Monthly Archives: November 2007

New job!

Kelkoo YahooYesterday it became final, I start my new job on monday at Kelkoo/Yahoo! It feels great, I applied last week, and yesterday they called and offered me the job. I’ve meet them two times and it feels like a great opportunity. The work will consist of mainly two things, search engine marketing and partner contact, “Traffic and content producer”.

It also feels good to start working again and being productive! 🙂

2007 digital Xmas card!

Finally, I’ve taken the time and put together this years digital Christmas card. It took the whole afternoon, but it was worth it. I had to filter and go through many many many pictures to finally boil it down to about 70 pics. Heres the results:

Xmazt Card 2007

Old first-person shooters and LAN nostalgia

I’ve been getting flashbacks of the first times me and my old buddy’s got together and had LAN party’s. It was the time Counter-strike first came out, and it hadn’t even gotten to version 1.0, only beta version. Playing all days and nights, maybe sleep a few hours and then start playing again. Eventually we moved the partys over to my house, and had my room and the garage occupied with computers and wires. One network cable connected the 2 rooms, and one time, in the middle of a match the network went down. The cause for this was Hugo, who had bitten of the network cable connecting the 2 rooms.

And the constant problem of agreeing and finding games that would run on every computer so all guys could join. It was our big time of nerd-dom. But damn it was fun! I really miss it. Every new first-person shooter were set to the test, to see if it was worth playing multiplayer.

Last week I talked to one of moms co-workers, that play alot of FPS with some guys, and it reminded me of the good old times. I asked if I could join them and play, so now I’m trying to get back in shape with all the new FPS’s out there, Battlefield 2 and Call of Duty 4. I own Call of Duty 4 on Playstation 3 and I really got hooked! So now I have to buy it for the PC to. I’m thinking of buying a new computer, when I get a new job that is. So many new games to play, Crysis, Gears of War, Unreal Tournament 3, Blacksite Area 51 and Call of Duty 4.

And it would be a blast to have an old-school Lan-party to! Just be some guys (and garls) and play all night and day. Just look at this photo from one of our party’s:

Lan Party

We are the Millennials!

One of my favorite programs every Saturdays, is CBS 60 Minutes. Even though their under CBS, a big television corporation that have advertisers and sponsors with the power to alter the content of whats aired. My usual view which I’ve discussed before. Anyway, I appreciate CBS 60 Minutes and their shows often serious and somewhat in line with the journalistic mission to investigate, question and show the reality and truth.

This Saturday (in Sweden) one of there topics was about a new phenomenon to me, the Millennials. One of many names for the same generation, we were born in the 80s and 90s. It just blowed my mind, and filled me with hope and joy! Our generation have a more liberating view on life and work. We are the ones, making the rules and reshaping the world to our liking. We’re the future, and the world is ours to do what we what to. Most of the older generation have problems understanding or keeping up with us. One example I though about is our ability to take in and process information. In our early days, we started playing with new technology and have adapted that as a natural thing in our lifes. Today we can search the web for information about say, 3 subjects, talk to many different people on MSN about different stuff, all at the same time.

But what I find the most satisfyingly and really hope will happened, is that we change our works to the way we want them. We know we’re the future, and the companies should accept that we change and redefine what it means to go to work and how you act and behave at work. It should be accepted to have tattoos, piercings and dress how you wish. For a long time, and still, I believe that its not in the cloth our ability to perform our best, but in the person!

We know where the best, lets hope the companies and the old conservatives understand that their time of strict bureaucratic and creative degenerating regime is over, and that they have to adjust to us! Workers and costumers are the most important thing in every company, not the management or the presidents. Without those 2 important parts, the company have not business, so I sure hope they start to accept the changes and adapt, or they can start pack out their offices.

The show about the new Millennials:

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With that knowledge, that we have the power of change in our hands, the companies also should fear us. With our hugh information processing power and new ways to connect with other peoples alike through the web and other mediums, we have the power to break companies or brands. We have new possibilities to speak what we think and act on the thoughts as well.

And a good quote from Silent Civillians song Lies In The House Of Shame:

Is in our eyes
We have spoken for those who died
Is in the air
(You’ve) stained our nation
We must repair

Thanks Waynes Coffee

Finally someone who understands that Internet should be free for all to access. Yesterday I sat at a Waynes Coffee in central Stockholm for a coffee while waiting for a meeting, and for the first time I could get access to the Internet through my iPhone, without having to pay or register. People want Internet, and it should be free and easy to access. One of the principle of Internet, hack community and open source is that it should be free for all to participate in.

From now on I will always visit the nearest Waynes Coffee when I feel for a coffee or tea.

Great brands don’t need to advertise

In an (as usual) post on the Lefsetz Letter, he talks about Starbucks, and traffic is down for the first time at StarbuckscafĂ©s. Therefore, Starbucks has started a national tv campain, to strengthen its brand. He starts the post by talking about Google, and how its brand have grown. It didn’t became as it did by advertise, its just a fucking good product!! It strained out the web search engine industry by changing the rules and setting a new standard. It did what people wanted, and people told other about this great product! I remember when I first heard of and started to use Google, when my friend Douglas used it all the time when he where here many years ago.Starbuck

Anyhow… the point is that Google as brand didn’t have to do much, except being a great service and work internally to be the best on the market. I have never seen a Google ad about there own brand, even searching youtube or Google video I still can’t find a damn ad! They don’t have to, cause everybody know of Google, it the best search engine out there. Their service is so good that the users are the ads and messenger. Okey, many brands don’t have that luxury, but the point is that their nr 1, not cause they spend the most money on ads or hired the best ads bureau. There simply the best.

And Starbucks is one of the worlds most knowned brands. Just cause Starbucks don’t exist in Sweden, we when a lot to Starbucks in Japan. Still I’m confused why they haven’t open a Starbucks in Sweden, I can do it for you Starbucks! And at the same time, many people here may be happy with absence of the big cafĂ© brand. One brand have many faces, depending on whom you ask. A news in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (article in Swedish) , spoke of how brands owner can’t control who the consumer will be, and represented. That brands don’t always reach the audience they intended, or reach the kind of status they worked towards. For example a jacket that where marketed and thought towards sports active people instead is associated with Hip hop ganstas.

Then, who owns the brands, the companies, or the “user”, the consumers? The brands concept is being developed by the companies that “owns” the brand, but it wouldn’t be a successful brand if the “small-people” didn’t buy it. Without the consumer, there is no brand, like their would be no God without believers. The creators of brands often have an idea of what they want their brand to represend, an image or feeling they define to be felt. Its really the consumer that take the brand, and redefine it. The “face” of the brand is also different, depending on the view of the individual person. Depending on sex, social status and culture, a brand is views different. So its really the consumer that decides what the brand should represent, and they get smarter and know not to just buy a million dollar fictional ads campaign that promises a feeling that isn’t real. They own the brand, and they decide what it should represent. And they like to talk about it to, like how the words about Google spread.

Another example is the development in the music industry where the importance of a artist/group brand is declining. I’ve discussed this with my dad, and we both agree. With the Internet, iTunes and possibilities to choose individual songs, the brands of a single artist or band is irrelevant. But not totally. When it comes to music, as with games and everything else, a brand/band/publisher/developers or artist, isn’t guarantee for an excellent or even average end-product. But helps to a certain degree, but not in the long run. And even how much money you spend on marketing a crappy product, an excellent product can prevail, even with a marketing budget of zero!

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Still skeptical to the belief in In-game ads.

There been much talk about the rise of In-game adversing, and that it soon will be a million dollar industry. But is it just me, or have anyone ever seen one of those new ads? Where are they? I haven’t, and it doesn’t bother me ether.

As with the classic ad-business model, I’m very skeptical to the integration of ads in games. The founder of Skype, Kaaza and the new internet tv-service Joost, Niklas Zennström recently spoke how ads for television medium have to be better optimized. More directed ads, instead of just massively send it out to every possible soul and hope some notice and bother taking the time to remember the ad. And how the new dynamic ads would work as a complement to static tv ads. I’ve had this thought for a long time, and even written about it, that more relevant ads aimed to the exact audience is a must. With the new technology today, thats possible. Especially after reading more about Search engine marketing!

Ads, ads, ads and more ads… We’re drowning in ads. And a prediction from Bernie Stolar at AdSense for Games, states that around 2010 about 80 percent of games will contain ads. Sure, if you include mobile-, free web-, advergames and casual games, you may get closer to that number. But do gamers and players of “real”-games really want ads? And to what price?
Its a fact that games have “stolen” audience from classical medium like radio and tv. And in the harsh world we live in, its natural for companies to search for new ways to distribute there message. And In-game adverting is one of those new ways that so many seems all excited about and believe is the future. Sure, many many people play games, no doubt about that, but I think the beliefs in games as a ad distributor is overrated. For advertisement in games to work, you have to be really careful when planing to incorporate ads. One of many claims I share with columnist Rob Fahey.

First, if you take a look at the potential games that is suited for ads, that number is relatively small. One of the most important things about games that definitely can’t be disrupted is the sense of FUN! Games are fun, otherwise we wouldn’t play them. And for many its a reality escape, an alternative world. The last thing we want is for that world to be invaded by things that remind us of reality, that disturbs our sense of emergence with the fictional world. For some game genres, ads and real brands are a must, like real car simulators or sport games. For ads in games to be accepted, I believe there have to be incorporated just to enhance the experience. With means excluding a shit lots of games and genres!

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Back to the “Fun-factor”. Stolar claims that they work with that in mind, that at the end of the day the games have to be fun. But what we’ve seen in the past, beautifully portrayed in the Corporation (the part about how FOX alter news content to please the advertisers), giving in to and letting advertising finance production is a risk for the freedom of content creativity. If gamedevelopers buys in to the in-games ads model to better finance there games, will they still have the freedom to create what they want, or risk of being slaves under the advertisers. Hopefully the real world is much more like Rob Fahey describes it, that the advertisers need the game developers more than vise versa.

And still today, in this modern age of games, the majority of games is developed for men. While statistics claims that girls play more and more, I’m still to be convinced of that fact. Girls are the strongest drive force and decision maker when it comes to purchase for family’s. Thats a big problem, and what speak against advertising in games. And the facts that so many games are released all the time, and while many hours are spent in one game, there are continuously new games coming every month. People use the same internet, visiting the same sites and watch the same tv channels more than playing the same game for a whole year! And with games there is only one chance that people buy it, in contrast to movies where it get released again on DVD if the cinema version isn’t a hit.

I don’t say that in-game advertising should exist. As pointed out earlier sometimes its necessary for the game to be realistic. But the games should be priority nr 1, and not the advertisers ads or money. I’m just afraid that they get to much power over the industry and the games. I would like to see an example where this works.

And now… this isn’t real, but it sure looks silly, and I think it would brake more than help games and advertisers:

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User-Generated content overrated?

An interesting short analyst on one of the big buzz words nowadays, User Generated Content, concludes that the believe in the subject is overrated. Thats not to say that UGC isn’t worth something, its an excellent opportunity for a few really talented people to get noticed. But the majority of regular media and web consumer don’t have the talent or time to create content. I believe that far less than 5% of the creator have what it takes to create quality content. One of the

The number of creators in contrast to the total amont of user, is in my view very low. Still the majority of users just want to consume, not create. That is not to say that the possibility’s to create content shouldn’t exist. For some its the perfect thing to be discovered. How filmmakers can use YouTube to distribute there movies or how people build mods for games, and get jobs cause there good!

But to believe that all users wanna be creaters is a bit of a overstatement. And the concept isn’t suited for for all company’s and industry’s.

Dog babysitter

Still sick, but today I’m a dog babysitter. Our older dog Hugo is at the vet and the little one Milou is home with me and really worried. So today my job title is dog babysitter.
I changed the design on the blog this morning to. Kinda felt the need for some changes and I found this design last night. It feels a lot more clean.

The rest of the day will be dedicaded to research the jobmarket, write some blog posts and play some Call of Duty 4 later tonight.

Worried dog sitting on my new Ikea worktable!