Dec
14
2010

Here’s what happens when you let the inmates run the asylum. Robb decided he wanted to update our reader-board in our entryway with a nice holiday message. His original take was funny, if perhaps a little blunt:

happy effing holidays

Then, with a spark of creative holiday spirit (and the change of a single letter), he changed it to the more festive display:

happy elfing holidays

Well done, Robb. And “Happy Elfing Holidays” to you too.

Mar
8
2010

Recently, web developers around the world have pushed hard to end support for Internet Explorer 6.0 (often going toe-to-toe with clients who insist on developing alternate versions of their sites for this small segment of their audience). One glance at Browser Statistics from W3schools.com shows how much IE6 usage has dropped off over the past several years. In February 2010, the percentage of world-wide users on IE6 dropped below 10% for the first time (down from more than 30% just two years earlier). However, our theory is that this number is skewed by an army of developers who are using the browser for development testing. The actual percentage of end-users who are still on IE6 is likely a lot lower.

One creative solution we often recommend to our clients is to feature a warning message to IE6 users and invite them to upgrade their browser. We’ve seen some creative ways to present this warning, but our favorite has to be the blunt message displayed in the footer of Tyler Thompson’s newtoyork.com web blog. With the frank honesty you can only find on a personal soapbox site, Tyler speaks on behalf of all web developers who wish they had the balls to be as direct:

“Hi, if you are coming to this site via Internet Explorer 6, you might not be getting the best experience possible. Honestly, I can’t even begin to think about what your entire experience on the internet must be like? (…probably like riding a bike on the highway while cars blow by you on their way to Costco to get gallons of mayonnaise and 60-inch plasma TV’s). How will you ever be able to use this website?????? You wont. You’re an asshole and your browser is an asshole. So look, I’m going to be honest: I kind of hate you. BUT we c-a-n make this work. Here is what I am going to need you to do: fire up your Toshiba ShitBook© that weighs about 45 pounds, wipe the Cheeto dust off the screen, download Safari, delete Internet Explorer from your computer, punch yourself in the face, and get me a pulled pork sandwich.”

Pulled pork? Perhaps. Pulled punches? Nope.

IE6 compatibility warning

Feb
17
2010

Over the last couple of years we’ve seen an incredible rise in types of social networking. It’s gained such popularity that it’s now almost virtually accepted in media and advertising, as well as interpersonal relationships for which most of it was originally intended. I don’t think anyone argues the impact Twitter had on the Iranian elections this last summer or the sort of national news coverage Facebook received when it changed its privacy policy recently.

As the market for these general mega social networking sites cools down (though new startups are always welcome into the field) more specialized websites will start to filter into the cracks that bigger sites leave in their footprint. These newer sites have the potential to become their own mega networks over the next few years, and the following are a few we’re keeping an eye on.


Daytum

Daytum helps collect and keep track of data
www.daytum.com
— Daytum is a free social network site with a twist: It allows you to collect and share data about anything you’d like (most users record personal information) and graphs it, charts it, and keeps it in many customizable data sets. My first reaction to Daytum when I heard about it a few months ago was that it seemed awfully demanding. It certainly requires logging information regularly but it’s only to the depth that you want it to be.

I started out with just a few small charts and realized, to my complete surprise, at the amount of fun I was actually having. I increased the number of things I recorded and now look forward to my daily updates. I’ll use my own profile as an example, where you can see my general entertainment consumption, food and drink consumption, and how long I spend on my commute and the sorts of cool cars I see while driving it.

Taking a look around the site reveals that some users keep track of how many times people hug them, what sort of movies they’ve recently watched, what celebrities they’ve spotted, and the number of reps from their latest workout. There’s a catch, though: The site allows for no direct communication between users. I would say this is a big hang-up, but I’d be lying. I’m tired of a “comment wall” attached to every social website out there, especially for sites that don’t really need it.

Continue reading…

Jan
4
2010

I love AMC’s series Madmen. It goes back to a golden yet seedy time in the history of advertising. Overall it may be accurate to say it goes back to a golden yet seedy time in American culture. Having worked in Advertising & at a creative firm for a number of years relating to the show is fun however I get funny looks when I light up in my office or hit the scotch at 10 am. The only thing I dislike about the show is how short the season is. It seems like its over far too quickly.

Thanks to NETFLIX I got a great Madmen fix by watching Lover Come Back (1961). It starred Rock Hudson, Doris Day & Tony Randal. The movie included all the great elements of Madmen as well as a ton of the seedy ones…

Top ten highlights (or low lights) of working in the advertising/creative business during the 1960’s as witnessed on Madmen and Lover Come Back:

Continue reading…

Dec
29
2009

We have a lot of Apple computers in the office, but I’m very likely the only “Apple snob” here; though I should note that with full disclaimer I only have one iBook from 2002 at home. We know I can’t be a true Mac fanboy then, right? Sure. But that doesn’t stop me from slapping the little Apple sticker I got with my Sixth Gen iPod Classic (White) to my car’s rear quarter-panel window.

As such, one of my favorite things to do is dress up my desktop each month with a different Apple logo-themed desktop wallpaper. I’ve come across many over the last few years, but I sat down and finally came up with a list of my favorites. Below are 40 wallpapers that you may have encountered before, but I’m hoping many are new to you. I’ve attempted to hunt down and credit each one to its original author (I really hate internet thievery), so each thumbnail below will take you to the download location for that wallpaper. Keep an eye out for “view full size” and “download” links.

Behind the scenes Apple wallpaper

Continue reading…

Dec
4
2009

When I sat down to create a decade in review for our blog, my original intentions were to list some things we had all forgotten about and arrange them in a way that “looked nice.” The idea drifted around in my head for a week, slowly evolving to segment the information by year, color-coding, and eventually laying the phrases, quotes, and words out into the shapes of the years they came from. What follows is the child of that idea, a complicated arrangement of glyphs and characters.

The words contained in the shapes of each year are arranged (mostly) by chronological order, though some are moved to where they reached a fever-pitch and not where they were started or founded (Facebook, for example). A few years have a special section that encompasses a specific event or series of events. I’ve attempted to arrange those chronologically as well. The size of the word is loosely connected to its relative importance, similar to a tag cloud (which, as a term, did not make the cut). This is all subjective, of course, so you may agree or disagree with my choices. The ultimate intention of this piece was to present stories, people, movies, music and news in a way that let you reflect; parts of the image are purposefully abstract in the hopes that you will use the Internet to do searches or ask friends, family or colleagues to find their meaning.

Continue reading…

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