Oprah Time: airplane reading

Originally uploaded by renaissancechambara.During my recent travels I needed some light reading, but didn’t want to go down the mindless thriller route a la Grisham, Dan Brown or Tom Clancy.

I took a few books with me, two of which I will cover off in this post. It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be by Paul Arden. The book distills the wisdom of a senior advertising man and provides inspiration that agency account leads can dip into to dig themselves out of the usual SNAFU account work or new business pitches that occcasionally come up.

Unstuck by Keith Yamashita and Sandra Spataro provides guidance on getting past team issues. The cleverest part of the book is the personality test for your team at the beginning that helps you move through the problem. Like the Paul Arden book, Unstuck can be read from cover-to-cover the value is knowing that it is there to pull out of the drawer and use it as a prudent time to resolve team and project issues.

Reading them on the plane gave me a good idea of what I could get out of them. Also they are small and slim, providing a lighter load for your carry-on luggage or slip into the main pocket of a fleece.

Irony bombing


Katie Price aka Jordan and her husband, former pop star Peter Andre released an album A Whole New World late last year to cash in on their celebrity status. UK music journalists panned the album as mawkish, citizen reviewers on Amazon UK took a more pragmatic approach. Heaping their copy with ironic over-the-top praise and providing high ratings for the album. The reviews have become a source of merriment, appearing on gossip email newsletter HolyMoly.

Here’s just a selection:

From Mr SM Low – I feel that we are truly blessed to exist on the same planet as two obviously extremely talented individuals. I almost gave up on the music industry untill this couple came along. My cat was dead and now it is alive.

From Deejay Sleepy – I’ve been studying music full time now for the past seven years of my life. I’ve gone from Btec level right through to the masters degree that I’m currently studying for and I can say in all honesty that I have NEVER heard an album quite like this. As has been said in previous reviews, this is a work of truly earth-shattering importance. Despite the fact that it may seem like a cynical christmas marketing ploy to extract cash from Daily Mail and Hello readers, the sheer stunning brilliance of this record cannot be overstated.

From C Maxwell – I was a little sceptical at first – with two greats coming together like this. But all I can say is WOW I fell of my stool… this CD just wanted to make my touch myself and cry – tears of pure JOY were running down my face….!!!

From Daniel J North – When i first put this CD on i dropped to my knees and wept. They were strange tears, full of both the sublime meloncholy of the knowledge that i would never hear music better than this again. But they where also tears of joyous rapture, because i had the knowledge that i was there! I was there when the pinacle of audio perfection was reached and would never be bettered!

From Jamie X. B. Line – Like so many great artists, I fear that Kate and Pete are destined to remain unappreciated during their own life times. “A whole new world” is an understatement…”A whole new musical paradigm” would have been more apt I feel. Don’t let the sarcasm of the philistines who have reviewed this album below put you off. There have been many turning points in the history of Western music…it has often been said for instance that after the first performance of Beethoven’s Third Symphony, music was never the same again.

Jargon Watch: Clickprint, Collabulary

Clickprint – Derived from the amount of time that a user spends on a web site and the number of pages viewed. The combination is a unique fingerprint that can help a site owner identify return visitors, curb fraud and upset the user with invasive marketing. Yahoo! used to analyse over ten terabytes of data every day with former rocket scientists like Usama Fayyad.

Collabulary – A vocabulary for the collaborative tagging of web content. The flexibility of folksonomy and some of the structure (through common language) of a taxonomy.

Thanks to Wired Magazine.

Majestic Mk II


I remember the tech press hype in the US when it originally came out, it had an innovative gaming concept that tapped into the zeitgeist of conspiracy theory entertainment like The X Files (remember them) and 24. Majestic was a game by Electronic Arts (under the fictional name of Anim-X) that was very innovative in its approach. Players were wrapped in an online game that charged a subscription (a business model since copied by the likes of Xbox Live etc). The game communicated to users not only through the software, but via web sites, video messages, emails and faxes.

Unfortunately the plug was pulled on the game in 2002 because it did not have a sufficient amount of players to make it financially viable. However, now the time maybe right, the extension of game play into every aspect of their online lives would make it much more powerful.

Think about it; Second Life avatars, IM messages, comments on their MySpace profile, voicemail to their mobile phone, SMS texts, mysterious contacts on LinkedIn, mysterious pictures on Flickr and videos seeded on Bit Torrents. It would be much more powerful because of the seamless integration of offline and online for younger people.

Convergence, utilising ‘free web services’ and a regular revenue stream would make this of interest to mobile operators, media companies and everyone in between.

Talking of games for a cheap January I am going old school and getting a copy of Risk.