Gen Art rock-chick ad inspires
You just have to admire some ad creatives. There are some ads that aren’t particularly relevant which come in through the networks, but this one on Lucire’s website is very entertaining:
The animated woman grabs the mouse pointer, slashes her clothes into something more rock-and-roll, then jumps out and plays air guitar with the pointer, before walking off, screen right. The ad is for Gen Art.
Oh, and there is a new layout for Lucire online—we are rolling it out gradually to see what viewer feedback is like. Above is one of the new sectional contents’ pages (see here for the real thing), which you can compare to one of the old ones (here). Posted by Jack Yan, 13:37
Check your Facebook privacy settings again: it has introduced a new ﬁeld
I don’t remember ever granting permission to Facebook regarding this. I suggest everyone head in to check their Facebook advertising settings again: your privacy may be breached. Again. As expected, by a company as callous as Facebook.
Back in July, I expected that when I set the ﬁeld ‘Appearance in Facebook ads’ to ‘No one’ on this page, it would be a blanket block for all appearances of my name or face in Facebook advertising.
I did not expect Facebook to invent a new ﬁeld and ﬁnd a new way to use my private information without my permission.
Facebook: ‘No one’ means no one. It does not mean ‘No one until we think of a new field that you haven’t ﬁlled out yet, and we change it to something else.’
I think we all know that the minute someone creates a better network, it’s goodbye, Facebook.
I’d love to see you pin this one on your developers this time. Posted by Jack Yan, 05:44
The Palinomenon continues on Facebook
It has been of interest to me, as a media observer, to see how former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin has grown her Facebook fan page. Since quitting her term as governor, and promising to Tweet more, Mrs Palin has instead gone on to Facebook to get her ideas across. There’s a link there to her political action committee (PAC), and earlier this week, I Tweeted that she would overtake the Oprah Winfrey Facebook fan page in terms of numbers. She has now done so, considerably: at the time of writing, Mrs Palin enjoys 825,646 members, while Ms Winfrey has 817,269. Both have grown since my Tweet, but the former vice-presidential nominee’s ranks have swelled more quickly than the media boss and TV show host’s.
Taking the accuracy of Palin’s Facebook notes out of the equation—otherwise the comments will be ﬁlling up for weeks and this poor sucker has to approve each one—it is not hard to see how that support has come. However, as I do this ex post facto, one might think it is very easy for me to justify this post. The real test is whether someone can use the same techniques to their own advantage. And whether I can discern her next move.
I have a few friends who are, indeed, members of Sarah Palin’s fan page, and I would never label them as unintelligent, as some anti-Palin types are prone to suggest. What seems to have worked for her is being able to read the public, especially some of the dissatisfaction toward the current administration. There is always bound to be dissatisfaction and every president’s approval rating drops after a honeymoon period. The trick is to ﬁnd which issue creates the most dissatisfaction, and seize upon that.
In Mrs Palin’s case, it was health care that saw the tide change. Initially, Palin experimented with a few statements, correcting things in the media, pasting in her farewell address, and telling people that another ethics’ complaint had failed. Then she entered the health care debate, which gained over 6,000 “likes”, Facebook’s way of signalling a thumbs-up.
Most people know my views on this, and they are not in line with hers. However, there is enough fear-mongering (again I leave the question of whether it is warranted alone) for people to fall in to her camp. It was the post that set the tone of the Sarah Palin Facebook page. Most of us on the blogosphere took a similar number of posts before we found our “hook”, a style that suited us and our audience on our blogs.
Importantly for Mrs Palin, she does so without the baggage of her party. While identifying herself as Republican, as a lone wolf she does not need the approval of the party itself to say as she wishes (or, judging by the different tones in her Facebook notes, as her campaign staff wishes). While outlets such as MSNBC point to the fact that Sarah Palin’s gubernatorial term was untenable and that she had to leave, I would like to give her more credit for her shrewdness. Or her advisers’ shrewdness.
Despite numerous ethics’ complaints, which the right say are very easy to ﬁle (and then-Gov. Palin has said so, too), there seemed to be none of the hallmarks that other politicians, who are hesitant to resign, display. American politicians such as former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich or former US senator Larry Craig hung about, resisting the pushes to leave. During that time, I imagine family members rally around. The sudden announcement by Sarah Palin that she would quit her ofﬁce was sudden, to the point where close family had no idea what had happened.
Regardless, the Palinomenon has continued apace. While Governor, she used Twitter every now and then to report on things that the mainstream media were not willing to (I even congratulated her once on linking to legal documents rather than an article), but I never foresaw that Facebook would become her stage. With the over-55 group growing 514 per cent, and with a larger claimed user base, the social networking site makes sense.
With nearly a million people following her, with thousands coming on board each day, Sarah Palin has the sort of Facebook-group growth that any of her rivals would envy. The fact the American media were on the attack against her—even Fox News in the days immediately after the McCain loss as it unsuccessfully tried to position Palin as the fall girl—has helped this growth. The news networks report on the notes she issues via Facebook as though they were proclamations from the far right, and take a stand for or against; and Sarah Palin, by being absent from giving speeches before television cameras, almost seems more effective in her present mode than she ever was while glasses and lipstick were in broadcast view.
No wonder. Even I thought some of the reporting she endured was sexist, the sort of thing that New Zealand long got over after having had two consecutive female prime ministers. Maybe there is a bit of karma there as 800,000-plus Americans ﬂock to her Facebook page and avoid channels that have let them down.
As I have been saying in my recent speeches, people want engagement. With the growing cynicism toward American newsmedia and their sensationalist ways, they feel that the direct approach is best. We do not know yet how sincere Mrs Palin is through her Facebook page, but it has almost become a great case study for any student of politics or media; in much the same way the President mobilized his constituents via Twitter.
In this particular case, it might not be true engagement that has people excited to come on board a campaign, but the appearance of engagement. After all, in her Twitter days, Governor Palin had an appalling follow-back ratio, treating her account as a one-way tool. (One person whose ratio was worse was, interestingly, Oprah Winfrey.) A politician should, ideally, know better, and follow back citizens more readily. On this note, President Obama and former Democratic vice-presidential nominee John Edwards understand the social media phenomenon better, as do Mrs Palin’s former gubernatorial colleagues in the GOP, Bobby Jindal and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
While I do not expect Sarah Palin to answer all the feedback on her Facebook wall (which is, incidentally, largely positive), I sense there needs to be something more—even a status update or an acknowledgement—rather than the continued broadcast of Facebook “notes”. Eventually, people might tire of the lack of engagement, and I really do not think Facebook pages should be repositories of op-eds and press releases. Sarah Palin is about to head into Act Three of her social media experiment, which will be interesting to watch. Posted by Jack Yan, 05:51
Wellington, the way you want it
I’ve posted a few things that are relevant to Wellington—my home—over at our new site, Your Wellington (yourwellington.org). The one that has had the most feedback over the last 24 hours (both on the blog and on Twitter) is a post I made about free wiﬁ in the city and the need to have a clear IT strategy.
The purpose behind the blog is to get views about Wellington, and to see if a blog can be used as a tool for democracy and transparency for the city. I’m surprised that such a thing does not already exist for a city that had been a leader with online technology.
I’d love to hear from you about some of your issues for our city—either through my feedback form, on Facebook, as a comment below or on Twitter. Posted by Jack Yan, 05:12
JY&A Consulting rebrands New Zealand Computer Society
One rebrand which we have been working on became public knowledge yesterday. It’s for NZCS, the New Zealand Computer Society. I’m very proud of this project. Working with the NZCS helped me reconnect with a lot of ICT issues, which our economy should place greater emphasis on. And like all good rebrands, it comes with a change in strategic direction—something that not all clients understand, but NZCS does. There’s more at NZCS’s website here, and our release is below.
JY&A Consulting rebrands New Zealand Computer Society
Wellington, August 26 (JY&A Media) The rebrand for NZCS, the New Zealand Computer Society, launched this week. JY&A Consulting, part of Jack Yan & Associates, is the consultancy behind the work.
The rebrand marks a shift in NZCS’s purpose, direction and strategy. The organization has placed a greater emphasis on creating, recognizing and growing information and communication technology (ICT) as a true profession as part of the shift.
JY&A Consulting helped NZCS deﬁne its brand with the concept of advancement, whether it is the careers of ICT professionals, education, computing skills or professionalism itself. NZCS has numerous stakeholders and audiences, including the ICT industry and sector, government, academia and the general public.
Jack Yan, CEO of Jack Yan & Associates, oversaw the rebrand. ‘NZCS’s new brand was interesting because of the many audiences it had to target. The question we had to answer before we even committed to doing the visuals was, “What ties its internal strategy and all its audiences together?” Working with NZCS, we centred on the concept of advancement.’
Mr Yan describes the rebranding process as one of the most satisfying in his 22-year career. ‘NZCS’s Paul Matthews is one of the best CEOs we had to deal with. He’s one of the few who offered some great suggestions, to the point of producing some mock-ups himself.
‘He’s also the ﬁrst Kiwi client who often ﬁnished work later than I did—and since I stop at 2.30 a.m., that’s a tough record to beat.’
NZCS CEO Paul Matthews was very pleased with the results of the rebranding. ‘Jack [Yan] and his team spent a huge amount of time at the start of the project actually listening to what we were trying to achieve, and gained a great understanding of our organization and its culture before pen ever touched paper,’ Mr Matthews says.
‘As a result, they’ve captured and aligned the branding change to the wider changes within our organization to create a congruent and aligned brand strategy which actually reﬂects and communicates our purpose and direction. We couldn’t ask for better,’ he says.
As well as the internal changes to NZCS and its repositioning as a society for the ICT profession and its professionals, the external branding uses a simple palette of black, gold and silver. The gold is repeated on the NZCS ITCP sub-brand, signalling a “gold standard” for the ITCP certiﬁcation programme. The sub-brand also features a globe symbol, designed by Tanya Sooksombatisatian.
The typefaces chosen are PMN Caecilia and Avenir. A custom design was considering during development, but Mr Yan says he is delighted by the client’s ﬁnal choice.
‘Caecilia has a sense of modernity without losing tradition, and it’s in keeping with the idea of advancement,’ he says. Avenir complements Caecilia for the tagline. Posted by Jack Yan, 04:18
Palming off an idea
Normally, this is the sort of trivium I would put over on my Vox blog, but this could be an idea for an enterprising web developer out there, hence its appearance here. At least one with a bent toward such things.
We all know that some scanners can handle things like QR codes (Lucire’s is at left), which store quite a bit of information these days. MyFonts’ WhatTheFont program is pretty reliable at identifying typefaces. So how about palms?
This is one of my father’s ideas after we began talking about how much a QR code could store. His reply: ‘What about a palm? [If you believe in it,] it stores a lot more.’
There are plenty of books about palmistry out there, that it seems logical that people could scan their palms and have an automatic reading. And before palmists out there get upset and say the readings cannot be done by machine, of course such a site would have a disclaimer and encourage people to get their palms read by a professional—the same as a medical diagnosis site might.
It could be a bit of a hit, or it could be a niche site that sits around, waiting to be discovered. Posted by Jack Yan, 02:42
How your website looks, as graphics
For starters, here’s how this site’s home page looks:
The screen shots were taken on my laptop, and the wide screen meant I could not get the entire image in tidily.
Here is the key given on M. Salathe’s site:
blue: for links (the A tag)
red: for tables (TABLE, TR and TD tags)
green: for the DIV tag
violet: for images (the IMG tag)
yellow: for forms (FORM, INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT and OPTION tags)
orange: for linebreaks and blockquotes (BR, P, and BLOCKQUOTE tags)
black: the HTML tag, the root node
gray [sic]: all other tags
David was interested in where his links were—the blue dots. In the above case, the site could do with a few more outward-bound ones.
It’s a fairly simple page, in any case. To get more complex, I fed in the company’s site to see how that would look:
Logically, Lucire’s home page should have more images (the purple dots):
I tried my supplementary blog on Vox to see how that would fare. That led to the most complex one of this series:
Finally, what surprises me was how complex Font Police is, despite it appearing relatively simple:
The site gives one a very different view of how a web page looks—but be warned. You might spend longer than you thought on it, trying different URLs. Posted by Jack Yan, 11:39
Social Media Consortium blog still down—Google knows
I remain surprised that the Social Media Consortium blog is still not back to normal. While it can be accessed, we have not been able to post to it since late July. Google, which owns Blogger, the platform the site uses to blog from, has accused the SMC of being a spam blog.
There are some cross-posts, and Vincent Wright (the blog owner) and I put in links to other sites, but isn’t that the whole principle of the internet?
When we try to post, we get this message:
Your blog is marked as spam
Blogger’s spam-prevention robots have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog. (What’s a spam blog?) Since you’re an actual person reading this, your blog is probably not a spam blog. Automated spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and we sincerely apologize for this false positive.
Your readers are seeing a warning page until one of our humans reviews it and veriﬁes that it is not a spam blog. Please ﬁll out the form below to get a review. We’ll take a look at your blog and unlock it in less than two business days.
If we don’t hear from you, though, we will remove your blog from Blog*Spot within a few weeks.
Find out more about how Blogger is ﬁghting spam blogs.
There are quite a few things wrong with this. Both Vincent and I have written to Google about the matter over the past few weeks (almost all of August). As a result, the blog has gone from invisible to visible publicly, but it doesn’t show up on our Blogger dashboards. (In other words, we have to really hunt for a link for us to even blog here.)
As far as I know, our readers are not seeing a warning page, but the blog properly. It has even popped up, though not as readily any more, in Google with the correct content. So that claim by Blogger is not accurate.
And as for ﬁlling in forms, again, we’ve been doing this. In fact, I did so a week ago. Then two days ago. And again today. So much for the promise that someone at Google will examine this blog and ‘unlock it in less than two business days.’
I am a bit sick of ﬁlling in forms anyway, since I question whether they get to anyone.
Google is usually really good at getting stuff sorted (especially compared with Facebook), but I wonder why it has messed up here. (It also messed up the home page for the Beyond Branding blog, and three years later, we are still waiting for that to be ﬁxed, despite countless messages.) Having said that, most of my other Blogger blogs are all right and my only recent complaint has been long publishing times.
Here’s hoping the SMC will be back online, properly, soon, and that Google is simply being over-optimistic on its two-day estimate. Posted by Jack Yan, 23:46
Facebook’s latest changes still make no sense
Although Facebook has ﬁnally stopped accusing me of copyright infringement with each log-in (from August 3 to 17), the company has made some changes over the last week that are bugging me a bit.
First, the networks. Remember when geographical locations counted as networks, too? I enjoyed seeing how many people I had in New Zealand, New York, London, Los Angeles (my top four). And having a link that would reveal all my networks. Well, that’s now a thing of the past.
At left is how the networks look for me in Facebook. Sorry, this means nothing to me other than the Lucire entry. While I went to Vic, I am not part of the network, because Facebook insists on our having an email address from there. I gave that one up around 1996. Zivylin: again, not that meaningful other than three of my Facebook friends being from there. I have never commercially dealt with this company. I never attended the University of Auckland, so again, I don’t really care that three of my followers are in that network. And what the heck is Snow Tennis?
I’d like to see the status quo ante. And this again brings up the thought: Facebook doesn’t really get it, does it?
I also notice that IP-based geo-targeting has recommenced for Facebook ads, which render them irrelevant to me. Previously, the geo-targeting was based on what location you had fed in to Facebook. If I want to see New Zealand ads, I would put New Zealand as my location. Frankly, when I surf for leisure on Facebook, I want to keep in touch with what’s happening in Sweden, even the competitions, hence I put down Stockholm.
And what about those Kiwis travelling on their OEs? Do they really prefer seeing foreign ads, or something that brings them back home virtually?
Granted, this latter concern puts me in a minority, but still, you’d think Facebook would have wised up a bit given its very frequent and public débâcles.
Again, some users like me are left scratching their heads and asking, ‘Why?’ Posted by Jack Yan, 23:14
Finding ways to decrease your Twitter follower count
Most people join Twitter and would like to see their follower numbers increase. Not so yours truly, at least not based on the last four weeks (graphic from Twittercounter):
In July, Twitter sorted out its counting procedure, which was iffy for much of 2009. A little while later, I went through my account to block and delete certain followers for spamming (there is a school of thought that says having too many spammers follow you could lead to either hacking or account deletion). Yesterday, my friend Alex in Romania introduced me to Twitblock, which rates the Tweeters in one’s account based on how much they are likely to have spammed, and I found another 30 that had to go. (My Twitblock score, meanwhile, is a very commendable 0.)
The spam and bot problem on Twitter has got worse: on the one hand, people are more savvy about these issues and are deleting the bots, but on the other hand, these false accounts seem to make up an increasing number of Twitter followers. In my case, I seem to be ﬁnding ways to reducing the Twitter follower-number: not what I necessarily want, as Twitter is a good networking tool, but at least I am ridding myself of the phony accounts. (Contrary to expectations, my follower number has indeed dropped since the screen shot above.) Posted by Jack Yan, 04:56
Will I have to give up narcing on red-light-runners?
It’s great that using cellphones while driving will become illegal in New Zealand from November, with the usual exceptions of hands-free units. But, I wondered, what about people like me, who has very few uses for cellphones in cars, other than using the camera to catch offending motorists?
A few months ago, there was a noticeable rise in motorists running red lights (enough to tick me off considering there were some close calls), so yours truly turned narc for road-safety reasons. Only thing is, my memory isn’t as good as it was. When ﬁling a Roadwatch report on the New Zealand Police site, you need (rightly) to get everything correct: the date, time, type of car, colour, and whether there was a passenger. The location and the offence also needs to be recorded.
Roadwatch reports do not result in a ﬁne, but the red-light-runner (or whomever is the subject of the report) gets a letter in the mail, presumably to advise him or her to be more careful in future.
To get all my info right, I resort to the camera. (Sometimes I use the voice recorder.) I asked the police: how does the new law affect me?
To their credit, I received a reply today, and it makes perfect sense:
Thanks for your enquiry regarding the use of cellphones. On the face of it, I think that taking a photo may we[ll] be as dangerous as texting but at this stage, there are some details of the new legislation that have not yet been ﬁnalised.
I did check the draft rules after my original enquiry to the New Zealand Police, and read this (emphasis in original):
21. New clause 7.3A inserted
The following clause is inserted after clause 7.3:
“7.3A Ban on use of mobile telephones
“(1) Except as provided in subclause (2), a driver must not use a mobile telephone while the driver is operating a vehicle.
“(2) Subclause (1) does not apply to—
“(a) an enforcement ofﬁcer; or
Not really much of a way out in my situation, as the rules intend to deﬁne a mobile telephone as one which can take pictures and have other features. And no, there’s no way under the Land Transport Act 1998 that I would be an ‘enforcement ofﬁcer’.
Either I can buy a digital camera that has no telephony features, resort to having a notepad in the car (potentially more dangerous?), train up my photographic memory to get the details I miss, or, much to the joy of law-breakers, hang up my deputy sheriff star and let the red-light-runners go. I might have to go with the third option: in the words of Homer Simpson, ‘Self-improvement has always been a passion of mine.’ Posted by Jack Yan, 05:38
Whakamatatūtia: Māori TV should screen the documentaries it wishes
Māori Television in New Zealand has been pressured by the Red Chinese régime to cancel a documentary, 10 Conditions of Love, on the Uighurs’ struggle in western China.
E kare, some of us overseas Chinese stand ﬁrm with you.
As Red China complains that others meddle too much in its affairs, or goes around defending its allies from external criticism, then isn’t the pressuring of a foreign television network hypocritical?
And if Beijing wants its view to prevail, or at least be considered, then it should use less abusive means, such as supplying its own documentary and offering it without condition. (It has one which is highly critical of Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer and virtually brands her a separatist.)
In fact, I would regard such a method as “more Chinese”, basing the approach on Confucian ideas of reciprocity. It is a concept that is also well known among Māori, albeit with a different tag.
When Triangle TV started in Wellington, it ran a series of documentaries extremely critical of the Chinese Communist Party. But Triangle also rebroadcast programmes from Chinese Central Television (CCTV). One assumes that there was some give-and-take there, rather than direct pressuring of a foreign company.
Once again, the Politburo reveals there is a gulf between the dictatorial way it wishes to conduct things and acceptable everyday practice. It reminds me of its conduct when it tried to order our cops around to bar journalist Nick Wang from a diplomatic function.
The protest from Beijing has been a godsend to Māori Television, which has suddenly received mainstream media coverage for one of its programmes, almost for the ﬁrst time since it started. The result is that more people will watch the documentary than ever before.
If we Han Chinese have any complaints, it’s probably that other parts of China haven’t been covered by the network yet.
The result of what the Chinese Communist Party has done is ensure that Māori Television is more sympathetic to anti-Beijing viewpoints going forward. Posted by Jack Yan, 06:14
The closest thing to Twitter support now
If you plan on asking Twitter for support, you can’t. The helpful section that was there has now gone, and you are stuck, as with Facebook, with known issues.
The only resolution I had was to go to this forum link on Twitter. In the lower right-hand corner of the page, you should see a box where you can ask a question. Fill it in, and you should be taken to another website called Get Satisfaction, which is monitored by Twitter. You will need to sign in using Open ID or Windows Live.
I am not sure what good this will do, but if you need to vent and hope there’s some remote chance someone from Twitter will hear you, it’s the best thing.
It has been impossible to Tweet here all day, and Twitter has made no announcement on whether its site is down—it certainly isn’t a ‘known issue’.
Hopefully the above will help some Tweeters out there who cannot post, add or block on the site.
PS.: Thanks to fellow Tweeter @vene2ia, there is a link to Twitter support, but it is buried on a page of text. Head to the help page, and about half-way down there is this link: twitter.zendesk.com/requests/new. I think it’s very cheeky to bury it like that, as if to say that Twitter does not care about the reliability of its service.
Using a proxy server, I have managed to ﬁnd that Twitter has blocked my IP, which is also very strange. Are other TelstraClear customers affected by Twitter blocking them?—JY Posted by Jack Yan, 04:03
Branding New Zealand
I had a very productive time in Christchurch, especially at The Future of Fashion II conference organized by Fashion Industry New Zealand (FINZ). It was also wonderful to connect to the folks at CPIT there.
One question that arose after my presentation (which can be found in written form on this site) was that of the New Zealand national image. One attendee felt that marketing using the clean, green idea and the All Blacks was ‘last century’, and I happened to agree with her. (Go back about a decade or so and you’ll ﬁnd a few pieces by yours truly along similar lines.)
If branding is about differentiation, then what is so different about clean and green when Israel, Sweden, Canada and Ireland use similar ideas in their nation branding? When it comes to ‘100% Pure’, the campaign used for destination marketing in New Zealand, how truly representative is it of our country when we spend relatively little, as a percentage of GDP, on the environment?
Isn’t New Zealand actually about innovation, independence and isolation (in the best sense)?
When we go abroad, we seem to enjoy showing how different we are, the innovative ideas that we have as a nation, the sheer courage we have in trying new things—I gave the example of the ﬁrst America’s Cup that New Zealand competed in—and how, on the opposite side of the world to the rich nations, we are great lateral thinkers. We are already doing this, so there’s little need for an internal marketing campaign. We just need to push this message out globally, and beneﬁt those Kiwi innovators doing great things around the world.
Right or wrong? Your feedback is welcome, as I believe we can deﬁne our nation more smartly than we currently do. We can also make that brand more representative of all New Zealanders, going beyond primary products and sport. Posted by Jack Yan, 11:37
And now, the Hong Kong Institute of Marketing gives you malware, says Google
At the Medinge Group today, after a message from CEO Stanley Moss, we decided we should check out the Hong Kong Institute of Marketing, which ignored our correspondence about their holding a competition called Brand with a Conscience. Some of you may remember we were rather concerned about its closeness to our long-held Brands with a Conscience, and wrote to several people at the Institute. This was never acknowledged, which I regard as unprofessional and discourteous, especially if the Institute wishes to be seen in a positive light.
Imagine my surprise when looking up the HKIM today and clicking through using Google:
Google alleges that the HKIM site has infected computers with malware. When I investigated this further, I came across a PDF from a computing company, which said the Institute did not have a particularly reliable email list removal system (which has since been remedied).
I don’t know what sort of outﬁt HKIM really is, but my impression has gone from poor to extremely negative. An organization that acts questionably over a name to one that delivers malware?
The good news is that one of the worries we had, about the HKIM awards occupying quite a few of the top Google search placements for the term “brand with a conscience”, is no longer as major a concern, though we don’t think this excuses them. Of the top 10, the Chinese ones only occupy one place (Medinge’s manages nine), and of the next 10, they occupy four.
It does reiterate, of course, that any casual search of Google would still turn up the ofﬁcial, original Brands with a Conscience award more—and that there is no way the Hong Kong Institute of Marketing was unaware of our scheme. Its silence, in the hope that the matter would go away, paints a picture of guilt. And the 25 per cent hit rate of the ﬁrst 20 entries Google for the “other” award scheme continues to confuse those who might think that the HKIM edition has something to do with the Medinge Group, when in fact it does not. Posted by Jack Yan, 10:22
I’ve been thinking about adding new features to Autocade, which is currently a few models shy of 900.
Since I started the site in 2008, a few people have contributed to it, with the lion’s share being done by yours truly during my “spare time” (maybe we should call it ‘procrastination time’). Peter Jobes was responsible for the PHP programming that saw the site get its random list on the home page, as well as a random entry.
The site has only managed 30,000-odd visits to its home page—hardly surprising considering it hasn’t been properly launched, still sports a ‘beta’ tag, and its models only number in the hundreds and not the thousands.
Here’s the proposal: as well as having its current model, nameplate and marque pages, we should add lists on there that relate to what the individual ranges looked like in any one year.
Right now there are individual pages for, say, some Ford models such as the Ka, Fiesta, Fusion, Focus, Kuga, Mondeo, Galaxy and S-Max. I propose adding an extra series of pages that might be titled, for example, ‘Ford, UK, 2009’.
The page would feature links to the individual cars, as well as extra links to the country and the year. It would also feature links to missing models, such as the C-Max (not yet entered in to the site).
Since Autocade evolved over the last year, I have found it a resource not just on automotive speciﬁcations, but on the marketing of cars. This may be a way to take that further and make it a more useful global resource.
The trouble I have right now is how these extra list pages would be tidily incorporated.
It would be great if someone could arrive on the ‘2009’ page, to use the above example, and select a marque, then a country, or any combination of the above. But is this conceivable, because the structure, as far as I can picture it so far, is a terrible jumble?
Autocade is run with the same software (MediaWiki) as Wikipedia, except there are no senior admins sending me private, abusive emails over days on end.
I also want to encourage contributors to make lists on their own pages on Autocade. I’ve already made two incomplete lists of cars I have owned or driven, just to personalize my entry.
Ideas from experienced MediaWiki users or even database experts would be welcome (not nutter admins, please). Posted by Jack Yan, 10:43
Uploading a video to Facebook? You are presumed guilty
Facebook’s latest folly, apart from ignoring complaints that its site does not display properly in Firefox on Vista, is preventing the uploading of videos—even when you have permission to do so.
Almost immediately after a video is uploaded, Facebook deletes it, and posts a warning on your home page, threatening to kill your account if you put up copyrighted material. There’s no presumption of innocence here: it presumes you are guilty as the ﬁrst step.
And you can’t dispute it. There’s a link to submit a counter-notiﬁcation but even if you ﬁll it all out, Facebook will return the following screen:
You can keep signing this and submitting the counter-notiﬁcation, but Facebook won’t accept it, claiming you haven’t filled in all the ﬁelds, and return you back to this screen.
Don’t Americans have the common law principle of a presumption of innocence? Of course they do. Not that Facebook cares much about these ideals. We see, yet again, more of the arrogance that we have to put up with as Facebook users, earning money for the company by being exposed to its advertising.
Facebook, if you don’t like hosting our videos any more due to the cost of buying new servers, just say so, rather than go around accusing innocent people of infringing copyrights and denying them the opportunity to defend themselves.
PS.: After countless tries since the writing of this post, Facebook has accepted one of these counter-notiﬁcation forms and reinstated the second of two videos it deleted. I will revise my statement to say that Facebook makes it very difﬁcult to ﬁle a counter-notiﬁcation, certainly more than the layman is willing to put up with.—JY
P.PS.: The form concerning the second video remains linked from my home page, along with Facebook’s accusation, even though the video has been reinstated in my proﬁle. There is no way to submit the form or to clear it. Thanks for making me feel like a crim, Facebook—even though you started it with the false accusations. (Incidentally, Facebook’s own IP section in its help pages say that it will only remove a video on the copyright owner’s complaint—but given that it is instant, and false, I doubt it is following its own stated rules, and prefers to be the playground bully.)—JY Posted by Jack Yan, 13:48
That sounds like an Adobe Systems slogan
I have driven past this Toyota outdoor creative a few times and thought, ‘Isn’t that Adobe Systems’ slogan?’
It’s a bit far away but it reads, ‘We believe if you can dream it, you can do it.’ Adobe’s was identical save for the ﬁrst two words, which were missing: ‘If you can dream it, you can do it.’
I have seen ‘Nobody does it better’ for everything from Air New Zealand to Pioneer, but I can understand how that could be reused unwittingly. It’s a common phrase.
Less common, however, is ‘The pursuit of perfection’, used by Toyota division Lexus. However, ‘In pursuit of perfection’ was used by Jaguar for years.
I suppose Lexus wanted to ape other brands when it ﬁrst started, so changing a word in a slogan of a company competing in the same sector might have been part of the strategy.
I might have hated the ‘Everyday’ slogan for Toyota that was used for some time (who touts their products as ‘everyday’? But then, Toyotas can be boring), but cutting others’ slogans a bit too closely doesn’t sit well with me. Even shortening this one to ‘Dream it—do it’ might have worked, and be a bit more distant to the Adobe one.
Speaking of ‘perfection’, I spotted another oddity on New Zealand television tonight. The tagline for a Stella Artois TVC read, ‘Perfection has it’s price.’ Yes, including the apostrophe. Seems perfection hasn’t quite made it to Stella Artois, and surely this rather major typo weakens the message? Posted by Jack Yan, 09:50
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