J's Page

Originally established for times when I needed more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing or media.

What’s in a name? Google+ users say everything

Google+ (NASDAQ: GOOG) has revised its profile policy and is suspending accounts with pseudonyms. Saurabh Sharma explains the change in a one-minute video.

Dave Copeland at the Daily Dot has a post on users’ response to the change.

And now I have to log off and revise the post I’ve been writing about Google+’s privacy policy.


Got Mail? What kind? Google’s Gmail push

ED’S NOTE: The commentary here reflects my interest in advertising as a marketing student. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.

Anti-trust hearing? Pooh! Silly senators, Google has more important work to be done, like rescuing the philistine masses still using AOL and Hotmail to communicate electronically with their loved ones!

On the heels of the Google+ introduction, the Internet behemoth has launched “Email Intervention,” a campaign to drive users to Gmail, which will undoubtedly build an even bigger base for Google+ once it is out of beta. At the time of this writing, the clip on YouTube had 145,305 views, 423 likes and 50 dislikes. On Facebook, 364 people liked the ad and 46 comments had been logged.

The 1-minute-15-second commercial, which was posted July 22 on YouTube, is very likable. It’s amusingly reminiscent of an educational film from the 1950s: you know, the ones with an non-threatening-but-authoritative speaker and perky string-based background music that helped us learn the importance of hygiene. In this ad, “intervention specialist” Dr. Richard Muscat lectures on the importance of Gmail, explaining that although many of us have helped friends “make the switch,” there is more work to be done.

We all have that one friend … that one friend who hasn’t made the jump … who still emails you from that embarrassingly out-of-date address.

Without mentioning AOL and Hotmail, Muscat explains that the out-of-date email addresses should be “laid to rest, like so many items of its time,” and then helpful pointers label a floppy disk, portable disc player, VHS cassette and a scrunchy on the classroom table. After sweeping the out-dated items onto the floor, Muscat ups the drama with some cold truth:

Your loved ones are being left out of conversations!


Unable to make free phone calls or video chat, and that’s sad.

Yes, this is way worse than having just 19 friends on Facebook!

Muscat then empowers the viewer: stage an email intervention. And whaddya know? A toolkit can be found at emailintervention.com.

It’s fast. It’s easy. And it’s the right thing to do.

The ad wraps with a white background with the website address and

It’s time to make the switch.

Yes, it’s time. Just in time for the explosion of Google+.

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Alexander Calder: Mobile artist — no, not for Apple

Today’s Google Doodle honors mobile artist Alexander Calder. I know the name, I’ve seen the art, but when I read “mobile” these days, I think of portability — as in personal tech. (“Where can I take this?”) Ah, but there is another definition.

Per Webster’s New World Dictionary:

mobilen. a piece of abstract art that aims to depict movement, as by an arrangement of thin forms, rings, etc. suspended and set in movement by air currents.

Calder (b. July 22, 1898) is the American sculptor credited with inventing mobile sculptures, such as those shown in the National Gallery of Art. You can learn more about his life and work here, at the Calder Foundation website.

UPDATE: PC Mag says the Calder doodle is the first designed in HTML5. If you’re using Firefox or Chrome, you can change the doodle’s movement.

EARLIER: Google honors choreographer Martha Graham



Google celebrates choreographer Martha Graham

Today’s Google Doodle honors dancer and choreographer Martha Graham (1894-1991), who is credited with revolutionizing the art world in the 1920s and 30s with her contributions to contemporary dance. The Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance offers a “few clues” to help decipher the doodle, which was animated by Ryan Woodward.

HTC and Acer sweet on Honeycomb

Source: Amazon.co.uk

Gigaom is reporting Acer’s Iconia A100, a 7-inch Google Android Honeycomb tablet, has appeared on the UK’s Amazon site for pre-order ahead of its April 20 release date and is priced at around $485 (US dollars), a bit less the Motorola Xoom, which begins at around $600.

The Iconia A100 at a glance:

  • 512MB RAM (not KB as on the site)
  • 8GB hard drive
  • NVIDIA Tegra 250, 1GHz Dual-Core processor
  • 1024 x 600 screen resolution
  • 5MP auto-focus camera
  • 2MP front-facing camera
  • Dolby mobile sound enhancement
  • 3.5mm audio jack

Meanwhile, HTC tweeted Friday that they’ll be offering Honeycomb upgrades for its HTC Flyer when it’s made available.

Source: HTC press room

The HTC Flyer at a glance:

  • 1.5GHz single-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 32GB flash storage (expandable via microSD card)
  • aluminium unibody construction
  • 7-inch display
  • 1024 x 600 screen resolution
  • 5MP rear camera
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera

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More on foursquare vs. Facebook

Emma Barnett of the UK’s Telegraph talks to foursquare chief Dennis Crowley about the location-based network’s 7-month-old rivalry with Facebook’s Places. Crowleys says Facebook’s no threat to foursquare, which saw a 3400% growth in 2010.

Crowley tells The Telegraph:

We offer a fundamentally different tool to Facebook Places. Facebook is very good at offering its users tools for sharing things online. We are good at facilitating activities offline, once a person has shared their location online. Our primary aim to get people outside and doing more stuff.

I’ll buy that. But I wonder, if Facebook isn’t a threat to foursquare, what about Google?

EARLIER: A Business Insider graph looks at foursquare’s growth.

A foursquare post claims 7.5 million users now, and as Business Insider points out, that’s more than double their number of users when Facebook’s Places launched in August.

What location-based platform are you using?


Motorola Xoom, Android 3.0 can get Flash today

Here’s a little bit of Xoom news from my inbox.

Eweek.com reminds Motorola Xoom adopters can get Flash today as a beta on the Android Market, and CNET is offering its first impressions.

Meanwhile, the folks at Android Community is reporting the Xoom is available for pre-order at Staples and at Costco. Droid Life also notes that Amazon is taking orders, too.

Looking for specs for the WiFi-only Xoom? Click here.

UPDATE 3-21-2011: Business Insider says Flash for Xoom is “lame,” and ZDNet offers a hands-on review of SwiftKey for Tablets, the keyboard app for Honeycomb.