Tuesday, May 31, 2005

All Marketers Are Liars

My blog friends over at 800-CEO-READ just sent me a book by Seth Godin: All Marketers Are Liars (The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World) which by the excerpt below promises to be a compelling read.

If you haven't discovered 800-CEO-READ, this is the definitive site for providing business and technical titles to corporations, universities and MBA-programs, small businesses, as well as individual book buyers.

Jack Covert and team founded the company over two decades ago, and they have been selling and recommending business books to the business community ever since. They have a must read daily blog which provides great content if you're interested in books on business, leadership, marketing and much more.

Another good resource is Feed Your Intelligence! which is their new site featuring the works of leading business thinkers.

All Marketeers Are Liars - by Seth Godin Posted by Hello

“Every marketer tells a story. And if they do it right, we believe them. We believe that wine tastes better in a $20 glass than a $1 glass. We believe that an $80,000 Porsche Cayenne is vastly superior to a $36,000 VW Tourareg, which is virturally the same car. We believe that $225 Pumas will make our feet feel better—and look cooler—than $20 no-names…and believing it makes it true. Successful marketers don’t talk about futures or even benefits. Instead, they tell a story. A story we all believe.

This is a book about doing what consumers demand—painting vivid pictures that they choose to believe. Every organization—from nonprofits to car companies, from political campaigns to wineglass blowers—must understand that the rules have changed (again). In an economy where the richest have an infinite number of choices (and no time to make them), every organization is a marketer and all marketing is about telling stories.

Marketers succeed when they tell us a story that fits our worldview, a story that we intuitively embrace and then share with our friends. Think of the Dyson vacuum cleaner and the iPod.

For a followup, visit:

What's Your Brand Mantra?: All Marketers are Liars

Seth Godin - Liar's Blog

800-CEO-READ Blog: Review: All Marketers Are Liars

King Nicholas and the Copeman Empire: the caravan monarch

King Nick Posted by Hello

What would you do if you were twenty-five, unemployed, still living with your parents and had absolutely nothing to move on to in life? Nick Copeman's answer was to change his name by deed poll to HM King Nicholas and found an empire from his royal seat - a caravan just outside Sheringham, Norfolk.

Read the true life story of King Nicholas and the Copeman Empire: the caravan monarch. Here's a man who not just talked about being King for a day, but actually show the initiative where he "talked the talk and is walking the walk".

Musings on blogs go from bad to verse

OK, I know we can get all passionate about blogging - but it's always good to laugh at oneself (preferably outside, where there is fresh air!)

Peter Chianca muses on the deep seedy side of random blogging... and by the way, his blog is quite good! (I'm adding it to my neighborhood.)

Honor the Golden Rule of blogging. 2 Opinions 3:16 Posted by Hello

Musings on blogs go from bad to verse
By Peter Chianca/ At Large
Tuesday, May 31, 2005

As some of you may know, I recently started a "blog," which is not a nickname for a cross between breakfast and a frog. That would be a "brog." A blog, rather, is a Web site that allows anyone with a computer to share his or her random thoughts with the world, or at least with the four or five people who come across it accidentally while looking for porn. Read on...

Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day: Honor, Valor, Tribute

A World War II veteran looks at the national World War II Memorial on the mall in Washington, D.C.
Spc. Lorie Jewell
 Posted by Hello

"In moments where a tear falls from sadness, I find it transformed into a tear of pride. Being here reminds me of what a great nation we live in, whether we remember it all the time or not. Perhaps it is not necessarily patriotism that makes everyone join the military, but being in the military and seeing the world, one cannot help but long for America, to see her beauty, to realize how special she is."
- From a blog by Army Reserve Sgt. Chris Missick, 24

USATODAY.com - 'Milbloggers' are typing their place in history

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)

Soldier blogs bring the front line to the folks at home | csmonitor.com

"I don’t care if you think we should not be in Iraq or Afghanistan. What I care about are the soldiers who are doing their nation’s bidding. If we treat them as we did the Vietnam generation it will be the ultimate statement of our moral poverty as a people. Love them. Honor them. Thank them. They didn’t start the war but they are fighting it well and they are long from being done. Let’s not help create another generation of haunted veterans. We are better than that and, more importantly, the sacrifices of our countrymen abroad call for the best we have to give."
From a blog by Stephen Mansfield, author of The Faith of the American Soldier

A floral tribute and U.S. flags lay among the thousands of headstones of U.S. servicemen buried at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington DC, May 30, 2005. Memorial Day, May 30, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in the nation's military service, and this year's holiday coincides with the dedication of a World War II memorial that has drawn hundreds of thousands of veterans for what is likely the last major gathering of U.S. soldiers from that conflict. Posted by Hello

Memorial Day originated in 1868, when Union General John A. Logan designated a day in which the graves of Civil War soldiers would be decorated. Known as Decoration Day, the holiday was changed to Memorial Day within twenty years, becoming a holiday dedicated to the memory of all war dead. It became a federal holiday in 1971, and is now observed on the last Monday in May.

PalmSource Honors Leading Palm OS Developers with Powered Up Awards

One of the most anticipated events (and my favorite) at the PalmSource DevCon is the announcement of the Powered Up Awards; below is the hacked press release with photos inserted and links back to the Palmgear website where you can download a trial version. Check all four out; they are all outstanding applications.

Having worked with these developers for the past several years, I feel like a proud parent at a high school or college graduation!

Four Developers Recognized at Fifth Annual US PalmSource Mobile Summit & DevCon

PalmSource honored four Palm OS developers with Powered Up Awards at its fifth annual U.S. PalmSource Mobile Summit & DevCon. The awards recognize four of the most innovative Palm OS applications from among the 400,000 Palm OS developers and showcases industry-leading mobile Palm OS applications that utilize the advanced features of Palm Powered™ smartphones and mobile devices.

Selected from thousands of nominations (more than 150% over last year), the four Powered Up Award winners were chosen by their peers, fans, PalmSource employees, and licensee partners based upon the following criteria:

Innovation- Solutions that are truly unique and run on the latest Palm Powered devices.
Popularity- Solutions that lead the industy in sales and downloads;
Benefits- Solutions that enhance quality of life;
Ease of Use- Solutions that are simple, elegant and useful;
Support- Solutions that are regularly updated with readily available product support.

Winners were selected in four categories and include:

Best Enterprise / Productivity Solution: The Missing Sync by Mark/Space, Inc.

Powered Up Winner - Mark/Space Posted by Hello

The Missing Sync for the Palm OS® platform is designed to provide Mac users with an unparalleled synchronization manager for Palm Powered™ mobile devices and smartphones. In addition to supporting existing Mac conduits and synchronization technology, The Missing Sync adds Wi-Fi synchronization, intuitive conduit management, Internet access over USB and Bluetooth, desktop mounting of memory cards and other features previously unavailable to Mac users. Designed for seamless integration with iPhoto and iTunes users have mobile access to their digital media. Developers can leverage The Missing Sync's framework to create new Mac conduits for Palm OS using advanced tools such as Apple's Xcode. going forward, The Missing Sync for Palm OS Cobalt ensures continued Mac synchronization support through future generations of Palm Powered mobile devices and smartphones.

Best Multimedia Solution: SplashBlog by SplashData, Inc.

Powered Up Winner - SplashData Posted by Hello

SplashBlog is a wireless photo-blogging solution designed to allow users of Palm Powered smartphones to quickly share photos with others. SplashBlog includes software for capturing, annotating and organizing photos on the mobile device as well as on the web with an account on SplashBlog.com where photos are hosted and shared with others. The new features in SplashBlog 1.5 include the ability for multiple users to post photos to a shared photoblog, a new portal page on splashblog.com that displays recently posted photos as well as the most popular photoblogs, and a streamlined approach to subscribing to other users' SplashBlogs - enabling users to automatically download and view all new photos posted to blogs to which they are subscribed.

Best Wireless / Over-The-Air Solution: Quick News by Stand Alone, Inc.

Powered Up Winner - Stand Alone Posted by Hello

Designed for the latest generation of Palm Powered mobile devices and smartphones, Quick News is designed to provide easy, mobile access to online news feeds and podcasts. Quick News is the first product to automate and simplify podcast downloading, delivering up-to-the-minute information from the internet directly to Palm Powered devices. This popular application allows you to easily manage hundreds of RSS feeds and quickly locate crucial and timely information from a sea of raw data. The latest version of Quick News supports both the internal memory partitions on the newest Palm Powered devices as well as memory cards, allowing for significantly increased on-device information storage. Quick News also features automatic updates, advanced search capabilities, support for embedded images, a flexible and configurable interface, attachment support, customizable shortcuts, proxy support and improved OPML import and export capability.

Best Games / Entertainment Solution: Village Sim by LDW Software, LLC

Powered Up Winner - LDW Software Posted by Hello

Village Sim is a village simulator where you care for and nurture a tribe of little people by teaching them the basics of survival. The object of the game is to grow a small village on your Palm Powered mobile device or smartphone. The villagers have food and housing needs, technologies to research and diseases to fight. As the village grows and prospers, the inhabitants become curious about their mysterious island home and the secrets it holds. Aside from guiding the villagers' day-to-day lives, the player helps them explore and restore the island. Village Sim is a true real-time game that keeps on playing - even if the player's device is turned off or if they exit the game. The villagers will have grown and new surprises will await the player hours later after resuming the game.

Dr. David Nagel, president and chief executive officer of PalmSource, who honored the Powered Up Award winners during his opening keynote, said: "Palm OS® developers continue to innovate at an incredible pace, making smart mobile device applications more valuable by providing users with what is right for their needs, whether for business, travel, learning or entertainment. We are delighted to recognize the contributions of these developers and celebrate the value Palm OS® developers offer the entire Palm Powered™ Economy."

Congrats to all Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Opening night at the PalmSource DevCon

I really enjoy users groups – as I mentioned in a earlier post, user groups are comprised of members/enthusiasts from all over the world who are interested (in this case) about personal electronics devices powered by the PalmOS. Some Palm groups boasts membership rolls of 30 to 600.

My first experience with a tech user group was in summer of 1985 with the Apple Macintosh in Nashville with a very dynamic MacUsers group. Having learned a lot, I come to have a special affinity for user groups, whether they be men’s Bible studies, woodworking, mentoring, leadership, book clubs or blogging meetups.

However a VERY PASSIONATE group assembled at the PalmSource sponsored Palm Users Group (PUG) meeting which was held during the PalmSource Mobile Summit & DevCon 2005 at The Fairmont San Jose Hotel.

No StarWars costumes here! Posted by Hello

Members range in experience from fresh new Palm owners to experienced Palm software and hardware developers. Please note, no one dressed up in Star Wars garb, so this group is somewhat grounded and tethered to their Palm devices.

Developers, industry reps and local PalmSource staff were there in support: The 3 Amigos: longtime developer Howie Hirsch from Penticon all the way from Israel; Kenny West, founder of PalmGear and David Fedor from PalmSource Posted by Hello

Cohosting and sponsoring the preconference event were the following user groups: Silicon Valley User Group - San Francisco User Group - Hayward User Group - Stanford User Group - Sacramento User Group

If Snoop Dogg has a personal Bishop, then one could surmise that the presiding “Bishop” of the area PUGS has to be Pastor Chuck “PalmPassionaire” Horner of the Hayward User Group, the drunk on PalmPowered Kool-Aid Evangelist and Baptist Pastor. Man, I gotta hear this guy preach sometime! Super nice guy! fo' shizzle!

Larry Berkin kickin' it off at the PUG Meetup Posted by Hello

Monday night, the approximately 100 plus? in attendance made up of enthusiasts and developers enjoyed a fast paced evening starting with a welcome by Larry "BigDawg" Berkin, followed by Dave Nagel, outgoing President and CEO of PalmSource who has a passion for PUGS, followed by brief talks by Garmin, Aceeca, Motricity, a very nice slide presentation by Stephen McDonnell at palmOne, Handango and Pdassi.

my Motricity homeboy Teddy Kavadas & Rob Jonson of Hobbyist Software Posted by Hello

The evening was a smart way to connect and meet for the first time developers that I've been working with at PalmGear. It's always great to match up an email address with a face. The PUG meeting ended up being very festive with a prize raffle hosted by Master of Ceremonies extraordinaire Steve Oberhauser for the latest Palm Powered devices, merchandise and software giveaways donated by the generosity of the hardware vendors and participating developers such as Astraware, IntelliGolf, Handy Entertainment, Last Day of Work, Motion Apps, Sniderware, PocketBender, TealPoint, Mapopolis, OnTime Rx, PDAapps, iGolf Technologies, Solid Rock Software, Aerodrome Software, and Atkins Carb Counter.

Steve Oberhauser - Master of Ceremonies extraordinarie Posted by Hello

PalmSource has made a very strong commitment to the PUGS with a dedicated webpage with resources and the ability to find a local PUG in your area.

In fact if you don’t what a user group is or the implied benefits, Apple has a nice explanation with resources here.

In closing, it would be awesome to see large regional events like this with talks by developers meeting with local users, similar to the format of palmOne’s PUGapalooza a couple of years back when the Zire and TungtenE models were introduced across seven cities to PUG Groups. In Nashville, Tennessee, we call 'em gatherings FanFair or CMA Festival where country music fans dressed in cowboys hats and polyester during Country Music's Biggest Party! meet up close and in person with the greats of country music (and have a great time doing so!)

The Joy of Tech! and Geek Culture!

The Cult of Apple Posted by Hello

Finally! The Joy of Tech! - a site where geeks rule and there is no shame to be a geek or a geek-wannebe. Tons of content and fun stuff to perpetuate one's lifestyle choice of no life outside of physical interaction or escaping momma's basement. So why do I have a wannabe kinship with this site? Check it out for yourself while I go outside for some fresh air...

While you're there, vote in the poll:

What aspect of the Cult of Apple is most likely to brainwash you?

The software.
The hardware.
The combination of hardware and software.
The iPod in particular.
Their places of worship.
Their leader.
Comics such as the above.
I am immune to Apple brainwashing.

iPodlounger creates iPod coffee table

Ashley Burrows iPod coffee table Posted by Hello

Larry Angell writes about iPodlounger Ashley Burrows and how he recently finished his iPod inspired “iTable.” It was a project for his A-level Design Technology course and it took months to complete.

“Basically, I started with a square frame built out of pine (this made the sides) and then glued a piece of MDF on the top,” Burrows said. “This gave me a five-sided cube kinda thing. To curve the edges I used a hand plane (yeah, it did take about 30 hours to do the curves) and a shaped block covered in sandpaper.”

This appeals to the woodworker in me! Given the proper power tools, I estimate it would 3 full weekends (under the chagrin of my spouse) to complete. The only design change I would make it to have a flat screen installed and also add a music component with speakers - this is where a MacMini would make a great fit! But then I would be extremely unhappy when I spilt coffee on it... grrr.

Think of it - one hundred thousand songs? And a stand up version can be created as well - an iPod jukebox. Which would be easier to create with a cheap flat screen monitor and tower PC. Add another couple of weeks to spec out the retrofitting and redesign to accomodate the scale of the monitor... hmm I feel a project coming on... Hey Becky, how would you REALLY FEEL if I...

The Retail Alphabet Game

Retail Alphabet Game Posted by Hello

This is a perfect game for those self-professed marketing/branding types to test how well we know our ABCs. It does conjur up memories of brands that we have been attached to. It's been noted as intriguing, addicting, and even a bit unnerving . . .

The Retail Alphabet Game is one part puzzle, one part self assessment, and a pinch of postmodern art.

When you select one of the [three] editions to play the Game, you will be presented with 26 alphabet letterforms, extracted from product and corporate logos within the United States.

Your job is to figure out the source of each.

Matthew Mahon's fabulous web site (w/ thanks to Lianne)

Kudos to Lianne for discovering Matthew Mahon's fabulous web site - one of the joys of blogging is the community and kinship of blog neighbors from around the world. Lianne is a small business owner in the GTA, Ontario Canada area and a contributer to kickstartnews.com - an online source for reviews of the latest hardware and software for your personal computer and PDA.

Her blog Liannes Lair is consistently filled with daily nuggets (where she finds her blog content is a mystery!) She's been very helpful with tidbits with my blog and hooking me up with GMail. I encourage you to bookmark her blog and/or add it to your RSS feed or Bloglines - content is updated daily, plus it is well done with only 2% blog fat...

Here's one of her finds and I agree one of the most unique and compelling web sites around. Lianne writes:

http://www.matthewmahon.com/ Posted by Hello

This is the site of MATTHEW MAHON, New Jersey Photographer. Matthew has worked for Time Magazine and a host of independents but I think his claim to fame will be his site. Without question this is the most interactive site I've seen without it being some kind of game site. Scattered before you are several of Matthew's photographs along with bits of paper (receipts and such) that give us some information about Matthew himself.

Zoom in and pan around the site to get a closer look at each piece and pay special attention to those that bear icons in the lower right hand corner. An arrow will allow you to flip the photo and get information on the subject and the little sketch of Matthew's head will bring Matthew and his assistant gum chewing "Hodger" into the shot with either additional information on the photo, or some goofy repartee. Truly and original site, designed by a very creative mind.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Giving honor where honor is due - fo' shizzle

Outside the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose where the PalmSource Developer Conference was held, rapper Snoop Dogg and his entourage of roadies, personal Bishop, friends, groupies, hangerons and wannabes were cruising through the lobby doing their "it's all about me - you can look, but don't touch" thang preparing to board the four buses from last's night whatever How The West Was One Tour.

Bishop Don Magic Juan.....fo shizzle! Posted by Hello

Off to my left, I saw a Marine waiting for his friend standing in the shadows. What a stark contrast. I went over, saluted him, shook his hand and said thank you for serving. Visibly moved, it was what he needed at such a time as this. It was nothing but a simple affirmation of giving honor where honor is due.
How appropriate to get an email later in the day (reproduced below).

Posted by Hello

He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and 155mm howizzitor. He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk.

He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must. He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional. He can march until he is told to stop or stop until he is told to march.

Posted by Hello

He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient. He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry. He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts. If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.

He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job. He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay and still find ironic humor in it all. He has seen more suffering and death then he should have in his short lifetime.

Posted by Hello

He has stood atop mountains of dead bodies, and helped to create them. He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed. He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking. In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.

Posted by Hello

Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years

He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding. Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood. And now we even have woman over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do so. As you go to bed tonight, remember this shot. A short lull, a little shade and a picture of loved ones in their helmets...

Posted by Hello

"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen."

When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our ground troops in Afghanistan, sailors on ships, and airmen in the air, and for those in Iraq. Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier, Sailor, Coast Guardsman, Marine or Airman, prayer is the very best one. (fo' shizzle!)

fo' shizzle - which means:
1) Fo Sho
2) For Sure
3) Affirmative
4) Correct
5) Alright

fa sho; for sure, that is correct; you are correct my good sir or a common utterance that represents the acceptance or agreement of an action taken by said persons.
thats shizzle be off tha hizzle fo' rizzle