Category Archives: Cool Links & Stuff

Battle at Kruger

I’m late to the party on this one, as the 30 million YouTube hits would attest to, but this was truly one of the most stunning nature scenes I’ve ever witnessed.  It’s also a heck of an example of the power of UGC. 

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Random Sports and Leadership Musings

I continue to ponder the Denver sports scene these days.  My thoughts waffle between frustration and depression most times with the occasional burst of enthusiasm sprinkled in (e.g. Peter Forsberg and Adam Foote returning to the Avs during a two day stretch late last month.) 

I published a while back about my strong desire to see Mike Shanahan depart the Broncos and my feelings have only increased since that time.  Ian Gold and Javon Walker, two very strong contributors to the team over the past couple years, were recently cut, Jim Bates resigned meaning yet another defensive coordinator will be in place next year (has anyone in the organization noticed the importance of continuity to success?) and today their seemingly figurehead GM of 16 years, Ted Sundquist was fired.   Ummm, did anyone in the organization remember that the NFL draft is just a few weeks away?  I really have no idea what kind of love affair Coach Shanahan and Owner Pat Bowlen are indulging in these days but I’m baffled how the axe keeps falling everywhere but on Shanny’s head. 

At the same time, a friend of mine has developed quite a buzz around his new blog, firegeorgekarl.com.  As the blog author knows, I fully disagree with the general premise of the blog but I’m impressed by the caliber of his research, musings, postings and general perseverance on the subject.  He’s picked up some buzz throughout the Denver sports community for his strong opinions on the subject of George Karl and your 2007-2008 Denver Thuggits.  Unlike my opinion of Mike Shanahan, I personally disagree with the notion that any majority part of the Nuggets struggles this year should fall largely on the shoulders of Coach Karl.  Despite its position right in the thick of the bottom of the playoff race, the Nuggets have one of their best records ever at this point in a season and have clearly demonstrated they are a team that can compete with anyone in the league on a given night.  Unfortunately, they also can play terrible ball on a given night.  Karl can’t be held completely accountable for that erratic play and its probably both wrong and lazy to point the finger too strongly in his direction.  I, personally, like this Nuggets team a lot and, if they do inch in to the playoffs or bow out early, sincerely hope nothing dramatic happens with either Karl or the roster itself. 

Lastly, I’m curious if anyone else is as amazed by the new Nike commercial as I am.  My only frustration with it was that the Nike site didn’t provide any embed link for me to post the commercial more effectively on my blog.  I haven’t been this pumped up by a commercial in quite a while and give Nike props, yet again, for its marketing creativity and brilliance time and time again over the past twenty plus years.  I only wish they focused on making footwear products as good as their commercials are these days.     

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SI Swimming Online

 SI Swimsuit Edition

I finally got an opportunity a few days ago to peruse the new Sports Illustrated 2008 Swimsuit edition.  Around the same time last week, I found myself reading this perplexed blog article on Digital Media Wire regarding the increasing online popularity of this SI hallmark. 

To Heather Hopkins or anyone else out there confounded by the online success of the Swimsuit edition, I encourage you to stop racking your brains.  This isn’t any kind of rubix cube.  First, I doubt there is any particular logic to the prominence of one search term (“sports illustrated swimsuit”) over another (“SI Swimsuit issue.”)  If anyone feels differently about this, or there is some particularly marketing ploy at the heart of this, I’d love to stand corrected.

To the larger issue, though, of the online success of the Swimsuit edition, there is clear and logical explanation behind that.  First and foremost, the product itself remains unmatched.  We’re talking about really beautiful women and its less about the bathing suits this year than ever.  The SI Swimsuit edition appears to have gotten somewhat racier over the years and I’ve personally deduced a lot of that has to do with awareness over their principal competition now: online adult content.   At the same time, it’s increasingly integrated with pop culture and other popular content tie-ins: Will Ferrell and his new movie, Semi- Pro, Danica Patrick, athlete’s wives and more.  I’m sure the studio behind Semi-Pro paid a pretty penny for its sponsorship integration which makes that tie-in all the more compelling for the magazine.   

Furthermore, the Swimsuit edition is heavily marketed and have fairly massive distribution.  Unlike regular, weekly editions of SI, the Swimsuit version can be found on the shelves of just about any drugstore, grocery store, hair salon or tienda of almost any other kind throughout the US (and possibly beyond I assume.)  I’m curious how and why they’ve secured distribution that goes so much wider for this edition than their others but I’m assuming they have a much heavier cost structure to maintain on this episode.   

Lastly, this year more than year’s past, the supporting online website for the SI Swimsuit edition is great.  The UI is clean and there are some clever applications including a video mash-up feature that could keep a teenage boy engaged on the website for hours.   This year, much of the magazine’s content is online for free and its principally monetized through advertising.  But, the ads are relatively non-intrusive and the whole user experience online is well thought through.   

It’s not a stretch to call the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition a hallmark of winter and, even more broadly, of American society for the last 40+ years.  As a product, it continues to evolve with the times and, so, it’s not in the least bit surprising to me that,  in 2008,  it’s such a popular destination online.

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World Wide Web article and Related Musings

This article was highlighted in Jason Hirschhorn’s daily feed, Media Redefined, today:

http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2007/biz2/0707/gallery.web_world.biz2/index.html?section=magazines_business2

Frankly, I cringed when I saw Joost getting headliner spotlight here and Babelgum shortly thereafter.  There were several more interesting and innovative sounding plays mentioned amidst this article and I’m honestly getting a bit fatigued by all the Joost press and blog postings.  I experienced the Joost beta product for the first time recently, as I mentioned here, and remain both impressed and somewhat confounded by the buzz surrounding them.  They reported 1M users of their beta product last week but, frankly, that’s due almost entirety to the hype maching surrounding the company.  The product is really neither that solid or interesting, yet, and I have a hard time believing many of those 1M users returned for a follow-up visit or spent any extensive time on the product at this stage.   A friend of mine, who is very involved in the digital media space, told me today that Joost content is being distributed at 300 kbps, which is about 1/4 the bit rates of the content distributed from sites like CinemaNow or Movielink today.  Furthermore, Joost isn’t really a live P2P solution despite the prevaling notion that is how its distribution model works. 

Separately, I’m enjoying Jason Hirschhorn’s feed quite a bit these days.  It’s a succint yet solid presentation of relevant media and technology news every day without all the editorial perspective and imagery found in blogs such as PaidContent or TechCrunch.  I am a bit surprised, and impressed, that Jason is able to aggregate these daily newsclippings amidst how busy he must be helping run Sling Media these days. 

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Pirilloisms

The name Chris Pirillo gets tossed around frequently in the world of technology and digital media.  He’s a renaissance man of sorts within tech and, among other things, is largely responsible for the well-known Gnomedex conference in Seattle. 

Chris is frequently referred to in an Oprah-revered manner.  Where he is, is where one needs to be.  What he is thinking about is what one should be contemplating as well. 

I finally spent some time on his blog site tonight and, not to my surprise, found a lot of what he had to say fascinating.  This is a guy, mind you, who has been blogging for years–actually, he is probably one of the folks who created the form of communication. 

This post was interesting to me.  The cynicism is a generally common aspect of his blog.  And, I’m happy to say I’m starting to feel the EXACT same way these days on this subject (eg my recent post on Facebook SPAM):

http://chris.pirillo.com/2007/07/10/this-is-why-im-fing-sick-of-web-20/

I also appreciated this comic strip on the bottom of his blog:

Pirillo comic

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The JPhone

This is pretty funny stuff courtesy of Jewlarious Films:

http://www.aish.com/movies/jphone.asp

I’ve been meaning to post about Justin Long, the Mac dude, for a few days now and this web short reminded me to do so.  After having endured him in both the Mac commercials as well as repeated viewings of the Break-Up for the past year or so, I really have wanted to write ravingly mean things about the guy.  But, he entirely redeemed himself as a hacker kid in Live Free or Die Hard and so I no longer have such negative feelings about him.  That movie quickly emerged on my all-time favorite action flic list BTW.  It’s great stuff. 

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Elwood, the Sweet Horror Dog

I really can’t believe the look of this dog.  And I also can’t figure out why this woman chooses to let the drool seep from this animal’s mouth the way it does…

http://video.msn.com/v/us/v.htm?g=77031d06-b56e-4352-9dd0-f2182076eac8&f=06/64&fg=email

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