Indoor Jetski World Championship

Admit it, it does sound strange, doesn’t it? Jetski, ok. World Championship, still ok. But racing indoors with jetskis? Is it time for a reality check?

Mr. IceMike from Lazer gave me the chance to go and watch the World Championship Indoor Jetski in belgium recently. I have to admit, it was a lot of fun to see those water monsters racing around in a huge pool (3 million liters of water), not to mention the spectacular stunts those guys were able to do on their machines. Check out the album on Flickr for my little report.

Oh, and in this picture here, he really IS upside-down.

Too many managementh theories?

Are there too many managementh theories?

You would think so if you looked at this site. contains a list of all know (and likely some unknow) management theories conceived over the ages. Now you’ll never be without an answer anymore in those strategic meetings. You’ll find short descriptions from the Ansoff Product/Market grid to the “Two Factor Theory” from Herzberg. All you ever needed to know about management theories but were afraid to ask.

Increase your productivity, use multiple monitors.

Can you increase your productivity by using multiple monitors? I’m pretty sure you can.

I’ve been using 2 monitors simultaneously for a while now: the one from the laptop and an external screen. Two screens allow you to easily compare documents, or look at an excel sheet while writing a powerpoint presentation, or easily copy/pasting between two documents. Or having your mail program and instant messenger open in one screen al all times if you’re a communication addict like me.

So does this really increase productivity? According to Microsoft, it does: their research has shown that using 2 monitors can increase your productivity by 9 to 50 percent! Impressive, isn’t it?

If you want to find out more about what Microsoft is doing in this area, check out their VIBE site (VIBE stands for Visualization and Interaction for Business and Entertainment) or read this article from the NY Times online.

So … what does your workspace look like?

The very successful brand manager

So you want to become a successful brand manager? Then the very successful brand manager website is something for you. It shows you how to tell your boss you now have his/her job. It shows you how sleeping with your employees will motivate then. It shows you the usefulness a of a golf cart intern … and for those who didn’t get it yet: it’s all sarcastic… well, I hope. Maybe the candidates for the Apprentice coul very well use it.
Be sure not to miss the brownnosing section!

The site was created by ad agency StrawberryFrog. But I’m still not sure why.

IM-Bots: where are they?

Those of you who’ve spent some time on IRC chat networks probably remember the different kind of ‘bots” there: programmes designed to provide some fun (triviabots, statbots) to outright flooding of the chatservers. And now chatbots are back, albeit in an evolved way. They have become smarter thanks to enhanced AI (Artifical Intelligence), they are ready for more serious applications, and they’re targeting your instant messengers.

Some online helpdesks are starting to deploy services that allow you to interact in a more or less intelligent IM conversation with a robot that has access to the support database of that company. You can interact with them through websites as well as instant messaging (IM) services. IM users simply add the name of the IM bot to their buddy list the same way they add “real” people. The AI on thee bots is quite good, so the people talking to them almost feel like talking to real people (whereas what they’re really doing is just sending queries to the underlying database).

These systems can also be used within companies as a way for employees to look up information without browsing countless intranet pages. They can even connect to online databases and pull information on movies, stocks, weather, news …. Just about anything you can store in a database. ActiveBuddy, for example, sells pre-built IM bots that can connect to corporate directories or human resources databases so that employees can get their information faster and without calling HR people (ok, you may find this a sad evolution, but that is a whole new topic about the loss of human interaction).

Try it out for yourself, and add the Encarta chatbot to your MSN: While you’re at it, give the SmarterChild a try too: (just be warned, the smarterchild one also has targeted advertising that it throws in as you talk to it) . Another one you can have an online chat with is Jabberwock.

Of course, there is also a link to marketing. AOL has used ActiveBuddy’s IM technology in the past to promote the Lord of the Rings Trilogy for sweepstakes, with a contest where you can use AOL’s IM to talk to the “RingMessenger” and then ask it (him?) questions about the locations of the “Rings of Power” you need to win the sweepstakes.

Two of the companies making these bots are Conversagent and Vayosphere, if you’re inclined to have a go at it for your company or marketing campaigns.

Happy IM’ing!