping up in your inbox from time to time, as I recently started working with the wonderful team at Pownce to help assist them with support issues and requests. Shake Well Before Use will continue to be my main home within the vast blogosphere and will continue to grow. Check out the updated About section for more information. I look forward to another year of change and new experiences. In the meantime, I'm celebrating with a chocolate cupcake.
July 22, 2007
Like this ad for the British Heart Foundation suggests, Shake Well Before Use has been taking care of getting healthy this last and current week. While we could only wish getting healthy involved a daily serving(s) of sex and swimming, it has meant that posting has been a little on the light side lately, but will return once the thermometer stops telling us what we already know. In the meantime, keep updated via Twitter so as not to miss nuggets of essential knowledge like this.
June 28, 2007
McDonald's recently hired six "Quality Correspondent" Mommy bloggers to report to the "world at large" about McDonald's various facilities. An obvious attempt to build some positive brand buzz for McDonald's, which some of the blogosphere will undoubtedly groan at. Aside from the usual blogosphere tantrum over brand blogging, there are a few aspects that should be questioned. One of the most forefront being that the six Mommy "bloggers" don't appear operate blogs on their own. Picking out Virgin Marys to the blogosphere under the umbrella of a buzz-building site most definitely skews how the six will report back. As with most n00bs, we all at some time battled ourselves over self-censorship. Given that situation on top of blogging specifically for the brand you're supposed to be reporting on and not having an audience of your own outside of it definitely creates a highly skewed scenario. Sure, McDonald's can claim that blogging is not journalism in this instance and that they aren't telling the Moms what to say, but that's also like turning down a third-party survey in favor of paying off for an internally-conducted one. A better approach? Tap into existing influential and authoritative Mom blogs (like Dooce, 5 minutes for mom, and Everyday Mommy) that already have experience as a blogger outside of the brand.
June 26, 2007
Debonair Magazine recently released its "Best Food Blogs"awards. Fourteen delicious daily reads were picked for a variety of culinary categories, including "Best Food Porn" and "Best Eco-Friendly Food Blog" among others.
"When working in an office, I found it incredibly difficult to inconspicuously ruffle through The New York Times and read an 800-word restaurant review or try to hide my stacks of Saveur and Gourmet. Thankfully, a good food blog offers quick snippets of information that can easily be read between conference calls. "
The amuse bouche of blogs are below:
[image via: chocolate cupcake stuffed with ginger caramel, frosted with mango ganache, and topped with a mango-ginger won ton]
June 5, 2007
Naked on the Internet: Hookups, Downloads and Cashing In on Internet Sexploration is a recently published book that explores and interviews bloggers and geek girls. Looking into the intimate nature of the internet, the 80 interviewed reveal how they intertwine sex and their computer screen into their lives and lifestyles. Wired's interview with the author, Audacia Ray, states, "women have wide-ranging sexual interests and are savvy enough to figure out how to harness technology to pursue our erotic desires". Technology truly is a turn on.
June 4, 2007
Quite aware that posting has been on the light side as of late, I'll be traveling to New York this week to attend the first Future of Online Advertising conference. The schedule is sure to be hectic, as my last attendance was back in November for ad:tech New York. New conferences can always be hit or miss, but it's always the people you meet that matter. The line-up for June 7-8 includes panelists from Blog Ads, Feedburner, Wired, Google, Microsoft, Digg, blip.tv, and the infamous PayPerPost.
As always, drop me a line if you'll be in the vicinity or have any recommended sights for June 7-10.
May 10, 2007
Love or hate Twitter, it is easy to see how it's a valuable resource for real-time brand monitoring. Thousands of users simultaneously (and quite candidly) expressing their good and bad interactions with brands, products, and services. Companies should consider it a virtual focus group of sorts... Only, instead of locking housewives in a room for an hour and feeding them cookies and $50, this is an actively engaged, un-prompted group of thousands.
Perhaps one of the most commonly mentioned categories of brands on Twitter are airlines. Often times you find yourself stuck in an airport with nothing but a phone as your connection to the world. Luckily, Twitter is always available to listen to you vent. This was the case with me about a month ago, when I experienced the most horrid treatment by United/US Airways and "live-twittered" my absolute disgust with them:
-I cant remember the last time i was on a flight that wasnt delayed. Not cool.
-Twitter is my only friend to vent to when im stuck in annoying airport lines.
-Brands should monitor twitter for real time feedback. Us airways would know how much i hate them now.
-I am seriously on the verge of crying. My flight was bumped again due to them accidentally not booking it correctly.
-Then I was yelled at by a United employee for saying it was booked last night even though I kept trying to reassure him I wasn't mad at him
-United and US Airways, go fuck yourselves, seriously... If you make your customer on the verge of crying when she's trying to calm YOU down
-United: "This was booked on a computer, are you familiar with the unreliability of computers?"
- Me: "I work with computers, and no, that's not a valid excuse" Airlines should not be allowed to make the same bullshit excuses as Kinko's.
Anyway, back to Delta. I applaud them for making this brave move (if it is in fact them - Twitter is also known for a ton of fake humor accounts). You can see how easy it is to vent about brands on Twitter, as I don't normally talk about myself on SWBU, but felt compelled to discuss this. It's good to know someone is listening and open to interacting in a medium that is known for constant airline complaints. Other brands should take notice - even if they're too hesitant to participate, they should utilize it as a free form of active listening.
May 5, 2007
April 4, 2007
While in not so sunny Seattle, I didn't want to tease with the hopes of the usual tasty topics, so I've left you a guest blogger to whet your palate until I return next week. While he may not have as many pent up "fantasies" as the last guest blogger, Steve Hall, be sure that he still has a thing or two to show.
Gavin Heaton, based out of Australia, is a contributor to Marketing Profs Daily Fix and also writes at Servant of Chaos. He was one of the few bloggers that began linking to Shake Well Before Use when it first took flight. Leveraging the unlikely, I took Gavin up on his Twitter when my need of a guest blogger came up in conversation. As always, I give guest bloggers free reign and no censorship, so NSFW-softies be warned.
P.S. If you're in Seattle as well, I recommend making paper airplanes and attending Ignite Seattle!. Unfortunately, I'll be on an airplane while you're taping yours together.
March 26, 2007
Last Friday marked the birthday bash of Hollywood's hated, Perez Hilton. The self-proclaimed queen pissed what's left of his 20's away as he went town, turning the tender age of 29. With bad makeup and blue hair dye, Perez Hilton, lesser known as Mario Lavandeira, danced with divas 'til the early break of dawn in Los Angeles. The birthday debauchery seemed to be a success with guest appearances from Paris Hilton, John Stamos, Amy Winehouse, Kelly Osbourne, David Spade, and Andy Milonakis. Any celeb that can take Microsoft Paint drawings in stride is always a friend.
The event was sponsored by a slew of brands ready to pick up the bill. Absolut, KY Intrigue, Ginch Gonch and Red Bull were loosened up for liquor and lubrication, while LA bands like Ultraviolet laid down some electro. Other performers stepped up and stripped down, such as burlesque extraordinaire Dita Von Teese with her classy pin-up performance. While documentation of all the debauchery didn't end up defaced with bad handwriting and white dots, we can only hope that the they'll return after some much needed hangover help.
Coolz0r commences another contest, calling for campaigns and links to generate the most comments and trackbacks. While it seemingly could be rigged (hmm, wonder why 15 commenters all use gmail...), the contest a couple weeks ago seemed to be a success. The prize last time was Dragon's Naturally Speaking software. This week, the marketing thoughts blog ups the ante with an ergonomically designed keyboard straight from CeBIT. The Wolf King Warrior Gaming Keypad defines itself as the ultimate gaming weapon, though, by the looks of it, it seems more likely to be the ultimate one-handed typing accessory. The Keypad states, "Perfect for PC Gamers looking for a portable game pad or just looking for more flexibility". Perhaps "just" looking for more flexibility, indeed. Coolz0r's link submission contest ends April 7, so CTRL+V those permalinks over.
March 24, 2007
March 17, 2007
As flight delays scroll across screens and text messages taper off, SXSW negates to close its doors, yet gives a swift slap to attendees as it dismounts from Interactive. As stated up front, most of the
interaction happens outside of the panels and what happens in SXSW, stays on Flickr. With leftover hand-stamps from nights before, attendees gingerly, yet somehow still enthusiastically dragged their feet into morning panels over the few days. While the main word on the carpeted streets was 'overwhelming', the plethora of things to do and people to see kept the crowd's stamina.
Friday night kicked off with the traditional Break Bread With Brad ceremonial drinkfest and introductions. One would think that after a few drinks, the crowd would begin to tangent off of social technology topics, however with the circulating video bloggers stumbling within the crowd and the lively debates over Technorati and Twitter (which becomes a more flexibly applied verb with a few drinks) the physicality of all the usually online activity takes tangible form.
With Treo and Blackberry ornaments hanging from every messenger bag pocket, and laptops all in a row, it was no longer business or pleasure, personal or professional. Threadless shirts and logo-ed tattoos pwned all. While parties like Dorkbot, Fox Interactive, 8-bit, LAist, Mashup, Blogger, Lifehacker, and SXNW played venue to a meeting of interactive minds, it was the actual interaction that made and continues to make SXSW a unique, sometimes awkward, but always appreciated, online to offline experience.
March 10, 2007
South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive kicked off on Friday with a panel dedicated to "pop the cherries of the SXSW virgins". The How to Rawk SXSW panel was headed up by a variety of familiar names and faces, including Min Jung Kim (Photobucket), Glenda Bautista (Agendacide), Tantek Çelik (Technorati), Nick Douglas (Look Shiny, formerly Valleywag), Andrew Huff (Gapers Block), Lynne d Johnson (fastcompany), and our friend Tony Pierce (LAist). Sharing swigs out of a bottle of Jack Daniel's the panelists calmed the crowd's expectations.
Overwhelming seems to be the sense on the street about SXSW. With hundreds of panels, speakers, and parties to attend, it's easy to lack time management. Thankfully, the panelists help tell you where to cut out the excess fat from your daily intake. Conferences are known to load up on the junk advertising, and this one is no exception. With his Jack Daniel's swigs well underway, Nick Douglas flipped through the multitude of junk. "Wired is the Cosmo of tech magazines," Douglas stated as he threw another conference magazine handout into the trash pile.
Equipped with hipster glasses and widgets, Tantek Celik educated the audience on how to effectively stalk fellow SXSW attendees. Obviously, with an array of bloggers, educators, and industry experts it can be difficult to manage the inevitable "blogasm". Dodgeball, Consumating, Twitter, and Flickr were all recommendations to keep track of the fire hose of content coming through. "What happens at SXSW, stays on Flickr", Celik grinned. Despite Celik revealing his tool to the audience, there's always secret happenings going on at SXSW that no tools can help you with. Unless of course, they're the tool managing the guest list.
Sidenote: Flickr album of my SXSW photos can be found here.
March 7, 2007
Yes, I'll be taking to the streets of Austin this week for SXSW. From the looks of it, I should be in good company with a blogasm of sights and people to be seen, heard, and perhaps felt, if we're lucky. I'll also be covering SXSW events and panels for Adrants, so stay tuned for that. Rex at Fimoculous has a great quote on the upcoming debauchery: "Imagine rock stars competing with dot-commers for throwing the best parties. Their weapons are drugs. Then, without any rationale, you'll walk into a room with Will Wheaton, Will Wright, and Will Farrell. ('Was that George Will?'). It's nutty like that."
As always, feel free to drop me a line if you'll be in the vicinity.
In other news: Shedwa's Six published an interview of me today, check it out. Great ongoing interview series.
March 6, 2007
PC World published The 50 Most Important People on the Web yesterday. While the first 25 are your run-of-the-mill Steve Jobs, Bill Gates (oh wait, he didn't make the list), scroll-bar-savvy predictable content. The remaining 25 are mixed in with various bloggers. A few notables: Scoble (25), Arrington (30), Dave Winer (39), Perez Hilton (41), and Nick Denton (45). But where are the lady bloggers? Oh, that's right, we have Miss Tila Tequila to represent us, dragging her talentless feet in at number 50.
Making way forward for artificial
February 28, 2007
Local news reports on the 'dangerous trend' of emo kids, sadly a decade or so late. With their dark clothes and hair covering one eye, it's best to shield your eyes and ears from their angst-ridden art. Before you know it, there will be emo's everywhere! Serving your fries, pouring your coffee, and even helping you in the dressing room of Urban Outfitters - oh, wait.
Best Week Ever asks, "Is there anything funnier than when the local news attempts to tackle "hip" and "now" issues like "blogs" or "emo" music?"
I'm still waiting on the 'emo bloggers' report - 'It's short for web log. But blogging is a trend that has gone to extremes. Their style is whiny, their look is jaded, they earn points by complaining a lot, more points for acting like they don't care, and they hit the jackpot if they attempt to unsubscribe from RSS feeds.'
February 27, 2007
Up for grabs and gropes, Valleyway posts its 5 hottest lady vloggers for you to vote on. Violet Blue, Gala Darling, Adriana Gascoigne, Casey McKinnon, and Sara Schaefer make the lineup. While I'm admittedly jealous of not being on any geek girl glamor list, these vlogging vixens deserve it. Though there's much love for Violet Blue and her writing, I do find Casey McKinnon to be supercute as well. However, so far Adriana appears to be cat-fighting her way on top, so hopefully Sara likes being on bottom, otherwise she may need to get her hands free to pull out on top.
February 26, 2007
New words are buzzing around the blogosphere lately. Blogging tends to build bemes (a blog meme, for the unhip and unaware) as well as fat over time. As such, Jason Calcanis intertwined the concepts to create fatblogging. What is fatblogging? While ideally it would be the liveblogging of oral indulgence, it's actually the opposite. Perhaps experiencing some jealously over Wii-Weight-Loss Experiment, bloggers join up and document their weight-loss and exercise each day as well as share thoughts and tips. The lovely Joseph Jaffe and Hugh Macleod have already signed up, so if Hugh's sketches become a little more angry and Jaffe's blog slows down even more, don't be alarmed. If you care to burn off that blogger backfat of yours, Jason invites you to work up a sweat and be part of the movement.
February 20, 2007
Sick and tired of, well, pretty much everything at this point, Britney Spears continues her delightful, sunshine and rainbow filled escapade around society. A recent rumor uncovers that Britney may have signed up for a MySpace page all on her very little own. Claiming to want to get away from her record company and including a typo here or there, something other than her upskirt smells fishy. Nevertheless, the idea, whether or not true, of celebrities wanting to maintain transparency is an interesting debate. Often in advertising and Web 2.0, we fight for companies and campaigns to be transparent. However, many of us gloss over the fact that celebs are perhaps some of the worst at maintaining transparency. While probably for a lot of good, rational reasons, you have to ask, has the lack of transparency with celebs gone too far? Would the benefits of being transparent outweigh the consequences?
February 16, 2007
Violet Blue should have someone other than the SF Chronicles to battle over biased anti-porn slanting this week. Pulling a Ted Haggard, Joel Johnson of Gizmodo takes out the whip and chain on gadget whoring.
"These guys want me to write a weekly column, but I hate consumer electronics, I hate marketing, and I hate you people, because you're all so dumb. If you're lucky and I need the money, I will. I gave up two years of my life writing about gadgets for this site. Waking up every morning at 5 AM, chewing up press releases to find the rare morsel of legitimate information, chasing down "hot tips" that ended up being photochops of iPods with reflections of genitals in the touchscreens."
Taking it from behind the computer screen, Joel puts his finger in our face to smell. Despite the fact that he is/"was" a gadget whore, is being paid by gadget whores, and frankly wouldn't be around unless there were gadgets to feed him and Gizmodo in the first place, he now denounces the techsluts. Oh Joel, honey, we may be easy, but trying your new position in the bedroom in hopes of bringing back the flame may just be too little, too, and well, little, if you know what we're saying. My personal response? Shut up and blog.
Sidenote: In the spirit of whoring, buy a tshirt I made for the cause.
Making joystick puns too easy, Bonnie Ruberg attempts to talk about sex weekly on Joystiq. This week's 'Playing Dirty' column goes for the easy bait, asking if sex is a game.
"Our culture trains us to think of sex as something romantic and meaningful, as "making love.""
Apparently a few power pellets short of a blue ghost, the culture in question may be mistaken as your parents' basement. Gamers may be stereotypically sheltered, but it's pretty safe to assume that when they search for sex inbetween 1up's and frags, that love-making doesn't rank high on Google.
"Sex definitely exists outside the flow of ordinary life. Even if it's an everyday thing for you, it has its own separate space, both literally (the home, the bedroom, the bed itself) and in terms of frame of mind."
Somehow I'm left with a bad Carrie-Bradshaw-wannabe taste in my mouth. To assume that sex is separate or outside the flow of ordinary life is, for lack of a more compelling word, a sad view. Sex isn't a separate connection in our brain, nor should it ever be regulated to happening within the confines of just "the home, bedroom, and bed". Sex is as mobile as a PSP, please don't treat it like an Alienware desktop.
February 13, 2007
Everyone needs a "release" every now and again, and I think we can all say that we learned something new about Steve Hall, the appointed guest blogger, this week. Here's a towel, go get yourself cleaned up.
Skipping the "and" in art, advertising, sex + technology, Steve defied grammar (and surely your expectations) to create a temporary simpler description. I would say sexier, though Steve may not yet understand the art of desire, leaving little of it. Either way, there's always some pleasure to be derived from not holding back.
February 11, 2007
As mentioned earlier, I'm currently soaking up the sun in lovely San Diego for a few days. But fear not, disappointment should only be kept to your bedroom, not blogs.
As such, I've invited Steve Hall of Adrants (you may remember him from such hits as 'Agency.com has Hipster Orgasm on YouTube' and 'Bouncing Thong-Clad Beauties Spank For Biker Insurance') to be a guest blogger for a couple days. Besides being the main power force behind one of the industry's largest publications, he's also the one who convinced me to start blogging. So, without further ado, I'll let him do what he does best. I've given him free reign and no censorship, so NSFW-softies be warned.
February 6, 2007
So, I feel like the slow kid on the playground because I seem to be tagged rather easily in the "meme" games of blogcrapular tag. Blog tag is a crafty whore, for if you don't accept, you're an asshole, and if you do, you instantly receive negative points for wasting everyone's RSS time. I previously discussed the absurdity here. Anyway, the word on the hop-scotch-lined-streets is to list the "5 reasons why I blog", as originally tagged by Jeremy. Since I'm wasting your time, I'll spare you the rainbows-and-dafodils-blogosphere versions that probably most are using.
1. Because I read 200-600 blogs a day on average already for work
2. I now have an excuse for shit-talking ("Blogging is all about transparency, and you're just transparently an asshole")
3. You can only read so many Scoble blogging-blunders until you completely lose it
4. It's like I'm the only girl at a comic book convention
5. I needed another reason to make my coworkers give me weird looks
So, instead of tagging 5 unassuming bloggers, we're going to do this backwards. The first 5 bloggers that actually want (why, oh why, would you?) to be tagged, let me know, and I'll throw your link up here, and you can act all cool to your schoolmates about it.
Tagged so far: //engtech
January 29, 2007
While us ladies are known to self-portrait strip tease for ourselves in the privacy of our own home and boredom (you only need to look at the photo I have up to come to your own conclusion), we usually keep them safe and sound on our harddrives. Wanting to share her boredom with the blogosphere, however, Violet Blue documents her favorite panties to help relieve some stress. Also appearing in the pictures is her "blogger" tattoo which I'd love to know the backstory behind that one (also, what is with sex columnists photographing themselves with cupcakes?). With cute shoes, cute shots, cute panties (and a cute tush to match!), Violet takes care of our boredom as well.
January 26, 2007
Moreso, just like celebrities. Forbes published their list of Web Celeb 25 - the top 25 interwebbies that encapsulate the "biggest, brightest and most influential people on the Internet". The list starts out with LonelyGirl15 and trails down through bloggers, bloggers, and more bloggers. Considering LonelyGirl15 was just a one-off viral effort of sorts, you have to wonder if they notched her as #1 to avoid the wrath of the bitchy bloggers and anonymous commenters.
Using their blogs as their acceptance award stage, the blogebrities seem to stay right on cue with Hollywood. While some are thanking the academy and you can already begin to hear the music play before you reach the end of their post, others go the way of Fiona Apple and others, taking the stage time to criticize the world, leaving the audience with that awkward, "should we clap for this...?" moment.
Cease and desist letters to bloggers provide the little things in life that make us smile. Most recently, Engadget received a C&D letter for (mis?)using the term "ant farm" in a post they made about a belt-clip sized ant farm (oops!) gadget for kids. The letter reads:
"Our company, Uncle Milton Industries, Inc. is the owner of the registered trademark, "Ant Farm(R)" for our brand of ant habitat products. The phrase is not generic. We note the use of our trademark to describe a competitor's product in your website page noted above, as well as in the "Antquarium" page referenced on your site. We request that you delete the phrase "ant farm" and substitute it with a generic phrase, such as "ant habitat."
Aw, don't PR people say the darndest things? Let me think about that one while I have a Kodak moment caught on FujiFilm of "LOL"-ing so hard I pissed myself (LOLAPM!!1!1!). Needless to say, Engadget has refused to 'debug' their post but thanks Steve for playing.
January 25, 2007
We may currently be within the Web 2.0 landscape, but the advertising that frames it up is still reminiscent of a 1.0 era. Contextual advertising remains infamous for not receiving enough human touch. Consumer Generated Media, as adverters would like to define it, continues to assume that the 'consumer' wants to actively create propaganda for a brand when it's not an organic/natural occurence. MySpace, which has millions of active users and even more ads, has yet to utilize the potential of a user-chosen advertising system. Contextual and CGM advertising seem to be on the edge of easily becoming a 2.0 platform in which users are able to create their own context (as they already do), including the leaderboards and skyscrapers that frame it up.
Flip.com is taking the step forward and letting teen girls have control over its advertising:
"The intriguing aspect here is the control users will have over the ads and the form some ads will take. Girls will be able to decide which brands they see for the traditional ads. There’s also a kind of DIY product placement fitting in with the notion of “Flip books”; as the users create their books they’ll have access to items like Nordstrom-supplied images of models that aren’t visibly from the store unless clicked. Clean & Clear will provide logo-and-product-less word icons. Users will be able to write what they think about the products in their books. That user control and influence makes it attractive".
Obviously, many paying advertisers may be quick to object to the CGM 2.0 platform, but the more it becomes accepted, the more it may challenge advertising to a new understanding of Web 2.0. There is a large online audience of people who won't create a Chevy Tahoe ad, but also hate that the most annoying, flashy banners for mortgages get put on their MySpace pages. There's also advertisers who would pay much more for being placed in a social network that is actually relevant by choice, rather than by keywords. So, while Word Of Mouth remains the number one source behind the majority of purchase decisions, why not create advertising that truly begins to leverage it?
January 8, 2007
While many readers may already be showing signs of fatigue by the amount of CES posts pouring into their RSS readers, others are simply jealous. Shake Well Before Use may not be on the scene providing you step by step details of the cool ballpoint pens being handed out, photos of PowerPoint presentations, or the people we conversed with for name-dropping rights, but these bloggers are:
As some have speculated, this year in CES seems to be amping up gaming more than before. Perhaps SWBU will be l33t enough next year.
Another year, another blog. The 2007 Bloggies are in full swing, currently taking in nominations (until January 11) for the best blog in multiple categories. Among those categories, towards the bottom of the page, is the Best New Weblog for those that began in 2006. While starting a blog in 2006 may point to signs of a late-bloomer, I go forth and shamelessly point to myself. Yes, that's right, Shake Well Before Use qualifies to be nominated for Best New Weblog, so put in your nominations now! Blogs that receive the most nominations will be considered for later public voting by a private panel.
January 4, 2007
A recent survey by Harris Interactive and Witeck-Combs Communications analyzed sexuality with social networking. While we all go browsing for hotties online when our significant others aren't watching, the survey aimed for the less obvious findings.
"[The] survey found that more online gay, lesbian and bisexual (GLB) individuals use social networks Friendster and MySpace per week compared to online heterosexuals. Other well-known websites such as YouTube, Craigslist and personal web logs also were found to be more popular among GLB individuals.
Regarding web logs or blog use, the survey found about one in four GLB individuals (24%) report visiting personal blogs, which are websites that serve as an individual's personal online journal, compared to 12 percent of heterosexuals. In fact, over one in three GLB adults (36%) visit their favorite blogs everyday, while only 19 percent of heterosexuals say they visit their favorite blogs daily."
Per Gawker, "The WHOLE ENTIRE INTERNET is SO TOTALLY GAY. "
ProBlogger points to a 12 year old who is gaining some ground in the blogosphere. As I revealed last week, I also had a fairly early start, as such, it's obligatory that I give a shout out to the various early birds I come across. David Wilkinson started blogging just this year but seems to be finding success easily. While the thought of a 12 year old blogging shouldn't come as much of a surprise, it is great to see people embracing it rather than writing it off. Best of wishes to you, David, ride the age-novelty-wave as long as you can.
Jaffe pointed to a post by brandchannel.com that appears to be well thought-out and worth a read. Reading through it, it's apparent that the post is trying to maintain balance between the point-of-views of the blogger, the brand, and the people who work for the brand. This comes as a refreshing change of pace, as bloggers sometimes write-off companies who don't actively or very poorly engage in online conversation, refusing to even try and understand the company's side of the battle and assuming the worst (i.e. they're assholes who don't care about my emo rants about them). This tags back to a recent debate with Scoble's latest rant. Many brands do want to be active in the blogosphere, but there are numerous corporate obstacles in the way that can only be remedied with time and a lot of hand-holding from ad agencies or bloggers.
Lately, at ad:tech conferences, brands have seemed more-than-willing to dive into the whole "tech" world of RSS, wikis, and podcats. However, when the subject of blogging comes up, many seem intimidated, if not threatened, by the blogosphere. While fake blogs should continue to be slammed due simply to deception (and stupidity), all the negativity around free-stuff being given to bloggers should realize that despite it not being perfect yet, unless the brand specifically says you can't criticize them, that they are actively trying to reach out to you and value the blogosphere for what it is. Like the squirrel you hit on the way back from grandma's reaching out for life, give it a chance before running it over again to put it out of its misery.
January 2, 2007
Or at least that's the hope for one blogger, trying to shed off the holiday flab. Blogging may be predicted as reaching its peak in 2007, but is not considered a sport as of yet. Video gaming, however, is currently picking up the slack in the "sport" arena. While video games are proven to raise your heart rate as you're mentally sending signals to your muscles, it's still a sedentary activity for the most part. Trying to close the gap, however, the Nintendo Wii eliminates hunching over a monitor and replaces it with embarassing, yet fun, physical movement.
To see how much a difference a day (or 45) makes, a blogger created the Wii Sports Experiment to track the benefits, if any, of using the Wii for 30 minutes a day. The results should be in sometime in mid-January. This might be a laugh to some, but hey, we all need our baby steps to meet those New Years resolutions. As he aptly put it, "time to start sweatin’ to the fuckin’ oldies".
Also, ICYMI, Wii and PS3 do the Apple spoof gig, too.
December 21, 2006
I power Blogger! Err, maybe not. Showing their true colors, the blogosphere proves their one degree of separation with a game of tag. Dragging their feet and whining "I normally don't do this" to make themselves appear 'so above these petty games', they wasted your precious RSS-readin' time. To that, I say, get the fuck over yourselves, you whine enough everyday as is. So your traffic sucks one day because you made a post that only stalkers, and in rare cases, people who secretly want to date you and thus Googled you, want to read.
Here's the background on the link-clusterfuck: Jeff Pulver started it, who tagged to Steve Garfield, who tagged to Zadi Diaz and Kevin Nalty, who tagged to Robert Scoble and Danah Boyd and Steve Rubel (but wait, didn't Jeff Jarvis link to Steve?), who linked to Steve Hall (who when asked said it was stupid to tag him because he's not going to play personal shit on his blog) then some other person who I'm not caring about who at this point linked to Niall Kennedy, Irina Slutsky, Ze Frank, and WMJ tagged me, la la la whatever. You can go to the Blog Tag Tree, but they just tag some advertisement of themselves at the end that I didn't bother to read.
So, without further ado, 5 things my blog readers may not know about me (I'm going with a chronological theme):
1. I'm somehow a long descendant of a King. I'm part Persian (though, I don't look it), and the family name on my mother's side comes from King Khosrov. My grandfather and most of my cousins were born and raised in Iran. Some don't speak English, so I someday would like to learn how to speak Farsi.
2. I'm a modeling school dropout - at the tender age of 13, it just wasn't a good fit.
3. I technically started coming into the agency I'm at now (VML) after being given a tour when I was 14 because I was deadset on being a graphic designer. I would come in on my spare time after school and on days off to play around with Adobe apps on the Creative Director's computer and be a little "cool hunter" of websites for him. At 16 I became an intern, at 17 I became a contractor, and finally at 20 I was officially hired (I'm fairly tenacious).
4. I used to be hardcore into the "rave scene" (but never once have done drugs). I started going to 2-3 a weekend when I was 15. At 16, I threw and promoted a few alongside a good friend of mine. Oddly enough, "underground rave parties" helped lead to my later calling in viral marketing.
5. I was a straight-A (99-100%) student in every Math class I took throughout my K-12 school career. Though I didn't enjoy math classes, there wasn't an equation or theorem I couldn't naturally figure out... it just seemed to always make sense to me.
For variously random reasons, I tag: Tony Pierce of LAist, the boys of American Copywriter, Regine of (who hands down runs my #1 all-time favorite blog) We Make Money Not Art, Stuart Wallace of DHADM, and a fellow-cute-blog-girl (Regine, Whitney, and I should start a club), Whitney Matheson of Pop Candy.
November 22, 2006
Spreading his blog propaganda, Russell Davies' Coffee Mornings have become as viral as drunken photos on MySpace. Unlike said photos, however, Coffee Mornings are a bit more perky and are likely to get you in less trouble with work. Chicago, Toronto, Kansas City, and Sydney recently jumping on the proverbial "send to a friend" button have joined the list.
"I do like this coffee morning business, I love the way all this digital stuff is leading to actual real person connectivity. It's fab." - Russell Davies
Joining the 'fab' as often as my schedule allows, I took up the American Copywriter boys' invite for the last couple of weeks. While probably less leisurely as London's 11:30am arrival time (7:30am kills me), it's still a pleasurable way to ease into the last 8 hours of work before the weekend.
November 16, 2006
Boing Boing recently reported on Bank of America wrongfully arresting one of their customers. What I find interesting is that Boing Boing is keeping a tally of how much business/money Bank of America is losing due to readers of just their post.
In just 12 hours, $75,000 has been taken from Bank of America and given to their competitors from Boing Boing readers alone. This current event is quickly becoming a good benchmark of metrics for the power of negative Word-Of-Mouth. While this shouldn't be used as a scare tactic for brands entering the blogosphere, this should be presented as why brands should discontinue viewing blogs as just a few kids bitching in a basement.
Previously: November seems to be a bad month for Bank of America with their karaoke session that became as viral as William Hung.
November 13, 2006
Last week I had the pleasure of pausing the craziness of last week's ad:tech by sitting down for a chat with Joseph Jaffe of Jaffe Juice. Over the course of a couple caffeinated cups, we shared backgrounds, current happenings, and a bit of sillyness here and there.
While Jaffe tried to convince me of the wonderous aspects of Second Life (because, let's face it, I think it's total crap), I couldn't help but to sneak glimpses of his unique socks, peeking out from under his otherwise normal suit. As we continued to chat, I began to see that Jaffe was as creative as his socks, and a bit crazy like me in that we both shot out of the gates very early in our lives.
Continuing on the creative chat, he asked about my background and how it led to where I am now. I summarized my beginning in graphic design and viral marketing for raves, and how social media/creative strategy continues to feel like an organic growth of creativity. Instead of focusing creative thinking on designing postcards or websites, creative strategy and social analysis allows for the same kind of thinking to apply to a larger array.
Up until the end, the conversation went smoothly - but Jaffe did not want to let me get off so easily. Asking me to provide a monthly karaoke challenge, I'm now responsible for cheesy music and the occasional interruption of your much loved podcast. Always up for a challenge, I've asked Jaffe to join our friends at Bank of America in his own version culture pollution with a U2 track. Stay tuned, and as always, suggestions are welcome in the comments.
September 28, 2006
In advertising, you're only as good as your last project. "What have you done for me, lately?" in a sense. But in blogging, are you only as good as your last post?
It seems that in blogging, people are latching onto their has-been legends more than potential. For instance, Robert Scoble, the once public non-PR face of Microsoft; Dave Winer, the father of RSS; Strumpette, the infamous shit-talker (with whom rumors of Strumpette actually being run by a man and not the claimed woman author still exist) on Steve Rubel; etc. Despite the highly exaggerated perception of authority, they all bring unique content to the table (which is what makes a successful blogger and how you end up on my RSS reader).
In a 'sphere of seemingly one-hit-wonders, is the perception of authority based on SAT scores or true ambition and passion? Or, do the two automatically go hand-in-hand? Sure, bloggers have a resume that reaches far above and beyond, but unless you're a superfan, they remain known for 'that one thing' rather than a constant changing force in the blogosphere through their words. Actions do often seem larger than words, but should words be so easily overlooked because of a history of actions?
The blogosphere claims to embrace new emerging and different voices, but the perception of authority can be repressive. New bloggers are only as good as their last post, but is 'blog tenure' deserving of such leniancy?
September 24, 2006
I'll be jet-setting back to London this week. I'll be taking suggestions on places to go or people to meet while there for the next week and a half. Feel free to leave a comment or drop me a line. Cheers!
September 12, 2006
Last month, Engadget reported on a 14-year-old who is suing her friend over a missing iPod. Don't be too quick to judge though, chumps come in all ages and sizes. This month's catfight debauchery involves a pair of MySpace whores.
ForBiddeN's failed attempts to get on the cover of PlayBoy landed a fight for the coveted, reservation-only 'Top 8' spot. Resident chump, who doesn't show his Top 8 because Tom won't even associate with him, bitched and moaned over not getting a spot after giving head "web design". According to Gawker, "Apparently the chief objection from Dolce's [ForBiddeN's] manager was that Michaud's MySpace photo is "super geeky" and "makes Christine look bad."" Alas, no lawsuit has ensued, but did they not catch the updates inbetween server downtime that allow you to have Top 24 now? Yes, now you have room to put up two dozen chump's photos that will stop one-handed typers dead in their strokes.
September 1, 2006
Have blogs lost their power? Scoble contemplates that he may already be a has-been. But have positive blog posts and free publicity become just walflowers, hiding in their permalink shadows?
Last week, I made a post about Domino's latest commercial featuring the Domo-kun-like Fudgems brownie square. My friends over at DHADM also made a post about the topic and received a rather odd message this evening in the comments, asking for a 'thank you' to be sent to the Marketing VP's personal email address. Not sure if this is Domino's (or their groupie, Missy's) new strategy for buzz kill marketing but as .alphamonkey. so eloquently said, "Um, why?". Perhaps I didn't receive my thank you request in my comments yet because Domino's didn't approve of how their commercial reminded me of everyone's favorite Domo-kun anti-masturbation propaganda poster.
August 26, 2006
David Armano over at Logic + Emotion has drafted up a presentation about blogs/bloggers, outlining levels of influence based on linking, and what roles the different levels play in the pyramid.
"The bigger point that I want to make is that bloggers at each level command a “sphere of influence”. The higher the “level”, the more people are exposed to a blogger’s influence."
So, what does this mean for a brand who wants to attempt to influence the blogosphere? Is bigger always better? By David's visual, Engadget remains as the Level 1 technology blog. Should a brand always reach out to top influencers or does it have the power to create a new authority in the blogosphere?
Level 1 blogs at times can be perceived as jaded when it comes to brands approaching them (it happens all the time and is nothing new). Brands hoping to create a large amount of buzz in the blogosphere could easily get lost in the sheer quantity of content that Level 1 blogs pump out. Their message would still be read by a large amount of people, no doubt, but it would also have a lot of competition to reach Level 4 on the ripple wave. For the most part, that can be positive, in that a brand should be of high enough quality and interest in order to not be nipped in the bud.
However, should all brands immediately target high level blogs or do brands actually have the power to reverse the ripple? Instead of crossing their fingers that a high level blog would carry their message - what if they gave Level 4 bloggers 'inside' information that the Level 1 bloggers did not have? For example, if Nytimes.com wrote an article on a specific brand, and that brand had created a relationship with a Level 4 blogger, the blogger would then have the power to reference Nytimes.com but also give a "backstage pass" of sorts to what's really happening behind the article - thus making a large number of blogs in search for information that no one else has want to link the the Level 4 blogger instead of Nytimes.com.
David is currently welcoming more comments to his Levels of Influence post as he prepares his presentation due for late September.
via: Jaffe Juice