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2 months…that’s how long it has been since I have posted to this blog.  I try not to use this blog as a personal voice, but I will this time. My world has been taken over by cancer, in these recent months and my focus has moved from searching for the obscure and interesting to watching the end of my 67 year old Father’s brave 4 year battle with stage 4 cancer.

As I sit in his room in the Palliative care wing at his hospital, I decided that maybe I should just get back at it….and so I will start with a few infographics of the mysterious and rampant disease, one that is estimated [by WHO] to take 84 million people between 2005-2015. A staggering figure.


via: EHM

via: Michael Babwahsingh

Sitting in my *office* this morning, procrastinating on writing that 10 page paper, I discovered the ultimate time sucker!
This is a pretty amazing drawing tool developed by Dr. Doob [Ricardo Cabello], a designer and developer who has come up with a ‘procedural web based drawing tool’. So far there are 10 pens, but more may be added.

Here is a little sample of the 5 minutes I spent on it. Add a tablet and pen….a bit more time and the results could be far more impressive! Try it out for yourself here.

via: QBN

Even Barbie is looking for a job.  I guess I am in good company! For a girl who has had about 120 careers, is there anything she can’t do?

1961, she entered the scene as an Astronaut, an Olympic Athlete in ’75, 1986 saw Barbie as a Rock Star, and she has been everything in between. Vote for your career choice for 2010 Barbie. Architect? No…I know too many out of work. Environmentalist? Perhaps…but Google ‘Top Jobs in 2010’ and what you discover is that the Health Care field is a safe option. Number 1 career, however, accordingly to the Wall Street Journal, and many other sources is an  Actuary, [they evaluate the financial impact of risk on an organization]. Not sure if Barbie is a numbers girl or not…but I think I’ll suggest it.

So, vote for Barbie’s career. She needs a job.via: Fast Company

A friend sent this to me this morning and I had to share!  Pentagram, the very well-known Graphic Design Firm in New York, created as very unique ‘holiday greeting’. They developed a questionnaire to determine what typeface best describes your personality.

Just 4 questions to reveal your personality in a typeface. Try it!  Oh…the password is character. What am I? Dot Matrix.

thanks Chantal!

Picture 4

Wow. It has been a while. I have been really busy lately. Beyond busy actually. Teaching, studying, working as a Community Manager….which brings me to the topic of this post. Brand reputation being built by the consumers.  Advertisers are facilitating these conversations in many cases, but really, it is the consumer who is telling fellow consumers whether or not a product or service is worthy. The on-line community that I have been ‘managing’ is Glade, [the fragrance people], and through a bit of Grassroots facilitating [Facebook, Twitter, Review Blogs etc.], the community is growing, people are talking and word is getting out. 

But there is a surprising entry into the world of word of mouth. A bank.  The UK Bank – First Direct – has created a new website that aggregates live comments about the brand from eight million social media sites.

“Our customers are writing about us all over the web and we want to embrace this, so we’re showing customer comments, good and bad, from websites, blogs and forums for everyone to see,” says Lisa Wood, head of marketing at First Direct.

A brave effort. Not all of the comments are positive. It is still a bank after all. This is the first bit of innovation seen in the banking industry in a very long time. By letting consumers know that they are willing to be transparent, to show the good, the bad and the ugly as told by the consumers, they are building trust in an industry that has lost all trust. 

Research conducted by First Direct, indicated that we now trust online strangers to help us make many of our everyday decisions. Consumers are turning to online review websites and comparison sites rather than listening to sales people. 

Graham Jones, an internet psychologist who specialises in the way people use the internet, explains:  “As we become more open, so our expectations change towards the way we communicate with businesses.  This new age of openness demands an honest and transparent approach and the rules of engagement are changing.  The research clearly showed that one of the major drivers for people sharing their opinions online was a feeling of power, of having a voice both to promote good and lambast bad customer experiences.  Businesses need to understand this and adapt accordingly.” 

And more and more businesses are. They have to if they want to compete in the ‘Age of Openness.’ 














OK…I may be a little late on this one.  But, If I have just seen this, then I am guessing there are others out there on the ‘Interweb’, that have yet to be exposed to Zach and his missing ‘boy parts’.

He didn’t just lose his parts, he gained ‘girl parts’.
I guess I should start with a little warning. This is not for the easily queasy! I know some boys who just do not want to hear about ‘girl things’. If you are one of those, I won’t be offended if you stop reading this post now.
















“Guys would understand that yes, getting your period sucks. But it’s what makes a woman a woman. And it’s what makes people fear that woman when she’s PMSing. Guys, you need to get your period. And you need to get it now.”

What am I talking about? Not really sure what to say about this one, or how to say it!  Tampax has a viral online campaign geared at, well…not sure who its aimed at.  Zach is 16, and through his blog and Twitter feeds, he tells us the story of how one day his world changed. From being one where he couldn’t find things in the fridge, left his wet towel on the floor, had conversations about beer, didn’t call back…to a world of sensitivity, multi-tasking, yoghurt eating, baking brownies, and water retention.  Poor Zach.

Watch the mini movie, read his Tweets, and the blog comments. Tampax is getting people talking if nothing else. And really, that is the purpose of any online campaign.

Who knows…this just may encourage boys to enter into a drugstore for their girls Tampax, without feeling humiliated. 

“By “going out into the world,” I mean putting on a disguise (a pair of sunglasses) and taking the bus to a drugstore in the next town over. I spent the first 16 years of my life avoiding the feminine protection aisle but there I was, reading the backs of packages, comparing features. Anti-slip grip? Check. Built-in leak protection. Check.”


“Start a lie about the bottled water industry. If they can lie, so can you. Find out the truth at”

















Here is your chance to tell a big fat lie., without getting into trouble. You’re encouraged to in fact.  
New York Times wrote today…

“Taking a cue from anti tobacco campaigns, Tappening, a group opposed to bottled water on environmental grounds, has introduced a campaign called “Lying in Advertising,” that positions bottled water companies as spreading corporate untruths.”

“The campaign was started almost two years ago by two marketing executives, in part to demonstrate their marketing skills but also to promote their own reusable water bottles.Mr. Yaverbaum and his Tappening co-founder, Mark DiMassimo, the chief executive of the advertising agency DIGO Brands, each contributed $100,000 toward Tappening’s founding, including a Web site, advertising campaigns and producing reusable bottles. After they introduced Tappening in November 2007, Mr. Yaverbaum said, they sold out of bottles within five days. So far, he said, Tappening has sold about $5 million worth of the bottles, and profits go into producing more bottles and further advertising.”

Word of the campaign is quickly spreading, when I checked tonight it had almost 10,000,000 page views.  With social media, and downloadable viral ads, it is sure to get a lot more traffic and awareness, and more importantly, more people switching to the tap. 

via:  Mark DiMassimo [a facebook friend!] and NY Times

‘The Wicked Sick’ project, by the creative team at George Patterson Y&R, prooves that a little creativity goes a long way. They bought a bike on eBay, re-listed it with a bit of originality and creativity and sold it for 5 times what they paid for it! 

I guess the big question is…did it get lots more interest because it went viral? Or…was it really just a regular ad with regular viewers? Either way…it seems to have worked.

via: this may be it

deskThe Economist magazine has a web presence unlike most traditional print media. They have developed a site called “Thinking Space”.  If anyone has the idea that The Economist is a boring news magazine, a visit to The Thinking Space may change your mind. They have developed an interactive site that asks the question…”Where do you get your ideas?”  

The screen grabs shown, are from the founder and CEO of Spotify, Daniel Ek’s Thinking Space.  He gives a virtual tour of everything from  staff photos to his passport to his favourite Economist articles, [there had to be a tie in somewhere!] They also want to see the Thinking Spaces of ‘regular’ Economist readers too, and are looking for submissions. 

It’s great to see traditional media embracing technology, rather than fighting it. Using non-traditional methods to attract new readership while maintaining existing Economist readers.globe

spezifyThe perfect search service for us visual types. Find links, photos, videos at a glance.

” Spezify is a search tool presenting results from a large number of websites in different visual ways. We take web search further, away from endless lists of blue text links and towards a more intuitive experience. We want you to get a good overview of a subject, find useful information and be inspired with Spezify. We mix all media types and make no difference between blogs, videos, microblogs and images.  Everything communicates and helps building the bigger picture.”

It has only been online since mid-June, and while it is un-likely to replace Google anytime soon, it certainly is nice to have a completely different option.

Spezify is a search tool presenting results from a large number of websites in different visual ways.
We take web search further, away from endless lists of blue text links and towards a more intuitive experience.
We want you to get a good overview of a subject,
find useful information and be inspired with Spezify.
We mix all media types and make no difference
between blogs, videos, microblogs and images.
Everything communicates and helps building the bigger picture

@jjthinkinbig tweets