I have a confession to make. I am the progeny of someone involved in advertising.
Please don't hit me.
In fact, not only did my father have his own successful advertising agency in London for twenty years, but my sister works high up enough in the european advertising industry that my niece was a total brand snob by the age of two.
Until you've been put down by a toddler for wearing the wrong brand of trainers then you've never lived frankly.
Anyway, the point is that I've grown up around the culture of object deification and opinion manipulation for long enough that it's all second nature to me now. This makes it all the more amusing to me when you see a real clanger.
For example (bear with me here), I was at an industry seminar yesterday on 'Enterprise Social Networking' and 'Advanced Collaboration using Cloud Computing'. I know, gringeworthy buzz-word heaven.
(My favourite of the day was 'a synergy of hybrid cloud/on-premise collaboration technology'. Class.)
Cloud computing, if you don't already know (and if you don't then you read it here first and can thank me when it takes over the world in a few years), basically means using your software on-line. As in rather than having Excel installed on your computer it would be hosted somewhere else in the world and you'd interact and work using your browser with something that looks exactly like Excel. In short, you rent the software as a service. It's the future of application development and the big players have invested hundreds of millions of pounds on setting up their services.
The two biggest movers in the cloud industry are Lotus and Microsoft. Microsoft are slightly ahead having spent huge sums on their data centers around the world, and Lotus are trying hard to catch up.
The Lotus offering to the sacrificial god of The Cloud is called LotusLive and is rapidly being hammered together with a welding torch and a rivet gun. It might be ready soon. Maybe.
The Microsoft entry into The Cloud is called Windows Azure. Azure, it just slides smoothly off the tongue doesn't it? Azuuuuuuuuure. It's silky, it's classy, it's so good their marketing department has registered it as a trademark.
One small problem.
Azure means 'the colour blue of a cloudless sky'.
Marketing Men nil, Dictionary one.