Archive for December, 2005

Geek Humor

28 Dec 2005 is the home of the internet Quote DataBase (QDB). What’s so funny about this? Well, on QDB funny chat or IRC conversations are logged and archived, then they’re offered for rating. If you like or dislike a quote, you can vote with the + and – links. If you feel that the quote doesn’t deserve to be in the database at all, click its [X] link next to it; while the quote will not be removed from the database immediately, it will be resubmitted for review, and it is possible that it will be removed. Here’s a grab of stuff I’m particularly fond of:

reaper: knock knock
SaladTongo: Who’s there
reaper: banana
SaladTongo: shit i didn’t think you’d find me here

<Pax> I wish my lawn was emo, so it would cut itself.

<Rault> I smoked weed through an apple for the first time today :D
<Madcowfucker> thats nothing
<Madcowfucker> you haven’t lived until you inject herion with a banana

<Musket> is there an echo in here?
<ManOfStuff> an echo in here?
<FessyBugger> in here?
<Kajifox> here?

<zien> ah i love water. it’s like nature’s fruit juice.
<cgom> ….FRUIT JUICE is nature’s fruit juice. moron.

<Gelgameth> …Now wait a second.. There’s a class action lawsuit against wikipedia?
<Scarab> Anyone can join in and add a grievance.

You can read up to 18.000 and something quotes on the QDB of Definitely a very amusing timewaster !

Wicked Simpsons Sites You’ve Never Seen :

* Springfield is for gay lovers of marriage
* Mr. X’s All The Muck That’s Fit To Rake
* Sexy Slumber Party (.com!) [this must be a hits-machine :) ]

Geeky ‘Your Mom’ Jokes:

Your mom is so stupid, she uploads executables in ASCII mode. 

Your mom is so stupid she tried to use substitution to find the definite integral of f(x)=x^2 over the interval 0

Your mom is so fat that when she jumps astronomers have to recalculate Hubble’s constant. 

Yeah, geeks will be geeks. See a lot more jokes in the ‘your mom joke directory‘.


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Durex Guerrilla In Belgium

25 Dec 2005

McCann-Erickson promotes Durex condoms with ribs or with knobs in guerrilla-styled ads. In some cities in Belgium, condoms were painted on the sidewalk stones with the according pattern.

durex guerrilla

durex guerrilla 2

Credits : McCann-Erickson – via [AdsOfTheWorld]

Other Sweet Stuff via [AdsOfTheWorld] : BannerBlog


Banner Blog is edited by Ashley Ringrose who works at Soap Creative, a small & friendly independent agency, and Ashadi Hopper who works at RMG Connect, one of the larger multinational agencies around town.
In December ‘05, Hamish from Glue UK (one of the best online agencies in the UK) joined this team.

Those wanting to submit their own work can find more info on the aptly named Submit page.

BannerBlog is all about… banners, and you can search them for creative ideas, for reference or for whatever reason you need to do research on banners. You can filter your search on Agency, Brand or Category.

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Predictions For 2006

25 Dec 2005

Last year I made several predictions that now seem ridiculously retarded. But a few ideas were pretty close. I’ve got a feeling that 2006 will be a big year, and here are some of the reasons why:

  1. A Mt View startup is going to open our eyes to some new ways that mobile mating can influence culture. The Times will pick up on this and run several cover stories on the founders.
  2. Tom De Bruyne will be in the spotlight for his decision to support web 2.0. This will upset Coolz0r, and the blogosphere will react deranged. The noise will quiet before the end of the year and it will all be forgotten soon after the shock.
  3. Google will see their stock skyrocket after their GeoLocated Maps-Based Pizza Delivery business starts taking off. We’ve seen it coming for a while now, but 2006 will be the year it really kicks into gear.
  4. Either Skype or Amazon will seek to expand their mobile business by acquiring eBay will be overlooked in the process, and they will see a management shakeout later in the year.
  5. One of the big leaders in the marketing industry will wake up to the opportunity in the Internet and the Web 2.0 trends. After months of speculation, they will make a key merger that will shake up the landscape for years to come.

Okay, I didn’t have the time to seriously think about predictions, so I used Matt McAlister’s Dotcom Prediction Generator.

"You’re under pressure to get your 2006 predictions out there before the New Year, but you don’t know what to say. Let the Dotcom Prediction Generator do the work for you. Simply fill out the form and hit ‘GENERATE MY BLOG POST’ and you’ll be ready to tell the world what next year is going to look like. "

- via [InsideGoogle]

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Web 2.0 Seminar

23 Dec 2005

Wednesday afternoon and evening it was all about i-Merge’s web 2.0 seminar. I was there and had a lot of fun. Wait, web 2.0 and fun?? Yeah, well sort of. Of course there was some fuzz about hyped niche words and brands like Flickr, and Technorati (three things I hate about the web 2.0) but there were some good topics too. I learned something about the background of this ‘new web’, about how it was possible for a web 2.0 to exist, and a lot more.

The most interesting part was the flashback to the year 2000 and the burst of the bubble, causing the web 1.0 (if you’d like to call it that way) to dramatically change its way of dealing with content and users. It became clear that a lot of ‘one way blah-blah’ wasn’t enough anymore to raise investor money and keep consumers/users busy. Something definitely had to change. A closer look to companies that survived the burst revealed that most of those companies were using user-generated input to create a platform or community. And indeed, web 2.0 as we know it today is all about platforms. Survivers from back then (Amazon etc) are now leading players, maintaining a large piece of the cake in their market.

Creating a dynamical eco-system or platform for users is a key to have 2.0 characteristics, and to quote from Tim O’Reilly through Tom De Bruyne’s presentation: Those companies who survived the dotcom burst knew how to build an environment in which users could participate, although the nature of that participation isn’t always clear – I totally agree.

Web 2.0 is The Net as a platform. Interesting approach for brands here is: what are the challenges and opportunities for brands and organisations and -even more important- how can brands themselves become platforms? If you can make people contribute to your content, (preferably for free) you’re set for a luxurious ride in a digital wonderland.

As a brand or organization, you should define which one of these 8 configurations are the most suitable to participate in and adopt. Of course, inter-platform operations are even more 2.0 than you could possibly imagine, but let’s just start by saying ‘pick one’:

1. Networked Applications, with focus on data and users as value
2. Platforms of networked experts, with focus on data and platforms as value
3. Networks of collaboration, with focus on data and platforms as value
4. Networks of mobilisation, with focus on users and users as value
5. Networks of informants, with focus on data and users/platforms as value
6. Networks of collective intelligence, with focus on data and platforms as value
7. Social Networking platforms, with focus on networking and users as value
8. Exchange platforms, with focus on data and users as value

Why should you, as a brand or organization, become a platform? Because you have a role to play in supporting your users with environments for participation which are supporting those users in the things they’re doing. Platforms are a great way for powerful interactive marketing campaigns: you can make people do things together, help them to ‘belong’. By doing so, you can strengthen existing member networks and create social interaction, which can return unique marketing opportunities.

The unfortunate examples put aside of Technorati -forever struggling with scaling issues and spam- and – a social bookmarking tool I stopped using back in August because of its time-eating back and forth clicking before you could continue reading/surfing- there still are a lot of applications that actually do something useful for me. I’ll get to that in another post.

So that concludes Tom De Bruyne’s contribution to my general knowledge.
You can download his presentation in audio (Dutch) , or stay on track with the i-Wisdom weblog. Direct link to the powerpoint : [here] – 5.20 mb – (it’s in English)

The other guy that came to talk on the seminar was Jacques Bughin from McKinsey & Company. At first I was a bit dazzled by the tremendous amount of data he projected on-screen. My second thought was a feeling of regret for not having brought a recorder, after it became clear the presentation wasn’t going to be available to look into after the seminar. How un-2.0 !

I had the impression Mister Bughin knew waaaaaay more than he wanted to share with us, wich of course is good for him, but not for us. For real, this guy had some great insights, but every time he touched a topic that really interested me he threw around some numbers and research statistics that weren’t shown. Obviously, company policy and strategical protection is needed in a branch like this but it would’ve been nice to see some understandable stats.

His presentation was really long, theoretically. He jumped back and forth between sheets that were stuffed with figures and charts that looked really impressive, but every time I started to read them they were gone by the time I was somewhere in the middle, thus totally making sure I didn’t understand anything of it.

The most interesting part was his speculative talk about the future of mobile content, from which I have understood broadband (meaning Telenet, the only cable/internet supplier) was on a breaking point to become really big in Belgium if they played their cards right.
Mobile data (video) apparently isn’t going to be played in the field of teens and youngsters, it’s going to be a battle for the segment of the 9 to 12 year olds. Research has shown (to McKinsey, because no data was shown to us) that this segment of the market holds the key to a guaranteed offset, mostly because of the peer-pressure and the me-wantee syndrome.

That lead to a question I wasn’t able to ask anymore, because time equals cash and mister Bughin really had to go. If the future of your product lays in the hands of kids, and you expect them to have the latest technology to be able to download your ‘mobisodes’ (episodes of tv shows for especially for mobiles) then 1. aren’t you overlooking the parents who need to pay for this gadgetry and 2. aren’t you assuming these kids have some sort of credit card/income to then purchase this content you’re talking about?

Considering the price of a ringtone nowadays, I can only imagine other mobile content will only be available in a higher pricing segment, which means that either those kids would spend all their pocket money to downloads (becoming anti-social human beings, cocooning under the sheets to enjoy the fresh content) or that those kids would go ask mom and dad every day to pony up some amount of euros and make the downloads happen. It’s not true every kid has an unlimited calling credit, and that kid isn’t able to maintain a ‘limited’ use of the phone and its possibilities, so therefor, a switch in behavior needs to be accomplished too. Let’s not forget you’re speculating on the most irrational users of the market here. Isn’t that a bit immoral?

I believe you’re right when you say mobile content could be the next big thing. I also think it’s quite possible there’s a huge market for it, although I haven’t met anyone yet who’s actually keen on watching tv on his mobile, let alone paying again for content he can access at home and experience on a bigger screen, seated in his favorite chair. What is it you know that we don’t that makes you so sure kids can be marketed in such a way to overcome the issues I just mentioned? Please tell me. I’d really like to know.

Another topic mister Bughin touched was the acquisition of Skype by eBay. I also have some questions here. You assume the value of Skype is in the social network between the users, saying the real value for eBay is the fact Skype users often talk to each other about bidding on a product, playing into the eBay market by cross-bidding friends and contacts. I don’t know any people that do that, but then again, the largest market for Skype isn’t Belgium, it’s the Netherlands. You assume the Dutch people will change services from to eBay just because of the common freeware/software they use to talk to each other? is BIG in the Netherlands. Drawing consumers away from it seems a bit too difficult if you only use Skype as a link between those users. Again: what is it you know that we don’t? What’s the real reason your speculation goes to a valuation of the users to €40 ( $47.38) per user instead of the €2.5 eBay paid per user? Big questionmark for me. I don’t know what makes you so sure about that.

I do agree with you VoIP is a really big thing. I agree it might replace phone calls in the future, as for now it’s still free and bypasses the need to apply for a fixed phone number, the way it’s needed to connect through DSL. Indeed, customers that only use their mobile phone and don’t have DSL but cable could really save serious money if they were to use VoIP services in combination with their internet-over-cable. Then again, it must hurt for Telenet that they could’ve bought Skype years ago when it was still a start-up. Except people at Telenet were blind at that time to not realize VoIP would become so big and interesting. If they missed the train back then, what guarantees you that they won’t miss the train this time? Which VoIP application will be used to fit in your theory? Or is Telenet going to become an affiliated client of eBay/Skype? They’ll have to pay a lot of money to stay in the game, unless you know of a startup they’re planning to buy for little cash and that they will implement to then become as big as you predict.

Thanks for your presentation. You left me with a lot of questions, which in some sadistic way makes it even more interesting for me to stay even more focused on this market. I used to follow it remotely before your talk. Now I care and want to know. Any future shows planned? I’ll gladly come to listen, this time I’ll be prepared. :)

Thank you i-Merge for putting this together and getting Mr. Bughin to come talk to us. I liked it a lot. – Pictures? Very 2.0 on Flickr and right here ! (© Pietel)

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The Streaker

22 Dec 2005

Britain is known for its streakers, and so it’s only logical someone came up with a viral about it. T-Mobile did this very well in a three-level game for the monthly competition ‘The Ultimate Box Experience’. Lovely humoristic commenter’s remarks like "these women really have no shame, and I for one applaud that" and many others that make you laugh. Yeah, this must be the best side of football in the UK.

When you succeed the three levels, you’re offered to enter your email and some of your friends’, so T-Mobile can send them the game and they can participate. T-Mobile also announces more games & prizes for the 2006 Fifa World Cup Germany, so stay tuned.

via [MarketingFacts]

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Christmas Brats

22 Dec 2005

It’s not even Christmas yet, but some moron (at T-Viral) decided to put the presents under the tree. A bad mistake, resulting in a pretty funny viral game.

"All of the brats have come out of the woodwork and are looking to pilfer their presents from under the tree. It’s your job to stop them, and thankfully you have a number of mutant toys and other traps to help you. Can you stop the brats from celebrating Christmas early?"

via [Adverblog]


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Chris Nolan On Linkage And Credits – Blogiarism Series

20 Dec 2005

Together with Jason Schramm from Shiwej, I’ve decided to start a guestblogging series which will run on both our blogs at about the same time.
Today (December 20th, 2005) is the ninth and second to last interview in this series, and we turned our ear to Chris Nolan, a website startup junkie from Toronto who’s currently in the running with two nominations for an award on Web 2.0 blog and SEO blog at the KBCafe Blog Awards.

1. How did you get into blogging?

Since pre netscape 1.0 days I’ve always had a personal website in one form or
another. Around 2002 I was updating it more regularly and didn’t want to lose my old content after I updated the main page so I started doing it ‘journal style’. I resisted at first to have it setup with RSS feeds and the rest, but after a disc crash in 2004 (ironic since I set things up so I wouldn’t lose changes) where I lost a couple of years worth of content I decided in my rebuild I’d include some regular blog features, and thus became a blogger by name. I think it wasn’t really until I went to my first blogger meetup, and met other bloggers that I truly identified myself as one though.

2. What is your blog’s name, what is it about?

Nothing too original, I just named it after myself (what is blogging if it isn’t tainted with bit of vanity?), I Am Chris [rss]. By having such a generic name as well, it leaves me open to blog about whatever I feel like. I don’t feel compelled to stick to certain themes as really I just do it for myself, and if people happen to come by and read it and find something interesting for them, so be it (I have tag/category specific feeds too so people can subscribe to just what they like).  A bit of a wide summary of my typical posts could be described as a movie loving geek living in Toronto who comments and sometimes rants on aspects of technology and society as they cross his path.

I’ve also recently started up a blog @ with my wife as we learn RubyOnRails together, and another one @ called Kweschuns & Answers which is for a project I’m working on (shameless plug?).

3. Are there any policies you follow when reporting on an issue?

I don’t have any sort of formal document if that’s what you mean.’Reporting on an issue’ makes it sound all very formal as well, and I’ve tried at times to specifically keep my blogging informal. I just try to follow my own sense of what’s right and wrong.  Is this coming across as very egotistical?

4. What guidelines do you follow when linking to an outside source?

It is very rare when I make a post that doesn’t include at least one link to another source, and I often have many.   But again, I have no real policy on it.  Linkage for me is just such a built in thing that I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I think a lot of bloggers don’t really understand how the information is spread out behind the scenes in terms of what google and sites like Technorati do with the links, and some of the lack of linkage is more ignorance than evil.

If a link exists for what I’m talking about, I do my best to put it in.  I think we’re on a cusp of things where this will be made even easier to do by the different blogging softwares as well so that those that don’t take the extra time involved to mark up their posts can have it made easier on themselves.

5. Do you think you are trustworthy? Why do your readers trust you?

Of course *I* think I’m trustworthy, but does anyone not think that about themselves? Do my readers trust me? I guess I’ll have to ask them.  See that kweschun soon on my blog.

6. Do you think bloggers should be treated as journalists and be privy to the rights and protections that journalists enjoy?

This is something I’ve thought long and hard about and my opinion is still up in the air but definitely leaning towards no.

Trust in the main stream media is declining, but is 100 million voices in the dark the answer?  Maybe, maybe not.  If a blogger is to get the same rights and privileges as traditional journalists than they’d be expected to follow the same standards and code of ethics that traditional journalists do as well.  I don’t see that happening, nor do I completely agree that it should.  Where does one draw the line, and how does one communicate that line to such a diverse readership?

The age old problem of a journalist trying to appease their advertisers is now a problem for a certain class of blogger as well since they draw chucks of their revenue from advertising, perhaps that hassle alone is worth some of the journalist perks?  

If you haven’t read "What are Journalists for?" by Jay Rosen, it may be of interest to you.  Also "We the Media" by Dan Gillmor.  

That said, bloggers should be considered writers and their written word should be treated as such to round out the blogarism topic.  If somebody writes something that inspires or enrages you, write something about it on your blog and link back to the source!

Thank you, Miel and Jason for selecting me for your interview series.


Initiated together with Jason Schramm, this guest blogging series will continue to make people aware of the power of linking and the need to give credit to the people who earn it.
Together, we’re improving the Blogosphere, you can help too if you start linking here !
And be sure to check out Jason’s post here.

Note :

Jason and I are not related but have a common field. Jason writes for the BlogNewsChannel, and takes care of Apple Watch, very surprisingly the Apple section of Nathan’s network.
I sometimes write on Inside Google & Inside Microsoft.

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Maxim 5th Party Night

17 Dec 2005

So Friday night was the night of 5 years Maxim in Belgium. I went there with my girlfriend and my main man Dave to go and have a party. The last party before the exams, because we don’t plan to out on New Year’s Eve and the exams are starting right after x-mas holidays. We need to get focused, really. If I do this right, these will be my last exams ever.

The Maxim party was kinda great. A lot of models, sure, but nothing to be really impressed about. They could basically be ‘the girl next door’ if you saw them without make-up, and we did. They looked kind of good on stage, but when they came down the stairs again, I was surprised to see they weren’t that hot at all. I stood next to my girlfriend all the time, and very coincidentally, when I went for a wizz, some photographer had come around to take pictures from ‘my’ girl. Tssssss. Like he’d been waiting all night for me to go pee and then sneaked behind my back to ask her to pose.

Then there was this desperate guy who asked me if he could please (x5!) have his picture taken with my girlfriend. Duh ! What’s your malfunction, dude?

Some model/singer started pole-dancing, but it wasn’t the best I’ve seen. Good try though, but a lot of practice makes perfect. I think her name made people go wild even more than her acrobatic attempts. Not that I can do it better. I’m not such a pole dancer, plus I was the dessignated driver, so maybe it was the lack of booze that kept me from showing her how it’s done. Still, the music was quite good, sometimes, and all in all it was a fun night.

flyer maxim

After the party we went back to Dave’s office, where we had parked the car in the basement. A quick peek into the geeky playground before we headed back home made the night perfect. Man, I envy Dave. Such a cool company ! They had a real formula 1 car parked at the entrance (of course I had to go sit in it, pictures will come later) and it was like one big relaxation studio, apart from the computers and desks. Table Tennis (ping-pong), candy, books… all these things designers and creativos really need to get relaxed before starting on a project. Way to go Dave ! You rock !

Then on the way back we encountered something very crazy. As we were driving through Wijnegem (city) we came through a dark and empty street, with in the middle of the street a car that had definitely been in an accident. The car itself was blocking my lane and had its front wheels buried in the sand from the little strip between the road and the sidewalk. There was no movement on first sight, and we passed the car. To be sure, I stopped right after I returned to my lane, put on my four safety-blinkers and went for a check. No sane person leaves his car like that, and if it was an ‘old’ accident, surely the cops should’ve placed some markers to inform the drivers approaching the accident site. But the street was all quiet.

I noticed the car was seriously damaged, and looked through the driver’s window. A man was inside of the vehicle, folded in a very weird position underneath the dashboard at the passenger’s side. I ran back to my car, asked my girlfriends mobile, because my battery was running low. I dialed the emergency number ‘112′ (we don’t have ‘911′) and told the lady where I was and what I had seen. With all the questions she was asking me, it took like ten minutes before I finally got to hear help was on its way.

I then ran back to the damaged car to see if I could do something, and opened the driver’s door. The door fell out as I opened it, and I started talking to the man inside the car, because he was moving a little. I asked him if he could move, felt pain somewhere or if he was stuck and the man replied : ‘No, I’m just resting a little’. Then it became clear to me this guy was seriously drunk and didn’t even realize he just had a car crash. He managed to get out of his vehicle and then asked me if I knew what happened. I told him I was passing by and found him in his car, to which he replied : "have you hit me?" and he went to my car to see if I had hit him and thus caused his accident. Wow !

He then asked me to help him push his car off the road, and he wouldn’t listen to me saying that would be a bad idea, since he had 4 flat tires and his two front wheels were buried in the mud. As I overlooked the accident scene, he must’ve either fallen asleep or downright turned left from his driving lane to mine, then hitting two concrete bumps that were buried next to the road to protect the sidewalk. Those two concrete blocks were no longer buried, but were laying next to the road. They used to be under the ground for at least 40cm (15 inches). Apparently his car then spinned around in the air because the roof at the passenger side was now on the dashboard, and the windshield was totally broken, as were the side windows. He must’ve landed on his four wheels again, with his two front wheels off the road, which would explain why they were sunken into the ground up to the axis.

I went back to my car, because the guy seemed ok. He could walk, only had a minor scratch on his hand, probably from some glass. He then approached my car, so I opened the window. He thanked me because I stopped (that comes in great, right after you checked if I didn’t hit you, you *?@!!) and he said he’d go for a walk. I replied to him that wouldn’t really be a great idea, since I had called for help, and if they’d find his car empty, he would be penalized for running away (or walking away) from the scene of an accident he was involved in. He then asked if he could use a phone, to call a tow-truck "because we have to be careful" to which Dave quite amuzingly replied: "don’t you think that’s a little late?"

What scares me is that he must’ve been speeding, and not just a little. If he had hit someone, he sure as hell would’ve driven away, leaving behind whatever he’d hit. What even scared me more is that none of the people in the street came out of their houses to check what had happened. I mean, suppose if he was really injured, he could’ve been left to die right there, and nobody would know. Also, while we were waiting for the ambulance and cops, at least six cars drove by, so the accident must’ve just happened (but his hood was cold, so I doubt that) or many other people just drove by because the car seemed empty. Apathy is what kills this world. If you pretend nothing happened, it’ll swing both ways. No other car stopped while we were there. Nobody asked if help was needed. And that is something to be afraid of. What if this happens to you? What if you need help but people just drive by? I can’t stop to think about that. It makes me shiver.

At last, afer ten or fifteen minutes, the ambulance arrived, closely followed by the cops. It started to snow. I explained to the cops how I found the car, and that I had called the emergency service because I thought the guy was hurt, lying there with glass around his head. The cops asked if I had seen the accident happen, but I didn’t so they told me I could go home, and they’d handle it. The last thing I heard was that one cop said to the other: where’s the breathalizer? And I couldn’t stop myself from smiling a little.

The rest of the weekend, I’ve been working for school, because this final week is going to be hell. I have 4 presentations coming up, all about market research and proposals for qualitative, interactive and quantitative projects I’ve been working on these past months.
Posting on this blog will be low this week, and now you know why. I’ll be back, promise !

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