Friday, November 30, 2007

"Don't confuse me with the nice guy." (The Contract)

Communication 101: Sort a hierarchy-based interactive tool in accordance to urgency, then by most requested.

Example: The second option in the second menu should not be "If you are calling for emergency roadside assistance, press 2".

Keywords: emergency and assistance.

I could see this spiraling out of control. "Thank you for calling 9-1-1. If this is not an emergency, please hang up and call your local police and/or hospital for assistance.
If you are calling on behalf of another person, please press 1.
If you are in need of protection or are reporting a crime, please press 2.
If you are reporting a noise nuisance, press 3.
If you are reporting a missing or trapped animal, press 4.
If you are reporting a missing child press 5.
If you are a lost child, hang up and yell "mom".
If you are having chest pains or difficulty breathing, press 6.
If you are missing extremities like hands, feet, or ears, press 7. By the way, if you are missing a hand, great job on calling 9-1-1!
If you are bleeding profusely from an artery or are missing a limb, and you are still conscious, press 8.
If you wish to speak to a live operator, press 9.
To hear these options again, press 0."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

"Legen- caution for those who are lactose-intolerant- dary!"

1. What is the "animal spirit" on the left? Face of a bear, arms of an owl? Huh?
2. I don't know if having a mascot with a tattoo is a good idea, especially when these are obviously aimed at children.
3. The creature on the right is a "sea-bear". Apparently a panda and an otter got it on?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"She doesn't look Druidish." (Spaceballs)

Here's a bit of information confusion. is a search engine. It helps users find content/information on the Internet. Content owners are slowly loosing identification because people are instructing "Google this" and "Google that" (myself included).

The removal of ownership is usually stated like "I don't know where I got it, but I found it on Google."

We can all remember Google, but we can't remember

So what's it mean to be a true information owner? If anyone can use a search engine to find your content, doesn't that mean you've partnered with a distributor? It's not like everything on the Internet has a market (someone that wants it), so a distributor is a good thing to have. And do you pay the distributor? How does the distributor make money?

Oh, yeah. The form of ad revenue, which is triggered by your content. So if the distributor is making money, why aren't you? If you don't make money off your content, that means it must be free. If there's no monetary value for your content, why would it matter if someone copied/used/lifted it? It's not like you use it for livelihood.

That was my little rabbit trail from someone's comment about finding information on Google.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Less Clutter & Noise- Kem Meyer

Kem Meyer is the Communications Director for Granger Community Church in Indiana. She has some excellent insight into keeping things in perspective.

Here's today's topic: Desks & Clutter. Look at your desk, or table, or wherever you do the majority of your work. Is it cluttered? Can you find stuff? Are things haphazardly strewn about? Finding bills from 3 or 4 months ago under your keyboard?

I try to put all my to-do's in a folder (binder actually) with my weekly schedule on the outside of the cover. I take this to meetings and let it dictate my weekly structure. Every Tuesday morning I write a new one. I leave room to jot in notes and the last minute projects.

That binder lives on my desk. As does my laptop, various projects, dropped off info and "requests", mints (out), phone, and my proofing work. On my walls I have a wide stretch of corkboard where I keep ideas, calendars, notes, cards and finished projects.

I also keep a section for "What never to do again" on my wall. Right now there is only one thing. I haven't printed out the other one. But let's say this: the proper way to spell "assess" is with four (4) 's', not 3.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tools. Real ones, not people.

I'm moving my blogging feeds over to Bloglines as my reader. I was running all blogs through email, but the subscription process was waaaaay too long.

Some blogs that are on my list are a bit different. Guy Kawasaki, for one. Brand Autopsy is another. And then I have Wired. Not the usual church-related blogs, but the topics each blog cover are influential in our lives.

I'm a MS OS user. Mainly because it's widespread and cheap. Mac products are expensive and I'd rather spend a quarter of the cost on a dependable product that I know how to fix and (more importantly) can fix. But that's not to say Mac products are dumb. Quite the opposite. Intuitive and innovative, some successful components that were exclusively Mac have morphed into the PC side.

I have RocketDock on my machines. Just like Apple's quick dock. Only on a PC. Here is where I can throw my most commonly used programs in an easily accessible spot. With Rocket Dock running, I can auto hide my taskbar, getting rid of that ugly clock/date/systray area.

I also have Google Desktop running, which has similar widgets like Apple. I have my calendar, weather, and wiki search running on my auto-hide desktop. It's pretty handy, although adding events onto my Google calendar doesn't lend itself to transparency. Yet.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

What if Google ran an Airline?

Here's a random question: What would an airline company owned and operated by Google look like? What would they offer? What would Google Air provide that would create a better and more attractive airline service than everyone else? Hmmmmm...

1. Flight times are shorter (faster) and flights are 99.9% on time (okay, 89.9%). Google knows that time is important. That's why its search engine is quick. Flights will be quick and on time as well. In the odd flights that are not on time, flights are refreshed- turn around and start again from the origin.

2. No flight would be overbooked. In fact, there would be plenty of room to load standby passengers. If a flight is 85% full, the plane is upgraded to a larger version (737 to a 757 or 767) to ensure a less than 85% bandwidth capacity.

3. Passengers are encouraged to bring their own snacks, and also to bring some to share with everyone. We're all in this flight together, so let's be social and exchange ideas, recipes, and stories.

4. When searching for a flight, the most direct route will be in the top 3 results. However, by entering into the Google "Top Flight" program, less-populated flights can be positioned at the top of the search page, highlighted of course.

5. Google Air will offer 3 passenger classes: First Class (15% of seats), Business Class (70% of seats), and Free Class (15% of seats).

6. First Class prices will be determined by the average market value of service. Business Class prices will be determined by the cost of the flight divided by the number of passengers booked on the flight. Free Class prices are, obviously, free. In true Google spirit, you may be offered a free upgrade to First or Business Class. Also in true Google spirit, your flight service may be suspended at any time, up to and including taxi and takeoff.

7. Flyers are expected to bring laptops and other portable electronic devices. There will be no in-flight entertainment. You bring it with yourself already.

8. Absolutely no other carry-on bags other than a backpack/briefcase/attache size bag. The size needed to hold everything mentioned in #7. Boarding and disembarking need to happen as quickly as possible to free up bandwidth. Google Air and its customers simply do not have the time to wait for you, Mr. 'I'm-on-vacation-for-three-weeks-and-I-packed-everything-in-my-backpack-and-carry-

9. All phones do NOT need to be turned off. In fact, it is encouraged to email to propose quicker and/or safer (less turbulent) routes.

10. All Google Air transactions are handled online. There will be no ticketing agents or boarding pass desks. Print your receipt, come to the airport, go directly to the gate.

11. Astute readers will wonder "How does my luggage get to where I'm going if there's no boarding desk?" To streamline processes (lower expenses), and to respect passenger's privacy (no Homeland Security searches), all luggage should be shipped to your hotel via UPS, FedEx, USPS, DHL, or carrier of your choice.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

"O Captian, my Captian!" (Dead Poet's Society)

What is wrong with people? Do they not have any etiquette anymore?

The movie industry has the wrong people staying at home instead of going to theaters. Why do people stay at home? Numerous reasons. It is so much cheaper to stay at home than go to a movie. If you can buy a movie on dvd for $19.99, you only spend $1.49 more for a movie you can watch at home anytime you wish. Sure, you do miss out on the giant screen, but here's are the non-tangible advantages:

1) You own it.

2) You can pause if you have to visit the W.C.

3) You can eliminate phone interruptions, or allow them at your discretion.

4) You control the volume of laughter based on who you invite over, if anyone.

5) You can make all the fresh popcorn you want for $4.50, salt it, butter it, whatever.

6) For the price of a movie soda, you can purchase a year's supply of Thomas Kemper Root Beer, or your favorite choice of beverage.

7) You can eat any choice of food or candy and not be scared of sneaking it into the theater.

8) You don't have Annoying Man next to you who insists of fetching out M&Ms out of a bag utilizing just his index finger through a hole you couldn't fit a No. 2 pencil through (Hint for you noisy snacker: BIG hole, cup hand, pour out).

9) You don't have the other Annoying Man thinking he's on his own couch, which miraculously enough, only fits him. That's right. In a theater or any other "assigned seating" venue, legs should be no further apart than the width of the seat you're sitting in.

10) The inappropriate "Howler Monkey" lady who laughs at the lamest jokes, or replays the joke in her head over and over, laughing each time. Look: we all love comedy and like to laugh, but if you're still laughing from a joke 10 minutes ago, I will go ninja on you and fold my ticket stub into a throwing star and lodge it in your larynx.

11) Oh, and also enjoying movies at home you get to avoid Mr. Texture Man. This is that guy who wears a nylon jacket or track pants, constantly moves in his seat, and creates that wonderful "whoosh-whoosh" sound. It adds so much to the atmosphere, especially when the boy is reunited with his lost dog in the movie. The warm, inspirational music, slow-motion frolicking of the boy and his dog in the fall leaves, while sister, mom and dad sit on the "WHOOSH-WHOOSH-WHIZZY-WHIZZY-SHINNY-SHINNY." Nevermind. The moment is gone.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

"They're cornering the Orange market!" (Trading Places)

My site is worth $77,796,957.
How much is yours worth?

So now all I need to do is find a buyer. Any takers?

"Are they ill-tempered sea bass?" (Austin Powers)

Ok. Everyone must remember that items will be saved for posterity. Just like your mother saved every report card, test, card, and random doodle, in today's digital age, EVERYTHING is accessible with a quick search. Even some print items can pop up in the most unusual places. Like this print catalog from 1977. Word of warning: there are some words that start with "A" and one with "F". But it's really, really funny commentary.

So if you want to see old web stuff, check out for the brief history of the Internet.