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    Saturday, December 30, 2006

    2006: The Year in Review



    I guess as the year winds down its an obligatory time for reflection upon the past year's events. The Lifefilter has turned from a side hobby to a fairly sustainable blog with over 10k unique visitors this year. Thats quite an increase from last year. The site has finally got some much-needed organization with tags, and the photos continue to get positive feedback. Visitors from 100+ countries have consisently visited and linked to the site to make it a staple in technorati's top half million blogs. That may not sound like much but for the infrequency of posts on here, its quite a feat.

    The most popular page by far was Smirnoff Ad Not. I had asserted the ad was a failure upon its launch on strictly Youtube without even a working website. I still support those comments but the amount of traffic coming through this site looking for the ad could show that it did generate awareness. Did that translate into sales? Time will tell, but the article still is generating traffic.

    Another popular item that generated quite a bit of traffic wasNike's One Time Only Project. This mashed past and present shoes was a first for nike. As always the company continues to show brands how to innovate and evolve. Love my Jordans.

    Personally i have had a major career change that has done wonders re-energizing me as well as furthering my development in strategy work. None of this could have been without the support of my family and friends. Meghan your unwavering support and endless love have been the incredible balance i always searched for in my life.

    I myself want to thank you and every reader for visiting the Lifefilter. Its success will only continue to grow further with your support. Look for enhanced features as well as other avenues of the Lifefilter brand to pop up. Thank you, happy new year and the best of luck to all in their 2007 endeavors.


    Go Here

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    Monday, December 18, 2006

    Google Gets its Patent Search On



    Have a good idea? Thinking about taking it all the way to the bank? Well before you sign your life-savings away for that new whatchamacallit take a look through Google's update on the US patent and trademark office. The update adds a graphic interface to the chaotic data from the USPTO(US patent and trademark office) and makes it a much better experience to seek out inventions. Check out patents such as the Wright Brothers Airplane to the first Transformer.
    IDEA!
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    Friday, December 15, 2006

    Americans are Media Whores



    I think its just natural for planners to get excited when massive amounts of information come into play, especially the census. The census? Yes!! In its "Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007" released on Friday, the agency also noted that Americans drink about a gallon of soda a week, along with a half gallon each of milk, bottled water, coffee and beer. Um is your child drinking half a gallon of coffee and beer a week? Maybe that explains the hyperactivity followed by vomit and the eventual passing out? Im actually thinking of going and buying this monster report, as it sounds like a truly insightful look into our lives here in the states. The information in the abstract is collected via Census Bureau surveys and from data collected by other government agencies, industry and trade groups and private organizations. Lets dig deeper shall we?

    EYE OPENER: Americans will spend nearly 10 hours a day watching television, surfing the Internet, reading books, newspapers and magazines and listening to music this year, the U.S. Census Bureau said on Friday.
    -Good god. Nearly half our days are spent consuming endless waves of information. How much is truly sticky? How much truly changes our behavior? How much is intentional and how much is forced upon us? It would be great to see a breakout by category.

    SAD REALITY: All of which may help explain another figure in the pages of the 1,300-page book of tables and statistics: About two-thirds of Americans are overweight, including one-third of whom are obese.
    -While im sure its not just from media use(lack of exercise anyone), this is just terrible. Go outside and play in the woods kids!

    BOOB TUBE:Industry groups provided the information on media usage. They projected Americans will spend an average of nearly 4 1/2 hours daily in front of the television in 2006, or 1,555 hours in all.
    -Again, who has time to spend 4.5 hours in front a tv? This would imply people spend the majority of their free time sitting passively consuming filtered media. Why are ratings so low? It would be great to see this compared to internet usage, and the growth rates over the past 10 years. My guess would be some drops in tv watching despite greater penetration than ever, and more affordable sets. Also an age breakdown please!

    NEVER NOT ABSORBING: Americans will spend another 2 1/2 hours listening to radio and a half hour listening to recorded music. The rest of the nearly 10 hours is spent reading newspapers, looking at the Internet, playing video games and reading other media.
    -Seems our free time is culling info out of every nook out there. What happened to reading a book? Or are library habits just underreported?

    EXTRA, EXTRA: Projections indicate per capita time spent with the Internet will exceed time spent reading newspapers for the first time this year. Americans spend about a half an hour per day on each activity.
    -We knew this would happen, but not quite so soon. Its not the death of the papers but clearly an implication that news sources must change their media consumption.

    Stay tuned for more insights from this and now everyone knows what i really want for christmas. (besides Jordan 4 Retro Mars Blackmons)
    TVGuide

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    Absent but not Lost



    You may have noticed the last 2 weeks on the Lifefilter have been extremely sparse. Thats for several reasons
    1. My current gargantuan project is coming to a closing phase on monday
    2. The holidays...
    3. Did i mention my project was finishing?

    Stay tuned to see business picking back up next week. Until then hang tight, the finish is in site!

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    Monday, December 11, 2006

    Innovation + Advertising: Intersections?



    There seems to be quite a bit of discussion these days on the lack of advertising's synchronicity with innovation. As Gareth just pointed out, there is a lag in research innovation behind communications, and technology adaptation itself. My big question is why the advertising continues to get hung up on being innovative? Clearly different sectors have different goals (awards vs sales), but in my mind good advertising is sticky, and conversational, and hopefully activity inducing. Pardon my cynicism but was when was the last innovative tv spot? Communications will never be as innovative as the products or the new ways we use products, but why the lag in the understanding of this? Research can be even further behind in terms of innovation, but really isn't too bad at measuring and there are some exciting things on the horizon. I think the problem tends to be the lake we are all fishing in. Neilsen data is still plugging along, but often terrible at missing segments (see 18-34 yr males who don't watch tv, or keep remotely normal hours). It still isn't defined enough in measuring behaviors and the communication input during those behaviors. Microsoft has filed a patent for "DVR-based targeted advertising." Quite interesting, since the majority of DVR users watch shows after the air date, and the commercials set for that time(often time-sensitive) aren't reaching their demo. Microsoft is planning on establishing an "advertisement data store," from which an "advertisement manager" detects when an ad is supposed to be shown and fills that spot with a current, up-to-date spot so you witness fresh plugs during old shows. This seems to be the 'Google' way for ads on webpages, based on search inquiries, keywords and more. Certainly this won't answer the million dollar question but it would be nice to see the attach rate of ads and respective growth in a more pristine environment. This sounds like a data bonanza that could really help agencies (not just you MS) tap into their consumer more effectively. Does anyone else know of any innovative applications emerging on the research front?
    DVR

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    Tuesday, December 05, 2006

    Realtime Sticky Notes & SMS tags: The Future of Social Networking


    Social networks are an idea that can't be confined to one platform, specifically the internet. Its merely the conduit. The future of these networks is making better use of the real time connections and using future technologies to connect people. That future is here. In an idea not so different to what i pitched for MTVtres, is the new phone based social network, Socialight. It allows you to create, share, and discover virtual Sticky Notes placed at specific locations using your mobile phone or the web. You can create Stickies for anyone (your friends, or just for yourself). Stickies can contain text and photos, and soon it sounds like you can add sound clips and video. See a product you like at a store. Send it to your friends so when they show up they can find it. See a hot waitress at a restaurant? Post it and send all your buddies there. Socialight can notify you on your mobile phone any time you're near a Sticky. As your phone buzzes, it will display the Sticky, and you can check out some background on the person who set it. From there, you can instantly respond, leave your own Sticky, or just move on. Socialight's goal is to "let people share their experiences and ideas from the real world in a new way that we think makes a lot of sense, and for people to discover new ways to connect around place." Fantastic idea and really the future of social networks here. The cell phone is truly becoming the conduit Piers suggested.

    Ed. note: Emerge has an interview with Socialight's founder
    Dan Melinger


    Socialight
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    Kuler Your Presentation


    Snagged this one from the ever eagled-eyed Russell. Kuler is a color exploration and palette application that gives you premade solutions for your presentations. I myself love this as i often find myself being stuck with simliar color palettes/ideas for presentations. While its designed for Creative Suite, its a great inspiration source for other programs as well. Fantastic tool for all you powerpoint peeps!

    kool
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    Friday, December 01, 2006

    Sticky ideas: Entertaining or Interesting?


    Usual friday craziness here, but after reading this post over and over, i can't help but throw my 2 cents in. Influx is talking about the power of interestingness or as i like to call stickiness. What makes something truly impactful? Does awareness translate into interesting or does it need to illicit an emotional response? Jeffre from the Open Intelligence Agency (part of Russell's band of merry thinkers) has a great distinction about the difference between interest and entertainment. This is rightly pointed out as the fine line of advertising and advertising brillance that wins awards. Influx is right on to point out that "It's often a series of things that work together, it demands a truly unique idea that you have never seen before that provokes a reaction in the form of a series of questions." Next it brings up a great list of all the proper questions one should ask when testing a concept piece. (listen up all you jr. planners)

    How clever, how did they do that?

    I want to see it again

    I want to see that again

    What are they going to do next?

    I want to hang out with that brand

    I like they way they are talking

    I like them

    They are like me

    I should tell x about this

    Influx has another great point that to break it down to the level that formulaic simplicity is key.

    I.E. Star Wars is really (Good vs. Evil, Guy wins girl, Odyssey all wrapped in one + special effects)

    True, but it doesnt necessarily have to be all of these points. But i think simplicity is actually more important, because for something to be emotionally connecting, they only need 1 touchpoint. The key here is "Brands can be interesting if they do great TV spots, but they can be really interesting if they find an idea that they can do something more and use media to make it happen." Absolute astute truth! A big idea can live on multiple platforms because its bigger than the platform itself. Influx goes on to say they can't really think of any brands that live here, but i think this is the perfect application of Pier's branded utility over at psfk. These are brands that are useful in many facets of life. We are compelled to buy them, think about them, refer them to others bc/ they have multiple applications. People like to share, and brands that share (flickr) captivate us and coax us into grouping ourselves in commmunities. Communities can be built on the stickiness of something (ebay) solidfying a simple idea that reaches many, in many different ways. Ive rambled a bit, and while sharing and branded utilities are just two ways that command our attention. Could be something here. Brands that we can rely on for many aspects of life (apple, amazon are coming to mind). More on this later....

    Interesting
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    Tuesday, November 28, 2006

    Review: Moo Cards




    Im proud to say im an old-school flickr user since the first week of its inception. Recently came the introduction of Moo Cards. These half-size business cards have your flickr photos on one side and whatever you want on the other. The lifefilter needed a business card for our meetings, and this looked like the perfect fit. After creating them on the website in a couple easy-as-pie steps, they arrived at my door. I can say they look quite gorgeous and are quite handy. They certainly stand out in the pile of standard white cards. Reasonably priced at 100 for $20 these are a great tool for all folks want something unordinary.


    Moo
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    Use Only What You Need



    Water conservation is a very important issue in the 21st century. It's this authors opinion that environmentalism is probably the biggest issue facing us today. The Sukle agency dreamt up this inventive ad campaign for Denver Water to encourage people to become more aware of their water usage. Quite a unique and insightful application. Don't you just love clever ads that simply work? We do, its called good advertising. There have been a lot of great outdoor adverts going around lately, we can't help but be enthralled with the state of the business.

    sukle
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    Sunday, November 26, 2006

    Never Underestimate the Power of Advertising



    Attention Thieves,

    We have more money inside!



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    Home is Marvelous





    if i ever got reincarnated, I would come back as a cat:

    Neverending Naps
    Food always waiting for me
    Adventures Outside





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    Tuesday, November 21, 2006

    Banksy brings Guantanamo to Disneyland


    The ingenious Banksy has a how-he-did-it video posted of his juant to Disneyland. The stunt was intended to highlight the plight of terror suspects at the controversial detention centre in Cuba. What better place than the so-called 'happiest place on earth'. Banksy is notorious for his secretive and subversive stunts - such as sneaking doctored versions of classic paintings into major art galleries. The hooded figure was placed inside the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride. It is understood to have remained in place for 90 minutes before the ride was closed down and the figure removed. Surely one day this man will get caught(we hope not!), but these videos are really flaunting his bravado.


    Happiest Place On Earth
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    Max Factor Ad that Runs



    Leo Burnett has really been on fire (can't believe im saying that) lately in the outdoor realm. This max factor ad actually runs when the weather rains. The pictured woman sports finely groomed eyelashes when kept dry, but rainy weather creates black runs akin to real life scenarios to presumably suggest that ladies should make haste in picking up the run-resistant flavor of makeup. So now art imitates life in a sorts. Pretty cool interactivity here, really gives an element most advertisements are lacking- Tangible & Real Engagement. 2 thumbs up.
    Maximum Crying
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    Friday, November 17, 2006

    Guerrilla Gardening: Consumers on the Loose






    Today's generation of DIYers is driving culture and brands in more ways than imagined. Everything from homemade electric cars and rollercoasters to computers and clothes is being produced by consumers who would rather do it themselves. Influx had a great post on how consumers dissatisfied with the brand offerings from corporations, consumers are coming together to create their own brands and products. These consumers are looking for something different; it can be a radical new product, a personalized limited edition item and/or to be more engaged in the process of production. As influx states "Know How" used to be exclusive; only corporations had it and they rarely gave it away. There were things called 'trade secrets" and "corporate espionage', now information is out and available and if you want to make something it's pretty easy to find out how you can do it yourself, or find someone who can do it for you." A great idea has started across the pond called Guerilla Gardening. Technically its illicit cultivation, but the motivation behind this is to wage a war on neglected public space. They search out neglected gardens, trees, or any public shrubs and give them the love and respect they deserve. I hardly doubt they encounter any haters either! This graffiti gardening is quite a reflection on society itself. The rise of tagging is a great phenomena thats really exploded only in the last 5 years. Not only does it nod to our waning attention spans and quick hits, but its a great organizational system thats waaaay better than the dewey decimal system. Graffiti is or can be technically "the tagging or modification of public space". Guerilla Gardening is a great beautification program that tags public space in a better way. Wanna help to save the earth in your town or city?

    Hoedown

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    Wednesday, November 15, 2006

    Embracing communities to drive innovative development: Bungie Studios


    Today is officially "Halo day" as it marks the five-year anniversary of Halo and to commemorate this occasion, Microsoft just revealed a few tantalizing announcements for fans of the franchise. Halo was launched 5 years ago by Bungie Studios and has become one of the best-selling franchises in video game history. Not to mention it established Microsoft in the video game realm, and allowed the xbox to gain some market penetration. I myself have been an enormous fan of Bungie, playing Marathon in middle with my friend Ben in marketing class. Bungie has one of the greatest core communities on the web and has for years, through a robust online forum web page where players can ask questions directly to the creators and ask for specific implementation in games. Bungie has always obliged and even allowed consumers to help create map types, concepts, weapons, vehicles and more for upcoming games. If Bungie's success is anything to go by, embracing your community and allowing them to be part of the innovation demonstrates the power of utilizing critical mass. I think it also points to the evolution of a brand(the studio) into a "branded utility" of sorts as Piers has put quite a bit of thought behind on PSFK. While Bungie isn't necessarily a true branded utility, it has evolved the Halo franchise to multiple platforms (pcs, movies) while keep the community as a core driver in the process. The Bungie brand will always be about game playing, but Bungie doesn't have to just be a studio owned by microsoft. By including its core community, Bungie has effectively created a living brand that evolves as its consumers do. Just a few things Bungie has cookin.

    Halo 2 Maps
    Halo 2 came out nearly two years ago and grossed $125 million during the first 24 hours of its release! Sketch notes "several hundred thousand people [are] still playing Halo 2 on Xbox Live, it’s clear that there’s still high interest in our game, which is awesome. We’re eager to get this new content in your hands as we have folks who are putting a lot of hard work into making something really cool." Bungie has continued to support past projects many years down the line, creating an appreciative community that never feels forgotten.

    Halo 3 Public Beta
    Fans will have an opportunity to play Halo 3 multiplayer over Xbox Live BEFORE the final game is available. You’ll be playing a little multiplayer and simultaneously providing us with some valuable data to help our development team.

    Outside Projects/Halo Movie/Franchise
    Bungie currently has a Peter Jackson collaboration project that will result in some new adventures in the Halo Universe (this includes a Halo Movie!).


    Halo!

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    Tuesday, November 14, 2006

    How to Pitch and Win New Business by john steel



    Influx has a great interview with the lengendary John Steel, author of Truth, Lies and Advertising, one of the de facto books in the planning world. I absolutely love (and miss) pitching. Being a competitive person, pitching has been one of the most satisfying experiences in advertising. I was fortunate to have a great senior planner above me, who allowed me quite a bit of freedom in the process. But my success was due much in part to my great partners and the environment around me. While winning is nice, we all more accustomed to what it feels like to lose. So is the life of pitching. Steel brings up some fantastic points about when to and when NOT to pitch. Steel offers up some great quotes such as:

    "I believe that many of the most important lessons about pitching are to be learned from outside of the agency business. At its heart, any presentation is a simple act of human communication, where the aim is to persuade the members of an audience to think and behave differently." -Again very true and sharp. Note that consumers don't always connect with the advertising lingo, bells and whistles per say, but the product or the emotional cache behind it.

    "In all of the successful pitches I have made, the most common reason given by a client for awarding their business to my agency was that in their opinion, we "wanted it more." They liked our ideas, but more than that they liked us, and they liked our passion for those ideas." - Steel brings up the importance of the client relationship, which many agencies are severely lacking appropriate attention to. Pitching is also an introductory process, as much as selling an idea or a campaign.

    Judging by Steel's interview this book could be a great tool for all those in business who actively seek new clients from real estate to advertising. Take a read of influx's interview and if you fancy by Steel's book.

    The Interview
    Buy It
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    Thursday, November 09, 2006

    Demand Your Artists


    I was just thinking the other day how the web is the perfect place to build communities. Eventful Demand is a website that allows fans to start a 'demand' for their favorite artist to come to their city and perform. Clearly this is intended for under-served markets, but is a nice tool for music enthusiasts who are normally at the mercy of bookings. I know fans certainly clamor on band sites for their shows, but ED really shows the collective power of critical mass being utilized by the web. Apparently booking agents have been keeping an eye on this consumer-powered community to see if maybe they should add or change tour stops for their artists. Great idea here.

    On Demand

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    Wednesday, November 08, 2006

    Innovation Comes to Nails



    Very rarely are products actually innovated upon in groundbreaking ways. The last quarter century we have seen the majority of innovations in the technological arena. Along comes the Hurriquake.
    Found via Cool Hunting, Popular Science's annual "Best of What's New," currently on display in New York's Grand Central Station through this Thursday, 9 November 2006, has achieved the magazine's first-ever top honor, "Innovation of the Year". It is a tricked-out nail designed to protect homes against damage caused by hurricanes and earthquakes. It has been re-engineered to target the common problems of other fasteners that tear apart in high winds and pull through plywood during seismic stresses, the device reportedly provides up to twice the resistance to these natural disasters. Looking at the picture we see a larger head (with easily identifiable markings for inspectors, homeowners and contractors), angled barbed rings at the bottom, a screw shank that fills voids created the rings, and "shear shank technology" that increases strength at primary stress point and an improved coating that allows nails to be more flush with wood, the increased cost in building an average-size house is a mere $15. When i build my home in North Carolina, be assured these are the badboys i will use (along with steel and brick) because we don't build no sissy houses. Head up to the exhibit if you get a chance or check outcoolhunting for more Popular Science coverage.

    Hit Me
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    Tuesday, November 07, 2006

    Airmax battle on Sneakerplay



    Sneaker-aficionado site Sneakerplay is an online community with thousands of sneaker photos and members. It is a great resource for whats hot in the sneaker world if you aren't looking for the usual mag hype out there. I was recently challenged (As in last night) to a sneaker battle of AirMax 90's. Please log into the site( if you need an invite, i can send you one) and vote for me.
    Battle
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    Sunday, November 05, 2006

    nike id studio: Dolphin Air Maxes




    I was privileged enough to have some friends with connections to the Nike ID Design Studio here in the city. There has been much written about Nike's ID program and the studio itself is a more-exclusive extension of this. Entry is appointment only and you gotta know peeps to get in. You get to choose from a greater variety of materials and colors (some limited edition) than you do online, though there aren't infinite choices. Apparently im not a VIP but alligator type mods are reserved for those cats (in due time). The studio does quarterly runs on shoe types such as dunks, air maxes, air force ones (the next shoe type due up). I didn't really know what to expect but i did know i wanted something colorful and unique. Let me know what you think.

    More Info

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    Friday, November 03, 2006

    Ad Resource: Kidkie


    There is nothing like a new a discovery that provides a continual wealth of knowledge and some curious entertainment while we are at it. Run by Martin Edman, Kidkie is a fantastic resource for all things advertising and branding. This Swedish site is irreverantly funny and uber hip and an excellent source for all things addy. Martin constantly searches for new favorites in the advertising world and brings them to light. He also has a great book section, which i am seeing more and more bloggers develop (See Gareth's Bookclub at BrandNew). For all of those who want ad stuff with a quirky Swede point-of-view, check out Kidkie.
    Get Cheddar

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    Wednesday, November 01, 2006

    Chicago is cold



    Sorry for the absence of posts....

    Im here in Chicago doing some work for my Gatorade client. If you are in town, and wanna grab a drink tomorrow evening drop me a line. On another note, im thoroughly disappointed at the lack of festive spirit here for halloween. :/

    Lifefilter@gmail.com


    Nice Carpet
    -dont tag me-
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    Thursday, October 26, 2006

    Useful: Clipmarks


    Lifefilter is all about helpful applications that make everyone's life a little easier. Now comes the cutting and pasting for the ADD generation. Clipmarks is a useful tool that lets you capture sections of a web page which can then be shared on networks such as del.icio.us or technorati. I found the tool very useful in grabbing chunks of webpages with particular quotes or photos, allowing me to save just what i needed and not bookmark a page, only to hunt for the specific item later. Available for firefox users.

    ed. note [also available for IE and Flock] Thanks adam!
    Clip Me
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    Wednesday, October 25, 2006

    Nike: Past and Present



    We seem to have nike on the brain. My former boss has just left for Nike and we are waiting for him to send us some damn shoes! Oh and besides that, we wear em everyday. Air Maxes, Dunks, AF1s we love em all. Two interesting looks into Nike over at Josh Spear. The first is the origin of the swoosh which is about as synonymous as any logo on earth. Phil Knight asked for a logo representing movement wasnt bowled over by the original designs. Take a read, great inspiration to all you aspiring designers out there.



    The second is a look inside a nike factory. Literally a behind the scenes pass to this often secret world. I half expected 3rd world conditions for all the politcal campus rallies ive seen. For some reason it says Pegasus on the sign, yet the molds are nike. Very sobering reality to those hot dunks on your feet.

    Swoosh
    Fleet Feet Factory
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    Monday, October 23, 2006

    The Sound of Music: CBGBs closes


    A sad note to those of you living in a cave; its unfortunately true that the legendary CBGB's, birthplace of the Ramones has been closed for good. Now, while we bemoan the legendary rock and roll venue, you need to check the truth of this statement made by the landlord:

    The Bowery Residents' Committee, landlord of the building on the Bowery, "believes it is in the best interest of our clients — the homeless and neediest New Yorkers — to sever this relationship," BRC executive director Muzzy Rosenblatt said. If thats true, how does the closure of CBGB's help the homeless of New York?

    While thats besides the point, and the typical banter towards both parties this that of "selling out". This was truly a one-of-a-kind music venue that helped establish rock and roll. hell the Ramones career came out of here. I was privileged enough to experience it, and see my friend's band play. My hometown Cat's Cradle is the closest thing to this, shout-out for those Hillians out there. Rumor has it that CGBG's may reopen in Vegas (?). This could create quite an interesting brand story. --> Brand venue goes kaput yet lives on vicariously through satellite venues, clothing and online world. Stranger things have happened.

    Yahoo has a pretty cool slide show on this piece of Americana. Click the link.

    JAM

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    Saturday, October 21, 2006

    Toyota's Human Touch


    Straight out of Shibuya here is Toyota commercial that aims to humanize the car's benefits. Slightly strange, yet reassuringly warm this spot gets big creativity points. After the initial weirdness goes away, its pretty astute. I don't think it sells the actually car as much as it is an anthem for a people's car brand. Take a look.

    Wash Me
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    Wednesday, October 18, 2006

    Another Day, Another Touchscreen iPod Rumor


    Steve Jobs just blew off the ipod's largets competitor to date, Microsoft's Zune in a recent interview. He compared the Zune to a failed pass at a girl. Why this hubris in the face of a evil empire? What does this mean? Lets rev up that touchscreen rumor mill again! Now Trusted Reviews is posting a conversation with an "extremely well-informed exec from a 3rd party company". He states that the fabled 6GB ipod will be released in December and have 480p resolution. We know the iPod touchscreen patent documentation exists, and we've encountered endless rumors and even reliable tips about the upcoming device; Maybe this is why Jobs seems to care less about the Zune. Just release the damn thing!!!

    Touch Me
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    Tuesday, October 17, 2006

    Sony's New Bravia 'Paint' Ad



    Sony BRAVIA has launched its second iteration of the the Colours ads called 'Paint'. Directed by award-winning Director, Jonathan Glazer and the creative team from Fallon, that came up with 'Bouncing Balls' last year. The proposition behind both ads has been to communicate 'Colour like.no.other'. With both ‘Bouncing Balls’ and ‘Paint’, their intention was to show the depth of colour that can be taken for granted if you have a BRAVIA high definition LCD TV. Im not sure how much consumers really can value color (yes we like it!) but the ads are done on a such grand scale that you can't help but be captivated. The 'bouncing balls' spot was pretty magical and this one doesn't disappoint. Here is the laundry list of all the necessary ingredients for your own exploding paint building ad:

    70,000 litres of paint
    358 single bottle bombs
    33 sextuple air cluster bombs
    22 Triple hung cluster bombs
    268 mortars
    33 Triple Mortars
    22 Double mortars
    358 meters of weld
    330 meters of steel pipe
    57 km of copper wire

    It took 10 days and 250 people to film. Check it out. For more on the background of the ads and the inspiration click the link.

    Colour

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    Sunday, October 15, 2006

    Banksy: Wall & Piece




    I was passing by Barnes & Noble when i saw a book from one of my absolute heros: Banksy. I thought it was too good to be true, how could he sell out? Truth its he didn't but it is his book. Banksy is artistic genius, political activist, painter, decorater, mystic legend, and the world's most notorious graffiti artist. His identity is completely unkown yet he is adored by thousands around the world for sticking it to the man. While he has a self-proclaimed cynical loathing for society, he is a champion of the people. Bansky is a hero to many for being unafraid to speak his mind in an extremely creative way that often uses his medium in uncanny connections and symbolism. From painting animals in zoos to the segregation wall built through Palestine to statues in London, Banksy has left his mark in thought provoking ways. His never-ending creativity always seems to top his latest escape such as the time when he managed to smuggle his works in 3 of the worlds most famous art museums and have them remain for days at a time. One of my personal favorites from the book are his fake crows that have pirated all the big brother cameras around london hoisting the jolly roger. His paintings which now command quite a bit of money(Brangelina bought some at his most recent show in LA) are loved throughout Britain to the point that city councils have voted to keep them out of popularity with the general public. Banksy takes on the subjects most keep silent and he does so in a loud and arresting manner that makes one think twice. Who else would put a blow up Guantanamo doll in Disneyland, in the middle of the park, in broad daylight? Banksy believes any public wall is the best spot for an artists work so it can be enjoyed by all. He says "some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place but some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place."

    Banksy isnt just trying to make the world a better looking place. He remains active in his work, ever-provacative such as his Paris Hilton stunt and yet ever relevant and omni-present, all while his identity continues to remain a mystery. The book is amazing and I recommend everyone who loves art and inventive communication pick it up. He takes mundane to insane and inventive. His aciduous style and manner of blunt communication position Banksy as on one of the greatest artists of our time.



    "If you are dirty, insignificant and unloved then rats are the ultimate role model."
    - BANKSY

    Laugh now, but one day we'll be in charge
    "There is no way you're going to get a quote from us to use on your book cover" -Metro Police Spokesperson
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    Friday, October 13, 2006

    Wired's Nextfest video footage GALORE

    Ok no messing around. Check em out. Talk amongst yourselves. Here are all our Wired Nextfest videos in their brevity:

    Saturn's Light Show demonstrates the innards of the car


    Nabaztag Rabbit Orchestra


    Lady Robot Geisha Girl Style


    3D LEM Logo


    Robobar


    Official Nextfest blog

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    Thursday, October 12, 2006

    Tipping Point makes the Longtail: Consumer Electronics



    Sitting around thinking last night i made a strange connection. Having read the fantastic Longtail book, I was browsing my library at home reminiscing. For some reason i started making comparisons between the tipping point and the Longtail. The tipping point by the ever astute Malcolm Gladwell is about moments of statistical significance and what can trigger that. For example the case Roe vs. Wade decision actually decreased crime 20 years later as mothers in at-risk situations didnt have children that could potentially be at-risk to be criminals. Read freakonomics if you don't believe me. Gladwell is so eloquent as he dissects and freezes on a moment in time. The Longtail by Chris Anderson cites examples such as ebay and amazon which use sheer numbers to provide choice for niches. Brands that offer more niches capture more audiences.

    Being a videogame fanatic I am caught up in the current swirl of format wars along with the next-generation of console launches. While its fascinating to watch Microsoft battle Sony battle Nintendo, it has made several things clear to me about the consumer electronic industry in the United States.

    1. Companies run america (not politics, not consumers, not you)
    Day after day websites like Gizmodo and Engadget show the coolest cell phones from Asia. Yet 99% of those phones never cross the pond to America. Why? Several reasons. The largest being that the sheer number of phones is too great for our business model. In Asia consumers run the market, and companies are constantly trying to keep up. Cheap labor + cheap tech = lots and lots of new models. In America Sprint, Cingular, Verizon and T-mobile run the cell phone industry. Most cell phone users get their phones through the companies and are at the mercy of their contracts, their phone models, and their coverage plans. While America has a unique infrastructure, especially compared to Asian population clusters in cities, with the internet anything is attainable these days from anywhere. Why aren't consumers driving change in the cell phone market? Electronics are an anomaly amongst other markets. Look closely at the format wars. Microsoft and Sony want people to believe their format is the way to go in the future. HD-DVD is true HD for DVDs and Sony says Blu-ray is even better than that. Neither format has taken off and each company continues to push their format, despite consumer ambivalence to re-purchase content when their DVDs work fine. Big business clearly has the reins of America's electronic market and tells us when to jump. America has been setup that way for generations but the tide is turning.. Forced phones, forced formats, how is it in so many other facets of life (transportation, email, food) consumers dictate the market and not yet in digital content? It's difficult to answer, but the squirming of advertising and marketing firms amongst themselves demonstrates an ineffectiveness to generate consumer purchases. Traditional campaigns are deader than dead and even the word is played out. Marketers are using increasingly diverse ways to just reach their consumer. The broken advertising models demonstrate a lack of understanding by businesses on how to reach their consumers. Why? Because companies can no longer speak to consumers, but need to open a dialogue/relationship and listen. We may be experiencing one of the greatest periods of change in the consumer electronic industry since the birth of the computer.


    2. The tide is turning
    We may be encoutering the tipping point within the longtail of convergence of electronics. Signs are everywhere. Google acquired Youtube. Google has a rival video site that does the same things youtube does but generates significantly less traffic. Youtube is the latest web phenomena and one of the largest potential money generators since myspace. Consumers consistently source it for branded and copyright content, demonstrating a channel is what/where you want it to be. TV isn't necessarily on TV, a movie doesnt have to be seen in a theatre. Apple recently pushed its itunes movie network to now allow downloadable movies. Movies in a theatre? No, movies anywhere. Consumers are dictating WHERE they consume their media and HOW. It makes sense that entertainment and leisure would be the categories where this happens first. If you don't agree with me, check out the post on George Lucas. He won't produce another $200 million dollar movie again as he says he can produce 50-60 2 hour films which can be pay-per-view instead. When is the last time a movie topped $200 million and was a called a blockbuster? Keep thinking. So if consumers dictate these why don't they command video games or even the DVD format yet? Until this point we haven't had the technology capabilities. So if consumers are changing HOW and WHEN, what else are they changing thats causing this so-called shift?

    3. The evidence of the tipping point in the longtail
    The first place to look is the consumer itself. Culture today is driven by a group of 'betas'. These consumers are the DIY generation. They would rather use Flickr to share photos, myspace to meet people, customize their own cars, print their own shirts and sell them on threadless, and create movies for youtube. Technology lets them do all of this, relatively cheaply and it can reach anywhere. This is why the longtail arose. People now have the ability to act on their niche, so it becomes more significant. So the consumer is more proactive? Yes, and they are enabled by technology, but why don't they dictate that too? While consumers might never be creating their own cell phones or building their own ipods, they will take control of how they manage these things. That is right now as evident in the format wars. After a period of stalemate, the videogame industry is about to experience explosive growth. It won't be powered by DVD formats either but innovative technologies. NEC is creating chips that read both Blu-ray and HD-DVD to essentially eliminate the format wars. Other companies are working on this, seen as an attempt to not only capture market share but survive. Eventually all content will be online and the channel more homogenous. Xboxlive includes a new pay-per-play model for videogaming and Valve has been using Steam for years to stream content, bypassing retail. Companies are adapting to consumers want for ease of access. Channels won't disappear and TV wont die, but a medium will be reached where Blu-ray doesn't matter, HD-DVD doesn't matter but only where you store it does. This moment in time is the tipping point for electronics. Once content is pay-per-view channels, its only a matter of finding your niche in the longtail. Don't give me a disc, i can simply access it online. The tipping point trigger is accessibility. Its hard to get the phone physically because either i have to drive somewhere to pick it up or order it and wait for it to arrive. Instant information and access, means consumers can do command and receive anything without moving (how sad!). My hunch is that this is the major shift in the industry that it needs and will transform business and communication beyond belief. While its difficult to measure the exact moment, consumers initial rejection of the DVD formats is an indicator of a shift in the structure of electronics. While content has appeared to be headed digitally for a long time, you need to look back to betamax to see a wider rejection of format. Whereas now instead of rejecting one size for another, we are dictating formats. Will US consumers ever dictate phones? Possibly not for a long time, but once consumers dictate the online world and its connectivity, its only a matter of time.


    Please feel free to talk amongst yourselves and debunk my theory/rambling. email us @ lifefilter@gmail.com

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    Wednesday, October 11, 2006

    Lifefilter NYC Shop Guide: Where the locals go


    Usually the Lifefilter doesn't give away our secrets but today is your lucky day. The holidays are in the oh-so-visible future. Before you know it, your wallet will be empty as you fight it out with hipsters for the Nintendo Wii, A-Life tees or the newest hoodie from Supreme. A little birdie created a simple destination blog that has some of the best & super-secret shops in new york city for quality goods. While its not the newest (Kid Robot has had huge renovations since then), it has all you really need to know. We aren't talking H&M type stuff, but rarities that are one-of-a-kind to new york city and will give you the freshest duds in the city. These are the spots to hit if you come to the city, not the Century 21 store or even David Z's for kicks. Check out the link below.

    Another site, that has a ill-dud-freshness is Superfuture. It covers not just New York City but Sydney, San Francisco, Tokyo, Amsterdam, London, Shanghai, Singapore, LA and about 500 more cities. Superfuture has over 4200 "brutally honest" reviews on everything shopping related. With links to nearby hotels, it really is the ULTIMATE customized shopping companion. The best part are the easy to read maps which can be handy when the street numbers disappear and Hudson street intersects Hudson street.

    NYC Shop Guide
    Superfuture
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    Monday, October 09, 2006

    Part 1 of Wired's NEXTfest: GE CGI


    We have finally uploaded what is the first of much Wired's Nextfest footage. Everything from ballroom dancing robots to infrared imaging to even writing on smoke is coming down the pipe. This is a quick clip from GE and some CGI logo treatment goodness. Im not sure of the exact technique used on these blocks, possibly some artifical stop-motion bit. Whatever it is, this combo is hot, hot, hot. GE was a major presence at the expo. While many of its technologies focused on in-home innovations, it did have the most diverse showing also with self-diagnosis medical kit stations, custom irrigation systems and even a new technological process to infuse color within plastics eliminating the need for paintjobs in vehicular solutions such as cars. For more on GE and the nextfest check it out and our new site video logo treatment.

    See it again for the first time

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    Super Mario or Spreadsheets? NES games online @ work


    Lifehacker brings you quite possibly the greatest way to piss off your boss ever. vNES is a website that lets you play over 200 old-school NES games straight from your browser. From Mega Man to Super Mario Bros, the site even has some Japan-only games in case you want to play games you can't read but are inevitably fun. The emulator works on both Macs and PCs meaning no one gets left out. Metroid, Super Mario Bros., TMNT, Tecmo Bowl, and even Yo Noid! is here...

    **ed note** (Yo Noid! is one of the first examples of advertising creating gaming content for branding purposes. Coca-Cola had an internal one on the atari 2600 called Pepsi invaders that is one of the most rare video games ever produced. Retroboy has a nice article on the most elusive video games)
    Rarities


    up up down down left right left right select start

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    Thursday, October 05, 2006

    The Future of George Lucas


    The Variety has a nice article on George Lucas and his altered strategy for making content. George Lucas donated $175 million to the School of Cinematic Arts at USC. While giving away more money than anyone reading this blog (myself included) will ever make he let loose his strategy for approaching the current media landscape.

    "I think the secret to the future is quantity," Lucas said.

    "For that same $200 million, I can make 50-60 two-hour movies. That's 120 hours as opposed to two hours. In the future market, that's where it's going to land, because it's going to be all pay-per-view and downloadable. You've got to really have a brand. You've got to have a site that has enough material on it to attract people."

    Quantity IS the future. From Chris Anderson's LONGTAIL theory (netflix, amazon) to the influx of episodic content on television (lost, 24) consumers are choosing to continue the conversation with brands. Lucas believes people are flocking away from movies saying

    "I don't think anything's going to be a habit anymore. I think people are going to be drawn to a certain medium in their leisure time and they're going to do it because there is a desire to do it at that particular moment in time. Everything is going to be a matter of choice. I think that's going to be a huge revolution in the industry."

    In otherwords engagement is becoming niche and channels need to provide meaniful conversttions. That means speaking to consumers as they speak, in a (running) dialogue which is much easier to understand than bulletins years apart. Its also interesting to note Lucas's commitment to episodic content in that everything will be pay-per-view. Content will be zipped from the producer directly to the consumer. Brands are their own conduits. Mega studios/producers could only exist on a production scale not in terms of distribution. Take a read, its really interesting to read what this Hollywood-heavyweight has to say about his own industry and his commitment to alternative production channels.

    The Force

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    Tuesday, October 03, 2006

    Guerrilla Campaign: Pothead Reminders


    NORML is taking its marijuana reform fight to the grocery store. Working with the agency Spinach (seriously. this is their name), they created some disruptive ads with products seemingly associated with the bubonic. Great placement and association with a taboo product, but I am just wondering what stores actually advocate this type of ad besides the ol' Safeway in Haight-Ashbury in SF? Next time you are in the store, ask yourself "Did I get everything for my brownies?"
    Munchies

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    New Pretty Things


    Whoa.. Some of you just may be seeing stars right now. As many of you can tell the Lifefilter has upgraded quite a few options on the site such as

    -Tagging EVERYTHING
    -Email
    -Links
    -Archiving
    -Improved coding for browser compatability issues
    -More Ads! (sweeeeet) -*Come on. All you ad people are rejoicing i know it.

    Let us know what you think (if you arent stumbling on for the first time) or better yet even if you are, tell us your thoughts. Subscribe to the email listserv and stay in touch even when you can't visit the site. Who knows we may even have a few goodies to send your way.

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    Insta-silhouette


    Just a quick update from busy worker central. A photo teaser for now. Videos from Nextfest are coming! yes we havent had a chance to put our nice logo (lifefilter branding!!) on the clips yet, so as soon as thats done they will be up and running. In the meantime this robot can look at someone and in less than a minute draw their silhouette. Programmers also set it up to make music by the distance it moved its arm and its spin rotation. Not sure what it really accomplishes but was pretty neat nonetheless. More to come
    Mr. Roboto Draws

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    Friday, September 29, 2006

    Maintenance

    Lifefilter is under maintenance 3-5EST

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    Thursday, September 28, 2006

    Whats Next?


    Here at Lifefilter, we figure its never too early to start planning your weekend excursions. For us, we will be providing coverage of Wired's NextFest. WIRED Magazine has created its vision of a new world's fair and brought it to New York City. More than 150 exhibits from scientists, researchers, and inventors around the globe will be at the Javit's center. WIRED NextFest features innovations in communication, design, entertainment, exploration, health, transportation, security, and green living. Hybrid vehicles, ballroom dancing robots, laptop orchestras, veinviewers and space vehicles will all be yours for the taking err viewing. If you are in the New York area and have time, don't sleep on this. Purchase your tickets online through Wired's portal and receive a free years subscription to Wired Magazine.Check back next week for more NextFest goodness.
    Next

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    Wednesday, September 27, 2006

    Fly With Your Eyes



    Ever wanted to fly? This video is absolutely remarkable. Shot from the cockpit of a radio-controlled airplane, the camera's video is transmitted to the flyer on the ground below, who's wearing VR goggles. When he moves his head, the remote camera's pans and tilts correspond exactly to his movements. The result is FREAKIN COOL and gives a feeling of actually being in the plane. It's extraordinary. Nevermind the nyc skyscrapers, I want a R/C plane now so bad.
    Come Fly With Me
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    Monday, September 25, 2006

    Anish Kapoor's Sky Mirror



    Running until October 27th is Anish Kapoor's Sky Mirror in New York City's Rockafeller Center. This mirror is about 50 feet in diameter and absolutely spectacular. Apparently the square had some extra money for the month and decided to do something for the people. This is a photographer's playground. I got some absolutely amazing shots and the illusions it creates reminds me of Millenium Park in Chicago. If you have a moment, do check it out. Lifefilter will bringing you a series of photos covering this great art installation.
    Lifefilter's Sky Mirror Coverage
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    Wednesday, September 20, 2006

    A day in the life of Edge: U2 guitarist and world traveler


    Nothing too new to report today. Yahoo! and CurrentTV have a new partnership. To get people excited about this really uneventful merger they handed U2 frontman Bono a cmera to make video of his travels. I love U2, this video isnt them playing but merely being (real) not megastar people. It looks like this is going to have new episodes appear daily on the Current site. I love CurrentTV and its user-generated format, though every piece of content gets extensive filtering otherwise we would have another Youtube on our hands. Despite being filtered real, i constantly find myself watching Current instead of all the junk on tv out there. Take a gander if you do fancy.


    Zooropa Baby!

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    Tuesday, September 19, 2006

    NASA TV


    In this day and age cameras are everywhere. Including in space. I have been watching snippets of nasaTV. I find it boring and pretty spectacular at the same time. NASA has been providing live coverage of the space shuttle and its missions as it orbits the earth. Its amazing to watch the earth fly by. What was really interesting was to watch the communication between the usa and Russian shuttle command centers. They speak over the phone (or whatever version of 2 cans and rope they have now) via a voice translator which adds a weird echo to the phone. For all you aspiring astronauts who never caught that rocket to pluto, this is your space fix.
    Fly Me to the Moon
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