Weird Gadgets: 1958 “Cyclone” Bus Duster

April 16th, 2012 § Comments Off on Weird Gadgets: 1958 “Cyclone” Bus Duster § permalink

We, the new kids, have no idea what America was like in the fifties:

San Francisco’s 1958 “Cyclone” Bus Duster [Past Perfect]

The 1950’s were perhaps the peak of American Culture. The Post-War economy was booming and a future of flying cars driven by robot housemaids was all but guaranteed. On the West Coast, one local transit authority even had a bus for cleaning other busses.

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the first time I realized this, was when I read that the 50s were the original golden age for 3D cinema (!).

networking is not entertainment

April 14th, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

Pop singer Michael Jackson at the White House ...

Pop singer Michael Jackson at the White House ceremony to launch the campaign against drunk driving. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

networking is not about dressing up, mingling with famous people, drinking cocktails or beer or anything else, it’s not about increasing your visibility or clout, or about checking in with other people etc…

networking is working, and that’s working on a very specific set of activities, which is completely different from the ones listed before.

  1. unless it’s a really huge party (1000 people, several floors etc.), introduce yourself to the host. it’s the only way you can make sure you’ll be invited next time.
  2. do your homework! who will be there? what’s their background? do you have any thoughts for them? how are your worlds connected? why would they want to talk to you? or why should they talk to you? these questions you should know answers to before you show up, for everyone in the room if possible! every time! you have no right to come up to the guest of honor and asking “so what does your company do?” you’re wasting time for everyone else in the room! and don’t you dare ask that question at the public session, because the other person has no gracious way to get out of it without wasting everybody’s time.
  3. don’t small talk! or do so only in the first 10 seconds of each conversation, to break the ice and show your language skills are sufficient. nobody goes to networking events to hear more about the weather, food, drinks, politics or your personal life. don’t waste the time and energy i’m trying to spend in your favor by talking to you!
  4. you don’t have to talk to everyone in the room, but try sticking around long enough, to talk to at least one person. you have to buy the ticket to win the lottery. and after you do, follow up!
  5. don’t read these points and nod your head and think ‘what assholes some people are’ – I so know you are doing the same on every event you go to. it’s human condition to be egoistic and we all have to work to overcome it all the time. fuck you, be humble.

Encyclopaedia Britanica is Back!

April 13th, 2012 § Comments Off on Encyclopaedia Britanica is Back! § permalink

well, at least for a little while longer – there’s 800 of them left. go get them while they’re cold!

Encyclopaedia Britanica’s Sales Soar With Announcement of Final Edition

Back in March, it was announced that after centuries of being a print staple, the venerable Encyclopaedia Britannica was moving- for better or worse- to the digital realm. It was certainly the end of an era for people old enough to remember when encyclopedias like Encyclopaedia Britannica were the be all and end all of research,…

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I’m sure they will reprint them though, at least once per century.

ComScore: Value And CPMs Are Out Of Whack

April 12th, 2012 § Comments Off on ComScore: Value And CPMs Are Out Of Whack § permalink

Onomatopia "Whack" hitting ball. Cre...

Onomatopia "Whack" hitting ball. Created in Adobe Illustrator by Jeremy Kemp, 2/24/05 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

the wild wild web is not a romantic place, it’s just senseless, and here’s another proof:

ComScore: Value And CPMs Are Out Of Whack

Not only are an average of 31% of display ads never even seen , but there’s little to no correlation between the CPMs sites are charging and the value they’re delivering to the advertisers – where value is defined as ads being viewed and delivered to the primary demographic target.


as a geek i’m sad that in a world driven entirely by data and algorithms, well on the way to the promised land of perfection and frictionless and justice, such stories are a normality, rather than anomaly.


19 months from launch to $1,000,000,000 acquisition: Instagram

April 11th, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

this story reminds me of MyBlogLog – acquired for $10M after 9 months in 2007, only 4 years later and 2 zero-s added:

19 months from launch to $1,000,000,000 acquisition: Instagram

On October 5th, 2010, Instagram launched My first instagram photo We’re really excited to launch our first version of Instagram today, free in the App Store. Instagram makes mobile photos fast, simple, & beautiful.

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Instagram (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

when I saw this news on TV, and sitting trough the whole story, it felt like they were announcing a war or a new terrorist attack. it was not good news for anyone but those three founders.

these valuations have only market-sense, but no connection to the real world. Lot’s of friends have been talking about new bubble for over a year now, and I couldn’t agree with them. I believed that this time it’s different, that everyone is building real companies, with real value, and that exits happen only after they prove it or run out of resources.

not anymore apparently. instagrams valuation makes sense only in relation to facebook’s valuation, not in relation to the world or the users.

i am not saying that they are useless, like some bubble 1.0 ideas were – not at all. instagram figured out how to make pictures of urban reality, full of smog and with poor natural light, beautiful again. it gives a chance for new kids to live in a visually nice world again. like bauhaus did a century ago.

but that on it’s own is not worth 1/30th of world hunger.

Linked Data – the best of two worlds

April 10th, 2012 § Comments Off on Linked Data – the best of two worlds § permalink

noSQL is dual to SQL - Exploring NoSQL - YOW 2...

noSQL is dual to SQL - Exploring NoSQL - YOW 2010 Melbourne (Photo credit: avlxyz)

warning: ignorant CEO rant

when oh when will the geeks realize that it’s not about the formats, but about products and customers? the tech decisions are made simpler if you have a real problem to solve. and tech standards are 90% of the time emergent from hundreds of best practices.

Linked Data – the best of two worlds

On the one hand you have structured data sources such as relational DB, NoSQL datastores or OODBs and the like that allow you to query and manipulate data in a structured way. This typically involves schemata (either upfront with RDB or sort of dynamically with NoSQL that defines the data layout and the types of the fields),…

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Why You Should Care About Your Klout Score

April 9th, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

Theme of Carmen's influence over José from Bi...

Theme of Carmen's influence over Jose from Bizet's Carmen. Created in Lilypond using the G. Schirmer vocal score from 1895. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

interesting article, with one key point: “your klout score might not be accurate measure of pure influence, but it does show if you are socializing your influence” – and by focusing on it, klout is training us all to be more social online.

of course the real reason why ‘socializing influence’ is being popularized, is because it helps the brands and merchants sell more trough their evangelists.

but at the same time, as a collateral damage, i believe making us more social is a significant and positive contribution of several web services these days – they are making us into different, hopefully better, humans of the future.

Why You Should Care About Your Klout Score

It’s fashionable to feign indifference to your Klout score, which measures online influence. Some professionals think it’s uncool to seem too interested in their rankings; others believe all you need to worry about is creating good content.

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time for “Push PR”

April 7th, 2012 § Comments Off on time for “Push PR” § permalink

An Empire of Silly Statistics…A Fake War for P...

An Empire of Silly Statistics…A Fake War for Public Relations (Photo credit: Marquette University)

Ernest is entirely right – PR companies just don’t get the fact, that we don’t care what they think should interest us – that’s what it means being ‘independent’:

How PR fails at Blogger OutreachMarch 29, 2012

At some point in the last year or so, someone pegged me as an influential blogger… and then it started. A constant and never-ceasing stream of daily e-mails from various PR companies mindlessly clogging up my inbox.

It does not, however, mean that PR is dead – there clearly is a need for ‘public relations’. the need is actually much larger than it ever was, on both sides – corporate communications as much as on the receiving end – bloggers have to be current and informed, just like journalists had to be.
I believe the solution is in making PR more pushy.
As a writer, I expect the right content to come to me, I don’t want to seek it out. In that sense, I expect it to be pushy, but also highly targeted and personalized. Just like it used to be, back in the days when there was roughly as much PR professionals as there were journalists, and the two crowds well managed eachother.
as the new media grew, keeping up with targeting became impossible, and now they rely on ‘curated’ lists of thousands of bloggers, they never really looked at. I believe that’s where we at Zemanta make a huge difference – I often link PR messages from my posts, because they are recommended to me exactly when I’m writing about the topics they adress, so they actually provide value to me – I would never go look for them otherwise.
Pushy is not spammy, if done right. But there is no way you can do PR right without help from algorithms these days.

multi-channel marketing and bad infographics

April 6th, 2012 § Comments Off on multi-channel marketing and bad infographics § permalink

we all like infographics, because they make data and information value central, and then use visual storytelling rather than fancy words. in this act of replacing word compositions, with incredibly stronger visual compositions, we perform two actions:

  1. reduce the message to it’s core. this is always a combination of ‘extended puncline’ and ‘the context’.
  2. amplify the core

as infographics are becoming massively popular, the consequences of performing the first action badly are becoming a problem. it usually happens when the creator of the infographic is biased. here’s a very simple and benign case:

Blogging Better Than Facebook? Why Not BOTH? [Infographic]

I find that a lot of people involved with social media tend to get into discussions about which platform is better with the ultimate goal of eliminating of one platforms they are discussing. This happens often with the Facebook and Google+ debate, with the goal of eliminating Facebook and totally defecting to Google+ or vice versa.

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good marketing is always multi-channel, with the message adapted to specifics of each channel. yes, you should always do Facebook and Blogging, and probably a few others as well.

the original author of the infographic has noble goal though – to her the blog is the hub of your online life, a point I very much agree with, and a great argument to invest in it. but saying no to all other channels is just madness.

Why bother seeing the world for real?

April 5th, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

This project is the closest we’ll get to teleport for a while.

it’s also an amazing collection of bits and pieces of the world, that we would never see otherwise.

there’s something poetic about it.

Google Sightseeing – See the World on Your Desktop

Browsing Google Maps you can see lots of interesting landmarks and fun occurrences captured by the Streetview cameras. Finding all of those fun and interesting views can sometimes be tricky. That’s when the Google Sightseeing blog becomes handy.

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