Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Mr. Splashy Pants is an Impostor!

So... Greenpeace is having a whale naming contest and not surprisingly Mr. Splashy Pants is in the lead with 75% of the 100,000 votes to date. Now, I hate to acid rain on Greenpeace's whale of a parade but I have a shocking discovery (I apoligize that my to-the-point title is a bit of a spoiler): Mr. Splashy Pants in an Impostor!

According to this post on the Greenpeace blog, they decided to make their own line of official Mr. Splashy Pants merchandise. Here's a little taste:

Cute isn't he? Look familiar? He should. Because Mr. Splashy Pants was featured in my last post. Here he is again:

Shame on you Greenpeace! I was hoping I could finally contribute to one of my favourite blogs, you thought we wouldn't notice, but had trouble with the registration process. Let's try to fix that guys!

Update: The confirmation e-mail finally came for my registration to You Thought we Wouldn't Notice. Check out the post here. Sweet!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

5 Trends FFFFound

I've been using FFFFound obsessively for about a month now and what I find most interesting is the trends you start to see emerge by the images being added (FFFFound) and collected (loved). Here are 5 trends:

1.) Umbrellas

2.) Illustrated Animals (especially whales and birds)

3.) Nude or partially clothed attractive women lying in bed looking depressed

4.) Retro Tech

5.) Hearts or anything related to love

Image links: 1 2 3 4 5

My FFFFound

Blog Nothing Day Q&A with Gavin Heaton

This will be the last post about Blog Nothing Day for a while, I promise. Just wanted to share with you the Q&A I had with Gavin Heaton for MarketingProfs Daily. Consider this the official Blog Nothing Day postmortem...

GH: What is Blog Nothing Day?
JV: Blog Nothing Day happened on November 26, 2007. The date was arbitrary but the cause was not. Blog Nothing Day was created to raise awareness and show support for the ongoing WGA Writer's Strike. The premise was simple – contribute nothing to the "blogosphere" for 24 hours. No posting, no comments, no user-generated content.

It may seem like an unlikely or even undeserving cause for unpaid bloggers to rally behind but there was one key issue that I believe struck a chord with our community: compensation for works distributed digitally either by DVD or Internet downloads. For many of us, the digital world is not only our playground; it is our bread and butter. It is important to set the precedent now while the digital model is still in its infancy. Not only does this ensure fair compensation for a writer's work, it validates the web as a medium in some sense.

This is obviously important to us geeks. The WGA Writers may drive nicer cars than us but we could still empathize with their fight. As my good friend Dino
Demopoulos put it, "Just because we make no money doing this, doesn't mean they shouldn't."

GH: How many participants did you have?
JV: Since the action was in the inaction, it is impossible to truly get a sense of how many bloggers participated. That being said, we did have 35 confirmed participants promoting the event in advance of the big day.

The number may seem low but keep in mind that these were some very smart and prominent bloggers whose influence reaches far. You might even say to the very tip of the "long tail."

GH: How did you get the word out?
JV: Spreading the word was the easiest part (believe me; not contributing for 24 hours was the hardest). We basically started with a couple of blog posts and a Facebook event and left the rest to the amazing power of social media, as cliché as that sounds.

GH: Silence is an interesting tactic in a time where social media is driving conversation. How do you see this playing out?
JV: Sometimes there are so many conversations going on that silence is the only way to get noticed. Every day seems to be a race to how many blog posts you can complete, friends you can poke, e-mails you can clear, RSS feeds you can read, hits you can get, tweets you can tweet, etc.
And when everyone and everything around you stops, even for just one day, you take notice; At least in my mind.

GH: Do you plan on more activism? Will it follow a similar vein?
JV: I'm not sure Blog Nothing Day constitutes as activism but I suppose it did pop my proverbial cherry. I find it incredibly interesting and even more inspiring to see people with no former relationship or connection join together for a cause they believe in.

Obviously this concept is nothing new but technology has made it so much more obtainable. The web has made is possible to actually see and in real time how you have made an impact on the world around you and it is a very powerful thing. It has always been so difficult for us to realize that one person can make a difference and it is the Internet that is finally allowing us to see this is true.

These are exciting and hopeful times when anyone with a computer can make an impact, even a ripple. You no longer have to be a celebrity, politician, or corporation to have your voice heard. Amen! I'm not sure what's next for me but I am definitely looking forward to it.

GH: What would you do differently next time?
JV: More planning. Definitely more planning. It would have been nice to be able to create a home for Blog Nothing Day that wasn't trapped within Facebook or individual blogs. If we had given ourselves more time, it would have been nice to set up a wiki for everyone to collaborate on.
We also only had less than a week to get the word out… The web is fast but not that fast.

I think some people didn't realize it was Blog Nothing Day until the actual day of the event or even after. I'm thinking we could turn this into an annual thing. Perhaps pick a different cause to support each year and enjoy 24 hours of read-only web. We'll see. A year is a long time away.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Blog Nothing Day: The Morning After

If you happened to notice a certain 'lull' across the internets yesterday, there is a reason: It was Blog Nothing Day. Thank you to all all those who participated in this show of solidarity with the striking WGA Writers. Did we make a difference? Well, our silence was definitely heard. Whether in support of the idea or not, the blogging community took notice. I had a great e-mail conversation with Gavin Heaton last night for MarketingProfs and I will post it here once published later this week. It pretty much summed up the whole day.

A special shout out to the following for not only participating in Blog Nothing Day but also spreading the word:

Dino Demopoulos of Chroma
Darryl Ohrt of Brand Flakes for Breakfast
Jonathan Burg of Future Visions
Gavin Heaton of Servant of Chaos
Olivier Peyre of Trench Watch Daily
Steffania Paola
Seraphic Single
Paul McEnany of Hee-Haw Marketing
Uwe Hook of Uwe’s Blog
Bill Green of Make the Logo Bigger
Alison Jennings of Party of One

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tomorrow is Blog Nothing Day!

Just a friendly reminder that tomorrow, November 26th, is Blog Nothing Day in support of the WGA Writer's Strike. The rules are simple: Contribute nothing to the blogosphere for 24 hours. That means no posting and no commenting. In other words, the web is read only tomorrow... Or for the new media douche-bags, tomorrow is Web 1.0 day. As my good friend Dino so eloquently put it, "just because we make no money doing this, doesn't mean they shouldn't!"

Have a great Monday and remember, the action is in the inaction.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Breaking News: Blog Nothing Day - November 26, 2007

It is now day 16 of the WGA Writers Strike and I have finally decided to go public with my official stance: I support the writers. In these times of crisis we often ask ourselves "what can I do to help? I'm just one person." And it is in these times that we look to our leaders for inspiration. Unfortunately this is an area we've been lacking in, so I would like to quote the late John Fitzgerald Kennedy: "One person can make a difference and every person should try."

With that in mind, I am pleased to announce that next Monday, November 26th, is officially "Blog Nothing Day". For the entire day I will not update, comment, or contribute to the blogosphere in support of the WGA Writers Strke and I urge you to do the same. By supporting Blog Nothing Day, you are supporting the WGA and making a REAL difference. Spread the word!

Update: Please join the facebook event here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fuck The Real World. I'm An Artist: Volume 1

Sometimes when I get bored, I like to pretend I'm an artist. Unfortunately, I'm just a hack with a creative streak. The result of which is the following. Forgive me.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Rock | Paper | Scissors : 3rd Edition

Happy Friday. Enjoy!

Rock: Brian McCarty - Toy Photographer in Los Angeles, California

Paper: Marguerite Sauvage - Illustrator in France

Scissors: Elba Fernández - Photographer in Flickr

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

In honor of my favourite holiday in October, I would like to share with you something completely unrelated and out of context:


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The BBC Says I Think Like a Chick

The BBC has a cool new exercise to test your Sex I.D. and apparently my brain is wired with sugar, spice, and everything nice. The test doesn't take long but does require a ruler (I won't ruin the surprise). Feel free to share your results. Here are mine:


Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Unofficial A-Z Hipster Guide

Since my last post, I have been receiving a lot of traffic from people searching for "hipster Halloween" ideas. The weekend may be over, but you still have three days to prepare for Halloween night! So I give you, The Unofficial A-Z Hipster Guide: Enjoy!

Photo Credits: The Cobra Snake, Last Nights Party,Charlyn W, and Antontrax

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Very Hipster Halloween

Halloween can be a stressful time for aspiring Hipsters but there is no need to panic! Check out American Apparel's nifty little tool for some simple costume ideas to help you fit right in at your 'downtown' friend's Halloween party. Just add your own vomit and you could be lucky enough to end up on Last Night's Party!

Flickr Find - Harald Benz

Check it!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Rock | Paper | Scissors : 2nd Edition

In this edition of Rock|Paper|Scissors (aka random collection of "pretty things"), we have a shoe artist, x-ray photographer, and 'lollipop' illustrator. Enjoy!

Rock: Jethro Haynes - Artist and Sculptor in London, England

Paper: Benedetta Bonichi - Artist in Rome, Italy

Scissors: Craig Robinson - Illustrator in Berlin, Germany

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

MediaVest Goes Viral!

It's a task some experts compare to cracking the genetic code yet global media company MediaVest has achieved the near impossible: viral marketing. Unfortunately, it was this video of an employee running around Time's Square buck naked after an "extreme panic attack"...


My Baby's Momma: Last.fm

If you don't already have a Last.fm account, get one... Now! If you've already been converted, add me. I've been a member for just over 6 months now and it has gotten to the point where it knows me better than I even know myself (I realize this isn't exactly saying much in my case, but you get the point). I've tried countless services that offer a similar experience, but none combine elements of music discovery, social media, and streaming radio so perfectly as Last.fm.

And just when I thought our relationship couldn't get any stronger, we fell in love all over again when this arrived in my inbox:

This is a perfect example of e-mail done right. It's personalized, contextual, content rich, and most importantly, provides real value. As far as I can recall, this is the first time I've been e-mailed by Last.fm other than from notifications I've requested and the initial sign-up process. Although unsolicited, this e-mail was opened, read, clicked on and most definitely welcome. Not only am I comfortable with them e-mailing me again, I look forward to it. Personally, my use hasn't really waned since I joined in March but this would have been a perfect way to get me back had I strayed away.

Jason + Last.fm = True Love Forever!

Flickr Find - Visc3ral

Check it!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day! Ten Easy Ways to Reduce Your Footprint on the Planet

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day and this year's focus is on the environment. I'll be the first to admit that I am by no means an expert on the subject but I do have a few useful tips that everyday people like you and me can do to reduce our personal footprint on the planet.

1.) Instead of wasting water brushing your teeth this morning, try chewing a stick of sugarfree gum. Trident White Peppermint is a personal favourite of mine.

2.) Instead of littering your cigarette buts all over the alleyway behind your office, try to keep them contained to one neat pile. This will make is easier for the building cleaning staff to sweep up at the end of the day and increase the likelihood that buts will be removed from the street.

3.) Instead of washing your clothes today, try Febreze. You and I both know that a pair of jeans is most comfortable on the 3rd day of use anyway.

4.) Ask your server to reuse your pint glass. The more you drink, the more you conserve. After an evening on the patio, you and your friends could easily reduce the pub's dish washing by a couple of loads.

5.) Save electricity. Make love in the dark.

6.) Reuse fast food containers by creating anti-globalization / pro-vegan art installations.

7.) Save empty cigarette packs to make filters for all your joints.

8.) Shower with a friend.

9.) Limit your television watching to one room. I know it's great to stroll around from room to room without missing a second of Heroes but try to stay put for the whole hour.

10.) If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Results Are In!

Well, another Ontario General Election has come to an end. To sum it all up, I leave you with this fun little game... Can you spot the differences?

Image Source.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Hey Ontario! Only One More Sleeps..

Just a friendly reminder that tomorrow (October 10th) is election day in Ontario. Please don't forget to vote!

The Google Effect

In case you haven't yet heard (and assuming you are even mildly interested), Jaiku announced today that it has been purchased by Google. Although unexpected, the news does not really come as a surprise. The interesting entertaining thing that came out of the news was picturing all the geeks rush over to Jaiku.com to see if that account they opened two months ago was still active (for the record: I was one of those geeks). Why do we have so much faith in Google? Since when was their stamp of approval required? Being Canadian, I totally understand the need for affirmation from a higher power but the service we abandoned months ago hasn't changed so why is it suddenly cool? I won't insult you by answering my own rhetorical question but come on!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Rock | Paper | Scissors : 1st Edition

When I'm not on the web reading geeky tech news or brushing up on the latest techniques in exploiting new media, I like looking at art. Or as you may know it - pretty pictures. There is so much great work out there that it would be impossible to show it all. However, from time-to-time (notice my non-committal attitude... I'm working on that) I thought it might be fun to feature three different artist's work that I find compelling. Feel free to share your opinions, share your links and please, save your applause til the end. Enjoy!

Rock: David R Head Jr - Art Director and Freelance Designer in Chicago, Illinois

Paper: Luke Chueh - Painter and Designer/Illustrator in Los Angeles, California

Scissors: VORFAS - Photographer in Flickr

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Rebranding the Church

It's no secret that the Catholic Chruch has some image issues so I thought it would be interesting to imagine what their rebranding campaign might look like. Here are a few ideas I came up with:

Inspired by this American Apparel Ad

Inspired by this PETA Ad


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Don't be a Douchebag. Vote!

Yo! In case you couldn’t tell from the title, this is my MTV-esque rant about youth voting (note: for the purpose of this exercise, I will define youth as anyone under the age of 34. If this is you and you take offence to being referred to as youth, congratulations, you’re all grown up). You will notice I have very cleverly included the word “douchebag” to illustrate my irreverent attitude in an attempt to relate to my target audience.

If like me, you live in Ontario, you may be aware that we are in the midst of another “exciting” provincial election. If not, search “Voting Day: Ontario General Election” in Facebook. There is an event. It’s on October 10th. Click on “Maybe Attending”. Don’t be alarmed, that wasn’t voting… I’ll get to that part.

Yes, that was Chuck Norris. No, it has nothing to do with voting. I just wanted to make sure you were still with me. I’ll try to include more pop-culture references as we go along to keep things fresh. Before I explain why this election is particularly important, let’s briefly review the reasons why YOU should vote:

- By not voting, you let other’s speak for you
- You can Rock the Vote
- It’s your right
- If you’re not voting, then who are you electing?
- Apathy is boring

There. I think I covered all the national nonpartisan coalitions. Next, let’s go over three universal truths about youth:

1.) Youth are lazy
2.) Youth are stupid
3.) Youth are complacent

With these three points in mind, I think it would also be helpful to look at a few statistics:

- According to the Elections Canada report on the 2004, 38th general election: Just over 38 per cent of voters aged 18-30 cast ballots..

- Turnout is declining in Canada not because experienced voters are dropping out of the system, but because potential new voters are not opting into the system.

- The main conclusion of (the Pammett-LeDuc) study is that the recent decline in voter turnout will likely continue, if left unaddressed.

- Many studies suggest that this current generation which is choosing to note vote will continue to not vote in the future – this behavior may not reverse itself when people get older – they will continue to not vote.

Source: Apathy is Boring

I know your attention span is extremely low so hopefully I’ve included enough lists and point-form information to keep you from going back to YouTube just yet. Please try to stick with me for a little while longer… Oh and by the way, the Meg White sex tape was a hoax. The simple fact of the matter is that our generation is not being properly represented in municipal, provincial, or federal elections and we are being ignored by politicians because of it. Your opinion matters, your voice should be heard, and your vote most definitely counts.

Let’s get back to the task at hand: the upcoming provincial general election. I alluded to earlier the fact that this is an especially significant election. This is because we will be casting our vote on two matters – one to decide on the next provincial government, the other to decide on the future of our electoral process. It sounds boring and it is boring but it is also important. Elections Ontario has put together a really bad but informative flash video explaining the latter here. To me, this new process makes a lot of sense. It’s not perfect but I think it does a lot to address the problems of the current system. Put it this way, if the proposed new system was used in the last two US elections, George Bush would not be the President. It’s not a perfect comparison but you get the point. The new process has to do more with the popular vote and less to do with the electoral districts. In other words, there will be less bullshit.

When I talk to my friends about voting, there are two common things I hear: “All politicians are lying scumbags, so why bother?” and “I don’t know enough about each party to make an informed decision.” The first may be true but let’s face it, one of the lying scumbags is going to be elected whether you like it or not so why not have your say in which lying scumbag it is? All scumbags are not created equal. The second point is just silly. It really doesn’t take long to figure out which party best represents your values. And since we’ve already agreed that you are lazy, I will provide you with all the information you will need to become informed… even empowered if you will…

First off, here are the links to the main contenders but take what you read with a grain of salt because it is mostly marketing and PR crap.

The Ontario PC Party
The Ontario Liberal Party
Ontario New Democratic Party
Green Party of Ontario

I’ve found the best source of information is (unfortunately) found in the mainstream media. Here are a few good resources for comparing each party’s platform:

Toronto Star
CTV Toronto
Globe and Mail
National Post

Hopefully you’ve now armed yourself with enough information to make an informed decision come October 10th. You should now be out of excuses except for one: “ I don't know where/how to vote?” Hold out your hand little one and come with me (don’t worry. I don’t have a big blue van with blacked-out windows):

I’ve been avoiding the law, creditors, ex-girlfriend, etc… Am I on the list?
Where do I vote?
Who are my local candidates?
What should I bring?
I’m confused and have more questions.

I hope that this has been helpful or at least made you think. We may not be able to change the world right away but we can make our voices be heard. It’s time they know we are paying attention and ready to stand up for what we believe in. I’m not being dramatic here. Your vote will make an impact and it is important to us all. It should be important to you. Come October 10th; think to yourself “what would John Stewart do?” In case you don’t know the answer… He would fucking vote.

Disclaimer: Voting in the upcoming provincial general election will not guarantee you immunity from being a douchebag; it will only help prevent it. If you are unsure of your status, please consult the directory.