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Great minds...

6.30.2005 by Kevin Creighton

... yaddayadda.

First, there was this,

then this,

and now Cringley's getting in on the act, too.

No posts tommorrow.

by Kevin Creighton

Moving here.

Finally.

The whys and wherefores

by Kevin Creighton

Mark Boulton's got a great design site, definitely worth checking out.

Mark Boulton | Information design

By way of Don.

Right the first time

6.29.2005 by Kevin Creighton

I managed to pick up a huge bolt in the truck tire on the weekend, and when I went to change the flat, I found the Nissan Crew Cab I bought new at Tempe Nissan came without a tire iron.

No biggie, mistakes happen, so I went to their parts department to pick up a replacement. They wanted to charge me $20 for something that should have been there in the first place. After I raised a fuss with their sales department, they caved in an gave it to me.

It should have been there in the first place, and it shouldn't have been a problem to get one. But it was. I'll get another Nissan truck when I need to replace my current one, but I'll now look around rather than assume Tempe Nissan will have my repeat business.

Compare that with the process of getting the tire fixed:

I dropped the tire off at Discount Tire. Their price to fix it? Free, because my wife had bought tires with them 6 years ago. And their cost to do the nasty job of re-mounting the spare under the bed and putting on the now-fixed tire? Free.

Whenever I need new tires, I'm shopping at Discount Tire, just because of how they treated me.

Customer service still matters. And I'd argue that in a click-to-buy world, it matters even more.

Dear Tina Weymouth,

by Kevin Creighton

If you're ever available, let me know. I'd love to talk to you about playing on this track (iTMS req).

But of course

6.28.2005 by Kevin Creighton

Buy a Mac for educational use, get a free iPod.

Is there such a thing as 200% market share in a vertical?

Great minds...

6.27.2005 by Kevin Creighton

..or something.

Remember what I was saying about smart RSS feeds?

Looks like someone else was thinking about it, too.

Because it's summer,

6.25.2005 by Kevin Creighton

and the 4th of July weeked is fast approaching, and because a good barbeque is right up there with Beethoven's 9th and Edward Hopper on my "Life's Little Joys" list, I present to you the best online guide to easy cooking on the grill I've found.

Enjoy.

My... precious

by Kevin Creighton

Sigh.

Obsession is a terrible thing.

Can't. Wait.

Update: Tuesday?

A little TOO much.

6.24.2005 by Kevin Creighton

So, we bought a house today.

Okay, technically, it's not ours until it clears escrow and we get the keys in a week, but the concept remains...

We did our walkthrough, and where we had asked for an outlet and a switch for an aftermarket under-cabinet light, they went ahead and installed a light and switch.

A rather ugly flourescent light. Not what I wanted at all.

The point? That yes, there is such a thing as too much customer service. Our builder *thought* they were doing us a favour by installing a light, but what they should have done is listen to our original request and just install an outlet, as we wanted. Now they have to uninstall they light, patch the holes, and put in an outlet for us to add our own light.

Sometimes, we don't know more than our clients, and an ounce of listening to their requests is worth a pound of "upgrades" they never asked for.

Who knew?

6.23.2005 by Kevin Creighton

OS X "Tiger" (10.4) handles Nikon RAW format without a plug-in.

Bruce McKenzie knew.

Why blog?

by Kevin Creighton

This is why.

"Unsigned institutional editorials on Deep Global Matters are an anachronism, a vestige of the top-down, shut-up-and-listen era when newspapers monopolized the municipal ear. Those days are done. The entire idea of an editorial board, with its overtones of egghead think-tanks staffed with MacNamara clones, may have worked for the Univac era. But those were the days of The Authorities. You know: whenever there was a problem in a sci-fi movie, someone Alerted the Authorities. That meant the big omniscient grey seamless apparatus with a million meshing parts. The Army, the Government, the FBI, the TV stations, the newspapers, the guy who got on the loudspeaker and told everyone to stay in their homes or flee for the hills, depending on whether the threat was Martians or irradiated giant ants. Authority is now a distributed network, to use an old buzzphrase, and no more so than opinion journalism. (To use another cliché: Some readers interpret a StarTribune editorial as damage, and route around it.) Opinion is now in such abundant supply that there’s no reason to value a newspaper editorial above a Powerline reposte."

Hell. Yes.

6.22.2005 by Kevin Creighton

Count me as one of the many who get frustrated with my bank when we see things like this. New customers get an iPod shuffle. And customers like me, who've been with the same bank for 20 years, through mergers and reorganizations, what do we get? What loyalty offers are tossed our way?

Busy again today.

6.21.2005 by Kevin Creighton

Yeah, I know, I promised myself a post a day.

So, this is said post. Not much, I know. Go listen to check out the latest music on iTunes or something, rather than reading this blog today.

See you tommorrow.

Instant Digital Polaroids

6.20.2005 by Kevin Creighton

Nice, simple and fun. Make a Polaroid-ish photo with the Polaroid-o-nizer™.

Great idea.

The tag heard 'round the world

6.17.2005 by Kevin Creighton

Don and I were talking today, and he bemoaned the one-dimensional nature of Blogger: All the posts are arranged chronologically. If you want to go back and re-read one of his more pithy posts from October of last year, you have know what month it was in, or else wade thru a stack of hay to find your needle.

What website stands for that, these days? Even the smallest site can have an Atomz search engine or similar on it. So what can Google do?

My suggestion: Tags, like Flickr uses. Allow each post to have a number of searchable keywords, making it easier to find the post(s) you wanted.

Let's take that a step further, though. What if tags were combined with RSS? RSS is cool, too, but it's one-dimensional, too. It's set up on a site-specific basis. With tags, though, it can change to a data-specific model.

Now, instead of subscribing to individual RSS streams, I could subscribe to "Mac news and rumors" or "Website marketing ideas" and have all the goodness that is RSS stream news and info from any RSS/Tag site into my reader. And just like flikr, where I can rate photos, I could rate the story, and set my preferences by provider by the quality of story they serve. If they spew out crap, I'll rate them as such, and they'll move down in the feed, much like I can filter the comments on Slashdot.

You heard it here first, people.

Why wait?

by Kevin Creighton

I've wanted an iTunes phone for a loooong time, but this little Automator/Actionscript/Skype hack looks like a nify little way to listen to your iTunes music from your cellphone.

Welcome to the new world

6.16.2005 by Kevin Creighton

Kodak's going to stop making black and white photo papers in 2006.

Still make the chemicals, still make the film, but adios, Polyfibre II.

Do as we don't.

6.15.2005 by Kevin Creighton

I wouldn't go around bragging about your web design skills, not with a home page that looks like this.

As Un-Digital as you can possibly be,

6.14.2005 by Kevin Creighton

This guy's work is amazing. What if Thoreau had been a shooter?

Wired News: Civil War Era Grips Tintype Rebel

Your Daily Dose of Irony

by Kevin Creighton

Flick Fiend on AdJab is now on my daily surf list.

Garry Winograd would be proud.

D'oh!

6.13.2005 by Kevin Creighton

In case you're wondering, marketing a product clearly labelled "Not for children under 12" to children under 12 = bad idea.

"Not with a bang,"

6.12.2005 by Kevin Creighton

"but a whimper."

When The Definitive History Of The Internet Explosion is written, the genuises who came up with the CueCat barcode reader will have a unique spot in The Hall Of Shame.

You'd think that idea alone would have been the tip-off that people had no clue as to what the "New Economy" was really all about, but noooooooo.

The hand that feeds you.

6.10.2005 by Kevin Creighton

I use My Yahoo! as my portal of choice, and while checking in to check my email today, I noticed a banner ad for eBay

Call me crazy, but if the competition is forcing you to eliminate your fees from your product, it doesn't make much sense to go around advertising their service, right?

Somebody at either DoubleClick or Yahoo! needs to wake up on this one.

No, really, the final word.

6.09.2005 by Kevin Creighton

Some more good insight into Apple's transition to Intel.

I'll stop now.

The last word

6.08.2005 by Kevin Creighton

What will Apple switching to Macs mean to the average user?

For now, not a whole lot.

All I know is they'll be coming out with the MacIntels about the same time I'll be wanting to replace my beloved G3 iBook. And aside from QTVRAS and the occasional Combat Mission game, there's not much I run in Classic anymore.

Get ready

6.07.2005 by Kevin Creighton

One of the staples of cyberpunk science fiction is "augmented reality", where virtual reality is used to alter our perception of the real world,
like a real-life PacMan game.

This about wraps it up for me.

by Kevin Creighton

For better or worse, the Mac is moving to Intel. Get used to the headaches that will come.

We live in a world where Microsoft is moving to the PowerPC chip, and Apple is moving to Intel.

*head explodes*

*blank stare*

6.06.2005 by Kevin Creighton

Um, wow.

Okay.

Wow.

./~ Give it away, give it away, give it away now ./~ *

6.04.2005 by Kevin Creighton

* I've been an RHCP fan since "True men don't kill coyotes", a song scandously left off their Greatest Hits Album.

Don's been recommending that photographers give away some of their images via istockphoto or similar for a while now as a cheap marketing ploy. It's been four years since I've shot anything seriously, but back in the day, I can remember the hullabaloo over paying for an ad in one of the high-end photo annuals or similar, as a way of getting your name out (and yes, I did it too). Photographers would consider the $2000+ they dropped on an ad to be a good investment, as it got their image and style out in front of art directors nationwide.

Which is, of course, exactly what istockphoto does for a photographer. Except it's free.

"But wait," you say, "I can't give my images away for free!"

We've all had times when an art director has walked into our studio with a photo annual tucked under his arm, bookmarked to the page of some poor slob who's shelled out major bucks to get his images in front of said art director, only to have his work shown as an example or starting point for what the A.D. wanted for his shoot with another photographer.

Congratulations, you've just spent two grand so someone else can take a photo based on what you just shot.

How expensive is that ad now? And how cheap does giving away a half dozen images seem compared to paying two grand to give your creative ideas to another photographer?

Whether you like it or not, putting your photos out in national distribution is in effect, giving them away. Your ideas are now out there to allow others to rip you off be inspired by your art. Whether it's an expensive printed ad or a free photo is up to you.

I'd buy that for a dollar*

6.03.2005 by Kevin Creighton

* double bonus points for the first person to leave a comment identifying the movie that used that as a catchphrase

Rex Hammock's talking about podcasting again, and has his lists of podcasts he'd pay to listen to:

"1. City tours (really, any kind of tours, including museums, historic battlefields, national parks, etc.) : I would purchase downloads of MP3s I could listen to in a rental car, driving into a downtown from an airport. Not like GPS directions, but fun, helpful information that tells me what I'm seeing as I drive in and gives me ideas of what to do while in town. Or, produce a series of 'jogging from your hotel' directions that tells a jogger what he or she is running by.

2. Mash-up music-news programming: I'd pay for a version of a 30 minute program of business news each morning that had jock-jam-type music in the background playing at my jog pace. I need music to get me over the next hill, but I also like listening to the news. Can't someone smash up the two?

3. Seminar sessions: I doubt I'm going to attend your $1,200 conference. But if it sounds compelling enough, I might pay you $100 to download each session a few minutes after it is finished. Rather than cannibalize your registration revenue, your session downloads are merely samplers for getting people to attend future meetings. Besides, I hate to break the news to you, but the real value of that convention you're putting on is the networking taking place between the sessions.

4. MP3 books -- self-publishing model: iTunes could, if they want to extend the long tail out long enough, become the Amazon.com of audio books -- Amazon.com is trying to do that itself, however. And Audible.com has such a headstart that Apple already partners with them. But (and I want to be sensitive here, as I'm a loyal and appreciative customer of Audible.com) who needs Audible.com and their short-tail, boutique approach to retailing audiobooks at ridiculously high prices? Watch this space for major disintermediation.

5. Motivational, self-help, weight-loss, exercise, how-to audio: This content is all over the place already...even on iTunes. (And I touch on it in an upcoming post "

6. Acoustiguide should sell anything they produce via iTunes. They probably won't as I imagine they view their business model revolving around hardware rental, or something. In reality, I doubt they'd cannibalize any of their rentals at museums as most people won't think ahead. However, the incremental sales on programming already produced will only increase the value of the short-shelf-life products.

7. As I said shortly after hearing the word "podcast" for the very first time, this is a perfect medium for certain CEOs. Unlike blogging, it doesn't require the CEO to sit down and write something. In this medium, a "scripted" presentation would sound awful. Authenticity would be rewarded and more times than not, when you get rid of scripts, CEOs can actually sound intelligent and passionate and thought-provoking. I would gladly pay Apple iTunes for an RSS-enabled daily feed of anything Bill Gates wants to talk about each morning. (I'm serious.)"


To that, I'd add:

8. Sermons. I'd love to listen to them again at work, too.

9. Mixes from well-known DJ's or artists. Think iMixes, only moreso.

10. Local music sets / jam sessions. Long Wongs is closed, as is The Mason Jar and a host of other local music hotspots, and I'm too old/married to go out at night to find the new scene.
I'd pay a buck for a podcast of who played Hollywood Alley last Saturday night, for one. And with a 30 second spot for the bar and a plug for the band's website to start the podcast, it's a marketing possiblity for both bar and band.

(Sorry if the bar references up there went over the head of most of you. Tempe had a great music scene in the 80's and 90's, but it's all gone now).

And the kitchen sink, too.

6.02.2005 by Kevin Creighton

By way of Adrants

Hilton hotels is demanding ownership all the pitch materials, scraps of paper, you name it, for their upcoming creative review.

Basically, to the non-ad agency types out there, they're asking for all the creative ideas and brainstorming an ad agency goes through in preparing a pitch to the hotel chain, with no guarantee they'll award said agency the contract.

They're using the agencies who pitch to them as suppliers for their own marketing and ad campaigns, getting dozens of ideas for free, and not paying the agencies who pitch to them one red cent.

Un-frickin-believable.

Good Lord,

by Kevin Creighton

Is it really this bad in the Windows World?

Egad.

"Quite an experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave."- BladeRunner

Okay...

6.01.2005 by Kevin Creighton

Since I'm it,

# of books I own:

Damifino. They're all in boxes in storage or in our garage. Two bookcases plus, let's say.

Last book I bought:


The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Time to re-read it, in anticipation for the movie.

Last book I read:

Permission Marketing by Seth Godin. Amazing how quickly what was groundbreaking in 1999 has become common knowledge in 2005.

Five Books that Mean A Lot to Me:

The Road Less Travelled by M. Scott Peck. A clear argument for a love greater than humanity. Brought me out of a dark time in my life.

A History of Photography
by Beaumont Newhall. The textbook for my favorite college class, ever.

On Photography by Susan Sontag. Not pretenious at all, merely a discourse on why the corpreal will always be more cherised than the insubstantial.

Macbeth. My eleventh grade English teacher, Mr. Woods, showed me just how wonderful the English language was through this book. I don't think he'll ever know just how much of a difference he made in my life by doing so.

A Greek Interlinear New Testament. My introduction to Biblical scholarship, and the awakening of the idea that spiritual faith and intellectual curiosity are not incompatible.

And I know this list is incorrect, as it'll change tomorrow, as I consider how F. Scott Fitzgerald or Robert B. Parker or St. Augustine or W. Gene Smith have influenced my life, but it'll do for now.

Okay, Don, tag, you're it.

"The deer now have guns"

by Kevin Creighton

As apt an analogy about the blog world as I've ever read. While the author of this article talks about TV news, it's very applicable to the consumer world, too.

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