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Monday, February 28, 2005

I Kicked Seth Godin's Ass!
Trounced Tom Peters, too...
AND Mike Tyson!

Discovered a new site called GoogleFight.com that lets you pit any two search terms against one another, with the winner determined by which one gets the most results on Google.

Don The Idea Guy garned 13,900,000 results versus the 335,000 by Seth Godin and 2,150,000 by Tom Peters.

In the interest of fully disclosing the fight results, there is a drastically different outcome if you search for dontheideaguy.com vs. tompeters.com or sethgodin.com -- or if you put the search criteria in quotes for exact matches. In either of those cases, it was I who was kissing canvas and seeing those little cartoon birdies flying around my head.

Although, I did still pummel bPlanGuru.com no matter how the names were entered --
Float like a butterfly,
Sting like a bee,
You might be the guru
but you ain't gettin' more hits than me!

Friday, February 25, 2005

Cool Tools
New RSS: "Really Simple Streaming"
I know that PodCasting is still being drilled into your heads as the "new thing", but I'm here to say plain-old-podcasting is yesterday's news.

From the time I've spent working with the broadcast industry, I can tell you that streaming audio has always been a headache for radio stations. It was a sometimes complicated process that could get quite expensive depending upon the number of listeners you wanted to be able to tune in at one time. One stream meant one listener, and you paid more for every additional stream you added.

Enter Podcasting
Podcasting allowed you to publish a single MP3 audio file to which listeners could subscribe. The file was then sent to their news feeder for them to download and listen at their leisure. The problem here is that although you no longer have to pay for individual streams, you're now asking folks to download the file, open an MP3 player and then finally listen to your message.

Yes, they could simple click on the file without downloading, but the file still takes a minute (at high speeds) to download to the temporary memory and open the MP3 software before it begins to play. The listener basically leaves your message/post/website because once that player opens you are no longer the first screen they see on their monitor.

This Audio Streamer is Anything but Wimpy
And now to the point, WimpyPlayer is the best audio streaming/delivery solution that I have found to-date.

This simple-to-install program (you copy TWO files to an MP3 directory on your website!) can be programmed just like a radio station -- you drop the files you want to play (spoken word, music, video) into the directory and they will play through the customizable Wimpy Player.

Wimpy Player features automatic code generation to paste within your webpage that will create a variety of player styles and options. It can also create audio pop-up windows that will allow the player to continue streaming your programming after your visitor has left your site. You can include the ability to download the audio files it plays, and an option shopping cart button so listeners can buy the audio they are hearing.

And YES -- WimpyAudio also has a built-in RSS feed generator. But for that you'll have to copy one more file to your webpage folder. >>sigh<< New technology is SO exhausting.

The WimpyPlayer is only $24.95 - or - you can buy a Wimpy Bundle that features three players with more ways to stream audio and video for only $59.95.

Click here to learn more!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Passion Pays Off
Do what YOU think is cool.
The fans and finances will follow.

James Farr is a damn talented guy. There's no denying it. He probably earns a good living doing animation for clients, but it wasn't enough for him. He had an idea inside his head and a story to tell -- had to tell -- whether anyone else wanted to hear it or not.

Using his own time and money (and later with the help of a few donations), James created the site Xombified.com in order to tell his tale of an undead hero charged with a journey through a wasteland of flesheating zombies in order to reunite a stranded child with a community of surviving humans.

James worked on his schedule, sometimes taking months to produce his episodic animated vision, and posted the chapters for free online viewing. He'd ask for donations to help pay for bandwidth costs, etc., but even if he never received a dime -- his Xombie tale was going to be told.

In between his day-job, inevitable freelance projects, and the time-intensive Xombie animation, James sent out proposals and pitches to get his vision sold to a "real" animation studio. He stuck to his guns and got the deal he wanted. I'm proud say this dreamer is also a "do-er" and is now the producer and co-director of his now-in-production feature length version of XOMBIE.

You can read the full details on his site forum, but learn from his lesson -- if you've a vision that you'd like to see made real, no one can make it happen but YOU. You're the catalyst. Nothing happens without your ideas being put into action.

...Just ask James Farr.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

No Love at the LoveMarks Factory
Saatchi Exodus Raises Questions
Bob Bly needs to read better blogs... and learn about RSS.
My buddy Scott Ginsberg (y'know him -- that guy with the nametag) sent me this link to an article by Bob Bly with a negative stance on blogging. He just doesn't see the value.

In the article, Bob Bly states one of the problems with blogs (versus e-zines) is that people have to proactively search to find if you've posted new content.

Helloooo? Any quick research on blogging will alert you to the availability of RSS feeds. If he was reading blogs, didn't he wonder what all those little XML and RSS buttons were for?

I think in Bly's case RSS stands for "Really Silly Statement." Why should I let your e-zines clog my mailbox when I can simply go to my news reader when I want to read the lastest edition of my favorite blogs?

I also don't have to worry about what you'll do with my email address (especially when people unsubscribe to your e-zines in favor of reading content via RSS). I don't have to give you "squat" in the way of personal info if I want to subscribe to your RSS feed. That's a distinct advantage in our World-O-Spam.

Bly also mentions that he has yet to meet anyone who's realized a positive return on investment directly attributed to their blog. C'mon! There are folks out there making income using ONLY their blog! Technically, anyone using a free blogging site and sells a book via their Amazon Associates program has just experienced a positive ROI, but I know that's not what he meant.

Look to people like Hugh MacLeod, Jim Kukral, and my aforementioned friend Scott Ginsberg. These were all really smart people offline, but once they took their ideas to the blogging world, they "tipped". They are all providing valuable blog content and receiving a fair number of blog-related buyers. Hugh will end up with a book deal within the next six months, simply because he started sharing his insight (and really cool cartoons on the backs of business cards!) with everyone in the world via his blog, GapingVoid.com

Bly says this near the end of his editorial:
"The problem is that there is already too much content, and we don’t want or need more. Analysis, wisdom, insight, advice, strategies, ideas – yes. But raw information, data, or content – no. And from what I can see, blogs serve up almost none of the former, and tons of the later. "

What crappy blogs has he been reading???
I can find more relevant and timely information on a blog than in a monthly magazine (be it print or e-zine) . Blogs are "now" -- RIGHT now -- and no publishing tool currently exists that can get new information and ideas to their subscriber base faster than a blog combined with an RSS feed.

Of course, Bly completely lost me after he said he can't find enough "...wisdom, insight, advice, strategies, ideas..." in most blogs. Simply scroll down my long list of links to find new ideas and insight all day long!

Who in their right mind says they can't find any new ideas?
Apparently someone who is only obsessed with old ideas.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Ring That Rings Attacker's Bell
Redstart's new "Subtle Safety" Defensive Ring seems like an evolution of the "keys-between-the-fingers" technique. It even comes with a disclaimer:
"Our Subtle Safety™ jewelry is not intended to be used as a weapon or as an aggressive device; rather it is meant to provide its wearer with confidence and a subtle tool for self-defense. Any other use of our Subtle Safety™ jewelry is not recommended and can cause harm to
its wearer or any third-party."

Oh, those wacky attorneys!

If you can't take nail-clippers on an airplane, how long do you think it will take them to ban these? And what about school violence? Is zero-tolerance for jewelry the next step?

Does it come with its own cleaning solution?
How DO you get blood off sterling silver?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Lying Makes Brain Work Harder
Study says "There may be unique
areas in the brain involved in deception"
Isn't this just another way of saying that people who create have more active brains?

Whether you're writing a new work of fiction, painting an original illustration, composing a song for your band -- or lying about why you were out so late last night -- I would think that most people would agree that your brain is working harder than someone who is merely reciting facts with which they are familiar or relating a sequence of true events.

This Wired article shares more of the study's findings.

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