What a season finale it was. ‘Shut the Door. Have a Seat’ was a “tight balance of emotionally pungent drama and company coup d’etat,” the LA Times wrote. And indeed, Mad Men came through in the end. And all the mad men and women came through: Sterling, Cooper, Pryce, Pete, Peggy, Joan, and, more than anyone else of course, Don Draper.
TED India just ended, and the TED team is already off to the next exhilarating project. On November 12, 2009, TED and others will be unveiling the Charter for Compassion, a document about the core shared values and moral code of every world religion, the “Golden Rule.” The Charter is the result of 2008 TED Prize winner Karen Armstrong’s “wish” (if you haven’t read Armstrong’s latest book, The Case for God, I highly recommend it – even, or especially, if you consider yourself an atheist and usually side with Richard Dawkins et al).
It’s always good to be the first, and while crowdsourcing, the trend, may have jumped the shark, a fully crowdsourced creative agency is a bold creative experiment and still news. Two Crispin Porter + Bogusky alums, John Winsor and Evan Fry, together with Claudia Batten, the founder of Microsoft-acquired video game advertising shop Massive, have launched Victors & Spoils (V&S), “the world's first creative agency built on crowdsourcing principle.”
Forrester is about to release a new report on “Adaptive Brand Marketing: Rethinking Your Approach to Branding in the Digital Age,” in which it proposes replacing “brand managers” with “brand advocates.” Advertising Age provides a sneak peek at the ‘new 4 Ps of Marketing’ presented in the report: permission, proximity, perception, and participation. Other core elements include: “embracing an expanded role for consumer intelligence, focusing on strategic brand platforms, and empowering a federated organization."
The overlap with the title of the blog I write for CNET, Matter/Antimatter, is completely coincidental, but since most meaningful events are coincidental, it makes perfect sense that it prompted San Francisco-based conceptual artist Jonathon Keats to send me a note pointing to his upcoming exhibition "The First Bank of Antimatter."
Keats' previous artistic enterprises include applying string theory to real estate development, and in the wake of global economic collapse, Keats is now introducing a hedge against future catastrophe by creating a mirror economy designed to skyrocket as world markets plummet: the first holistic response to the great recession.
Gary Hayes little flash application shows how active the social web is. Hayes built the application based on data he pulled from a range of social media sources, which he compiled at the end of September 2009. You can download his Social Media Count here.
Upon the 20-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the city of Berlin has launched a remarkable “living” online memorial: the Berlin Twitter Wall.
While 500 thought leaders from the US and abroad are convening at PopTech 2009 to “reimagine America,” Bono, in a much discussed op-ed column in Sunday’s NY Times, reminds the world of the “idea of America” – and defends the president who has set out to reinvigorate it:
My mom always told me “Make your passion your profession, and you’ll be a happy man.” She was right, and I am glad I followed her advice. Yet I appear to be part of a minority. In an article about growing disenchantment at work (“Hating What You Do”), this week’s Economist cites a survey conducted by the Center for Work-Life Policy, an American consultancy. It found that between June 2007 and December 2008 the proportion of workers who professed loyalty to their employers slumped from 95% to 39%, and the number voicing trust in them fell from 79% to 22%. Furthermore, the article refers to a more recent survey by DDI which found that more than half of the respondents described their job as “stagnant,” as in “nothing interesting to do” and “little hope of professional growth" within their current organization. Half of these “stagnators” said they were planning to look for another job as soon as the economy recovered. These survey findings are flanked by several recent cultural events in the US that indicate a shift in the way we negotiate the meaning of work, for example Michael Moore’s “Capitalism – A Love Story” and a whole New York Times Magazine issue on “Anxiety.”
And yet, Americans will be surprised to hear that the most dramatic manifestation of this apparent misery-at-work trend occurred in “socialist” France. A spate of attempted and successful suicides at France Telecom that occured over the past twelve months, many of them explicitly prompted by stress and dissatisfaction at work, forced the deputy CEO to resign and sparked an emotional national debate about life in the modern corporation.
Twitter’s “suggested users” list is a Who’s Who of Twitter celebrities, featuring the likes of Al Gore, Lance Armstrong, Ashton Kutcher, John McCain, Martha Stewart, and others with millions of followers. The New York Times claimed that a spot on the list would guarantee 500,000 additional followers and reported that social media guru Jason Calacanis had offered $250,000 to be listed.