Weekly round-up [10/30/09]: Audience measurement online, globalization, and more spreadable media in your future

  • I’m going to start by carrying over a topic from the last weekly round-up: Waern over at Pervasive Games does a great break down of what went wrong with Toyota’s Your Other You campaign, tracking its development history and explaining some of the problems in the campaign’s assumptions about its target audience.
  • CMS alum and C3 colleague Sam Ford explains the 10 Thing Corporations Can Learn from Pro Wrestling. Much of his advice focuses on insights on how (and why) to understand and respect your audience and their practices in order to engage their loyalty and energy around your product or services.
  • Speaking of audiences, Jim Louderback wrote a piece in Ad Age calling for more scrutiny online viewership metrics. The article calls for both a better sense of proportion over what counts as notable numbers, as well as more clarity and transparency over what is getting counted, how, and how numbers are evolving over time. This pairs well with a couple of pieces that came out last month, one by Kristina Grifantini in the MIT Technology Review on distortion in online recommendation systems and the other by MG Siegler for TechCrunch about how useless YouTube ratings are.
  • In miscellaneous reading, I’m just now getting around to cracking Sakia Sassen’s now-classic book, The global city: New York, London, Tokyo, which looks at the structural dynamics and strategic formations of transnational centers of commerce and policy.
  • And on the topic of globalization, I found the Gizmodo piece explaining the origin of the approximately dozen or so different types of electrical plugs totally delightful and engaging. I learned that all that post-colonial reading really is good for practical knowledge (if a few steps removed) and that El Salvador is the best place to chill if I want a good excuse for never answering my phone or email.
  • That little armchair theoretical physicist in me is totally fascinated by all this talk about how the Hadron Collider is being affected by a “malign influence from the future”. While still a theory, I do love the possibility that one day comic book artists and speculative fiction writers will get to go “seriously, what have we been telling you?”
  • And speaking of the genres, I just started Neil Gaiman‘s American Gods.

Two things for future consumption:

  • First a free webinar on November 6th on Moving from Sticky to Spreadable with Henry Jenkins, Joshua Green, and Sam Ford. The three of them are currently working on a book on Spreadable Media, coming out of the white paper I co-wrote in 2007 along with Henry Jenkins and C3 colleague Ana Domb and Joshua Green. The book is set to feature contributions from a laundry list of C3 researchers and affiliates (myself included), but in the meantime, check out the free webinar for a taste of what’s to come.
  • I also just read the first part of a new 3-part play entitled Miraculous Lives by my close friend Trystan Trazon. It’s utterly mesmerizing and densely textured and some of the best work I’ve seen from this amazing young playwright, and I say that not just because we’ve been BFF for nearly a decade. He’ll be having a reading of part 1 at the Bridge Theater Company next week, though I’m not sure yet if it’s open to the public.
  • What is open to the public is a reading of Psychomachia by Jennifer Lane tonight, also at Bridge Theater Company, which I will be attending. I’m generally not a theater person, but I’ve heard great things about this piece.
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  1. Sam Ford says:

    Hey Xiaochang,

    Just wanted to say thanks for passing word of the Webinar and the Fast Company piece along! Look forward to seeing you at FoE4!


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