Friday, September 24, 2010

Lobby Beautiful

Snapshots from a Hotel Lobby
I detest most hotel meetings, especially those coffee shop and hotel lobby meet-ups as they are all pretentious, boring and bloody expensive as well. But, sometimes they can get your creative juices flowing like this one...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Amateur Cell Phone Photos


Start of Websnacker's Fotography & Co

No more procrastinations. Starting from this Saturday, I will be uploading random pics on this blog and hopefully on my dormant Flickr account too - all shot through my mobile phone. Maybe atleast one a day or two or maybe more and also wish to get my movie/music posts in regular rhythm (sorry to all who have been writing to me). If you have the time, critique my pics and let me know what you feel!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Starting A Online Venture - Here's Your Recipe For Digital Sucess


Websnacker’s Top 10 Rules for Launching the Perfect Online Venture

With the stupendous success of Facebook, Twitter and hundreds of other online success stories that you keep reading these days; sure, big ideas seem great but how about some practical tips for successfully building and launching a digital venture? Here are top ten rules derived from my and my team’s collective experience at my creative firm.

Rule 1 - Always Work as a Team: Assemble an integrated project team of business, creative and technology minds to develop the corporate vision and work requirements then see them through to actual implementation. True innovation comes from active, multidisciplinary collaboration so focus on it.

Rule 2 - Anticipate Change: From the outset, the entire team should be ready, know and accept that requirements will naturally change and evolve. Flexibility should be the core team value. Challenge your team to imagine the unexpected a few steps into the future and how they would handle it.

Rule 3 - Communicate Openly: Issues always arise on projects, particularly with new technologies and high visibility. Openly raise the issues, present alternatives and work as a team toward resolution.

Rule 4 - Don't Reinvent the Wheel: Leverage existing products and tools where appropriate but keep the product mix to a manageable minimum. Don't try to deliver all functionality at once.

Rule 5 - Phase the Process: Imagine it (informed brainstorming), define it (prioritization, scoping and design), and do it (implementation). Phase deliverables, test them with the audience, then iterate and refine. For each phase and deliverable, know what you're going to do, when you're going to do it and what it's going to cost.

Rule 6 - Reward Your Team: It all comes down to human beings working together. You won't hesitate to tell your team when something's wrong, so don't forget to reward them when something's right. One of the best rewards is simple and low cost: genuine recognition. Stand up and recognize them among their peers or to a broader audience and they’ll love it.

Rule 7 - Get to Market: Beat the competition. Offer incremental features and functionality over time. The sooner you can deliver, the more time you will have to build brand loyalty. Deliver "good enough" now and continually improve upon it. Think IPod or the IPhone.

Rule 8 - Market and Promote: Whether you're launching a consumer web site or an online web store, you need to let people know how and where to find you, and why they should bother. Branding, marketing, social media and viral promotion are key. Plan for this from the start.

Rule 9 - Measure Results & Improve: Technology permits you to capture incredibly valuable information about who is doing what on your site. Continually analyze and use it to inform your next steps: marketing strategy and tactics, interface and content improvements, functional enhancements or architectural changes. Keep improving.

Rule 10 - Select the Right Partner: Select a creative/marketing partner who can help you solve the whole problem and sell it to your audience. Incorrect branding, marketing, advertising and public relations can all impede innovation and time-to-market but with the right partner, you can get it right. (Hint – try us)

This ain't the magic formula but it sure will take you on the right road to success! All the best.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Devlins' Greatest Hits - A Websnacker Exclusive Compilation


Melodic Alternative - Indie Rock from the Splendid Dublin Fourpiece

While the Devlins burst into the alt rock scene in 1994 with their spectacular debut album ‘Drift’ (produced by the award winning Malcolm Burn, a protégé of Daniel Lanois); I heard them first only in 1996 on the soundtrack of the Winona Ryder – Lukas Haas coming of age teen flick ‘Boys’. Like Ian Brown, another favorite of mine, the Devlins have constantly remained on my top 5 fav list since then.

Led by the multi-talented Colin Devlin and seconded by his brother Peter, the Devlins have released 4 albums so far - Drift (1993/94), Waiting (1997), Consent (2002) and Waves (2004) with Colin Devlin’s solo album Democracy Of One (2009) being their most recent. All their albums have been certified gold best sellers and in 2010, Colin Devlin was also nominated for the prestigious Meteor Awards.

Notwithstanding the wrong comparison with their most famous Irish cousins – U2, the Devlins play an inimitable blend of mellow alternative rock, soaked in terrific melodies and intense lyrics that are enhanced by intricate guitar work - instant hook-ups in the first listen itself. No doubt, their most recognized songs have all been soundtrack hits. Their first international hit single Crossing the River was featured on the ‘Batman Forever’ soundtrack followed by “Waiting” in the Tom Cruise starrer ‘Magnolia’. A remix version of Waiting received phenomenal recognition when it was featured on the pilot of the popular HBO TV series ‘Six Feet Under’. Later, in 2004, they achieved more fame when their hit World Outside was featured on the soundtrack of Mike Nichols’ “Closer”.

You can now hear all of their most well-known hits including my personal favorites in this special and exclusive MP3 selection, encompassing music from all their albums and soundtrack appearances. While I eagerly await their fifth album due to be released later this year or in early 2011, now is the time for you to fall in love with the Devlins. Enjoy the love!

22 tracks in playlist, average track length: 4:30
Playlist length: 1 hour 39 minutes 7 seconds

1. The Devlins - Almost Made You Smile (4:57)
2. The Devlins - Alone In The Dark (5:14)
3. The Devlins - Big Decision (3:16)
4. The Devlins - Consent (4:48)
5. The Devlins - Crossing the River (4:45)
6. The Devlins - Don't Let It Break Your Heart (3:47)
7. The Devlins - Everytime You Go (4:49)
8. The Devlins - Five Miles To Midnight (4:10)
9. The Devlins - I Don T Want To Be Like This (4:21)
10. The Devlins - I Knew That (4:01)
11. The Devlins - In Seville (3:50)
12. The Devlins - Kill With Me Tonight (4:06)
13. The Devlins - Montreal (4:01)
14. The Devlins - People Still Believing (6:15)
15. The Devlins - Snowbirds (4:46)
16. The Devlins - Someone To Talk To (4:45)
17. The Devlins - Static In The Flow (4:57)
18. The Devlins - Surrender (4:37)
19. The Devlins - There Is A Light (3:52)
20. The Devlins - Turn You 'Round (4:37)
21. The Devlins - Waiting (Tom Lord-Alge Remix) (4:51)
22. The Devlins - World Outside (4:22)

Free Mp3 Download - 97.06 MB Single Zipped Folder – Megaupload Link

THIS IS A FAN MIXTAPE. IF YOU LIKE THE DEVLINS, PLEASE BUY THEIR ORIGINAL MUSIC & PROMOTE THEM. You can buy original CDS/DVDs & Mp3s of The Devlins at Emusic.com, Amazon.com, Itunes.com or your nearest music retailer and at the official Devlins website @ thedevlins.com or colindevlin.com

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Beauty Queens, Dinosaurs and Carnal Desires


Two weeks back or so, I impulsively participated in an online contest where you had to choose the prettiest girl who I would love to go out on a five star luxury date (and also deserved to become the next Miss Universe). Out of some dozen or so attractive and sexy women of varied colors, I randomly selected three – all tall, gorgeous and good-looking brunettes.

I did not even bother to read their names, which country they belonged to or what they did for a living - instead leaving my better judgement to what looked nice to my eyes or rather what I considered which one had the best physical attributes! Okay..now don’t get me wrong and call me a debauched lecher. With a client meeting to attend in 20 minutes, I obviously did not have the time to spare and besides, the contest had already received some 6255 entries!

Anyway, I get a call yesterday from a husky sounding woman who informs me that I am one of the lucky winners (out of the 10000 participants or so). But before you think that I have indeed won a blind date with this year’s Miss Universe 2010 – an exotic Mexican hottie named Ximena; the hard truth is a dampener – forget the first prize, I am not even amongst the top 10 winners but belong to ‘the consolation prize’ group. As evident from the name, the organizers idea of consoling me was to gift me a smart pair of jeans wear and 4 cans of foul smelling deodorants which they claim have the power to turn ON all women of the planet - crazy with carnal desires. Either, these guys had erroneously sent me 4 small cans of an insecticide or maybe, women really have weird & odd turn ons.

I come back home, switch on the telly and hop on to the Discovery channel. And what do I see – a slick documentary on courtship, sex and evolution. Have you ever been inexplicably attracted to someone completely outside your usual realm of possibilities, the host asks? It seems human beings aren't the only ones who have surprised themselves. I am told that the spiky horns and clubbed tails of dinosaurs evolved not only for protection, but to also equip them for vicious sexual battles between rival males.

In fact, it seems dinosaurs also indulged in beauty contests like humans, flaunting a bizarre array of quills, crests, ruffs and frills. The giant (and apparently mischievous) Diplodocus even sported a whip - perhaps for cracking dramatically as part of a courtship ritual!

And to prove that we did, somewhere along the line, evolve from the animal kingdom, I am told that the Hadrosaur had a one-metre high crest protruding from its head which acted like a natural trombone. Just think of the noisiest guy you know and multiply the sound by about 50. The female dinosaurs were it seems most attracted to the male Hadrosaurs with the deepest voices.

This all happened 65 million years ago. So, taking into account some million, million years of human evolution, one can only surmise from the laws of nature, that it's not entirely our fault if we pick the wrong partner. The laws of attraction it seems are now governed not only by considered choices of our own, but partly by our 'still alive' animal instinct and also by foul smelling, sex inducing deodorants. And, of course, an utterly fab denim outfit too!
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