Sunday, July 15, 2018

Blaming Post-Modernism & Eddy Merckx

As I close the array of browser tabs with articles I've recently read, I've decided to try document each, two or three at a time, with a quick two sentence impression of the article and link.

The Death of Truth - Review of Michiko Kakutani's new book, The Death of Truth, which posits that Trump's fast/loose interplay with the media and facts -- including whatever counts for "Fake News" -- is an extension of the post-modern movement of the early 70s that challenged the idea of "central" and "knowable" truth. I find this premise hard to believe and, indeed, it seems to ignore entirely the traditionalist movements embedded in the American Right and their specific disdain for relativism in whole. Further, it doesn't seem to me that post-modernism was ever in direct opposition to empirical or demonstrable fact, only that the larger mysteries require more nuance, less "rational" hubris, and less definition at the edges to fully process.

Link to full article, "Trump is What Happens When PostModernism Goes Too Far," here.

The Greatest Cyclist of All Time, Eddy Merckx - Guardian interview with the legendary 5-time Tour de France winner. Best quote from Eddy:
"My parents taught me honesty and respect for other people. When I was at school I wanted to go to the Côte d’Azur for holidays, like my schoolfriends. We went to the North Sea. My father, who was a grocer and one of 11 children, said: 'Don’t look to those who go to the Côte D’Azur, but look to those who can’t go the North Sea – keep your feet on the ground.'"
There's a chance that this year, or next, the talented sprinter Mark Cavendish will overtake Eddy's single stage record of 34 wins at the Tour de France though I'm uncertain if he'll bring along this same level of grace, class, and reflection.

Full article/interview, "Eddy Merckx: This Much I Know," here.

– Jon Roketenetz

Jon is the CEO of GimmeAnother and founder of 3VERB.

Thursday, July 12, 2018


It's Your Brand, Start Acting Like It

Over the last several years, crowdsourcing has shifted the paradigm for both agencies and brands: You can fund the launch of a new product with a Kickstarter campaign and order a dozen corporate logo concepts for $99. I guess that's good news in some regard, especially if you want three mediocre and nine awful logos.

At the same time, many companies finally have their sea-legs about them with their social media accounts. They're feeling a bit more confident in engaging consumers and acknowledging brand devotees earnestly... and occasionally generating a bit of fun for all in the process. That's really and honestly a good thing.

But, like too much of any good thing, some folks are bound to find an awkward nexus that collides the least appealing ingredients of social media and crowdsourcing at an abrupt right angle.

To wit: Of all the social media outreach techniques that are floating around — and a lot of 'em are good — my current least favorite is the "Help us name our product" routine: half social media, half crowdsourcing, half-baked. It's so often the move of companies that seem lost for an immediate clever idea or, worse, desperate for interaction. Indeed, nothing says, "We have no direction or vision for this product" quite like foisting the responsibility for a product name on your customers. For the consumer, the messaging is unequivocal: we give up, you try.

Is there a good idea for a product name in a sea of product name ideas generated by your customers? Maybe. Will you find it? Probably not. More likely, the least devoted sideline followers will have the loudest say and core consumers will be left wondering why their favorite company has lost the ability to figure it out for themselves.

– Jon Roketenetz

Jon is the CEO of GimmeAnother and founder of 3VERB.