1. Two Twitter case studies (that have nothing to do with Iran)
If I only had a nickel for every time someone asked me what a person can do with Twitter…
Well, here are two good examples:
Tim O'Reilly spoke recently about how he uses Twitter as a publisher to build a community. Not to amplify his own status, but to support things and people that he wants to see more of in the world. "Create more value than you capture", he says. It's the same philosophy that made his media company successful and it continues to work for him on Twitter.
Not to be outdone, Amanda Palmer of the Dresdon Dolls used Twitter to make $19,000 in 10 hours using auctions and by organizing impromptu donation-funded gigs.
2. Design Tips for Crowdsourcing Applications
There's a nice piece from Harvard's Nieman Journalism Lab about how the UK's Guardian newspaper used crowdsourcing to quickly catch up to a rival newspaper's scoop, creating a website where readers helped filter through thousands of pages of government expense reports in a matter of hours.
A few quick UI tips I gathered from the article:
- Keep the choices limited. The Guardian didn't ask people to write a report or notes for the pages, just click one of four buttons to rate it. This made it accessible to more people and helped them move through many pages quickly.
- Make it a video game. Graphing progress and posting it on leaderboards helped motivate readers with a sense of accomplishment and competition. (similar to my.barackobama.com)
- Pretty bird. Analytics showed people looked through more pages when they were accompanied by a picture of the person in the report. In their words, it turned a boring .pdf into a detective story.
3. FTC to Patrol Blog Swag
Aside from the occasional lawsuit, product reviews on blogs are unregulated. The Federal Trade Commission plans to change that soon.
It seems many companies gift bloggers with money or free product for a review and many writers do not disclose this in their articles. Although the companies don't tell the bloggers what to write, it's certainly a conflict of interest. So marketers and bloggers beware: if you don't follow ethical practices, the FTC may come knocking.
4. How do you design a package for a product that (technically) doesn't exist?
The Book Design Review asks an interesting question: who makes those fake book covers for books that aren't released yet?
Danger Mouse had a similar problem with his new album Dark Night of the Soul, when his record label refused to release it due to contract disputes. Unable to legally sell his music, instead he sold an "album" containing a custom-printed blank CD-R , encouraging his fans to download a leaked copy and burn it themselves.
It's an interesting design type to consider in this age of digital downloads. Without a physical package, what does the "cover" or "box" look like for a bunch of bits? Maybe that's an emerging design specialization....