Jargon Watch: Harris’ Law

Jason Calacanis has touched on the issue of overconnectivity in a recent editon of his email newsletter. It dealt  with more certainty about the adverse social effects that connectivity brings which I first heard raised by Eric Benhamou of 3Com when he spoke about a decade ago in a keynote at Networld+InterOp in Paris.

Key to the mail was a concept that Calacanis called Harris’ Law (after his friend Josh Harris):

At some point, all humanity in an online community is lost, and the goal becomes to inflict as much psychological suffering as possible on another person.

That sounds excessively harsh in most circumstances, since most social networks mirror life and society, but I wanted to end this post on a timely reminder which I have taken from Hugh MacLeod of Gaping Void fame’s twitter feed:

“People matter, Objects don’t”. That’s all you need to know about social media.

You can subscribe to Jason’s email list here.

It isn’t pink, I usually go this colour when I am embarrassed

The embarrassment in question is in relation to the lame marketing tie-in I noticed between shirt-maker Thomas Pink and the forthcoming Sony Pictures film: The Pink Panther 2.


Thomas Pink Fail


Not quite feeling the synergy here guys beyond the colour pink. In addition to a limited edition range of shirts with a tacky label, there is cufflinks and boxer shorts.


Pink Panther by Thomas Pink


I was shocked to see there was even a set of ‘Pink Panther’ socks in the window that were reminiscent of the cartoon character socks Woolworths used to stock as men’s gifts in the run up to Father’s Day and Christmas. Woolworth’s went bankrupt for a reason.


Thomas Pink Fail


The champion fail though in my book was the lack of localisation in the campaign. The window sticker on the Thomas Pink shop on Chancery Lane spelt theatres in the American-style ‘theaters’ instead of saying cinemas. Classy, especially for a brand that espouses the English style of shirt-making through its usual positioning, premium pricing and Jermyn Street address.

Jargon Watch: Justice porn

When I was a kid, there was a strangely tedious yet compelling show on in the middle of the afternoon called Crown Court, there members of a jury picked from the electorial role in the Granada television region (North West of England) heard court cases that were created (featuring actors as judges, witnesses and the accused). When I was off ill from school it would send me to sleep but my interest wouldn’t allow me to nod off totally. I instead existed in a blissfully comfortable (almost narcotic) half-awake state under a duvet.

So I can understand the appeal in a new hot category of American reality justice television called justice porn. Reality shows like Judge Judy have been found to provide reliable ratings (at least 1.5 Neilsen ratings) and are relatively cheap (under 500,000 USD per episode) to make. Justice porn veteran Judge Judy now dukes it out with over a dozen competing shows on American television.

Kudos to Thank You, Your Honor, May I Have Another? – The stubbornly seductive perils of justice porn by Greg Beato for Reason Magazine (January 2009 print edition).

As seen on…

I was looking at a ‘sleeve face’ advert on the back of thelondonpaper for Smooth FM when the artwork of The Beach Boys Greatest Hits caught my eye. There was a red stripe on the top corner labeled ‘as seen on TV’.

As seen on TV

It is amazing how hackneyed that phrase has become. Sullied by wonder kitchen gadgets and keep fit devices and tacky costume jewellery on the likes of QVC and HSN.

So what would be the equivalent now? As seen on YouTube? As seen on Facebook? As found on Google?

Instead, things are bit different. In fact, if I can’t something on Google it immediately seems suspect. As seen on Google isn’t a ringing endorsement but a minimum level of trust. At least Google as a destination is better and more trusted than minor TV channels.

Links of the day

Smarta – Think create grow – need to kick the tyres on this is Xing / LinkedIn rival. It must be web 2.0 it has a flickr-like dual-colour logo.

FT launches new mobile website – Brand Republic News – Brand Republic – interesting move, optimised for iPhone and Blackberry. From memory the FT used to share its content via AvantGo as well a number of years ago. Its amazing how long mobile has been an emerging platform

Simonsays: Locking down the future and what you can do to help – Mr Collister on the EU’s answer to the US Sonny Bono law

Candy Cakes – Coffee Cakes and Shakes – start-up party fuel, some nice creative designs though

Whisper it – A year later, AOL contemplates a Bebo sale

Facebook Is Too Crowded and Your Analytics Aren’t Up to Snuff – Advertising Age