Scripting News for 4/22/2007

Today’s links 

On The Media segment on Virginia Tech massacre. We were all actors in a drama.

Seattle P-I: The end of a blogging era may be near.

Yogi Berra: “We’re lost. But we are making good time.”

Surprised that my review of last week’s Sopranos is in the first page of results for Sopranos on Google.

Google Calendar security issue.

Moveon taking cheap shots at McCain? 

Amyloo chimes in on liberals not stooping to the ridiculously low level of Republican politics. One thing I’m not clear on is if is taking cheap shots at McCain for his gaffe about bombing Iran (which was insensitive, btw, to the Iranians who would die and the Americans who would risk their lives to drop the bombs).

If Moveon is doing this, can I have a pointer? The reason I ask is that the founders of Moveon are neighbors, and this is something we can do something about, unlike most of the misery of the world, we can help make this one better. And I’m willing to seek out Joan and Wes to express our displeasure.

Postscript: Yes, they are taking advantage of McCain’s mistake. Here’s a copy of the email they’re sending. They lose me when they do stuff like this. I’m not voting out one set of unprincipled losers to replace them with another.

Hannibal Lecter Lite 

Any time Anthony Hopkins stars in a murder mystery that gets reasonably decent reviews, I’m all over it.

Fracture sure isn’t Silence of the Lambs, it’s nowhere near as intellectually challenging, we figured it out an hour before the other main character did, but it’s still a good movie, with Hopkins in great form, even if it’s just a hint of the depraved cannibal that lives inside him. 🙂

I gave it a B- on Yahoo.

OPML Editor help 

I’m seeing reports on people’s blogs that they can’t get yesterday’s Twitter connection working.

In many cases the problem is that they haven’t updated to the new release process. The instructions are here.

If that doesn’t do it for you, post a message on one of the mail lists where people can help.

New Twitter prefs panel 

I added a prefs panel for Twitter support in the OPML Editor. This replaces step 3 in yesterday’s instructions, you don’t have to go looking for user.twitter.prefs in the object database, this panel takes care of that.

To get the panel, choose Update opml.root in the File menu.

Here’s a link to the prefs panel. You must have the OPML Editor running on your system for that link to work.

The OPML Editor has a built-in web server for applications like this. Makes it easy to configure apps in a web browser.

Advertising, day N 

Almost everyone in the comments missed the point of the naked car guy in the YouTube video, they commented on the quality of the ad, which is something everyone can have an opinion on, but that wasn’t the point.

Their gesture was significant even if no one was informed or entertained by it, it had the courage to say this is something you want to watch even if you don’t have to.

Read the part in italics, read it carefully before you post a comment saying the quality is too low. The point is that the age of intrusive commercialism is fading, and replacing it is opt-in commercials. Commercial information you seek out because you’re buying a car or refrigerator, planning a trip, need to get new shoes, or need surgery or to be represented in a lawsuit. We are all seeking commercial information all the time, and guess where we go to find it these days — the Internet — of course!

Imho, in five years, there will be so many commercial videos on YouTube and it will seem so much a part of life, everyone will say it was always totally obvious, but remember the day (today!) when you didn’t think so.

Commercial information will be opt-in, long-form, information-rich and entertaining, or people won’t watch it.

The ad agency responsible for the naked car guy may not get it right this time, but they should keep trying, because they’re onto something.

Money talks 

1. I’ve spent many thousands of dollars on the Internet.

2. I’ve spent $0 on ads that showed up in the margins of my attention.

3. I’ve never intentionally clicked on one.

4. Mark Cuban: “My viewers are my customers.”

6 responses to this post.

  1. Dave, since you live in the east bay, you may have seen my favorite commercial, that’s only broadcast on local cable in the Berkeley/San Pablo area: the wonderful W.E.T. P.E.T.S. ad!

    The music is so damn great that Howard and I like to un-mute it and sing along. I put it up on YouTube, and so far it’s got about 75,500 views, a great rating, and lots of comments. Somebody even posted a couple of video replies showing drive-bys of the pet store.

    My favorite comments that capture the impact of this great commercial are “every time I watch that I get a little teary eyed” and “I am now going vegan because I love this commercial!”

    Somebody has even written an in-depth 11 point analysis about what he likes about the W.E.T. P.E.T.S. commercial on his blog, proclaiming “This is the best low-budget, local access CM ever made”:

    7. “Parakeets, rabbits, and–scorPEONS!” Look at the way the scorpion establishes dominance over the previous pets, BURSTING into the middle frame. Damn!


  2. Posted by TF on April 22, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    “Their gesture was significant even if no one was informed or entertained by it, it had the courage to say this is something you want to watch even if you don’t have to. ”

    Again, I think I get your point, and I disagree. It’s no that I’m not “getting it.”

    This commercial had the opposite effect as you described. I thought this ad didn’t have the courage to say this is something you don’t want to watch even if you have to.

    What you are describing will always be distrusted and less valuable for its purpose than content generated from the outside: user reviews, consumer group reviews, etc… An ad is still an ad. Even if it tries to be educational or informative or entertaining. Information, tutorials, product catalogs, pricing, spec sheets, demos, etc… can and will have a marketing/advertising aspect, but are not confused with commercials/ads. All you are describing is video spec sheets.

    Unfortunately, this is an ad. A not very good one.


  3. Does anyone know where to find a version of the John McCain clip that doesn’t cut right after he stops singing? I’d really like some context.


  4. There were people who watch a particular television program (Superbowl) just to view the commercials. There were people who leave the movie theaters after watching a particular advertisement (Star Wars). My wife occasionally will buy the local Thursday newspaper just to get discount clippings for the local supermarket. Yet, intrusive television advertisements, intrusive movie theater advertisements, and intrusive newspaper advertisements continue. I don’t really see intrusive advertisements being going away anytime soon because intrusive advertisements are cheap enough while effective enough.


  5. Yes but…

    I could see movie theaters going away, perhaps (in a very small way) due to their intrusive ads.

    I could see newspapers going away too.

    I just heard a segment of On The Media where they talk about how the city of Sao Paolo in Brazil banned all outdoor advertising. The largest city in South America.

    A lot of things are unforseeable, until they happen. 🙂


  6. Posted by David Weingart on April 22, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    Re: McCain’s video and context. The only context I could find was this story from the Georgetown Times.

    After the “bomb Iran” bit, McCain is quoted as saying:

    “Iran is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. That alone should concern us but now they are trying for nuclear capabilities. I totally support the President when he says we will not allow Iran to destroy Israel.”

    That doesn’t really defuse the “bomb Iran” but in my eyes.

    I see where Weinberger is coming from about letting candidates be human (since he was involved with Howard Dean’s campaign) but given McCain’s history of war-mongering I think this incident is fair game for criticism.

    In other words, singing “bomb Iran” reinforces the fact that electing McCain would increase the likelihood of that actually happening. The bombing of Iran is a legitimate campaign issue, subject to criticism, unlike the completely manufactured “Dean Scream” and “Kerry botched joke”.

    It was John Kerry’s desire to remain above it all that led to the Swift Boating of his campaign in 2004. So perhaps unilateral disarmament (as Weinberger recommends) isn’t such a great idea.


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