- Profile of Hollywood dialect coach Tim Monich – Until the advent of television news, we had little idea about how people spoke in other regions and so there was little expectation (or awareness) among viewers for authentic accents in film.
- Authenticity in languages for science-fiction films – Among discerning science-fiction movie fans, however, expectations are more sophisticated now when it comes to alien tongues, and for that we have the Berkeley-trained linguist Marc Okrand to thank. Okrand worked as a consultant on the “Star Trek” films, and his crowning glory is the development of Klingon, the most fully realized science-fiction language devised thus far.
- In the Land of Invented Languages by Arika Okrent – Just about everyone has heard of Esperanto, which was nothing less than one man’s attempt to bring about world peace by means of linguistic solidarity. And every Star Trek fan knows about Klingon, which was nothing more than a television show’s attempt to create a tough-sounding language befitting a warrior race with ridged foreheads. But few people have heard of Babm, Blissymbolics, and the nearly nine hundred other invented languages that represent the hard work, high hopes, and full-blown delusions of so many misguided souls over the centuries.
- Deborah Solomon’s questions for Jeff Bezos – Q: What do you say to Kindle users who like to read in the bathtub?
A: I’ll tell you what I do. I take a one-gallon Ziploc bag, and I put my Kindle in my one-gallon Ziploc bag, and it works beautifully. It’s much better than a physical book, because obviously if you put your physical book in a Ziploc bag you can’t turn the pages. But with Kindle, you can just push the buttons.
Q: What if you dropped your Kindle in the bathtub?
A: If it’s sealed in a one-gallon Ziploc bag? Why don’t you try that experiment and let me know.
- Storylistening for consumer insight – There are many ways of collecting stories but here are three that may be new to you:
* Anecdote circles
* Naive interviewers
* Mass narrative capture
Collecting stories is not about finding the one perfect story that describes a brand or a consumer experience. Rather it is about gathering a broad spread of qualitative data. Individually a story may be seen to be banal but their power lies in the cumulative effect of many stories.
Story interpretation is best done by a range of groups (e.g. consumers themselves, a marketing department) that may have differing perspectives on the same situation. The most appropriate techniques often avoid direct analysis initially and allow different groups to immerse themselves in the stories to produce nuanced interpretations of the consumers' world.
- Sony, B&N promise to rekindle rights for book owners – Boing Boing recently talked to Sony's Steve Haber, President of Digital Reading, about its flagship ebook reader, named the "Daily Edition." "Our commitment is that you bought it, you own it," Haber said. "Our hope is to see this as ubiquitous. Buy on any device, read on any device. … We're obligated to have DRM but we don't pull content back."
- OnFiction is a magazine with the aim of developing the psychology of fiction. – Using theoretical and empirical perspectives, we endeavour to understand how fiction is created, and how readers and audience members engage in it.
- What design researchers can learn from hostage negotiators – Interesting to look at various collaboration and communication scenarios and unpack what's going on to define some principles that can be reused. Not sure how much new about design research is brought to light here, but the framing may make it more memorable or understandable. Always glad to see the emphasis on rapport, but I don't agree with their hostage-rapport approach as a one-size-fits-all method for design research rapport building. I also think they underplay the emotional levels that good design research can uncover. Beyond frustration with products, we hear stories about cancer, divorce, infertility, hopes, dreams, and beyond. All very charged stuff.
- If you outlaw meep, only outlaws will say meep – Tthe nonsense word started with the 1980s Muppet character Beaker. Bob Thompson, a pop culture professor at Syracuse University, said he first heard students meep about a year ago during a class screening of a television show.
"Something happened and one of them said 'Meep,'" he said. "And then they all started doing it."
The meeps, he said, came from all of the students in the class in rapid-fire succession. When he asked them what that meant, they said it didn't really mean anything.
But meeping doesn't seem to be funny to Danvers High School Principal Thomas Murray, who threatened to suspend students caught meeping in school.
In an interview with the Salem News, Murray said automated calls were made to parents, warning them of the possible punishment after administrators learned that students were conspiring online to mass-meep in one part of the school building.
- The Computer Will See You Now – how the computer interferes with the doctor-patient interaction – Doctors struggle daily to figure out a way to keep the computer from interfering with what should be going on in the exam room — making that crucial connection between doctor and patient. I find myself apologizing often, as I stare at a series of questions and boxes to be clicked on the screen and try to adapt them to the patient sitting before me. I am forced to bring up questions in the order they appear, to ask the parents of a laughing 2-year-old if she is “in pain,” and to restrain my potty mouth when the computer malfunctions or the screen locks up.
The computer depersonalizes medicine. It ignores nuances that we do not measure but clearly influence care. Room is provided for text, but in the computer’s font, important points often get lost.
A box clicked unintentionally is as detrimental as an order written illegibly — maybe worse because it looks official. It takes more effort and thought to write a prescription than to pull up a menu of medications and click a box.
- Tension between medical and colloquial language – an issue I explored in interactions column (Poets, Priests, and Politicians) – (via MeFi) Dr Ardill, in evidence, said he did not use the words alleged by Ms McQuade. He said he asked her was she “next or near a man’s willy bits” in the last six months and in relation to her sleeping he did suggest a drink, light exercise, a trashy novel or some “rumpy pumpy”. He said he used this kind of “childish” language with all patients to make them feel at ease. Nobody before had found it offensive. He said he would not use the term “willy bits” again.
This is what AT&T tells you – using a Windows error dialog – about your rollover minutes when you try to change your mobile plan:
NOTE: By requesting a new rate plan with rollover, your accumulated Rollover Minutes in excess of the new plan’s number of monthly anytime minutes will expire at the beginning of your next bill cycle. Example: If you currently have 1,000 Rollover Minutes and you change to the Nation 900 with Rollover plan, you can only carry over 900 of your Rollover Minutes to your new rate plan. Do yuo want to continue with your rate plan change?
Not a very good way to have a helpful interaction with a customer.
Your only option after reading through this pile of mouseprint is OK. If you don’t agree, then after you’ve agreed, you leave the page.
Doc Searls asks about great driving songs – pounding on the steering wheel – or potsw as he’s calling it. But in a slight twist, and the only reason I’m blogging this, he’s asking people not to post their thoughts on his blog, but to post on their own blog. And use technorati tags to create the master list of these songs.
This is an interesting way to have a dialog, across sites. Rather than Doc’s entry becoming a destination where many of us go (“generate traffic”) and talk together, he’s using an aggregation service that will capture all (ideally) of the responses across the blogosphere, but using a tool or site (technorati) that is vaguely central, rather than our individual sites which you might imagine as external nodes.
It’s fairly straightforward but still, an innovative approach, since the sense of bloggy space is treated differently.
See the resulting tagged posts
here. As of this posting there’s nothing there yet.
My suggestion: That Smell by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
37Signals responds to my earlier posting (about their mocking of customer feedback on their blog). I’m resposting it here.
I’m the author of the post at Signal vs. Noise.
We didn’t ridicule/mock our customers with this post nor did we intend to. We used our customers own words. We quoted directly. If you feel that quoting someone directly is equivalent to mocking them…well, we disagree.
This is disingenuous. As one example (and there are millions), go watch The Daily Show – it makes extensive use of direct quotes, but the mocking is quite evident. What is said before and after, and what pieces are chosen are highly editorial decisions that convey a point of view. Don’t you know this?
Fwiw, we don’t think the requests were stupid and we do value customer feedback. We showed theses comments so people can see the different realities that exist for individual customers vs. companies vs. the customer base as a whole.
Why share this info at all? The truth is these sorts of conversations are happening all the time in companies all over. Is it better that they be hidden from the public or is it better to have an open, honest dialogue about them?
Why the forced choice question? There are more than two options. For example, the option you guys chose. That wasn’t an “open, honest dialogue” by any means. Why not invite those individuals to participate, let alone consent, if you want such a dialogue?
I’ve been involved with some other folks in the planning of a neat little professional meeting – Overlap (subtitled Exploring new methods for business and innovation)
Overlap offers a unique opportunity to join other curious, deep thinking professionals in a spirited discourse on the relationship between business and design and the implications both that may have on our companies and careers.
It’ll be in Asilomar (near Monterey) in May. It should be an interesting event.