Music Journal: Catch-up Edition

Phoenix – Bankrupt

Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart

The Neighbourhood – I Love You

Robyn Hitchcock – Love From London

Iron & Wine – Ghost on Ghost

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Mosquito

Steve Earle & The Dukes – The Low Highway

Fall Out Boy – Save Rock and Roll

The Postelles – …And it Shook Me

Imagination spurs activity

Going to get on my “grumpy old man” soapbox for a moment.

All these PBS/Nick Jr/Whatever shows all talk directly to the kids watching, encouraging them to make the same physical movements the characters are as a way to get them active. Not a bad goal, of course.

But when I was a kid the shows I watched (GI Joe, He-Man, etc) encouraged me to be active by creating worlds that I wanted to make my own adventures within. Even outside of the copious amounts of action figures I had for Joe, Star Wars, Transformers and so on, I went out and ran around the open area across the street with my friends as we pretended to be Duke, Luke or whomever. We didn’t need Roadblock to tell us to move our arms (though we did need him to tell us what to do in case there was a kitchen fire), we just needed the character to be simultaneously awesome and ridiculously paper thin so we wanted to imagine more adventures for him and the rest of the team.

Chicago pizza is the universal sign of appreciation

Chicago Tribune sends pizzas to Boston Globe newsroom | Poynter..

Just so we’re clear

The government absolutely cannot restrict access to guns but it can restrict a citizen’s access to legal protections.

OK then, good to know.

The Way, Way Back trailer

What a funny, charming trailer. While I was looking forward to it based on the Sundance buzz this just became one of my Must Sees this year.

New stuff from me elsewhere

I’m a couple weeks late in pointing to some stuff that I wrote for both PN and Voce.

For Voce Nation there’s this post about how various companies are working to corner the “save for later” market with apps and tools designed to let you save things to read at a later time when you presumably have more time.

For PN I provided a POV on how the SEC has clarified how companies can use social media for material disclosure or other forward-looking financial statements. The long and short of it is there are still a lot of concerns to keep in mind but that it is possible if you adhere to some basic rules of the road.

Go read both. Now.

Listening To: Don Henley


Listening To (Catch-up Edition)

David Lee Roth – A Little Ain’t Enough (There are some artists I’m not interested in exploring the entire discography of, I’m fine with the one album I have thank you very much)

Del Amitri (whole catalog)

Derek & The Dominos – Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs

Brands need to exercise caution when it comes to social issues

Josh Sternberg has an interesting story at Digiday asking whether it makes sense for brands to make some sort of statement about social issues.

There are two questions in play here: First, should a company have a position on these issues in the first place; Second, should that position be used as part of the company’s marketing, even in such a simple way as changing their social network avatar to show solidarity with a particular cause or point of view.

The core problem here is that no matter what side a company might choose they’re going to offend a subset of their customers. And the side that’s chosen might change over time as new CEOs, new owners and other management shifts happen. Personally I would advise a client to remain neutral on this sort of thing since the potential for it to blow up in their faces is just too high. Go too liberal and more conservative fans are offended. Go too conservative and the opposite is true.

While I’m certainly not an advocate of “everyone has their own truth so let’s just hug it out” I do think that the basic rules of meeting your girlfriend’s parents apply here: Don’t talk about sex, politics or religion.

Storify expands its feature set

I’m super-interested in Storify’s announcement of a VIP level of service that brings with it lots of cool features.

While the basic product will remain free, VIP will give publishers access to advanced tools, including the ability to customize the display of their stories and more. Most interesting to me, though, is that publishers can use it as a live-blogging platform. That could make Storify a very cool alternative to products like CoverItLive and others. The way publishers can embed their Storify stories on-domain and pull in audience comments, photos and videos gives this the potential to be pretty exciting and a new and innovative way to provide live feeds in a curated manner that’s cleaner – and less intrusive – that if you’re pushing all that to Twitter.