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The Book of Odds, by Kurani Interactive, Launches tomorrow!

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BOOSince I have a number of friends over at Kurani Interactive, I’ve been hearing about the Book of Odds for some time now.  I actually had a demo a few weeks ago while it was in user testing and really had a lot of fun with site.  The Book of Odds presents ‘the odds of everyday life’ in a compelling way.

The Visual Browse tool (shown above) is essentially a very cool form of data visualization.  Select your keywords and related odds appear to the right.  The site also contains articles written by the folks at the Book of Odds, which helps tie together some related themes.freakonomics

Not long ago I made a post about Freakonomics and today found out that they are on the Book of Odds bandwagon too.  Check out Ryan Hagen’s introduction of the Book of Odds on the Freakonomics blog at the NY Times.  If the Book of Odds team (including Kurani Interactive) could join up with Freakonomics I think I’d think we’d see a complete revolution on the use of data and data visualization.

Be sure to pick up a copy of Freakonomics on Amazon or setup a Free account on the Book of Odds website.

Written by Greg M

October 13, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Posted in Websites

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Book Review: Freakonomics

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freakonomicsI really had fun reading Freakonomics as the author’s attempt to answer questions about the real world with a data driven approach.  Kind of like a Moneyball approach to non-baseball topics.  Freakonomics discusses how people name their children, sumo wrestling, the drop in crime rate, the profitability of crack dealers and real estate among other things.

The global takeaway from the book is incentives.  Whether it’s big carrots, big sticks or some combination, every action is taken by people based on how they are incentivized.  On an individual scale or larger society actions are dictated by these incentives and if inappropriate or undesired action is being taken it is invariably because the incentives are in the wrong place.  Freakonomics uses data to try and assess where the incentives really are and their effectiveness.

To read more, pick up a copy of Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (P.S.) for yourself at Amazon.com.

Written by Greg M

September 2, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Posted in Books

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Book Review: Life After the 30 Second Spot

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life after 30 second spotWhen Joseph Jaffe released Life After the 30-Second Spot back in May of 2005 I was treated to one of the finest books that I’ve read on new media. Despite being more than 4 years old I think it’s still highly relevant in today digital and performance marketing environment.

The overall structure of the book was fantastic. Jaffe would begin to build his case and in every chapter would walk me to the edge of the cliff while letting me think “he’s nuts”. Then time and time again he’d roll out the data and lock up his case. Life After the 30 Second Spot used data to tell it’s story as good as anything I’ve read (with the possible exception of Moneyball).

Essentially Jaffe points out that TV and traditional mass marketing is dead and that while reach continues to erode, costs continue to rise or stay flat. Jaffe beckons doom for the traditional advertisers who’s business model is about to collapse. He also spends a good deal of time discussing engagement and out of the box marketing ideas that have the potential to penetrate today’s media burdened consumer – while some of these tactics have undoubtedly changed since the writing of Life After the 30-Second Spot
the fundamental principles still remain.

Order a copy of Life After the 30-Second Spotfrom Amazon.com today!

Written by Greg M

July 24, 2009 at 10:50 am

Posted in Books

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