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IABC’s World Conference will explore many fascinating trends in communications, social media and public relations.
I have been a longtime fan of Roger Ebert. If you don’t know know who he is or what he is battling, and winning, I must add, you can read the Esquire article.
Roger Ebert: The Essential Man
It has been nearly four years since Roger Ebert lost his lower jaw and his ability to speak. Now television's most famous movie critic is rarely seen and never heard, but his words have never stopped.
I too am an avid reader. When not swamped working, I try and read 2 - 3 books a week. I do not have a TV and feel that reading helps me think, create and maintain a certain state of mind, that in this world of chaos (shootings, war and poverty), incompetence (BP, car recalls and our politicos) and general pop culture nonsense (Hi Britney!), reading keeps me sane. Well, as sane as I can be?
I have followed Roger Ebert on Twitter (@ebertchicago) since day one. You should too. This is a man of pedigree, sensibilities and depth. Regardless whether you agree with his politics, you should hear him out. it is like reading a good book.
This latest article by him is so thought provoking, so deep in meaning - I suggest you go read it. Will do ya good!
Google Analytics is a free application that provides website visit statistics, designed to help marketers track and optimize online advertising and search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns. If you are interested in analyzing where your website visitors came from, page navigation, how long they stayed on your site, and geographic location, Google Analytics can certainly help you.
One of my favorite courses I teach is Creative Development. It is an amazing team builder and so much fun to facilitate!
Developing the Creative Craft
Socrates wrote that inspired thoughts originate with the gods, ideas coming not when a person is rational, but when someone is "beside himself", when "bereft of his senses. Since the gods take away reason before bestowing the gift of inspiration, "thinking" might actually prevent the reception of divinely inspired revelations.The word "inspiration" is based on a Greek word meaning the God within.
One aspect of a creative personality is the fluency with which he/she generates a number of new ideas. Not only does the creative person think of good ideas, but he/she can think of many ideas, explore them, and record them. If you feel a need to quantify your creative ability, go to a local psychologist and ask about taking a test to measure your creative ability. If you live near a college or university approach their psychology department with this request. But recognize that creative ability can be learned, improved upon, and increased over time.
(From World Artist Directory)
Part II - What can I do to increase my creativity?
Save $100 when registering for an upcoming Social Media event.
Visability - the marketing optimization division of IT World Canada - is delivering a Social Media Marketing For Your Organization seminar at Toronto’s Hyatt Regency Hotel on May 27, 2010.
The intensive single-day program includes sessions addressing valuable topic areas like:
I saw that at this year's Marketing Awards they will be picking out the Best of the Decade ad campaign. You can go here to pick your favorite.
It got me thinking ... what is a great ad? Here is a short primer ...
Have a look at your ads. Take a gander and ask yourself the following questions.
This was sent to me in an email.
THIS IS AN ABSOLUTELY GREAT VIDEO!
Coca-Cola could have just handed out some free coke, but decided to create a "Happiness Machine" in the student commons area of a University.
It sure looks like a regular vending machine, but this group of college students was in for a surprise.This vending machine takes quarters and gives out smiles.
What is everyone's take on this? Two thumbs up? Great viral? Or????
It isn't only that people don't learn to write, because they don't acquire the habit of reading. It takes time to teach people how to write. You have to learn grammar and syntax, and you must read because there's no other way to learn it. And that's not the way it's [taught] in many of our schools. We're not teaching it that way.
Ten years ago I taught a course at Yale University in writing, and it was a course for credit, it was not just one of these visiting celebrity type things. These are very bright kids, they were juniors and seniors, and I had twelve of them in the class, and I made the mistake of saying -- it was thirteen weeks, and I said there'd be a paper every week. I had no idea how hard that was going to be to correct those papers. These were kids that supposedly wanted to become writers of some sort, and so the first essay I assigned them was "What do you read?" And "very little" were the answers on the twelve papers. I mean, they read one or two magazines and they would read -- let's say as a junior they would read Dickens' Great Expectations and they'd read it very carefully and they'd be able to analyze -- you know, follow the course instruction and analyze it on five levels of allegory and six levels of symbolism, and so forth. And then I'd say to them, "Well, did you ever read another novel by Dickens?" and it had never occurred to them! Of the twelve kids in the class, three could write, three almost could write, and the other six simply couldn't. It was painful. They were very, very bright, but their heads were filled with images.I've seen eighth grade examinations that were given in Kansas in the 1880s and there's no Harvard student in the world that could even come close to passing one of these tests. Because without the phone and without the television, people would read. I, at one point, was going to do a television show on the exploration of the American West in the 1840s, the Western movement, and I read letters, many, many letters from individuals traveling in the trans-Mississippi west, writing back to their families in the east, and they're amazingly wonderful letters. The spelling's not right, but the fluency of the language and the ease -- and these are not university students. But it was a natural language. It was as natural to them to write as it would be to us to talk on the telephone.
1941 the average vocabulary of a high school senior was something like 9000 or 10,000 words, and four or five years ago when I last saw the statistic it was down to 5000 words. That's a result of television, of the broadcast discourse.To alleviate this, the way we write, I believe, should be the way we speak. It is a start until you develop your style or voice. My personal voice ticks people off sometime. I am sorry about that, but it is my voice and, right or wrong, it gets the point across. I have never written to get everyone to agree with me. I write down what I believe. And put my heart on my sleeve.
Apple recently announced that they have absolutely no plans to enable Flash content on iPhones, iPods or iPads and this has made everyone in our business re-think the utilization of Flash in web content. But the more conventional wisdom would be to think multi-platform. Think inclusive rather than exclusive.
What this announcement really brings home is the difference between the wired and mobile web. The world is changing and mobile devices are leading the way. If popular devices such as Apple's repertoire do not support one of the most popular animation applications on the internet, an adaptation or a correction if you will, has to take place somewhere down the line.
One thing seems certain. The adaptation will not come from Apple. They have listed reason after reason why their devices will not support Flash.. And all these reasons are quite valid. Apple believes in the open web, and Flash is closed and proprietary (even though many of their products, including the operating system on the iPhone, iPod and iPad are proprietary). This closed third-party architecture can be quite ubiquitous for developers when trying to integrate with these platforms. From a more basic perspective, Flash doesn't support touch navigation, which is a biggie, and can be a big drain on battery life. Another biggie.
So I get it. I understand Apple's position. It makes sense.
That doesn't change the fact that this stance they are taking is completely incompatible with today's web. So many sites offer Flash today as a central part of their content. The smart sites detect if a the Flash player is available, and if it is not, it serves up a boring placeholder image, and that cool user experience is lost. It's not Apple's fault. It certainly isn't Adobe's fault. And it also really isn't the designer's fault either. It is the fault of the web as we know it today. The web is primarily designed for the wired, not the mobile device.
Yes, there are plenty of mobile versions of sites being produced. Basically, these are stripped down versions of websites, lightweight interpretations that play nicely in the mobile world. But the iPhone offers an interface canvas that can easily allow for all the bells and whistles. The iPad in particular certainly should be able to keep up with the media rich content of today's web, no? Considering that you can play HD quality video on the thing!
What we have here is a complete change from what we expected a few years ago. Back then we were starting to see platforms coming together, making web design simple in that it was truly becoming a build once, run anywhere medium. But that has changed because the media has changed. Mobile users demand that content be delivered compatible with the devices they own, and at the same time, they will be unimpressed with the overly stripped-down. We are reaching a time where content from the world wide web will need to dynamically and drastically adjust for the platform, and web designers will be challenged to make that happen. Even more challenged will be the agencies as they try to convince their clients that they don't just need to add the mobile version for their website, but the iPad, or touch navigation version as well.
Strategic planning is a great way to identify which initiatives can add the most value to your organization. The next step is to prioritize initiatives with a systematic method. Use our downloadable Priority Index Tool to guide you through the prioritization process, and help you drill down on the value added for each proposed initiative.What are the Most Important considerations?
Back in the day brands would stand on the mountain top and shout their sole purpose for existing - the one compelling reason people should make them part of their everyday lives. I remember days of yore where businesses would go to war to defend their value-propositon and rally resources around ensuring they had purpose in people’s hearts.
But alas, those days seem to have gone.
A classic case in point is Toyota. Back then Quality with synonymous with the manufacturer along with its sidekicks Reliability and Dependability. This holy-trinity took it from a Japanese domestic producer to a global juggernaut that redefined manufacturing with the constructs of JIT (just-in-time) management and Kaizen respectively. If you listen carefully you can almost hear the fading echoes of the single-mined zaibatsu screamings from the top.
Where did it go wrong? How can a brand built on the bastion of Quality, an excellent thing, have its offspring recalled due to its lack thereof?
Oh cry the beloved car.
I believe they did one thing wrong – they decided to muddy their sole-purpose-for-being with other purposes for being in the hope of capturing more owners.
Fragment your laser-like focus and you land up where Toyota is today…back on the mountain top screaming Quality on deaf ears. Problem is exactly that, the damage has been done. Toyota has broken the trust of its people, much like a partner finds out their partner has been cheating. No matter how much they work on the relationship there will always be a whispering doubt that it could happen again.
Now what I do admire about Toyota is that they had a single brand purpose to begin with. Most brands don’t – they may think they do but they don’t. And that is why I wish Toyota the best of luck because they are embarking on something that is one of the hardest things to do in business – regaining something that you once were a leader in but lost along the way.
I am infinitely interested in this outcome as it will serve as a great case supporting Kevin Roberts’ and Saatchi’s philosophy of Lovemarks, the likes of which create loyalty beyond reason.
I leave you with this – a business must find its sword and fall upon it at every opportunity because only then will people keep choosing to include it in their everyday lives. And please, keep the sword in its pure-form.
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OneDegree has been serving Canadian online marketers since 2003. There are over 2500 archived posts and over 3500 comments by some of the top thought leaders in Canada.