A Whole New World.

August 12, 2010

Ok. I swear. There’s a reason why I haven’t blogged in a while. Long story short, new job. New city. New everything. Actually best couple of months I’ve had in a long while, but I digress…

I’ve moved on up to DC to work at AKQA on the Volkswagen account. Definitely a totally different shindig than anything I ever did at past agencies. Also a bit of a shock to the system coming from Publicis Dallas. Examples:

  • People rarely go home before 7 at AKQA.
  • Technical abbreviations and thinky words are standard fare.
  • Some people ::gasp:: don’t eat meat here.
  • I haven’t ONCE heard anyone talk about football since arriving here.

I have had to re-learn how to use my brain again. Coming to a digital agency like AKQA has proved to be more than just a creative job. I thought being a tech-geek would be enough to make me a total pro at this job, but apparently, you need absorb a lot of intricate know-how to communicate with all the people you work with. I don’t just work with a Creative Director and Art Director and Designers anymore. There’s a huge team of programmers sitting only feet away. They speak mostly in 3-letter-acronyms. And in meetings, they all know what each other is talking about.

Luckily, I’m learning. Slowly but surely. When offers started to roll in for new jobs, I could have taken the more traditional route. With a more senior title and whatnot. However, I wasn’t really thinking about how to make my 2010 better. I was thinking more about 2014. And 2018. If I didn’t learn the digital side of this business at some point, I’d be screwing myself. And fooling myself, thinking that what I read on Gizmodo and Lifehacker would be enough to make me “techie” would only be selling myself short in the long run.

So now… I present to you… the new adventures of an old copywriter. Join me as I navigate the UCWOAHRDA (uber-confusing waters of a highly-respected digital agency).

Note: this job will probably cause the vocabulary I use in this blog to go from a 5th to 7th-grade reading level. Prepare yourself.

Told ya so.

February 11, 2009

I know it’s been a while, but I couldn’t pass up posting this link. Look back at my post on July 17 ’08…. everyone IS becoming an app developer! Woot!

http://i.gizmodo.com/5147072/9-year-old-writes-iphone-application

Copywronger Moves South.

August 20, 2008

So, a couple weeks ago, I got two job offers within 10 minutes of each other (how often does that happen??)… one agency in Dallas, one in Dubai. Very tough decision. Ultimately, I’m off to Dallas to go rock out on some great clients with a great AD. If my posts are spotty over the next few weeks, I apologize… moving over 1500 miles is a BITCH! Wish me luck!

I’ll admit. I’ve been one of Paris Hilton’s biggest nay-sayers for a very long time. I remember being at NYU, way back in the late 90s/early 00s, and hearing about this little rich girl who only had any kind of notoriety because of her name and wealth.

Then she became unnecessarily famous and iconic. And part of a trend that probably has influenced more young women towards materialism, shallowness, over-sexualization, and plain old sluttiness.

And then McCain called her out on it. And frankly, his comments were pretty much right. She’s not a good influence. Maybe that makes me a red-state, old fart fuddy duddy too… but c’mon. She has made no positive contribution towards humanity. With all that money and free time, she could be trying to pull an Oprah or Angelina or Madonna. Even if half-heartedly. She’s got the money and visibility to do it. Instead, she follows her rocker boyfriend around on tour, makes crappy CDs, and lives off a fortune she never had to earn.

The American Dream.

Anyway, this rebuttal surfaced today on funnyordie.com. And frankly, she could have just ignored McCain’s comments… brushed them off like everyone else’s… but she’s obviously a part of Generation Obama (wooohooo! Gobama!   …ahem. Sorry. Little editorialism there.) And rather let a candidate she doesn’t like just trash her… she made this video:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

In it, she thanks the “white-haired dude” for his endorsement… as a presidential candidate. It’s hilarious. It’s smart. It’s a smack in the face to McCain. Something that really shouldn’t have backfired on him JUST DID. And, frankly, I gotta give her props for having a good sense of humor about how she’s perceived. She says, “I’m a celebrity, too. Only I’m not from the olden days, and I’m not promising change like that other guy. I’m just hot.”

“Olden days.” God… the last time I heard that annoying phrase used was by Tara Reid during an interview. And she used it, like, five times. ::shudder::

Give it a watch. Then go vote for Obama instead of that “wrinkly, white-haired guy.”

A little birdie told me yesterday that NBC is being super-cheap with this summer’s Olympics. Instead of sending all of their sportscasters and producers to Beijing, they are producing all of the commentary from Saturday Night Live’s sound stage right at Rockefeller Center. Basically, the announcers will watch the events off a live feed (or recorded feed… not sure, considering Beijing is half-a-day ahead of us), and do their commentary from a little dark room in New York. Kinda depressing.

And yet, Lester Holt and his practically-unknown sidekick Amy Robach will be joining the other “faces of NBC” in China (the Today Show gang, etc). But not the sports guys. God forbid the sports guys should attend the Olympics.

You may notice this blog has a whole new look now. (I got the header photo from the web… no pencils were harmed in the redesign of this website).

Well, there’s a reason for it. A reason why the “widgets” – links and whatnot – are located all the way at the bottom of the page. Why there’s only one simple column.

The iPhone.

Yes, I have finally joined the ranks of millions of deliriously over-joyed iPhone owners… wandering city streets with our faces down, almost getting run over by rogue taxis. Never bored or out of touch. And part of what could finally f*&k Bill Gates in the @$$.

The format of this site is optimized to be viewed on mobile devices and the iPhone. Why’d I make the switch? Because mobile applications and websites specifically optimized for handsets aren’t the future. Unless today is “the future.” And apparently, it is.

According to an article in Time Magazine, Bill Gates’s biggest mistake was never embracing the web. He poo-pooed the onset of the Internet Age and just kept developing applications that allowed people to work, but didn’t effectively connect anyone… with the exception of a few Exchange, email, and server apps.

He never jumped on board to help the common man connect to the world and all of his peers. And because Microsoft ignored this obvious need, they might flounder in the coming years. What will become of Bill’s empire?

Mobile sites have sprung up over the past few years, but never with the amount of urgency and finesse as they have lately. Major sites like NBC will redirect iPhones to a special nbc.com/iphone version of their site… specially optimized for the device and allows for streaming video. (Not great quality yet, but give it time…)

But even mobile sites may play second fiddle to speedy, slick-interfaced, ready-at-hand mobile applications. Google is saying its new phone will launch with at least 1,800 new applications. The iTunes app store apparently launched with 1000. A venture capitalist has even started a $100 million fund to support the development of great iPhone apps.

In the first FOUR DAYS that Apple’s free iPhone SDK (Software Development Kit) was available to the public, it was downloaded 100,000 times. It makes mobile application development super easy. Heck, even teenagers will be able to program their own applications in the near future. You might find the next big app designed by that zit-faced Chad guy from down the block… and his ugly mug is on the app icon just to prove it’s his.

Suddenly, people won’t just want to build their own websites and blogs… they’ll express themselves through applications… and put their work out there so the public can carry around a little piece of their genius.

Granted… a lot of this is could be considered speculation. But things move faster in software development than hardware development… and if you give people the right tools, you can ignite a cultural phenomenon.

Look at Facebook… just a networking site like MySpace. For a long time, it wasn’t even as dynamic or useful as MySpace. Then Facebook added apps. Changed the whole game. Suddenly, people had a reason to visit and use the site… over and over… hours on end. In some ways, Facebook was almost a precursor to the iPhone.

Will the iPhone be a precursor to Google’s phone? Or a cooler iPhone? Or something even bigger and un-thought-of?

I guess we’ll just have to wait… and, in the meantime, try not to get hit by oncoming traffic while texting.

So, years after the show went off the air, Sex & the City pulled in a whopping 55.7 MILLION DOLLARS.

Every female I know actually went to this film this weekend. I was one of them.

I went with my friends Cooper & Erin to a 3pm show on Saturday. We bought the tickets online in advance. Cooper was worried we’d get closed out because of strong ticket sales… and she was right. When we got to the theater (Kip’s Bay in Murray Hill) at 2:50pm for our 3:30 show, every screening was sold out thru 11pm.

The line upstairs in front of the theater was the kind of crowd you’d expect to see at an 8pm screening for an opening weekend of, say, a Star Wars or Harry Potter sequel. Masses of 20 and 30-something women in costume (dressed up like their favorite characters from the movie… Charlotte… Carrie… et al) and the line already had over 100 people in it. This blew my mind. I’d never seen an afternoon lineup like this before.

When they finally let the line of several hundred giddy women into the theater (the theater attendants actually addressed the crowd as “Ladies!”. I joked, “hey, there’s one guy over here.”), two of them actually got trampled… carried away upstream as hundreds of screaming ADULT WOMEN pushed past them into the theater, scrambling up the stairs in their wannabe Manolos and grabbing seats so their friends could go back to the lobby, to get them all a round of Diet Cokes.

I can’t make fun of these gals. I was one of them.

Although, I didn’t dress up. I came in jeans and tee-shirt. I guess it could be Miranda on her day off… but who dresses up like that? Haha.

In the end, here’s my review of the movie: if you weren’t a fan, don’t see it. And if you think you’re kind of a fan, but don’t really have any sort of emotional connection to the main characters, don’t see it. In fact, if during all 7 seasons of SATC, you never once CRIED because “dammit. that fucking happened to me too,” DO NOT see this movie.

This movie exists only for us fans who needed to extend our relationships with our four favorite women. They sorta go over each character’s storyline in the opening credits… and it was actually well done… but for anyone who doesn’t truly consider themselves a fan, this is just a long, drawn out film about four women. And if you don’t care about them already, this film won’t make you like them. You have to go into it ALREADY loving them.

You have to already understand why Miranda reacts to things the way she does. Otherwise, she’s just some bitch.

You have to understand Carrie & Big’s epic relationship to know why/how things ended up the way they did.

And you definitely had to know how much shit Charlotte went through before finding happiness so you don’t hate her for being so perfect.

So, to the fans who still haven’t gone… mainly because some reviews panned the film… ignore the reviews. Seriously. If you adored the series, you’ll love the movie. Just go.

Craptacular Blogger.

November 19, 2006

Okay. I’m a terrible blogger. A fair-weather blogger. When things are slow, or I have deadline I feel like procrastinating against, it’s quite easy for me to blog.

However, when things get busy… like the kind of busy that’s out of your control so you can’t even procrastinate, even if you really want to… that’s when I can’t blog. And it seems I’ve finally hit a zone where I’m busy, but not so busy that I can’t blog.

So, enough blogging about blogging.

Things have been crazy lately. You already know this if you read the preceding paragraphs. We have been editing our eBay spots, working on our other clients, etc. It’s just been a lot. But I’ve loved every second of it. Except for last week when the client made a change to one of our spots… I’m not entirely happy with the final outcome. If you want to see it, it’s an eBay spot about an alarm clock. It starts airing November 20th… up through Thanksigiving… and then the un-Thanksgiving version of it will be back in January (with our other spot about perfume).  I won’t go into what made me so upset regarding changes… not the right kind of thing to go publishing on the web.

Don’t get me wrong. The spot is still good. I just think they made a decision that sorta kills some of the funny. And my Creative Directors fought hard for the changes not to happen. It’s kinda sucky when a client comes to you for your expertise and then poo-poos your opinions.

We also have a lot of Pepsi stuff about to the streets… look for really designy Pepsi stuff in the coming month or so… they’re putting it everywhere. Vault 49 did the artwork. It’s pretty hot.

Also, Vanessa Maganza and Rosie Quasaranno (spelling?) are in NYC working freelance for Hill Holliday. Saw them Friday… really happy they’re in town. THEY BETTER STAY!!

Ok. That’s enuf for today. I promise to do better.