Tuesday, January 06, 2009

End of an Era: No more free Budweiser samples

Sad but true: this was a time-honored ritual for William and Mary students who turned 21. The rite involved driving over to the Anheuser-Busch brewery near Busch Gardens to check out the hospitality room...and get free samples. Not full beers, mind you, just six ounces or so.

What is weird is that the coverage is making it sound like they were handing out free beer right in the middle of the theme parks, in which case I can understand why they might have killed the program.

Well, that and the expense of operating said program, especially in college towns.

But I never saw anything like what they're talking about, where it was co-located with the theme park. The brewery was entirely separate.

Then again, I haven't been to Busch Gardens "Europe" since they added Ireland.

Monday, January 05, 2009

NPR: "Murals Depict Power of Law and Justice"

Really cool story on NPR Morning Edition today about the murals on the walls in the US Department of Justice.

It wasn't all that long ago that we still used public art to instruct and provoke thought because people were actually paying attention. It reminds me of the murals at Coit Tower in San Francisco, those were also very cool.

Of course, the general public cannot actually see the murals at the USDOJ...

Friday, January 02, 2009

Late to the game - Google Adwords

I am just now getting involved in this online marketing tactic, Google Adwords. The smoke and mirrors are endlessly fascinating.

No wonder an entire industry has sprung up around Search Engine Marketing and Google's share price is through the roof.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Take shots! 11! He Shoots! He Scores!!

I have a confession to make: I am a hockey fan. My affliction began with a fateful playoff game in 1998, when I bought a single ticket to the first round of the San Jose Sharks vs. the Dallas Stars and watched Andrei Zyuzin win it in overtime. When I could not get tickets for the next round, I bought season tickets for the next year to guarantee playoff tickets.

So began five years of season-ticket-holder fun, the residue of which is being felt today with nightly indulgences in Center Ice. My husband is currently obsessed with the World Junior Championship tournament, meaning that most of our waking moments are spent watching the NHL Network or live feeds from other rinks around the country. My two year old son already knows the word "hockey" and can recognize it instantly.

I even tried playing it, but it's too time-consuming and expensive to find the right equipment and get ice time. But I do get to belong to what feels like an exclusive club - in the US anyway - of people who can talk comprehensively about the game.

I don't get to see the Sharks much now that we're on the East Coast, and they play half of their games at 10:30. But every once in a while, I get to hear the greatest play-by-play team in the world, Randy and Drew.

And now, I am agog about Claude Lemieux clearing waivers today. Wha??? The guy was mean in his prime, but he started in the league in 1983.

Not everyone can be Jeremy Roenick.

Friday, December 26, 2008

There are no random events.

In my new role in a new industry (to me, anyway), I am doing a lot of research into efficient and cost-effective ways to get the word out. While reading an ancient book - publication date, 2002 - about email marketing, I came across a sample of an email newsletter that was cited as an effective way to keep a reader's interest and decrease the number of opt-outs.

Lo and behold, the sample included mentions of BroadVision and Inktomi, two players that were prevalent in my previous life. Fair enough, most people have heard of these two companies, particularly since Inktomi did some eye-catching TV and print ads back in the day...but then the article in this newsletter also made mention of my employer for eight years, the now-defunct enterprise search company, Verity, Inc.

Whaa? No one has ever heard of them outside of the industry. I mean, come on now. That's like finding out that the former CEO of Verity, whom I knew very well, was working on a new web project in LA with my younger brother a few years back. Honestly! What are the chances?

There are no random events. Obviously, all roads lead back to me.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Just wanted to share the fantastic picture featured today on Seth Godin's blog.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Where in 2009?

2008 was interesting. In both senses of the word, positively and negatively.

Moved back to my hometown (that's a whole other long, intense story); spent 8 months looking for work before landing a great opportunity with a new technology and industry to learn about; celebrated my son's 2nd birthday; participated in a landmark election; watched the economy go down the tubes.

Turning toward 2009, it can only get better, right?

Then again, given this year's bevy of surprises, who's to say what will happen?

Monday, March 06, 2006

TiVo = software provider?

Looks like they're still traveling further down the software path according to this bit from Engadget:
TiVo's next act: software only?:
In recent comments to analysts, TiVo CEO Tom Rogers said that he envisions much of the company's future growth as coming from partnerships with cable operators. 'We're a total software upgrade when you think of the cable side of our business. The more that are out there, the more we have an opportunity to roll out to, the more we have the ability for cable subscribers to become TiVo subscribers.' While risky, the strategy might be TiVo's best bet to stay alive in the industry it helped create, given that many cable operators are already providing DVR service using boxes and software provided by companies such as Scientific Atlanta.

Again, this is what I said a while ago... and apparently I was not the only one to notice it.

The problem still remains convincing potential users that the TiVo interface is worth the extra money. Having seen what's available from the cable company, I would say that it is definitely a better solution.

But then, I already have a TiVo that I use every day.