Saturday 27 March 2010

Message in a Vottle re-visited

The arts industry is very cruel. Few winners, lots of losers. There is no middle ground. Either you are in the top 10, or you are nowhere.

When you create something that no one has asked for, you make yourself vulnerable.

Take a motion picture venture for example. People work on it for years and years, crafting away, burning the middle oil, putting everything they have into it, and then, if all goes well, the movie is released in theatres, and, then you pace and pace... the box office numbers are what it's all about. And there is not much you can do once you pull the trigger. After opening night you just need to sit and pray.

Yes, life really is often all about the numbers. But the numbers need interpretation. Say a film comes out and it has an opening weekend surge and then a week later it just flatlines. The obvious interpretation here is that people didn't like the film, ie, it opened with a bang, and then it just dropped off as the word of mouth was bad.

But, what if the film never opens.

There is a different message in people not liking a film versus they were not interested in a film. If a film opens big and drops off quickly, then "they didn't dig it" is a safe conclusion, but if it didn't even open then it means they were not at all curious to see it, ie, they weren't interested. It could also mean that no one knew the film existed, ie, the marketing wasn't effective.

Could it be that a good product, say, for the sake of the above example. a good film, doesn't see the light of day... absolutely! But unlikely, because a good film will inspire and attract good marketing and publicity. But, it does happen that good things can go unnoticed, good films, good pizzas, good software ... or a good blog piece (well, I will leave that to whoever reads this to decide).

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Friday 19 March 2010

More word play

A friend of mine sent me this - it was too good not to share:

The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are the 2009 winners:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus : A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxication : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation : Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy : Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

8. Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

9. Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon : It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer, right?

12. Decafalon (n.): The gruelling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido : All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.) : Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words.

And the winners are:

1. Coffee , n. The person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted , adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.

3. Abdicate , v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade , v. To attempt an explanation while drunk

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Saturday 13 March 2010

Straight talk

I remember when IS was first finding its feet. I remember how after 6 pm, when the receptionist had gone home, and the phones would ring with support calls ... I remember how we used to answer the calls. Some of the them were very colourful!

Yes, there is this one entertaining tale of someone who calls in and a young, enthusiastic computer guru kinda guy answers the phone. The conversation goes something like this:

"Good evening, The Internet Solution, how can I help you?"
"Can I speak to Dave Frankel please."
"He is on the toilet at the moment ... can I take a message please."

Now, I hear this, and I go over to our excitable crew member and this is how the conversation goes:

"Why did you say that?"
"It's the truth."
"Yes, but you could have said something else."
"I don't want to lie."
"Who said anything about having to lie - just say Dave is busy and that he will call you right back."

No jokes!

You gotta love it.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Wednesday 10 March 2010

Russian Proverb

A friend of mine sent this to me - good food for thought!

Russian Proverb

Knowledge is better than riches.
Jewish translation:
We should all be as knowledgeable as Rothschild!

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Sunday 7 March 2010

Word Play

A friend of mine sent me this - it was too good not to share:


A pessimist's blood type is always b-negative.

Practice safe eating - always use condiments.

A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.

Shotgun wedding: A case of wife or death.

He used to work in a blanket factory, but it folded.

A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

Corduroy pillows are making headlines.

Is a book on voyeurism a peeping tome?

Sea captains don't like crew cuts.

Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?

A successful diet is the triumph of mind over platter.

A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor.

Without geometry, life is pointless.

When you dream in color, it's a pigment of your imagination.

Reading while sunbathing makes you well-red.

A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.

Dijon vu - the same mustard as before.

When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.

A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two-tired..

What's the definition of a will? (Come on, it's a dead giveaway!)

A backwards poet writes inverse.

In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism, your count votes.

If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed..

With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.

A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

Every calendar's days are numbered.

A lot of money is tainted. 'Taint yours and it taint mine.

A boiled egg is hard to beat.

He had a photographic memory that was never developed.

The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

Once you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.

Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.

When an actress saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.

Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.

Acupuncture is a jab well done.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Wednesday 3 March 2010


The idea of search optimization is nothing new. Search engines, on the other hand, are an online thing. But, people have been searching ever since Adam and Eve. Optimizing for search capacity is a totally sensible idea. So, optimizing for an online search engine was something we all should have seen miles away ... we should have, but most people still have to come to terms with what this means in the new world.

SEO in the old physical world led us to ACME plumbers and ACME panel beaters etc. That is why so many companies called themselves things like "AAA services", because, we tend to list things alphabetically. So, the first signs of optimization where simply to make use of the letter "A". It is obvious, ACME Plumbers will show up before XYZ Plumbers.

And this I am told are the origins of the generic famous name "Acme" - I always wondered where this came from. It has its roots in search optimization.

What a simple insight, and what an important and powerful result.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker