Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Facebook PR faux-pas Part II

Facebook has once again folded to pressure from the masses, and is tweaking their recent (and unpopular) design update. The full apology was posted here.

My position is that updates are ALWAYS going to be unpopular, because most people hate change. And people will ALWAYS complain. But Facebook is now giving those whining voices far too much credibility...

I'm conflicted about these new proposed changes though, because I actually support them. I desperately want to de-myspace my feed, by weeding out all of the application junk (My Redneck Name, My 5 favorite movies, Where should I live quiz, etc). And I expect that I'll like the auto-update feature.

All Facebook needed to do was phrase this update differently, to disguise the changes as improvements that were in the natural development pipeline...not in response to the 300k Facebook uses who signed the "I hate the new FB Design" application. Ultimately, massive public collaboration is anathema to innovation.

I liked it when Facebook was innovative enough to know what was good for me before I did.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

boy meets clippers

Found time this evening to watch HGTV's "A man named Pearl" tonight (I think it originally aired Sunday night) and really enjoyed it. Even though the John Deere product placement and ads were a little obvious. I'm probably a little biased, cuz playing in the yard is my thing, but even with that aspect came across as mostly genuine, positive, and uplifting (if maybe a little saccharine).

Pearl Fryar is a man in rural SC (in the poorest county in the state) who spends his days (and often nights) meticulously maintaining his 3 acre yard. His specific medium - hyper manicured hedges, bushes and trees. Most of his plants he salvages from the junk pile at a local nursery. Doesn't irrigate. Doesn't use pesticides. Drives a John Deere. Has no horticultural education at all.

Not that the story needs a feel-good theme...but Pearl's initial motivation for his obsessive attention to yardwork stemmed from a comment that was made by a potential neighbor in a community the Fryars were house-shopping in, to the effect that "his kind" didn't keep up their yards. I'd never heard that particular stereotype, but I like how he responded to it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Moldy Peaches should definitely sue Comcast

...assuming that they're not at the bank cashing checks for recording Comcast's new commercial jingles. I didn't find any evidence to suggest their involvement though, so I'm going forward under the belief that the following is true:

#1 - Juno was a wildly popular (and cutting edge) movie, which had specific appeal to that uber-coveted 18-49 male demographic.

#2 - Someone at Comcast's ad agency (Goodby Silverstein & Partners) saw it...and bought the soundtrack.

#3 - That fella hired a band to make a series of songs about Comcast's amazing spectrum of services in the exact same vein as The Moldy Peaches 'anyone else but you'. And I do mean EXACT.

The unfortunate part of this is that Goodby Silverstein & Partners did a really good job with the messaging and creative on these spots. They're actually fairly arresting. The supporting micro-site is even more compelling (and impressively robust). Just a shame that there's no one in their building with an equal amount of musical creativity.

In related news (ok...probably not) the giant head behind the curtain over at seems to have given up his quest to destroy Comcast. Must be a Juno fan.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Facebook re-designs again....people complain, again.

Just read a "article" on Mashable which surprised me as much for it's lack of literary sophistication as for the very fact that it was published by what I'd come to think of a reputable industry blog.

The article, in which the author details his displeasure with the recent twitter-esque Facebook re-design, claims that FB has become "a lot less useful" than before, specifically bemoaning the fact that the applications that he (and presumable others) develop for Facebook won't be as viral as before.

Maybe part of his argument is valid. But here's the thing (and the teenagers and soccer moms who have loudly complained about each passing Facebook update would be well served to take notice as well)...Facebook doesn't exist to cater to YOUR idea of how it could, or should, be useful. If Zuckerberg and his minnons decide that they wanna be more like Twitter, then that's what they'd do.

Ultimately, I suppose Mashable is perfectly within their right to print opinion peices. But at the end of the day, that puts it right on par with this blog...and it should really aim higher.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

it's not you, it's me

I think we need to take a break. So I'm leaving you for a little while.

I'll be back in 10 days or so. Tanned, and married.