Commanding Chaos for Coworking, Open Source and Creative Communities

Scents that Sell

Wed, 04/19/2006 - 11:36 -- rprice

Re-posted from AdPulp:
Something's In The Air - AdPulp

The gist of this article is that businesses are starting to pull from a library of over 1,500 scents compiled by a company called ScentAir to enhance the sale. I originally found this story because two of the businesses referenced are in Orlando: Coors Brewing Company's annual distributors meeting and the Hard Rock Live. Hard Rock was using sugar-cookie smells to entice people to go downstairs and check out the ice cream shop, and Coors used a vanilla-peppermint blend to create an atmosphere that made people think 'cold'.

Apparently the atmospheric applications are popular, but I am more intrigued by the idea of inserting the smell of a hot pizza outside a classroom on a college campus to try and bolster slice sales. Now, I don't mean every day, maybe they would just set up shop for a week and move it along, but I bet the campaign would be a success. Even just strategically positioning someone with a fresh hot pizza sitting on the bench could possibly have the same effect.

Two more stories ScentAir mentions on their site are even more compelling. First of all, the SonyStyle Stores apparently use a mixture of citrus and vanilla to create a brand recognition experience based on the 5th untouched sense, which is apparently the strongest sense tied to memory. The final example could only come from a town called Celebration. In their branch of Florida Hospital, simply named 'Celebration Health', they created a beach themed MRI room to make people feel more comfortable about going inside the big evil pulsating magner machine, complete with beach chairs, a sandcastle (the evil machine itself) and of course, coconut and ocean scents.

One fact remains: even though ScentAir is located in Charlotte, NC, they have quite a few success stories in the Orlando area. This could be because of the influence of the entertainment and convention industry on our town, or just a strange coincidence. Florida is certainly a "hard sell, but with pageantry" sort of place. Someday my dissertation on the influence of theatrics and big productions on Orlando business and arts will come, but not today. For now, I'll stick to thinking of those Fresh Baked Sugar Cookies that aren't really there... ::sniff::

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What to call it?

Wed, 04/19/2006 - 09:53 -- rprice

My friend Jake from the Detroit Creative Group and I are planning on putting together a podcast where we discuss topics relevant to digital creatives (not just internet stuff, no sir) and interview these creative individuals and the people that develop the applications we use and run the organisations that support these industries.

The $64,000 question is: What does one name such a show?

The world may never know....

I guess until we bite the bullet and name the darn thing, and release the first show... Then the world will know full well, I suppose.

Ah yes, podcasting is such fun! Liberatr.net is the bomb! Or so say I, anyway.

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Um, ok, here is something to look at:

Thu, 04/06/2006 - 20:25 -- rprice

Because I felt like it, I am going to post a link to somebody’s profile on this neat site called Bolt. Her name is Amy, and I guess she is doing a foreign exchange thing in Japan right now, but she is American. the point is, this site lets you share WAY more stuff than video, and in a fun rich-media sort of way… almost. This girl is experimenting with videoblogging, journal-writing, photo-sharing, and even (or especially) music, and it is music she wrote and performed herself! Good job bolt, and good job Amy!

Amy Wears Glasses

Go check out the site, but start at this page, because I SAID SO! Empower the people!

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Retro Party

Thu, 03/16/2006 - 08:25 -- rprice

April 7th, 2006
9:30 PM, or thereabouts

A party to celebrate days when communication involved stamps and wires buried in the ground. A time when music came in the form of grooves in a piece of wax.

Attendees are engouraged to wear something retro, classic, and otherwise old-school.

More details to come…

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New York Magazine's 6-page Guide to Starting a Monetized Blog

Tue, 02/14/2006 - 09:42 -- rprice

The story of starting a blogging business is not a new one: if you listen to as many podcasts and read as many blogs as I do (which is not a large amount), the formula stares you in the face. There have been covers stories in BusinessWeek that caught huge attention for blogs. Whereas a year ago I would not have been able to say so, my dad now knows what blogging is. So when I tell him I am interested in pursuing blogging for money, he didn't shoot down the idea right away.

This week, New York Magazine released a story that is a natural progression in blog reporting: now that everyone knows what blogs are and why they are good, how did the A-list bloggers gain their rank? One thing that had to be done was to establish that there was in fact a rank heirarchy, which is proved with a scientific sampling of 433 blogs: the blogs with the most links are generally higher traffic. Blogs with more links are more popular, charge more for their ads, and... people have heard of them. No joke, it's pretty simple. The thing that stinks about the whole deal is that blog popularity is a self-perpetuating system. The fat keep getting fatter, while the thin are fighting over the table scraps.

Here is the full article:
Blogs to Riches: The Haves and Have-Nots of the Blogging Boom

I am no journalist; if I ever write one of my own blogs, I will have to find something I really care about, and I'll be able to keep up with daily. I actually think there is some serious merit to building a network of media, with separate channels for different classes of consumers. There will never be a blog that caters to everyone, just like there will never be a TV show that everyone watches. With the blogosphere becoming as popular as it is, however, there may come a day when you will get your daily gossip from boing boing or another of the blogs with a high entertainment value.

Quality content won't win you an everlasting place, however. Constent vigilance, shameless self-promotion, making the sale, getting the scoop on the other guy, and of course, social bookmarking will get you everywhere. Getting noticed by the big dogs, getting to the front page of digg, getting an honorable mention on any number of A-list or even B-list blogs, will likely help you get your foot in the door.

Writing crappy posts like this one, however, will likely get me nowhere.

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Dip-taculous!

Sat, 02/11/2006 - 22:17 -- rprice

Ryan’s Black Bean Dip:
I make this dip every year for the Superbowl and many other social gatherings. The fresh basil and the green salsa are what make this dip so great. Don’t forget these ingredients at the store. Also, try this as a burrito filling, as a side dish, or even an omlette topping. Don’t think just any chips will suffice. Store brands don’t hold a candle to the excellence of Manny’s, Tostito’s and other thin crispy varieties. “Nacho” chips are not what I had in mind when I invented this dip. Grab some cerveza and enjoy!

  • 2 cups black beans (or 1 16oz. can bush’s frijoles negros)
  • 1 cup diced tomato (pref. fresh, some canned varieties come with jalapeno)
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (fresh, canned or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup medium heat salsa verde (green/tomatillo salsa, bottled is ok, not optional)
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh chopped basil (not optional)
  • 2 cloves of fresh minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt (to taste, fresh beans may require more)
  • Optional: 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, diced
  • Optional, at serving: shredded cheddar cheese
  • Optional, at serving: a dollap of sour cream

Drain most of the liquid from any canned products; you may leave some from the black beans. Heat all ingredients in a 300° oven for 20 minutes in an oven-safe dish. Add cheese OR sour cream (not both) if desired, and serve with tortilla chips.

OR heat in a microwave for 4 to 6 minutes, cooking times will vary.

Feeds 4 to 6 people. Recipie works well in double batches, because tomatoes and corn are a single can.

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Dark Crystal Sequel!! Genndy Tartakovsky!

Wed, 02/01/2006 - 09:06 -- rprice

Ever heard of Samurai Jack? Dexter’s Lab? Clone Wars (animated)? Well now you will have The Power of the Dark Crystal!! Amazing!

Not only is someone bringing back a GOOD franchise (not remaking, but continuing), they are getting talented people to work on it! Brian Froud is back. Genndy is the man, and the Orphanage will do animation.

The sequel is only one of several projects exploring the world of The Dark Crystal, a fan favorite that has remained consistently strong with worldwide home video and DVD sales. Other projects include an animated television series, a manga series from Tokyo Pop, and myriad licensed products such as books, apparel and collectible sculptures.

The only other thing I can say is ROCK ON! I mean, Mirror Mask was absolutely the best. Really fantastic, and who knew that college students did all the animation? It was visually stunning (as I’m sure another Brian Froud film will be), and executed beautifully. But most importantly, it embodied the spirit of the Jim Henson Company more than 100 Muppet Wizard of Oz TV shows could. I am overjoyed that they made Mirror Mask, and spectacularly exuberant that the next big deal will be based on the best intellectual property… ever! Yay!

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Belle and Sebastian

Tue, 01/31/2006 - 13:06 -- rprice

Funny thing about bands releasing new albums, everybody has already heard it before it comes out. Bootleggers and engineering interns all over the world spread the album around as soon as a final mix is delivered, and UK sensation Belle and Sebastian is no exception.

In expectation of their new album, The Life Pursuit, the band has released a single called “Funny Little Frog”. Incedentally, I know a number of people who have heard not just the single but the entire album. They downloaded it off of some P2P site, and they have already reviewed it and told their friends its merits and misgivings. What I like is the preemptive response they posted on the front page of their official website:

IF you happen to be going to one of our UK shows, AND you happen to stumble over our lp somewhere on the net, you MAY have a listen… we wouldn’t want you to arrive COMPLETELY unprepared! You’ll want to own it when it comes out anyway. Wont you?

This is a pretty modern outlook on a potentially harmful situation. Here we have the talent, who doesn’t make much money on the record sales anyway, saying, “If it will enhance your experience seeing us live, we are ok with you SAMPLING our work, but please be first in line on release day, OK? If you’re not going to support us in concert, kindly wait your turn like a good lad or lass.” That’s a good way to put it. They make a lot more money off of concerts and merchandise than they really do off of record sales, so let them sample it while it’s not in stores, especially if it means they will share it with their friends and get more tails in the concert hall.

I think this is why lots of artists have a live taping policy. If people percieve the live shows to be entertaining, they’re more likely to shell out the cash when the band comes around. You also get to download a little souvenir of the band’s visit to your humble borough. What could be a better keepsake? (except of course a show poster)

I’m sorry that piracy is so abundant. I don’t understand why people can’t wait until the album is released. What’s the rush? If you work for the press, shouldn’t you be able to get an advance copy anyway? Seriously. I don’t want to hear any complaints. I buy my albums, especially for bands I want to see stick around, and Belle and Sebastian falls into that category. Totally.

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