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media and entertainment


watch the breeders music video the way you want

Check out this neat music video for The Breeders song “Walk it Off”. Click the numbers and you can change your POV of the action as the video is playing. Everything hits “in time” with your clicks. Super cool and some really rick thinking I might add. Just another notch for the music scene and the constant marketing innovation we’re seeing come out of it.

We all know online video won’t exist solely in the “flat” format we consume it in today and little advancements like this show the depth of the medium waiting to be unleashed.



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.



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?



google olympics

I’ve never really been much of an “Olympics buff” and I suppose if I were to pick a game I’m most into it would probably be the Winter Games. So I was just as surprised as you are when I really got into the Beijing games this year. The much awaited Beijing Olympics 2008 have started, and funny enough, I had a trip to Mexico planned  right in the heart of the games. I was a bit worried about how I was going to stay on top of the Beijing Olympics action.  

Well, between  and a slew of awesome stuff by Google, I’ve genuinely aggregated enough Summer games content to keep my fix. Here is a collection of Google’s updated maps, gadgets, videos, sites, searches, 3D images and some Google powered Chinese sites that are purely dedicated to serve Olympics.

Google has designed a seris of web pages for the Summer Games. Among them, the home page for China has a bit more pizazz than our US home page, but both offer a stream of updated Olympics news, links to associated articles and video. The updated interactive US page offers a collection of Olympics related Google apps in the form of gadgets, maps, news, one box search and videos.
I’ve embedded one of the apps below.  Click the tab to expand the map.

Google has updated its maps for Beijing Olympics. If you cant make it to Beijing than track it through Google maps by exploring 3D stadiums, tracking medal counts and watching live sport results. They have also recently released a new Mobile search tool that allows its users to enjoy sports results at the top of every search results. On typing sports name or medals in your search query by heading to from your mobile, it will return all the details with respect to Olympics. In true Olympic fashion, the tool is multi-lingual (36 languages in over 60 countries) and covers almost all the different events.

Rock on.  I’m off to the beach to score an Olympic-sized Mojito. 



exploring social surplus and the digital native

A client asked me recently, “Why do people want to engage with my brand?” We had a long conversation about brands and how great ones now seem to play out like “games” rather than “movies.” We went on an on about the importance of journey mapping for the consumer - creating a brand “bread crumb trail” that just keeps on paying off The Promise and engaging people further. We talked about Value Exchange and the truths of only trying to engage people if you have some form of intrinsic value to offer them for having given you their precious attention. We covered all the bases.

But with a look of almost dejected innocence he said again, “I agree with you Tom, but why are they (people) even there in the first place.” “What do they want from us?” “Don’t they have something else to do with their time?”

good question.

I went on for a bit about psychographics of the digital native (you know, people) wanting to be connected to each other and the things they are passionate about - and sure - most of this is true. But what’s even more true is I’m not sure I REALLY had an answer better than: People just do…

Thinking back, it was a bullshit, terrible response. I could just see the scoff welling up inside him. After all, aren’t we just a bunch of dorks playing in our basements? Are we? Clearly WE know that’s not the case - but really - what is it that makes us buy from FreshDirect, comment on Yelp, download all our movies, use Facebook on our iPhone (full disclosure: I own an n95, not an iPhone) and rely on Google and Wikipedia for truth? Are we programmed this way? Are the countless hours of Super Mario Brothers, Pong or You Don’t Know Jack and Metriod engraved in our psyche? Are we just hopeless sheep looking for a journey? Maybe. The smart marketers at Apple, JetBlue, Starbucks seem to think so.

But there’s another answer. One that has to do with SURPLUS. You know, SURPLUS. Idle time. The time you USED to spend watching Falcon Crest, Dallas, Saved by the Bell or Small Wonder. The time you used to spend watching Gilligan Fuck up the same rescue attempt week over week on the same island with the same cast, over, and over, and over again. It’s not your fault. You didn’t have a choice. Now you do. Now entertainment feels more like building a hobby, learning, interacting, communicating, connecting and reconnecting, playing and yes, even watching. Just all by our own rules. Our playing knows no boundaries - brands included.

These days there’s even more SURPLUS. You see - more technology creates more opportunity and curiosity. I think this is why we fill our time with all of these engaging forms for entertainment. We are occupying the SURPLUS.

This new time - “my time” - what are you doing with it for yourself? Marketers, what are you doing to fill it for your consumer? Product developers, how about you?

If you’re like most brands, not much.



social audio and the music resurgence

image credit: brandon king. click photo for his flickr Since my last posting on Muxtape, a lot has happened in the Social Music arena. It has risen to the top of a heap of interesting single-serving websites (ones with a super simple purpose and an equally effortless user experience design) and its elegant simplicity has made Muxtape the buzzy-leader in the online mixtape market. 

Different mixtape services serve different purposes. The interface is basically one big button and all kinds of mashups have been built on top of Muxtape. See: Muxtape With Coverflow [Mac], MuxtapeStumbler, MuxSeek Search Engine and MuxScrobbler - a script to synch your Muxtape listening with your user profile. 

Yep. The resurgence of music is upon is an I’d argue its bound to be more meaningful than it’s previous revolutions.

enter Favtape

The newest entrant into this field is much easier to use for publishing collections. Favtape creates a Muxtape-like interface for listening to the full-length version of your Pandora or favorited songs. A feature which Muxtape users have been screaming for since launch.

It’s simple (remember the single-serving website movement), and it’s super cool. There are tie ins to Lyric Wiki, a ringtone search, the ability to listen to more songs that are similar or by the artist and other features. It’s powered by the Seeqpod API, which you’ve probably heard of if you’re one of the 82 zillion iPhone fans out there.

Favtape just launched this week.  Can’t wait to see where it goes from here - but Favtape isn’t the only newbie making a play in the resurgence of music.

meet Mixwit

Ok. I REALLY dig Mixwit. (And I’m really pissed I didn’t think of it.)  Check this out:

MixWit is a Flash mixtape creator with a very nice interface and gives you the YouTube-esque ability to embed your player on web pages. See my mix below. The service can have songs added by URL or through Seeqpod or Skreemr MP3 search currently.  Hope more are to come!

Click the play button below or RSS readers click here to see it in action.


It’s a great example of how flash can be used for authoring and social apps and still be SEO friendly.  This tool is going to put Mixtapes EVERYWHERE.

The cassette tape border around images users upload is really visually appealing. It’s fun to use and to get (listen to) and to publish.  Even more so than the other services we’ve seen out there.  It’s more fun to use as a publisher than either of the services mentioned above.

another note

It remains unclear as to whether any of these services are actually legal.  Streaming solutions are definitely “more” legal than outright downloading (and if Mixwit like solutions keep allowing for song purchase they’ll spread some much needed good-will). But there is a thin red line still being balanced. Legal decisions may be made about services like this in the coming years that will affect streaming solutions.  Funny enough, the original mixtapes were arguably illegal as well, though.  But that didn’t stop you for makeing them for the honeys, did it?  

Rawk on and happy mixing!



radiohead of the class


I Love this radical move: Radiohead’s new single “Nude” can be remixed in GarageBand. (Full disclosure: I still haven’t bought the album.) I know…I know.

The separate sections (bass, voice, guitar, strings/fx and drums) are available for purchase iTunes in the same way that you purchase any other song.

Remix galore.

Finished tracks can then be uploaded to the Radiohead site where Radiohead faithful can vote for their favs.

Lather, rise, repeat. Cool!



high fidelity part deux


I couldn’t be more of a High Fidelity-esque music geek. I love to make top-five lists and my music library seems more like a generational patchwork quilt than 31 year old’s typical music collection. Music surrounds my life..from friends bands to going to shows to playing guitar hero. It fits my moods, it makes my moods and in many ways defines the emo dork I am. I mean, who among us hasn’t turned to music when we’ve felt sad(or happy), or wished that Bruce Springsteen or Thom Yorke would talk to us directly like they speak to us through their music?

Growing up with music in my life was a huge deal for me and the mix-tape (and most recently “play-lists” always captured all of that and more. Recently I discovered Muxtape. I love anything that’s dead simple and useful. And you can’t get anymore simple than Muxtape. The online service does one thing — let you create and share mixtape-like MP3 playlists with friends. The signup is quick and the value is deep. Music geeks like me should definitely give it a spin.

One of my favorite actors is John Cusack. He sums Mix-tapes up wonderfully for me.

“To me, making a tape is like writing a letter. There’s a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again. A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. You’ve got to kick off with a corker, to hold the attention (I started with “Got to Get You Off My Mind,” but then realized that she might not get any further than track one, side one if I delivered what she wanted straightaway, so I buried it in the middle of side two), and then you’ve got to up it a notch, or cool it a notch, and you can’t have white music and black music together, unless the white music sounds like black music, and you can’t have two tracks by the same artist side by side, unless you’ve done the whole thing in pairs and…oh, there are loads of rules.”

Mix-taping is an evolved form of messenging. So. What are your mix-tapes? Do you have rules? Does any of this make sense? Go whip something up at Muxtape. My username is Meat99. Rok.



finally the day has come

Well, the TV Networks, Entertainment networks, Cable Networks and Silly, closed-minded online networks agree. It’s happening. All around you.

537861-1435415-thumbnail.jpgKick Ass.Viacom is STARTING to catch on to Rich Thinking. They’re going open.  They’re engaging their audiences like active participants instead boobing us like mindless sheep.  They’re giving us what we’ve been waiting for. Viacom and SouthParkStudios delivered on the promise they gave last year, and gave us all South Park episodes ever created for free. You can find them all at

Finally, the day has come…sorta.  :)

You can’t embed the entire episodes (only the 3000 available clips), but it’s a step in the right direction. 



the harder you look, the better the trax

537861-1401763-thumbnail.jpgThis article talks about the video-game-as-forum-for-debut as though it is the only new move/trend in music. Funny, it seems to me this phenomenon is almost mainstream at this point. Music today has boundaries that stretch far beyond what gets on the radio or in the music store (wherever that is). We all know this. Or do we?

If you want really obscure stuff, it’s out there but you’ll probably have to look further than even video games. If you prefer ambient/electronic music with few or no words, a lot of artists have cropped up in this genre thanks to the bit-torrents, filepilez and gnutellas of the world. Electronic music took advantage of (arguably created!) this distribution mechanism as the genre’s relatively niche´ sound has proven to be difficult to effectively promote outside of its small fan base.

Just because things like iTunes exist, doesn’t mean you’re still getting access to obscure, different or incredibly “indie” music. Like anything else, for the real gems, you’ve gotta dig deeper.

If you’re up for some digging, here’s some I’ve discovered and liked: Mylo, Kavinsky, Digitalism, 65daysofstatic, Four Tet, Explosions in the Sky, Boards of Canada, oh and how could I forget: Aphex Twin.

who’s in?

For a second I thought the post was about “Rock Band Experts starting Real Band.” I wonder why hasn’t this happened yet! LOL. Seriously, anyone want to be in my band?