I actually like this Hermes

Tacky. Temporary and Obsolete. They could quite be some words to describe foldable furniture that is so synonymous with outdoor furniture, that people often sidestep it over their other indoor treasures. French Luxury house Hermes that is known for its foldable indoor and outdoor furniture has just emerged with an ultra luxury update on its Hermes Crocodile Pippa folding chair. It is a folding seat that does not look outdoor, is stylishly elegant and yet comfortable.

Its classy design and limited edition features make it look the pride of a living room, for it is finished in matte black crocodile skin. The chair’s structure is made of ebony finish maple and nickel plated hardware. Pippa chair’s design was originally inspired by Jean Michel Frank and Paul Dupre-Lafont designs of 40s and 50s.

Twenty years ago, Pippa’s chic design had pear wood. Rena Dumas, principal of the Paris-based design firm Rena Dumas Architecture Interieur and wife of Hermes President Jean-Louis Dumas-Hermes designed the chair. It has since been developed with care and panache. The only thing that could come between you and the chair is its fancy price tag of $ 24,000. If you are still rich in these times of recession, go for the almost-holy furniture.

Via JustLuxe

Hispanic viewers hooked on the new American idol (Barack Obama)

Jan. 29, 2009
by Richard Kaplan for HispanicBusiness.com


U.S. Hispanics tuned into the festivities of the newly inaugurated president on Tuesday night and gave President Barack Obama and his crew of crooners, celebrities, homeboys, and cabinet secretaries high ratings. ABC's broadcast of this year's inaugural balls and celebrations earned a rating of 4.4 and was the fourth most-watched English-language program for the week of January 19-25

Sign Up For Blockbuster, Get 2 Weeks FREE TrialThe only English-language shows to capture more viewers than the dance moves of the new American idol-in-chief and his wife Michelle were the tryouts for the next American Idol, which again took the first and second ratings as most-watched English language shows for the week, while Grey's Anatomy captured the third spot, according to numbers released by the Nielsen Media Group.

This week's American Idol auditions occurred in the big city of San Francisco and middle-America Louisville, Kentucky. Critics panned the proceedings as unbearably dull, while judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Kara DioGuardi strove to enliven the proceedings with their own bickering, quips, and hum-alongs. As usual, Cowell's sharp wit administered an electric shock or two to the lifeless proceedings. To one young aspiring singer, he remarked that her quavery version of "Summertime" rubbed him the wrong way: "It was like you were drunk -- and I'm not talking one or two bottles, I'm talking a crate."

A new show breaking into the top-ten ratings is Lie to Me, which premiered on January 21. Lie to Me is a crime detective drama. Unlike Medium with its reliance on the psychic insights of its star Allison DuBois (Patricia Arquette) or The Mentalist, where the hero Patrick Jan (Simon Baker) solves crime with his exceedingly sharp observation skills, Lie to Me features Dr. Cal Lightman (Tim Roth), an expert who can read the human face, body and voice to discover the truth in criminal investigations. Lie to Me earned an impressive 3.8 rating among Hispanic viewers on its first outing.

Among Spanish-language programs, Univision scored again. It's primetime telenovelas, or soap operas, were one, two and three in the ratings. Fuego En La Sangre (Fire in the Blood), the number-one program, gained more than triple the viewers of the top offering of Telemundo, the second-largest Spanish-language network in the United States.

Univision's success demonstrates why the supply of soap operas from Mexican production company Televisa is all important to the United states' number one Spanish-language network. This last week, the two media companies settled a dispute over royalties, with Univision paying Televisa $25 million in cash and an additional $65 million in free advertising, while Televisa reaffirmed its commitment to supply telenovelas exclusively to Univision until 2018.

Despite Univision's ratings dominance, the nightly offerings of second-tier Telemundo also garnered respectable numbers. Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso was 13th with a 7.4 rating, Cartel was 14th with a rating of 6.8, and Rostro de Analia was 15th and pulled in 5.7.

The following TV ratings are based on Hispanic viewership. Nielsen's ratings include viewers who watched the program while it aired and those who viewed the shows via digital video recorder within 24 hours of their airing. Nielsen says that the Hispanic TV audience represents more than 11.63 million television households in the United States. The rating is the percentage of households watching a TV program out of the potential audience of 11.63 million households.

Top 10 English-language shows and ratings (January 12-18, 2009)

  1. American Idol – Wednesday (Fox) 7.4

  2. American Idol – Tuesday (Fox) 6.5

  3. Grey's Anatomy – Thursday (ABC) 5.0

  4. Neighborhood Inaugural Ball – Tuesday (ABC) 4.4

  5. CSI – Thursday (CBS) 4.3

  6. Private Practice – Thursday (ABC) 4.1

  7. Two and a Half Men – Monday (CBS) 3.9

  8. Eleventh Hour – Thursday (CBS) 3.9

  9. AMW: America Fight Back – Saturday (ABC) 3.9

  10. Lie To Me – Wednesday (Fox) 3.8
Top 10 Spanish-language shows and their ratings (January 12-18, 2009)
  1. Fuego En La Sangre – Five-day Ave. (Univision) 21.4

  2. Cuidado con el Angel – Five-day Ave. (Univision) 20.5

  3. Don Francisco Presenta – Wednesday (Univision) 17.8

  4. Tontas No Van Cielo – Five-day Ave. (Univision) 17.6

  5. Rosa De Guadalupe – Thursday-Friday (Univision) 15.8

  6. Aqui Y Ahora – Tuesday (Univision) 14.6

  7. Cristina – Monday (Univision) 14.3

  8. Sabado Gigante – Saturday (Univision) 12.6

  9. Quien Tiene Razon? – Sunday (Univision) 11

  10. Hora Pico – Sunday (Univision) 9.6
Source: HispanicBusiness.com

...I'm really wanting this Harley

Staying alive


Find more videos like this (for Staying Alive) on AdGabber.

Bullies

Sign Up For Blockbuster, Get 2 Weeks FREE TrialBullies can't be bullies when they are alone. If you work with a bully, this is all you need to know. They need you.

A bully is someone who uses physical or psychological force to demean and demoralize someone else. A bully isn't challenging your ideas, or working with you to find a better outcome. A bully is playing a game, one that he or she enjoys and needs. You're welcome to play this game if it makes you happy, but for most people, it will make you miserable. So don't.

The way to work with a bully is not to try to please her or to question the quality of your work or to appease her or to hide from her.

The way to work with a bully is to take the ball and go home. First time, every time.

When there's no ball, there's no game. Bullies hate that. So they'll either behave so they can play with you or they'll go bully someone else.

Call her on her behavior (not who she is, but what she does). "I'm sorry, but when you talk to me like that, I'm unable to do good work. I'll be in my office if you need me." Then walk out, not in a huff, but with a measure of respect for the person (not the behavior).

This is a shocking piece of advice. It might even get you fired. But it will probably save your job and your sanity. Most bullies are deeply unhappy and you might just save their skin. If you're good at what you do, you deserve better than a bully.

Via Seth Godin

Unofficial Apple Netbook

Unofficial Apple Netbook Concept  WANT!  [from TechEblog]  randomsarah:   nickmcglynn:  animaexnihilo:voristrip:  MacBook Mini  I want! that is all


Citizen vigilantes pledge to kill “One Criminal A Day”

26 January 2009, 2:59 PM. By Camilla Rowan

A shadowy citizens’ vigilante group in Juárez, Mexico, has set a deadline for a halt to criminal activity in the city, before they begin “terminating” the life of one criminal per day.

The purported group, calling itself “Comando Ciudadano por Juárez,” announced its existence on January 15th by sending an internet manifesto to various media outlets.

After public skepticism over whether they were serious, or if they even existed, another statement came out on the 20th, giving the city a specific deadline to shape up by before they start the purging.

If this is for real, then it’s good news for those U.S. Marines who were banned from visiting Tijuana. Now maybe they can get their heroin/hooker needs met in soon-to-be peaceful Juárez?

Promising to take justice into their own hands, the group’s manifesto also stated that they were a non-political group backed by business owners who’d become frustrated with crime in Juárez. Over 1,600 murders were reported just last year in Juárez, and 40 more murders have already been reported since January 1st. Citizens of Juárez are becoming impatient and disheartened by the failure of counter-crime efforts, as evidenced by one headline that responds to the vigilante’s promise with the challenge “Why only one … ?”

The Juárez government and police are annoyed by the prospect of a vigilante group, arguing that even if the group is real, it’s not their place to act as the law. But they think it’s more likely that it’s not a “citizen’s vigilante” group at all.

“We really consider it is a strategy by a criminal organization to generate more violence and destabilize society in Ciudad Juárez,” said the Attorney General for Chihuahua state, Patricia Gonzalez. The manifesto keeps the group’s membership secret, attributing authorship only to “Comandante Abraham and Sub-Comandante Gabriel ‘Durito.’” Which actually helps convince us of their legitimacy. Who else but vigilantes would think up the bad-ass nickname “the little hard one”?

Well, we have until July 5th to see if it’s a bluff. Criminals of Juárez, may we suggest you start behaving yourselves? Think of it like Christmas: You’re not sure if Santa Claus exists, but it’s better to play it safe and stay off the “naughty” list, just in case he does.

Would you ride this?

solar-powered-experience-lift_rnzoe_17621

A ropeway ride is a hot favorite for the adventurer within us. We too think it’s a great way to enjoy and relish nature’s beauty and vastness. But then what do we do about the treehugger inside us, after all the ropeway is usually powered by a diesel engine? Well, you can keep the guilt aside for Fredrik Hylten has created the Taoyou Ropeway.

This new ropeway comes with two seats complete with security belts and a sliding floor under the seats. Wondering what purpose does the latter serve? Well, it balances the tilt of the lift. The sustainable lift runs on two wires that are powered by solar panels present on the roof. The designer has used double wires because they offer better wind stability and help increase the distance between the towers too.

What we liked best about the Taiyou Ropeway is its self-supporting energy. As a result, this ropeway can be installed even in the remotest of areas without having anything hamper its working as long as the sun is shining bright!

Courtesy: Fredrik

Eco-savvy garage

Seattle-based Harrison Architects bring a sense of industrial salvage chic to an otherwise overlooked space in this project for an environmentally aware Pacific Northwest couple. Translucent panels wrap around the upper portion of the building to allow for plenty of daylight (reducing the need for electricity), and a living roof plus recycled newspaper insulation keep the temperature comfortable. The architects used wood reclaimed from a bowling alley to create a workbench along the wall and metal drawers from a school science-display cabinet for the desk. Photos via Sunset.

greengarage.jpg

eco-garage-2

sunsetgarageinterior.jpg

eco-garage-3

greenroofsunset.jpg

Dia de los muertos: Brazilian model Mariana Bridi da Costa dies after amputation

26 January 2009, 9:18 AM
By Alejandra Alvarez


Brazilian model and pageant queen Mariana Bridi da Costa died early Saturday morning after having undergone surgery to remove her hands and feet.

The 20-year-old had originally been diagnosed with having kidney stones, but it was later discovered that she was suffering from a urinary tract infection that resulted in cutting off circulation to her extremities. The infection was caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a strain of bacteria resistant to drugs.

Mariana’s father, Agnaldo Costa, shared his grief with reporters, saying, “God is comforting our hearts because he wanted her to be with him now. I can’t accept that my daughter left us so soon.”

Our thoughts are with her family.

Watch erases your carbon footprint

eco2

The use of planet-harming gadgets has made our carbon footprints into carbon giant-footprints. Any possibility to reduce this must be done it seems futile to completely give up the use of necessary gadgets.

The Carbon Dioxide Scrubber is a device that would make you breathe a sigh of relief, and for two reasons. Created by David Keith et al, the Carbon Dioxide Scrubber gulps in carbon dioxide and purifies it, giving you cleaner air and thus, reducing your carbon footprint. The device has intake vents which pull in the impure air and lets out the purer air through its exhaust vents. Powered by kinetic energy, the Carbon Dioxide Scrubber can be worn on your wrist so that every movement would keep the gadget going. The Carbon Dioxide Scrubber has also been nicknamed eCO2 and is designed by James Kershaw and Chad Garn.

Apart from displaying the time, the amount of CO2 removed would also be displayed along with other details like battery life, date, and mode. A price is not available for the eCO2 as yet, so this gadget may just be a concept at the moment.

eco2eco2

Via: UberGizmo/Coroflot

Posted via email from ivanivan's posterous

Mercedes w/ the golden touch


chrome_c63_moe1

All that glitters 'is' gold if the stunning gold finger Merc is anything to go by! Model C63 AMG from the car mogul caught everyone's fancy at the Bling on Wheels Show at the Emirates Mall in Dubai. So far, we have no idea about who the owner of this grand vehicle is but we are intrigued and impressed by someone for whom money does not matter as long as the car looks like a million bucks (or should we say a hundred million bucks)!

However, some car cynics are worried that the gold mirror finish of this Merc is a real paint job or simply a wrap sorta thing. But we think that parking your gold-wrapped C63 next to a genuine chrome SLR will be a very strange thing to do.

We hear that the C63 AMG costs about $82,000, now whether that means the gold job is excluded or included, we don't know. But who cares when the bling is all over the car body and so classily too. A definite pleasure for the senses.

merc_gold_c6_2

Via autoblog & mbworld

Posted via email from ivanivan's posterous

Josh Pyke’s guitar boat for sale


guitar-boat-josh-pyke-850-100

Things that one does for the love of music! Last year had Australian singer and song writer Josh Pyke commissioning guitar-smiths Maton to create a boat that looked just like an acoustic guitar. Remember, Pyke rode the boat at Sydney Harbor for his Make You Happy music video. So after enjoying the guitar boat and using it for his PR, the man now wants to sell it for charity.

Pyke feels that his guitar boat has gained popularity as one of the highlights of his music album and wants it to go on and charm the lives of so many others. Apparently, Pyke will soon be launching 'Busking For Change' along with the Indigenous Literacy Project, and he expects the boat to raise some monies for that.

The guitar boat will be auctioned from February 9 onwards on eBay and will be up for just four days. So, if you have a dream of floating down your local river on a boat that looks like a guitar, well you'd better get the dough ready for you will soon have no time to waste!

Via MusicRadar & UnderCover

Posted via email from ivanivan's posterous

Thom Browne luxury briefcase / attaché

You may have the personality, demeanor or the perfect business suit to bring on the Wall Street geek look. But it will never be complete without a classy briefcase or attaché to complement everything else. Thankfully, Thom Browne did not merely have the bespectacled Wall Street types in mind while designing this luxury attaché, but also aimed for the product to be used by the working man who’s looking not only for class, but a long-lasting product of superior quality too.

The beautifully crafted attaché-case in black has a timeless look (suited for all international markets) and is made from the finest of leather. The very thoughtful use of heavy duty canvas and brass hardware adds a nice touch to the design too.

attache-case

But the feature that truly makes it stand out from similar products is the red, white and blue striped cotton lining interiors, which also creates the perfect contrast with its lustrous black exteriors. Exuding a classy elegance that most male (and female too) onlookers would envy you for; it can be yours for $ 6040.

thom-browne

Via Selectism / AcquireMag

Brazilian beauty queen Marian Bridi da Costa had hands & feet amputated

23 January 2009, 11:21 AM
By Alejandra Alvarez


Brazilian Miss World contestant Mariana Bridi da Costa has had to have her feet and hands amputated after contracting a urinary infection. The 20-year-old is still in intensive care and on artificial respiration in a Brazilian hospital following her surgery.

Bridi da Costa was diagnosed with Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterium, which can be fatal if left untreated. Her condition was initially misdiagnosed as kidney stones, but the actual urinary infection resulted in circulation being cut off to her extremities.

God, poor woman. We hope her health improves and that she’s able to deal with the loss, eventually.

UPDATED STORY HERE

Spanish-language media outlook 2009 (TV, MCD, WYE)

Sign Up For Blockbuster, Get 2 Weeks FREE TrialDecember 31, 2008 | By Gregory S. Davis

Capturing the minds, hearts and consumer dollars of the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population requires media players to convey an understanding of the cultural nuances behind the buying habits of Latin Americans. By taking a look at the Spanish language Televisa (NYSE:TV) network along with consumer product providers currently spending part of their advertising budget for airtime during telenovelas (serial soap operas) on the privately held Univision network, investors can get an idea of how to tailor their exposure to Latin American Media.

Huge Market

Mexico's Spanish language media company Groupo Televisa provides quality content in the form of television programming, radio broadcasts, film, print and other media mediums. Groupo Televisa may be best known for it successful distribution of its immensely popular telenovelas like "Cuidado con el Angel" and "El Nombre del Amor". Televisa supplies Univision, the leading U.S. Spanish language programming network, with a large portion of its programming, and it also exports additional programming via licensing agreements to over 60 countries around the world. Apparently native Spanish speakers aren't the only ones riding the end of their sofas in anticipation of the next scene of their favorite passion filled telenovela. Televisa reported record third quarter revenue of 12,459 million pesos ($919.5 million) for the period ending September 30. Its Television Broadcasting segment led the increase in revenues.

Televisa heads back to court on January 6 in hopes of wrestling away royalty payments from privately held media giant Univision. An eventual win by Televisa could lead to higher rates for its content on Univision, but numerous delays have slowed down the final settlement of the lawsuit.

Univision Ad Count Observation

Now that Univision is a privately held company, another avenue investors could explore to participate in the growth of Latin American media is to pay attention to the advertising done on the networks during the highly coveted telenovelas. For example, I watched an episode of hit telenovela "Apuesta por un Amor" for research purposes only (honest!), and by my count: McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) ran two ads; Wyeth's (NYSE:WYE) Robitussin featured its cough medicine working its healing powers once, and Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) also ran one ad reminding viewers of their ability to take care of their healthcare needs. This sort of informal research will give you an idea of which companies are tapping into the growing Spanish language market. These companies could be well positioned to capture consumer dollars in the future.

Final Thoughts

Latinos are expected to continue to account for the majority of population growth in the U.S., and according to a May U.S. Census bureau estimate Latinos already represent 15.1% of the U.S. population or 45 million people. Latin American media players are positioning themselves to capture the estimated $1 trillion of U.S. consumer spending expected from the Latino market by 2010. The current economic outlook may put a damper on these projections, but the spending power of the Latino market and the desire of advertisers to turn their brand names into household staples via various media channels remains a positive theme beyond 2009.

Learn more about memorable advertising, in our related article Advertising, Crocodiles, And Moats.

Gregory S. Davis is an investment writer and consultant for his company G.Davis Capital Inc. His core methodology for choosing investments include patience, diversification and asset due diligence. Gregory is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business. He is also a board member of StoriesWork, a non-profit organization based in Durham, NC that uses storytelling to empower youth and individuals to utilize alternative dispute resolution tactics. At the time of writing Gregory S. Davis did not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

UPDATE: Televisa and Univision settle lawsuit

Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:07pm EST

(Recasts, adds lawyers' comments, background, updates share movement, adds LOS ANGELES to dateline)

By Cyntia Barrera Diaz and Gina Keating

MEXICO CITY/LOS ANGELES, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Mexico's top broadcaster Televisa and U.S. partner Univision settled a three-year-old lawsuit over royalties on Thursday, setting a fresh start for the two to expand in the Hispanic media market.

Televisa, the world's leading producer of Spanish-language content, will receive $65 million per year worth of advertising from privately held Univision from 2009 to 2017.

The agreement ends a bitter legal battle that had curbed Televisa's expansion in the United States.

"These two folks ought to get back to business. This is a good first step," said John Keker, Univision's outside counsel.

The settlement will give Televisa nine more years of national coverage in the coveted U.S. Hispanic market using Univision's three networks.

For Univision, it means it will lock in virtually all of Televisa's shows through 2017, which will help maintain its leadership in the United States against rival Telemundo.

Additionally, Televisa will receive $25 million in cash, though Univision has already paid $21.5 million of this under protest.

Under a separate deal announced on Thursday, Televisa agreed to license to Univision the home games for the three Televisa-owned soccer teams: America, Necaxa and San Luis.

Televisa's shares rose on the announcements, reversing earlier losses. Its stock (TLVACPO.MX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) jumped 6.08 percent to 41.70 pesos on the local bourse, while its New York-traded shares (TV.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) rose 5.2 percent to $15.10.

OLD DISPUTE

The two companies had been sparring since 2005, when Televisa filed a lawsuit demanding royalty payments it said Univision had withheld as part of a long-term programming deal.

Televisa had alleged that Univision wrongly excluded some programs for which it was supposed to share advertising revenue.

The legal battle started after former Univision CEO Jerrold Perenchio made one of his lieutenants his successor, crushing Televisa's hopes of putting one of its own at the helm of the U.S. company.

The fight escalated the following year after Televisa lost a bid for Univision against a group of investors led by media tycoon Haim Saban, which offered $12.3 billion for the U.S. Spanish-language broadcaster.

Televisa later sold its 11 percent stake in Univision.

Asked whether the Mexican company would consider taking a stake in Univision again, Televisa's outside counsel, Marshall Grossman, said: "There are no discussions of that now. It was under discussion months ago, but the market conditions are such that it is not on the table." (Additional reporting by Veronica Sparrowe, Jason Lange, Robert Campbell in Mexico City, editing by Matthew Lewis)

Televisa and Univision settle lawsuit

10:06 AM PT, Jan 22 2009

A lawsuit brought by Mexico media giant Grupo Televisa against Univision Communications, Inc. has been settled, averting a potentially costly outcome that could have hobbled the dominant Spanish-language broadcaster in the U.S.

The settlement came shortly before Grupo Televisa Chairman Emilio Azcarraga Jean was to take the stand in a Los Angeles federal courtroom in an effort to sever his company’s ties with Univision by cutting off the pipeline of Televisa’s popular soap operas, called telenovelas, that drive Univision’s huge ratings.

Televisa sued Univision nearly four years ago for breach of contract, contending that Univision had cheated it out of royalties. Azcarraga Jean had planned to ask a jury to allow his company to terminate its 25-year commitment to provide programs to Univision.

by Meg James

Human-powered flashlight

I thought it'd be a great idea to get an alternatively-powered flashlight. Wrong!
 
The concept is that by shaking the flashlight, you'll create the energy needed to power the flashlight. Unfortunately, the energy only lasts for about half a minute at most and the light is barely enough to make any difference outside of total darkness.
 
Bottom line, this product sucks! If you see it and are tempted to buy it, like I was, don't. Even if you're getting of for free, don't accept it. Seriously, it's that bad. Every time I look at of, I get annoyed... Enough to waste my time blogging about it.

Victory launches CORE

kw09000-037_rt-3

Victory Motorcycles have unveiled their luxurious looking bikes which come with heavy bodywork and touring amenities. It is also minimalist and doesn’t come with any frills and hence, is a macho bike that only packs in power and vigor. The bike is called CORE and is supposed to be apt as it represents the core of a motorcycle.

It comes with 320mm dual discs and the 469 pound bike comes to a halt instantaneously. It comes with a 1731cc engine and the design looks raw and elemental. The bike also comes with 18 inch X Factor wheels. However, it is not clear when the motorcycles will go on sale and how long we may need to see  these monsters on the road.

Whatever it is, it surely is a power packed macho bike that definitely woos all the bike lovers. There is no word about the availability and it might take a long time for it to be available. The bike looks almost futuristic, in spite of being so simple and elemental. That perhaps is what sets the CORE apart from the rest of the motorcycles available right now.

Via: MotorcycleUSA

Mysterious Mercedes

Golden Merc

At a forum, we recently found a white chrome plated Mercedes Benz that almost looks like it is painted in gold. However, apart from this, not much is known about the car or why it was painted so graciously. The car is definitely the property of an oil rich Middle Eastern merchant and must be parked outside a luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi or Dubai.

I would say, this gleaming piece of car would attract thousands of onlookers and if you are the kind of person who would look for attention, this is just for you. Perhaps if you visit the forum again, you would get more information when the thread creator posts back. However, the one who posted the photographs did not seem to know the difference between ‘white gold’ and ‘chrome’.

Golden Merc

So perhaps that says a lot about the credibility of the car itself. Nevertheless, the car sure is eye-candy and will impress many people with its shiny and gleaming armour. I bet this car costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. Recession time doesn’t seem to affect these filthy rich oil merchants.

1252vmc

Via: DJLuv

Pandora starts using audio ads


Written on January 21st 2009 by Edward Barrera | XML Feed

radio21.jpgADOTAS — I’ve become a big fan of Pandora Internet radio and have been listening for a while, so I was taken aback a few days ago when I heard audio ads for the first time. Pandora has been around since 2000 and has been through its share of ups and downs. It was started as part of the Music Genome Project, ran out of money, raised a ton in March of 2004 and then became a radio service. Now it has become a popular iPhone app.

The company had experimented with audio ads in 2007, with apparently bad reviews. But the ad I heard about the television program Lie to Me wasn’ that bad. It was short enough for me not to get annoyed. The company says, “we try to be extremely respectful of your listening experience, & promise to be prudent, adding, “please keep in mind that you can subscribe for $36 a year to get Pandora ad-free.”

Their listeners, incidentally, are the stuff of marketers’ dreams: between the ages of 18 and 34, tuned-in, savvy and with money to burn. Their advertisers include Procter & Gamble, Microsoft and Anheuser Busch. But though the company has raised about $20 million in venture capital so far, its ad revenue hasn’t kept up with its growth rate. Let’s hope this new wrinkle keeps it going.

Posted via email from ivanivan's posterous

Love (and annoying)

The goal is to create a product that people love. If people love it, they'll forgive a lot. They'll talk about it. They'll promote it. They'll come back. They'll be less price sensitive. They'll bring their friends. They'll work with you to make it better.

If you can't do that, though, perhaps you can make your service or product less annoying.

I understand that "love" and "annoying" are rarely two ends of the spectrum, but in this case, I think they are.

I think smart marketers at Apple work to make products that people love. Smart marketers at American Airlines ought to work at making an airline that isn't annoying.

Firefox used to be a product that people loved. Compared to the alternatives, it was magical. You could go on a quest to promote it and improve it.

At that point, a few years ago, the Firefox movement had a choice. Either continue to make it ever more quirky and lovable (engaging a small audience, but with more passion), or work to make it less annoying (and allow it reach more people). Today, people like (not love) Firefox, they continue to use it, the idea spreads, but slowly. The goal has been chosen by the Firefox folks: to continue to make it less annoying. That's disappointing to the passionate, but it's a strategy.

Another example: I use iCal to keep track of my schedule. It defaults new appointments to 9 am, and if the appointment isn't at 9 am, I have to manually change it. Makes sense. Problem: If the appointment is at 4 pm, and I change the 9 to a 4, iCal sets the alarm to go off at 4 am. Hey, wait a minute. I have never, ever had an appointment at 4 am. Doesn't iCal know this? Why is it so annoying! No one is ever going to love iCal as it stands, or even with some simple improvements, so why don't the engineers spend time making it less annoying instead?

What could iCal do to make the product something you would love? Really love? Clearly, that would require an overhaul. What could they do to make it less annoying? 100 little things, easy to do.

Example: Momofuku was a New York restaurant beloved by many people. People loved it because (not in spite of) how annoying they could be. They were annoyingly inflexible. They didn't have particularly comfortable seating, or great waiters. And the flagship restaurant makes getting a reservation almost impossible. The quirkiness was part of the deal. Something to talk about when you brought a friend...

If all they did was think of ways to be less annoying, the restaurant wouldn't get better for the people who loved it, it would get worse. Unfortunately, they got really popular, forgot what made them lovable and crossed a line. The annoying parts got really annoying, and they forgot to dream up new ways to be beloved. I gave up. It flipped and I hate it now. It's unloved and annoying. Boy are customers like me fickle.

Think of the pretty ordinary things you do or places you go. Could they be less annoying? What if the marketers there spent time and money to eliminate annoying? No, it's not the sort of big time stuff that leads to love, but they're probably not going to get to love anyway. I'm not going to love my dry cleaner or the post office. But if they made them less annoying, I'd spend more money and go more often. Face it, you use Fedex because it's less annoying than the post office, not because you love them.

I think there's a chasm here. You don't go for love and end up with less annoying. You need to do one or the other. There are products and services I love that are annoying, but that's okay, because that's part of being in love. And there are products and services that are annoyance-free, but I don't love them. That's okay too. I like them just fine.

Put a sign on your office door, or send a memo to the team. It should say either, "Everything we do needs to make our product less annoying" or "Everything we do should be idiosyncratic and engage people and invite them to fall in love with us. That's not easy, which is why it's worth it." Can't have both. Must do one.

$10,000 jeans? WTF?!


Posted via email from ivanivan's posterous

Social media marketing madness

A dream chair (un sillón de ensueño)


Escrito por Yosceline el Miércoles 03 de Diciembre de 2008 a las 7:21 PM

¿Cuántas veces hemos buscado una silla que sea cómoda, bonita y que haga que mantengas una postura perfecta al trabajar? Denle la bienvenida a Daybed, una silla diseñada por Manuelsaez, que a pesar de que aún no sale a la venta ya debe de haber lista de espera.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from ivanivan's posterous

Video ad spending grows?

By: Edward Barrera

ADOTAS — Despite complaints that online video hasn’t figured out advertising, it still is the largest growing spending-wise (though it only had up to go).

Video advertising had a 245 percent increase in the first half of 2008, at $345 million, compared to the first half of 2007, at $100 million, according to eMarketer. Search was still the leader with a 23.6 percent increase over the same time, with display ads

Lead generation showed the lowest growth during the same time period, to $806 million from $799 million, a .9 percent growth. But as with search, once you get to a certain point, there is an inevitable slowdown, though sponsorships and classifieds saw negative growth.

EMarketer estimates show search ad spending rising steadily from $10.7 billion in 2008 to nearly $20 billion by the end of 2013.

iPhone Sketches by Stef Kardos



Disney artist, Stef Kardos, is posting iPhone sketches to his Flickr page.

The miniature digital paintings were done on-site using the Brushes iPhone app.

I wasn’t convinced the iPhone would be a useful sketching tool until I saw these.

Here’s a video demo of the app in action from David Onze:

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 30th, 2008 at 11:30 pm by Matt and is filed under Illustration. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Do ads work?

If the local bank were offering a sale on dollar bills, ninety cents each, how many would you buy?

Most rational people would say, "I'll take them all please." Especially if you had thirty days to pay for them.

So, why, precisely, do you have an ad budget?

If your ads work, if you can measure them and they return more profit than they cost, why not keep buying them until they stop working?

And if they don't work, why are you running them?

The time-tested response is that you're not sure, that ads are risky, that you can't tell. And for some sorts of products and some sorts of ads, you'll get no argument from me.

Digital ads are different (or they should be). You should know cost per click and revenue per click and be able to make a smart guess about lifetime value of a click. And if that's positive, buy, buy, buy.

And if you don't know those things, why are you buying digital ads?

When Amazon was at its key growth peak, the mantra there was $33. They would buy unlimited ads, of any kind, as long as they generated new customers for $33 or less each. There was a risk that $33 was too high a number for the business to sustain, but the ads were no risk at all. As long as they came in under that number, there was unlimited money to buy them.

How often do you hear the marketing person say, "that's a neat idea, but we don't have the budget this year"?

Shouldn't she say, "We have an unlimited budget for ads that work"...

Eco-fireplace


ecosmart-whole

We love eco-friendly stuff but when they come with a stylish edge to them, we love them even more. At the  moment we have been smitten by an Australian innovation that goes by the name of EcoSmart™. True to its name, this ones an open fireplace that is environmentally friendly too.

To begin with, EcoSmart™ does not work on fuel, so you don’t have to worry about any kind of installation of utility connection for fuel supple. Boy, what a trouble saver that is! Well, this quality makes this eco-fireplace ideal for all kinds of architectural environments. Designed by John Dimopoulos, the director of Geoform, Design & Architects Firm in Sydney, this fireplace hardly requires and keeping up.

So, what kind of fuel does EcoSmart™ really run on. Well, it is none other than a renewable modern form of energy called Denatured Ethanol, which by the way is known to burn clean and is practically maintenance free. Do check out EcoSmart™ Zeta for it’s striking looks. Yep, we do realize that it isn’t too original an idea but it’s always nice to have good options when going to buy an eco-friendly fireplace.

ecosmart1

ecosmart2

Via trendhunterblog2modern & ecosmart

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from ivanivan's posterous