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Thursday, March 31, 2005

A Few Quick Clicks
Some good stuff by Sarthak Brahma over at the Consumercy blog today. Sarthak shares the simplest, most effective, and least used method of making certain your customers are happy -- asking them!

As part of an ongoing discussion of viral marketing tactics with my friend Jim Canterucci, I did a bit of 'research' and found this link -- Mahna Mahna.

Folks my age probably got a chuckle out of that old clip, right?
Get a few more laughs by visiting The Next Great Comic, and vote for my buddy Jake. Last time I posted it was a close race between Jake and some other guy. I asked you to vote everyday, but I think you forgot. That other guy is edging Jake out by a few percentage points.

C'mon, let's get Jake a great stand-up gig!
Visit Next Great Comic today (it's our last chance!), as the contest ends on April 1st. I just found out you can vote up to 10 times per day -- just click Jake's photo and the 'vote for' button.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Audio for your Blog?
Look someplace other
than AudioBlogger
How sloooow can you go?
I've been testing AudioBlogger for the past couple days and don't see how they can expect users to wait more than 24-hours for their audio to post to the site.

I recorded the audio post below mere seconds after writing it and posting the text version to the site -- a full day (and some odd hours later) the audio clip appears.

I've checked their FAQ page and written in to support in order to have my questions of expected upload times answered, but neither were any help.

With sounds of the podcast revolution happening in the background, I think it's easy enough to find other solutions.

this is an audio post - click to play

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Hot Delivery Idea...
with Extra Cheese
This pizza oven on wheels gets you a pie in the blink of an eye
Super Fast Pizza (Wisconsin) uses high-tech mobile kitchen vans -- licensed as restaurants -- to deliver hot pizzas within 15 minutes.

Fully powered and wifi-enabled (online ordering is encouraged and will net you free Pepsi), Super Fast Pizza take orders and cooks pizzas while enroute to the customer. To save time and make the most of their limited cooking/prep area, the menu is restricted to medium-sized versions of the seven most popular pizzas (deluxe, sausage, sausage & pepperoni, five-cheese, four-meat, pepperoni, veggie) and a pizza of the month. All pies are delivered uncut, and priced at $10.99 (discounts for multiple pizzas on same order). They even give you a promotional pizza cutter with your first order -- an excellent example of using advertising specialties effectively!

Think about it -- Super Fast Pizza just reduced the 'delivery' time from the oven to your door to 30 seconds. Think that pizza is gonna be hot? All they have to do is walk up your driveway!

Super Fast Pizza may restrict its menu to medium-sized pizzas, but the idea is definitely Extra-Large.

Monday, March 28, 2005

The Blog of Death
Apparently everyone is dying to get into podcasting.
Thank you, thank you very much.

If you that was funny, you really should get out more -- or at least get over to the Next Great Comic website and vote for Jake.

Only four days left to cast your daily vote for Jake. The contest ends April 1st, and Jake currently has 45% of the vote!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Vote For Jake Today
Broken links in yestersday's post
It should have been easy enough for you to figure out, but just in case...
Vote For Jake!

You ought to be voting DAILY anyway -- only until April 1st!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Who Is America's Next Great Comic?
Help Make it Jake Iannarino
Sierra Mist is running an online campaign to pick the next great comic. Columbus-boy Jake Iannarino made it to the finals, and currently (as of this writing) he's in 2nd place with 26% of the vote!

You can visit the site and cast a vote DAILY for your favorite comedian until April 1st, when a winner will be chosen and awarded national comedy tour.


Thursday, March 24, 2005

Perverting Your Position
Moronically Diluting your Market Domination
I was speaking with Sam Iannarino from The Sales Blog yesterday and we discussed how great a tool LinkedIn is turning out to be, as a way to get in contact with new folks in order to share ideas and work on projects. Inevitably our discussion turned to "yeah, but..." as we verbally spanked them for trying to become a job board.

LinkedIn was emerging as best networking site to reach some of the best people in their respective businesses. I've made contact with some incredibly bright folks on that site! I've done business with a few of them, and have projects in-development with a few more. Why in the world would they want to turn this haven of head-honchos into "just another" job posting site?

Hell, even the BIG job boards
don't want to be job boards!

Witness Monster.com's lame efforts to sent themselves up as a networking site. No matter how many emails they send me giving me my "Monster network update" (in which I do not participate), it's still crappy info from a crappy job site. How about you Monster guys work on becoming the best job board in the world instead of the worst networking site, eh?

And you LinkedIn management guys -- focus on networking and deal brokering. Don't even consider the job site route. Otherwise the weakest link in this networking chain is going to become painfully obvious.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

"To astound the
world, you must
sink into creativity
as a heroic act."
~ Evelyn Rodriguez

Is that quote HOT or what?
Evelyn has a sexy, sexy, brain.

Her recent post at Crossroads Dispatches invites us all on a trip through the creative process, in which Evelyn herself will play tour guide and 'reality show participant', as she not only tells us about her creative habits, but works on a project before our very eyes. Pretty cool, eh?

She also encourages us to choose a project of our own, and work on developing it right beside her. I'm going to take her up on the offer, but I need to figure out WHICH project to work on, and I better do it fast -- Tour Guide Rodriguez has a schedule to keep!

Evelyn has the itinerary for our creative journey posted on her site:
  1. Preparation. (I call this stage, Saturation, because I am immersing myself in as much information as I can.) Now until April 8th.

  2. Incubation. (Letting the ideas "simmer".) April 9th-April 12th. (If you are able to come to the San Francisco Bay Area, come in person to the Dwelve Live "Advance". I'll also offer tips for a solo incubation wherever you are.

  3. Illumination. (The aha! insight.) April 13th-17th.4. Translation. (Translating your insight into action.) April 18th-24th.

  4. Translation. (Translating your insight into action.) April 18th-24th.

I think it'll be a great trip -- won't you come along?


Saturday, March 19, 2005

Change: It's got a good beat, and you can dance to it.
Funny Page Philosophy from ButternutSquash.net
My desktop wallpaper will feature this cartoon for the next few weeks.

Butternutsquash is a web comic updated weekly (almost) by the creative team of Ramon Perez and Rob Coughler. Excellent art, slice of life stories with a twist of the ridculous. How can you go wrong with a comic where 90% of the stories take place in a coffeeshop? Especially one featuring the Red-Haired Coffee Goddess.

NOTE: Although my direct links are work-safe and G-rated, the same can't be said for all of the archived material. The comic is for mature audiences and features adult language and content.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Good News for Guerillas. Or not?
What happens when mainstream marketing
begins to adopt guerilla gameplans?

New article from Primedia reports "Guerilla marketing is growing as mass media fades and more marketers adopt non-traditional methods".

I say this: when the non-tradition BECOMES traditional, creativity and innovation are more important than ever, because now savvy marketers should be searching for the NNTT "Next Non-Traditional Thing".

As a whole, the article and examples weren't bad, but I didn't say "Damn! I wish I'd thought of that!" until the last paragraph.
In a stroke of GENIUS, shirt-maker Le Tigre found a simple and inexpensive way to take advantage of Apple's iPod marketing phenomenon.

Le Tigre used street teams to add their logo to the shirt of every iPod poster they could find. As a print salesman, I KNOW those stickers cost them pennies per piece, and I doubt the street team cost them much more. The result ties them inexplicably to the latest craze and coolest ad. They definitely win my "Big Idea of the Week" award.

You can see a photo of the Le Tigre campaign by clicking here, but don't skip the article itself -- it's a very worthy read.

Read the full article here.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Picture of 1,000 Words
AmazType is Amazing

Found a great link (of course!) while catching-up on Seth Godin's blog. AmazType will create an interactive graphic of any word you type in their search-box, comprised entirely of book covers pertaining to the subject!

The graphic is completely interactive, and you can click each book cover for title, author, pricing, and average review rating -- you can then click again to purchase the book, or zoom-out to see the entire graphic and choose again.

Very cool.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Low-Tech Creativity
All you need to generate big ideas

Yesterday I shared a high-tech way to record ideas, today I just wanted to remind you (and myself) all we REALLY need to capture a big idea is a tiny piece of paper and something with which to write.

Some of my best ideas have been scribbled on napkins and Post-It notes. I think it's one of the reasons I'm so fond of the animated banner atop the IdeaCradle webpage.

Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools page indicates that he prefers a pencil, but I like pens. Pens with black ink. Or red. Usually a medium-point ballpoint pen, but I also like the way a rollerball pen slides across the page and leaves a trail of dark, wet ink in its wake -- although I usually end up dragging the side of my hand through it, smearing the ink a bit.

The ballpoint is definitely my favorite. Especially the ones with the 'clicker'. I can click away furiously (usually without being aware of it) annoying anyone in the near vicinity, and sometimes chomp on the end of it like some crazed cigar smoker. Ever use a pen to sort of poke your forehead while you were noodling an idea? I think I have a permanent dent in my forehead from doing that.

If I've used a napkin or Post-It to capture the core concept of an idea, I usually tape it inside one of my idea journals and add more details around the edges (like a mindmap) to explore and elaborate on the initial idea.

In order to capture other creative angles which to explore on a single idea, or to even write in a different "voice" within the same journal page, I have re-discovered a retro-pen I remember as being so cool as a kid because it had four ink colors in a single pen.

At one point Creativity Central had even created a branded version of the identical pen (although I no longer see it in their online store) that they labeled a "Think Pen". A recommended use for each ink color was imprinted on the body of the pen:
Black = Facts
Red = Energy
Green = Possibilities
Blue = Concerns

Sometimes I'll go back with a highlighter to emphasize certain aspects of the ideas I've scribbled down -- and don't even get me started on how much I love dry-erase boards!

...but that's another story.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Happily Ever(Note) After...
Free Notebook Program (may)
Make Digital Idea Journals Easy

I just downloaded EverNote this morning -- anyone else using it? I'll give it a test-run and do a review next month on the DTIG Innovation page.

If any BrainBlog visitors have tested the program, leave behind a comment with your impressions.

It appears (at first glance) to be very similar to Microsoft's OneNote... only much less expensive.

As in -- free.

Monday, March 14, 2005

The New Art of Sales
ChangeThis.com may just
change the way you sell

My buddy S. Anthony Iannarino (of TheSalesBlog.com) has submitted a proposal to write a manifesto for Seth Godin's ChangeThis.com.

The premise certainly sounds interesting, but not have has interesting as being able to read the whole thing -- which we won't be able to do unless it receives enough votes to be added to the published manifestos from folks like Tom Peters, Hugh MacLeod, and Guy Kawasaki.

Help me out, will ya?
I'd really like to read the full manifesto, and if a few of the BrainBlog readers drop by and click the "write this manifesto" button perhaps my friend Mr. Iannarino will get an invitation to share his vision of The New Art of Sales with everyone.

Click here to read the proposal.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Buzan: The Mind Mappin' Memory Man
Take the World Memory Challenge
Howard Mann -- he of the newly revamped Dig Business site (loooking goood!) and the incredibly cool DIG Tank blog -- helped the Tony Buzan team create this very humbling interactive memory test.

Speaking of Howard -- he's been writing some insightful stuff on his new Dig Tank blog, especially as he continues to evolve his Brickyard concept. I think we're seeing another Hughtrain-in-the-making, and predict it's only a matter of time before we see Howard's manifesto on ChangeThis.com.

Howard told me about The World Memory Challenge some time ago, and I meant to post a link sooner... but I forgot.

Take The World Memory Challenge now!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

This One Goes Out
to All the Whiners
Living in the Past
Still boo-hoo-hooing about 'all the jobs
in the United States' being deported?
Here's what I said when it first started happening -- you lost your job to someone overseas who could do it cheaper? Create your OWN job, invent your own market, discover something that can't possibly be outsourced -- your own unique perspective on anything... your brain, your imagination, your CREATIVITY.

Ain't no one outsourcing "Don The Idea Guy" -- not that they COULDN'T find some brighter folks with bigger ideas by tossing a dart at any random point on the map -- but they wouldn't have MY unique way of thinking -- they wouldn't be DON The Idea Guy.

But Dan Pink says it better than I. That's why he gets the writing assignments and book deals, and I get my blog. Because no one is outsourcing Dan Pink's brain either!

Check out Dan's great article in Wired -- based on concepts from his latest book "A Whole New Mind" scheduled for release later this month.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Well, it's official...
Vampires Live Longer
From scientists at Stanford University, no less!

Here's the scoop from the study, as reported in Wired magazine:
"...blood from young mice introduced into their older counterparts "activated stem cells in the old muscles that allowed them to recover from injury." But you can't just go around using any old blood -- the mice in the experiment were "modified to be genetically identical."

Read the full text here, or download a PDF of the complete study from Nature.com -- but it's not free. You'll need to buy the transcript or be a subscriber to the magazine.

In other news, Anne Rice's books have all been moved to the non-fiction section of the library, and I have a new screenplay for sale -- it's all about vampire scientists who feed off clones of themselves.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

10 Free Gifts Offer Extended
Cool stuff for free if you buy
Michael York's new book today
A couple days ago Michael York celebrated the release of his new book "The 10 Comittments" by partnering with some other infamous online personalities (me included) to giveaway free gifts with every book purchased from his official site at www.MichaelYork.com.

The promo pushed the book to a Amazon seller rank of #311 out of 347,000 -- not too shabby!

In an effort to keep the book at that lofty level (and perhaps push it higher) Michael has extended the offer once more -- buy the book today from his official site and received hundreds of dollars in free gifts.

Not a bad deal for a great book priced under $15. ~ !

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Miracles and Magic
Like something out of a Little Rascals flick, a group of talented folks are getting together to put on a show in order to raise money for a worthy cause -- Adventures For Wish Kids.

Only in this case, the show won't be held in a barn -- Miracles and Magic will be held at the Dublin Performing Arts Center on March 19th. Neither will you have to endure Alfalfa's off-key crooning. Instead you'll be treated to the magically-funny antics of professional entertainers, like my friends Jon Petz and Steven Kline. And you won't have to see Darla... scratch that... Darla was always a hottie. Although she DID tend to play Alfalfa for a sucker. Tramp.

I know this blog reaches a bunch of people who won't be anywhere near Dublin, Ohio for the show, but you can still help out the worthy Adventures For Wish Kids organization by purchasing one of their gorgeous calendars.

Each calendar features full-color art created by the kids themselves -- with a ready-to-frame centerpage picturing all the children's art in a museum-style print. The money earned from the calendar goes to helping fulfill the dreams of these brave kids battling life-threatening illnesses.

Grange Insurance sponsored the calendar, I helped with the printing through RedBirdPromo.com, and the primary media sponsor is radio station WBNS-FM 97.1.

You can order the calendar through their website by clicking this link!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Personal Development
Really is Personal

(And Commitment is the Key)

The official Don The Idea Guy site was updated this morning. Some of the stuff you've seen on the blog before (the Idea Barista article and the recent review of the WimpyPlayer) but on the INSPIRATION page I've got a 'phenom' article by the Uncommonly cool Michael York about commitment to personal development.

Michael has a brand new book out, and if you buy it today-only (March 1, 2005) on Amazon.com you'll receive ten free gifts from a variety of online notables such as Jeffrey Gitomer, Michael Hughes, Jim Canterucci, and yours truly.

You can read the article (and get details on Michael's generous offer) by clicking here. Or, you can find all the important info on Michael York's website: www.MichaelYork.com

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