for the kids
Speaking of targeting Gen Y ... Driving Innovation is an article in this month's Fast Company, all about how car companies are reaching out to the young'uns. "Traditional car companies are courting a new group of consumers with hard-driving innovation. Learn about the unconventional branding campaigns launched by Chrysler, Toyota, and Mercedes-Benz to inject some soul in new cars created for generation Y."
back from the great beyond
Hey. I've finished my coaching job. w00t, or something (too much H4x0r Economist). Anyway, I found the link to the article Robert talks about below. Whirlpool Goes Portable To Sell Dryers to Gen Y. Sadly, you need to be registered to read that article, but here's a picture of a "microwave dryer."
It's from June 4th, if you have the pulp version of the paper.
Charlie is tearing it up in the coaching space. I yearn to fill the void. Here's what's on top of my brain today. Read and discuss amongst yourselves.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting a nomadic trend among Gen Y. If it's not portable, small and pizza-friendly, why bother. The practicality of small living space and frequent moves is revolutionizing the appliance world. Knapsack microwaves and mini-fridges designed around pizza box dimensions are the innovations to look for, along with desktop microwave dryers. Oh, and these Whirlpool models are all encased in a statement-making orange. Environmental concerns are met in separate models that eliminate phosphorous by absorbing it in water hyacinth plants. A true living machine.
Is size now to be the differentiating factor between generations. We're familiar with aging a person by the size car they drive, but now add to that the size of your refrigerator, microwave and washer/dryer. I can see it now. Formerly mid-life crises were signalled by the purchase of a small sports car or the wearing of an inappropriately tiny bikini. Will size determine other impressions I make about my journey from youthfulness? When I reach my 40th birthday next year, will I convince myself I'm still young by ditching the side-by-side and getting an orange fridge on wheels? I can hear the taunts now: "Hey old man. You can fit a turkey in that thing! Wake up it's 2003!"
Oh the shame....the shame.
Blogosphere: the Emerging Media Ecosystem
John Hiler posted this article last week, and I meant to link to it as soon as it went live. It's his full article on the relationship between traditional journalists and bloggers. Some have criticized his work in this article, but I have to say that I think it's pretty solid. He and I talked about his theories about a month before he posted the article, and they echoed a theory that we discuss at Play, the Four-Square Model of Creativity (I won't get into that here / now). But his premise is that the Blogosphere is essentially a biomimicry of the Biosphere, with emerging models and components, which shrink, grow, or die off. Building off of a quote from Darwin, he says, " 'Multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.' That's exactly how the Blogosphere works."
John relies pretty heavily on blog indices (Blogdex and Daypop, mainly). For example, he discusses the confusion regarding the new EU flag, which was later debunked. He notes that a huge number of people linked to the first article, but that only 5 (at the time of his writing) had linked to the second article, which clarified the situation. I know, though, that Pure Content posted a follow-up, with a link, but it wasn't on Blogdex's page. So his research has a couple problems. Really, though, Blogdex and Daypop are the best resources, so I can't fault him for problems like that.
All in all, it's a good article, and I'm looking forward to his upcoming article on blogs and marketing, if he doesn't get distracted by Big Media Blogging.
In related news (ha ha), John's brother, Bob, has a new blog, Beyond Value Investing, and he posted his first article, Pyramid Sceme Dot Com. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I wanted to pass the info on to you, dear readers.
when pr turns evil / 15 minutes of lame
The Guardian reports on a recent scam of sorts, where Monsanto, an agri-business concern that genetically modifies foods, hired a PR company to discredit a report that condemned the company.
"On November 29 last year, two researchers at the University of California, Berkeley published a paper in Nature magazine, which claimed that native maize in Mexico had been contaminated, across vast distances, by GM pollen. The paper was a disaster for the biotech companies seeking to persuade Mexico, Brazil and the European Union to lift their embargos on GM crops."
The article then explains some shady maneuvers that appear to have been initiated by The Bivings Group, a PR agency that specializes in Internet campaigns. Essentially, Bivings (allegedly) created fake people / identities, and then had them post comments to AgBioWorld, which is a database of research and commentary regarding agriculture and which is "devoted to bringing information about technological advances in agriculture to the developing world." According to the article, these comments "stimulated" hundreds of similar comments, which eventually led to the withdrawal of the paper from Nature. According to some seemingly-slanted language from AgBioWorld, "In the end, the editors of Nature ultimately admitted in the April 4, 2002 issue of the journal that the Quist and Chapela paper was riddled with methodological errors and should never have been published."
Nevertheless, the Guardian article outlines ways the The Bivings Group campaigned, using fake identites, to sculpt the viewpoints of other scientists. That's actually more interesting to me than the GM controversy. Where do the lines get drawn? Is it okay to create identites, going into teen chat rooms to encourage them to not smoke? Would it be okay to create an identity encouraging people on a listserve to get out and vote? I've wondered about that for a while (why don't they use subliminal messages in movies to get people to wear their seatbelts?). But when the tables are turned, and it's a rather destructive mission, I'm not comfortable with the idea.
On The Bivings Group's Web site, a senior executive from Monsanto says "Your work for Monsanto corporate and its many country sites has been of great value. You have demonstrated an ability to offer a powerful and well-rounded combination of technical expertise, graphic design, linguistic abilities, and an in-depth understanding of the issues. The Bivings group has done outstanding work for Monsanto in all of these areas."
Originally discovered through Boing Boing, with a mess of my own research as well.
I posted a couple of weeks back, talking about Jim Collins, and how he tries to read 100 books a year. Heath just finished his 101st book since Jan. 1, 2002. If he continues at this pace, he'll read 234.88 books this year. Talk about prolific. I should up my goal.
What's helpful about Heath's reading, by the way, is that he gives you an idea of how long it took him to read the book, as well as his rating of it. I'd like it if he blogged with one post that outlined his absolute favorites of the year. A top five, if you will.
Amidst interviews at National Geographic and all of the other post-graduation fervor, Armistead's capitalized on his time out of school to redesign his blog, Listening For Smiles. I must say, it's one of the best redesigns I've seen ... far different from the typical 3-column layout. Well ... not far different. But you'll see what I mean. It's a solid layout and is straightforward, although when you dig beyond the blog itself (into his other stuff), you get the feeling that multiple audiences are all coming together, in a slightly-awkward cocktail party. Nevertheless, it's fresh. Check it out.
Tom Clancy has books. Tom Clancy has movies. Now Tom Clancy has a video game.
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At Play we create brands, strategies, new products, and better cultures for Fortune 100 companies. Our formula for creativity: "Look at more stuff. Think about it harder." Pure Content is one place where we do that, daily.
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