Off to Le Web 3

Leaving in a few minutes to catch my Thalys to Paris for Le Web 3. Just like last year we’re sponsoring the event with Microsoft (amongst many other sponsors) and I’m really looking forward to it. The program looks better than last year I must say and who knows, maybe we even get to see a politician (just kidding Loic ;)).

LeWeb3

Apart from the presentations, Le Web is always a great event to network and finally meet some of your connections face to face. I’m looking forward to meeting people like Laurent Haug, Nicole Simon, … and many others that way.

Yes, it’ll be good, I’m pretty sure of that. I’ll probably won’t blog a lot while at the event (probably use Twitter quite a bit more – my handle is crossthebreeze) but I’ll definitely wrap things up when I get back.  But as said, I’m pretty sure this one’s going to be good.

Marketing mashup ’08

I had a dream and some dreams come true… When I spoke about the Global Marketing Community in May I wondered about having a Marketing Mashup of some sorts once, where all these marketing bloggers from all over the world could get together face to face. Now I clearly wasn’t alone with such an idea and luckily CK and Drew are a bit more hands-on and made it all come to life and hence Blogger Social ’08 was born.

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It took me a bit of planning and rescheduling to make it work but now I’m sure I can make it to NYC for the social, and I’m very much looking forward to it. Take a look at the list of fine people that will join me there:

Susan Bird, Tim Brunelle, Katie Chatfield, Terry Dagrosa, Matt Dickman, Luc Debaisieux, Gianandrea Facchini, Mark Goren, Gavin Heaton, Sean Howard, CK, Valeria Maltoni, Drew McLellan, Doug Meacham, Marilyn Pratt, Steve Roesler, Greg Verdino, CB Whittemore, Steve Woodruff, Paul McEnany, Ann Handley, David Reich, Tangerine Toad, Kristin Gorski, Mack Collier, David Armano, Ryan Barrett, Lori Magno, Tim McHale, Gene DeWitt, Mario Vellandi, Arun Rajagopal, Darryl Ohrt, Joseph Jaffe, Rohit Bhargava, Anna Farmery, Marianne Richmond, Thomas Clifford, Lewis Green, Geoff Livingston, Kris Hoet, Connie Reece, Toby Bloomberg,… (will update over time)

See y’all in NYC.

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I actually watched this!

I think it’s fair to say that I’m a frequent traveler as I spend some time in a plane a few times each month. That said, every time I’ve entered a plane I start reading a book or the newspaper and won’t look up for anything else than food, drinks and the notice that we’ll be landing soon. The last thing I’ll pay attention to is the safety video or instructions given by the flight attendants. Been there, done that… and it’s boring.

Funny enough, today I did watch a safety video… and that wasn’t even in a plane. When I saw this post from Karl Long I figured I’d follow his advice and watched the new Virgin America safety video. It’s like Karl says, even if we’ve all got accustomed to the fact that some things – like safety videos – can only be boring, Virgin America proves us wrong. Together with the agency Anomaly they made a difference and it results in the fact that I actually got interested in checking out the Virgin offering next time I have to book a flight. Kudos!

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Back in business

After almost 3 weeks of holiday traveling through Borneo, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore I returned back to work yesterday… totally relaxed. I decided to just kill the +8.000 post in my RSS reader waiting for me so if you think there’s something I should absolutely read from the last 2-3 weeks let me know. In the meantime I’ll leave you with this sunset view from one of the bars in Kota Kinabalu. Damn I wish I was still there :)

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I want this

Just about a year ago I wrote a post about the Samsung Blackjack. I saw it first up on Crunchgear and it looked “like the perfect answer to what I want” as I mentioned back then. A couple of months later I received one at MIX07 in Vegas and I’ve been using the Blackjack until about a month ago. I think it’s the best phone I ever had, but there were a few good reasons for switching to something else again. The Blackjack was an unlocked Cingular mobile, and although it was a 3G phone it didn’t work on the European 3G networks. It also didn’t have WIFI and it’s a Windows Mobile 5 phone whereas I need WM6 for some of the demos I do on mobile. That said, I miss the darn phone.

Today I run around with a HTC TyTNII, which is a pretty powerful mobile phone… but it’s a brick. And battery life is pathetic. Especially that last point is a bit of a dilemma. The phone has great capabilities to get work done while on the road (and I’m on the road quite a lot) so doing email, reading RSS feeds, surfing the web, checking word and powerpoint docs, … the TyTNII is quite good at it…. for a few hours. If you use your phone actively for all this it doesn’t survive the day. And that’s bad. During the weekends I mostly use my Nokia N95. I got lucky to get one from Nokia so I could use it to demo the Windows Live for Nokia and I’m especially astonished by the photo/video quality of the phone. I’m having way too much fun filming the kids having fun during the weekend. I could use it for work as well as I can use it with Exchange but I don’t like the whole emailing feature on the Nokia.

And then I saw this, the Samsung i780 or the next generation Blackjack. And I want it. It’s like my original Blackjack with all the functions I had to miss and adding even some more. So Samsung, you can send one my way right now ;)

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One thing you can learn from the latest HTC models though, they do a very good job on the home screen (quite a bit better than what is shown here).

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Funny wireless at the Hilton

I got this letter today when checking into the Hilton hotel in Amsterdam (where the Social Media Forum Europe takes place) and part of that letter was too funny not to copy over here. Enjoy:

“All our rooms are equipped with Wireless High Speed Internet. You can easily install this on your laptop by connection through the wire available on your desk”

At least it works this wireless-internet-with-a-cable hence my ability to post this ;)

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Subject vs. message

Although it seems to be something mainly email marketers are focusing on, but it’s important for all marketing efforts. You need to have a link between the subject line and the message, between how you attract people to your message and the message itself. Especially in the times of viral marketing, you often see examples where the link is totally lost.

Here’s such a random example I got in my mailbox last week – that is traditional mail ;)

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This is a postcard I received and it did draw my attention. I couldn’t remember one of my friends had gone to Rio on holiday or anything so I was curious to find out who this came from.

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Big was my disappointment when I turned the postcard and saw it was an advertising for the Nearly New Car centers. I’ll translate the beginning, that’ll explain enough:

“We have arrived well in Rio. The weather is great but that is definitely not good enough to forget that the the July conditions at Nearly New Car still count this month. ….”

I gave up after reading that first line and threw it away (ok I made the scan first). This really doesn’t make sense to me, who ever came up with this?

Blogger Social ’08

When I wrote my ‘Global marketing community‘ post a couple of months ago I wrote about the growing number of initiatives that we see happening today in the marketing blogger community and that are all pretty exciting. At the bottom of that post I made this comment:

I’m looking forward to more of this and wouldn’t it be fantastic if eventually we find a time and a place we could all meet up face to face and have a sort of Marketing Mashup? Sounds good to me ;)

I had no idea back then that CK and Drew were already cooking something of that kind and this week the news on what, where and when is finally out: Blogger Social ’08. From April 4th to April 6th next year we get a very good reason to fly out to NY and get together. Not for a marketing event, nor a conference but more for a meeting of minds, a social gathering. As I said before… sounds good to me :)

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Interested? Then do 2 things: (1) go visit the Blogger Social blog and subscribe so you don’t miss out on any news and (2) register!

Big thank you to CK, Drew McLellan, Cam Beck, Mike Sansone, Matt Dickman and Luc Debaisieux for setting it all up. Like I needed another reason to go back to NY ;)

Modern data visualization

I don’t remember how I came across this post of ‘Data visualisation: modern approaches‘ on Smashing Magazine, but it describes some pretty cool stuff. It gives an overview of some utterly fascinating ways to visualize data, something you definitely have to go see for yourself. Some of them could be art.

One of my favorites is amaztype ‘a typographic book search’ where each amazon query gets visualized in a very interesting way. Here’s my search for ‘travel’:

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You got a see for yourself how cool it is, not quite useful but pretty. Make sure you check out the original post for a lot more interesting examples. And I’ll tell you in a few days why that query on amaztype had to be travel ;)

My little book of travel

The idea of writing ‘my little book of travel’ is something that popped my mind on several occasions in the last few years. The idea is to write a little book with travel tips and the reason why I think of it sometimes is because I get annoyed from time to time. Annoyed with the unpreparedness (is that a word?) of people that travel with you. Now I know that I do travel quite a bit more often than most people do, but still… there are a few things that just make sense. And maybe this little book can help as well, although I’ll probably never write it. But a few blogposts on the topic should be possible :)

  • In the zone: On longhaul flights people are called in zones, and so not everyone can board at the same time like you’re accustomed to on regional flights. They’ll start with zone 1 for instance, then 2… and up. So why is it that so many people think they can cheat on this and board earlier? It never works but it looks like half of the passengers try it, holding up the whole play this way? I just don’t get it.
  • No liquids: Right from when you check in, you get information on what you can and what you can’t take with you on the flight. And I’m pretty sure you get information about this when you book flights at the travel agency as well. So why is it that so many people try and get these full bottles of water and god knows what with them on the flight? Forgot about it? Didn’t you see the video on the 70″ screens? I just don’t get it.
  • Passengers: Funny enough, more people need to get on the plane apart from yourself. But some people seem to forget about this, they get to their seat and then spend 10 minutes getting their luggage in place while blocking the rest of us trying to get to their place. I just don’t get it.

If you have anything to share for my little book of travel, feel free to add them in the comments.

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