Thursday, November 30, 2006

Oprah Time: The Strength of the Wolf

I needed a good paperback to read as I travelled back to Liverpool. It seemed strangely appropriate that I read a book about narcotics travelling back to my home city, given that Liverpool's recent history and cultural renaissance has been intertwined with its association as the UK's narcotic equivalent of the Square Mile. Characters like Curtis Warren as it's big swinging dicks as Liars Poker author Michael Lewis would have called them.

The premise of The Strength of the Wolf by Douglas Valentine is that the US and other foreign governments have had their fingers in the drug trafficking pie for hundreds of years.

Indeed Great Britain fought two wars over the opium trade. However, this is thought to be history.

The US as the 20th century empire 'ruler' is alleged to have carried on the practice supporting Chinese nationalists running heroin through the golden triangle, right-wing military figures in South America, friendly factions in the Middle East to smuggle opium to the French Connection and allowing the mafia a degree of freedom in return for using their supply.

Valentine also describes how drugs were used as a way of controlling minorities and how politically motivated drugs laws fanned demand in the US rather than choking it off.

These allegations are made as Valentine tells the story of the FBN (the federal bureau of narcotics), its successes, it's failures and its politics. How officers trod the line between doing their job, whilst not upsetting the establishment players who most benefited from the drug trade that they combated.

The book covers the inner real politik that tore the FBN apart and the global narcotics market as it evolved from the early 20th century.

Valentine eventually decides to pursue so many leads from Jack Ruby's involvement with drugs, the CIA and narcotics business associates link with the Kennedy assassination (which sounds only slightly more credible than the Warren Commission finding that Oswald did it on his own with an Italian carbine), DeGaulle's link with Corsican criminals to fund French intelligence work and Mossad's alleged involvement with money launderers and Lebanese narco power-brokers.

At times these allegations and avenues come out like a stream of consciousness and the thread of the plot leaps around like an epileptic break dancer. Whilst Valentine has obviously done a very thorough and comprehensive job in researching the book, it seems that he had too much material to work with in too little time.

The book becomes hard to follow because of the huge amount of information and cross-linkages that it tries to convey and not exactly ideal reading material for travelling.

I stuck with the book, not because of the drugs and intelligence drama, but the more human tale of how the agents careers were created and trashed like failed drafts being thrown in the paper basket. The book on balance, deserves the plaudits that have been heaped upon it, but who will recognise the achievements of the reader who pushes through to the end?

Big in Japan

Why do the Japanese get all the coolest stuff?

As part of a collaboration with Italian designer Neroli, Stussy have released a Stussy-branded messenger bag made by Porter. Porter are the luggage manufacturer of choice for Tyler Brule so its damn cool whichever way that you come at it.

More in Japanese here.

Links for 2006-11-26 [My Web 2.0]

Family Music - interesting new service

SEO for SMEs

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Feels like Siberia

I have come home to Birkenhead just across the Mersey from Liverpool. I have found it hard to find a decent cup of coffee and a wi-fi hotspot. In fact I have had to go down the M53 to find a Starbucks at a large retail park in Ellesmere Port.

Connectivity is 5GBP for 60 minutes, which reminds me of the old cyber cafe near James Street station that I used to check my emails in nine years ago before moving to London.

Understandably, I won't be posting again until I get back home, I am still getting email on my phone via a patchy GPRS connection and I am sure that my newsreader will be overflowing by the time I get back online again.

I had a look at 3G data cards, but at the moment they don't support the ExpressCard socket on the MacBook Pro.

Feels like Siberia.

Links for 2006-11-24 [My Web 2.0]

Kevin Rose Admitting Digg Has Moderators - how very web 1.0 of them, but hopefully it will keep out the spammers and the marketers who don't pay much attention to the communities that they seek to influence.

Newsnight goes UGC


Thursday, November 23, 2006

STUSSY Sample sale

I am gutted as I am off back to Liverpool and will miss this stellar opportunity. Peepz grab ya' snapz and head to the Truman Brewery. Which reminds me, posts will be thin on the ground for the next week or so. Peace out, rc :-)

Stussy sample sale

Links for 2006-11-22 [My Web 2.0]

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Blackberry is Bond-approved

Sony Ericsson must be steaming, after going to the trouble of doing their product placements for the new Bond film, BlackBerry ended up stealing the ultimate endorsement from Daniel Craig according to The Metro (November 21, 2006) - The Green Room column by Neil Sean.

Daniel Craig may earn his millions but he still enjoys freebies. The blond Bond caused a fuss at the Casino Royale premiere because only his goodie bag was missing a Blackberry phone.

Why didn't Sony Ericsson have its products in the goodie bag instead?

Links for 2006-11-21 [My Web 2.0]

Yahoo Search Growing Faster than Google - SearchEngineJournal

11 Euphemisms for Cloaking

I Love Second Life - Iain Tait puts some good advice over about SL and sings its praises without drinking the kool-aid

online lectures - Internet TV Search Engine swicki - powered by eurekster

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Sweeney marketing

Gym Box recently did a tube station give-away, providing fitness fanatic masks, ideal for doing a payroll truck (now get your 'ead down you slaaaag and 'and over the money) .

Gym Box mask

Blogger Beta's flakiness on FireFox. I have managed to cure it by going to Camino instead. Weird city.

The wisdom of crowds

Thanks to BoingBoing to the link for the Flickr camera guide which provides statistics on what cameras are used on the website. It also links into Yahoo! Shopping reviews.

Whilst I am happy with my trusty Konica Minolta Dimage X31, the site would make interesting reading for anybody in the market for a new camera.

The mix of consumer patterns, 'speeds and feeds' coupled with customer-created reviews is a winning formula.

Links for 2006-11-20 [My Web 2.0]

Stussy World Tour trailer - freakin' awesome

Some of the biggest names real art including Futura himself in a documentary. The world series refers to Stussy's guest range of world series t-shirts, but the film is more than an advert; it captures the thoughts of dozens of artists and designers who've led the cutting edge in graphic and visual design for the past two decades.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Weekend away

Blogger has been flaky all weekend. The problem seems to be only with Firefox, however it gets tiresome when you have to clear the cache, cookies and browser history several times in one session just to log in.

I managed to get the time to do some reading and can recommend Breaking Vegas by Ben Mezrich, it treads on similar territory to his previous books but is written in a more mature style without losing some of the tension.

Point of sale

I noticed an interesting point-of-purchase at a Starbucks, the company is rolling out a global loyalty and payment infrastructure. The potential of the card and the scale of ambition on this is impressive.

Basically Starbucks have their own payment infrastructure like PayPal which could be used to sell more than a granola bar and venti half-decaf-soya-latte with a shot of caramel on the side. It would be handy for road-warriors, exchange students and travellers.

A second element is the Tesco Clubcard-like loyalty card data wrapped into it, feeding back into a database that feeds into a global database.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Links for 2006-11-18 [My Web 2.0]

アップル - Macをはじめよう - TV CM - Apple Japan's get a Mac adverts - I don't know what they are saying but it is very amusing

Links for 2006-11-17 [My Web 2.0]

Keeping the Peace PBS I, Cringely - cool flash based media server project using a low-heat VIA processor

Peanut Buttergate

Brad Garlinghouse is a natural and compelling presenter. I had seen him speak in internal presentations about Yahoo!'s communications and messenger products.

has written a four-page memorandum looking for internal change at Yahoo! which maps out a possible future direction for the firm.

Brad Garlinghouse makes some very pertinent points in his now famous peanut butter memo about Yahoo!, but ultimately shows a more selfish agenda than 'saving' the company he loves.

You can read the full memo here, but I have just pulled some of the key items out to provide a European perspective on some of the points that he made:

Garlinghouse was frustrated with what he saw as competing products and approaches:

• Flickr vs. Photos: To say that Photos competes with Flickr is ridiculous Yahoo! Photos was tired, boring and a pretty shoddy product

• YMG video vs. Search video

• vs. My Web

• Messenger and plug-ins vs. sidebar and widgets

• Social media vs. 360 and Groups

• Front page vs. YMG

Global strategy from BU'vs. Global strategy from Int'l

Part of the reason for this was a complex silo'ed matrix structure and an the result of an organisation struggling to fight a talent and ideas war against very strong adveraries like Google and Microsoft.

Some of the Yahoo! products should have been killed off, whilst other duplications occurred because internal products like 360, Messenger and MyWeb sucked at crucial iterations in their product life.

In addition, Yahoo!, particularly Music and the Comms & Community BU which Garlinghouse runs has a poor record of building products fit for early adopters like Music properties that are Mac-compatiable, the new Yahoo! Mail which doesn't work on Safari and a Messenger client which was much poorer than open source equivalents like Adium X making it hard to build a buzz that will trickle down to mainstream users.

Develop a focus on the vision
Absolutely, and drive this down into reinvigorating the brand for the 21st century. In the US, Yahoo! has a brand that resonates with consumers, but in Europe it doesn't stand for anything. Whilst my former boss Georga could recite the values of the brand and we all had purple folders highlighting what they were this hadn't changed in consumer perceptions. Focus on the vision is the first part of making that work.

Restore accountability and clarity of ownership
Two things are needed here - measurements that ensure long-term thinking rather than stort-term performance peaks and selling the future. The right people in the right roles to fulfil this. In Europe, this means going from from the top down.

Long-term thinking means building a brand to make Yahoo! a must-go online destination, rather than just using arbitrage calculations to buy clicks on Google. It means giving European users a higher quality user experience and prioritising the products users want rather than executive whims

Redesign performance and incentive schemes: This is only any good if it is tied into the right measurements and I don't think that Garlinghouse has got these measures right.

This paragraph I found particularly interesting, yet has got the least publicity is 'Align a set of new BU's so that they are not competing against each other. Search focuses on search. Social media aligns with community and communications. No competing owners for Video, Photos, etc. And Front Page becomes Switzerland. This will be a delicate exercise -- decentralization can create inefficiencies, but I believe we can find the right balance.'

Garlinghouse is basically going for a power play here.

Social media has been alligned to search because that's where a lot of the smart people who get it are: community and communications from a product and technology perspective don't get it.

Search has embraced social media because the algorithimic war is one of attrition whereas social media offers a breakout situation. A more radical and business savvy play would be to adopt Google search again and augment it with social media.

Garlinghouse blew it at that paragraph, its not about doing the best for the company, its about building his empire in the face of worthy opponents like Jeff Weiner who heads-up Search.

It would make more sense to put Communications mail product and all the communities products into Search alongside desktop search.

Finally being a marketing person I was horrified to see such a high profile marketing gaff 'I love Yahoo! I'm proud to admit that I bleed purple and yellow.' Yellow has not been an official corporate colour for over a year, somebody please give him a brand guide folder.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Links for 2006-11-15 [My Web 2.0]

Web Gaffs volume one

Some US companies have a unique way of making executives look foolish. This video is an unfortunate example, U2 fans go away the butchery of One will be too much to bare.Kudos to Holy Moly.

Thanks to Jeremiah for showing how Wal-Mart's critics poured even more salt on the wound of the recent Edelman astroturfing blog scandal. I am sure Wal-Mart will go to court and win the domain back, thus giving Walmart Watch even more publicity. Click here while you can.

Moral of the story: go hogwild and register any related domain names that you can and don't let the registration slide.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Social Media Club London - the second coming

First of all thanks to Jackie Danicki for chairing Social Media Group London this time around at Fleishman Hillard's offices on Longacre. It was interesting to catch up with some people that I knew like Stephen and meet some people that I kind of knew but hadn't met before like Stuart Bruce.

There were a number of themes that came out of the discussion that I found of interest:

  • In terms of online media consumption patterns, about two thirds to three quarters of the attendees had reached a post-RSS stage in their online media consumption. Typically they had went through subscribing to hundreds of feeds, reached information overload and pared them right back
  • Often they used a friends blog as as a meta filter for content, a kind of very tailored BoingBoing. Given that the attendees are likely to be high media consumers and early adopters this is an interesting trend to watch out for
  • There was a corresponding decline in the 'trust' that these users assigned to both mainstream and narrowcast media. Film reviews were cited as a classic example, some of the participants were no longer willing to accept pundits viewpoints and instead wanted to only trust very close friends
  • This concept of shrinking the community was discussed around Facebook, in line with the real-world analogy of a village how should marketers handle the parochial monoculture perpetuated on such closed communities?
  • The challenge of surfacing quality free content was mentioned: how do you find the content that you want if it hasn't been recommended by a close friend? Flickr's interestingness seemed to be making in the right direction. There was a suggestion of a market-based engine of sorts. However, what happens if everyone wants to benefit and no one wants to participate (like the post-RSS culture)?
  • What is participation? - What would be considered to be consumption patterns in old media (like reading a newspaper or watching television) was considered to be participation in new media. Many of the participants didn't see the contradiction, which I found to be an curious viewpoint

Links for 2006-11-14 [My Web 2.0]

Health Disparities Persist for Men, and Doctors Ask Why - New York Times


Universal Music Group CEO: iPod Owners Are Theives Josh Smith Online

Yahoo's Semel Internet ad potential underestimated/2100-1024_3-6135250.html? -

The Engadget Interview:
Peter Dille, Sony Computer Entertainment's SVP of Marketing - Engadget

Links for 2006-11-13 [My Web 2.0]

Sold Out Tickets - UK Concert Tickets, London Theatre Tickets, Premiership Tickets, Sports Tickets, Corporate Hospitality

Smug Nation - Louis Vuitton Brand - Luxury Goods Brands Combating Counterfeiting

Extremely Useful Macbook Freeware

Breaking into my Mac

24h contre la censure d'Internet / RSF - Designers give CAD research gurus an earful

Chemistry: WebElements Periodic Table

International Country Calling Codes and World Time Zones

One Bag - leisure and business travel packing list - travel light!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Things to look out for and tip of the day

Two sites to look out for:
  • Element 30 - a Silicon Valley-based enterprise start-up. The head of marketing is ex-Yahoo Rich Pearson. They are currently looking for .net and c# coders with skills. If you are interested drop them a line. For the more curious zinc is element 30 in the periodic table, it is a transition metal, it is used as the 'healing layer' on galvanised steel and can protect against sun burn in its oxide form

  • Smug Nation - is a soon-to-be launched project by a couple of friends of my colleague Cherie. Look out for their guerrilla marketing stickers defacing street furniture and public toilets with some of the usual banal phrases you would hear round an office like "I'm more of an ideas person" and "Sent from my Blackberry". Kind of like fridge magnet poetry for Martin Lukes
Finally, thanks to Stephen for the tip. Crack password-protected PDF files with ease. Open the files in ColorSync which comes as part of the Mac operating system and re-save the file with a different name. The newly-named file as been freed of its DRM badness. Be responsible, piracy is isn't cool (except for Captain Jack Sparrow).

Links for 2006-11-12 [My Web 2.0]

Entrepreneurs See a Web Guided by Common Sense - New York Times

onedotzero - adventures in moving image

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Links for 2006-11-11 [My Web 2.0]

PScrewed - New York Times analysis of the PS3, my tag line :-)

Silicon Valley Sleuth: 10 web2.0 lies

GP2X official site - Buy the GP2X Linux console

Freeview - Welcome to free TV land

Jargon Watch

Income inequality - As cited by Paul Donovan of UBS global economics team in the podcast episode Unequal Economics.

There has been a well-observed difference in disposable income between the rich and poor, however UBS also found that the inflation rate for those less well off in society has been higher than other members of society.

Like thermoclines in cold water stratifying out into different layers so different inflation rates have affected income groups.

For the past ten years, the worst off in society have undergone a recession whilst the well off have done well. Donovan claimed that this had a number of knock-on effects:
  • Companies whose product offering is aimed at the lower-end of the market will be adversely affected by higher inflation rates
  • The pension returns required by different levels of society are very different due to the different cost of living profiles
  • Income inequality is likely to bring more progressive taxes, political resistance to globalisation and a subsequent disruption of the economic cycle

Greenpeace reputation sails into dangerous waters

Image from Wikipedia (click link for copyright statement)

Greenpeace has been hauled over the coals with allegations that the large multinational pressure group used classic spin tactics of lies, disinformation and sensationalism.

Roughly Drafted has gone toe-to-toe with the well financed pressure group to press for the truth around their greener electonics campaign:

The PR problem for Greenpeace is pretty simple, once they start being discovered using such underhand tactics they will appear less credible and start to lose the funding and goodwill they need to make some of their more valid campaigns and devalue what
dedicated supporters have already achieved.

Roughly Drafted also cites well known mistakes by the large multinational pressure group including damaging a healthy coral reef in the Phillipines because they had the wrong maps and a series of lies told during the Shell Brent Spar debacle.

As media becomes more transparent with the blogosphere, both corporates and not-for-profits cannot afford to step out of line.

This time Greenpeace did not ignite the kind of media furore that Edelman and Wal-Mart caused, but if they keep on going they may be on the receiving end of protestors both online and in 'meat space'.

Greenpeace relies on the fact that it is doing the right thing to protect them and most corporate won't go toe-to-toe. However that doesn't mean that individuals and activist organisations won't.

Think about it this way:
  • Greenpeace is a large multinational organisation with 360 million USD revenues recorded for 2005, it has a network of international offices and a fleet of ships
  • The organisation has a well-known high profile brand that runs against the grain (like many large fashion brands from Nike to Stussy would like to position themselves)
  • You could even consider a lot of their protests as an extreme sports marketing campaign (abseiling, scuba diving, sailing, running around in RIBs and thumbing their nose at authority like skateboarders or graffiti artists)
Sounds like a large corporate in structure and behaviour?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Amazon arbitrage

Whist Amazon is a global e-tailer, but it is worth shopping around across their sites, which is the reason why I signed up to Amazon Germany for marketing emails. The German market is much more value-orientated which is why Amazon can be cheaper with many items. Anyway they have Four DVDs for 20 Euros.

Time to park up on the couch.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Disintegrated marketing

Last Friday I sung the praises of Starbucks joined-up thinking for their big Christmas push, however looking more closely the wheels look as if they have come off the Starbucks marketing wagon:

Sort out a visual theme for Christmas marketing push. Nice


Order in merchandise from the Far East. Looking good.

Starbucks Christmas

Register domain name for integrated online element of the campaign. Like your thinking

reg.<span onclick=

Integrate domain name into artwork for maximum customer engagement. Sweet, most of this web 2.0 thing was started in coffee shops like ours with wi-fi connections, we might even sell some overpriced hotspot time. ;-)

<span onclick=

Launch Christmas campaign into shops with supporting web presence....

<span onclick=

  • Poor project management?
  • A web site that didn't meet the client brief?
  • Scared of a possible clash with Product Red?
I don't know. Priceless...

On the bright side I guess the marketers at least know that people pay attention to their packaging. Anybody else got any good marketing campaign disconnects? Put the details in the comments section.

If there was a site there, it hasn't been up for the past two days, up to early this evening the page said Plesk instead.

Links for 2006-11-07 [My Web 2.0]

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Links for 2006-11-06 [My Web 2.0]

Getting plugged back in

I took the plunge and got a TV licence for the first time in six and a half years.

As a PR person without access to television I was initially viewed as an eccentric or subversive element by my superiors, but with the rise of broadband my lack of televisual life seemed less strange.

What prompted this reconnection?

A mix of factors:
  • Compelling content with a re-run of This Life, Into the West and series five of Spooks
  • Bit Torrent being about as useful as a one-legged man in a shit-kicking contest
  • A free set up - I got the TV, DVD player and freeview box from a friend who was upgrading and spent 50 GBP on a high-gain aerial. I adapted the mounting bracket from a gauche looking satellite dish that was in-situ when I arrived in my house
Some initial observations from my reconnection:
  • User interfaces on consumer electronics are appalling. Consumer electronics definitely need the iPod factor to bring them into the 21st century
  • The technology doesn't work, half of the freeview channels don't work, though I only regret the loss of Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and Bloomberg TV. This isn't the box, its the Swiss cheese digital TV network. Ireland learned from the UK digital roll-out and have cranked up the power on their transmitters to compensate
  • The shockingly poor quality of shopping channels still amaze me; I remember watching QVC in disbelief in my final year of college a decade ago. It hasn't changed for the better. Traditional channels still have the upper hand in quality content
  • The market doesn't work; the increase in customer choice through increased channel and competition for the ad mans dollar hasn't brought a corresponding improvement in the quality of content available
I feel ambivalent to the TV an know that I will not be trapped in its grip like many people I know.

Oprah Time: American Pastoral

When I was young I was told the tale of an old Chinese farmer who had a son and some fine horses. The neighbours thought that he was lucky.

One day the son was out riding one of his family's horses, he was thrown and broke his leg. The villagers thought that it was bad luck, further bad luck was considered to fall on him when the kingdom went to war and the farmer had his horses taken by the army.

The war went badly and the army rounded up the sons of the villagers, but the farmers son with a broken leg was left behind.

The villagers thought that the farmer was unlucky because their sons were sure to bring home booty from the battle.

When their sons didn't return, they thought that the farmer was lucky.

This juxtaposition of luck or fate is captured in American Pastoral by US author Philip Roth. Roth tells the story of an All-American success story, initially through the eyes of a high school reunion and then lifts the lid on all the elements that were tearing him apart from the inside. A domestic drama unstable spouse and counter-culture terrorist daughter plays out against a backdrop of globalisation shaping the US manufacturing sector, civil rights and social unrest during the latter days of the Vietnam war.

The main protagonists life comes apart at the seams whilst seemingly been fine.

Roth has written a melancholy story which is strangely compelling in a similar way to Requiem for a Dream. It is an easy read that I would recommend.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Links for 2006-11-05 [My Web 2.0]

Printable planning forms - Lifehacker

IAC Goes Google Route - The

Wikipedia critic finds copied passages - Yahoo! News

TV listings for BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Satellite TV channels Yahoo! TV UK low cost movie entertainment from Stelios, the founder of easyJet

Free as in love


Thank you to Philips for sponsoring the select section of the New York Times and providing free access to skin flints like me. The Select section is a subscription wall around some of the more interesting op-ed and analysis pieces done by the paper.

The Economist and Salon provides access through a similar arrangement with different sponsors. It makes you value the content but still have access via sponsored day pass system and subscribers still feel they have value-for-money as they have a hassle and ad-free experience. The sponsorship runs from today through to November 12.
The New York Times claims that this is a way of increasing their subscriber base. My thoughts are that it allows the New York Times to increase its visibitility and relevance to the zeitgest and allows the company to experiment with a more progressive business model. Kudos to Reuters - Philips sponsors free New York Times Web access

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Remix as a political tool have been remixing some of the more distasteful political ads to come out of Washington. I could imagine this tactic being used on both a commercial and political stage in the future. Of course for commercial purposes, marketers would need plausiable deniability to keep them out of court for infringing a competitors intellectual property. Here's one about US politician Mark Foley as an example.

Foley had allegations made against him about suggestive emails and sexually explicit instant messages to boys who had formerly served as Congressional pages, and had intercourse with two of them.

As a result of the disclosures, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement opened investigations of the messages to find possible criminal charges.

Links for 2006-11-03 [My Web 2.0]

Microsoft takes the Linux patent pledge (video) - Silicon Valley Sleuth

FT Alphaville - self-described as instant market insight

Trusted Computing for Mac OS X - Amit Singh | 11/03/2006 | Some patient VCs still waiting for Visto to pay off

John Seely Brown - management author and self-described Chief of Confusion

Are Company Blogs Dead - WebProNews

Yahoo! Food - don't forget however that US and UK measures are different, use Google to convert them over ;-)

Miami Beach exec says controversy sells 42 Below vodka - Miami Herald

Nice idea, shame about the execution

We have a Benjy's around the corner from the office and they serve a humungous cup of joe for a measily 99p. I have two cups a day to keep me running. I noticed an advertising campaign for chip giant Intel by tabletalkmedia.


The idea of advertising on coffee holders in central London was really clever, unfortunately the execution didn't match the idea. This was an advert aimed at consumers so where does it go wrong?
  • The image on the left that Intel went to the both of printing in full colour is a blown up silicon die and no Joe Public probably doesn't know what it is or the significance of it
  • The strapline is ambiguous 'It's all about energy'. What does it mean?
  • Why should you the consumer care?
  • What about the usual association of energy and beverages (Lucazade, Red Bull etc)?
This may work at a trade show, but it shows no awareness of how to market to consumers and business users. Some people just have more budget than sense.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Starbucks Holiday Season

Starbucks do a different mug every year for Christmas. This year's design echoes the red paper cups that the coffee shop is selling to take out customers even down to the faux rolled lip at the top of the mug. I liked the way the theme had been carried through faithfully from paper to porcelain.

Starbucks Christmas

Links for 2006-11-02 [My Web 2.0]

Data Portability A VC


Online Reputation Management The New PR - WebProNews

Scan, copy and fax with your camera phone or digital camera

NOKIA's VISION IS CLEAR - the cool hunter

UK report: knowledge should be public good first, private right second - ars technica

10 Tips For Google Image Search - Google Operating System

Kettle Chips Passport to Flavor Party Pack - Uncrate

Always Get New Links “AGNL” 7 Tips for Success

How to get covered by TechCrunch: Learn a party trick - Valleywag

Jargon Watch

Bushenfreude - Like the tax cuts of the Bush administration, but dislike the rest of the presidents policies. From Slate.

Starbucking - Telecommuting from a coffee shop, courtesy of Valleywag.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Links for 2006-11-01 [My Web 2.0]

Telefonplan Tower

Spock offers an ambitious people search engine - VentureBeat

PR 2.0 Essentials Guide

To Participate Or Not? Reactive response to blog posts - A VC

Smartphone review

Profits don't always woo investors -

How to Talk to a Human when Calling a Business - WikiHow

Learn from the old ways

I started off in PR working in community relations for an oil and gas exploration company during my college vacation. The general thinking then was that you could not do community relations unless you became part of the community.

Unfortunately this lesson has been lost on many of the companies who are dashing off to exploit the metaverse of Second Life.

The Second Life Herald (SLH) written by long-time Second-Lifers delivers a smack down to Rohit Bhargava of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide. Bhargava is the lightning rod for a string of complaints from the community regarding the conduct of PR agencies false claiming firsts and polluting the community.

The SLH also lays into the way corporates are developing virtual properties out of keeping with the Second Life experience. As Bill Hicks would have said "marketers know the price of everything and the value of nothing".

Thanks to Iain Tait at Crackunit.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Links for 2006-10-31 [My Web 2.0]

10 things you should know about connecting Macintosh OS X systems to Windows networks

Sony releases 'James Bond' laptop - The Inquirer. Cue jokes about exploding batteries, licence to kill etc.

Greenpeace busted for sleazy PR tactics - If I pulled the kind of amoral behaviour for my clients, I'd get crucified.

Scary Stories on Google Books - Halloween themed page, rather than publishers breaking out in a cold sweat. - order food online

Google Acquires Wiki Company JotSpot

A fair for oligarchs with money to burn - Business - International Herald Tribune

Google Drives Shoppers, While Yahoo! Drives Buyers -

Wired Acquires Social News Site Reddit - paidcontent

Seidai Software - Fair Game - rip and back up your online media purchases

Toblerone packaging

Toblerone have got some really cool packaging design with a sense of humour.

Nice Toberone packaging

This is what the more usual design looks like.