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Sunday Musings #9

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photo-9(This is my weekend project: set up a nice little outdoor seating situation on our fire escape. Gotta love NYC living…)

Design trickery is just the worst. I’ve written about this before, from my own online experiences. It boggles my mind how a brand can intentionally blueprint the user experience to trick him/her into an upsell or buy-in. What’s the best that can happen here, you gain a short-term sale and a long-term enemy? Dark Patterns is a site that explores this gross technique much better than I can. Check it out.

“Content is content”…or is it? That’s how Forbes Media’s Chief Product Officer, Lewis DVorkin, defended the magazine’s heavy contributor and brand integration in a recent PandoDaily interview. He notes that most brands who write for Forbes are “thought leaders” and notes that readers are sophisticated enough to understand when they are reading paid content (“They get the drill“). This was followed by another PandoDaily opinion piece about the perceived problem with church and state separation (or lack thereof) in journalism. It’s a debate that will rage on in the near future, as “native advertising” (terrible term, IMO) becomes a foundational customer attraction tool for both brands and publishers. The fundamental question here, as with any type of content, is whether a brand/platform is attempting to fool the reader. I suppose Lewis is correct in a sense; a great read is a great read regardless of brand involvement. But, a questionable piece that seems to serve a promotional purpose vs. entertaining or informational for the audience…that’s where content is most certainly not content.

Color me curious. I just stumbled across The Color Association of the United States and they have my interest. I’m far from a designer, but have always recognized the importance of color in branding. The Association offers limited free resources, but they’re consulting work and media reports should spark some thought for any brand marketer. Here are some mood / color association tips and a piece on color as an influencer.


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Growth obsessed startup co-founder (MusicBox) and strategist-for-hire.

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