Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Conundrum of Exclusivity

In the spirit of reviewing the content of one's moleskine, I found this quote from the gruesome "Haunted" by Chuck Palahniuk (he of Fight Club). This is from the chapter "Slumming, a story by Lady Baglady". The theme of this mini-story is how a group of ultra-rich try to find new kicks by becoming homeless for the night in order to lose their identity & the social trappings of their lifestyle.

"Mrs. Keyes's best friend, Elizabeth Ethbridge Fulton Whelps, "Inky", used to say there's only one "best" of anything. One night, Inky said, "when everyone can afford the best, the truth is, it does look a little - common."

How true. Burberry etc.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Information Revolution or Cynical Manipulation?

I recently spotted some ads on the tube for Information Revolution. The headline of the ad was something along the lines of "70% of internet traffic goes via one company" and then a simple url as mechanism to get involved (complete with authentic ".org" domain). Intrigued, I visited the site. After a little while it dawned on me that this is nothing to do with information protection, per se, but is a thinly disguised campaign by the search engine Ask Jeeves.

It's easy to see how Ask Jeeves arrived here. In the absence of (I assume) a solid reason to claim that they are different or better than Google, Ask Jeeves needed to find a new angle. There are many people concerned, if not deeply paranoid, about information protection and rightly so. However, the sinister behemoth being indicted here is Google, themselves usually associated with being a champion of free-thought, primarily by seriously challenging Microsoft. And that's where it falls flat for me. I guess it will make a few people think about the Google monopoly. But change an indoctrinated nation's search habit? Not convinced.

I'm not completely decided here - this campaign treads a fine line between being a genuine champion of the people and a cynical ploy to get attention by a desperate business. I'm erring towards the latter. Any views? Please vote!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Feeling flat?

Another thought-provoking post from Indexed.

Remember the possibilities. Remember when it was new. Remember when you cared.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Perceptual Power

My final year at University was spent studying Experimental Psychology. As part of this I studied how the eye & brain turns light rays into vision. It's pretty obvious when you think about it, but this quote from a lecturer made me sit back and think about just how cool the brain is.

"the light rays aren't coloured".

In other words, nothing in the world exists as we perceive it. Colour only exists in our head. The same applies to the other senses...there is no smell, just chemicals in the air, sounds are just bits of rhythmically moving air.

All marketing happens in that brain too - impacting on a complex associative network of memory and the cognitive processing of information.

Worth remembering when someone next uses the word "consumer" and talks about "doing marketing to someone".

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Free Cash from Mortgage Rip-offs

As announced here in The Times, British banks have been over-charging customers who have remortgaged over the last few years. I just called up Halifax and will be receiving a cheque for £40. Better than nothing.

If you've remortgaged make sure you get your money back - it's just a simple phone call away. If you prefer to write, you can download template letters from

Spread the word!