1. The 50 dollar logo experiment
Should professional designers be worried about crowdsourced spec design sites? Jim Walls spent $50 to find out.
His verdict: professionals have nothing to fear.
The "designers" he hired a.) failed to take into account his obvious pun (or perhaps did not speak English), and b.) never finished the job. You get what you pay for, I guess.
2. Pointing fingers at Wired
If for some reason you have not caught wind of this article on the possible demise of Wired magazine, you might want to check it out. The irony is thick: how could a magazine about the future fail to predict or respond to the impact of the Internet on its business?
The comments are the real meat of the piece. Past and present Wired editors, bloggers, print writers, ad buyers, and lookers-on debate what went wrong and what might save the day. Highly recommended if you're interested in the future of journalism and hearing the many, many sides of the story from informed parties.
3. "Apple is creating an ecosystem of the kind of customers I don’t want"
Garrett Murray believes that Apple's long and opaque approval process for iPhone application support hurts both users and developers. The ratings interface makes it difficult for developers to respond directly to complaints through the Apps Store. Furthermore, they have no idea when or if fixes will be approved. Murray says angry users are more likely to rate software than satisfied ones, resulting in lower overall ratings which can hurt sales.
As a user, I have found it hard to shop the Apps Store for this very reason. It's interesting to consider whether Apple's attempts to control quality may have in fact broken the user experience on another level.
4. Changing search trends say: invest in brands
Chas Edwards, chief revenue officer at Digg, offers this analysis of recent marketing data:
What's happening? "Total traffic going to websites via paid search ads is decreasing relative to traffic via unpaid, organic search listings."
The explanation? As users have gained experience searching, queries are getting longer, thus undermining the effectiveness of most ad buys which use only a few words.
What to do? “As we claw our way up from the bottom, expect that the recovery in online advertising will be driven by faster growth in brand-building activities over cost-per-click and other direct-response programs.”