Found this cool little app compliments of Chris Brogan's blog... cool little free app that makes your blog mobile friendly. I just converted Positive Disruption and if you wish to read this on your mobile, simply click add http://tommartin.mofuse.mobi/ to your browser.
If you're like me you like to include a lot of video in your presentations. YouTube is a great place to pretty much find videos of everything, especially ads. But the FLV format doesn't play nice with PowerPoint or Keynote.
Tonight I found a great little online site that converts FLV files to MPEG and MOV formats along with a host of others. Just download a YouTube file using a site like www.savetube.com and then convert the file using Media Convert. You'll have to upload it but I found the upload and resulting download (of the new file) both went quite quickly and the resulting file quality is quite good -- at least for MOV files. And because it is online, no software to install.
I've grown so tired of every special interest group trying to bully advertisers into a level of PC'ness that borderlines on the absurd. Thank god Verizon grew some balls. Wish more advertisers would do the same.
From time to time I get up on a soapbox and today is one of those times. We ad folks need to quit making commercials and ads that are more about helping the consumer "get the concept" than helping convince the consumer to buy the product or want the brand. Case in point the this Ford Focus tv spot below.
Now how the heck does this make me want/care/desire to even know about much less purchase this car. The whole point of the ad is some creative guy wasting 30 seconds of his/her client's money to make sure I get their creative concept of "beautiful arrangement" -- oh how clever.
What really makes it funnier though is on YouTube, right next to this spot is what purports to be the pre-music overdub version... which if it is, is friggin hilarious in today's no hiding falsity on the Internet age.
When I was a kid all the adults told me I should either be a preacher or a lawyer... guess I had the gift of gab. Luckily for me, I split the difference and went into advertising. But today, that all comes to a screeching halt as the world has spoken and they want me as their President. Channel 3 just broke the news in a big way. Check it out.
Working early today to get ahead and I find this email in my inbox.
It made it past my spam filter, which is pretty good and it has MSN and Microsoft copy so I figure uncle Bill and the boys sold my name. No biggie, I'll just click on the unsubscribe and get rid of this one and any more that might be behind it.
So I was quite surprised when after clicking on the Unsubscribe button I was taken not to an unsubscribe page but a Canadian Pharm site... see next pic.
Which got me thinking. Either a) MS has unwittingly sold my name to a spammer or b) they are now spamming -- which I doubt.
The bigger issue is really a brand issue and protecting one's brand in today's Internet world. What if I was some dolt that didn't know any better and actually thought MS was helping to send me spam? More importantly I guess is why a Canadian pharmacy, with a pretty respectable looking site would stoop to SPAM and allow it's site to be linked to a SPAM mail via an Unsubscribe link... but hell they may or may not even know. I think I'll email them and point them to this post... see what happens. If they respond, I'll post it in a follow up post.
I was playing with Google Trends tonight and found an interesting anomaly. I tried to compare MSN, Yahoo and Google. And while Google Trends showed me how Yahoo and MSN compared, there was NO DATA on Google.com! See for yourself by clicking the screen grab below. The Red line is MSN and the Orange line is Yahoo. The blue line is Google -- but wait, there is no blue line.
I thought maybe I was just doing something wrong, so I tried to just see the trend data on Google.com. Nada. So it seems Google is perfectly willing to help us see all kinds of data on everyone but themselves... interesting, very interesting. Thoughts or comments anyone?
A lot has been written about the global power, growth, and reach. But here is something that I think could really kill them and for that matter any internet sales channel.
I have some travel coming up and so I bought a couple of books for the plane. I made the purchase on July 1 and because I buy a lot from Amazon, I basically just went through the purchase on auto pilot. Didn't really read (as I now realize I should) all the copy -- just made sure the billing, shipping and credit card info was complete. Then I get a confirmation email -- don't read that either because I know it is just telling me I made an order. Today it dawned on me that I didn't get a "order shipped" email so I checked the status.
Then I see this:
The thing won't even ship till July 7 and according to Amazon I won't even get it till July 16'ish. So I bought something on July 1 for a July 10 trip and it won't come in till after I'm home. In today's on demand, instant gratification world, this seems like a sure fire way to encourage folks to go old school and just visit a book store.
UPDATE: 5:52PM Central Time
I just got this email from Amazon
Which begs the question, is Amazon purposely setting low expectations so they can "beat them" and thus look good and create good feelings or do they just not have any better inventory control? I'm thinking someone in Marketing or Customer Service thinks this is a good idea -- to "ship early" but I have to say, seems misguided to me. Anyone else have this issue on an Amazon order?
A bit of good news this morning from Web Monkey... Adobe and Google have figured out how to make Flash searchable by search engines. As a fan of flash, when used for good and not evil, I for one am stoked.