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Author Archives: Angelo Fernando

About Angelo Fernando

Author, business journalist, elementary school teacher, podcaster. I have been blogging since 2004, and a business and technology columnist for magazines, since 1994. Passionate about education, and media literacy.

Facebook Fatigue builds up

I feel a bit better now that I watched the spoof about Facebook Life Filters.

A few weeks prior, I had submitted my cover story, Time to Exit Facebook and expected to uppset a few FB die hards. The article was published this month in LMD Magazine. I had pointed to some of my favorite annoyances –a few of which are brilliantly covered in the spoof!  These are the most annoying categories of users that drive us away:

The Graffiti Artist – The person who incessantly posts anything and everything he or she sees, thinks or does, because it makes him or her feel like a citizen journalist.

The ‘PDA’ Junkie – Someone who indulges in Public Displays of Affection (known in the pre-Facebook era as a ‘PDA’). This person thanks a sibling, or wishes a spouse in purple prose, an act that can surely be done with more class… in private.

The Random Shooter – Have smart camera-phone, will shoot anything: expensive cars, cumulus clouds from windows of aeroplanes, birthday cakes, children, hotel rooms…

The Poser – Someone who leaves smart comments, regularly updates his or her profile picture and delights in posing in selfies.

You could read the full article here.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2014 in Facebook, Hype, Social Media

 

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Now that selfies are in, can we start ignoring them?

If I see one more selfie on a national awards show, I may gag. It’s getting rather tiresome, seeing grown-ups climb aboard a bandwagon that usually has reserved seating for self-obsessed teenagers.

Sure the made-up word entered the OED last year — but so did jorts and fauxhawk in 2012. It also trumped the word ‘schmeat“, the new word for fake meat. In case you needed to click on the above link, you are probably like me, shaking your head in despair.

But to get back to selfies, yesterday on the Country Music Awards, there was a selfie moment, and we wondered whatever happened to human ingenuity. Didn’t Ellen make it clear that she owned that brightly lit space that celebs inhabit?

Just to cement the fact that we are in that moment in time when this awful word is rushing to meet us, there’s that annoying song. Obnoxious, albeit a wonderful parody of selfie culture. It’s title: “Let Me Get a Selfie.”

To add to this there’s the pres of the United States fawning over a selfie, as if it was the best thing that happened to image management –with a touch of product placement. I understand the man is desperately going after all the Likes and re-tweets he can get.

It’s time for people over 21 to calmly put away their phones and start real conversations.

 

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Podcast – Blast From the Past –with BitGravity

I came across a podcast by Tracy Swedlow of BitGravity in 2009, when I worked at ASU’s Decision Theater. It made me go back to the early days of podcasting, and how it lit a fire that made me look at social media and self-publishing in a whole new light.

Link here:  Podcast with Bitgravity CEO
New News Podcasts with Tracy Swedlow on BlogTalkRadio with The TV of Tomorrow Show with Tracy Swedlow

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2014 in Radio, Social Media

 

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Branding theories under scrutiny in “Absolute Value”

To call advertising as the ‘art of relative persuasion‘ is sure to get the major advertising practitioners to put you on their black list.

I just completed the book Absolute Value, and found it to be a larger thesis than the title implied. In some ways it’s a systematic take-down of several sacred cows of marketing, branding, the role of persuasion and much more. But what’s impressive is how the authors (Ithamar Simonson and Emanuel Rosen) do it in a calm, intellectual fashion, trying to assure readers they are not really picking a fight.

Book - absolutevalueThey observe how we customers have a hard time assessing the quality of products, so we typically use ‘quality proxies’ such as a brand name, prior satisfaction, country of origin, image of the store at which the purchase could be made etc. Oddly enough, we change these proxies over time. Think about this: There was a time when ‘made in China’ meant superior quality, but not anymore. There was a time our prior experience with a brand determined its replacement. Today? (I recently ditched another carrier for T-Mobile because prior experience wasn’t exactly great.)

Absolute Value gives you a three-part theoretical framework of how to promote brands –the P-O-M Influence Mix. I find it interesting how the authors steer clear of calling it the Marketing Mix. It stands for Prior Preferences (P), Other People (O), and Marketers (M).

Does this mean the death of branding? No! But it does reveal serious cracks in what is typically considered brand management –tied to Positioning theory, Segmentation etc. Today we are nearer to having perfect (or ‘absolute’) information about a brand we are considering because of the abundance of reviews, and websites dedicated to testing, comparing, or even disparaging brands. Bloggers and journalists prod and pry a brand’s claims to see if it is living up to it or the market hype, exposing the slightest flaw, or lesser-discussed breakthrough feature. Social media is a big part of this, obviously.and marketers should understand that their primary role is shifting from persuasion to (and this should not come as a shock!) communication!

In this scenario –this has to be troubling to ‘positionistas’ and those running loyalty programs—customers can evaluate a brand for what it is, rather than how it compares with other “choice-sets” they are allowed to see.

Sidenote: There’s a great story about Jonney Shih, who created a brand following with hardly any brand advertising. I was in the market for a laptop a few weeks back, so having sworn by a Toshiba for many years, guess what brand I bought?

 

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‘Doodles’ push up the audio channels on Google

If you’ve been on the Google search page today you couldn’t have missed the tweak to the traditional Google Doodle. This one is for International Women’s Day.

To call it a tweak is to both understate it (and to state the obvious!) These Google Doodles are always a tweak up on what we have expected.

Notice, too, how these Google doodles now have a neat audio quality? On Valentine’s Day it featured mini stories by Ira Glass –the best ‘radio voice’ today in the U.S. Just like Ira’s show This American Life, Google encapsulated vignettes related to romance in (what else?) little colored hearts. You could read about that project here.

The point of all this is that plain old audio appears to be making a comeback. Big time comeback, if you consider how services such as Sound Cloud, and VoiceThread have become popular.  Is it that we have become jaded by video and pictures –with every mobile phone on the planet generating all this flotsam that wears us down? Or, is it that we may be kicking our habit of glazing over stuff, and now yearn for deeper content?

I didn’t mean ‘plain’ when I said plain old audio. Recording devices now capture a lot more quality than before. We can capture a lot more conversations, and almost make our mini audio documentaries with them. Our own little ‘Audio Doodles’.

And we are richer for this!

Now if only some rich uncle (or Google) would underwrite this idea

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2014 in Media, Podcasts, Social Media

 

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One more review of Chat Republic – “Long Live the Republic!”

Amazon review of my book, Chat Republic. The review is by Peggy Bieniek

“American designer, author and artist Edwin Schlossberg said that “the skill of writing is to create context in which other people can think.” Angelo Fernando does just that in his book, Chat Republic. Angelo gives his readers a lot to think about as it relates to our use and obsession with social media. He has included so much content, in fact, that he could have created a collection of books, each with its own conversation and tips about the many subjects that he covers in Chat Republic – podcasting, digital storytelling, communication by citizen-driven grassroots organizations, social listening, “democracy in the digital age” and so much more.” 

Read the rest of her review, here. 

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2014 in Social Media

 

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Pixlr-O-Matic: Free tool for photo-editing

It’s been great fun this semester, stretching the minds of my students with Digital Storytelling –a topic that seems to lend itself to many aspects.

I am curating a group of these tools on Padlet –itself a space that is itself a great space for pulling together different elements of a story.

But here is one of those neat photo-editing tools that I may introduce next week – a free, online clone of Photoshop. It’s called Pixkr. I used one of the three features of tool called Pixkr-O-Matic.

NewBot_tnI took this photo, and –as you’ll see the screen shot of the editing frame– turned it into the one below, with just 4 clicks.

PixlrOmatic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indeed, the filters have an Instagram-like look to them.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2014 in Education

 

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Humanize Your Communication – Presentation from IABC Phoenix event

When you are online do you act like a Visitor or Resident?

I sometimes joke that, whenever I hear the phrase “If Facebook was a country (often said to impress that a huge chunk of humanity is online), I am tempted to say...“I would quickly seek asylum somewhere else!”

That was one of the points I raised at my discussion with members of IABC Phoenix last Thursday, at their luncheon meeting. The point was not just about Facebok, per se, but about what it means to be a “resident” in a hyper-social world.

Interestingly enough, it’s something I touch on now, when teaching students in the computer and technology lab –my 6th grade class– what it means to be a digital citizen: Their roles, and expectations. We often have to ask ourselves: do we trade one of these for the other?

  • Visitor or Resident?
  • Antenna or Amplifier?
  • Symmetric or asymmetric?
  • Ambient Intimacy or “Alone Together”

Prezi - Chat Republic - IABCPhoenix

For those who have asked: Here’s a link to last my presentation: Humanizing Your Communication.” It’s hosted on Prezi. So much more interesting that PowerPoint.

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2014 in Chat Republic, IABC, Social Media

 

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Social experiment worth watching- Online ‘chat’ powers game

One more example of how broad and deep the idea of ‘chatting’ could be.

A way to play a massive online game of Pokemon, using chat commands. There’s a massive time lag between inputting a chat command, and seeing the game progress. Wonder how this experiment will pan out in a world that takes real-time interactions as a given.

I may be touching on this today at IABC Phoenix.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2014 in Social Media

 

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No phones allowed at White House Cabinet Meetings

No live blogging, no checking your email, no tweeting during meetings.That’s a White House rule at cabinet meetings.

  • What does that tell you about how grown-ups behave at meetings?
  • What might it suggest about decision-making and technology distraction?

 

I’ve read somewhere that many businesses are asking people not to bring their Blackberries and iPhones to the meeting. I’m interested to know if you have seen or heard of an official policy on this anywhere.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2014 in Best Practices, Social Media

 

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