Recommending Reading – 4th April 2010

If you have a spare 15 minutes this weekend, you could do worse than read the following:

Jonah Lehrer looks at Costco through his Neuroscience prism. I’m not quite sure it adequately explains why people choose to pay a subscription to enter the store, but it is still interesting reading.

Two sides of a similar coin: Tom Ewing’s latest Poptimist post considers the options of a Foursquare for music, while Paul Lamere considers a Last.fm for books. The underlying point – the more metadata collected and used, the better!

Clay Shirky’s blog postings are sparse, but always incredibly valuable. This preview of his next book – on cognitive surplus – is no exception. It prompted Kevin Kelly to announce the Shirky Principlecomplex solutions  can become so dedicated to the problem they are the solution to, that often they inadvertently perpetuate the problem

Diane Hessan has some provocative thoughts on the next generation of market research. As always, the solution depends on the problem, but I liked the points made.

This link in particular is a hard sell, but I wholeheartedly recommend you read why Bill Simmons has fallen back in love with Sabermetrics. Advanced baseball stats may not be to everyone’s taste, but it shows the power and beauty of numbers. For a more gentle introduction, you might want to read my review of Michael Lewis’ Moneyball, in which Simmons heavily features.

sk

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Links – 15th February 2009

Things I have read in the last week that I would recommend:

Henry Jenkins has begun serialising his white paper on spreadable media – If it Doesn’t Spread It’s Dead. Part 1 – on media viruses and memes – and Part 2 – on sticky and spreadable – are both fascinating

Andrew Scott argues that Google Latitude is a Trojan Horse into social networking with the ultimate aim of combining location with context/mood

Robin Grant provoked an interesting discussion around conversational marketing with his post Learning to Speak Human

On the Digital Design Blog, companies are told that actions speak louder than advertising, and therefore Brands should do

Ana Andjelic riffs on Kevin Kelly’s post on sharing and copying by pointing out the differences between economies of scale and economies of scope

Adriana Lukas re-iterates the distinction between advertising (information) and Advertising (disruption)

Sean Howard argues that the IAP2’s spectrum of public participation is backward. He believes that empowerment and trust need to come first; as an input, not a result

Clay Shirky on why micropayments won’t save publishers

Lovely Charts is a web application with an accurate description (though some might quibble that for basic users, the use of the singular would be more reflective)

sk

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Links – 1st February 2009

Part 2 of the Good Stuff, following on from links yesterday to top articles on insights, marketing and advertising, online video and music.

Social media

I haven’t yet read it but I’m sure it is brilliant: danah boyd’s PhD dissertation

The Vitrue top 100 social media brands of 2008 (with methodology included)

Charles Frith provides an excellent case study of how brands shouldn’t engage with social media. Whether the person was officially representing Miller or not, he got pwned.

A Wired journalist experiments with various geo-aware applications and finds out that they are not all that they are cracked up to be

Mozilla have proposed a free, crowd-sourced usability tool which sounds, from this at least,  fantastic

Technology and the internet

One one hand, Kevin Kelly argues that ownership may soon be a thing of the past, and that access is far more important. Bodes well for tools such as Spotify.

But on the other, Jason Scott argues against the Cloud, as it can’t be trusted to safeguard your “possessions”

John Willshire lists several free tools that can be very useful in tracking online consumer behaviour

Discover Magazine offers a counter-argument to Nicholas Carr’s Atlantic article. Through outsourcing the effort required for recall, Google can in fact make us smarter. Not sure I necessarily buy this, but interesting nonetheless

Business and ideas

A great interview with Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of the Black Swan, in the (UK) Times

Henry Blodget’s plan to fix the New York Times includes cutting costs by 40%, raising the price of the print edition and – controversially – reconstructing a walled garden for premium content

John Willshire (again) live-blogged the recent PSFK ideas salon in London, and it is well worth a read

Copyblogger has six ways to get people to say yes

A lovely story of a designer recounting his experiences with notebooks. I’ve recently started using a notebook for more than transitional note-taking, but it remains to be seen whether anything useful will come of it

My Favourite Business Book – crowdsourced opinion

And, as always, I’ve been posting slightly more miscellaneous links to my Tumblr blog, which in theory now has comments enabled through Disqus.

sk

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Links – 3rd October 2008

This blog has been quiet on content for the last month or so. I’ll try and change that in the coming week.

Anyway, things I’ve read in the last week include

Blog-related

Jeff Jarvis argues that news sites should evolve into community-based collections, where articles are continually updated and evolving (as in Wikipedia). Doc Searls disagrees, arguing that the structure of the web isn’t conducive to a single source of information. Two very intelligent thinkers.

Kevin Kelly has written some great articles around the singularity (the moment where artificial intelligence becomes self-aware and has the ability to evolve almost instantaneously) but this is my favourite. He diebunks this singular moment of universal clarity as “thinkism” due to this only producing theory. For true progression, we need empirical evidence and time-series data (e.g. the Large Hadron Collider)

Poll of students technology ownership at Amherst College indicates that, among other things, 99% have Facebook accounts but only 1% have landlines (Collision Detection)

12 tips for psychological selling – another punchy and insightful post from Copyblogger

Of Montreal discuss the packaging for their new album. I like the idea that something physical accompanies a digital download – whether a tote bag, a paper lantern or some other decoration or item (Pitchfork)

There appears to be little consensus on how much web drama the BBC can produce with their £1.3m budget (Futurescape)

Russell Davies argues in favour of slow strategy

10 creative advertising ideas from students (Advertnews) – I like these – the PSP ad is my favourite

Brand Jury is a new website that allows you to rate and comments on ads. Personally, I can’t see this working. Ads may go viral, but I can’t see many people actively seeking out and rating varying qualities of commercial

Random

50 things that every comic collection truly needs – a fairly exhaustive list, though I’m surprised that 2000AD wasn’t included in the main list (Comics Reporter)

Terrible superhero merchandise – self explanatory. I was once a gullible 8 year old too (Dark Roasted Blend)

The Collins Dictionary has run a PR piece of words they may expunge from their dictionary. I’ll bite (Times Online)

The Jeff Jarvis / Doc Seals exchange and the Kevin Kelly piece are required reading

sk

Links – 14th June 2008

This is part 2 of my 5 part long-overdue link update. See the bottom of the post for links to the others in the series.

Interesting essays/Food for thought

China’s all-seeing eye (Naomi Klein) – Rolling Stone essay on Chinese/US cooperation in advancing surveillance techniques

The Million Dollar long bet (Kevin Kelly) – Warren Buffet bets $1m that hedge funds can’t beat the S&P 500 index

Why professional athletes go broke (Brian Cuban) – essentially, their skills are in their chosen field, not financial management

The striker that snubbed Hitler (New Statesman)

Bill Gates on creative capitalism (Gates Foundation)

Is Executive Function the new IQ? (Newsweek)

Interesting essay on gaming (Prospect)

How pure is your altruism? (Freakonomics)

Designing new sports (Wired)

The top 100 public intellectuals (Foreign Policy)

Questions on the Guinness Books of Records answered (Freakonomics)

Gladwell on Innovation (New Yorker)

On Solitaire (Slate) – I’ve just discovered the Klondike game on my iPod and my bus/tube journeys are now infinitely more enjoyable

Profile of the art dealer Larry Gagosian (More Intelligent Life)

Israel’s 60th anniversary (Avi Shlaim)

Trivia and lists

7 people fired for blogging (Mental Floss)

6 stunts in the name of science (Cracked)

15 fascinating historical events (Frikoo)

6 creepy comic book characters (Cracked)

The world’s most dangerous gangs (Foreign Policy)

25 strangest collections on the web (Neatorama)

7 more underground wonders (Web Urbanist)

Directors’ cameos in films (Cineleet)

Otto Rahn was the original Indiana Jones (Daily Telegraph)

7 unusual restaurants (Mental Floss)

10 deepest caves in the world (Environmental Graffiti)

18 insane journeys (OT Beach)

20 cities, islands and countries threatened by global warming (OT Beach)

10 problems solved by MacGyver (Mental Floss)

10 stars from Weezer’s new Youtube referencing video (Video Clips Review)

Among these I would recommend

Interesting essays/Food for thought: China’s all-seeing eye, The Million Dollar long bet and Israel’s 60th anniversary

Trivia and lists: 7 people fired for blogging, The world’s most dangerous gangs and Otto Rahn was the original Indiana Jones

The other posts in this series of updates are:

Friday: Marketing links

Sunday: Interesting websites, and useful tips

Monday: Technology and web2.0 links

Tuesday: Miscellaneous random links

sk