How Many 5 Year Olds Could You Take In A Fight


I liked this promotion for a free online dating site.

Not because I endorse fighting gangs of 5 year olds (although I’ve probably had more experience of that particular activity than most, but that’s another story…).

I liked it because when you elect to put the badge above on your site you can choose whether or not you want to have a version with an extra little link to their dating site. I chose not to. But it was really nice of them to ask. And I almost said yes, just because they asked. If they hadn’t asked and just stuck their extra link in, in a horrible and cynical fashion, I wouldn’t have put up the badge at all.

Nice one Damn I just posted their link anyway. See how well it worked.

Oh and I like the fact that they put in a link to the forum post that inspired the quiz. That’s a decent thing to do too.

The Mysterious Adventure of the QR Code In The Toilet


I spotted this ‘QR Code’ stuck to the underside of a loo seat. And I thought to myself “what a peculiar, yet intriguing place to stick a QR code”. So I took a photo of it thinking that it might reveal the start of a marvelous adventure.

But now I’ve tried to decode the code using the Experimental ZXing Decoder Onilne (part of this Google Code project) it tells me that it’s not a valid code.

Can anyone put me out of my misery and decode this phantom loo-seat QR Code…

toilet qr code

Outsourcing In-Housing And All That Jazz

The Men From The Agency

I’ve been having lots of bollocksy conversations with ‘industry types’ about whether doing production in-house or outsourcing it is the right thing to do. I’ve always been of the opinion that you need at least a good core of production in-house. Otherwise you miss out on lots of things – especially if you’ve got a good culture of sharing ideas, inspirations, frustrations and stuff.

I don’t think that’ll necessarily always be the case. If the digital side of the industry reaches a point of maturity that could always change. But given the fact that it’s an open platform that anyone can add to and help to extend and evolve I don’t see it being mature (in all respects) any time soon.

I was reminded that I’d not posted anything about this when I was watching the rather super Men From The Agency on BBC4 on Sunday Night. It’s about CPD who I’ve written about before. And Richard wrote a very good thing about how they were a New Media agency when this documentary was aired back in 2006.

The thing that made me think about the in-house/outsource debate was the way that Alan Parker and Ridley Scott used to be a totally vital and key part of the creative team. Making films in the basement of the agency and pushing what could be done in terms of ‘making stuff’. Perhaps I’m not familiar enough with the types of relationships that agencies have with directors and production companies today. But from the little experience I have, this looked like a much tighter unit.

It was only later on that Parker went and set up a separate production company at the request of some senior CDP dudes (if I remember correctly and I might not, I was nodding-off slightly at this point). I’m guessing that this departure and separation was at a point where they’d collectively made their point in terms of creative use and evolution of the medium.

When I say I’m guessing, I really am. But I felt that there was a parallel that helped me to self-justify my myopic view of the world even further. So I’m going to ride it until someone tells me I’m wrong.

Don’t Count Me (dot com)

Actually when it says pre-Alpha, I think it’s more like pre-vapourware, but this is an open call to all the inventors and brilliant people out there.

Will someone please invent a web-hit-deleter.

A few times recently (in fact twice today alone) I’ve visited a website and then wished I could retract my traffic figures from its logs. (Maybe I’m particularly grumpy today).

I don’t want to be a ‘unique user’. And I don’t want anyone to mistakenly attribute my stupidly hanging around to see if anything meaningful would happen as some kind of ‘dwell time’.

What I want is a ‘pretend I never came here button’.

Surely The Internet, as the all-measurable media, can afford me such a facility…?

I can’t stand the fact that I leave an unquestioning vapour-trail of ROI behind me. I want to choose which sites feel the benefit of my visits and more importantly which ones don’t.

I also want a feature where I can send on a link to people to tell them to go and look at a site, but put a sort of cloaking device around them so that they don’t add to the site’s ROI either. At the moment if I send a link round the office telling folk about a bad piece of work I know that I’m generating valuable unique users.

So here’s my offer.

If anyone wants to build such a thing they can have the domain name for free, yes free. Totally free. I own it and to be honest I’m never going to use it.

I’ve got no idea how to build the thing that does what I want it to do, but I’ve had a few thoughts:

  1. It could either be a server installable thing that people choose to add to their sites in the name of fair play and honesty with their stats (like that’s going to happen!)
  2. It could be like an inverse Stumble Upon or Digg – where site owners can proudly display how many people didn’t dig their site ;-)
  3. More likely though it needs to be something that sort of exerts a subtle kind of pressure on site owners to look more honestly at their stats. And we all know we’re a little bit guilty of some subtle stats-manipulation from time to time…

It’s probably a stupid idea. But if someone wants to take it on as a project (even a novelty project) let me know and I’ll let you have the domain name (for free).

I know that what I’ve just written is a really stupid, elaborate, and long-winded way of saying that unique-users, hits and dwell times (especially in the day of the semi-infinite loading bar) are actually a load of old cobblers. But that domain is there for the taking ;-)