Questioning the Memeing of the Kindle Fire

The naming of products can be a funny and tricky thing. There is the often repeated and yet false story about how the Chevrolet Nova failed to sell well in Latin America because the name means that the car does not go in Spanish. Even the naming of web sites, thanks to the lack of spaces in the url, can turn an innocuous store like Pen Island into the less than innocuous Penisland. A place to find out Who Represents actors suddenly seems like it could really be about Whore Presents when you don’t parse the name of the site correctly.

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The One Book Bookstore

For many years, bookstores have gone through different phases of figuring out how to get the people who came into their stores to buy the books on their shelves. Should books be faced out, lined up with the spines out, or a combination of the two — and which books got the face out treatment? Successful strategies were copied — you don’t see too many bookstores that are missing a “staff picks” section for a reason — it moves books. It really caught my eye when I saw the strategy of one Brooklyn native, Andrew Kessler — make an entire bookstore dedicated to his book.

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The Ansel Adams Con Job

When a team of “experts” manage to get something wrong — especially when that team decides that they have decisively come to the only correct conclusion possible — it confounds us and makes us wonder how we can ever trust people that call themselves experts.

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At Brandeis, Art is the First Casualty

In a stunning and incomprehensible move, Brandeis University is selling 6,000 pieces of art and closing its art museum because of bad institutional budget management:

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Slipstream Salesmanship

When it comes to selling on the internet — a book, an idea, a jacket, a bucket of flowers — is it the power of cognition, the quality of the work, or the advertising scheme that sells the product?

If a product does not sell — does one blame the producer, the product, or the sales pitch?

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Radio Make Goods

As a lad, I was raised on radio and later on I worked in radio.

Radio is the life of the imagination magnified by the heat of a hundred suns.  Television and film do all the cold thinking for you as you merely sit there and allow the experience to wash over you.  Radiophiles are the new active intellectuals of world.

I always admired the idea of the radio “Make Good” which is sort of related to the matter previously addressed here in — You Cannot Push a Shove — and a Make Good consisted of the re-airing of a commercial that was missed, had technical trouble, or was not fully played.

As the on-air announcer, you had total control over the Make Good.  You’d fill out a sheet of paper explaining what happened to the spot and you’d re-air the commercial as soon as you could within the same day part in which the original spot was supposed to run.

The ability to own the error and to instantly “make up for” a mistake — that may or may not have been your fault — was a tremendous and appreciated power given to the individual for the greater goodness of the company.

Make Goods are the free bottle of wine when your dinner is late.  The effort is appreciated, it adds value to your day, and a Make Good presumes the fault is not in the consumer, but in the business.