Monday, December 19, 2005

Santa Smackdown!

This is sweet! Okay, so we built Santa Smackdown but still, come on... It's fun. Right? Check out and let me know. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Pandora - Not the box

I've been using Pandora all day now for my streaming radio. It's a relatively new site that streams music based on your listening preferences. Using the Music Genome Project as the basis to do music analysis, they map out characteristics of each song and use those characteristics to find music matches.

It's free with ads, or $32 for a year. Not bad at all.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Frappr! DS Friend Code Map

I found a Frappr map listing DS friend codes this morning. I was the fifth person to join and I plan on telling more friends. The site is located at:

Frappr uses Google maps to show a visual directory of group members. Not too many others in Spokane yet, but there is someone from Redmond!

Nintendo WFC: Mario Kart

I've been eagerly awaiting the release of Mario Kart DS since E3 in May where I stood in line after line just to play a few minutes of wifi head-to-head action. The game was released on 11.15 and with moderate success I was up and running in a matter of minutes.

I've now set up my DS to work on two separate wifi networks. My office connection was cake, all I had to do was have the DS find the network, then I typed in our office WEP security key which is 325gi8... just kidding. After that I was able to play against opponents across the region via wifi.

My home network was a bit tougher. I tried to follow the same procedures as at work, but when I went to test the connection I got an error code. The process went something like this:

  1. Typed in the wrong WEP security code. 2 min
  2. Couldn't remember my WEP key for home. 3 min
  3. Had to access my wifi router's admin page to find out WEP key. Couldn't remember the url for that. 2 min
  4. Found the URL, couldn't remember username and password. Figured it out after 5 tries. 2 min
  5. Found WEP key, still got error (invalid IP number). Thought it would be great if the DS had a "renew IP address" option like my PC. Often times it helps when the PC gets a bad IP number. 5 min
  6. Scratched my head. 1 min
  7. Hopped on Nintendo's wifi site to enter in the error code, which was tough to understand and didn't help me out. 2 min
  8. Found the "Router Config Support" page on Nintendo Wifi and easily located my router and found that it doesn't support Dynamic IP. Bummer since it's a pretty common Netgear. 1 min
  9. Manually configured the DS to grab a static IP address. Also added a static IP to my router table for the MAC address of the DS. 1 min
  10. Still errors, "settings are not complete"... Struggled, and discovered that I also needed to include a primary DNS. Where can I find that? Struggled some more and finally found it on my PC. 10 min
  11. Success!! Total time was: 29 minutes, but now I'm set.
Now, I'm playing Mario Kart DS way too much. It's a blast and easy to play against friends directly or against any regional opponents. This is the best Mario Kart yet!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

MPEG-2 to iPod Video on a PC + ReplayTV Stuff

QuickTime on a PC sucks bad. I've been trying to get TV shows that have been recorded on my ReplayTV transferred over to my video iPod. The ReplayTV records shows in MPEG-2 format, but the iPod video needs to be in H.264 format, which is M4V, or MP4 (I think they are either the same or very similar).

Let me step back for a second. ReplayTV is the Betamax of the DVR world. I've had the ReplayTV for about 3 years now and love it. The features are very advanced and TIVO is just now catching up. Of course, I'm a realist and I know ReplayTV is dying, if not dead already.

The best features of my ReplayTV are:

1. Being able to download shows directly to your computer: There are applications (DV Archive) that work on both the Mac and the PC that easily allow you to do this. The downloaded file is in the MPEG-2 format which plays via most video players, but not automatically within QuickTime.

2. Being able to share shows with friends: I can share every recorded show up to 10 times with other Replay TV owners. A great web site called "Poopli" lets me search the recorded shows of other ReplayTV users and then request a download from them. It's great, free and the users are very generous.

3. Being able to add photos to my ReplayTV: I can upload pictures to my ReplayTV and have the images available as a slideshow. This works great when family comes over. We can all sit on the couch and take a look at the digital pictures on the big screen without having to crowd around the computer monitor. These pictures are also displayed as screen saver on the TV while we're pausing the program we are watching.

4. Being able to set recordings from a web page: ReplayTV has always had an online interface that allows the users to access their recording schedule while away from home. I can set shows to record, look at upcoming TV schedules and see what shows I have recorded.

Back to the iPod Video conversion...

Once you have an MPEG movie file on your computer that you would like to convert to watch on your iPod, go and download Videora iPod Converter. Videora is completely free and runs on Windows XP.

Prior to learning about Videora, I had to either open my video file in a video conversion program like Roxio and save it into a format QuickTime would understand, or spend $20 to get the right codec that would allow QuickTime to open the MPEG-2 file. Once QuickTime could open the file, I had to (first buy QT Pro for $30 then) select "export" and choose "Video to iPod". This would generate the correct file for my iPod.

The problem is that on the PC it seriously took 48 hours to convert a 30 minute video spot. Again, QuickTime sucks on a PC. My friends on a Mac could convert the file in about 2 hours. Still crazy for a 30 minute show.

Videora can instead open the original ReplayTV MPEG-2 file, and with one click convert the file right into the correct MP4 format. I tried this on a 90 minutes show last night, and within 2 hours the file was converted and ready to go on my iPod video.

To get the converted video onto my iPod, I simply drag the movie file into iTunes and drop it on the "library" item in the top left. It takes a second to come in, but next time I plug in my iPod, the video is instantly moved over. The quality is so good I can almost read the credits.

DVD to iPod Video on a Mac

I'm predominately a PC user, but I still have an old Mac Cube I use at home to listen to internet radio. While searching for an easy way to transfer some of my favorite DVD's to my new iPod Video, I came across this powerful free software that would allow you to rip a DVD directly into the QuickTime mp4 format needed to play the movie on an iPod.

This video format is also known as H.264 - It allows for very small file size and great image quality.

The software is called "Handbrake" and it only runs on a Mac. I've never use software that was so easy to use. Literally one click to rip the DVD to iPod Video. Handbrake can be found at:

On my old Mac Cube it took about 4 hours to rip the DVD (Batman Beyond). The resulting file was about 680 MB. The image quality is great and it only takes a couple minutes to transfer it to my iPod via iTunes.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Video Podcasting

We've been thinking about it for months, and now it's a reality. Using Poderator you can now publish your own video podcast that is easily viewable through iTunes.

Video podcasting is really nothing different that traditional podcasting. Instead of linking to an MP3 file, you just link to your video file. So far we can confirm that .mov files are playable in iTunes, we'll be testing others shortly. Since we don't yet have a video iPod I can't confirm whether or not the video will play directly on the iPod at this time. I've heard there is a special format "H.264 video" that the video needs to be encoded to play on the iPod. It's a simple export from QT Pro.

To see a cheesy example we've added a test clip featuring Walker Texas Ranger to my Podcast:

Monday, October 03, 2005

I've got my Micro!

Small is the new big! I picked up a Game Boy Micro last week. It's the coolest Nintendo handheld yet! The screen is so vibrant and so well backlit that it is playable in nearly any light conditions. This thing is going to be the hot item on many kids Christmas lists so far this year.

So far I have only one minor complaint. My hands are a bit large and there is a natural place for me to put my fingers on the shoulder buttons. When I push those buttons they depress and make a sound, but they don't actually do anything. You need to have your fingers over the middle of the button for it to actually depress. It's a little more awkward for me. Besides that I love it!

Friday, September 16, 2005

I've got my Nano!

I went and picked up my iPod Nano the other day! Honestly I love it. I've got a shuffle, but my son uses it most of the time and it was a bit hard to listed to podcasts on it without a screen. I also have a first gen iPod 10GB. A good device, but come on, it's way old.

The installation was great and it even syncs with my Outlook contacts. I guess it is also supposed to sync up with my calendar, but so far that has not panned out.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Second to the Last Word on Google

We actually hit the second position on a Google search for "Seven2" - not bad, within 2 months we went from page four to the number 2 spot. Oh yeah, we're experts now... ;)

Really it seems like the more links we had pointing to our site combined with the number of references to Seven2 on the page really effected our positioning. Honestly I also think our Meta tags helped some too, especially since the descriptions listed on Google is right out of those tags and not from any content on our page.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Poderator goes live!

We launched Poderator last week! The idea behind it was that it was just too hard for your average Joe to create their own XML files to publish their podcast. We wanted to make a free, simple and easy to use tool that would allow users to publish their podcasts. The end result is Poderator.

Users still need to have a place to store their MP3 files and the XML file that we help them create, but once they do all they have to FTP them to their web server and they'll be set.

Once they create an account we save their file on our server so it's easy to add new podcasts on a regular basis. All the user has to do is log back in and add an MP3 file.

Now we just need to see if anyone wants to use it.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Needs More Cowbell

Is this real? It looks like Christopher Walken might be running for president. I'm not sure what his politics are, but you gotta love the guy:


So I'm pretty rookie at this trackback thing. Just playing around, here is a link back to my spaces on MSN (which is fairly retarded). Read my Seven2 M Space blog info here.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Mobile Ringtones

We've been looking for a way to allow our clients to add ringtones to their site. There are a bunch of cheap hacks, but the user experience isn't so hot. Just too many hoops to jump through for the average Joe.

After much web searching, we finally made contact with 3G Upload - these guys make it easy and affordable for us to add ringtones to our sites. Basically we provide them with MP3 files and they tweak them to fit a variety of phones, both MP3 and Polyphonic MIDI as well.

We then use their tools to build a download tool into our website design. Not bad, we hope to use them soon.

Monday, August 01, 2005

What the Google?

Okay, we're done with our Google 30 Day Challenge... And in 30 days we went from 34th on the list to 5th!

We're not exactly sure how it happened, but here's a list of what we did to increase our search engine position in such a short time:

1. Blogging - We created our blogs and used them to link to our own site. The tought was that the more pages pointing to our owm site (, the more interested Google might be in us. From what we hear, Google really wants to deliver the most relevant results to their users. If many people are linking to a site it must be good right? Riiight... ;)

2. MoBlog - Similar to blogging, we used our moblog ( to link back to our site.

3. META Tags - We added relevant meta descriptions and keywords to each of our pages. Yes, each page has it's own unique meta tags. Also the tags were generated so that they matched words that were already on the page in html.

4. Site Content - We didn't really change anything here, but we did notice that the pages Google found and listed higher were the pages that had multiple references to Seven2. For us that is our news page. We list all of our press releases in order on a single html page. There are 38 references to Seven2 on that page. It looks like loading it up definately helps too. I'd just keep it relevant.

We'll keep on tracking, there is more to come. I hope we can stay on the first page of Google.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Poderator is a new idea that I had recently. From what I can find there is not an easy and free way to publish Podcasts. It's not hard for the average Joe to record a low-quality MP3 file, but publishing it is a bit confusing.

To publish your Podcast you typically need a knowledge of RSS 2.o with enclosures. It's not that hard to do manually, but it's not very pretty, and it's a little overwhelming for the average Podcaster.

Soon it will be free and easy for anyone to publish their own Podcast using Poderator. More to come soon...

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Odeo Goes Live

I'm beta testing Odeo, a new app for managing your Podcast subscriptions. It looks like they have two tools right now:

1. Manage and sync your MP3 player and podcast via their application. I believe it was built off of the iPodder framework. However, I use iTunes which now has the podcast directory and subscriptions built in. (even though I really like iPodder better).

2. A way to consolidate and manage all of your subscriptions in one place. They then offer an XML file that I can subscribe to in iTunes that pulls in all of my podcasts. It's a little strange, but I'll play with it.

They will be offering podcast publishing tools soon. That is the reason I really wanted to join in. I hope they will create an easy tool set to publish your own podcasts. So far it's been hard to find that, but maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

WooHoo! More Crazy Google Placements

Okay, we're back moving in a positive direction. It's still pretty weird though. Right now we have:

#20 (page 2) - My Seven2 Moblog hosted with TextAmerica. Lot's of links to Seven2 throughout that for sure. However there is no mention of online marketing, just pictures of me in a Mexican wrestling mask I bought on eBay. Search for one here.

#29 (page 3) - Our Seven2 news page. I guess we use our own name a lot there. Good to know.

#30 (page 3) - My blog. Yeah this page right here. This is the first time I've even seen it listed in Google.

#40 (page 4) - The Seven2 Home page!! At the very bottom of page 4. I guess we need to mention our own name on that page over and over again. I'll go change that right now...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Googles is Crazies

Okay, we actually slipped a few notches in our Google ratings (Now 35th). I hoped that searching for "Seven2" on Google would get us listed higher. We're an online ad agency and most likely people wouldn't be searching for us anyway, so it's more of a vanity thing.

What's really weird is that my Moblog ended up higher on the rankings than our site. It's located on TextAmerica where it's just a subdomain hosted for free. The Seven2 Moblog ended up in the 21st position. Very odd as there is little or no content there. I think Google is picking up my auto-signature from my phone that ends up being the caption for each image I post. I'll have to keep an eye on it and maybe add a better description to the Moblog.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Rent My Chest

Okay, you can't rent mine. But I've rented Chris Pirillo's chest to help celebrate the Seven2's first anniversary. As soon as he posts the image you can we it here at

So far it's only $20 so it good fun. He'll also work with a female if that's the shot you need, but at $2k it's a little spendy for me.

It appears that even DeBeers has rented his chest. Not sure what they got out of it, but at least it shows they have a sense of humor. So far it looks like 85 people have taken the plunge. If nothing else Chris got to pocket about $1700.

I saw Chris speak at the DMA World in Seattle. It's put on by the Seattle DMA. They did a great job and most of the speakers had some good information, but by far Chris was the most animated. You may remember him from his TechTV days.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Our Google Challenge, Part II

We've recently added some Meta tags as a first test. It's only been a day or so, but we've jumped up to spot number 32 on Google. That's still the fourth page, but it's early, I hope to move up a couple more screens if possible.

Search for Seven2 on Google here. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Timpani - LivePerson

I'm demo'ing "Timpani" by LivePerson. It seems like it might be a good fit for one of our clients, CUE11. Honestly I'm not sure if the software will work from by blog spot but it's a decent place to try and see how things work.

If it does work I'm guessing you will see a pop up or other invitation to chat me up. If it doesn't I probably did something wrong or it's not supported in Blogger. I think the demo only works for a few days too.

 Live chat by LivePerson

Thursday, June 30, 2005



Our Google 30 Day Challenge

Last night I was doing some vanity searches in Google and found that our company "Seven2" came up 34th on the list. That's 4 pages in! One of the problems is that we are and not - The latter is a great paddle company and there is a lot if info about them online. Their site and stories about them take up most of the 33 listings before ours.

We've decided to spend 30 days trying a variety of methods to increase our position. As we go I'll list those here and give updates on our position along the way. I'd love to be listed in the top 10, but I'm realistic as well.

Tyler Lafferty will be helping me out as we go. You can view his blog here:

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Nintendo World Store

We just launched the Nintendo World Store today. ( It's a photo tour that shows off the latest and greatest Nintendo products. Back in early May, Brandon and I traveled to New York and met with photographer Jeff to shoot the store.

We spent 3 brief days there, but most of the shoot happened on one long night. We were able to have the store entirely to ourselves most of the time. I think our favorite part of the store was the game pod chairs. Nintendo customized three egg chairs by adding surround sound and a rumble pack into each chair! Once you settle down into the chair you have your own plasma screen hooked up to a GameCube loaded with all the latest games. We could have played for hours!

The Nintendo World Store is a gamers paradise for sure. It's a bit like taking Nintendo's booth at E3 and slamming it into an ultra hip, 2 story building connected to the Rockefeller Center. If I were you I'd get there as soon as I can.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Things I Hear

Here is a list of my favorite Podcasts. Mostly I use my Apple Shuffle to listen, but every once and a while I'll just use my first gen iPod. To download my Podcasts I use iPodder, it's very easy to use, works on both Mac and PC, and publishes everything right into iTunes.

iPodder creates a new playlist for each Podcast feed that I listen to. I then created a "smart playlist" that automatically consolidates each of the other playlists into one. Now when I plug in my Shuffle it is instantly updated with all of my latest Podcasts. It's pretty slick.

What I find myself listening to most often:

  1. CNET Buzz Outloud, a five minute Podcast by Tom and Molly that keeps me up to date in all things tech.
  2. TWIT - This Week In Tech, a bunch of the old TechTV guys that are now out on their own.
  3. The Daily Source Code, Adam Curry's daily podcast. Honestly it's pretty long and he doesn't cover too much outside of his own life. If he could get it down to about 5 minutes I'd be stoked.

The Things I Read

Here are some of my favorite online readings and resources:

  1. Adverblog, Martina does a great job of keeping up with current marketing issues and campaigns. Most of the post are from Europe, but it all very relevant:
  2. MMOOM, Making Money out of Mobile, another site maintained by Martina:
  3. Marketing Profs, they offer a great email newsletter and most of the content is free:

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Holy Weather Issues

Things are crazy here in Spokane right now. We've got 60 MPH + winds and it's just starting to rain. My power and cable keeps going on and off and they say we are going to get a lightning storm over the next hours too. I guess it is so bad there was actually and emergency broadcast signal on TV and the radio.

I had only heard the test signals as a kid growing up. I had never really heard these used for real "emergencies" until I moved to Spokane. In the past 10 or so years I bet I've heard these things at least 5 times. Usually it's just for some sort of storm warning though. Right now the local news keeps popping up on tv and telling us how bad it is. They usually overplay things quite a bit though.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Rollin' Like VIPs

We got the chance to sit right above the Mariners Dugout last night thanks to Dano. Great seats, I forget how much fun it is to watch live baseball. It was a great game, they lost after 13 innings though. We've posted pictures to our MoBlog here. We were so close that even our cruddy Treo 600 images looked great!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

I Hate Phone Systems Volume II

Seven2 is getting ready to move into our new office mid July. Again we need to start shopping for a phone system as the one we are using (BizFone") will be staying in with our current space. It's been a year since we went through it and it still sucks. You pay a lot but don't get much, oh well.

We're currently looking at one of three sytems, but can't decide.

Sitting in the Airport

Our flight was delayed this morning, so Tyler and I have a few hours to kill in the lovely Spokane Airport. Not much to eat, just an A&W and some vending machines. Thank God there is Wifi here. But it still kills me that I have to pay for access in public places. They use Boingo here and it's a total rip off at $7 a day. Too bad the aiport didn't join the Spokane Hotzone, access would be free for anyone, at least for the first 2 hours. But really do you need more than that?

At least I can get caught up on some work, it's been crazy lately. Ah there is fun time tonight though. We're heading to the Mariners game and sitting front row. I'll be posting pictures to my MoBlog all night.

Friday, June 03, 2005

This is just a test

You have to have a test the first time right?