Saturday, April 28, 2007

Saturday Morning Odds & Ends

Odds and ends from my "blog about that" stack:


Setting Expectations (Low): This morning I saw this on the results page after filling out a contact form on a web site:

Thank you for your feedback. A member of our staff may contact you soon.

Maybe. Maybe not. We'll see.


Not the Proudest Moments in Advertising History: Slate has a gallery of racial stereotypes in ads. It's interesting, and uncomfortable in some cases, and perhaps the best take-away from it is that it's worth taking a moment to look at your current work and ask yourself, "Will this wind up in a similar gallery in 2050?"


It's Its, Not It's: Seth Godin talks about the apostrophe, that frequently-misused punctuation mark:

That's the primary function of the apostrophe--to expose apostrophe ignorance.

That's accompanied by a photo of a Marriott restroom sign for "Womens," which apparently is the plural of the plural of woman. Which means... what? A four-dimension group of groups of women who transcend the ordinary boundaries of the time-space continuum? Or just what you'd expect from a constantly disappointing hotel chain (my personal opinion after too many sleepless nights thanks to paper-thin Marriott walls)?

Apostrophes are easy, folks. Just stop and un-contract the contraction, and you'll find your errors quickly.

Not that I've never made that error. I just engage in copious self-flagellation when I do.


If You Have to Lie to Your Customers, Something's Wrong: Chocolate manufacturers want the FDA to let them call those waxy chocolate-flavored substitutes that nobody really likes "chocolate." Apparently - surprise! - people can tell the difference, and so they have to keep putting actual chocolate into popular candy bars and other products. In almost all cases, those products outsell the "chocolicious," "chocoriffic" stuff that's not actually chocolate.

It's fascinating to see an industry looking for permission to degrade the quality of their premium products to the level of their low-end products, in hopes that customers won't notice. Apparently the people making chocolate in the United States have no idea of the value of what they sell. Sad.


We'll Do It Our Way: Unlike some, I don't find the whole idea of a print publication called Blogger & Podcaster ironic. Guess what? We all consume print media, even bloggers and podcasters. We ride trains, we want something to read at lunch, we want something for the plane ride.

I do, however, find their insane "magazine viewer" online reader incredibly irritating and stupid. Basically, instead of consuming web content as web content, we're supposed to "flip" through "pages" in a weird little viewer. Why? I suppose it's so that the people advertising in the print version can have their ads prominently displayed there.

There's another features - the ads talk to you. If that happened in a real print publication, I'd throw it out the bus window.

This, from people writing about new media?


And that's the Saturday roundup. It's a beautiful morning in Houston, and my motorcycle is calling my name. Happy weekend!

No comments: