Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Journey Round The Internets

Been staying up a little later the past few days and playing around with lots of different sites out on the Internets. Feeding my bizarre Web2.0 addiction primarily -- I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff, as I'm sure you know by now, and I've found a lot of fun sites there to feed said addiction lately. Most of them things which have been around for a little while that I just hadn't gotten around to previously.

I'll call your attention to the right-hand sidebar there, where you'll hopefully notice two new additions:
  • The Aggregated Darkside --Followed a link/brief write-up from Warren Ellis to Tumblr, and decided to sign-up. Tumblr is apparently a site for "tumblelogs". As they put it, if blogs are journals, then tumblelogs are scrapbooks. Essentially, it's blogging without the commentary - just a collection of links, pictures, videos, etc. And Tumblr has a really nice interface for importing whatever RSS feeds you want to throw at it, as well as pre-made import scripts for common sites like Digg, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, etc. So, as you might guess from the name, I've set it up to import my stuff from all over the webosphere2.0. Plus some extra pics & links thrown in just to share. If nothing else, it's hopefully an easy one-stop-shop feed you can subscribe to to keep an eye on all that is Max. Or something.

  • Last.FM -- I've known about Last.FM a LONG time... but never bothered signing-up for it because I listen to my own iTunes music the vast majority of the time, and already have so much crap imported into iTunes that I didn't really see much need for Internet radio, social or no -- but then there's the whole AudioScrobbler thing they've got going. Basically, you can download a utility which CAN play their Internet radio (tag channels, friend channels, specific bands, whatever), but can ALSO pay attention to what you're listening to in the audio player of your choice and write it out to your profile, so you can build nifty little "recently played" lists like the one on the sidebar there. Or, if you rather, you can do "top plays", or whatever. It's pretty fun. And hey, I've even got two friends there already! (Thanks Gary & norb). FWIW, I already turned OFF my last.FM feeds to Tumblr because it was just too much - in comparison to everything else, the songs I listened to (per song) were just drowning the other content.
I also broke down and signed-up for Twitter today. I honestly don't know if I'll have much use for it at the moment, but it seems to be the current rising wave, so I want to at least poke around at all the different things you can do with it. The basic premise is that Twitter answers the question "what are you doing RIGHT NOW?" -- kind of like the Facebook "status" field, only even more immediate. You can add friends to a feed, and see all their updates automagically in your stream or RSS, or you can get the updates pushed to your phone via text messages (you can update via text msg as well!), IM, custom desktop apps, etc. It's apparently "really addicting" -- I suppose that depends on having friends using it too, and ATM, as far as I know, I have none. :P (heh)

So yeah, I love me some web2.0. I'm such a sucker.

Anyways, more fun from around the Internet, random link edition:
  • Belly Dancer gets half her butt liposuctioned away:
    A German belly dancer has been given twice as much compensation as she asked for - after a plastic surgeon accidentally sucked away one of her buttocks instead of reducing the size of her thighs.
    Yeowza. LINK.

  • What to do with that wedding ring after a failed marriage? Why, GIVE IT A PROPER BURIAL, naturally.
That's all for now. Gotta get back to watching the Cavs fight for an even playing field heading back to Detroit. Let's go Cleveland!! Can you FEEL the excitement Z?

Umm... I'll take that as a yes?

Friday, May 25, 2007

The 4400: Viral Assault

Season 4 of The 4400 (the series) hits USA (the channel) on June 17th (the date). To rev up, they appear to have put quite a bit of work into a viral marketing campaign, including several themed websites, videos (hosted on YouTube, naturally), etc.

What's a real shame is that the first I heard about any of this is when Googling around this afternoon trying to find a premiere date for the new season. With all the work that went into it, why is the only thing I saw on it a Sci-Fi Wire news blurb from May 23rd? Now admittedly, per that story they just launched things on 5/21, but still - have we already become so jaded to viral marketing like this that no one cared enough to notice? Or are they going to ramp it up and get the word out a bit louder in the next week or two as the actual premiere gets closer? I would think some actual TV spots for the ads would be pretty cool -- though it might be a hair too realistic & freak people out, possible backlash, yada yada yada. Still, wouldn't it be fun if they ran something like this. That one won't embed - here's a shorter hack version from the ad company on YouTube:

I'm really pretty impressed with the amount of stuff out there. These aren't simple, quick one-page sites, they've actually put some effort into them. Here's what I've dug up so far:

Each site seems to have plenty of videos (the article mentions at least 80). I like the commercial-type spots a bit better than the "dispatches".

One thing they seem to be doing differently from some other viral marketing, is that they're actually ENCOURAGING roleplaying - non-paid, non-affiliated people joining up, typing stuff in character about their own stories, their own abilities or exposure, etc, etc. Though it's a pretty early 4th wall break for the site, the PromicinTerror has this "Contribute to the Cause" link which explains it a bit more:
Play a character and become a part of The 4400 universe -- tell us the part of the promicin story that only you can create! Take a look at some of the videos, articles and photo-illustrated stories on Promicin Info, Promicin Terror and Promicin Power. Then decide what new promicin story you'd like to tell and how you'd like to tell it. See suggestions below for creating a great submission.

They've even got forums setup on PromicinInfo where there's all kinds of folks posting in character, about promicin/4400y things, and some of THOSE people even link back to their own in-character personal blogs... of course, some of them link to unrelated sites, and some link to in-character blogs that BREAK character... I was able to register for an account on the forum & post a reply to one of the threads (I made it neutral enough that it wouldn't break kayfabe)... very cool touch, but as the word gets out, I'm assuming it's going to take some AGGRESSIVE moderating to keep griefers out. Because lord knows the Intarwubs luvs them some griefers.

So if you're exited for the new season of the 4400 to start, or if you're just a fan of viral marketing and fan-involvement, check it out!

EDIT: Unfortunately, their "embed video" links for the non-YouTube flash vids don't seem to work so well (with Blogger at least), so I had to cut out a couple. Be sure to check out the "Protect our Children" video on the first page of PromicinTerror.com - it's quality.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Solid Footing

So our deck is done! (Well, the CONSTRUCTION of the deck is done).

We went ahead and loaded it all up last night with our brand new outdoor furniture (including Evie's own little picnic table Grandpa got her) and our old grill. Take a look:

I think it's great! And done in time for a Memorial Day cookout even! Too bad it's supposed to rain this weekend... We'll also have to UNLOAD the entire thing within a week or two and seal/stain it, but for now we're living it up!

If it does rain, then at least I won't have to regret missing the great weather if we wind up seeing PotC: At World's End (which I definitely hope to do). Can't wait, should be a good one! (Though the threequels haven't been working out so well for other franchises... but I have hope.)

Gotta run - but I also wanted to share this PG edit of 300:

Monday, May 21, 2007

Close, But No Cigar

I'm still here. Things are going pretty well in Maxville. VERY busy at work lately, but that's a good thing - keeps things focused, yet busy means it's not all one thing and doesn't get boring. It also helps the time fly by very quickly.

Outside of work, our deck is almost done! It LOOKS done, but there are a few minor details I'm assuming should be polished off tomorrow. I'll get some pics up once it's all finished. (Of course, the "finish" (sealing/staining, etc.) won't be for another week or two). Not exactly looking forward to that, but you do what you gotta do. I AM looking forward to the deck itself - it looks awesome.

The title up there would be tonight's Cavs game. The boys put up a tough fight up in D-town, but fell JUST short at the end. The upside to the loss (if there is one) is that they went for the WIN instead of the tie at the end, LeBron driving the lane before kicking out to Donyell Marshall for a nice open look at a game-winning 3 that was JUST off... If they can take one of the games in the Palace before coming home to Cleveland, they'll be in GREAT shape. I believe.

Been having fun Yelping it up too, throwing up several more reviews tonight, and getting the beginnings of my favorite restaurants list together. I'll fill it out as I get more places reviewed. Hopefully soon. I threw a link to my Yelp Reviews over in the sidebar there. Still only have ONE friend there so far (thanks Irene~!)...

Last but not least, this week I FINALLY got around to checking out 24 Hours, the Kleptones double-album that came out LAST YEAR. It's not as thoroughly awesome as A Night At The Hip-Hopera, but it's still some solid Kleptones goodness... well-executed mashuposity that is definitely worth your time.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Cavs SQUEAK By, Get the Road Win

Well, after looking TERRIBLE in their first road game of the series in Jersey Saturday (and ruining my ALL SWEEP, ALL THE TIME master plan, the Cavs took back control of the series with a squeaker-win tonight in Jersey, 87-85, and will head home to the big C to get the job done. Gotta hope the Bulls can do their part tomorrow night and get another win against D-Town so they don't get TOO fresh on us waiting for the conference finals to start. Better yet, force that series to game 7 so that the Cavs can polish off the Nets AND get some rest.

The ESPN gallery's currently a little thin (give 'em a break, the game just ended), so no EmotiBron tonight. Instead, Z brings you a LITHUANIAN KARATE CHOP!

Hi-YAH! Take THAT Mikki Moore! What kind of a name is Mikki anyway?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Yelp Me Out Here

So someone over at the Columbus Underground forums mentioned this social restaurant/store/entertainment review site called Yelp. It's kind of like Yahoo reviews or Citysearch-meets-Web2.0. A dash of social network, a dash of local reviews, etc. Just my kind of new toy to play with, and very similar to the previously mentioned Trusted Opinion (ref'd here) or to a lesser extent LibraryThing (ref'd here). Only, you know, with a much larger base than just movies or books.

So I checked it out, and it seems like as good a place as any to throw my opinion out there. After all, I definitely enjoy checking out new restaurants, and have tried my hand at reviews in the past. Well, this is a much less formal, more social way to do so. I've only written up a few reviews so far, but I'm sure more will be coming - it fits a good niche, and is "flashier" than the other options. Here's my page. If you sign-up, be sure to "friend" me - I look so lonely with no friends there! ;)

In other news, the Cavs are up on the Nets 2-0! Only 10 games away from an NBA championship baby! That's right - I'm calling for the Cavs to SWEEP the ENTIRE NBA playoffs! It could happen, right?

What do you think LeBron, can you & the boys make it happen?