Monthly Archives: March 2011

Dan & Dan: Our First Video

This is the first video Daniel Rabins and I have made. I don’t have too much to say about it other than it’s a pretty cool stop motion vid. I would have chosen another song but I couldn’t find the song I wanted on any client. Anyways, enjoy!

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March Madness: UCLA

I haven’t felt this good about a basketball game in 2 years! I’m put with my friends Kenney and Robert.

It’s truly strange that you can have such a strong connection to people that you have never met and probably never will meet. There is a connection through association.

It doesn’t matter. This is part of what it means to be a member of a community. Go UCLA!

P.S. This is a mobile post. I am on the scene in Westwood!

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Canv.as

I’m not an artist in any regard, but I’ve found something that just makes being original easy. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Dan, how could you say you’re not an artist? You’re an amazing writer!”. I know I am, but like many other humans I have some deficiencies. Mine come in the form of sucking at being visually creative. To a certain extent it may be due to the difficulty of picking up the photo editing skills necessary to make cool and funny stuff.

We all need not fear editing tools no more! I am finally a pro in the visual arts field! (WARNING: Some of you might think I’m mentally challenged when you look at my attempts at being original. See below.) What’s more is that you too can be a visual arts pro thanks to Canv.as!

What’s cool about the site is its easy to use photo editing tools and it’s socially engaging “sticker” community. Again, the tools are fool-proof. I was able to make my first “remix” (this is what the act of making a photo your own is called) in about 10 seconds. I got lot’s of LOL’s out of it. On top of that, you also get the social aspect of it. This is a community of people editing photos not just for laughs but for “stickers”. I keep coming back hoping that others have placed a sticker on my remixes or taken my image and remixed it themselves. The amount of creativity is mind blowing. Ideas that you would have never thought of when seeing an image are served up to your little rat brain on a silver platter!

Conclusion: Ask for an invite by going to canv.as and if I like you, I’ll share one with you. If you have work, you probably shouldn’t apply, you’re going to spend too much time on it… Who am I kidding?!? Ask for it, the site is Safe For Work (i.e. no obscene content, just lots of great images.)

I’ve included a few of my remixes below. Sign up and enjoy. I look forward to seeing that you can come up with!

TwitterAds

There has been a lot of hoopla about Twitter’s new in-app ad delivery system, the Quick Bar. I’m not in love with it either but I’m definitely not up in arms about it. This is part of Twitter’s monetization plan.

Now there are rumors that there will be in stream ads. I’m not sure this should be the case. It will be bothersome and many times might serve ads that are not relevant enough to the user. I went ahead and made a mock up of what Twitter should do. I call it TwitterAds.

TwitterAds
Twitter wants to have your interest data. I mean, when you spend a lot of time on Twitter like I do, it’s because there is so much awesome information being served to you. They come from you closest’s friends and your favorite media outlets and bloggers. However, we don’t click on every link on Twitter. You scan through your feed and click on those that catch your attention. This is where Twitter can capitalize.

First of all, Twitter should move every user over to #NewTwitter. I know a lot of people aren’t happy about the speed but I’m sure it will get better over time. The lay out of new twitter makes it a perfect ad serving mechanism. When a user wants to finds something that they are interested in their feed, ads are served on the right pane. But what are the dynamics of this system?

User @A scans through their feed on the left pane and find that @B said something that interested them. @A clicks on the tweet and out pops the left pane. In it they find the content and whatever links may be present. More importantly for Twitter, ads can be delivered based on the keywords found.

As the screenshot above shows, they can be links much like Google Adwords links. Twitter might even want to make them affiliate links and get a percentage of high ticket items.

Why might this be better? Well, as mentioned above, the ads will be relevant to the user not just in terms of general interests but “real-time” interests (see what I did there.) The fact all types of interests are available on Twitter means that many more types of companies will be able to enter the TwitterAds program. A big problem for Twitter has been having small and medium sized companies advertise with them. At this interest level advertising anyone will be able to jump in and hit the people who are interested in their product.

 

RunLog

Tomorrow morning will be my first day of my race training. Ultimately I hope to be able to run a whole marathon but baby steps and little victories will get me there! I’m very excited.

I should mention that I will be using the  Runner’s World Run Log to help me log my miles and progress. I definitely think that if you’re thinking of getting some tips about training for a marathon or race that you have a look at it. To begin with I will be working on getting a good base. This will take about 10 weeks. I will keep you all updated and I hope to open up my RunLog to everyone!

We’re so civilized

If you’ve gone to a large university like UCLA, you’ll know how congested they can be. You walk past thousands a day. We give it no thought, this is how things are.

But do you realize how amazing that is? Many of us walk around with 500 dollar devices and nobody seems to take the opportunity to take it. Many of us will go our whole lives without a major altercation. Human living in fully industrialized nations don’t have to live on commission. Sure, there are many who are still living decrepit lives in our civilized society, but they are nothing compared to those that live day to day. In those societies you live and die by your work. There is no system in place that “ensures” that food will be on your plate.

It might seem like what I’m talking about is just industrialization. Industrialization has a lot to do with how we go about becoming more civil but that’s definitely not it. Warring groups will take time to consult with the other group. This is quite strange indeed. Two groups opposed to each other acting civilly.

As the world continues it’s path toward full industrialization we will find less and less people living on commission, living day to day. The system of “ensuring” today’s and tomorrow’s meal will make the world a much more civil and beautiful place. It’s only a matter of time.

Diets are Social

Diets are usually seen as an individual thing endeavor. You have to motivate yourself, you have to choose to eat right and you have to do the working out. How great would it be if someone could do that for you?

However, if you’ve dieted before you quickly realize that it is not an individual endeavor at all. This is why I am warning you all that I am going on a diet. You’ll notice certain things that will affect our friendship. For one, I have already started the first phase of my diet. 1. Cut alcohol to one time a week. See? Although I have individually chosen to stop drinking, it doesn’t mean you wont be affected.

Today, on March 1st starts phase 2.

I) Count calories: I did this for the first 2 years after my weight loss. I didn’t care what anyone said, I was going to eat the healthy choice on my menu or forgo eating with the group because in order to stick to my specified caloric intake. There is no reason for me to absorb extra energy I don’t need.

2) Get 40 minutes of activity: People think you have to do an whole lot of work to lose weight. This is partially true. When you’re around your normal body weight it becomes harder to lose weight. However, for just a casual weight loser (or someone trying to maintain their weight) a light work out will suffice. This phase shouldn’t affect you much.

3) Even less alcohol consumption: I have recently cut down my consumption to once a week and hope to cut it a bit more. The way that I hope to do it is by still doing it once a week but only having a drink or two. Those drinks will also be some of the most calorie deprived drinks.

Over all, we should all still be friends. You will however notice that I will be making some sacrifices in order to stick to my caloric intake and work out goals.