the grass is greener on the internet

A direct mail I wouldn’t vote for
March 19, 2010, 9:07 am
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As you may know, South Australia is in the grips of an election. The choices are the super-slick media-savvy Premier of 8 years (aka Mike Rann) and new kid on the block Isabelle Redmond.

Both are struggling with trust issues; one an alleged sex scandal and the other hardly in the public consciousness until last year.

Enough background; in a nutshell, it will be a close contest.

It’s in this situation that I opened my mailbox a couple of days to find several plain envelopes, one for everyone in the family. And who is it from but…Mike Rann!

What have I done to deserve such an honour? Been ethnic, apparently…

Mike askes that I endorse his friend for the Legislative Council, a Vietnamese immigrant who ‘does know what it is like to hop into a rickety boat […] master a new language and relearn all those things you need to survive in the modern world’. (There is a handwritten postscript saying Mike’s friend is both hardworking and courageous in case you weren’t sure.) Mike is delighted that his friend wants to run for Parliament, to be a key member of the team and represent all people from non-English backgrounds…

…serving a secondary purpose of trying to convince a migrant population that all you have to do is tick the ‘ALP’ box at the top of the voting form.

I don’t know whether to be impressed or sick.

I assume that this DM was sent out to everyone with particular surnames. You need to suck up to everyone in politics, but it seems to me that there are a lot of migrants who will be less educated about Australian politics and more open to manipulation. (His wordy 1 page letter would be challenging for those of us with poorer language skills, but luckily there is a Chinese version on the back.) For Asians relationships are important – we like friends in important places.  It may well gain him some of the votes.

The final straw for me is the encouragement to use this one guy as a reason to vote the entire party in. I’m half of the mind that even if I wanted to vote for him, I would feel too manipulated to be able to do it.

Am I the only person who thinks that if you need this much spin to distract from your policies it’s not a good sign?

But let us be fair, it happens on both sides. I for one am still suffering mental recoil from the rather arresting interview headline “Redmond bares all”.

Less PR, more policies, please!


The Sunday sum-up
October 26, 2008, 12:15 pm
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You can tell I’m procrasinating from writing essays when I come up with a Sunday sum-up…

The 2008 US presidential competition is probably the most internet-oriented election we’ve seen to date, and social media is playing a big part. And why just stick to inflammatory YouTube videos, keyword analysis from Wordle and blog sentiment graphs when you’ve got the GoodGuide app::

This shows you the contributions to both political sides by fast food chain employees.

This shows you the contributions to both political sides by fast food chain employees.

You can pull up any industry or company – I’m amused by this one. Although with rumours that Dunkin’ Donuts is owned by the defence industry I would have thought it would be further right… The finance industry is surprisingly centred, with media & entertainment to the left. Tobacco and pharmaceuticals to the right are pretty much a given but I wouldn’t have picked the overwhelming slant of the transportation industry.

Found this ppt via Servant of Chaos and I think there’s a lot to learn… (unfortunately WordPress won’t let me post it properly)

Stealing From The Information Architects

Steal the good stuff, change it into the best it can be and then pass it on. Next!

NYT has apparently reported reduced profits due to less advertising, looks like I might have to eat my words about the future of advertising. AdAge reports that the Russell 3000 Newspaper index is down 69%. But some online companies are having issues too – Amazon shares just took a plunge due to a revised profit forecast. So…when the recession is over, will advertisers come back to traditional media?

The blogosphere is practically in love with Seth Godin at the moment with the release of his book, but you don’t get to the top of the AdAge Power 150 for nothing… This post sums up for me what I’ve been trying to say a few times about all of the companies changing their logos::

Consumers aren’t marketers, they don’t get excited over logo changes.

They get excited over a better experience.

If a logo does not add value to your corporate identity, don’t change it.

That’s why one of the top branding agencies doesn’t have a logo.