Buzzazz Advertising & Marketing Agencyhttp://buzzazz.com Tampa Bay's # 1 Marketing FirmFri, 15 Sep 2017 20:58:20 +0000en-UShourly1Game Of Thrones – Checkmating The Leakshttp://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/game-thrones-checkmating-leaks http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/game-thrones-checkmating-leaks#respondThu, 14 Sep 2017 21:11:50 +0000http://buzzazz.com/?p=5546Game Of Thrones Makes A Move Worthy Of Baelish How do you beat people that would leak your product before you are ready to let them see it? Answer – make multiple versions so that even the players involved have no clue which way you are going to jump. I wrote an article earlier about […]

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Game Of Thrones Makes A Move Worthy Of Baelish

How do you beat people that would leak your product before you are ready to let them see it? Answer – make multiple versions so that even the players involved have no clue which way you are going to jump. I wrote an article earlier about how this is already a tactic GOT employs – it sets up, through hints and red herrings, a series of possible outcomes for each character that keeps your guessing. In comparison the other big TV event this year, Twin Peaks opted for surrealistic overlapping fugues and surrealistic imagery, with an expanding mythological template that was like the televisual equivalent of jazz, in that even though you might be able to guess some of the tunes yet unheard qualities, you were hardly unlikely to be able to accurately predict what Lynch was going to pull out of his bag of tricks.

Game Of Thrones unpredictability is firmly grounded in the complexity that has been built into the characters, more solidly even that the politics that exist between the many houses. Loyalties and allegiances shift, and often undisclosed motives drive the characters to do things that, though they make sense given the events that have gone beforehand, aren’t something you would have necessarily picked as being the selected path.

When new episodes are due to air my Facebook feed is full of people requesting that their friends and acquaintances refrain from posting any spoilers (I’ve seen people unfriended for being so inconsiderate) and this to my mind is a similar protection of the experience for those yet to watch it. I like the anticipation myself – I have always hated those trailers that give you all the keynotes of the movie, so that you’d have to be an idiot not to work out the structure and outcome of the entire film. Despite the sometime implication that these are highlights, and that there is more to the film, it often proves to be the case that the trailer makers have done what you asked all your friends not to do – they spoiled the film for you. Speculation, fan trailers, high-blown theories about a movie before its release – all these things are great … they help market the movie and generate interest, and can occasionally get the sequel a green light before the first weekend’s Box Office is in (not that this would likely stick if you have a turkey on your hands, but anyway).

I somehow managed to scan over and avoid all of the real meat about Game Of Thrones before I binge-watched my way through six seasons of the show, and caught up to the weekly installments of the shorter seventh season, but it is a pretty big hazard in the deluge of information that you receive about all media products these days. Once Facebook and Google have the drop on the kind of things that you buy and watch and read, and they pummel you with associated products, so you sometimes have to employ a kind of squint-eyed corner of the eye censorship and active forgetting of what you might have learned about something you want to come to fresh. It’s odd because I also write elsewhere about forthcoming books, movies, and albums, that are approaching, but I kind of want to do something skin-deep so I don’t lose the magic of the first experiencing of a thing for myself.

I am not sure if I am alone in this, but I don’t like the trend for people who get to see a movie first crapping all over it before someone gets a chance to make up their own mind. It may not be your cup of tea, but sometimes what some people see as a bad movie isn’t viewed in the same light by others. Save your money, they say, and I saw it so you didn’t have to. And I sit there, and I want to reply: What happened to the holy command of Thou Shalt Not Post Spoilers? Telling someone a movie is terrible is a spoiler.

Back to the subject in hand – I think Game Of Thrones solution is genius. And I think it is necessary. Over 8 seasons you get invested. I don’t want the Walking Dead cliffhanger solved for me, thank you. I want curveballs galore. On some level the logistics of travel times between places in Westeros mean diddly squat to me, when the human and emotional distance traveled is the really important thing in the show. From a writer’s perspective I have hopes that they will reveal all the considered endings in the DVD, and that the Behind The Scenes show explores the reason for the final choice, because understanding that decision making process is very enlightening. And once that is done, whether it comes before George R R Martin’s conclusion or not, we then get to see how the author who set the ball rolling chooses to end his epic saga as well.

Don’t get me wrong, it really is a great marketing ploy, that is going to generate, as have all the other series, a lot of speculation, but just with the way the market is currently, with demand provoking all kinds of criminal responses to undisclosed art. it is a very smart business strategy as well. The viewer cannot lose (well, unless, after seven series, they somehow fail to deliver).

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Another Blip On The Wall – Facebook Snoozehttp://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/another-blip-wall-facebook-snooze http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/another-blip-wall-facebook-snooze#respondThu, 14 Sep 2017 19:11:12 +0000http://buzzazz.com/?p=5543Facebook Is A Black Box I read about this today on Tech Crunch, and supposedly it is supposed to give me more control over my Facebook feed. The thing is I keep trying to set the damned thing to most recent rather than Top Stories, so that I get more than the same ten stories […]

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Facebook Is A Black Box

I read about this today on Tech Crunch, and supposedly it is supposed to give me more control over my Facebook feed. The thing is I keep trying to set the damned thing to most recent rather than Top Stories, so that I get more than the same ten stories for day’s on end, or some tiresome thing that is trending.

I have a fair few friends in my friend list, and I signed up for something that rides on top of Facebook and strips out certain unnecessaries, while telling me about interactions that remain below the surface. I see a regular trickle of friends leaving the party, and if I compare it to the posts that I see on my wall – these guys were buried and got no interaction, so I can’t blame them for bidding me farewell.

The whole idea, I thought, of the wall, was to provide a better signal to noise ratio, but that seems to be deteriorating as an algorithm bypasses the settings I keep insisting on, and keeps floating me stuff I am not interested in, despite my constant refrain.

Also, another thing I don’t get – Facebook has some of the best facial recognition software around – it knows which of my cats pictures I am posting. So, why isn’t some of that processing power dedicated to preventing the sex bots who plague my friend requests? What, nothing can be tweaked to weed them out? Isn’t there some kind of heuristic machine churning away in the background of the site logging all the reports of thinly veiled and blatant solicitations for porn sites? It reminds me of how Murdoch’s takeover of Myspace signaled the presence of sex spam on the site – not the uptick, but the start of it; date coincident. It has to be something that is being allowed.

Occasionally I will write right into my update box – a rant, a poem, something or other, to rally or psychically bolster my echo chamber orchestra, but more often than not it has become a feed dump for output from places I find more engaging. Facebook is a web held together by loose threads strung between people who have no other real way of connecting, but sometimes it can be very depressing. When people panic click clickbait fake news about a subject it trends and gets more clicks and your disappear up the rear-end of  a self-perpetuating feedback loop. You can dig in, maybe engage with the mix of attempted reasonableness and outright trolling, or you can step away.

I read about an app that strips comment threads out of sites so you don’t have to get involved in all the negativity, and I wonder how much of Facebook would be left.

As with anything, there are positive aspects to the whole enterprise – I like Safety Check (except I was sheltering in a school with a Facebook blocking protocol during Irma), but some things about the site are starting to concern me.

For something that snakes its way into so many people’s lives and collects so much data on people, there is pretty much zero transparency about where that data goes or who is using it, and for what. Facebook is a black box.

Sure, it has a captive audience; a market – it disguises itself as a useful tool for marketers and social connection. People have expressed concern about Donald Trump’s connections with Cambridge Analytica and the way in which his campaign may have manipulated data on voters to its own ends, but what about when  a president started off as a social media maven and has more data on a person than the FBI, the NSA and the CIA (this may be an exaggeration)? Think that’s unlikely? Well, Zuckerberg might apparently be kicking around the idea of making a run for the White House. and he would have his media locked down tight, and you’ve already volunteered a metric ton of data about yourself. I have written before about some of the things I like about Facebook, but things may be changing in the way I and others interact with it – in the way we interact with and through any medium. Why? Because where does the control really lie?

It is a genius way of capturing data.

It appears to be free, like Google, but we know that they both generate a lot of capital, and a significant chunk of that comes directly from the data we provide and generate for them.

So, snooze, sure – it might cut down the amount of posts you get from that irritating friend, but does that mean you’re going to be able to dial down the commercial presence on your wall? Probably not, right? But how else are you going to connect with those people who live half a world away?

It is a genius way of capturing data. It is a genius way of controlling the way that people interact. It is an excellent way to be almost invisible, yet ever-present. In many ways Facebook is instantly recognizable and instantly forgettable – by becoming the infrastructure and life support system for so many, it became the landscape so much that people forgot to look at what they were doing.

I won’t cast aspersions on Zuckerberg because I don’t know him. I watched The Social Network which purports to be about him, but it probably just the cracked mirror held up to truth that most biopics are, but even if there is a grain of truth, and some news stories IRL suggest there might be – that should give you pause; that should provide you with some reasonable doubt.

Of course, you can just snooze stories like that, and going on using that ubiquitous tool you used to collate all your pictures, that you use to sign into different websites, that you pour data into through the filter of harmless little quizzes, which suggests the perfect products to you, which through certain technologies can follow you around the web, which regularly asks for control of all your contacts and their data too.

Give away a little of your liberty for security … nothing bad ever happened because of that.

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Daft Punk: The Genius Of Anonymity In The Midst Of Celebrity Culturehttp://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/daft-punk-genius-anonymity-midst-celebrity-culture http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/daft-punk-genius-anonymity-midst-celebrity-culture#respondWed, 06 Sep 2017 18:31:47 +0000http://buzzazz.com/?p=5537Daft Punk Unchained, the documentary, is an interesting journey for anyone that is a fan of the band. It is an interesting lesson in the importance of creating a sense of mystery. Nowadays Google throws up every damned thing that was ever written about someone – the thrill of the hunt for those rare interviews […]

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Daft Punk Unchained, the documentary, is an interesting journey for anyone that is a fan of the band. It is an interesting lesson in the importance of creating a sense of mystery. Nowadays Google throws up every damned thing that was ever written about someone – the thrill of the hunt for those rare interviews and insights into the workings of an artist are, for the most part, an evaporated thing of the past.

There have been bands before that have found interesting and novel ways of moving away from the cult of personality that plagues popular culture, such as The Residents, and the Kraftwerk robots. It really does redirect attention towards the music. It’s not as if there isn’t a quest by some to find the men behind the mask – which isn’t hard to do if you dig; but the point of it is that the band is much more enjoyable if you buy into the game they are playing. Gorillaz work in a similar way – I am totally willing to suspend disbelief to buy into the aesthetic that Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett create.

Personally, I have always preferred TV programs that focused on the art of the artist rather than their personal lives. There are only so many variations upon a theme in the rock star life and the acting life to feed the salacious nature of the tabloids. Shows like Inside The Actor’s Studio, or Later With Jools Holland, or Spectacle with Elvis Costello give you an insight into what the artists were thinking when they created their work, and this is far more valuable than knowing who they were boinking when they did it, or what drugs they were injecting.

Daft Punk are a work of art; a performance piece. Obviously they aren’t as locked down or locked away as a figure like Banksy, but there is enough distance between them and the things that they create, that you can listen to the music without the baggage. You can pretend a couple of robots crafted the tracks that you are listening to.

I wouldn’t ever need to know a personal reference about a single one of the creatives that I am interested in if I just got a small insight into their creative process. The Chemical Brothers and their Battle Weapons. Brian Eno in the studio with Oblique Strategies. Depeche Mode’s whole process was something I really hadn’t appreciated until I sat down and watched a documentary about them. I am not the biggest fan of talking heads shows that don’t feature the actual artists, but sometimes they really work, and when they do they shine a light into areas that spark all kinds of inspiration.

I’m not just attracted to it because they are swimming against the flow, it is just the notion that nowadays so little of our lives remains private, and here are two guys whose work is supper famous, but who have chosen not to be easily identifiable. Marketing really works when it has truth as its core, and even if this is seen as a gimmick by some, I think it has a very real amount of thinking behind it. They’ve also been doing it this way long enough that it has kind of become a moot point; it has reached that stage where you might be slightly puzzled if two forty something guys were stood in front of you on stage instead of the robots. But mystery works, it attracts interest; being different is interesting. In a period of time where the attention economy is booming Daft Punk’s anonymity really is a stroke of genius.

 

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Airbnb Disaster Response Toolhttp://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/airbnb-disaster-response-tool http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/airbnb-disaster-response-tool#respondMon, 28 Aug 2017 18:20:12 +0000http://buzzazz.com/?p=5520Results Should Be Prized Above Altruism With These Programs Facebook’s Safety Check had been one of those things I initially thought was a little bit intrusive and excessive, and then I got to use it, and I saw that some of my friends in dangerous places were OK, and I was struck with how it […]

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Results Should Be Prized Above
Altruism With These Programs

Facebook’s Safety Check had been one of those things I initially thought was a little bit intrusive and excessive, and then I got to use it, and I saw that some of my friends in dangerous places were OK, and I was struck with how it was a really great use of the platform that Zuckerberg has built. Things like this really do give back to the people that use your service – and they send a very important message … that they care about you. I’m not going to worry about whether or not it is altruistic or not – the truth is that knowing someone you care about is safe is invaluable, and if Facebook get something for helping out in that way, who cares?

Airbnb in a similar effort to help people in disaster-struck areas are asking their users to offer free accommodation to those affected by the disaster in Barcelona, and they have done so in other disasters, beginning with Hurricane Sandy in 2012. It is interesting they would do this, given that the Barcelona Government has expressed openly their disapproval of the company.

I also read some comments in the thread beneath an article about the subject complaining that if it is for public relations and not for altruism then it somehow doesn’t count – I think this is a spurious argument, and that the results are actually the thing that matters. If there is a knock on effect that people think better of Airbnb then so be it – the fact that they are doing something good for people perhaps warrants people having a better opinion of them.

These kind of positive social actions are much more important to me when I look at what company to do business with than what might amount to window dressing or supposed cherries on top. You really want to dig into the marrow of the company to understand what they are about, not engage in some shallow superficial read of them and then make some blanket statement not based in fact.

Social Media Needs To Build In The Real World To Really Survive

The Circle, in a piece of just-around-the-corner fiction, have a scene where social media is used to rescue the main character, and it really isn’t so far-fetched. If they let me, I can already see where certain people are in relation to myself on a map, and with the amount that people share across the various platforms they are engaging with, means it wouldn’t be hard to build a picture of what happened during someone’s day.

I think in the future for social media to really be considered social it is going to have facilitate something in the real world, not just within the walled garden of social media. Facebook Security Check and the Airbnb Disaster Response Tool, are a good move in the right direction.

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Betting On Vaporwarehttp://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/betting-on-vaporware http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/betting-on-vaporware#respondTue, 22 Aug 2017 17:46:08 +0000http://buzzazz.com/?p=5525Waiting On The Unarrived Future It’s kind of a broken promise: vaporware – tech that has been described and marketed as if it existed, but which doesn’t actually exist in the real world. But maybe there is a hope buried in some of this imaginative salesmanship that will reinvigorate my interest in some of the […]

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Waiting On The Unarrived Future

It’s kind of a broken promise: vaporware – tech that has been described and marketed as if it existed, but which doesn’t actually exist in the real world. But maybe there is a hope buried in some of this imaginative salesmanship that will reinvigorate my interest in some of the hardware out there.

Maybe some technically gifted inventor scours the internet digging around for tech that is talked about, but which doesn’t exist, and then they pick up the idea and run with it, like some tech fairy godmother. Or maybe not.

The Microsoft Surface bores me. Apple bores me. We have plateaued, and I have come to expect more than a low level drone where updates about new technology are basically just tweaks to what is already out there. Ever wanted tits on a bull? We have an app for that! Want to travel through a virtual reality version of the Dire Straits video for Money For Nothing? We’ve got your back.

Perhaps I need to dig around in Kickstarter for a day or so, and see if I can find something outside the mainstream. I write science fiction and dream up products I’d love to own. Maybe I’d just settle for a more intuitive way to access the music I have in the Amazon Cloud, because Alexa doesn’t have a throat I can punch.

Innovation Seems To Have Hit A Plateau
Or To Be Hidden Behind The Black Mirror

Elon Musk provides some interest but not is focused primarily on Mars, batteries, and killer robots – rinse and repeat. I am not sure that it always used to be like this. When things arrived they arrived as a genuine surprise, and they felt like they had a huge impact when they did arrive. Getting my first mini-arcade game was fantastic. The Millennium Falcon arriving alongside the AT-AT blew my mind. When the first home computer landed it was a surprise – I’m talking the ZX81 in England. I remember a similar sense of the alien when we first saw an electronic calculator from Texas Instruments in 1981. Then I remember getting buzzed about electric typewriters which had a small LCD screen, to step up from the Olivetti typewriter I’d been using. My first PC opened up limitless possibilities for the projects I could work on. My first Apple computer was something I fell in love with. My MP3 player called to mind the clunky old Walkman, but delivered a huge amount of my music collection into my pocket. And, though I was late to the game, my iPad felt like something touched by the future.

Perhaps I am just nostalgic for the delay – for the difficulty in being able to get things. Apple seems slightly more attractive because it is more expensive than a PC. Maybe having it more difficult to get stuff makes it more desirable to have said stuff. That would put vaporware on the right kind of wavelength – it’s impossible to get hold of, and that might never change about it – I started out by saying vaporware is kind of a broken promise, but perhaps it’s not. It might be more that actual existing tech is the broken promise … it doesn’t deliver me into the world of Star Trek, doesn’t get me close to competing with The Jetsons, at least in some ways it doesn’t. But then you pause and think of the inter-connectivity available to you, all the data at your fingertips, and what you can do with that data, and you realize you may have arrived somewhere just as interesting. Is it true that innovation and forward movement are just hidden behind the black mirror?

There may be an entire other class of vaporware – not that put together and promoted by companies and marketers, but all that ghost tech that we desired from fictions. Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers sold us on a certain kind of future. Picard on the holodeck or at the food replicator. Hell, even the Replicants from Blade Runner are, on some level, objects of desire. As Freddie Mercury once sang I want it all, I want it now! I don’t want to live in a graveyard of half arrived ideas; I want something more solid and real – I want the future I was promised.

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Courting The Backfire – The Ill Advised Notion Of Smear Campaignshttp://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/courting-backfire-ill-advised-notion-smear-campaigns http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/courting-backfire-ill-advised-notion-smear-campaigns#respondTue, 22 Aug 2017 16:52:40 +0000http://buzzazz.com/?p=5512The ads being put out by the Hotel Association of New York City are cynical at best, and that is being kind. I understand the problems that airbnb is causing for them as an industry, but backing an ad campaign that suggests your rivals are connected to terrorism seems not only irresponsible, but also insulting […]

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The ads being put out by the Hotel Association of New York City are cynical at best, and that is being kind. I understand the problems that airbnb is causing for them as an industry, but backing an ad campaign that suggests your rivals are connected to terrorism seems not only irresponsible, but also insulting to both airbnb and anyone that has been a victim of terrorism.

Smear campaigns rarely work in the way people intend – just because you make someone else look dirty it doesn’t necessarily mean you are suddenly going to start being placed on a pedestal, and you are the one who often looks bad. Why do you feel the need to sling mud, can’t you win it on a level playing field?

Politics has long used the tactic to lessen the appeal of rivals, and this last election took it to new lows. but a lot of people grew weary of that whole approach. It detracted from the issues, and it detracted from the policies, and it allowed rational debate to be replaced with a game of how loud can someone shout over their opponent. For a lot of people the person shouting in a way that shuts down their opponent looks worse.

Maybe behind the decision to put this message out there, there was something less inflammatory that might have been a valid point. The use of hyperbolic, or just plain false, statements, just doesn’t seem like it is going to end anywhere good. Airbnb is doing the same to hotels as Uber and Lyft are doing to Taxis, and these established institutions don’t like it. The thing is, people have a right to spend their money how they want to spend it, and the model is proving helpful to house owners and people using their properties.

Microsoft basing Apple always kind of bugged me; I don’t expect a rival to necessarily be full of compliments, but I don’t think it it odd to want them to just focus on their own plus points and leave the sniping alone. Certain things about an electronic product recommend it: software or service bundles, or the hardware. The same is true of using an airbnb over a hotel room. Isn’t choice meant to be a cornerstone of the free market economy?

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What Does GAFA Mean For Everyone?http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/gafa-mean-everyone http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/gafa-mean-everyone#respondFri, 18 Aug 2017 21:50:07 +0000http://buzzazz.com/?p=5449Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon – they tower over civilization like the monoliths from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and this concerns some people. The European Union doesn’t like the control that these companies are exerting on the market, but they are fast becoming the infrastructure. How much of the internet is on Amazon Web Servers? 8.5 […]

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Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon – they tower over civilization like the monoliths from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and this concerns some people.

The European Union doesn’t like the control that these companies are exerting on the market, but they are fast becoming the infrastructure. How much of the internet is on Amazon Web Servers? 8.5 Million people out of 12 Million on the internet have Facebook – and Facebook has better facial recognition software than the government. Apple has a value that rivals the GDP of a small country. Google and its video site YouTube are the two largest search engines in the world. If you aren’t using at least one of them it would be surprising.

So, in the end, what effect is it going to have if these companies are hit on a national level, when they exist in a transnational space? They have the money to navigate around these issues, and they have the money to outmarket any rivals. Are they likely to be in the category of too big to fail? Are they there already?

Amazon had an issue when someone put a line of code in the wrong place and took a third of their servers off line, and the problems rippled out through many companies, prompting a change in policy at Amazon in regards to back-ups, running of diagnostics, etc. Amazon is predicted to be the largest retailer in the groceries market by 2030 after its purchase of Whole Foods. Bezos, like Musk, has a space rocket company. There are drones. There is total market saturation – and Amazon has even been found to producing a lot of the cheaper items it sells under names not immediately associated with Amazon.

Could Facebook lead to the first President elected out of a Social Media Company? That might be an interesting sequel to Twitter President – though Zuckerberg denies having any designs on the White House. Facebook is taking on listings, market-places, intra-business virtual work spaces, blogging, video-streaming, chat-apps: it basically wants to be everything to everyone.

Out of the 4, Apple specializes more, and in some senses really doesn’t seem to have clear path forward, or at least one that has been made explicit, beyond constant new iterations of existing products. Quality over innovation seems to be where they are at currently.

Google are operating in a lot of fields, and still seem to operate by throwing more than enough at the wall and seeing what sticks, an approach the CEO called environmental programming – where they try to change the way people do things, not necessarily with a long term plan of staying in that specific field.

They have their own problems, and these occasionally leak out from behind the polished surface, and the problems are generally of the nature of corporate culture, or tech industry culture, which can be problematic given some of the areas these companies are trying to expand into, and the number of people invested in them getting it right. Ethics is something you bump up against really hard when people can use the tools you have created to do things other than what you maybe intended in the creation of the product or service.

Do you hand over the operating system of your phone to allow the hacking of a terrorist’s phone? Do you use the social media platform you built to help people to pin down and help bring justice to those who use it to hurt others? How do you insulate yourself against hatred being disseminate by people you have enabled to have a larger reach than they would have normally? Well, if you want to be everything to everyone, you have to start adopting some kind of leadership role – you have to start handling the environment you are helping to create. What’s going to happen otherwise? You are going to collapse under the weight of ethically problematic things that you have enabled.

Working with these companies, because of their reach, their ability to make things happen, their economic clout, and their expertise, might be wiser than hobbling them. It has long been the way that a lot of tech innovation develops in the tidepool of garagelabs and incubators, and then when it makes a break for it, it gets gobbled up by one of the larger predators, and repurposed as an aspect of the behemoth. Innovation is always going to be in flux, as is homogenisation, because they are in a constant dialogue, where they mutually transform each others landscapes with a combination of action and reaction. In a market where a single government might be able to dismantle the internet with a rider on a bill or a white paper that no one reads, having a transnational company that can grow itself elsewhere might not be such a bad thing. I hate the idea of monopolies, but sometimes having a robust company that can be a champion for the little man and has the economic power to withstand pressure from institutions that seek to dismantle free speech or the means by which people transmit that free speech, is a saving grace. GAFA may be the lesser of two evils.

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Step In The Ring – The Circle Arriveshttp://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/internet-marketing/step-ring-circle-arrives http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/internet-marketing/step-ring-circle-arrives#respondTue, 15 Aug 2017 20:42:47 +0000http://buzzazz.com/?p=5516Social Media Is Already Exploiting Some Of What We See In The Circle The Circle, the movie starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson, showed a feature called Soul Search, where the network used its extensive resources, in terms of the people that were part of the community, to track someone down and get them arrested. […]

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Social Media Is Already Exploiting
Some Of What We See In The Circle

The Circle, the movie starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson, showed a feature called Soul Search, where the network used its extensive resources, in terms of the people that were part of the community, to track someone down and get them arrested. This weekend Twitter enabled a similar feat to be carried out, when pictures of those allying themselves with White Supremacists in Charlottesville were circulated, with calls to identify them, and get them fired from their jobs, amongst other things.

Doxing is the practice of identifying someone and providing personal information about them, and this is, people argue, distinct from that.

Crowdsourcing surveillance, and shaping society through social media has been explored by shows like Black Mirror as well, and the general consensus is that the shift towards it represents stepping onto a slippery slope that lands you neck deep in a dystopia.

The interesting thing is that science fiction is often more of a gauge of what writers are perceiving in their current environment, rather than any kind of prescient text that throws up a map to the future. It’s also a distancing mechanism – you can dress something up in fiction and talk about it without inviting unwanted attention from the powers that be. If you believe a lot of the speculation about the role of the company Cambridge Analytica, and the way that it used reverse-engineered data gathered from tracking software, fed back into keyword-triggered bots designed to cause certain stories to trend, based on experiments carried out by a company with supposed ties to CIA and MI6 psy-ops, affected the election, then we are already there. Not to mention the Russians.

But The Circle is talking about transparency, and the idea that it can be used to up the level of accountability of those in power, and this seems to be something a little more hopeful.

A Road To Transparency Or A Surveillance State?

Again, we won’t talk about how this might work with net neutrality coming into play – imagine that one of the ISPs you use decides that it doesn’t want to support the whole enterprise if it isn’t going in a direction they like, and bang, they might be able to switch all associated traffic into the slow lane. Verizon have already been caught slowing streaming down for some people, so this isn’t an out there concept.

As with anything – the whole thing could swing either way. You have all these big companies trying to control the way the internet develops, and trying to restructure it in a way that makes them more money, whether this is at the expense of anyone’s freedom of expression or not. But if you know anything about asymmetric warfare, there are a lot of people out there using inexpensive tools who can topple the Goliaths of the world.

I am not sure that any of the social media giants currently sitting pretty at the top are going to start marketing their platforms for this kind of use, but the potential is already baked in, and perhaps as drivers of the way we act and think about things, they will spawn imitators who really run with the whole notion that we have in our hands real tools for grass roots change that can take on an ethical dimension and actually be an agent of real social change, rather than the surface engagement apparent in slacktivism or clicktivism.

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Letterman On Netflixhttp://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/letterman-on-netflix http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/letterman-on-netflix#respondFri, 11 Aug 2017 19:27:56 +0000http://buzzazz.com/?p=5513Letterman – longest running chat show host back in the game with Netflix! I am not sure why, but the idea of Letterman on Netflix excites me more than The Letterman Show ever did. I know it is a totally personal thing, but I seem to remember reading some interviews and watching things with him […]

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Letterman – longest running chat show host back in the game with Netflix!

I am not sure why, but the idea of Letterman on Netflix excites me more than The Letterman Show ever did. I know it is a totally personal thing, but I seem to remember reading some interviews and watching things with him since he stepped down from the longest running show, and warming to him more.

For some reason I always got the idea that the persona and the format were somewhat forced, and the feeling that it was canned laughter, even with a live audience was a turn off. Also, he wasn’t such a big deal in the UK, and I saw The Larry Sanders Show long before I really had much of a chance to dig into Letterman, which kind of stuck a pin it.

I also hated the show he did where he invited Hugh Grant on, and they made light of the fact that Grant had been with a prostitute – it was a little too buddy buddy, and insensitive to Grant’s partner, Liz Hurley. But hey, it’s all water under the bridge, and I have even warmed to Grant since then.

My favorite Letterman shows were the ones where he had his friend Warren Zevon on, where Warren was dying of cancer. At the time, it was something I needed – a very positive message delivered from a man who didn’t have long left, but was advising that you ‘enjoy every sandwich.’ Letterman seemed very human and likeable in these moments, and some of that forced fake smile feeling dropped away. There was an energy there, and a feeling that he was doing something to celebrate the genius of his friend.

This New Format Could Be Another Game Changer!

He’s going to be doing longform interviews and exploring other subjects, and these shows will be going out pre-recorded, so they’re different to what he’s used to.

Some of the attraction in this idea, is observing the change that Netflix is affecting in the formatting of many different types of show, and this is kind of amplified when they get someone involved who has a record of doing really good things in the profession. They are testing to see how to better translate aspects of TV not satisfied by binge-watching into their streaming service, and it is presenting some interesting opportunities.

It’s interesting, because the fact that Letterman is doing something new by working with Netflix generates buzz, and the fact Netflix snagged Letterman generates buzz as well. It’s an easy victory marketing-wise – or should be. At some point people might stop being surprised by the bold moves that Netflix keeps making, and people might stop writing them off, because they seem pretty resilient despite the changing market.

We’ll see, but hopefully Letterman’s show represents another interesting evolution in the streaming service.

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No Ghost In The Shell – What A Bad Remake Can Teach Ushttp://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/no-ghost-shell-bad-remake-can-teach-us http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/no-ghost-shell-bad-remake-can-teach-us#respondMon, 07 Aug 2017 19:46:51 +0000http://buzzazz.com/?p=5509Sci Fi Is Always About The Human Element, As Is Marketing! Take a classic movie and miss the point. Or rather, take a cult movie and miss the point; a cult manga too. When you take something that has so much source material – source material that has a proven track record of delivering stories […]

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Sci Fi Is Always About The Human Element,
As Is Marketing!

Take a classic movie and miss the point. Or rather, take a cult movie and miss the point; a cult manga too. When you take something that has so much source material – source material that has a proven track record of delivering stories that satisfy, and which deliver a rich experience and a convincing world that really explores the dichotomy of consciousness and and the physical body, and you manage to make a dog’s breakfast out of it, you get a double face palm. This is the version of Ghost In The Shell starring Scarlet Johansson.  It’s a shame because I like the actress and, as should be obvious, I like the source material. Some things you have to work really hard to mess them up. It’s totally doable though – go watch the live-action version of The Avatar cartoon and despair.

Why does this happen? Well, you have to ask why they needed to perform the action in the first place. Just because you can realize it in live-action, do you need to? If a remake adds nothing to the original, then maybe it doesn’t need to happen. This particular movie started to attract early detractors because of the white-washing, but then also drew criticism for looking pretty but missing something substance-wise. I think in the bad examples of translating something from comics or cartoons to live action there is some mis-perception which skews the delivery – I get the notion that on some level there is an idea that live action is somehow superior to animation, or more adult – or that they will win over the more serious minded consumer. They are missing something in the source material – its value as something more than a storyboard or animatics for a live action version. If you view the source like this then the eventual product of this way of thinking is going to be little more than a re-staging of the original; a karaoke version. By all accounts Beauty & The Beast sidesteps this, but I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve seen it.

The other problem that I have seen expressed with the movie, which I have to agree with is, is trying to bolt the typical Hollywood hero trajectory onto a story that is pretty antithetical to that whole philosophy. For me, and I am sure for a whole host of other people, the different way of storytelling that has come out of Asia is one of the things that attracts me to Manga, Anime, and other kinds of movies from that area of the world. Hollywood stories are more than a little predictable, and they don’t challenge you at all.

This movie doesn’t know what it is or who it is speaking to. It’s trying to trade on ScarJo’s cache, and her sex appeal, and her ability to fight like she does in The Avengers, but here it feels like a barely sketched outline with no colouring in done.

Know Who You Are Speaking To, Who Your Audience Is!

How might this apply to marketing? Know your audience, and also understand the product that you are selling. Don’t have it say sardines on the tin when you are selling meatballs. If by survey, or by track record, a certain thing has been popular, don’t just throw that away and expect to have the same success. If you are building a website, it can be as flash as all hell, but without any real substance to the content it is going to fall flat. The trick with sci-fi is knowing that at it’s heart it is real about what it is like to be human, and to feel that there is something beyond being just meat and bone; that there is a spirit there – in marketing you are also appealing to the human being in the equation and how they are going to relate to your product. Try and fudge it, don’t engage with the human being on the other end of the transaction, and you are going to have the same problem – an easily detectable hollowness that doesn’t communicate.

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