Posts tagged “phoenix”

Out and About: Tamara in Phoenix

I spent some hot days in the 106 degree heat of Phoenix last week facilitating for social good at the Phoenix Design Summit. Even though we were crazy busy, I still found some time to capture the local flavor and ponder my surroundings.

The side of this truck reads “Tree Frog Treks” and has a phone number to call. I never would have thought of hiring someone to take me out on a tree frog trek, especially in Phoenix (which, admittedly does not have a climate or environment that I associate with trees or frogs). I like the BooWoop! on the door. Is this what tree frogs sound like? Or what we tourists would exclaim upon seeing them?

We had lunch at the Food Truck Fridays court held in the Phoenix Downtown Market on Friday afternoon. I appreciated the clever humor from Hey Joe’s Filipino food truck but most of all I loved their specialty drink: a whole young coconut that they served with the top cracked off and oversized straw.

We visited an exhibit at the ASU Art Museum titled Miracle Report. The gallery was filled with many screens of various sizes. Each piece included audio of interviews with people about a miracle they had experienced while the video showed only their hands. Hauntingly beautiful and startlingly expressive. I’d like to try this approach for capturing video during research interviews.

Also had the chance to visit Emerge: Redesigning the Future, an exhibit that followed the recent crossdisciplinary summit dedicated to design fiction and playing with the future. In this exhibit, you enter your name and a word on an iPad and then a phrase from the future appears on the screen in the bubble.

I have no idea why this onion was sitting on a mailbox. But it got me curious about how many stamps it would take to send an onion. It would probably depend upon weight, right? Would the USPS deliver an onion if it had the correct postage and an address on it?

This guy must really love hamburgers because this is not a uniform (as I initially presumed when I saw it). There were no logos or other elements on the front of the shirt. This made me wonder if there is any food item I love so much that I would wear a shirt of it like this one. Maybe kale. Or fresh young coconuts with a straw.

Postcards from the road: PHX to PDX

It’s been a busy-yet-fun few days on the road, from giving a plenary presentation and workshop at ASU’s Design Research Symposium (more to come, whenever I get my pictures – Hi, Greg!), to meetings, dinner with colleagues, and helping a client synthesize fieldwork data from China and Russia into product concepts. Here are some images I captured along the way:

Font problems @ Sky Harbor Airport, April, 2008

No carry-on tires, Sky Harbor Airport, April, 2008

Well, Tempe, AZ, April, 2008

Pay Here, Tempe, AZ, April, 2008

Fear God, Tempe, AZ, April, 2008

Disengaged Citrus, Tempe, AZ, April, 2008

Life imitates The Simpsons, Tempe, AZ, April, 2008

Busy license plate, Tempe, AZ, April, 2008

Crepes To Go, Portland, OR, April, 2008

Font Era #1, Portland, OR, April, 2008

Font Era #2, Portland, OR, April, 2008

Dog Paintings, Portland, OR, April, 2008

Sign upon sign, Portland, OR, April, 2008

Lift party, Portland, OR, April, 2008

Where I’ll Be Speaking

I’ll be teaching a one-day class on Design Research Methods on March 1, in Sunnyvale, CA. There’s a couple of spots still available, so if you want to contribute to a sell-out, it’s not too late!

You can see a longer version of my talk about improv and ethnography at the IDSA Southern Conference in Savannah, GA, March 6-8. See a previous talk here.

I’ll also be in Atlanta, en route to Savannah, and would love to meet up with people in that area to chat about the work we do and look for ways we might help you.

I’ll be giving a presentation called The Listener’s Journey at the Computer Market Analysis Group meeting at Intuit in Mountain View, CA, on March 13-14.

I will talk about international market research at the Silicon Valley American Marketing Association Morning Forum on March 18, in Burlingame, CA.

I will be giving a workshop on best practices in analysis and synthesis at the Second Annual eBay Visits Event on March 21, in San Jose, CA.

I will be giving a talk and hosting a workshop at a design research symposium at the College of Design at Arizona State University, April 11-13 in Tempe, AZ. I’ll be spending a day in Phoenix beforehand and would love to meet with people there explore ways we might be able to help your business.

Let me know if you’ll be at any of these events!

Q107 misleads listeners; apologizes

I wrote previously about how Q107 had presented a broadcast of live Rolling Stones as if it was a simulcast of a club show in Toronto, and how many of us protested and they responded. Well, they got some press out of the whole thing, too.

From this story

Bartrem maintained that Q107’s intent was never to deceive, but does concede that the station could have been a little more specific in its programming intentions.

“I guess the way we positioned it on the air was ‘Celebrating this night at the Phoenix, we’ve got Stones live on air at 9:30.’ People heard ‘live’ and ‘Phoenix’ and put the two together and thought ‘simulcasting,'” he said.

“In hindsight, one line would have saved all the problems: ‘While some are enjoying the show at the Phoenix, let’s go back three years and enjoy what was going on.'”

Since he was one of the lucky 1,100 people to attend the show, Bartrem said he can’t speak to what Scholes said on air, but he is taking care to absolve the station’s DJs “of any kind of responsibility in this thing” and accepts full blame for the furor.

As penance, he has volunteered to be morning host John Derringer’s “Tool of the Day” today and will publicly proclaim the whole thing “totally my fault.” He has sent a mea culpa e-mail to everyone who wrote the station.

and from this story

The station evidently never specifically told its listeners it was simulcasting the Stones show from the Phoenix, but one listener, Steve Popichak, who e-mailed the Sun said, “During their broadcast, their announcer came on between songs and made references to this performance happening right in front of him right there at the Phoenix.”

“Well, it was live Stones,” DJ John Scholes told the Sun Wednesday night.

Blair Bartrem, Q107’s program director, yesterday told the Sun that the station received 30 to 40 complaints from fans, via e-mail. He said he takes responsibility for the confusion and that, in hindsight, the e-mail should have been clearer.

“I think a few of our Q listeners felt that we were trying to deceive them, which clearly wasn’t our intent,” Bartrem said. “I mean, there’s a trust that we have with our audience, obviously, and we’re not trying to pull a fast one.”

Bloggers on Tuesday and Wednesday were abuzz with anticipation about the perceived simulcast. An Ottawa resident filed a complaint with the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council [over the playing of a bootleg? — SP]. He said other fans might do the same.

From discussions online, it appears that few believe that the deception was accidental or that the apology was genuine. I guess I was glad to get any acknowledgement of a mistake from a company.

But desite their claims to have responded to all who complained – I have not heard back from them, and obviously am not going to. I feel singled out!

Stones Club Show

The Rolling Stones played their usual end-of-rehearsal club show in Toronto. Local station Q107 suggested they were going to be simulcasting the show. Indeed, as the show started, they played a concert and played it very close to the edge of the truth. They didn’t identify the show they were actually playing on the radio as coming from 2002, they simply referred regularly to the show going on right now and their excitement about it. I don’t have any exact quotes but the DJ patter was designed to mislead, not clarify.

I grew up with Q107; I was horrified to see them playing a game like that with listeners. There were indeed fans around the world who stayed up late or got up early to catch this (supposed) simulcast, and were fooled. I wouldn’t have known what it was except that someone familiar with concert recordings posted to my Rolling Stones online community the actual source of the show being played. No doubt that others simply took the station at face value.

I wrote the station and encouraged others on the list to do so.

Come on guys – how’s about respecting your listeners instead of playing stupid games with them? If you aren’t playing tonight’s stealth Stones show, then tell us what show you ARE playing, don’t play coy games where you don’t actually literally directly honestly SAY that it’s tonight’s show but yeah (heh heh heh) you pretend that well, maybe we’ll reach our own conclusions.

That’s no way to treat people. Unless you are a telemarketer or a phone company. Q was never about the fine-print when I grew up listening to you. What the hell happened?

I have not heard back from the station, although others have. The first few I saw looked like this

Our sincere apologies if you are upset by the Q107 live programming with the Rolling Stones last night. We never claimed to be broadcasting the Phoenix show. We did say we were going to air live Rolling Stones. Our intent was not to deceive, but merely give the listeners who could not attend last nights show at the Phoenix, a
healthy dose of live Stones.

Thank you for your email, we appreciate comments from our great listeners.

The intent was absolutely to deceive. By being deliberately vague, they allowed people to come to their own (obvious, but incorrect) conclusions. Isn’t that deception?

Now we get this:

Thank you for your email note. We have received an inordinate amount of negative email concerning the Rolling Stones live broadcast which we aired last night on Q. You may have received a note from Q107’s Assistant Program Director, Michelle Dyer, or Andrew from Club Q…but I got thinking…”why should Michelle or Andrew take the hit on this?” While we did not come right out and say we were doing a simulcast from the Phoenix, we were perhaps vague in the way we positioned the program. I take full accountability for how this show was presented on air. Here’s what I’ve learned. Q listeners are extremely passionate about their music, and at no time should I take this for granted. It’s not like we aired bootleg Wham concert. Music matters here.

Having said this, here’s how I plan to take responsibility. I have asked John Derringer if I could be named tomorrow’s Tool of The Day. He has kindly said yes. So, tomorrow tune in at 8:20 to hear me take my lumps on air and apologize to our audience.


Blair Bartrem
Program Director

This is the most awesome response I’ve ever seen! And hey, they turned into a bit of a PR opportunity as well!

I’m so burned out on corporate misleading and evasion and being ignored and all that – and here we’ve got a company absolutely stepping up.

It’d be great if they got around to writing me back too, but I’ll take this as a victory for the consumer!

All right Q107!


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