It’s Kinetic Typography

In the last few weeks I’ve found myself getting increasingly addicted to Fiverr.com which is having a negative impact on my social life, bank balance and relationships. If I don’t get my daily Fiverr fix then I turn in to a grumpy old man and start writing blog rants about the state of the world and how we’re all doomed (so smile and get on with it). OK, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, I was a grumpy old man well before Fiverr came along, but anyway it does mean I’ve been introduced to loads of incredible concepts like this one I’ve just found.

It’s called kinetic typography which is basically a fancy way to say the text moves…yeah, it must be an Americanism. The video below is the best example ever of kinetic typography and the song is very nearly as awesome as the video itself. Give your eyes and ears a three and half minute treat, check this out…

(awesomeness, eh?!)

Obligatory Cute Kitten Video

I read somewhere by someone very important that no personal blog is complete without at least several cute kitten videos. Aghast, I checked my own blog and realized there was not one single cute kitten video, so in order to fully round out my personal blog and ensure that it’s not mocked ever again, I present to you what could possibly be the cutest kitten in the world. All together now, “cootchi cootchi coo!”

(I’m only posting this because it’s an unwritten rule that personal blogs should have at least one cute kitten video, ok?!)

What are you going to do with £98

According to a survey by myvouchercodes.co.uk, the average Brit now has just £98 left over at the end of the month to save. I’m a bit skeptical about this because it just seems like such a low figure and also is the type of person who goes to a voucher website representative of the whole nation? When comparing people here in India to those in England, I can’t help but think that Britain has a sense of entitlement attitude and the instant gratification that spending on credit gives helps fuel the notion that there is no money left to save.

I read a user comment on one financial that said he’s lived his life by the wisdom that “if you can’t afford to go out tomorrow and buy what you’ve bought today then don’t buy it”. It seems like a pretty fair and reasonable mantra to live by if you ask me.

Average Brit only has £98 to spare at end of the month

Average Brit only has £98 to spare at end of the monthhttp://www.lovemoney.com/blogs/family-finance/budgeting/12633/average-brit-only-has-98-to-spare-at-end-of-the-monthAccording to myvouchercodes.co.uk, your average Brit has £98 to spare at the end of the month once all spending on bills, food, shopping and the like has left his/her account. The equivalent figure a year ago was £186

More Doom and Gloom For Poor Old Britain

I’m not sure if it’s just that the news corporations in England love to push the “we’re all doomed” angle but if you read through the financial or business news it’s very difficult to find anything positive that’s going on. Carphone Warehouse are shutting down all their Best Buy stores putting 1,100 jobs on the line, retail spending is shrinking as people keep their purses shut and now we even have articles on how to plan a family Christmas for just £200.

To cap it all off, LoveMoney has written an article telling all you Britains (I’m in a different country so don’t count) that things are the worst they’ve been for nearly 20 years. High inflation, high unemployment; and there’s not a damn thing the Government can do about it until it sorts its own finances out and hopes against all hope that the Greeks and Italians can do something about their past prolific spending.

British misery index hits 19-year high!

British misery index hits 19-year high!http://www.lovemoney.com/news/the-economy-politics-and-your-job/the-economy/13268/british-misery-index-hits-19year-highThen again, if you really want to feel down in the dumps, then check the UK’s Misery Index. This is calculated by adding together our unemployment rate with the prevailing rate…

Social Media Summit 2011

Today was the Social Media Summit in Chennai and you would be quite surprised by how many young male students suddenly became super interested in social media when it’s held at an all girls college. Kudos to the organizers for thinking of that unique selling point to bring the punters through the doors!

I had to get up at the ungodly hour of 7am this morning; 7am’s don’t normally exist in my life unless there is a real good reason like having a plane to catch or the party from the night before was so good it’s still going on (although sadly nowadays it’s more of the plane catching and less of the parties). Infact, people back in England seem rather envious that I start my day about 12 noon, I protest of course and say “we’re a company working with UK and US clients, so I need to be closer to their timings“, which is a incredibly useful excuse and I don’t know if they’ve cottoned on yet to the fact that I’m in marketing and don’t speak to the clients.

So got up, got dressed, had extra-super-strong coffee which brought enough neurons to life to be able to go and find an auto driver who could rip me off only a little bit. It’s monsoon season now so the autos can add “standing water, boss” to the never ending list of reasons why they have to charge me 150% more than a local.

The conference was fantastically good, a big shout out to Sorav and his Echovme staff for putting on an excellent seminar. The speakers came from all different backgrounds, young and old wise and they really knew their stuff. I felt like I was back in Uni again as I furiously scribbled notes, although at least this time I was actually enjoying the lectures and can see the value in it rather than calculating yet another partial differential equation.

I think I’ve just realized how long I have been in India now because while this blog post is supposed to be about the social media seminar, I’ve found myself writing a sentence about the food that was served. That’s one thing you’ll find about India, whenever you meet someone in the south, they’ll ask you “sabdi-aah?“, which is Tamil and it translates to “Had your food?” (people in North India will ask you “khana khaya?“). Food is never off the menu of conversation topics in India, it’s so deeply ingrained in to the culture. So yes, the food. It was a very good buffet above and beyond what I was expecting. Desi Pete!

I’ve been to a couple of social media seminars in the past few months and the way this one differed was that the people giving the speeches were really able to give real life, concrete examples from big business that would prove useful to B2C and B2B marketers and delved in to the specifics. If social media is an area you are interested in I strongly recommend that you go to a paid seminar because you’ll easily get several years worth of knowledge in just a couple of days.

There’s more going on tomorrow, so I need to wake up again at o-silly hundred hours. I better get to bed now!

Oh yes, here’s a few snaps from the day, I know you were really keen to see them 😉

The Winner

Yesterday I won a competition for a free privileged entry to an international social media seminar that is taking place in Chennai this week with the lead speaker from the famous SEOmoz company (which I’m really excited about!). You know, a lot of people say they never win anything and I am certainly one of them. My girlfriend asked me what the last thing I won was, I racked my brains and the best I could come up with was winning the Most Polite award at the annual Cub Scout (Great Bowden Cub Pack) summer camp when I was 9 years old. Apparently I always remembered to say my “please and thank yous” to Akela and Brown Owl. But I hardly mention that any more and might even take it off my CV under “Achievements”.

2011 North East Monsoon Comes To Chennai

Monsoon season is upon us here in Chennai, it arrived last night with quite a bang. Thunder rolled (it rolled a 4), lightning flashed and I got grumpy because I couldn’t sleep. A quick school lesson for you here…the monsoon refers to a type of weather pattern, not the actual rain, the rain is a consequence of a weather pattern. There you go, something to impress your friends with.

The first day of the monsoon brought 12cm of rain in 24 hours and as usual turned the roads in to shallow water rivers. When I first arrived in India I wondered why all the pavement curbs were all 2 foot high, it’s so it can channel all the water. Or at least that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

When I woke up it was still raining so I knew that getting to work would be an issue. I toyed with the idea of working from home but the dedicated worker that lives within me told me to get to the office. The problem is the road outside my apartment had turned in to a river and just getting out the apartment complex would involve walking ankle deep through, well, water with suspicious things floating in it.

Of course, I used to be in the SAS[1]
so a little bit of murky water shouldn’t be an issue for me, I’ve roughed it like no one else has. Yeah, that was 10 years ago though, so I did the only sensible thing I could do: I called up the office manager and asked him to come round and pick me up on the back of his bike. Yeah, hardcore!

Not sure where the old boy who owned this rubbish cart went, but he obviously didn’t want to be out in the rain and left the cart standing there!


1Army Officers Training Corps: Saturday and Sunday crew

Humiliated By The City

Wow, where to start with this one. United have been looking shakey for the last few matches, first against Norwich and then against Liverpool, it couldn’t have been any more different to the first few games of the season where they were like a poor man’s Barcelona and looking awesome.

This 6-1 defeat is United’s biggest ever defeat in the Premier League and I guess Man City have made it quite clear that they intend to be a lot more than just the noisy neighbours – more like the new landlords of Manchester I would think.

First thing’s first. United were awful from the kick-off. There was no fluidity, none of the intricate passing we had seen in the earlier matches and Young and Nani could rarely beat Micah Richards and Gael Clichy on the wings. The defense was a mess, Johnny Evans had another calamitous match which culminated in a sending off at the start of the second half, Ferdinand couldn’t keep up with City’s pacey forwards and even the normally fleet footed Evra struggled to contain Milner.

By the time the game got to 80 minutes, United’s back line literally looked like it had given up or had no more energy left to run and City just went rampant, none of the defenders could keep up and De Gea was pretty much blameless for all the goals.

When Abramovich bought Chelsea the title by buying all the best players it was often said that you need to grow a team and not buy a team. Mancini has bought a team of individuals and somehow got them to play as a team. No doubt they’ll go through a slow patch like all teams go through during the season but on this performance I think City are the team to beat this year.

Oh, and of course, being more than a little bit bitter about the humiliating defeat, I can’t just say congratulations, so let’s not forget the amount of money being spent by Man City; any success they get is because they have taken shortcuts and bought it. The sooner the FIFA financial fair play rules come in the better, we can’t have foreign sugar daddies coming in and manipulating the game like this.

Good Job, Dave

Well done, Dave, you have come out victor in another conflict started without consent of the British public and at an estimated cost of £1bn give or take a few hundred million pounds. And I thought Britain was broke and we all (that is, the public at large) had to take it stoically on the chin. £1bn? That’s 5 new schools for you right there.

And now, the evil, but slightly comical goatee-bearded villain is dead. No more long rambling rhetorical speeches for journalists to be smugly condescending about and how comforting it is to know that the unelected Libyan transitional Head of State (who, not forgetting, was this time last year the Justice Minister in the aforesaid villain’s showpiece government) has publicly said that the bastions of humanity will not be forgotten when it comes to handing out those lucrative contracts to rebuild the bombed out country. A score for your party donators British business.

Now, Dave, how about this for an idea? Before we go gallivanting as the knight in shining armour in to yet another conflict with an oil rich state in the name of humanity (while of course neatly side-stepping the inconvenient issues present in non-oil rich failed states), why not ask the public if they want to send our (I’m searching for a better word here) defense forces in to a war zone thousands of miles away by conducting a democratic referendum?

Dave, I think I speak for a lot of people when I say I would rather see the hospitals, schools and council services be better funded rather than spending another £250,000 to send a plane to drop a bomb on Johnny Foreigner, no matter how much oil the country has humanity the people need.

Good News Britain

I noticed that the last few posts about England were all a bit doom and gloom and since nothing sells like bad news that’s mostly what the newspapers and media companies will push. However there is still some good news around, you just have to hunt a little harder for it. Today it was announced that around 5,500 jobs will be created and secured in North Wales thanks to a new factory that will produce the wings for the new Airbus A350. Hmm, I wonder if they need any aerospace engineers…

£400m Factory Secures Thousands Of Jobs - Yahoo! UK & Ireland Finance

£400m Factory Secures Thousands Of Jobshttp://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/-400m-Factory-Secures-skynews-904654574.html?x=0The largest factory to be built in the UK for five years, opens its doors today. The £400m facility, at Broughton in North Wales, will produce wings for the new Airbus A350.…