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Bravo your Brand

bravo1For the first time, I saw an ad targeted to companies in regards to product placement.  Here it is to the left, snapped by my archaic phone.  Interestingly enough, it was on a subway platform.

It makes sense that the people who make these types of decisions ride on NYC subways, but it still interests me to see that it’s now a-ok to do this outright for all eyes to see—even the ones whom this type of initiative is intended to influence.  I guess it just goes to show how salient product placement has become.

Furthermore, check out the website that this ad refers to: www.affluencers.com. It’s as if Bravo is bravo2announcing:

Hello everyone! Bravo peeps in particular… Here is how we define and categorize you!  Here is how we sell you!  Come join us!

So, I have to ask.  If you were watching, say, the Food Network and Mario Batalli used a specific wine to cook with, would you prefer this or a non-brand?  I can see both sides of the picture, and may just prefer the former, assuming the celebrity chef valued his or her own brand enough not to sell out.  And this begs another question: Can we trust that they do?

When brands run together, each then has the potential for an opportunity to become stronger through associations and/or a risk of becoming downgraded or damaged.

These variables leave all of us consumers in a new place. It could be good, it could be bad, but I think the important thing is that we’re all at least aware (and, thanks to companies like Bravo, you’d be stupid not to be), if not actively prosuming.

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I am not a link clicker

Back in college, my friend Jess would often declare to our group of friends, “I am not a link clicker.” At the time, several of our other friends and I thought she was silly to avoid them, that she was paranoid to think anyone could track her behaviors or that links could bring harm. She was, after all, into books and telephone conversations more than AIM, which, at the time, was all the rage. (She did eventually join, as it was the best way to be in regular touch with friends at other schools.)  She just didn’t understand—it made common sense that so long as one knew the sender there was nothing to worry about. 

Close to ten years later, it’s clear that Jess was on to something. Yes, considering the link sharer before clicking is still a no-brainer. But, link clicking in general is more and more risky with each passing day thanks to sophisticated pharming, sabotaged email and Twitter accounts, and shaded origins hidden in condensed links. 

It may just be that the “non-link clickers” segment will grow. Goodness knows I am now a “think twicer.”

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Tweet, tweet

Everyone has been talking about Twitter. It’s been on to do my list, too. And so I’ve finally joined. I’ve only projected three tweets thus far: one announcing my presence, one pushing my blog, and one mini-RFP for ACP idea collections. (Funny how all my tweet are school related, but that’s all I’ve got to share thus far…)

So far I like Twitter for two reasons. First, it’s simple. Compared to other social networks there is relatively no learning curve. Second, you don’t feel like you’re “falling behind.” With Facebook, it’s pretty clear if you haven’t visited in a while. Since Twitter seems to include more people but fewer details, it’s not so obvious.

I also have to give it points for its personal approach. It gets overwhelmed, too.

twitter-is-freaking-out

Time will tell if it actually becomes useful for me. If analytics make it useful for businesses. And if it shifts from counter-culture to mainstream and when (or has it already?). It will also be interesting to see how much it continues to grow, if it can start making money, or if it will simply sell itself to do so.

In any case, this simple sharing software is breaking ground. If you haven’t tried it yet, why not just leave the nest?

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Hello world!

I’m sticking with this generic title for my first post because someone very special told me that this was the first word written in some sort of computer language. And so somehow this just feels appropriate for a blog beginning. According to Wikipedia, “hello world” looked something like this:

main() {
printf(“hello, world”);
}

In addition, I’d like to start with three little housekeeping items in my first entry:

1) Disclaimer: Until today, I’ve only gotten so high as the “critics” rung of the Groundswell social technographics ladder. So bear with me.

2) Dedication: Without the ability to read, this blog would obviously not exist. And so it is with much appreciation that I dedicate this endeavor to first grade teachers in general, who helped us get this far, and to my mom and to Mrs. Wilson specifically.

“To the uneducated, an A is just three sticks.” – A.A. Milne

3) Donation: To prove that I mean business when I dedicate this blog, I’m going to do something special. For every comment posted to this blog between now and April 29 I will donate $.25 to Reading is Fundamental (RIF), a partner of Pizza Hut’s BOOK IT!. Who did not love BOOK IT!? And the hologram buttons and free pizza that came with it?

And so I embark on this project. Click here for more information about me and my purpose.

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