Saturday, December 30, 2006

In 2007 I want my own Pleo

Today i read the January issue of Wired. It has a great article on Ugobe's upcoming ultrarealistic toy dinosaur - the Pleo. This is going on top of my wishlist for 2007 so if you want to get me a nice gift - preorders start in February.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Holidays everyone

Merry Christmas, happy channukkah, Kwanza or whatever you may be celebrating today and tomorrow. Here's an excerpt from Technorati's top keyword searches for the day:

  1. amicizia
  2. amici
  3. auguri
  4. christmas
  5. merry christmas
  6. navidad
  7. ricordi
  8. santa
  9. sogni
  10. weihnachten
  11. xmas
  12. holidays
  13. natale

How Lufthansa can learn something from its American rivals

After my recent flight with Emirates I took a connecting flight with Lufthansa to Munich. Lufthansa overall is a very reliable yet unexciting Airline with modern planes and decent on-board service. My flight from JFK arrived early in Hamburg so I asked the check-in personnel at Lufthansa whether I could catch an earlier flight (there were 2 departures prior to mine - both with availability). She referred me to her colleague at the booking desk who then told me it would cost me EUR 250 to change to an earlier flight - not really worth a 2 hour wait.
Lufthansa could have done me a favor (I would even have paid a EUR 25 fee for this) at absolutely no cost to them - instead they chose to enforce their silly booking rules and alienate a regular customer.

Crossing the Atlantic the way it should be with Emirates

Yesterday I travelled from JFK to Hamburg for Christmas and for the first time had the pleasure of flying Emirates. The main reason for me choosing Emirates was the right date and the right place but the experience was well worth it. The friendly check-in, the fairly comfortable Economy class seats and the good food are all above standard but hardly remarkable. What really stands out are all the little details on this flight: the amazing in-flight entertainment system with 100 on-demand movies, games, internet access and a phone, the fact that all passengers get a little kit with socks, a toothbrush and sleeping goggles and the water fountains next to the restroom. The mood-lighting, the star-studded plane ceiling and the cameras below and in front of the plane also contribute to the overall positive experience. I'd take Emirates again in a heartbeat. Also see my post on the successive Lufthansa experience for the darker side of air travel.

Friday, December 22, 2006

My new favorite after-work bar in Chelsea, New York City

Yesterday a great new speakeasy opened down the street from our office: Tillman's - it's a classy joint with mellow soul music, good-looking staff and attendees and mellow lounge chairs, noguchi tables and dim lighting. Great place for a drink or two. This actual painting hangs above the bar and they therefore hold the copyright. It's located on 26th between 6th and 7th (full disclaimer: I was neither paid or incentivised to rave about this place).

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Anything Anti-American in this video?

According to AdAge this advertisement for a British drugstore could never be shown on US television. Apart from being slightly sensual, I'm not sure why not. Comments from my readers?

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Why the future for e-commerce growth is still bright

Today I went over to Circuit City after work because the PSP game I was looking for was sold out on Amazon (I shop a lot more from them since I got Amazon Prime - it certainly works for me, but I doubt they make a dime on any of my single-item purchases).

The trouble started with the actual game - they had it, but it was locked in a case that could only be opened by a Sales Associate. After a few minutes I got someone's attention who promptly disappeared for 5mins. When she returned she didn't actually give me the game but walked it to the Cashier's with me - I suppose PSP games are on top of the in-store theft list these days...

Then I had to wait in line for another 10 minutes to finally pay for the game - at least they game me an unadvertised 15% discount...

Time in store - at least 2o minutes. Time online - 1-click checkout....

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Electronic Trading comes to SEM, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft?

This week I attended a dinner that the friendly folks over at Webtrends had invited me to. It took place at Public down in Nolita and I highly recommend the lentil salad if you get a chance to go. My seat was right next to Greg Drew, the CEO of Webtrends and we had a very fun and interesting dinner conversation. One of our topics was their recent acquisition of Clickshift. Clickshift offers a seemingly nifty solution to all the manual work involved in today's PPC advertising world: thousands of keywords, manual optimization across several engines, ever-changing prices and thinly stretched resources, both on the company and the agency level. Clickshift's software supposedly does all the bidding and optimization for you once you've entered your goal for the campaign timeframe. It will even optimize across engines and manage all those keywords for you through the engine APIs. I haven't yet seen it in action but I'm certainly looking forward to it. Skepticism is warranted, of course.

The most interesting thought is the comparison you can draw with the advent of program trading on Wall Street in the 70ies and 80ies. Blamed by many for the stock market crash in 1987, this leads to an entertaining question:

Could further automation of PPC campaign management lead to a similar "Black Monday" in the SEM world? Imagine a day on which several programs either outbid each other and lead to a $1bn profit day for Google or - a collapse of prices across thousands of keywords....

Comments appreciated!

Christian Busch

My Personal DNA

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