I remember that, back in the “olden” days of pagers and beepers (you know, the 90s), we would add codes to messages to indicate certain things (a little like how we have LOL and emojis today). I imagine this was done as a way to save on the number of characters being used in a message. Frankly, I can’t remember the exact reason. I do remember that one of the most popular shorthands was to add “911” to a message to indicate the level of urgency that was needed in the reply (another was “411”, used to request info). Fast-forward a number of years, and I realize that some people I’ve come across over the years ALWAYS send their emails flagged as “high priority”. And it got me to thinking…
We live in such an interconnected world where communication has become almost instantaneous– from things like cell phones and social media posts to instant messaging on mobile devices.
So I wonder– has email’s “high priority” outlived its usefulness? Or does the little red flag (or exclamation point!) still a place for it in our modern communications?
I’m reminded of Jules Winfield– Samuel L. Jackson’s character in Pulp Fiction…
“I was sitting here, eating my muffin and drinking my coffee and replaying the incident in my head, when I had what alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity.”
I wasn’t sitting around, eating a muffin. But there was something. I’ve been thinking for the past few days about social media in general, but specifically thinking about metrics tools like Klout. About how we read and hear from “experts” that say we shouldn’t focus or spend too much time thinking about Klout scores, follower counts– all that stuff. And they’re not wrong. At least not entirely.
See, this is what I’ve been wondering. As much of a downside as these experts/gurus/ninjas/rockstars of the Social cosmos tout, I have to believe there’s an equal upside to them.
“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”– Newton’s Third Law of Motion
What if there is a usefulness for these tools beyond the obvious ego stroking? What if we used these to measure something else?
The past couple of weeks, I’ve taken to Klout (I really don’t like to focus on one site, but since they’re the de facto leader in the marketplace, it just seems inevitable) and instead of looking at my score, I’ve decided to look at the breakdown by network. I’m looking to see how my general day-today breaks down. I took some screen caps to show you what I mean.
The overview– this shows what the current Klout score is, and the high/low scores for the past 90 days (why 90 days? I have no idea). It’s really not an important component, but since engagement is tied to the score, it bears mentioning.
One view of the breakdown. This is one area where I’ve been focusing my attention. It shows me how my calculated score breaks down. We’ll see in the next shot WHERE it breaks down more fully (the different colors correspond to the various networks associated with this account). In my case, it looks like the majority of my score right now is coming from Facebook and Twitter activity.
Here’s the legend to the previous pie chart (or is it a donut chart? I don’t know. I like both.). As I noted, the bulk of my Klout score is coming from Facebook and Twitter (almost 70% combined), with Instagram coming in third place. These percentages are fluid, and will vary depending on where you’re choosing to invest your energy and social engagement on a given “snapshot” in time.
What can I do with this info? If I were a job-seeker, for example, I could look at this and conclude that I might be spending a good chunk of my energy and time on Facebook and Twitter– not necessarily a bad thing per se, but odds are if you’re on Facebook, you’re not networking or engaging in what I’d describe as “professionally productive” engagement. So I might look at spending more time on Linkedin and seeing how the scales tip after some time.
Personally, my goal (lofty and unattainable as it may be) is to get to a point where my score is being calculated by a balanced split among the different players. I’ve taken steps to increase my engagement in places like Google+ and Linkedin, although with Linkedin there is the issue of involvement in groups, and my experience so far has been less than positive (in short, I find there’s a lot of noise and unnecessary self-promotion, rather than genuine conversations going on there). However, the Google+ community in general has been much more engaging. I’m surprised more people aren’t as actively involved there, but I understand the why behind it, especially in light of the popularity of the behemoth that is Facebook.
So, there it is. While a lot of people may have their issues and reservations with sites like Klout (could we consider them a type of aggregator), I believe it can be harnessed to reap potentially positive results beyond that for which it was designed.
I love logos. There’s something about taking a business, an organization– whatever– and boiling it down to an icon or a wordmark that really appeals to me. It’s like the ultimate Cliff’s Notes (side note– do they even make Cliff’s Notes anymore?).
(After a quick Googling) Apparently they do. And they’re still made with those awesomely-almost industrial yellow & black covers. Glad some things haven’t changed.
But I digress.
As I said at the top, I love logos. And I especially love logos from the 60s-80s. There’s just something about them…
Anyway, I was doing some housecleaning the other day. As I was putting stuff away, I came across an old program from a play I did when I was around 5-6 years old, which led me down a rabbit’s hole of memories for a bit. After a while I started to look at the “booster” ads in the back (you know, the kind parents and family buy to say hi to their kids. I even saw one from my great-grandfather to me. That made me a little misty-eyed. I had totally forgotten that was there). I saw that it wasn’t just parents. There were also stores– some local to Puerto Rico, some not– that had also bought ads in these programs. Then, somewhere along the way, I couldn’t help but realize how I’d never noticed the logos before. So I took picture of a few that I especially liked. The quality of the printing was not the best, and these were quick pics taken with an otherwise decent cell phone camera, so I apologize in advance for some of the quality (although that less-than-perfect execution gives them a little something I like).
Well, without further ado, let’s look at some logos (which are used for the purpose of sharing cool stuff I’ve found and are the property of their respective owners)…
For many, many years, Burger King was the big player in the fast food landscape in Puerto Rico (Up until sometime in the 80s, there was only one McDonald’s in PR.). Burger King has gone through some logo changes over the years, but this design has always been my favorite (they seem to have brought it back– even if for a little while– these days with the re-release of their hot ham & cheese sandwich).
First Federal (now FirstBank, I believe) was one of the big local banks in PR, along with guys like Banco Popular. While Banco Popular used a lot of reds and blues, First Federal leaned heavily on the color green. The extruded “1” on this is pretty funky, IMO.
I have no idea what this company is/was, or what they did. The logo– to me– has a cool bicycle-meets-Taíno-iconography feel to it. BTW, the Taíno were the peoples native to Puerto Rico and some of the other islands in the Caribbean. You can find out more here about the Taíno and their symbols.)
This is a logo for an engineer (if I had to guess, structural engineering or something construction related. But don’t quote me on it). I like how the “E” is formed out of the left-hand frame, and the bar carries through into the arrow, and the whole thing is lframed out in that rectangle. I dig it, even if I have no clue what the “dot” (which ends up looking like a Pac-Man because of the arrow) has to do with anything here.
This one’s a little crusty. It’s a logo for a graphics and print shop. Unfortunately, it looks like the ink spread a little on the printing, and things got a little goopy. You can barely make out the “c” in “Graficor”. But if there was a logo in this bunch that epitomized that period for me, this is probably it.
Okay, so this one’s not a logo per se. But I like the feel of this ad. And I love this version of the Baskin Robbins logo. It’s most definitely a product of its time. And, if memory serves me, it was in use well into the 80s, maybe even later.
So, there it is. Nothing scientific or fancy. These were just a bunch of logos that appealed to me in some way, and I thought I’d share them with you. Hope you’ve enjoyed them. Let me know what you think in the comments.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. Not sure why. It’s just something that popped in my head one day. It’s been sitting here as a draft. I’ve been contemplating fleshing it out, but as best as my brain can see it, there’s not a whole lot to flesh out, so I’m just going to think it out loud and leave you all to come to whatever conclusions you will.
A while back (September of this year, to be precise), I jotted down the following:
Does the order of social media links matter, and how does this affect visitor perceptions?
The idea behind it was that, if someone visited your website, or anywhere else there may be social media links grouped together, would the order the sites were linked make a difference?
For example, if I were to list my social profiles in the following order:
What would be a visitor’s impression? And would it be the same if I listed them this way?:
It’s not that the information provided is any different. They would link to the same places, the information on the profiles would be identical.
But would it make a difference? That’s what’s been sitting in the back of my head, festering. And it bugs me.
And frankly, it’s not something that bugs me enough beyond it being an academic exercise. Which is why I’ve never bothered with testing this out in any way. Maybe one day I will. Who knows?
So that’s it. I fell better having thought this out loud. I’m curious what you, dear reader, think about this. Am I on to something? Or am I just making more out of it than I should? Let me know in the comments, or get in touch with me through one of the social media outlets above.
(Thanks for reading! Hope you have an awesome day.)
You know, I kinda like that title. I might have to make it a thing. Lord knows there’s enough material out there for that.
So, at work, someone ordered pizza and, after placing the order, had a question on whether they charged for delivery. Their menu was unclear, so we went to their website. Here’s what I found:
It was built entirely in Flash (last “copyright date” is 2008).
With an animated intro.
And music that plays automatically.
It also had a menu in the shape of a pizza, using a picture of a pie, complete with hovers and rollovers.
But there was no search function.
It did have an “order online” option, but that redirected us to a separate site that looked like one of those “thisdomain.com is available” pages, and that had a list of sub-menus with no way to do an intelligent search.
It was at this point I gave up, and we called the place. They have a $2 delivery charge.
On decisions– There’s an old saying– “It’s better to fail trying something than it is to succeed doing nothing.
It’s one thing to change a decision once it’s been put into action and its results can be evaluated. It’s another to constantly make second-guessing decisions without ever putting any of them in motion.
The former shows flexibility, strength of character and the potential for growth. The latter a paralyzing fear of the unknown.
Given those options. I’ll take the former any day.
In the spirit of full disclosure– Although I’m a fan of Apple, and am both personally and professionally an owner, user and consumer of Apple’s products, I am not— as of this writing, at least— an iPhone user.
Since the release of iOS 7, I’ve listened to the reactions on radio and tv, and read opinions both on-and off-line. Although the speed and rate of adoption has been high (as is with any new technology), the reactions so far have been, in my less-than-scientific survey, overwhelmingly less than positive, ranging from a “wait and see” to indifference to downright disgust.
This got me thinking– Does iOS 7 have the potential of becoming Apple’s Vista?