SML Search

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Notchup = Get paid to interview for jobs

No comments:

At a time when you are getting bored with yet another social networking site with a professional twist following LinkedIn's success, Notchup joined the game with a truly innovative twist to the game: get paid of interview for jobs.

That's right folks: Notchup asks the companies to pay up for a time of you sitting in for an interview.

Notchup: Get paid to interview for jobs / 2008-01-28 / SML Screenshots (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

How much is your time worth? Apparently a whole lot. In fact, it looks like that I can possibly make a living out of going to job interviews.

Here's more: the company gives its users incentive to invite their friends who might be interested in other jobs: for each friend you invite, they'll pay you a bonus equal to 10% of what your friend earns on every interview they do for a year.

It sounds kind of like a pyramid scheme to me but I signed up anyway. We'll see what happens. Like Ziki, Notchup has a LinkedIn profile import option, which is very handy because who wants to enter yet another profile these days?

In my opinion, all network data ought to be stored on the user's end and an open API ought to be made available to import user data instead.

There's no direct profile linking yet and the site is fairly barebones--the news of its availability also appears to be causing some server load issues, but the idea is sound and I look forward to seeing how well it goes.

via email from Kit Latham (Flickr / SML Wiki)

Related SML Universe
+ SML LinkedIn
+ SML Network
+ SML Ziki

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

CoComment = useful comment aggreagator

No comments:

Commenting on other people's photos and blog posts is fun, but if you truly wish to engage in a dialog with folks, it's a virtually impossible task. Tracking comments RSS on your most frequented blogs is possible, but ultimately if you see the entire web as one gigantic blog like I do, you're out of luck, until CoComment came along last fall:

SML CoComment / 2008-01-24 / SML Network (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

CoComment is a useful web site which aggregates blog comments onto a single portal. It tracks your comments via a browser plugin. In addition to tracking conversations across multiple web sites, it has tagging capability to allow easy content filtering.


Related SML Universe
+ SML Network

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Keep Life Sexy / Personal lubricant rebrand through UGC

No comments: is KY-Jelly (a personal lubricant)'s venture into UGC-powered advertising.

Keep Life Sexy / 2008-01-21 / SML Screenshots (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

The concept is really simple and straight-forward, to the point where I actually question its creativity. That said, I also felt that many interactive seen these days are so 'innovative' that the target audience might just not get it.

Bottom line: it's an innovative approach to any pharmaceutical marketing site and it succeeds in updating my brand perception for this old-school standard. That makes for a successful campaign.

via Tom Ajello's tweets

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.

IconNicholson Pranksters / SML Thank You


Today (2008-01-21) was my first day at work since the SML Appendectomy incident, and it is heart-felt to see the IconNicholson mascot vandalized with my logo.

What a sweet welcoming gift. Whoever you are, much SML Love to you! :)

SMLated IconNicholson Mascot / 20080121.SD850IS.2072 / SML Thank You (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Related SML Universe
+ SML Dogs

SML Copyright Notice
©2008 See-ming Lee / SML Thank You / SML Universe. All rights reserved.

Monday, January 21, 2008

MeeVee = Television scheduling made easy

1 comment:

For the longest time of my life, I don't have cable, because when I used to have it, I could not find anything to watch.

Two weeks ago I was chatting with Dirty Patrick (SML Wiki) and he said that I should get it just so that I can watch Project Runway.

My cable box arrived last week and I found myself addicted to the show. I liked it so much that I finished 2 seasons worth of Project Runway on Netflix DVD.

It's great when you've got friends to tell you what to watch because they know you well, but beyond that I'm stuck. I tried TV Guide at first but the interface is closed to useless.

What I really needed is a site that will give me TV recommendation based on interests. As always, I posted my question on Ask MetaFilter and in a matter of days, my recommendations came back:

MeeVee / 2008-01-20 / SML Screenshots (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

MeeVee really doesn't let me down. Based on the TV listings that I favorited, I created a time schedule for me. It will even record directly to Tivo. I haven't tried out the community features yet but this site looks very promising.

Thanks for everybody on MeFi who helped me out!

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

10,000+ views on a Flickr set

No comments:

Who would of thought that my 200 Most Interesting Gay Pride New York 2007 (set) would have reached 10,172 audience since I put them up on Flickr last June?

As such I've decided to create a quick slideshow of all the photos (no audio track for now... but will try to put some grooves on it later:

200 Most Interesting Gay Pride New York 2007 / SML from See-ming Lee

Thank you all for the faves + comments as well.

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Personal Branding


Back in the spring of 2007, I started the exercise of personal branding.

I love doing branding and identity projects, but there aren't many opportunities at the moment. I have learned over time that the best way to keep myself fresh is to do it constantly and persistently. So I follow the paths of Oprah and Martha Stewart and started the exercise of personal branding.

SML Palette / 2007 / SML Brands (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

My extensive exploration of self is my research on understanding my brand, and it is from these analysis that I came up with the logo that you see today, from which I have developed my color system and branding guidelines.

The Logo

The logo is composed of three circles: small, medium and large. The three colors are the origin of colors, and represents design (magenta), technology (yellow) and marketing strategy (cyan) respectively. The execution is simple because I had a Bauhaus education.

The logo is placed everywhere where I exist, and extend beyond the domain and into all the collaborative communities. I use the logo to 'stamp' holiday greetings. I also use it as my avatar on all my social networks. Because the logo scales well, it is also used as the favicon on my main hub.

Fun today

I was doing some experiments with video projection the past couple of days and I thought that it might be fun to brand myself directly on my body.

So here's my current advertising campaign running on Flickr: this is the closest I've been able to get my logo on the product—myself.

Personal Branding: Revision 2 / 20080115.10D.47540 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Personal Branding: Revision 2 / 20080115.10D.47543 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Personal Branding: Revision 2 / 20080115.10D.47550 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Personal Branding: Revision 2 / 20080115.10D.47555 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.

Stuffed animals go social

No comments:

I find myself browsing Interesting Items on Google Web History a lot lately as it managed to dig up fairly great stuff that I didn't know about that's actually related to my searches (thus interests).

Yesterday I discovered Webkinz.

Webkinz are just like any other stuffed animals that we have come to grow up with. But Webkinz are special in that they have a "Secret Code" on their labels that allow owners to "adopt" a virtual version of the toys to interact with online.

Here's a screen-capture of the tour:

I don't have a Webkinz yet so I can't speak from first-hand experience, but based on the tour it looks pretty neat. It is a lot like The Sims, where you get some money where you can upgrade your room with new decoration, food, furniture, etc. It also has some social features to allow kids to hang out via chats.

I tried to login yesterday but I could not because I don't have a special code. Trust that I shall look forward to getting one from Amazon soon.

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.

Monday, January 14, 2008

You can do it if you want to

1 comment:

When I first got into Yale, I didn't really know what I wanted to do. I studied pure science classes in high school and I was very good at it. I took science classes because the tests have absolute answers: if you put in the right answers, you get an A.

The problem with studying science in college is that I know that I can never be better than my sister. My sister is a genius. While I dominated the awards at high school, she swept them. Since she also went to Yale and was studying Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, I decided that I had to study something else.

Originally I picked architecture, because it appeared to combine art and science, which is the synergetic focus that I have always been interested in. Before the class of 1999, all architecture students were required to take Basic Drawing from the School of Art. They dropped that requirement for my year, but I thought that it must be a good thing so I took it.

I had zero art education before I went to Yale, so when I was faced with charcoal and paper, I was fairly scared. Most students attending the class had extensive art education, and have impeccable skills. I didn't really know what to do with my materials. When questioned, my professor just told me to draw what you see.

I had never touched a charcoal in my life, and I spent my whole semester trying. Looking back, it appears that I am most satisfied with work that I really put my heart to. I don't think that I can draw still. But it appears that if spend enough time on anything, I can do it.

Here are some of my favorites from the old days:

Yale School of Drama

Yale School of Drama / 1997 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Yale School of Drama / 1997 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Yale School of Drama / 1997 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Yale School of Drama / 1997 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Still Life

Still Life / 1996 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Still Life / 1996 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Remember, you can do it if you want to.

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Optimus Maximus Keyboard is Out!

No comments:

That's right kids. The fully customizable OLED-keyboard is out and is now shipping:

Optimus Maximus keyboard / 2008-01-08 / SML Screenshots (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Each of the 113-keys have a min. 10 fps OLED display with a 48x48 resolution that's customizable using the included software. Mac and Windows compatible. All for around $470 USD. I'll take one for any holidays but I can't afford it yet.

via IconSpam

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Search Wikia alpha sign-up now available

No comments:

Wikia Alpha
For the past 2 weeks, Jimmy Wales announced on the Wikia list that private alpha is available, resulting to a flood of sign-ups reply on the mailing list. That situation is no more, as a public sign-up is available. Go to and get your free account. Bug reports at end of the page.

via Loopzilla in the comment area on a Flickr photo

(Un)related: Gmail greatness
The situation on the Wikia list + sign-up reply, on the other hand, helps me truly understand another greatness of Gmail single-subject chaining UI. Unlike IconSpam which gets annoyingly long (and flooded) in the Outlook email inbox as topics become popular with many respondents, the Gmail interface allocate a singular dedicated row. The result is a clean and much more user-friendly UI.

Web 2.0 Features
I just signed up and it appears that Wikia has some Web 2.0 features (ability to social network by adding friends) but there is currently no way to link directly to the user profile. There are lots of fields for adding personal and professional information, together with the ability to tag those information.

Wikia: Profile: See-ming Lee / 2008-01-07 / SML Screenshots (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Search Results
I don't really know where the search index is coming from at the moment, and searching my name does not give a lot. It did managed to match me in the user area though so that's a good thing:
Search Wikia - Web Search Results: See-ming Lee / 2008-01-07 / SML Screenshots (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Flickr Analytics: The making of interestingness / SML Analytics

No comments:

Dangeroos / 2002 / SML Graphic Design (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

As part of an ongoing effort to document myself to better understand myself, I posted this design concept I created for Eric Roos' music business Dangeroos onto Flickr in August 2007.

The piece was designed back in 2002, and was a quick sketch or mood board for the Dangeroos Web site. The identity Dangeroos is a play on Eric's last name, so the choice for Interstate (the typeface) was obvious. Red was chosen because it suggests danger. Wave morphs, color rectangles and circular compositions dropped in to support the idea of sound.

Shortly after I started a project called Flickr Analytics to analyze Flickr's interestingness algorithm. Because of that, I become fairly aware of the individual image's ranking over time. To my surprise, this design stays consistently within the top 20 most interest images, and over the past few months, reigned as the number one most interesting image on my entire Flickr stream.

What was even more interesting to me is that the image also drives much traffic: more than 4000 views within the last 5 months, which amounts to 25+ views a day. That's a lot for an image with no human element.

So when Flickr Stats launched on 2007-12-17, it was a God send, for it enables me to analyze traffic and get a better understanding of where traffic is coming from.

How to get to Flickr Stats

Flickr UI: Additional Information / 2008-01-04 / SML Screenshtos (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

To the bottom right corner, below the list of tags of an image on Flickr is what I would call the utility area of the page. This is also where you can access the Photo stats of the image in question. Clicking on the link will bring to a page similar to the one below:

Photo Stats

Flickr Stats for: Dangeroos, 2002, SML Graphic Design / 2008-01-04 / SML Data (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

At this time, Flickr Stats only allows you to view detailed traffic information from the last 28 days, which is not as flexible as most site analytics tool, but is still much better than none at all.

The first time I saw this page I was stunned. Previously I had guessed that the reason why the Dangeroos design was popular had to do with that it was the first image on my 100 Most Interesting Design (set), which is why I had kept it on my Flickr homepage all these time. Data suggests otherwise. In fact, 54% of its traffic (1,041 visits) came from and 30% (572 visits) came from

Really? What were people searching for on Yahoo? I clicked on the domain name and get to the referrer detail page for the Yahoo Image Search:

Flickr Stats: Referrers for: Dangeroos, 2002, SML Graphic Design / 2008-01-04 / SML Data (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Apparently, I'm getting a lot of hits from Yahoo from people search for graphic design. FlickrStats has a nice feature which allows you to click on the keywords to go directly to the search results in question. This is where I noted that apparently back in 2007-12-18, searching for graphic design on Yahoo put this piece on the first 5 results:

Yahoo Image Search: Graphic Design / 2007-12-18 / SML Screenshots (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Image Search Algorithm

If you think about how difficult it is to develop a useful text search algorithm, you can image how challenging it must be to create a good image search algorithm. Indeed, until most recently, Google Image Search relies on the image's file name alone to feed you results.

Aside from gaining a huge user base, Yahoo's decision to buy Flickr is obvious: image tagging data.

Tagging is a voluntary act by the user: creating meta data to organize his collection fo photo much easier. To the search engine, however, tagging is free metadata association. One strategy is deciphering whether the tags are accurate can go like this: each time someone search for a search term, say graphic design, my search engine will throw 20 images associated with that tag on the search results page. An image that's more related to that search term will more likely to be clicked on by someone searching for that result.

With time and patience, it would be possible for me to figure out which tags are valid and which tags are not. People who search for the search term and then either favorited or commented on that photo would mean that image is more relevant (and thus "interesting") to that search term.

The same strategy can be applied to Flickr Groups. When you post an image to a particular group, the group usually is associated with certain keywords. When users click on an image among all others, they are functioning as bots with very advanced algorithms to do things that machine cannot yet do: identify the good images from the rest. I call humans participating in these activities BioBots.

The key in these systems is to identify the experts. Once you have collected enough data on a user and noticed, for example, that they have a degree in graphic design, working in the graphic design field, and perhaps are members of mostly graphic design groups, it may be fair to say that their opinions on graphic design matter more. You can thus put in your algorithm to give their opinions more weight for the same reason why KOL (key opinion leaders) in pharma talk has their role in medical sites.

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.

AdAge 2008 Annual: LBi International = top 25 marketing organizations

No comments:

The print edition of my Advertising Age arrived in the mail today and I noticed that I have missed out an important fact to report: LBi International (parent company of IconNicholson) is ranked #19 in the top 25 marketing organizations globally according to net revenue.

AdAge 2008 Annual: Top 25 Marketing Organizations / 2008-01-04 / SML Screenshtos (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

The rest of the figures are:

  1. Omnicom Group
  2. WPP Group
  3. Interpublic Group of Cos.
  4. Publicis Groupe
  5. Dentsu
  6. Havas
  7. Aegis Group
  8. Hakuhodo DY Holdings
  9. aQuantive (bought by Microsoft in Aug. '07)
  10. Asatsu-DK
  11. MDC Partners
  12. Sapient Corp.
  13. Carlson Marketing
  14. Epsilon
  15. Aspen Marketing services
  16. Cheil Communications
  17. George P.Johnson Co.
  18. HealthStar COmmunications
  19. LBi International
  20. Media Square
  21. inVentiv Communciations
  22. Cossette Communication Group
  23. Harte-Hanks Direct
  24. Clemenger Communications
  25. Doner

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.

LinkedIn store now open

No comments:

How do you make money off of social networking sites? Besides selling AdSense ads, here's another way to do it: open up a store and sell branded materials. Professional social networking site LinkedIn is doing just that. As I hook up with my 380th connection today on this popular site, I noticed this banner ad on the page:

LinkedIn Store / 2008-01-04 / SML Screenshtos (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

which links you to the LinkedIn store. Right now the items are not very imaginative: but one can just imagine the magic of it all if they would allow customization. Something like See-ming Lee, proud LinkedIn user. Connect with me at would attract customers like never before.

Truth be told, you don't even need a high-tech solution to do the job: You can do as as simple as giving people the option to write their URL or their name on a designated area with a water-proof marker (which can come with the shipped package) and people can create customize content by drawing directly on the t-shirt. That'd be fun!

©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Seariki = Wikipedia + Search

No comments:

Seariki, a new search engine for Wikipedia, was recently launched. It is meant to replace the not too useful search engine found on Wikipedia and aims to allow better search and browsing simultaneously.

Search: Searching for specific words return results from the Wikipedia together with useful snippets of the page, making it very useful for research and references.

Seariki = Wiki Search Engine / 2008-01-03 / SML Screenshtos (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Browse: The category browse mode provides paths from top categories to make it easier for hierarchical category navigation.

Seariki: Browse Categories / 2008-01-03 / SML Screenshtos (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Language Support: The site currently supports only Chinese and English, but the developers are working on indexing more languages.

Feedback: The developers are eager to hear your thoughts. You can send them comments and feedback at seariki [at] yahoo dot com.

Related SML Universe
+ SML Reference
+ SML Search
+ SML Tools

SML Copyright Notice
©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Social networking explained by CommonCraft

No comments:

Folks from CommonCraft did it again. This time, they aim at explaining social networking to peeps in plain English:

The main focus of the video is the exploration of the core idea in network theory: "your weak links are your strong connection." The video suggests that social networks make these weak relationship apparent. Unless these applications allow an easier way to explore your friends' friends, I don't think that it is that apparent.

It does point out an important feature that most social network lacks: a way to explore your 2nd degree of separation, and perhaps your third. LinkedIn tries to do that by allowing users to only see profiles from people within your cluster. Most people don't realize that: of the 375 connections I have had on LinkedIn, that has only happened to me once, which felt really awkward to me at first, but after a while it was apparent what they were trying to do. Still a bit awkward.

SML Thank You
I would like to thank Olivia Lin, a video extraordinaire that I've only met on Facebook for sending me this wonderful video. When I finally meet Olivia in person, she would become a few handful of people who belong in my Life 2.0 circles--something which I have been drafting in my mind but never got my acts together to write about!

Related SML Universe
+ SML Facebook
+ SML Flickr
+ SML Network
+ SML Twitter

SML Copyright Notice
©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Wikipedia: more audience than New York Times

No comments:

AdAge published top sites by parent companies in their 2008 annual and I find it interesting to note that Wikipedia has more audience than the New York Times:

Top sites by unique audience: Top 10 parent companies
|||||||||||| 121.3 million - Microsoft
|||||||||||| 120.3 million - Google
||||||||||| 111.9 million - Yahoo
|||||||||| 103.8 million - Time Warner
||||||| 73.1 million - News Corp.
||||||| 68.6 million - eBay
|||||| 64.6 million - IAC / InterActiveCorp
|||||| 60.3 million - Amazon
||||| 49.9 million - Wikimedia Foundation
||||| 49.6 million - New York Times Co.

Advertising Age Annual 2008: Top sites by unique audience: Top 10 parent companies / 2007-12-31 / SML Screenshots (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)
Copyright 2007 Advertising Age. All rights reserved.

If the content by Wikimedia Foundation gets so much audience, there is a definite advertising market for wiki. Wiki is open-source but I am not sure if you are allowed to use its content for commercial purposes (I must check).

Meanwhile, it makes me wonder how the business model work, as they clearly sell ads and clearly uses wikipedia content.

Advertising Age Annual 2008: Top sites by unique audience: Top 10 web brands / 2007-12-31 / SML Screenshots (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)
Copyright 2007 Advertising Age. All rights reserved.

Also interesting to me is the amount of time users spend on these sites. I'd assume that the data plotted above are the average amount of time per users on these sites. If people are spending 4 hours on AOL and 2 hours on MySpace everyday, it suggests that there is much money to be made via subliminal advertising on the site. The key for advertisers is to find fun and unintrusive way to promote their products in these spaces.

I'd happily throw hp-branded electronic boards at my friends on Facebook if the graphics are cool. The latest hp-flickr promotion is interesting also. User-centered services and promotion are key for corporation to extend their brand reach into the Web 2.0 space. Most ideas are out there, it just takes a good matchmaker to tie them together to create value to both the consumer and the business. (See: SML Pro Blog: Innovation = Synergy of Existing Ideas)

SML Copyright Notice
©2007 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.

Happy New Year / 2008 / SML

No comments:

Happy New Year / 2008 / SML

I am thankful for 2007 and I look forward for an even better 2008. Happy new year!

SML Copyright Notice
©2008 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.