Welcome to the experience economy

“…business value is no longer derived from having a big brand in the traditional sense, but rather, having a big micro brand – highly engaged, with the right audience and the ability to demonstrate repeated sales from known customers.”


Source: Welcome to the experience economy


 

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The Inconvenience of $1.50

One of the many insidious aspects of late capitalism is its ability to force a competition between time-saving and wage-saving.  The convenience of technology necessitates further trust in and reliance on the rest of society.

[…]

Throughout my life in capitalist cultures, capitalism has taught me, us, to think that saving $1.50 every time we shop is savvy. Bargain hunting has even been elevated to televised sport: Design on a Dime or Extreme Couponing come to mind. If we know anything about a commodity it is how much it costs and speculations on how much we can underpay are seen as responsible financial planning.

[…]

I and everyone else have little information about which soap helps retain collective bargaining power or which brand of toilet paper supports union-busting political action committees. The social life of things prior to their arrival on shelves is purposefully obscured by a veil of individual consumerism.


Source: The Inconvenience of $1.50 | Cyborgology


 

The Internet and the Rise of Microbrand Watches

One recent trend that has come about in the last couple years thanks to crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter is the rise of microbrand watches. Big brands such as Omega, Rolex and Seiko, still dominate the market, but the allure of smaller brands that produce high quality, custom-made watches, is gaining appeal globally.


Source: The Internet and the Rise of Microbrand Watches


 

What’s Jack Dorsey’s #StayWoke T-shirt mean?

Deriving from “stay awake,” to stay woke is to keep informed of the shitstorm going on around you in times of turmoil and conflict, specifically on occasions when the media is being heavily filtered- such as the events in Ferguson Missouri in August 2014.


Source: What’s Jack Dorsey’s #StayWoke T-shirt mean? | Fast Company


+Note: It means the term has jumped the shark. It means we can retire the phrase now, because if the head of one of the least diverse companies can wear it, in the presence of Deray, then it really doesn’t mean anything anymore. This response from the article perfectly sums it up:  Read More

Spend more time you say? Gladly.

News Feed FYI: More Articles You Want to Spend Time Viewing

For example, we’ve found that there are stories people don’t like or comment on that they still want to see, such as articles about a serious current event, or sad news from a friend. Based on this finding, we previously updated News Feed’s ranking to factor in how much time you spend reading a post within News Feed, regardless of whether you opened the article. We also previously updated News Feed’s ranking to take into account times when someone clicked on an article and came straight back to News Feed as we learned that this often happened when the article someone clicked on wasn’t what they had expected from the post or the headline.


Source: News Feed FYI: More Articles You Want to Spend Time Viewing | Facebook Newsroom


 

New mediums need new monitors

When Rape Is Broadcast Live On The Internet

But the most appealing factor of live streaming – raw content at the touch of a button – is also its biggest threat: The inability of companies to monitor live content has spawned an entirely new set of serious safety and privacy issues for users. The freedom to live-stream just about anything, anywhere in the world, has prompted a new and uncomfortable predicament for social media companies: What should they do if – or when – a crime is being live-streamed on their platform?


Source: When Rape Is Broadcast Live On The Internet | BuzzFeed News


 

It could happen to you too

Facebook Removes The Shade Room For “Violating Community Standards”

The Shade Room is a thoroughly modern publication, existing nearly entirely where its audience exists — on social. However, publishing directly to social networks, as Nwandu has pioneered, puts the fortunes, and readership, of TSR into a third party’s hands. Namely, Facebook’s, Instagram’s, Twitter’s, and Snapchat’s.


Source: Facebook Removes The Shade Room For “Violating Community Standards” I BuzzFeed News


 

Micro addition for macro view 

Micro enterprises will be able to take part in the Singapore Prestige Brand Award (SPBA) for the first time this year, now that a new Micro Brands award category has been introduced.


Source: Micro addition for macro view of awards, Companies & Markets | The Straits Times


 

E-commerce editors?

The newest rainmaker at publishers: E-commerce editors

Publishers from Business Insider and Gawker to Hearst and BuzzFeed have not only added “commerce” to the revenue mix — it’s often little more than affiliate links — but they’ve hired out editorial staff that specializes in creating commerce-minded content. These new comm-tent creators need to be one part editor, one part salesperson.


Source: The newest rainmaker at publishers: E-commerce editors | Digiday


 

micro brand Makes the New Yorker

Are Micro-Apartments a Good Solution to the Affordable-Housing Crisis?

 

“If micro-units become a form of low-income housing only, it becomes stigmatized.” In other words, going that route might have risked damaging the micro brand among those who seek both market-rate and low-income housing. The observation subtly underscored the importance of optics when it comes to small apartments. An affordable “shoebox,” as it were, was much more likely to be controversial than an expensive one.

 
Source: Are Micro-Apartments a Good Solution to the Affordable-Housing Crisis? | The New Yorker

Rise of the micro-brands

In today’s open market, micro-brands have never had such a low barrier to entry with accessible manufacturing in the same facilities as established brands, social media to use for promotion, and a huge community of creative cyclists who long to create things they want to use themselves. It’s never been a better time for new brands to have a crack at taking on some of the older players in the kit game and shaking up the industry.

micro-brands


Source: Rise of the micro-brands: Introducing the CyclingTips Emporium | CyclingTips


 

Jakob Nielsen

“The more users’ expectations prove right, the more they will feel in control of the system and the more they will like it.”

Flexibility

“The web’s greatest strength, I believe, is often seen as a limitation, as a defect. It is the nature of the web to be flexible, and it should be our role as designers and developers to embrace this flexibility and product pages which, by being flexible, are accessible to all.”

—John Allsop


Source: Chapter 10 | Foundations of Web Design


 

Mobile Payments Mess, Summarized by This 71-Year-Old’s Email

“Being forced to choose all of these different payment system(s) for each business I might use is not something I want to do.”

Read More

Embrace the Transparency

“Everybody needs to get used to an online environment where everything that can be said, will be said,” he says. “You have three alternatives. You either close your ears to it, operate in an atmos­phere of complete secrecy, or embrace the transparency that the internet has brought and say, ‘That’s what it is.’ There are going to be people who like what you do and there are going to be people who don’t. What matters is that there are enough people who like what you do.”

—Nick Denton


Source: Why Hulk Hogan’s Sex Tape Might Undo Gawker Media | Inc.com


 

The evolution of autoplay 

How do you come up with metrics that properly track meaningful attention, not just playcounts? (Probably no impression is completely meaningless, but some are definitely more meaningful than others.) What do you do about audio? The best implementations I’ve seen start autoplay in silent mode with captions. Unexpected autoplay audio is a deep annoyance — motion and text, not so much. And there’s a lot of experimentation to be done with text-heavy video, particularly on the news side. I believe silent with captions will become an emerging standard, both on big platforms and on publishers’ sites.

evolution of autoplay by tim carmody

Click picture to read the entire article


Source: The evolution of autoplay | Nieman Journalism Lab


 

People Pretending to Be Robots?

Here’s How Facebook M’s Artificial Intelligence Works

Facebook’s David Marcus says M is already a lot more than just people pretending to be robots.

Facebook M Illustration of man staring in mirror seeing a robot

I’ve had M on my phone for about a month now. And while it’s currently still just an experiment, there’s a strong probability that it’s coming to your phone, too. Before it becomes pervasive, I wanted to understand it, and ask questions of it. I’ve pushed it incredibly hard. I’ve had it research and book a flight for me, reduce my cable bill, get Star Wars tickets, send free coffee, write a song, and, yes, even draw pictures. Many pictures.


Source: Here’s How Facebook M’s Artificial Intelligence Works | BuzzFeed News


 

Design is a conversation

PLATFORM SHIFTS CHANGE EVERYTHING

Looking back to the mid-2000s and the Web 2.0 era, we witnessed a period of huge change for the internet, where it changed from static pages and moved towards applications.

Sites like Google Maps or Flickr opened up their APIs, meaning anyone could build websites pulling in that data. With this ability to build new things on top of this data, websites were transformed from static pages into services.

A similar transformation is happening today. Bots are to modern messaging apps what APIs were to Web 2.0; a way to build on top of other services, experiment, and create a new way of interacting with existing services. It’s the start of a significant new way of interacting with computers. Read More

Hatchets, Ratches, and Pivots

The scientists with reasons to be cheerful

As you might guess from the subtitle of DeFries’s 2014 book The Great Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis, she is hopeful about our ability to avert disaster. She argues that history has progressed by “ratchets”, where things improve; “hatchets”, where unforeseen problems occur; and “pivots”, where new solutions are found.

[…]

Read More

How Long Does It Take for Social Media Marketing to Start Paying Off? 

According to Crowl, almost half of marketers in a survey reported that they used social media for two years before they saw an impact on sales.“Conversely, 49 percent of all marketers taking this survey report that social media has not helped them improve sales,” the report states. “This may be because they lack the needed tools to track sales.” Read More

Post-emotional Performative Social Media

What is a world in which commercials make you cry?

We lose our ability to detect our own more nuanced emotions, which are almost always small and mundane compared the extraordinary heights of grief, rage, lust, and love that we are exposed to when the news chases down the latest mass tragedy or the movies offer up never-ending tales of epic quests. Meanwhile, in consuming the emotions of others, we get lost. We end up confused by the dissolving of the boundary between personal and vicarious; our bodies can’t tell the difference between friends on TV and those in real life.

When we are triggered to constantly feel all the feelings for all the people everywhere — real ones and fake ones — we don’t have the energy to emotionally respond to the ones that are happening right in front of us. His work was originally inspired by the bland global response to the Bosnian genocide in the ’90s, but applies equally well to the slow, stuttering response — both political and personal — to the refugees fleeing the Syrian Civil War and the constant news of yet another mass shooting in America. The emotional dilution that characterizes a postemotional society makes us less likely to take action when needed. So, when action is needed, we change our Facebook profile picture instead of taking to the streets.

— Lisa Wade


Source: What is a world in which commercials make you cry? | Sociological Images


 

#SorryNotSorry. This concept is not supported:

Thanks! This page was ad supported. /snark

The Ethical Ad Blocker Chrome extension, developed by internet artist Darius Kazemi, will block any webpage that contains ads, replacing it with a crude text page telling users to check out a list of auto-generating websites and non-profit organizations that give stuff away for free. There’s nothing like a little blunt commentary hitting you over the head to make heads or tails of the contentious climate around ad-blocking.

Sorry. This page is ad supported.

“The conundrum at hand: users don’t want to see ads, but content providers can’t give away content for free,” writes Kazemi on the extension description. “The solution is simple: if a website has ads, the user simply should not be able to see it. This way, the user doesn’t experience ads, but they also don’t leech free content. Everybody wins!”

Read More

Can Kickstarter do good & make lots of money?

Under the terms of their new charter, Kickstarter has a mission—“to help bring creative projects to life”—and the company judges its performance on how well it achieves that mission, rather than on how much profit it makes. Kickstarter will continue to be a for-profit company, but it’s now a for-profit company which is quite explicitly not for sale: Strickler says that he and his partner “don’t ever want to sell or go public.” When Kickstarter makes money, and it’s been profitable for years, it’s going to do so the old-fashioned way, by providing a valuable service a lot of people find worth paying for, and, by keeping its expenses lower than its revenue.

So, what’s going on here? Is Kickstarter now focused on “altruism over profit,” as the New York Times headline has it? Read More

Micro-Brand Usage Local Newspaper

Two tenants have taken up residency; Plan B Restaurant and Everything Fresh market. This is the eighth location for Plan B, which occupies approximately 5,000 square feet. This micro-brand is co-owned by Al Gamble and Shawn Skehan, who have been in the restaurant business in the Hartford area for more than twenty years and “have a love for good food and good drinks and wanted to create something that was truly an American concept,” explained Rachel Hurvitz, Marketing and Design Manager. “You can’t get much more American than cheese burgers, craft beers and bourbon. Plan B is “unique because we really focus on quality ingredients, we grind all of our beef fresh in-house every day, it has never been frozen, has no antibiotics, no hormones, all vegetarian diet, and is USA Source Verified. We also have an amazing Craft Beer selection with 14 rotating draft lines and a Bourbon line with over 100 selections. We have a lot of salads and a summer menu which features local farms and their products.”
* emphasis ours, not in original


Source: New restaurant transforms old post office buildingMinuteman News Center


 

Micro-brand in Financial Times

Some of the more promising projects involve small top-floor apartments with generous windows and west-facing balconies that ensure there’s decent housing stock for those who don’t need a garden and a garage, preferring simply to bound down the stairs to pick up breakfast, locally sourced produce for the dinner table and a few bottles of beer brewed by a nearby micro-brand.

A little further south, the Roncy district proved to be the best example of a street that was so brimming with local life that it was almost tricky to stay on the sidewalk. In between new pizza joints and gourmet pantries, traditional businesses catering to the local Polish and German communities were displaying their Easter wares and owners were chattering away in Canadian-accented Germ-lish.

* emphasis ours, not in original


Source: The Fast Lane: Some neighbourhoods are streets aheadFT.com


 

Microbrand Usage Newsletter

Mr. Faber, who previously managed an ETF under the AdvisorShares brand, has taken a very entrepreneurial approach to marketing and communicating his investment strategies. A frequent publisher, blogger and speaker on investment strategies, he has built himself up as a microbrand alongside the asset management business.

* emphasis ours, not in original


Source: Track record vital to get attention from institutions | Pensions & Investments


 

Gamification

The theory of games is that players will pursue the finish line if the journey is rewarding and pleasant. Gamification encapsulates that experience and uses it to drive results. Make the journey a stimulating one, and your users are more likely to seek out the end of that road (wherever you want them to be). Right now, users are online for a number of reasons: social, education, shopping, entertainment, the list goes on! Though these purposes vary, the one thing they have in common is that users must interact with a UI (user interface) to achieve gratification. As a business or website owner, you want as many users using your website for as long as possible. That goal comes with two expectations: that your UI is simple/intuitive, and that it’s satisfying.

Gamification is a good way to tackle the ‘satisfying’ aspect of your UI. If an experience is fun and rewarding, users will stay engaged and complete navigational tasks by nature. These rewards can take the form of slick animations, illustrations, custom messages, progression achievements and so much more. Higher forms of gamification even take on progress bars, badges (community forums are a good example), and leaderboards – all of which encourage return traffic and time investments before you even begin writing content! That incentive to explore and interact can (and will, if executed well) make the process of navigating any website feel natural, and therefore invisible, which affords your site some complexities that might have been impractical otherwise.


Source: Gamification | Headspace Design


 

​What Is Responsive Design, Really? 

What is responsive design?

In short, responsive design can be described as building a site, accounting for the varying screen sizes and resolutions that are commonly found on consumer devices in both mobile and desktop browsing. In function, images and columns of content will adjust to account for the different screen real estate, even hiding or showing different sections of content to mobile or desktop users, who regularly access different types. Think of it as intuitive consistency for a website across devices; it’s a must in modern web design.

Is there anything else I should know?

There are two noteworthy methods for developing a responsive design: fluid and adaptive. A fluid design uses percentages to adjust a responsive site, shrinking each pixel as the browser size changes. Alternatively, adaptive relies on set style sizes that have no break points in between. For instance, the 1400px iteration of a site has one layout, 1024px has another, and in between these sizes nothing changes, until the break point is reached and the site snaps to a new layout size. It’s best to employ and keep up to date on both; different sites may require a different responsive approach.


Source: ​What Is Responsive Design, Really? | Headspace Design


 

Small-to-Microbrand

However it is the opposite end of the spectrum – budget Android tablet – which are grabbing a large slice of the market. Budget tablets from the likes of Amazon, Asus and hundreds of unknown “small-to-micro brand vendors” in the Far East are “eating up tablet market share” according to Canalys.
 
“Vendors such as Nextbook in the United States, and Onda and Teclast in the People’s Republic of China ship more units than some of the major international top tier vendors in their home countries. The rise of small-to-micro brand vendors has proved that there is a demand in for entry-level Android tablets in every country and in every region,” commented Shanghai-based Analyst James Wang.

*emphasis mine


Source: Tablet Tipping Point: Why New Microsoft CEO Needs to Make Mobile Work | IBT.com


 

Facebook Likes Are Not “Vanity Metrics” ?!?

Really, tell us more?

In the past month I have attended two webinars with thought-leaders from the social media marketing space in which one of the luminaries referred to Likes on Facebook as “vanity metrics” as if this were uncontestable common knowledge. This was troubling for three reasons. First, it reveals engrained prejudices about social media that are simply false. Second, it suggests a profound ignorance about the mechanics of social media platforms. Third, it indicates that direct-response thinking still dominates much of the discourse around social media marketing.

Read More

Human Bias vs Data Reporting

Why Marketers Should Start Listening to Data

March 17th, 2013

Armed with mountains of data, most experts put in charge of predicting outcomes still can’t come up with accurate answers. Why? Because most people have a human bias to manipulate data to deliver the outcomes they really want to see. Read More

Did You Know?

 

  • 81% of consumers receive advice from friends and family through a social networking platform

  • 50% of people have made purchases based on recommendations received through their social network

  • Over 25,000,000,000 pieces of content are shared on Facebook each month.


Source:Social Commerce Infographic


 

Rule #1:

Jakob’s Law of the Web User Experience states that “users spend most of their time on other websites.” This means that they form their expectations for your site based on what’s commonly done on most other sites. If you deviate, your site will be harder to use and users will leave.


Source: Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design


 

What Is User Experience Design?

Websites and Web applications have become progressively more complex as our industry’s technologies and methodologies advance. What used to be a one-way static medium has evolved into a very rich and interactive experience.But regardless of how much has changed in the production process, a website’s success still hinges on just one thing: how users perceive it. “Does this website give me value? Is it easy to use? Is it pleasant to use?” These are the questions that run through the minds of visitors as they interact with our products, and they form the basis of their decisions on whether to become regular users.User experience design is all about striving to make them answer “Yes” to all of those questions.


Source: What Is User Experience Design?Smashing Magazine


microbrands wiki entry

Pricing

Pricing tactics

Micromarketing is the practice of tailoring products, brands (microbrands), and promotions to meet the needs and wants of microsegments within a market. It is a type of market customization that deals with pricing of customer/product combinations at the store or individual level.


Source: Pricing | Wikipedia


Edited into Wikipedia: Insertion found between 13:32, 28 April 2009