Creative Communications

15 June, 2009

Apple’s One to One Program Attacks Core Customer Base!

Filed under: Creation,Insights — Tags: , , — Sean Canton @ 2:59 pm

I’ve watched Apple rise and fall several times over the past 15+ years of using their computers. Interesting times were happening when Mac’s were almost going the way of IBM, and clones were taking up a significant market share, back in the late 1990′s. The clone licensing was revoked because one of the core values of Apple Computers has always been an emphasis on the quality of the user experience, and this quality was reinforced by the closed box unity of hardware and software. With the return of Steve Jobs, Apple rebranded itself with the “Think Different” campaign, equating their machines with the same creative genius as Picasso and Einstein, firmly taking the reigns of creativity as a customer-enabling selling point and running with it.

10 April, 2009

A Journey Through Google Trends (includes surprise ending)

Filed under: Creation,Insights — Tags: , , , — Sean Canton @ 10:07 am

So, one day, as we are all wont to do, I decided to explore some of the comparative possibilities of Google Trends.
Of course, it’s necessary to see as a starting point, in the eternal war of good vs evil, which side is winning.

Huzzah, good lives to fight the fight another day, although evil had a recent spike. Note that good has been on the rise since 2004… and tends to dip during the XMAS season.

Maybe if evil had a different name, it might fare a little better in the competition.

Wow! They’re pretty close. It’s times like this that I wish Trends gave actual numbers, but that would be google exposing it’s inner data, which isn’t kosher for passover.

Well, existential concerns and eternal struggle aside, what do we really prioritize?

Well, there is a clear winner here. Obviously we’re FAR more concerned about money then happiness.

So, who gets more attention, those who have money, or those who do not?

Well, no surprise here, the rich own the media and are the gatekeepers of information, so naturally, there are 2x more mentions of what the rich experience in this world then the poor.

Yet if we phrase it a different way, it seems that we USED to be more interested in the plight of the poor.

But now, we are more concerned with the plight of the wealthy.

I wonder why this is, what are our priorities, in terms of how we treat eachother?

Oh I see. Selfishness is on the rise, while charity has been on a baseline.

Perhaps it’s a matter of attitude?

Even with all the rhetoric, hope and fear are still neck and neck.

Hope and fear put in terms of money, what is our income to debt ratio?

Getting smaller every day, indeed, last year our money fears almost overcame our business performance. News stories crossed over.

How are hope and fear promoted on the news?

Freedom seems to be on the decline, while terror maintains steadily, with occasional spikes equating to terror events.

To get away from it all, what do we turn to?

 Wow, sex wins out! We’re really interested in sex, apparently.

Ok, so rock and roll is kind of a generic phrase, how about music?

Sex is more popular then music, and the gap is widening.

Ok ok, so this is the internet, populated by geeks much more interested in cold machines then warm, soft bodies.

Maybe not.

Ok, so what out there gets more interest and hype then sex?

News comes close, you’d think our addiction to current information could match our interest in sex, but no.

So maybe, money? Could money be more interesting then sex?

Wow, so much for gold diggers. This was kind of surprising actually.

What about love, could it be that love contains greater interest for us then sex?

Close, but not very. Maybe back in happy, idyllic 2004 when we were all spending frivilously.

Surely power, electricity, social standing, the raw, visceral respect and fear of others, is more engaging then sex.

Power, love, money, news, nothing even comes close.

So what on this earth could be more popular then sex?

No comment.

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29 October, 2008

A Methodology for Approaching New Frameworks

Filed under: Insights,Using Experience,Work Adaptations — Tags: , , — Sean Canton @ 12:49 pm

How many frameworks have I wrapped my head around, Symfony, Ruby on Rails, Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, and now, I’ve been tasked with porting a classified ad module from phpBB2 to phpBB3. In approaching a foreign framework and trying to understand it’s workings as a whole I almost gave up several times. Looking at it from the outside in, I find it overwhelming to try to understand how it all ties together from a big picture point of view.
That’s just my uninformed approach, because I feel like I have to understand all I can before jumping into the pool. This isn’t the right approach, and my hope is that by committing this to bytes, I’ll change it next time around and save myself some time. Maybe save you some time too.
The right approach is systematic, and involves a step-by-step understanding of how a single element is rendered on a page and interacted with.

1) After installation and basic configuration find the index file and it’s associated code, language files and templates.
2) Work your way backwards from a specific element in the body of the document. Title tags are part of the header and are often a level removed from the index template.
3) Find the template variables in the code, and where that information is pulled from.
4) Learning a new framework is akin to learning a new programming language, in that it’s not the function that matters. Loops, conditionals, and variables are the same idea no matter where you are. It’s the language you use to access these ideas. So pay attention to:

  • How template variables are set
  • How database calls are made
  • How are session variables handled

Basically, everything that has to do with the movement of information is worth paying attention to because the whole point of using a framework is because those pathways are already created for you to use.

5) Learn about custom functions. I find it’s useful to keep a untampered copy of a framework available locally to search through for functions.

6) Identify your global classes. Finally, we’re back to the bigger picture. Global classes are the super-objects used to pass information around and reference it easily within the code. For me at least, I had to see the classes ‘in action’ before I could begin to fully understand what their purpose was.

This might be phpbb3 specific, but that’s where my head is right now. I think the basic ideas could apply to other frameworks however.

That’s it, now I have to get back to porting.

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