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How not to write an email

2.28.2005 by Kevin Creighton

I found this the other day in my Mail.app junk mail folder:

Permit banking conce rn rival for your c redit

# Propositions for each credit state of affairs

# Loaners reply within 39 hours

# Get up to 120 % of your hovels measure

# Special suggestions for freelance

# No profit examination offers

"Hovel"? A little thesaurus goes a long way, it seems...

The Letter U and the number 2

by Kevin Creighton

One of the opening salvoes in the ongoing copyright war was U2/Negativeland mess of 1991, which came too early to be exploited to death by the internet.
Fortunately for us, it's back again.
Behold, the U2 Versus Negativland Special Edition iPod.
I don't know if it's art, but it sure is a neat statement.

Charity begins at the first tee

2.27.2005 by Kevin Creighton

A whole day of golf? And you're trying to get people to pay you for it?
Well, yeah.
Enrique Medina is a friend of mine, and he's part of a cool short-term missions logistics group, Ravah Ministry. He and his dad, José, help churches in the U.S. hook up with needy churches in Mexico for medical trips and other community-oriented missions.
I'm going to try to play 100 holes of golf in one day at the Seville Golf Course in Gilbert. That's a lot of golf, and not a walk in the park. If you'd like to pledge to give to Ravah for each hole I finish on June 6, please visit my sign-up page.

Must-see TV

2.24.2005 by Kevin Creighton

I missed this the first time around, but it's definitely worth watching.
Frontline has a history of in-depth, fascinating inquiries into how marketing is shaping our culture, and this new special is a humdinger.
If there's anything that I want to pass onto my kids as far as life lessons, it's "Pay attention to what you're paying attention to."

I just want to eat my canape! Go away!

by Kevin Creighton

Being a photographer carries the same social penalties as being a plumber, lawyer or doctor: People are always asking you for free advice.
I'm just going to refer them here from now on if they mention problems shooting in snow.
And to the Arizona State Mental Ward if they ask me how much their grand-dad's Argus C-3 is worth.

Book 'em, Dano

by Kevin Creighton

I reworked my design portfolio using a book printed from iPhoto, and showed it to a potential client for the first time today.
To say they went nuts for the design and my work is an understatement.
With the price of web-based self publishing being so low ($30 for a hard-cover 8.5 x 11 book), this is the future of portfolios. A photographer or designer can easily print up a half-dozen of these books, customized to different requests and have them ready to go at a moment's notice. No more boards to misplace, no more trannies that need a lightbox, just a book.
The also make a 3.5 x 2.5 inch poocket book that just screams "promo mailing piece!". $3.99 each. Imagine putting together a book of the production stills from a shoot and sending it to the client as a thank you note.

Why not?

2.23.2005 by Kevin Creighton

A remote-control ukelele made out of Lego.
But of course.

Reason #31256 why the video iPod is doomed

2.21.2005 by Kevin Creighton

I'm playing Mr. Mom today while my wife is at the doctor's (all the cool bloggers are doing it), and our son is dancing away to Louis Prima's "I wanna be like you" from The Jungle Book. He dances to the music on tv shows, too, but when there's music playing, he runs around the house and plays with toys, too. Something he doesn't do when the tv's on.
A video iPod has the same limitations on attention span as the tv does. There's just not much else a person can be doing at the same time that a tv is on compared to what they can do if a radio or CD is playing. Paying twice as much for a product twice the size that has features that can't be used 90% of the time is NOT the way to take down the iPod.

Okay, that's nice but...

2.20.2005 by Kevin Creighton

Business Week has named Bloggers, Inc. one of the five Internet companies to watch in 2005.
Okay, that's nice. So what?
Blogging is fun, but in it's essence, it's what the internet was circa 1994, a bunch of people posting about what interests them. Sure, Gawker's making a business out of content, and people are paying Six Apart for delivery systems, but other than that, it may be pets.com all over again.
The advantage of the blogosphere is its decentralization. And that decentralization is going to make corporate dominance and commercialization difficult things.

If you block them, they will run

by Kevin Creighton

Britain leads the world in downloading tv programs from the internet onto computers.
Britain has restrictive TV license tax on every television, making it illegal to turn on your tv without paying the government first.
A coincidence? I think not.

"Get more"

2.18.2005 by Kevin Creighton

While waiting in line for my Venti iced coffee this morning, I noticed three or four people crouched over laptops, connected to the Net through T-Mobile's hotspot. I've used T-Mobile's hotspot service before, and it was, well, a hotspot. Nothing really different from what I have at home, except for the login requirements. And the $10 daily fee.
So why pay $10 a day or $30 a month for access or anything, when access at Panera Bread is free , as is access at my favorite eating place, the Wildflower Bread Company ? I can understand the benefits of one-stop nationwide access, but at some point, people who want to sip coffee and surf the net will gravitate towards to the free hotspots. What that will do to T-Mobile's business plan remains to be seen.

Upping the ante

2.17.2005 by Kevin Creighton

I love my D70 (except for the nasty things it does to highlights on occasion), but this new Canon Rebel is schweet.


by Kevin Creighton

Oh, look, Napster's been hacked.
Gosh, didn't see that coming. Someday, someone's finally going to get the idea in their head that no, consumers don't want heavy DRM on their music / movies / photos.
Apple's Fairplay is as much as I want to put up with, and a big reason for the success of the iTunes Music Store, I think.

Once again, Don nails it best

2.16.2005 by Kevin Creighton

Don is/was a mentor to me, and this post about American Idol brings to mind what I saw in my fellow students when I went back to school 3 years ago to finish my degree.
Scores of young men, all eager to work in the computer game industry, all of them certain they had the next big idea for a game ("It's almost exactly like GTA/MDK/Halo but..."), and all of them convinced that a few years of school and a piece of paper would lead to riches untold.

Idiots. Every one of them.

The next big electronic game will NOT be just like a previous game. Doom, SimCity, StarCraft, hell, even Pac-Man were all originals. Okay, Doom was based on Wolfenstein 3d. But it had an original means of distribution. How many other games before Doom had free, playable demo? Exactly.
The game industry right now is where the web was 10 years ago. It's the new gold rush. And just every gold rush before it, a few people will get rich, but most will just end up broke.

Another iPod Killer?

2.15.2005 by Kevin Creighton

iPod Shuffle killer, that is.
With Motorola announcing their iTunes-compatible phone, any interest in the iPod shuffle I might have had is now gone. With 512 megs of mp3's, iTunes, a 1 megapixel camera, streaming media, VGA video conferencing and Bluetooth, this is *close* to the all-in-one that I've been waiting for. What it lacks is an easy-to-use PDA capability and a slightly better (3+ megapixels) camera, and it would replace at least 4 gadgets, my phone, PalmPilot, iPod and point-n-shoot camera.
Attention PalmOne: You have a slight window of opportunity here. Don't blow it.

Coyote is waiting...

by Kevin Creighton

...and Coyote is always hungry. - Navajo saying
Thinking more about the power of blogs last night, I don't think it will be too long until the blogosphere turns their attention against the defects in a major consumer product, as they did against CBS's shoddy reporting. What will be the response of the company involved? How will they react, and what PR steps will be most effective against the blogs?
Interesting times.
Speaking of the power of the collective blogosphere, how long can Consumer Reports hold out as a viable business? What do they offer their market that the Customer Reviews on Amazon or the blog world don't?

As it was in the beginning

2.14.2005 by Kevin Creighton

When the web was young, and everyone with Notepad thought they could build a site, the idea of a "blog" was unneccessary. Of course we'd put up our thoughts and content on the Net. If IBM can build a website, so can we.
I haven't read Hugh Hewitt's new book on blogs (yet), as it apparently concentrates on the political and journalistic side of the blog world, where there's been some noticable headline made recently.
Blogs exposed a fraudulent story in a major news outlet and have forced the White House to release information on casualaties in Iraq. But what have they done in the marketing/advertising world to date? There's sites like ePinions and the customer reviews at Amazon.com, but for the most part, the blogophere is filled with the blogs of people who produce the materials, and not the consumer.
It's the exact opposite of the political world, where the politicians who "get" the blogworld are few and far between. Finding a blog that critiques marketing that's run by someone outside the field is hard to find.
Even tech blogs like engadget tend to stress the gee-whiz and not get into details. Is c|net that powerful that there are no other options? Where is the citizen-journalist response to the marketing world (and no, I'm not talking about Adbusters.

A few kinds words for an old friend

2.13.2005 by Kevin Creighton

I love my D70, and the convenience of digital is fantastic, but I miss my old Nikon FG. When it first came out, it was reviled for its use of plastic and "toy" feel, but I carried one for three years in school and two months shooting in Ecuador, and it kept going long after my FM crapped out. The FG was a camera far ahead of its time and definitely didn't deserve the bad rep it acquired.

But of course!

by Kevin Creighton

Barbeque tools with Craftsman handles.
Two of the things guys love the most, together at last.

Put a cap in it

by Kevin Creighton

It looks like Microsoft is still trying to revive the dead horse that is the Tablet PC.
I was one of the few people who actually bought a Windows-based pen computer prior to the Tablet PC (A Compaq Concerto with a 386 and Windows 3.1.1 For Pen Computing), and the usefulness of that "laptop" was nothing like the Lombard Powerbook I bought just three years later. The Tablet PC offers the consumer less functionality (unless it's a convertible) than a laptop, at the same or higher price. Try composing an email on a Tablet versus typing one out on a laptop. As much as Microsoft and others like to think that the future is all web forms and multimedia, plain ol' text isn't going away soon.


2.11.2005 by Kevin Creighton

The Jazz playlist on my iPod just served up Benny Goodman's Sing, sing, sing (With a Swing) (iTunes required).
This should be required listening for all prospective drummers out there. If you can't understand why that whole song lives or dies without Krupa's drumming, you'll never get it.


by Kevin Creighton

Somewhere in New York, there's a Creative Director hurriedly updating his resume after this.
Dead last. Not a good way to kick off a $30 million campaign.
What Napster hopes to gain is beyond me. Subscription-based online music streaming has been around for a while now, and iTunes' model clobbered all the players in that arena within a few months. Why does Napster think that subscription-based portable music has a chance against the iPod?

Houston, Tranquility Base here...

by Kevin Creighton

The Eagle has landed. (Quicktime Required)

Back to the future

by Kevin Creighton

TiVo users are skipping commercials, and in response, TiVo is putting ads up during the skipped parts.
Dumb. Putting ads on top of the skipped parts will only force current TiVo users into other, open-source options. And that still doesn't solve the problem of lost ad revenue from skipped ads.
As DVR's grow more popular, TV advertisers need to re-think their strategy to replace the skipped ads. The future may be just like the past, when sponsorship was the rule. Hard to avoid the pitch when the show's called "Texaco Star Theatre".

"Excuse me, sir..."

2.10.2005 by Kevin Creighton

"...bit I believe you have my stapler.

Dreamweaver extensions extraordinaire

by Kevin Creighton

DMXZone, if you're not already using it, has a very useful blend of extensions and Dreamweaver advice for the designer/developer.

"...because it's there."

by Kevin Creighton

An iPod Shuffle RAID.
Nice useless hack.

Fight, Devils, march down the field...

2.09.2005 by Kevin Creighton

Nice to see the hometown school come up with cool gadgets like this. Sure, having a PDA with a big screen would be cool. But I like the idea of a display for my home computer that rolls out the way when not needed, or laptops whose size is driven solely by keyboard size and not screen rez.

Maybe this iLife thing isn't so good...

by Kevin Creighton

...if it allows people like me to do things like this.

Culture jam

2.08.2005 by Kevin Creighton

In all the hub-bub over the GoDaddy SuperBowl Ad, I ran across this little tidbit in the bio of the actress who starred in it."I was originally born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin of Panamanian and German decent."
Two widely divergent cultures, yet to her, it's of no more interest than the football team she follows.
Maybe we've reached a point where we're comfortable enough with different cultures that we can pick and choose the elements from them that we like to make our own culture. We're seeing on a macro scale what's been going on in music with sampling and in art with Photoshop (and the collage before it) for quite some time. Different diverse elements are being brought in to make something bigger than the sum of their parts. One culture isn't enough for us anymore, we need to drink deeply from many different springs.

"Good artists borrow...

by Kevin Creighton

...great artists steal.
I've used coolhomepages.com for years whenever the creative juices dry up.

A UI nightmare

by Kevin Creighton

I don't know if you've been to Kentucky Fried Chicken (or KFC as it's now known) as of late, but they've integrated the swoops seen on their website into their store menu display. The result is an unreadable mess, where graphic design has trumped any hope of clarity.
The next time you're there, try to place an order from the menu without the help of the cashier. I dare you. I double-dog dare you.
Any menu that requires the help of a cashier to place even the simplest order is a failure, as is any UI that forces a visitor to think before clicking.

iPod killer?

by Kevin Creighton

Their Super Bowl commercial just BLEW, but The Olympus mRobe (warning: sucky Flash-based site) is closer to what may unseat the iPod as the "must-have" gadget than any other gizmo to date.
What Dell, Creative and the rest can't figure out that it's not enough to be just an iPod with more capacity/battery life/buttons, you need to extend the experience into new functionality. And a built-in camera is a good start. And no, video iPods aren't it. Sure, the functionality is neat, but we've had mini TV's for years (decades, even), and those flopped, why do companies think that the same thing, only with recorded playback, will do any better?

Another potential iPod killer is Sony's PlayStation Portable. Music and games on a handheld? Slam-dunk, but only if Sony's ditched their "ATRAC uber alles" policy for good.

An oversight

2.07.2005 by Kevin Creighton

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Don Giannatti within my first few posts. Don suggested I start this blog and has always been ahead of the pack in understanding the business of photography and leads the pack with his imagery. Check out his blog above or visit his website.

Pro Digital Image

by Kevin Creighton

If you haven't checked out the Photoshop tips at Pro Digital Image, do so now. Steve taught me everything I know about color management from capture to print.

Even Ansel Adams would love this

by Kevin Creighton

Gigapixel images from a film camera. Technically not a pure digital image, but nice results nevertheless. What surprises me is that for all the technical wizardry this guy uses, his images are first-rate, too. That doesn't happen that often with technical-oriented shooters.

Outlook Killer?

by Kevin Creighton

Are this and a good port of Open Office the last links in easing MicroSoft's stranglehold on corporate IS?
Standardization is one thing, but at some point, the hassle of guarding IIS/Exchange from intrusions has to make open-source and alternate OS's a viable choice.

Begin The Beguine

2.06.2005 by Kevin Creighton

One more voice, crying in the wilderness. Design, photography, music, gadgets and cars.


Kevin Creighton's views on online marketing, design, photography and the future of technology


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