The Decapitator Documents His Craft

You may remember The Decapitator from one of my heh lists — that’s the person who defaces advertisements in the UK to look like decapitations. After reading about him(or her, just him for convention) previously I added him as a contact on Flickr. Today he published a photo with a link under it, and that link leads to the YouTube video below that reveals the process and timetable for a recent stunt. Watch as he defaces Motorola newspaper ads featuring David Beckham and gets them back out for distribution, all within about a 2 hour window:

Level of grossout: It’s not any more graphic than the images themselves, but if you’re squeamish you might not want to see slashed necks manipulated in Photoshop.

(Diggable here)

Social Media Round-Up

  • My Macbook Pro Now Kind Of A Big Deal In SavannahBlogSavannah 08 got a nice write-up in the Savannah Morning News, including a big fancy photo of my laptop with my Product Blog slides loaded up on it.
  • What Happens When You Publish A Blog Entry – Wired writer Frank Rose and Matthew Hurst from Microsoft put together a detailed visual explanation of all of the things that happen after you hit “publish” in your blog software.
    [via Weblog Tools Collection]
  • Have Facebook Apps Peaked? – Josh Catone at ReadWriteWeb seems to think so, in light of recent statistics.
  • The Concept/Implementation Gap – If I’m reading him right, Mike Manuel at Voce points to the growing need for fairly sophisticated web application implementation capabilities to somehow live in the same parts of companies where the thinking happens.
  • The Question Of Community – Jeremy Pepper shares his thoughts on the insular world of Social Media analysis, and what we usually do and don’t think about when we think about online community. “Social media is about more than just one community, the social media community: it’s about all the verticals and other communities that likely matter more to your client or business.”
  • Trev Alberts Response Video – Sports analyst Trev Alberts produced a special video piece called “What The Blog” as an answer to criticisms of his recent video clips by one of the most beloved college football blogs, Every Day Should Be Saturday. Kudos to Trev for participating in the conversation, but I hope his approach evolves as he gets to understand “the blogs” a little better. Here’s his opening: “Of course you’ve seen this explosions of blogs out there where they can hide behind their little PC and post blogs and post clips and make fun of people and..yeah I was surfing the internet…”

Quick Stop At BlogSavannah

I’m headed to Savannah to participate in tomorrow’s BlogSavannah ’08. I’ll be co-leading a session along with Marjorie Young of Carriage Trade PR, and as with most unconference discussions the topic will depend to a large extent on where the interest in the room lies. I’ve been revisiting my presentation from BarCamp Atlanta on How To Run A Better Product Communications Blog in case we want to talk about that, and can also share some insights from my recent work with Super Deluxe. If there’s anything anyone would like to add to the agenda, please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below. Looking forward to it!

BlogSavannah ’07 photo by Hyku uploaded under a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved

Friday Heh List

If next time we meet I inquire as to the whereabouts of your curly mustache, I’m simply suggesting that you are awfully Pringles. To wit:

[not safe for work if your workplace frowns on a few f-bombs]

(Update:)…and the rest of the weekly heh’s, this week delivered in the style of the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog:

Unsolicited Advice For Industry Leaders

Don’t let the train of knowledge pull away without getting on board.
Board The Train Of Knowledge
From my copy of Bulletin Boards For All Occasions, by Margaret B. Randall, 1966

I publish this in reference to a knot of recent conversation reflecting on the habits of the Leaderboard types in the technology writing community. I say “writing” not “blogging” because really it doesn’t matter that their chosen medium is blogs. It’s not about the tools, it’s about use of the tools.

Josh, Josh, Jake, and Steve all shared thoughts recently about their growing irritation with the behavior patterns of a small subset of technology bloggers. Josh Kleinpeter and Steve Rubel point to the redundancy and misplaced focus of those who are sometimes referred to as the “A-List”, Josh Hallett realized he doesn’t really need to be reading many of those people any more, and Jake described what his recent interactions with a few famous names were like.

Along these same lines, things got so contentious recently that Brian Oberkirch felt the need to invoke the nuclear option Brother Senor Love Daddy to get everyone to cool out. Ethan Kaplan called out the ridiculous amount of attention paid to Robert Scoble’s carefully orchestrated Facebook/Plaxo standoff at the expense of any number of interesting and important things worth writing about. None of these dustups are new, but you’d think we could get a little better at this over time.

As Josh described, an easy remedy on the individual level is just to stop reading the people you feel you “need to” and the aggregators that only aggregate the news those people glom on to en masse. I’ve been unfollowing more and more people in Twitter and removing some of the feeds from my RSS reader that I once thought were essentials.

But as a remedy to those seemingly caught in or addicted to bad writing and publishing patterns, I wanted to offer the vintage advice above. No matter what your chosen medium happens to be, slow down. Listen with both ears and an open head. Think before you write/speak/comment. Read widely.

Introducing webChattr

Just born: a simple, embeddable chat service engineered to work as well on an iPhone as it does on regular web browsers. It’s Chris’ baby, and it’s called webChattr. Feel free to grab it for use on your blog or web site, or just go to to say hello right now in real-time.

In fact, say hello right now from here(update – widget removed for maintenance and replaced with a static image for now):

webChattr: Live Web Chat Rooms by

To create a new channel, you just type anything following this pattern: into your browser’s location bar. So to create a new channel about 43showers, I’d just visit

Also, if you care about Apple stuff, stop by the Stevenote channel tomorrow during MacWorld to take part in the geeky live coverage and backchannel conversation.

As far as feature set goes, there are a few especially neat things, but Chris mostly focused on simplicity/ease of use and robustness of the service itself. You can easily set it up to direct people to the same channel from more than one source. Each user can occupy more than one channel at the same time. The dynamic timestamps on each chat message are a really neat touch. And it doesn’t require a registration/login, so anyone can just pop on and use it. All what you’d expect from someone who strives to make insanely useful stuff.

Ginormous congratulations and props to my friend Chris on this. In case you don’t remember the name, he and I worked together in my EarthLink days, and I interviewed him on Earthling about his work on drag and drop functionality for the myEarthLink start page. He has been slaving over a hot development environment for months now, and I promised not to share it until he gave the nod. Great work, Chris!

(Digg the related story here.)

Friday Hehs

First Hehs of 2008

  • The Evil Eye Baby – Take that, dramatic chipmunk:

    [via Creevus, and to Creevus via the show that dare not speak its name]

  • Really Awful Hip Hop Chains – Some of the most baroque art around can be found on the necks of the likes of Ghostface, Kanye, et al.

  • The Shoreditch Decapitator – A guy who goes around painting over advertising signs to make the depicted look like they’ve been decapitated. His full 23-photo collection and the opportunity to friend him up on Flickr.

  • You Can’t Tase This

  • Is it Sike or Psych? – A blog entry on the reduction of train cars in the DC Metro quickly degenerates into a comment flame war about the proper spelling of the legwarmer-era taunt in the title. NotoriousREG’s opinion on the matter:

    “Having grown up in PG County Murland (that’s not a typo) it’s definitely spelled “sike.” Yes I know what the technical root origin of the word is but if you actually grew up the area it’s “s-i-k-e. Y’all bamas be trippin’.” [via Craxy]

  • Not Good, Larry – Nothing warms my heart like negative political ads. Thanks to Alan for pointing out this New Orleans gem.

  • Kitty Wigs – No really, wigs for cats. And only $50, too. So sorry, felines. [via squirrelene]

  • Bleach Manga Chapter 306 – Do not watch this video of a cackling pig if you are susceptible to earworms. [via jason]