Friday, August 29, 2008

KirkwoodSpiro Website Launch...

Launched a new website for KirkwoodSpiro Marketing Communications last week.

The site is designed as an attention-grabber for first time customers in the B2B space - bottom line is maximum impact.

We ran with their concept of business activation - coming up with a switch and an image on every page that beckons the user to participate in the website experience.

At first glance the images are intentionally sort of sketchy looking but with a flick of the switch, they are activated, and realized in a wash of color.

The site is all in Flash of course, and there's an HTML shadow site behind it for the search engines.

Check it out and be sure to look at the People section - Mike Kirkwood especially likes the action figure boxes.

Say Hello to the New Guy...

Meet Jim Bail.

He’s the new Web Designer on staff here at Artgig.

Jim comes to us from a New York internet marketing firm, where he was pretty much a one-man development team.

He’s only been with us a short time but he’s already part of the gang.

I asked Steve what he thought after Jim’s first day, and he replied with a note of praise “he actually got some work done.”

That about sums Jim up – he just dives right in.

And he just happens to be an Arsenal fan.

We sure know how to pick em.

Artgig Down Under...

By the end of the day today, our Creative Director, Lis Cherry, will be on her way home to Canberra, Australia.

Lis has been with us since the very beginning of Artgig over six years ago, and I worked alongside her for four years at Sunburst Technology before that.

That’s ten years, or roughly 2,500 days of working with Lis, and I can honestly say I can count the rough patches on one hand.

It’s quite a history we share.

It goes without saying she will be missed.

But she’s not leaving us entirely.

We’re looking at this as a new beginning and an opportunity for expansion...

We already have the wall clock set to Canberra time here in the office.

The opposite clock means we’ve got an instant night shift.

As soon as Lis hits the ground she’ll be seeking out new talent to add to our network.

And then she'll start looking for the beach house.

That’s right, I’m talking Artgig Australia.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Here's Johnny!

“The Story of Johnny Appleseed” is one in a series of three K-2 reading comprehension story modules we’re producing in partnership with Weekly Reader, a division of Reader’s Digest.

This project is a real throwback to the good old days at Sunburst Technology, where we originally started out making educational software for kids.

The animated story includes on screen text and audio for the student to follow along.

The story is followed by a brief quiz, where students fill a basket with apples as they answer correctly.

Our production schedule for each module is about a month total time, which includes:
  1. Review and edits to supplied script and storyboard
  2. VO talent casting and recording
  3. Original music and sfx production
  4. Character design
  5. UI design
  6. Animation production in flash
  7. Separate line art delivery for reproducables
  8. Quiz and player production/programming
Next up, The Story of Christopher Columbus…

Hleb who?

That Nasri looks like the real deal.

Thrashing a team, 4-0, as a follow-up to an embarrassing defeat puts a little spring back in our step doesn't it?

Don't get me wrong, Twente is not a team that should test us, and I'm not thinking we're ready to talk silverware just yet but it builds confidence, especially for guys who seem to need it more than others, like Walcott - and a confident Walcott is a threat to any defense facing us.

We're clearly a different team with Fabregas on the pitch.

Van Persie is wasting space in front of the goal at the moment - hope he breaks out soon.

And the question that seems to be on everyone's mind - "Where the hell is Carlos Vela?"

After the match, I switched over to lucky Liverpool, who squeaked through by the skin of their teeth - if there's a luckier team in Champion's League I'd like to know who it is.

Just saw the draw - at least we avoided Roma, again.

Good for my friendship with Danny at least...

The away games will earn some frequent flier miles as Arsenal travels to Turkey, Ukraine and Portugal.

Let's come out blazing against Newcastle this weekend.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

43 years...


Fulham just beat Arsenal for only the second time in 43 years.

Note to Arsenal - must get better.

Very little of the beautiful game on display today.

Arsenal is completely flat - lacking in leadership and creativity.

In other words, we're nothing without Fabregas.

Denilson and Eboue?

Sorry, no confidence in either of them.

Eboue is a total flopping joke and Denilson gives the ball away cheaply.

Van Persie?

Van Rusty is more like it.

I'm hoping this loss stings enough to give Wenger the extra push he needs to grab a strong central player before the transfer window closes.

A Man U throwaway just ain't enough to get it done.

We've all learned the hard way that the season is a marathon and there's no need to panic yet - I'd rather they take their time hitting their stride than burn out early.

But they also have to learn to win the "easy" games.

I'll file this one under forget it ever happened.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Apple - Good, Bad & Ugly...

The honeymoon is over.

I'm looking at my iPhone in the harsh light of day now and it's not perfect.

Just today I had a client contact me because she was having trouble with email on her iPhone.

She was suddenly unable to send email from her phone and the phone even accused her of having an invalid sender address.

She also got the reverse - accusing her of trying to send mail to an invalid recipient address.

I explained to her, this is not an email problem - it's an Apple data network problem.

I know, I experienced it right out of the box and it nearly drove me to smash my new iPhone into a million little sleek and sexy pieces.

I felt suddenly transported to a time when computers were not so easy and I realized how far we've come and how much we take for granted.

Thanks to Apple we expect things to just work.

And we expect them to look good while they're working.

I was at the playground yesterday and I whipped out my iPhone to snap a picture of my toddler son and nephew as they were playing.

A group of slightly older kids stopped in their tracks - "what's that?" they asked, as I aimed my phone at my boys.

A shaggy-haired kid stood out from the pack - "it's an iPhone" he said smartly.

"Is that a 3G?" he asked me.

"Yes." I replied.

"Cool" he said, obviously feeling bold to be so much further ahead of the curve than his friends.

"All I have is an LG" he confessed.

And I felt bad for him.

Partly, because kids should be playing, not drooling over iPhones.

And partly because he was stuck with a crappy LG phone just like me before I got my iPhone.

Hey, it works most of the time.

APPL - 174.29

Friday, August 15, 2008


This is my nephew, Gabriel - the newest member of my own personal Gunners fan club, consisting of myself, my son and my three nephews.

Tomorrow is the big day.

I'll be there, watching a 7:30 AM pirate broadcast on my laptop because the match isn't televised.

Arsenal, one of twenty teams who are aiming for the Premier League title.

They'll each play each other twice, once home and once away - thirty-eight matches lasting until May of 2009.

Thirty-eight matches and we're already grappling with a thin squad and key injuries - my hope is we get the bumps and bruises out of the way early and pick up steam as we go.

In other words, the opposite of last year.

Hoping Fabregas is just taking it easy right now and Van Persie stays healthy...

and Rosicky and Eduardo are able to return to form after looong injury spells...

and we pick up that one experienced midfield signing we're presently missing...

and the rest of the team avoids injury...

and Ade bags more goals than he misses...

and Nasri is the next Zidane...

Pause to catch my breath...

We looked like crap from what I saw of the Twente match, but we won and really that's the point so I'll take it.

Just shaking off the rust and we can only get better - right?

I caught some of our end of the season match against Man U the other night on Fox and I was reminded that despite an awful stretch where we lost all hopes of winning silverware, we ended the season with a lot of fight left.


Here's to a new season...

Here's to Arsenal.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Retraction - sort of...

I'm not too big to man-up when it comes to apologies, so here goes...

I'm sorry, Peter Gabriel.

When Peter Gabriel launched his new multimedia site, The Filter, I said he should stick to his day job.

First of all, it wasn't working when I checked in on the big launch day.

And second, I don't see the need for another multimedia site that tailors music, movies, and web offerings according to tastes.

Then Lis was telling me yesterday that Peter Gabriel had revolutionized a way to sell music online by giving it away for free.

That's right - totally free.

Well, free as long as you're willing to listen to a bit of attached advertising for a month before it dissolves and then you've got your music in the clear.

The site is in Beta now, and it's called We7.

Check it out - Pete may just be on to something:

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dare to believe...

Ade stays.

It's been a noisy summer for the Gunners but things finally seem to be settling down.

I was ready to let Ade go, but I'm happy he's staying - I think his behavior has been questionable over the last month or so, but I think it has more to do with his agent and his departure would have been a blow to the team chemistry ahead of a tough campaign.

I caught parts of both Emirates Cup matches this past weekend, and I think maybe we're not in such bad shape after all.

Suddenly, we've got players like Carlos Vela and Jack Wilshere to look forward to in first team action. Vela looks like he teams well with Bendtner and Jack, at only 16 years old, shows nothing but promise.

Add a healthy Van Persie and a healed Eduardo to the mix and we look deep in attack.

Still issues in the midfield and the back where we lack experience and depth but I'm hoping that one more signing is a proven gem.

We'll need it because Chelsea and Liverpool look stronger and Tottenham could be a threat, especially if they get Arshavin.

And of course, there's always Man U...

Ronaldo has never really caused us much trouble so I'm not sure if it helps if he actually goes to Real Madrid.

Poor Flamini - no Champion's League and just got spanked by Chelsea 5-0 in a friendly Milan will hope to forget.