Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Me. Me. Me. Me.

Who Me?

Yesterday I was meant to speak about social media and MOO at a conference in Germany. Unfortunately, the snow in Frankfurt kept me from attending. I was rather bummed as I had worked hard on the presentation ON THE WEEKEND!
Oh well.

I found this cartoon in a recent Marketing Week and felt it actually provides all the rules of social media and brands. Hey, brands and people for that matter.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

How influential are you?

Fast Company is running an interesting experiment called the Influence Project. Evidently they are attempting to see who is the most influential person online. You would think that would be rather obvious, it has to be Ashton Kutcher and his 5 million+ followers.

It seems that influence is calculated on the number of people one can influence to sign up for the Influence Project.I have signed up as I was rather curious how it works. To date, I haven't managed to influence ONE person to do the same.

Now if you are curious and want to sign up for the project than please do click my link and show that I can influence ONE person on this interweb. If nothing else you can get your photo in Fast Company's magazine when the project is done.

The Project is in Flash (big surprise) and as a result, I had a hard time screengrabbing a shot of the collage of photos. It's probably best to visit the site yourself.

This project actually reminds me of a business version of the Dorito competition where J was a finalist. That is the winner was not based on the best ad but rather whether he was good at getting people to vote. (remember? I think I asked all of you to vote).

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy 80th Birthday Barbie!

My Aunt's 80th birthday was on Sunday. Sadly, we weren't there to celebrate. And as she has just got a new red convertible, it'll be even harder than usual to keep up with this crazy lady.

Enjoy the new wheels!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

This Cat's Got My Tongue and More

Tonight, I went to a stranger's home who I met on the internet. I know - I've broken all the rules.

Actually, I haven't been hanging out on dating sites and haven't been flirting in chat rooms. I met this stranger because of my desire to get a cat despite my allergies.

Huh? You ask.

Well, here's my story. About 3-4 months ago, I decided I really wanted a cat despite being super allergic to these creatures. YYZ was busy with her 3 new kittens and I wanted one too. I was determined to find one with whom I could live. That meant searching out a hypo-allergenic equivalent of the feline sort. That's where I discovered Siberian cats and their alleged hypo-allergenic nature.

Now isn't it clear how I ended up at a stranger's house? That's right, I went to meet a few of these furry felines to see if they could break me. That's right, super-allergy girl was in a house with 5 adult cats and 9 kittens - all Siberian - for an allergy test. I had an enjoyable 30 minutes talking to the breeder, scratching and holding the big guys and playing with the kittens. . I even got to hold my potential kitten - Aurora. I was hopeful as I was only just a bit sniffly

Only after I left the house, did the full on allergy attack happen. On my walk home, I sneezed non-stop for 10 minutes and found I was scratching wildly at my neck. That's when I knew. I knew that baby Aurora would not be moving in with me.

*sniffle sniffle

Friday, May 21, 2010

A long long road

Over the last few years, I've shared some video work that J has done. It's included everything from a music video for Dusk & Blackdown to product demos for to promo videos for a ballet troupe. So, it's time again to share something that is keeping him busy.

For the last few years, J has been working on a real cool road trip documentary. It's still being edited and searching for funding. However, there's a trailer and here it is.

Driven, Trailer/Demo from Jonathan Howells on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

How many takes does it take?

I was curious as to how long it took to make a video like this one.

So, I did a bit of internet research and found another video on OkGo's website which told the story behind the video. It looks like they went to the internet for the solution and Donkey Kong for inspiration. I actually thought of Mouse Trap.

This is another video from the same guys. It made its debut years ago on YouTube, but I was glad to stumble across it again. Remember, the treadmill dance? Of course you do. Why not watch it again?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Canada Shines in Olympics Opening (well kind of)

As you all know by now, I'm Canadian and I'm a PROUD Canadian (in my Canadian way). That means a few things:
It's important to understand what it is like to be a Canadian as we host the Olympics and I provide you my impressions of the Olympics Opening Ceremony. In typical Canadian fashion, we hire someone from *away* to direct our show. Yes, that's right we brought in an Australian, David Atkin, to define Canada as we take the spotlight.

Unfortunately, I couldn't stay up long enough to watch the ceremonies live. However, thanks to a certain Swedish site for connecting me with someone in the US who watched and captured the NBC coverage.

Anyway, as I sat down to watch the ceremonies, I was REALLY nervous. All of a sudden the wallflower (Canada) was taking centre stage and I was concerned we might suffer severe stage fright and REALLY screw up. What exactly I thought would happen? I'm not really sure. Perhaps, that the ceremony would be similar to Canadian TV. What you don't know any Canadian TV shows? That's hard to believe. Let me paint the picture: think LOW production values with dull storylines. No, actually lower and duller. If you dont' believe me, here a few that I'd watch as a youngster when nothing else was on the tube. King of Kensington (set in Toronto), The Trouble with Tracey (deemed worst sitcom of all time), and of course The Beachcombers (which was filmed a stone's throw from Whistler - home of the Downhill at the Olympics)

Now, can you see why I was so nervous?

My Observations
All and all, I thought the ceremony was beautiful, intimate despite the size of stadium and incredibly emotional. I loved the theatrical approach and the use of lights both on the playing field and on the audience itself. This was achieved by providing white capes to the audience which turned them in to a giant canvas. (wander here or here for some shots of the evening)

photo by: firebellyreed

As the ceremonies continued, I was progressively prouder to be a Canadian. I loved the welcoming section featuring the 4 First Nations from the Vancouver/Squamish area. The glass totems and costumes of the First Canadians were spectacular. The procession of the athletes with a special focus on Canada made me a little weepy.

Generally, the *journey* across Canada featuring different parts of Canada's landscape and culture was wonderful. I loved the fact that Donald Sutherland was the English voice of Canada. Then, Sarah McLachlan surpassed any expectation I would have had. (she is still one of my all-time favourite singers).

Uploaded by praguelondon.

The photo above featured one of my favourite moments. Donald Sutherland introduced the prairies with a quote from Who Has Seen The Wind by W.O. Mitchell. The aerial dance by Thomas Saulgrain was accompanied by one of my all time Canadian favourites - Joni Mitchell. It was utterly dream-like.

The 8 Canadians (listed below) chosen to carry in the Olympics flag were all deserving recognition for their unique accomplishments and provided a rich weave of Canadian fabric.
On a fashion note, I loved the white suits worn by all the background dancers and flagbearers. If you would like to know more about Olympic fashion, wander over to YYZ's post.

Image thanks to Firebellyreed

All this being said, I wouldn't be a Canadian without a big BUT. I would be remiss if I didn't mark a few of the cringe moments.
  1. Where was the FRENCH? Honestly, I kept waiting for it in the cross-country poetic tour of our country. I didn't hear it ONCE. I loved the quotes and songs that were so carefully chosen from W.O. Mitchell (which reminded me of grade 10 English class) to one of my favourite Joni Mitchell songs ever. Donald Sutherland's distinctive and soothing voice made each quote come to life. Yet, still I waited for a few French quotes or at least ONE. I kept saying to J "what about French?". We're Canadian, not American. That means a country with two official languages. What is this? Turns out, I wasn't alone in this concern.
  2. Why did we screw with our national anthem? I think the young woman who sang has a wonderful voice and her outfit was fab (as YYZ points out Dsquared designed it), but I hated the jazz version.
  3. The Olympic Cauldron was to be lit in a very Canadian manner - that is rather than choosing just one torch bearer, they chose 4. Sadly, there was some malfunction and the 4th column didn't rise and left one of the torch bearers without a column to light. I suspect someone was swearing profusely at the malfunction. Ahh... Poor Canada.

Flames Abound
Uploaded by praguelondon.

Don't get me wrong the ceremonies were great and I was rather veklempt when I heard the words and sentiments of a relatively unknown Canadian poet. Yes, I AM CANADIAN ;)

Now I'm off to watch more Olympics and you can see I'm wearing my Canadian colours.