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Facebook’s Baby Bump

27 Jul

Or: My Newsfeed is a Mommyblog

Baby Doll by Black Glenn

Photo credit to Black Glenn

Recently, my Facebook newsfeed has been taken over by babies.  From, “I’m pregnant!” announcements to “First time in the bumpee!” pictures (yes, most baby-related posts are accompanied by exclamation marks), my newsfeed has been turned in a mommyblog.

I’m 27, so, yes, this is the time when a lot of my age-mates are having babies.  But, I think there’s more to it than that.  Because, most of my friends… they’re not having babies.  They’re finishing grad school or climbing the corporate ladder.  People with babies make up a very small portion of my friend list, but they’re all over my newsfeed.  What’s especially strange, these friends didn’t appear on my newsfeed before they had kids.   It’s like getting pregnant increases your Klout score.

Continue reading

eBooks Reporting on You

23 Jul

#360 perhaps you do not need to write all over library books by romana kleeLast week’s On the Medina reported a new angle on ebook technology.  Now, when you’re reading an ebook, it’s taking notes on you.  “Ebooks that Read You” explained about technologies built into ereaders which record our reading habits.

Combining the data of individual readers, publishers now know how long it takes people to read specific books, which parts they get stuck on, and passages they highlight.  Before, these things were all done in relative privacy.  No one knew that I read To Kill a Mockingbird until the pages fell out.  Or that I, admittedly, skipped the Moby Dick chapters about dolphin behavior.  My marginalia was for me and me alone – or for the unfortunate soul who asked to borrow one of my books. Continue reading

Go Ahead, Have that Affair with Fox Mulder

10 Jul

Or, In Defense of Binge Watching

Boy Watching TVYesterday Jim Pagels published an invective on Slate’s BrowBeat blog urging us all to stop binge watching TVPagels argued that binging on TV – watching, say, a whole season in a few days or a series in a few weeks – ruins the TV viewing experience.  He argued that TV shows have multi-layered structures, each of which must be respected.

TV series must constantly sustain two narrative arcs at once: that of the individual episode—which has its own beginning, middle, and end—and that of the season as a whole. (Some shows, like Breaking Bad and The Wire, operate on a third: that of the entire series.) To fully appreciate a show, you must pay attention to each of these arcs. This is one of the defining features of television as a medium and one of the things that makes it great. Continue reading

On Representation in a Digital World

9 May

Maybe I should represent this post with a printing press.

Williamsburg recreated printing press letters

Recently, I’ve been struggling to get my head around how we, graphically, represent our work.  I work at an accounting firm, and was asked to assist with the design of our new trade show banners.  There are a lot of schools of thought as to what should go into a trade show display, but they all seem to agree that, within a second of looking at your booth, someone should be able to understand what you do.

I wanted to find an image that was shorthand for accountant – the way a wrench means a mechanic and a stethoscope means a doctor.  So, I thought about everything that we do and tried to match each task up with an image.  Turns out, they’re all the same image: someone hunched over a computer.  For anyone who works in my company, from a tax preparer to someone in HR, a pictographic representation of their work would be the same – for me, in the marketing department, too.  I didn’t want to put a picture of someone staring at a computer screen on our banners (didn’t seem too inviting), so I copped out and put “CPAs and business consultants” in big letters with pictures of our shiniest, happiest team members. Continue reading

You have the like to remain silent

8 May

Anything you like can and will be used against you in a court of law

Image

Yes, this is a very dramatic picture for a post about Facebook, but I never get to use the pictures that I took at Williamsburg.

Four score and seven days ago… was the last time I updated my blog.  Okay, so it was probably more like ten score and seven days ago, but that’s not nearly as auspicious an opening line.  And auspicious opening lines do relate to the subject at hand: freedom of speech, more specifically if a like constitutes speech.  So really, freedom of likes.

The New York Times is reporting that, in a case that’s sure to go up on appeal (seriously, anyone want to bet on this?) a judge found that:

“Simply liking a Facebook page is insufficient.  It is not the kind of substantive statement that has previously warranted constitutional protection … For the Court to assume that the Plaintiffs made some specific statement without evidence of such statements is improper.”

Here’s my question: since when does speech need to be substantive to be protected?  I say insubstantial things all the time…  bippity boppity boo, see?  So, what was the like that warranted such a hubbub?  A man was fired from his job at a sheriff’s department, the reason: creating discord in the office by liking the sheriff’s political opponent’s Facebook page.  Okay, probably not the most savvy thing to do, but not exactly the equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded theatre.  Continue reading

What did you learn first? Your brands or your letters?

31 Jan

I’m home sick.  Not the kind of sick that means I get to stay home and watch Law & Order all day.  (Alas.)  But, the kind of sick that means that I can convince myself that it’s okay to skip going to the gym and that chai somehow counts as dinner…  And avoiding making dinner and going to the gym means that I have time for you, my long neglected blog.

My whining is over… on the to world of branding…

Today Jezebel posted this video of a little girl reacting to famous logos.

TL;DR?  Dude, it was two and a half minutes long.  And guess what, Cher, Cliff’s Notes didn’t write sonnets.

Anyway, the little girl has some great (and classic) little kid reactions.  Who didn’t think the McDonalds M was made out of french fries when they were little?  And, she’s clearly a little yuppie in the making – recognizing two coffee brands and getting absolutely excited over the Apple logo.  Yes, little girl, those are the brands that get me excited, too.

Disney D

No, that's not a backwards G.

Being five, and presumably at that stage when proving that you know all the letters is very important, it’s interesting that the one letter that she’s didn’t pick out is the D for Disney.  She got that it was Disney alright, but not that the logo was a letter.  (A future member of the When I found out the Disney “D” WAS a “D”, it blew my mind Facebook Group.)

Brand Marks/Logos

Go ahead and test yourself. Which ones do you know?

We did a similar exercise in my Brand Management class the other day, in which the professor flashed logos across the screen and we all had to write down the name of the brand and the first thing it made us think of.  It’s a telling experiment – in some ways it reveals brand equity, but in others it’s just a Rorschach test.  Does the hate you feel when you see the Wal-Mart logo say more about you or Wal-Mart?

Also, here’s a fact of the day for you: did you know that the term brand comes from cattle branding?

Questions of the day: So, how well did you do?  Did you know all the brands?  Also, did you know it was a D is Disney?

A Digital Life in a (Pre) Analog World

29 Oct

Since this post is just about my life in Dover, I've decide to illustrate it with pictures I've taken on my wanderings around town. So, I guess they're all credit to me.

Oh, my blog, I’ve been neglecting you.  I have lots of excuses as to why, but basically it comes to this: it’s hard to write about things that inspire you when you’re not feeling very inspired.  It’s hard to write about things that make you think when you haven’t really been thinking. Continue reading

Old Facebook Posts Don’t Die, They Just Fade Away

26 Sep

Or, I’ve seen the future of Facebook and it’s beautiful… and scary

Facebook Protest, Red Fist above Facebook Logo

Get ready for all kinds of anti-Facebook Facebook groups. And no, the members don't get the irony. Don't both pointing it out.

This week, we have a new Facebook.  Small changes have been rolled out to the public already (about which there has been much whining and fake petitioning), but the big ones are yet to come.  Speaking at the F8 Facebook developer conference, Mark Zuckerberg announced the implementation of the open graph and the shift from profiles to timelines.  Although the open graph (which will bring your actions across the Internet into Facebook) will arguably have a much bigger impact on real issues, like privacy concerns and the further monetization of your social actions, I expect all the yelling to be about timelines.  (Yes, there will be yelling – there’s always yelling with Facebook changes.)

So, I decided that I wanted to experience timelines for myself, before all the yelling started.  Thanks to what I learned from an article on TechCrunch, I was able to convince Facebook that I was an app developer and that I needed access to timeline to see how my app would play in the new timeline/open graph environment.  (Don’t worry, I crossed my fingers while I did it, so it’s not really a lie, right?) Continue reading

I wanna check you out… from the library

24 Aug

Or, a library has a great new program and I have terrible new jokes

Library by ellen forsyth

Photo credit to ellen forsyth

Most of the time when libraries are covered in new media circles, it’s because of stories like, “Library adds new computer wing” or “Local library creates Facebook page”.  I’ve seen them, I’m sure you’ve seen them; they’re a dime a dozen.  So, that’s why I was so surprised to see a library branching out in a new (non-tech) way – and getting coverage in social media for doing it.

PSFK is reporting that a Canadian library is now letting you check out “human books”, living experts on the topics that you seek to study.  The library will arrange for you to meet with an expert on the topic of your choice over coffee.  …And this is the place for a really bad joke about checking people out at the library.  Awkward pickup artists have just gotten an infusion of new material.  Get ready for “That looks like a good book, but I’d rather check you out.” Continue reading

Personal Branding though Social Media Profile Fields

20 Aug

Or, defining the rules by which we define ourselves

The Open Web Identity is the Platform by Matthew Burbee

Photo credit to Matthew Burbee

Forms and fields are nothing new.  We’ve always had to fill out employment applications and census forms by reducing our lives to just the words that could fit in the blanks or the choices for the check boxes provided.  But they were one off forms, which were then buried in drawers, not published for the world to see.

Social networking is changing that.  Now, we’re filling out forms about ourselves every day and making the information public to our friends, family, and the internet at large.  (And they’re public not in the sense of public records, but in the sense of “Hey, you guys!”)  Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. have made the rules of our personal brands.  They’ve told us you need a picture, you need a job title, you need an education history.  Without these and other fields filled in, your profile (really your personal brand) is suspect.  Continue reading

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