LINK DROP from October 31st through Today (November 5th, 2010)

Link Drop

This was one of those weeks where I’ve been thinking about the language of digital, screens, surfaces and everything else that is doing stuff connected to a larger network. It’s kind of crazy how interconnected everything is yet hasn’t really taken connected with the majority of people out there. I suppose there’s some advantages to that though for those that are kind of impatient slow can feel like eternity. Should be interesting to see what sticks on the connected side versus hype of what’s being talked about today.

Presentation: What is Digital Creativity?
The arch of the story here is that ad agencies creative solutions are by default the product of the media of communication they use. The simple evolution of advertising creative supports this logic: when there was only print around, logos were important. With radio, slogans (jingles) took the center stage. With television, it became all about brand image communicated through the 30-second spot. Simply, creative has always been interchangeable with a specific media technology. Change this technology, and the rules of advertising creativity crumble. Why is this the case? Above all, it’s really hard to classify digital media as a communication channel. They are more of a behavioral platform. What is regarded as creative here? First, everything and anything that can modify, inspire, and introduce behaviors (think big behavioral platforms like Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, or smaller ones like thousands of Tumblr blogs, individual Facebook profiles, or just about any tool we interact with or interface that we come across online). Second, what’s regarded as creative is something that’s an inherent part of our activities. Messages are not part of our behavior, and not only because they are interrupting whatever we are doing at the time. They are external to it simply because they are not part of interactions that form that behavior. Do I need to click on an ad to complete some task, like booking a trip, online? No. Do I need to click on it in order to connect with my friends? No. Do I need to see it in order to explore maps, look at the photos, or read blogs to get inspired? No.

Everything I’ve Ever Learned About Giving Design Critiques I Learned from Tim Gunn
I went through two years of studio critiques while getting my Master’s degree in design, and have been through dozens of them in the five years since then, but I can honestly say I’ve learned more about how to appropriately give design criticism from Tim Gunn, one of the hosts of the US television show Project Runway.

SEO & the Disappearing Self
On Facebook, our communication is assessed like online advertising — how many click-throughs did it inspire? This prompts us to make what we say on Facebook sound like advertising discourse. And if the way we talk about ourselves is to a large degree who we think we are, this would not bode well for human dignity.

MapMyFollowers is a Great Twitter Data Visualization is a fabulous site that allows you to see where in the world the people who follow you on Twitter are. Up to 1000 at a time can be viewed on a map and there’s something magical about the resulting experience.

Fantasy Fans Flock to Fantasy Football
Hi, my name is Chris Bulger and I’m a fantasy football addict. Here is my typical fantasy football week:
· On Tuesday and Wednesday, I visit fantasy football sites to research players on waivers and find the best players to help my team win.
· On Thursday morning I check out my rosters to see which players I was able to claim off of waivers.
· On Sunday morning I research matchups and set my lineups accordingly. By noon on Sunday (before the games have even started), I have visited my fantasy football site upwards of 10 times throughout the week.

Artisanal Pencil Sharpening
In New York’s Hudson River Valley, craftsman David Rees still practices the age-old art of manual pencil sharpening. His artisanal service is perfect for artists, writers, and standardized test takers. Shipped with their shavings and a “certificate of sharpening,” these extra-sharp pencils make wonderful gifts.

What I Would Do With This: Groceries
You have here a simple question that anyone can access. Doesn’t matter that you’ve never run a linear regression in your life. If you’ve ever shopped for groceries, if you’ve ever stood in line with a candy bar, a soda bottle, and a matinee starting across town in ten minutes, you have an opinion here

Gartner report tells corporations to get moving on the iPad
In a private report to clients, the Gartner research firm is urging CEOs to clear any obstacles preventing IT departments from taking advantage of the iPad. Stephen Prentice, a VP and Gartner fellow, said in the report: “It is not usually the role of the CEO to get directly involved in specific technology device decisions, but Apple’s iPad is an exception. It is more than just the latest consumer gadget. CEOs and business leaders should initiate a dialog with their CIOs about if they have not already done so.”

Baker Ebook Framework
Baker is an HTML5 ebook framework to publish on the iPad using open web standards

Today’s Obsession: Publishing for the iPad
I’m stoked. I’ve been waiting for 1) Apple to stop forcing its own agenda and restricting the marketplace and 2) a solution to happen for designers (not necessarily developers and coders) to use in content creation. This is great for editorial pieces.

Google hasn’t yet provided any direction on Android as a tablet platform, which means that the Tab is held back by lagging application support and software that doesn’t fully take advantage of the extra screen real estate.

The New New Andreessen
While many other VC firms are still reeling from a decade of weak returns and an influx of competing capital from Russia and China, Andreessen Horowitz is doubling down. On Nov. 3 the firm announced that it has raised a second $650 million fund. (Bloomberg LP, which owns Bloomberg Businessweek, is an investor in Andreessen Horowitz.) The firm also claims a new, Ovitz-inspired approach to venture capital. Andreessen wants to create a full-service VC firm that helps with all the needs of startups, from recruiting to public relations, just as CAA catered to every aspect of career development—and every personal demand—of film stars and directors.

Nice little design touch from Google: attachment reminder
Only possible down-side: reminds people that your emails are being parsed for all sorts of reasons. Still, saved me from having to do a “Doh! Here’s the attachment” note.

Mobile Users Prefer Browsers over Apps
These preferences may surprise mobile experts who consider apps to offer the best content and shopping experiences. And marketers may be frustrated as well; getting an app on a user’s home screen is a constant reminder of the brand, but it doesn’t make sense to offer an app users don’t want.

just breathe… Posted by
A wine label with braille

Candy Chang: Parties in Power

How often has the United States shifted back and forth between political parties? And how long has one party held office? To get some historic perspective during this election freak-out [October 2008], I made a timeline plotting out the political parties of all the U.S. Presidents, as well as the dominant parties in Congress (Senate and House of Representatives).

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