January 17th, 2008

We Should Go to Martinique

Or, how the marketers got to Nerd’s Eye View.

Aloha, nonfamousi. It’s been ages and mostly I blog at my own site now, but given JPs occupation, I thought you might find this interesting. Plus, I totally want to go to Martinique, don’t you? Crossposted from Nerd’s Eye View.

First things first. I was asked to participate in a 25 entrant writing contest to win a trip to Martinique. You should totally vote for me because, duh, of course I want to go to Martinique. One of the 25 bloggers “recruited” for the contest is going to go, it might as well be me, doncha think? Yes, you’re going to have to hand over an email address, but then you get entered in the contest also, and wouldn’t you like to hang out with me in Martinique? I’d sure like to hang out with you, eating excellent seafood, drinking tropical cocktails, watching the sun go down, or having a leisurely breakfast before we head off for a strenuous day of lolling about the beach… you get it. Go here.

Okay, here’s the deal. The whole thing is a marketing program for whoever is handling Martinique tourism these days, isn’t it? They contact me and offer me Martinique-esque swag and a shot at a trip to the island. I tell you and off you go to the website, and they get your email address and send you stuff about the island and all of a sudden, you’re thinking, huh, Martinique! There’s an idea… It’s clever marketing, a little back door media through an unconventional channel. Thing is, you don’t have to sell ME on the idea of a getaway to the tropics, hell, I’m always up for it and as far as passing the word along to you? I feel okay about that. Come on, don’t tell me you wouldn’t like a sun break about now. Unless you’re sub-equatorial, in which case, I’m sorry.

But check this out, too. On the heels of the Martinique pitch comes another PR mail. “Thought you’d be interested in this travel blog…” says the mail. Meh. okay, I click through and I don’t get it. It’s a nice enough blog but shockingly free of advertising. What’s the pitch? I click through a few times and I give up. Why is the PR company promoting this one guy’s blog? And, in a more self-serving question, why aren’t PR companies promoting Nerd’s Eye View? What gives here? What the hell, I email the PR company back and ask them.

Here’s the deal. The blogger is an artist. The artwork is displayed at a restaurant chain. The idea is that I point you to the blog, you get interested in the art, you go to the restaurant to see the work and there you are, eating your franchised meal. This one, no can do. I can’t vouch for the quality of the food, I don’t think you should eat a chain unless you’re out of options, and even then, are you sure you wouldn’t do better just going to the supermarket? But I do have to say that I appreciate the honesty from the PR folks. When I asked, they told me exactly what the deal was. I wonder how many people ask.

I can totally get behind the idea of a vacation to Martinique; I can’t get behind the idea of a chain restaurant meal. I might eat at a chain restaurant if I had to because I’m not really a snob, I just don’t think you’d believe me if I said, “Dude, you have to go to Olive Garden to check out this artwork.” (It’s not Olive Garden, FYI, but you get the gist.) Interesting stuff from the land of marketing to blogs, through blogs.


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January 15th, 2008

Flags of the world, graded

I love design, I love criticism, and I especially love sarcastic antipodean humour. So this site that gives letter grades to all the flags of the world according to arbitrary but hilarious criteria is just about perfect for me. The patriot in me was disappointed by Australia’s C score, but the maths geek in me had to chuckle at this one:

World Flags Graded

UPDATE: At this other cool site, you can vote on your favourite flags “Hot or Not” style, and see the hottest and not hottest flags others have voted on.


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January 12th, 2008

Christmas 2007 in Oklahoma

Sorry for the delay… finally, our Christmas photoset on Flickr. Enjoy!


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January 9th, 2008

Lurni your furni

Secrets of The IKEA Naming System revealed. I cannot express how much I love knowing things like this:

Upholstered furniture, coffee tables, rattan furniture, bookshelves, media storage, doorknobs: Swedish placenames (for example: Klippan)
Beds, wardrobes, hall furniture: Norwegian place names

Dining tables and chairs: Finnish place names

Bookcase ranges: Occupations

Bathroom articles: Scandinavian lakes, rivers and bays

You have to read the whole list. Quite a nice blog on naming and branding overall.

(Sorry, by the way, for the radio silence. And happy new year.)


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