Tim Wilson posted a tweet about obscure references the other day, which reminded me of all the things that I put into articles on the blog here, and how nobody ever called out any of those.
So, because nobody has asked for it, but you are all at my mercy for it is me who decides what I post, harr harr, this article is a probably non-exhaustive list of those references.
Sometimes, I write articles simply because I want to read them.
The following are grouped by medium, so to speak, because I couldn’t think of any other way. Or rather, chronological order seemed boring.
The first ever reference to a book made it into the blog in Using Data Feeds for Debugging. It came in the form of a list of characters from “The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making” by Catherynne M. Valente. I wonder what you all thought of those names…
DTM – How to Amend an Existing Analytics Setup had the first reference to the excellent “Light” by M. John Harrison (the “More”, “Always more”, and “Always more after that” headlines). I also used those in What to Test, Launch? Launch!, Basic Tracking on AMP Pages, Basic Tracking – Angular SPA & angulartics2, and Using Data Feeds for Debugging”. The book is a bit like Marmite in that people either love it or hate it. I am firmly in the former camp, and I have probably read it half a dozen times by now.
Iain M Banks may have been the best Science Fiction author of our times. I mentioned him, and the outstanding “Culture” series in Data Quality at the Adobe Summit. Actually, Stanislaw Lem is the best, but Iain M Banks is close.
“One ID, to eventually rule them all” in Cookies, IDs, and the Experience Cloud needs no explanation.
You may have noticed that I am almost exclusively reading Science Fiction, lately. Probably escapism.
Movies & TV shows
“[In the voice of Ian McKellen] Pointless, really.”, found in SAINT Classifications, the first time I put a citation, is from the movie “Stardust“, which is based on the book by Neil Gayman. I use that quote a lot, in my head.
The quote “explain, as you would a child”, found in Simplicity is Hard, is from “Galaxy Quest“, the best Star Trek movie so far, or maybe the second best, after “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country”. Yes, I am old. We used to have “Star Trek nights” in our local cinema, where we watched all 6 movies!. We all agreed that 5 was great as a chance to sleep before the grand finale!
There is a Star Trek reference in DTM CustomEvent Rules, as well as a mention of “Wazowski” from Monsters, Inc., and a hearty “Yes, we can!” from the original “Bob the Builder” series that my kids followed on CBeebies.
“Bubbles!” and “just keep swimming, just keep swimming” in Delayed Page Load Tracking with DTM are obviously referencing “Finding Nemo“. I was never able to work “Mine! Mine! Mine!” into any article. Deeply disappointing.
“Isn’t that a pip?!” in CSP and the Experience Cloud and Quick tip – non-minified Launch code is easier to debug is a quote from “In the Night Garden…“, another show on CBeebies. This one is … wow!
“I am very smart.” is spoken by Dr Simon Tam in the Firefly episode “Serenity” and used in Launch? Launch!. I have a hunch that I took the quote from somewhere else, though. A vague recollection that it was not meant literally. If anyone knows, tell me, please.
I have used “Anyone? Bueller?” in With Launch, you don’t need doPlugins! – Part 4 and Quick tip – non-minified Launch code is easier to debug. It is from “Back to the Future“, and we used to use it on the internal Omniture mailing list a lot when we did not get answers to our questions. Ah, the good ol’ days!
“I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right.” is an old quote from “Magnum P.I.“, which means when you read it in Launch – Make an Extension – Publish or Analytics Team Roles, you have to read it in the voice of Tom Selleck!
I wrote “picture Christoph Waltz as Hans Landa: “That’s a bingo!”” in Launch Libraries, “Upstream”, and Fallbacks and almost immediately wondered whether I really wanted that clip in my head. But sometimes, a blogger must do what a blogger must do.
“Neuland” is a term conservatice politicians in Germany use to describe anything digital, likely because they do not know what it is. I use the term in TDD and Adobe Analytics.
“We chose to test Data Elements… We chose to test Data Elements and do the other things, not because they are hard, but because they are easy.” in TDD – Testing Data Elements and Page Load Rules is a variation on the famous Address at Rice University on the Nation’s Space Effort, delivered by John F. Kennedy in 1962.
Supremely lame “To DE Or Not To DE?” in Quick tip – setting products or listX in DTM.
“Stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before” is a song by The Smiths, and is quoted it in Everything but the TMS. Whatever you think of Morrissey these days, The Smiths were a huge part of our culture when I grew up. The title of this post is a reference, too. Anyone remember “Everything But the Girl“? You should.
British supermarket chain Tesco uses “Every little helps” as their tag line, and I used it in Data Quality at the Adobe Summit. At that time, I had already lived in Switzerland for almost 2 years, which just shows how much Advertising creeps into our heads.
Internet slang alert! “IMNSHO”, short for “in my not so humble opinion”, a sort of mock of “IMHO”, or “in my humble opinion” appears in More tests, more fun and Basic Tracking – Remix (contains Launch).
There’s even some Bruce Lee, in the form of “shapeless, formless” and “become like water” in Switch off DTM server-side.
“I, for one, welcome our new server-side overlords.” I wrote that in The Era of Server-side Everything, not quite realising the origins behind it. In other words: the quote was obscure to myself when I used it.
“Simples”, I wrote in Basic Tracking – Remix (contains Launch), having a vision of a talking Meerkat in my head. Another one of those UK ads.
Yet another UK ad: “Go compare!” in Quick tip – Launch buildDate and Live Expressions. You have to sort of sing it in your head, I guess.
This article is likely the one that took most research, out of all the articles on this blog! Sounds stupid, but I actually had to skim through everything I had ever written. It was an interesting experience, spanning the spectrum from cringe to fun.
By the fourth article, I decided not to fix any typos, because I would have to edit almost every single article.
I really think we need to come up with a way to automatically expire articles when they are no longer relevant (such as everything I have ever done on DTM), so if you are looking for a great idea for a startup with AI, this is it: a system that can read through articles, regularly, and understand whether they still make sense, then give them some score.
Please make sure you score down anything that is about “s_code”! Right down!
What I really want to know, though: did you notice any of the above when you read the articles? Or any other things I might have overlooked now?