Monday, 31 October 2011

Friday, 28 October 2011

Thursday, 27 October 2011


There’s a very simple reason newspapers and periodicals have such a low cover price (usually a few dollars, always less than $5) and are still chock to the gills with advertising.

To charge the advertisers more.

The logic goes like this….

The more a reader pays – the more the actually care about what’s being published.

The more readers care about what’s being published (the price they pay) the more they publication can charge advertisers to reach those readers.

Now, there’s a maximum price where only 1 person pays and a minimum price where the broadest group of qualified (as defined by the advertisers) readers pays.

In the end, the cover price is how the advertisers know the publication is reaching the intended audience.

For example, contrast the types of advertisements within your city’s entertainment weekly to those say in Entertainment Weekly or The Economist or even the NYTimes.

This is the also why annual subscription prices are usually a small fraction of the annual cover price (the difference is the value of your delivery address to the advertisers).

Because so much demographic data can be extracted from IP Addresses – we drop much of the data gleaned from offline purchase decisions in every http request. So any price tag on an ad-filled publication is money a publisher can use to raise their ad rates.

So, what did you pay for? – A higher quality advertisement.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Now I Don’t Need To Write This Myself.

Generation X is beyond all that bullshit now. It quit smoking and doing coke a long time ago. It has blood pressure issues and is heavier than it would like to be. It might still take some ecstasy, if it knew where to get some. But probably not. Generation X has to be up really early tomorrow morning.- Mat Honan

This my response to OccupyWallStreet.

I’ve got three kids. A house in the burbs. Working for myself.

And not that long ago, society, and my student loan provider said, “we don’t believe in you.”

Even then I had no idea what that meant.

Today, I don’t have time to camp out in a public park – I’ve got work to do.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Like but Verify

“Now the fascinating thing about the Internet is that it has in theory made it easy to take a verification step and check source information instead of cascading based on others’ actions….But the Internet has also made it that much easier to spread unverified information with a single click (reblog, retweet, like). The state of the art today is that spreading is easier than verifying which means that we are getting more, not fewer information cascades. That is especially true because with social networks we are observing the actions of friends or at least people we know (instead of random strangers) and are thus more likely to copy their actions.” – Albert Wenger

Unfortunately, the metrics used in measuring success conflict with the notion of verification. Verification slows down the number of “shares”. Worse, the interfaces within the sites offering these voting gestures (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Hacker News, Google, etc) make it far more difficult to verify and the make the gesture – than to just make the gesture.

Then again, this issue only exists for people using these sites. In the same way, the MPR interrupting regular programming with a pledge drive is only an issue for listeners.

Monday, 10 October 2011

DiveIntoMark Opts-Out


The requested resource
is no longer available on this server and there is no forwarding address. Please remove all references to this resource.” – 10 Oct 2011

Breaking inertia is hard work. It puts up a good fight, has the upper hand, and knows when you’re not serious.

This is why the Atkins diet starts with an Induction phase and the U.S. Army starts with bootcamp.

Want to make a big change? Want to break inertia? You gotta seriously fuck shit up right from the start. And hold it for 30 days.

Go Vegan.

Deactivate your Facebook.

Turn off the radio.


Stop engaging that person that makes you feel badly about yourself.

Disengage that aspect of your life that no longer makes you profoundly and annoyingly giddy.

Drop 410s on your websites.

Opt out.

Mark Pilgrim’s work was inspiring. His departure should be equally inspiring.

(Mark – if you’re interested in providing background material for the Opt Out book – my email’s in the right column. Thanks.)

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Monday, 3 October 2011

For the Win?

Back at the beginning of my career, my then creative director decided the best way to bring in new business to our nascent agency was to win design awards.

Not knowing any better – we all cheered and put our collective nose to the grindstone. Developing the concept, the interactions, the flow, all for a award-winning, self-promotion piece. I was responsible for programming the Director-based CD-ROM (yes, that’s how long ago it was). Once we all sufficiently tested the CD-ROM, it was duplicated and entered.

And, to all but our creative director’s surprise – the piece was included in the design annual (‘bronze’ or ‘notable mention’ or something like that). Yet – the phones didn’t start ringing and the desperately-needed new business didn’t materialize. I left about 6 months later. Then the creative director left. The shop itself folded by year’s end.

Remembering that project brings a stale and empty taste to my mouth. Like finding out a joke you’ve been retelling was offensive. It changed how I measure winning and the types of projects I take on.

To this day – it pains me to see so many professionals distracting themselves with contests rather than the hard work of making something meaningful that lasts.