Archive for September, 2006

Halloween Murder Mystery Party – Baron Digbody’s Castle

September 24, 2006

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We’ve created a series of Zen Mixes for Baron Digbody’s Castle – the creepy castle caper written by the Moustache and previously featured as an interactive online mystery at These characters were posted weekly on Zen Vlog leading up to Halloween. You can also get the booklet along with links to all the mixes below and host your own mystery party. We have done so several times with this mystery and it is a blast! Full instructions for the mystery party are given as well. The mystery can be played with 8-12 characters. The links to the mixes are special private links so you can e-mail a link to a guest and they will only know how to access theirs.


Have some fun… host a mystery party… these cost over $20 in the store and you are stuck with the environmentally taxing packaging. Plus, no other mystery is quite as zany as a Moustache Mystery!

Grim Reaper’s Age Guesser T-Shirts

September 16, 2006

Dan Zen has partnered with Zazzle to bring you Grim Reaper’s Age Guesser t-shirts. Of course you should try the age guesser first at:

The t-shirts in all sizes and with ages from 10-60 are at:*

The Grim Reaper’s Age Guesser has guessed well over 200,000 ages and gets 5% correct, 35% within three years and over half within 5 years.

A Million Alarms

September 15, 2006

Zen Alarm is rapidly approaching a million views at about 150,000 views a month as a module on Google homepages. Zen alarm lets you play any Web MP3 as a time-based alarm.

Zen Alarm 2 adjusted how the alarm worked and added the feature of launching any Web page at a certain time. Also in the selection is to launch the latest vlog from Zen Vlog.

Zen Alarm 3 is planned with the following features to attend to functionality requested by an astute and lucid user named Harel – our thanks!


  • Five presets at the top numbered 1-5 in little boxes
  • A yellow save link to the right of them
  • Click on a preset to toggle the alarm being set for that preset
  • So, any number of the presets could have their alarms turned on
  • Clicking on a preset will also make it the active preset
  • The preset will then be highlighted in yellow
  • Adjust settings and click save to save them for the active preset
  • These presets and their settings are remembered across visits
  • When an alarm from a preset goes off, the preset number will flash


  • Make the “time left” numbers in the bottom right editable
  • When edited, they change the time of the alarm
  • So you can change the time or change the time left


  • Make the window or tab active when the alarm goes off

Any thoughts are welcome!

Dan Zen

Tapoll, the predict-a-poll Web 2.0 site, lets you relate polls to digg, YouTube, flickr,

September 5, 2006

Tapoll is a new Web 2.0 site that lets you share polls. And these are not just any polls – they are predict-a-polls where you can predict and vote on the poll at the same time.

“The predict-a-poll feature adds an inventive twist to the traditional poll and can reveal whether you are a good predictor as well as if you yourself are predictable” says Dan Zen, inventor of Tapoll.

The Tapoll site also lets you view items from other popular Web 2.0 sites like Flickr, YouTube, and digg that relate to the poll to inspire poll creation. You can click the Tapoll icon next to an inspirational item to make a poll that refers to that item. Creators can then drive traffic to the poll by placing a link to the poll in the comment area of the inspirational site.

Dan Zen explains, “For instance, I was answering a poll on the Grim Reaper, and under the YouTube feed there was a link to a prank where a live Grim Reaper was superimposed onto a security video in a shop so it showed up behind people in line. After watching the video, I clicked the Tapoll button next to the link and created a poll with a reference to this video. The poll asks, in a sense, whether it is ethical to do such an extreme albeit funny prank.

To get more people to take this poll, could click the link at the top of the poll to find out the URL to the poll. Then I would copy this URL with the message “this inspired a Tapoll poll” into the comment area of the Grim Reaper video on YouTube. YouTube might have an issue with URLs in comments but you can just say”this inspired a predict-a-poll at Tapoll com”.


Tapoll, lets you embed polls on your site such as mySpace and Blogger – you can also chose to make the poll private.

A graph feature is available that shows the largest over prediction and under prediction as well as the closest prediction. A percentage of voters who voted for the same option they predicted is also provided.

The Tapoll site is built with DHTML – dynamic HTML to expand areas for more information. AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) is used to bring in the Web 2.0 site feeds and handle sharing of polls.

The site was built by Mad Inventor Dan Zen at who recently launched Zen Mix at a vlogging tool that lets you put Web video over a picture and apply cool blend modes.

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