Archive for the ‘creative’ Category


Posted: January 17, 2011 in creative, inspire, poetry

I write my pain
not with the woodgrain of the silent #2
but with the soft swish
of my grandfathers fountain pen

Recording my dreams
my choices
my sins
my joys
my highs and lows

Seeing my words
makes them more real
so I can dilute them
or flavor them
with reason
To make them less painful
or to relive them as they simmer and season.


White speckled starling,
eating withered crumbs from our table
tossed carelessly upon the wintry lawn,
your quick and lively gait inspire me with spring.

It is with great trepidation
that I muscle forth each morning from my own warm comfort
and seek out crumbs of knowledge;
my own daily bread.

I wink earnestly at the bus driver
and count exact change for the New York Times
and listen intently to confessions of strangers
on their squawking mobile phones.

Oh, to be born a bird
with little to do but hunt and peck
and avoid the tireless hunt of
Sam, the neighbor’s cat.

Would I trade this melancholy life
of human stuffs and necessities?

Would I dare to have such simplicity
as the bird with its crumbs?

I think I couldn’t survive living
such a simple life
without such things as television and cell phones
to keep me from spending too much time with myself.

It is these common goods of the American dream
that keep me from knowing
my full self; my bare and naked truths.

And that is my safety-net.

Here’s a great presentation by Sally Hogshead about the seven “fascination” triggers (or “buy mechanisms”). This Slideshare precedes Sally’s book “Fascinate” due to be released next month – sure to be another hit

This is definitely worth bookmarking and checking out. Also, check out Sally’s website. Great info.

One early morning this week I stopped by my local office supply store (a store that rhymes with shtaples) to pick up a few needed items for my current to-do list.

I noticed a young-ish couple at the end of an aisle with puzzled looks on their faces, pressing the corners of a video screen mounted above what seemed to be, from a distance, a printer display. I edged closer, intrigued by their confusion. Now, I’m not one who normally enjoys office supply store voyeurism, but my interest is always piqued when I see interactive in store advertising. So of course, I had to watch.

Once they walked away bewildered (and not purchasing said product) I headed over to check out the display myself. Sure enough, it had the appearance of an interactive kiosk. However, it was NOT an interactive kiosk. Just a video display. Icons on each corner of the screen gave the impression that one could go “home”, “print”, “go forward” or “go backward”. Pressing on the “buttons” did nothing. Except make that couple very confused. And embarrassed.

See a video of the kiosk here.

What supported this assumption of interactivity? Perhaps the fact that this advertising was for HP’s new web printer – where you can print directly from the web without being connected to a computer in any way. Why wouldn’t such a high tech product be supported by an interactive kiosk? Had I not watched the couple before me be fooled by the usability (or lack thereof), I probably would have reacted the same way my first time at the kiosk.

Most customers don’t like to feel fooled, or feel LIKE fools. I know I don’t. I can guarantee I will not have a second go at any experience that leaves me feeling negative. So if you are going to create advertising that even remotely has the appearance of being interactive, you better make sure that it is. Otherwise, provide content in the form of print support so that customers know that the kiosk is a video only display. In this day and age, people have come to expect a rock solid ad campaign for high tech products (thanks a LOT, Apple) so you either need to give the customers what they want, or quit trying to fake them out.

What’s the lesson? If it’s going to look like a duck, and sound like a duck, make sure it’s a duck. Otherwise the brand just might get goosed.


Interactive kiosks are becoming more and more common these days, drawing in users with interactivity. Here’s an example of an interactive kiosk display that works well:

Prepping tonight blog post in my head. Topic: POS advertising that is designed to look interactive, but isn’t.

What A Lovely Holiday!

Posted: December 22, 2009 in creative, inspire

Molly’s Holiday House Vid! (My kids are a riot!)

Back in the day (and I mean, back in the 50’s/60’s) my Aunt Eileen was one of Manchester’s (England) well-known jazz singers singing with the Sid Phillips Jazz Band, one of England’s premiere bands and a favorite of Princess Margaret.  Her stage name, Stevie Marsh, was on the marquee of many a dance hall, and she made her family proud.  Her voice, reminiscent of a young Rosemary Clooney could belt out any jazz standard with ease.

Stevie Marsh (Eileen Taylor) Sheet Music Cover

It has been many years since any adult member of my family had heard any of her recordings.  At least, it was until my brother David got involved.  As a beautiful gift to my mother, and a tribute to our heritage, he searched for and found one of my aunt’s records on Ebay.  But, more than that, in order to get a digitized copy to my mother, he had to buy a special recording device to transfer the sound.  Although the story of him presenting her with this gift is personal, and one that I won’t share publicly, I will share the music – because anything this beautiful should be heard by everyone.

Stevie Marsh – Leave Me Alone

Stevie Marsh – If You Were The Only Boy In The World (In 1960, this was at #27 on the British charts)

(David – you’re a gem – you’ve given our Mum a gift like none other)

Seth says:

Now, more than ever, we need to shake things up.

Now, more than ever, we need a different way of thinking, a useful way to focus and the energy to turn the game around. I hope a new ebook I’ve organized will get you started on that path. It took months, but I think you’ll find it worth it the effort. (Download here).

Here are more than seventy big thinkers, each sharing an idea for you to think about as we head into the new year. From bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert to brilliant tech thinker Kevin Kelly, from publisher Tim O’Reilly to radio host Dave Ramsey, there are some important people riffing about important ideas here. The ebook includes Tom Peters, Jackie Huba and Jason Fried, along with Gina Trapani, Bill Taylor and Alan Webber.

Here’s the deal: it’s free. Download it here. Or from any of the many sites around the web that are posting it with insightful commentary. Tweet it, email it, post it on your own site. I think it might be fun to make up your own riff and post it on your blog or online profile as well. It’s a good exercise. Can we get this in the hands of 5 million people? You can find an easy to use version on Scribd as well and from wepapers. Please share.

Have fun. Here’s to a year with ideas even bigger than these. Here’s a lens with all the links plus an astonishing array of books by our authors.

Heather Says: Seth – thanks for this great E-Book. I found it to be a great read, and a valuable learning experience. Stay tuned for my riff.

Want to page through the EBook now? Here it is:

Return to the past

to experience your present

and gain knowledge for your future.

Your forefathers have already made the mistakes

you consider making;

Choosing stasis rather than challenge,

Choosing a mea culpa

over a line in the sand.

What won’t you do?

What will you do?

What CAN you do?

You can revisit history-


The Iliad,

And poetry of the lovelorn.

Theodore Geisel said it best:

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple”.





These are codes to live by that will never betray you.

Choose well,

and when you don’t

for surely you will slip, as is the will of human nature

forgive Yourself.

Times have sure changed since I was in junior high. Long gone are the days of your basic book-report and boring poster board presentations. Now it’s websites, and movie creations posted to YouTube. Thanks to advanced technologies, teachers and students alike are treated to an “experience” that is far more powerful than the old book-report in front of the class fallback.

It’s really rewarding to watch your children embrace both the old school and new school, simultaneously, as my eldest did this week when preparing her version of a online movie presentation of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”.

Over the course of a week she story-boarded, scripted, voiced, enlisted her sisters voices, shot video, rendered, and uploaded her movie to present in class tomorrow.

Here’s the video:

Yes, I’m proud.