Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Twitter Marketing: Names and Powers

Tom Milsom's band, Sons of Admirals, has just released "Here Comes My Baby" a new single and digital bundle on iTunes and they are making an all-out push to land in the UK top ten during the first week of release. The song, a cover of a Cat Stevens hit from the sixties, has been reimagined for the twenty-first century (to bottow some pretentious twaddle from Brian Wilson's Gerhwin album).

As part of the marketing effort, Tom, spent a good part of the day yesterday on Twitter making good on the following twittered offer:

Buy the Here Comes My Baby bundle in iTunes today, tweet me a link to a screenshot, and I'll personally bestow upon you a unique nickname.

Turns out that, unlike the garden variety of nicknames, Tom's names also came with super powers. (see below)

Mickeleh's Take: Personal attention from a recording artist carries a lot of weight. But is this scalable?

Here are some of the names and powers Tom granted to people who bought "Here Comes My Baby."

@_heyduder Hooray! You are now SUPERCARLY. You can fly. And swim through brick.

@LacieDayParade Bow down to the almighty LACIE, PROTECTOR OF THE REALM OF FASHION! See an ugly shirt? BLAM. You can make that person vanish.

@greengoobermunc Hooray for MARTHA, THE TUBE QUEEN. You are now ruler of things in tubes, that are tubes, or the London Underground trains.

@Matthew_Gibson Hooray for KING MATTHEW of THINGS THAT MAKE SOUND WHEN YOU HIT THEM! Percussion's all under your watchful eye. Good luck.

@DreamlessJamie Hooray! Thanks JAMIE, RULER OF THE SLEEP REALM. Have fun RULING OUR DREAMS!

@NotUnspecial Hooray! Thank you LAUREN, GRAND VIZIER OF INSECTS. You now have supreme power over billions of creatures!

@_irisaurus Hooray for IRIS, EYEBALL QUEEN! You can see EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE

@BookWormVicky Hooray for VICKY, PRINCESS OF POISONOUS GASES! Use your new powers wisely.

@kthrnprrtt That is perfectly fine KATHARINE, GREAT MISTRESS OF WHEELS. You pretty much have power over anything that rolls now.

@claytonpeters Thanks CLAYTON, MASTER OF METEOROLOGY. You control the weather now. That's pretty neat.


@SphereCase Didn't you get one? Aren't you THE IMOGENATOR?

@kaycanseeyou YAY! Thank you KATIE, DUCHESS OF SALSA (dance AND condiment)

@TupperwareBox :D You are MADZ THE IMPALER. You are SO PALE.

@emmaajedward That's fine, EMMA, PRINCESS OF THE PRESENT. You are in charge of making sure time-travelers don't get disoriented.

@poppybouttell Thanks POPPY, OPIUM PRINCESS! The good kind. From ancient China. Not, y'know, heroin.

@Becz005 YAY for BEC, MISTRESS OF CATS IN CLOTHES. Rule your small, weirdly specific jurisdiction well.

@somegwenperson Hooray for GWEN, PROTECTOR OF 9. We can't got into double figures without your vigilance. *salutes*

@EnglishRedhead That's great HAYLEY, QUEEN OF SPAINS. Any Spain that is not the real Spain, you've got that shit DOWN.

@SphereCase Hooray! Thank you, THE IMOGENATOR! Your special power is to CREATE THINGS FROM YOUR IMAGINATION! Go imagine world peace!

@Abko147 Hooray for PRINCE LIAM OF ORANGE! That's a whole 7th of the colour spectrum you now rule. Rainbows cannot occur without you.

@IFYimcool Thanks ALICE, QUEEN OF WINDOWS. Glass is your willing slave. Also, Bill Gates.

@penguin1124 Either way, you are SAM, PRIME MINISTER OF SMELL. That's a whole sense. Careful how you go.

@danisnotonfire aww :3 Thank you DAN, DEFENDER OF THE LEONINE RACE. It's your job to be a kind and gentle king to the world's lions :P

@HannahCaseyyy Hooray! Then I name you HANNAH, SPRITE QUEEN. You can defeat your enemies with huge torrents of lemonade. Not 7up though.

@beaderrick BEA, HELIUM QUEEN. Balloons are now your willing servants.

@mitziplz haha, best smiley face EVER. Thank you, ELI, MASTER OF THE ARTS. Your smiley faces strike fear into the hearts of your enemies.

@BrettBall Thank you BRETT, LORD HIGH MASTER OF THINGS THAT ARE SHINY. You rule the mirror kingdom. Congrats.

@MeBeDanni That's fine DANNI, DESTROYER OF WORLDS. You destroy worlds, sure, but only uninhabited ones to make new, awesome ones.

@xlaurax Thanks LAURA, SIREN OF THE SEAS. You are friends with the fish. Which is creepy AND awesome.

@Loftio Hooray! Thanks ALEXANDRA, LIGHTHOUSE QUEEN. Basically, you can see in the dark. Also through walls.

@thinkingphrase Hooray for LORD SIMON, CARBMASTER GENERAL. You are the ruler of potatoes, and also the enemy of people on the Atkins diet.

@SophStrawberry Thank you SOPHIE, QUEEN OF THE FOREST. You are now in charge of the tree people.

@nattalieee_ Hooray for NATALIE, PRINCESS OF STAMPS. Your super power is FREE POSTAGE FOR LIFE

@tommylyon Hooray! Thank you LORD THOMAS, DRAGON KING. Your special power is ABILITY TO CONVERSE WITH REPTILES

@LizzieParker Perfect! Thank you LIZZIE, MASTER OF NETS. You can control any net. So if people are wearing fishnet tights, YOU CONTROL THEM!

@courtneyybuzz COURTNEY, QUEEN OF NEWTONIAN PHYSICS. You're really good with momentum and trajectory and gravity...

@BBC_Fangirl LAURA AKA INFRARAY you can see through walls and hear things a mile away. Also, what those TV License vans do? You can do that.

@Marthatorwho MARTHA, DESTROYER OF DALEKS. You're, like, the most useful person on the planet sometimes. :D

@kennydude That's wonderful. You are LORD JOSEPH THE PERSUASIVE. You always win arguments and got your way. And the ladies dig that.

@helenlyhelen Awesome! You are HELEN THE MIGHTY, whose super power is BEING ABLE TO TYPE AT 200 WPM


@JBdaWonderLlama THE ILLAMANATOR, who roams the streets, hunting evil DARK LLAMAS

@xxkathleen KATHLEEN, FORK-QUEEN. You are in charge of every fork there is. Use your power wisely.

@JazzyPants_ JASMIN, PRINCESS OF THE SKY. Birds? Clouds? Planes? You now own 'em. Congrats!

@kirifarrell KIRILLY OF THE HILLS. Your super power is to be able to FLATTEN MOUNTAINS. Construction companies will pay you MILLIONS

@BAMstranks BETHAN, QUEEN OF THE MOON. That's right, you got the MOON. Your super power is SPONTANEOUS SOUP PRODUCTION

@Reganito REGAN, SCOURGE OF WORLDSUCK. Your special power is being able to extend your legs 20 inches IN ANY DIRECTION

@bonnniiee You are BONNIE, DFENDER OF AWESOME. Your super power is winning at card games, like, all the time.

@BeckiiCruel Your super power is being able to bend spoons with your mind. Spoons and wills.

@theojessop Thanks! You are LORD THEO, RULER OF AQUATIC CREATURES.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Creative Commons Birthday Song

I wanted to wish YouTube a happy fifth birthday yesterday without violating the copyright on the famous "Happy Birthday" song. Since I'm not in a position to pay royalties, I wrote my own original song and I'm offering it under a creative commons license. I an't imagine you'll want to use it. It's crap. But it carries the virtue of being free. So, use it if you will.

Several commenters on my YouTube channel were surprised to learn that "Happy Birthday is still under copyright. While there are those who doubt that the copyright is valid, the publishers are still collecting some $2 million annually, mainly from motion picture and television productions.

MIckeleh's Take: The copyright will expire in 2030. If I live to be as old as my dad, I might actually survive to hear you sing a royalty-free chorus of the more famous "Happy Birthday." Until then we can make do with this one.

Creative Commons License
A Song for YouTube's Fifth Birthday by Michael Markman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Getting Lost My predictions for Season 6 premiere

The clock is ticking to the premiere of the new season of Lost. This will be my last chance to speculate on what will happen. (Maybe I'm just doing this to compensate for the fact that I refrained from posting any iPad predictions.)

Turns out Jack was right. The H-Bomb goes off. Timelines are reset. The crash never happens. Oceanic 815 lands safely at LAX.

Mickeleh's Take: The series never airs. Abrams, Lindeloff, Cuse, and the entire cast find their bank accounts mysteriously drained of all their earnings from the show. George Bush is still president. We have never heard of Sarah Palin.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Tom Milsom Sings Lady Gaga

I let the Grammy show go by without saying a word about it. How can I make it up to you?

You can find more Tom Milsom at tommilsom.com

Condensed Cream of iPad U-I Soup

Thanks to Gizmodo for pulling these key demos clips together from the iPad Keynote

Mickeleh's Take: Knocking the iPad for being "just a big iPod Touch" is a cheap shot. There's a richness to this platform that will become even clearer when it ships and the apps start showing up.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Party of iPad No Can't Filibuster

Best Web Browsing or a big blocky question mark? Steve Jobs demonsrates how a lack of Flash support means the video element on the NY Times front page just can't play on iPad.

Even before Steve Jobs had switched off the Reality Distortion Field Generator, objections to the iPad starting pouring out (even from Hitler): no multi-tasking, no camera, doesn't replace my laptop, name sounds uncomfortably tamponic, AT&T. At the same time other folks were reaching for their handkerchiefs to wipe the drool off their chins and developers, sniffing out another app store gold rush were diving into the SDK (software development kit).

It turns out that reactions to the Apple iPad are as sharply divided as the U.S. Senate, but with this important difference: people saying no to iPad don't have the filibuster. The naysayers can't block the yaysayers from buying it.

The first truth about the iPad is that nobody outside of Apple yet knows the truth about the iPad. Of course it doesn't do everything a notebook does. It wasn't intended to. The critical question was posed by Steve Jobs early in the keynote: does iPad do a useful set of things appreciably better than a notebook? The list Steve proposed was this: browsing, email, photos, video, music, and games. I venture it's safe to say that the gaming experience on iPad will smoke gaming on a notebook. As for the others, the jury is out.

What's the experience really like? Will people really prefer it enough to shell out for three devices (phone, iPad, and notebook)? I don't see any reliable way to answer those questions without actually living with it for a couple of weeks. I'm curious about hands-on reports from folks at the launch event, but I don't put much stock in their brief encounters.

The second truth about the iPad is that the product Apple introduced yesterday is just a teaser for the product that will ship in March and April. And that, in turn, will be just a teaser of the product that will be available a year from now. What's missing? The apps and the content deals. And then the next rev of the OS.

Just as today's iPhone is very much defined by the apps available for it, so will the iPad be defined by apps that take full advantage of its larger size and faster processor.

The weeks preceding the launch were filled with rumors about negotiations between Apple and TV networks and print media. If there's truth to those rumors, it's likely that Apple had hoped to tell us more about the glories of subscriptions to content. The negotiations, if they are happening, clearly dragged on beyond intro date. But I think it's safe to expect a number of content-specific apps, not all of them free.

MIckeleh's Take: The party of iPad no has lots of good arguments. But until shipping, they're arguing against a phantom. They can stay on the sidelines jeering as loudly as they want. The iPad will still attract buyers. And the user-experience may well prove revolutionary.