Archive for the ‘social networks’ Category

Isn’t it time we reinvigorate our thinking and start asking more questions? Yes, says The Atlantic. Their refreshing thought initiative, The Atlantic Project, challenges America to Think. Again. 

Get in on the discussion starting with a range of questions such as:

Should women settle? Why do Presidents lie? Which religion will win? Is porn adultery? Is Google making us stupid? When is evil cool?

Each topic is accompanied with sources for more reference (beyond your own opinion and knowledge). Click on an image or topic at the bottom of the page and find either an article, short documentary, video, and/or blog for more information.

Ready. Set. Go.


Though it’s been out for a while, I only just saw Blood Diamond the other night. I was watching with a friend and I mentioned Camp Okutta, which I wrote about in a previous post. For some reason I didn’t expect Blood Diamond to be so graphic, but what was I expecting, given the film’s plot. I’m actually easily affected by visual experiences – movies, (some) commercials, art, theater, etc. so not surprisingly, something inside me stirred when I saw the child soldiers in action. Whenever I see movies with social messages, especially when they’re based on specific world issues and force one to question what’s happening to humanity, I ask myself, ‘but what can I do? what could I do besides give money?’ and then I usually forget about the movie and my questions soon after thinking about those issues.

n18706979456_6198.jpgA month or so ago I joined Planning For Good, and more recently Planning For Good – Minneapolis as a volunteer planner. Planning For Good is made up of strategic thinkers (account planners, strategists, etc.) who want to help solve real problems for non-profit causes. In the past few weeks numerous individual groups specific to various cities have sprung up on Facebook. The goal is for each city to meet collectively and share thoughts and ideas for briefs and then eventually everyone puts their ideas into the ‘idea vat’. I’m curious to see what future briefs/organizations we’ll be helping. Unfortunately, I missed the UNICEF briefing/meeting, but I’ll be sure to attend the next one.

I’m discovering Facebook is a growing platform for not only connecting with friends, but for finding like-minded people who want to do more than just chat and say hello. Though I joined a while ago, I’ve only lately become more active on FB. There are a lot of silly groups on FB (I’m probably in a few) but there are obviously some worth joining. To any planner (especially junior, or student), I encourage exploring such groups and joining Planning For Good. Interestingly, in the past two days, I’ve had two senior planners suggest I join, though I’d already done so a while back. So I’m just passing the message on. Cheers!

Another example of the power of social networking sites/communities banding together to get what they want.

  • 14,000 users in ‘bring Wispa back’ groups in
  • 93 groups
  • fans posted 1980s spots
  • fans joined online petitions

The result? A temporary revival of the chocolate bar (23 million) to test the sales demand.

Ok, who wants to start a Bring Back Zubaz!! Facebook group? Shall I start it?

Here’s another example of the idea of planning for good:

Ideablob, recently launched by Advanta Bank Corp., is a social networking platform that gives entrepreneurs and small business owners the space to share ideas and potentially win $10,000 to help their business grow.

IdeaBlob is where entrepreneurs and small business owners can share and grow their business ideas – and have a chance to win $10,000 towards fulfilling them.

Great ideas are generated every day by people all across the country, and now these ideas have a place to live and grow. Eligible individuals with a good business idea can post it to IdeaBlob.com, and based on votes from the IdeaBlob online community – which includes other innovators as well as friends, family, colleagues, associates, teachers and mentors – one idea every month will win $10,000.

As individuals take part in IdeaBlob’s growth, their business has the potential to grow right along with it.”

Advanta issues Mastercard credit cards for small business owners and has been in business for the last 50 years. After doing some brief digging, I found they were started by a schoolteacher who helped fellow teachers get loans. I’m curious as to what the rest of the story is behind the founder and how Advanta evolved to become what it is today.

As we’re seeing over and over, there is power in community, and truth in authenticity. Ideablob has been added to my list of ‘great new ideas’ and goodness that aims to provide real things for people who need it.

See StyleStation for more information.


I get it. Is that bad?

A week ago, social networking site MySpace launched the MySpace Fashion Channel. Somewhat similar to MySpace’s devoted mini-communities for music, this new initiative aims to create a new community for fashion lovers. Features include:

1. The Fit – video diaries which give viewers a taste of a celebrity’s closet or “fashion lives”. The first piece features a French girl-rockers The Plasticines. Next up, actress/singer Hilary Duff and Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy.
2. Featured designer – information on (what appears to be at the moment) up-and-coming designers which link to their MySpace.
3. Featured profile – more information on the celebrities in The Fit. This also links to their MySpace.
4. InStyle fashion feed – The print and online style magazine has partnered with MySpace to offer users a fashion frenzy feed via InStyle’s site. This is called InStyle News.
5. MySpace Muse – Culled from “Who What Wear Daily”, certain trendsetters will be chosen and featured here.

The value for MySpace Fashion Channel?

1. The opportunity for designers to receive direct feedback and potentially attract new fans. This is especially important for the up-and-coming designers. However, when I clicked on this week’s designer, I was disappointed to see a dull MySpace. His MySpace does show his designs, but there’s no bio and nowhere that I can see that tells me where I can find his product. So there was a big disconnect for me.
2. The director of strategic partnerships for MySpace says it gives designers a direct line of communication to the consumer…[and that] direct line of communication is vitally important to fashion brands at a time where consumers crave a personal connection with designers and labels.” Great, but again, if a designer doesn’t take the time to tell his audience who he is, what inspires him, what his vision is, etc. and fails to communicate buying options, how is this connecting with the consumer?
3. If MySpace Fashion proves popular (how will this be determined? site visits, growth in group members for designers/celebrities featured?), they could be seen as cool again, giving a core set of fashion fans something to rally around and want to experience over and over. Building MySpace beyond a general social networking site where people can keep in touch with one another (and stalk) is smart and strategic if they want to stay relevant with consumers.

However, I see a few potential trouble spots with what MySpace is trying to do:

1. Minimal true fashion content

  • As mentioned earlier, this week’s designer says zilch about himself or his apparel.
  • The Plasticines don’t say anything about fashion, except in the video clip for NYLON studios. Even then, all we see is a lame stylist asking each band member what she likes and he stands there going “uh huh, that’d look cute, ok try it on.” Stylist? My mom could have done better.
  • Why not shoot each girl in her favorite outfit and show us that? Better yet, tell us where we can buy it, or get pieces like it.

2. Technical Details Need Tweaks

  • The first Fashion Video features Paris Hilton (prompted eye-rolling here) and the clip was crappy. I don’t think it’s my laptop (I have a Mac) or my connection (wifi). The clip was dark, splotchy and the audio wasn’t consistent.
  • The InStyle News requires users to scroll up/down and left/right in order to view the content within the box. Users can click to InStyle’s site, but even so, something as small as this design inconvenience can quickly deter from a completely user-friendly experience, not to mention a crisp-looking site.
  • When I click on Taida, the current MySpace Muse, I’m linked to WhoWhatWearDaily.com’s MySpace. If I’m told to “click here” for more info. on Taida, why am I not getting it? Again, disconnect.

3. Who is their ideal target?

MySpace will feature streaming video and recaps on New York’s Fashion Week later this month. Kinda cool, because if you really love fashion, you want the behind-the-scenes experience. All kinds of designers will be at NYFW – unknowns, perennial faves, those who are more Barneys and those who are more Fred Segal.

  • Does MySpace Fashion plan on featuring complete fashion newcomers, hot-at-the-moments (Juicy Couture), young & hip (Stella McCartney), or classic & expensive (Narciso Rodriguez)?
  • Who does MySpace envision they’ll attract? Do they want to be like People, Marie Claire, or are they aiming more for TeenVogue, but slightly more accessible? Or, none of the above?

I think MySpace could be going in the right direction, or at least they’re heading in the general area. I’ll be interested to hear about their successes, or user experience feedback, once this takes off and has time to connect with MySpacers.


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