Category: New Media

Crap advertising placement

Nice one Stuff, I’m already using the Stuff iPhone App!

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A website about meat – finally

meateaters

The site I have been wanting to build since around 2001 has finally arrived.

www.meateaters.co.nz

Back  at the turn of the century eating meat was not a very fashionable thing to do – it was done in moderation, usually when you went to a restaurant or to a friend’s place for dinner.

Every Thursday night I would meet with my two brothers-in-law (while my better half was out of the house) and we would cook a meat meal. It was never anything fancy – usually sausages with mashed potato and frozen peas. The sausages would be courtesy of the Superior Meat Market on Ponsonby Road – run by a father and son team – Brian and Wayne. And bloody good bangers they were too. I never ate as much meat as I did in that and the subsequent year.

Did I develop hardened arteries and a heart condition? No.

Did I become obese and diabetic? No.

I embraced the joy of eating meat to the point that I registered www.meateaters.co.nz always with the idea of creating a site about, for and of meat. We even had T-shirts made – a limited run (of three) with a photo of our typical Thursday night feast.

So, take a look – it’s new and needs more content. But if you have ideas for articles, or you have reviews of great meat meals you have experienced, or you want to talk about your favourite butcher, or meat retailer then add a comment to this post and I’ll make contact with you via the email address you provide.

Check it our at www.meateaters.co.nz or www.meatdinner.com

United breaks guitars

While I’m in the mood for revealing bad customer service here’s a doozy that slipped by me. (Thanks G forpointing it out.)

Dave Carroll, a musician from Halifax flew United Airlines to Nebraska where his band, Sons of Maxwell were playing gigs all week.

After the plane landed Dave looked out his window to see the baggage handlers tossing their instruments round like confetti. When Dave collected his guitar off the carousel his worst fears were realised – his handmade Taylor guitar (worth US$3,500) was broken.

To cut a long story short – he complained, and complained – for nine months until finally he had had enough. United Airlines were not going to play ball. So, Dave told United that he would write three songs about his experience and release them one after the other as a warning to others not to fly United.

The ensuing video has gone viral. According to Visible Measures (a company that is in the business of measuring the impact of viral campaigns) the YouTube video has amassed more than 3 million hits in ten days, and over 14,000 comments across various blogs and news outlets. A previously little-known country band from Halifax, Nova Scotia now has a world-wide audience.

United Airlines has also had amazing press coverage, far more air time than they could ever have possibly bought for $3,500 – unfortunately it’s all bad press.

As Dave Carroll puts it on his blog:

I should thank United. They’ve given me a creative outlet that has brought people together from around the world…So, thanks United! If my guitar had to be smashed due to extreme negligence I’m glad it was you that did it. Now sit back and enjoy the show.

Indeed. Here’s the first video.

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So, you think you’re a designer?

Each week the nice folk at Stumbleupon have begun sending me ‘recommended’ sites. Don’t ask me how that happened – I work in the web industry but even so I’m mystified as to how things end up in my in-box. In this case I’m happy that it did.

And as an ex designer, but with little formal training in graphic design (how did that happen?), I’m doubly pleased that I now have a resource, with free lessons, to refer to in the very odd situation I find myself needing a design and all the designers have left the building.

This site, PSD Tuts – pronounced ‘tutes’ I’m assuming, has given me 50 Totally Free Lessons in Graphic Design Theory. I can’t tell you how happy I am. I’m gonna work slowly through them and then unleash myself onto the world.

Look out!

Internet blackout

Internet blackoutJust watched on my ‘copy’ of the TV3 6 o’clock news the protest that took place in the grounds of Parliament today lunchtime.

Protesters were concerned about Section 92a of the Copyright Act. This section says if a user is accused of downloading material (such as video’s and music) that they don’t hold the rights to (in other words illegal downloads) then their ISP can cut off their internet connection.

Now, there is something to be said about ‘innocent until proven guilty’ – and in this case it seems that your privileges can be removed before you have been tried and found guilty.

But, I would say to the protesters, if you don’t want your connection cut then don’t illegally download music and videos that aren’t yours to download. Haven’t you seen the ads? Illegal downloading is stealing. Simple as that.

On the other hand, being punished before being found guilty doesn’t seem fair either.

In saying all of that – copyright laws in New Zealand need some serious work. As an ex-photographer the fact that a commissioner of a photographer owned the copyright before the image had even been taken riled me. As far as I know this section of the act has not been repealed, and we continue to lag behind the rest of the world in protecting the rights of those that make the work.

So, perhaps Section 92a is trying to right some of those wrongs. As Arthur Baysting from APRA pointed out on the TV3 item, incomes of performers and artists has reduced drastically from illegal downloading. But is Section 92a the best way to fix the problem?

The Ferrit is dead

Ferrit is dead

Announced today: Telecom is closing Ferrit.

It’s no surprise to me. It’s finally been acknowledged that the site is no longer core to the company’s business strategy.

Wow. It took three years and several hundred million dollars (at least) to work that out.

The idea was lame right from the beginning. It added no benefit to the user.

  • The promised price comparisons weren’t delivered
  • It failed to create any competition between retailers offering the same goods
  • My understanding is that it was expensive for retailers to become part of

Also, e-commerce sites became cheap enough that any retailer could set-up a presence. Obviously this was not factored into any projections for the future of the site.

Add to this the fact that Telecom was in the business of selling mobiles and phone plans. What gave them the notion that this was ever going to fly.

I’m surprised it lasted so long, and sad that so much revenue was expended on a site that went, and was going, no-where.

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