By Brittany Falconer
Just when I was getting used to Words with Friends.
It’s what all you deviants have been wishing for. Fast Co.Design suggests it may be the beginning of a sexual revolution on Facebook. I think it’s pretty vile, but to each their own: Meet Bang With Friends, the app that discreetly connects Facebook friends who are down to, uhm, get down.
The premise is pretty simple, or “so obvious, you’ll kick yourself for not thinking of it first,” quoth Fast Co. Contributor Mark Wilson (will I?): Pick which of your Facebook friends you’d like to hook up with. They won’t find out unless they’re also using the app and selected you too, which results in mutual, private notifications via email. What you two rabbits do afterward is no one’s business but your own.
Once you’ve connected via Facebook, you’re presented with a pin board of friends of the opposite sex (an LGBT version is in the works, according to the anonymous creators). Check off your “To-do” list (horrible pun intended), sit back and wait. Gives an added meaning to the term “easy lay,” doesn’t it?
Fast Co. claims this is the most simple, disruptive app to hit Facebook in some time, but I wouldn’t consider the idea groundbreaking. Tinder “finds out who likes you nearby and connects you with them if you’re also interested. It’s all anonymous until someone you like, likes you back.” The OKCupid app shows you who’s nearby, but it’s not anonymous. Grindr caters to the gay and bi male community.
Admittedly Bang With Friends is the most explicit. And maybe the most enabling – after all, how many people do you add on Facebook at least partially because you find them attractive? For those of you who remember Facebook when it was still limited to colleges and universities, didn’t you add almost all 600 people who lived in your dorm because “they seem nice,” even though you’d never met them in person? On that note, what will Bang With Friends do to STD occurrences on college campuses? Finally, is this more or less creepy than waiting for your friends to break up with their significant others so that you can hit on them?
February 5th, 2013
By Guest Author
This is a guest post by Mandy Miller.
Ah, new logos. You don’t have to have 10 or 20 years of business experience under your belt to know logo development is no walk through the park. Scale that to the magnitude of a brand like American Airlines. Unchanged since 1967, American made quite the stir as they unveiled their new logo in January. Now, while branding experts and business analysts may look at this as “a changed customer experience” (I can’t say a logo has that effect on me, but this is why I’m not a branding expert) and talk about how this marks a milestone for the company and its future, I’m more interested in the paint behind the logo, quite literally.
American got creative with this one. They named the new logo “Flight Symbol” (how original!) and it “contains the eagle, the star, the ‘A,’ and refreshed shades of red, white and blue. Together, they represent a clean and modern update to the core icons of our company.” Colors to match the American name. Refreshed. Modern. Icon. Cool. Focus in on that last part, specifically the “clean” part. I have a different interpretation of that, so keep reading.
Tune out all of the background noise of a new logo, improved services and shift your attention to the news of American’s new poster child, a beast of a machine called a B787-9 Dreamliner. American is adding 42 of them to their fleet. As many airlines strive to become greener, the overall eco footprint/efficiency of an airline is a hot area of discussion in the airline industry. At its core, this new addition is an efficient aircraft and does fit the mold for the company’s vision to be cleaner (if we’re talking efficiency). When active, this new fleet will take on the logo/new paint scheme for American (see photo-please note that the aircraft pictured is NOT the Dreamliner).
Now, look at the rest of American’s fleet – it sports the old logo and paint job. I’ll admit it. It’s iconic. American was known for the simplicity of their logo/design. Nostalgia aside, a brand has to be consistent, right? While a massive painting overhaul won’t be completed overnight, the entire fleet has to match that new paint scheme of the Dreamliner eventually. That means each plane has to be stripped of its current look, which involves LESS paint, and be plastered with the new design which involves MORE paint.
It may not seem like a big deal, but that paint is weight and weight is waste. Think about lugging around five cans of paint – that weight you carry is transferred to the object you paint, planes included. For the talented Captain and First Officer flying that aircraft, weight is everything and they watch their weight like a bride a week before her wedding. Careful calculations go into every flight – my plane weighs this much and has to go this far and at this speed – how much fuel do I need? The heavier the plane is, the more fuel inefficient it is.
Rewind – remember that part about the change being a “clean update.” If you connect the dots, it appears the company has recently announced the addition of its flagship efficient aircraft and switched its logo/paint scheme, only to make the rest of its fleet more inefficient. Wasted fuel means more emissions. Higher fuel costs mean higher ticket prices. Blah. Blah. Blah. Bummer.
This is merely an observation, but as I pieced together everything, it was quite the funky path to follow. Further, Boeing’s Dreamliner family has experienced some electrical troubles in recent weeks and it’s possible it could be grounded until the problems are targeted and fixed – quite the messy situation.
A logo is more than a fun and cute design. It can communicate a lot about a company and is an important part about how a brand is positioned in the market. A fancy exterior can catch your attention, but remember that even the best gifts and surprises don’t always have fancy wrapping.
February 4th, 2013
By Guest Author
This is a guest post by Liz Iannotti.
By now, if you haven’t heard about what some are calling the “lip-synch-gate,” I would be quite surprised. In the few days since the presidential inauguration where Beyoncé either did or did not lip-synch (jury is still out), the news has spilled over from US Weekly and Gawker into CNN, NBC Nightly News, The Washington Post and The Chicago Tribune. It seems like EVERYONE is talking about it. Which has got me wondering: why do we care so much?
I get it; it was disappointing to hear that such a wonderful performance may not have been live. When Beyoncé ripped that earpiece out of her ear at the climactic moment of the National Anthem, we as viewers wanted to believe that she was so into the song, that she said to herself “I’ve GOT this!” and belted out the end that moment, in her own way, live. Well, this may not be so. And not only does America feel duped (there’s just something about lip-synching that feels dishonest, even though it’s quite common), the news seems to be really bothering us beyond a fleeting thought of “ugh, that’s too bad.”
Why? I think it’s because as a society, we are ingrained with this idea of authenticity. Everything has to be real, true and exactly like “they” said it was going to be. Arguably, we value truth more than past generations – because now, we have the technology and the means to find out if an event, a person or a brand isn’t actually doing what it claims. Think there was a lip-synching mishap? Slow down the broadcast on your DVR and watch it back as many times as you want; zoom in on the HD-image of the singer to see if her lips really are moving exactly in synch with the sound. Think there was something fishy with a college football player’s famed girlfriend? Comb through tweets, articles, text message dates, call logs and obituaries to find holes in the story. Think your Subway sandwich isn’t really a “footlong”? Measure it against a ruler and create a social media campaign to attract the brand’s attention to that missing inch of grinder-goodness.
There’s nothing wrong with demanding authenticity and certainly nothing wrong with the truth. Consumers should be able to put faith in their favorite brand. They should be able to expect quality service when they walk into a retail store or to get their latte the way they like it. The onus is on brands and retailers to step up to the plate. They need to be even more aware that these days, consumers expect, are looking for and won’t settle for less than a real, and good, experience.
Did Beyoncé sing live? I think we’re all hoping for a yes — it would be a little victory in our search for authenticity. But brands and retailers beware, we’re holding you to that same standard; we hope you will deliver!
January 25th, 2013
By Guest Author
This is a guest post by Nate Towne.
Let me be frank – I can get behind some folks’ desire to ban porn. It leads to moral depravity, tempts innocents down the road to corruption, [insert silly conservative reasons to ban porn here], blah blah blah. I get it. I don’t support it by any means, but I get it. But a ban on Food Porn (a.k.a. photos taken of food to be shared across the internet) is just redonkulous, for lack of a better word.
To what do I refer? Today Mashable reported in its article, “The Death of Foodstagram,” that some restaurants in NYC are banning patrons from taking pictures of food in restaurants, citing this increasingly-popular practice is, of all things, a distraction. To diners and to staff alike.
According to Moe Issa, owner of Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, on why his restaurant has banned food photos, “Some people are arrogant about it. They don’t understand why. But we explain that it’s one big table and we want the people around you to enjoy their meal. They pay a lot of money for this meal. It became even a distraction for the chef.”
And at Chef’s Table, you will pay a lot of money for the meal – the current prix-fixe price is $225 per person plus tax and 20% service fee. Cheap, it ain’t.
To me this seems like shooting yourself in the foot. Or the cash register. Restaurants cater to Foodies – folks that live for food, to eat, to discuss, to share, and yes – to review. Foodies love taking photos of food – especially food that is elevated to a higher plane, food that is art itself due to composition and plating. The very best chefs (and probably some of the worst) know that we “eat with our eyes” first and that an artfully arranged plate can be jaw-dropping, and thus can demand higher prices. Why else would we pay outrageous sums for an appetizer that’s roughly the size of a small vole? As humans, we like to experience new sensations – and as a global community with instant connectivity through social networks and technology, many of us are compulsively driven to share with others.
How many of us have spied a delicious dish on Twitter and made plans to visit the restaurant that served up that dish because of the photo alone?
How many chefs have achieved celebrity status because pictures and word of their food artistry has spread to the masses via Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr?
Are we less moved to action by a tweet that simply talks about food vs. shares a photo of the culinary masterpiece in question? I argue yes, yes we are.
A ban on patrons taking pictures of food in restaurants is sheer ludicrousness on many fronts, and one can only imagine the restaurants banning the practice will suffer due to negative social backlash against the policy as well as a noticeable reduction in the number of patrons visiting the restaurant. It’s hard enough to launch and keep a restaurant successful, why handicap your efforts in such a manner?
I predict such bans will quickly fade into obscurity – and that patrons will take pictures of food regardless. Because this is the Age of Digital, and it permeates every aspect of our lives. The efforts of a handful of restaurateurs trying to stem the tide of progress are as silly as a ban on taking pictures of food in restaurants. What’s next: not allowing patrons to ask what’s in a dish that’s being served?
I know I’d rather eat at Arby’s before I’d eat at a restaurant that won’t allow me my God-given right to capture my palatable property in digital format and share it with my peeps. True story.
Just don’t make me eat my words. They’re ever-so filthy.
January 24th, 2013
By Ben Haber
Individuals enter the healthcare system not when they arrive at the ER or doctor’s office, but rather the moment they enter a malady into their Google search box. With the expectation for immediate information, the patient’s perceived knowledge begins to expand – however is this good, helpful or really just the tone for an emotional rollercoaster before they engage with a clinician?
Regardless if the individual is concerned about their own health or the welfare of a loved one, the process to illness discovery, treatment, therapy and recovery has begun. In our digital world, we can find what we think is the 360 degree point of view within minutes. Who has the responsibility to shepherd and help steer this process in a constructive and informational way?
Martha Hayward, leads patient and public engagement at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement
Rachel Bloom-Baglin, senior healthcare communications leader at Philips Healthcare
Dr. Danny Sands, healthcare speaker, executive, thought leader and physician at Beth Israel
Dianne Bourque, partner in the Health Law practice at Mintz Levin
January 17th, 2013
8:00am – 9:30am ET
*Registration opens in the lobby of 53 State Street at 7:30am ET*
Breakfast will be provided for attendees
53 State Street, 4th Floor
Boston, Ma 02109
December 19th, 2012
By Ben Haber
Welcome to your Friday Flash—your insight into the ever-changing world of social.
December 7th, 2012
By Ben Haber
The fighting between Israel and Hamas isn’t just taking place on the ground anymore. It’s taking place on social media. In a way to inform and control messages, Twitter handles for the IDF and Hamas are providing real-time updates about attacks, damage and what they’ve been able to stop. An array of other social channels are also being used, including Instagram, which Israeli soldiers have been using to show a very personal side of war.
Social media has already changed our world in so many ways – but is it really making war more personal? Receiving direct information from the groups that are fighting is so strange – and gives us a combination of unfiltered information and a one-sided opinion on what’s taking place. It certainly difficult to look at a picture of soldiers (like the one below) and not humanize what’s going on.
November 16th, 2012
By Ben Haber
This is the first in a new series for RaceTalk. In the Friday Flash, we’ll be summarizing what happened in the social media world. So, grab your coffee and muffin and enjoy this week’s installment.
November 9th, 2012
By Guest Author
This is a guest post by Marcus LaRobardiere.
On more than one occasion I’ve been called an old man, which is not entirely true- I’m only 23-years-old – but I do and always have had, a few habits/tendencies that beg to differ. For instance, on Saturday mornings, instead of watching cartoons like the rest of the kids my age, I was watching Flip Pallot, an avid fisherman and outdoorsman, fly fish the shallow waters of the Everglades and the Florida Keys.
As time went on, I began watching the likes of Anthony Bourdain and the other personalities on the Travel Channel. At that time, the channel was loaded with interesting shows about traveling, not like the subpar, 20LB ice cream sandwich toting shows it seems to be full of now. So you can’t imagine how excited I was to discover Uncommon Content’s Reserve Channel.
Reserve Channel gives unprecedented access to some of the more extraordinary people and places life has to offer. I discovered this gem when I saw a tweet from Jimmy Buffett, promoting his daughter’s new monthly travel series, “EX-PATS.” Upon further investigation I was hooked, and somewhere in between, Anthony Bourdain’s appearance on “On the Table w/ Eric Ripert” and seeing “EX-PATS”I couldn’t get enough but it dawned on me, this could be the coolest thing no one will ever see.
Despite the great content, I couldn’t help but think this was bound to fail. When a YouTube channel begins, it’s essentially starting at square one. Where cable networks and programs already have an established audience, Reserve would be starting with no one. Additionally, what credibility did they have? Their social network presence was small, I mean really small. One afternoon I gave them a #FF and much to my delight, it was retweeted. Despite the victory on Twitter, I knew to build their audience and credibility it would take a massive grassroots approach and they couldn’t be done through some Parrothead who follows Jimmy Buffett on Twitter.
By the time autumn was in full swing, they introduced three new shows that would pick up where the summer lineup left off. It would appear they knew something I didn’t. While YouTube can’t match the revenue stream or the ratings TV can, there are a few stats that point to a bright future. YouTube receives over 800 million unique users each month with 4 billion hours of video being watched monthly. In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views which are about 140 views for every person on Earth and with advances in sharing both on social and mobile networks those numbers are bound to grow.
Time will only tell whether or not various YouTube original’s like Reserve Channel will survive but scrolling through their different segments and shows I am seeing significant growth in views. I’m not willing to make any predictions on the success or growth of the channel because I don’t want to jinx anything – I’m superstitious like that – so for the time being, this old geezer will keep tuning in to satisfy an appetite.
November 2nd, 2012
By Guest Author
This is a guest post by Nate Towne. Follow him on Twitter at @Fancy_Lad.
You may be seeing a lot of buzz regarding Pheed, the new “Twitter Killer” that launched on October 1st – it looks and acts a lot like Twitter, but gives users (a.k.a. Pheeders) the option to share content for free or at a premium, either by applying a monthly subscription fee to their channel or setting up a pay-per-view live broadcast event. Users can charge anywhere from $1.99 to $34.99 per view, or $1.99 to $34.99 per month. The platform offers standard sharing features such as text, photos and videos, but also incorporates “stuff” (its word, not mine) like voice-notes, audio clips and live-broadcasting.
Not only is Pheed is going for that premium-content-gotta-have-it feel, it’s also positioning itself as the edgy new social startup, featuring the backside of what looks like Adam Levine’s head from Maroon 5 on its homepage. (But sadly, it is not.) This in itself should scare many older, more conservative users away right off the bat, leaving us fresh young things with that MySpace experience we’ve been missing since that platform bombed many moons ago. (Though Justin Timberlake is doing his darnedest to revive it. Maybe. The jury’s still out on that one.)
So who cares about Pheed? Well, if you’re a celebrity trying to cash in on premium content, you just might – the site seems to be a magnet for hip hop moguls and mogulettes. Same if you’re an Instant YouTube Star like these guys – you might want to start up your own pheed feed to try to monetize your videos. Some brands, like record labels and other content-and-taste makers could also benefit. Case in point it looks like everyone’s trying to figure out the value; the “big names” of celebrity content producers like Slash and Chris Brown are on Pheed, but have activity levels just south of minimal. BUT, and here’s the big but, they’ll only stay on Pheed if YOU go there and start buying.
Otherwise you might as well just Pheed your time into the ol’ toilet because you just wasted precious resources on the next big social thing that never happened. Wouldn’t be the first time, won’t be the last.
But you’re probably here for deeper insights, so here goes:
- You can make money – if Pheed attracts users who will open their wallets to digital content.
- Pheed has more bells and whistles than Twitter.
- You can position yourself as cooler-than-cool by eschewing Twitter for this new social channel, being the first on your block to start a Pheed.
- You can easily share Pheed content on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
- Like any social network, you can gain insights into things.
- The content is entertaining, though dubious.
- Pheeds are rated for content and measured for level of activity, meaning users know what they’re getting into before they sign up for a pheed.
- It’s an unknown and could become a big time suck if nobody is there to help you monetize your content.
- Pheed is a ghost town compared to Twitter. Only 1 million users on Pheed vs. more than 500 million on Twitter.
- There’s no ability to easily share content with Instagram or Tumblr – for now.
- The content is dubious, though entertaining.
- Not primetime ready for main stream brands.
- Like any social network, you can gain insight into things. Mostly Paris Hilton’s things. *shudder*
Only time will tell if Pheed will get off the ground. With quality content producers including Big Sean, who has produced nothing, Spammers (that didn’t take long), and paparazzi’s putting up premium channels so they can get paid more for stalking your favorite celebs, you can count me out for now. When the Muppets start a Pheed, then I’ll consider joining. (I’d best not hold my breath.)
October 31st, 2012