Tuesday, July 21, 2009

PeopleBrowsr at the TechCrunch Real-Time CrunchUp 2009

Last fall my buddy Brian Solis of bub.blicio.us introduced me to Jodee Rich of peoplebrowsr.com and I saw an amazingly powerful client that wrapped a unified, albeit noisy interface around all of the Web 2.0 properties. That's right, Flickr, YouTube, RSS feeds as well as Twitter, Facebook and Friendfeed could all be accessed in a single dashboard.

I was hooked on the idea, but it needed some honing to make it more usable for the non-power set. A few months of Jodee's team tirelessly working on the interface, and we debuted search.peoplebrowsr.com at the TechCrunch Real-Time Crunchup in July 2009.

You can see how enthused I am over our work, in the video above. Take a look at the features, then give the service a try and let me know what you think of it!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

During the 2009 South by Southwest, I participated in what we had originally believed to be a private screening of Bruno. Instead of a showing of the entire film, we were treated to a dozen rough edits and clips of the movie that were used during its production to gauge audience response; some of these were eventually included in the trailers such as the one above. I has happy to see the obviously photoshopped photo, in which his adopted baby is covered in bees, showcasing Bruno's beekeeping hobby. This alone is absurd, along with naming his son the "traditional African name of OJ," demonstrates how twisted and elaborately thought out Cohen's comedy is.

Sacha Baron Cohen has clearly and intelligently contemplated his audience's reactions to his actions, and will once again earn him the acclaim and more which he enjoyed with is 2006 film, Borat. It is safe to say that his newest endeavor should not have worked based upon knowledge of his previous success.

The clips I saw at South by Southwest were jaw-droppingly hilarious and I honestly, was shocked to behold how once again, people fell right into his trap. Thanks to his over the top deadpan delivery and this unsuspecting subjects' reactions, his painstaking preparation, lightening fast responses, transform Cohen's Bruno into a veritable comedy. Whereas The Office is able to shock and awe you with highly scripted characters performing absurd antics, Cohen is able to achieve this with just a few people (himself and the producers off-camera) in the know.

Of course I know that editing and post-production can help make even reality TV funny, but considering this movie will have some modified context, it will still blow your mind. It is all about the subtle details too, not just blatant comments. Notice the words on the shirt of the baby who he received in exchange for an iPod in the clip above.

I cannot wait to see his custom Vespa (OK, so it's just the seat cover) with "the baby on the handlebars." Obviously that near accident with the car didn't happen with the baby on board. As I guy born and raised in the Midwest, he took liberties with my people and that's OK by me. Lets see what kind of lawsuits he gets into this time over their own embarrassment.

People need to take things they see and hear with a grain of salt and call others out in real-time on the absurdity. I cannot wait to see this movie in full.

Nice work "Bruno" - what I have seen so far rocks my world!