Welcome to the bloggy home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Percolate and general internet tinkerer. This site is about media, culture, technology, and randomness. It's been around since 2004 (I'm pretty sure). Feel free to get in touch. Get in touch.

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600k and Counting

So it’s been 12 days since I launched brand tags and it’s been an amazing ride to say the least. As I write this I’m at 600,000 tags (whizzed right by 500k yesterday), a number so large I’m having trouble comprehending it. As I mentioned in my last entry it’s been keeping me incredibly busy. I’ve been trying to answer all the emails sent through the site (now in the thousands), which has led to a few very late nights.

Anyway, I just wanted to continue highlighting a few lessons I’ve learned so far and also some of the more interesting commentary I’ve read about the site (at some point I plan on compiling all this into a proper entry/article). Also, an apology to all of you for ignoring this site for the last week and a half. I’ll be back, I promise.

So, without any further ado, some thoughts in no specific order:

  • I mentioned this last time and I wanted to highlight it again. Iteration has been the key to keeping the momentum going. I’ve answered hundreds of emails, made around 50 tweaks based on feedback and commented on 30 or 40 blog posts. I don’t know what kind of difference this has made in the end, but I’ve got to assume it’s helped. Keeping a site like this going takes a lot of work (I’ve been adding logos a few times a day). As marketers, I think sometimes we forget how much work it can be when it’s out of sight (someone else is working on it). Anyway, it’s not easy.
  • It’s been really interesting to see where traffic is coming from. Here are my top 5 referrers in order: Google (mostly traffic from Google Reader), AutoBlog (they just wrote about it yesterday and already passed every other referrer, just goes to show you where real traffic is), The Future Buzz (Adam’s entry almost made it to the top of the Digg World & Business section), Seth Godin (he was one of the first big links) and WSJ.com. What I find interesting about that list is that it’s fairly non-geeky all things considered (number 6, for the record, is Consumerist). Anyway, the audience certainly leans towards tech, but it hasn’t been exclusively uber geeks.
  • Yesterday I added an orderly view which was actually the recommendation of Kevin Kelly. Getting to email back and forth with him was one of the thrills of this project. (I’m a geek, I’ve admitted this before … and just for reference, here’s the Wired Magazine cloud.)
  • Here’s some of my favorite commentary about the results: Gems Sty, View from the Bottom, Matt Griswold [dot] com, Hubspot, Coilhouse and BlogLESS (whose design I also find quite striking. I haven’t had much time to sort through and think about the results myself, so reading other people’s commentary has been great.
  • With that said, here are a few interesting things I’ve noticed: Some people confuse Audi’s rings with the Olympics, people remember Hitler created Volkswagen, Hanes should try and hold on to Michael Jordan, EA Sports is Madden, people don’t like their phone companies.

I think that’s it for now. Like I said, I will return to regular blogging at some point soon. Thanks so much to everyone for all their support, comments, blog posts, twitters, links and general good will. It’s been awesome.

May 20, 2008


  • barbara says:

    love the addition of the orderly view — really makes it easy to capture the big picture!

  • Andy says:

    fantastic, Noah. Congrats. Maybe you should add noahbrier.com to brand tags ;)

  • Jane Sample says:

    Congrats Noah! I love your project and look forward to see where it goes. I hope you put together some sort of analysis or summary of your findings in the future.

  • Andrew says:

    One suggestion I have been meaning to make, is to fix the tag scaling. The big tags are way too big and the smalls way to small to parse. I semi-expected the “orderly” view to be a list of the tags, in descending order of weight, but all in the same size. Might be another view to add…”list view” to be able to get a better read on what the actual tags are without giant scrolling or tiny squinting.

    Overall, awesome stuff. Congrats on all the momentum!

  • Adam Singer says:

    Really interesting to see all this analysis. I’m glad your seeing such success, Noah. I’d be interested to hear your next steps…email me, I had a few fun ideas of what you could do.


  • Jeremy Abbett says:

    I think it’s great when people do things not expected of them (i.e.: a planner doing code!?!). I’m an American working in Germany as a Creative/Strategy Director doing a bit of code myself(click my name). Changing perspectives leads to engaging work like Noah’s latest endeavor.

    One feature in the future I would like to suggest is adding a country-based feature so the associations would be based on location. The insight being: brands are perceived differently by people in different countries. VW in the USA is a “yuppie” brand while in Germany it is “mainstream”. Would add another layer to the perception of brands…

  • Mikej says:

    congrats noah this is awesome. It is a lot of hard work and you deserve a big thanks from us all. I have seen your examples on a few desks sitting around the office of people who you wouldve never thought would know about it…. so its great to see simple little awesome ideas and how far they can go

  • michael surtees says:

    you know how i feel about rss readers so i’m just catching up on a bunch of blogs. this kind of observation is great, thanks for sharing noah.

  • howard says:

    saw this from charteuese twit. I liked playing it the way I see all the tags and tried to guess the brand name. well done noah

  • Liliane Lessa says:

    Hi!! I live in Brazil and I work with corporative communication, public relations to be more exact. Frequently, I’m asked to plan out marketing or branding campaigns and, while researching the subject on the web, I found the brand tags! First of all, congratulations on thinking and executing this idea. I believe some people had already thought of it but never really made it happen.

    I know you don’t have much time to read so I’ll try to give a short feedback of my experience playing the brand tags.

    I played it for 5 minutes and what really impressed me was that I actually knew almost all brands (I’d risk to say I knew about 95% of the brands) and I’m almost sure you planned this project to be answered by americans citizens only (am I right?). See.. I live in Brazil and I’m positive sure that about 70% of the brands are already comercialized/experienced in Brazil. The other ones, I saw or heard of on TV, on channels like CNN International, Sony, Warner, AXN etc. I believe Brand Tags reafirms some theories frequently studied in brazilian universities concerning communication x culture x globalization, which makes it much more interesting.

    Also, I can say this ‘game’ is pretty addicting… It makes us anxious to check out the next brand!

    Are you going to publish the answers you get or at least some of the most frequent answers on each brand? How long will you keep the Brand Tags on?

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