communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.


Mac problems HELP

I need help with my Mac. For a couple of days now, sometimes when I use it, it beeps. It's a long, slow beep and it happens every 2 minutes or so for about 10 minutes. I have turned off all apps and taken out the battery chord but it still does it even when it is fully charged. And then it suddenly stops.
I have no idea what to do about this. I have read loads of confessions which sound like people have encountered similar problems but not exactly like this, and have found no apparent solution to the problem.
Anyone HELP?


APG Romania news

So we had elections, and APG Romania has a new board of directors.
Some new faces, some old faces. The new president is Stefan Chiritescu of BBDO and we have a new Project Director, Elena Ionita from Leo. Costin of IQAds remains as our Communications director and Diana is still the money girl as Treasurer.
I have happily preserved my station as Project Director too (thanks y'all who voted, I felt touched to see that among "the voted" I am the one with most aggregated points :-))
So, here goes nothing: a new year for APG and hopefully more planners' meetings and more cool stuff to do.


Beautiful loos

Poke are lucky not only because they are smart and fun and successful but also because they have good toilets.
Designed by these guys here (please read the concept idea)

Effects of financial crisis on tech

Just wrote this and I stumble upon the below presentation on TechCrunch.

Sequoia Venture Capital Warning to CEOs - Get more Business Plans

It's called "powerpoint presentation of doom"... This, after witnessing people at WebClub happily ignoring crisis and forecasting growth for www investment. I particularly love the stabbed pig image.

Sunday morning - my London song

I have been thinking back to living in London a lot lately. Mostly because I decided not to move to a new flat and to maybe consider going back to London for a while. And this song is the one that accompanied all my walks and rides to LMU, down Holloway and up into Arsenal, past the shanty shops under bridges and into the quiet park beside the University house.
I miss those days


Romanian CNA a bit looney

I like almost everything Cap does (they're a local creative shop) and I am friends with some of them. This is just to set the record straight about what follows.

I have recently found that they seem to be the uncanny repeat victims of the local Broadcasting Board commission which has been shutting out commercial after commercial of their work. It started with Unirea (featured below) under the ridiculous claim that it fostered bad labor practices. And now, it seems that their latest Delaco is also under fire. The arguments of the commission are that the commercial sells to kids BECAUSE IT FEATURES KIDS, among others, and it is doing damage by featuring a man that yells at said skids.

Naturally it makes me wonder just how stupid these people can be. What they mean to say is that anytime a commercial features a child it automatically sells to kids? heck, then let's shut down Dero, Lenor, all chocolates. Second, it damages kids because there's a yelling man... hmmm, I seem to recall a commercial which featured a dad zipping up his kid in a mortuary bag, one starring a man dressed as Death, one with people with no limbs... I assume they do not do any damage because kids can tell the difference between a metaphor and real life.
My point? I don't think I have a specific one (as I usually do not) but I think that people who rule over a field as complicated as modern advertising in times of clutter and saturation marketing should not be complete morons.

Effects of financial crisis on creativity

I have been toying around with the idea of making an algorithm which would let me calculate the effects the current financial crisis is going to have on creativity. Of course, since I am a humanities major I could not figure out the maths but I did get to these:
1. As in all crises generic creativity should increase as it is the sole solution to bypass classical patterns
2. But in crises brands retreat to homebase and rely mostly on known patterns and models to reduce risk.
3. Management of brands will be underfunded and (as discussed earlier) first things to go are unplanned/ special projects.
4. BUT unplanned / special projects are usually the result of generic creativity which should increase.
5. So, with generic creativity losing funding, the creators will become disheartened and produce less.
6. The crisis will stifle creativity in connection to brands and fuel it in connection to individuals.
I am not sure what this means exactly, but I think it will generate a lot of bad commercials with loads of happy people and boredom.

Saturday anticipation


Want to see



New camera at work

Bucharest is a warzone ...


Want to see

Beershpere global

Faris has managed to spawn a global initiative. Local planners will soon be announcing the Romanian chapter of a global initiative called the Beersphere, which sees planners and wannabe planners from all over the world get together for a beer and a planners' chat at the same time all over the participating towns.

Stay tuned for details.


Pepsi on the rebound

Thanks to an article from Andrei (thanks, dude) I am relieved to find that someone in PepsiCo has realized what a mess they have been making of this brand. Earlier last year when they launched the new platform, still blurrily named in my head as "shake, mix, change, play, something" platform, I was wondering when they would realize that whatever it was they thought they were doing, "it weren't good". Pepsi lost all focus and all challenger attributes in what seemed to me to be a poorly designed platform to meet the needs of the web 2.0 generation. Unfortunately, none of the people working on that platform seemed to be web 2.0.

Now, Pepsi has announced a new logo - the one on the right - (already fondly dubbed "the butt crack") and is shopping around for younger blood than BBDO's (at least according to an AdAge article I read and which I cannot link to as it is on the premium, paid only section of the website :-P)

I am indeed looking fwd to the new campaign. I always thought that someone should play challenger to Coke (because it just seems unfair that they should be that big and powerful) and in the past years (what with W+K doing such a brill job for Coke) Pepsi seemed to have lost all gusto for that.



If you're Romanian, you will be able to switch operators without losing your current phone number starting October 21st.
But will you?
Help me find out by taking this one-question survey here

APG Romania

More stuff happening with APG Romania. We met - 'we' being the board and the few members that could make it, in the IAA house last Thursday to listen to the candidates' platform and discuss some issues. Interesting ideas were exchanged and voting - only members, people - is due this coming week.

I am running, yet again, for the position of Project Manager with a clear and easy platform: DO YOUNG RESEARCH, which means literally that we should DO more research, more innovatively, but also stands for my wish to have planners DO more - meaning create content, create valuable knowledge, to guide the new generation - YOUNG - and to promote the use of research everywhere - RESEARCH.
Keep checking the APG Romania website )especially the blog( for updates.

Thing that pisses me off

I have a Ro blog where I post occasionally (well, actually more often than I'd like) about things that piss me off. Today I was going to post this in there but I realized it would make a good post here too.
So, here goes: I HATE digital photo frames. They eat up energy, they make photos look like they're effing getty images and miss out completely on the point of having a photograph of your loved one (which is that you have ONE photo on your desk to look to when you miss them)
aarrrgh, hate them, hate hate hate


I think DRM is going to be the big legal and philosophical issue of the next 10 years. It involves so much change that needs to be made to the way we understand everything that it is mindboggling.

LATER UPDATE: also relevant because in Ro some agency has decided bloggers linking or featuring youtube content should be charged money for that ...

and this is an interesting little preview movie about just that

thanks as always BB


iPod Swap follow-up

Since the iPod idea seems to have caught on, some more details: if you wanna swap send me an e-mail at with your name, phone number and ipod type. then I will match you up with another swapper.
and also, NO other devices yet please. So unless you have an iPod, you're going to have to sit this one out


Obama's speech writers

are probably SNL or Daily Show contributors too. I got this courtesy of a tweet from Contagious and it's just so hilarious ...


Ipod Swap

I have been talking to some of my friends who have iPods and they are complaining that it's hard to open yourself up to new music. You tend to listen to whatever you have on your iPod and sometimes you forget to update it and you listen to the same old stuff over and over again. So I thought I might propose an iPod Swap thingie.

How this works: you send an e-mail to saying that you want to swap your iPod for 5 days (working week). We pair you up with someone, you exchange e-mails and meet to swap your iPods. You listen to the other person's music for five days and then you meet to get your iPod back.
Some rules:
- you must tell us if your iPod is customized for Mac or PC
- you must make sure your iPod is NOT set to "automatically sync to iTunes"
- you must have AT LEAST 100 songs on it

So that's pretty much it. If you think this is something fun to do go ahead and write (or post a comment here)



I have previously touched upon the idea of subcultures and subgroups and mentioned that I find Romania a country less adapted to the idea and less willing to embrace difference.
I was going to mention then (I think I may have) one commercial produced for a local telecom which features a mockery of the EMO culture. At the time I was taken aback by the narrow-mindedness of the portrayal (especially since you knowingly renounce a significant portion of your demographic by portraying it in a negative way in your advertising). A few weeks later, some more news came to strengthen my fears: apparently, the police force in a large Romanian city has decided to create a special task unit to monitor EMO kids because they are "a danger to themselves and prone to suicide".
yukk and yukk, and more yukk to the TV stations which, a month after they had branded EMO kids deviant and crazy, were poo-pooing the initiative of the Timisoara Police.

New media, new world, new opera

The way I know I am an old person is by watching this video which features 4, supposedly, opera singers doing opera renditions of popular songs. But they are not fat, not sweating, not scary, not carrying scarves...they're actually pretty hot, and they are number 10 or close in the UK album chart.
somehow, however, this whole thing reeks of milli vanilli


This weekend

was all about driving, grapes, colors, music and AUTUMN. Forgot how glorious it can be. also, the garden state soundtrack may possibly be the best one to drive to in the autumn sun


Feel good stuff

This week has been devastating (and no , I do not mean the world economy). Had no time to do anything...
these made me feel better tonight (thanks Beeker and bannerblog... and yes I am too tired to link back so just google them, Beeker is a planner from London and bannerblog is a blog about banners, probably from Australia or sth)

Habanera from The Swedish Chef on Vimeo.

Ode To Joy from Beaker on Vimeo.


Branding Romania reloaded

or what Romania looks like from outside

Because I have spent my early mornings watching TED conferences I stumbled upon an old project of Jonathan Harris' called Universe. I am afraid you will have to watch this to understand how he gathers his data for this, but what I thought was interesting was that if you tried to find the ~Universe of Romania you stumbled almost exclusively onto football stuff
try it here

Later edit: so the data is from news sources all over the world. all news sources :-)


Neon signs

Driving back home tonight I realized that downtown Bucharest is invaded by neon signs of completely irrelevant brands. To me, buying a neon sign, downtown is your way of saying "yeah, I earned the right to be here, baby". But downtown Bucharest sports HUGE neon signs of the following (for you non Ro readers these are complete no-names): CLAL, PROCTOLINE, SANYO, EUROMALL, BDO CONTI...
what the hell?

Blogosphere newsroom and google journalism (1)

These are, if I may be so bold as to say, the only two things that really caught my ear during this year's Webstock. While it was an amazing networking opportunity and a good chance to see all the people who make a difference online these days, I still think that because there's loads of doing, nobody stops to think about the "springs" behind some of the things that happen in online these days.

Vlad Petreanu mai have nailed the much discussed issue of bloggers and new media vs journalists and old media with his reference to "newsroom blogosphere". While he was trying to make a point about circulation vs traffic he actually stumbled upon a more interesting concept of how we really read blogs. Because, truth be told, nobody really reads one blog. We read several like we would read a newspaper - to get info about different fields. Our "online newspaper" is actually made of several blogs covering several themes, pretty much like a regular newspaper which devotes pages to different subjects. This concept while making a lot of sense also solves two things:
1. The idea to pay just one blogger to endorse your product works, if that blogger's following and stature equals that of a famed editorialist, someone who offline would represent the voice of a whole newspaper (and online, the voice of a whole group of bloggers)
2. To make a campaign stick, you need to enlist the help of several blog (i.e. pages in online readers' daily digest) - unless you think that offline you'd be able to get noticed by placing just one ad one one page, in one newspaper, for just one time.

Now, what this concept does not solve is the problem of endorsing vs advertising which was much discussed at the Blogging workshop and which I will save for later
[Saturday calling]


Webstock live 10

Workshop, new media vs old media. Main idea: newspapers will live. Websites keep reinventing themselves and this makes them more attractive.
"google journalism" - a term touched upon several times, refers probably to people posting crap to get indexed. According to a previous speaker, actually links and word of blog are not directly connected to number of posts.
Kapra questions the growth of offline media - based on coupons and awards not on relevant content. Raises the subject of "creating meaning" - quite questionable in itself, if you ask me, since there's plenty of blogs not really creating meaning.

Webstock live 9

Missed part of the conference because of client meeting and trip back but took part in engaging conversation about blog marketing and blogvertising.
Controversial presentation from blog advertising agency claiming they can do campaigns with 100 bloggers writing reviews of products and getting paid from 5 to 200 euros.
Bobby talked about affiliate marketing which kindof is something completely different and looking at payments online and how they are still at a bare minimum in Romania (450k in 2007)

Webstock live 8

Adobe presentation: apps developed to work with Adobe
(like Pandora but incorporates local stuff - like iTunes music, but seems to be avaiable only to USA residents)
klok (check widget on sidebar)
mooflair videos online and offline
Balsamiq Mock-up (tried to play with this one and they only let you use it for free for 5 (!!!!) minutes on the clock, jesus!)
(these do not seem to be free also)

Webstock live 7

interim observation: silly things that can happen to you in a conference
1. everyone sees the silly wallpaper featuring you and your sweetheart on vacation
2. everyone hears your silly ringtone made especially for that special someone

Webstock live 6

Bobby, not surprisingly, talks about communities and how blogs can drive communities. He's been doing an experiment with his website recently and presents the findings (this explains the 67 slides) :-)

Webstock live 5

Len did a map of the Romanian blogosphere. Find it here
Interesting algorithms and interesting presentation:
- most blogs updated between 11-14 and 20-22
- number of links is not directly proportional with how often you update it

Webstock live 4

Vlad Petreanu, blogger and reporter for a local media group, talks about the "conflict" between bloggers and offline journalists. There is really no conflict, he says, because journalists are also considered to be the scum of the earth. Small nuance here: journalists may be deemed the scum of the earth BUT by their readers, not by their peers. This is the case with bloggers: they are dissed by their peers, the journalists.
Compares blogging with TV. Blog traffic is irrelevant compared to one rating point. BUT makes point about people reading several blogs a day: so 10k readers/blog x 100 blogs makes for a decent "readership" of blogs. So blogs are reevant.
Concept of "blog newsroom" - several bloggers producing one large online newspaper called the blogosphere and present in your feed reader

Webstock live 3

Catalin Tenita, owner of zelist, Romania's own blogosphere monitoring system (approx. 20k blogs today). zelist monitors everything according to degree of "interest" - how many people linked, how many commented, etc. It also ranks topics according to the interest they got from blogs
Interesting fact (makes me feel better) - not too many comments per blog (108k posts, 180k comments)
Not a lot of blogs creating communities and highest rated blog comments remain those who created offline scandals. Most "community driven" blogs:,,,,,,,,
the media entities that use blogging as a platform rightly are GSP and cotidianul and more content is generated in the blogosphere than in the press but more comments are made on press articles than blog articles.
good presentation

Webstock live 2

Cabral speaks quite honestly about his blogging experience. Main learning: be yourself not the star. I kindof feel this may have been better suited for a conference of web beginners.
Difference between the offline audience and online audience (not the same kind of love, mostly shit from online until you prove yourself)

Webstock live

results of robloggers survey: most are male and most are well educated. Lots of new blogs from IT and web development. still going strong the marketing community.
blogs still deemed (by bloggers) to be the most credible sources of information. lots of bloggers are twitterers too