Quote of the Day

"If I tell my Facebook friends about your brand, it's not because I like your brand, but rather because I like my friends."
-- Mike Arauz

Geico Milks Online Memes

Geico is running a series of online videos parodying famous net memes while apparently starring some of the original characters, like the Numa Numa guy in the spot above. Smart and good for viewership, but as one YouTube commenter Agolosha wrote, "Way too much time has passed to be milking this. Should have been done like 5 years ago."  I haven't seen many references to net pop culture in "mainstream" brands' work, except  for that WoW Toyota truck spot channeling Leeroy Jenkins.  The question is, is this a one-time stunt with a short shelf life, or can online meme celebs be employed reliably over the long term?
-- more on Brandweek

Hamlet Across New Media

Hamlet as an IRC chat session, a text adventure game,  crammed into Twitter, and now as Facebook news feed (mock-up, original text ).

PimpStar Rims Display Images, Update Wirelessly

"With the PimpStar's built-in full color LED lights, microprocessor and wireless modem, you can display virtually any image, including text, graphics, logos, and even digital photos!  The included software allows you to create your own images and send them to each wheel individually or all wheels at the same time as you drive! You can even pre-load up to six images into each wheel and program them to change automatically at the time intervals you select."  Starting at ~$12K at CustomWheel.com.

Here's a video of the system displaying different logos, if that's what you are thinking.  And a much cheaper (~$100 ) SpokePOV (persistence of vision) kit that you can put on your bike that does the same thing, sort of  (see for yourself ).

Hokey Spokes and Spinvertising (2005)

Study: Weather Influences Stock Movements

Good Day Sunshine: Stock Returns and the Weather, a paper from 2001, claims that there is a "strong and significant correlation" between sunshine at country’s leading stock exchange and market index stock returns (discussion ).

Create Sparklines with Excel Plugin

If you are a fan of Tufte's sparklines, TinyGraphs is a free plugin that adds them to your Excel spreadsheets.

Update: after further digging, found a bit more:
- Another, paid but more versatile tool called Sparkmaker
- And a browser plugin called jQuery
- A way to do heatmaps in Excel
- a blog on the subject, Clearly and Simply

Canon or Nikon?

Nothing riles up photo pros on forums more than a newbie "Canon or Nikon?" question. And yet, the fact that this question is asked by so many people is an indication of a large communications inefficiency that has spawned a thriving camera review industry.

Remember how marketing textbooks always said that people don't really buy drills, they buy holes? Well, you'd imagine that when shopping for cameras, people are really buying pictures and not the expensive black boxes, but you can't really tell by the way cameras are sold today.

There are a lot -- a huge unmanageable lot -- of resources that let you compare the boxes down to their smallest and, to many, meaningless details. About the only way to compare pictures these different boxes produce is to shovel through the Cameras section on Flickr.

This doesn't make sense. I'm trying to think of another consumer electronics product that you buy for its output where you want but are unable to compare the output of different models. You can compare TV sets by walking up to the wall in Best Buy. For shredder shoppers, confetti samples are readily available on display. It might be tough to compare irons, but then I guess most people don't expect deviations in the quality of heat and steam.

I wish there were an easier way to make up my mind about a camera than trying to understand complicated reviews when all I need to know is what body+lens combinations produces nice baby pictures for under $700.

Onion on Emerging Media

From Onion News Network, a video report on the "Stupid Piece Of Shit That Doesn't Fucking Work". Also forward to your favorite UX designer.
-- via

Video: David Edery on In-Game Ads

An interview with David Edery, the author of Changing the Game (see excerpts on AdLab), at Brands and Games 2009 in Utrecht.
-- via

Cuban: The Great Internet Video Lie

The net hasn't  killed TV just yet because mass broadcasts online are prohibitevely expensive when at all possible:

"The internet is not an open video platform. Video distribution of any scale places you  at the mercy of just a very few CDNs [content delivery networks].   You literally have to compete for timeslots for very large events.  If you want an interesting excercise, call up a CDN and ask them how much it would cost to support an audience that is never smaller than 10k simultaneous viewers for a 1mbs stream, 24 hours a day, for 365 consecutive days. Then call up one of the satellite providers and ask how much they would charge you to deliver to 100pct of their customers, and then call up a cable company and ask the same question.  Total up the cable and satellite numbers and compare them to the internet costs. You may be surprised to see which is cheaper."
- Mark Cuban