When Business and Personal Life Collides – New Facebook Privacy Settings and the Status of Tiger Woods' Endorsement Contracts

Exactly what counts as private personal details has been a major theme underlying discussion in new media and old media in the past few weeks.  Here are two interesting examples of how business and people’s personal details are colliding right now.

New Media: Facebook’s Privacy Settings Updates

Facebook has made major changes to how it handles privacy settings for users.  Most likely you are familiar with the outcry and acceptance around Facebook’s push to make your updates more transparent.

Facebook was conceived around the idea of sharing detailed content like photos and notes only with your social net, which was supposed to represent your core group of friends in the meatspace.  Twitter’s growth has been in addressing the extreme opposite: sharing 140 characters worth of insight with the entire world instantly.

Facebook relies on deep engagement with its users in order to get its advertisements clicked on.  Facebook was forced to change its strategy because it was losing opportunities for interaction with its users to Twitter.  In addition, Facebook is missing out on buzz because Facebook it is seen as lacking the real time relevance of Twitter.

The update to Facebook’s Privacy Settings is a tactic in the company’s strategy to get more Facebook users to share their updates with the public or at least make it obvious that users are welcome to do so.

The problem is that average internet users are not capable of building and utilizing a set of sophisticated privacy settings.  The result is that many are unwittingly sharing what they believe is private information.  Rafe Needleman makes a great point that the initial user interface designed to guide Facebook users does more to guide them to exposing their information rather than creating the controls they want.

If these ideas are to be accepted, it suggests that Facebook is knowingly creating conditions where the details of user’s personal lives are made public because it will lead the company towards greater market share and profits.

Old Media: Tiger Woods Endorsement Contracts

Let it be known that I am not a huge fan of old media.  To be clear, this includes broadcast and time shifted television advertisements, magazine advertising and  just about any electronic sign found in sports arenas like the Rose Garden. (Go Blazers.)  My reasoning is that old media too often lacks any real context and is more about blanketing the masses with the critical six exposures rather than seeking to engage individual interests.

Celebrity endorsements or testimonials are a classic tool of old media and I couldn’t help but notice the full page advertisement for Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer, which features their “official partner” Tiger Woods.

Woods is currently deep in allegations of adultery, and after being dropped from Accenture this past Sunday the Tag Heuer made the statement that Woods’ personal life is “not our business.”

Tiger Woods Tag Heuer Celebrity Endorsement So I had a closer look at this big magazine advertisement and the text reads: “I first swung a golf club when I was nine months old…Since 1996, my Foundation has inspired more than 10 million youth…Together with TAG Heuer, I’m helping young people believe in themselves.”

My question to Tag Heuer is if you’re going to have a representative for your brand make claims about his ability to connect with and inspire children, is your representative’s personal life really not your business?  It is one thing if you are going to depict your representative as a an accomplished athlete and another if he is going to be talking about his influence on kids.

Closing

I selected these to examples because I was interested in them.  Facebook is social media, which I enjoy and Woods’ sex scandal has become interesting because of the business aspect and the general extent of what he’s described as “transgressions.”

But the greater comment I’m after is that it is easy to say that Facebook or major media has taken away people’s right to privacy.  Or to believe that there is complete compromise in participating in social networking or great accomplishment that puts you in the public spotlight.

However, who controls your personal information and the judgement of exactly what is a constitutes “personal life” is a moving target.  New technologies and dollars and cents will affect what you get to keep private as much as evolving social mores.

Strong Conversational Variation via Gmail Yields Interesting Contextual Advertisements

chicken coop poultry houseI was emailing with a friend of mine in an exchange over some travel plans and the coming holiday.  Normally, I block all advertisements in Firefox using Adblock, but I had whitelisted Gmail for some reason recently and so I was seeing the contextual advertising displayed on the right side of the web page.

Since I rarely see advertisements, I hardly ever investigate contextual advertising.  But given the sheer variety of products and services, I had to check out some of these:

Developing within iPhone NDA Muffle aka The Cone of Silence

iphone application IQ Game Trivia

Neutrinos just wrapped its second iPhone application, it is a 20 questions trivia game called iQ.  It is great step from our first app, TipTotaler.  For iQ, I took on the user interface design for the application in addition to my normal website design and marketing.

The amount of graphic design and image handling in iPhone development is extensive and I’ve already blogged about a tool to assist in the 3d iPhone application icon design.  But the most interesting stuff is happening in Interface Builder and in xCode that I’m not supposed to talk about here.

Apple has an NDA up with all developers that they can not talk about their experience with the SDK.

Continue reading Developing within iPhone NDA Muffle aka The Cone of Silence

iPhone Developer Resource: Preview Application Icon 3D Effect

TipTotaler IconMy friend Dave Peixotto is in charge of coding and software repository work on our iPhone application development.  I am in charge of the marketing and business aspects of our software company, Neutrinos, LLC.

One of my tasks with the release of our recently submitted iPhone application, TipTotaler was to select an icon for our app.  As you may be aware from Apple’s iPhone application submission guidelines, you must include a flat 57 x 57 pixel and 512 x 512 pixel image for use on the iPhone and iPod Touch home screen and for the iTunes store.

alien_icon.gifThere are a couple of challenges for iPhone Application icon graphic designers:  First, it isn’t always easy to tell what will look good at both 512×512 and 57×57.  Second, having the developer rebuild and send updated screenshots is laborious as is monkeying around in Photoshop to eyeball how the images look at lower resolution with 3D effects.

Continue reading iPhone Developer Resource: Preview Application Icon 3D Effect

Fair-Weather Leaks Serve as a Strategic Method of Media Control

radiohead in rainbows label leak political leaksRyan Grim at The Politico wrote an article about the political leaks in Washington D.C. that also offers insight into how and why leaks happen just about everywhere, from bands to business to family secrets.

The article separates the types of leaks into three categories: the malevolent, the benevolent and the accidental.

Grim’s article includes eleven leak sub-categories each with a different intention. If you are plan to communicate with or be a part of the fourth estate, you should probably take a moment to read them each in detail. Instead of touching on each sub-category here, I would like to highlight how fair-weather leaks are used as a method of strategic media control.

Fair-Weather and Bad-Weather Patterns

“When an organization is being run well, people tend not to look at things as leaks, but they tend to look at things as information specifically being put out for some strategic purpose. When things are not well, the information getting out there is perceived as leaks.

-Chris Lehane, of the ’92 Clinton campaign and later the White House.

This seems like a subjective impression to me, and I wonder how it could be quantified without defining exactly what it means for an organization to be “run well.” And Lehane’s idea seems to create a chicken-or-the-egg scenario: a well run organization incorporates strategy into leaks, while strategic leaks also seem to be the hallmark of a well run organization. Continue reading Fair-Weather Leaks Serve as a Strategic Method of Media Control

Radiohead Is The Answer

Radiohead is the most innovative band in the worldI have a lot of catching up to do since moving to Boston but this is perhaps one of the most exciting and important things to happen in the music industry since Napster was released.

A Time article included a quote from an American producer that reads as follows:

That’s the interesting part of all this,” says a producer who works primarily with American rap artists. “Radiohead is the best band in the world; if you can pay whatever you want for music by the best band in the world, why would you pay $13 dollars or $.99 cents for music by somebody less talented? Once you open that door and start giving music away legally, I’m not sure there’s any going back.”

Via Green Plastic

I’ve explained my feelings in depth that Dave Matthews Band has the potential to do an independent release, but this seals the deal in my eyes. Dave Matthews loves Radiohead and York just created an artistic milestone DMB could only dream of taking part in at this point.

A Review Of the Baja Fresh Nacho Burrito

Baja Fresh was blowing up around the time I graduated from college. I had the one near my mom’s house in my phone for a while and I set up a number of dinners for pick up on the way home from my job. Then the quality of their food went south so I stopped going. Fast-forward to this past week when I see a billboard for a new Nacho Burrito at Baja Fresh.

I decided that I must have this new burrito. I finally got around to trying it out this afternoon, so here’s a quick review of the new offering from Baja Fresh.

First, you should know that Baja Fresh was bought by Wendy’s in 2002 for 245 million dollars. I graduated in 2003, so the timing makes sense given the hype around the company. However, in only a few years the business has become increasingly less valuable to the point where it was bought from Wendy’s for a song–David Kim of Anaheim, CA led a group of investors to buy Baja Fresh for only $31 million. Continue reading A Review Of the Baja Fresh Nacho Burrito

Advertising For Peanuts

Just a quick post to advertise for Advertise For Peanuts. This site features creative advertising spots of a viral nature. This type of copy is the future of advertising as the 60 second commercial aimed at broadcasting gets fast-forwarded or deleted in the increasingly on-demand nature of content consumption.

Forcing users to watch commercials, i.e. prior to CNN’s online video news is an ugly way to get consumers attention. People will turn their speakers down or multi-task to avoid unwanted messaging. People will eat creative content alive whether it promotes Burger King or Hanes underwear so long as it makes them feel good.

As people will get better at filtering out broadcast advertising the videos and print offered on Advertising For Peanuts represent the marketers future for mainstream appeal.

Viral Reactionary Content Creation and Personal Equity – Web User's Rights in Web 2.0

There has been nothing short of an uproar regarding the recent changes to Tribe.net’s design and interface. Longtime users of the site began viral reactionary content creation which is making effective use of community building to voice discord with the direction of a website.

The changes were rolled out on January 18th and the response was violent “Tribe: New and Unimproved,” “Revert Tribe Now,” and “I Hate the New Tribe Look” sprang up and garnered members rather than the offically sanctioned comment tribe, “Tribe’s New Look.”

Many users of the site reacted by flaming the changes. The more interesting comments were those that voiced dissapointment in the change and commented that they felt especially wronged because of their personal investment or personal equity which they had invested.

Continue reading Viral Reactionary Content Creation and Personal Equity – Web User's Rights in Web 2.0

Soir Noir – Diesel 2005 Spring/Summer Collection

Soir Noir DieselYesterday, I received an unexpected stuffed envelope from Diesel Clothing. The return address was my local store in Portland, and it appeared someone had affixed the postage stamps by hand.

Inside was a nice box with a leather luggage tag and a series of postcards. The bag containing the postcards had a silver sticker designating the package as number 41 of 500 limited “copies.”
Continue reading Soir Noir – Diesel 2005 Spring/Summer Collection