March 30, 2006

Web 2.0 Awards as SEO Scam

This email arrived tonight:

From: Kat Ortland <>
Subject: The Web 2.0 Awards: Your site received an honorable mention!
Date: 30 March 2006 19:21:27 GMT-08:00

On behalf of __________ and all of our distinguished contributors, I am proud to congratulate all the sites honorably mentioned in our First Annual Web 2.0 Awards.

The competition was fierce and we are inspired by the creativity we’ve seen. We’re excited to recognize your innovation and the impact your site has on our everyday lives. You represent the future of the Web, and we’re proud to call you out for your achievements. Please visit to see interviews with our contributors, read a brief history of Web 2.0, and view the awards themselves.

________ wants to help you share the news of your recognition. We’ve created a graphic you can download here (http://_____________) to promote your mention, so that everyone who visits your site knows you’ve been recognized for your vision. We're also happy to work together on any joint press activities or online promotions sharing the news of your honor.

For more information about the ________________ Web 2.0 Awards, please visit or If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me at

Thank you for being a part of the Web 2.0 Awards - we couldn't have done it without you!


Kat Ortland
Project Manager |

P.S. Apologies that this email is tardy-- I realize that many of you may have already seen the awards!

See, I'm not going to link to these folks. It's an SEO consulting company. Search engine optimization. Guess who they're trying to optimize? Themselves.

Pretty clever.

Only, it's a very old trick. Anyone remember the web awards that everyone strived to win in the early days of the web? Cool Site of the Day. Yahoo! Site of the Day. USA Today Site of the Day. And so on. I remember because I ran sites that once in a while won such awards.

For me, this is the Official Jumping of the Shark for the whole "Web 2.0" thing. Congratulations, Web 2.0. Now that is indeed a once-in-a-lifetime achievement.

Posted by brian at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)


Kaloogr, the new deceptive photo-sharing service. :-)

Why, the name is even Web2.0 compliant!

Posted by brian at 04:49 PM | Comments (0)

March 26, 2006

"This Is How I Do Business"

Interesting music-industry anecdote deep within an Andy Hertzfeld interview recorded as part of a 30th Anniv restrospective of Apple COmputer by the San Francisco Chronicle.

The podcast can be heard here. The Chronicle story is here.

The music industry anecdote comes late in the interview when Andy's talking about the iPod and Apple's successful music business. Here's Andy, about 18 minutes into the recording:

This was in March of 1998, and I was so excited about the MP3s that I could make a single CD that had every single song the Beatles ever recorded, or, you know, that was commercially released, that could fit on a single CD. Steve was a big Beatles fan, and I knew he would be interested in that. I talked to him about how excited I was about MP3s and he just completely pooh-poohed it. He kinda said, "ugh, MP3s, the quality is awful, you know, jitter is . . . digital music isn't listenable!" That's what he said at that time.

Uh, and in fact... so, he missed it, Apple and Steve Jobs missed the digital music revolution in its early stages. But, to their credit, Apple realized, to their credit, sometime in 2000, that, hey, this is a big thing, we're behind, put a big effort in, and caught up.

I would say, one of my theories is, one of the reasons that the iPod was so successful was that Apple was a little late with it, compared to how they usually were. You put a product out ahead of the market, and it struggles as the market catches up. Apple comes out with the iPod which was exquisitely designed, just as the market was starting its big climb up, not when it was building. But the single thing that made it really really take off -- two things -- you have to say, but they're related. One thing was, making it available for the PCs. If they hadn't had done that, the iPods couldn't have taken off.

Uh, but then the real thing was solving the content problem. How, you know, just like a personal computer needs software, an iPod needs music, and by doing such a great job on the music store, which is a really hard problem to solve, by using all of the Steve Jobs skills of inspiration and persuasion on those music executives.

He told me an incredible story about meeting with the music executives where he -- I'll just tell this really briefly, but he went to a meeting in New York, with I don't know which one the music companies it was but the executive, the main guy, the CEO, he was meeting with, started the meeting by taking a gun out of his pocket, laying it on the table, and saying, "This is how I do business."

Hell of a story, right?

Reminds me of the days we had armed undercover goons roaming the halls and lobby of

Also reminds me of the day back in 1999 when Apple was rolling out a new version of QuickTime, and I was chatting with MP3's VP of Engineering and we got to talking about QuickTime and I encouraged him to email Steve directly at Apple and persuade him to include MP3 file format support in the next version of QuickTime. In 1999, was the hottest company on the Net, and we had a lot of clout. Companies like Microsoft, Netscape, AOL, and Apple would listen to what we had to say. So we sat down and composed an email to Steve. He actually replied a few hours later, and that led to some calls and meetings with Apple Quicktime people, and the MP3 format made it into QuickTime.

And then Napster shipped, and nobody remembers anymore. Which reminds me of one final anecdote: the Great Forgetting of was so bad that one time in 2000, after I'd moved to Silicon Valley to work with none other than Andy Hertzfeld, I was driving in Los Altos, CA, in the heart of Silicon Valley, with my Boxster with the "MP3COM" license plate. This older guy in a fancy Jaguar rolls up alongside me at a red light and waves excitedly and says, "I saw your license plate! 3COM! 3COM! So you're a fan too? I'm a big investor in 3COM!" I smiled and thought, um, wrong. Before I could say anything, he added, "By the way, what does the MP stand for?"

Posted by brian at 08:45 PM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2006

Revolver, No, The Other One

Mix in a big heap o' Blue Velvet-era David Lynch, throw in a dose of Natural Born Killers-era Oliver Stone, and some Bonnie and Clyde for good measure, and you start to approximate the movie REVOLVER.

Well, not quite. See, REVOLVER is a movie that's not even been made yet. (At least this REVOLVER. Turns out there's another one that did get made.)

This REVOLVER may not be a movie yet but it does have an interesting 5-minute trailer. That's all it has. They made it to try to raise money to make the whole movie.

The trailer won the 2004 Golden Trailer Award for "Best Trailer - No Movie." The award presenter described it this way:

A regular trailer has to be good enough to get someone to drop 10 bucks. In this category, the trailer has to be good enough to get somebody to drop 10 million bucks.

It won the award, but it doesn't look like it won any funding. It seems like it's been on hold since 2004.

Posted by brian at 04:08 PM | Comments (0)

The Tuttle Rebuttal

Hilarious exchange of emails between the maker of a Linux-based OS called CentOS, and the city manager of Tuttle, Oklahoma.

Posted by brian at 12:21 AM | Comments (0)

March 20, 2006

A Letter to Salutation:40

I received several of these emails the other day. I love how it's addressed to "[[Salutation:40]]" and that there's a radio channel on American Airlines called "Forbes in FBrianlight Radio".

Choices, choices. Spend $6000 for a three minute ad, or not. Think of the opportunity! The vast number of people who'll be taking extra flights during July just so they can tune in to what I have to say. Think of it, you're listening to Michael Dell talk about, say, how Apple ought to shut down and sell off its assets to its shareholders, and then I come on, talking about, say, how maybe Dell should do that instead of Apple!

Forbes in FBrianlight Radio. Coming soon to a pair of airliner headphones near you.

Dear [[Salutation:40]],

As a producer for ___________ and the "Forbes In FBrianlight Radio" channel on American Airlines, I am personally extending an invitation for EVDB, Inc to participate in an upcoming in-flight radio broadcast entitled "America's Best CEOs On the Move: Mentoring For the Best By the Best" airing worldwide July 2006. This is a sponsored program, which reaches over 4.2 million potential listeners.

On this show, we will be interviewing some of the nation's great movers and shakers in business today and looking at what makes a great CEO. We will be discussing topics surrounding: 1. What is the role of the CEO in building a great company? 2. What leadership characteristics are the most critical to the performance of the company? 3. What are the most difficult leadership choices CEOs must make to ensure sustained results?

We will also examine the following topics: Mastering the Art of Corporate Reinvention; Challenges of Leadership Today; Cutting Edge Technologies; Major League Entrepreneurs; Creating New Categories; Businesses and Markets in the 21st Century; Innovators in Business and Technology; Building Mulit-Level Global Brands and much more.

The guests we've booked to date on our business shows include: Michael Dell; CEO of Dell, Anne Sweeney of The Walt Disney Networks, Carol Bartz of Autodesk, Sumner Redstone of Viacom, and special appearance by Tony Robbins; America's #1 Executive Leadership Coach and many more. Please listen to a few of our interviews:

Please join our program and communicate your latest news, vision and expertise to our captive audience of 4.2 million executive business travelers, including decision-makers from the Fortune 1000 and Global 2000 who travel and tune in each month to the "Forbes In Flight Radio" Channel.

Our production team of creative writers and engineers will produce an informative and dynamic three-minute interview capturing the exact message you want to convey. Your interview will air on a continuous loop, on 29,000 worldwide flights during the entire month of July 2006.

In an effort to help close out the show, we are offering our remaining slots at a substantial discount. Instead of the normal rate card of $ 9,995, your discounted cost is only $5,995.

Although we will be recording interviews via telephone between now and late April 2006, we will need to close out our show by this Friday March 17th PST, so please contact me to reserve your space.

Here is a review of what the package includes:

1. Production and placement of a 3-minute interview/company profile to air on 29,000 American Airlines flights to 4.2 million passengers during July 2006

2. Company Listing and URL in American's AAttractions Guide (348,000 monthly copies)

3. Rebroadcast of interview on, with link to your site for one year

4. Digital audio file of interview for promotional and marketing purposes

5. "As heard on American Airlines" logo for airing of interview on your website

6. All turnkey production including scripting, recording, editing, mastering and delivery

_________ is an independent producer contracted to place business and lifestyles talk radio programming on American Airlines as well as five other major domestic carriers.

To learn more about ________ and the caliber of clients we represent, I encourage you to visit our website and explore the following links: ____________ Network: Radio Programs: Media Kit: AA Demographics:

If you would like to call for a reference, please contact _________________ at xxx-xxxx-xxxx, Ext. xx or email her at _______________.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards,

___________ Producer

Posted by brian at 08:02 AM | Comments (0)

March 12, 2006

Some Events I'm Demanding

Let's see how this renders:

Posted by brian at 03:38 PM | Comments (0)

March 06, 2006

Brings New Meaning to The Phrase, "All Things Being Equal"

Just noticed that my Mac's Calculator application was still open on my desktop. Only thing was, the app had gotten into some strange buggy state: all the buttons were missing except for the equals sign! I grabbed a screen shot:

Something very Zen about this shiny, brushed-steel calculator...

Posted by brian at 12:56 PM | Comments (0)
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