Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ubiquity for Firefox

Mozilla Labs announced today that it has released a new experimental solution called Ubiquity. Ubiquity is a method for non-developers to create mashups out of the pages and content they are already surfing.

This is dramatically different that what is already out there. Solutions like Yahoo Pipes! requires you to set up 'plumbing' before you can get output. Ubiquity let's developers make little snippets of code that users easily access data. Think of it like creating very human readable APIs.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Faster then a bolt?

A month ago there's a good chance the name Usain Bolt meant nothing to you. Now?

Well if you don't know the name now, I hope you enjoyed your time spend under the rock. The fastest man on the planet appears in his own online game. Developed by Puma the game captures the sprinters Olympic success and provides a very engaging, and somewhat addictive experience.

By the look of it, this is not a quick turnaround of an off-the-shelf game, as it’s fully video-ised with Bolt, who’s a Puma-sponsored athlete of course. Check it out!

Friday, August 29, 2008


Funny stuff indeed...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Xbox Live to enable voters to register for U.S. election

If there was any doubt that the gaming industry was an integral part of modern society, those ideas have been dispelled. It has been announced that Xbox 360 owners in the U.S. are being given the option to register to vote in the upcoming presidential election via the Xbox Live online service. A non-government organisation, which has been established to encourage youth participation in politics has created a partnership with Microsoft to develop a portal that allows users to register to vote, take part in polls and voice their opinions to candidates via online forums. The organisation, Rock the Vote, launched the service on Monday (August 25).

‘Xbox is a natural partner to help us reach out to youth voters,’ said Heather Smith, executive director, Rock the Vote. ‘To realize our goal of registering 2 million young Americans by this fall, we need to go where young Americans are, and there’s no doubt in our minds that many are on Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE.’

The success of the service remains to be seen but if it does succeed, the potential implications for politics and future presidential campaigns are huge.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I love digital but sometimes good copy goes so far!

To make an inexpensive ad you need to start removing unnecessary costs:

  • actors
  • animation
  • special effects
  • sets

You'd imagine what you're left with isn't too good. Yet this is one of my favourite ads of the year...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Is Tiger Woods Jesus?

A fan of the EA Sports Tiger Woods game recently posted a YouTube video concerning an apparent glitch in the game where Tiger Woods stands on water to take a shot.

EA responded. What is unique about there response is that they got Tiger Woods to do it. Brilliant stuff.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Interactive Display Advertising

I StumbedUpon this video this morning. I've seen something similar used here in Dublin at a Shopping Center opening, but to be honest it was a lot better - more detail, better response and more interactivity. Hopefully this isn't the best America has to offer?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Photosynth Unveiled

Microsoft has finally released its much talked about Photosynth system. Described as "an entirely new visual medium", Photosynth allows you to input a collection of photos of a place, event or object, and after analysing each photo for similarities to the others, it will build a model of where the photos were taken, re-creating the environment and uses that as a canvas to display the photos.

It would seem that Microsoft see this as something more then just a fancy pseudo-3D creator. If all the company and development blogs are to be believed, this is going to be a whole new way to view all your photos. I'm not so sure, and doubt that this can be anything more then a fun piece of software, with limited continuous use. Having said that, it's a pretty cool way to slide show your holiday snaps.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday Distraction

Sure the movie looks like it'll be total trash but the microsite isn't that bad, and the game is pretty addictive. Check out Death Race for an easy way to kill some time on another rainy weekend!

Friday, August 22, 2008

YouTube Top Spot

The crowning achievement of any viral marketing, advertising or internet based video campaign is it's total number of views. Obviously this isn't very different from tv or movies, but with the internet everything is very, very trackable. For some time now, the incredible “Evolution of Dance” video has held the top spot as the most watched video ever on YouTube. Produced by Judson Laipply, it is a 6 minute video in which Laipply performs a dance routine through cuts of 35 songs. Through a blend of dance, humor and physical effort, we are given something completely original and innovative.

Sitting in second place for a long time has been Avril Lavigne’s Girlfriend video. It's not very original or innovative but it is quite provocative, and anything featuring a dressed down teenage girl is, unfortunately, going to do well on the internet. The videos initial viewing figures on YouTube quickly soared to 50 million+ views.

So what? I hear you ask. Well fans of Lavigne launched there own unofficial campaign to propel the singer to the top. Currently, it has 97,462,978 compared to Laipply’s 96,188,641. But how? created a way to “cheat” the YouTube system by refreshing the video every 15 seconds. Fans who opened her video would be able to “viewing” it over 5,000 times per day.

Unsurprisingly many major online publications picked up on this and started pointing the finger. What no one seemed to be aware of, was that YouTube caps views per IP to 200 per day. So the "cheat" couldn't have done it, not by itself. AvrilBandAids real goal wasn’t actually to cheat at all. Instead they allowed their "cheating" to slip into the public domain and the viral effect kicked in.

In other words, they used the reporting of the cheating to do the cheating for them. The publicity was enough to push it closer to 100,000,000 and passed the champ.

Interestingly, all postings of Lavigne's Girlfriend video on YouTube have now had their embedding code disabled.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Let's Mash it up!

I was talking to a friend yesterday about a post I wrote on Cybercom about Memes. I used the term Mash-up, which they had never heard before. I wondered what the best way to explain it was, and I did a little Googling.

The best definition of a Mash-up which I found was from Mitch Joel on Six Pixels of Separation, who defines a Mash-up as "Two individually awesome things that make up one even more amazingly awesome thing". I couldn't have put it better myself.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Facebook to Buy ConnectU

The BBC has reported that Facebook have set ConnectU as an acquisition target. More interesting perhaps, is the fact that ConnectU previously sued Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for stealing its code.

Basically, prior to becoming the face of Facebook, Zuckerberg worked as a programmer for the founders of ConnectU. Later, in 2004, he launched Facebook as an Ivy university-only network, which kickstarted the lawsuit by his former employers. The case was based on the accusation that Zuckerberg had stolen their code. At the time they asserted that Facebook should be shut down and all profits transfered to ConnectU. The suit was settled in 2008, but an appeal was later lodged by ConnectU under claims that Facebook had misrepresented it's real value.

Facebook lead ConnectU to believe its actual value was approx. $3-4 billion, when in reality it has a filed value of $15 billion. Based on the former figure, Facebook gave the ConnectU owners an undisclosed sum of money and stock. However, in return ConnectU's principal shareholders agreed to sell their ConnectU stock to Facebook.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rome Reborn

From 1997 to 2007, the UCLA CVRlab (Cultural Virtual Reality Laboratory), UCLA ECT (Experiential Technology), the Reverse Engineering Lab at the Politecnico di Milano and the IATH (Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities of the University of Virginia came together to participate on a project to recreate Rome.

Rome Reborn is a 15m across minutely detailed scale model of the city of Rome as it was in 320AD. More recently the model was laser-scanned and digitised by an international team of researchers led by Bernard Frischer and Rome Reborn 2.0 was born. Unveiled at the SIGGRAPH conference in LA last week, the VR version of Rome 320AD is spectacular, and thanks to this visitors to Rome can experience the same detail as they walk the ancient monuments of the city. TimeMachine is a new handheld gadget produced by Ducati Myers and the University of Bologna, which, utilising the Rome Reborn 2.0 system, automatically displays 3D reconstructions of ancient building.

As well as this you can also fly over the ancient city and zoom in on specific buildings. Another major plus is that unlike many 'tourist toys' the device is relatively cheap - hire costs around 5 Euros per hour.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Most popular Social Bookmarking services

Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to share, store, organise, search, and manage web bookmarks. The concept was pioneered by, who coined the term social bookmarking. That was way back in 2003. Since then however, a multitude of alternative services have appeared.

ShareThis, one of the newest services on offer, has just released some interesting data on the popularity of the dominant bookmarking services:

Interestingly, the data shows that email is by far the most important way of sharing links, followed by social networking site Facebook. The actual core social bookmarking sites are lagging behing substantially. Unfortunately the data is US centric, but it would be difficult to imagine the European results being too far off.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Irish Web Awards

It's that time of the year again, and the Irish Web Awards are upon us. There are only 12 days to go mind you, to nominate your website, so get nominating!

Right now only the creators/builders/owners of websites are allowed to nominate their own sites.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

New Olympic Coke Spot

Sure it has nothing on the BBC's wicked idents, but it's flashy and fun, and definitely worth a look.

Friday, August 15, 2008

China and the Web

As with most people there are certain websites I regularly visit, and Trendspotting is one of the best. Great, really well written content. Last week I found this presentation on the state of Chinese web use. I had to share.....

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Number 10

Downing Street has just launched it's new website; a portal to all that is British politics. Well, a portal to all that they want you to believe is British politics. The site is billed to allow the public to "keep up to date with all of the developments of the PM’s activities through news stories, videos, Flickr images and our Twitter channel".

Hmmmmm..... well it's nice to see all levels of industry and government realising the importance of the web, and the site itself is clean and easily navigatable. I'll put my pessimism aside and let you form your own opinion.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Microsoft Multimap

Microsoft UK’s specialist online mapping service, Multimap, has launched a digital ad campaign to raise awareness of new features following the redesign of its site, and increase traffic. Digital agency LBi have developed a creative, which is the first character-based advertising that Multimap have used. The ads were collaborated on by Aardman Animations, who were integral with Wallace and Gromit.

The campaign centers on a pair of dimwitted pigeons who become the site's Bird's Eye view feature. Through a series of less then perfect journeys, the two birds demonstrate the business and route finding services that the site offers. My favourite of the ads allows consumers to ask the pigeons to find "swimming pools in Barnsley", and shows them flinging themselves off a diving board into a puddle. Classic stuff, honestly! (links to follow)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Digital Marketing: The Present and Future

Check out this fantastic presentation by John Lambie (from Bates 141) on the Present and Future of Digital Marketing.

In this presentation John looks at how the internet has made the progression from a flat read-only collection of webpages to the fully customisable, user-centric wonder we now all take for granted.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Over 75% of UK Searches are Conducted on Google

[ComScore]......In June, Google Sites slightly increased its lead as the most popular search property in the U.K. to 75.3 percent of all search queries, followed by eBay (5.5 percent), Yahoo! Sites (4.3 percent) and Microsoft Sites (3.4 percent). AOL LLC’s acquisition of U.K. social networking property,, expanded its share of search queries to 2.3 percent, edging (2.2 percent) into sixth place.

Scary stuff - not long before there's a total monopoly I think

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A little lighter please

I'm sure I absolutely do not understand (even a little) how someone can try and tell you that Beyoncé's image wasn't digitally manipulated for the new L'Oréal campaign.

In her latest L'Oréal ad, in the new issue of Elle magazine it is clear to see Beyoncé's miraculous change. Beyonce’s publicist said, “There is no doubt that anyone seeing that ad will know that it is Beyoncé.”

Friday, August 8, 2008

E-Paper Anniversary for Esquire

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Esquire magazine. Wonder if they're doing something special?

You bet they are!

This October's anniversary issue will be unloaded from refrigerated vans into the stands and racks. The magazine will be animated!

Admitedly it won't be fully animated. It won't have flash-style ads and graphics. In reality, the order of the words will change and there will be images that turn on and off. Currently the images are only black and white (or four shades of grey) and colour is added by a sheet of transparent, tinted plastic.

With a huge "Thanks" to Ford (due to an ad for their new Flex SUV) Esquire will be able to sell the anniversary e-paper covers at the standard cover price.
Looking forward to seeing a DM pack using this in the near future...

The company behind this wonder is eInk.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Digital Marketing is.....

I StumbledUpon this great presentation by David Knox of Procter & Gamble.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Discover the World of Heinz

Following intensive research over the last 12 months, Heinz have finally launched their new global corporate Web site. The redesigned site will act as a global gateway for media and consumers to experience the full offering of products from the vast array of Heinz brands.

The site also boasts an impressive selection of Web 2.0 technologies and an advanced site structure which adapts to a users interactions to make it easy to find information. Content is provided as four divisions:

  • Health & Wellness
  • Our Foods
  • Our Company
  • Sustainability
"At any given moment Heinz products are delighting consumers across the globe. Similarly, we want the new to be a resource that consumers, shareholders and prospective employees will turn to regularly for information about our Company and our brands as well as for tools and tips for leading a healthier lifestyle," said William R. Johnson, Heinz's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.

Monday, August 4, 2008


It's a beautiful place - if you haven't been, I highly recommend it!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bank Holiday Weekend

I'm sorry to be the barer of bad news, but Digitology will be taking a break for a couple of days. I'm currently over in the west of Ireland in the beautiful coastal town of Westport, and I won't be back in Dublin until Monday or Tuesday.

I'm sure you'll all manage but just in case why not watch this......

Alas, this is the type of shananigans that are probably happening right now!

Friday, August 1, 2008

I'm going to shank you, I mean poke you?

Unsurprisingly Facebooks ’shank’ option, which was part of SuperPoke!, has been removed.

Again unsurprisingly, the feature had attracted numerous complaints from anti-knife crime campaigners. All in all, SuperPoke! is fairly harmless and fun, but you have to stop and ask who authorised that, and what were they thinking would happen? Especially considering that knife crime is one of the fastest growing crimes in the UK, in the youth sector. So far this year alone 28 teenagers have died.