hypocritical : talking the talk without walking the walk

December 20, 2006

Joseph Rago of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is clearly the smartest man alive

Clearly.

I mean, really. This guy is really smart.

[P]osts oscillate between the uselessly brief and the uselessly logorrheic; complexity and complication are eschewed; the humor is cringe-making, with irony present only in its conspicuous absence; arguments are solipsistic...
And while his thesaurus-twisting prose, rendering an obfuscating complexity of overly masturbatory vocabulary, was impressive, I really had a difficult time consuming this piece. One would think--and trust me one would--that if he were truly trying to get a point across he would want to explain it plain English.

I consider myself rather well educated. And I tell myself that I have a better-than-average grasp on the English language.

But, um. Oh my.

I had to read this with a dictionary in hand.

Or is it ironic? And I'm not talking fly-in-your-chardonnay irony. I'm talking when-the-intended-meaning-is-opposite-of-the-literal-meaning irony.

Quite frankly, I can't tell. I'm so lost in the hyperbolic prose that the actual point evades me.

It's like someone driving their dictionary at high speed, zapped out of their gourd on heroin, and then wrapping the thing around a tree to prove their point, while we, as innocent bystanders, comment "Whoa."

The only thing I can tell is why he's an assistant editor. I mean, you don't want to let this guy lead the red-pen-wielding tribe, do you? If you want any readership--or journalists--left standing?

Bravo, Rago.

I honestly can't tell what you're doing. All I can tell you is that it's impressive.

I can't wait until the 37 signals folks get ahold of this one.

 

Joseph Rago of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is clearly the smartest man alive

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December 19, 2006

Tchotchke design 101

In my time, I have seen a lot (a lot) of bad tchotchkes.

What's that? Tchotchkes? You know. Corporate paraphernalia? Wearables? Giveaways? Schwag?

Anyway...

A shirt--like any other element of your identity system--should be governed by design.
And lately, I've noticed a resurgence of really bad ones. T-shirts especially. Kathy Sierra has comments on this t-shirt thing, as well.

So let's stick to t-shirts. To focus my rant, a tad. Shall we? We shall.

It's really all about fit. Kathy describes the physical fitting of the shirt itself. I'm talking about the physical fit of the identity element on the shirt.

You see, somewhere along the way, people have fallen back into the "bigger is better" mindset. When, in reality, bigger often looks like crap.

Here's the usual thought process:

  1. Check specs for "available print area."

  2. Expand identity element (without distortion) to completely consume available print area.

  3. Produce t-shirt.


Can you do this? Can you make your mark that big? Of course. Should you? Oh boy. Here he goes on one of his Can versus Should rants, again.

Yes, here I go again. Because no one seems to be listening.

Just because you can expand your mark to consume all of the area doesn't mean you should expand your mark to consume all of the area.

For the love of whichever holy deity you choose to worship, please, please, please stop it. Just knock it off.

A shirt--like any other element of your identity system--should be governed by design. Just because you can throw a t-shirt design together on some low-cost site doesn't mean you should. I should know. I've done it. But I'm silly. You people are supposed to be smarter than me.

So here are some tips for your next t-shirt:

  • Go small. Tease the audience a bit.

  • Use ample margins. Give it some breathing room.

  • Take a look at the white space, even if it isn't white.

  • Center it.

  • Put the mark somewhere unexpected. Like along the hem or at the neck or somewhere random.

  • Make it intriguing rather than loud.

  • Quit covering every last thread with ink.


People shouldn't be able to read your t-shirt from space like some freakish Colonel Sanders head. People should be intrigued. They should want to read it.

To put it in geek: STRETCHING YOUR MARK TO THAT SIZE IS LIKE TYPING TO SOMEONE IN ALL CAPS.

Annoying, isn't it?

So knock it off. And think about the same thing with all of your tchotchkes. Please.

And Happy Holidays. To you and yours.

 

Tchotchke design 101

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December 12, 2006

Sony 2006

Wow. I realize that there are still a few days left for Sony to screw something else up, but 2006 has really been a banner year for them.

I am, quite literally, in awe.

Among Sony's impressive achievements for 2006:



Very impressive. What great crisis management experience for the public relations team. Again, and again, and again. Problem is they never seem to learn from their mistakes.

 

Sony 2006

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December 11, 2006

Mountain Dew Christmas tree spreads holiday cheer

You'll no doubt have multiple people sending "Season's Greetings" by sending this your way. I'm just trying to beat them to the punch, maybe.

Mountain Dew Christmas tree

Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Now that I've been all sweet, it's time to get snarky. Your vote on the next headline concerning this tree?

  • Mountain Dew Christmas Tree commissioned by Mountain Dew

  • or

  • Wicked hot bulb melts Mountain Dew 2-liter bottle; starts small fire

  • ?

 

Mountain Dew Christmas tree spreads holiday cheer

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December 07, 2006

Apple and TiVo sitting in a tree

The Apple and TiVo partnership rumor appears to have resurfaced.

I'd love to tell you what I think about the potential of that partnership. That's why I wrote this post in February of 2005.

This rumor has been around almost as long as the iPhone whispers. Maybe, just maybe, one of these will actually see the light of day.

 

Apple and TiVo sitting in a tree

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December 05, 2006

Media Temple Grid Server, as in "grid lock"

UPDATE
Seems that some folks, like John Koetsier and Dan Cameron, are getting three months of free service as compensation for the Media Temple Grid Server taking a recurring dirt nap. This does not appear to be a blanket offering. It appears to be a squeaky wheel offering.


ORIGINAL POST

I never thought I'd hear this in my head, but "My Web.com server is more stable than my Media Temple server."

My apologies to those who have been trying to access More than a living. Media Temple's grid server is crashing, yet again.

So glad I recommended them to a client of mine. So glad I chose them to hose More than a living.

Oh, did I say "hose"? Freudian slip.

For those of you keeping score, my once-sterling view of the Media Temple brand is currently circling the drain. Apparently, it's gotten a little much for others as well.

 

Media Temple Grid Server, as in "grid lock"

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Duct Tape Marketing, the book

You know me. I like to cast aspersions here and there. Cast cast cast.

And while I'm often casting negative aspersions, based on snap judgments and little more than my own opinion, every once in a great while, I like to cast a positive one. Usually, the positive ones are based on absolutely no knowledge.

This case is no different.

But, I've never been one to shy away from stating my opinion with or without all the facts. I like to call it my Blink technique. And I like to tell myself that that is, in fact, why you love me. (Don't bother telling me differently. I won't listen.)

So here's the deal, John Jantsch, the genius behind the Duct Tape Marketing blog, has just begun to offer his Duct Tape Marketing book for pre-order.

Have I read it? Do you seriously think I'm on the inside loop on these things? No, the answer is no. Would I recommend it? Based on the work I've seen from John, yes. Unabashedly, yes.

If you don't trust me, wait until I receive my copy and I'll review it for you. If you're a devil-may-care type, go ahead and pre-order Duct Tape Marketing.

 

Duct Tape Marketing, the book

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