My friends the Giant Ants, of Giant Ant Media, are looking to sublet their excellent Gastown office space for a year, as they’re moving to a larger space. It’s about 750 square feet at 319 West Pender St. Here’s a photo. Contact me if you want to know more.
One movie I can’t watch (because it’s Danish, and not Canadian) but would like to this year is Into Eternity. It’s about the long term storage of nuclear waste, which sounds incredibly dull, but is actually a fascinating thought experiment. It seems inspired, at least in part, by something called the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. I wrote about it back in 2007.
Two interesting pieces on the state of journalism from Kai Nagata and Clay Shirky. My favourite line from the Shirky piece: “markets supply less reporting than democracies demand”.
As you may have noticed, I’ve blogged less often on this site, but, I think, more contemplatively. Your mileage on that may vary, but it seems like a natural evolution of my online creative expression. If you’ll pardon the phrase.
But what of all the random stuff I used to link to?
A Boring History of Curating Ephemera
A little history. Way back when I started this blog, I wrote a lot of short posts, kind of mimicking (and routinely referencing) Boing Boing. These often pointed to bits of Web ephemera that I encountered in my work or personal time online.
Then Twitter came along, and it seemed like a very natural form for sharing these web souvenirs. However, Twitter does a very poor job of archiving old tweets, and making them searchable (for example, I’ve tweeted way more than three times about the Canucks over the past three years). Occasionally, I actually want to find something I shared six months ago, and Twitter is no help. So, I have the sense that there’s no permanent record of this silly curation I do.
I started a Tumblr blog in which to store all this stuff. You can find it here:
There’s pretty much no original thinking there, just a river of stuff I find and probably tweet about. If you’re immersed in the web, you’ll have seen most of this stuff.
I’m still tweeting all these items–I’m just also going to push most of them to this site. It may prove of no interest or use to anyone but me, but I just thought I’d mention it. I also make no guarantees of its longevity–I reserve the right to abandon it at any time. If I stick with it for a couple of weeks, I might embed a view of it in the sidebar of this site.
Tumblr is Highly Presentational
This also, finally, provides me an opportunity to mess around with Tumblr. I’ve spent some time with it here and there, but I’ve never actually launched a site or anything. It’s remarkably stripped down. There’s no interaction without a Tumblr account, and even then they’re limited. There’s no native statistics package at all, and adding Google Analytics is a little clunky. There’s not even the identity widget that comes with Blogger sites. In short, it’s a really presentational form. I’m not sure what the obvious benefits are–but maybe they’ll make themselves apparent in time.
But it is searchable (at least by me), and I rather like the theme I picked. If there are any Tumblr users out there, I’m all-ears for tips. Check out my latest attempt at capturing the web’s most gossamer bits, and let me know what you think.
It’s a nutty week, so indulge me here if I spend a post on some lazy aggregation instead of original thought. I’ve been meaning to gather some of the more interesting bits of publicity around our newly-launched book. To start, two random online marketing notes:
Our book site is FriendsWithBenefitsBook.com. I count myself very lucky that there’s currently nothing more than a domain squatting page at FriendsWithBenefits.com. I recently talked to an author who failed to renew her personal domain and had it snapped up by a porn star who shared her name. What could she do? I didn’t have a lot of good ideas, save the fact that most porn careers are surely short-lived.
I did a couple of short TV pieces with GetConnected, talking about business blogging. I know, I know, I’m as surprised as you that we’re still talking about this stuff in 2009:
There have been a bunch of reviews of the book, all surprisingly positive so far. I’m still waiting for one that tears a strip off the book. After all, the negative ones are more fun to write. This one initially had promise of satisfying my need for abuse:
I really wanted to dislike this. It was sent to me by the publisher without my requesting it and I’m sure I groaned out loud when I opened the package and saw the subtitle. Social Media? I HATE social media!
Aaargh! OK, I’ll read the damn thing, I thought. Maybe there’s enough fodder here for a scathing review – tear the skin right off the authors and roast them on a spit! That’ll teach that publisher not to send me junk when I don’t want it. I sat myself down on the couch and started reading.
Hmmm. Something’s wrong. Where’s all the crap about getting 4 zillion Facebook followers? Where are the shady tricks, the spammy tactics? What’s WRONG with these people?
I guess I’ll just live in hope. Here, also, is an interview that Julie and I did for The Engaging Brand podcast.
Lastly, last night I sat on a panel on social media and ROI for the International Internet Marketing Association. I typed up a few notes, and then heavily marked them up before and during the panel. I said I’d share them with the audience, but I wanted to annotate them with links first. I’m using Flickr to do this, but you have to visit the actual pages to see the Flickr Notes I’ve added.
Incidentally, I was looking around for a tool like Flickr Notes that would enable me to add linked notes to a much larger image. Flickr only permits you to work with the 500-pixel wide image, and I could do with something twice that size. No, sorry, I have too much self-respect to make an image map.
UPDATE: Long time blogger and podcaster Joseph Planta did an interview with us about the book.
Just a mini link round-up, as there’s a few items I’ve been meaning to mention:
Rebecca, along with about 25 other local bloggers, is participating in a Blogathon on July 25. It’s “24 hours of blogging every 30 minutes for a cause”. An excellent idea, and had I a more formidable constitution (and time to recover), I’d do it too. I’ll just have to satisfy myself with donating to the cause. You should, too.
Capulet is currently a cog in the giant advocacy machine that is TckTckTck. More on that later, but in the meantime, they’re hiring for a blogger/online campaigner role. It would be a kick-ass job for the next six months.
Over the past few days, I’ve encountered a number of excellent charts and graphs. And, as regular readers know, I love a good chart:
Where does the average American’s after-tax income go to? On Reddit, people were remarking that $1800 was too much for ‘apparel and services’. I disagreed–it felt about right if I add in clothes, shoes, haircuts and such. Maybe I’d be a bit below that figure, but not by much.
Not a chart per se, but a fantastic list of the songs people have deleted from their Last.fm account. These are, presumably, the songs that people are embarrassed about other people knowing they like or listen to them. As Paul points out, these are the guilty pleasure songs.
It’s a busy day, so I thought I’d hit up some six-year-old blog posts and see which links are still alive and interesting. It’s not surprising that the link decay rate is at least 50%. What is shocking is how of the broken links go to mainstream media sites. All links but the last one go to external sites:
Remember SaveKaryn.com? She parlayed her debt-ridden slackerdom into a book deal, and now she’s written a novel, too.
Speaking of Kiva, I’ve already received most of my first Kiva loan back. I’ve loaned $25 of the returned money to Rika Ally Ibrahim, a Tanzanian juice and clothing seller who wants to expand her inventory. Maybe you want to help her (or any of the other worthy folks on Kiva) out, too?
Traces of Hope is an alternate-reality game being launched by the British Red Cross. I’m both fascinated by and skeptical about ARGs (plus, I have a bit of a crush on ARG guru Jane McGonigal). I suspect that they’re way more effective for social marketing for causes than for corporate promotion. I may write a little section of our book on ARGs, just so I have an excuse to do more research about their efficacy.
First, a great idea from Springwise (a site I recently discovered when they wrote aboutDreamBank). IncSpring (no relation to Springwise, and, arg, the brand misspelling rages on unabated) is an online marketplace for unused brands. Back when we did more brand development for clients, we left a ton great design work on the cutting room floor. We could conceivably post some of that work on IncSpring.
Yet another greatest hits album from Sarah McLachlan. The hugely-popular singer has released just five albums of original material (plus one Christmas album of covers) in twenty years. On the other hand, Wikipedia lists 14 re-releases, ‘b-side’ albums, remixes, live concerts and so forth. As I’ve said before, she is extraordinarily mercantile with her meagre back catalog. Hilariously, Ms. McLachlan’s website claims that the new album features songs “personally selected by Sarah”. Not surprisingly, she chose all her hits.
Zoocasa looks like Canada’s Zillow. I like its functionality a lot, and that’s a fun (if slightly American-sounding) name. I expect they’re focusing on urban regions to start, as I just did a search for Pender Island and its listings were woeful (compare with, say, MLS.ca). I’ve got an email in to them about the comprehensiveness of their listings and when we might expect to see more exhaustive ones.
UPDATE: Via Gillian, I just watched the trailer for The Lucky Ones. Rachel McAdams: hottest Iraq war veteran ever. The trailer feels a bit muddy to me, like it doesn’t know what kind of movie it wants to be. And, speaking of Ms. McLachlan, the trailer features her ballad “I Will Remember You”.