EJM Designs Limited Blog

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Videos: Generic News, Pants on the Ground, and Gibson/Kimmel

Here's your videos for this Friday! We've got a generic template for a news report, Pants on the Ground, and Gibson doing the Jimmy Kimmel Story. Enjoy!

The world's most generic news report - Charlie Brooker's Newswipe

Pants on the Ground from American Idol

Gibson does Kimmel

Have a great weekend!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Motivation: Know Thyself, Know Thy Day

Can't find your motivation in the wee hours of Monday morning? You're not the only one.

Despite the morning rituals I've put into place, despite the practice of resolving chaos, some days I can't - laying there in my comfortable bed - fire up that drive to get moving.

On those days, I find my inspiration elsewhere.

No, that doesn't mean a bottle of Jameson or anything; it means knowing my day.

The Practice:

When you wake, when you're lying there in bed, when you can't get yourself to move: use that time. Imagine your day.

First: Put together a workable list of things you need to get done. Imagine yourself not only gathering those things but making sure you get them done. Do a quick thought experiment on how that would happen, how you'd knock out those items. See yourself happily done with your day, and what will follow.

Let that focused, visualized success drive you, move you, then - Get out of bed!

Unless you're afraid of success (perhaps next week's topic), this should help you get moving, get going, and get ready to change the world (and make some money in the interim).

Have a great day!

There Is No Try

Even in "Empire," Luke was a whining mess. "OMG No! We'll Never get it out!"

And Yoda smacked him down: "No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try."

When I was an entering freshman at Valley Forge High School in Parma Heights, OH in 1990, I recall our principal giving us a speech at which the crux was: Try. I thought then that that speech was BS and it wasn't until I remembered Yoda's quip from "Empire" that I got philosophical about it.

"Try" means half-assed. "Try" means "I'll give it a shot." "Try" is a non-commitment that ends in "Well, I tried!"


As Yoda says, you either do or you do not. When it comes down to success, when it comes down to achieving, you either do or you don't. "Try" is a cop-out. So stop making excuses and get out there and put yourself out there and succeed - or fail. Either way, you've learned something so you can make even more out of it next time.

But don't "Try." If you do, you set yourself up for easy failure. If you fail, make sure you failed because you "did not," you didn't accomplish your goal. Fail is okay. Making excuses is not.

I wish our principal had gone all Yoda on us. I was fine. But I think it may have made a difference in other lives.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hitler, Hitler, Hitler - Social Media!

Same clip. Different subtitles. For your Friday Video enjoyment.

Best: Hitler checks Toyota Yaris Social Campaign (read = funniest):

Hitler gets angry about Facebook:

And Hitler gets angry about social media in general (read quickly!):

I don't pretend to think that Hitler's legacy is anything funny. But the parody is. And turning it into a post-modern mashup? Brilliant.

Why? Because turning evil into a cartoon is a way of taking ownership back. A way of not just killing it, but humiliating it.

Let me know your thoughts.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Know Your Partners: A Cautionary Tale

When you own your own business, you can work the social networks, you can imbue every part of your work and practice with integrity and you can view the entire world as your growing oyster.

But people will take advantage. If someone can - or has for a while - gamed the system, turned things slightly unethical to get a buck into his/her pocket, they will always be that person.

Allow me an example: I got into business with a friend and her business partner. The parameters were pretty straightforward: Nice niche, I build the site, they handle the logistics, and I get a cut of the profit after a down payment. Pretty normal. She seemed to trust this guy, so I was fine with it.

Business dramatics aside, I got a call from my friend yesterday. She had received a text from her business partner: "Tell Eric we sold the business and get the passwords so I can have this guy in India work on it." Luckily I have a friend first and a business partner second. We'll be making our own move soon.

Logistics of selling a business aside, who does that? Who thinks that kind of business practice is even reasonable?

Answer: No one you want to deal with.

Lesson learned: Spend time - hours and hours if necessary - before getting into business with anyone. People have the potential for anything. Hope for the best, but get to know them. And even then, prepare for the worst. Always have something in iron-clad writing.

I wasn't burned this time, but I have been before. And fool me once...

What are your experiences in business? Do you have any horror stories? Magnificent stories? What advice can you give based on your business or life experiences?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday Twitter: Obama, Bill Gates, Terrorism, and Celebs!



Every week: celebrity drama. Let's get it over with. Awww-dang. Bow Wow's mom's on Twitter and he's not happy. He tells her to get off or he will. Ooh! And Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart announced on this Twitter account that he will have surgery on his foot today. Woo! Oh, and someone conned Gordon Ramsey of Hell's Kitchen to take a course so he could start tweeting. I feel sorry for Ramsey's money.

Bill Gates

Wait, does this belong in celebs? Looks like Bill Gates joined Twitter. Ooh, and he even did "Hello World" as his initial tweet! How quaint! Why don't you start getting into Modest Mouse 3 years after their 5th studio release?

Obama on Twitter?

Don't get all excited. He posted on someone else's account:
Early this week, US President Barack Obama posted his first ever tweet on the website during a visit to the Red Cross Disaster Operations Centre in Washington, DC to engage in a little social networking asking people to help Haiti.

His tweet simply said – "President Obama and the First Lady are here visiting (the Red Cross) disaster operation centre right now".
But he did send a tweet, which is something when it comes to politicians and technology. (See: "It's a series of tubes!")

Twitter Slows Down

I'm not sure if the fact that a technology that has held so much hype for so long settles into reality is really a news story, but Twitter's Growth is Slowing.
HubSpot, a Cambridge, Mass.-based Web analytics company, said in its latest "State of the Twittersphere" report that the growth rate dropped to 3.5% in October compared to 13% just seven months earlier.
But it's still growing? Yep. Okay then, on to...

Twitter Terrorist!

If you're pissed at the state of air travel do you:
  1. Deal with it like the rest of us.
  2. Whine about it like the rest of us.
  3. Threaten to blow up the airport.

The man in question tweeted "Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your sh** together, otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!"


Okay, I can understand the frustration if you're stuck in -- wait, what's that you say? He was just hearing reports about airport delays on the telly a couple weeks before even entering that airport? And he tossed what might be construed as a terrorist threat into the aether of the internets and thought that would be OK?

Some people should not have access to technology.

But that's it folks! The end of another week of Twitter news and events and laughs. Are you surprised? Granted, I was feeling a little smarmy, but hey, that's how it turned out this week. I guess when Twitter news presents something serious, we get serious.

Let me know your best Twitter headlines. I'll take your comments into next week's blog post!

A Tale of Google, Foolishness, and the MCC

Google Goofy

I'm currently managing several Adwords accounts and it was about dang time to set up my own My Client Center. Google's My Client Center is a wonderful interface that allows you to manage several independent Adwords accounts in one place. Hey, I've already got an Adwords campaign set up for EJM Designs, so how hard could that be?


Turns out that if you have an Adwords account associated with a Google Account, you can't use that account to create an MMC. So along with my personal Gmail and my professional Gmail and my site running through Google Apps email, I was forced to create an entirely new account to handle my MMC.

Okay, I understand that. It's not ideal in any sense, but if that's how they're driving the bus, that's how they're driving the bus.

But then I tried to adjoin an existing account I was managing to my MCC. And I got a message to the effect: In order to link this account to your MMC, you will have to Contact Us. Hrm?

So I emailed and contacted them and about 4 days later got this back:
Hello Eric,

[sic] for emailing me to link a client account (Customer ID xxx) to your MCC (xxx). You weren't able to link the accounts because the would-be client account is using a beta billing interface, which makes it unable to be managed by an MCC. The new interface is being tested on just a limited number of new accounts, and we're working to give them full functionality as soon as possible. I'm sorry for the inconvenience, and I wanted to offer you a couple of options. Please reply to this email and let me know which you'd prefer.

OPTION 1: You can create a new account through the link in your My Client Center


OPTION 2: Ask us to move this client account to the previous billing interface


Please let me know which option you'd like to take, and we'll continue from there.

Thanks for your understanding.


[CSR] B.
The Google AdWords Team

(I picked option 2 because I'm not reinventing an already well-oiled wheel.)

But what? When I initially created the account, there was no mention of "Hey, we're testing a new Billing Interface!"

So this post is not intended to poo-poo the Google that I know and love, just to bring some of those more interesting glitches and hoops to light so when you're about to do the same thing, you don't wonder why something didn't work or get fired up about WTF is going on.

Short version: Have Adwords? Don't try to add MCC to that account, and always add new accounts through your MMC to guarantee compatibility.

Oh, and I guess this came to light last year, but Google Adwords is not supported on the Opera Browser. Looks like all other Google applications are fine, but just not Adwords. Again: weird.

So what are your thoughts about my tale? Have you run into this? Do you have any other advice for others, your own warnings, so to speak?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Inspiration: Order from Chaos

Dom Deluise as Captain Chaos in Cannonball Run
Dom Deluise as Captain Chaos in Cannonball Run

Order can beget contentment, happiness, and even motivation in the same way that chaos can make you want to cringe or even crawl up into a little ball and cry out for your mommy.

I have a confession to make: I am not the most orderly person in the world. And that's okay. I keep things in my own form of organization (I say that "I organize spatially" - my wife disagrees with that categorization). But in today's non-stop pace of information and business and managing work and family time, things fall through through the cracks. Those things accumulate. And then they become a project in themselves.

So today's message is a simple one: Clean your room! If it's your office space or your inbox (or inboxes), make sure that you have a place for everything - and put everything in its place.

"Woah, woah! But Eric," you quiver, "that'll take me a whole day - I'll lose a whole day of work!"

Relax! You've let it go this long; don't break yourself trying to get everything done at once. Break the Gestalt you see as potential clean into bite-sized pieces. Create a plan. Write it down somewhere. Stick to it. Heck, make it a 30 minute scheduled appointment in your day. Before you know it, you'll be on your way to more order in your life and your work.

And the best part of the whole thing? Each step, each piece of your ordering lifts a weight off your shoulders. You will feel lighter. You will feel freer. And that, in itself, can be a motivation, can be the wind of inspiration blowing at your back.

Challenge: Do something small today to bring more order to your life. File some papers, disentangle your computer cords, throw something away that needs to be tossed. Post in the comments what it was and how it made you feel.

For my part? I have 4 very active inboxes, all of which need a good cleaning. I will clear at least 2 of them at some time today and update this post at the end of the day and let you know how it went.

What will you do to to make your life more manageable today?

UPDATE: In the spirit of full disclosure, I have only cleared one of my inboxes to less than 5 emails. Hoping -- NO! I will complete the other 3 tomorrow.

No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thursday Technology: Wii Think, WiFi Sensitivity, Dante Fail, 3D-TV

What do Wii Think?

Wii Think Bad
This is not a joke.

Wii has a new one, reports Dvice. Concept peripheral that is. The reported use is that by getting older folks to think really, really hard, they'll ward off teh Alzheimer's. Yay! Right? Well, not really. See, there's not much scientific evidence saying that thinking real hard prevents Alzheimer's.

However, they have succeeded in creating the equivalent of the Nintendo Power Glove that our parents and grandparents can wear on their heads.

(sidenote: they spent so much on materials for this concept and the photog that they couldn't actually get a real Wii and used a cardboard mock-up instead.)

Dang Kids and Their Wifi - Spiders!

Now the Santa Fe New Mexican reports that one [man] has sued his neighbor for refusing to turn off their cellphone and Wi-Fi hotspot. Arthur Firstenberg claims he was made homeless by the neighbor, who apparently didn't appreciate his unique ailment. Firstenberg's legal argument is a bit of a treat, suggesting he's been forced to live in his car

I was going to put something in here about being crazy, but DSL reports already pointed out that "the science that does exist strongly suggests that those claiming to be suffering from "electromagnetic sensitivity" are simply suffering from psychosomatic disorders, and might be helped by therapy and/or medication."

If you're looking for a handout, collect unemployment like everyone else and stay home, crazy. Oh, wait. You can't. Alien death ray neighbors and all that. Sorry.

The Smack Dante so Hard Virgil Feels It Dept.

Dante Bad

The folks behind the fun and enthralling demon-killing reimagining of one third of Dante's La Divina Commedia have sold the art so that Del Rey Books can release Longfellow's translation to coincide with the game release.

This, also, is not a joke.

Aside from the mix of zombie apocalypse and romance novel and "holy crap did he stitch a fabric cross to his chest?" and the fact that Dante does not - at any point in The Divine Comedy - wield a spine-mounted scythe, anything stick out for you?

If they'd sexed up any of Jane Austen's novel covers, I might have been a little more receptive in my Single Author class back in college. Then again, I'd have been even more disappointed by the contents. No, thank you. I'll stick to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (which is apparently starring and being produced by Natalie Portman!?)

But I digress. Message: stop pillaging classic literature with a file and wax. You're messing up the patina. And then it's worth nothing.

A Note on 3D-TV

With CES behind us for 2010, let's make one thing pretty clear: 3D-TV is the new generation's LaserDisc.

Companies see a new, cutting-edge technology, see James Cameron's "Avatar" blowing the sides off the movie industry and they want to stick their fingers into that honeypot. No! Stop! You're wasting your money!

There are people without TV's. There are people with TV's that don't use them because they haven't figured out or gone through the trouble of getting a digital tuner. There are people without cable. There are people - like me - who have a TV and cable but have not upgraded to HDTV (or even a flat panel) because of the cost.

Is anyone going to take one more step and purchase a television with a 3D badge so they can sit on their couch with glasses on? Well, yes. And those people are wealthy early-adopters.

But for the rest of us, it's silly. I loved going to see the 3D IMAX version of "Avatar" a couple weeks ago. But a really expensive television in the living room that makes me put on glasses that will probably get lost or crushed or the dog chewed them up so I can watch an occasional 3D show or movie? (Note: the tech to film "Avatar" was just invented by Cameron and most shows/broadcasts aren't even filmed in HDTV yet.)

I just don't see it.

But maybe I'm not wearing the right glasses.

That's your tech wrap for this week! What are your thoughts?

MSN Tech-NO: The Microsoft-Google Synchronized FAIL Team

So if I go to Google - as I am wont to do - and were to type in, for instance, tech gadgets I get to see this:


Note that the #2 non-sponsored link is MSN's Tech Page. Okay, that's cool. Maybe I should check that out. *click*


BOO! MSN! Google! Boo!

FYI, the timed redirect goes to MSNBC's Tech page. This is an absolute SEO FAIL in a couple ways and both are to blame:
  • Google is listing at #2 a page that no longer exists.

  • Google is listing at #2 a page that has a timed redirect.

  • Microsoft did not post a 301 permanent redirect.

For someone who is in the industry and knows what they're doing, this is saddening and disheartening. It's an obvious glitch on a prominent sample in a system that says that listing should not exist. I'm not saying I don't expect goofs and oversight every once in a while. But goofs and oversights are small. This is pretty big. And it's either saying "Google and MSN not only trip but sometimes even fall" or "If you're big enough and talk to the right people, you don't have to follow the rules."

I hope it's the former.

[sidenote: Good on Google for banging the drums against China!]

What're your thoughts?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Northeast Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce

In my business, it becomes necessary to participate in triage: if I'm spending time out networking I'm spending time I'm not working for a client and vice-versa. Time is of the essence and doing a weekly cost analysis is an integral part of spending that time as best I can.

Even blogging can become cumbersome, so I hope you take this recommendation to heart.

I belong to a couple different networking groups and chambers and just today joined the Northeast Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce.

The Northeast Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce offers many of the things other official "Chambers" offer to small businesses, but the thing I'd like to focus on is their Leads Meeting. It happens every Wednesday at the Clarion off the Fields Ertel exit off I-71.

Delicious! And I don't mean that just because Taz Restaurant catered the meeting today (Lebanese, Greek, and Awesome!).

Any time you get a chance to get in front of other people, tell them what you do, pass some business cards, and network before and after, it's a win. Social media is not meant to keep us in front of our computers but to apprise us of opportunities to meet and shake hands.

As I say, a smile and a handshake is worth a thousand Tweets.

And I just wanted to thank the Northeast Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce for offering such a meeting and say I'm glad to be a part of the organization.

2010 is going to be an amazing year and this is going to be a solid piece of it.

Stop by, say hi, shake a couple hands and see if it offers you the same. I look like the guy in my profile pic :)

Have a great day!

The Orangutan and the Hound

I'm not generally a sappy internet video viewer and the fact that this came from my family makes it even less likely I'd share it here, but - dang - it's too frickin' adorable.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Friday Film on Tuesday: Dumb Funny, Darksiders, Avatar on Pocahontas

This isn't early, but late. So more to love this Friday! Enjoy.

Hahaha...someone said in the comments of this video "If you think this is funny you must be six years old." I did not realize I was six.


One of my pleasures is video games. Granted, I only just finished Mass Effect and Bioshock this past year. And I'm working - very slowly - on Fallout 3. But I played the demo of Dante's Inferno (AWESOME!) and was impressed.

This looks equally impressive:

Avatar on Pocahontas on Avatar on...

I recently saw Avatar in full-on IMAX 3D. It was tasty and delicious. And it blew my mind. For me, the story was a 6.5/10, but the movie magic that happens with 3D and the special effects would bring my overall rating to an 8.5/10. The trailer blew my mind. But let's look at the mashups, shall we?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Newport on the ...Browser?

I'd like first to wish all my readers a wonderful and prosperous 2010: I think we're in for one heck of a year. Or at least I'm willing to make it successful!

This past weekend I traveled over the river to Newport on the Levee to see Avatar in IMAX 3D (and it was worth every cent of the parking and the $15/per ticket and wearing glasses- Amazing! But that's a separate post. This is a short one.).

When we were driving towards the packed parking garage, I noticed the Newport on the Levee logo on a sign. I noticed it over the summer, but this reinforced my insight and I had to post about it. Here's what I saw:

Newport on the Levee logo

And the first time I saw it, it took me 0.3 seconds to relate it to what I thought that logo looked like.

Anyone else?

Okay, I'll just spill it:

Netscape Logo

To be clear: I'm not claiming the logo designer stole or even drew inspiration from the Netscape logo before putting together the Newport on the Levee logo. But I found it similar enough to be just a little uncanny.

Do you have any thoughts? I'd love to read them. Simply comment. And I'll respond :)