Archive for September, 2003
On Sunday, the citizens of Sweden votes on whether to join the last phase of the EMU (European Monetary Union) and thereby stop using Swedish Kronors as currency, and start using Euro as our currency instead. This will have significant impacts on the economy (both good and bad); and the vote is currently all the rave here. How Sweden casts their vote will have large influence on how other nations vote.
However, yesterday, things took a bad turn, when Anna Lindh, the foreign minister of Sweden, was stabbed in public by an unknown assailant, and later died at the hopital. Anna Lindh was one of the front figurines for the Euro, and also a strong model for women in Sweden.
Attacks on public figures is very rare in Sweden, and we are quite chocked over this. The last time a politican was killed was when Olof Palme was murdured in 1986. This is a very nasty assault on democracy, and a reminder of how important it is that we appriceate the fact that we have it, and that we need to protect it actively.
An update on the status of our 2 current projects. XWall was functioning well, then we decided to turn on the statistical analysis feature and the amount of spam being blocked went down. This could be because our limit is too high (destroy if likelihood is 70% or higher of being spam) or could be the feature itself. We haven’t decided, but will continue tinkering.
Our wireless network is working incredibly well (we are looking to expand the wireless capabilities of the company in more mobile areas like the bookstore and cafe where the layout often changes). One frustration is that for some reason when a machine is booted the local administrator needs to login for it to connect. Then he/she can log out and any user will be connected.
We’ve emailed Linksys for support on this one and are hoping it’ll be sorted out because it is very troublesome. Even me, one of the domain admins, can’t login to a machine that I didn’t install because I’m not the local admin.
Besides these 2 issues our current initiatives are going well.
What every advertiser wants: effective, inexpensive, wide-reaching and penetrating advertising.
What most advertisers do and/or get: ineffective, expensive, “same old” advertising which just melds into all the other advertising out there.
I live in Toronto. Here, if I wanted to get a prime-time ad played on one of the big radio stations, I’d have to pay about 2K per “spread” (1 week of ads in a specific slot). This 1-week of ads will likely be only slightly effective because at first people don’t know you. The radio stations recommend at least a month, if you are trying to build brand recognition.
But, what if you could spend 2K and get mentions every hour?
The solution is simple: sponsoring a contest or giveaway. A few local companies have caught onto this, but not many. Sponsoring a travel contest for a local radio station, for instance, would cost about 2-3K. Radio stations typically do a week of lead-ups for smaller prizes, so you would get mentions quite often (they want people to listen at specific times, so they advertise the heck out of it).
A plethora of advertising. Effective, positive and penetrating advertising, not to mention for the family that wins the vacation.
One company here in town sponsors a daily contest called Beat the Bank. The concept is simple, but the cost to them is variable (winners try and guess which “vault” has the most money, and if they don’t get “caught” they win the vault they picked. Some days it’s nothing, others it’s 5,000$). This company has gone from a nobody to a household name purely because of the 50K worth of advertising they put into this.
The same concept works on a smaller scale as well. Most mid-sized websites would jump at the chance to giveaway books, gift certificates, etc. All you have to do is approach them and offer to pay all costs in return for a “sponsored by”. If you are truly lucky you would also get a copy of all addresses generated by the contest (as Yahoo! did with the Pepsi “billion dollar contest”).
This method of advertising isn’t for everyone, but if you are sick of ineffectual advertising and are looking for something within your budget which is a little “different”, this may be for you.
Here at work we have now streamed 1 Petabyte of data since we began doing streaming 10 years ago.
To put that in perspective that if we were using a T1, that would be constant bandwidth for 20 years. I’m sure others use more bandwidth than we do, but it is definitely a landmark milestone, and one we aren’t likely to hit again for quite smoe time.