I Love the Internet

A handy guide to “Mobile-geddon”: How the buzz started, and developed in the news

Have you seen “mobile-geddon” cropping up on your feed, too? Did you understand what the trend was about?

I didn’t at first, to be honest. So, I compiled a simple timeline of articles and posts surrounding mobile-geddon, to give us all a picture of who started it, and what different blogs and news brands have said about it, prior to “D-Day”.

A Mobilegeddon Timeline

(Ironically, with Desktop Web screenshots)

Mobilegeddon Timeline 1Mobilegeddon Timeline 2Mobilegeddon 3Mobilegeddon Timeline 4Mobilegeddon Timeline 5

What fascinates me about this trend, is that it showcases:

1. The value of catchy, sensational hype-labels

People didn’t need to use “mobile-geddon”. They could have just said “Google’s algorithm change”.

But mobile-geddon is exaggerated and makes-you-click, so why not.

2. That Google is a HUGE part of digital. And a huge part of business.

I never felt the influence of a digital platform on the business community, until now.

This news item puts search engine marketers in the spotlight, and builds business for the entire ecosystem of digital services (search engine ads, media buyers, ad agencies, developers and designers).

Can you imagine how many brand owners contacted a digital specialist or consultant this week?

3. That design can matter, if a critical force demands that everyone follow suit.

Design and design testing is typically hard to justify.

Guess not anymore. This mobilegeddon may not be the truest way to argue for the value of design, but this shows “It’ll increase your Google search rank” is a Client hot button.


For my take on what a business needs to do during this time, please click on over to: Google tweaks algorithm, world (as we know it) ends: The one thing brand owners need to know.

Note: Thanks for reading! Message or comment if you’d like a clickable copy of the timeline.

Valuable Content UK: What is the most valuable content you created?

Good angle.

Content is rarely described as “valuable”.  Brands are concerned about viral, shareable, snackable.  But this is actually an intriguing question.

To a content creator, which of his/her work has or gives value the most?

I like how this Valuable Content article showcases various writers’ perceptions of value:

David Meerman Scott…
(downloaded over a million times) directly led to a book deal with Wiley for The New Rules of Marketing and PR, my international bestseller now in its 4th edition with more than 300,000 copies sold in English and available in over 25 languages
…shared more than 1,800 times on LinkedIn, and racked up some 500 Facebook likes and 700 Tweets. It’s the fastest sharing of any of my content…
Bryony Thomas:
It completely transformed the way the senior team in the company engaged with me, and safeguarded the budget. This later became a popular blog post on my website – 6 Steps to a Strategic Review of your Marketing Budget, then Chapter 9 in my book. You might say it changed the course of my career entirely.
Joe Pulizzi:
coverage that we could have never received otherwise.  It’s helped position us as the go-to resource for content marketing
Richard Fray:
Expat Explorer Survey …This provides us with an incredibly rich amount of data and insights, which we have been able to repurpose endlessly in our content. The insights have been used to generate global press coverage, interactive data visualisations, videos, infographics, curated forums and country guides, populate our social media feeds and train our employees.
…Our content has enabled over half a million users in 200 countries to compare which countries are the best places to live, and to get advice on everything from finding accommodation to fitting in to a new culture. The feedback from customers and our social media community has been fantastic, with expats sharing our content widely and telling us that this is content they cannot get elsewhere – and that it changes the way they think about us as an organisation…
Doug Kessler
The piece helped put us on the map, generated significant business opportunities and created all those lovely ‘ripples’ that no one measures, like speaking invitations, interviews and meeting lots of people we admire.
Crap also gave a spike to all our other content as readers came back for more from Velocity. For instance, ‘Three Poisonous Metaphors in B2B Marketing‘,  a piece that had earned 6,000 views before Crap went live now has over 35,000 – with zero promotion.”
 
Henneke Duistermaat
How to Write Seductive Web Copy because it’s reaching a lot of people and it helps non-writers to write copy that attracts the right clients to their business.
 
Christopher Butler:
If value = stats, then a post called The Way You Design Web Content is About to Change would be the clear winner. If value is in terms of the piece of content being representative of who we are, I’d pick: We Don’t Design Websites Anymore. This one was a collaboration between Mark O’Brien and I that I’m quite proud of, as it clearly articulates our point of view on the industry, and makes some pretty bold statements about where things are headed.
…had a big impact on readers. It was shared widely (and continues to be), it heavily influenced a few articles I’ve written for other publications and a talk I’m giving this fall at the HOW Interactive Conferences and it even shaped our Future of Websites presentation
Amy Grenham
…the Good Systems Manifesto is our most valuable piece of content. That’s ‘valuable’ not in the sense of direct ROI, but in the sense that it has helped us to structure our communications around this framework, and give a coherence to everything we do.
…it was designed to be customer facing and works well in that respect. We have it as posted in the office, but we would happily use it as an introduction to Desynit for any client.
…Desynit’s content-driven strategy flows from here – it’s given me a library of messages, copy and images to work from. The short powerful messages of our Good Systems Manifesto also work beyond the digital arena – at exhibitions, on T-shirts, posters, and more.
And the results? Putting our human values at the heart of our marketing has translated into a consistent pipeline of business opportunities.
Andy Maslen
a platform for promotions (the whole bank of trust model) and I also get a fair number of members emailing each month commenting on the articles. I repost the main article to my blog too. It does keep me in front of the right people at least 12 times a year and does, also, bring in identifiable new business: training, consulting, public speaking engagements and copywriting.
I also love writing it, as it gives me a chance to explore ideas and share them with a group of people are are interested in the evolution of copywriting and communication…
Nenad Senic
the photo tweets of the magazines I have positioned myself as someone who can be asked for an opinion with regard to producing a printed brand publication. This brings me a lot of business so I, as an introvert, do not have to go around and sell my skills to brands…
 

Born Social: Lessons from Social Media Week 2014

BornSocial shared their favorite points from Social Media Week, my interpretation:

1. Video is important.

2.  People keep buzzing about the impact of new technology, but of course no one can articulate what it would be.

3.  Africa seems to be the next high-potential market for mobile: high economic and cultural diversity (5 regions, wide rich-poor gap, relatively young, tends to have mobile as only screen, long commutes and aspirational)

I can relate to it because it sounds like the Philippines.

4.  The growth of “private” platforms

5.  Brands becoming less reactive – therefore, it’s also getting tougher to rise above the noise.

6.    There still isn’t an industry measure for social ROI.

7.  The industry if fixated with big-brand, big-budget case studies.

8. Social is about understanding people.

9.  Digital media are going through the lessons of traditional media (headline writing, visual aids), just faster.

10.  Social isn’t just about “presence”, but constantly creating and trying to be a step ahead.

Thank you, Internet: An Agency Branded App, 10 Popular Algorithms and a Design Course That’s Helping the Philippines

These three articles mattered to me today.

1.  The 10 Algorithms that Dominate Our World

Would you have ever imagined the day where you would read an article like that?

Where you can list algorithms that pervade everyday life?  I’m so happy for mathematicians, data scientists and programmers all of a sudden.

This is a whole new level of relevance.  All the math geeks from elementary school can laugh in people’s faces.

Google PageRank; Facebook News feeds, “You may also enjoy…” – all math. Cool.

2.  How a Small Nashville Agency Used Creativity to Get Worldwide Recognition

I don’t fully forgive you for that clickbait-y article, Fast Company.

Anyway.

I just never thought an agency could make an app that would sell itself.

Continue reading

lovely-package-manics-merrymaking-must-haves1-e1325451065463

Grab bag: Rural America technology, Facebook-brand tracking, bacon salt and party kit packaging design

Open-tab cleaning.

1. The High-Tech of Rural America

Why do I like this?  Because it’s an example of how design and technology serve people’s needs (and yes, businessmen’s pockets).
Too often, my job revolves arounds trying to plan applications that seem so unrelated to what people need or are going through.
Hooray for rural America!

The DeLaval AMR Circular Cow Milker

The DeLaval AMR Circular Cow Milker

2.  The Wired Social Index

Let’s see how this works out.  Tracking the financial performance of the strongest brands on Facebook.
The Wired Social Index

3. The Donut Project

I’m partly biased towards the name.

But, nice source of interesting images and videos.

Boys & Girls' reception area

Boys & Girls’ reception area

Jason Bacher wallpaper

4.  Bacon Salt and a Sundae Kit.  Ideas from Buzzfeed’s 38 Ways to Give the Gift of Food.

Bacon Salt

Bacon Salt

Sundae Kit

Sundae Kit

This entry led me to…

5.  Manic Design’s Merrymaking Must-Haves Kit on Lovely Package

Smart, smart, smart.  And cleanly designed.

Merrymaking Must-haves Kit - Manic Design

Merrymaking Must-haves Kit – Manic Design

Screen shot 2012-05-12 at 4.35.49 PM

Kitty Pryde: This makes sense.

This is Kitty Pryde.

You are going to want to, at least, know about her.

Why?

Because if you want to intellectualize about the state of music and the “blurring of boundaries”, she is a great example to name-drop.

Kitty Pryde has been talked about on ComplexVulture, Fader, Vice, HypeTrak, Idolator, PopDust and other culture blogs.

Even the New York Times has talked about her.

She is, as Fader describes, “the internet’s preeminent coy white girl rapper”, and her video “Okay Cupid” has been making the rounds.

Now, I’m sure her music will get A LOT of flack.

Because, damn it, when I was watching the first 20 seconds, all I was thinking was “whaaaaaaaaat.”

In fact, I’m impressed that the blogs picked this up pretty quickly.  Her main Okay Cupid youtube video only has 85, 475 views, which kind of suggests this topic is at its infancy.  Of the 1,429 people who actually cared to click a button on what they felt about this, 38% clicked the thumbs-down one.

And, she gets comments like:

“what the fuck is this shit”

“omg please stop singing”

and “She’s 17 writing the lyrics of a fucking 14 year old girl trying too hard.”

and, one of my favorites: “its like rebecca black all over again :/ with more.. words.. ”

along with: “i give up on life”

From HypeTrak, there’s also: “Really Hypetrak? so many trill nigggas doin they thing and this is what you post? smh….RIP HT”

So what’s there to like?

I actually don’t enjoy her Okay Cupid song as much as her Justin Bieber song.  Which is actually a response to his cult of fans and the baby-daddy incident.  Listen to it.

But, as usual, I love her in a “meta” way.

What do I mean?

I mean: I love what she represents.

For one, I love the whole “package”, the whole “non-marketing marketing*” approach.

(*Yes, like “no makeup makeup”).

I love that her EP is entitled “The Lizzie McGuire Experience”.

I love that her Bandcamp page has close-up, self-taken pictures of her face with black mascara trails streaming from her eyelashes and showing off her inner lip tattoo.

She is authentic.

Or, at the very least, feigns authenticity.  The kind of current “real-ness” that proper adults and “good values” see as icky.

But, she does precisely what teenagers on tumblr do.

This is the best example to support how one teenage girl (who I interviewed last year) explained her liking Miley Cyrus, as a personality, over Taylor Swift.

Because, she said, Taylor Swift is “less real”.

Her songs are all about love and liking the boy who doesn’t like you back; she beams heart-shapes into the world, which might be relatable for her 12-year old fangirls.

On the other hand, you have Miley Cyrus, who is out there making mistakes, trashing her own name, trying to break out of the mold her parents brought her up in.

Which sounds much more like a 17-year old.

And, I think authenticity especially matters when making music.

In my opinion, successful music is authentic.

Meaning it represents something true about a culture, an image or an experience.
It’s why, for me, although many great songs have universal appeal, the way they sound and the way they’re made is culturally specific.
We tend to laugh at people who just mimic or copy musical styles. But, as it has often been said, good artists steal and we now have a culture where “everything is a remix“.
What gives away that something is just a copy is when it isn’t owned.  South Korea creates successful pop songs, because they embraced it.  They got Western ingredients and made it their own.  They practiced it from childhood and honed their pop sensibilities.

Try to listen to popular songs about the social condition from the 70’s, and from the present decade.

Popular music about society’s ills in the 60’s or 70’s were either folksy, rock or reggae. Sardonic, weary or lashing out.
Now, you have the addition of hip-hop.  Which, I think, also represents society’s ills, like poverty, and violence.
But it has swagger, a gritty machismo not present in the aggression of the 70’s.  A swagger that developed from the earlier years of blues, which was also a form of dealing with slavery and sorrow.
How does this relate to Kitty Pryde?

Because if Kitty Pryde made music any other way, it wouldn’t have made sense.

She can’t rap like Nicki Minaj because she doesn’t talk like Nicki Minaj or live like Nicki Minaj.
It was a lot more valid for Eminem to rap the way he did because he lived in the same kind of anger and survivalist aggression.
It’s probably like how it’s annoying to hear non-American musicians, who try to sound American when they rap, when you know they didn’t grow up talking that way.
It’s just fake.
Kitty Pryde’s songs are about her crush and social media culture, and she ‘raps’ the way she talks because that’s how it makes sense to express herself.
Not everyone’s a songstress, you know.
There have been weirder things — like Miranda July’s spoken-word songs, yet those are considered art.  More on music appreciation in a future post. (Seriously.  If you think Kitty Pryde was weird, you should listen to these.  I almost find them disturbing.)
[Watch video at your own risk.  I tend to get traumatized.]

I guess I’m just not a “hater” when it comes to people who write their own music. I may not always like the songs, but I respect the difficulty in creating them.

Lastly, I like that they actually can’t pigeonhole her.

I think that if they stopped calling her a rapper there’d be much less negativity surrounding her video.

What this means for culture is that her music can’t really be defined as…anything, which is going to be a good description for the media genres of tomorrow.  Hip-hop and rock have crossed over for a while, and I’m pretty sure I recently read an article on the alternative sound of today’s R&B. Or was it the other way around.

This kid sounds like a teenager talking on the phone crossed with a Garage Band track from someone’s basement crossed with frozen yogurt.

I don’t even know what genre you’re supposed to call that.  And that’s why I think she signifies the start of something interesting.  Because this’ll open up doors for girls who just want to sound like they’re talking on the phone, and want to express themselves, but feel pressured by Taylor Swift and Jessica Sanchez.

Link to her tumblr account: kittydothedishes

Random “Top Links” link from Complex: 15 Sexy GIFs of Celebrities Dancing

Screen shot 2012-05-05 at 10.47.58 PM

Something to hold onto: Projects that are trying to do some good in the world

These are the projects that make me feel that we are getting somewhere, in trying to help make the world a better place.

I don’t want to think that I’m posting like this just because I need something good to hold onto in this world right now.  I’d like to believe (or, at worst, embrace the illusion) that current culture, although also trapped in the frenzy of consumerism, is also trying to take steps towards using intelligence and creativity for peace, education and overall improvement of quality of life.

Forgive me, I just want to be part of something that moves in this direction.  I’m guessing I’m grasping at straws or gasping for air, or whatever metaphor might be appropriate in describing a feeling of frustrated and lost lack of hope.

(Sorry, that just seemed like a very very gloomy intro, for a list of noble and empowering things like…)

1.  The Halfsies project, a non-profit by Sydney Berry Ling and co-founders.

Featured in Co. Exist, Halfsies takes advantage of the oversized U.S. restaurant food portions, to help provide funding for organizations working to combat hunger.

I hope this works.  I really do.  I don’t want to be a cynic and be wary of the inner workings of this, but sadly, I am after realizing that their site doesn’t provide examples or updates on the project.

Besides that, though, this is a beautiful idea, that would be great to replicate.

2.  Make It Do, by Meg Hourihan.

Co. Exist writes that Hourihan thought of this project, not to buy anything new unless worn out or not usable anymore, to challenge “the central tenet of consumer culture: that acquiring things will make us happy”.

I’m a sissy when it comes to doing things like this.  I want to do my part in reducing consumption and consumerism, but I also can’t help it; I like going around malls and looking at clothes, and shoes, books and magazines.

I’d like to believe that I’m not some shopping-hungry person.  But I realize that if I took a picture of my stuff, it’d probably prove me wrong.  I’m a pack-rat.  I have a strong tendency to hoard – I still have make-up bottles of facial foundation that I bought back in 2005 and 2007.

I also have 4 pairs of sneakers (which I featured in previous posts), one in brown leather, two in grey and one in black and purple.  That’s aside from one pair of running shoes, 4 pairs of ballerina flats and three pairs of pumps for formal occasions.

The worst bit is how I impulse-buy magazines and notebooks.  And my love for branding adds to the call of the mall.

We’ll see what I have the discipline to do or how I can somehow streamline my stuff.

3.  I have always been a fan of TED.  I remember sitting at my first job, back in 2005, getting to see this Jennifer Lin improv feature, and in 2006, Majora Carter’s “Greening the Ghetto” talk.  Those videos made it to my portable hard drive back then, and are actually still there.  It was so inspiring to get to see good people, brilliant minds and awesome art skills coming together.

I liked the relative “intimacy” in those earlier videos, compared to the global juggernaut that it is now.  But that’s still a great thing, since that just means it now influences so much more people and countries.

And I love all of the offshoot conferences now, particularly TEDXTeen and TEDXYouthDay.  Because it’s amazing (and culturally interesting) to see officially “renowned” young people sharing their views, from a fresh vantage point of being on the earth for less than 2 decades.

That means they’re still hormonal and idealistic, and that’s the beauty and difference of it.  They aren’t as…tainted as cynicism and daily-grind responsibility.

4.  Design agencies that make money while trying to do some good.

I know, I’ve probably mentioned Ideo in every 5 posts on this blog.  But I am a fan of how they weave their business, their passion, skill and values altogether.

User-Centered Design like this inspires individual projects like Wicked Problems.

5.  Education for everyone! With access to a computer and an Internet connection.

450 Free Online Courses from Top Universities

The School of Life – Sermons