30 August 2009

Miró is Coming

It has been pointed out to my by more than one person that the Scientific Marketer has been eerily quiet of late. I can only apologise for that. I'm not going to do anything so rash as promise, but I hope to return to something like normal service.

Anyway, there's news. Miró is coming.

Actually, that's quite big news.

Miro Is Coming

But what is Miró?

It seems to be an anagram of ROMI (Return On Marketing Investment). Coincidence? (Yes; but not an entirely unhappy coincidence.)

Or does it Miraculously Increase Return On, . . ., something? anything? (It can. Well, maybe not miraculously; but measurably.)

Could it be one of those clever-clever recursive acronyms? Miró is ROI Optimizing. Miró Implements Randomized Optimization. Miró is Ridiculously . . . opportune? (No.)

Is it an acronym at all? Has the Scientific Marketer (and Stochastic Solutions, whose product it will be), gone creative and decided to branch out into software for budding artists? (Readers of this blog will appreciate that artistic talents are not top of the list for the Scientific Marketer.)

Is there a coded message? Marketing is Really Optimization, perhaps. (Well it is. But . . .)

All will be revealed over the coming months, when the intention is to make snippets of Miró functionality available (free!) as web applications. For those who dislike teasers, my apologies for engaging in such low behaviour.

In the meantime, I can confirm is that Miró is software that will, in time, be marketed by Stochastic Solutions in some form. I can also confirm that it's real, not vapourware. In fact, it has been used in various forms for over a year by two clients for production work. It's been in the works since January 2008. But it's not finished. (Well, when is software ever finished? What I really mean is that even at version 1.0 yet.) I can also confirm that it's cross-platform (most Unix/Linux, Mac and PC platforms are supported) and tries very hard to be standards-compliant, so the only organizations who won't be able to use it are those whose IT departments mandate Internet Explorer as the one and only web browser. (Actually, even they can use it; it's just that its web functionality will be at best compromised, and at worst fatally non-operational. So if you work for a company with such an IT department, start lobbying them to authorize at least one standards-compliant browser now. The list is long and rich—Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Chrome all fit the bill, and though I haven't tried recently, I suspect Konquerer and friends will as well. Your life will be better with access to one of these anyway.)

Stochastic Solutions will be looking for early adopters and beta testers at some point over the next 12 months or so. I'll put a form up somewhere for people to register if interested. There will be attractive terms for early adopters and testers, but it will be a closed programme, with only companies meeting fairly strict criteria qualifying.

I can also confirm, that one of Miró's interfaces is a command-line interface.

A what? Didn't those go out with the ark? Did you really say a command line interface? Didn't you get the memo??

Yes, it's true. Miró has—among other things—a command line interface. I can reveal that one of Miró's commands is cartoon, which as you may realise, isn't necessarily promising for a command-line interface. But the boffins over at Stochastic Solutions have been working an it, and I can now proudly present the first ever (acknowledged) public output from Miró.

This is Miro, version 0.2.16.
Copyright (c) Stochastic Solutions 2008-2009.
Seed: 1251628773
Logging to log/2009/08/30/session005
Log started at 2009/08/30 11:39:33.

[1]> cartoon

|     FIGURES?     | FIND 93% OF THE  |   ON THOSE ADS.  |  CONTROL GROUP.  |
| THAT'S ALL DOWN  | EXTRA SALES CAME |  YOU CAN'T TAKE  |             |    |
| KNOW! BRILLIANT! |   MAIL PIECES.   |      SALES!      |     O       |    |
|    /             |            \     |    /             |    o        |    |
|   ___     ____   |   ___     ____   |   ___     ____   |   ___     ____   |
|  /   \   /    \  |  /   \   /    \  |  /   \   /    \  |  /   \   /    \  |
| | O O | | o o  | | | O O | | o o  | | | O O | | o o  | | | O O | | o o  | |
|  \_=_/   \_==_/  |  \_=_/   \_==_/  |  \_=_/   \_==_/  |  \_=_/   \_==_/  |
|    |       ||    |    |       ||    |    |       ||    |    |       ||    |
http://scientificmarketer.com/           Copyright (c) Nicholas J. Radcliffe.
                          All rights reserved.

Command completed in 0.0010 seconds

Job completed after a total of 11.7506 seconds
Logs written to log/2009/08/30/session005
Log closed at 2009/08/30 11:39:33.

So there you have. I'll be blogging about some of Miró's more mainstream and obviously useful capabilities over the coming months. And, as I say, hopefully releasing bits of functionality as web apps.

Off-topic Afterword

I should also mention that although I haven't been blogging here as the Scientific Marketer, I have been involved in a very exciting start-up called Fluidinfo, whose product, FluidDB launched as a "private alpha" last week, and I have been blogging about that at About Tag. Unfortunately, FluidDB is quite hard to describe succinctly, but we think it's going to change the world. Briefly, it's a online database based on tags, giving anyone the ability to put small (or large) amounts of data into the world in a structured and sharable manner. The founder, Terry Jones, has a blog piece called Kaleidescope describing ten different ways of looking at FluidDB. If you're interested in a glimpse of a possible future, you might want to check it out.

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