Hollywood lesson: Focus on niche groups over "the people"
“It turns out that not caring about ‘the people’ is liberating. It frees you to care about your people — the 2 or 5 or 10 million who are passionate about Friday Night Lights or Rescue Me or The Wire or Battlestar Galactica or The Office, who will stay with your show for as long as it’s good, whose enthusiasms and high standards and judgments may even help, indirectly, to make it better.”
Lessons from Steve Jobs' “greatest presentation”
“If you believe that your particular product or service will change the world, then say so. Have fun with the content. During the iPhone launch, Jobs uses many adjectives to describe the new product, including ‘remarkable,’ ‘revolutionary,’ and ‘cool.’ He jokes that the touch-screen features of the phone ‘work like magic…and boy have we patented it.’ I think speakers are so afraid of over-hyping a product that they go to the opposite extreme and make their presentations boring. If you’re passionate about a product, service, or company, let your listeners know.”
A look at three redesigned mainstream news sites
“I thought it might be interesting to compare three big media sites that have launched new versions of their web news properties in 2007: CNN (redesigned this weekend), USA Today (redesigned in March), and AOL News (redesigned last week). I’ll look at the different approaches each news outlet took, and what cues they took from web 2.0.”
Megan Jaegerman's news graphics
Tufte: “Megan Jaegerman produced some of the best news graphics ever done while working at The New York Times from 1990 to 1998.” [via JK]
Why Verizon turned down the iPhone
“No is the default answer. The spreadsheets and the marketing team and the CFO and the lawyers have no trouble at all defending the status quo, because, it’s their status quo. They created it and they like it that way. Bizdev deals like this almost always fail because the potential for upside seems too small compared to the mammoth disruption that organizations imagine will beset them.”
Marc Hedlund: “The iPhone keyboard blows”
“Let’s not mince words, here: text input was better on a Newton. The keys are way too close together, full stop. The auto-suggestion works okay if you’re typing dictionary words (and not, say, street names, as in the Google Maps app) and if you’re in a context where typing space to accept is useful (in URLs, for instance, there is no space bar). The amazing thing to watch is everyone blogging about how they “need to get better at typing”—that’s the drugs talking. The iPhone needs to get better at typing, not you…The first iPhone software update really, really, really needs to enable landscape keyboarding for all apps. That one, over-the-wire, software-only update would by itself vastly improve the experience overall.”
Loud cellphone talkers go unpunished
“Rather than say anything, most people do nothing when confronted with blatant displays of digital rudeness. Only 10 percent of those responding said they would say something to the offender; 26 percent said they would shoot the offender a dirty look or a ‘harrumph,’ or express disapproval in another indirect way; 36 percent ignore the behavior entirely; 14 percent walk away — if they can.”
Century of the Self
“If you have an interest in mass psychology and the power of advertising, this is a remarkably eloquent and epic 4 part series from BBC 4 and director Adam Curtis which explores the influence of Freudian psychoanalysis and Edward Bernays’ PR techniques in shaping western mass media, politics and consumer culture.”
Q&A with Conan O'Brien
“O’Brien talks about how he got the Simpsons job, what it was like to work on the show, and why Mr. Burns was his favorite character to write for.”
Hollywood's phony hackers
Funny IM chat reveals why the hacker caricature in movies is played out.