robertogreco + marketing   348

Exposing Fake Companies & Free Products on Instagram | Topic
"25.
Maybe this explains what’s so galling to people about the Folsom & Co. not-really-scam: It simply lays bare the categorical deception at the heart of all branding and retail. The different watch values are, in the strictest sense, speech acts: the watch is $29.99 because someone said it’s $29.99. It’s $29.99 because a certain person is wearing it on Instagram; it’s $29.99 because it’s photographed next to flannel and a Chemex. While “Bradley” of “Bradley’s men’s shop” may not be the most fleshed-out character, he – and the entire existence of Folsom & Co., Soficoastal, etc. – are examples of the now-household term, “brand storytelling.” And the internet makes it possible for anyone to tell any story, about anything, from anywhere.

26.
The fact that Folsom & Co. is not in San Francisco is of a piece with many “brand stories.” In “How Madewell Bought and Sold My Family’s History,” Dan Nosowitz recalls the process by which J. Crew acquired and subsequently mythologized Madewell, his great-grandfather’s workwear brand, after its last factory shut down in 2006. J. Crew now uses the brand for a line of high-end women’s clothing. Its marketing draws heavily on the age of the original Madewell, and J. Crew is fond of including “since 1937” under the logo. This is part of a larger effort to portray the Madewell brand in retrospect as a venerable, solid company known for craftsmanship and quality. But Nosowitz points out that the original Madewell was actually unconcerned with style or design, and often contracted out their clothing or imitated existing designs. Not only does old Madewell not live up to the story told by new Madewell, it was a completely different company that made unglamorous overalls for cheap. Nosowitz writes, “J.Crew’s Madewell is grasping to emulate some sepia-hued commitment to quality in the original company, some moral or ethical standard from better, more authentic times. But that’s not what motivated my great-grandfather at all — his motivation was profit, and quality was a means to an end.”"
jennyodell  capitalism  watches  marketing  advertising  2017 
25 days ago by robertogreco
The Stories We Were Told about Education Technology (2018)
"It’s been quite a year for education news, not that you’d know that by listening to much of the ed-tech industry (press). Subsidized by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, some publications have repeatedly run overtly and covertly sponsored articles that hawk the future of learning as “personalized,” as focused on “the whole child.” Some of these attempt to stretch a contemporary high-tech vision of social emotional surveillance so it can map onto a strange vision of progressive education, overlooking no doubt how the history of progressive education has so often been intertwined with race science and eugenics.

Meanwhile this year, immigrant, refugee children at the United States border were separated from their parents and kept in cages, deprived of legal counsel, deprived of access to education, deprived in some cases of water.

“Whole child” and cages – it’s hardly the only jarring juxtaposition I could point to.

2018 was another year of #MeToo, when revelations about sexual assault and sexual harassment shook almost every section of society – the media and the tech industries, unsurprisingly, but the education sector as well – higher ed, K–12, and non-profits alike, as well school sports all saw major and devastating reports about cultures and patterns of sexual violence. These behaviors were, once again, part of the hearings and debates about a Supreme Court Justice nominee – a sickening deja vu not only for those of us that remember Anita Hill ’s testimony decades ago but for those of us who have experienced something similar at the hands of powerful people. And on and on and on.

And yet the education/technology industry (press) kept up with its rosy repetition that social equality is surely its priority, a product feature even – that VR, for example, a technology it has for so long promised is “on the horizon,” is poised to help everyone, particularly teachers and students, become more empathetic. Meanwhile, the founder of Oculus Rift is now selling surveillance technology for a virtual border wall between the US and Mexico.

2018 was a year in which public school teachers all over the US rose up in protest over pay, working conditions, and funding, striking in red states like West Virginia, Kentucky, and Oklahoma despite an anti-union ruling by the Supreme Court.

And yet the education/technology industry (press) was wowed by teacher influencers and teacher PD on Instagram, touting the promise for more income via a side-hustle like tutoring rather by structural or institutional agitation. Don’t worry, teachers. Robots won’t replace you, the press repeatedly said. Unsaid: robots will just de-professionalize, outsource, or privatize the work. Or, as the AI makers like to say, robots will make us all work harder (and no doubt, with no unions, cheaper).

2018 was a year of ongoing and increased hate speech and bullying – racism and anti-Semitism – on campuses and online.

And yet the education/technology industry (press) still maintained that blockchain would surely revolutionize the transcript and help insure that no one lies about who they are or what they know. Blockchain would enhance “smart spending” and teach financial literacy, the ed-tech industry (press) insisted, never once mentioning the deep entanglements between anti-Semitism and the alt-right and blockchain (specifically Bitcoin) backers.

2018 was a year in which hate and misinformation, magnified and spread by technology giants, continued to plague the world. Their algorithmic recommendation engines peddled conspiracy theories (to kids, to teens, to adults). “YouTube, the Great Radicalizer” as sociologist Zeynep Tufekci put it in a NYT op-ed.

And yet the education/technology industry (press) still talked about YouTube as the future of education, cheerfully highlighting (that is, spreading) its viral bullshit. Folks still retyped the press releases Google issued and retyped the press releases Facebook issued, lauding these companies’ (and their founders’) efforts to reshape the curriculum and reshape the classroom.

This is the ninth year that I’ve reviewed the stories we’re being told about education technology. Typically, this has been a ten (or more) part series. But I just can’t do it any more. Some people think it’s hilarious that I’m ed-tech’s Cassandra, but it’s not funny at all. It’s depressing, and it’s painful. And no one fucking listens.

If I look back at what I’ve written in previous years, I feel like I’ve already covered everything I could say about 2018. Hell, I’ve already written about the whole notion of the “zombie idea” in ed-tech – that bad ideas never seem to go away, that just get rebranded and repackaged. I’ve written about misinformation and ed-tech (and ed-tech as misinformation). I’ve written about the innovation gospel that makes people pitch dangerously bad ideas like “Uber for education” or “Alexa for babysitting.” I’ve written about the tech industry’s attempts to reshape the school system as its personal job training provider. I’ve written about the promise to “rethink the transcript” and to “revolutionize credentialing.” I’ve written about outsourcing and online education. I’ve written about coding bootcamps as the “new” for-profit higher ed, with all the exploitation that entails. I’ve written about the dangers of data collection and data analysis, about the loss of privacy and the lack of security.

And yet here we are, with Mark Zuckerberg – education philanthropist and investor – blinking before Congress, promising that AI will fix everything, while the biased algorithms keep churning out bias, while the education/technology industry (press) continues to be so blinded by “disruption” it doesn’t notice (or care) what’s happened to desegregation, and with so many data breaches and privacy gaffes that they barely make headlines anymore.

Folks. I’m done.

I’m also writing a book, and frankly that’s where my time and energy is going.

There is some delicious irony, I suppose, in the fact that there isn’t much that’s interesting or “innovative” to talk about in ed-tech, particularly since industry folks want to sell us on the story that tech is moving faster than it’s ever moved before, so fast in fact that the ol’ factory model school system simply cannot keep up.

I’ve always considered these year-in-review articles to be mini-histories of sorts – history of the very, very recent past. Now, instead, I plan to spend my time taking a longer, deeper look at the history of education technology, with particular attention for the next few months, as the title of my book suggests, to teaching machines – to the promises that machines will augment, automate, standardize, and individualize instruction. My focus is on the teaching machines of the mid-twentieth century, but clearly there are echoes – echoes of behaviorism and personalization, namely – still today.

In his 1954 book La Technique (published in English a decade later as The Technological Society), the sociologist Jacques Ellul observes how education had become oriented towards creating technicians, less interested in intellectual development than in personality development – a new “psychopedagogy” that he links to Maria Montessori. “The human brain must be made to conform to the much more advanced brain of the machine,” Ellul writes. “And education will no longer be an unpredictable and exciting adventure in human enlightenment , but an exercise in conformity and apprenticeship to whatever gadgetry is useful in a technical world.” I believe today we call this "social emotional learning" and once again (and so insistently by the ed-tech press and its billionaire backers), Montessori’s name is invoked as the key to preparing students for their place in the technological society.

Despite scant evidence in support of the psychopedagogies of mindsets, mindfulness, wellness, and grit, the ed-tech industry (press) markets these as solutions to racial and gender inequality (among other things), as the psychotechnologies of personalization are now increasingly intertwined not just with surveillance and with behavioral data analytics, but with genomics as well. “Why Progressives Should Embrace the Genetics of Education,” a NYT op-ed piece argued in July, perhaps forgetting that education’s progressives (including Montessori) have been down this path before.

This is the only good grit:

[image of Gritty]

If I were writing a lengthier series on the year in ed-tech, I’d spend much more time talking about the promises made about personalization and social emotional learning. I’ll just note here that the most important “innovator” in this area this year (other than Gritty) was surely the e-cigarette maker Juul, which offered a mindfulness curriculum to schools – offered them the curriculum and $20,000, that is – to talk about vaping. “‘The message: Our thoughts are powerful and can set action in motion,’ the lesson plan states.”

The most important event in ed-tech this year might have occurred on February 14, when a gunman opened fire on his former classmates at Marjory Stone Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 students and staff and injuring 17 others. (I chose this particular school shooting because of the student activism it unleashed.)

Oh, I know, I know – school shootings and school security aren’t ed-tech, ed-tech evangelists have long tried to insist, an argument I’ve heard far too often. But this year – the worst year on record for school shootings (according to some calculations) – I think that argument started to shift a bit. Perhaps because there’s clearly a lot of money to be made in selling schools “security” products and services: shooting simulation software, facial recognition technology, metal detectors, cameras, social media surveillance software, panic buttons, clear backpacks, bulletproof backpacks, … [more]
audreywatters  education  technology  edtech  2018  surveillance  privacy  personalization  progressive  schools  quantification  gamification  wholechild  montessori  mariamontessori  eugenics  psychology  siliconvalley  history  venturecapital  highereducation  highered  guns  gunviolence  children  youth  teens  shootings  money  influence  policy  politics  society  economics  capitalism  mindfulness  juul  marketing  gritty  innovation  genetics  psychotechnologies  gender  race  racism  sexism  research  socialemotional  psychopedagogy  pedagogy  teaching  howweteach  learning  howwelearn  teachingmachines  nonprofits  nonprofit  media  journalism  access  donaldtrump  bias  algorithms  facebook  amazon  disruption  data  bigdata  security  jacquesellul  sociology  activism  sel  socialemotionallearning 
december 2018 by robertogreco
The University of California: 150 years of being boldly Californian - YouTube
"What does it mean to be boldly Californian? For 150 years, the University of California has embodied an imaginative, audacious and pioneering spirit. And our 10 campuses, 5 medical centers and 3 national labs continue to lead the country towards a bright future - for everyone.

Explore our interactive timeline capturing UC's vast history and commemorating its astounding accomplishments, distinguished academics, artists and athletes: https://150.universityofcalifornia.edu "

[See also: https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/what-it-means-be-boldly-californian ]
uc  universityofcalifornia  california  2018  history  science  research  highered  highereducation  marketing  art  athletics  sports  academics  timelines 
may 2018 by robertogreco
Baratunde on Twitter: "Ok. I made it through the indictment. Yes I was hoping to see Donald Trump Jr's stupid face in there proving he was knowingly wiring money to the Russians. Didn't get that. Instead found a more frightening reality: we got hacked big
"Ok. I made it through the indictment. Yes I was hoping to see Donald Trump Jr's stupid face in there proving he was knowingly wiring money to the Russians. Didn't get that. Instead found a more frightening reality: we got hacked bigtime. Based on known vulnerabilities.

We build a giant deception machine called marketing and advertising, and an adversary used it against us.

We build a giant influence machine called social media, and an adversary used it against us.

We left open, unreconciled divisions in our society, and an adversary used it against us.

We weakened our press such that all the phony conflict inspired by this information warfare campaign was reported in real-time with little to no vetting, and an adversary used it against us.

We allowed our democracy to become so corrupted by money and self-serving, power-hungry folks that we already didn't trust it, and an adversary used it against us.

If the election had turned out differently, would we even know half of what we do? We only got Robert Mueller because Trump is president but also bad at wielding his power.

And even though the Russians amplified divisions to be greater than they are, those divisions are real now. There is a basic level of trust we have to have in our environment to act appropriately, and that's severely broken.

On top of that, one-half of the political establishment (the republican half) is completely uninterested in acknowledging, investigating, or responding to this sophisticated act of information warfare. They've done NOTHING to prepare us for the next campaign.

The president still hasn't imposed the Russia sanctions that Congress passed overwhelmingly. And everybody's just acting like, "Meh. TRUMP WILL BE TRUMP! Undermining national security is just his THING ya know?"

And Facebook. Oh Facebook. So happy to monetize the destruction of our civil fabric. They made $7B in the 3rd quarter of 2016. Zuckerberg smugly said 99% of posts are "authentic." We cannot trust this company to do what's best for us. Not just FB btw.

This indictment isn't just about Trump. It's about us needing a better vision for how we do this whole "society" thing. What forms of power get held accountable. What voices we listen to. This is ultimately about reality and our collective agreement on what THAT is. /END"
baratundethurston  donaldtrump  2018  politics  russia  hacking  marketing  elections  facebook  civics  division  infowarfare  deception  advertising  socialmedia  republicans  democrats  power  corruption  news  media  medialiteracy  robertmueller  money 
february 2018 by robertogreco
(Some excerpts from recent Alan Kay emails)
"Socrates didn't charge for "education" because when you are in business, the "customer starts to become right". Whereas in education, the customer is generally "not right". Marketeers are catering to what people *want*, educators are trying to deal with what they think people *need* (and this is often not at all what they *want*). Part of Montessori's genius was to realize early that children *want* to get fluent in their surrounding environs and culture, and this can be really powerful if one embeds what they *need* in the environs and culture."

[via: https://www.are.na/block/1546832 ]
alankay  brettvictor  socrates  education  sfsh  mariamontessori  montessori  children  environment  lcproject  openstudioproject  unschooling  deschooling  culture  society  consumerism  marketing  howweteach  howwelearn  history  parc  philosophy  learning 
january 2018 by robertogreco
Design Thinking is Kind of Like Syphilis — It’s Contagious and Rots Your Brains
"Miller never bothers to define all the modes, and we will consider them more below. But for now, we should just note that the entire model is based on design consulting: You try to understand the client’s problem, what he or she wants or needs. You sharpen that problem so it’s easier to solve. You think of ways to solve it. You try those solutions out to see if they work. And then once you’ve settled on something, you ask your client for feedback. By the end, you’ve created a “solution,” which is also apparently an “innovation.”

Miller also never bothers to define the liberal arts. The closest he comes is to say they are ways of “thinking that all students should be exposed to because it enhances their understanding of everything else.” Nor does he make clear what he means by the idea that Design Thinking is or could be the new liberal arts. Is it but one new art to be added to the traditional liberal arts, such as grammar, logic, rhetoric, math, music, and science? Or does Miller think, like Hennessy and Kelly, that all of education should be rebuilt around the DTs? Who knows.

Miller is most impressed with Design Thinking’s Empathize Mode. He writes lyrically, “Human-centered design redescribes the classical aim of education as the care and tending of the soul; its focus on empathy follows directly from Rousseau’s stress on compassion as a social virtue.” Beautiful. Interesting.

But what are we really talking about here? The d.school’s An Introduction to Design Thinking PROCESS GUIDE says, “The Empathize Mode is the work you do to understand people, within the context of your design challenge.” We can use language like “empathy” to dress things up, but this is Business 101. Listen to your client; find out what he or she wants or needs.

Miller calls the Empathize Mode “ethnography,” which is deeply uncharitable — and probably offensive — to cultural anthropologists who spend their entire lives learning how to observe other people. Few, if any, anthropologists would sign onto the idea that some amateurs at a d.school “boot camp,” strolling around Stanford and gawking at strangers, constitutes ethnography. The Empathize Mode of Design Thinking is roughly as ethnographic as a marketing focus group or a crew of sleazoid consultants trying to feel out and up their clients’ desires.

What Miller, Kelly, and Hennessy are asking us to imagine is that design consulting is or could be a model for retooling all of education, that it has some method for “producing reliably innovative results in any field.” They believe that we should use Design Thinking to reform education by treating students as customers, or clients, and making sure our customers are getting what they want. And they assert that Design Thinking should be a central part of what students learn, so that graduates come to approach social reality through the model of design consulting. In other words, we should view all of society as if we are in the design consulting business."



In recent episode of the Design Observer podcast, Jen added further thoughts on Design Thinking. “The marketing of design thinking is completely bullshit. It’s even getting worse and worse now that [Stanford has] three-day boot camps that offer certified programs — as if anyone who enrolled in these programs can become a designer and think like a designer and work like a designer.” She also resists the idea that any single methodology “can deal with any kind of situation — not to mention the very complex society that we’re in today.”

In informal survey I conducted with individuals who either teach at or were trained at the top art, architecture, and design schools in the USA, most respondents said that they and their colleagues do not use the term Design Thinking. Most of the people pushing the DTs in higher education are at second- and third-tier universities and, ironically, aren’t innovating but rather emulating Stanford. In afew cases, respondents said they did know a colleague or two who was saying “Design Thinking” frequently, but in every case, the individuals were using the DTs either to increase their turf within the university or to extract resources from college administrators who are often willing to throw money at anything that smacks of “innovation.”

Moreover, individuals working in art, architecture, and design schools tend to be quite critical of existing DT programs. Reportedly, some schools are creating Design Thinking tracks for unpromising students who couldn’t hack it in traditional architecture or design programs — DT as “design lite.” The individuals I talked to also had strong reservations about the products coming out of Design Thinking classes. A traditional project in DT classes involves undergraduate students leading “multidisciplinary” or “transdisciplinary” teams drawing on faculty expertise around campus to solve some problem of interest to the students. The students are not experts in anything, however, and the projects often take the form of, as one person put it, “kids trying to save the world.”

One architecture professor I interviewed had been asked to sit in on a Design Thinking course’s critique, a tradition at architecture and design schools where outside experts are brought in to offer (often tough) feedback on student projects. The professor watched a student explain her design: a technology that was meant to connect mothers with their premature babies who they cannot touch directly. The professor wondered, what is the message about learning that students get from such projects? “I guess the idea is that this work empowers the students to believe they are applying their design skills,” the professor told me. “But I couldn’t critique it as design because there was nothing to it as design. So what’s left? Is good will enough?

As others put it to me, Design Thinking gives students an unrealistic idea of design and the work that goes into creating positive change. Upending that old dictum “knowledge is power,” Design Thinkers giver their students power without knowledge, “creative confidence” without actual capabilities.

It’s also an elitist, Great White Hope vision of change that literally asks students to imagine themselves entering a situation to solve other people’s problems. Among other things, this situation often leads to significant mismatch between designers’ visions — even after practicing “empathy” — and users’ actual needs. Perhaps the most famous example is the PlayPump, a piece of merry-go-round equipment that would pump water when children used it. Designers envisioned that the PlayPump would provide water to thousands of African communities. Only kids didn’t show up, including because there was no local cultural tradition of playing with merry-go-rounds.

Unsurprisingly, Design Thinking-types were enthusiastic about the PlayPump. Tom Hulme, the design director at IDEO’s London office, created a webpage called OpenIDEO, where users could share “open source innovation.” Hulme explained that he found himself asking, “What would IDEO look like on steroids? [We might ask the same question about crack cocaine or PCP.] What would it look like when you invite everybody into everything? I set myself the challenge of . . . radical open-innovation collaboration.” OpenIDEO community users were enthusiastic about the PlayPump — even a year after the system had been debunked, suggesting inviting everyone to everything gets you people who don’t do research. One OpenIDEO user enthused that the PlayPump highlighted how “fun can be combined with real needs.”

Thom Moran, an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Michigan, told me that Design Thinking brought “a whole set of values about what design’s supposed to look like,” including that everything is supposed to be “fun” and “play,” and that the focus is less on “what would work.” Moran went on, “The disappointing part for me is that I really do believe that architecture, art, and design should be thought of as being a part of the liberal arts. They provide a unique skill set for looking at and engaging the world, and being critical of it.” Like others I talked to, Moran doesn’t see this kind of critical thinking in the popular form of Design Thinking, which tends to ignore politics, environmental issues, and global economic problems.

Moran holds up the Swiffer — the sweeper-mop with disposable covers designed by an IDEO-clone design consultancy, Continuum — as a good example of what Design Thinking is all about. “It’s design as marketing,” he said. “It’s about looking for and exploiting a market niche. It’s not really about a new and better world. It’s about exquisitely calibrating a product to a market niche that is underexploited.” The Swiffer involves a slight change in old technologies, and it is wasteful. Others made this same connection between Design Thinking and marketing. One architect said that Design Thinking “really belongs in business schools, where they teach marketing and other forms of moral depravity.”

“That’s what’s most annoying,” Moran went on. “I fundamentally believe in this stuff as a model of education. But it’s business consultants who give TED Talks who are out there selling it. It’s all anti-intellectual. That’s the problem. Architecture and design are profoundly intellectual. But for these people, it’s not a form of critical thought; it’s a form of salesmanship.”

Here’s my one caveat: it could be true that the DTs are a good way to teach design or business. I wouldn’t know. I am not a designer (or business school professor). I am struck, however, by how many designers, including Natasha Jen and Thom Moran, believe that the DTs are nonsense. In the end, I will leave this discussion up to designers. It’s their show. My concern is a different one — namely that… [more]
designthinking  innovation  ideas  2017  design  leevinsel  maintenance  repair  ideation  problemsolving  davidedgerton  willthomas  billburnett  daveevans  stanford  d.school  natashajen  herbertsimon  robertmckim  ideo  singularity  singularityuniversity  d.tech  education  schools  teaching  liberalarts  petermiller  esaleninstitute  newage  hassoplattner  johnhennessey  davidkelly  jimjones  empathy  ethnography  consulting  business  bullshit  marketing  snakeoil  criticism  criticalthinking  highereducation  highered  thomamoran  tedtalks  openideo  playpump  designimperialism  whitesaviors  post-its  transdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  art  architecture  complexity  simplicity  methodology  process  emptiness  universities  colleges  philipmirowski  entrepreneurship  lawrencebusch  elizabethpoppberman  nathanielcomfort  margaretbrindle  peterstearns  christophermckenna  hucksterism  self-promotion  hype  georgeorwell  nathanrosenberg  davidmowery  stevenklepper  davidhounshell  patrickmccray  marianamazzucato  andréspicer  humanitariandesign  themaintainers  ma 
december 2017 by robertogreco
When disability tech is just a marketing exercise | The Outline
"This cycle is a common one. Companies know that accessibility projects can garner great press. They also probably know that many journalists are unlikely to follow up and see whether the big promises are actually coming true. So they flaunt their minimal or nonexistent ties to accessibility, reap the glowing media coverage, and let the projects slip quietly into the night.

BMW got great press for making four special chairs for the Paralympics, but it seems to have stopped at those four. The Dot, a braille smartwatch, is a darling among journalists who call it the “first smartwatch for the blind,” but all it does is display some text from your phone in braille. Apple’s smartwatch is actually far more useful for blind users. Companies also advertise products as being accessible, but these claims are rarely put to the test.

Google is a repeat offender when it comes to claiming accessibility brownie points while failing to provide truly accessible tech, said Kit Englard, an assistive technology specialist. “If you read anything from Google it says: Google is accessible, it works with screen readers. Eh, it doesn’t really,” she says. Google Docs and Google Drive are both notoriously hard to use with a screen reader (a system, usually incorporating audio, that blind and low-vision people use to access visual content). “The way to force a screen reader to work with Google Docs, you have to go into your screen reader, turn it off in some ways, and then go back into Google Doc,” Englard said. “You have to memorize a whole series of commands that are completely different from any other commands you’d be used to.”

Vaporware — the term for products and features touted to the press that never materialize — is endemic in tech. When that non-existent product is a smartwatch or a sex robot, the harm is minimal. But when companies claim they are building products for people with disabilities and then don’t, Englard says that does real damage. More and more big companies are adopting systems like Google Drive, thinking that they are accessible, when in fact they’re not, which could lock disabled people out of jobs and promotions. “When they ask ‘is our equipment accessible to you?’ and the answer is no, that person can’t have that job. It’s not okay to lock people out of educational opportunities or social engagements or research,” Englard said. “Think of how many surveys are done on Google Docs these days.”"
disabilities  disability  edtech  marketing  google  googledocs  googledrive  2017  roseeveleth  wheelchairs  deankamen  segwy  ibot  toyota  bmw  vaporare 
december 2017 by robertogreco
Mindset Marketing, Behaviorism, and Deficit Ideology | Ryan Boren
"The marketing of mindsets is everywhere. Grit, growth mindset, project-based mindset, entrepreneurial mindset, innovator’s mindset, and a raft of canned social-emotional skills programs are vying for public money. These notions jump straight from psychology departments to aphoristic word images shared on social media and marketing festooned on school walls.

Growth mindset and Positive Behavior Support marketing have joined Leader in Me marketing at our elementary school. Instead of being peppered with synergy and Franklin Covey’s trademarks and proprietary jargon, we’re now peppered with LiM and growth mindset and PBS. Like every marketed mindset going back to the self-esteem movement, these campaigns are veneers on the deficit model that ignore long-standing structural problems like poverty, racism, sexism, ableism, and childism. The practice and implementation of these mindsets are always suborned by deficit ideology, bootstrap ideology, meritocracy myths, and greed.

“Money Doesn’t Have to Be an Obstacle,” “Race Doesn’t Matter,” “Just Work Harder,” “Everyone Can Go to College,” and “If You Believe, Your Dreams Will Come True.” These notions have helped fueled inequity in the U.S. public education system. Mindset marketing without structural ideology, restorative practices, and inclusion is more harmful than helpful. This marketing shifts responsibility for change from our systems to children. We define kids’ identities through the deficit and medical models, gloss over the structural problems they face, and then tell them to get some grit and growth mindset. This is a gaslighting. It is abusive.

Canned social-emotional skills programs, behaviorism, and the marketing of mindsets have serious side effects. They reinforce the cult of compliance and encourage submission to authoritarian rule. They line the pockets of charlatans and profiteers. They encourage surveillance and avaricious data collection. Deficit model capitalism’s data-based obsession proliferates hucksterism and turn kids into someone’s business model. The behaviorism of PBS is of the mindset of abusers and manipulators. It is ideological and intellectual kin with ABA, which autistic people have roundly rejected as abusive, coercive, and manipulative torture. We call it autistic conversion therapy. The misbehavior of behaviorism is an ongoing harm.

Instead, acknowledge pipeline problems and the meritocracy myth, stop bikeshedding the structural problems of the deficit model, and stop blaming kids and families. Develop a school culture based not on deficit ideologies and cargo cult shrink wrap, but on diversity & inclusion, neurodiversity, the social model of disability, structural ideology, and indie ed-tech. Get rid of extrinsics, and adopt instead the intrinsic motivation of autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Provide fresh air, sunlight, and plenty of time for major muscle movement instead of mindset bandages for the pathologies caused by the lack of these three critical things.

“Self-esteem that’s based on external sources has mental health consequences.” Stop propagating the latest deficit/bootstrap/behaviorism fads. Develop the critical capacity to see beyond the marketing. Look beyond deficit model compliance to social model inclusion. The social model and structural ideology are the way forward. Growth mindset and behaviorism, as usually implemented, are just more bootstrap metaphors that excuse systems from changing and learning.

Deficit ideology, surveillance capitalism, mindset marketing, and behaviorism are an unholy alliance. Fix injustice, not kids. “It essentially boils down to whether one chooses to do damage to the system or to the student.”"
ryanboren2017  mindset  marketing  behavior  behaviorism  deficitideology  disabilities  disability  race  education  learning  grit  growthmindset  projectbasedlearning  entrepreneurship  innovation  psychology  racism  poverty  sexism  bootstrapping  meritocracy  greed  childism  ableism  socialemotional  surveillance  surveillancecapitalism  capitalism  health  intrinsicmotivation  extrinsicmotivation  diversity  inclusion  neurodiversity  edtech  autonomy  mastery  purpose  self-esteem  compliance  socialemotionallearning 
december 2017 by robertogreco
André Staltz - The Web began dying in 2014, here's how
"The events and data above describe how three internet companies have acquired massive influence on the Web, but why does that imply the beginning of the Web’s death? To answer that, we need to reflect on what the Web is.

The original vision for the Web according to its creator, Tim Berners-Lee, was a space with multilateral publishing and consumption of information. It was a peer-to-peer vision with no dependency on a single party. Tim himself claims the Web is dying: the Web he wanted and the Web he got are no longer the same."



"GOOG, MSFT, FB, and AMZN are mimicking AAPL’s strategy of building brand loyalty around high-end devices. Through a process I call “Appleification”, they are (1) setting up walled gardens, (2) becoming hardware companies, and (3) marketing the design while designing for the market. It is a threat to AAPL itself, because they are behind the other giants when it comes to big data collection and its uses. While AAPL’s early and bold introduction of an App Store shook the Web as the dominant software distribution platform, it wasn’t enough to replace it. The next wave of walled gardens might look different: less noticeable, but nonetheless disruptive to the Web."



"There is a tendency at GOOG-FB-AMZN to bypass the Web which is motivated by user experience and efficient communication, not by an agenda to avoid browsers. In the knowledge internet and the commerce internet, being efficient to provide what users want is the goal. In the social internet, the goal is to provide an efficient channel for communication between people. This explains FB’s 10-year strategy with Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) as the next medium for social interactions through the internet. This strategy would also bypass the Web, proving how more natural social AR would be than social real-time texting in browsers. Already today, most people on the internet communicate with other people via a mobile app, not via a browser.

The common pattern among these three internet giants is to grow beyond browsers, creating new virtual contexts where data is created and shared. The Web may die like most other technologies do: simply by becoming less attractive than newer technologies. And like most obsolete technologies, they don’t suddenly disappear, neither do they disappear completely. You can still buy a Walkman and listen to a tape with it, but the technology has nevertheless lost its collective relevance. The Web’s death will come as a gradual decay of its necessity, not as a dramatic loss.

The Trinet

The internet will survive longer than the Web will. GOOG-FB-AMZN will still depend on submarine internet cables (the “Backbone”), because it is a technical success. That said, many aspects of the internet will lose their relevance, and the underlying infrastructure could be optimized only for GOOG traffic, FB traffic, and AMZN traffic. It wouldn’t conceptually be anymore a “network of networks”, but just a “network of three networks”, the Trinet, if you will. The concept of workplace network which gave birth to the internet infrastructure would migrate to a more abstract level: Facebook Groups, Google Hangouts, G Suite, and other competing services which can be acquired by a tech giant. Workplace networks are already today emulated in software as a service, not as traditional Local Area Networks. To improve user experience, the Trinet would be a technical evolution of the internet. These efforts are already happening today, at GOOG. In the long-term, supporting routing for the old internet and the old Web would be an overhead, so it could be beneficial to cut support for the diverse internet on the protocol and hardware level. Access to the old internet could be emulated on GOOG’s cloud accessed through the Trinet, much like how Windows 95 can be today emulated in your browser. ISPs would recognize the obsolescence of the internet and support the Trinet only, driven by market demand for optimal user experience from GOOG-FB-AMZN.

Perhaps a future with great user experience in AR, VR, hands-free commerce and knowledge sharing could evoke an optimistic perspective for what these tech giants are building. But 25 years of the Web has gotten us used to foundational freedoms that we take for granted. We forget how useful it has been to remain anonymous and control what we share, or how easy it was to start an internet startup with its own independent servers operating with the same rights GOOG servers have. On the Trinet, if you are permanently banned from GOOG or FB, you would have no alternative. You could even be restricted from creating a new account. As private businesses, GOOG, FB, and AMZN don’t need to guarantee you access to their networks. You do not have a legal right to an account in their servers, and as societies we aren’t demanding for these rights as vehemently as we could, to counter the strategies that tech giants are putting forward.

The Web and the internet have represented freedom: efficient and unsupervised exchange of information between people of all nations. In the Trinet, we will have even more vivid exchange of information between people, but we will sacrifice freedom. Many of us will wake up to the tragedy of this tradeoff only once it is reality."
andréstaltz  amazon  facebook  google  internet  web  online  walledgardens  marketing  advertising  2014  2017  seo  publishing  amp  apple 
november 2017 by robertogreco
Why EdTech Sucks – Learning {Re}imagined – Medium
"Some believe education should be a transmission of knowledge, others believe that it should be a reconstruction of knowledge. The former is called “instructionism” the latter is called “constructionism”.

Instructionism is popular amongst dinosaur education businesses who rely on scarcity and the selling of text books. These businesses have come up with all kinds of historical innovations to ensure we consume their sacred texts. Measurement being the most obvious one where they award certificates to stormtroopers who can recite them. Evil genius of the Sith.

Constructionism on the other hand relies on abundance and discovery where knowledge is constructed by making things and sharing them. Students use information they already know to acquire more knowledge. It is distinctly collaborative and social in nature, none of that being measured in total silence whilst sitting 3 foot away from your friends. Difficult to see the business model here isn’t it?

And it’s that business model thing that’s the rub and why I’ll be pleased to see the stage vacated by the chinless wonders who are still looking for the door marked entry.

Fortunately there are hundreds of super exciting start-ups and other enterprises who didn’t capitulate to the promise of a 3 year plan, an IPO or a seat in a office overlooking the Thames. They know that 21st century learning isn’t the equivalent of an airport passenger conveyor where you can go quick or slow but always end up at the same destination.

On the first day of London Edtech Week I was lucky to play a small part in one of these brilliant start-ups at the inaugural LitFilmFest, a children’s filmmaking festival hosted at London’s BFI IMAX.

The brainchild of A Tale Unfolds, LitFilmFest recognises the value of filmmaking not only in children developing their own voice and creativity but as a powerful way for children to learn literacy and digital skills. In my career I’ve visited hundreds of schools all over the world and the one thing I have an ear for is the sound of children who are loving learning. It sounds like joy.

A Tale Unfolds was set up by a brilliant team of primary school teachers who have created literacy resources and designed training that uses simple tech to help teachers bring their practice to life.

Chatting with some of the kids at LitFilmFest it was clear that their learning was joyful and engagement with their teachers as a learning partnership significantly better than chocolate covered broccoli in the form of an app. But don’t take my word for it A Tale Unfolds have a bunch of data that shows literacy progress in some schools increasing by a factor of three.

I should point out that I have zero financial interest in ATU nor have I ever received an inducement, more’s the pity, although full disclosure they did buy me a Vietnamese Pho in a street food gaff in Soho. What can I tell you other than I’m a cheap date?

Looking further afield and there are dozens of fabulously innovative firms who dance on the periphery of what we once thought of as EdTech before the wide boys and snake oil salesmen pitched up with their accelerator/ponzi schemes.

Some of these firms were smart enough to realise that calling their wares “EdTech” and then trying to sell them school by school was braindead and so realise that their play is, in fact, direct to children and parents. Others were not so lucky and, taking advice from investors who should know better, have crippled their innovations by following the selling to schools model. Many of the most interesting plays might better be described as media or non-fiction entertainment.

The reality, as I see it, is that EdTech as a thing has been hijacked and whilst there has been a period of more investment than at any time I can remember this hasn’t been matched by a commensurate increase in innovation. A key reason is that the influx of capital has been directed in an attempt to disrupt schools and teaching rather than the existing multinational incumbents like Pearson or the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company. Scratch around some of the investment funds for EdTech and you’ll find these knackered old dinosaurs.

My hope then is that when the party is over and the Noz has left the bubble these exciting firms will cut their chains and once again we’ll see some excitement where tech meets learning and teaching."
constructionism  edtech  education  learning  schools  teaching  howweteach  instructionism  grahambrown-martin  via:steelemaley  sfsh  ataleunfolds  marketing  control  capitalism 
june 2017 by robertogreco
HEWN, No. 195
"Some have argued that we simply need better “media literacy,” but as danah boyd writes, we need “a cultural change about how we make sense of information, whom we trust, and how we understand our own role in grappling with information.” “Media literacy” as currently practiced and taught, she contends, might be part of the problem.

boyd argues elsewhere that we’re witnessing “the democratization of manipulation.” But that’s always been the goal of marketing and advertising. Edward Bernays and such.

What is striking to me is how much technology journalism – and that’s ed-tech journalism too, let’s be frank – is itself “fake news.” It’s marketing. It’s manipulation. No, it’s not inevitable that robots are going to take all our jobs, or that AI will raise our children, or that everything in our homes will be Internet-connected. This is industry PR, promoting a certain ideology and a certain future, posing as “news.”

No wonder there’s so much bullshit on Facebook. Facebook itself is part of that larger bullshit industry known as Silicon Valley."
audreywatters  medialiteracy  danahboyd  2017  fakenews  advertising  pr  siliconvalley  edtech  technology  technosolutionism  facebook  propaganda  manipulation  marketing  ideology  jelanicobb  misinformation  disinformation  information  crapdetection 
january 2017 by robertogreco
Understanding Trump « George Lakoff
"Unconscious thought works by certain basic mechanisms. Trump uses them instinctively to turn people’s brains toward what he wants: Absolute authority, money, power, celebrity.

The mechanisms are:

1. Repetition. Words are neurally linked to the circuits the determine their meaning. The more a word is heard, the more the circuit is activated and the stronger it gets, and so the easier it is to fire again. Trump repeats. Win. Win, Win. We’re gonna win so much you’ll get tired of winning.

2. Framing: Crooked Hillary. Framing Hillary as purposely and knowingly committing crimes for her own benefit, which is what a crook does. Repeating makes many people unconsciously think of her that way, even though she has been found to have been honest and legal by thorough studies by the right-wing Bengazi committee (which found nothing) and the FBI (which found nothing to charge her with, except missing the mark ‘(C)’ in the body of 3 out of 110,000 emails). Yet the framing is working.

There is a common metaphor that Immorality Is Illegality, and that acting against Strict Father Morality (the only kind off morality recognized) is being immoral. Since virtually everything Hillary Clinton has ever done has violated Strict Father Morality, that makes her immoral. The metaphor thus makes her actions immoral, and hence she is a crook. The chant “Lock her up!” activates this whole line of reasoning.

3. Well-known examples: When a well-publicized disaster happens, the coverage activates the framing of it over and over, strengthening it, and increasing the probability that the framing will occur easily with high probability. Repeating examples of shootings by Muslims, African-Americans, and Latinos raises fears that it could happen to you and your community — despite the miniscule actual probability. Trump uses this to create fear. Fear tends to activate desire for a strong strict father — namely, Trump.

4. Grammar: Radical Islamic terrorists: “Radical” puts Muslims on a linear scale and “terrorists” imposes a frame on the scale, suggesting that terrorism is built into the religion itself. The grammar suggests that there is something about Islam that has terrorism inherent in it. Imagine calling the Charleston gunman a “radical Republican terrorist.”

Trump is aware of this to at least some extent. As he said to Tony Schwartz, the ghost-writer who wrote The Art of the Deal for him, “I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration — and it’s a very effective form of promotion.”

5. Conventional metaphorical thought is inherent in our largely unconscious thought. Such normal modes of metaphorical thinking that are not noticed as such.

Consider Brexit, which used the metaphor of “entering” and “leaving” the EU. There is a universal metaphor that states are locations in space: you can enter a state, be deep in some state, and come out that state. If you enter a café and then leave the café , you will be in the same location as before you entered. But that need not be true of states of being. But that was the metaphor used with Brexit; Britons believed that after leaving the EU, things would be as before when the entered the EU. They were wrong. Things changed radically while they were in the EU. That same metaphor is being used by Trump: Make America Great Again. Make America Safe Again. And so on. As if there was some past ideal state that we can go back to just by electing Trump.

6. There is also a metaphor that A Country Is a Person and a metonymy of the President Standing For the Country. Thus, Obama, via both metaphor and metonymy, can stand conceptually for America. Therefore, by saying that Obama is weak and not respected, it is communicated that America, with Obama as president, is weak and disrespected. The inference is that it is because of Obama.

7. The country as person metaphor and the metaphor that war or conflict between countries is a fistfight between people, leads to the inference that just having a strong president will guarantee that America will win conflicts and wars. Trump will just throw knockout punches. In his acceptance speech at the convention, Trump repeatedly said that he would accomplish things that can only be done by the people acting with their government. After one such statement, there was a chant from the floor, “He will do it.”

8. The metaphor that The nation Is a Family was used throughout the GOP convention. We heard that strong military sons are produced by strong military fathers and that “defense of country is a family affair.” From Trump’s love of family and commitment to their success, we are to conclude that, as president he will love America’s citizens and be committed to the success of all.

9. There is a common metaphor that Identifying with your family’s national heritage makes you a member of that nationality. Suppose your grandparents came from Italy and you identify with your Italian ancestors, you may proudly state that you are Italian. The metaphor is natural. Literally, you have been American for two generations. Trump made use of this commonplace metaphor in attacking US District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is American, born and raised in the United States. Trump said he was a Mexican, and therefore would hate him and tend to rule against him in a case brought against Trump University for fraud.

10. Then there is the metaphor system used in the phrase “to call someone out.” First the word “out.” There is a general metaphor that Knowing Is Seeing as in “I see what you mean.” Things that are hidden inside something cannot be seen and hence not known, while things are not hidden but out in public can be seen and hence known. To “out” someone is to made their private knowledge public. To “call someone out” is to publicly name someone’s hidden misdeeds, thus allowing for public knowledge and appropriate consequences."



"How Can Democrats Do Better?

First, don’t think of an elephant. Remember not to repeat false conservative claims and then rebut them with the facts. Instead, go positive. Give a positive truthful framing to undermine claims to the contrary. Use the facts to support positively-framed truth. Use repetition.

Second, start with values, not policies and facts and numbers. Say what you believe, but haven’t been saying. For example, progressive thought is built on empathy, on citizens caring about other citizens and working through our government to provide public resources for all, both businesses and individuals. Use history. That’s how America started. The public resources used by businesses were not only roads and bridges, but public education, a national bank, a patent office, courts for business cases, interstate commerce support, and of course the criminal justice system. From the beginning, the Private Depended on Public Resources, both private lives and private enterprise.

Over time those resources have included sewers, water and electricity, research universities and research support: computer science (via the NSF), the internet (ARPA), pharmaceuticals and modern medicine (the NIH), satellite communication (NASA and NOA), and GPS systems and cell phones (the Defense Department). Private enterprise and private life utterly depend on public resources. Have you ever said this? Elizabeth Warren has. Almost no other public figures. And stop defending “the government.” Talk about the public, the people, Americans, the American people, public servants, and good government. And take back freedom. Public resources provide for freedom in private enterprise and private life.

The conservatives are committed to privatizing just about everything and to eliminating funding for most public resources. The contribution of public resources to our freedoms cannot be overstated. Start saying it.

And don’t forget the police. Effective respectful policing is a public resource. Chief David O. Brown of the Dallas Police got it right. Training, community policing, knowing the people you protect. And don’t ask too much of the police: citizens have a responsibility to provide funding so that police don’t have to do jobs that should be done by others.

Unions need to go on the offensive. Unions are instruments of freedom — freedom from corporate servitude. Employers call themselves job creators. Working people are profit creators for the employers, and as such they deserve a fair share of the profits and respect and acknowledgement. Say it. Can the public create jobs. Of course. Fixing infrastructure will create jobs by providing more public resources that private lives and businesses depend on. Public resources to create more public resources. Freedom creates opportunity that creates more freedom.

Third, keep out of nasty exchanges and attacks. Keep out of shouting matches. One can speak powerfully without shouting. Obama sets the pace: Civility, values, positivity, good humor, and real empathy are powerful. Calmness and empathy in the face of fury are powerful. Bill Clinton won because he oozed empathy, with his voice, his eye contact, and his body. It wasn’t his superb ability as a policy wonk, but the empathy he projected and inspired.

Values come first, facts and policies follow in the service of values. They matter, but they always support values.

Give up identity politics. No more women’s issues, black issues, Latino issues. Their issues are all real, and need public discussion. But they all fall under freedom issues, human issues. And address poor whites! Appalachian and rust belt whites deserve your attention as much as anyone else. Don’t surrender their fate to Trump, who will just increase their suffering.

And remember JFK’s immortal, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Empathy, devotion, love, pride in our country’s values, public resources to create freedoms. And adulthood.

Be prepared. You have to understand Trump … [more]
georgelakoff  donaldtrump  2016  conservatives  markets  systems  systemsthinking  hierarchy  morality  puritanism  election  hillaryclinton  cognition  psychology  evangelicals  freemarkets  capitalism  pragmatism  patriarchy  progressivism  directcausation  systemiccausation  thinking  politicalcorrectness  identitypolitics  politics  policy  us  biconceptuals  brain  howwethink  marketing  metaphor  elections  dallas  dallaspolice  policing  lawenforcement  unions  organizing  organization  billclinton  empathy  campaigning  repetition  democrats 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Millennials Don't Exist! Adam Conover at Deep Shift - YouTube
"A millennial marketing conference asked me to give a talk on how to market to millennials. The thesis of the talk I gave: Millennials don't exist and the entire idea of "generations" is unscientific, condescending, and stupid. For more misconception destruction, check out my show ADAM RUINS EVERYTHING on TruTV! New episodes coming in August!"
millennials  generations  geny  generationy  2016  adamconover  demographics  humor  media  marketing  stereotypes 
march 2016 by robertogreco
Joe Cool – The New Inquiry
"Unlike with other American big-box grocery stores (and Trader Joe’s parent company, the German supermarket chain Aldi), where store brands tend to connote “no frills” cheapness and inferiority, Trader Joe’s generic goods have succeeded in conveying quality, familiarity, and originality all through the brand itself. Rather than ask the consumer to choose among different brands, the Trader Joe’s consumer just has to pick which products they like most. This strategy appears to work. In a recent survey, TJ’s customers were the most satisfied of any grocery stores, despite the crowds of harried customers, crowded parking lots, and long checkout lines one often encounters there.

But the lines and packed lots themselves can be reassuring, that you have come to the right place, that you are adapting to what “everyone else” is doing. It seems like the only option, just like its limited product choices. Trader Joe’s overall in-store aesthetic tries to consolidate these genteel inconveniences into a nostalgic evocation of old-time neighborhood mom ‘n pop stores: the mini-coffee bar with its free samples, the pseudo-cultured feel provided by the “ethnic” and very not-PC types of not-white Joe’s on store-brand packaging, like Trader Giotto (Italian foods) and Trader Ming (Chinese food) and Trader Jose’s (Mexican-ish) — note there is no African-American Joe. Everything at TJ’s is suggestive of a time when life was supposedly simpler, more traditional (e.g. homogeneous) — long before the big-box superstore, parking lots the size of football fields, and the proliferation of brands in the aisles and on social media.

As part of this strategy, the company is reticent about advertising: It restricts its marketing mainly to its almanac-like “Fearless Flyer” circular that conjures quaint images of old letterpresses and coupon-clipping grandmas. No social media, no email marketing, few radio ads, no television or newspaper ads. Part of Trader Joe’s appeal is that customers always already seem to know they are supposed to shop there, that they belong.

This runs counter to current brand-management strategy. Whereas other brands are joining platforms like WhatsApp or sliding into consumers’ DMs to try to maximize engagement, Trader Joe’s privileges the IRL, restricting its brand to in-store experiences and refusing to participate in social media.



Though Trader Joe’s lack of social-media presence can be disconcerting to some of the store’s most fervent fans, it retains its particular appeal by playing hard to get. Social-media messaging would only muddle the company’s effort to sell its massively popular corporate brand as a neighborhood secret.

From the start, in 1967, “Trader Joe” Coulombe devised his “low-priced gourmet-cum-health-food store” with an “unemployed PhD student” in mind as the ideal customer. As he explained in 1985 to the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, he foresaw that this would be a “growing category.” Coulombe anticipated that these savvy, well-educated types would be alienated by mainstream advertising techniques, particularly ones that targeted an ignorance or lack in the consumer with products that were supposed to somehow fix it. Trader Joe’s customers would be presumed to already fully know who they are and what they want — imported cheeses, organic foods, relatively healthy prepared meals, international delicacies, microbrews, California wines — they only lacked means. Selling two-buck chuck to the broke graduate student became emblematic of Trader Joe’s philosophy: good-enough wine at a bargain price for those wise enough to be in the know. If Trader Joe’s started advertising, seeming to put everyone in the know, the wine might not seem so drinkable all of a sudden.

Trader Joe’s rejection of social media extends this approach. If Trader Joe’s were to join social media and chat with consumers, would that not just create the feeling of a fake, forced relationship? The right sort of customer craving the right sort of authenticity doesn’t need to vicariously latch on to brands on social media to feel complete. They aren’t slaves to Facebook or Twitter either. They have a “real” relationship with Trader Joe’s, grounded in going to the store, being there, being present. Trader Joe’s will not tweet at you. The only way to be recognized by Trader Joe’s is to have the cheery cashiers remember your name, to riff on Seinfeld-isms with some bearded guy serving samples of kung pao chicken with a side of brown rice. At Trader Joe’s, it’s IRL or nothing.

This standoffishness from social media purports to be a matter of Trader Joe’s refusing to make clumsy efforts at branding itself, but it is really a masterstroke of brand consistency. We buy the brand, we eat the brand, we return for more — but we never truly know the brand as a personality. But this absence is the brand’s essence. It is the aloof, invulnerable person that doesn’t want to “connect,” a celebrity who doesn’t need Twitter. Its Instagram is private, for friends-only.

It would seem like this strategy could backfire with millennials, who are less likely to privilege IRL over online, if they even bother to distinguish them. But Joe doesn’t need to be your “friend” online. He doesn’t want a Tinderized relationship. Trader Joe’s is counting on capturing successive generations of its target consumers by being the choice for no-choices, the place where generic brands can feel exclusive. You’ll know without having to be told. You’ll buy without ever wondering if you’ve made the wrong choice."
aliciaeler  branding  business  marketing  traderjoes  supermarkets  socialmedia  aldi  aesthetics  1967  2016 
march 2016 by robertogreco
Things You Can’t Talk About in a Coca-Cola Ad - The Atlantic
"User-generated content has always been terrorist media. Given a little freedom even the simplest of tools becomes weaponized subversion. In 2006, an interview with a virtual real-estate magnate inside Second Life was interrupted by dozens of flying penises enterprising users had fashioned in-world. In 2012, a McDonald’s hashtag campaign inviting customers to tell their “#McDStories” got repurposed for critiques of the company’s food quality and healthfulness. A similar thing happened to the New York Police Department in 2014, when their #myNYPD hashtag was quickly overtaken by images of apparent police violence."



"But the Internet is no place for talk of “intended purpose,” either. The Internet is a giant cat that chews up intended purpose and makes videos of itself hacking them up again. The output of GIF the Feeling not only risks correlating the Coke brand and messaging with undesirable associations, it almost demands such an outcome. Attempting to subvert the gizmo (sorry, Coke!) is among its most appealing uses. And even if the Profanity API successfully clobbers some irreverent efforts, savvy users will always find workarounds. They can take a screenshot of the supposed failure and use that as their social-media content. Or use typographical work-arounds like Joseph’s."



"The coolest brands are the ones who accept and embrace the inability to control messages online—even as they make every effort to exert that control—in order to hunt the Internet wilderness for secret converts."
advertising  branding  marketing  campaign  coca-cola  ianbogost  web  internet  online  user-generated  content  media  2016  language  control 
january 2016 by robertogreco
How 'Treat Yourself' Became a Capitalist Command - The Atlantic
"In a 1982 lecture that went on to be published as an essay called "Technologies of the Self," the French philosopher Michel Foucault argues that looking after oneself, rather than being a form of navel-gazing or narcissism, is a kind of “vigilance” that dates back to antiquity. For Socrates, Plato, and their ilk, Foucault writes, “taking care of yourself eventually became absorbed into knowing yourself.”* As the thinking went, only with the proper amount of time set aside for the “active leisure” of reading, studying, and ruminating could a person come to grips with the profound nature of the universe and his own mortality.

After bubbling up through academic communities in the ‘80s, the term “self-care” accumulated health-related connotations as it gained mainstream renown. In the ‘90s, it referred to the way that patients could take supplementary responsibility for themselves in conjunction with their doctors, nurses, and pharmacists. This was not particularly surprising: Foucault once advised that “one must become the doctor of oneself,” and his theories inspired individual-focused health care even before WebMD.

What might surprise both ’80s professors and ’90s medical professionals, though, is the degree to which self-care has also become a capitalist enterprise. American culture, with its typical anything-worth-doing-is-worth-overdoing attitude, has reduced self-care to buying stuff and, even more counter-intuitively, to trying to become a more productive employee. In other words, active self-care was originally considered necessary to be a philosopher, typically for elite white men who had the luxury to sit and think. Now, America has democratized it by making it seemingly available to all—at least, for a price.

The advertising industry has nudged self-care away from introspection and towards reflexive consumerism. According to copywriters, you “deserve” everything from “a break today” (at McDonald’s) to “brighter eyes” (with new make-up) from “a decent sandwich” (from Milio’s) to, simply, “the best” (in the form of Beats By Dre). The implication is clear: Consumers who fail to purchase such treats are depriving themselves, failing to meet their own needs. By the late 2000s, the trope “you deserve it!” had irritated, among others, Rush Limbaugh, various entrepreneurs, and frugal bloggers. As one of those bloggers points out, “We definitely do not deserve the bondage that comes with being under obligation to a credit-card company.”

In this way, capitalism has taken what Foucault called “a general attitude and also a precise act every day” and broken it down into a series of indulgent yet somehow necessary purchases of cosmetics, electronics, and fast food. When combined with the constant reminders that well-being also requires a sensible diet and lots of exercise, America’s overall approach to self-care begins to appear shallow, haphazard, and contradictory.

Just like the advertising industry, the American office has taken up the cause, because employees who don’t keep themselves in good working order can represent lost revenue. According to William Davies, whose book The Atlantic excerpted this summer, many companies wrestle with the problem of employees who are regularly absent, unmotivated, or suffering from “persistent, low-level mental-health problems.” And, he goes on, “the way in which these problems manifest themselves in the workplace, threatening productivity as they do so, has placed them among the greatest problems confronting capitalism today.”

The kind of self-care being peddled to the 21st-century American white-collar worker is a cure for a quintessentially 21st-century American problem: that jobs demand ever-increasing amounts of time, energy, and creativity. Capitalism, faced with a problem it created, is itself trying to provide a solution. Little wonder, then, that the suggested fix isn’t to convince workers to actually take their vacation days or to go back to a more humane schedule of 40 hours a week, both of which would help employees to prioritize their own well-being. Instead, to avoid burnout, people are encouraged to spend more and exercise harder.

This message can be seen splashed across the homepages of a number of media outlets. At the Huffington Post, one writer attempted to model for readers how to “add self-care to your schedule” by showing how “seven super successful women leaders” do it. The results were off-putting, Type-A solutions such as “6:00 AM outdoor boot camp” and, for breakfast, “Parsley protein shakes.” Sleep deprivation and liquid breakfasts may not seem joyless to everyone, but they hardly qualify as pampering, let alone paying careful attention to one's needs. And on Jezebel’s Millihelen blog, the writer Jane Marie confesses that she does not know how to conceive of self-care in a practical way, since “everything that comes to mind either takes too much time or too much money.” (Appropriately enough, Gawker Media, which owns Jezebel, just announced that it is shuttering Millihelen and starting a new sub-site focused specifically on “health, beauty, and self-care.”)

Self-care may never have been easy, but it was once simple and certainly not expensive. It required little more than the ability and wherewithal for introspection. Foucault’s “active leisure,” the time “to study, to read,” is not impossible to carve out time for. Workers and employers alike only have to recognize that determining and meeting one’s needs has value, regardless if it can produce any profit."
consumerism  capitalism  marketing  2015  self-care  michelfoucault  health  williamdavies  treatingthesymptom  mentalhealth  productivity  esterbloom  foucault 
december 2015 by robertogreco
The mystery of the white dress shirt: Makeshift Society Brooklyn postmortem — Medium
"We hosted rad events with nationally recognized partners including Adobe, HP, and SXSW on the assumption that if we get people to visit, we would get more conversions to memberships. But we saw little correlation between event attendees and future memberships. We also tried referral bonuses and monthly discounts for different skill sets (e.g. 50% off for photographers in May). That didn’t work either. The one thing that did work quite well, ironically, was a “three months for the price of two” membership offer that we launched when we had exactly 3 months left before closing. This resulted in about four conversions, which sounds small but is not insignificant (about 6% of the core membership base we were counting on in our original business plan). We probably should have experimented more with membership packages, but we were trying to avoid the situation where current members feel burnt by deals offered to new members. Strong impulses towards fairness are a liability for capitalists."



"Is community a side, or the main dish?

On the coworking as community — commodity spectrum, we existed somewhere in the middle. The feel of Makeshift Society Brooklyn was relatively communal and friendly, but ultimately it was a pay-to-play membership organization. We found that people genuinely seek community when it comes as a freebie side dish, but it’s somewhat rare that people want to pay for it as the main dish. In retrospect, this makes sense. One pays for golf at the club because paying explicitly for access to likeminded peers feels dirty. Even Airbnb, who claim to offer belonging (which is dubious, but we’ll take it at face value for now), are actually selling accommodations. The feeling of belonging is a mint on your pillow — the thing you enjoy most but would never pay for on its own.

When prospective members came through our doors asking about what amenities we offer, I could usually tell that they were not going to choose to join our community. Whereas other spaces offer hard amenities such as free beer on tap or access to legal advice, our biggest “amenity” was the ability to get to know a group of down to earth people who did something relatively close to what you’re doing, to call on them for emotional support, and occasionally to do some work together. Second to this, daylight and a dignified workspace were our primary distinctions (this says a lot about what passes for ‘quality’ in the state of workspaces). If you’ve already gotten wasted on the free beer, worked in your glass cubicle, and still haven’t found a supportive community of practice, you’d be more likely to arrive at the doors of MSS BK genuinely in search of what we offered. Leigh summed it up nicely:
At Makeshift I’m surrounded by amazingly smart and creative individuals. Whether it’s asking for a second set of eyes from a deskmate or seeing the other things members are building, being surrounded by that energy is inspiring.

It was also important to us that our people feel connected to the broader community of the neighborhood and the city, which is something that Matt and Cory picked up on:
Makeshift has all the productivity benefits of a coffee shop without the drawbacks. Well, it doesn’t have coffee, but that’s actually a benefit too. There are plenty of great cafés [nearby] that are easy to walk to. One of my favorite things about Makeshift’s space is that it really encourages creativity by making it easy to get up and move around. The location is a big, airy, bright area right on street level, on a nice quiet street, which makes it very easy to get up and get out for a quick walk outside to clear one’s head… Other co-working spaces that I’ve worked at are on high floors and I have to pack up my computer in my backpack before I can get outside, which makes it subtly harder to get up and move around. At Makeshift I can just get up, walk around, and get right back to work.

Before the Brooklyn expansion, Rena and I discussed converting MSS into a non-profit. We decided not to because we wanted to retain agility. As MSS BK was struggling I spent a good amount of time considering this as an alternative future for the space. By sliding from our midpoint on the community — commodity spectrum to somewhere more resolutely on the community side of things, such as a co-op, we would give up some or all control over the community, perhaps even the operations of the space. From the perspective of the balance sheet this could work out OK. Giving up control to a co-op could also mean freeing the MSS business entity of the responsibility to look after and pay for every little thing (printer toner, cleaning, etc) as those become shared responsibilities.

By the time we got to seriously considering converting ourselves into a co-op, we were too late to practically make the transition. It would have required a new cooperatively owned entity taking over the lease, which would require enough co-op members to assemble the tens of thousands of dollars needed just for the security deposit, not to mention a similarly formidable monthly sum to cover rent. In theory MSS could have retained the lease and sublet the space to a new co-op, but that’s a risky transition with a lot of opportunity for things to fall apart. Too risky.

By the time we were ready to do it, there was not enough money in our bank account to protect MSS in the event that the transition was less than perfect. Instead I’ll daydream of a benevolent co-op that performs hostile takeovers, converting struggling but beloved for-profit businesses into community-owned infrastructure. In the meantime, I’ll be watching Prime Produce closely as they progress with their co-op in midtown with the assist of “sympathetic investors”."
bryanboyer  2015  capitalism  coworking  makeshiftsociety  business  marketing  events  community  agility  markets  communication  cooperatives 
november 2015 by robertogreco
Art + tech (13 Oct., 2015, at Interconnected)
"There's something about art + tech which is niggling at me. The process I'm interested in is when a technology organisation commissions or supports art as a way to understand itself.

I don't quite understand this itch or why I've got it, so I've spent a day looking at examples."
mattwebb  art  design  technology  1951  belllabs  1960s  1990s  lilianschwartz  rachelduckhouse  kitchens  amtrak  randcorporation  1971  andywarhol  advertising  marketing  davidchoe  eames  eamesoffice  2011  1968  electricobjects  eo1  brendandawes  mailchimp 
october 2015 by robertogreco
The Internet of Things You Don’t Really Need - The Atlantic
"We already chose to forego a future of unconnected software. All of your devices talk constantly to servers, and your data lives in the Cloud because there’s increasingly no other choice. Eventually, we won’t have unconnected things, either. We’ve made that choice too, we just don’t know it yet. For the moment, you can still buy toasters and refrigerators and thermostats that don’t talk to the Internet, but try to find a new television that doesn’t do so. All new TVs are smart TVs, asking you to agree to murky terms and conditions in the process of connecting to Netflix or Hulu. Soon enough, everything will be like Nest. If the last decade was one of making software require connectivity, the next will be one of making everything else require it. Why? For Silicon Valley, the answer is clear: to turn every industry into the computer industry. To make things talk to the computers in giant, secured, air-conditioned warehouses owned by (or hoping to be owned by) a handful of big technology companies.

But at what cost? What improvements to our lives do we not get because we focused on “smart” things? Writing in The Baffler last year, David Graeber asked where the flying cars, force fields, teleportation pods, space colonies, and all the other dreams of the recent past’s future have gone. His answer: Technological development was re-focused so that it wouldn’t threaten existing seats of power and authority. The Internet of Things exists to build a market around new data about your toasting and grilling and refrigeration habits, while duping you into thinking smart devices are making your lives better than you could have made them otherwise, with materials other than computers. Innovation and disruption are foils meant to distract you from the fact that the present is remarkably similar to the past, with you working even harder for it.

But it sure feels like it makes things easier, doesn’t it? The automated bike locks and thermostats all doing your bidding so you can finally be free to get things done. But what will you do, exactly, once you can monitor your propane tank level from the comfort of the toilet or the garage or the liquor store? Check your Gmail, probably, or type into a Google Doc on your smartphone, maybe. Or perhaps, if you’re really lucky, tap some ideas into Evernote for your Internet of Things startup’s crowdfunding campaign. “It’s gonna be huge,” you’ll tell your cookout guests as you saw into a freshly grilled steak in the cool comfort of your Nest-controlled dining room. “This is the future.”"
2015  ianbogost  iot  internetofthings  design  davidgraeber  labor  siliconvalley  technology  power  authority  innovation  disruption  work  future  past  present  marketing  propaganda  google  cloud  cloudcomputing  computers  code  googledocs  ubicomp  ubiquitouscomputing  everyware  adamgreenfield  amazon  dropbox  kickstarter 
june 2015 by robertogreco
The Herschel backpack: how Generation Y carries capitalism's mythologies | Eleanor Robertson | Comment is free | The Guardian
"The ubiquitous blue and brown backpacks are a genius of marketing that perfectly express the myth of the rugged individual"



"Was a law passed recently that mandated every person under 30 own one of those blue and brown Herschel backpacks? How else can we explain how ubiquitous they are? Step onto a university campus and 90% of the students will be wearing one, seemingly in defiance of the laws of supply and demand.

The Herschel trend is fascinating. In 2014 the Guardian’s Paula Cocozza went digging for the source of the bags’ popularity. Brothers Lyndon and Jamie Cormack, both apparel industry veterans, founded the company in 2009 because they “did not feel there was a very compelling story being told about bags”.

They named the company after Herschel, a tiny town in Saskatchewan where their great-grandparents settled after emigrating from Scotland in 1906.

“We as kids got to go back there all the time. Just used to wander the hills, shoot bottles, maybe the occasional gopher,” says Lyndon Cormack.

Cocozza points out that this association with exploration, frontiers, beards, maps, etc. is very now, and the Herschel, with its vintage feel and pointless utilitarian flourishes (the little diamond-shaped leather leather badge is actually a lashtab), is designed to play on aesthetic themes that reject mass production in favour of the vintage, handcrafted and self-reliant.

In other words, the Herschel backpack is a bag for the rugged individual.

The Cormacks’ decision to craft the brand around their homesteading great-grandparents is not an accident: homesteading is a crucial mythology of capitalism. It’s the supposed process by which previously un-owned natural resources come to be validly possessed by one individual, who is then allowed to defend them using force and transfer ownership through contract.

Put most famously by John Locke, homesteading is central to anarcho-capitalism, rights-based libertarianism, and propertarianism. It is amazing, and in some ways perfect, to see this individualistic ideology clearly reflected in the marketing of a backpack that is made in 15 factories in China and adorns the shoulders of every second young person in the Western world.

I doubt the Cormacks intended it this way, but as master marketers they know which stories appeal to people. At this point in history, homesteading, exploration and frontiersmanship are it.

The material conditions in which the backpack exists – in which it is actually manufactured and worn – reflect the reality of global capitalism. It’s made by factory workers and worn by precariously-employed inner-city knowledge workers – journalists, designers, and students.

It is not worn while traversing a mountain in search of a hitherto-unknown gold deposit, or while fishing ruggedly in a pristine lake. But that’s story that its designers have woven in order to make the bag attractive to millions of urbanites: a repudiation of their lifestyle as students and employees.

And everybody loves it, because, as John Steinbeck may or may not have said about the American poor, they see themselves “not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires”. This sentiment doesn’t just exist in America any more, but Australia as well.

When I first started to notice Herschel backpacks a couple of years ago, I thought their slightly childish simplicity and drab brownness made the young men who wore them look like orphans. Now that they are so pervasive, they’re a constant reminder of the weight on my generation’s shoulders of the myths we must shrug off."
capitalism  2015  homesteading  anarcho-capitalism  libertarianism  propertarianism  frontiersmanship  exploration  individualism  ruggedindividualism  marketing  mythology  storytelling  brands  paulacocozza  lyndoncormack  jamiecormack  eleanorrobertson 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Eyeo 2014 - Leah Buechley on Vimeo
"Thinking About Making – An examination of what we mean by making (MAKEing) these days. What gets made? Who makes? Why does making matter?"



[uninscusive covers of Make Magazine and composition of Google employment]

“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”

"I'm really tired of setting up structures where we tell young women and young brown and black kids that they should aspire to be like rich white guys."

[RTd these back than, but never watched the video. Thanks, Sara for bringing it back up.

https://twitter.com/arikan/status/477546169329938432
https://twitter.com/arikan/status/477549826498764801 ]

[Talk with some of the same content from Leah Buechley (and a lot of defensive comments from the crowd that Buechleya addresses well):
http://edstream.stanford.edu/Video/Play/883b61dd951d4d3f90abeec65eead2911d
https://www.edsurge.com/n/2013-10-29-make-ing-more-diverse-makers ]
leahbuechley  making  makermovement  critique  equality  gender  race  2014  via:ablerism  privilege  wealth  glvo  openstudioproject  lcproject  democratization  inequality  makemagazine  money  age  education  electronics  robots  robotics  rockets  technology  compsci  computerscience  computing  computers  canon  language  work  inclusivity  funding  google  intel  macarthurfoundation  opportunity  power  influence  movements  engineering  lowriders  pottery  craft  culture  universality  marketing  inclusion 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Rent-a-Foreigner in China - Video - NYTimes.com
"In this short documentary, housing developers in China hire ordinary foreigners to pose as celebrities, boosting flagging property sales."
china  realestate  forhire  2015  sales  authenticity  otherness  exoticism  marketing  capitalism 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Salmon - DSM color fans - Solutions - Products - DSM
"The DSM SalmoFan™ launched first in 1989 by Hoffman-La Roche as "Colour Card for Salmonids" is our days the industry’s color reference standard for the visual judging and comparison of degrees of pigmentation in salmon flesh perceived by the human eye."

[via: https://twitter.com/kathrynschulz/status/587259396666691584 ]
salmon  color  colors  creepy  food  pantone  marketing  fish  flesh  2015 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Curious Cargo 3: Solving Problems with Problem Setting
"Designs are judged in a context. The full context is that we live on a planet beset by countless injustices and wicked problems. Existence is a yawning abyss that devours all meaning and everyone dies alone. But since contemplating that for more than a few moments can cause complete paralysis, most people section off the dark crystal of the world into manageable shards and consider only a few facets at a time.

When it comes to presenting a new idea, the stage you set has an enormous influence on how people respond. Our work is judged by how well it achieves what we say it set out to do. And so the knife maker is judged on the quality of their knife, while the water cleaner is judged on the impossible problem of poverty. If the knife maker had started out talking about poverty, they too would be judged on the utter failure of a knife to address the growing gap between the rich and poor.

There is a trick here. You can change your destination after the fact. You can change your problem as many times as you like, right up until the moment you go public. We know this is possible because after a new design has achieved success, a common “behind the scenes” story designers tell is how they first set out to do X but in their exploration they realized Y. Apple set out to make a tablet, but then decided they should use the tech to first make a phone, and Steve Jobs told this story only after both had been launched. Good design stories may be told linearly but they are rarely composed that way.

In crits, it often feels unfair to go after a student’s set problem. For one thing, they are working under extremely tight constraints. For another, they tend to be honest to a fault about their starting point. If you responded to every presentation with “but what does this do about the situation in America’s prisons?” you’d come across as aggressively rude. Yes, I am aware that this new kind of notecard will do nothing to end the drone strikes in Yemen. No, this chair does not address climate change. We had three weeks and no budget. Fuck off.

In the world, going after the set problem is a vital part of design criticism. When Volvo releases paint to make bicyclists easier to see, it is right and good to rant about the merchants of death machines putting the blame on their victims. When Apple speaks of devices for a better life and a better world, it is right and good to ask about the conditions under which they are made. Good design criticism works to expand the horizons of public discussion, to bring to light elements that are glossed over or forgotten.

Note the power of context setting: Apple bears the brunt of criticism for labour practices at Foxconn even though Sony, Microsoft, Amazon, Nintendo, and many others use the same supplier. I suspect this is partially because Apple in your headline = many clicks and partially because Apple devotes so much marketing time to a story about how their things are made. All car manufacturers are selling death machines, but Volvo gets the rant because they brought up bike safety while the rest of the companies serenely ignore the issue.

And none of them are addressing the situation in America’s prisons.

This difficulty shows up everywhere. In social justice contexts, the line between expanding and derailing the discussion is tricky to draw. In politics, we have the Overton window to name the range of ideas which are acceptably debatable and there is plenty of fighting to be done about the shape and size of the window. In journalism, there are the spheres of consensus, controversy and deviance and the reality distorting tendency of the press to report on neither consensus nor deviance. In design, MAYA returns. There is most advanced, yet acceptable design and there is most advanced, yet acceptable criticism.

Problem setting matters because it influences not only what gets designed but how we talk about what gets designed, and that influences what gets designed next. Sooner or later, some of those chronically unconsidered facets are going to force their way on stage whether we want them or not."
timmaly  2015  crits  design  designschool  artschool  context  overtonwindow  marketing  apple  designcriticism  criticism  raymoundloewy  critique  problemfinding  problemdefinition  volvo  judgement  industrialdesign  architecture  productdesign  journalism  politics  consensus  controversy  deviance  derailing  artschools 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Insights: K-HOLE, New York — Insights: K-HOLE, New York — Channel — Walker Art Center
"K-HOLE exists in multiple states at once: it is both a publication and a collective; it is both an artistic practice and a consulting firm; it is both critical and unapologetically earnest. Its five members come from backgrounds as varied as brand strategy, fine art, web development, and fashion, and together they have released a series of fascinating PDF publications modeled upon corporate trend forecasting reports. These documents appropriate the visuals of PowerPoint, stock photography, and advertising and exploit the inherent poetry in the purposefully vague aphorisms of corporate brand-speak. Ultimately, K-HOLE aspires to utilize the language of trend forecasting to discuss sociopolitical topics in depth, exploring the capitalist landscape of advertising and marketing in a critical but un-ironic way.

In the process, the group frequently coins new terms to articulate their ideas, such as “Youth Mode”: a term used to describe the prevalent attitude of youth culture that has been emancipated from any particular generation; the “Brand Anxiety Matrix”: a tool designed to help readers understand their conflicted relationships with the numerous brands that clutter their mental space on a daily basis; and “Normcore”: a term originally used to describe the desire not to differentiate oneself, which has since been mispopularized (by New York magazine) to describe the more specific act of dressing neutrally to avoid standing out. (In 2014, “Normcore” was named a runner-up by Oxford University Press for “Neologism of the Year.”)

Since publishing K-HOLE, the collective has taken on a number of unique projects that reflect the manifold nature of their practice, from a consulting gig with a private equity firm to a collaboration with a fashion label resulting in their own line of deodorant. K-HOLE has been covered by a wide range of publications, including the New York Times, Fast Company, Wired UK, and Mousse.

Part of Insights 2015 Design Lecture Series."

[direct link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GkMPN5f5cQ ]
k-hole  consumption  online  internet  communication  burnout  normcore  legibility  illegibility  simplicity  technology  mobile  phones  smartphones  trends  fashion  art  design  branding  brands  socialmedia  groupchat  texting  oversharing  absence  checkingout  aesthetics  lifestyle  airplanemode  privilege  specialness  generations  marketing  trendspotting  coping  messaging  control  socialcapital  gregfong  denayago  personalbranding  visibility  invisibility  identity  punk  prolasticity  patagonia  patience  anxietymatrix  chaos  order  anxiety  normality  abnormality  youth  millennials  individuality  box1824  hansulrichobrist  alternative  indie  culture  opposition  massindie  williamsburg  simoncastets  digitalnatives  capitalism  mainstream  semiotics  subcultures  isolation  2015  walkerartcenter  maxingout  establishment  difference  89plus  basicness  evasion  blandness  actingbasic  empathy  indifference  eccentricity  blankness  tolerance  rebellion  signalling  status  coolness  aspiration  connections  relationships  presentationofself  understanding  territorialism  sociology  ne 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Lazy, Forgetful Creatures of Habit — Research Things — Medium
"When we talk about designing and marketing, a lot of times we’ll focus on the techniques, the specific practices. Shop talk is fun.

The hardest part of any design project isn’t figuring out how to write well, or lay out a page, or code a website. We have a solid body of knowledge. The challenge is dealing with the humans. Humans are a pain in the ass. But we love them, because our work depends on them. And because they are us.

Humans, especially those of us who spend a lot of time on and around the Internet, all of us are

Lazy, forgetful creatures of habit.

That is your core behavior pattern right there. I just saved you a lot of work creating personas.

Being a lazy, forgetful creature of habit is completely rational. We only have so much energy and attention, and we have ever increasing demands on it. Why should you do anything that requires more work? Why should you go out of your way? Or commit something to memory, when Google will remember it for you?

But what works for each of us as individuals can make life very difficult for our businesses. How do you reach people who have so much competition for their attention and such well-honed abilities to ignore things? It’s not just “banner blindness”. People are often blind to absolutely everything that doesn’t match the thing they’re looking for. It’s baked into our brains — the part of pattern matching that happens below conscious awareness. (And we’re well on our way to notification blindness now.)

And how do you make sure you are working with a realistic view of the priorities of actual humans, instead of making assumptions or relying on wishful thinking? You ask yourself that question every day. “What am I assuming?”

(Wishful thinking is the lazy habit that will doom an entrepreneur.)

Established organizations are lazy, forgetful creatures of habit as well, because they are made up of humans — plus an extra layer of inertia. So, while you are considering the users of the new product or service you are designing, you had better think about all of the existing habits of the organization that has to support it. Those habits can be even harder to change because they are baked into the culture and the business model.

Many an ambitious new strategic direction with complete buy-in from the top has fallen apart because someone further down the chain lacked incentive to change what they were doing. And again, this is rational, or at least understandable, behavior on the individual level.

And researchers — design researchers, market researchers — they can be lazy, too. A lot of bad research is bad because the study was designed based on what questions were easy and oh so satisfying to ask, not based on what was going to yield the most useful information.

If your success depends on people taking action, or remembering your name, or doing anything at all new, you had better make it as easy and satisfying as possible. And the only way to make it as easy as possible is to be really and truly realistic about what makes something feel difficult to someone who is not you.

Optimism is the death of design. Cultivating a habit of critical thinking is the first step to saving it.

Next time, I’ll talk about the Fear."
behavior  erikahall  2015  laziness  attention  priorities  humans  design  designresearch  criticalthinking  forgetting  users  marketing  optimism 
march 2015 by robertogreco
▶ Calls to Action: Noam Chomsky on the dangers of standardized testing - YouTube
"“The assessment itself is completely artificial," Chomsky asserts. "It’s not ranking teachers in accordance with their ability to help develop children who will reach their potential . . . It’s turning us into individuals who devote our lives to achieving a rank.""

[via: http://willrichardson.com/post/110534364640/doesnt-need-any-additional-commentary ]
measuement  ranking  noamchomsky  2015  schools  policy  testing  assessment  evaluation  standardizedtesting  teaching  propaganda  economics  power  capitalism  control  behavior  children  money  markets  consumerism  psychology  marketing  nagging  rank  culture  society  status  wealth  labeling  class  unschooling  deschooling 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Wake Up Now | This American Life
[Bookmarking mostly for the intro and act one. I know someone who got sucked into something similar and predating WakeUpNow. It was frustrating and disheartening, but also a little fascinating to watch as he bought in (despite my warnings) to the pyramid scheme, mostly due to someone who he considered to be a mentor. At the time, I did a lot of searching to expose to him that the company was a pyramid scheme. YouTube and the rest of the web was full of videos that were labeled as exposing them as a scam, but actually supported the company. Wake Up Now seems to have taken that strategy to a whole new level. SEO is bad, but this is the worst of all SEO.

Reminds me too of Adam Curtis talking about “a constant state of destabilized perception” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcy8uLjRHPM ]

"This American Life staffers Brian Reed and Bianca Giaever explain to Ira this thing they've found online called WakeUpNow. It's a company but they can't tell exactly what it does, and what its product is. Maybe it's a club? An organization? They find hundreds of enthusiastic videos people have made about it. (5 minutes)

Act One: Something’s Happening Here and You Don’t Know What It Is.
Brian and Bianca go to a WakeUpNow conference to try to figure out what the company really is. WakeUpNow does something called "network marketing," which Brian points out, is a very bland term for something completely mind-blowing. The company's Marketing Director Jordan Harris tells Brian and Bianca that what they saw at the conference was not a good measure of what the company is. We also hear from Robert L. Fitzpatrick, who researches network marketing and wrote a book called False Profits; and Damien Lacks, who quit his job to do WakeUpNow. (31 minutes)

Act Two: Board Games.
Jacob Goldstein and David Kestenbaum of NPR's Planet Money tell the story of two guys who decided that the CEO of a small tool company was paid too much and wanted to wake people up to that fact - They wanted to cut the CEO's pay. The two people happened to be investors in the tool company. It turns out if you think CEOs are paid too much, it's guys like this with money to invest in stocks that you want on your side. Planet Money is a production of NPR News. (15 minutes)

Act Three: Sleep No More.
A woman in Springfield Oregon named Angela Jane Evancie tries to get her boyfriend, sleepy grad student Morgan Peach, to wake up during finals week. (3 minutes)"
business  employment  fraud  wakeupnow  seo  2014  thisamericanlife  pyramidschemes  brianreed  biancagiaever  wakupnow  networkmarketing  marketing  misinformation  psychology  attitude  emptiness  presentationofself  positivepsychology  cults 
january 2015 by robertogreco
This Is What Happens When You Criticize Teach for America | The Nation
"In the interview, Chovnick referenced the extent to which Teach For America manufactured its public image, explaining, “Instead of engaging in real conversations with critics, and even supporters, about the weaknesses of Teach For America and where it falls short, Teach For America seemed to put a positive spin on everything. During my tenure on staff, we even got a national team, the communications team, whose job it was to get positive press out about Teach For America in our region and to help us quickly and swiftly address any negative stories, press or media.”

An internal media strategy memo, obtained by The Nation, confirms Chovnick’s concerns, detailing TFA’s intricate methodology for combating negative media attention, or what it calls “misinformation.” Given that TFA takes tens of millions of government dollars every year, such strategies are troubling. According to its last three years of available tax filings, Teach For America has spent nearly $3.5 million in advertising and promotion. As the strategy memo indicates, much of this promotion goes toward attacking journalists, including ones previously published in this magazine. The memo details the numerous steps TFA’s communications team took in order to counter Alexandra Hootnick’s recent piece for the The Nation, “Teachers Are Losing Their Jobs, but Teach For America Is Expanding. What’s Wrong With That?”"
teachforamerica  tfa  marketing  2014  via:audreywatters  education  policy  publicity  edreform  charitableindustrialcomplex  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  capitalism  power  control 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Why Experts Reject Creativity - The Atlantic
"The physicist Max Planck put it best: "Science advances one funeral at a time.”

One place to watch the funeral march of science is America's peer-review process for academic research, which allocates $40 billion each year to new ideas in medicine, engineering, and technology. Every year, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation review nearly 100,000 applications for funding. The vast majority—up to 90 percent in some years—are rejected. For many breakthrough ideas, this selection process is the difference between life and death, financial backing and financial bankruptcy.

What sort of proposals do NIH evaluators approve? It’s a critical question for scientists. And the answer is nobody knows. Submissions receive such widely varying treatment that the relationship between evaluators' decisions is “perilously close to rates found for Rorschach inkblot tests,” according to a 2012 review.

A new ingenious paper raises a dangerous question: Are expert evaluators subtly biased against new ideas?

Researchers Kevin J. Boudreau, Eva Guinan, Karim R. Lakhani, and Christoph Riedl recruited 142 world-class researchers from a leading medical school and randomly assigned them to evaluate several proposals. Sometimes, faculty were experts in the subject of the submissions they read. Often, they were experts in other fields. But in all cases, the experiment was triple-blind: Evaluators did not know submitters, submitters did not know evaluators, and evaluators did not talk to each other.

The researchers found that new ideas—those that remixed information in surprising ways—got worse scores from everyone, but they were particularly punished by experts. "Everyone dislikes novelty,” Lakhami explained to me, but “experts tend to be over-critical of proposals in their own domain." Knowledge doesn’t just turn us into critical thinkers. It maybe turns us into over-critical thinkers. (In the real world, everybody has encountered a variety of this: A real or self-proclaimed expert who's impatient with new ideas, because they challenge his ego, piercing the armor of his expertise.)

Experts might be particularly biased against new ideas*, but most people aren't too fond of creativity either. In fact, they can be downright hostile.

A 1999 study found that teachers who claim to enjoy creative children don't actually enjoy any of the characteristics associated with creativity, such as non-conformity. A famous 2010 study from the University of Pennsylvania showed that ordinary people often dismiss new ideas, because their uncertainty makes us think, and thinking too hard makes us feel uncomfortable. "People often reject creative ideas even when espousing creativity as a desired goal," the researchers wrote. People are subtly prejudiced against novelty, even when they claim to be open to new ways of thinking.

* * *

How should creative people fight this widespread prejudice against creativity? Perhaps by disguising their new ideas as old ideas. If people are attracted to the familiar, it’s crucial for creative people to frame their ideas in ways that seem recognizable, predictable, and safe.

We're not prejudiced against all creativity, Karim Lakhani told me. In fact, his team studying academic submissions found that slightly novel medical proposals got the highest ratings. The graph below shows evaluation scores on the Y-axis plotted against the measured novelty of each submission. The overall trajectory is downward. Newer ideas generally got worse ratings. But you'll notice that something important is happening at the left end of the curve ...

[image]

... the line goes up. Indeed, that small bump at the beginning suggests there is an "optimal newness" for ideas that lives somewhere between the fresh and the familiar, Lakhami said.

In Hollywood, the "high-concept pitch" offers a useful example. Film producers, like NIH scientists, have to evaluate hundreds of ideas a year, but can only accept a tiny percentage. To grab their attention, writers often frame original ideas as a fresh combination of existing ideas. "It’s Groundhog Day meets War of the Worlds!” Or “It’s Transformers on the ocean!" In Silicon Valley, where venture capitalists also shift through a surfeit of proposals, the culture of the high-concept pitch is vibrant (Airbnb was once eBay for homes; Uber, Lyft, and Zipcar were all once considered Airbnb for cars; now, people want Uber for everything).

Creative people often bristle at the suggestion that they have to stoop to marketing their ideas. It's more pleasant to think that one's brilliance is self-evident and doesn't require the gloss of sales or the theater of marketing. But whether you're an academic, screenwriter, or entrepreneur, the difference between a brilliant new idea with bad marketing a mediocre idea with excellent marketing can be the difference between success and bankruptcy.

American culture worships creativity, but mostly in the abstract. Most people really don't like new ideas that sound entirely new, particularly the experts that often have to approve them. The trick is learning to frame new ideas as old ideas—to make your creativity seem, well, not quite so creative."
creativity  expertise  experts  framing  communication  novelty  2014  bias  innovation  derekthompson  newideas  ideas  acadmemia  science  research  marketing 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Video: Generation Like | Watch FRONTLINE Online | PBS Video
[Somehow forgot to bookmark this back in February.]

"Thanks to social media, teens are able to directly interact with their culture -- celebrities, movies, brands -- in ways never before possible. But is that real empowerment? Or do marketers hold the upper hand? In "Generation Like," Douglas Rushkoff explores how the teen quest for identity has migrated to the web -- and exposes the game of cat-and-mouse that corporations are playing with them."

[See also:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/generation-like/
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/media/generation-like/transcript-57/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gmgXxB9QiA
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/generation-like/
http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/generation-like-the-kids-sell-out-but-dont-know-what-1524517417 ]
generationlike  2014  media  online  web  youth  teens  likes  liking  labor  advertising  facebook  douglasrushkoff  tyleroakley  alissaquart  oliverluckett  kurtwagner  markandrejevic  allisonarling-giorgi  danahboyd  popculutre  society  consumerism  work  celebrity  microcelebrities  youtube  marketing  identity  sellingout  merchantsofcool  presentationofself  exploitation  digital  onlinemedia  socialmedia  socialnetworking  profiles  socialnetworks  tumblr  twitter  hungergames  empowerment  fandom 
october 2014 by robertogreco
The future of ed tech is here, it’s just not evenly distributed — Futures Exchange — Medium
"Using design fiction to cut through the relentless TEDTalk-like optimism of ed tech marketing"



"People talk about the future of technology in education as though it’s right around the corner, but for most of us we get to that corner and see it disappearing around the next. This innovation-obsessed cycle continues as we are endlessly dissatisfied with how little difference these promises make to the people implicated in these futures. These products and practices, cloaked in the latest buzzwords and jargon, often trickle down to non-western geographic regions after they’ve been tried and rejected, yet still adopted as the new and advanced “western” methodology that will solve the “problem” of education.

In an attempt to cut through the relentless TED Talk-like optimism of ed tech marketing, this year at the HASTAC conference in Peru we presented a series of fictional case studies. These four design fiction based personas aimed to illustrate the possible impact on society and education, in both positive and negative ways, of not just emerging technologies but also global social and economic trends. They give brief snapshots of the lives of individuals in imagined futures from different geographic, ethnic, economic, and cultural backgrounds, illustrating how each of them might interface and interact with the different technologies."

[See also: http://www.hastac.org/blogs/savasavasava/2014/06/19/hastac-2014-future-ed-tech-here-it%E2%80%99s-just-not-evenly-distributed
Wayback: https://web.archive.org/web/20150630153225/http://www.hastac.org/blogs/savasavasava/2014/06/19/hastac-2014-future-ed-tech-here-it%E2%80%99s-just-not-evenly-distributed ]
savasahelisingh  timmaughan  designfiction  edtech  technology  education  dystopia  marketing  optimism  pessimism  2014  williamgibson  speculativefiction  futures  future  innovation  buzzwords  hastac  casestudies 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Gym Standard has a unique approach to showing and selling art
"El Cajon Boulevard entrepreneur Edwin Negado thinks it’s time to reinvent the way work is marketed"



"At the moment, Edwin Negado and Sergio Hernandez are the two coolest-looking cats at Coffee & Tea Collective on El Cajon Boulevard. They sit shoulder-to-shoulder on a bench seat, swapping ideas for a short video promoting Hernandez’s April 26 art show at Gym Standard, Negado’s sleek footwear and design shop that opened last summer near the intersection of 30th Street and El Cajon.

Once the video is shot and edited, it’ll pop up on the Gym Standard (@gymstandard) Instagram feed, a stream of images that Negado has grown into a reliable digital resource for cool art, design, literary magazines, events and music in San Diego. He has more than 4,000 followers, and rather than simply pimping the inventory at his shop— which he does squeeze in—he shares the bigger, more interesting story swirling around Gym Standard by snapping photos of his customers or going out of his way to capture things he thinks are cool about San Diego in general.

“For me, the strategy is: I put myself into the mind of the potential client,” Negado says later, sitting behind the counter of his shop, which is filled with furniture and fixtures on wheels so he can roll everything out when it comes time to transform the space into an art gallery. “I don’t just want to see 20 fucking photos of the same shoe. I want to see what goes on in the store every day—who’s coming in or what this guy is eating. I feel like those are the type of things people fall in love with.”

Negado doesn’t use Facebook, and you won’t see an email signup on his website or much in the way of marketing outside of Instagram, but the focused, minimalistic tactic seems to be working. He’s gotten a good amount of press in alternative media, independent product designers contact him through his feed and customers who discover Gym Standard on their own seem to like the underground element. But while Negado, at least to an older generation, may seem like he’s purposely trying to keep things relatively under wraps so he can maintain his cool-kid cred, the 30-year-old says he welcomes mainstream attention.

“I feel like Instagram is as mainstream as it gets,” he says. “It’s so intimate. I mean, I’m looking at Instagram posts in my bed in my pajamas. That’s every media buyer’s dream to get into where people don’t have their walls up. That’s way more effective than if I’m driving and seeing a billboard on the street. I feel like Instagram, it just is the new mainstream.”

Negado was born and raised in San Diego, but he cut his teeth at W + K 12, a cutting-edge, experimental design and advertising school run by Weiden + Kennedy, an advertising agency in Portland, Ore., which accepts just 13 students a year into their competitive program. From there, he landed a job as a product-line manager at Vans, where he was the middleman between the marketing department and the shoe designers. He wrote design briefs detailing whom a particular shoe was intended for, setting specific goals and objectives for the shoe designers. While the gig taught him a lot about marketing and thinking about what customers want, he started feeling disconnected from the people he was hired to understand.

“The Vans thing was really cool because I got to see the landscape of business on a corporate level,” Negado says. “But I didn’t like the corporate lifestyle. I felt like I needed to be back in the wild. I needed to be with real people, not numbers and not behind a screen.”

Negado says every penny he made at his corporate job went into opening Gym Standard, which he built with his uncle and dad, carving the space out of the huge storefront that formerly housed ABC Piano Co. Attracted to the energy of North Park and the new, creative businesses like Coffee & Tea Collective cropping up in the revitalized stretch of El Cajon Boulevard between 30th and Ohio streets, he wanted to take a chance on opening the shop before he got priced out.

“I didn’t see the traffic quite yet, but I felt like I wanted to get in early before that transition happened,” he says.

Shoes, ceramics, magazines, art books, clothing and products geared toward those with an eye for design are Gym Standard’s bread and butter, but showing art was always part of the business plan. Negado has hosted several artists in his space since opening nearly a year ago, including Dolan Stearns, Julian Klincewicz and a recent poster-art group show benefitting the neighboring Media Arts Center San Diego.

While the young entrepreneur doesn’t like to call himself a curator, he’s managed to sell out most of the shows. That’s because moving artwork and making sure his artists get paid is something Negado considers an integral part of his job. He agonizes over the marketing of every show and each individual artist, fussing over every photo or video that ends up online. For Klincewicz’s show, for instance, he borrowed a friend’s drone and enlisted the help of young filmmakers in producing a video for Instagram that includes compelling aerial footage; in just 15 seconds, it conveys the show details while making Klincewicz look like an artist you might like to get to know.

“We always need to be reinventing how we talk about art and how we market art, because, you know, you need more than just a date and a picture of what’s going to be in the show,” Negado explains. “I think there needs to be more storytelling, which is what I learned in advertising: You’ve got to get people to fall in love with the art before they even go to the show. If they’re coming here April 26 and they have no idea what they’re going to see, that means I fucking failed as a promoter of the arts. If you’re showing art, you better be fucking working your ass off because your artists are working their asses off, right?”"
edwinnegado  sandiego  gymstandard  2014  kinseemorlan  art  instagram  twitter  marketing  retail  northpark 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Cereal Box Characters Look Down at Kids - Scientific American
"Tony the Tiger and his kid-friendly cohort tend to gaze downward whereas the Quaker Oats guy stares straight ahead at thee. Karen Hopkin reports"

[See also: http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/trix-strikes-back/ ]
children  design  marketing  2014  cereal  graphicdesign  graphics  perspective 
may 2014 by robertogreco
How three marketers would sell Canada’s brand - The Globe and Mail
"The federal government will soon be asking for input on the best way to market Canadian goods. Included in this week’s budget was a new project designed to enhance “consumer awareness of Canadian-made products.” Canada will be following the lead of other countries, such as Australia, which have used their national brand to compete in export markets. The idea: “Branding products ‘Made in Canada’ is a potentially powerful tool to encourage consumers – both in Canada and internationally – to choose such products.”

So, how do you sell consumers both here and abroad with “made in Canada” marketing? We asked some Canadian experts to weigh in on how to design our national brand.

No maple, moose, or mounties
“[It] needs to avoid the stereotypical Canadian 3Ms – Maple, moose and mounties. The deeper story can be found within what Canada represents in the global community. Canada is increasingly well-regarded around the world. This is about adding a premium component to the product. We should drop the apologetic, unassuming Canadian voice and tell a story of progress through fresh and modern visual language.” – Vito Piazza, president and partner at Sid Lee Toronto

Forget the logo, send a message
“It’s interesting to see everything that comes up [in a quick Google search, for example] that you can do visually with the Made in Canada concept. … I think it would be wiser to tend towards a state of mind, more than a simple logo. More of a way of thinking and buying. A logo doesn’t change anything if the brand’s promise is not understood. I would tend more towards something in the lines of Think Canada – more than a logo, it should be a motto that would accompany the products. Something to inspire people to get to know the products, to understand the history and then to buy Canadian.” – Claude Auchu, partner, vice-president and creative director of design at Montreal agency lg2.

Don’t get stuck with one image
“One of the things I would argue for, if I had the ear of the government, would be to make the Canadian brand, as expressed through this platform, really dynamic. The brand should feel forward-looking. One of the things you see on these types of projects – the Australia one and the U.S. counterpart – they’re fairly uninspired. They tend to fall back on historic or nationalistic themes or colour palettes, as opposed to 21st-century themes. I would use this brand initiative as a platform to showcase all the really innovative things that are happening here, as opposed to having a really static design. So there’s not a single logo of the Made in Canada brand, but a kind of system of logos. It should have unified messaging of course, but one way to express dynamic institutions is to use variability or difference within how the visual identity is expressed, as opposed to a stamp “Made in Canada.” If we’re talking about it being the same thing on a rail car and learning software being used in leading universities, that forces the question: Does the same branding apply to both things? You may be talking to different audiences. You want flexibility.” – Hunter Tura, president and chief executive officer of Bruce Mau Design in Toronto."
canada  marketing  logos  bmd  huntertura  claudeauchu  vitopiazza  identity  branding  names  naming  design  madeincanada  2014 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Taking Care of Youth and the Generations (Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics): Bernard Stiegler: 9780804762731: Amazon.com: Books
"Bernard Stiegler works systematically through the current crisis in education and family relations resulting from the mesmerizing power of marketing technologies. He contends that the greatest threat to social and cultural development is the destruction of young people's ability to pay critical attention to the world around them. This phenomenon, prevalent throughout the first world, is the calculated result of technical industries and their need to capture the attention of the young, making them into a target audience and reversing the relationship between adults and children.

Taking Care exposes the carelessness of these industries and urges the reader to re-enter the "battle for intelligence" against the drive-oriented culture of short-term ("short-circuited") attention characteristic of the negative aspects of the new technologies. Long-term attention, Stiegler shows, produces retentions of cultural memory mandatory for social development—and for the counteracting of ADD and ADHD. Examining the history of education from Plato to the current quagmires in France and the United States, he tracks the notion of critical thinking from its Enlightenment apotheosis to its current eradication. Stiegler is unique in combining the most radical of theoretical constructs—such as "grammatization"—with quite traditional values, values he proposes we re-address in our not-so-brave new world."
via:bobbygeorge  books  toread  youth  add  adhd  education  attention  payingattention  2010  bernardstiegler  marketing  capitalism  technology 
december 2013 by robertogreco
russell davies: activities not audiences
"An 'audience' is an organisational convenience from a broadcast age. It's a reasonable way of segmenting the world so you can buy media but as a way of actually talking to people it doesn't work. Most good advertising gets round it the same way good art does - by using the specific to illuminate the general, but most advertising isn't good. So you end up with crude panderings like appealing to women by making all men seem like feckless idiots. Or by saying everyone born in a particular decade has a particular way of looking at the world.

People, markets, customer bases, aren't this simple. Mothers are also small business owners, students and firefighters. Segmenting your users into audiences is always reductionist and rarely helpful. Resisting the obvious segmentations gets you briliant thinking like this.

The whole point of 'digital', the very opportunity of it, is that you don't have to segment people like this. They segement themselves by looking for the thing they want to do. 

If your primary focus is on user needs then your task is simple - work out the specific thing people are trying to do and then make it as simple and quick for them as possible. Your design, your engineering, your research, your testing are all then focused on making that one thing work.

It becomes very easy to define success and failure, it's easy to iterate and improve and your research and testing goals are clear. You talk to and work with users in order to help them do something. You only need to understand 'who they are' in as much as it provides a context and background to help them do things."
audiences  audience  2013  russelldavies  organizations  marketing  focus  purpose 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Aesthetics of Dispersed Attention: Interview with German Media Theorist Petra Löffler :: net critique by Geert Lovink
"GL: You got a fascinating chapter in your habilitation about early cinema and the scattering of attention it would be responsible for. The figure of the nosy parker that gawks interests you and you contrast it to the street roaming flaneur.

PL: Yes, the gawker is a fascinating figure, because according to my research results it is the corporation of the modern spectator who is also a member of a mass audience––the flaneur never was part of it. The gawker or gazer, like the flaneur, appeared at first in the modern metropolis with its multi-sensorial sensations and attractions. According to Walter Benjamin the flaneur disappeared at the moment, when the famous passages were broken down. They had to make room for greater boulevards that were able to steer the advanced traffic in the French metropolis. Always being part of the mass of passers-by the gawker looks at the same time for diversions, for accidents and incidents in the streets. This is to say his attention is always distracted between an awareness of what happens on the streets and navigating between people and vehicles. No wonder movie theatres were often opened at locations with a high level of traffic inviting passers-by to go inside and, for a certain period of time, becoming part of an audience. Furthermore many films of the period of Early Cinema were actualities showing the modern city-life. In these films the movie-camera was positioned at busy streets or corners in order to record movements of human and non-human agents. Gawkers often went into the view of the camera gesticulating or grimacing in front of it. That’s why the gawker has become a very popular figure mirroring the modern mass audience on the screen.

Today to view one’s own face on a screen is an everyday experience. Not only CCTV-cameras at public spaces record passers-by, often without their notice. Also popular TV-shows that require life-participation such as casting shows once more offer members of the audience the opportunity to see themselves on a screen. At the same time many people post their portraits on websites of social networks. They want to be seen by others because they want to be part of a greater audience––the network community. This is what Jean Baudrillard has called connectivity. The alliance between the drive to see and to being seen establishes a new order of seeing which differs significantly from Foucault’s panoptical vision: Today no more the few see the many (panopticon) or the many see the few (popular stars)––today, because of the multiplication and connectivity of screens in public and private spaces, the many see the many. Insofar, one can conclude, the gawker or gazer is an overall-phenomenon, a non-specific subjectivity of a distributed publicity."



"GL: I can imagine that debates during the rise of mass education, the invention of film are different from ours. But is that the case? It is all pedagogy, so it seems. We never seem to leave the classroom.

PL: The question is, leaving where? Entering the other side (likewise amusement sites or absorbing fantasies)? Why not? Changing perspectives? Yes, that’s what we have to do. But for that purpose we don’t have to leave the classroom necessarily. Rather, we should rebuilt it as a room of testing modes of thinking in very concrete ways. I’m thinking of Jacques Rancière’s suggestions, in his essay Le partage du sensible, about the power relation between teachers and pupils. Maybe today teachers can learn more (for instance soft skills) from their pupils than the other way around. We need other regimes of distribution of power, also in the classroom, a differentiation of tasks, of velocities and singularities—in short: we need micropolitics.

More seriously, your question indicates a strong relationship between pedagogy and media. There’s a reason why media theorists like Friedrich Kittler had pointed to media’s affinity to propaganda and institutions of power. I think of his important book Discourse Networks, where he has revealed the relevance of mediated writing techniques for the formation of educational institutions and for subjectivation. That’s why the question is, what are the tasks we have to learn in order to exist in the world of electronic mass media? What means ‘Bildung’ for us nowadays?

GL: There is an ‘attention war’ going on, with debates across traditional print and broadcast media about the rise in distraction, in schools, at home. On the street we see people hooked on their smart phones, multitasking, everywhere they go. What do you make of this? This is just a heightened sensibility, a fashion, or is there really something at stake? Would you classify it as petit-bourgeois anxieties? Loss of attention as a metaphor for threatening poverty and status loss of the traditional middle class in the West? How do you read the use of brain research by Nicholas Carr, Frank Schirrmacher and more recently also the German psychiatrist Manfred Spitzer who came up with a few bold statement concerning the devastating consequences of computer use for the (young) human brain. Having read your study one could say: don’t worry, nothing new under the sun. But is this the right answer?

PL: Your description addresses severe debates. Nothing less than the future of our Western culture seems to be at stake. Institutions like the educational systems are under permanent critique, concerning all levels from primary schools to universities. That’s why the Pisa studies have revealed a lot of deficits and have provoked debates on what kind of education is necessary for our children. On the one hand it’s a debate on cultural values, but on the other it’s a struggle on power relations. We are living in a society of control, and how to become a subject and how this subject is related to other subjects in mediated environments are important questions.

A great uncertainty is emerged. That’s why formulas that promise easy solutions are highly welcomed. Neurological concepts are often based on one-sided models concerning the relationship between body and mind, and they often leave out the role of social and environmental factors. From historians of science such as Canguilhem and Foucault one can learn that psychiatrist models of brain defects and mental anomalies not only mirror social anxieties, but also produce knowledge about what is defined as normal. And it is up to us as observers of such discourses to name those anxieties today. Nonetheless, I would not signify distraction as a metaphor. It is in fact a concrete phase of the body, a state of the mind. It’s real. You cannot deal with it when you call it a disability or a disease and just pop pills or switch off your electronic devices."
via:litherland  attention  distraction  2013  petralöffer  geertlovink  walterbenjamin  flaneur  gawkers  cities  internet  audience  diaphanesverlag  montaigne  albertkümmel  siegfriedkracauer  frankfurterschule  kant  tibot  psychology  daydreaming  media  mediaarchaeology  richardshusterman  film  micropolitics  friederichkittler  education  subjectivation  massmedia  bildung  nicholascarr  sherryturkle  frankschirrmacher  culture  values  culturalvalues  brain  bernardstiegler  socialmedia  marketing  entertainment  propaganda  deepreading  petersloterdijk  mindfulness  self-control  mediatheory  theory  theodoradorno  weimar  history  philosophy  reading  writing  data  perception  siegfriedzielinski  wolfgangernst  bernhardsiegert  erhardschüttpelz  francoberardi  andrewkeen  jaronlanier  howardrheingold  foucault  micheldemontaigne  michelfoucault 
october 2013 by robertogreco
welcome to yr world | the m john harrison blog
"Apple’s iPhone 5C will come in yellow, green, blue and red. But is bright always right…? If you live in a world of toddlers it is. If you live in the world of people who manipulate toddlers to make their profits, the question itself is a gadget–a brightly coloured piece of plastic with no real function except to convince the user that she needs to pay for what it does. Fake objects, fake functions, fake commentaries, fake realities layered on top of the real function of everything, which is to make revenue and keep it moving up the hierarchy. Either you buy the plastic without a thought, or you think a marketing discussion represents the next clever level up. Welcome to your dinner party. Welcome to lifestyle. Welcome to your new housing bubble. Welcome to your new toy. Everything is going to be all right now. Welcome to business. Welcome to being a farmed consumer with a degree in farming consumers."
apple  gadgets  consumerism  iphone  marketing  hierarchy  capitalism  desire  mjohnharrison 
september 2013 by robertogreco
russell davies: a unit of delivery
"When I start telling advertising/marketing people about this stuff the same themes seem to come up. So let's address those:

This is not about a bunch of private sector digital experts parachuting in to save the day. (Although we might sometimes behave like that, which is bad.) I'm not sure of the metaphor but we're somewhere between a catalyst, the tip of the iceberg and in the right place at the right time. We've certainly been very lucky. We are civil servants, most of us long-time civil servants. We are building on years of work from fellow civil servants who haven't had the benefit of our mandate. And we're working with huge numbers of colleagues across government who are as talented, driven and imaginative as we are, they've just been stuck in systems that don't let that flourish. Part of our job is to help shift those systems.

This is not about comms. We're not the new COI. We don't spend money on marketing, even digital marketing. Personally I think GOV.UK will soon be a great example of a new way of thinking about that stuff ('the product is the service is the marketing') but that's a post for another day. When we do use traditional 'agency-type' comms and design skills (which we do ourselves) it's to help the service/product communicate about itself. (That probably doesn't make sense yet, I've still not found a way to explain that properly.)

There is no 'client'. This really messes with agency people's heads. Obviously we're accountable if we screw up, the website falls over, the facts are wrong or the site's unusable. But it's not an agency-type relationship where someone distant and important has to 'approve' everything. This is mostly because our chief responsibility is to our users - they approve our decisions by using or not using the services we offer them. Or by complaining about them, which they sometimes do. Also, because you just can't do Agile with a traditional client-approval methodology. That's going to be a thing agencies are going to have to deal with."



"But, what does this mean for BRANDS!!?

Nothing. Obviously.

Well, maybe a bit. Iain was kind enough, the other day, to point back at a post I wrote about working at W+K [http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2006/07/7_things_i_lear_1.html ]. I think there's a similar post brewing after a year and a bit of GDS. I have learnt an incredible amount here and I think there are some obvious lessons for agencies and their clients in what we've been up to.

As a tantalising teaser I'd say they are:

1. The Unit of Delivery is The Team

2. The Product Is The Service Is The Marketing

3. Digital is Not Comms, And It's Not IT, It's Your Business

And a bunch of others to be named later.

Anyway. I'll try and come up with something useful."

[See also: https://medium.com/i-m-h-o/2bfa73373a9a ]

[Update 5 Feb 2014: see Dan Hon's remarks on the same: http://tinyletter.com/danhon/letters/episode-nine-everything-in-silos-forever-and-ever-amen ]
gov.uk  wieden+kennedy  russelldavies  2013  marketing  branding  government  agile  digital  business  services  teams  teamwork 
july 2013 by robertogreco
The tyranny of digital advertising — I.M.H.O. — Medium
"Let's be clear: big businesses have grown up around the availability and theory of mass media and buying attention. Any big client older than15 years old will have grown up with the reassuring ability of tv and print advertising to reach mass audiences. Those were methods of advertising predicated on guaranteed access to peoples’ attention through interruptions in mass media.

And thus the marketing and business plans and briefs for those companies assume that you market your product or service by delivering a message to a stupendously large number of people in a short amount of time.

The Product is the Service is the Marketing

At roughly the same time as my two year anniversary in advertising land, Russell Davies recently wrote up a storm explaining what the UK’s Government Digital Service does and what GOV.UK is for.

Simply, their job is to save money by making the digital provision of government services so good that the public prefers to use them.

One of the points that Russell makes in his post is that, in their case, the product is the service is the marketing: the product (a government service) is the service (the delivery and usage of that service) is the marketing (the clear communication to the target audience of the benefits of that service). The tying together of those three different items - product, service, marketing, and how GDS have achieved that aim, has implications as to why good integrated (and so digital) advertising is so difficult to achieve."



"Anything but display advertising
But then there's the whole other, other side to interactive advertising that isn't confined to formats defined by media agencies and associations. And I might be biased, but they seem way more interesting than display advertising.

Here's some examples:"



"There is a shift at the heart of this. There are new brands out there - Kickstarter, Etsy and Amazon come to mind - that got big and profitable without conventional advertising. They’re also brands built in a world reliant upon the network. They do not need advertising, at least, they don’t need advertising the way your mother’s fast moving consumer goods company needed it. Their products are services, and the way their services behave are their own marketing. Google’s own Dear Sophie and Parisian Love adverts are critically acclaimed examples of advertising letting products and services speak for themselves.

So what does an advertising agency do for them?"
danhon  advertising  digital  2013  experience  russelldavies  marketing  service  product  gov.uk  kickstarter  etsy  amazon  nike  nikefuelband  fuelband  ilovebees  jay-zdecoded  arg  oldspice  attention  chrysler  television  tv  wieden+kennedy 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Make That Thing | Don't Let That Thing Make You
"Make That Thing is a production agency for crowdfunded projects. We help artists and creators design, print, store, and ship this things they make — so you can focus on the art. We know that once your crowdfunding campaign is over, the real work has just begun. And we want to help make sure that your backers get what they pledged for in a reliable, professional, and timely manner.
To do that, we work with artists and creators who have an idea for a crowdfunded project. We help them conceptualize and figure out their project’s specs, as well as offer advice and a friendly ear to help figure out the best way to present the project to the world, including choosing backer tiers and designing stretch goals.

Once the project launches, we help promote it through our network of internet pals, and if the funding goal is met, we then swing into action, ordering the products needed, receiving them at our Massachusetts warehouse, and shipping them to backers all around the world.
Once that’s done, we place the product in our MADE THAT THING online store so anyone who missed the campaign can still buy it after the fact.

We don’t want artists to be limited in their ambitions by the fear of not having the space to receive product, or the time, workforce, or knowhow to ship it. That’s what we do – that’s all we do.
We’re a spinoff of TopatoCo, which has been producing and shipping merchandise for webcomics and other independent creators in some manner of another since 2003. We have two warehouses full of computers, equipment, and experienced people eager to help get your masterpiece out to the wonderful folks who pledged to your campaign.

We have UPS, Fedex, and USPS shipping capability. We have cardboard boxes and shelves and tape guns with all different kinds of tape. We have certificates and insurance and loading docks. We have a forklift that can do donuts.

Let’s MAKE THIS THING."
kickstarter  marketing  via:maxfenton  supportservices  shipping  crowdfunding  makethatthing 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Brand Relaunch at JohnMcneilStudio
"On the occasion of their 50th anniversary, The Berkeley School wanted to refresh their brand positioning to capture the elementary school’s inventive approach to education. We created a marketing and branding effort that included a new identity, website, messaging, original photography, print collateral, signage, art installations and a new color palette for the buildings. All these efforts mapped to the theme: “What matters in education matters in life.” We also developed a digital communication strategy deeply rooted in social media engagement. Through the “Bulletin Board” blogs, we helped bridge the gap between the classroom and a student’s home life."
design  branding  theberkeleyschool  johnmcneil  berkeley  logos  evolvinglogos  2012  schools  schooldesign  identity  marketing  tbs 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Design for the New Normal (Revisited) | superflux
"I was invited to talk at the NEXT Conference in Berlin by Peter Bihr, as he felt that a talk I gave last year would fit well with the conference's theme Here Be Dragons: "We fret about data, who is collecting it and why. We fret about privacy and security. We worry and fear disruption, which changes business models and renders old business to ashes. Some would have us walk away, steer clear of these risks. They’re dangerous, we don’t know what the consequences will be. Maintain the status quo, don’t change too much.Here and now is safe. Over there, in the future? Well, there be dragons."

This sounded like a good platform to expand upon the 'Design for the New Normal' presentation I gave earlier, especially as its an area Jon and I are thinking about in the context of various ongoing projects. So here it is, once again an accelerated slideshow (70 slides!) where I followed up on some of the stories to see what happened to them in the last six months, and developed some of the ideas further. This continues to be a work-in-progress that Superflux is developing as part of our current projects. "

[Video: http://nextberlin.eu/2013/07/design-for-the-new-normal-3/ ]
anabjain  2013  drones  weapons  manufacturing  3dprinting  bioengineering  droneproject  biotechnology  biotech  biobricks  songhojun  ossi  zemaraielali  empowerment  technology  technologicalempowerment  raspberrypi  hackerspaces  makerspaces  diy  biology  diybio  shapeways  replicators  tobiasrevell  globalvillageconstructionset  marcinjakubowski  crowdsourcing  cryptocurrencies  openideo  ideo  wickedproblems  darpa  innovation  india  afghanistan  jugaad  jugaadwarfare  warfare  war  syria  bitcoins  blackmarket  freicoin  litecoin  dna  dnadreams  bregtjevanderhaak  bgi  genomics  23andme  annewojcicki  genetics  scottsmith  superdensity  googleglass  chaos  complexity  uncertainty  thenewnormal  superflux  opensource  patents  subversion  design  jonardern  ux  marketing  venkateshrao  normalityfield  strangenow  syntheticbiology  healthcare  healthinsurance  insurance  law  economics  ip  arnoldmann  dynamicgenetics  insects  liamyoung  eleanorsaitta  shingtatchung  algorithms  superstition  bahavior  numerology  dunne&raby  augerloizeau  bionicrequiem  ericschmidt  privacy  adamharvey  makeu 
april 2013 by robertogreco
AIGA | The UC logo controversy: How 54,000 people, the mainstream press and virtually every designer got it wrong
"“Designers too often judge logos separate from their system…without understanding that one can’t function without the other,” noted Paula Scher, when I asked her views on the controversy."

Previously:
http://articles.latimes.com/2012/dec/12/news/la-ol-uc-logo-letters-20121212
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/openforum/article/The-UC-logo-It-s-all-about-the-branding-4113439.php
http://web.archive.org/web/20131210054621/http://www.thinkingwithshakespeare.org/index.php?id=1261
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/12/16/5055646/keeper-dont-let-viral-mob-dictate.html
http://www.thinkingwithshakespeare.org/index.php?id=697
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/12/17/how-could-university-california-have-avoided-logo-mess
http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/follow-up_university_of_california.php
http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/ic_uc_we_all_c_for_california.php
http://thenewinquiry.com/blogs/zunguzungu/let-us-eat-cake/
http://thenewinquiry.com/blogs/zunguzungu/a-different-baton/

And for reference:
http://brand.universityofcalifornia.edu/
http://brand.universityofcalifornia.edu/guidelines/visual-identity.html
http://brand.universityofcalifornia.edu/guidelines/identity-elements.html
http://brand.universityofcalifornia.edu/guidelines/color.html
http://brand.universityofcalifornia.edu/guidelines/official-university-fonts.html
http://brand.universityofcalifornia.edu/guidelines/the-uc-seal.html
http://brand.universityofcalifornia.edu/guidelines/photography.html
http://brand.universityofcalifornia.edu/guidelines/editorial.html
http://brand.universityofcalifornia.edu/guidelines/executing-the-brand.html

Onward California:
https://vimeo.com/50793162
https://vimeo.com/48040935

original video (with controversial logo)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARWWDEhGP8o ]

[Related sites:
http://universityofcalifornia.edu/
http://achieve.universityofcalifornia.edu/
http://lograr.universityofcalifornia.edu/
http://www.onwardcalifornia.com/ ]
julialupton  arminvit  brandnew  aaronbady  vanessacorrea  controversy  design  highered  education  criticism  christophersimmons  marketing  logos  2013  2012  identity  branding  logo  uc  paulascher  universityofcalifornia  from delicious
january 2013 by robertogreco
CLOWNS, CHAIRS AND DUTCH FOREIGN AFFAIRS « THAT NEW DESIGN SMELL
"GERT DUMBAR:

There are lots of things you could ask yourself about design. Especially in Holland. Marcel Wanders is this sort of clown in design, and makes absolutely not interesting pieces of furniture.

In Holland, we have two words for design. One is vormgeving; in German formgeben. And the other word is ontwerpen; in German entwurf. In the Anglo-Saxon language there’s only one word for design, which is design. That is something you should work out. Vormgeving is more to make things look nice. So for instance, packaging for a perfume or for chocolate in order to make things fashionable, obsolete and therefore bad for society because we don’t really need it. While ontwerpe means, and the Anglo-saxon word, but its stronger, means engineering. That means you as a person try to invent a new thing—which is intelligent, which is clever, and which will have a long-life. And that’s called stylistic durability. It means you can use it for a long time.

Carrying this even further, consider an American definition of design. As we all know, America is a capitalistic state and was the source of most recent economic crisis. Americans are all about money; money is status. And they have invented a variation on engineering called “Sloanism,” which is a term from before the war that came from a General Motors director, Albert Sloan. When they were designed the car, Mr. Sloan said “give it a little change, then it looks new.” And so people start buying it, as well as a status symbol. Sloan was not a designer or engineer, but a true capitalist. His idea of design was to make money by making things look new and fashionable."

GD:

Yeah, but marketing is not a form of knowledge. It’s slow, dull and often repeats itself. Marketing applied to design is terrible. I’m the only Dutch designer who was against this and shouted, for years and years, in interviews and everything.

And there is for instance a lot of designers in Holland that design chairs. Yes, chairs. Now I come into another thing: design and politics. The Dutch embassy is saying Dutch design is world famous, which is in a way true. But they forget it was the Dutch graphic designers that were famous. That is the difference. They changed it into product design, because you can see it and hold it in your hand. The embassies, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is now giving a sort of message to its cultural attaches at embassies: promote Dutch design. Dutch design is a word that I invented—personally, 25 years ago—for graphic design. But they have adopted it, bla bla bla. And they promote these total clowns in design who are very well-known in Holland—those terrible, terrible designers who just do exhibitions of chairs in museums."
design  graphicdesign  typography  gertdumbar  2012  vormgeving  formgeben  ontwerpen  entwurf  language  albertsloan  sloanism  fashion  engineering  industrialdesign  holland  marketing  chairs  dutchdesign  us 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Liquid Modernity and Social Media – The New Inquiry
"Consumer capitalism prescribes choice over stability, so we are inundated with options but without any enduring frames of reference to make our choices lastingly meaningful, definitive. Options just beget a consciousness of more options. Choosing consigns us to making more and more choices, until the inevitable decision fatigue & ego depletion sets in…the only choice we aren’t offered is the choice not to choose. We’re cut off from all other sources of meaning that might support a different conception of how to be."

"Indeed, the production of consumers itself devours an intolerably large fraction of the total costs of production"

"Now liberation would be an escape from the implications of limitless choice: that we can’t enjoy anything without it being shadowed by the possibility we are missing out on something better. Becoming oneself is just another way of second-guessing oneself."

"Our algorithmic elder brother encourages us all to surveil & report on one another to make his…"
socialnetworks  socialnetworking  performativeidentity  precarity  security  belonging  community  facebook  subjectivity  neoliberalism  labor  immateriallabor  marxism  decisionfatigue  zygmuntbauman  fomo  being  egodepletion  choosing  consumers  consumption  theself  marketing  surveillance  socialmedia  capitalism  society  freedom  liberation  identity  paradoxofchoice  consumerism  choice  choices  2012  robhorning 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Brooklyn Hacker • What A Hacker Learns After A Year In Marketing
"A year ago last Friday I left eight years cutting code and plumbing servers to take my very first marketing job.   Prior to then and even before in college and high school, hard skills were what paid my bills - technical work building stuff mostly for the Internet.  Everything I had done up until last year required only the soft skills needed to send a group email or interview a candidate, certainly a pittance to those required to craft a message and get it in front of an audience.

I knew I needed more than that.  While I was at Boxee working for Avner Ronen I made the determination that I wanted the CEO role for my startup.  Like a lot of folks who spend their career in the high risk, high reward, high laughs world of early stage tech, I’ve long held my own entrepreneurial ambitions, but after working for a programmer-turned-head-honcho, I came around to the notion I could make a greater contribution to that endeavor by pushing the vision and the culture rather than the technology and architecture.  I didn’t want to be the technical co-founder - I wanted to run the circus.

But, I was sorely deficient.  Sales and marketing were skills I just didn’t have and were I to ask others to entrust their livelihoods and their families in such an enterprise, it would be incumbent upon me to learn.  To do such a thing with a knowledge base very nearly zero would just be irresponsible.

So, to get some of those skills while keeping my technical chops up, I hopped onboard Twilio as a developer evangelist.  Like a lot of companies, Twilio’s devangelism program is under the marketing aegis and the gig meant working for one of the best marketers I knew.  I’d still write code, but would do so surrounded by the thoroughly unfamiliar context of message craft and story telling. And through the daily demands of the job and the proximity of those who do it well hopefully I’d learn a thing or two about this marketing thing and ultimately serve those I wish to lead better.

Holy biscuits - did I learn plenty.  A year in, I thought it might be helpful to my fellow developers to share what it’s like to turn to the Dark Side and what I picked up in the process."
marketing  engineering  skills  business  twilio  growth  learning  robspectre  2012  charisma  sales  via:migurski 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Charlie Kaufman: Screenwriters Lecture | BAFTA Guru
"we try to be experts because we’re scared; we don’t want to feel foolish or worthless; we want power because power is a great disguise."

"Don’t allow yourself to be tricked into thinking that the way things are is the way the world must work and that in the end selling is what everyone must do. Try not to."

"This is from E. E. Cummings: ‘To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best night and day to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.’ The world needs you. It doesn’t need you at a party having read a book about how to appear smart at parties – these books exist, and they’re tempting – but resist falling into that trap. The world needs you at the party starting real conversations, saying, ‘I don’t know,’ and being kind."

[Giving up, too much to quote.]
danger  risktaking  risk  failure  simplification  fear  fearmongering  materialism  consumerism  culture  marketing  humannature  character  bullying  cv  meaningmaking  meaning  filmmaking  creating  creativity  dreaming  dreams  judgement  assessment  interpretation  religion  fanaticism  johngarvey  deschooling  unschooling  unlearning  relearning  perpetualchange  change  flux  insight  manifestos  art  truth  haroldpinter  paradox  uncertainty  certainty  wonder  bullies  intentions  salesmanship  corporatism  corporations  politics  humans  communication  procrastination  timeusage  wisdom  philosophy  ignorance  knowing  learning  life  time  adamresnick  human  transparency  vulnerability  honesty  loneliness  emptiness  capitalism  relationships  manipulation  distraction  kindness  howwework  howwethink  knowledge  specialists  attention  media  purpose  bafta  film  storytelling  writing  screenwriting  charliekaufman  self  eecummings  2011  canon  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
Save the planet — ban cycle helmets | Adrian Short
"Here’s the safety strategy: Make it less safe and make it feel less safe. The best way to make cycling less safe is for cyclists to ride faster. Encourage this wherever possible. Forget ambling, casual, pedestrian images of cycling. Emphasise sport, fitness, competition. Measure speed. Sell speedometers and odometers. Get people to monitor their performance. Track their MPH, their heartrates, their calories, their carbon footprints. Compare with others. Compete. Idolise road racers, couriers, extreme mountain bikers, BMXers. Alleycatters. Lance Armstrong. Jump the red light. Race other cyclists. Race cars. Race the clock. Race, race. It’s not fun unless you’re taking risks. Life is one big risk, right? Cycling just got a whole lot more dangerous for the sake of a marginal shortening of the average journey. Ohh, wipeout. Nice one.

Now the perception of safety. Talk about safety, safety, safety so everyone thinks danger, danger, danger. Don’t show images of cyclists without helmets, especially not children. Never children. Sending your children out on bikes without helmets is tantamount to child abuse. Don’t you care? Don’t you care about the children? Would you send them out to their deaths? Photos of cyclists without helmets are like images of people with cigarettes. Historical documents. Anachronisms. Forbidden outside the intellectual safety of the academy. Be safe, be seen. Hi viz. Yellow jacket, yellow jersey. £100 lights that can dazzle shipping 20 miles off the coast. Lumens. Got to get more lumens. You need a bell? You need a foghorn. Radar. Missiles, if you could get them. And you need training, because it’s a war out there. Drivers hate you. Pedestrians hate you. Other cyclists hate you. The law is indifferent, the police don’t care. Every other road user will kill you if they get a chance. Unless you get trained. Unless you can stay one step ahead of them. Unless you can get them first. So you go to boot camp. You get trained. You are approved. You are a Cyclist. You feel a little bit safer in that dangerous place. Until you see the ghost bike. Don’t be a statistic like the pallid, mangled wreck chained to the lamppost at the roundabout. Don’t be a victim. Go faster. Be a winner. Beat them.

Do you smell? People shouldn’t smell. If you cycle, if you cycle fast, you’ll smell. You’ll need a shower. Does your workplace have showers? No? Don’t cycle. Does the pub have showers? No? Don’t cycle. Does the shopping centre have showers? No? Please, don’t cycle."
biking  law  transportation  bikes  safety  perception  advertising  marketing  helmets  via:migurski 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Purpose: 21st Century Movements
"Purpose creates 21st century movements. We deploy the collective power of millions of citizens and consumers to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems. We develop and launch our own social and consumer movements using our model of movement entrepreneurship, and we work with organizations and progressive companies to help them mobilize large-scale, purposeful action.

Purpose was born out of some of the most successful experiments in mass digital participation. Our principals are co-founders of Avaaz, the world’s largest online political movement with more than 15 million members operating in 14 languages, and the creators of Australia’s GetUp!, an internationally recognized social movement phenomenon with more members than all the country’s political parties combined. Purpose has helped to create significant new efforts to fight cancer, eliminate nuclear weapons and change our food culture. We’ve recently launched All Out, a global movement to win historic rights and…"
action  consumermovements  socialmovements  peopepower  allout  getup!  purpose.com  purpose  grassroots  politics  policy  branding  marketing  nonprofit  activism  nonprofits  from delicious
july 2012 by robertogreco
Pixie Dust & The Mountain of Mediocrity (Kathy Sierra)
When marketing consultants who are considered the “thought leaders” and “experts” in gamification are speaking at conferences for parents, educators, health, and sustainable business practices, we are in trouble. Because as awesome as *games* are, the misapplication of operant conditioning to areas where we need more than simple reinforced behaviors can be devastating [...]

as fun-sounding as gamification is, we’re dealing with the most manipulative forms of behavioral psych

[from the original post: Have faith that flow alone (by balancing the challenge and their ability in a continuous progression...) is usually ALL the motivation you need for engagement.

Sure, you might need a little encouragement to get them started, but that is usually more about making it incredibly easy to get started, but then go deep, immediately.]

re: education
http://gapingvoid.com/2011/06/07/pixie-dust-the-mountain-of-mediocrity/#comment-54508
http://gapingvoid.com/2011/06/07/pixie-dust-the-mountain-of-mediocrity/#comment-54723
education  motivation  psychology  marketing  flows  socialengineering  gamemechanics  A_Return  gamification  kathysierra  via:Taryn 
july 2012 by robertogreco
…My heart’s in Accra » Unpacking Kony 2012 (Ethan Zuckerman)
The Kony story resonates because it’s the story of an identifible individual doing bodily harm to children. It’s a story with a simple solution, and it plays into existing narratives about the ungovernability of Africa, the power of US military and the need to bring hidden conflict to light.

Here’s the problem – these simple narratives can cause damage [...]

The theory of change it advocates is unlikely to work, and it’s unclear if the goal of eliminating Kony should still be a top priority in stabilizing and rebuilding northern Uganda. By offering support to Museveni, the campaign may end up strengthening a leader with a terrible track record.

A more complex narrative of northern Uganda would look at the odd, codependent relationship between Museveni and Kony, Uganda’s systematic failure to protect the Acholi people of northern Uganda. It would look at the numerous community efforts, often led by women, to mediate conflicts and increase stability. It would focus on the efforts to rebuild the economy of northern Uganda, and would recognize the economic consequences of portraying northern Uganda as a war zone. It would feature projects like Women of Kireka, working to build economic independence for women displaced from their homes in Northern Uganda.

Such a narrative would be lots harder to share, much harder to get to “go viral”.

I’m starting to wonder if this is a fundamental limit to attention-based advocacy. If we need simple narratives so people can amplify and spread them, are we forced to engage only with the simplest of problems? Or to propose only the simplest of solutions?
africa  activism  violence  children  women  complexity  storytelling  marketing  via:Taryn  gender 
march 2012 by robertogreco
Made by Pixelate – The perfect video game press kit
"Here’s what it looks like:

* High-quality screenshots with human-readable filenames
* Option to download all screenshots in a ZIP
* Embeddable gameplay videos on YouTube/Vimeo
* Full gameplay description
* List of features
* Release date
* Price point in USD and EUR
* Available platforms
* Direct download link on iTunes/Steam
* Developer name and link
* Publisher name and link
* App icon and game logo in high resolution and with alpha channel
* Packshot if applicable
* Awards and nominations
* E-Mail address of team member responsible for press
* No buzzwords"
communication  via:tealtan  publicity  gamedsign  howto  pressreleases  pr  marketing  gaming  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
Lessons from the paperback revolution - Salon.com
"…can’t help but imagine how Agel & Fiore would go about packaging a book today. So much about culture has turned porous; surely the range of multimedia possibilities would excite them to no end, resulting in books as radical as ones they produced over 40 years ago. Perhaps they would film a reality TV show based on the production of a book, inviting viewers to vote on book’s content, format, design, & title as an author, designer, & editor tried to work under such circumstances in a studio that also served as their living quarters?

Whatever the result of working w/ today’s tools, I’m sure they would not deviate from what had been their primary focus: the reader. Schnapp & Michaels locate common ground all these experimental paperbacks share in how they empower readers: “Even if this book is ‘by’ a major thinker, you will fill in the blanks, you connect the dots, you navigate the book forward or backward to find the tasty tidbits; look for the patterns, ideas, & story lines yourself."
marketing  1967  graphicdesign  graphics  design  realitytv  infromations  carlsagan  ideas  communication  jeromeagel  buckminsterfuller  electricinformationage  media  print  doubleday  pocketbooks  jacquelinesusann  bernardgeis  jeffreyschnapp  adammichaels  quentinfiore  marshallmcluhan  books  2012 
january 2012 by robertogreco
The Social Graph is Neither (Pinboard Blog) [Too much to quote, chose parts of the conclusion]
"The funny thing is, no one's really hiding the secret of how to make awesome online communities. Give people something cool to do and a way to talk to each other, moderate a little bit, and your job is done. Games like Eve Online or WoW have developed entire economies on top of what's basically a message board…

My hope is that whatever replaces Facebook and Google+ will look equally inevitable, and that our kids will think we were complete rubes for ever having thrown a sheep or clicked a +1 button. It's just a matter of waiting things out, and leaving ourselves enough freedom to find some interesting, organic, and human ways to bring our social lives online."

[Related: http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2011/11/evil-social-networks.html ]
socialgraph  maciejceglowski  pinboard  social  technology  relationships  design  marketing  facebook  google+  google  advertising  compuserve  prodigy  aol  walledgardens  web  online  2011  maciejcegłowski  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
Startup School 2011- Ashton Kutcher - YouTube
"People who genuinely want to solve a problem, a real problem, a problem that exists not just for themselves, but sometimes just for themselves and then it turns into a wave effect that solves other people's problems. Sometimes by solving your own problems. Generally, if you want to affect the world, you have to change yourself first…making uncomfortable choices…taking that risk…doing this thing that nobody else is doing."

"It's not about being like somebody else. It's not about the billion dollars. It's about how you can affect other people's lives — enrich them, improve them — how you can eliminate the space between people, how you can eliminate pain and friction."

"If you want to be a real entrepreneur, you have to be the cause, you have to be the creator of someone else's new reality, which eliminates time, space, motion, friction…"

Tells story about Carl Fisher: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_G._Fisher ]
ashtonkutcher  purpose  vision  problemsolving  dropouts  entrepreneurship  2011  startupschool2011  via:monikahardy  risktaking  lcproject  carlfisher  marketing  change  passion  focus  from delicious
october 2011 by robertogreco
BBC News - A Point of View: The revolution of capitalism
"Karl Marx may have been wrong about communism but he was right about much of capitalism, John Gray writes."

"Whatever politicians may tell us about the need to curb the deficit, debts on the scale that have been run up can't be repaid. Almost certainly they will be inflated away - a process that is bound to be painful and impoverishing for many.

The result can only be further upheaval, on an even bigger scale. But it won't be the end of the world, or even of capitalism. Whatever happens, we're still going to have to learn to live with the mercurial energy that the market has released.

Capitalism has led to a revolution but not the one that Marx expected. The fiery German thinker hated the bourgeois life and looked to communism to destroy it. And just as he predicted, the bourgeois world has been destroyed.

But it wasn't communism that did the deed. It's capitalism that has killed off the bourgeoisie."
economics  history  politics  capitalism  karlmarx  philosophy  marketing  collapse  2011  johngray 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Ian Bogost - Gamification is Bullshit
"I've suggested the term "exploitationware" as a more accurate name for gamification's true purpose…captures gamifiers' real intentions: a grifter's game, pursued to capitalize on a cultural moment, through services about which they have questionable expertise, to bring about results meant to last only long enough to pad their bank accounts…

I am not naive & I am not a fool. I realize that gamification is the easy answer for deploying a perversion of games as a mod marketing miracle. I realize that using games earnestly would mean changing the very operation of most businesses. For those whose goal is to clock out at 5pm having matched the strategy & performance of your competitors, I understand that mediocrity's lips are seductive because they are willing. For the rest, those of you who would consider that games can offer something different and greater than an affirmation of existing corporate practices, the business world has another name for you: they call you "leaders.""

[Update: http://bogost.com/blog/preview_why_gamification_is_bu.shtml ]
design  management  business  gaming  gamification  ianbogost  exploitationware  truth  2011  motivation  leadership  trends  fads  marketing  behavior  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Safe is risky. Risky is safe. « Re-educate Seattle
"Years ago, he assumed leadership of a college that was in transition, & helped it grow & develop.

I said, “I want to do the same thing for PSCS that you’ve done for [this college].”

He spent an hour with me telling stories & offering advice on organizational development. When he was finished, I tried to sum up.

“It sounds like the way to grow an organization is to find the important stories, tell them to people who might be interested, & then keep working like crazy until you succeed.”

He smiled. “It’s not complicated.” Then he added, “But it’s not easy. And the more success you have, the more work there will be to do. It never stops, so you have to love it. Doing the work has to be energizing for you. If not, it’s time to get a new job.”

It’s after midnight right now, and I still have almost an hour’s worth of work before sending this out. I believe that re-imagining what school can be—& then building these new kinds of schools—is the most important work there is."
stevemiranda  storytelling  schools  leadership  sharing  marketing  tcsnmy  cv  growth  learning  self-knowledge  lcproject  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
LiveWork Portland
"LiveWorkPortland is an effort to increase the visibility of the creative community in Portland, Maine, with the explicit goal of growing that community both in its numbers and it’s economic impact on the city. LiveWorkPortland is an ongoing marketing campaign—and advertisement for Portland, updated daily. Who is our target audience? Primarily talented and resourceful people who are living and working in other metro areas that have the means and drive to set up shop here and add to our community. As a virtuous benefit, we believe that the same kinds of content and community engagement that will make Portland more attractive and knowable to people “from away,” will also help us know ourselves better here and further integrate and energize the existing creative economy in Portland."
maine  portland  local  live  work  culture  marketing  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Why Marketing is Bullshit
"What does it have to do with Marketing? Well the thing is that this kind of success is completely unattainable by any market research techniques. There is NOTHING any Maketing person could have done to create or even predict this. Even if they had a hunch, they would have send out questionnaires and made focus group test to see how much Call of Duty players enjoy philosophy. How much do the target groups for Call of Duty and philosophy overlap?<br />
<br />
Clue train: they don’t! Because target groups are idiotic constructs that utterly fail at describing people. The reason why the Seananners channel works is because it is honest and genuine. Because it doesn’t treat the audience like vending machines. It doesn’t look for the right buttons to press. It treats them like real people. And real people are almost infinitely flexible. Real people can appreciate sick Call of Duty skills and casual philosophy at the same time."
marketing  targetgroups  flexibility  people  society  games  gaming  videogames  honesty  authenticity  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Anarcho-Monarchism | First Things [via: http://ayjay.tumblr.com/post/1554349139/yet-our-system-obliges-us-to-elevate-to-office]
"Yet our system obliges us to elevate to office precisely those persons who have the ego-besotted effrontery to ask us to do so; it is rather like being compelled to cede the steering wheel to the drunkard in the back seat loudly proclaiming that he knows how to get us there in half the time. More to the point, since our perpetual electoral cycle is now largely a matter of product recognition, advertising, and marketing strategies, we must be content often to vote for persons willing to lie to us with some regularity or, if not that, at least to speak to us evasively and insincerely. In a better, purer world—the world that cannot be—ambition would be an absolute disqualification for political authority."
politics  democracy  us  anarchy  anarchism  monarchism  anarcho-monarchism  government  classideas  authority  elections  2010  marketing  advertising  monarchis  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
russell davies: weird
"[This] cheered me up no end. It's about WEIRDness, how Western Educated, Industrialised, Rich & Democratic societies produce people who are in no way typical of planet as whole, yet make up bulk of respondents in social science experiments…

"…article is called "The Weirdest People in the World"… & it was published last month in BBS…authors begin by noting that psychology as a discipline is an outlier in being most American of all scientific fields. 70% of all citations in major psych journals refer to articles published by Americans. In chemistry, by contrast, figure is just 37%. This is a serious problem, because psychology varies across cultures, & chemistry doesn't."

As I embark on learning how, professionally, to talk to & work w/ people from other places it's cheering to know I don't know anything. Because if the real social sciences are biased towards Western intuitions then the pseudo-sciences of marketing are, planetarily, even more bogus than I'd always suspected."

[Referring to: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/sep/18/change-your-life-weird-burkeman ]
russelldavies  west  westernworld  psychology  difference  weird  marketing  socialsciences  sciences  bias  occidentalism  culture  outliers  perspective  global  differences  design  anthropology  stevenjheine  aranorenzayan  josephhenrich  jonathanhaidt  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
Inside the secret world of Trader Joe's - Aug. 23, 2010
[via: http://givemesomethingtoread.com/post/1003158776/inside-the-secret-world-of-trader-joes ]

"Few customers realize the chain is owned by Germany's ultra-private Albrecht family, the people behind the Aldi Nord supermarket empire…Albrechts have passed their tightlipped ways on to their U.S. business: Trader Joe's and its CEO, Dan Bane, declined repeated requests to speak to Fortune, and the company has never participated in a major story about its business operations.

Some of that may be because Trader Joe's business tactics are often very much at odds with its image as the funky shop around the corner that sources its wares from local farms and food artisans. Sometimes it does, but big, well-known companies also make many of Trader Joe's products. Those Trader Joe's pita chips? Made by Stacy's, a division of PepsiCo's (PEP, Fortune 500) Frito-Lay. On the East Coast much of its yogurt is supplied by Danone's Stonyfield Farm. And finicky foodies probably don't like to think about how Trader Joe's scale enables the chain to sell a pound of organic lemons for $2."
traderjoes  business  food  fortune  marketing  retail  2010  aldi  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Is Consumerism Killing Our Creativity? :: Articles :: The 99 Percent
"Have you ever fallen into a black hole of comparison shopping? You’re looking for a new digital camera, for instance. You head over to Cnet.com and read some reviews of various cameras, watch the video demos, identify the model you want. Then perhaps you employ Google’s shopping search to price out the options and find the best deal. All of the sudden, it’s four hours later. You’ve found the perfect camera, but your purchasing triumph is tainted by a creeping feeling of, well, disgust. Couldn’t that time have been used better?…

“Highly creative adults frequently grew up with hardship. Hardship by itself doesn’t lead to creativity, but it does force kids to become more flexible—and flexibility helps with creativity.”

When we have less to work with, we have to be more creative. Think about that the next time the consumerist impulse is threatening to encroach on your creativity."
consumerism  addiction  marketing  neuroscience  creativity  productivity  consumption  constraints  hardship  pobronson  annieleonard  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
What The Fuck Is My Social Media Strategy? [Generates buzzwordy strategy statements]
From the about page: "How to sound like a social media expert:

Mix together words from both columns to form sentences that make simple things sound more complicated than they are.

Voila, a fancy sounding "strategy" that you can put in your presentations.

The moral of the story? Social media should be about making brands more accessible to users. Not using fancy words."
bullshit  language  twitter  business  buzzwords  socialnetworking  socialmedia  humor  generator  media  satire  marketing  internet  strategy  advertising  2010  socialmediastrategy 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Kickstartup — Successful fundraising with Kickstarter & the (re)making of Art Space Tokyo — Craig Mod
"I want to share with you a story about books, publishing, fundraising and seed capital. It's a story that I hope will change how you think about all of these topics. And it's a story that I hope will serve as a template. In April 2010, Ashley Rawlings and I used community fundraising to raise nearly $24,000[1] to breathe new life into our book, Art Space Tokyo. My goal here is to outline what we did and why we did it, with the hope of inspiring anyone with an itch, gumption and a good narrative, to do the same. To bring beautiful, well-considered things into the world."
books  kickstarter  crowdfunding  entrepreneurship  publishing  craigmod  marketing  print  self-publishing  tokyo  fundraising  funding  design  printing  typography  selfpublishing 
july 2010 by robertogreco
jnd: An emergent vocabulary of form for urban screens « Adam Greenfield's Speedbird
"I had the same reaction again the other day. The screens are currently running ads for the Swedish high-street retailer H&M, shot with a high-speed camera – models sloooooowly turning, as a cascade of red leaves ever-so-softly settles over them and to the ground. Just as with the movie posters, I found myself paying the H&M ads an inordinate amount of attention. Because the images’ figural elements evolve so glacially against a stable background, they’d found my cognitive sweet spot, that precise interval at the threshold of visual perception that makes you ask yourself: Wait, did that just change? What part of it? And I minded not at all. (In fact, I found it kind of calming. There’s a word you certainly don’t hear every day in the context of advertising.)"
helsinki  ubicomp  trends  screens  publicspace  digitalmedia  design  photography  advertising  marketing  displays  urbanscreens  adamgreenfield  subtlety  slow  perception  intriquing 
july 2010 by robertogreco
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