29 November 2006

time to dance.

This is NOT going to be one of those blogs that only has YouTube videos on it. But I simply had to share. I have been in adoration of this band for about three months now. I have had the extreme privilege of seeing them perform twice, and they put on the best small show I have ever seen in my entire life. They are phenomenal.
Bollywood Thriller?

Josh posted this over on Plannerliness, and I laughed too much to not post it on here as well. Just to ensure that as many people as possible see this thing.

brands and brain waves

I just read an article from yesterday's WSJ about brands with strong identities exciting brain waves more than other brands. It seemed like common sense to me at first, but then they explained that all brands with strong identities do this, whether or not they tend to excite people consciously. Example: BMW has a strong brand identity. So goes Geico. They both have a similar effect on brain waves, even though BMW is a status symbol and Geico is car insurance (something that you you think would produce stronger affect vs. an abstraction). Interesting. The study got no industry funding and is still in beginning stages (nothing conclusive yet really), but I wonder how (and if) brands will react once we know more.

28 November 2006


I apologize if you are seeing this twice, but I just went to this site off of Russell's blog, and was too excited to not share. Upon reading his entry, I was intrigued about the day-of-the-week Tshirts. I surely wanted a Thursday one, because that is my favorite day. "But what if people just think it's a shirt from that silly band?," I wondered as I clicked on the link. Boy oh boy is it so much more than that!

From the web site: Colour Of The Day project: an investigation into colour associations and their relationships to specific days of the week. A survey was conducted where the following question was posed to 75 creative field workers from 20 different countries: what colour do you associate with each day of the week? The result is a series of t-shirts, one for each day of the week, the colour of each having been selected by majority vote. The shirts could either be worn according to the calendar days, or more intuitively, according to the actual mood of the wearer.

This is bordering on synesthesia! One of my favorite topics in the whole wide world! Oh boy, now I want them all.

27 November 2006

Buy one for your office!

This machine has saved my life many a morning. It's a Krups XP1500; more specifically: a coffee & espresso machine. It makes coffee, espresso, and steams milk. It also comes with its own coffee scoop thing, and the switch on the front is a perfect example of simplicity (it only goes three ways: espresso to the left, coffee to the right, and off in the center). The best part is that it was only about $100. Everything effortlessly clicks into place, too, with a very solid and satisfying sound (think of the sound a BMW car door makes when you shut it). Brilliant.

25 November 2006

Kings of Convenience

They have been on my top 10 for about two and a half years now (and I've linked to a video of theirs before), but I had never seen this video until this morning. It's beautiful, and captures the feeling of the types of things I want to do in the spring. I suggest going to their web site and reading their bio; it's a fascinating and beautiful story of these two guys from Norway who started playing music together.

24 November 2006


I changed my layout. It's still a silly template, but my end-of-year resolution was to design a layout for myself, and until then this will have to do. The previous one was driving me crazy, mostly because it was dark - I have only had a dark layout maybe three times in the ten years of my web design life. I'm not sure why I chose it in the first place.

I was going to write that nobody would even notice because most everyone would be reading this through a feed reader, but a peek at my Google Analytics told me that 38% of my visits are direct visits! I also found out that I have readers in many more places than I ever imagined: everywhere from the UK to Canada to India! to Thailand (hello Thanit) and even places I've never heard of (Petaling Jaya? Nora? I certainly need a geography lesson).

So, in short: hello. I'm glad you're here.

(also, I've noticed readership drops dramatically on the weekends; I guess people prefer to blogread from work?)

23 November 2006


Even though I didn't sleep last night, flying on Thanksgiving day was worth it, I think. It was a lot calmer than I imagine it was yesterday. LaGuardia was a breeze (my flight landed in Ft. Lauderdale 20 minutes early, too). Although the line for Dunkin' Donuts at 5.00am was longer than the line for security. I don't think I blame them, either.

I hope everyone has happy tummies by now. Happy Thanksgiving. See you guys Monday - I'm off to sleep until then.

22 November 2006

cupcake evening

Originally uploaded by johanna on video.
...rather than coffee morning.

Yesterday was my most stressful day yet at Naked, and I almost lost my mind. Good thing one of my blogfriends was in town. Clay Parker Jones of exitcreative was here, and visited the office for a few minutes. Then we took advantage of part of my birthday present from Nicole - a 9$ gift certificate to Sugar Sweet Sunshine - good for six cupcakes. I high recommend this place to anybody in the NY area; it was founded by two friends who left Magnolia Bakery, and in my opinion the cupcakes at SSS are better.

What Nicole may not know is that Clay and I have the exact same birthday - 08 September - so it was like a belated birthday treat for both of us! We each had a red velvet and a pumpkin. Both were delicious. I have 2 cupcakes left, and will surely keep them as my "emergency fund" for similarly stressful days. Thank you, Nicole :)

21 November 2006

Death of the Traditional Marketing Model

Here is a video of the eulogy we had for the Traditional Marketing Model at our launch party on the 9th of November. This guy was really incredible.

17 November 2006

half the battle.

terrace 2
Originally uploaded by johanna on video.
Now we don't ever have to deal with Darling Jason The Realtor ever again! Laura and I went through hell to get this apartment, but it is ours now. It is beautiful. And look - it's a little teeny tiny Manhattan skyline that we see from one of our terraces! We are Very Happy. Now I just have to go through hell with movers. One step at a time.

15 November 2006

How Not To Do Business 101

My friend Laura and I are apartment hunting. Yes, it's that time again. We've mostly made a lot of progress and have several appointments lined up, but every now and then I guess something like this happens to people. This is a wonderful look at a core truth: everything communicates. In this case, that would include the Craigslist listings, the neighborhood, the person you deal with on the phone (or through e-mail), etc. Here is an e-mail correspondence between my future roommate and someone from Heim Realty.

On 11/14/06, laura podolnick wrote:
This is regarding the listing posted here: http://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/fee/234879706.html

My roommate to-be and I are looking around Williamsburg and Greenpoint and I came across your listing. We may be interested in your property. Which train station is nearby? Is the apartment a walkup? How large are the bedrooms? What is "good" ceiling height? Do the bedrooms have closets? Is there anything else we should know before we'd schedule an appointment?

Laura Podolnick

Hi Laura -
This is the Graham Avenue stop.  This is a walk up. The bedrooms are 11 x 12 at least. Over 9' ceiling height. The bedrooms don't have closets, but are large and get great light.  I am scheduling appointments for this evening and tomorrow morning.
Please advise - Jason 


On 11/15/06, laura podolnick wrote:
are there closets in other places in the apartment? the ad said there was plenty of storage space. what floor walkup? can you tell me the cross streets? whether we are interested or not depends on this information.

On 11/15/06, j larusso wrote:
This is a large storage closet in front of the apartment, but outside of the front door.    There is ample room for armories, a dresser, cabinet and queen sized bed in each bedroom, thus large rooms.  I can not release anymore information without a signed show agreement, as my company does not give out information without knowing anything about a client.  That is why brokers are in business.  It is less than a few minutes from the Graham Avenue stop.  If that is not enough information I suggest I send you a show agreement and we proceed from there.


On 11/15/06, laura podolnick wrote:
what does a show agreement entail? we cannot see the apartment tonight, as we are seeing three others tonight, and the morning is out of the question as we both work regular 9-6 jobs. we don't want to waste your time or our own time by agreeing to see an apartment before we even know the exact location. at this point, the apartment could be located on the BQE as far as we know--that's a "few minutes" from the graham avenue stop, but since we certainly wouldn't want to live in the middle of an expressway, meeting us would be a waste of time for all parties involved. if you would like to know things about us before you tell us the cross streets, that can be arranged, but if a "show agreement" is binding, i feel like this entire arrangement is backwards and a bit shady.

On 11/15/06, j larusso wrote:
I don't work for a shady company like apartments and lofts - SORRY!!!  When I say close to the stop it is close.  NOT at the BQE.  I live on Graham myself, and WHY would I give you the exact location - are you kidding?  That doesn't happen.  You wouldn't need a broker if that was the case.  Am I wrong here? 

You can let me know if the 3 apartments you saw work or not.  I am happy to show you the place - and I am sorry you have been so soured by horrible brokers. 

I have been in the business a long time and am not one of them.



On 11/15/06, laura podolnick wrote:

I don't know what I did to give you the impression that I've been soured by horrible brokers. In fact, everyone I've worked with has been extremely cooperative and has had no reason to not give me the cross street of an apartment. I also live on Graham avenue right now, and I'm familiar with the area enough to know that some parts are nicer than others. You cannot convince me that no brokers give the exact location of an apartment prior to showing it, because everyone else has. "Not telling me where an apartment is" is not a reason to have a broker. I wouldn't need a broker if a broker were to give me information I request? "Am I wrong here?" well, actually, yes, sir, you are.
If you had really been in the business for a long time, I wager you'd be familiar with general protocols enough to know that some brokers are honest enough to give a cross street of an apartment before showing it. I also wager you'd be secure enough to not try to blame other brokers for my dissatisfaction with your particular mode of doing business. Furthermore, if your company is not shady, why haven't you even mentioned it by name?
I've done the apartment-finding thing enough to know what is right and what isn't, and this isn't. Exclamation points aren't going to convince me. I don't think we're interested. We can do better.


Then it started to get weird. One last email from this guy said "Drop the STARBUCKS!! - This is a wast of time!" um, what?


Originally uploaded by johanna on video.
Having gotten four hours of sleep last night, I went to the end of the street to get coffee and a croissant this morning. I was incoherent and not in the best of moods. I happened to see this etched into the sidewalk on my way back to Naked. It brightened my spirits a little, and made me think of New York as a brand, and how maybe what makes it so wonderful is that it's largely open source - the people of New York contribute to our experiences as much as the actual city does. Any thoughts on this?

14 November 2006

Anais Lee.

First, I want to say that Michael Surtees is the king of links. He must be! He facilitated my meeting with Jack by taking a photo of the very same Starbucks cup I quoted on here, and now this. Well, we'll see if she responds to me, but I today found a wonderful web site (and person) through him. Again, indirectly.

At Russell's coffee morning on Saturday, Michael saw my Moleskine and suggested that I join the Flickr group Moleskinerie. It's a wonderful concept - photos posted by anybody, containing scribbles, doodles, thoughts, objects, and so on... all in their Moleskines. I looked it up this morning, and kept clicking on certain photos that I felt drawn to. I soon realized that all of the ones I loved belonged to the same girl, Anais Lee. I went to her Flickr page and looked at her Moleskine set. She is a wonderful illustrator, has a vivid imagination, and captures things really well. She highlights seemingly little things, like what she carries in her bag, or what her apartment layout looks like; they are the exact things I love to read about, though. My favorite part is the Japanese writing all over the place. I can see her potentially being a great planner. Visit Anais's site. Look through it. Put her blog on your feed reader. Be inspired.

stop motion piano and drums

This is incredibly wonderful. Not only is the idea great, but the song is good also.

13 November 2006

Leila cooks for us.

Leila cooks for us.
Originally uploaded by johanna on video.
This time - around Thanksgiving and the holidays - is so busy! I have almost complete run over one of our accounts, and in the past two weeks I got put on two more. I am so excited because I love these three brands. However, I have to be careful about balancing with other stuff. Hopefully I'll squeeze time in to see some shows, go to the MoMA (I'm a member now - one of the best values I've ever encountered and a new post has to be written about this), visit some parks to see the changing leaves, etc. I'm already making a huge effort to get everything done while I'm here, because it has become my habit to finish my work from home, sometimes well into the night.

Everything evens out in the end, though. As if this stuff weren't its own reward, Leila decided to cook for us tonight! Mountains and mountains of Indian food that I have been craving for months. Home made. In our kitchen. Boy oh boy am I excited and happy to be a part of this family.

12 November 2006

Naked party and Russell coffee

I have a lot to talk about. Mostly, 1. the Naked launch party, and 2. coffee morning today.

First things first, the Naked launch party. It was a complete success. The location was wonderful, as were the food, drinks and company. As per the invite, we buried the traditional marketing model. I think I can better tell the story in photos.

I was very happy to see so many familiar faces there: clients, friends, both roommates and every blogger that I invited (and I recommend that you put all of their blogs on your feed reader: Noah, Piers, Michael and Jack)! As if I don't feel this every day already, I was so thankful to be able to be a part of the Naked family that night.

Okay, moving onto coffee morning. It was organized by Russell Davies, as he had been in New York for a week. It was at 'sNice, where Likemind is held every month. Several people came, including the aforementioned blog friends, and some new faces that I was very happy to meet (including Chet of YPulse!). There was a great overall dialogue about favorite NY spots, Flickr groups, applying the Brazilian restaurant model to life (specifically meetings, but I'll let Noah blog about that one), people we knew in common, literature (I really want to read Steps to the Ecology of the Mind now) and wonderful web sites we must all check out. I love the sharing of ideas and treasured spots.

Speaking of, my best friend from Adcenter, Nicole, just got a ZoomCloud for her blog and mentioned that she was copying me. I told her that today there is no more copying - only sharing. If only the world viewed things in this way, she responded. But in this case, it's really true. I was certainly not the first blogger to use ZoomClouds, and I won't be the last. All of this wonderful stuff is out there for everybody to discover and share and contribute to. Open source at its finest.

Over two hours after coffee morning started, the last five or so of us were kicked out for monopolizing the table. We'll plan to have a little subgroup of coffee mornings, which of course anybody can attend as well. It seems like we live for and feed off of this stuff. Here is a photo of three of us outside, sharing an apparent love for yellow.

[Ciaran, myself and Noah]

03 November 2006

naked day out

naked day out
Originally uploaded by thisidisforjoe.
Yesterday, we all met at Chelsea Piers, ready for a day full of brainstorming and fun activities. We tried to use the tools that we use to help our clients on ourselves. We tried to think of our "big idea," figure out how we're different from the other global offices, how we're similar, what ties everything together, etc. We tried to figure out what the perfect Naked Person would be, once we start thinking of hiring again. We thought about communications that would help us for current and potential clients. It was a really productive and fun day. We also bowled and some of us ice skated. Here is a video of Ben doing his little bowling dance.

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