My Favourite Post in Recent Memory

The Logic+Emotion blog is consistently good. This post about execs not getting ‘new media’ is so spot on it hits the middle of the spot in the middle of the spot at the centre of the bullseye.

An extract:

“The industry has brainwashed us to believe that an experience is the equivalent of gratuitous Flash orgy Websites that pushes technology to it’s limits. Create something bright and shiny—consumers will take the bait and you’ll win an award right? Take a Flash micro site, toss in some viral for good measure, add a pinch of uninformed social media and viola! You’ve got yourself some digital marketing. Research? Who needs it?

Folks, we really need to start understanding what really motivates users. There are literally millions of enthusiasts out there producing quality content in highly search engine friendly formats. Not only is much of their content easier to find on the Web—it’s engaging, relevant, and the people who produce it actually talk back to us. It’s time to wake up. We need to get out in the field and understand people—what motivates them, and why they behave the way they do.”

Amen to that!

Read it here, really please go there and read it, I only copied a small bit to give you a flavour.

Searchmash (from Google)

I think I’ve found the perfect search engine. Or pretty close anyway. It’s SearchMash.

If you look at the T&Cs it’s a product of Google Inc. If you do a search you get Google-like results. Apart from a couple of handy little differences.

  1. You get some handy extras (you can search images, blogs, videos and wikipedia from the same page without reloading).
  2. You can also jump to the next page of results without having to wait for the page to reload.
  3. There’s no ads! It took me a while to realise that the ads were missing, but then I realised that was how they made the space for all the other lovely extras.

Interesting to see how someone like Google is ‘sandboxing’ even this level of minor innovation. Keeping it a safe distance from the core business. I hope it doesn’t go changing. But I bet it will. Try it now in case it does.

Horrible Misguided Integrated Campaign

Ask Campaign

Basically this site: and it’s associated advertising try to position this organisation as a sort of free choice organisation campaigning against the dominance of Google. But it’s a campaign for Ask.

It’s truly terrible. A massive trainwreck of the highest order. I could write pages and pages of bitching, but I’m not going to. Just visit the site anlook at the comments (if they’ve not been taken down). Some of my favourites:

Viva la Choice!
I’ll choose anything but Ask!

You people at Ask need to re-think whose gonna run your media campaigns. I bet you’re all thinking “yeah but we got you on our site and engaged in discussion”…Keep trying… over the next 5 years i’m sure you might be able to gain some of the market share you are currently throwing down the toilet with this sham!!

Spend more money in making your search engine work properly and sack all those media muppets that came up with this information revolution idea.

And this I really love:

Shouldn’t your ad campaign appear at least 1X on your own search engine especially since it appears several times on Google.

That’s what happens when you hi-jack an insight (or in this case a genuine human concern) and trick people into coming to your site. Strangely they don’t like it. Fair play to them for leaving the comments open, but I bet they were wishing they hadn’t.

And they’ve spent shedloads on media both on and offline. And they’ve built a blog inside an i-frame, muppets ;-)

Naming Babies the 21st Century Way

On my way to work this morning I was pondering the notion of Googlability. I’m quite lucky that both of my names are spelled in odd ways, it means that there aren’t that many Iain Tait‘s out there. Apart from Dr Iain Tait at the University of Dundee with whom I have an ongoing battle for the top Google Spot – note: I’m not linking to him as it’ll just bump up his Google ranking ;-)

But it led me to a thought. As more and more people have bits of themselves online having a good solid Googlable name actually becomes a valuable asset. Being called John Smith (or any international equivalent) actually means that you’ll have to get into serious search engine optimisation in order for people to find you.

So, next time you’re naming a child, think about it.

Especially if you’ve got a common surname…

The Value of Experimentation

I agree with Russell when it comes to the value of experimentation and play. Asi also brought it up in relation to the video-fronted search engine I mentioned yesterday.

I’m all for play and doing new stuff. But there is a degree of responsibility that we should collectively exercise. The same kind of critical questioning that we’d apply to doing things in the real world should apply online.

And yes, within that, we should be taking risks and pushing boundaries. But some things I’ve seen recently just feel like absolute folly. I suppose as long as people are aware that their ‘solution’ could just be something that crashes and burns, then there’s no problem. But I do get a feeling that people are being misled and missold things. I’d love to think I’m wrong and clients are up for spending money experimenting in bold ways, but I’m positive that this isn’t always the case.

As an aside, I tried some more to get into Second Life, this time with the help of a guide from Wired Magazine. I still don’t get it, but at least I’ve found somewhere I can buy genitals. Phew!

Cock shop in second life


Ms DeweyCould this be the most pointless thing ever? Probably not. But it’s a massive folly of some description.
Someone has spent a whole heap of money creating a video based ‘human face’ to a search engine. Type in your search and Ms Dewey makes pointless and irrelevant quips. Then you get a badly presented list of search returns.

It’s got to be a marketing campaign for something. No one else would waste money in such a stupid fashion ;-)

Sphere – Blog Search

Sphere: a useful new blog search engine. Seems to index things very fast. My posts from yesterday were already in there. It’s got a particularly nifty ‘custom date range’ function which shows time and volume of posts in a nice way.
Designed by Adaptive Path who’ve posted an account of how they arrived at the design they did.

Thanks to Leisa for the links, her appraisal of the design also makes for interesting reading.