Posts tagged “media”

Steve interviewed for UX Magazine

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When I spoke recently in Los Angeles I was interviewed by Luke Swenson of Media Contour.

The interview has been published on UX Magazine.

When should our clients invest in user research?

There are two things that you should watch for that can indicate it’s time. One is when you realize that you don’t know the answer to an important question. For instance, maybe you’re not sure who you’re targeting with a product or service. The second one is more difficult: it’s when you believe you have the problem already solved but you’re operating without any type of humility—you’re believing your own hype, so to speak. You’re making assumptions without any facts or evidence to back up those assumptions.

The art of the interview

Here are two insightful takes on the art of interviewing, from two different sources.

First, Ira Glass is interviewed by Jacob Weisberg (the short video is embedded below). Glass explains how he helps people feel comfortable sharing with him by bringing himself into the conversation (a technique I’m not so keen on for user research, although I’ve seen some people be successful with it). He also reveals that what is edited out of the broadcast interviews are tons of clarification questions, where he’s following up to understand the sequence of events, or the different people involved in the story, etc.

Second, How to Listen makes a good case for the authentic personal elements that we ourselves bring to our interactions with interviewees.

Dr. Mason had a simple method of getting me to begin. He would lean slightly forward, all the while maintaining eye contact and then when he got my attention, he would nod. I will never forget that nod; it was a signal that he was with me and I could safely express myself about whatever was on my mind, but I realize now that he was controlling the conversation. A cursory nod encouraged. Elongated ups and downs, (and the raising of eyebrows!) symbolized agreement.

This is the first lesson for writers – or anyone – who conducts interviews: If you want someone to talk, you’ve got to know how to listen. And good listening is a surprisingly active process. The interviewee is your focus of attention; you are there to hear what he says and thinks, exclusively. When I say, “interviewing,” I am talking from the perspective of a narrative or creative nonfiction writer. Interviewing for news is somewhat different; reporters usually know, more or less, the information they need to unearth. The writer of narrative, by contrast, is often seeking the unknown – the story behind the facts. You won’t always know the story until you hear it; your job as an interviewer, often, is to keep your subject talking.

That dream of finding an extra room in your house

In the summer of 1992, I came across this book, The Rolling Stones Complete Recording Sessions, in a bookstore on University Ave. in Palo Alto. Flipping the pages, I discovered the existence of an entire universe of Rolling Stones music that existed, albeit underground, beyond what was on the existing set of albums. Beyond recordings of live concerts, there are dozens and dozens of other songs, alternate versions, etc. This absolutely blew my mind, in an On Beyond Zebra! fashion.

From this book, I was inspired to launch an online community for Rolling Stones fans, Undercover, that still runs today. That was 1992, twenty years ago! I’ve met fans and made friends from around the world, including the author of the book, now in its 3rd edition!

Whether wistful or purely parodic, the notion of extending a closed set of content into new ones continues to fascinate me. While fan-fiction (including fan films) is extensively documented and discussed, I find these micro-forms quite cool and curious; in Martin Elliot’s book, he didn’t provide the actual Stones songs, just the library abstract that points to their existence, tantalizing the reader to experience them – somehow, somewhere – in a more complete form.

HEIGLR is a blog with fictional advertisements for fictional Katherine Heigl films that just might come out some day.

Seinfelt is a blog with plot synopses for Seinfeld episodes that never happened – but could have!

The Substitute

Kramer takes on a substitute teaching position, primarily because he already owns a pipe and a tweed jacket with padded elbows. He becomes frustrated when Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason is incomprehensible to his class of third graders. George’s girlfriend takes him to see a foreign film, which he finds so abhorrently pretentious that he decides to become a rabid football fan, deeming it “the lowest common denominator of popular entertainment.” An endangered species of eagle nests upon Elaine’s windowsill, disgusting her daily by bringing back enormous rats for its chicks to feast upon. When she calls 311 to ask if they can dispose of the birds, she gets a follow-up from the EPA, who say that her apartment is now a wildlife refuge and she must vacate. In a dusty old shoebox, Jerry discovers explicit photographs from his parents’ honeymoon.

TNG Season 8 is a Twitter feed with “plots from the unaired 8th season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

ChittahChattah Quickies

Multi-platform rapport [The Art and Craft of User Research Interviewing] – A little story (on my book blog) about an amusing challenge in leading an interview just the other day.

And this is where I caught myself flicking my eye contact between the two, as a way to (I guess – it was an automatic gesture) demonstrate interest and maintain engagement. Except one person was on the phone. Yes, I was looking back and forth between the guy in the room and the phone. I was projecting all of my rapport building onto a device, using eye contact only. Needless to say this wasn’t very effective!

Microsoft Patents ‘Avoid Ghetto’ Feature For GPS Devices [CBS Seattle] – Oh, media. How you love to incite and to create a crisis where there isn’t one. Ghetto must be a hot-button word, so even though it’s not exactly accurate, let’s go for it. The fact is we are continually adding more context to our digital interactions (only yesterday, Google announced its plans to include your social network in your searchers), and these are obviously creating new challenges around privacy, but this isn’t much less inflammatory than the Siri won’t find abortion clinics non-story.

A GPS device is used to find shortcuts and avoid traffic, but Microsoft’s patent states that a route can be plotted for pedestrians to avoid an “unsafe neighborhood or being in an open area that is subject to harsh temperatures.” Created for mobile phones, the technology uses the latest crime statistics and weather data and includes them when calculating a route.

For some consumers, surveys breed feedback fatigue [AP] – Ironically, an article about quantitative data collecting that suggests we’re experiencing more of something, without any actual numbers to back up their claim. This is an area we’ve done some user research in, and while we didn’t necessarily see fatigue, we did observe a consistent presence of review mechanisms (both creating and consuming) in daily consumption.

While market-research polls have been conducted for decades, customer-satisfaction surveys have proliferated in recent years because of technology, a growing emphasis on getting data to shape decisions and measure results, and a drive to hold onto customers in a difficult economy, experts say. “People care much more about what the customers think today,” said Brian Koma, VP of research at Vovici, firm that conducts surveys and helps businesses integrate the results with views customers express online, in phone calls and elsewhere. There’s no scientific measure of the number of customer-feedback requests, but questionnaires have percolated into such professional settings as law firms and doctor’s offices and become de rigeur for even everyday purchases.

Stories behind the themes: Wonderland

2011 is coming to a close and so are the installments of secondary research for the Omni Project themes. The fifth theme, Wonderland, comes as no surprise. In fact, the ancient Greek playwright Sophocles alluded to it over two thousand years ago when he wrote “And through the future, near and far, as through the past, shall this law hold good: Nothing that is vast enters into the life of mortals without a curse.” Welcome to the future, where the vastness of technology delivers both the promise of possibility and the curse of consequence. Here we share a few examples of how people are consuming, managing, producing, processing and even inadvertently participating in the unstoppable proliferation of technology.

So You’ve Shared a Link? This is How Long it Will Stay Relevant [The Atlantic] – Here bit.ly discuss a metric they developed called ‘half life’ to measure how long a shared link remains relevant. They analyzed links (shortened through their site) from YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and directly through email and instant messages. The results are not surprising so much as deflating (a feeling which is, after all, only relevant for a few hours).

Bit.ly analyzed click data for a thousand popular links shortened through their website and found remarkable consistency in how long bitly stay relevant on various sites. The company’s blog summarizes the results in the chart below. The half life of a Twitter link is the shortest, at two hours and 48 minutes, yet Twitter links tend to garner the most traffic. Links shared on Facebook have on average a half life 24 minutes longer. Similarly, “direct links–those shared through email or instant messaging–have an only slightly longer half life of three hours and 24 minutes. The three types of links share the same basic distribution, reaching their peak number of clicks shortly after being posted and gradually tapering off in clicks from there.

How to stop e-mail overload? Think before you hit send. [Washington Post] – This piece discusses the deluge of information we confront in our email inboxes and the ensuing internal and external battles to stay afloat, which resulted in this Email Charter.

But the unintended consequence is that communication volume is expanding to the point where it threatens to take over our lives. An e-mail inbox has been described as a to-do list that anyone in the world can add to. If you’re not careful, it can gobble up most of your week. Then you’ve become a reactive robot responding to other people’s requests, instead of a proactive agent addressing your own priorities.

Spin, Spin, Die Less Quickly [The Wirecutter] – Here’s a techno-topic that many of us can relate to. Following the death of a hard drive belonging to a friend-of-a-friend, the author reflects upon the frailty of the infrastructure that supports data and content exchange and storage. Hence emerge the challenges of managing and maintaining the onslaught of information so that we may reliably refer back to it in the future.

Data should last forever but individual data storage devices tend to be frail. Just ask the people who run Google’s data centers- In the end, it pays to have your stuff stored the way Google would-in many places at once, in as many copies as you can. Right now, that means having multiple drives for backup, or, having a local drive and an online back up drive like Backblaze or Crashplan. That is the final truth about hard drives.

What Does It Mean To Be Connected in the¬† 21st Century?¬† [TEDxMarin] -¬† Tiffany Shlain explores the “connective tissues” that now bond us (email, texting, etc.) and some of the biological reasons why we are nearly powerless to resist the gravitational pull of technology.

I half expected the statue of liberty to have torch in one hand and be texting with the other- I read that every time you click or check your email or your cell phone, you get a squirt of dopamine. Now dopamine, most people think it’s like a pleasure… but they have actually found out this it is about seeking, and finding, and searching, Dopamine is really associated with searching for information.

David Carr: The News Diet Of A Media Omnivore [NPR] – Interview with a media columnist for The New York Times about his own media consumption habits. Focused primarily on Carr’s entanglement with Twitter including the lovely quote “My persistent concern is that I’ll become so busy producing media that I won’t consume enough of it.” Carr probably isn’t the only one who faces the consequences of being a media prosumer, any of this sound familiar?

This is the first year that I think my productivity has dropped because [of my media consumption]. I’m looking at the coming year and thinking, what am I going to give up? Am I going to give up following the NFL? Am I going to give up listening to music and going out and seeing it? Am I going to give up riding my bike? Or am I going to cut back on some of these digital habits I have that are eating me alive and some of these … endless panels about the future of journalism? The future of journalism is wearing badges and talking on panels, as far as I can tell.

(for more on the future of journalism, check out the IxD12 Student Design Challenge)

The Curse of Cow Clicker: How a Cheeky Satire Became a Videogame Hit [Wired] РCan a cow sitting in pasture, making cud of clicks, reflect the insidious nature of gamification?  It most certainly can, especially when developer of said cow created said pasture and clicks as a tongue-in-cheek satire of deceptively banal games. Even more so when said developer finds himself hungrily grazing in a Pavlovian pasture of compulsive production, trying to keep the hungry cows ruminating.

Bogost kept his players hooked by introducing new cows for them to purchase using virtual mooney or real money. They ranged from the crowd-pleasingly topical (a cow covered in oil and sporting a BP-esque logo on its rump) to the aggressively cynical (the Stargrazer Cow, which was just the original cow facing the opposite direction and for which Bogost charged 2,500 mooney). They may have looked simple, but they were time-consuming to conceive and draw. By the end of the year, Bogost was devoting as much as 10 hours a week to Cow Clicker. Drawings of cows cluttered his house and office. “I was spending more time on it than I was comfortable with,” Bogost says. “But I was compelled to do it. I couldn’t stop.”

‘Tis the Season… If bit.ly is remotely accurate with their estimates, this post will cease being relevant long before the festivities are done so we better act fast and wish you Happy Holidays! And in case there is any kernel of doubt left in your mind that we are snowed in by a blizzard of techno-possibilities, allow us to regift- er, repost- a little tongue-in-cheek holiday house music to soundtrack this winter wonderland.

Reading Ahead Quickies

While the Reading Ahead project was a couple of years ago, we continue to find stories that resonate with or extend beyond our findings. Here’s a few!

For Their Children, Many E-Book Fans Insist on Paper [NYT.com] – A key Reading Ahead finding was that people select different content for different environments, situations, etc. By extension, it makes sense to see that people are also making choices among platforms for similar reasons. Reading is a multi-headed beast.

Print books may be under siege from the rise of e-books, but they have a tenacious hold on a particular group: children and toddlers. Their parents are insisting this next generation of readers spend their early years with old-fashioned books. This is the case even with parents who themselves are die-hard downloaders of books onto Kindles, iPads, laptops and phones. They freely acknowledge their digital double standard, saying they want their children to be surrounded by print books, to experience turning physical pages as they learn about shapes, colors and animals. Parents also say they like cuddling up with their child and a book, and fear that a shiny gadget might get all the attention. Also, if little Joey is going to spit up, a book may be easier to clean than a tablet computer.

Fulfilling the status role of books [Applied Abstractions] – An admittedly facetious concept that pokes at the ongoing struggle between objects, in this case books, as physical tangible demonstrable symbols versus digital and generally invisible personal content, an issue that arose clearly in the Reading Ahead research

The Norwegian publishing and bookselling industry yesterday introduced a new concept for e-books that is rather harebrained. They want to sell e-book tablets where you can buy books not as downloads (well, you can do that, too) but as files loaded on small plastic memory cards, to be inserted into the reader. According to their not very convincing market analysis, this is aimed at the segment of the book buying market who do not want to download books from the net (but, for some reason, seem to want to read books electronically.) I initially thought I would make a joke about having to replace my bookshelves with neat little minishelves for the plastic cards, when it dawned on me that perhaps we have the solution here – i.e., a model where we could get the accessibility of digital books with the status display of the paper version. Why couldn’t the publishing industry sell you a digital book (for downloading, if you please) bundled with a cardboard book model, with binding and all, to put in your bookshelf? This would look great, allow you to effortlessly project your intellectualism and elevated taste, while avoiding the weight, dust, and (since these books would only need to be a in inch or two deep) space nuisances of traditional books. You could even avoid physical distribution by letting the customer self-print and cut and fold the “shelf-book” in the right format. You could even electronically link the two, so that you cold pick your cardboard book from the shelf, wave it in the direction of the e-book tablet (using transponder, 2D barcoding or other identifying techniques) and the book would show up in your reader. If you really wanted to show off, you could add a little color coded bar indicated how far you were in each book, much like a download bar for your computer, to be displayed on each book. Moreover, such as book could be lent from one reader to another.

A Digital Whiteboard for the Kindle [WSJ.com] – Already two years old, this post evoked for me another key tension: are digital book platforms translations (with relevant, reading-related enhancements) of the book reading experience or are they new digital platforms for a range of digital activities? Our research suggested a stronger desire for the former, with fears of distraction around the latter.

Luidia, the maker of an interactive whiteboard technology called eBeam, is extending its reach onto another screen: Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader. The start-up is launching a system that automatically zaps a copy of notes and scribbles left on whiteboards into people’s Kindle or Kindle DX. It works by turning the notes (captured digitally by the eBeam system) into an image file, and then emailing that file to a Kindle. “We saw the potential not just to read a novel and textbooks, but also have other kinds of content created live in the classroom by students and teachers themselves,” says Jody Forehand, Luidia’s vice president of product planning…But apps that extend or go beyond reading are one of the most anticipated additions to e-book readers in the coming year. Kindle competitor Irex has said it would release a software development kit so that programmers can make their own apps for its e-reading device.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from julienorvaisas] The Sorcerers and Their Apprentices [WSJ.com] – [This review of Frank Moss's new book about the MIT Media Lab includes commentary on Moss's exaltation of "undisciplined" and "antidisciplinary" methods and their single-minded application of science in the service of developing devices and machines, at the expense of more traditional research methods.] Everything looks promising and possible at the demonstration and prototyping stage, when even sponsors may be willing to excuse the recalcitrant model hastily assembled to meet a deadline. But what will be the long-term implications of antidisciplined and undisciplined new technology that might be loosed upon the world? Do either sorcerers or apprentices caught up in the rush of casting spells have the time to ponder the consequences of their magic? Frank Moss appears to be aware of the potential problems with rapidly expanding technology. He has said that "today, society is awash in digital affordances" but admits that "paradoxically, we feel less in control of our lives."

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] Shit Painted Gold – [Post-modern detachedly-ironic consumerism makes the brain work hard. We'll tell you these products are crap and that we've not added any value by changing the color, but we have transformed them nonetheless. So, we hope you'll be happy to pay a bit extra for them. Now, please exit through the gift shop.] Nothing looks fancier in your home, office or garbage than shit painted gold. these amazing one of a kind art pieces will legitimize your ability to say to people, "why yes, that shit IS gold" [Thanks, Jeannie Choe!]
  • [from julienorvaisas] What comes after One Day for Design? [AIGA] – [Along with many others, we participated and commented on the 1D4D experience. AIGA hints that they are analyzing conversations and data gathered that day to guide their very reinvention. Stay tuned…] On April 13, we reached out through the existing networks of several prolific tweeters who led exchanges on the future of design, the concerns of today’s designers and the opportunities for design communities…Together with our partners in this project, the independent branding collective VSA Partners, we are now synthesizing the comments and discussions generated through this event. We will share the results here as we summarize them and develop ways for AIGA to respond. In June, our national board and chapter leaders will review all of this research from the past year—including the results from “One Day”—and work with us to outline the next steps. This is the year that AIGA will pivot toward new forms of serving the profession and its members.
  • [from steve_portigal] Pink Tools for Women: Learn today, Teach tomorrow, Build forever. – [Had this one sitting around forever. Love the message of empowerment; I'm willing to buy the pink-as-brand and NOT pink-as-shallow-way-of-feminizing-design but what else are they doing (besides Tupperware business model) to make these products specifically for women?] Founded by three women deeply entrenched in do-it-yourself projects, Tomboy Tools was launched in 2000 as the dream-turned-reality of being able to provide women with hands-on education, high quality tools and a fun way to make a living from home. Our Mission Statement: To build confidence and empower women through education, quality tools and an independent business opportunity. Today, while our mission statement rings as true as ever, our slogan is shorter and more concise. Our slogan underscores the power of Tomboy Tools in the marketplace and the value we provide both to female customers seeking hands-on education with high quality tools and Home Consultants looking for a great career.
  • [from steve_portigal] Conversations With Bert: Andy Samberg [YouTube] – [As a fellow introvert, I recognize Bert's slight shift into a more deliberate and mannered "interview mode." While he's not quite Terry Gross (and has a way to go to do the type of interviewing that we do), this short clip is a good source for a number of interviewing techniques, mixing equally between "what to do" and "what not to do." I'll have to use this in my next workshop and ask people to make note of the ways that Bert is successful or unsuccessful as he asks open-ended questions, reveals his own perspectives, redirects the conversation, feeds back, acknowledges what Andy says, and asks follow-ups.] Sesame Street's Bert sits down with comedian and Saturday Night Live cast member, Andy Samberg, to talk about life, literature, cuisine and of course, socks.
  • [from julienorvaisas] Memories destroyed in a flash [The Independent] – [Nice discussion of pros and cons, and implications of the broad transition to digital photos. This cultural shift will have huge implications generationally.] Spend a few minutes watching a Facebook feed and you quickly see it is not just our viewing experience that has changed. The way we store and display our pictures has radically altered the nature and type of photograph we take. A high proportion of photos on social networking sites tend to be posed self-portraits, the telltale arm holding the camera often hoving into view at the side. The breadth and scope of the pictures we display has decreased. We've moved away from Sontag's idea of photos as being accessories to our memories, towards photos as a brag – a way of telling the world what fun we're having, and how good we look having it. "You can guess it's taken for the benefit of an audience: It's not necessarily better or worse – just different. It was never so much the case with your personal album."

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from julienorvaisas] Your Life Torn Open, Sharing is a trap [Wired UK] – [Academic and a little shrill at times, but provocative. In this essay, Keen shares his harsh, apocalyptic perspective on the nefarious implications of the increasingly social and open lives we live online, complete with case studies.] Today's digital social network is a trap. Today's cult of the social, peddled by an unholy alliance of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and communitarian idealists, is rooted in a misunderstanding of the human condition. The truth is that we aren't naturally social beings. Instead, as Vermeer reminds us in The Woman in Blue, human happiness is really about being left alone. On Liberty, the 1859 essay by Bentham's godson and former acolyte, John Stuart Mill, remains a classic defence of individual rights in the age of the industrial network and its tyranny of the majority. Today, as we struggle to make sense of the impact of the internet revolution, we need an equivalent On Digital Liberty to protect the right to privacy in the social-media age.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from julienorvaisas] A manifesto for the simple scribe – my 25 commandments for journalists [guardian.co.uk] – [These are just a couple of Radford's commandments, written based on his years of experience as an editor at the Guardian. Most of these apply beautifully to any kind of writing.] Here is a thing to carve in pokerwork and hang over your typewriter. "No one will ever complain because you have made something too easy to understand." And here is another thing to remember every time you sit down at the keyboard: a little sign that says "Nobody has to read this crap."

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] Wake Up, Geek Culture. Time to Die [Wired] – [Provocative musing on what the Internet has wrought to outsider enthusiasts, but the piece falls off a cliff after this. I yearned for Chuck Klosterman to make this funnier/insightful] With everyone more or less otaku and everything immediately awesome (or, if not, just as immediately rebooted or recut as a hilarious YouTube spoof), the old inner longing for more or better that made our present pop culture so amazing is dwindling. The Onion’s AV Club—essential and transcendent in so many ways—has a weekly feature called Gateways to Geekery, in which an entire artistic subculture—say, anime, or the Marx Brothers—is mapped out so you can become otaku on it but avoid its more tedious aspects. Here’s the danger: That creates weak otakus. Everything That Ever Was – Available Forever doesn’t produce a new generation of artists—just an army of sated consumers. Why create anything new when there’s a mountain of freshly excavated pop culture to recut, repurpose, and manipulate on your iMovie?

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] Snowclone [Wikipedia] – A snowclone is a type of cliché and phrasal template originally defined as "a multi-use, customizable, instantly recognizable, time-worn, quoted or misquoted phrase or sentence that can be used in an entirely open array of different variants". An example of a snowclone is "grey is the new black", a version of the template "X is the new Y". X and Y may be replaced with different words or phrases – for example, "comedy is the new rock 'n' roll". Both the generic formula and the new phrases produced from it are called "snowclones". [Thanks @mulegirl]
  • [from julienorvaisas] The Business of Unfriending People [inc.com] – [Suggests that the social media footprint in our lives is contracting, voluntarily, and explores cultural trends informing that. Is the social media bubble about to burst (or at least diffract)?] New evidence suggests that as social media gets bigger, we're getting smaller. This is the growing trend of descaling—the pruning of our social lives on the Internet. Here we take a media, which is structurally perfect for massive scaling at low cost, and use it to make the Internet a more meaningful, emotional, and intimate experience.This new sense of intimacy derives from two places. The first is our growing sensitivity and sophistication about privacy. Secondly, this trend to intimacy isn't relegated to the digital world. It's happening across our economy. The pre-crisis consumer has become a smart shopper, more concerned with maximizing both the value of his or her purchase, but also actively supporting the brands, ideas, and friends that share his or her values.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from julienorvaisas] Is the Web Dying? It Doesn’t Look That Way [Bits Blog – NYTimes.com] – [There's always a way to get the same data to tell a different story. ] Mr. Anderson of Wired magazine argues that a world of downloadable apps, which work through the Internet and arrive via gadgets like the iPhone or Xbox, are quickly cannibalizing the World Wide Web as consumers prefer buttoned-up, dedicated platforms, designed specifically for mobile screens. Is he right? Should we plaster R.I.P. signs all over the Web? Not exactly.
  • [from steve_portigal] The Tragic Death of Practically Everything [Technologizer] – [You can hum Jim Carroll while you read this short piece that tries to dehype tech media a teeny little bit] Wired Editor in Chief Chris Anderson is catching flack for the magazine’s current cover story, which declares that the Web is dead. I’m not sure what the controversy is. For years, once-vibrant technologies, products, and companies have been dropping like teenagers in a Freddy Krueger movie. Thank heavens that tech journalists have done such a good job of documenting the carnage as it happened. Without their diligent reporting, we might not be aware that the industry is pretty much an unrelenting bloodbath.
  • [from steve_portigal] BK to offer shareable Pizza Burger [Nation’s Restaurant News] – [While results won't appeal to all, exciting to see Burger King with an appetite for innovating – crazy-sounding products – and a place to sell those non-core products] Burger King plans to introduce a giant hamburger shaped and flavored like a pizza to its new Whopper Bar in NY, adding to the list of extreme sandwiches at restaurant chains. The NY Pizza Burger is made with four 1/4-pound Whopper patties, mozzarella, marinara and a Tuscan Herb Mayo. They are placed on a 9.5-inch bun, which is sliced into 6 wedges, selling at $12.99. Burger King said the pizza burger, which is intended to be shared, would likely be introduced next week. Each wedge is about 400 calories, they said. The NY Pizza Burger is currently planned just for the New York City Whopper Bar location, which opened July 31 near Times Square. The pizza burger will join the Meat Beast Whopper, also exclusive to the New York City Whopper Bar. The Meat Beast is a Whopper topped with pepperoni and bacon and sold for $6.99.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre: WORST. NAME. EVER. [TampaBay.com] – Live Nation's announcement that they were renaming the Ford Amphitheatre the 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre is the ugliest naming rights agreement of the past 20 years. It's worse than the PapaJohns.com Bowl. It's worse than the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. It's worse than University of Phoenix Stadium. It's worse than the Comfort Dental Amphitheatre. By now, everyone has to understand that naming rights and sponsorship deals are an immutable aspect of society. Corporate sponsorships make possible many things that consumers take for granted.Ford's naming rights deal is over, and the Amphitheatre needed a new title sponsor. The Florida-based lawyer referral service 1-800-ASK-GARY was willing to pony up the cash, and for good reason — the next time Toby Keith or Kings of Leon or Aerosmith launches a summer tour that inclues Tampa, the announcement will include the phone number "1-800-ASK-GARY." But … but … Aesthetically. Thematically. Visually. It's awful.
  • [from steve_portigal] frogMob – frogdesign using social networking to gather data (or insights, they don’t seem sure which is which) – [If I get past the horrifyingly shortsighted copy "All photos and insights due back within one week"; "trend scrape"; "anyone can be an ethnographer for an hour" I think this is pretty fun and interesting and of course framed as an "experiment"] frogMob is based on the idea that anyone can be an ethnographer for an hour, just by paying a little more attention to the world around them. A frogMob is a trend scrape that gathers a quick visual pulse on behaviors, trends and artifacts globally. We publish the call to action on a select topic and gather original photography and stories that describe how products are used globally. The methodology and spirit of frogMob lend themselves to open collaboration. frogMob builds on the trend of using social media to run research studies, and the ability of these tools to conduct research remotely. This is where the experiment really begins.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from Dan_Soltzberg] The Media Equation – The Antenna Uproar – No Hair Shirt for Jobs [NYTimes.com] – [In the case of the missing iPhone signal, traditional publication Consumer Reports had more impact than younger, leading-edge media sources] How did Consumer Reports make Apple blink? In large measure, the article in Consumer Reports was devastating precisely because the magazine (and its Web site) are not part of the hotheaded digital press. Although Gizmodo and other techie blogs had reached the same conclusions earlier, Consumer Reports made a noise that was heard beyond the Valley because it has a widely respected protocol of testing and old-world credibility.
  • [from Dan_Soltzberg] Pop-Up Magazine [website] – [The return of the variety show? Media channel-bending experiment marries a magazine-esque approach to content with the ephemeral nature of live performance.]
  • [from steve_portigal] Concern for Those Who Screen the Web for Barbarity [NYTimes.com] – [Mind you, these consequences serve to reinforce the value of the service] With the rise of Web sites built around material submitted by users, the surge in Internet screening services has brought a growing awareness that the jobs can have mental health consequences for the reviewers. One major outsourcing firm hired a local psychologist to assess how it was affecting its 500 content moderators. The psychologist developed a screening test so the company could evaluate potential employees, and helped its supervisors identify signals that the work was taking a toll on employees. Ms. Laperal also reached some unsettling conclusions in her interviews with content moderators. She said they were likely to become depressed or angry, have trouble forming relationships and suffer from decreased sexual appetites. Small percentages said they had reacted to unpleasant images by vomiting or crying. “The images interfere with their thinking processes. It messes up the way you react to your partner.

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