August 2009 Archive

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August 21, 2009

Trademarks: Where have all the words gone?

@ 4:42 PM
Buffalo.jpgGoogle adwords do a good job for us. There is no other way that we can drive highly qualified buyers to our sites at the 5 or 6 pence we currently pay.

There are challenges - succinct messages, effective calls to action and maintenance of real time prices to name a few.

Maintenance is taken care of by the increasingly impressive Mooch Engine. We can now receive a voucher code at midday, apply it to every relevant price immediately and include all of those prices in adwords within 10 minutes. We can now often get the price to market before the issuing merchant... which is good.

My recurring annoyance is the unrestricted spread of trademarks. Merrell don't want us to use their name to sell their products, neither do Ferrari, Brasher and a host of other name brands. This I can cope with (albeit we are actually trying to increase their revenue). These aren't words commonly used in conversation outside of the brand.

But how about "dancing on ice" this phrase, that used to belong to everybody, now belongs to a private company for the purposes of making money. No one is now allowed to use this three word string without the permission of a faceless marketing man... bad, but not the worst.
Imagine my delight when today I found out that buffalo is now a trademark. Someone owns this word and they won't let you use it (at least not on adwords).

This annoys me, but I bet it annoys mozzarella manufacturers, close relatives to bison and those gals who dance round the outside, a hell of a lot more. Not to mention the residents of that US town in the state of New York.

It is stupid but not unassailable - you see BuffaIo is perfectly acceptable... do you see what I did there... You should come here for Blogging tips!

Oh and while I'm at it could someone tell Google that Speed is more often used to describe motion than it is to describe amphetamines and Need for Speed is not a junky mantra it's a movie and a Wii game.
So use the words while they're still in the public domain, you'll miss them when they're gone.

August 4, 2009

Insert key for XP under Parallels

@ 1:50 PM
I'm working on an MS Project file running on XP under Parallels on my Macbook Pro. I'm missing the 'Insert' key that creates a new task - digging around the menus for it becomes old very quickly.

Searching turned up lots of old solutions around the 'Help' key which is non-existent on recent Mac keyboards. Finally found the solution, and to help anyone else who might be searching for this, it's: fn + Enter