I’ve been working on this blog for a few months now and decided it would probably be a good idea to take stock of what we’ve learned so far. In perusing through all the old posts and came across three main themes. In the beginning, I set out to pin down the definition of authenticity as it applies to brands and the consumer. So far, it seems like being able to legitimately call...
Google helps preserve languages
This partnership is really exciting to me. There is debate about whether or not it’s worth saving dying languages. In light of Lera Boroditsky’s talk I blogged about the other day, I’m inclined to say that they should be saved. There’s also a part of me that just loves history, so it just seems wrong that we would let something so unique get lost. Read more about the...
Stripped down logos
These stripped down logos are really cool looking. According to imjustcreative, the inspiration for the project comes from the fact “when some famous brand identities are simplified to simple circles, how they can often still be recognizable.” This idea can be applied not only to the logos themselves but also to brand behavior. It just goes to show that if you strip down the...
Mount Everest looses its street cred
I have thus far been a fan of interactive innovation wherever possible. However, my immediate reaction to engadget’s brief article about the implementation of a 3G network at the summit of Mount Everest is actually kind of negative. Although I feel that the presence of the internet fuels authenticity by allowing for more transparency and dialogue amongst all of us, it seems like...
People Like Us
Really interesting snapshots of class in America from PBS.
You Will Be Discovered
This is a great article by Richard Levick from Fast Company that demonstrates how careful companies need to be with their social media presence. It hi-lights the irrational and emotional tendencies that anybody can feel the urge to follow when confronted with negativity on social media but also emphasizes how an honest and transparent response can actually reap many benefits. Being completely...
The birth of Authenticism
I pulled this article by Ed Cotton off of PSFK. It describes the top reasons that Americans have become disolusioned with corporate America. These are the reasons that the need for authenticity has become so important to consumers. One of Cotton’s last lines really sums it up: “corporations are going to be judged on what they do, rather than what they say.” I truly hope that...
The Limits of Language
This past Tuesday, I attended a Long Now seminar where Lera Boroditsky spoke about how languages we speak shape the way we think. I’ve always been very interested in the idea that language is limiting. As Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein said, “The limits of my language are the limits of my mind. All I know is what I have words for.” While getting my undergraduate...
I have no interest in Baseball. I probably wouldn’t even know it was going on except for the fact that my school campus is located in the part of the city where all Giants fans congregate to park, drink, and walk to and from the game. Despite my lack of interest, I find do find myself feeling a sense of security and camaraderie in witnessing the way the city has come together on this....
A few storytelling tips
from POST Advertising, but still not as helpful as the Harry Potter chart.
Looking at things from different angles
If you’re striving to be authentic, a good place to start is probably just to be generally informed about things. I like this map by Kai Kruase (click link to see bigger map), which fights ignorance through comparison. It’s humbling (for some Americans who think we’re the most important country on the planet) to see how small our country is compared to Africa. Also,...
Telling good stories is hard work
Conservative Christians all over the place will disagree, but Harry Potter is arguably one of the best stories of our time. If you haven’t read it or don’t like magic, at least you can admit that there must be something to it considering how popular it is with kids and adults alike. The above image is a chart that Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling made to write the book. I’m...
Street Artist gets a TED prize.
Street artist JR has won a TED prize (grant) of $100,000. It’s nice to see organizations like TED recognizing intelligence in all walks of life. I doubt that the New York Times would ever do this. I’m not sure why I think of the New York Times when I think of TED, but I just do. TED is not the Times, but there is a fine line there. Very fine.
projeqt \ how great stories are told from projeqt on Vimeo. projeqt is a cool new feature (currently only available to TBWA employees) that allows you to tell a unique story. It seems cool but I’m curious about how it’s different from something like slideshare. So far, the projeqts I’ve looked at are just decks.
Alex Bogusky's Fearless Revolution
I’m really excited to start following Alex Bogusky’s blog. Here’s a quote from the homepage that does a good job of explaining why: We can do better. Wanting stuff isn’t going to change. So maybe it’s time to want more – more from ourselves and more from the people who make our stuff.
R.I.P. Sony Walkman
An iconic electronic device that many Milennials and Gen Xers associate with their childhood getting discontinued is the perfect recipe for nostalgia which always makes something more authentic than it used to me.
Facing fears is healthy
> I think that one of the primary blockers of authenticity is not facing our fears. People are afraid of a lot of things and this prevents honest, real conversation. Fast company’s got a good bit on this idea. So do Alex Bogusky + John Winsor
Best political ad I've seen in a while
I love this ad by Jerry Brown because he took something very simple and very true and used it against his opponent Meg Whitman. Granted, she set herself up, but the tactic is just genius and refreshing among all the untruths being thrown around. Whether the things Brown claims he accomplished 30 years ago are true, I’m not sure. I wasn’t born. But I think this ad is a great example...
Researchers from Indiana University are using magic algorithms to differentiate real tweets from false. In other words, they are figuring out what accounts are real and which ones are politicians mascarading as everyday people tweeting over and over again about how great a candidate is. See more here.
Vattenfall - Neighbor Dining from Luong Lu on Vimeo. People are always saying that the internet makes us more isolated. Yes, yes, yes that is probably true in some respects. But at the same time, all our technological advances make it easier to get up the courage to connect. I’m not ashamed to say I would be afraid and shy to ask a stranger to have dinner with me simply for a little...
HOW TO: Turn Some Made-Up Bullshit Into A...
bajillionhits: I may be tipping my hand here, and letting you go a little too deep inside my bag of strat tricks, but I want to talk about a powerful tactic for making something viral out of nothing. One of the great things about the power of the social web is that you can pretty just make up whatever bullshit you want, and if presented properly (ie, on a blog with decent traffic), people...
Daily Beast ranks intelligence
Check out full article here.
Storify is awesome!
Storify demo from Burt Herman on Vimeo. Wow. I’m really excited about this new Storify website. The demo video is a little boring but it basically allows you to search different social media venues and make a story using what people are saying about your chosen narrative. See PSFK’s bit about it here.
NYT Lives Section
The New York Times runs a column at the back of its magazine every Sunday called Lives. It’s my favorite section. There’s always a new story written by a new author. And the stories are not new stories (although they may sometimes be politically relevant), but are people’s personal stories, struggles, and experiences in life. It’s kind of like if This American Life had a...
Five years ago, Stephen Colbert coined a new word: truthiness. Used to express a kind of warped truth. Common users of truthiness include(d) Fox News, the Bush Administration, BP during the oil spill, and many politicians throughout the nation. See further analysis of the word truthiness here.
It’s interesting to pause and ask yourself: do I know anything about my coworkers?
Starbucks slowing it down?
It looks like Starbucks is trying to jump on the slow-movement bandwagon. PSFK reports that the higher ups are instructing employees to slow down the pace of drink-making, and to only grind coffee beans right before they’re about to be roasted. This is extremely interesting. I’ve been following coffee culture for some time now and this new move by Starbucks to create more of an...
Print your Facebook friends
It would be interesting if everybody used Benjamin Lotan’s service once or twice a year and took note of the changes in their profile pics over time. Sort of a different way of mapping your life.
Pizza store encourages flirting
In light of our society’s growing use of texting and social media as a method of communication, (seriously read these numbers) London’s Pizza Express is encouraging social interaction amongst its employees and customers. http://www.psfk.com/2010/10/flirting-staff-fight-social-media-isolation.html
Windows 1.01 running on DOSBox
Love this old Windows “how to ” video. It’s just so, well, old and funny, which means I get to slap the authenticity label on it, no questions asked. Yesss!
If you like Authenticism, start following my other blog: tiny gem. A great addition to the very important time you spend wasting time at work! Thanks!
I like browsing the HRC website for information about LBGTQ activism and politics. I really love the list they put out every year: Best Places to Work, which hi-lights businesses that support equality for the LBGTQ community. It’s simple and helps me figure out who to support. In addition, it falls in line with my idea that authenticity must run throughout a company, rather than just...
Hyper Public lets you “tag yourself by anything you want to share with the public.” It’s a bit weird to me but really fascinating. You can literally search for people in your neighborhood with really specific tags like brown hair or glasses.
Interesting facts about sharing
PSFK says that people who share online are more likely to share offline.
Thank you: Tweens making up for all the years of...
People like to hate on Millennials just as much as they hate on hipsters. Here’s a piece from Fast Company that explains people’s problems with the Millennials but also defends them a bit. Phew. Thanks Nancy Lublin. But a new trend is popping up among the We Generation that is really great and will simultaneously hi-light the selfishness of the Millennial but also negate it through...
Green, inside and out
Usually I say that if you’re going to advertise a certain trait about your brand, your internal infrastructure better live up to that characteristic as well. For example, if you preach recycling to your consumers but don’t offer a place for your employees to recycle, you are a total fail. Here’s an article from Fast Company that shows this principle can also be transferred to...
Stop the Presses! Nazis still live on my street.
Right after my New Found Items, 2010 post today, I went outside and immediately FOUND SOMETHING ELSE! This is an amazing drawing that bears suspicious similarities to something I found at least a year ago, which I have reposted here for your convenience. The drawing depicts a war scene. In the scene, you can clearly see that the tanker is marked with an SS. The SS acted under Hitler’s...
Kids on computers
Another example of the fact that the internet has become a totally legit part of our lives is the beginning of social media tools for students and teachers. This is important. Kids need to learn the communication tools of their future. Texas instruments are not going to cut it. Read more here.
Handling life after death on the internet
It took me a long time to understand that we just can’t get away from the internet. It’s here to stay and it is no longer a sideshow. It is fully integrated into our lives. Those who question what this means for humanity are just wasting time. No matter how nostalgic we all are, we will never get back to a time of telegrams and pony expresses. Sorry guys. You just can’t say...
New Found Items, 2010
The past few weeks have been a goldmine in my neighborhood. Between the two of us, my roommate and I found three new things on the street! That’s pretty good. That’s like averaging one find per week. For those of you who don’t look for things, that’s really good. Two of the letters were so intense that we decided to frame them. Below are pictures and also I typed out what...
PSFK also thinks Malcolm Gladwell is wrong
Malcolm Gladwell’s take on social media is like a nun’s likely review of the Kama Sutra — self-righteous and misguided by virtue of voluntary self-exclusion from the subject. But while the nun’s stance reflects adherence to a moral code, Gladwell’s merely discloses a stubborn opinion based on little more than a bystander’s observations. Read more here.
Malcolm Gladwell doesn't use social media
There has been a lot of negative response to Malcolm Gladwell’s recent New Yorker Article which claims that social media and the internet will never be powerful enough to enact social change. He fills his five pages against social media without ever having participated in the communication medium to begin with. Here is one article from Mashable that disputes his claims. *Video from...
Encounters at the End of the World
Werner Herzog’s Encounters at the End of the World is one of my favorite documentaries of all time. The images and information about the wildlife are stunning but what really gets me are the profiles that Herzog does of the human inhabitants. His fascination with the motives of people who come to such an isolated place are justified; they are interested group. This is definitely worth...
Mashable posts great examples of guerilla...
The great thing about all these campaigns is that they create a story without really trying too hard. By providing consumers with a fun distraction or a change in their routine, they are also giving them a story to tell later on. I love VW’s Fast Lane idea. Check out the rest here.
More Semiotic Analysis
Here’s a more detailed look at some semiotics and themes found in the brands/ads I chose last week: LEVI’S GO FORTH Walt Whitman Poem: america: authenticity, america, reality America Sign lighting up at beginning of spot: new dawn Fireworks: fourth of july, independence, freedom, new start Railroad Tracks Noise in background: progress, hardworking Black and White Cinematography:...
Inspiring YouTube Projects
Five YouTube Projects that are making a difference.