Once again we are being afflicted with an email based virus storm that is driving us all nuts and there is utterly, utterly no damned need for it.
I have several email accounts but only one, my mate Dave at Sandnet, has a virus checker on his mail server and checks both inbound and outbound mails so that anyone who contracts a virus from another source doesn't spread it via his server.
Simple, no-friggin-brainer. Can Optus, Telstra, and most of the other email server operators get this kindergarten level idea? Apparently not. It is now taking me so long to clear the dead and dying virus driven emails out of my system that it actually a pleasure (now I know I'm losing it) a pleasure to see some honest to goodness spam!
Ton Zijlstra has a piece on the Failure of Social Networking Platforms that is a good starting point for thinking about this stuff and including a spot-on comment from John Moore who says " Ecademy in particular seems to have succumbed to networking for its own sake", which encapsulates my main objection to the forms so far of Social Networking.
Unlike Music Rebellion, Umair Haque gets it. He runs Bubblegeneration, has an MBA majoring in Strategy from London Business School and an undergrad degree, from McGill University in Psychology, focused on Neuroscience. In The New Economics of Music: File-Sharing and Double Moral Hazard he looks at Why the Music Industry is (Really) Broken and how it can be fixed.
According to Red Herring's "Popularity contest Music Rebellion gives the power to the people, letting demand decide a song's price", the latest attempt to make a buck out of music downloads has brought in the really smart people.
Jeremy Eglen, the 26-year-old vice president of licensing and operations for the Indianapolis company, says he took inspiration from his father, Jan Alan Eglen, a psychologist and former hovercraft developer, and his colleague, psychologist Roger Davis. The two thought that using behavioral psychology could help straighten out the shady world of online music sales.
Psychologists maybe, digital geniuses, not in this lifetime.
Last week's IA meetup at Out of India was a bit small for the first of the year, but the discussion ranged over some interesting things that started this train.
There was a little kvetching about websites that invite people to "try their new faceted search engine", some people plainly haven't got past the "tell us what you think of our website" era, and I had a beef with those who think a sitemap is somehow associated with IA. But the biggest problem with IA, as with many other ideas we are playing with, is that there is hardly any definition of it, and certainly none agreed even by a majority of those who use it. Subject to that caveat, here goes.
I'm not the only one grousing about thois branding stuff. John Moore at Roundourhouse has started something with The language of branding I especially like "These things may be ways of desribing brands but I don't think they capture at all authentically how real brands actually come into being, which is always a far more chaotic or complex process with false starts, blunders, arguments, misunderstandings etc. And the excessive use of such approaches blinds us to the REAL world we're actually dealing with."
Now, resuming the original programme.
Gerry McGovern is back on song (ie, I agree with him), and weighing into the developing meme that there is something rotten in the world of advertising. From his latest email epistle, Web design: never let an ad agency near your website
The average advertising agency fundamentally doesn't get the Web. Saatchi & Saatchi, BBDO Worldwide, J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy are great advertising agencies. When it comes to managing their own websites, however, they are rank amateurs. They bring their print and TV thinking to the Web with embarrassing results. Yup, see my entry here
I give workshops on content management and web design all over the world. Whenever I talk about the need for simple, clean web design, there is nearly always someone in the audience who raises an objection. I am informed that I don't understand branding.
Branding. I don't know how many times branding has been used as an excuse for awful web design. What's the biggest global brand that has emerged in the last five years? Google. And it's because of its multicolored logo? Or perhaps because it's a great search engine?
While I wholly agree about not letting the marketing/ advertising people near youre site, especially in the design phase, we need to be careful of blindness to cultural factors. A friend was building a site for a Philippine company a while ago and was busy hewing to the simple clean McGovern line. His client had a fit, unless it was well kitted with jazzing, flashing twirling logos, animations and other goodies, said the client, it would be ignored. From his Western European perspective, building a successful site for that client meant starting at cheesy and shoving the whole thing over a cliff. Not all of us see or deal with information in the way that Gerry and I do. Pays to remember.
On the other hand, his comments about branding kicked me off a little cliff as well, and got me started on what exactly this branding stuff is.
The word I use to describe the advertising business these days is desperate. Every where I look someone is trying to sell me something and, like many others, I am now getting resistant to the idea of advertising itself, not just some of the products and services it touts.
As a confirmed pessimist, I regularly check out what the non-boosters of global economics are saying at Fiendbear and most of the links confirm my jaundiced view of blythe spirits. This one is no exception but that's not why I'm linking to it. It does however confirm something that i tell eCommerce students regularly about what the internet really is for them.