I would be simply not telling the truth if I was to say that I thought I would never be writing this post. It had to happen and it has, Telecom's e-commerce project "Ferrit" has finally failed. It was always on the cards.
The NZ Herald 'your views' piece on the Ferrit news that was announced to day says it all. There are not many kiwis that are going to miss this website. The nature of the reader comments found here will surely be further re-enforced by the ever growing list of Telecom haters. To be honest, Ferrit did not get of to a great start.
How can we ever forget the classic incident where Ferrit staff decided that the product reviews were something that THEY should be writing to enhance the visitors perception of a product on the site. A classic example of the marketing approach that in my opinion eventually caused the failure of this business.
News flash: Cool TV ads (that some people don't even think are cool) are not a very cost effective way to get people interested in buying not cheap enough products on your average wesbite.
Unlike many of my family and friends who prefer Microsoft's Outlook for their home or work email, I use Gmail and have for some time now. I love Gmail and the features it provides, the search is powered by Google and I can find any email in a matter of seconds, which makes Outlook look like rubbish (which it is, sorry Microsoft).
One thing however, which I always felt Gmail lacked in was a sufficient Calendar module, similar to what Outlook offers. Now I know there is a Calendar provided in your Google account, and you can get to it from Gmail, but there was never seamless integration between the two, and it always to me felt like they were separate. You are able to get email reminders sent to you, as well as a bunch of other things, but again it never really felt like it was a complete package.
That is why I was reasonably enough impressed (impressed enough to blog about it) to hear of a new calendar gadget in Gmail Labs, which provides a way to see your upcoming events and get alerts of meetings etc. I installed the gadget and was happy about the way it worked and looked. It acts similar to your label or chat box, and displays your most recent events and also allows you to do a quick add right from Gmail. To add the gadget you simply click on the Labs tab inside your gmail settings window, and enable the Google calendar Gadget.
While I still think there is much room for improvement it's a good start, and hope to see the gadget improved over time.
It’s been a while, but I’m back. Out of hibernation. Even with a new page header (thanks babe)
Half-geek.com has been slotted into the ‘less important’ shelf over the winter of 2008. There have been some wonderful things happen in my life over the last 4 months since I last posted. Most importantly, I asked my girlfriend Katrina to marry me. She actually said yes and we plan to get married late next year or early in 2010.
On an extremely sad note, Katrina’s father Andrew passed away on September the 3rd. I was fortunate to spend some quality time with Andrew. He was an inspirational man who made me appreciate how precious life is. He also made me realise how important a positive attitude is. He literally laughed in the face of adversity right until the very end of his life. His blog is definitely worth a read and I suggest you check it out.
On the work front, I have been busy at Tribal DDB. Immersed in the fast paced traditional agency lifestyle. At the risk of making excuses, half-geek.com’s post frequency has probably suffered as a result. But this will no longer be the case. I am dusting off my typepad login and cranking up my analytical creativity......
It's back pat's all round at half-geek at the moment (well me patting myself on the back anyway). Yesterday it was all about Search and page rank boosts and today feedburner confirmed that I have finally cracked a mini milestone of 100 RSS subscribers. (shameless RSS feed plug #1)
So thanks to everyone who has subscribed (shameless RSS feed plug #2) to my RSS feed and continues to read half-geek, especially given the fact that my posting frequency has been pretty pitiful of late. Seeing my RSS subscriber number tick over into three figures has given me a renewed energy level.
I plan to get back into a more regular posting frequency again. I am fortunate to be part of a very smart group of people at Tribal DDB who are creating some pretty cool digital work. Everything from Search engine marketing to cutting edge flash development. Where possible and appropriate, I plan to start talking about some of the cool stuff we are doing.
Thanks once again for everyones support. Tell your mates!
Wow I have only been at Tribal DDB for a little over a month and I am already being exposed to some internationally recognized web design and development.
The work that our guys have done on the Warehouse careers website has made it into the nominees for the Webby awards in the employment category. This is a big deal for our team with the Webbies being widely regarded as the 'online Oscars'.
The awards ceremony will be held in New York in early June.....so our fingers are crossed until then ;-)
a) a discussion I had with someone re: creating a facebook account for your unborn child
b) the tragic suicide of a prominent US advertisng agency exec that I learnt of recently and have since been following online
So I have been thinking a little bit about both these things and I suppose that this post is just a brain dump around both a) and b):
a) Pre birth digital foot prints
So you are going to have a baby, is it ethical create a facebook account for your un-born child? On one hand, it is nearly inevitable that the said child will one day have his or her own facebook/bebo/whatever social network account.
So one could argue that it is a new parents obligation to be pro-active in creating a safe environment for their child, but does this rule apply in the context of the virtual world?
My opinion is that like baptism and circumsition, let the kid make up his/her own mind. Let the child choose whether they want their own facebook profile. I feel quite strongly about this given the facebook terms and conditions that are pretty clear in stating that they can do whatever they want with your data once you have signed up.
b) The suicide played out online...
Recently, a well known DDB executive based in Chicago (tragically) decided to take his own life. Being quite a high profile chap within the advertising industry meant that the whole tragedy of his death was played out online, particularly in the blogosphere.
I have no opinion in regard to this fellow and his actions, I don't feel qualified to comment. I do naturally feel extreme sorrow for his wife and two daughters.
Reading the heated comments on the RIP post by agencyspy was very interesting. Agencyspy seems to be an anonymous blogger with heavy opinions on the local US advertising agency industry. He had previously been very critical of the fellow who had taken his own life in an earlier post. He was apologizing and almost suggesting that he may have played a part in the suicude.
A flaming match between the sympathizers and the cold hearted ensued. One particular comment really caught my attention:
"At first, it struck me as odd that so many of Pauls family would be posting on this obscure industry blog. Cousins, In-laws, etc. Weird, right? Then I realized something. They are just googling him. Google Paul Tilley and all this crap comes up. Fucking internet. When Pauls kids are teens these fucking posts will still come up. We will forget and move on. They will forget and move on. But not the internet. From now on, most everything we do and say is recorded for all time. So now maybe we should all think about what we do and say."
Whilst the extremety of the language in this post is not ideal, I think this guys makes a good point. He is effectively talking about the digital footprint of someone in their death. Similarly to the example of a facebook profile for an unborn child, this fellow has no choice as to what information about him is posted.....
Do you have any pet hates about the way that some of your friends use Instant Messaging (IM) services like AIM, Goggle talk or MSN?
I do. It's frustrating the hell out of me lately as Instant Messaging is one of the most simple tools for people to use for communication over the internet, yet I have a number of friends who I believe have some retarded IM practices that seem to have become habitual.
For christ sake people it's simple! I type a message and hit enter, you read it. You type a response and hit enter, then I read. This process is repeated until our conversation ends.
It's almost like IM applications are too simple for those of us in the Gen Y category. I find that the best Instant Messengers (from an 'ease of conversation' perspective) to be either people that are a lot younger than me or a lot older than me. My dad is a great instant messenger, he doesn't read too much into the technology. I type, he types, I type, he types and we say goodbye.
Here are a few tips for the IM retarded:
1 - No novels please
If you are going to type a long winded response, break it up into short chunks and use ........ (dot dot dot) between these short chunks to let me know that you are still typing and that I should expect more text. If you don't do this I end up waiting for ages thinking that you may not want to chat anymore, when you are actually typing something quite important.
2- Stop interrupting
When the IM client software tells me that you are typing, I am going to wait politely for you to finish before I type my response. If we don't both take this approach our order of instant text messages will get mixed up and we both get confused.
3 - Are you really laughing?
We should only going to type LOL (acronym for Laughing out Loud) when we are:
a) actually laughing out loud
b) desperately trying to not laugh out loud because we are at work
4 - It's rude to not say goodbye
Man I just had flashbacks of leaving for school each morning as my Mum yelled this at me. My justification for not saying goodbye would often be something stupid such as a distaste for the hand made lunch I had been provided with. If I only knew the value of someone making your lunch for you back then.....I digress.
If you intend to leave our conversation because you want/need to do something else, just let me know. Hell, you could even use a good old fashioned 'good bye'. If you don't do this I will think that our chat is still going.
It's a rant I know. However, surely you too have some pet hates with regards to IM habits that your friends have?
I have been hard at it organizing a house move over the past few days. This combined with some of the best NZ summer weather ever has had a negative effect on blog posts. It was interesting though to see the winners of the crunchies being announced recently.
It was no surprise to see facebook take out best overall. The crunchie award for the site was matched by Mark Zuckerbergs own crunchie for best start-up founder.
The facebook accolades continue to flow freely,even on a weekend when Tom Hodgkinson at the Guardian threw everything at the social networking site in an article where he claimed it to be nothing but "an ideologically motivated virtual totalitarian regime with a population that will very soon exceed the UK's?"
Whoaaaa- steady on Tom, thats a bit harsh..... ( by the way call me re: link baiting services- I have a whole bunch of work for you) ;-)
Another one of my favourite sites, hulu, took out the best video start-up crunchie. I have become mildly addicted to hulu of the past few weeks. Thanks once again to Espen who introduced me to the best way to get hulu working in New Zealand.
Today was the big day for all the Apple freaks. Steve Jobs unveiled the latest and greatest from the world of Mac at the latest Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Whilst everyone was hyped up about the latest ultra portable from Apple, it was the mac time time capsule (pictured) that grabbed the majority of my attention today.
When I purchased leopard (the new Mac OS) a day or so after it was released last year I was immediately impressed by the Time Machine back up application. The way that hard drives continue to grow means that backing up your data will be par for the course in the future. The only bummer (at the time) was that time machine required me to plug in an external USB hard drive. I could not help but think how much better it would be if I could back up my data to an external hard drive using a wireless connection.
So it seems that Apple were, once again, way ahead of us all. The new time capsule is the perfect external hard drive companion for the time machine back up application. It comes in either a 500GB or 1 Tera byte version and offers wireless connectivity.
As far as the new Mac air goes.......I have gone down the path of ultra portables before, mostly when I was in roles that required my being on the road a lot. So my only hope was that the new Mac Air notebook did not turn out to be something that I just had to have as a replacement for my current 15" macbook pro.
Being an early adopter by nature has its downsides. It's no fun being in physical pain if you feel that your piece of technology has been surpassed and you need to replace it immediately ;-) So I was pleased that the new Mac portable is a genuine addition to the suite of mac hardware rather than a new sexy upgrade of what I already have.