Quite possibly one of the best uses of a map since the invention of the wheel, along comes the beer mapping project. In the latest mod of a google map, users are encouraged to map out locations where beer can be found. I used a map similar to this, when looking for an xbox360. I have been unsuccessful since day 1 btw. Anywahoo, this map is already teeming with locations in NC, which is fantastic but the Chapel Hill locations are pitiful. Come on people! I will be on later to flesh it out a bit. But now may man never be thristy for beer again. Simply google map it from your phone and refresh yourself. This is a great way for brands or categories to expand via consumer proactiveness. Power to the people..
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Friday, January 27, 2006
Disney is either still hitting home runs or shooting blanks. Buying Pixar good. Creating Devo 2.0, aka DEV2.0, ehhhhh. Disney has created a youth Devo cover band aka DEV2.0. While initially many said this is attack of the sequels yet again, BoingBoing contributors brought about another view. What about the parents who buy those sing-a-long type cds to listen along with their kids? They must be so tired of listening to the Baby Beluga set; they would prefer listening to a cover band of a group they used to listen to or are at least more familiar with. If the target is the parents and not the kids, that is great targeting by Disney. In fact Brillant. These are the people buying the products anyways, and one more song by fragglerock could put them over the edge. I will say Disney scares with me all its kid stuff, along with nickelodeon. Is it legal to have these kids slaving away like this pretending to live in the 80's? All of a sudden i feel really old and im not even 30 yet.
Dont Say I Didnt Warn You
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Knock-Knock has a hilarious text message translator(for all you old fogies out there) This thing is great and damn, where has this thing been? So many times have i gotten trapped in aim messages or texts only to realize, i had no clue what they meant. Fear not, the translator is here. Knock Knock is a quirky little site with lots of pop-translations of cards and gifts.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Brand Channel has a great list of the top brands of 2005 as decided by you the consumer. To little surprise behemoth Google sits atop the charts with Apple not far behind. Google must be riding that Google Earth thing, which is fascinating. It would be interesting to see if Apple could be broken down to ipod or itunes. While it seems extremely visible, it still has less than a 5% share of the pc world. Skype makes an appearance as well. I had no idea the global impact this brand has. I have a great PP presentation from its founder, thats simple and clean for anyone who wants to get ideas out quickly.
Interesting as well is the breakdown by geographical reason. USA loves its Lance Armstrong. Asia is apparently still obsessed with electronics but HBSC? weird. Latin America loves its Corona and Bacardi. Why else would one want to go there? Cemex, a cement manufacturer at the 5th spot. Is everyone and their neighbor building halfpipes or burying uncle jose in the ground? People are strange....
Monday, January 23, 2006
Finally people seem to be getting this recylcing thing. Two companies on the opposite of the spectrum (unless you view them as inherently evil) are harnessing the power of recycling to fuel solutions. Ford is betting the bank on a reusable/recycled product automobile. The piquette project is a counter project to something Toyota is apparently hatching. But kudos for an American car company to finally bet on recycling not just include it in the fleet, without life-support. The existence of the Piquette Project was first revealed Sunday by Time magazine on its Web site. Bill Ford is restructuring the company, after the company's founder who used the Piquette room to create the assembly line process and the first model-t.
Tamiflu is using christmas trees and pine needles, which happen to be a main chemical ingredient. The needles of pine, spruce and fir trees contain a fairly high concentration of shikimic acid, the main ingredient in Tamiflu. Countries all over the world are stockpiling the drug in anticipation of a bird flu pandemic. Most shikimic acid is obtained from star anise, a cooking spice from a tree grown in China. Prices of the spice skyrocketed when anxiety over a the possibility of a human outbreak of avian flu escalated. A small Canadian company, Biolyse Pharma Corp., is now processing thousands of discarded trees to retrieve the acid.
Good news for the planet people. But really we have a long way to go.
the flu tree?
Thursday, January 19, 2006
A project of the Newseum, Today's Front Pages began in 1997 as an exhibit when the museum first opened in Arlington, VA. When the museum re-opens in its new Washington D.C. location (currently slated for 2007) they will display 80 newspapers in a gallery that looks out on the U.S. Capitol. Similarly, the online component that launched last year is a daily compendium collecting the front pages of newspapers from 45 different countries, a total of over 400 different papers. Organized alphabetically, a quick browse-through is a telling glimpse at what makes for news across the planet, particularly on major news days. The site also features a map-based locator, downloadable pdfs for easier reading, and an archive of pages from historical dates. Perfect for planners, you can get a quick read on what your consumers are looking at? Its also a fascinating look at different parts of society. Lastly you can read the Durham Herald Sun when Carolina beats Dook.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Ian Bogost and Persuasive Games have just released Disaffected!, a parodical critique of working life at FedEx Kinko’s, a source of frustration from its patrons. It's part of a new series of persuasive games the developers call anti- advergames (games that challenge players to rethink their relationship with consumption and encourage corporate critique.)
"The player controls one or more employees behind the counter at a typical copy store. As each level starts, customers enter the store through the front doors and line up behind the cashiers at the counters. The player must try to find and deliver each customer's order. Obstacles include confused employees, employees who refuse to work, employees who move orders around indiscriminately so the player cannot find them." Hmmm how often do people become disenfranchised with advertising? But why us and not the companies themselves, dare i ask? I assume they then go off and be hippies in the woods or something. Kudos for making people examine how they filter info and making a water cooler game out of it. I really want to see a Walmart game.
have you seen my stapler?
Friday, January 13, 2006
You would think that thing has a 360 in it......Students at SUNY Morrisville college are totally stoked. Looks like All Season Services has brought Shop24, an automated convenience store, to the US and plopped it right down in the middle of their campus. Forget Turkey Hill or 7-11, this baby is open 24 hours a day and can provide you with almost anything your heart desires—from an extra toothbrush to an iPod download card. Already super popular in Europe, Shop24 has 160 stores in seven countries and of course, it also includes all kinds of fresh and chilled foods, like the ever-popular bean burrito. But the best thing for All Seasons Services has to be the inability for drunken pocket filling. No ocifer, I don’t know how that bag of Doritos got down my pants. Finally, finally, finally! These things are all over and it finally comes to America at SUNY morrisville??? Im gonna put these all over the south and at truck stops
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
The Ipod economy continues onward and the slew of pointless inventions continues forward. Judging from Make Magazine's photos of Macworld , the whole iPod economy is becoming something of a bazaar, full of crazy and whacked out ideas. On the day that Jobs announces that iPod sales have reached 42 million , Levi's come out with the announcement that they are making jeans with built-in iPod features.
This idea didn't make any sense to Influx for the following reasons:
1. Isn't Levi's coming into this game a little late? Burton and all the big fashion houses have all done iPod accessories or jackets
2. Isn't the place for the iPod, the jacket/coat, rather than in the pants?
My question is ok don't pants already have a pocket that an ipod would fit???
Is that an ipod in your pants or are you just happy to see me?
Friday, January 06, 2006
There seems to be a lot of trends popping up (new years resolutions no doubt). What i find interesting are 2 on the inclusion of consumers in the process of brand creation and development. Influx has two great posts, one about a chef taking on the fat food school system and the other on ferrari. Cars and food, my favorites. Celebrity chefs are often known for their self-promotion all designed with the goal of selling more of their cook books and food lines.
It's rare to find someone who is prepared to step out of the limelight and take real action on an issue. Britain's Jamie Oliver has done just that in taking on school meals that is now having an impact on the business of a number of the UK's food suppliers. Oliver's premise is simple; good nutrition is essential for kids and this requires more than burgers and fries as school meals. With the help of a television network, Oliver persuaded one school to let him experiment with his healthy menu that met the cost guidelines of 75 cents per meal. His biggest obstacle were the kids themselves, who were reluctant to give up fast food for the healthy food. However, by involving them in the preparation of the food and educating them in the process, he succesfully won them over. Try that in America.
Ferrari has long been thought of as an exclusive luxury brand, that only the elite can afford, but its new FFX model takes the idea to an extreme. For a price tag of close to $1.7 million you don't just get the car, you get a pit crew and 6 race circuit test-drives, over a two year period. The cars are living laboratories for Ferrari, instead of the company doing all its research and development in-house, it is going outside and asking people to pay for the privilege. (where is the sign up sheet? im selling every organ possible to get on this.) Of course its already full but its an interesting idea in here for companies looking to create new markets. How about inviting and charging customers to be participants in your research and development process. Sneaux is one example that comes to mind.
I was almost in total disbelief watching the Rose Bowl as John Saunders said that highlights from the game would be available for download on iTunes the next day. ABC was in fact right on point by going after the early adopters. Kudos for condensing the game down to 20 minutes of highlights. Someone has their thinking caps on! Finally people are getting it. Im actually surprised cable programs aren't getting into the act, but they might still be profitable enough to not dilute their product yet. Wonder when that tipping point will be reached..stay tuned
See Vince Run
Thursday, January 05, 2006
I just saw this disturbing trend.
Over 60 percent of U.S. adults, age 20 years and older, are overweight, almost half of them are obese. More than half a million people are dying each year due to poor diet and physical inactivity. The cost of diet-related diseases is up in the 70 – 80 millions annually. The fight against fat is also no longer just an American problem. In Europe, 20 percent of kids ages 5 to 17 are obese and in China there are 290 million kids suffering from obesity. Although the main cause of obesity is still believed to be the excessive intake of calories combined with insufficient exercise, the United States Department of Health and Human Services last year officially classified obesity as a disease. (ARE YOU SERIOUS??) As a result, Medicare now covers obesity-related health problems, as long as the treatment is proven to be effective. But aside to that, a variety of other models and business ideas are emerging trying to help and even hoping to get their part of the market.
As obesity starts to become a worldwide problem government offices as well as private businesses try to win the fight against the pounds with a variety of new approaches. I have heard about an Indian airline that wont allow overweight employees to fly, since it costs them more money in fuel. I just find the stat extremely disturbing and a major indicator of some serious downfalls in our society. Go outside and play in the woods!!!! if you got woods...
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Cambridge (england) is about to test a self-steering bus that uses a camera mounted at the top of the windscreen to follow lines painted on the road. As it does not deviate more than a few millimetres from its course, the bus lane can be be 1.5m (5ft) narrower than those used by driver-steered buses. The bus will also guide itself to within 4cm of the kerb at bus stops, allowing level boarding for disabled passengers and people with pushchairs. The camera can look up to 100m ahead, recognising the parallel lines of dashes and sending a signal to a box on the steering mechanism. The steering wheel vibrates as soon as the system detects the lines, informing the driver that it is safe to remove his hands. However, the driver continues to control acceleration and braking and can override the device at any time to steer the bus around obstacles. An alarm sounds if the optical guidance system cannot find the lines. The system was developed by Siemens and has already been introduced in Rouen in France and will soon be used on buses in Bologna in Italy. Both cities, like Cambridge, have networks of ancient streets that cannot comfortably accommodate conventional buses. Parodia Electronica has recently developed a satellite-guided self-steering system for cars that, in tests, is accurate to within 50 centimeters. Parodia’s system uses differential GPS location data to generate servo commands from a car’s navigation system that activate an electro-hydraulic steering mechanism. What happens if a crazy squirrel runs out? Or a crackhead tries to get off the bus suddenly? Or who is going to argue and curse at other drivers upon being cut off? Surely a robocop is needed to ride along.....Come on people, where is the planner to ask the important questions?
Driving Ms Lazy