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It's the users, stupid.

12.31.2005 by Kevin Creighton

Walt Mossberg makes the point few are willing to: the majority of computers are used by the people who own them, not by the IT department, yet the vast majority of computer manufacturers add features that appeal to the IT departments of the world, and not the end user.

He mentions the one exception to the rule: Apple.

Gee, maybe they are the computer for the rest of us...

Dot-Bomb 2.0 ?

12.30.2005 by Kevin Creighton

This post over at AdJab brings up two good points.

1. You need more revenue streams than reliance on AdSense and banner ads to make it as a successful website. We learned that lesson in 2001, and apparently, we need to re-learn once more.

2. The unwashed masses haven't discovered Web 2.0. I think it's because their hasn't been the killer app out for it yet, the eBay/Amazon/other website that we all go to, the email/IM we rely on, or the iTunes/movie trailers we use to entertain ourselves. Web 2.0 right now is a geek thing, and it'll take a non-geek to bring it to the rest of the world.

If at first you don't succeed,

12.29.2005 by Kevin Creighton

you're about average.


Via Slashdot, here's a look at the top ten failed technologies of 2005.

Two things:

1. One or more of these technologies will be wildly successful in the near future. Tech doesn't die, it just gets re-worked.

2. The "iPod Killer" won't be the successful one, at least in the near future. Ditching the best-selling Mini in favour of the even better Nono shows that Apple's so far ahead of the game on that one, it's going to take a failure on the scale of Lotus Jazz to slow it down.

Dumb, dumbdumbdumb

12.28.2005 by Kevin Creighton

(Hum that subject line to the tune of the "Dragnet" theme while you read the rest of this.)

Buying a laptop off of a stranger in the street: Dumb.

Taking it in to get a power adapter: Dumb.

Not checking the name of your salesperson versus the name inscribed into the laptop:

Really, really dumb.

Baen Books gets it

by Kevin Creighton

A good article on one of my all-time favorite publishers and their online efforts (they could still use a good web designer, it seems...). The amount of Baen Books I read growing up is... staggering. Glad to seem them embrace new media with both arms.

...and everything in it's place.

12.27.2005 by Kevin Creighton

There's a Flickr group dedicated to nothing but pictures of rust.

And yes, I am a member. :-)

Taking Don's advice into account, expect to see a lot of pictures from me on this topic throughout the next year.


12.26.2005 by Kevin Creighton

There's a bunch of good quotes here, from an article giving suggestions on how to win to my hapless hometown NFL team (geez, they can't even get their web design right, with that stupid intro page. Hello? It's not 1998!), but I like this one.

"You're either in the NFL or you're not."

A great article on what it takes to right a sinking ship.

Sucked down in the undertow

by Kevin Creighton

Don writes about something I mentioned previously, the end-of-the-road for Bronica cameras.

And Kodak's not making b+w paper.

Some people get what's going on. Some don't.

Those that don't, won't be along much longer. And that includes the people who use photo equipment for a living, and not just those who make it.

"Isn't there anyone out there who can tell me what Christmas is all about???!!!"

12.23.2005 by Kevin Creighton

"Sure, Charlie Brown. Lights, please.

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger'.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'

There, Charlie Brown, that's what Christmas is all about."

Merry Christmas, everyone. May the peace of the season be on you and your loved ones.

Addicted to gadgets?

12.22.2005 by Kevin Creighton

No I'm not, I can quit anytime I want.


It's not a problem.

I mean, yeah, I know it is for some people, but not for me. Honestly.


Via Don.

Intel Macs in January?

by Kevin Creighton

Certainly seems so.

With Front Row and the Video iPod, it's pretty clear Apple is making a full-court press for the home entertainment market, where their legendary fit and finish will make more impact than in the beige world of the enterprise.

While a Mac Mini would be perfect as a desktop replacement for 90% of the PC's in the enterprise, the fact is, out of the box, they make lousy business PC's. Too much to uninstall, too much to install.

Let the Dells of the world fight over who will become the next dominant IBM PC maker (even though IBM doesn't make PC's. They've learned their lesson.): Apple's too busy trying to become the next Sony.


12.21.2005 by Kevin Creighton

Aside from the rest of my enthusiasms, I'm also a bit of a car nut.

Daymn, I want one of these.

./~ Have WoMM, will travel, is the card of a man ./~

by Kevin Creighton

Okay, so I'm not Johnny Western...

But if you're looking for a cracker-jack word of mouth marketing guru, bon vivant and tele-novella expert, Jon Gabriel is your man.

Spread the word.

Speaking of 1993

12.20.2005 by Kevin Creighton

Remind me to have Michael Crichton pick some stocks for me. This article from Wired on the future of new media, written in 1993, is full of foresight.

I was around in 1993,

by Kevin Creighton

voraciously reading Wired and Mondo2000, and dreaming of a connected future. And Glenn Reynolds sums it up nicely:

"If we had of started planning (for the web, etc.) in 1993, we probably wouldn't have got here by now." 

And this article from 1994 on the future of advertising in an interactive age is almost... quaint.

Dig up, ClearChannel !

by Kevin Creighton

Finding bad things to say about ClearChannel is like giving away free iPods : It's the easy thing to do.

But heck, why fight it? ;-)

Now they're selling off "naming rights" to TV newsrooms.

Yep, that's going to go a long way to counter the public mistrust of journalists.

I don't know if it's art,

by Kevin Creighton

but I like it.

Okay, it's not art.

I still like it.

Another one gone

12.19.2005 by Kevin Creighton

I always liked Bronica cameras. They always seemed to me to be a nice intro medium format camera and a great value for the money.

They're gone now.


At least Mamiya's figuring out how to survive digital.

On the (virtual) beach

by Kevin Creighton

I love that movie, always have. Can't hear "Waltzing Matilida" without thinking of it.

And while I don't play online games, this article on the death of the Asheron's Call 2 universe was strangely poignant.

"So simple, even a bot can do it."

12.17.2005 by Kevin Creighton

The Advertising Slogan generator.

"Things Go Better with Kevin."

I kinda like that one...

Old hat

12.16.2005 by Kevin Creighton

Rexblog on the business model of new media:

"I'm still perplexed when someone who heads a company that gives away magazines (and believe me, the printing, paper and distribution costs of a magazine aren't free) can't grasp the notion of how to make money giving away something for free."

Read the whole thing.

Because into every life,

by Kevin Creighton

a little surrealism must fall, I give you...

The "Know Your Godzilla Monsters" quiz.

But Kevin, you say, what does this have to do with Macs, online marketing, and other such stuff?


And that's the point. 

Why Macs matter

12.15.2005 by Kevin Creighton

This post over at Adrants brings up a lot of good points on the stupidity of MTV's IE-only web design. Aside from the fact that the early-adopters who use FireFox tend to be more web-literate and lead the charge in accepting other trends, like the very video download service MTV is trying to sell.

And then there's the fact that accessible, cross-browser design is better for search engines.

Ignoring all that, though, why do companies, even big companies like Google, ignore Mac users? The ability of Mac users to become unpaid evangelists has been well-documented. What we like, we like a lot, and that's nothing but free advertising.

If you want to appeal to the bleeding edge, making Mac users happy SHOULD be a priority. If you want iPod-like market share, you have to start out at the same place the iPod did: With the Mac community.

A post a day

12.14.2005 by Kevin Creighton

Yep, that's what I promised myself when I started this blog. A post a day.

And this is said post for today.

They can't ALL be winners. Besides, I'm really busy right now.

Look, go read this or something and let me work, okay?

See you tommorrow.

No free lunch

12.13.2005 by Kevin Creighton

Jeff Jarvis says:
"Newspapers have neither a constitutional nor a God-given right to exist. They exist if they serve their communities well and are supported by those communities in one way or another."

I say:
"Commercial photographers have neither a constitutional nor a God-given right to exist as a provider of images to businesses. They exist if they serve their clients well and are supported by those clients in one way or another."

And if they can't adapt to the new reality of life on the web, too bad.

Zen and the art of Pringles-can hacking

by Kevin Creighton

Is there nothing an empty Pringles can can't do?

802.11b antenna, Macro lens for an EOS, what's next, Hubble Telescope replacement?

Secrets revealed!

12.12.2005 by Kevin Creighton

How to be a food stylist.

Mmmmn, glue.

Okay, I take that back.

by Kevin Creighton

I was down on this idea earlier, but this way of doing it makes sense, as it actually gives the consumer something they can use, a coupon, rather than a cell phone game.

And if they tie in a specific code to each billboard, then the actual impact of each billboard on customer behaviour can be tracked.

Not bad.

And in this corner...

12.09.2005 by Kevin Creighton

Looks like Yahoo!'s powering up for a run at Google.

First Flickr, now this.

Goona be fun watching how this sorts out...

Somedays, you just shouldn't get out of bed.

by Kevin Creighton

And if you're Sony, better make that "Some years..."

Looks like another rootkit / backdoor was found on Sony DRM. Unlike last time, though, they patched it quickly. 

"I don't know, something like 'CutCo', 'EdgeCom', or 'InterSlice'..."

by Kevin Creighton

How to name your Web 2.0 business.

Via Rexblog.

Everything matters

12.08.2005 by Kevin Creighton

Brand Autopsy has a look at how the "Broken Windows" school of criminology applies to business.

And I agree.

Not bad,

by Kevin Creighton

not bad at all.

Due to reasons beyond my control, I missed last week's "Lost" episode. I've yet to get BitTorrent running correctly (I know, the shame, the shame), so I bipped over to iTunes and bought it online for 2 bucks last night.

I was pleasantly surprised. It took a while (20 mins) to download, but the playback, even at 1024x768, was great, easily equal to broadcast tv. I'm not going to archive it (That's what DVD box sets are for), and it was great knowing it was there for me, fast, cheap and legal.

Apple's got another winner on their hands, based on my experience so far. I was down (still am) on the concept of a video iPod, but having a backup to TV shows for we the TiVo-less is a great niche for them to fill.

Flickr this!

12.07.2005 by Kevin Creighton


12.06.2005 by Kevin Creighton


Umm, wow.  

First, the good news:

by Kevin Creighton

the web traffic on this site probably shot thru the ceiling yesterday.


Now, the bad news: It was all from webpagesthatsuck.com.

We suck

by Kevin Creighton

Advertisers are trusted less than Congressmen (again) in a recent Gallup poll.

Less than politicians. Ouch.

How to stand out.

12.05.2005 by Kevin Creighton

Dilbert's a bit formulaic as of late (though nowhere near the rut that Garfield's in), but Scott Adams has some great tips on being funny. (And suprisingly, the frog still lives.)

One more way to stand out from the crowd. And I like that it's a cookbook, not a formula. Pick and choose from what you do best.


12.04.2005 by Kevin Creighton

There's a Virtual Market for blogs, a la The Hollywood Stock Exchange.

Behold, the power of the hive mind.

Just a thought...

by Kevin Creighton

How come there's no such thing as a Reformation Faire?

Ok, enough thinkin' for now.

Thanks, Dad

12.03.2005 by Kevin Creighton

Having my parents living in England for a while is reaping all kinds of benefits.

Like them being able to get me one of these.

Product review to follow when I get it in my greedy little paws. :-)

So advanced, it's simple.

by Kevin Creighton

It seems most of the photography advice I've been handing out lately is what to look for in a digital point-and-shoot. It's happened so often, I've got almost got it down to a boilerplate response:
  1. DP Review.com (or c|net, or Steve's Digicams)
  2. Digital zoom is useless.
  3. Low Shutter Lag (the time it takes between pressing the button and taking the picture) is important.
  4. Pick them and up and play with them. Find one that seems logically laid out to you. Fiddling with buttons = lost photo opportunities.
  5. Look at the lens. Typically (though Samsung's got some nice glass now), camera manufacturers have better lenses, and all the light that hits the CCD has to go thru a lens first.
  6. Download Picasa from Google if you're on Windows. If you've got a Mac, iPhoto is best.
(Note the absence of "Megapixels! Megapixels! Megapixels!" in the above list. 4 megapixels is good enough for 90% of the pictures people take).

The other non-computer tech advice I've been handing out as of late is iPod-related: Why choose an iPod over another mp3 player? What makes the iPod so cool, and why buy it over a Gigabeat/Dell DJ/iRiver /etc?

Which begs the question, why isn't there a dominant digital camera model/brand, like there is with mp3 players?

It's not that Apple's never made a digital camera before, and in fact digital cameras have been around longer than mp3 players. And there's been dominant consumer camera models / brands in the past, like the Canon AE-1, Minolta Maxxum, Olympus OM-1, Argus C3 and even Kodak's Brownie line.

But we've not seen that one camera model really grab hold in the digital cameras like the iPod has with digital music. There's been some great, innovative cameras like Nikon's CoolPix 900 and the new slim-line Casios, but nothing's excited the consumer and been THE force in the market (yet) as the iPod has with music.

Although I love my Canon S50 and Nikon D70, the fact is, they're not cool. Useful, affordable and reliable, but not cool. Compared to my iPod, their interfaces are clunky, their controls are awkward, apparently placed at random and different from one camera to the next. Because of the different shape and layout of each camera, the learning curve is new for each camera you buy. Sure, the shutter release is usually by your right index finger, but after that, there's no consistency of control placement. The camera UI is also different from one brand to the next, and even between different models in the same line.

And then there's the different software each camera manufacturer bundles with their digital cameras. WalMart, CostCo and Ritz Camera may use different companies to develop the 35mm film rolls dropped off at their stores, but their envelopes are the same size, the type of services they provide is similar and the information they need to complete the processing is identical. The same can't be said for the software to download a picture from a Nikon camera and an Olympus camera.

The consumer digital camera market today looks like mp3 players did in early 2001. Sure, we know we need one, and there's a lot of solutions out there, but no one's figured out the right combination of price, features and usablity like Apple did with the iPod. When the iPod and iTunes rolled out, the rest of the industry saw how to do digital music right, and quickly copied Apple's lead. That same idea with digital photography for the consumer, done correctly from start to finish, has yet to appear.

*glares, taps foot*

12.02.2005 by Kevin Creighton

*stares in Jon's direction*

You got some 'splainin to do, boy. :-)

What can the media and marketing learn from U2?

by Kevin Creighton

Quite a lot, actually.

I loved the "Quick, what's the last Rolling Stones' album?" line. Ye-ouch. :-)

Stop giving away iPods

12.01.2005 by Kevin Creighton

I agree.

Look, giving away something as hot as the iPod is a no-brainer. It's as easy a marketing trick as lowering prices to drive sales. And quite frankly, giving away an iPod is getting a bit old...


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


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