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July 2008

links for 2008-07-29


"problems" are in the eye of the beholder

450 mm by 450 mm (18 in by 18 in) Handicapped ...

Image via Wikipedia

We in the world of emerging media and technologies see the world as an opportunity.

We look for problems, holes we can fill.  Anything less than absolute connectivity, easy and intuitive access to everything, is a problem.

Anything less than always on, always maximal, is a disability. 

Disabilities are viewed as just that, disabilities.  However, not every challenge is a problem.  Not everything less than "maximal" is a disability.  Many challenges define who we are, define how we live, define where we're going and why we're here. 

Being less than perfect, that's what makes us human.  Striving for more, that's what gets us up in the morning.  But in the pursuit of greatness, we often lose sight of the value of a flaw, of a glitch, of an imperfection.

Every once in a while, wouldn't it be nice to jump of that treadmill and just be who you are?  Appreciate your challenges as part of yourself, and recognize the beauty in living life with challenges?

Kudos to Ahuvah Berger aka SabraAtHeart for sharing the amazing video below, inspiring this post.


links for 2008-07-25


Comcast's Carpe Diem Moment

Comcast Corporation

Image via Wikipedia

Comcast had some service issues.  They did the right thing.  They reached out.  The became responsible digital social citizens. 

They are resolving issues. 

Sure, they may be more that they could be doing, there is always room for growth and optimization.

But perhaps the most notable component of this effort (of late) is the amazing New York Times writeup on the Comcast Cares initiative.  This mainstream recognition of Comcast efforts has driven massive spikes in buzz across the interwebs.  Comcast is on fire.

But what are they doing with this spike in conversation?  How are they fueling and enabling brand advocacy?

Ian Schafer suggests, "I would find more 'Franks', and let each of their subscribers know that it's an option."  Great idea.  But I think the immediate opportunity here transcends customer service.

Consider the conversation captured (on Twitter) below:

Comcast Cares Conversations
Comcast looks to be missing out on a tremendous social PR opportunity.

It's one thing to build a social customer service capability. It's another to internalize digital social media across an organization. 

Comcast Cares is a great program.  Here's to hoping that Comcast integrates this dynamic across the rest of their organization.


design by committee doesn't work

Design by committee doesn't work.  Because commmittees often add direction while losing focus on the end goal - a simple product communication.

While the dyamic in the video below blames design flaws on client misdirection, it rings true on an agency side as well.  One way or the other, information has to be conveyed in a user centric dynamic.  Set a goal and stick to it.  Clutter never works.

Video below/after the jump.


links for 2008-07-22


The Limitations of Virtualization - Music Gaming

Piano There is nothing like playing the piano.  There is a very real tactile resonance as the hammers thump and the music resonates across your body.  The depth, weight, texture and feel of the keys on your fingers as the notes reverberate up your wrists is nothing less than magical.  Even the highest-end electronic keyboards cannot duplicate this experience.  There's nothing like real thing. 

A video game cannot replicate this experience. 

True musicians may find Rock Band entertaining, a fun test of your timing and coordination.  But any real musician will tell you that it is little more than a glorified timing game.  Rock Band is not music.  But it is close enough to the real thing to deliver an "authentic" experience to the unexperienced.

Wii music Wii Music further removes the realism from the experience.  While Guitar Hero at least allows players to believe they are holding a guitar, Wii Music requires that users pretend to be holding an instrument.  While Rock Band allows user to strum and feel the flick and feedback of the "strings", Wii Music allows you do play air guitar like never before.

To quote a friend from college - everyone feels cool holding an electric guitar.  One foot foward, one hand sliding down the long neck, even while strumming nonsensically with an overbearing amount of overdrive distortion - you just feel like a Rock Star. 

Air guitar isn't fun after two or three minutes. 

    So where's the appeal in Wii Music?

Video: Best Air Drum Set Ever

Video: Wii Music


Are these two scenarios remarkably similar, or am I crazy?

Photo credit here and here.