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December 19, 2007

Banners will save the World


This is f*cking brilliant. Everytime you visit the United Nations Free Rice site and play the word game, grains of rice are donated to the United Nations World Food Program.

There are reports of schoolkids from all over the world sitting in class playing this, increasing their vocabulary, and at the same time feeding other kids.

It's only been launched a month or two, and already the number of grains of rice donated (in lieu of click thru advertising revenue on the site), is in the billions.

My only wish is that you could play within a banner or widget. That way people could embed the service within their own sites.

Go and play for five minutes and see how many dishes of rice you can send.

November 24, 2007

Online advertising for the Federal Election

Today in Australia we vote for who we wish to be our next Prime Minister.

Following on from Tobie's post below, this year is the first time the Internet has played such a big role in the campaigning of the major political parties.

It's interesting to see the difference between the two candidates, and how they've embraced YouTube, Facebook and even MySpace.

John Howard (Liberal) made some attempts at spreading his message on the YouTube, but didn't seem to grasp the medium too well. He was often addressing his audience as though it was a specific time or place, saying "Good Morning".

Kevin Rudd (Labor) at least achieved some notoriety with his footage of picking a piece of earwax out and eating it.

The polls favor a Labor victory, but without getting into the policies, I took my own mini poll by assessing a few characteristics of their online campaigns...

Homepage Design

Kevin Rudd (Labor) has used a fresh color palette to go with his "Fresh Ideas" mantra, shown a full embrace of the social-networking tools available to him, and allows for the page's text size to be increased.


John Howard (Liberal) however, has used a not so appealing "Infra Red" style effect and has disobeyed classic Jakob Neilsen advice in going with a red text on red background motif.


MySpace Design

Rudd (Labor) has forked out the dough for a custom template which aligns nicely.


Whilst Howard (Liberal) has gone with your stock standard MySpace ugliness.


MySpace Friends

Kevin Rudd (Labor) - 23,602
John Howard (Liberal) - 9

Facebook "Fans"

Kevin Rudd - 20,130
John Howard - 121

W3C Code Validation errors
Neither campaign sites validate completely, but Labor has the least validation errors with 23, versus a whopping 122 from the Liberals.

Use of photography

Kevin Rudd appears to have borrowed heavily from the stock photo category for the keywords "smooth + businessman".


I wonder if "Rebecca" below, would be disappointed in real life if Kevin and her met after cyber-dating?


Whilst John Howard has used a poorly compressed JPEG at tiny thumbnail size, and not a very inspiring pose.


All adds up to a pretty shoddy effort from the Liberals.


In all seriousness though, Labor's campaign does seem that little bit more progressive in their understanding of the web, and that is obviously a big issue in terms of Education and Innovation. Their policies also include improving Australia's woeful standing in broadband uptake too.

Generally speaking, the Labor Party appeals to a younger demographic, whilst the average Liberal voter is probably a bit older. But Labor still seems miles ahead.

In about nine hours we'll see what the real outcome is!

November 16, 2007

down with the kids


mmm - I'm sorry, but I can't take these things in combination "seriously".

Australian politics. Facebook. the word "Luv". the word "serious".

comments please.

November 2, 2007

VB Stubby Symphony


October 23, 2007

Summer Heights High

Despite/because of the controversy around it, this show, which finishes up next week, has been a big success in Australia.

Its interesting because its the first time I've consumed a show entirely through its digital format. Well, first time *ahem off the record* anyway. The show is made available for download for a week after airing.

This is a smart move for the ABC, with nothing to lose from advertising revenue with the move. Channel Ten has promoted its "immediate download" offerings as well recently in their LIVE STREAMED FROM THE US tagline. However, apparently 'immediately' to them means around 4 days after.


The microsite for Summer Heights High works well, with standard but solid fare like character wallpapers, and a 'tag wall' for Islander character Jonah.


Check the form field below:

I'd be willing to bet that almost all messages sent via Jonah's tag wall were probably racist, contemptuous and defamatory.

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