As Halloween approaches, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences takes a long look down memory lane—eh, scary forest paths—with a short documentary about “The Blair Witch Project“. Before there was Facebook and Flickr (February 2004), Reddit (June 2005), YouTube (November 2005), Twitter (July 2006), or any other countless social services spreading viral content, there was Blair Witch.

“It was basically the first viral marketing that ever happened”, actress Heather Donahue says, That’s exactly how I remember the movie, which defines the “lost footage” genre and set the blueprint for many viral campaigns that followed. Remember in 1999, viral started from a website, which in some ways makes a better campaign—or did 15 years ago.

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OK, Google, That was Easy

For my summer “Microsoft All-In” experiment, which also meant for a time giving up Google, I moved my main email domain from Google Apps for Business to Office 365—the latter through my registrar rather than Microsoft directly. I had used the domain on Apps for five years.

The registrar did all the setup for MX records and such, and I expected to do it all for myself when switching back to Apps—that was my experience half-a-decade ago. My how things have changed. Setup was scarily easy—much, much more than expected. [Read more]

Douchebag Jar
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WTF is the Right Domain Question

I must thank Todd Bishop, whose tweet about a GeekWire story alerted me to the then forthcoming .wtf domain extension, which is now available. Generally, I think these dot-com wannabes are just plain stupid, but someone wants them—or ICANN decision-makers believe so. I ignored every domain registrar solicitation to grab one until .wtf.

My first concern is brand protection. I’ve pissed off more than a few fanboys over the years and I worried about someone snagging and using that as a platform against me. You should worry, too, if you have any kind of brand to protect. “What the fuck?” is right. If your name is your brand, grab .wtf before someone else does. [Read more]

Yahoo Mail Fail
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Yahoo searches for Itself

Ah, shucks, I missed Yahoo’s 19th birthday yesterday. That’s okay, because 20 will matter more. Yahoo is cloud computing’s elder statesmen, long before anyone used the term. Just a handful of first-wave dotcoms—Amazon is another—are public companies today, making the transition from venture-backed startup with a dream and no viable revenue source ahead.

Yahoo is a warrior. A survivor. A transformer. I use the latter term not to describe a company that transforms industries but one that transforms itself. Yahoo is many things over 19 years—search engine, web portal, and media mogul to name a few. Under CEO Marissa Mayer, the company changes again, but still seeks new identity. Good luck with that.[Read more]