Because I’ve never shared this video on this blog (you’ve maybe seen it on my Tumblr, Vimeo or even on the video cassette that I still own), I’d like to take a few moments to embarrass myself. In 2002—my sophomore year of college—I was on an MTV program called “Taildaters”. The premise was as follows: two people go on a blind date. Four of their friends (out of 10 names supplied by each) follow the date in a recreational vehicle, watching the tomfoolery unfold onscreen. They use two-way pagers (really!? pagers?) to contact the daters throughout the date. The tailers’ identities remain private until the end of the episode. I was paid $50 to go on the show and I had the time of my life.
And, in an all-time first for me, someone at my friends’ wedding recognized me from the show. It was a marvelous moment for my ego.
Thank you, Telebrands, for bringing us two amazing things: a great new product (the Comfort Wipe) and this most excellent infomercial. Let it be known that I’m a sucker for DRTV.
A few highlights:
Microsoft Impact: an underrated font choice.
The release button on the end of the wand: definitely looks durable. That should last
The lack of discussion of the wand being easy to clean is probably a good choice.
Is it me, or is the TP attaching to the wrong side of the wand? I feel like it would be better on the other side.
Until I saw this spot, I had no idea that (a) being a big guy had its advantages and that (b) one of the disadvantages of extra male mass is difficulty with wiping. But I guess that makes sense.
The old lady looks like she’s trying to seduce me while talking about her dignity. Not cool, old lady. Should we talk regularity next? That should lighten the mood.
As Brow Beat suggests, this is hardly the first innovation to the TP world since 1880. Charmin and Cottonelle both offer moistened, flushable wipes. And can I get some respect for quilted tissues?
NUDITY WATCH: There’s some near-nudity happening at 1:31. My slow-motion analysis reveals no substantive evidence of nudity here, but it’s darn close.
So, Telebrands, can I re-do your site?
And Charmin and/or Cottonelle, can we launch a line of moistened wipes that target guys? I think that would be a winner. It seems ridiculous to me that most people stick with dry paper for this task. I don’t see dog owners reaching for 80lb bond to clean up pet messes around the home.
While we’re on the topic, why don’t we try other fabric types? I suggest a seersucker texture, for sanitation during the summer months.
First, one of my favorites from the Kings of Comedy. While Cedric’s trying to illustrate some racial difference, he’s really talking about cumulative advantage. It’s funny, too.
And this is Dancing Guy, who according to Buzzfeed has “a PhD in party-making.” I can’t disagree. He dances for a while by himself (to 1:15 in the clip, but there’s a break in the footage indicating that he’s soloing for much longer), when another dude shows up. They rock themselves into Mordor for a while–I LOVE the part at like, 1:25 where the dude does a 45° handstand, and Dancing Guy gives him props like he just landed a quadruple Salchow–when a few more dudes find the burgeoning fiesta relevant to their interests. At 2:00 the ladies show up and then, true to theory, the party gets out of control. People start running to the party, when not a minute before it was pretty much dead, just a solitary crazyperson doing the hippie dance to their heart’s content. And then the party gets too big for its britches and everyone stops dancing.
These videos, friends, are illustrative of three phenomena of the internet and (gasp) real life.
Things get popular because they are popular (cumulative advantage at work).
When things get big, they get bad.
A single concerned citizen can get big things going. This person is usually a nerd.
I’ll leave the latter two to another post. Cumulative advantage is particularly interesting in that it speaks directly to the reasons why some things become popular in a networked society. Studies show that the parametric qualities of a given thing have little to do with the prediction for that thing’s popularity; in fact, it’s almost impossible to look at a given thing and determine that it will or will not be popular with lots of people.
This in mind, I encourage everyone out there to throw up their hands and say, “oh well!” and let the visible currents of our society guide you. While there will be anomalies (Subservient Chickens, Miatas, Razrs, and Walkmen), when it comes to predicting popularity, just run as fast as you can to the party and you’ll do just fine. Get there before it gets lame, do what you can, and then move on.
I downloaded the “Ego” iPhone Application yesterday. It’s quite nice. A single interface for all your social things. It works quickly, even grabs your daily visits/pageviews from Google (before they’re reported in the Analytics interface) and…get this: it can pull your Mint “Net Worth” into the dashboard. Which I’ve not done, as I don’t want you guys to feel like po’ folks.*
Strangely enough, I still get a lot of visits from one of my earliest posts about Rainbow Sandals.
I just got a new pair, thanks to my good buddy Kevin Panke, and I’m going through the incredibly painful break-in process with them as I type. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: Rainbows are the most rewarding kind of footwear possible. The break-in is rough, bloody, and long, but the comfort you get after those two weeks is unparalleled. My current pair has lasted since my original post three years ago, and I’m reluctant to retire this pair entirely. But these fresh, Sierra Brown ‘bows await.
Getting tired, but still looking good.
I’m always intrigued by brands and products that can overcome relatively large barriers to use. In Rainbow’s case, the sandals are far more expensive than other alternatives and they take what seems like forever to break in. And they don’t seem to do much in the way of promotion for their brand, yet they’ve garnered a pretty significant distribution network. As far as I can tell, the reward for use is so high that the barriers mean little to fans of the brand. Pretty fertile ground for those of us in the communications industry.
On a similar note, I’ve just come into possession of an awesome new pair of Red Wing boots. They’re model 1907, and the color–get this–is “Copper Rough & Tough”. They look broken-in already, due to the tanning of the leather, but they’re still quite stiff and are just now beginning to become comfortable. But I’m sure they’ll give me years of service, and they’re a pretty big step toward completing my lumberjack aesthetic. Check out the Norwegian welt (where the sole attaches to the upper). Instead of hiding part of the welt underneath the upper as with a Goodyear welt, it wraps up onto the upper, and making the whole boot rather stiff and supportive. Not a bad thing in a work boot. So cool.
Look at those awesome details.
So cool. Gonna start writing a bit more about clothes, shoes and such. Hope you don’t hate it.
WordPress recently launched a new front-end theme called P2, which affords a standard WP setup Tumblr and Twitter-like capabilities, with all the privacy nuances that you would expect: you can specify posts get shown to certain sets of users, show some things to everyone, and allow anyone to participate in conversations asynchronously.
The short-lived but annoying explosion of Spymaster makes this all the more relevant. I’m increasingly feeling like Twitter will be the Friendster of Microblogging: it’s getting huge/slow and it’s not changing in a meaningful way despite many major deficiencies. But then, why would it? Why worry about change when you’ve got to keep the whole site from failing?
I’ve been saying this for a while, but never quite so publicly: the important thing about Twitter is not Twitter itself, but rather the mass adoption of this kind of web behavior. And the spread of features across sites that allow for instantaneous discussion (which is distinct from commenting behavior, at least in my head) seems to herald a pretty significant societal shift that crosses generations and levels of technical sophistication.