Humor is a great way to get your point across in marketing, and I’ve noticed lately that a certain Large Northwest Software Company has been featuring more and more of what I’d term “a comic sensibility” in its marketing campaigns. Two examples:
1) The “Escape from Yesterworld” site. I came across this recently and it’s a lot of fun: old Flash Gordon clips with humorous voice-overs that reflect the daily challenges of IT. Hint: To get to the clips, click on one of the five buttons/lights in the lower left of the interface. The ultimate goal: Inspire users to sign up for the beta version of Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 and Microsoft SQL Server 2005 as a means to — what else? — escape Yesterworld.
2) The Office “dinosaur” campaign. I can tell you that in the hallways of a certain Large Northwest Software Company, this campaign is the topic of many lively impromptu debates, to the point where one of my favorite conversation starters there is “so, are you pro-dinosaur or anti-dinosaur?”
Bug Bash is a comic strip written and illustrated by Hans Bjordahl. Bug Bash is a comic strip about technology: managing technology, the business of technology. It's about project management and managing projects through the dull world of Rational Rose, use cases, and requirements. Functional requirements, user requirement, functional specifications, design specifications, call it what you want but it's still the bane of project managers. And when you're done with that, you can think about all the fun that comes with timelines, scheduling, estimates (PERT estimation anyone?) and resourcing until Gantt charts are coming out of your ears. Let's not forget the risk management in the software engineering life cycle. Maintaining the project is just as much fun, managing what was initially set out in requirements and trying to keep feature creep / scope creep in check with change management. If any of these words send nightmares to you, the project manager, then this site probably rings true with you. (Who Links Here?)