Opinions And Ramblings By Adam Kmiec On All Things

Tag Archives: Top 10

My Top 10 Whiskeys You Have To Try

There are no shortage of lists that attempt to outline the best Bourbon, Scotch or Whiskeys on the planet. Some will use quantitative analysis. Others skew to qualitative. That’s the thing about a good Bourbon, Scotch or Whiskey; everyone has a different opinion, because everyone’s taste profile is different and everyone value’s different characteristics. My wife, when I first met here 3+ years ago, swore by her love of Jameson. To her, it was in fact, the best Whiskey in the world. Today, she wouldn’t be caught dead drinking, let alone owning a bottle of Jameson.

A photo posted by Adam Kmiec (@adamkmiec) on

Over the past 3 years, I’ve tasted more whiskeys than I can remember. I think that’s a good thing. I’ve tasted rare and hard to find Whiskeys. I’ve sadly tasted cheap and horrible tasting Whiskeys, like Fireball. I’ve had great tasting and cheap Whiskeys; a rarity, but so satisfying when it happens. Some of these Whiskeys are great for mixing, some can and should be had neat, while others taste better with an ice cube or drop of water. That’s what I love about Whiskey; there’s no right or wrong way to drink it and they all taste different.

Before I go any further, it’s important to understand that every Scotch, Bourbon and Rye is a Whiskey. But, not every Whiskey is a Bourbon or a Rye or a Scotch. So when I say, “My Top 10 Whiskeys” you’re going to see Bourbons, Ryes and Scotches mixed together.

So, with that said, here’s the best of the best, based on my tastes, preferences and palate.

W.L. Weller 12 Year: Made irrationally famous because Julian Van Winkle said it was his favorite and it was then shown to have the same mash bill as the famed Pappy Van Winkle 15 year, it’s a gem. But, all that hype made it hard to come by. At $25 a bottle, it’s a perfect example of great Bourbon, not having to be expensive. Good luck finding a bottle though. Even on Craiglist market, this $25 bottle will sell for nearly $100. W.L. Weller 12 is my go to bourbon, when I want something neat or with a cube. I never use it as a mixer.

Four Roses Yellow Label: At $20, it’s a steal. Yes, it’s like they’re paying you for it. I love Four Roses Yellow Label. My wife loves the more expensive Single Barrel. Four Roses is what is my must have bourbon in an Old Fashioned. It’s smooth and balanced.

Michter’s 10 Year: Another, impossible to find, great bourbon. If you see it in-store, it’ll retail for $85. On the secondary market, expect to pay $200. Where Weller and Four Roses are incredibly smooth, with virtually no finish. Michter’s is smooth, with a pungent nose and a complex finish that sneaks up you. Love this bourbon. No ice needed. Serve neat.

The Glenlivet Archive 21 Year: The first Scotch to make the list. I went back and forth between this and The Macallan 21. Both are phenomenal. But, The Macallan is nearly twice the cost at $300 a bottle. The Glenlivet 21, however, can be had for $140. Yes, that’s expensive. But, it’s so freaking good. Smooth, no bite and big flavor. If I could afford it, I’d be drinking this every day.

Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year: The first and only Pappy to make the list. I have the 10, 12, 15, 20 and 23 year. The 10 is raw and unfinished. Not my style. The 12 year “Lot B” is good, but isn’t something I’d drink neat or on the rocks. It’s very nice for livening up a good Old Fashioned. The 20 I really love. It doesn’t get enough love out there. The 23 is the hardest to come by. That scarcity, I tend to think, clouds people’s judgement and evaluation of the Bourbon. Personally, I think it’s too aged. But, the 15, yeah, it’s just right. It’s so full of flavor, but not overpowering. I can sip on this all night long.

Yamazaki 12 Year: For a while I was really into the art of Japanese Whiskey. Where the USA and Scotland favor single malts and blends are considered cheap, Japan views blending as a way to be creative and develop unique flavors. I like Hibiki 12, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Yamazaki 12.  Everyone who samples my bottle, remarks at how incredible it is. A different Yamazaki; one finished in a Sherry Cask, was recently anointed the title of Best Whiskey In The World.

Bulleit Bourbon 10 Year: I really like Bulleit. I don’t love it neat. I don’t love it on ice. But, I really like it in a Manhattan, Mint Julep or Old Fashioned. There’s something about it’s taste profile that makes it the perfect compliment to so many other ingredients. It’s the classic team player on a sports team. Bulleit isn’t the leader or the best player, but without Bulleit, you just don’t win.

Basil Hayden: This was the Bourbon that got me started into dark spirits. It was the first Bourbon I ever ordered. There’s many similarities to Basil Hayden and Bulleit 10. They both have a certain lack of refinement. They have an edge. But, where as Bulleit has too much edge to be something I drink neat, Basil Hayden, when in the right mood, is definitely something I can enjoy with a cube.

Angel’s Envy Cask Strength: Received this as a gift and was instantly blown away. Cask Strength Bourbon has generally proved to be just too powerful for me. Too much bite, too much finish. Even as much as I love Four Roses, their 2014 Limited Edition Single Barrel Cask Strength is just too much for me. But, for whatever reason Angel’s Envy has figured out how to give you something powerful, but not overpowering. This, my friends, will keep you warm on cold winter nights.

Larceny: In all my Whiskey sampling, I realized I prefer wheated Bourbons over rye Bourbons. The wheat is smoother, with less bite than rye. Again, palate, is personal. You can find this gem for about $28 at most liquor stores. If you’re just getting into Bourbon and can’t find the W.L.Weller 12, this is a great introduction into the world of Bourbons.

Beyond the top 10, some other Whiskey’s that I’ve sampled that are worth your time as you explore would be Lagavulin 16, Kings County Bourbon, Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14, Whistle Pig Rye 10 and Makers Mark (original). All are interesting, unique and different.

Taste is personal. That’s the beauty of Whiskey. There’s something out there for everyone. These be my favorites, but your’s could be something else. Get out there and start sampling.

Top 10 Favorite Albums

More than a year ago I compiled my top 10 favorite movies. Earlier today I saw a Facebook status update from a colleague that indicated his favorite album of all time was U2’s Joshua Tree. As you might imagine this got me thinking about my favorite albums. To be clear my top 10 albums does not equal the top 10 albums of all time. It simply means these are the albums I’d bring with me to a deserted island. Also, live albums are ok, but not best of, hits, or compilations.

Cool? Ok, without further adieu here’s the list.

10. Dr. Dre – 2001: 22 tracks of pure bliss. Many will argue that The Chronic was a better and more “important” album. But, I disagree. It was this album that re-established Dr. Dre as the most influential rapper on the planet. His decision to collaborate with people like Snoop, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Xzibit made this album as solid as it is. Even with all the silly outros and intros there’s enough meat to this album to make it one of the best rap albums ever.

9. The Killers – Sam’s Town: When The Killers came on to the scene their sound was so refreshing. I loved their debut album Hot Fuss, but it lacked some polish. That’s what made Sam’s Town shine. I first heard Sam’s Town while on vacation on Mexico. I was on a bus ride from Cancun to Chichen Itza and my iPod was blaring. I literally listened to the album start to finish 3 times and it remains one of my most played albums.

8. Pink Floyd – The Wall: Right off the bat I’m going to cheat and take a double album. While I love Dark Side of the Moon and Animals, the reality is you have to listen to those albums in their entirety and from start to finish. The Wall is just the opposite. Sure you can listen to it in order for the full story. But, you can also pick from a number of individual songs like Mother and Hey You. To me, this is Pink Floyd at their absolute finest.

7. Guns N’ Roses – Appetite For Destruction: Track 1, side 1, Welcome To The Jungle. As indicated in the movie High Fidelity, it could be one of the best songs to kick off an album. While songs like Paradise City and Sweet Child o’ Mine get the most attention, my personal favorite is Mr. Brownstone.

6. Coldplay – A Rush of Blood to the Head: You know, I hate liking Coldplay. I really do. But, this second album from them was fantastic. Politik, The Scientist, Clocks, Green Eyes, etc. just rock. Smooth lyrics and not over processed. While U2 continues to take steps back (their latest album No Line On The Horizon was horrible) Coldplay continues to take major steps forward.

5. Peter Frampton – Frampton Comes Alive: There is simply no other live album that’s better. I’d pick it just to hear Frampton’s 14 minute + rendition of Do You Feel Like I Do. This albums sets the standard for which all other live albums are measured.

4. Led Zeppelin – IV: It’s possible I never really discovered “real” music till I listened to this TAPE for the first time. This could be one album where one song makes the entire album a must have. Everyone knows Stairway to Heaven. Doesn’t matter if you’re young, old, into hip hop, or don’t like Zeppelin; Stairway to Heaven is known and respected. Besides, as Mike Damone said in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, “when it comes down to making out, whenever possible, put on side one of Led Zeppelin IV.” Amen.

3. Simon and Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water: Their last album was definitely their best. The album really packs a punch despite being realtively short. The 11 songs amount to only 45 minutes of music. But jammed in those 45 minutes are the title track, Cecilia, The Boxer, and of course The Only Living Boy in New York.

2. Michael Jackson – Thriller: This Michael at his very best. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a few misses on this album, BUT, how can you argue with Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin, The Girl Is Mine, Thriller, Beat It, Billie Jean, and Human Nature. This is literally one of the best 10 albums of all time for not only how progressive it was at the time, but for how timeless it remains.

1. The Beatles – Abbey Road: I’m a diehard Beatles fan. Sgt. Pepper, The White Album, and Revolver could have made this list, but they all have faults. Only Abbey Road is flawless. From the opening track, Come Together, to the last one (Her Majesty) they nailed it. It also happens to have one of the best love songs of all time, “Something”, which Lennon and McCartney didn’t even write.

I had a lot of fun putting this together.  One of the great things about movies and music is we ALL have an opinion. I’d love to hear what your favorite albums are.

2008 Top 10 Pieces Of Advice For 2009

We’ve come to the end of the road.  Starting on the 22nd of December I’ve been providing 1 top 10 list every day.  The lists have been a lot of fun and a lot of work to put together.  Until now, all of the lists focused on 2008.  For example the top 10 commercials in 2008.  As we get ready to close out 2008, I thought it only appropriate to look forward to 2009.  Here are my top 10 pieces of advice to marketers in 2009.

  1. Embrace Data: I love watching my creative team looking at Google Analytics.  Data, reporting, metrics, and measurement aren’t one person’s responsibility.  It’s everyone’s, because we’re all accountable for the end result.  Don’t be afraid of the data when your campaign/site/program isn’t performing as well as expected.  That’s the beauty of data; it tells us exactly how we’re doing.  The key though is to make sure you’ve set aside time and dollars to optimize.  It’s never a good thing to know your site is underperforming and not be able to fix it because of limited funding.
  2. Remove The Buzzwords: It’s not about baffling with bullshit.  Really, its not.  Clients are getting smarter.  Heck, all marketers are getting smarter.  There’s no need to dumb down the conversation.  When we use buzzwords, do you know what we sound like?  We sound like we don’t know what we’re talking about and that our only knowledge comes from AdAge.
  3. Extend Interactive Marketing Beyond The web: The nice thing about 2008 was that we got to see technologies like Microsoft Surface offer a glimpse about what INTERACTIVE can really mean.  Interactive marketing is no longer just about emails, banners, and web sites.  We’ve evolved.  Digital billboards can be interactive.  Television can be interactive.  We need to think beyond the web site and start thinking about all the other ways we can bring interactive to the people.
  4. Nail The Fundamentals: The web is old enough that we should never ever miss the fundamentals.  Please buy multiple variations of a URL.  Make sure you have a paid search campaign in place when running TV.  Ensure tracking tags are in place.  The list goes on and on.  It amazes me that marketers continue to overlook the basics.
  5. Educate Legal: It’s really easy for legal for shoot things down, appear uncooperative, or seem difficult when they don’t even understand what they’re reviewing.  My personal POV is that legal should never make a decision; they’re role is to advise.  However, many brand managers don’t view things that way.  Legal is a security blanket that often has far too much power.  The best way to leverage that power is to influence it.  The easiest way to influence things is to educate.
  6. Leverage All 5 Senses: For too long we’ve focused on just site and sound.  The iPhone brought us touch.  While the ability to actually taste and smell through a flat screen monitor is a few years off 🙂 it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to delight all 5 senses.  There’s plenty of research to show how visual stimulation can impact taste and smell.  As digital progresses, figuring out how to connect with me through all my senses will become a game changer.  Yes, I used the buzzword game changer.  Do you see how dumb I just sounded?
  7. Hire Well, Retain Talent, Compensate Fairly: It’s not easy to find solid talent.  When you do, hold on to that talent.  Don’t let it go.  If you lose good talent to a competitor it’s a double whammy.  Compensation is always tricky…well unless of course you abide by the golden rule: pay people based on their value to the company.  Let’s say person X is making 50K, but the market puts his worth at 70K.  If person X is a great performer and you won’t give him/her market value or close to it, you’ll lose person X and have to pay 70K to an unknown.  Think about it.
  8. Don’t Wait For Nike And P&G To Do “It” First: When I was working on Kellogg’s, Similac, Healthy Choice, and just about every other consumer packaged goods brand our recommendations for new, different, and innovative ideas would be met with stone walls.  That is, until P&G or Nike did exactly what we were recommending.  It seemed that once P&G or Nike did something it opened up the door for other brands to do “it.”  You can be innovative.  You can do things first.  Often times losing out on first mover advantage can set you back years or in some cases, you’ll never get any traction.
  9. Look Beyond The Usual Suspects For News: AdAge, AdWeek, Wired, and Fast Company are great publications.  But, if those 4 and some of the other publications that everyone is reading are your go-to reads, you have a problem.  This world moves to quickly to wait for a weekly or monthly update.  Real time information is where it’s at.  Places like TechCrunch, Engadget, and iMedia give that and more.  Broaden the horizon…your competitors already are.
  10. Get Involved: Start a blog.  Join Twitter.  Engage in a message board.  Create a Facebook account.  Build your own social network on Ning. Many of these things are simple to do.  Once you starting joining in on the fun, you’ll start to see the marketing possibilities.

2008 Top 10 Presentations

I’ve read over 1,000 presentations this year.  That amazes me.  Because there’s maybe only 50 I can actually remember.  Of those 50, here are the 10 that I reference, re-reference, and consider to be amazingly helpful.  The only requirement for this list was that the presentation needed to be available on Slideshare.

1. Everything you always wanted to know about Google, but were afraid to ask: Just a real eye opened for me. It’s rare that I come across something that makes me say WOW. And this deck did it.

All about Google 

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: google strategy)

2. Obama and Social Media: I’m not even an Obama supporter and this presentation rocked. Who says a person can’t be a brand? Who says Social Media can’t amplify a message? This deck proves the power people have in carrying a brand and a message…when it’s something they believe in.

Obama Social 

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: obama social)

3. Widgets 101: I can’t even remember the number of times I’ve referenced this presentation to clients and agencies folks. The presentation does a fantastic job of breaking down the industry and explaining what widgets can do…AND should do.

4. Starbucks Tribal Knowledge: Slides 15 – 18 make the whole presentation. It makes you wonder how a brand that knew itself so well could have fallen so far from the path?

Starbucks Tribal Knowledge 

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: john moore)

5. Universal Mccann International Social Media Research Wave 3: Fantastic research. You will be referencing the data from this presentation for months to come. I want a Wave 4.

6. Discovery Is The New Cocaine: Are you sick of using the term engagement? Yeah, me too. I hate referencing engagement as an end goal. This presentation will help you evolve from engagement. You’ll feel better about yourself when you stop using the “E” word.

7. Modern Brand Building: Paul Isakson is really smart. His presentation is great. If only we could get everyone to drink the Kool-Aid from this deck. Compaigns are designed for short term gains…like political campaigns. Campaigns are not long term enablers of success. If you want branding, don’t campaign.

Modern Brand Building 

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: deepspace space150)

8. What’s Next In Media: Neil Perkin created a masterpiece. I love slide 21. I’ve referenced it often. He talks about social media in REAL marketing terminology. Yes, the information is actually applicable and not just “Web 2.0” B.S.

Whats Next In Media 

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: engagement content)

9. Big Spaceship’s Manifesto: Every single agency should have a deck that explains who they are so simply. This presentation offers sharp and often overlooked thoughts like “hire to be the dumbest person in the room.” If more companies followed that thought instead of hiring old pals they’d be better off.

10. Creativity & Innovation: I’ve seen a lot of the information before, but never served up so well. Everyone from strategists to copywriters should read this.

Creativity & Innovation 

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: india innovation)

2008 Top 10 Things I Want To See Happen In 2009

These aren’t predictions.  There’ll be a separate post for that 🙂  These are simply the ten things I want to see happen next year.  Some are technology/internet based and some aren’t.  The list might seem random and eclectic, but that’s just how my mind works.

  1. No More DRM – I hate DRM.  I love iTunes.  I want apple to get it’s act together and drop DRM from the iTunes store.  Just dropping it though won’t be enough.  They need to make music previously purchased by consumer convertible so that we/they can remove DRM.  Oh, and they need to make this reverse conversion free.
  2. Crystal Pepsi – I want Crystal Pepsi back on the market.  They were too ahead of their time, when Pepsi release it.  It tasted/tastes great and Pepsi should consider bringing it back.
  3. U.S. Auto Consolidation – We don’t need as many U.S. auto companies as we have and we don’t need as many product lines as we have.  I’d love to see GM and Chrysler merge.  I’d also like to see Ford get rid of brands like Mazda and Mercury.  We aren’t dumb, the Ford Taurus and the Mercury Milan are essentially the same car.  Hey GM, we don’t really need GMC, Saab, Saturn, and Buick.  Let’s consolidate and focus on making 1 or 2 car lines really good.
  4. Hiring Smart People – Can we please stop hiring the same type of people?  It amazes me that as progressive as we’ve gotten we still hire archaically.  We still ask for X years of experience, Y type of degree, and of course the requisite MBA preferred.  Companies need to hire smart people that have a good pedigree.  If they keep hiring for specific titles and use old school boxes to define candidates, they’ll never evolve.
  5. Better Tools To Measure Social Media – Vitrue is cool.  Twist is nice.  Google Trends is ok.  But, there just isn’t a real legitimate tool to measure social media impact easily.  We have great tools like Quantcast and Compete, to measure web demographics and traffic, but we’re still lacking in the social media measurement department.  You’d think this is one of the big things Google would be working on.
  6. Google Chrome For The MAC and Flash Support for the iPhone. – Simple.  We have Chrome for the PC, but we don’t for the MAC.  Should be a no brainer.  Not having Flash support on some level is ridiculous for a product that touts itself is giving the consumer the web in their pocket.  Tsk Tsk.
  7. An Alex Cross TV Series – James Patterson’s books are great.  The two movies based on the Alex Cross books, Along Came A Spider and Kiss The Girls, were solid.  Given America’s love for cop dramas, this should be a no brainer.
  8. Real Time Web Integration For Cars – I want my car to provide web access for use in the Heads Up Display (think traffic, directions, sports scores) and for my laptop to connect to.  This really should be easy, no?  We have satellite radio.  We have live/real time traffic updates, so why not go the extra mile and offer web access.
  9. The TSA Become Consistent and Logical – Why do some airports make you take off your shoes and others don’t?  How come O’hare requires me to take off my belt, but MSP, doesn’t?  MSP doesn’t require me to show my boarding pass anymore when going through security, but JFK does.  Even though all items get x-rayed, passengers can’t take wrapped presents on a plane.  If this is how grocery shopping was, we’d change how we buy.  But, the TSA and the airline industry have us by the short ones.  We gotta fix this.
  10. Serious Challenger To the iPhone – I don’t think the Google Android platform is the answer.  So long as Apple has a lock on the OS and the hardware, it’s going to be tough for someone to challenge them. But, it’s not impossible.
And here’s a few quick fun ones:
  1. Steve Jobs go under an SEC investigation and subsequently get fired…
  2. …Only to see Bill Gates take over Apple.
  3. The Atlanta Braves win the World Series.
  4. The Yankees not make the playoffs again.
  5. Wells Fargo offer me a bail out and wipe my mortgage debt clear.  Hey if everyone else is getting one, why can’t I?
  6. Red Bull on tap from a soda fountain.
  7. Paul McCartney tour again.
  8. Windows 7 launch early and be amazing.
  9. All airplanes offer in-flight wifi and stop charging for checked bags.
  10. Rocky VII come to the big screen.  In this one, Stallone/Rocky fights a cyborg sent from the future to kill John Connor…the cyborg is played by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  11. Tiger Woods get back to playing golf and kick some serious butt.
  12. Tom Brady retire.
  13. A Google TV hardware option to compete with the Apple TV.
  14. Better ads and advertiser integration into TIVO.
  15. U2 Break Up and Bono end up a 8 month bender that culminates with him admitting to being a fraud.
  16. Consistency in TV channels across markets, states, and cable providers.  Channel 4 should the the same across the country.
  17. A football player admit he picked a different quarterback than his team’s quarterback for fantasy football.
  18. Facebook and MySpace merge…with Facebook’s design template being the winner.
  19. A chip you can put into your head that taps you in to Google, so that when you think something a query takes place and Google returns you the answer.  Yeah, this one might be far off 🙂
  20. George Bush become the host of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader.
What do you want to see happen next year?

2008 Top 10 Discoveries

2008 was a big year for innovation. New sites were launched. New products came to market. And, I stumbled upon several things that I should have been on top of from the beginning. See, there are lot’s of things that I’ve overlooked…I’m not on top of everything. It was really hard to limit this list to 10, but here we go.

  1. AllTop – Guy Kawasaki was brilliant for concepting this idea. Alltop aggregates all the top stories/pieces of content from the best websites…so you don’t have to. Talk about a time saver. The site covers topics from fishing to poker.
  2. Hulu – Great video content served up in HD. Lot’s of solid older (aka canceled) shows. They let you be in charge of what type of advertising you see. The only thing they don’t let you do is download the video.
  3. MadMen – How did I miss the boat on this one? I ignored the show when it launched. Didn’t pick up on it, after the first season. But, then I decided to tune in 1 night and after the first episode I saw, I said to myself, “why wasn’t I watching this earlier?”
  4. Red Bull Cola – Passed on trying it in Vegas. Then went on a mission to find it. Finally I found a can. Drank it…and was blown away. It’s a GREAT drink.
  5. Internet Activity Index – I pride myself on being on top of a lot of different online measurement tools. How it is I never knew about the Internet Activity Index is beyond me. The index measures what people do online and segments the behaviors across 5 categories.
  6. Twitterific & Twitterfon – Both are iPhone application that let you interact with Twitter. I’ve found that I need them both. They both rock.
  7. WordPress – for years, my site was built in Flash. It was sexy, but it was a pain to update. Someone recommended I try WordPress and I’ve never looked back. From the plugins to the themes, the community does a great job of making WordPress fantastic.
  8. What If Sports – This site let’s you simulate games between sports teams from different eras. Want to see how the 2007 Celtics would do against the 1992 Jordan lead Chicago Bulls? This site will let you do it. This site has helped me end so many sports arguments quickly and painlessly.
  9. Twitter Grader It’s not perfect, but it’s the best tool out there for measuring how good of a tweeter someone is. Twitter Grader is addictive too. I find myself checking my score weekly. It’s another great tool from the folks at HubSpot.
  10. Amazon MP3 Store: Should have gotten on this wagon/bus/train a while back.  When you consider my hatred for DRM music, it just makes sense.  Since discovering Amazon MP3, I’ve stopped buying music from iTunes.  In fact, I’ve refused to purchase music from iTunes until it becomes DRM free.
What did you discover this year that rocked your world?

2008 Top 10 Purchases

I spent way too much this year. I’ve bought some great things, and some less than smart things. As I looked back on my contribution to the economy and came up with the best purchases I made in 2008.

  1. BMW 328i – Really, do I need to say anymore? I traded in my 2002 BMW 530i for the 328i. It’s amazing similar in size they are. The new 3 series platform is so much larger than the previous platform generation. Given that I use the car, nearly every day, I’d say the ROI is fantastic.
  2. Tickle Me Elmo Live – Perhaps the best $60.00 I’ve ever spent. Cora loves the new Elmo. I’m amazed with how smart they’ve made these toys. It has a sensor in the doll that indicates when Elmo has fallen over. The sensor triggers Elmo to ask you to please stand him up. Are you kidding me?
  3. iPhone 3G – This is a funny purchase given I don’t actually own the 3G. My wife does. The reason this purchase made the list, is because looking at her iPhone 3G makes me feel really good about NOT upgrading. There just isn’t anything in the 3G that I wish the first generation had. Seriously. The 3G speeds aren’t legit and all the problems people have had with the 3G just reinforce my decision not to upgrade.
  4. Apple Macbook Pro 15″ – I’m typing this post on the Macbook Pro right now. It’s been reliable as hell. The battery life rocks. The screen is bright. And…I can run Vista on it.
  5. Apple TV – The Apple TV has changed the way I think about music and photos. Being able to sync all my music and photos and watch them on a 50 inch TV is just amazing. I wish my car had an Apple TV like device. It would make my life so much easier. Imagine driving into your garage and having the car sync automatically with the files in your house.
  6. Yard Machines 8HP – First time owner of a snow thrower. It’s worth it’s weight in gold. Why I never had one in the past is beyond. Talk about being stubborn and thinking shoveling was manly.
  7. Nike Hatphones – Why Nike discontinued this item is beyond me. It’s amazing. The Hatphones are a warm Nike Thermafit hat that has headphones embedded into the hat. This let’s you keep your ears warm and listen to music at the same time.
  8. Nike Lunar Trainer Shoes – Without a doubt the best running shoes I’ve ever owned. Light, durable, stylish, and they work with Nike+.
  9. Tivo HD – After having a Comcast DVR for about 3 months, we realized how much we missed Tivo. A quick trip to Circuit City took care of that longing. The Tivo interface is still the gold standard for DVRs.
  10. Nikon D700 – It’s Nikon. It’s digital. It’s full frame. It’s an SLR. It’s basically perfect. Image quality is amazing. I thought my D2Hs was great, but the D700 takes things to another level.
What did you buy this year that was worthwhile?

2008 Top 10 Watched Movies

Some of these movies weren’t released in 2008, but the one thing they all have in common is 2008 was the first time I watched them.  You may have seen some of them.  Some might be pure popcorn flicks.  Either way, they’re all enjoyable, well to me they were 🙂

1. The Dark Knight


2. Superbad

3. Havoc


4. Across The Universe

5. Hot Fuzz

6. I Am Legend

7. 1408


8. Shooter

9. National Treasure: Book of Secrets

10. Rambo

2008 Top 10 Favorite Blogs

I read a lot of blogs, sites, twitter feeds, and a hell of a lot more!  Separating good blogs from bad blogs ain’t easy.  It takes a lot of time.  Sometimes you’ll come across a GREAT post, only to find out you’ve been tricked.  Tricked you say?  Yes tricked, because though there was that one great gem, it takes weeks and multiple posts for another gem to show up.  With that in mind, here’s my favorite blogs.  These are blogs that I visit frequently, recommend to friends, and hold in high regard.  Hopefully, you’ll find them useful as well.

  1. Matt Dickman’s Techno//Marketer blog – Matt’s smart.  His content is solid.  There’s always value.  He takes on tough tasks too, like putting together one of the BEST overviews on Facebook out there.
  2. Jason Falls’ Social Media Explorer site – Wow, this is such a GREAT site.  If it’s happening in social media this is the place to be.
  3. Seth Godin’s blog – You can be guaranteed to get 1 post just about every day.  The posts are fun, though provoking, and interesting.
  4. The Die Line – I’m a lover of package design.  You can spend hours going through their archive of great, new, and bad 🙂 packaging.
  5. Steve Rubel’s Micro Peruasion blog – Steve doesn’t always time for long posts, but he does make time to list out links that interest him.  It’s one of the things I really enjoy about his blog.
  6. Avinash Kaushik’s Occam’s Razor site – If you love metrics, this is the blog to read.  Who better to learn web analytics from than the guy who literally wrote the book.
  7. Ogilvy’s PR Blog – They team at Ogilvy do  GREAT job of providing interesting points of view.  By having multiple contributors you get some variety that’s often lacking on other blogs.
  8. Michael Arrington’s Techcrunch blog – I enjoy his blog more than I do his tweets.  The blog covers startups, technology, and everything in between.  You’ll really enjoy the witty and sometimes scathing comments.  For the most part he’s brutally honest.  I just wish he’d be a little more willing to call his “friends” out when they’re wrong.
  9. Zeus Jones’ Blog – I worked with Rob White, when I was at Fallon.  I thought he was smart then and he’s even smarter now.  The Zeus Jones blog has multiple contributors from different backgrounds who offer unique points of view.
  10. David Armano’s Logic+Emotion blog – Sometimes a bit to preachy and at times hypocritical, but you can’t dismiss how smart he is.  I find his graphics to be much better than the copy.  You’ll find yourself using them often because of how simple and relevant they are.  The blog is MUCH better than the twitter stream.
Here’s a couple more worth reading:
  1. The Consumerist – The best of all the crazy things companies do to consumers.
  2. This Is Indexed – Funny charts, graphs, and visuals that poke a little fun at modern marketing and business.
  3. Michael Leis in Bite-Size doses – Michael is wicked sharp. He writes for iMedia. I follow him on twitter.
  4. Peter Kim’s Being Peter Kim – Not updated as frequently as I like, but he wrote one of the posts I reference most frequently.
  5. Whisky Notes and Parachuting Fish – Witty, funny, raw, and smart. Gotta love that.

2008 Top 10 People To Follow On Twitter

I really believe in following people that have a high signal to noise ration.  It doesn’t make sense to follow someone on twitter that posts a high amount of useless tweets and then seemingly at random gives you 1 great one.   I also don’t go for the people that too into themselves.  The ones that simply love to hear themselves tweet.

 That said, I also enjoy smart POVs, great links, and a little bit of humor.  I follow people that will engage with me in good discussion, share fantastic links, and make me say, “wow, that was cool.”

Without further adieu, here’s who I recommend following:

  1. @steverubel
  2. @mashable
  3. @timoreilly
  4. @chrisbrogan
  5. @guykawasaki
  6. @MarketingProfs
  7. @awolk
  8. @andybeal
  9. @Gartenberg
  10. @PSFK

For bonus, here’s, some people worth following because their content and tweets are simply enjoyable.

  1. @secrettweet
  2. @perrybelcher
  3. @jowyang
  4. @mleis
  5. @vegasbab
  6. @theonion
  7. @darthvader
  8. @therules
  9. @TechCrunch
  10. @leeodden

And since I’m in the Christmas spirit, here’s a list of people that other people will tell you to follow, but I wouldn’t recommend given their low signal to roise ratio and insane need to self promote.

  1. @JasonCalacanis
  2. @Scobleizer
  3. @loiclemeur
  4. @Pistachio
  5. @algore

It’s not that the people on the “don’t bother following” list aren’t smart.  They are.  But, they just don’t provide enough value for me on twitter.  Go ahead and start following them (you were going to do it anyway), you’ll see what I mean.  If you think I’m wrong, let me know.  Would love to hear about the value you’re finding from these people, that I’m clearly missing.

Also, feel free to use this list of the so-called Top 100 Most Influential Online Marketers.  Their twitter IDs are included.