Sunday, March 30, 2014

Internet faux pas

A great article about stuff you should avoid in web discussions and for general interaction, I suppose. I'll list them and then I'll spend the next ten posts covering how I have fallen foul of them or come close to it.

1. Godwin’s Law
2. Poe’s Law
3. Rule 34
4. Skitt’s Law
5. Scopie’s Law
6. Danth’s Law (also known as Parker’s Law)
7. Pommer’s Law
8. DeMyer's Laws
9. Cohen’s Law
10. The Law of Exclamation

Godwin's law: "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."

One particular young Jewish friend is quite sensitive to casual reference to these things. I don't see him often, now, but it still resonates. Some things aren't for joking.

So I could probably stop referring to "grammar Nazis" or in branding "style Nazis".

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Qantas argument re national security is weak

We have a facility to give us air power in times of crisis - it's called the Air Force. I'd prefer a C130 to a 777 and I'd like a focused airforce operation if the shit was really going down.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Beauty wherever you find it

Wireless Broadband - Thankyou

One of the places I do some work for provides a web connection. The restrictions are few, which is a favour. That favour is measurable to me at the price of about .02 cents per megabyte.

I'm told that due to their own internal processes,  one of my "higher ups" sees a bill for about 3 cents a megabyte.  Sometimes I have been sent mildly cranky emails. Whilst the boss sees the irony of the situation, their tone is certainly more than one of .02 cent irritation.

No matter that most of the work I do is pretty bandwidth hungry - online teaching, broadcast lecture videos, live video content, distribution by dropbox. I'll just make it that when I want to listen to the radio or watch iView whenever I'm there I'll use Telstra mobile broadband.  Even the price gouging Telstra charges me only a third of what some businesses do with their internal transfer pricing.

The biggest message - I think - is that middle managers have to deal with a lot of bullshit.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Content Marketing in action

I threw a heap of terms at my students the other week and one of them was "content marketing". That is doing something other than hoping somebody else draws an audience and you buying a 30second slot to borrow the eyeballs of that audience.

Draw the eyeballs yourself. Your audience, your ad, your exposure. This broadened GoPro's exposure to a whole new audience. Beautifully crafted.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

JJ Cale and Eric Clapton

Obviously a little while before he died, JJ Cale played this show with Clapton. I love the professional friendship and respect that comes when old time guitarists with nothing to prove just have fun together.

And scroll to 43 minutes on this, John Lee Hooker with Ry Cooder, Robert Cray, Bonnie Raitt and Johnnie Johnson. Now that's what I'm talkin' about.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Brands as price points

Talking to a class recently and I spoke of mince being available for $5 $10 and $12 per kg. I was derided by somebody who told me "you can't get mince for $5/kg" but I wasn't prepared to fight.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

On fear

I've had cause recently to think about fear. I've worked in three sectors over the last 20 years

1 - Works in a slightly risky business but takes all reasonable precautions to manage their exposure
2 - Works in a "safe as houses" industry but is so tied up in their admin stuff that a peeling piece of carpet is a "down tools" situation.
3 - Works in a crazy risky business where every transaction (up to twelve an hour) could wind you up in court for the next three years and scare all of your customers away.

You better managers are in the high risk industry. The worst, by far are in the low risk industry and tend to inflate their perception of the small risk they do have beyond all reality.

So I reflect on the subject of fear and think of the these two quotes; the first from an anonymous source and the second from a friend's tattoo.

1 - Fear is temporary - regret is forever
2 - The flipside of fear is freedom

That's it. You are are never truly free until you have managed your fear.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Postage prices: That old chestnut

How funny. I bought a bottle of tablets and they arrived today. $33 but with $7 postage charge. I need to buy another four or five bottles of these, soon, but there is not much consideration of volume in the postage cost. That old chestnut. It's an old scam played in eBay, but I'm seeing a lot more of it these days in ecommerce.

Look at this box and tell me you can't fit another five bottles in, picked from exactly the same shelf.

Friday, March 7, 2014

In a sea of brands, a little discordance can help

Why the hell not? All of the brand elements of "Dare" remain consistent - colours, typeface, bottle shape etc - they just switched a couple of letters. And it's entirely consistent with their positioning tagline "When your place is all over the head".

Someone is making a good assault on the hungry thirsty position.

The education business is changing

The way I see it, the education business has two key attributes.

A piece of paper
This is a handy shortcut for third parties to determine if you know stuff. It works on the basis that somebody who knows the stuff (very well) is prepared to say that you know the stuff too. It can work in knowledge or skills.

Skills and knowledge
Some people are just happy learning the stuff. Some people call it the school of hard knocks or self education.

So I found it interesting that Google Analytics have a set of courses where you can teach yourself. Sure they give you a "certificate of completion" but it wouldn't be prestigious as that degree from Monash University. I wonder what is more useful, and where the future of education may lie. Probably somewhere in between, as it always has.

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Out of work drivers: fear not

Cootes Transport will be shut down, putting at least a dozen drivers out of work in SA. Losing a job is always a blow to the confidence but this one should have a happy ending.

Cootes are a fuel carrying company. We haven't immediately not needed fuel to be transported around the state. It looks as though those drivers will simply go to work for whichever company picks up the work.

Lesson to me. Be in an industry that's strong, and deliver value in it. The job security will then take care of itself. It's why I'll be doing some Google analytics courses soon.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

When you're stuck in a Kafka novel remember to behave yourself

I've had great experiences with the public health system. And then there is today where it makes sense to pay attention to the signs they have everywhere here.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Graffiti clean up - another side

Good on Garry Engelhardt and others like him. Cleaning out the city before any of us even know it was dirtied.

Many, many thanks.

And what a garden it is....!

I relinquished a day of skydiving because I had some "day job" work to do. Upside is I get to come out and see my daughter do something she loves.

It put me at the "garden of unearthly delights" here at the Adelaide Fringe. And it's amazing. All the fun I used to associate with the Royal Adelaide Show.

I still prefer to be alone, even - especially - in a crowd.

I'm on my way, I don't know where I'm going..

This song is just an irreverent tribute to the idea of having a free spirit. Getting busted smoking some dope, everyone out for your blood, being an outcast:

In a couple of days they come to take me away cos the press let the story leak,
And when the radical priest comes to get me released we's all on the cover of Newsweek

So much Zeitgeist in so few words. I've already spoken to why this is a challenge to lighten up, and the year since I wrote that post has seen me live my words.