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why I unfollowed you on twitter (and how to unfollow everyone too)

Welp. Evenyone has their limits and I’ve reached mine.

My wonderfully nerdy partner in crime Iain visited NY recently and over many glasses of wine and pasta we had a debate about the reason Twitter exists. A debate about Twitter’s purity of communication. A debate about how, why and even when people should use Twitter.  Iain thinks Twitter is a conversation tool solely. One where you should listen AND be listened to. He’s right. And until today, I wasn’t really “listening”. 

Until this very moment, I was following more than 1500 “friends” as Twitter. It was a lot of work getting up there and for a moment I was proud. Not anymore. I was caught up in a Twitter Frenzy I’m not sure I still believe in. Twitter has become a spammy medium and I’m falling out of love..sorta.

No I’m not leaving Twitter. It’s an amazing tool. It helps me connect with my team, I learned a lot from many of the people I followed. Many of you I will follow back. It’s just going to take me some time. (Want to give me a boost?) Shoot me an email.

Top three reasons why I declared follower bankruptcy:

reason 1

I’m getting inundated with autoresponders. (Robots that send thank you direct messages when I followed you. My thoughts on them: 1. They are impersonal (mostly). 2. Many people fill them with spammy advertisements, using it as automated marketing tool to “buy their product now!” etc. As such, my direct messages timeline has become a total nightmare and not usable anymore. I had to do something and I decided to remove all my followers in order to thwart the robot attack.

reason 2

The Twitter API is slow enough already. With so many follows, the best (free) tools our there (including Tweetie, etc) do not work properly. I want to use these tools to keep learning (and pass that learning on you YOU.

reason 3

I’ve been insanely curious recently just how many actual “friends” I have on Twitter anyway. Meaning - just how many of you are only following me because I’m following you. And worse yet, might be using a tool like TweetLater to automatically unfollow me the second I unfollow you. I guess we’ll see. :)

So that’s it. These things IMHO were F-ing with my ability to enjoy and get value out of Twitter. Today marks my battle back to Twitter fun. :)

where to from here?

Welp, I wait for this handy dandy script that chuck wrote to finish unfollowing everyone, and then I start adding back people that will make my Twitter expereince what I need it to be - interesting, informative and engaging. Are you interesting, informative or engaging? Hit me up, yo.

Rock on.

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did you know?

The latest Did You Know video will blow your mind with interesting facts and figures about the social web and how it’s changed your world.  Here’s a uber-post of all of them, starting with the latest (version 4). (Also, see below for some screen grabs if you don’t have the time to watch).

Version 3:

According to Digital Inspiration, This video is part of the popular “Did You Know” series that originally started out as a PowerPoint presentation [Shift Happens} and, once people caught on, the presentation was converted into a video by xplane. You can watch all the previous versions of the “Did You Know” series here or download source presentations and high-res videos from the Shift Happens wiki.

Version 2:

And finally, Version 1:

Screen grabs:

internet facts

youtube facts

online advertising

shrinking mobile devices



The Art Of Creating Simple, Smaller And Smarter.

The Art Of Creating Simple, Smaller And Smarter.
Or… Mommy, how I learned to stop making advertisements and start making things that advertise.

This is a little session description I wrote recently for POKE’s 2009 Cannes Workshop. I thought I’d share - mainly because I’m particularly angry today.

This session was designed to explore the value of execution over “big” ideas in a hands-on session. People broke into groups where, under a series of realistic constraints, they were forced to focus on being nimble, among other things…

U like? U hate?

The Art Of Creating Simple, Smaller And Smarter.
Or… Mommy, how I learned to stop making advertisements and start making things that advertise.

Blech! Recession. Advertising agencies and brands are running scared. “Digital” agencies are renouncing sight, sound and motion. They’re being forced to seek out alternative means of engaging consumers because their excessive marketing habits of the past have been rendered obsolete, both by technology and by lack of consumer interest. Face it, no one wants to be advertised to, online or otherwise.

Do you?

But for many, this movement isn’t just some new fad to control costs during troubled times. Hasn’t the best marketing has always come from creating something entertaining, valuable and useful? I believe people gravitate towards, and like talking about, simple and valuable interactions, and are willing to forgive (and even embrace) branded messages that come with them.

Forget thinking big

It’s time to think small. It’s time to embrace the art of simple, smart and social. It’s time to stop creating advertisements and start creating useful things that advertise. Your communications can be executed more efficiently and with greater impact than the clutter that’s prevalent today. Let’s explore how.

In other words:

@CannesLions: The “Big Idea” is dead. Learn to embrace small: Simple. Smart and Social. Otherwise, don’t bother. When? Tuesday 23 June • 17:00-19:00 • Where? Debussy Theater




scary human kill switch gets denied patent - for now...

Ooof. Have a read of this excerpt from the German Publication The Local:

A Saudi Arabian inventor has filed for a patent on a potentially lethal science fiction-style human tracking microchip, the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) told The Local on Friday. But the macabre innovation that enables remote killing will likely be denied copyright protection.

“While the application is still pending further paperwork on his part, the invention will probably be found to violate paragraph two of the German Patent Law – which does not allow inventions that transgress public order or good morals,” spokeswoman Stephanie Krüger told The Local from Munich. 

The patent application – entitled “Implantation of electronic chips in the human body for the purposes of determining its geographical location” – was filed on October 30, 2007, but was only published until last week, or 18 months after submission as required by German law, she said.

Monday, Germany declined the patent application.

But the device, naturally, still exists. Scarier still, we can only presume it’s already in use. Patenting it would just make anyone else liable if they copied and sold it.

Sometimes technology goes too far…




how NOT to advertise pork


I just found this banner on The Big Red Kitchen. Now, I’ve heard Pork called a lot of things: “Juicy, Satisfying, Bacon-y and Awesome” come to mind. You know things that might get you to EAT it.

Well I guess we can now add “Safe” to that list. Cuz, you know, THAT gets peoples mouth watering. Truly.

Has the “Hamthrax” gotten people so scared that this needs to happen? Sigh.

The ad linked to this delectable page:



shoot the banker

Stop reading this and go to Shoot The Banker. GOgogogo!

Fantastic right? But get it while it’s hot! It’s LIVE and it will prolly disappear soon.

Get recession revenge by waiting in line (currently I’m 100th in line) to control a LIVE paintball gun for 10 seconds. It’s aimed at a LIVE (are you listening?!) banker. Then you shoot him. If you don’t suck.


Oh, and turn up your audio. :)




Neato. Just discovered Webmynd and I really like it. From the site:

Personalize your search — Visualize your browsing. WebMynd helps you find and keep track of information from the sources that you most value. Personalize the right-hand side of Google with sources such as Wikipedia, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Amazon, and your WebMynd visual browsing history. Record your browsing like a DVR for the web with easy privacy configuration.
See images, reviews and download for Firefox here.



questions about authenticity, honesty and technology

This post assumes you’ve either heard of or seen the presidential campaign phenomenon The McCain / Obama Dance Off

Oh, you haven’t? Well take a moment now my freng:

I received this video from my pal Charles Gallant with the following note attached:

I’m sure you’ve seen this… but in case you haven’t…

*Link to above video omitted*

Imagine this technology 5-10 years down the road, where spoofing a person’s identity like this is as easy as making a blog. Imagine a much more subtle use of this, where one could simply make a video of someone saying something that they didn’t. In a few years, people won’t be able to tell the difference between raw footage and spoofs like this.

The content is changing, and the medium itself (video) is changing. At the end of the day, video is a really important truth for us. If something is captured on video tape (surveillance, news, etc.), it’s proof. It even holds up legally!

That truth is breaking down. How will information + credibility be evaluated in the future? The publishing site that hosts / displays the video?

Will people just stop believing the videos they see (like I do now with photos)?

Deep thoughts - and with good reason. Just where is technology and *everyone’s* ability to edit and manipulate video, images, etc. going to take us? Can you imagine a world where government legislation forces those who use content editing software such as After Effects or Photoshop to apply for a license? I can.

Here’s a list of World Economic Forum Blogger with similar concerns. What say you?



Ford Parental Control 2.0?

Meet MyKey Ford’s new programmable key/dashboard that does three basic things: it allows parents to limit a vehicle’s top speed, it allows parents to limit the stereo’s volume up to 44% of its max, and it allows them to set a sustaining chime if the seatbelts aren’t being used.

I applaud Ford for their efforts trying to take a proactive stance at attempting to make driving a bit safer for teenagers. But the new Ford MyKey is taking the driving nanny thing too far. Ford, sometimes you can over-do it with technology and this new innovation takes the cake.

Parents: talk to your children. Teach them about their automobile. Healthy relationships have a foundation of trust. When parents respect and trust their children their relationship matures. When parents trust their children and their children make a mistake (like a speeding ticket or god forbid, an accident) - lessons are learned - valuable lessons.

I can admit to learning some big driving lessons when I was a teenager. I sometimes think back at how lucky I was being able to walk away from some of the predicaments my car and I found ourselves in. And today, I cringe in fear at the thought of my children driving someday and making their own choices behind their own wheels. But, as scary as it is - I’m OK with that the responsibility I have as a parent to let my children make their own decisions and help them learn from their mistakes. That’s what parenting is about. And if there is one thing I learned from being a teen with too much energy - any attempt at bridling my spirited nature - was met with much retaliation.

I for one don’t want Ford teaching my son about automobiles. I’ll happily take that task on myself.



subliminal advertising? honest mistake?

From YouTube:

“I was watching Larry King Live w/Bill Clinton tonight when a story from BBC News cut in about the death of Pavarotti. Between one of the scenes, my eye caught something. I took out the camera and rewinded my DVR and recorded it. This is freaky! It is a single frame, flashed once with a message. Pause the video during the 11-12 second and you will see the message.”

Wow. This sure is an interesting one to ponder. I have also placed it in a .jpg below.



now that's some schmart thinking

Stealing your co-worker’s lunch is a downright contemptible act, that is, if it’s perpetrated by someone other than you. But, if you’ve ever had your lunch stolen, you know the the frustration and anger it causes. You know the revenge and ill-will it inspires. And you know that no matter how well you try to hide your lunch bag at the back of the refrigerator, something’s gonna be missing when you open it. Well, lament no more. The Anti-Theft Lunch Bag to the rescue…

Anti-Theft Lunch Bags are regular sandwich bags that have green splotches printed on both sides. After your sandwich is placed inside, no one will want to touch it.

If you’re interested in getting your hands dirty with these bags, please send an email to and you thank Sherwood Forlee for saving your egg-salad on rye.



porsche fail

Porsche is now running a marketing campaign in the form of online tools to photoshop your favorite model in front of your home. below is a piece of content created from the tool by your friends at Gizmodo. on their site they posted it with the caption: “as you can see, a $100,000 sports car really classes up the joint…”

As a marketing dork, Porsche fan and owner, blogger and proponent of rich and engaging thinking, this idea saddens me deeply.

Postings like the Gizmodo one will do more to detract from the Porsche brand rather than help its cause. the campaign couldn’t be more off target, it couldn’t be more ill-informed (no embed tags guys? really?) and worst of all, it couldn’t do LESS to entice a prospective buyer.

What’s that? “not intended for acquisition,” you say? to that I say, “bullshit - all digital should intend acquisition.” But what’s more, this thing isn’t much of a vehicle to spread the good word of the brand either. That is, unless of course thousands of smarmy bloggers putting a 911 in front of a trailer park is suddenly good branding?

Funny enough, if you talk to the marketing team at Porsche they will tell you “we’ve spent years establishing the Porsche brand - the visuals of our cars and where they show up. We choose very carefully how you experience Porsche and in what context you discover one.”

*insert long awkward pause here*

Oops, guess you’re making exceptions now, boys? just this once? Personally, I could see this being an amazing idea a few steps down the line during the process when you are already at Porsche’s website and you have just finished spec-ing out your favorite car. (Want to see this in your driveway - click here, etc.) that would be awesome. That would be valuable. And that would have a filter built into it preventing abuse like you see above.

Porsche has a special sauce - this just pissed in it. In 1963, Porsche taught the world what a sports car should feel like - both practically and in its marketing. in 2009 with the redesign of the 997, the launch of the Panamera and a slew of new fuel efficient answers the the “sports car” question, now is the time for Porsche to “re-teach” us and remind us of their position, not clutter the airwaves with mixed brand messages.




eMail roulette?

I’m always hunting for new/interesting social web games. There is so much stuff out there that people are already playing (and we can learn A LOT from). I just discovered this tonight and haven’t had a chance to play, but it actually seems pretty interesting. Email Roulette could be a great way to meet people (blind dating meets forum lurking?) or at the very least give you a few hours of random entertainment.

from the site:

When you sign up for Email Roulette, you provide your email address and choose a user name. For security reasons, your password is emailed to you automatically. Upon receiving your password, you have log in to start playing. When you submit your message, it gets sent randomly to another player who has signed up. They have the option of responding to you or not; you won’t know who it went to unless they write back… so you better make it interesting! Of course, it goes both ways. If you want to send emails, you have to receive them as well. When you get a message, it will tell you the username and email address of the sender. You can choose whether to write back or not - the sender does not get any information about you unless you choose to provide it. One way we try to keep Email Roulette interesting is making everyone send at least one Email Roulette every six months. If you go past that time, your account will be deleted.

I think I’ll try it. Anyone wanna play?



blog banter causes Dunkin' Donuts to pull Rachel Ray

dunkin052808.jpg This is just another fascinating demonstration of the power of voice each and every one of us have. The same blog entries that can engage, inspire and unite can also ignite a scuffle, destroy an ad campaign, create a PR nightmare, shut down a company and even cause a divorce - the list goes on.

will it go too far?

It’s funny how “mass media” are regulated - dramatically. But the individual can say what ever they want. (Obviously the reason “people journalism” is so amazing to begin with.) This power is a double edged sword.

We (as bloggers and digerati) are also a headache and a nightmare for our very clients and brands we work for. There are already cases where the blogger’s that haven’t exercised self restraint have gotten themselves (and others) in danger. Will it go too far? In some cases it already has.



$3,000,000.00 for what?

So there’s all this hoopla about Toshiba airing their old commercial about football and what happens after the game and what-not, despite it being you know, not good. Side note - the ads sucked last night. I mean really sucked.

Yah so anyhowse, they aired this ancient commercial. In SD. In limited markets. (I actually don’t even remember it, so there’s a good chance it wasn’t in my market either…). People! IN Standard Def. In LIMITED MARKETS. Why friggin’ bother? Oh I know - so they can get online distribution, right? Um, no. At least not as far as I can see. This AM I couldn’t find it on the myspace page, the nfl page, or hulu. Jaysus talk about blunders.


Hokay so, while Toshiba has every right to spend its money on advertising, what they should have done was spent that 3 Zillion on some innovation. New interactive platform? HD burner / with cheap HD Disc distribution? HULU HD partnership??? Sigh. Nothing they showed in this ad is new in any way - so why pay boocoo for a SB Spot? Because they’re scared, that’s why. And they’re not alone…

We haven’t seen the end folks. In fact, this is just the beginning of the noise your favorite media brands are going to put you through during the next 3 years. They are coming to the realization their old model cannot hold. The writer’s strike. The Blu-Ray war. Hulu. Apple TV. Hell, even Jet-Blue’s TV sets. The signs of change are all around. What do we have to show for it? A tornado of desperation. Sweet.

BTW: If you didn’t watch the SB it had quite possibly the best 4th quarter that I’ve ever seen. (And I’m not just saying that bc I’m a Giants fan). Geaux Giants!! :P



what were we thinking?

So, advertising has become a battle field between valuable, interactive brand experiences and broad-based one way messages. Yes?


And “interactive advertising” (what some people call that stuff we do)* is blowing the doors off traditional brand messages for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which being that interactive measurement systems are laser focused, sharp and malleable. Read: NOT simple and empty like those in TV, print and radio world. Yes?

Hmm. Ok.

Then you really need to meet this guy. Because:  a. He doesn’t get it. b. Sadly, he’s not alone. And c. This thinking is part of “the problem.”

Silly me. And I was here building a company around usesless things like “interaction rate,” “time spent,” “cookies,” “clicks,” “google page rank,” and imagine this, “BUZZ.” What was I thinking?

*POKE doesn’t. :)