Rather than a lop-sided list, here is a numbered (but unordered) overview of blogs, articles and tools I have enjoyed over the past few days:
1. Iqbal Mohammed asks a very interesting question: Could price become a skeuomorph? This segues in with an interesting point Matt Rhodes made regarding incentives – it changes the transaction from market to social. Would people prefer to pay in order to avoid any potential obligations in future – whether signing up to a mailing list or being forced into a timeshare? It also reminds me of the Severn Bridge, with its one way tolling. The Welsh like to point out that they can cross over into England for free, but are forced to pay to leave and go back home.
2. There has been an interesting teté a teté on network effects between Nicholas Carr and Tim O’Reilly. While the argument is largely focused upon semantics, several interesting issues are raised. And not entirely unrelated, Faris links to a video of Clay Shirkey talking about Solidarity Goods – items that increase in value as more people use them.
3. Japan’s census looks great. Rather than a straightforward survey, everyone also has to fill in a time diary showing what they are doing throughout the day. Tokyo Tuesday is a fascinating look at the aggregated lives of the salarymen, cyberpunks, samurai and other assorted Japanese stereotypes that one might want to throw into the mix.
4. Can Hulu’s (No.4 on Time’s inventions of the year) current single-ad-per-break model continue? If they are buying content in and paying for their bandwidth then I’m guessing not. Premium positioning only stretches so far. But product placements and other new formats can mitigate the losses from restricting inventory (New York Times)
5. A study commissioned by the Association of National Advertisers suggests that the brand does not influence business decisions in two thirds of the companies questioned. CMOs with an axe to grind against the beancounters, or a realistic assessment of current corporate thinking? (Marketing Charts)
6. A bit old now but Brian Solis has a very thorough overview of the state of Social Media in 2008, and the outlook for 2009
7. An argument in favour of training over talent (CNN) – sounds good to me. An ability to remember trivia can only take one so far in life
8. A digital planning checklist (Katie Chatfield). Does exactly what it says on the tin. Succinct and insightful.
9. Mashable has a nice collection of social media gurus owning up to their biggest mistakes
10. Seth Godin has put the presentation of his latest book – Tribes – onto Slideshare
11. An epic attempt at integrating all of one’s personal data (Kiwi Tobes)
12. A tool that lets you look at the traffic statistics for Wikipedia pages