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As Marty mentioned in a previous post, the new Delicious design is a little wonky, and no longer pumps content to our blog and Twitter account. So here’s a roundup of articles I’ve stumbled across over the past month that you may find interesting:


Last week the Supreme Court, in a 7-2 ruling, legally declared video games to be art, giving them the same constitutional protections as other media like visual art, music, and film.

The sudden declaration from a panel of nine septuagenarians about the validity of video games as an art form is not a singular turning point in our cultural relationship with video games, but it is as good an excuse as any to look at how the debate has evolved. Here a couple of interesting perspectives:

  • Seth Schiesel writing for the New York Times suggests that video games need to “grow up” and that their designation as art has imbued them with a duty to contribute to society.
  • Not long ago, Roger Ebert was excoriated by gamers everywhere after issuing his thoughts on the matter in a succinctly titled blog post, “Video games can never be art.” He later conceded to the angry gamers on his front lawn in a post with an equally efficient title: “Why video games are indeed Art.”
  • There are indie game designers who have been using video game design as artistic expression. Here’s a profile from Esquire that focuses on the work of Jason Rohrer, an independent game designer who makes games that make you think as opposed to react.
  • In 2006, Chuck Klosterman wondered why no one was writing about the artistic and cultural implications of video games.
  • And finally a relatively new site that does just that.

Infomous is a dynamic and intuitive navigation solution – perhaps soon to pop up on websites you visit.  Web developers for content-rich sites have integrated word cloud and tablet-style flip navigation over the past few years, but this is a solution that seems to combine aspects of both: reference triggers and dynamic script.  The tool is currently available in preview/beta version through a relationship with the provider, but will roll out later this year, ready for embed.  More info at Infomous – they have a demo up for world news, a version for sports news, entertainment news, science news.  It’s easy to explore and find links to try.

Twitter can be a lot of things to a lot of different people. One way I use it is to get articles delivered to me from RSS feeds I might not absolutely have to read every day (I’ve got Google Reader for that). One cool service I’ve recently discovered is lets you create a virtual Twitter newspaper, collecting the content from an account, a hashtag, or list. The site compiles the information that floats by all day and presents it in a format that is readable and might call attention to some of the stuff you missed throughout the day.

I’ve created a version from the W5 twitter feed and it’s an easy way to browse all the stuff I miss during the day.

Since everyone else seems to be talking about this spot, I figured I’d throw my two cents in. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s simple…Tiger stares into camera. Tiger’s dead father provides the voiceover. Cameras flash. Simple.

Most of the comments I’m seeing are critical, to say the least. Take this New York Times article:

“Did you learn anything?” Earl Woods asks. A valuable question, and one that his son has attempted to answer in his no-questions news conference in February; his brief interviews with ESPN and the Golf Channel last month; and his pre-Masters news conference on Monday.

But the answer to the father’s question appears to be that serial philandering and addiction rehab can be positioned as a commodity — and that you can roll it out in phases leading to the Nike amendment to the 12 steps: a TV commercial.

Personally, I like the spot. It’s an apology, a glimpse into Tiger’s conscience, and a return to the spotlight all rolled into one. When I read the criticism, I have to wonder what people expected. Short of keeping one of their marquee endorsers on the bench, or cutting him loose altogether, this was the only thing Nike could do.

Nike frames him as the fallen hero. Anything else would have been an outrage.

Kudos to The Awl for two fairly recent charts featuring publishing statistics from the past decade.  The images are too tall to just recopy in a single post here, but click through to check them out.  This trend data, sourced from the Magazine Publishers of America and Audit Bureau of Circulations, respectively, is very interesting, but I’m particularly fond of how they’ve crafted the charts – in a tall, blog-friendly format rather than on a standard wide frame:

Imagine for a minute buying a ticket to an event that has an attendence of 50,000.  While there you take a bunch of pictures, maybe you Tweet some of them, maybe you write a quick blog post from your mobile device. When you get home, you upload the pictures and write a blog post about the event and your experiences there. A little while later a lawyer sends you a letter ordering you to take down the post and pictures, maybe even telling you they own the rights to your content.

This week two very different organizations’ policies about participant depictions of their events were heavily discussed in the news: The Burning Man Festival and the SEC Conference. For different reasons (one concerned about privacy & control, the other about profit and partners like ESPN), each of these entities are essentially saying that they might actually own your recollections and stories about their events.

Many brands are beginning to wade into the social media space and are wondering how best to adopt social media and interact with consumers in a new way.  I would argue that these two examples illustrate the worst in social media policy. The key is to allow consumers, participants, people to have the conversation they’re going to have anyway:

  • If it’s positive for your brand or event, leverage it and try to ride the wave of good will to help promote.
  • If the attention is negative, do what you can to learn from the message being spread and correct the problem. Often proactive approaches create enough goodwill to turn the PR problems around.

The great thing about social media is that more and more people are getting the chance to participate and tell their stories. From a research and branding perspective, it opens a whole new insight into consumer behavior and attitudes. Attempting to control the conversation, regardless of the motive, will only backfire.

scribdOnline document publishing site Scribd has taken the next step in its evolution by going social. The site has added features that allow you to follow what others are doing, sharing, liking, etc. As our pal Mark likes to say, it’s all about getting people to do things together. A lot of what I’ve read online compares the changes made to the site to Facebook. I’m curious to see  as more and more companies add “social networking” to their sites, whether surfers will suffer from social overload.

What’s interesting is that while this is going on, the news breaks that Facebook has purchased Friend Feed, the site designed to share your entire interwebs life with your friends. Friendfeed LogoThe interesting thing about Friend Feed is that it’s always seemed much more powerful and nicer looking than Twitter but not as widely adopted. It will be interesting to see how this acquisition unfolds and what it means to both services.

Interestingly enough, Friend Feed users are already complaining about the acquisition, just hours after it has been announced. Here’s hoping that Facebook will bring more users to FriendFeed and not just cannibalize its features into their own site.