Nov 11

Review of the Kindle Fire

America has a consumer-driven economy which, in non-economist speak, means we’re a bunch of spoilt, un-realistic whiners who constantly demand the best of everything and never want to pay for it. We’re outraged when we’re unable to fly thousands of miles in an airplane that’s on-time, has incredible food and beverages, comfortable seats and is priced less than a small sandwich toaster. We’re horrified when after forking out a gigantic $40 a month – less than most people spend at Starbucks – we can’t watch unlimited HD videos on our phones while simultaneously surfing the Web at speeds faster than a Japanese bullet train. Because as consumers, we just can’t seem to accept that we live in an imperfect world. But that’s exactly the lens the Amazon Kindle Fire needs to be judged through. Continue reading →

Nov 11

Don’t Become A Social Spammer

Spam used to be a fairly simple concept to understand – it was individuals or organizations that sent unsolicited emails about sex drugs to people who never actually gave their consent to receive them. But now spam has morphed into something entirely different. It’s turned into something where individuals or organizations secure your consent to send you email about sex drugs – and other products – then pound you remorselessly with message, after message, after message. Just sign-up for Groupon and Living Social, then buy something from 1-800-Flowers and you’ll quickly see what I mean. But while this can be extremely annoying when it comes to email, it can absolutely kill a brand if it bleeds into their social communications. Continue reading →

Oct 11

How People Consume News on Tablets

Journalism.org released a new report today that was designed to cram as many random percentage statistics into the first four paragraphs as possible in order to distract the reader so that it could sneakily steal his/her identity. Actually it looked at how people use devices like the iPad with particular focus on how they consume news. The report takes about 10,000 words to essentially come up with the conclusion that the news business is still kind of screwed. Highlights after the jump. Continue reading →

Oct 11

Go Big And Everyone Goes Home

Perhaps the best part of working in a space that changes so quickly is that all the “experts” can be constantly wrong about everything and it’s chalked down to “rapid innovation and market changes” rather than said experts being loud-mouth, opportunistic attention whores. It seems just a distant memory when Wired magazine claimed “The Web Is Dead” and thousands of people began jumping on the funeral march bandwagon of the Web browser. Then, a few months later the new rallying cry was “HTML 5 will save the Web.” and suddenly browsers were hot again. But perhaps the best example of moronic tech blogger schizophrenia is Daily Deals. And what a ride it’s been. Continue reading →

Oct 11

6 Reasons Why We Should Burn The Quotes

Spend enough time in a corporate environment and you’ll eventually come across “The Quoter”. This is somebody who chooses to frame every presentation, every email, every document…..in fact every method of friggin’ communication period with an inspirational quote. From Gandhi to Gandalf, Franklin to Ford – you can bet your life that The Quoter will have somebody else’s words of wisdom ready for every occasion. And I hate them. Hate, hate, hate, hate them. Here’s my top 5 reasons why we need to burn the quotes. Continue reading →

Oct 11

Living in a Non-Linear World

Just before the release of the iPad if you listened really hard – and the wind was blowing the right way – you could hear a faint sound that resembled a babbling waterfall. That sound was the result of hundreds of magazine and newspaper executives collectively dribbling on themselves in anticipation of this new device that was about to save their industry. But two years later very little seems to have changed. There are more traditional media apps than you can shake a stick at, but unless I’ve been living in a blissful bubble of ignorance the world of print media hasn’t been rescued by its touch-screen prince. So what happened? Well it comes down to an enduring love-affair with linear. Continue reading →

Oct 11

You’re Not Smarter Than A 5th Grader

One of the biggest flaws of the human species is that we relentlessly over-estimate our ability. Being sure-of-yourself can be an admirable quality, but there’s a very fine line that separates confidence and delusion. Countless studies reveal that people think they’re better drivers, lovers, students, golfers and singers than they really are. Our ego does not take kindly to honest self-evaluation. But this presents a particular problem when it comes to developing a digital product that somebody has to use. Because the person creating it will think they’re cleverer than they really are, while the audience that has to use it will act more stupidly then they could imagine. Let me elaborate…. Continue reading →

Oct 11

Finding a Role Model

Following the death of Steve Jobs and the subsequent outpouring of grief, tributes and favorite Jobs quotes – I’ve been giving some thought to the notion of role models. The idea that we should put somebody on a pedestal and look-up to them for inspiration and guidance might seem a little old fashioned to some. The kind of thing your granddad might tell you one Sunday afternoon about how it’s important to look-up to and respect people. But after working on a recent project that focused on Millennials – 18-34s – the realization dawned on me that our young people don’t seem to have any leaders that they identify with. And that’s why people like Steve Jobs were so important. Continue reading →

Oct 11

Do Facebook “Likes” Matter?

The next time somebody attempts to tell you with a straight face that Facebook is a platform that can spark and inspire social change, simply point to the fact that Pringles has over 15 million fans. When so many people are spending their time endorsing America’s favorite ‘Once You Pop, You Know You’re Gonna Drop (With a Stroke)” snack, it’s hard to argue that social media is really a hot-bed of revolutionary fervor. I mean theoretically Facebook **could** be used to organize a mass-movement for social change, but then again you **could** use an SUV to actually drive off-road. Most don’t.  But if you’re a brand – like Pringles – what does 15 million likes really mean? Or perhaps the more pertinent question is does it really mean anything at all? Continue reading →

Oct 11

Talk to the iHand

It’s official – Apple no longer cares about people. The kings of customer experience and user interface have decided to unleash a technology on the unsuspecting masses that has the potential to destroy your life. Siri – such a sweet little name, like a cross between a distant cosmic star and one of Tom Cruise’s offspring – gives you the ability to ask your phone questions. With your voice. And if Apple knew anything about people, they’d understand that the last thing we need is more of them talking into phones. In fact it’s quite the opposite. Apple should be figuring out a system that helps to shut people up. Now THAT would be a good user experience. Continue reading →