Archive for the 'Pop Psychology' Category

Beautiful Losers

Beautiful Losers

In the early 1990’s a loose-knit group of like minded outsiders found common ground at a little NYC storefront gallery. Rooted in the DIY subcultures of skateboarding, surf, punk, hip hop & graffiti, they made art reflected the lifestyles they led…

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Nokia’s “Where’s the Phone” Research


“A lot of rich qualitative user research loses its soul by the time it’s been squeezed into conference and journal submission formats and in addition, work involving concept generation tends to remain confidential. So what you see here scratches the surface, nothing more.”

And that quote is about right, but do not think that it’s not very interesting. There are a lot of  odd tidbits that are worth knowing. They traveled to 11 cities, interviewed over a thousand people and have the pictures to prove it. If you have any interest in how hand held devices, any hand held device, may change in the future, these presentations may give you a little head start.

I enjoyed the blog format of their travels coupled with the PDF files that explain what they found. I guess the questionnaires must have been an exercise in information design by themselves, how do you ask a guy from Kampala about the interface design issues he’s been having? The writer posts some interesting thoughts from the cities, like this one, ‘ “What happens when everything is transformed into ‘experience’ shopping? And the experience shops are clustered in close proximity? Is it possible to experience, well, ‘experience fatigue’?” Some of them sound like he’s a bit jet lagged, some are relevant musings from a good scholar. It’s a blog, dammit.


The Sopranos Design Lesson

UPDATE: This article has been moved to


Michael Beirut has written a bona fide Soprano’s missive that gives all creatives some timely and astute advice. From Client Relationships to Aesthetics, Beirut finds the lesson in The Sopranos.

On commitment:
“I came home one day, shot her four times. Twice in the head. Killed her aunt, too. I didn’t know she was there. And the mailman. At that point, I had to fully commit.”

I heard this back in design school, and I still forget it every now and then: if you’re going to make something big, make it really big. If you’re going to make it simple, make it really simple. Or really small, or really fancy. If you’re going after a project, if you’re trying to win a competition, if you’re serious about getting the job done, don’t bother unless you’re willing to fully commit.

Well written, brilliantly spotted and impeccably researched. Read Don Beirut at Design Observer.

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Keeping Abreast of the Buzz in the Biz: My Not-So-Secret Weapons Revealed

Many of these sites have been mentioned on this blog, or even exist in the sidebar, but they are worth repeating. If you want or need to know more about global internet trends, then there are a few fun ways to put your finger on the pulse.

What are people watching? What are people linking to? What are people talking about? Two sites do a very good job of covering this from two different perspectives. ViralVideoChart measures links, Videmeter measures views.

People look for things that interest them. They have a specific intent in mind when they type words into a search engine. This stuff is gold, and both Yahoo and Google have interesting pages to track trends and cultural shifts.
Yahoo! Buzz
Google Zeitgeist

Blogging makes the internet world turn. It is word-of-mouth in a rocketship. Knowing what people are talking about is the key to understanding them and what they really want. These sites are worth their weight in wit.
WTF [Where’s The Fire] by Technorati

We only feature movies, music, fashion, ideas, technology, and culture that are on the rise and worth your time. – BuzzFeed

There are a million ad blogs, but the best aggregation I have come accross for one stop shop-talk is the Ad Feed.

There. Now you know a few of my more obvious secret weapons. I’m going to have to dig a bit deeper next time…

Cartoon Terror

Mooninite Terrorists

Paranoia elicits insane responses to the most benign events. A guerrilla marketing campaign (for Aqua Teen Hunger Force) goes nuclear, and instead of taking responsibility for over-reacting, the Cartoon Network shells out two million bucks and the city of Boston acts holier-than-thou. I don’t get it. I know we all need to be careful out there, but shouldn’t we focus our attention on the things that are actual clear and present dangers? More people will die in America from eating shitty food, murdering their families, driving drunk, AIDS, poverty… the list is pretty long. And the threat is tangible. Maybe that’s the problem. It’s easier to mobilize people with abstract fear because they never have to take any responsibility for their actions. You’re either with us, or you play with LiteBrite™. It’s that simple.

Bald Bitchin’ Britney

1,287 hits. That’s how many people have viewed this abc news footage of a bald Britney Spears entering a Tattoo parlor in Southern California. Now normally I don’t care much about Ms. Spears, but I am interested in viral videos. I am curious how long it will take from now (10:30am EST, Feb 17) for this video to get over a million hits, and then jump into the top 10. It happened Friday night, which may slow it down a bit, but by Monday (at the latest) this is going to catch fire. Actually, she looks kinda cool with a shaved head.


Bald Britney over 1 000 000 hitsUpdate: 284,613 in less than 90 minutes!

Update: 3:00pm Sunday February 18th, this video is well over a million hits. It is also the number one viral video on the ViralVideoChart, and Vidmeter. How long will it take to reach 10 million?


The Machine is Us/ing Us

Without you and me there wouldn’t be an Internet like we see and know now!

Les patriarches


Mad Meg has a keen fondness for HB pencils. And bugs. And imaginary creatures. And museum exhibits of the bizarre. And for doing vast amounts of creative work. The one project is 472 pages! Enjoy the mad wickedness.


Personal DNA

Personality DNA
Discover your true self at It’s a personality test with a beautiful twist. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to go thru the very organic assessment process. You pull sliders and make intuitive judgements about various topics and opinions. In the end, you get a fairly detailed (and fairly accurate) DNA map. On the site, you can roll over the different colours to learn what they represent about your personality. Then you can challenge friends and family to a psych you/psych me comparison. You pretend you’re me, I’ll pretend I’m you, and we’ll see how the two compare. Hours of pop psychological fun.

Because I’m 90% confident and 42% open, here are my results. Just don’t go cloning my personality.

UPDATE: One year later and personalDNA is a facebook application of course.

1 Hit Exceeded By

  • 656,137 %

Subscribe Now!

Buzz Feed


RSS Viral Video Chart

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RSS Videmeter

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RSS Font Leech Free Found Fonts

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Words and Pictures