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Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Unusually Creative
Weird Ideas From Weird People
In the spirit of Seth Godin's "Google-Do" I invite you to submit the weirdest ideas you've ever come up with for inclusion in a soon-to-be published eBook titled "Unusually Creative -- Weird Ideas From Weird People."

The Concept:
During every brainstorming session (if you're doing it right) you amass a lot ideas that are just too "out there" to make it past the first round of the evaluation process. The concepts that made every laugh, roll their eyes, or literally groan out loud. The ideas that got crossed off the list first for being too outrageous to implement.

Those are the ideas I want.

As well as being a fun read, I feel the book will also serve as an education tool for those who hold back during the creation process. If they could see other examples of just how outlandish and ridiculous the first round of ideas created during a brainstorming session can be (SHOULD be!) they might just loosen up enough to create some outrageous ideas (and incredible solutions) of their own.

The Details:
Submit a short description -- it can be one sentence or one paragraph -- but, please keep your submission to a maximum of a half-page in total.

Along with the description, please include two sentences about yourself. The first sentence should be about you, what you do (feel free to include your website) and the second sentence should share one "weird" thing about you. Maybe you collect 80's rock t-shirts, or can sing along with the Moulin Rouge Soundtrack. Maybe you can touch the tip of your nose with your tongue or can crack your knuckles to the tune of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" -- whatever it is, tell it in a single sentence.

The Reward:
In exchange for your published submission, you will receive a free copy of the completed eBook and have your name and info attached to your listing for all to see. If you'd rather not have anyone know just how weird you are, please mark your description info as "Anonymously Weird" and I will respect your wishes.

Please send all entries to weird@dontheideaguy.com with the subject line "Weird Ideas" -- thank you for participating, and I look forward to reading all of your wonderful, weird, and unusually creative ideas!

PS: Please forward this to any other weird people you know. :)

PPS: To keep the lawyers happy (and off my back): All submissions become the property of Don the Idea Guy, The Idea Department and 100-WHATS Publishing. All entries are assumed to be the original creations of their respective authors. Entry submission grants permission of use for publishing. All other rights to the idea are retained by their rightful owners and creators, weird as they may be.

PPPS: Seth Godin just called this idea BRILLIANT (the all-caps are his!)

Friday, November 21, 2003

Organize before they rise!
From movies like George A. Romero's classic Night of the Living Dead, to the campy 80's teen flick Night of the Comet, to the more recent Resident Evil and 28 Days Later -- it seems we're only one toxic leak, corrupt government agency, or evil corporate experiment away from turning most of the planet into a bunch of flesh-eating zombies. I say the time to prepare for a possible zombie uprising NOW!

Apparently, I'm not alone.

Author Max Brooks must also fear this inevitable situation, and has published what I believe to be the ultimate guide to protecting yourself from the living dead -- The Zombie Survival Guide.

Both the book and it's companion website are filled with the latest intelligence on the brain-eating beasties. You'll find information on zombie outbreaks, physical abilities, weaknesses, and the things you need to know in order to prevent your own infection by the zombie virus.

Think I'm overstating the dangers of a zombie uprising? Visit Kevan Davis' Zombie Infection Simulator and you'll see just how quickly a zombie contagion can spread.

Consider yourself warned.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

To The Top Of The Stack
Thanks, Chuck.
This week's Innovation Tools newsletter contained a review of a "new" book I bought several months ago, titled "Think Naked."

Unfortunately, like most recent additions to my library, the book by Marco Marsan seems to have been another victim of my accumulating "to be read pile" next to my couch... and next to my bed... and on my kitchen table... you get the idea.

Apparently Chuck had a chance to read his copy before I got to mine, so he gets credit for reading it first -- but I BOUGHT it first and have the receipt to prove it! Okay... I didn't save the receipt... but the big computer that tracks all my purchases has a record of it somewhere.

Anyway... I just wanted to tell you that there's a great review of what is apparently a really good book (that is now at the top of my to-be-read stack.)

Thanks, Chuck.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Meet My Son...
...little Sony Snyder
The BBC website reports an increasing tendency for Americans to name their babies after pop culture references.

I get "Chevy" (could be after Chevy Chase, right?) but who the heck decided to name their sons "ESPN"?? Reportedly there is a child named ESPN in both Michigan and Texas! There are also reports of seven boys named Del Monte, twenty-two girls answer to Infiniti, and FORTY-NINE boys were named after a CAMERA and now have the name "Canon" on their birth certificates!

Only of names actually made me 'stop and go hmmmm...'
Apparently seven boys have been found with the name "Denim." Sounds kind of cool, but I think it would be a better girl's name. Sheesh! I'm starting to sound like the Seinfeld episode where George suggests the "Soda" for a baby's name.

Stranger and stranger... but at least it's better than being named "Courvoisier" -- you just KNOW there's a 12-step program in that kid's future.

PS: I don't have a kid... but "Sony" does have a nice ring to it, don't ya think? ;)

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Aw, jeez... he's gonna make us THINK
Don't worry, it'll only hurt for a minute.
I think I've mentioned this organization before, but now that the Brian|Blog features a "comments" section, I'd love to hear your opinions and thoughts...

My initial reaction to commercialism in schools is negative. Kids see enough ads throughout the day without subjecting them to a marketing deluge in the classroom. Then I started thinking about the woefully underfunded public school system and how tax levies are repeatedly defeated at the polls -- why shouldn't the schools get a bit of cash from an advertiser?

Yes, it may be a slippery slope -- Who will decide which sponsors to accept? How is the money monitored? Etc., etc... But I think a PTAA (Parent/Teachers Advertising Advisory) board ought to be able to handle things -- just in case Playboy decides to offer sponsorship of the sex education class or (heaven forbid!) the cheerleader squad -- and would have final authority on declining inappropriate offers.

As a creative professional, I am painfully aware of the fact that funding to high school arts (art classes, drama, music) always seem to be the first things cut. I don't have any kids of my own to attend school and take advantage of these classes, but I often find myself voting FOR a local school tax levy to help fund these studies. Who knows, maybe the Idea Guy will have an Idea Kid someday -- but mostly just to assure myself of the chance that these kids who will be running things in the future are having some creative instruction in their formative years. Why NOT allow Crayola to sponsor art classes?

I dunno... maybe advertising in schools IS going too far, but I think kids have a better line of mental defense against ads than most adults anyway. They grow up faster, are more intelligent across the board, and more wiley regarding the media. A bunch of them have webcams and audio software to create their own media empires using their home computer and cable modems! Maybe they'll start charging the cola companies to advertise on THEIR airwaves and earn enough to pay for their own college tuition!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this -- click the "comments" link below and weigh in on the issue.

It's quiet...
Almost too quiet...
Sorry the Brain|Blog has been so silent recently, but I've been preparing for my presentation at the Columbus AMA's Creative U on Tuesday the 18th of November.

It's going to be fun! I've dug up lots of cool, creative tools to share with you and hope to meet some regular Brain|Blog readers in person.

If you haven't yet signed-up for the event, you can get details HERE, and I understand from the organizers there is no extra cost to sign-up at the door.

See you there!

Sunday, November 09, 2003

The Norm
Another reason to visit my link-list
You may have noticed the increase in links to the left of my blog. Three of the links are to my favorite cartoons: Darby Conley's Get Fuzzy, Randy Glasbergen's Today's Cartoon, and Michael Jantze's The Norm.

While most folks would be familiar with the popularly syndicated Get Fuzzy strip, and many of you might know Mr. Glasbergen's illustrative style by his work on the long-running "The Better Half" as well as his cartoon books, greeting cards, etc. Fewer of you are acquainted with the work of Mr. Jantze and The Norm.

The Norm seems to take place in real-time, with his main character (Norm, of course!) going through bachelorhood, XGFs (ex-girlfriends), career changes, and getting married. It is a clever strip, entertaining, and the art/narrative style brings to mind what might have happened should Bill Watterson's Calvin ever grown up.

But don't take MY word for it -- visit The Norm website and subscribe to his daily cartoon. It's free, funny, and a great way to start your day. If you enjoy the strip and want to catch-up on the stories that came before, visit The Norm store and purchase a few of the boxed-sets collected past srips into a mini-magazine format. They'll look as good on your bookshelf as they do on mine!

Other cool (and free!) stuff on The Norm site:
• The Norm-a-thon is a pop-up you'll LIKE. Enjoy Norm toons all day on your desktop.
• The eLibrary -- here you'll find a collection of toons on specific topics and storylines. Lots of good stuff here, especially the XGF book and the collection of Normisms.
• and of course the requisite desktop wallpaper, icons, and eCards

Still not convinced? Here's a perfect example of why I read The Norm: Check it out!

...incidentally, if you're a Get Fuzzy fan, the Washington Post hosted an interesting online chat with its creator, Darby Conley. You can read the transcript here.

Eureka Marketing
Doug Hall's new book preaches marketing that matters
Doug Hall has long been a creative hero. From the first time I cracked the pages of Jumpstart Your Brain to the lessons on becoming a maverick thinker, Mr. Hall has always been the posterchild for the quintessential "Idea Guy."

His new book is no different in the quality of the creative message, but attacks the task of what to do AFTER you've created the next big thing... marketing it to the public in a way that stands out from every other media message cluttering up our consciousness.

There's a great article over at the How Magazine website on the book. I encourage you to read it, and invite you to buy the new book by Doug Hall and Jeffrey Stamp -- Meaningful Marketing.

Monday, November 03, 2003

What's on YOUR mind?
New "comments" feature added to Brain|Blog
I've been wanting to add the ability for readers to leave comments, links, and add-on info to my blog for quite awhile. I even considered switching to another blog system that allowed this featured. But, a quick question to the kind folks at Blogger.com netted me a list of several sites that offered free scripts and code to add this nifty feature to my existing Blogger account.

The one I decided to test drive is a simple pop-up window created by the cool people at BlogSpeak.com. Just click the "comments" link below each post and a pop-up window will display any comments already added to the entry -- listed newest to oldest. If you'd like to add your two cents worth, just type in your name, email address (they even offer an option to have this info stored for future comments) and click the button!

Pretty simple, eh?
All the best ideas are! :)

Click here to join ideas4u
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The Idea Department | PO Box 26392 | Columbus, OH 43226 | Phone/Fax (614) 340-7910