Friday, March 02, 2007

Video Ads Remain Stupid

As I mentioned in a previous post, I hate video ads and they desperately need some standards (in lieu of common sense I guess). Apparently Rebecca Lieb at Clickz agrees. She also points out the inherent issue with pre-roll video ads, which is that A) people in offices really don't want to have their PC speakers flooding the area with Viagra ads and B) people with audio turned off or their headphones plugged in and not on their heads aren't going to hear the audio anyway.

Video ads are a stupid practice and should probably just be stopped. I don't see the value to the advertiser or the host.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Six Things I'd Like to See in Second Life

I believe Second Life could become a huge thing in the next year but it has a ways to go. Some things I'd like to see are listed below. If these things exist I just haven't found them yet. Some of these are user issues and some are up to Linden Labs to fix:

  1. A recommendation engine
    If this exists I haven't seen it. Let users rate places and let editors make recommendations. I can never seem to find any good places to visit. I think tagging might help as well.
  2. Better in-world retail stores
    I've visited the Sears, Circuit City, Dell, IBM, and a car manufacturer's site (don't remember which). None of them offer much in the way of product selection or information. I understand it will take some time and proof of concept, but at this point it's just a few products with links to the company's Web site.
  3. Better object interaction
    There are a lot of objects throughout Second Life but not much interacting with them. For instance I'd like to pick up a ball and throw it. Or could I climb a tree? Could I pick up a product at Circuit City and examine it more closely.
  4. A better inventory system and interface
    The interface for SecondLife is quite daunting. Some things are intuitive, like walking around and even flying to an extent, but to do anything more than that takes patience and time. Finding and using objects you've picked up or purchased means navigating a giant tree structure that I really don't like. How about thumbnails?
  5. A better map
    Look to Google Earth for ideas. The current maps look straight out of Intellivision.
  6. An In-World Browser
    I'd rather stay within second life and browse Web content. I'd like to see Linden Labs create a pop-up in-world browser. I'm sure some good designers could figure out a way to make it usable, readable, and non-intrusive.

What's Up With Widgets?

More about widgets extending a company's brand from Clickz.

What's Up With Widgets?

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

TV Links

From the "too good to be true" Department comes TV Links, a site that aggregates TV shows available for viewing online. After clicking on a few links to shows an finding paydirt, I was feeling encouraged. I decided to click on a few more before declaring it "worth checking out." The final tally was 6 out of 10 links lead to viewable shows. Actually 5.5 since one show seemed to start partway through.

So I'd say it's probably worth checking out but don't get your expectations up too high. Selection is a bit scattershot, but not bad. Plenty of cartoons and a few popular shows like Battlestar Galactica and 24, but you may have to cross your fingers a lot.

It's a ridiculous shame that sites like this even need to exist.

TV Links

Web Worker Daily:Blog Archive Five ways to be nice to your eyes

Via Web Worker Daily. Protect them peepers.

Web Worker Daily: Blog Archive Five ways to be nice to your eyes

Can Two Sinking Media Ships Combine to Float?

Sirius and XM want to merge and I think it's a good idea. They're both floundering financially despite hype and happy customers the seem to be maxed out. So perhaps a combining of on-air talent will re-energize satellite radio and help it compete with regular radio, CDs, iPods, etc.

I personally haven't invested in either service for a few reasons:

  • I have Rhapsody To Go and really get all the music I want
  • I couldn't choose between the services since each had something I wanted
  • I don't drive all that much and the car really is the only place I'd use it. In fact the only reason I was considering it is because my fiance does drive a bit now, however she's only been lukewarm on the idea
  • I don't want yet another monthly fee
Perhaps combined the service can offer a compelling set of programming that would be hard to resist.

Free Time+math=A Helpful Photo Tip

I take a lot of group photos at work for our Intranet, which means I take a lot of photos of people with their eyes closed. I know they're not doing it on purpose, but it's really irritating when the best shot in the bunch is ruined by a blinker. The "Velocity" blog may be able to help, thanks to some math and some free time to test.

Velocity Web Site - Blink-free photos, guaranteed

Monday, February 26, 2007