Criticising The Canberra “Human Brochure”

I got a call a few days ago from a Canberra Times journo (Ben Westcott), wanting my thoughts on the “Human Brochure” promotion that ACT Tourism ran a year ago. I didn’t expect my comments to make it into the story – but apparently they did.

Canberra Human Brochure fail

I asked some questions about the promotion from a marketing perspective when it was first announced (and before we found out that we were going on it). It’s fair to say that I was skeptical about it from the beginning. After the trips (we actually went twice, in October and February), ACT Tourism asked for feedback and I took the time to write them a long, thoughtful note. I didn’t hear back from them, which was kind of surprising, but I’m assuming they sent the journo to talk to me because they knew I had some criticisms.

However, let me clarify a few things that didn’t make it into the Canberra Times story.

1. We had a good time. The ACT Tourism folks treated us like royalty. We had zero complaints about our treatment. The hotels were lovely, the food was wonderful and the ACT Tourism crew were friendly.

2. I’m sure most people had a good time. Who doesn’t enjoy a free holiday? That said, while we had a good enough time on the first trip, we seriously were apathetic about going on the second trip. We told ACT Tourism that we had been selected twice and expected them to politely pull us off the second trip. They didn’t. So we went, but if they’d pulled us off, we wouldn’t have minded in the slightest.

3. My main complaint was from a marketing perspective. As I said to Westcott, if I was in charge of marketing Canberra as a tourist destination, I’d be trying to work out what Canberra has that Australia’s other major destinations do not. In marketing speak – what’s your unique value proposition? Why should people spend their vacation in Canberra instead of, say, Melbourne? Yes – Canberra has some nice restaurants and hotels. BUT WHAT ELSE? And please – don’t tell me it has Parliament House. BORING. Or the Australian War Museum which, quite frankly, I found distasteful. I know, I know – they don’t glorify war – BULLSHIT. It’s ALL about glorification of war. If it wasn’t, the AWM would be full of overt messages saying “WAR IS STUPID AND LET’S NEVER DO IT AGAIN UNLESS WE ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO”. Instead the message it projects is “Weren’t those brave Aussies who sacrificed their lives wonderful and shouldn’t we admire their memory?” That’s glorification of war, people. Don’t try to bullshit a bullshitter.

I talked about it with @IanKath during the trip in February and he recorded our conversation.

4. Of course, I wasn’t the only person who wasn’t impressed. Chrissy wasn’t impressed either, but mostly because our agenda was set in stone – and we don’t travel like that. The ACT Tourism folks treated like a typical famil – set schedules to eat, drink, bus, see this, do that, etc. We HATE that. We would have much rather they give us a couple of airfares, cab vouchers, restaurant vouchers, and say “here’s a list of things we recommend you see, but if you’d like to do something else, let us know how we can help”. For example, we wanted to spend a lot of time sitting in front of BLUE POLES – and we did, but we had to sneak away from the group and pay our own money for taxis. Now maybe everyone else was happy with the set agenda – but the first rule of marketing is KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER. They didn’t even ASK us what kind of agenda we’d like. They just assumed. From our perspective, it was a failure.

Anyhoo… we’re not ungrateful. We enjoyed the trip and appreciated the experiences we had. The lesson here (if there is one) is that marketing anything, even a national capital, has to be thought about in terms of WHAT WILL MAKE CUSTOMER HAPPY and WHAT IS OUR UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION?

JP Morgan Is Laughing At You

Sell some weed in the United States and you can get 81 years in prison. Create a massive fraud that collapses the global economy, put thousands out of work, makes thousands lose their homes, destroy thousands of businesses – and you’ll get what amounts to a slap on the wrist. JP Morgan has assets near $2.5 TRILLION. They have been involved in criminal activity for years, defrauding American and international investors, aiding and abetting criminals from Enron to Worldcom and rigging the energy market. Do they go to jail? Are their leaders even charged with crimes? Of course not. Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, paid himself $23 million in 2011. He even got praise from Obama.

Just one more example of how the banksters have got the system rigged. These bastards are laughing at you, especially you Democrats who still think Obama is the Great Hope.

Jpmorgan

No Illusions Podcast #61 – Politics & Ethics

My guests again today are J. David Markham, my regular co-host on the much-loved Napoleon Bonaparte Podcast, and his friend of 35 years, a regular guest on this show, Doug LaFollette, the Secretary of State of Wisconsin.

This week I try to get down to basics – how do we form our political beliefs? Is government really about ethics? What political ethics do we want our society to strive towards? Are psychopaths screwing up the world? Do they make up a large percentage of the 1%?

 

Aristotle, politics, ethics

Using AppleScript to Launch a Bunch of Startup Applications

using applescript to auto launch mac apps

 

For the six years I’ve been using a Mac, I’ve often wanted to learn how to use AppleScript to automate processes I repeat. Today I finally did.

As part of my routine for keeping my Mac running efficiently, I like to re-boot it every couple of days. And to make sure it continues to boot quickly, I’ve made sure I’ve deleted everything that wants to auto-startup at boot. That way, I get a nice, clean, quick boot if I need it.

However, there are also a number of sites and apps that I use all day that I need to run. So instead of opening them all up individually after a new boot, I’ve written an AppleScript to do it for me.

Now if you’re an old AppleScript hand, this is probably stupidly simple. But I know lots of friends and family who have moved to a Mac in recent years and who aren’t programmers, so this is for them.

The Steps.

1. Open AppleScript. It comes pre-installed on your Mac. Find it by searching Spotlight.

2. Start a new script.

3. Cut & Paste my code from below. Change the URLs you want to open and the App you want to run according to your tastes.

4. Click “Compile” on the AppleScript toolbar.

5. Flie > Save. Save it to your Applications folder. Make sure the “File Format” is “Application”. Call it whatever you want – mine is just called ‘Startup’.

6. Lastly, open up the Applications folder and drage the icon for the new app to your dock. Close AppleScript.

Now, when you boot, after the dock loads, just run the new app and it will open all of your sites and apps for you.

 

 

 

open location “http://gmail.com”

open location “http://facebook.com”

 

tell application “TextExpander”

activate

end tell

 

tell application “Alfred 2”

activate

end tell

 

tell application “CrashPlan”

activate

end tell

 

tell application “PopClip”

activate

end tell

 

tell application “Bartender”

activate

end tell

 

tell application “Fantastical”

activate

end tell

 

tell application “Moom”

activate

end tell

 

tell application “Skype”

activate

end tell

 

tell application “TweetDeck”

activate

end tell

 

tell application “Evernote”

activate

end tell

 

tell application “Spotify”

activate

end tell

No Illusions Podcast #60 – SHUTDOWN

My guests today are J. David Markham, my regular co-host on the much-loved Napoleon Bonaparte Podcast, and his friend of 35 years, a regular guest on this show, Doug LaFollette, Secretary of State of Wisconsin. They joined me this morning to discuss the recent US government shutdown and the forces at play behind it. If you, like me, have been trying to understand how something like this could happen in the world’s leading economic power, then I hope this conversation will shed some light on the issue. As David and Doug are both Democrats, I, being an Australian, try to throw in some counter-arguments into the conversation for balance.

BTW, if you’re having trouble getting the show to download in iTunes, please try deleting the feed from iTunes and re-adding it using this link.

shutdown art