And, We’re Back!

Wow, it’s been over a year and a half since I last posted on this blog! 2012 is almost over and now I notice! Well, it’s been a busy time is all the excuse I have to offer. There’s been work, play, sickness, pets, pet sickness, more work and other reasons for not blogging, but maybe this year I should just resolve to write more and post more often.  Let’s put that down as a tentative resolution for 2013.

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Liquid Mountaineering | A Marketing Success Story With A Twist

Have you heard of liquid mountaineering or hydro sprinting? If you haven’t, you missed a classic online hoax/marketing gimmick of 2010. It was an awesome online campaign created for Hi-tec Adventure Footwear by an Amsterdam based agency called CCCP. It’s definitely one of the most popular campaigns of the previous year.

Earlier, in November 2009, CCCP had launched a simple blogspot blog run by a Mr. Eingestellt von Ulf. In 2010, blog activity increased, in February the blog had images of Ulf and his buddies (presumably) trying their new hobby, running on water. In April, a blog post titled Small Step For Man said they’d achieved the unthinkable. Around the same time (April 2010), a YouTube video was posted by a 38 year old guy from Portugal named TheUlfG. It was a run-of-the-mill HD documentary type, how-to video with some outdoorsy guys by a lakeside in Portugal. The video told viewers about a new adventure sport, a fad that was taking off quite nicely. It explained the concept of liquid mountaineering or to put it simply, it taught viewers how to run on water.

Not walk on water, run on it.

According to these guys, if you use the right speed, angle and distributed your weight correctly, it is possible to run a few steps on water, before splashing into it. Much like a stone skipping on water before finally sinking in it. Of course, you’d need the right kind of hydrophobic shoes to do the trick and Hi-tec was absolutely the right type of shoe! As the video progresses, you know it’s a prank, but the guys explain the science so earnestly, you almost want to believe someone’s found a way to run on water! Then seven more videos were uploaded, of guys running into half frozen lakes in diving suits! Everyone who saw these, had to think twice about the sport. Could it be? Was it a joke? Was it really a sport? It must be a hoax! No wait, it’s real and it means only one thing. Gasp, shock, wow, Jesus Lives! And so the buzz went on. And on.

As the video gained more hits (presently 9,360,584), www.liquidmountaineering.org went up and netizens began actively debating the veracity of the video. The number of Google searches for the term liquid mountaineering shot up around May/June 2010. Traffic to the liquidmountaineering.org website shot up as well.

By April 2010, folks were blogging about it, debating if it was possible, trying to make their own ‘running on water videos’ (shoes optional) and that’s when the guys at Discovery’s mythbusters busted the sport. But by then, multiple Facebook pages had cropped up, the official one had over 5300 fans! Tweets, shares and Diggs ensured that thousands more saw the video and finally in June, when enough people were talking about it, the parent company announced the video was a part of a promotional campaign.

Here’s what Simon Bonham, Hi-Tec Group Head of Marketing had to say about the campaign;

“We wanted to create a piece of entertainment around our hydrophobic footwear and get people talking and thinking about the brand differently.” He added, “The idea was to take a traditional form of marketing and totally turn it around on its head, in the process capturing the fun spirited side of our brand.  The reaction to the viral has surpassed all expectations; with people all over the world debating whether this could indeed be possible or not and even trying to do their own Liquid Mountaineering. We’ve even seen a number of entertaining attempts appear on YouTube and other places on the Web”

- Simon Bonham, Hi-Tec Group Head of Marketing

Remember, Liquid Mountaineering is a non-existent sport and a brand new term was coined up explicitly for the campaign. Both the sport and the term have become a BIG success and even after the campaign ended, even after the makers admitted it as a hoax, new youtube videos on hydro sprinting, still go up, every few weeks!

Here’s what the geniuses at CCCP had to say about the campaign;

“Make us cool”. A simple brief and yet a difficult challenge. Competing with mega brands like Adidas and Nike with a fraction of their budget, we decided to invest in a clever idea instead of media. 

We started with an idea that people want to believe in. Hi-Tec’s hydrophobic shoes are so water repellent; they allow you to walk on water. This simple idea resulted in a viral film, which mesmerized over 7 million viewers across the globe and became one of 2010’s most successful viral campaigns worldwide. Through clever use of teaser films and social media, we convinced millions of people that Liquid Mountaineering was actually a new sport. Soon after the film hit the web, it triggered a lively discussion amongst viewers and lots of daredevil “me-too’s” started uploading their own films, mostly poor attempts. Without spending any money on media, the film got picked up by tv stations globally, including ESPN, FOX and RTL Germany and was dubbed “One of the cleverest hoaxes on the internet this year”, by the Sunday Times.

- From the CCCP website

Check out the making of the videos here.

And next time your employer wants you to push a concept online, think out of the box, think out of the world, think Liquid Mountaineering and do something different!

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Why Debian Is So Awesome

Debian OpenLogo

Image via Wikipedia

Debian is among my favorite Linux flavours. Debian is definitely the chocolate of all Linux flavours. Melt it, chill it, blend it, chocolate rocks in all forms, like Debian and its derivatives Mepis, Mint, Knoppix, Damn Small Linux. It’s the fall-back, the old reliable that always gets you up and cheery cos it never lets you down to start with. Even Ubuntu, the most famous open source operating system to ever penetrate the mainstream, is a Debian derivative.

Debian has enabled my easy exploration of Linux as an all-Windows, Linux-in-crisis computer user. In fact, when you get down to brass tracks, Debian converted me. Hallelujah! A kindly friend installed Simply Mepis (KDE) on my 2 year old HCL and I simply fell in love with it from Day 1. Debian (including pre-release Squeeze), is stable, never breaks and is unbelievably easy to use.

So why Debian?

The answers are the same as Why Linux?.
It’s rock solid stable.
It’s free.
No Viruses.
The latest version is just one click away.
Upgrades are just a single command away.
It’s a DIY thing. Or not, if you ain’t the tinkering kind. Continue reading

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Linux To The Rescue | Linux Can Save You & Your Data

USB flash drive

Image via Wikipedia

Worse Case Scenario A

Your laptop crashed. Windows just won’t come back on. You can’t access your data. You’ve got to reinstall Windows, which means you’ve just lost that blu-ray film you downloaded off kickasstorrents.com as well as all your photos from your last vacation!

Worse Case Scenario B

There’s a deadline coming up and your PC’s swamped with viruses you’ve never heard of. Everything is infected and moving at a snail’s pace. A quick fix will take a couple of hours, but you have a deadline that needs to be met before that. What on earth can save you?  Continue reading

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5 Linux Apps For Everyone

Despite its many wonderful features, Linux is not really everyone’s cup of tea cos it takes time to figure out and learn. But even Windows users can bask in the glow of open source wares. Here are our favorite five open source goodies for Windows;

Linux Mascots

Famous Open Source Faces

Continue reading

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Why Linux?

I’ve been asked way too many times, “Why Linux?”

Like last week, I reached one of my clients offices and requested for a LAN cable to connect to the net.

“Why?” inquired a colleague.

“Well, cos I’ve just put in a new minimal Linux” I replied, “and I haven’t configured my laptop’s wireless yet.”

“So log into Windows,” he says.

“Well I have no Windows” I replied and then I sat down next to him, feeling mildly idiotic. But I used the LAN to fix my wireless in 10 minutes.

“That’s why I love Linux,” I say to my colleague triumphantly, and he turns to me grimacing and says, “Well if you’d just stuck to windows, you wouldn’t have needed this in the first place. It would have just – worked.”

He’s right.

But then, maybe my laptop would catch a virus and die. As I said, it is an antique.

But I’m dumbstruck with love. So I began my arguments.

I love it cos, it’s tiny and sets my antique hardware racing, unlike Windows, which freezes my old timer with a single click.

I love it cos, Linux doesn’t hurt the ones who love it. There are no malicious viruses that can harm a Linux system. That’s a Microsoft prerogative. So Linux means no viruses. Ever.

I love it cos Linux makes me feel smarter. It gives me enough tools to find my own solutions to most problems. I went from being a dependent, frustrated Windows user to mildly independent, semi-self-reliant Linux user.

I love Linux cos there are no strings attached, no hidden expenses, no upgrades a few months down the line. I can just get the latest version of any distro I use with a single line command.

Most importantly, if my computer crashes, I can just pull out another live linux CD to reboot and rescue my own data.

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5 Lovable Arch Linux Features

Tux, the Linux penguin

 Image via Wikipedia

There are way too many new things to discover in Arch. Here are the first few awesome features new users meet and appreciate.

Arch Is Lighter Than Your Favorite Anorexic
And twice as energetic. The distro is very minimal. It is the user’s prerogative to find and install the applications they need, so what you get is purely and only what you need. This is fantastic for folks with obsolete and/or older hardware that can’t handle too much stress. Continue reading

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Arch In Shining Armor | The Sad Tale Of An Old Laptop

Once upon a time, there was an antique HP Pavilion Laptop with 512 RAM and a shuddering, collapsing Windows XP install. One fine day, for a fine price, the kindly yet materialistic Fairy Godmothers at the HP Store bestowed 4 GB RAM on the old HP and lo and behold! Suddenly, the laptop was young again! But try as they did, the curse of Windows Vista remained and so, even though the lappy was now faster, she was still a slow bitch to work on and we never quite lived happily ever after.

ARCH, A Lightweight, Minimal Rejuvenating Spell

Fast , Not Furious

Today, the HP sings songs of joy as she handles multiple programs and opens up a thousand tabs on Google Chrome, all without freezing or crashing. Continue reading

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The Wise Woman’s Way To Sensible Waste Management

It Doesn’t Take A Genius To Figure Out That Like Charity, Conservation Too Begins At Home.

It starts with simple gestures, like saving the water you use to rinse your dinner ingredients. It takes an extra two minutes to rinse over a bucket and the occupants of your kitchen window garden will be grateful for it.  Continue reading

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Green Life

International Recycle Symbol

Image via Wikipedia

Green Life is this event I’m promoting. Since I’m currently green-brained and stuck on everything environment related, I thought it might be a good idea to write down my own green meanderings and experiments here.

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The First Words…

…have been uttered.

This Blog Is Now Alive!

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