mercedes gets it: simple smart and social service augmentation

Mercedes-Benz just announced a new app that connects its in-car navigation systems with its customers’ iPhones. Mbrace version 2.0 still lets drivers unlock their vehicles and, more importantly, find it in a crowded parking lot while adding location-based personal assistance ranging from entertainment, restaurant, directions, and traffic updates via Mercedes-Benz’s Concierge service — assuming you’re are an mbrace PLUS customer. Destination information is then fired off directly to your in-vehicle navigation system to get you there. The updated app also includes enhanced Roadside Assistance that transmits the driver’s location whenever a call is initiated.



Fist-bumping is way cooler than Poking

Remember what it was like to meet people before Facepants? You know, with coffee and high-fives and fist-bumps and shit?  

Meet Meet Joe. A new, low-tech alternative to Facebook and its ilk that requires no online profile but relies on personal introductions instead.

Serving the Chicago area, Meet Joe focuses on introducing people to new friends based on their interests and the kinds of people they want to meet. Users begin by signing up with the service online—that may actually be the last time they use its website. From there, Joe Drake, the company’s founder, will contact them personally via email to set up a confidential meeting over coffee or a drink. Based on their description of who they’re hoping to find, Joe will then coordinate an opportunity for them to meet someone or a small group of people—he’ll even help coordinate schedules and recommend an activity based on everyone’s personalities, interests and preferences. Joe! That’s rad! Looking for someone to start a NY outpost? :)

from the site

“Joe is like a great tailor or a trusted real estate agent, but he doesn’t have an assistant and he never takes a day off. You’ll be able to reach him by email, phone, text, or instant message within 24 hours unless he is in jail, a coma, or the world is ending.”

The price of a personal consultation and one meeting with potential friends is USD 29.



Ideas are easy. Realizing one isn't.

Looks like someone shares our philosophy. Honored that its Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame.) :D

“You’d be hard pressed to come up with an idea so bad that it couldn’t succeed with the right execution. And it would be even harder to imagine a great idea that couldn’t fail if the execution were left to morons.

Ideas are worthless. Execution is everything.”

— Scott Adams

Amen Scott. Amen.



the stats behind the interweb's number 1 business

Hokay folks. This time we’re looking at the internet’s biggest business: Pornography. Special thanks to these guys for passing it along.

There’s an old anecdote about the most interesting technological advances and creative ideas happen in online pornography first. There’s a reason for that - the numbers are staggering! It has been traded online since the 1980’s, even in the form of ASCII art, and then, with the rise of the world wide web in the 1990’s, adult webistes began springing up everywhere.



the coolest thing you have ever seen in your entire life. period.

OK, bold headline. But holy shit balls this is awesome. Meet “A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter (2009) - Caleb Larsen”.

What is it you ask? A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter by Caleb Larsen is a physical sculpture that is perptually attempting to auction itself on eBay. Here is the ebay auction, the current bid is $4,250. Yep.

Every ten minutes the black box pings a server on the internet via the ethernet connection to check if it is for sale on the eBay. If its auction has ended or it has sold, it automatically creates a new auction of itself.

Rad, right? If a person buys it on eBay, the current owner is required to send it to the new owner. The new owner must then plug it into ethernet, and the cycle repeats itself.

I’m seriously going to be thinking about how awesome this is all day. And now you are too.



social networking meets the union.

Thanks to the power of people and the internet, the unemployed now have their own union, and it’s catching on quickly.

The idea is that if millions of jobless join together and act as an organization, they are more likely to get Congress and the White House to provide the jobs that are urgently needed. They can also apply pressure for health insurance coverage, unemployment insurance and COBRA benefits and food stamps. An unemployed worker is virtually helpless if he or she has to act alone.

You can follow UCubed on twitter, and joining a Cube is at is as simple as it is important:

  • Six people who live in the same zip code address can form a Ucube.
  • Nine such UCubes make a neighborhood.
  • Three neighborhood UCubes form a power block that cntains 162 activists.
  • Politicians cannot easily ignore a multitude of power blocks, nor can merchants avoid them.

from the site:

You lost your job. You’re not alone. 31 million Americans face the same challenges. You want your job back. You want your life back. But you can’t do it alone. Neither can anyone else. You all need each other. That’s what UCubed is here to do: Help you and 31 million other Americans organize, work together and get back to work. Let UCubed help you connect. Form a cube, and multipy your political and economic power by 6. Then by 36. Eventually, by 31 million. Take Control.



if I can dream (big)

Yay! The folks at Mashable covered If I Can Dream again today. Pretty sweet since we’re so close to launch. (It’s set to premiere on March 2 on Hulu and See the latest teaser video below. 

For those that haven’t gotten the low-down yet, If I Can Dream is a live, made-for-web TV experiment — that will use Hulu as the “Television Network”, will be broadast live 24/7 at, and follow the lives of five young people – a musician, an actor, two actresses and a model – as they leave their hometowns and live together high up in Hollywood Hills – and go on their journey to stardom as their journey is documented across the Internet via Twitter, MySpace Hulu, etc.

Full disclosure this little labor of love is the baby of my little nerd tank POKE.

some great comments from mashable below

The show — with new episodes released every week — will take a reality-esque look at the lives of five aspiring artists who are trying to make it in Hollywood. A sneak peek of the episode can be seen below.

What’s especially interesting about If I Can Dream is not just the fact that it sprung from Hulu (a website) and Simon Fuller (of traditional TV fame), but that the content and format seem much more broadcast-like than typical web/TV shows.

Essentially the series has all the ingredients of a network television show, but an entirely different and experimental distribution model. It appears as if the basic premise being tested is whether or not the web as a platform can syndicate and distribute highly produced content and churn out a hit show without broadcast as a medium. Although we’ve seen web TV shows make their marks in the entertainment industry — The Guild comes to mind — we’ve yet to see this exact formula tested online. So the real question is: Can this formula pump out a hit show on the same level as a hit TV show?

Good question Jennifer. I confidently say from everyone back at POKE, we sure hope so. In a world where Hulu and Boxee are about to explode…it seems like a great wager to make. Wouldn’t you say? 

Readers, what say you?



everything you (don't) want(ed) to know about the academy awards in one tidy infographic

Those of you who have been follwing for a while know I have a penchant for beautiful infographics. I post them here. Tweet about them. There is nary a subject that can’t be celebrated, made fun of, or demystified with a great infographic. Apparently, even The Red Carpet cant escape the keen eye of the designer.

Thanks to this guy for posting it.

The Academy Awards are one of the most celebrated awards shows in the world. From red carpets to the latest fashion, the Oscars are about so much more than movies. But what does it really mean to put on a show like the Academy Awards? What kind of money goes into them, and what really happens to stars’ careers after they win an Oscar? Here’s a numerical look at how much the Academy Awards cost, who wins, and what winning might mean for an actor’s career.



KideoPlayer is picking up steam!

Funny little tidbit: When I first picked out the name KideoPlayer, I did a Google Search for it and there was just about 1,000 returns for names similiar. Just today I searched for “kideoplayer” on Google and found near 11,000,000 mentions! This is fantastic!

For those who don’t know what KideoPlayer is, click here. (It’s pretty self explainatory.  :)

To read my original posting on KideoPlayer, click here.

To run the Google search and see the KideoPlayer mentions, click here.

Thanks everyone (friends, new friends and family) for helping get the word out. I would also like to thank Douglas Rowell for the outstanding character development he did for the KideoPlayer mascots. They are adorable, and everyone loves them.

The mentions online and the traffic seem to be doubling every day. Please, if you love the site - give us some feedback. We’d love for it to keep growing.



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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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POKE is lookin' for a few good Peeps.

Heyho.  POKE is expanding its internship program. If you’re looking for a way in the door in 2010, this is the way to do it.  

Who is POKE?
POKE is this little thing down in TriBeCa that’s been keeping me busy for a few years now. But we’re a bit difficult to define. Maybe you should take a peek?

Difficult one to define…or at least we’re afraid to label ourselves! We’re a creative and technology company first - that’s for sure. If you ask my partners, they’ll tell you:

“POKE is a leading branding, digital strategy, content, marketing, and business development company that blends creativity and technology to deliver impact and results for brands/clients and partners in a wide variety of categories and industries.”

I have no idea what that means.

We’re one of those companies that doesn’t do exactly what we “do”. Some define us as an advertising agency - but we’re scared of the “agency” stigma. We’ve been called everything from “Social Media Strategists” to “Design Firm” to “Product Development Company”. We’re none of those. But we’re all of them just the same.

The truth is we’re more about the type of people that work with us than the type of things we imagine and create. Most of us are refugees from more traditional advertising, design, branding and technology roles. Most of us also have difficulty defining ourselves as individuals. And, most of us believe we’re actually going to change the world one day. 

Does any of this sound familiar? POKE might be the place for you, and PUSH is the way to find out.

What is PUSH?
The program is all about learning through hands on experience and instruction. Finding just the right people to join our table has proven to be a daunting task to say the least. PUSH intensely focuses on rapidly and accurately identifying people who understand our approach and share our mindset. 

We’ve decided to further expand the instruction element of our PUSH program and limit the number of interns that can enroll. Just four people can now attend our program. So if you want in, you better get our attention fast.  Good luck!