Another Ink-Stained Wretch Makes the Apostasy

Collateral Damage

Constantine von Hoffman, one of the best marketing writers on the planet (CMO Magazine, RIP), a hysterical blogger — see Collateral Damage — and all around fine specimen of the genus journalista frustrata, has hung up the byline and joined Spoke.com as the blogmeister.

His indictment of the trade is sad but telling:

“Being a journalist these days is like playing baseball for the Cubs. Sure sometimes you get a hot streak but you know that no matter how well you do your job you’re playing for an organization that really doesn’t know what the fuck it’s doing. I am tired of working at places that are still trying to adjust to the internet era. I’m tired of telling people that paper isn’t the primary means of exchanging information anymore. Print is still an essential and important medium — it’s just not the most important one. You’d think, given the amount of ink and electrons spilled on the topic, that this message would have gotten through. Yet this basic issue is still being debated in many, many corners of my for-now-former profession.”

Congratulations Con!

Democratic design: Yipes Stripes

Design Matters » Blog Archive » Yipes Stripes

David Hill is VP of Design at Lenovo and the company’s first blogger. It’s been a great experience launching the Design Matters blog and getting David’s voice out into the world. Early on David requested a poll so we provided him with one. He quickly learned the best way to earn engagement from his readers was to ask them a question. Do you like wide-screen or 4:3 aspect ration LCDs? Do you use the page-forward/page-back buttons? Earlier this week he posted about an issue that came to our attention in early 2006 when customers complained about the stripes being removed from the front of the two ThinkPad mouse buttons. So David asked (John Bell at Ogilvy’s Digital Influence Mapping project might classify this as an example of customer co-creation) and the crowd replied.

I’ve been long interested in a more formal customer collaboration — something beyond a suggestion box approach — something tangible where the customer could get some true skin in the game. I have looked at Slim Devices as a great case example of how it could be done. The question is what is the right coillaboration infrastructure for getting it done? A straightforward wiki perhaps? Something more iterative, like a threaded bulletin/forum? While David shows the possibilities, I don’t think a WordPress blog with the Democracy plug-in is the solution. There must be something more robust, something used in software development perhaps, or the open source community, which would be easy and sophisticated enough for a layman or a serious human factors engineer to work within.

“Now we are reconsidering this change, perhaps we went too far in simplifying the interior. Although the utility can be argued, the familiarity is also important for a brand so strongly connected to it’s design as ThinkPad.I’d love to get your feedback on this topic. We’ve included a new poll to make this easier.

David Hill”

How to ruin ten days

Go on the “Master Cleanser” lemonade fast and forsake food. This is phase one of a major weight loss program leading up to the CRASH-B sprints in February. I packed on a ton of weight following the bike-crash 14 months ago. Ordinary rowing wasn’t getting it off, and according to my guru and former cycling buddy, Marta, this cleansing fast is a good way to reset one’s approach to food.

So, ten days of lemonade made with fresh lemons, organic grade-b maple syrup, and cayenne pepper … and I am on day 2 …. feeling faint, bitchy. Ought to be a joy. And I’m doing this without a scale — being a believer in feeling fit and getting good numbers on the erg rather than starving myself to some arbitrary weight or Body Mass Index.