And now for some VERY IMPORTANT research! ;-)
At various times over my last several acting gigs, I’ve been told I resemble these actors. What do you think? Click on the image to get a better look and vote below!
Content is king. That’s the time-honored lesson you learn when you study web design and management. So perhaps it isn’t surprising that some of the most hideously designed sites are also the most successful.
For a business site, design does matter because a company’s brand is riding on the user experience. But for other types of sites, ugly just works. When design surpasses content and functionality, the user can feel left out, as if they are not getting the most from their visit. So some sites take advantage of this principle, and thrive on simplicity and lack of design.
So without further ado, here are my choices for the ugliest, yet most successful, websites.
5) Ebay. It’s a miracle that anyone can get anything done on this site. Navigation and content are all over the place, account settings are buried under mountains of navigation menus. Yet ebay remains the category killer for online classifieds.
4) Craigslist. Not to be outdone for simplicity,this classifieds site is the epitome of bare bones. Not a graphic to be found, 100% text, and no frills. But, for millions of users, it gets the job done.
3) Huffington Post. One of the best aggregators of content on the entire world wide web. Also one of the worst designed. It’s like someone threw up on the page. The Drudge Report follows a similar, design-despising structure, but the powerful content keeps users coming back. And the site has undergone some face-lifting lately that give users just enough structure and navigation to balance the eye sore a bit.
2) Amazon. Yes I know I’m an admitted Amazon addict. But the site — come on, big-time atrocious. The product description is found where? Oh, of course, down about 3/4 of the page below all the other items you might want to click on and lose track of your original purchase. And yet it works. How can something so bad be so good?
1) YouTube. This site was born during the dark ages of the Internet and essentially gave birth to video online. Despite an unbelievably bad design and user interface, it rakes in over 3 billion views per day, with 48 hours of video uploaded every minute. Simply staggering, especially considering how difficult it is to do. Again it goes to show how content rules.
So there you have it. For my money, the five best worst websites in the world. I’m sure there are others that are in the same league — so let’s hear it. What are your picks?
I saw this blog post the other day and thought it had a nice sentiment on how to stay positive even when things are down. If you don’t want to click over, here’s what it said…
The power of remaining positive, whatever the situation, can never be underestimated. We are all here for a limited period of time, is it worth it to spend any of that time in a dismal mood? Being negative?
The true test of an individual to remain positive is when challenges become difficult. Remaining positive keeps one’s mind in the right state of balance and often opens resolutions to the problems at hand. Negativity is contagious; not only does it affect the individual, but it spreads to anyone they interact with. When only the negative perspective is in focus, the resolution process is impeded.
Eliminating negativity, or rather, being positive is a mindset that can be found at any moment, and turned into a habit. Here are some tips that can help you in shifting your mindset:
1. Shift Your Thoughts – Be conscious of your thoughts. Especially, when life just isn’t going your way. The moment you see that you are diving into frustration, agony, sorrow and low self-esteem – shift your thoughts, by thinking about something completely unrelated. This breaks the pattern of self-pity, mind-created stories, and negative downward spiral. What makes us different from other mammals is our ability to control our thoughts and think for ourselves.
2. Find the Lesson – There is a lesson to be learned from every situation. No matter how unfortunate the situation may appear, recognize the beautiful lessons waiting to be discovered. Sometimes lessons are expensive, but every problem is a learning opportunity in disguise. You may have made a mistake, but now you can accept it and continue, knowing that you will make a different decision in the future. Understand this and be appreciative for the experience.
3. Attitude of Gratitude – You cannot be both angry and grateful at the same time. Start counting the blessings and miracles in your life, start looking for them and you shall find more. What’s there not to be grateful? You are alive and breathing! Realize how lucky you are and all the abundance in your life.
4. Positive Affirmations & Visualization – Practice seeing yourself in a positive and confident light. Do this whenever you have a few minutes (examples; Waiting for a friend, sitting on the bus, riding an elevator.) Self-affirmations (list of positive statements about yourself and your self image) are another simple and powerful tool to train your subconscious to see yourself in a positive light. This is important, as many of us can be so hard on ourselves though social conditioning. I am guilty of being extra tough on myself, but have learned over time to recognize my gifts rather than finding false and self-imposed inadequacies.
5. Inventory of Memories – Keep an inventory of memories that can immediately make you smile. Occasions where you felt happy, appreciative and cheerful. When you were at peace with the world.
Whenever you are in a negative frame of mind, consciously and deliberately pick up any leaf out of this inventory and dwell on it. Reminiscing those happy moments gives a balanced perspective to your situation. You realize that what appears negative today will change tomorrow. Nothing stays the same.
6. Criticizing Detox Diet – Change your approach and attitude. See if you can stop criticizing others and situations. Our cultural conditioning teaches us to find flaws and problems at all times. Shift from fault-finding to appreciation-finding.
Whether you are positive or negative, the situation does not change. So, we mind as well be positive.
As with any habit, the habit of remaining positive in all situations takes practice and a commitment to yourself to take control. But start small, start paying attention to your emotions, start by wanting to change. I am working on this constantly, and I am here with you, working towards better understanding of my emotions and becoming a better person. Keep going at it, and you will gradually become a positive energy source for the others around you! Wouldn’t that be empowering?
What do Coca-Cola, Harley-Davidson, McDonald’s, and Disney all have in common? They’re all in the top 100 best global brands of 2011. A strong brand can be the difference between being Facebook or MySpace, Best Buy or Circuit City. In other words, brand is one of the fundamental keys to business survival.
Many things influence a customer’s perception of a company brand — but for me, two of the most important are product effectiveness and emotional connection. That is, how well does the brand’s widget function, and how does it make you feel.
So without further ado, here are the top 5 brands in my book…
|5. Southwest Airlines From the innovative ticketing system to the non-reserved seats, on-time and highly reliable flights, and employees who “luv” their jobs — everything SWA does makes you want to fly with them again next time. I once tweeted about an issue with my Rewards account and a social media rep got back to me within 5 minutes. SWA just gets it.|
|4. Lexus – Uncommon service, high-performing, ahead-of-their-time vehicles, and massages while you wait. Lexus thinks of absolutely everything.|
|3. Amazon – Everything under the sun delivered to your door in 2 days, plus unmatched customer service and simple returns. Amazon is a system that works end to end.|
|2. Starbucks – Consistent quality, great tasting products, and imitators just won’t do (although the Keurig does come close) ;-). There’s nothing better than a Starbucks Americano, in my Lexus, on the way to the airport to catch a Southwest flight.|
|1. Apple – iPhone. iPad. Macbook. I’ve used all three in the creation of this blog post. Their products are the definition of innovation, they’re fun, and they just work. Apple is pretty darn close to perfection.|
Agree or disagree with these? What brands do you love so much that you just couldn’t live without them? Let me know!
The maker of some of the most popular video games on the planet, Zynga, has just made a fortune. Yesterday, the company — which makes Words with Friends, Farmville, and other games played mostly on Facebook and mobile phones — priced its initial public offering at $10 a share, raising about $1 billion for the company.
Not a bad day’s work.
But what makes this a big deal, literally, is more than the staggering amount of dough. When you reflect on just how fragile an economy we have in the U.S.– a system plagued over the last few years by mortgage-backed investment scandals, Bernie Madoff, auto industry bailouts, TARP, and so much more — you realize how many things can go wrong. It’s more than enough to discourage you.
When so many things can be corrupted, politicized, and made to fail, it’s nice to remind ourselves that the basics of our free market economy still work — despite a global economic downturn. Zynga created (and acquired, in some cases) products that have such a huge demand, people were willing to part with $1 billion to grab a piece. Their products are so good they’re addictive: 20 million people have installed Words, and 31 million play Farmville daily. I’ve seen folks unable to remove themselves from picking crops for hours. And recently, Alec Baldwin was so engrossed in his Words game, he couldn’t put down his phone during takeoff — an act which got him kicked off the plane in the process.
So my message is simply: have hope. Even if the economy is rough in your neck of the woods, and corruption and fraud are seemingly everywhere, you can still succeed through basic supply and demand fundamentals. Make a widget that everybody wants, and you can still profit richly.
That’s the American Dream after all, isn’t it?
A new study is out that confirms a rising trend: This will just take a seven…salmon…(damn you, autocorrect)… This will just take a second —
Texting and driving don’t mix.
Despite widespread awareness of the dangers that distracted driving can cause, and despite horrific viral video campaigns that will make you wish for a real-life “undo” button, drivers continue to text behind the wheel.
The new research, conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, shows that the number of people who thumb messages or email from the driver’s seat has risen 50% over the past year.
So why the disconnect between the absolute sheer danger and the real-life behavior? You might think, as with most tragic events, people erroneously think it can’t happen to them. But that’s not quite it. What’s happening, the researchers believe, is that people just seem to think they’re better drivers than everyone else, and they can handle the additional distraction — but the other guy can’t.
“Everyone thinks he or she is an above average driver — it’s all the nuts out there who need educating,” said Russ Rader, a spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
But I’m willing to bet Mitt Romney $10,000 that there’s also some deeper psychological phenomenon at stake, and I hope that will be the next research study the government undertakes. My hypothesis is that there is some sort of addictive rush that comes from sending and receiving messages. Something chemical in the brain that creates an urge too great to put off, despite intellectually knowing the dangers. That could explain why so many people support laws banning texting while driving (now illegal in 35 states), yet so many continue to do it.
Some of the other findings from the government study:
If these numbers aren’t enough to jolt you into changing your behavior, perhaps the video below will. (Fair warning: it’s very difficult to watch.)
And that’s why one of my 2012 New Year’s resolutions is to put the kibosh on cell phone distractions in my car. That means, no texting, no browsing, no Words with Friends.
It can, and it will, wait.