Thing:Futurese: The American Language in 3000 AD by Justin B. Rye. TIMEMACHINEPREP: unless you can tell what the word ZHÜBwatögh refers to, you’re going to need to click and read, overwhelmedly. Also, a tremendous quote:
When looking at a biological family tree (such as the evolutionary history of the horse), the general public insists on seeing any movement as intrinsically progressive, moving from primitive to advanced designs. Yet somehow when looking at the linguistic equivalent (such as the development of the Romance languages from Vulgar Latin) they see exactly the reverse - any change is proof that the language is in decline. In reality they’re just as wrong both times!
Thing: Creating Cultural Change by John Rauser. The keys to cultural change — whether that means getting people to brew another pot of coffee, dance en masse on the side of a hill, or buy more of a particular brand of cereal — include letting them in on the big joke:
It’s Not Really a Bonus If There’s Always a Bonus
A montage of the greatest Iron Chef America mystery ingredient reveals. Stick around for honeycombs wielded as weapons, the overwhelming glory of the farmer’s market, and Bruce Lee swish noises used to punctuate eyebrow gestures. I don’t understand any of this:
THING:Sergey Brin’s Search for a Parkinson’s Cure from Wired. Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who’s made a life of using the power of algorithms to “organize all the world’s information,” is using that same kind of power in an attempt to cure Parkinson’s Disease. Since discovering he carries a gene mutation that puts him at risk of contracting the disease, Brin has sought “to bypass centuries of scientific epistemology in favor of a more Googley kind of science. He wants to collect data first, then hypothesize, and then find the patterns that lead to answers. And he has the money and the algorithms to do it.”
THING:Travel itineraries from Flickr photo trails from Geeking With Greg. Greg Linden links to a paper by American and Israeli researchers on “cleverly [using] the data often embedded in Flickr photos (e.g. timestamp, tags, sometimes GPS) to produce trails of where people have been in their travels.” It makes sense that the most interesting points along a path would also be the most photographed, so this could be a great way to note can’t-miss spots, common travel routes, and typical trip durations. An inspiring quote from the paper:
By aggregating such timed paths of many users, one can construct itineraries that reflect the “wisdom” of touring crowds. Each such itinerary is composed of a sequence of POIs, with recommended visit times and approximate transit times between them.
THING:How Rap Tears Up the Boring Art Vs. Commerce Argument from The Awl. Selling out has a different connotation in hip-hop than it does in other spheres. Though punk and hip-hop grew up at the same time and place and in the same socioeconomic conditions, the two have had very different ideas on mass appeal. (Yes, this is lumping thousands of musicians and millions of fans into two groups. I’m sorry.)
We can all agree the Black Eyed Peas sold out — they completely changed everything about their sound and image, conscious of their brand and marketability the whole time, and wedding receptions will never be the same. I’m sure they weep into their pallets of Franklins every night, thinking about all the underground respect they lost in the process. But many rappers have been able to market themselves without significantly changing their sound. None of this is new information, but the Awl article certainly presents a worth-reading take on the issue.
A Video of Americans Pretending to Care About the World Cup
Even though the U.S. lost its knockout round match against its nemesis Ghana, this World Cup still produced one of the best moments in American soccer history, and certainly the most widely experienced — Landon Donovan’s last-minute, life-or-death goal against Algeria did the kind of Twitter damage unseen since Michael Jackson’s death. An amazing montage of Americans from Arkansas to France celebrating the score:
I’ve always tried to discover where it is that these fans feel all the money should go. Major sports leagues make billions of dollars — if athletes are making, like, $90,000 a year, does that mean the other 99.9% of each billion should should go to team owners? It’s gotta go somewhere. Might as well go to the people who provide the entire product, right?
It’s hard to avoid thinking it might be a race issue, as we’ll all get worked up about a guy named Rodriguez earning $25 million for 162 games, yet nobody complains about Tom Hanks making $25 million for doing one movie.
What’s the hardest thing in the world to market?
It can be difficult, elitist, inaccessible, and as if this weren’t enough, it’s in a foreign language.
What do you do?
If you are the Opera Company of Philadelphia, about a month ago, this is what you do.
Google announced their API and directory on May 19, 2010. On Thursday, May 20, 2010, a Drupal module was released that gives you all the tools you need to display Google Fonts on your Drupal website. Time to market - one day. In the first week after its release, the module has already been installed on over 50 websites, kick-starting the virtuous cycle of testing and feedback that is the hallmark of open source software …
The lesson here is clear: you can move at web speed by using open source tools. Stop waiting for your proprietary vendor to add it to their product, Drupal let’s you use tools like Google Fonts today.
Elsewhere in new, efficient, and agile vs. old, wasteful, and sluggish:The Government Wants To Save Newspapers And Media Moguls from Silicon Alley Insider (via Rafi Kam). A recent FTC report on how to save journalism ignores blogs and other independent media, instead cooking up schemes that basically amount to newspaper industry bailouts. (What else can you call “a 5% surcharge on consumer electronics to raise $4 billion for public funding of news”?) There’s too much astounding stuff to summarize in a short space; go read it for yourself.
Like There’s Not A Bonus Section
Cell phone in microwave. Yes, it’s worth watching. With your speakers on.
The 2009 Best Animated Short Acadamy Award-winner, and probably the strangest 16 minutes of your week, unless you’ve already been gunned down by Ronald McDonald this week.
Photoshop CS5 Content-Aware Fill Sneak Peek
This should not exist yet. John Gruber says it’s “indistinguishable from magic.”
But is there already a parody? Of course there’s already a parody.
The next time some wet blanket takes issue with how much you care about your passions, remind them it could be a whole lot worse; you could be like the fantasy baseball mega-nerds (NOSERIOUSLY, these guys are OFFTHERESERVATION but GODBLESSEM) in this documentary.
We’re about to pitch the creation of a branding style guide to one of our clients. I was putting together an example list of style guides used by well-known companies, planning to include the list in our proposal. But it seemed smarter to expand it into a gigantic list and post it here, so we can reuse it — and you can benefit from it too.
First: What’s a branding style guide? It’s a document meant to ensure an organization’s members are all on the same page as far as official logos, logo usage, colors, fonts, stationery, images, and so on go. It’s good for any organization of any size to think about what messages its print and web materials convey, and then to make sure the whole team stays on message.
Second: Why look at a brand guide made for somebody else’s company? Besides our own reasons for making this list (SEEPARAGRAPH 1), you can learn a ton about branding, design, and identity by studying the materials that guide successful brands.
A Short List
Just want to see five or so decent style guides, mostly made by organizations you’ve heard of?
ABANDONALLHOPEOFNOTSEEINGBRANDINGGUIDES, YEWHOKEEPREADING. I went for variety and tried to limit the rest of this list just to organizations that most people have heard of. But it’s still the longest curated list of branding style guides on the entire internet… that I know of at least.
Note: To keep the list from getting absurd, I left out all sorts of perfectly good style guides. But for this category alone, I had to exclude many dozens and dozens. Institutions of higher learning: you people really brand your faces off.