Monday, February 16, 2009

101 blog templates that are not for me

As soon as I started writing blog I realised that blog presentation must be reader friendly. No doubt, content of blog is the king but along with content if blog is presentable enough to read then it’s like you can have your cake and eat it too. By presentable blog I mean that blog should not be very flashy, must have good font and colour combination, and soothing background settings. (I am not writing about how to make blog presentable so I won’t delve further into it. Google already shows millions of site on this topic). So to make my blog presentable I started looking for a suitable template.

Google nearly have answer to all my queries (or at least direct me to the right answer). ‘Blog template’ search gave me millions of results back. I scanned through 8-10 websites to find the template I was looking for but all the templates that I saw were like commodity/goods and presented no customisation to me. The blog template that I want should be according to my needs and not according to anyone else’s whims and fancies. I feel blog template is highly subjective to individual’s needs and desires. You just can’t pick and use some flowery/sunset/green/historical/random-coloured template for your blog. If you are serious blogger then you blog is your signature and you can’t design your signature on someone else’s wish. So I discarded hundreds of templates as they didn't suit my style. So here comes this idea.

Why can’t we make a web based 'blog template creator' application. Any blog template basically is some flavour or permutation of font, colour, columns, boxes, background and image (please point out in case I missed something). Application will give people freedom to arrange these flavours according to their wish. Seems like a very simple thing but this can lead to customer delight and give people's blog a unique identity. Currently some people are charging 100s of dollars just to make a blog template that suits your persona. Once this 'blog template creator' application is launched people will throng to try it out. This application will be amongst the best example of tailor made service given to customer.

Image: wordle

Monday, February 2, 2009

Listen Marketers: I am all yours!!

I go to gym quite often, though not as often as I wish. This idea popped up when I was running on a treadmill. I run for nearly half an hour on an average and don’t have anything to do that entire duration but to stare at increasing LED number on a black background screen. Advertiser and marketers struggle for audience attention for few seconds on various media. They have got customers in gym for hours but they have not exploited this avenue.

Ok, gist is machines in gym has to be made more intelligent (more technically advanced) so that they can understand who is working out on them and what he is interested in and show them that very thing.
Current version 15 inches LED screen in gym can be turned into more advanced display like computer screens, better if they are touch screens so that interaction can be better. These machines can be connected to web where an online application can monitor which user is currently working out so that it can display user specific advertisements. Machines can get to know about user info either through users’ memory stick or by extracting info from users’ mobile phones. These days most of the folks have GPRS/3G phones so it won’t be very difficult for machines to interact with phone to get the info. Once this connection is established then it’s like any other media, but with better attention span, where user is yours and you can engage him by various measures.

So marketers/gym equipment makers there lies an unexplored opportunity where First-mover advantage will surely be a huge business opportunity.

**this is just a high level idea. Implementation details like which economical computer screen (plus processor) need to be put on machines that can withstand gym’s environment, how to connect machines to mobile phone, which medium (cable, WiFi, WiMax) can be used by machines to connect with application, how the application will look like and what all features it will have, etc can be easily handled with an meticulous plan. Nearly all of these feature are already implemented in parts in various places they just need to be mashed to cater to our need.

Photo credit Chris Makarsky