I'm now living in Israel! Support this site & receive a newsletter with stories from my travels.

Promoting your product or service with banner ads — is it worth it?

This post just made my day and probably my week.

Milo’s First Day

Have you ever seen this much cuteness in a single video?

To Boldly Go Up

I went to see Up tonight with my younger cousin and returned home to find this post by John Rust:

After watching most previous Pixar films, I’ve left the theater knowing that I’ve been treated to a great story — but still a story that’s separated from reality in some way. One can get a great deal out of these films, but certainly not as much were the main character a car or a rat [sic], rather than a real, believable human being. This is, in my opinion, what makes Up the best Pixar film yet.

I tend to agree with John. I remember when I first came across the “I Turn My Pillow Over to Get to the Cold Side” group on Facebook. It was totally random and not the least bit important but I couldn’t help but be amazed that I wasn’t the only one ‘flippin’ it over’ in the middle of the night. Other people do it too. Wow.

The genius of Pixar’s characters are their genuineness. You sit back in the theatre and laugh out loud and realize that you’re not the only one that’s said, felt, thought, or done those things. It’s almost as if the character knows you (or us) too well.

I’ve often wondered what would happen if Pixar put as much effort into portraying humans as magically and eloquently as they portray bugs and toys and robots. Well, they’ve finally done it, and let me tell you: it’s better than I ever imagined.

I wish people of my generation were as passionate about government as they are about insignificant changes to the layout of Facebook.

- @holloway

The Ultimate Coda Colour Scheme

I picked up a license of Coda today to take advantage of Panic’s 50%-off sale. As a complete non-web developer who doesn’t do this thing every day, Coda has completely changed the way I work on my website. In a good way. A very, very good way.

Unfortunately, the default colour scheme was quickly giving my face an LED sunburn and I needed to find something a little easier on the eyes. Behold Joe Bergantine’s excellent colour scheme for Coda.

I had no idea code could ever be this beautiful.

‘A Personally Branded Recommendation Channel’

By hand-picking ads only for products and services that you’ve actually used and liked, it stops being an ad feed and starts being a personally branded recommendations channel. It’s closer to an affiliate relationship with the advertiser – like the millions of people that mention a book in a blog post and then link to amazon with their affiliate ID.

Ultimately, the only value in advertising (from the consumer’s perspective, so we’ll ignore brand reinforcement) is product discovery. But ad targeting sucks (push model) compared to recommendations from humans with whom you have a proven track record of common taste and interest (pull model – I choose to read waxy.org). When a friend recommends a new product to me, it doesn’t feel like an ad, it feels like news.

If every online “publisher” (ezines, blogs, etc) were to adopt the same “only products I’ve used and liked” model, advertising would start to become a valuable part of the publication – enough so that it would be to our benefit to NOT run AdBlock. Afterall, you don’t run PostBlock, because you believe you’ll be interested in what that author has to say.

Here’s my point in a nutshell. I friggin hate advertising, but capitalists defend it with “how else can companies inform consumers about new products?” This is the practical alternative, and I’m all for it.

This is the most brilliant thing I’ve read about advertising. Ever.

Shawn Blanc:

Nerds are suckers for information. And the really gargantuan nerds love to find out information about other nerd’s nerdery.

All the gargantuan nerds in the house need to check out Chris Bowler’s behind-the-scenes look at Fusion. Without Chris, our workflow would be strewn across multiple applications with no clearly defined purpose. Not so anymore — in fact, we even have an internal document that defines specifically how we do what we do (or at least it’s on my todo list).

It’s pretty obvious who won the desktop vs. web app debate though…

thelongbrake is back

One of my most favouritest blogs is back online. This is without a doubt the most genuine man on the Internet, folks.

The good folks at the Iconfactory shipped Twitterrific 2.0 for iPhone today.

It’s gorgeous. I especially like the “Raven” theme as well as the little lights that appear along the sides of the screen when you select a tweet. It should also be commended for adding some innovative features that haven’t been done before — like Marks (private favourites) and Profile notes.

The most debatable concept (at least in my mind) is the “action” menu. In an attempt to keep the UI simple, Twitterrific 2 shoves everything you can do with a tweet into a single menu, allowing you to select any tweet in your timeline and preform actions based on it.

This is compared to Tweetie for iPhone which has many of the same features, but whose implementation feels more organic. With Twitterrific, I feel as if I have to know what every button does, compared to Tweetie, where I find buttons for what I want to do right where they should be.

I can visualize Tweetie’s hierarchy in my mind. It all make sense. It’s like Spaces on the desktop — I’m not just switching virtual desktops, I’m moving up, down, left, and right.

Twitterrific definitely has the looks, but Tweetie still feels better. And that’s all Tweetie ever had going for it.

The Forgotten Web Standard: Slides in 3 Minutes

As one of those people that wishes they had the opportunity to use Keynote more than they actually get to, I found this timelapse from Mike Kus absolutely hypnotizing. This ain’t your parent’s PowerPoint presentation.

(Via Noah)

Two-Point-Oh

MichaelMistretta.com finally hits version 2.0.

Cameron Hunt and I have been working on this design since January. It keeps with the light-on-dark motif of the previous design while sporting an all-new look. Some of the noticeable changes are the lack of comments, re-written colophon page, and distinct photos section.

If you’re reading this through the RSS feed, click through to join the fun.

Articles and links are formatted accordingly, while photos are treated as first-class citizens and displayed big and beautiful (very Big Picture-esque).

My favourite touch is the way the Fusion ad jumps up to the header in the photos section to make room for larger pictures. I’ll have a full post up describing the design process once I’ve had a chance to catch my breath and recuperate.

And yes, rejoice, you can search at last.