Monthly Archives: September 2006

Viral marketing the viral marketing

Viral marketing
I received this email today from a person named “Colleen” using my blog’s contact page. It reads,

I have found myself reading your blog (http://www.istartedsomething.com/) and really enjoy your take on things. I wanted to know what you thought about this site, http://www.nowwhat.com. I totally think they had the right idea in mind when creating this campaign since they are trying to hit a younger demographic. Being an avid blogger, I thought you might have a good opinion. Check it out and let me know what you think? I also found out it has a really cool feature that you can prank your friends with. If you click on the red devil on the site, you can send disasters to your friends. You can have the screen look like it’s on fire, or cockroaches take over the screen, it’s pretty cool. Anyway just thought I would share…I thought it was cool and you can’t really see it right when you sign on. Check it out if you haven’t seen it! Well, hope all is going well! Have a good one.

NowWhat.comI thought, “Wow neat, someone enjoys reading my blog.” Then I checked out the nowwhat.com site (as pictured left), not too shabby. And just as I was writing the review of the website, I noticed Colleen’s email address, it was @mindcomet.com. After a little Googling, MindComet is the company behind PayPerPost, the ‘blogger soul snatchers‘.

The unthinkable just happened. A legitimate viral marketing company has just spammed me to write about their viral marketing campaign for State Farm Insurance. Apparently they have even ‘vandalized’ the streets of Seattle to promote NowWhat.com.

If MindComet had gone through legitimate channels and actually offered to pay me to write reviews, then my opinion towards this viral marketing campaign would be different. But blatantly spamming me imitating the tone of a concerned reader is unacceptable. Colleen, when you said “I totally think they had the right idea”, you mean your company, right?

Sorry MindComet, you’ve gone too far.

Vista Aurora wallpapers

Aurora desktop wallpaper 1Aurora desktop wallpaper 2Aurora desktop wallpaper 3Aurora desktop wallpaper 4Aurora desktop wallpaper 5

Here are 5 Windows Vista Aurora wallpapers that I’ve found and removed the Windows Vista branding from, because no one likes advertising on their desktop. They’re a bit cleaner than the conventional Aurora screenshots, so they make good wallpapers. All sized at 1280×960, and should stretch to any size comfortably.

New Microsoft On10 design launches

New On10 designAdam Kinney, the sole designer working on Microsoft’s community sites Channel9 and On10 has just launched the new On10.net design. He says, “the last design was mainly UI work and this time I tried to make the style pop a bit”. The tools of the trade were himself and Photoshop, both of which are great.

My take on it is, the design has a very vibrant Vista feel to it. Elements of the Vista flare can be seen in the header, probably has no meaning but has a nice abstract feel to it. The navigation bar looks exactly like the Vista toolbar, but the ‘hover’ image of the links has a weird glow which looks like two spotlights. But other than that, it’s a conventional column based layout.

A few things out of the ordinary, but perhaps expected in the Web 2.0 generation. The minimum optimal resolution is 1024×768. Finally, more websites are moving away from the restrictive 800×600. It utilises AJAX technologies. Check out what happens when you change the page at the bottom of the page. Neat!

Aside from the design, I think On10 is a great resource for videos on all things technical both inside and outside Microsoft. It still feels like an extension of Channel9, but I hope the differences between Ch9 and On10 will be clearer in the future. Adam also tells me he’ll be working on the design update for Channel9 now. Look forward to it.

Do you read? Win a copy of Beginning Ajax with ASP.NET

Ajax with ASP.NET

Honestly, I don’t read books. The only books I read are those necessary to pass end-of-semester exams. So these books are quite useless to me. Nevertheless, I’m sure everyone else reads and appreciates books. The very bald Paul Glavich (as pictured third from the left) has provided me with 2 copies of the “Beginning Ajax with ASP.NET” books hot-off-the-press from wrox.

According to Amazon, this book will guide you through using the open source Ajax.NET Professional Library, how to utilize the Asynchronous Client Script Callbacks functionality that comes with ASP.NET 2.0, using XMLHttpRequest Objects, overview of XML & XSLT as well as integrating Microsoft’s Ajax framework Atlas into the many services in ASP.NET 2.0. Basically if any of the keywords: AJAX, Web 2.0, XML, Atlas, or ASP.NET interests you, then this is relevant to you!

This book is for programmers who use ASP.NET and are just starting to use Ajax technologies to create more responsive, modern applications. Otherwise, it is also for people who wants a freebie.

I had a quick flip this book and the aroma of freshly printed books is just so soothing. Apart from the smell, I also noticed heaps of screenshots, source codes and diagrams to help you understand whatever they’re talking about. Its as easy as a piece of cake.

Enter the giveaway to win 1 of 2 copies of the Beginning Ajax with ASP.NET book valued at US$40.
Competition closes Thursday 5th of October, 2006.
This is a random prize-draw, the quality of your response will not be judged.

Win a Windows Vista USB Drive

Windows Vista USB drive

The very generous Microsofty James Senior is giving away not two, not three, but one (1) Windows Vista branded 256MB USB flash/memory drive/stick.

For this competition, you actually have to turn on your brain. But only for mere minutes. James asks, in no more than 30 words, tell me about your favourite feature in Vista and why it’s so great. The competition closes on the 25th of September 2006 by noon GMT, so you better start thinking!

For details on how to enter this competition, go check out James Senior‘s blog. He has also publically published his email address, so you can also send him mortgage offers.