Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Thin Line Between Love And Hate

The Thin Line Between Love And Hate
Another great post from Kathy at Creating Passionate Users. In it, she points out that in order to have truly passionate users, you must inspire both love and hate.

"The most popular and well-loved companies, products, and causes have the strongest opponents."

When you have succeeded in creating truly passionate users, their passion will be so strong that it will piss some other folks off. And Kathy's message is that being hated is okay.

To be loved and hated is good. To be trapped in the zone of mediocrity is bad.

This insight is a bit uncomfortable for me, since I try not to be hated. Does that mean I'm doomed to the zone of mediocrity?

But then I consoled myself with the thought that I probably have lots of secret enemies that hate my guts.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Alternate Terms For "Cubicle"

Alternate Terms For "Cubicle"
I actually prefer cubes to offices--the open plan is far more collaborative. That being said, this list is really funny. Many thanks to Worthwhile for the pointer.

My personal favorite is "Fortress of Servitude," though "International Porn Downloading Headquarters" might better describe many cubes!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Toasters Are Coming

The Toasters Are Coming
CMU demonstrated its new Gladiator Tactical Unmanned Ground Vehicle last Friday. While the Gladiator prototype is unarmed, the military has plans to equip it with machine guns and other weapons.

There's a pretty crappy-looking movie out, Stealth, about a robotic warplane that goes rogue. While the movie looks horrible, one of the characters makes a good point when he asks how we can justify not using robots in combat if we can reduce the number of soldiers who die as a result.

I'm not sure, but I still can't help but get nervous as we edge closer and closer to self-willed fighting machines....

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Weird and Wonderful

Weird and Wonderful
In case you don't read BoingBoing, here are two interesting articles.

The first article, complete with video, describes how you can use small electric currents to actually control people's movements against their will. No Karl Rove jokes, please.

The second, far more profound posting, shows a photograph of a frozen lake of ice on the surface of Mars. We truly live in a enormous and beautiful universe.

The Man Who Saved Online Advertising

The Man Who Saved Online Advertising
John Battelle has a posted a neat little excerpt from his new book which describes how Bill Gross went about creating GoTo.com, whose pay-per-click model now generates the bulk of online advertising revenues.

Bill's insight was that some clicks were worth more than others, and that search engines were the best means of divining intention. The problem was that Bill needed a lot of advertisers to make his model work. The solution? Offer a minimum bid of $0.01 per click, far below what anyone else was offering.

Bill counted on being able to build enough momentum such that the bidding wars between advertisers would boost the average CPC beyond his cost of traffic acquisition.

Bill hoped that someday people would pay $2 per click.

Little did he realize that someday people would pay $100 per click, and that his creation would be propping up the value of the world's most valuable media company.

Not all of Bill's ideas worked, but you have to give him credit for this one!