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Please Rob Johnny Cash's Letterhead [Five Best Things 2/22/10 - 2/28/10]

In our weekly link rundowns, I usually try to present three great links you may have missed.

But this week was strong internet.


  • For your next love letter or grocery list or PUT DOWN MY SANDWICH note, wouldn’t you like to use the actual letterhead of Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Johnny Cash, or whatever Robot Salesmen Ltd is? Thing: Letterheads of famous people
  • Most articles about How Google Works are actually about How Much The Author Likes Google. Leave it to Wired to dig into how Google’s system of algorithms, basically a machine made of robots made of math, learned that when a human types hot dog, the goal is almost certainly to see something like this, not something like this. Thing: Exclusive: How Google’s Algorithm Rules the Web
  • You’ve already made your mind up on how you feel about this link from Reason. Thing: Everyone Who Knows What They’re Talking About Agrees with Me
  • The way people freaked out about Napster, claiming it would end the music industry, is similar to the way people freaked out about VCRs killing the movie industry. Similarly, the way people freak out about sharing personal location information on Foursquare/Twitter is similar to the way people used to freak out about answering machines and listing wedding notices in the local newspaper. Thing: Regarding Foursquare and PleaseRobMe (SIDE NOTE that proves how NEVER SCARED we are: In all the PleaseRobMe hysteria, I up and joined Foursquare myself, and so did Ben. You ain’t a crook, son.)
  • Recently the Guardian ran a series of writing advice lists by successful writers. NY Mag distills them all into a single top ten. Thing: The Best Writing Advice of the Best Writing Advice

Also, regarding this post’s stupid, stupid title: here’s proof Johnny Cash would’ve loved Foursquare…

The Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding Unveils New Drupal Site... by ENGINE!

We’re super proud to introduce the new web home of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, a literally world-renowned nonprofit. Tanenbaum brings together people of different faiths by guiding schools, workplaces, and medical institutions and honoring peacemakers of wartorn regions.

The list of religious and political dignitaries*, corporations**, universities***, and charities**** who support Tanenbaum — via financial support, accolades, or contributions — is completely ridiculous. I offer you mere samples of each:

*: Billy Graham, Bill Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, Kofi Annan, Madeline Albright, Joe Lieberman
**: Walt Disney Company, Conde Nast, Verizon, Kraft, Prudential, Shell, Viacom
***: Oxford, Princeton, Harvard, George Mason, Fordham, Columbia
****: Carnegie Corporation, JP Morgan Chase Foundation, Merril Lynch & Co. Foundation

And many many more. Somewhere in there, there’s little old us.

Tanenbaum’s old site was static (AKA hard to update, inflexible, and hard to expand) and didn’t present the clearest picture of exactly what they do.

They wanted to distinguish their programs from each other in an obvious visual way, instead of having only one look for the entire site. Being able to update their own content at the drop of a hat was also on the shopping list.

Looking over their content management system options, they narrowed it down to Drupal, WordPress, Ruby on Rails, and Moveable Type.

Already leaning towards going open source, Tanenbaum was impressed by Drupal’s flexibility.

So (PRESTO) we created a custom Drupal build for Tanenbaum, as we’re known to do from time to time. We developed:

  • a complete E-commerce solution allowing sales, donations, and gifts
  • Google Maps and social media integration
  • different sections for each program
  • a promo ad management system
  • forums
  • a couple dozen distinct content types
  • Views/CCK-based automagical content displays
  • easy-to-create photo galleries
  • and a roped-off section offering premium content for paying members.

Pulling over and restructuring all their content followed, plus some proofing along the way. Tanenbaum’s old blog was hosted at, so we brought that on over into the new Drupal site too, consolidating their web presence and brand into one much-improved location.

So YEP we’re happy Tanenbaum’s new Drupal site is live and firing, and now we’re on to the on on to the next one.

Wow That Was One Nerdy Week [Three Best Things 2/8/10 - 2/14/10]

Maybe now that football’s over, the internet’s jock/nerd balance has swung the unsportsy way. For whatever reason, this week’s 3BT is by far the nerdiest yet. If I knew any Star Trek quotes, I’d drop one here; you couldn’t even stop me.

Your socially awkward links:

Also, marvel at Reddit’s ridiculous list of the most useful websites. [Lost quote]. No, I promise you’ll be amazed.

Nerd Creates Herd of Himself

This nerd conducting a live screencast clicks to watch himself conducting his live screencast, and hell follows after. At the :31-second mark, the Nerd Hall of Mirrors soars into the Nerd Hall of Fame, [Monty Python quote].

You're a Good Man, Jay Leno [Three Best Things, 1/11/10 - 1/17/10]

Two Rich Guys Arguing

Jimmy Kimmel lays into Jay Leno on Leno’s own show. Around 1:40, Kimmel dings Leno and Leno refuses to play along. You can see Kimmel’s eyes light up, as he realizes he gets to tee off on Leno for the next four minutes. Jay loses his audience, and all he can do is wait it out. I don’t watch any of these shows, so I don’t really have a dog well-trained competitor in this fight, but Leno is impossible to like at this point.

“Why would anybody ever wanna leave Baltimore? That’s what I’m askin’.”

The new trailer for Treme, the upcoming series by The Wire’s creators:

Three Best Things, 11/17/09 - 11/22/09: Michael Scott's Just a Gangster, I Suppose

  • In The Office According to The Office, son nerds out on some business theory, evaluating the American version of (and some of the British) The Office as a workplace thesis instead of as a work of TV comedy.
  • 5% of fans expect customer service, but 100% deserve it: When polled, very few people admit the reason they interact with businesses via social media is to get service. But when asked how they would like companies to interact with them, a majority wished for service. Revealing! Your customers want great service, but they don’t want to have to go out of their way to seem like they want it.
  • MONTAGE TIME: Titled “The Wire - 100 Greatest Quotes,” it’s not quite that, but it comes close. The source is too rich — I mean, you could make a fantastic video of just the 100 greatest Bunk quotes. This actually works as a decent trailer for the show and hits enough plot points to feel like a brief recap.

    Not child-friendly, due to cussiness:

    No “Got to. This is America, man”? No “How my hair look, Mike?” No Dookie or Namond? “They screw up, they get beaten. We screw up, we get a pension”? Kima’s version of “Goodnight, Moon?” This could go on forever. But I’d be lying if I said it was easy to only watch this video twice in a row!