December 24, 2004

House of the Snoring Filmgoers

I liked Hero (though it went on about 30 minutes too long). I think Zhang Ziyi is beautiful. The reviews have been favorable, so I got a group of folks together yesterday to head out to see House of the Flying Daggers.

It was terrible. It was unremittingly dull. It's about 20 minutes worth of movie stretched out over two hours. We nearly considered leaving mid-way.

I mean, if you like extended shots of people on horses, this is the movie for you. The director makes very clear that these people are on horses, and are riding them for a very very long time.

But if you want emotion that has any feeling of truth behind it, forget it. And, no, I'm not seeking complexity in this film... But even the simplicity of the plot has no emotional logic, so you end up caught up in a love story that makes no sense.

Anyway, this is a deep deep disappointment of a film. And it's pathetic that otherwise seasoned filmgoers (i.e., The Critics) would get snowed over by the cinematography to the point that they seem to forget they're watching a movie, not staring at a painting. Carla Meyer is an exception, summing it up as "Beautiful but hollow."

Posted by peterme at 05:36 PM | Comments (4)

December 22, 2004

More on Best Cellars - Wine Store Design

Readers of peterme know I'm fan of Best Cellars.

Business week has an interview with its founder, touching on subjects of classification, store presentation, the value of calling assumptions into question, etc. Worth a read!

Posted by peterme at 05:44 PM

December 21, 2004

Content Management Workshop - January 25

On January 25th, Jeff and I will be presenting a workshop on getting the most out of your current (or planned) content management system.

We'll be doing it here in San Francisco, at the new Adaptive Path office.

It should be a great event, and I can guarantee it will be chock full of useful information about handling the organizational politics of content management, how get people to think of content in a structured, and thus manageable way, the futility of much of what the big CMS vendors sell, etc.

In many ways, this is as much of an information architecture workshop as it is a content management workshop. (We believe that content management is, in large part, an information architecture issue). We'll be addressing content models, taxonomies, facets, metadata of various sorts, etc.

This is a hands-on workshop, so there will be many activities to ensure that what you hear sinks in.

We have early registration that ends December 27th - save $50!

Posted by peterme at 12:51 PM

Hotel Room User Testing

A current project requires lab user testing in four cities in California. We knew that for the Bay Area, we could use our client's office, but for L.A., Fresno, and Sacramento, what would we do?

Our first impulse was to get a formal user testing lab -- totally pro set up, one-way glass, lots and lots of M&Ms. So we priced out a couple of labs in L.A., and the cheapest we could find was $1500 for a day. Which struck me as obscene.

And considering I hate testing facilities as it is. It's sooooo corporate/conference-y. So foreign and weird.

So, instead, we booked adjoining hotel rooms. One serves as the testing room, the other as the observation room. Bring down a cheap, small, digital camera, and wire that to a TV in the observation room. Hotels are all about the high-speed internet access now, and Courtyard and Residence Inns by Marriott offer it for free.

Have the testing room be a suite, so that there's a desk set-up in a room with no bed. (Otherwise, it feels a little too... porn-y.)

And hey, since you're traveling, you need a hotel room for the night before (and possibly night of), so the rooms serve double duty.

Two adjoining hotel rooms run for around $300 for a day, depending on location. Even if it gets up to, oh, $500, that's still a huge discount over a testing facility.

Why would I use a testing facility, again?

Posted by peterme at 08:48 AM | Comments (5)

More on Media Obesity

It turns out I wasn't the first to suggest an analogy between food consumption and media consumption. I had done a search for "media obesity" and didn't turn this up before... But now it has risen higher on Google.

Media Surplus

and a thoughtful response.

Posted by peterme at 05:19 AM | Comments (1)


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