Monday, November 29, 2010

Have you been wondering why I look like Rick James?

This is my second year doing Movember. If you are not familiar with it, you can read about it here:

Movember is a movement to raise money and awareness for men's health issues. Specifically prostate and testicular cancer. My team and I are chronicling our journey on our blog here: and on twitter here:

There is only two days left in the fundraiser and today is almost over. I have been a little slow in getting the word out, for that I am sorry. What you can do to help is donate just $1. I am only asking for $1 because I need more participation rather than the amount of the donation.

All it takes is a $1. Thank you again, and here is the link to donate:

Posted via email from Wesley83's Posterous

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Q: How much of this video is CGI? (Spoiler Alert A: 100%)

Alex Roman is some kind of wizard. I suspected it when I saw his jaw-dropping CGI mini-movie The Third & The Seventh, but after watching his new 100% computer generated commercial, there's simply no other explanation. My brain is goop.

In the comments of the Vimeo video, Roman explains:

Asking your questions; yep, it's all CG -same process as T&S- I tried to put some live-footage shots but i run out of time so CGI did the trick :P

Whole production was 2 and a half months for the initial concept to the final editing; two people: Juan & me.

While Hollywood CGI is getting more and more impressive every day, you can almost always tell that it's not real. Some microscopically incorrect movement will betray the artifice of the image, or the light won't play off something in quite the right way. That is not the case here. There was nothing in this clip that raised in me even a hiccup of doubt that I wasn't looking at the world which I inhabit. The real world. And this guy is sculpting it, by himself, on his computer. Nuts. [Vimeo

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Dress Your Lady in Tubes and Neon Water

You could describe Charlie Bucket's Fluid Dress as "flowing," but not in the usual sense—it's a garment made from six hundred feet of knitted tubing, pumped with neon water that dances in a beautiful ballet. It's kinda unbelievable.

Of course that incredible choreography comes courtesy of a backpack-sized pump that has to be attached to the dress at all times, perhaps taking a bit away from the elegance of the ensemble. I imagine it might be hard to Foxtrot with an ectoplasm-pumping Proton Pack strapped to your back.

Dress Your Lady in Tubes and Neon Water

From the looks of things, Charlie's been working on the dress since June 2009, but seeing it in action it was definitely worth the effort. [Casual Profanity via BoingBoing]

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Can you trust Klout's accuracy?

For those of you not familiar with Klout, in short, it is a service that rates the influence and reach of someone in the social media space. Klout looks at Twitter and Facebook accounts, and will soon add LinkedIn to determine a user's Klout score.

There are several companies out there trying to quantify people so that companies know who to target to get the best results for their marketing efforts. A PR friend of mine directed me to a recent post from Peter Shankman (of HARO fame), who praises Klout on providing "real information." Real? Really? I'm just not convinced. But maybe it's me.

I knew that the system wasn't perfect, but the issue that really put things into focus for me was on October 29th when I went to Klout's homepage at and was presented the following image:
If you see the image in the square on the far right, with the name RYE_BREADY, it may look familiar. Anyone who has been on twitter for a while will recognize it as a spam bot.
I wanted to verify if this was indeed a spam bot, and how they were able to get such a high Klout score, so I clicked through. The profile link was here, but has been removed by Klout after they were made aware of its existence: I took some screenshots before it was removed.

Her stats are on the thin side. She also only has one badge. This gets even stranger, and also adds weight to my argument that this might be a spammer. I checked out her twitter profile.
That's right. It's suspended! Makes you kind of wonder about the scoring huh?

From speaking with other members that have a Klout account there are more discrepancies that add doubt as to the accuracy of the service. The "influenced by" and "influencer of" sections. Many people have told me that they are very wrong, if never updated. I for one have person in the "influenced by" section that I haven't had contact with in months. When I contacted support for assistance they where not able to resolve this error after three tries.

The mystery on how they get their scores and determine who influences who makes it impossible to verify or reproduce. The service and its algorithms are a black box. There is no way to tell where the service is, where it was, and if there are any improvements in the future.

Through a personal contact at Klout I was introduced to Megan Berry who is a Marketing Manager there. First off, I would like to say that Megan was extremely helpful and very responsive. She informed me that the problems with spam accounts is something that Klout is very aware of, and is a problem they are still trying to solve.

I am not sure exactly if the examples I have given above negates all the work that they have done to quantify clout, but it does show that they do have a way to go before their numbers can be fully trusted.
I hope that the people at Klout take their accuracy seriously. Phil Hotchkiss, the Chief Product Officer,  has made accuracy his number one mission, but he has yet to reply to my inquires. If you have used Klout please share your experience in the comments below.

Special thanks to the following for all their help with this post:
@ckieff @aqiylah @MisoHungry @davidgiesberg @TheJenATX @luannsaid @gregarious

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Movember catch-up post. Please help :)


This is my second year doing Movember. If you are not familiar with it, you can read about it here:

Movember is a movement to raise money and awareness for men's health issues. Specifically prostate and testicular cancer. My team and I are chronicling our journey on our blog here: and on twitter here: 

We are in our second week and I am way behind. I have been taking a picture each day, but haven't had the time to post them till today. As you can see the mustache is coming in nicely. Some of you helped me out last year and now I ask you again for your help. If you have it in you to donate please use the link below to give what you can.

For all my friends that have not given yet, I would love to have you involved. 

All it takes is a $1. Thank you again, and here is the link to donate:


Seriously folks. If you think $1 is not enough you're WRONG! Donate $1 and I'll love you forever.


Posted via email from Wesley83's Posterous

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Smokey Robinson Breaks Cracker Barrel Color Barrier With 'Now and Then' Album - Spinner

Smokey RobinsonRick Diamond, Getty Images

Though commonly thought of as a Southern eating institution, Cracker Barrel has recently been offering up exclusive country music release to its customers -- until now. This week, legendary R&B singer Smokey Robinson becomes the first African-American artist to put out an album with the restaurant chain, which has faced plenty of charges of racism and discrimination over the years. Naturally, the feat that isn't lost on Robinson.

"I'm the first black artist they've ever done," Robinson tells Spinner. "It's like a milestone for me and for them. They're trying to dispel their image of being bigots and all that stuff. They've had that image and they're not really like that. I went to Nashville, which is their headquarters, and their employees and hiring practices are very diverse. But they started out being just a white thing. I don't know, back in the day when they first started out, they could've been prejudiced."

Cracker Barrel

Listen to Smokey's 'Now and Then' Free

For their first offering, Robinson put together an album called 'Now and Then,' which culls six tracks from his 2009 album, 'Time Flies When You're Having Fun,' as well as six recently recorded live renditions of classic Robinson tunes such as 'I Second That Emotion,' 'The Tracks of My Tears' and 'The Tears of a Clown.'

"When you're a singer, you voice is your instrument, and when you take care of yourself, everything else will fall in line," the 70-year-old Robinson explains of his longevity. "I run, I walk, I've always had a good diet all my life. I haven't eaten any pork or red meat since 1972."

Indeed, Robinson has been quite active over the last year. Check out his performance at Spinner's SXSW Soul Revue and you can see that it seems like he's probably passed on plenty of free biscuits and gravy offerings.

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