Today, I was directed at David Chartier’s post about the pricing and marketing of the upcoming Google Glass(es). In less words than even he uses: Google should be getting flamed for how they are marketing/pricing those things.
So, why aren’t they? My totally unscientific thoughts (the below list addresses companies solely based on my thoughts about their hardware lines):
Google Glass is a brand new product. It’s not a smaller computer (iPad). It’s not a phone with 1,000 new features (iPhone). Google Glass would be a brand new product. That changes expectations.
Google isn’t Apple. Let’s remember that forever.
A person who is interested in Google hardware (not Android, Google) is a different person than a person who is interested in Apple’s hardware.
To that end… Apple is as consumer as consumer can get. If an Apple product in a given market isn’t the standard, it is, at the very least, the “attainable aspiration.” This is what sells Apple products. This is an Apple win.
Since there’s no expectation for a Google product that is the next big, new, life-changing thing to be an “attainable aspiration,” Google gets to bend the laws of marketing, pricing, and a host of other considerations that Apple must be careful about. Thus, no mass-flaming for the excessive price tags or time to market.
Now that’s not to say that Google is “doing it right” or that Apple is “too consumer to be successful.” They just exist in different ecosystems.
Good for both companies for playing in those ecosystems well.
Earlier today, Jimmy Fallon’s site put up a promotional video for the holiday season. On one hand, it’s another marketing gimmick that involves Fallon, his band–The Roots–a bunch of very innocent looking children, Mariah Carey, and a now classic Christmas song.
On the other hand, this is all it involves. Somehow, in an age where everything I see go viral has some sort of undertone or joke involved, this little video with no joke was posted everywhere I looked today. Which is wonderful.
How easy would it have been to instruct the band to act disaffected or Carey to act scared of Fallon? How easy would it have been to have Fallon stare at Carey’s “endowments” the whole time, peppering the holiday spirit with a lustful incongruency? How many endless gimmicks could a late-night talk show host easily build into a holiday promotional? And yet, this tiny modern-day classic of a song, sung by a bunch of happy (admittedly, famous) people playing instruments in an amateur manner warmed everyone’s hearts.
So if making something simple and joyful a popular, viral video (one of the few measures of success in my strata) makes me a part of the so-called irony generation that so much of media is railing against right now then, y’know what? I’ll take it.
This Wired Article on the future of publishing is especially pertinent after things like Facebook have finally been valuated. To consider:
1. Are things like Facebook now media companies?
2. If so, do they play in the same “curation” space as any other publisher at this point?
3. Why are most publishers and especially Facebook still backing themselves up to a (undoubtedly) failing advertising model? This is the same mistake that magazines made by not moving off of print subscription models when digital versions ramped up and the print advertising economy collapsed all within a decade.
Especially poignant, the final sentences:
And as they contemplate how to make money from the digital readers of the future they should take heart. A generation that’s willing to pay for ringtones can probably be persuaded to buy anything.
This American Life recently aired a story about the working conditions in the factories where many of your favorite products are built. Turns out, a lot of that story was false. There are a lot of arms moving in this machine, a lot more than you might realize at first:
Part of This American Life and people’s enjoyment of it (and its success) is that it’s generally deemed to be “true” from the listener’s standpoint.
Unless things are obvious. Generally, they are always obvious (i.e. David Sedaris telling a story about chipmunks that speak and listen to jazz).
There are times when fabricating things really does make a story better. Fabricating, embellishing, all of that stuff is what makes storytelling more interesting than, y’know, real life.
Frankly, the topic has been beaten to death and you can hear all about the lies and horrible deception in a massive 1-hour long, conniption-fit inducing, neuroses-filled follow-up episode of This American Life. (Or if you want to read a great post about the technicalities of the entire debacle, there’s a great post on Daring Fireball that’ll wrap it up for you faster than listening to both episodes.)
I’d like to talk, briefly, about this story’s impact on storytelling. There’s a lot of embellishing that goes on in storytelling. Look at Eggers’s A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius or any of the countless essayists like David Rakoff (writing from personal experience about personal things). Everyone walked away from those books with the impression that the staunch majority of it really happened.
And therein lies the rub. There’s a certain amount of cognizance that what you’re reading isn’t necessarily true, but it mostly is. And it’s a great story. So you believe. Hurray, that work is a success. I’m fairly certain that if I were to see Daisey’s stage show (where the segment is on the radio is pulled from) then I’d notice that he’s embellishing. That was the original medium, the story was crafted for that medium, not radio. Pile on the whole bag of shit hits the fan when you reference Apple in anything and you very naturally have people sounding alarms before thinking.
No, This American Life should not have aired it. Yes, Mike Daisey is an idiot for leading them astray during fact-checking. Yes, things are being set straight. What’s more frightening to me, at this point, is that people believed it to be true in the first place. Where do you draw the line?
This RadioLab short on the definition of mutants (and tax laws) is extremely awesome.
I still think it was my early love of The X-Men as much as anything else that set the stage for my flagrant liberalism. No regrets on being a comic book nerd here.
Of course, these days I’ve turned into much more of a Batman and Spider-Man fan. More Spider-Man, really. Not that my living in New York and scraping by in the media world has any correlation with Peter Parker or anything…
There’s a lot to be said about LCD’s last show. James Murphy’s decision to end a band’s career at its peak isn’t a new concept or surprising considering his demeanor.
What’s a lot more interesting, I think, is the way that we’ve already eulogized the entirety of what LCD stood for. It’s one year later and there’s a highly anticipated documentary marking the end of an era? Moreover, the event itself, the hype surrounding the show, the live streaming of the event, the way that the entire city stopped and there were jokes about the way you could’ve robbed all of Brooklyn without anyone knowing it… All of it is contingent on a society obsessed in a really weird way with technology and image.
Not that it’s a bad thing. Just really interesting to think about.
Clicking here or above will take you through to a great, interactive map of fatalities on America’s roads between 2001-2009. Mind you, these are only reported/confirmed, but it’s a really interesting way to visualize just how dangerous particular activities are in different areas.
Keep in mind, these are all fatalities that involved a motor vehicle.