RIM (Blackberry) and HP are missing the point, and a huge opportunity.

Everyone knows that Apple won't be the only tablet manufacturer in the market... there are rumors or confirmations of every major cell/pc manufacturer and every OS software developer out there getting involved - Dell, RIM, Microsoft, HP, Google and so on.

Today the domain name BlackPad.com was registered by Research in Motion (aka RIM, the Canadian company behind the Blackberry). Just last week it was discovered that HP had filed for the trademark PalmPad (HP recently acquired Palm and is quickly integrating it's WebOS in to as much as they can).

Here's the thing: just a few months ago, Apple was a big joke because (a) they were releasing a tablet that was more like a big phone, than a computer; and (b) they had the word "Pad" in the name (causing a *flood of period jokes). *Sorry.

So why would all of these big companies all of the sudden be so interested in naming their products ______Pad? Obviously Apple's been successful with their tablet launch, but this is the first commercially successful product in what will become a new industry unto itself. There is still so much room to grow, there is a LOT of things that the iPad does not do (and I say this even though I love my iPad & it's capabilities). If other companies are going to want to compete, they will have to differentiate, and it starts with their brand.

HP had been using the word "Slate" in reference to their Windows 7 tablet... I think they should go that route. It would be so much more helpful if they can say something like "the iPad is a neat device that revolutionalized computing, BUT if you get the Slate you can do all of these extra things (I'm thinking front-facing camera (or any camera) and a USB plug-in as a start). PalmPad might even roll off the tongue easier than "iPad" due to the fancy alliteration, but it is still going to confuse itself with Apple's product. If someone tells my mom that the PalmPad has a camera, the odds are that she will still go out and buy an iPad - to her they will sound the same.

We'll see what happens, but so far I don't like the start that these other companies are giving themselves.

The Best Video Store I've Ever Been To

Video Store?

"Brian," you might be saying, "you're at the leading... no, BLEEDING edge of technologies and the internets, why are you going to a video store? That's so pre-2007." Well, first of all, thanks for the recognition. Secondly, I happen to like to rent the odd video and I especially love independent video stores.

In Calgary, we have Bird Dog - which is awesome & you should go there if you are from Calgary and haven't been. While in Austin, I went to I Luv Video. It was great. A few things that made it so great:
  • Giant mural on the back wall incorporating images from everything from Star Wars to Oldboy.
  • Canada was a foreign films section.
  • The wall of shame, which names the people who didn't return their videos.
  • My favorite: comments from the staff taped on the covers of notable videos.

(for the record, we rented 'Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job, Season 3' and 'Broken Embraces'... but only saw the former)

There isn't much room for video stores in today's day & age. Big name stores in Canada (and I'm sure elsewhere) have been creating a lot of available retail space recently. The shops that survive are going to have to make sure they carve out a niche for themselves if they will survive for the next 10 years. Bird Dog & I Luv Video have done a good job of that so far - it is enjoyable to go to those places. They have created a brand for themselves that has allowed them to thrive when the big players are suffering big time.

They are a few years behind what the record shops have been experienced at the hands of the internet. In the music world, the likes of Virgin, Tower and HMV are all but extinct. Megatunes, a Calgary & Edmonton institution, is now also closing up shop. I hope that in the next few years that Bird Dog and I Luv Video will be able to adapt & avoid the fate of their record store counterparts.

I turned on my computer and this was there.

I keep many tabs open in my web browser (sometimes 20+). When I scan my twitter feed, I usually go through and click on all the links that I think will be interesting or worthwhile, then go back and read them later. Sometimes the pages are too content heavy and I can't get through everything (or even start) before it's time for me to go back to work.

Anyways, I opened up my computer about 5 minutes ago and I was staring at this slideshare presentation about branding and social media. I've made it about halfway through and so far it is bang-on. I'm now passing it along to you, the reader. However I have no idea where it came from, and I'm not sure who to attribute it to, or thank... if it was you, then thanks. Otherwise, enjoy:
View more presentations from KickApps.

Two Interactive Billboards by McDonald's

This one is in Picadilly Circus in London. The digital billboard generates a variety of props generating unique photo opportunities, ensuring that the McDonald's logo shows up in every tourist's digital camera.

This second one is in Stockholm. This digital billboard is set up as an interactive game and allows participants to capture a photo of a McDonald's product and then get it for free.