Um, is this a joke? Amazingly Gross Carmex Ad Campaign

It seems that CARMEX® is either the recipient of a jokester advertising agency or they are truly a progressive bunch, regardless, their new ad campaign “Share the Tingle Video Contest” has me floored. UPDATE: for clarifications, I want to point out that I’m floored because nobody thought about how bad/gross that sounds, not that I think this is a good ad campaign.

Carmex's campaign 'Share the Tingle'

Not only do I not want to think about the tingling, I especially don’t want to think about “sharing” that tingle. Whether the tingle is on the lips or some other waxy, glistening body part. And just to clear up any uncertainties, I don’t want to see a video of such tingle-sharing either. Especially while America share’s their favorite story about said tingling (under three minutes mind you… House rules.)

The weird thing is they are advertising this to up-and-coming film makers, with the prizes being some nice HD video cameras and some cash. Don’t forget the five year supply of CARMEX® products. Although, that does explain why I saw the ad on Vimeo.

Oh, wait. I get it. Waxy lips and home-video buffs are a totally natural pairing. You see they are… Wait. No. That still doesn’t make any sense.

But back to the point. If you got a great story to share that’s under three minutes and involves sharing of something tingling and shiny, make sure you enter this contest. And don’t bother telling me about it. I’m a little scared.

Enter here, at obviously.

Couldn’t say it better myself

I’ve always been pretty outspoken about the fact that I think DRM is from the devil, so when I saw a Prius with this license plate, I had to take a picture. It was outside of my favorite coffee joint Albina Press, and I was able to ask the owner of the car if this was a true vanity plate, or a chance coincidence… Turns out it was just the license the state gave him. He laughed as he watched me snap the photo though.

MobileMe apologizes and handles things well.

Apple clearly does things its own way, and almost never apologizes for tearing up a market and changing the rules of the game, which I appreciate. However, when a promise falls short, and they fail to deliver that special “Apple Brand” to their customers, I’m glad to see they are direct, responsive, and apologize openly. They also attempt to amend the situation by compensating for customers’ frustrations. I’m very impressed with the way they’re handling the situation, and especially appreciate the fact that they’re being very transparent about their abuse of the word “Push”, and are now attempting to correct the situation openly.

Good for you Apple.

Via 37signals.

Trying out WordPress 2.6

I just updated to WordPress 2.6, and thought I’d try out their new Quick Blog bookmarklet “Press This.” It’s kind of meta to blog about a blogging bookmarklet while using the bookmarklet… Kind of.

Test Image using WordPress's own images...

Update: Either I’m doing something wrong, or it doesn’t seem to work that well yet.

Serious problem with Trial Software – and the Apple mistake

I recently tried out OmniFocus, Omni Group’s ‘Getting Things Done’ application. I actually liked it, a lot, yet decided not to buy it due to it’s combined price of $79.95 for the desktop version plus $19.99 price for the iPhone companion application. In the end, it was a good product, but seemed pricey considering the wealth of other applications that solve the problem very similarly, for free, or cheaper. Now, I’m not against paying for software, however, I have to be a little picky, as I love software the way a Kentucky farmer loves a sheep. If I’m not careful, I’ll spend over $500 a month just on applications promising to make my life better. So, unless something really solves a problem for me, I try not to buy it.

Now, the error with this software is that I spent a good 2-3 days working with it, testing it, adding information, just to get familiar with it. (and I do mean 2-3 days. Lots of time. Lots of entering data, lots of establishing workflow and projects and actions.) Then I used it for a week or two off-and-on, seeing if it really fit into my lifestyle. In the end, I decided it didn’t accomplish enough to warrant $100, and let it expire while I was on vacation last week.

Here’s where the problem comes in, I tried to open it today, knowing that the trial was expired, but hoping to get my information out of it, and no dice. You either have to enter a license or close the application. No chance to “retrieve” the information you put in during the trial. This is a fatal flaw.

If you ask someone to really test out your product, and do everything it takes to attempt to work it into your workflow, then suddenly to cut off the ties and not give a chance to at least view the information entered… that’s a problem. I’m fine with the expired trial not allowing me to edit the information in anyway, but I’ve invested a lot of time to see if it actually worked. With a product like this you can’t really test it if you’re only kind of using it. You have to commit for a few days and really gauge workflow. If it helps, then you buy, if it doesn’t, then you don’t. But to lock me out of my data just because 30 days have gone by, is a fatal flaw.

Now, this is also where the iPhone application problems come in. There’s no way to test an iPhone application. No way to see if a game is fun or not, no way to see if it absolutely sucks or not. Twitterific for the iPhone is a perfect example. If I had paid for that, going on what I assumed would be a decent product based on all the hype, I’d have been pissed. Using Twitterific for the iPhone is the equivilant of riding a skateboard with three wheels. It’s slow, painful, unresponsive, and buggy. If I had paid, I’d be pissed. Luckily, it was free, and I’m gonna forgive it while never using it again. But there needs to be a way to test drive these $10-20 applications before purchasing to make sure they do what they say they’ll do. At the moment, the only way I can see that happening is putting an additional, functionally limited app into the iTunes store and reminding people that the full version is for sale with features unlocked. Clunky indeed.

I’m anxious to see how this plays out in the long run, as only being two days into the store, I can see flaws that hopefully can be rectified. Otherwise, they’re deal breakers that could cost the developers a lot of money, especially as more and more crappy software makes its way onto the store which will diminish the faith of the buying public to buy on spec alone.

MobileMe out and pretty astounding has a 23-image walkthrough of the new service, and I have to say, the one thing that stood out was how unimpressed I was. I was looking at the pictures thinking to myself, “Yeah, so what. That looks like the applications I use.” Then I remember: THIS IS A WEBSITE!

Going through the images, I completely forgot that this was a website, the look and feel, the drop downs, the user-interface in general, it is so close to being a desktop application, that I just totally forgot that it wasn’t… That’s amazing.

I’m not sure if it’s a toolset that I really need or not, but I’ll be looking into it more and may be buying .mac for the first time, now that it’s no longer .mac but MobileMe.

And for the record, I hate the name.

See the whole walkthrough here.