Great copywriting I have known

I use Echofon on my work Mac since its OS doesn’t have the App store on it. Echofon is an advert-supported piece of software and usually I am not that interested. 140Proof sell the ads and in the spirit of Twitter keep the copy down to below 140 characters.
The daily copywriting
This copy from News Corporation’s The Daily caught my eye as it shows real insight of the tastes and social norms of their audience.

Korean B-Boy crew Last For One vs Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times did a short film of Last For One who were made famous in the the documentary Planet B-Boy. The split screen style apes 1960s action film titles.

The video is on the YouTube service so may not be able to be watched everywhere.

Pizza Express: use and reuse in design | 在设计的使用和重用

I had lunch at Pizza Express the other week and noticed that the cutlery were kept on the table in a branded can. At first I thought that the can was specially for that purpose and to convey the brand message.
Pizza Express presentation
I passed another Pizza Express restaurant the other day and noticed that they were selling the pizza sauce in the same tins with the same visually attractive design. It is extremely impressive that the packaging design was sufficiently good that the empty tins could be reused in this way.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Top 10 global retail and auction sites: Global – Digital Intelligence

I, Cringely » Larry Page’s Manhattan Project – big bets rather than smaller fast failure model

Interview: Fashion Designer Peggy Tan’s Cheongsam Dream « Jing Daily

Asiajin » English Broadcaster NHK World Starts Free Ustream Channel

Is 14nm the end of the road for silicon chips? | ExtremeTech

Current Thunderbolt ports will support optical cabling next year

Microbloggers Promote Infographics

Communities Dominate Brands: View from the Frontline in Bloodbath Update

Developer says Microsoft lied about Windows Phone location tracking – this could be interesting

Marcel Cerdan Heritage – interesting line of vintage inspired gym wear as streetwear

Wearable electronics: NASA develops memory-storing e-textile material | ExtremeTech – like core memory from the 1950s

Recording: Apply Social Across the Customer Hourglass « Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang

Fairness in the Countryside | Campaign – this seems to me like a pointless waste of time from the point-of-view of it’s creator the UK Labour Party

UK Labour Party wants journalism licenses, will prohibit “journalism” by people who are “struck off” the register of licensed journalists – Boing Boing – this sounds very suspect

Welcome to! – social bookmarking and curation

Chinese Social Network Renren Buys Video Sharing Site For $80 Million | TechCrunch

UK firm unfairly dismissed employee for Facebook comments, Tribunal rules

Facebook Now Has 800 Million Users

Google’s blue arrow bugged me | 从不一致的设计刺激

When Google opened up it’s Google Plus network to it’s entire user base rather than invites Google highlighted it to everyone with a very organic-blue arrow.
google blue arrow ad
This irritated me at the time for a couple of reasons:

  • It looked like vandalism of the clean search engine page. Google’s doodles aren’t human but engaging and perfectly formed like pre-Disney takeover Pixar films. The arrow didn’t delight visually and wasn’t particularly clever
  • It made Google seem fallible rather than human. I have gotten used to Google the machine knowing me (sometimes in a really creepy way); so would know that I had already been in using Google+ before the web proletariat were let loose on it – yet it was like as if Google had forgotten this. This sense of disappointment was much more profound than getting a couple of duff search results (usually crap masquerading as content, as pioneered by Demand Media)

Part of the problem that Google has, is that it has walked itself into a machine design corner that isn’t quite minimal but getting there.

Jeffrey Zeldman on web technologies

Great presentation by Jeffrey Zeldman of US web design shop Happy Cog on why now is the time of the web designer

Zeldman articulates how web technological progress such as HTML5, CSS3, and web fonts are allowing web developers to build great web applications on web standards. Whilst Zeldman is right to talk about the benefit of web standards adherence. I still find a different experience across different browsers even on the most modern websites. The video is on Vimeo so not everyone will be able to see it.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Facebook: Sharing it all | The Economist – Facebook the sociopathic network

India at “phase one”, says LVMH: News from – bespoke is big with Indian luxury consumers

Will The iPhone 5 Kill The Car? @PSFK – cars losing their status position with younger consumers. This has already happened in Japan. The one thing that isn’t being mentioned is that these younger consumers probably don’t have as much spending power

Into The Abyss: Teal and Orange – Hollywood, Please Stop the Madness

Google+ Is A Sideshow — A Lot Of Silicon Valley Is Ignoring It

Eos Adventure | Yahoo! UK – interesting new sponsored content campaign by Canon on Yahoo!

Android adoption doubled iOS over past three months, Nielsen finds – Android stealing market share from everyone but Apple

Companies favour HK arena over Shanghai | – mainland regulations on areas like currency (paywall)

It’s a Facebook world (well most of it is)

My client Experian have put out research on Facebook usage out this morning. The research had two tables.

The first table looked at the average time spend on Facebook

Market Average time spent on Facebook in August 2011 per session
Singapore 38 mins 46 sec
New Zealand 30 mins 31 sec
Australia 26 mins 27 sec
UK 25 mins 33 sec
US 20 mins 46 sec
France 21 mins 53 sec
India 20 mins 21 sec
Brazil 18 mins 19 sec

The second looked at market penetration of social networks and forums as part of overall web behaviour

Market Market share for social networks and forums
Brazil 18.9%
Singapore 16.4%
US 15.4%
India 14.0%
New Zealand 13.9%
France 15.1%
Australia 13.1%
UK 12.2%

This was spread across some 9,000 social networks in the UK alone.

I found it interesting that there didn’t seem to be a clear positive correlation between the amount of time that users spent on social networks and market penetration of social networks. Does this indicate that just because social network usage maybe tending towards ubiquity doesn’t necessarily mean that they are that engaging?


An old presentation, but a good one: Rory Sutherland at Thinking Digital 2010

Vice-chairman of Ogilvy UK Rory Sutherland always provides good value as a presenter, in this case talking about cognitive bias and behavioural economics. Rory emphasises that society is more interested in making change happen through technology or regulation rather than tapping into persuasion or psychology as he puts it.

This video is hosted on Vimeo so it may not be able to be viewed everywhere.

Facebook’s F8 announcements: through a skeptic darkly

One of the key challenges that I outlined regarding the future of Facebook last November was that of increasingly inactive profiles. Why are inactive profiles particularly bad for Facebook?

  • At the top-level inactive Facebook users call into question the value that has been put on the social network by investors
  • Facebook at its heart is an advertising business that relies on consumers providing compelling content in the form of updates, curated content and pictures so there is less content to put advertisements against
  • Visits by the audiences are likely to become less frequent and so the cycle continues in a slow downward spiral
  • Facebook can’t kick off inactive profiles as this would affect active users friend numbers adversely which would result in a sizeable amount of cognitive dissonance
  • Finally the cost of saving an inactive profile is small but in aggregate would adversely affect the margins of the Facebook business. Over time, it is likely adversely affect behavioural targeting of adverts

The changes that Facebook announced around timelines and news feeds look as if Facebook is already preparing for this; by trying to wring as much content as possible out of the existing news streams. Facebook’s frictionless sharing takes this a step further. It is about collating status posts from Facebook users who aren’t logged in with the content being sent via app developers over a Facebook API.

There are some issues I would like to understand better:

  • Does Facebook’s data show a progressively less engaged audience in its mature markets like the US and the UK? And by implication, is this is about as good as Facebook is going to get?
  • Has Facebook messaging not lived up to its initial promise to provide consumers with a reason to return and an excuse to update their status whilst they are at it?
  • Finally how much of these changes are likely likely to benefit brand pages?

More posts about this subject

Facebook redesigns itself for expansion (roundup) | CNET News

Facebook changes creeping out some customers – CNET News

What if People Stop Sharing? Facebook Has the Answer | SiliconANGLE

Nik Cubrilovic Blog – Logging out of Facebook is not enough

2011: just where is digital going? | renaissance chambara

Links of the day | 在网上找到

What if People Stop Sharing? Facebook Has the Answer | SiliconANGLE – Facebook trying to hedge against less active network members

Samsung lawsuits against Apple over 3G patents could backfire

Why Facebook Timeline Is Made For Its Youngest Users [OPINION]

How Facebook Ate the Web – it looks like Aol on the ascendancy

NASA releases collection of space-related audio files – Boing Boing

d-zone’s sounds on SoundCloud – old school rave label online

Google Tells Senate That iOS Dominates Mobile Search

Is Apple iOS Usage Flattening Out? Millennial Media’s Figures Suggest Yes | mocoNews

The Worse Banks Treat the Chinese, the More the Chinese Save – WSJ – startlingly like boom-time Japan

Privacy Win: Apple and Dropbox Join Fight to Reform Electronic Privacy Law | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Use of keywords will depend on High Court’s view of trade mark reputation

Tell Your Story with Timeline – Facebook’s spin on the new developments announced at F8

Italy Proposes Draconian One-Strike Anti-Piracy Law | TorrentFreak

Movie Institute Feels Pain Of IP Address-Only Piracy ‘Evidence’ | TorrentFreak

+1 Metrics, Social Signals in Google Analytics & Google Webmaster Tools

Chinese Buyers New Fixture At London Fashion Week « Jing Daily sold to Rakuten of Japan for £25m | The Guardian – interesting that the VAT tax loophole took a big chunk out of the asking price. Processes, facilities, user base and goodwill were worth surprisingly little – which makes me think that it is evidence of social software services being very overpriced

Mini-Microsoft: Friday! Friday! Friday! Microsoft Company Meeting 2011! – interesting positive change in morale and them being happy that the cold winds of the great recession aren’t affecting Microsofties too badly. All sounds a bit like the IBM of old

Decoding ‘Social Management’ | China Power – increased focus on social cohesion and stability

Lancs shale to yield ’15 years’ of gas for UK • The Register

Kenji Takimi | The Japan Times Online – great interview with old school Japanese DJ whose taste now encompasses classic Balearic sounds, retro house sounds and new disco

LN-CC | Designer clothing, accessories, music and books. – lovely curated shop

Matt Mason the challenges and opportunities of digital sharing | 知识产权挑战

Matt talks about how youth culture and digital sharing is changing business models.

‘Pirates’ are also a source of innovation

  • 3D printing is likely to expand piracy much further as they will be available to consumers and internet enabled in a decade’s time
  • Fighting consumers doesn’t work, though the entertainment industry continues to spend money lobbying western governments and trying to put kids in jail
  • Swedish pirate party is now the third largest political party in the country by membership
  • Dichotomy of pirate radio: in London Metropolitan Police try to close the stations down but also advertise on them. Pirate stations act as ‘idea and talent incubator’ in mainstream media
  • Entrepreneurs go for a gap in the market, pirates go for gaps outside the markets
  • America industrialised by ignoring European intellectual property rights
  • Hollywood was formed by film-makers who didn’t want to pay royalties to Emerson
  • Effective pirates add value in some way and become part of the new order
  • Remixing adds value, it gives new purpose to products that companies wouldn’t have otherwise realised – co-creation
  • Fashion trends are essentially piracy; then the market becomes saturated with copies people want something different and the trends move on
  • Convenience is a key competitive advantage over ‘piracy’ for instance iTunes
  • You can beat piracy through a superior experience – Wolverine pirate rips drove a hunger to see the film at the cinema. People who pirate a lot of stuff, buy more

Video is on Vimeo, so depending where you are you may not be able to see it.

Chris Bangle a former design director of BMW Group on new ways of designing | Chris Bangle 产品设计

Sense Worldwide hosted a Creative Morning in London with a talk by Chris Bangle, formerly of BMW who now runs his own firm.  Chris is now interested in empowerment, specifically letting design happen without designers.

  • A curve isn’t only about mathematics, but also about a person’s set of correctness
  • Artisans as co-creators with architects rather than just an executor
  • Split between design for industry and design for people – Eric Gill
  • Designers see the world in three segments: big spenders, medium spenders and people who spend as little as possible

The presentation is on Vimeo so some people may not be able to see it.

Robert B. Reich on the economy and the decline of the middle classes | 西方的经济困境

Robert B. Reich has interesting take on the causes of the recent financial woes is less to do with banking systems and more to do with lies in the increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of the richest Americans (and other elites in their respective countries), while stagnant wages and rising costs have forced the middle class to go deep into debt.

This also explains why marketers are now targeting the bottom and top of markets whilst missing out the middle. The stagnation of the middle classes earning power over the past three decades was concealed by three coping mechanisms:

  • Women went into work to compensate for the stagnation of male earning power
  • Workers worked longer hours to compensate for lower pay
  • Families used debt based on rising house values to subsidise their spending to plug the gap

The problem wasn’t money being earned but the way that the it was distributed with the top one percent of the population earning a proportion of the wealth out of balance with the rest of the economy. The margin is very similar to what existed just prior to the great depression. Reich implies that this will bring economic and social turbulence moving forwards.

The mechanism that caused this disruption in the 1970s were technological changes:

  • Containerisation of the global supply chain
  • Process automation
  • Information technology

The early 20th century had seen similar disruptive changes:

  • Increasing productivity of farms
  • Internal combustion engine
  • Telecommunications
  • Modern roads and railways

The fruits of productivity increases in both cases were not shared throughout society.