Farewell Shanemo: The schmaltzy bit continues

Today marks the end of an era for me at Microsoft. Today was Shane Morris’ last day.

I couldn’t let it go by without reflecting on the past 3 years.

For the past 3 years Shane has done nothing but make me better, not only professionally but personally. He pushed me far beyond what I ever expected from myself and the worst part is, the bastard didn’t even do it on purpose. He is just being himself.

At almost every major great event in my time at Microsoft so far, Shane has been there with me, pushing me to do nothing short of awesome. Whether it’s our work on REMIX for the past 3 years, our trip to AiR, our running of AiR locally or the dozens of Microsoft internal initiatives or even getting hospitalised, Shane has demonstrated that awesome is something you are and not something you do.

I’ll miss having my on-tap psychologist/high-five buddy/spell checker.

Shane, you are the most generous person that I have ever had the privilege of working with. You have also set the impossible standard for what a great working relationship should be and I now look forward to continue to be inspired by you outside the firewall.


Ralph Magazine Photosynth

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of shooting for Ralph magazine. The goal: make a photosynth of the Mitsubishi Evo and Toyota Hilux with the beautiful Sherydin and Rachael.

I took over 1,000 photos an they synthed beautifully.

Check them out over on the Ralph website.

Thanks heaps to Chris from ninemsn for making this happen.

Halo Warthog Photosynth

The awesome guys and gals from our Xbox Australia team have bought the the Warthog from WETA Workshop over to promote the launch of Halo 3 ODST.

This is the puppy that was built for the now famous Halo Movie shorts.

It was a total privilege to ride it, then pull out my EOS 5D and synth the amazing Warthog.

Michael Kordahi and Chris Bright with the Warthog

As always, I videoed the experience.

Ohh, and I challenge anyone to a best job in the world competition.

And please support this photosynth by voting for it on digg – http://digg.com/xbox/AMAZING_Halo_Warthog_in_Sydney_Video_and_Photos

Also, Seamus Byrne has some great video from inside The Warthog!

BlindSearch: The Results are in

8 weeks since the launch of BlindSearch and I figured i”s about time to report some numbers back

Query count: 559,239

Results: Google: 41%, Bing: 31%, Yahoo: 28%

Top 10 search terms:

Web Image













michael jackson








megan fox






5% of search queries come from the OpenSearch provider.

Served up 9GB worth of data, which is pretty amazing for a mostly text site.

Received major blog coverage from the big hitters like istartedsomething, Mashable, The Next Web, Louis Gray, Reddit, John Battell and Techmeme! And some major twitter lovin. All of which have great ongoing discussion on the subject of search minus the brand. To summarise the general commentary there seem to be a few categories:

  • A “meh” button: Many have commented on how the results are too alike to choose from. Many seem to struggle to choose one result the others.
  • More than “10 blue links”: Many have commented on how BlindSearch is interesting but search has evolved beyond a list of results. They commented on how they expected to do more with their results like view a map or images inline, preview results, quick access to related queries etc.
  • Surprise: Many were surprised that Google wasn’t always their choice. There were many instances of surprise that Google wasn’t as superior as they thought it was.
  • Who to hate: Possibly my favourite comments centred around some peoples intent not to pick Microsoft and being surprised when they did. Two if my fav comments ‘”How can we hate on Microsoft if we don’t know which results are theirs?”  and “OH GOD NO I VOTED FOR BING!!!!

BlindSearch has been a great exercise and has really driven home that we’e only just begun with search. Thank to to all of you who keep using it and have found value in it. Please keep spreading the word.


Wanna join DPE Australia? We’re looking for a boss!

We’re looking for a new Audience Lead at work. You will be managing many of the evangelists (including me) and marketers in DPE. This is a kick ass job, with great responsibility and frankly we want to ensure we get the right person for the gig.

The formal job description can be found here.

But Andrew Coates and I have put together a video to talk about what we expect from a lead. If this is you, pls apply for the role or contact your friendly evangelist.

dpe wordle

Here’s your opportunity to join our team and if you’e ever hung around with us, you know this is one of the best jobs in the world!

BlindSearch: The Search Taste Test

UPDATE: I’ve published the results from the first 8 weeks of BlindSearch here.


I thought i”d be fun to see what happens when you do a search that doesn’t have branding. Are we swayed by the branding of our favourite search engines?


To figure it out, I thought I’d try my hands at building a ‘“Blind Search”. Basically, you enter a query, get back three results in random order then select the column which you believe gave you the best results.

Will be interesting to see the results.

Check it out over at http://blindsearch.fejus.com/, Have fun!


update #1: The poll has been compromised. Probably equally due to my lack of leet skills and to the malicious person gaming it.

I’ve removed the ability to see the results until I sort this out. Meanwhile you can still have fun playing with blind search. Feel free to blame the douche for ruining it for everybody. Meanwhile, I wouldn’t take this a scientific whats-e-ma-jing, it’s just a bit of observational fun.


update #2: I have introduced a basic image search

Swearing professionally

Seth Godin shares his thoughts on swearing in a professional capacity. I”s a subject that is near and dear to my heart for various reasons.

I love his final words:

The irony, as most multimillionaire authors will tell you, is that it’s art that creates the commerce, not the other way around. Hugh set out to write a book that matters, not a book that will please everyone.

DG.TV: Velociroflcoptersaurus

I caught up with Greg Brine, Heather Snodgrass and Iain McDonald from Amnesia Razorfish. Greg and Heather are the proud parents of the now famous Velociroflcoptersaurus SEO battle.

For the unaware, Velociroflcoptersaurus was a term created by Greg and Heather which lead to a whopping 7,000+ Google results in just 6 weeks.

Also congrats to Nick HaC from Sifted Pixels who won the competition which was kick started by @eskimo_sparky from over at Happener.

Gamer doctors make 37 percent fewer mistakes

Attended the Future of Digital Advertising AIMIA event today and heard Iain McDonald speak for the first time.

He was totally dreamy and totally awesome, but he already knows that and there’s only room for one ego on this blog 🙂

He did fire off a stat that got me all aroused.

From MSNBC Tech & Science:

Researchers found that doctors who spent at least three hours a week playing video games made about 37 percent fewer mistakes in laparoscopic surgery and performed the task 27 percent faster than their counterparts who did not play video games.

Love that stat! And now I feel even prouder that my 5 year old is addicted to Lego Indiana Jones.

See, I told you everything bad is good for you!