Thursday, March 15, 2007


Sometimes it's possible to get very bored of queues. Airports seem very happy with the idea of making people wait. There's loads me people just standing around patiently waiting. Workers stand around patiently not doing anything. I'm not patient so I fidget. This makes me look unusual so I get searched. Fun.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The 'Information Revolution'

I was on the tube this morning and I noticed an ad for the 'information revolution'. Wasn't entirely sure what it was, nor who it was for.

This intrigued me, so I remembered the URL on the advert and had a look at the site when I got home. It annoyed me as I don't like letting those creative types know how successful they were at their cunning cross media approach. In my opinion, I'm only interested in it because I'm a geek.

The site purports to be telling people about the dangers of relying on only one information source. It features interviews with 'real people' and some unsourced facts about the peril we are exposing ourselves to.

Although they don't explicitly say it, they are arguing that you shouldn't just use Google to do your searches - you should diversify.

I strongly suspect that this site is a cunning attempt by Yahoo! or Ask to subvert people into changing their searching habits. The site doesn't have any adservers tracking activities on the site, and there is nothing overtly associated with any brand.

The only clue that something is weird is the search box in the bottom right of the site.Seems unusual to put them in alphabetical order...

I ran a WHOIS on the URL (a technique for finding who owns the website) and found it registered to a little company called Profero. One of my best friends, Lydia, works there and therefore I know that it's a digital advertising agency.

A quick look at their client list shows that they have both Yahoo! and Ask. I'm not sure this is the kind of thing that Yahoo would be willing to sign off - they're a bit overly corporate and this seems quite brave. Therefore I think it's Ask Jeeves looking to change people's behaviour.

It is a good site, but I think it falls just short of where it needs to be. There's no controversy, there needs to be more emphasis on the bad things that could happen if we all used Google.

Getting in trouble with the legal department is difficult, but it does need to make some statements that show it's some kind of movement rather than a corporate site. Maybe make up a term about 'information pollution' or some catchy name for a homogenous infrastructure.

Might keep an eye on it to see what happens!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

I wandered lonely as a bus

I had the unfortunate luck to fall asleep on the way home tonight. It reminded me me how far away some parts me London are. I went through places like Wood Field, palmer's green and other bits of Enfield... It was a worrying reminder that Enfield is a good half hour drive away from real civilisation. Sleep at your peril!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

PS3 takes on Second Life

Fantastic move by Sony \ Playstation.

I love the idea of having a 'virtual space' for PS3 users. Hope it will result in some funky new things, both for players and for evil corporate people like me.

I can imagine this morphing into some kind of virtual ad space. I think the key will be to resist being overtly commercial. We had a presentation from Bebo the other day who said it was important to be seen 'as part of the community'.

Personally I think the important thing is to show members that the advertising is giving something to them.

Advertising is expected on a free platform - the majority of people understand that someone has to pay for the service. The key is to get the balance between awareness and annoyance. Ads need to be positive, and be a reward for getting the consumer to do something.

I love the idea on this service that certain things will be unlockable. obviously the initial rush will be to extract money (kids are willing to pay for mobile backgrounds, why not virtual T-Shirts?). However, I think the best thing will come from earned rewards. What if people who have completed a certain game then get some kind of obvious identifier?

World of Warcraft shows the lengths some people are willing to go to show off their 'prowess' at playing games. The home space for the PS3 users could easily morph into that. Competitions could be run, with the winner getting a large statue in one of the communal areas (sponsored?).

If Sony can recruit a good team capable of running this area effectively, it could easily become a very strong community. It could even end up representing something very valuable for Sony?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Spotplex - Next Big Thing?

Really interesting site I just found out about from the regularly excellent Data Mining blog.

This site has the potential to give us some numbers on the 'blogosphere.'
At the moment, the only effective measurement on blogs is through Technorati and Nielsen's Buzzmetrics. Spotplex is offering the ability to measure actual readers (or at least page impressions).

It'll be interesting to see how well this service does. It has the potential to compete with both digg and google analytics. While it is doing this, it will enable us good ol' advertisers to work out how many people are reading these blog things, and give us some fantastic graphs to show what people are actually looking at.

Can't wait till this gets integrated with Swivel!