05 Feb

TGIF – Week’s End Links – Happy Birthday, Facebook!

First off, happy birthday to Facebook!

The social juggernaut turned six on Thursday, which makes them squarely middle-aged online. I started my own Facebook account in 2005, back when they were only open to colleges and you had to have a university email address to open an account. (In fact, I didn’t delete my “ou.edu” address from my Facebook account until late 2009, after said address had been defunct for about two and a half years.)

And while Facebook and I have had our differences over the years, I have to say “thank you.”

Thank you for letting me keep in touch with friends I haven’t seen since elementary school.
Thank you for giving me a place where my college roommates and I can reminisce over old pictures.
And thank you for allowing me to do in one status update what would have once required multiple phone calls.

It may not be the same as seeing somebody face-to-face, or talking to them on the phone. But thanks to Facebook, you don’t have to say, “Gee, I wonder what happened to so-and-so?” Just check their status updates.

And now, some other stuff that has made me think or made me smile this week:

Modern procrastination – This post by Seth Godin has a conversation in it that couldn’t ring any truer if it was the Liberty Bell:

“Honey, how was your day?”
“Oh, I was busy, incredibly busy.”
“I get that you were busy. But did you do anything important?”

Busy is deceptive. You can find ways to procrastinate that make you look terribly busy. But at the end of the day, what have you accomplished for your company or for your own personal goals?

Why RedBox New Release DVDs May Vanish from Kiosks – DVD sales of new releases have gone down, and in an effort to combat the problem, movie studios are cutting deals with distributors like Wal-Mart, Target, Netflix, and Blockbuster to delay the rental availability of new release titles for about a month. For some reason, movie studios think that this will force consumers to buy the DVDs. RedBox is the only one who’s standing up to the studios and suing them.

This story illustrates a growing problem in the entertainment sector: Major companies are trying desperately to keep things at the status quo when the reality is that the times, they are a-changing. It’s happened with music, with books and publishing, and now we’re seeing it with movies. And undoubtedly, it’s happening elsewhere.

Consumers have said, “This is what we want,” and instead of working with them, companies try to cling to their previous business model, which is likely only going to become more outdated as technology marches forward.

How to Use a Semicolon – What, you didn’t think I was going to get through a whole post without a grammar-related link, did you? The Oatmeal has a fantastic illustrated guide to the semicolon that sums it up better than I ever could.

Have a great weekend! If you want fresh, hot blog posts every Tuesday and Friday, sign up for our RSS feed.

23 Dec

Brand Identities, Bunnies, Moms, and Coffee – A Collection of Posts

We’re a grand total of two days away from Christmas (Have you finished your shopping/wrapping? Because I sure haven’t. Oh no.), and while we’re preparing for the holidays, I thought I would share some of the posts I’ve found in the past few days that have really made me think. Or smile. Or in one particular case, laugh until tea shot out my nose. (I don’t recommend that.)

On Dying, Mothers, and Fighting for Your Ideas – This personal, moving post from Jonathan Morrow talks about his mother’s determination to keep him alive when a doctor told her that he wouldn’t live to see his second birthday. I walked away from the post with a wide-eyed admiration for his mother and her resolve, and a new appreciation for how hard Jonathan has worked to get to where he is.

Sometimes, All You Need Is A Pile Of Bunnies – BUNNIES! Bunnies are cute, and fluffy, and the object of the most adorable marketing lesson I’ve seen all month. This comes from Naomi Dunford over at IttyBiz, adding yet another cool marketing lesson to her entire repertoire of cool marketing lessons. And it does make you think: What assets do I have that I can use? And how can I use them in a way that will catch people’s eyes? And most importantly, will it involve adorable fluffy bunnies?

The Best and Worst Identities of 2009 – This is the only best/worst link on the list, I promise. Logo design has fascinated me ever since I sat down and saw how our designer works on logos, from beginning concept to final execution. The list (from Brand New) counts down the top 12 best and worst logo designs of this year, from corporate rebrandings to new companies just emerging. Not to mention some of the featured comments on the logos are pretty funny.

In Search of Customer Intimacy – Seth Godin has a way of consistently posting thought-provoking blog posts, and though this one is short, it does make you think. You hear so much nowadays about social media and relationship marketing, and it seems some companies only know that they need to get into those things without considering what they need to get out of them. Read this and ask yourself: what is real customer intimacy?

And on a completely random note:

15 Things Worth Knowing About Coffee – Who doesn’t love coffee? (Actually, I don’t. Our esteemed owner/technical director has made it his life’s mini-mission to get me to actually like the stuff. I’ll stick with my tea, thank you.) However, I do love this brief illustrated history of coffee, which includes the world’s easiest-to-understand guide to how caffeine works. How cool is that?

That’s it for me. You all have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

03 Jul

TGIF: Week’s End Links

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit’s Friday!link2

*three cheers for the weekend*

Anyway, it’s been a few (okay, several) weeks since my last linky-post, but here are a few articles that I wanted to share.

The Courage to Be Wrong – This article from Jonathan Morrow over at Copyblogger really struck a chord with me, and I think it’s really something to consider. In a world where everything is about conformity, about being “right,” do you have the courage to be “wrong”?

7 Ways You’re Screwing Up Relationship Marketing – I love Naomi Dunford’s stuff, and this is a brutally honest and controversial look at what “relationship marketing” really is. She doesn’t pull any punches here, but it’s a breath of fresh air amidst all the hubbub about relationship marketing.

Deeper or Wider – This post from Seth Godin has stuck in my brain since I first read it about a month ago, and hasn’t let go. It’s short, sweet, and thought-provoking.

That’s all for me! If you guys have any cool articles (or cool blogs!) that you’ve read, link them in the comments.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Picture by Lord Biro