Herfst is een moeilijk rijmwoord

Grappig inzicht op basis van een hele normale vraag van mijn jongste: “Wanneer begint de herfst dit jaar?” Opzoeken dus. Op Wikipedia was te lezen dat dat voor 2011 op 23 september om 11:04 het geval is. De start van de astronomische herfst. Maar in Nederland en Belgie spreken we af dat de seizoenen op een 21ste beginnen. Dat is in het geval van de herfst overigens pas in 2020 het geval! Ook een leuk weetje:

“Herfst” wordt ook wel beschouwd als een van de moeilijkste rijmwoorden in de Nederlandse taal. Een knappe poging van Drs. P: “De buren waren grimmig, zijn ouders diep gegriefd. En onder zijn collega’s was hij ook al niet geliefd. De oude juffrouw Zomer, baas Voorjaar, meester Herfst. Ze riepen driewerf schande, juffrouw Zomer het driewerfst”

<!--:en-->Hillary’s dream is not over yet!<!--:--><!--:nl-->Hillary Clinton droomt nog steeds van presidentschap<!--:-->

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According to her LinkedIn-profile (screenshot above is dated June 5th, 2009) Hillary is still running for the office. It’s a pity (and embarrasing) to see that her campaigning-team is using ‘the Internets’ heavily during campaignig. But when that is over, they fall back to their normal, unplugged, dis-connected state. The more obvious it is to see that Obama’s team is still engaged online… No modernistic small talk here.knipsel
Volgens haar profiel op LinkedIn (screenshot is van 5 juni 2009), is Hillary Clinton nog steeds ‘candidate’ voor het presidentschap van de USA. Typisch een gevalletje van: “wel Internet hevig inzetten in een campagneperiode, maar daarna vergeten je campagnecontent bij te werken.” Sneu. Zeker als je ziet dat Obama’s team wel keurig alles content consequent bijhoudt, actualiseert en de dialoog met de kiezers blijft aangaan. Tsja.

<!--:en-->Hilarious test drive with Damon Hill<!--:--><!--:nl-->Hilarische testrit met Damon Hill<!--:-->

Damon Hill (ex-racing driver) still makes his moves. Here he is testing out the new Mercedes-Benz SL. Please note the expressions on the reporter’s face. Stay tuned until the end!

Damon Hill (oud-coureur) is het rijden nog niet verleerd. Hij geeft een nieuwe Mercedes-Benz SL de sporen. Let vooral goed op de uitdrukkingen op het gezicht van de reporter naast hem. En kijk tot het eind!

Big Brother is checking your age

After a test in a local supermarket (Super de Boer Roosendaal), the Dutch company HEM is going to roll out it’s age-verification-system nationwide with C1000-supermarkets. The system works like this: two webcams are located at a special kiosk. When a product with an age-limit (like cigarettes) is scanned, one of the cams looks at the client. An operator of HEM will check the client’s face for age characteristics. When the operator is in doubt, the second cam is activated. The client needs to show his/her ID to this cam, so the operator can verify the age of the client.

HEM says that this is a fool-proof system, fair to everyone. No longer can under aged friends of the counter personnel have an advantage. Also, supermarket-owners say that this system – called Plaaaza – will let counter personnel do their actual work. Instead of checking a client’s age, they can scan the shoppings. What do you think? Is this one bridge too far when privacy is concerned?

Good customer experience

Autotaalglas

In fact it is strange to blog about something that’s supposed to be ‘normal’. But I was aware of a very positive feeling after getting in touch with Autotaalglas. The reason was less pleasant: a stone jumped on my windscreen and created a large crack in it. After a phonecall to the insurer, I found out that I could have it repaired with any associated company. One of them: Autotaalglas. So I checked out their website and learned that they had a form online that could be used to bring in my case. Normally I do not expect much of these forms. But now, within 15 minutes, I was called and a transfer to my local Autotaalglas was made! The appointment is coming Friday 08.00 sharp. This was because the windshield needs to be ordered. When they would have it in stock, I could come along right away…

Deadly sales promotion in China

In The Netherlands I am professionally admiring and personally wondering the effects of massive sales promotional campaigns. For a few euro’s people are willing to stand in line for hours (rain doesn’t matter) and fight with fellow shoppers for the few items on sale. Recently we could see this happening (again) at H&M and De Bijenkorf. How different in China! Three people died and 31 were injured in a stampede triggered by a sales promotion at a Carrefour outlet on Nov. 10 in the country’s southwestern Chongqing Municipality. The three-day promotion at a hypermarket in the city’s Shapingba District was launched to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the French retail giant’s entry into the city. Time limited sales are now forbidden in China…

Digital development in Kenya

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Personalizing direct mailings is thé thing for many years. The more personal you can get, the better the results. New technology is in place to make it possible to create handwritten messages (or other representations) including a person’s name. But this initiative of www.strandnaam.nl is very low-tech. And charming nonetheless. How it works? Via the (Dutch) website of strandnaam.nl you can order a photograph of someone’s first name handwritten in the sand of Bamburi Beach at Mombasa (Kenya). This writing is done by Moses Onoo and his family. In total 8 families profit from this initiative by Dutchman Pim Bottenberg. During a visit he facilitated them with a camera and teached them how to photograph and use the PC in a nearby internetcafé. For 10 euro you can get this personalized piece. Now that is what you can call digital development!

source: NRC.Next – Olga van Ditzhuijzen

ABN AMRO investigates media

The (still) Dutch bank ABN AMRO recently took the news with a strategic report on the media in The Netherlands. In this report the bank sketches a lot of scenarios that might become reality in the (near) future. A lot of remarks were made why a bank as ABN AMRO would bother creating such a report. ABN AMRO themselves replied that a lot of clients of the bank are active in the media and they consider it their duty to investigate the sector. Sharing of this knowledge seems naturally. The criticism from the communication industry was on the content of the report: a lot of clichés, no real insights, common knowledge. In fact the publication is no scoop. Competitor Rabobank used to send out sector reports often.

My first thought however was: how come that the Bank’s analysts do not share their knowledge with the people responsible for spending the communication budget? Recently ABN AMRO bragged about their participation in Second Life (the world’s quietest bank office probably). But then again: this initiative generated a lot of free publicity in itself. In that perspective the effect of the virtual venture itself is quite irrelevant…

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