An Egyptian Cobra escaped from the Bronx Zoo and is still missing.  Curators at the zoo said, “We looked in all the dark areas of the building.  We looked high.  We looked low. We looked everywhere.  It’s somewhere”; thank you for stating the obvious.  They concluded by stating, “we’ll find it”, to which all I could think of was Kevin Bacon in the final scene of Animal House exhorting the crowd at the parade that everybody should remain calm.  At least the zoo is not in the vicinity of an airport, or that ridiculous Snakes On A Plane may turn into a non-fiction movie.

 

Since the iPhone was introduced, a new word became part of the collective vocabulary of our nation – “apps”, which are of course short for applications.  To Apple the term specifically and solely refers to downloads for their iPhone.

Amazon just announced it is opening an “AppStore” on its website for Android devices – a product which not so coincidentally is a competitor of Apple’s iPhone.  On one hand I understand a company wanting and needing to protect their trademarked product names, but this is a bit much.  “App” is simply an abbreviation for the word application, a word that has been in our vocabulary for thousands of years.  On the other hand Amazon is selling the same thing and for a competing product and the only differentiation between their store and the original store is that they took out the space between the words App and Store.  Look at it this way: could I set up a fast food franchise that specializes in low priced hamburgers and call it MacDonald’s?

Apple is of course no stranger to lawsuits.  Google the words apple suing and copyright and there are over 4.5 million results; lawsuits involving Microsoft, Nokia, Woolworth, HTC, Psystar, Eminem, and many others – with Apple being the defendant as often as the plaintiff.  I recall when the iPhone first came out I was very surprised at the choice of brand name; IT networking leader Cisco already had a product by that same name.

 

Moments after it was first announced that out of 5.9 million brackets filled out on espn.com, only two have a perfect Final Four I tweeted “Considering VCU and Butler are in it, I’m surprised it’s that many.”  Fourteen hours later Seth Davis, the college basketball reporter and analyst for Sports Illustrated tweets “I’m shocked there were that many”, and his comment is Twitter’s top tweet right now.  Should I take Steve Job’s lead and sue him for copyright infringement?

 

Scott Stratten, president of UnMarketing said “Automatic tweeting is like sending a mannequin to a networking event.  Don’t try to have a presence without being present.”  For the most part I agree; I find sites that do nothing but link to their own sites snippets that were written by another site rather annoying.  If you’re going to do that would it kill you to include a paragraph or two on whether you agree or disagree with the original article?

On the other hand twitter seems to have become a final destination for many.  For commercial enterprises it should for the most part be a way of getting the word out to your audience, and get them to visit your website or place of business.  If I’m a business owner, how much time do I want my employees conversing on twitter?  Obviously it’s not the same for all industries, but for most I see Twitter as a marketing tool, not much different from a television or radio advertisement.  For example if a reporter is spending all day on Twitter conversing with his readers, how does that benefit the newspaper?  The paper would be better served if those readers were commenting at the end of his articles online, or if he set up an online chat at his employer’s website in order to generate more web hits and higher advertising revenue.