Monday, January 22, 2007

Sheer Marketing Genius from the Fitzwilliam

In a perfect example as to how to make the best of a bad deal, the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambrige (UK) - my personal favourite museum - has launched a jigsaw postcard. "So what?" you may be thinking to yourself: well, the genius behind this is that the two priceless Chinese vases (I forget which dynasty) were accidentally shattered into hundreds of pieces by a clumsy/unlucky visitor. This pratfall hit the headlines in the UK (particularly as there was CCTV footage of the incident), and I think it is a masterstroke to allow visitors to buy a postcard so that they can piece the vases back together again themselves...!

As an additional note, if you are ever in Cambridge, do drop into the Museum, it has a great Hogarth before/after painting, a beautiful Picasso drawing of Lydia Lopokova, and many other treasures.

[UPDATE]: It's Qing dynasty, and you can purchase the cards at the museum shop online!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Social Networking Silver Bullet

Via Headshift and via Marc's voice, I came across Social networking: Time for a silver bullet, which comes to some similar conclusions that I came to a couple of years ago. Namely, personal profiles (secure, of course) to represent a changing "you" and XFN or some other standard to establish the connections (or "predicates" in RDF speech, "verbs" to the rest of the world!) between them. It would be better to have "entity profiles" and "entity predicates" rather than remaining people-based as this would also allow organisations to keep an up-to-date profile (potentially with individual "person profiles" indicating a staff member relationship). It's all pretty interesting to see what direction the social networking and semantic web space is taking - although I dearly wish for the removal of the "Web 2.0" nomenclature, it really irritates me - personally, I like microformats as a first-footing into the space, and tend to agree with the KISS factor (keep it short and simple) which has led to RSS actually having an impact in this space.