11 Dec 2007

a nice voice

i have watched Across the Universe several times lately, because i fell completely in love with the music and the choregraphy (in pretty much the same way i enjoy watching The Wall over and over again). And if i wasn't a Beatles fan before, i must admit this movie made me reconsider my attitude towards the band.

And this was not the only consequence of watching the movie. One of the other things i found trully amazing is Dana Fuchs, whose voice i find absolutely spectacular. And who also wrote a very interesting description of the experience she had filming Across the Universe and interacting with the other actors involved in the project, such as Bono or Eddie Izzard, for example.

9 Dec 2007

Rozalb de Mura, one place to keep on coming back to

in my ideal world, stores (or at least fashion stores) are pretty much like this one.
They have a very strong personality, one that's actually different from the others on the market. They have an amazing atmosphere, one that invites you to stick around, look at each item and experience how each of them would suit you. They have a story; preferably, one that has different twists with each new season. They always surprise you with something new - they seem familiar, without ever looking the same.
And, yes, they have owners that give the impression they've known you forever and kindly talk to you and explain the context of each interior design piece they've build up, of each detail in the history of the store. Owners that are very open to every new idea or suggestion. And that have various artsy backgrounds. It doesn't take much to develop such stores: most of the time, a touch of passion will do, cause imagination and originality often beat huge budgets.

5 Dec 2007

net startup

as many of you know, yesterday was NetCamp's big day. And also Net Start Up's big day. I only found out that i'd present something at Net Start Up a few days ago, when Cosmin told me he had registered a tiny bit of our way bigger Trendspotting project. I knew we didn't really stand a chance to win, cause we could only present an idea, without too many plans, numbers or technical info to support it, and i cannot stand losing, but, still, this time i prefered to go for the experience. And i'm really glad i did, because it really was interesting. Even though I hadn't been that nervous before a presentation for ages, and i had a constant feeling that i didn't belong there and that i'd just embarrass myself (which i probably did).
Cosmin and I talked about our need to understand local young people's online behavior, as well as its dynamics at a larger scale, so we can permanently be in tune with what's hot for them, what their internet pathway looks like and what the emerging trends are from this point of view. In brief, we need to constantly understand the relationship between young people and online, so that we can be relevant to them on one hand, and predict the future on the other hand. So we presented a sort of an online research application that monitores the online activity of a certain user (by user i mean one of members of our trendspotting network, who obviously gives us his/her permission to do so), focusing on the user's pathway on blogs, youtube, flickr, twitter, last.fm, and so on (further generating statictics about the network's behavior). Pretty much like an Analytics for users, instead of websites. Of course, that's just a tiny part of something quite complex that we're still developing, but we were really curious how this thought sounded like to people who actually know what Internet is all about.

All in all, it was nice to be part of something that gathered many different enticing ideas, especially since there seemed to be a lot of enthusiam around local valuable net startups. And i also took it as an incentive, because the whole experience made me realise how many things i need to learn about the online environment. The big winner was Vladimir Oane, who presented CaptainGo, an online hotel booking system, while the other finalists were Catalin Tenita, Alex Brie, George Lemnaru and Emi Gal (congrats, guys!).

Thanks to Cristi and to Dragos for the great event. And to Bogdana, for cheering me up.