September 8, 2014
Adidas Falling Behind Under Armour

Adidas AG for the first time has dropped to the No. 3 spot among sportswear brands in the U.S. So far this year, its combined sales of athletic footwear and apparel have fallen 23% from a year earlier to $1.1 billion, according to data from Sterne Agee and SportScanInfo. That trails Under Armour Inc., whose sales are up 20% over the same period to $1.2 billion.

Not surprising when Under Armour does work like the Gisele video with the live tweets in the background.

September 8, 2014
Clive Martin on boring bands getting big

For me, the popularity of these bands – and in particular, Royal Blood – lies in both a backlash, and a longing for predictable continuity in a culture that doesn’t stick around for long. Looking at the guys in RB, you can tell that they aren’t going to start poncing about in Rick Owens any time soon, or do a collaboration with Mykki Blanco. They exist to service their fans, and what their fans are interested in is the sturdy, reliable exchange of loud guitars, sweat, anthems and booze.

The economies these bands are based in don’t rely on syncs, branded content or fashion mag covers, but on solid relationships between band and fan. The very same relationship that’s made millionaires of James Hetfield, Bruce Dickinson, Francis Rossi et al and sent countless hype acts back to their media internships. They want a band you can rely on, and a band as unceasingly uncool and out of time as Royal Blood aren’t going to blow that relationship. They’re built to last, something to believe in, the tepid face of solidity. A Shire horse band, a chubby but bubbly life partner, a Volvo estate in a world of matte black Lamborghinis.

@thugclive on the Hipster-Industrial Complex

3:30pm  |   URL:
Filed under: royalblood 
September 8, 2014
Facebook Hits 100M Users In Africa, Half The Continent’s Internet-Connected Population

Facebook’s announcement of the 100 million user milestone gives more detail to its typical earnings report user growth breakdowns, which lump Africa into a big “Rest Of World” region that had 411 million active users as of the end of Q2 2014. To put the 50% penetration rate of Facebook amongst Internet-connected Africans, Facebook a 71% penetration rate in the US and Canada region, or 204 million users out of 283.7 million.

The fact that 80% of the Facebook users in Africa are connecting via mobile on mobile suggests the continent has largely leapfrogged laptops and is doing a great deal of its computing on small screens.

From Josh Constantine at Tech Crunch

September 4, 2014
Experience the power of a bookbook™

2:49pm  |   URL:
Filed under: ikea startup books 
September 4, 2014
Why hasn't Twitter already released group chat?


This is 2014. September of 2014. Twitter was founded in March of 2006, so for over eight years the company has been caught up in a destructive love/hate relationship with private (‘direct’) messaging. At one time the company was actually considering the end of private messaging.

However, the rise…

September 3, 2014
Poor Design

Samsung has been paying lip service to the importance of industrial design for a very long time. Much like its local nemesis LG, however, the Korean chaebol’s message of meaningful innovation has most often devolved into the act of adding more technological complication for its own sake. Last year’s overwrought Galaxy Gear was testament to this approach of unrestrained gadgetification — the assumption that more of everything will ultimately amount to the greatest possible sum. As recently as six months ago, Samsung was still pursuing the same old strategy of overwhelming with features and neglecting good design while saying it would take the Galaxy S5 “back to basics.” It’s not that the S5 lacked a memorable look, but it was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

The Verge laying into Samsung

11:20pm  |   URL:
Filed under: samsung 
August 7, 2014

STREETS - NEW YORK CITY from Tim Sessler

Freefly Systems //

Brooklyn Aerials //

August 6, 2014
The American Room

You could judge those rooms and say that America has a paucity of visual imagination, that we live in a kind of wasteland. Or you could draw another conclusion, and note that America might be a little more broke than it wants to show. The painfully expensive 2,000-square foot home is furnished with cheap big sofas and junk from Target. Maybe these video stars don’t hang pictures because they are renters. Maybe they know they are going to move soon, to another part of the state or country; suburbs are the temporary worker housing for America.

From Paul Ford on Medium

August 6, 2014
"The Web will be the single most foundational aspect of people’s lives in 2025. People’s companion devices — the 2025 equivalent of today’s phones and tablets — will be the first thing they touch in the morning and the last thing they put down to sleep. In fact, some people will go so far as to have elements of their devices embedded. The AI-mediated, goggle-channeled social interactions of the near future will be as unlike what we are doing today, as today’s social Web is to what came before. The ephemeralization of work by AI and bots will signal the outer boundary of the industrial age, when we first harnessed the power of steam and electricity to amplify and displace human labor, and now we see that culminating in a possible near-zero workforce. We have already entered the post-normal, where the economics of the late industrial era have turned inside out, where the complexity of interconnected globalism has led to uncertainty of such a degree that it is increasing impossible to find low-risk paths forward, or to even determine if they exist. A new set of principles is needed to operate in the world that the Web made, and we’d better figure them out damn fast. My bet is that the cure is more Web: a more connected world. But one connected in different ways, for different ends, and not as a way to prop up the mistakes and inequities of the past, but instead as a means to answer the key question of the new age we are barreling into: What are people for?"

Stowe Boyd, Pew Internet’s Digital Life In 2025

(via stoweboyd)

(via emergentfutures)

July 14, 2014
From the Tyranny of Digital Advertising

Not service, not content

When great interactive advertising works, it provides the ability to have a deep and meaningful relationship with people.

Whether services like Nike+ Running are advertisements is irrelevant: what matters is that because they are digital services, they are another way for brands to communicate with the people who buy or use their products in a meaningful, useful way.

The Product is the Service is the Marketing

There’s a way of looking at digital advertising where you draw a line between content and products or services.

On the content side is essentially TV and print advertising built for a networked world. It includes things like “viral” YouTube and Vine videos, Facebook posts, Twitter hashtag and Instagram campaigns, because these are essentially the new kind of consumable advert on different services.

These things are not so different from the TV spot of old - they are self-contained, short messages of communication that can now, thanks to networks, be passed around from one person to another, be commented on and be measured.

All of these messages are produced more quickly, in response to audience feedback, but in the end, they are atoms and atoms of advertising messages, shuttling around the new distribution networks that have already earned attention.They are, essentially, advertising agencies as meme-miners, chipping away trying to find the next meme-nugget to attach to a brand line and release into a media ecosystem where it can attract attention and multiply by getting people to repeat it.

From this piece by Dan Hon.

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