Posts Tagged ‘why video’


Monday, September 28th, 2009

References FITC and Influxis

VIP Ticket Winners of #whymax contest (updated daily for 10 days)

Friday, September 18th, 2009

Having awarded the free admission ticket for my contest  now I begin awarding one VIP seating “voucher” meaning you get a reserved seat up close at the Adobe MAX keynotes!  For non-geeks this may seem uninteresting–but based on past MAXs this is really nice.

Reminder: Adobe employees may enter this  contest .  Also consider the fact that in past MAXs such employees were relegated to a closed-circuit feed (and I was once stopped because my badge was misprinted as an Adobe employee).

Anyway, I’ll add one new one every day until all 10 are awarded:

Final update: 10th place mesh2325 (  )

29 September 9th place radleymarx ( )

28 September: 8th place  wadearnoldt8 ( )

25 September: 7th place brimelow ( )

24 September:
6th  abdulqabiz ( )

23 September:
5th  airdeck ( )
4th  flashbum ( )

21 September:
3rd place:  WeAreAjar  ( )

Tied for 1st and 2nd:


#whymax Video Contest Winner!

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Congratulations to Scott Ysebert @endoplasmic for his winning entry:
I always hate it when I hear a judge say how hard it was to judge–but it’s true.  I’m still very surprised how few entries I received–just realize, all those who did enter put in effort ranging from WAY MORE to WAY WAY MORE than those who didn’t even bother.  Compared to many contests, this one had one of the best ratios of investment to payoff.Keep in mind that for the next 10 days (starting tomorrow) I’ll pick another winner from those currently posted to award a VIP seat (for attendees to sit very close at the keynotes).  (Believe me when I say this is more valuable than most non-MAX-goers understand.)

I carefully stuck to my original criteria–you can see the results of the top 5 finalists here:

contest results

Next time I might add some categories, like “funniest” or “most views”, “most ratings”, most twitter votes, or just my personal favorite.   In any event, I hope everyone had fun and will consider entering a for the VIP tickets.

Free Ticket Finalists

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

For the contest, today I get to decide who wins the free pass!  Then, every new day I’ll award one VIP seat.  This means, if you don’t win today, you can still enter a new video up until I’m done giving out VIP seats (about 10 days from now).  (See contest details including the fact the VIP seat can only be used if you’re already in the conference.)

Anyway, I’ve narrowed down the finalists to my favorite 5.  Note, these are not my videos. And, note they are in reverse chronological order:






Lee’s Office Space

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Here we’re given a rare glimpse at Adobe evangelist Lee Brimelow actually working!

Make a Video, Win a free pass to Adobe MAX!

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

This is awesome… in addition to making a few videos of my own, I get to manage and judge a contest where you can win a FREE conference pass to the Adobe MAX 2009 conference (~$1300).  Plus the grand prize winner gets preferred seating at the keynotes.  In addition, 10 runners-up will be selected to receive just the preferred seating (they have to get their own pass to the conference).  The preferred seating is more valuable than it might seem–I know several Adobe employees who are going to try to win this contest for just those seats!

Anyway, here are the official rules (subject to change if I made a glowing error… though I had this stuff checked out by several people… and it’s official):


Make a video that answers the question “is Adobe MAX for developers or designers?” or somehow relates to the upcoming Adobe MAX conference.


There will be 11 winners! 

There will be one grand prize winner.  They get one free full conference pass to Adobe MAX 2009 plus preferred seating at the keynotes.  If you’ve already registered for the conference, Adobe will refund the base price (that is, exactly what you paid for the conference–not any extras such as pre-conference sessions or hotel) .

There will be 10 runners-up.  They will receive preferred seating at the keynotes.  Runners-up must already be attending MAX to take advantage of the preferred seating–that is, you must have your own conference pass. (See for conference details.) 

Winners will be announced on as well as  If you’re following me on twitter I’ll attempt to also make send a direct message. The grand-prize winner will have 5 days to reply.  If no reply is received I will attempt to award the grand prize to one of the runners-up. 


To qualify for the grand prize (the conference pass) your video must be posted no later than September 15th 2009 at midnight Pacific time (GMT -7:00).    The runners up (preferred keynote seating) will be awarded on the days that follow the 15th until all are awarded–approximately one per day.  This means, you can still post videos after the 15th and have a chance to win the preferred keynote seating (until all the runners-up prizes have been awarded).


All videos are subjectively judged by Phillip Kerman from LLC using the criteria listed below.


Void where prohibited by law.  Adobe employees may participate but can only win a runners-up prize (preferred keynote seating).  The main requirement is that you post a video (no longer than 200 seconds) on and that you tag it with: #whymax.  Also, please post an update to with a link and include the same tag “#whymax”.  Ideally, you also follow me on twitter ( to make it easier for me to contact you if you win.

Judging Criteria:

30% Originality and sincerity.  Try to exploit your own personal voice.  You’re welcome to leverage familiar themes, but try to be original as possible.

30% Message quality.  Your video should make a point and as clearly and effectively as possible.

15% Clarity and conciseness. Respect your audience’s time and invest the work necessary to make your message concise. Also, strongly consider editing your video. Note, videos longer than 200 seconds will be disqualified unless they’re so captivating I can’t not watch them.

15% Technical: Audio and video quality and technical ability with tools.

10% Accuracy and timeliness. Try to make something contemporary to what’s hot now.

Humor is not required, but I’ll probably be more impressed if you use humor effectively.  In addition, entries may be disqualified out of hand if they contain blatantly offensive or objectionable content such as racism or pornography.  Also, all entries should relate to MAX, Adobe, and developers and designers who use Adobe products.  Sincere and honest criticisms of Adobe products are acceptable but not required.  Overly patronizing and blatant brown nosing is also not required.


Feel free to contact me via with questions or comment below.  Also, check out my videos at


The “Ted Call”

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Adobe hired me to write and produce a few scripts for their Adobe MAX conference.  But, things aren’t going as planned.

Max Prank 2008–Fail

Friday, November 21st, 2008

Before I get to the meat of why my pranks failed for the most part, let me give a quick review of MAX 08.  It was great.  It’s always great–even if I’m the first to complain… it’s great.  This one had the best party ever and the venue supported the kind of density and opportunities necessary to encourage socialization–which, really, is the main reason I attend.  MAX could be improved greatly if the market-speak were removed from the birds-of-the-feather sessions (at least the one I attended) and the sneaks.  That experience, along with the first day keynote makes me believe the process to completely eradicate any lingering Macromedia spirit is now complete.  Seriously, that’s where they have the most to improve.  Naturally all the technology is awesome (well, excepting services and consulting projects that effectively compete with their customer).  Anyway, I wanted this post to be about the pranks.

So, I had two: “call and response” at the day-one keynote and a “salutation paranoia” thing targeting specific Adobe employees.  In the call and response I had a list of key phrases or topics that I knew the presenters would hit.  When they did, the instructions were to yell out the predefined response.  For example, if they referenced “the economy” you were to hiss… if they said “thermo” you cough.  Anyway, I had several people in my facebook group that printed out handouts… and I had ~1500 more business card sized handouts that I physically handed out just before the keynote.  It was amusing when one Adobe employee grabbed my badge and asked my name and whether I had permission to do this.

It turned out that word reached Adobe and each speaker was GIVEN a copy of the list and was encouraged to play into it!  It also turns out that 5000 geeks in the audience of this huge room are either unwilling to play along or too chicken or it’s just too difficult.  I understand when the speaker says “mobile mobile” (and you’re supposed to go “Ha ha”) that you may not have enough time to look up the response.  However, what totally boggled my mind was when the instructions called for yelling out bingo periodically towards the end of the keynote.  There was a pause while Kevin Lynch was trying to make some non-functioning phone to do a trick and I yelled “BINGO”.  I guarantee everyone heard this… more than 1000 people had the instructions… but for whatever reason they all became immobilized and no one else took the cue to keep going!  I’ve heard all kinds of reasons why… and, really, that’s fine.  I thought it would be fun and a way to “build community”.  It’s sad however to hear some reasons such as a fear of ruining their relationship with Adobe or fear of getting kicked out.  I made a real effort to think of something that would have no negative impact, no one getting hurt etc…   The particularly saddening part of the fear that appears to be present in A LOT of people (at MAX and around the country and world) is that some people got signals from some Adobe employees who honestly (I can only assume it was honestly)believed that Adobe didn’t want this kind of thing to go down.  First I heard they didn’t like the fact they didn’t know what was planned–though I am on Adobe’s side, I have a vested interest in Adobe, I said it was innocuous, and besides, Adobe folks found out… and they certainly could have contacted me as I was in contact with many anyway.  Some said it would have been bad to pull this stunt in front of the press at the conference.  I don’t know but that just sort of shocked me considering it was attendees who paid to attend.  (I should note that after I purchased my discounted ticket, Adobe asked if I would make some of my satire videos about MAX and for this they kindly refunded my admission–though I still had a regular admission)  Finally, I suppose if someone who paid to attend felt that I would ruin the whole thing for you then I’m sorry… but can only say–that’s why I designed such a minor prank.

Now… the OTHER prank I figured had absolutely no chance of upsetting anyone but I was wrong. The way this worked was whenever you see Mike Chambers you were supposed to do a military salute… when you see Mike Downey do two taps of the fist on your chest (respect)… and so on for 9 employees–all of which were notified they were a target–here’s both prank handouts (link) and a demo video (link).  Anyway, the only rules I applied to selecting the gestures was that they had to be easy and likely for people (in on the prank) to go along with.  For example, I removed the curtsey from my initial list as no one would do that. I also included the index finger/pinkie thing for Richard Galvin because I had a photo of him doing that gesture.  The others had on rhyme or reason.  I mention this because of the second lesson I learned. (Lesson 1 was easy: don’t put anyone on the list that I don’t know personally… I should have included someone else in Mark Anders spot because I didn’t really know him.) The reason I point out that there was nothing implied about the salutations was that at least one person came up with quite a conspiracy theory about this prank and communicated it to Adobe or one of the targets and it ended up turning sour for them.  In fact, those who were upset with it (I’ll explain how next) communicated their concern to enough people that it spread and turned out to be a message that “all Phillip’s pranks are to be frowned upon”.  I really can respect other opinions even when I don’t agree but this was saddening not only because the concern was completely unwarranted but worse was the fact that any “anti prank” feelings grew to apply to anything to do with the pranks (which as I mentioned above, were generally welcomed by Adobe).

So the theory (not my intent AT ALL) went like this:  I created this prank to make target employees do the various gestures and I would then film them and then use that footage to create videos that show the company or such employees in objectionable or otherwise untrue positions.  This is shocking to me on so many levels it’s a bit mind boggling.  First, I’m on Adobe’s side–I have a vested interest.  Second, I said the pranks were harmless.  Third, I had no such plans. Fourth, if I HAD had such plans, I wouldn’t need the real footage–I mean, just look at how rough my vids are.  It was so surprising to me that at first I thought it was some kind of retaliation prank on me.

I should sum up by saying again that I think I’m sensitive to people’s feelings but I can also now see how fear spreads.  I’m concerned that beyond my dumb pranks that people are so wrapped up and stressed about things that they can so quickly assume the worst.  When possible, I think it’s best to confront the fear or the problem person (say, me doing the prank) and let the concern be known.  For my part, I can honestly say that I’m always and will continue to be a straight shooter.  Except in my videos… there you can hear messages that I may not believe simply as a way to demonstrate a feeling I really do have.

Anyway, I had to make video about the first prank, so here it is:


Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008