Digital Innovation In the Arts Must be About the Art
I used to think that policy was not real life – that it was the stuff of jargon-filled documents thrust down from ivory towers. But then I noticed an interesting change, and one that was especially clear in the area of digital innovation in the arts. I noticed that it was no longer the wonks who held the lead in the policy conversation; it was the practitioners.
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Brands, it’s Time to Get Moving
Despite our continued homage to the almighty 30-second spot and the much heralded promise of the virtual and digital realm, as Marvin Gaye sang in his 1968 hit “Ain’t nothing like the real thing.” The greatest irony in advertising is that despite continued heavy media investments, branding doesn’t simply occur by staring at the TV or surfing the web. It happens best in the tangible interactions of authentic human experiences.
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What’s the Point of Creativity?
Creativity and innovation are hot topics these days, and they are being studied more frequently and intensely. The attention is good, but too often creativity is studied and written about without examining context. Why would we want to be more creative? Why bother fostering the conditions for creativity? Why dim the lights, adjust the volume, and get drunk? What’s the purpose of it all?
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What the Modern Internet Means for Advertisers
The internet is undergoing a dramatic visual and structural shift. Examples of the modern internet are all around us. Stalwart media properties like Yahoo! and CNN have completely revamped their site design to center around a news feed, social platforms have committed to feed-based monetization strategies, and modern sites like Medium and Branch have succeeded by offering immediate and intuitive options for the right users at the right time. The modern internet is driven by design. Despite the incredibly intricate algorithms required, the goal is to create sites and applications that are devoid of clutter and complication.
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Is There Life After Email?
It’s important to recognize that despite our constant complaints about endless piles of useless e-mail, most people I tell about WordPress.com's email liberation are dubious. We have a deeply engrained fatalism about alternatives, which is odd given how prideful we are for being early adopters of new ideas. Email is an old technology, older than the Web itself by more than a decade. If email is broken, why do we cling so tightly to our cc: lines and attachments?
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Time to Stop Blaming the Economy
What is true is that the world has changed very dramatically: governments are giving less, corporations are far more selective about how they give away their money, there are far more entertainment choices available, our traditional audiences are aging and the younger potential audience members have not received as strong an arts education as their parents did. Arts organizations must adjust to these changes.
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Talking to Fans like Friends
As distribution options have moved from fixed to endless — BAM’s single largest challenge in the digital space was to unite all of its disparate programming into a singular flow of communication. To sort out and maximize impact across platforms, BAM uses its content as a “spine” of information to feed all its online and offline publications and social media outreach. Striving to balance high and “low” discussions such as academic review of art forms and animated cartoons, BAM encourages visiting artists to leverage their own social networks to promote appearances at BAM.
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Three Ways the Role of your Website has Changed
Recently, I have had several conversations with leaders of nonprofit organizations concerning the management of their digital assets. Unfortunately, I’m sensing a disturbing trend: There seems to be a misconception that nonprofit websites are immune to the evolution attendant to all other digital platforms. Specifically, the misconception that the “strategic” role that websites play in the visitor and donor decision-making process is exactly the same today as it was ten years ago.
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5 Ways to Make your Content so People Can’t Look Away
Admit it: At some point after reality TV burst on the scene what seems like a lifetime ago, you were hooked. You tuned in to find out who was getting voted off the island, or which pair of contestants would find their way to Tokyo first. Even if this was never you, it’s true of tens of millions of Americans. There’s a reason for this, of course. People love narrative intrigue. Build a good storyline and they will come. And buy.
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Are You Forgetting to be Social on Social Media?
Most businesses that invest heavily in social media tend to forget one key component to maximizing their success in developing direct relationships with their audience: They forget to be social.
Much effort and attention is given to creating valuable content, publishing at just the right time to maximize impressions, determining what triggers to use to incite sharing, figuring out how to encourage comments and ‘likes’, and more.
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Objections to Change
One of the very first articles in the very first issue of Fast Company, a magazine I started 20 years ago with Alan Webber, is a smart and entertaining list compiled by E.F. Borisch, product manager at a long-established outfit called Milwaukee Gear Company. Borisch's article was titled, "50 Reasons Why We Cannot Change," and it offered a clever and entertaining collection of objections to and worries about the hard work of making real progress. Reason #1: "We've never done it before." Reason #4: "We tried it before."
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The World’s Tiniest Museum
This month, Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone of Somerville, Massachusetts, cut the ribbon on Union Square’s latest addition, a small museum dedicated to highlighting the work of New England artists. By any measure, it was a surreal event. When Mayor Curtatone showed up, he cut the ribbon with a tiny pair of scissors, scarcely larger than the ones you might use to trim a baby’s fingernails.
The CRM of the Future
What is the next evolution? The challenge for sales teams going forward is access to great data. Leads are expensive, low quality, and a disaster to maintain. Of all the Fortune 500 companies I’ve encountered, all of them have: a team dedicated to managing leads, 20% or more duplicated leads, and expenditures in the millions of dollars annually on raw data from various providers.
I like to think of CRMs as an empty box; companies buy a CRM without any data and then fill it with data and customizations.
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Why Social Media is So Addictive
Has the hype about social media turning us all into narcissists, egomaniacs and internet drug-addicts run its course? I doubt it. A quick search on Google and you’ll find hundreds of articles warning us of the “drug” that is social media.
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Mobile in Museums
A panel of mobile and museum pros give their insights – keep it simple, budget for press and start with the story, not the tech.
Tom Grinsted, product manger: core mobile applications, Guardian News and Media
Keep it simple: For me, keeping it simple is about getting to market early and then iterating – the highest-risk projects are those when you don't have visibility of how successful your work is. It means that you can't adapt to users and you can't easily evolve your product. So being simple is about getting out there, seeing how it works – then iterating.
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