Art Exhibits, Black Holes and Laughter
Greetings loyal readers,
I wasn't too sure what to write about this week, my poor pea brain being otherwise occupied with proofing August and planning out my Sept. stories. I managed to dig up a few links though that you might find interesting:
At Louvre, Many Stop to Snap but Few Stay to Focus (The New York Times)
I'm not sure I agree with the article entirely, partially because it kind of comes off as an over-generalizing, old man's "get off my lawn you darn kids" rant, but it still raises an interesting thought. Even if you don't agree with the scale or accuracy of his claim, the idea of the perceptual shift he describes could certainly be pertinent to our industry.
If people are paying less attention per observation, even to things they presumably intend to examine, like the Mona Lisa, then what could this mean for promotional products, items largely dependent on corner-of-the-eye glances? Would they be more effective because people's attention is more fractured and fickle now, or less effective because we're losing the ability to focus? Should you plan to tweak your promotional campaigns accordingly, paying more attention to the supposed limits in attention span?
10 Gadgets We'd Like to Throw Into a Black Hole (Wired magazine)
Wired in general is a great resource for anyone involved in or considering tech promotions, but this article in particular I thought had some good ideas. What I took from it:
-Popular products may still have serious flaws, like the iPod with its earbuds, which could create opportunities for superior promotional replacements.
-New technology may seem really neat and interesting when it first comes out, but sometimes it pays to sit on the sidelines and see which way way the wind of popular opinion blows. It's true that getting in on the ground floor with something like the iPhone would be reasonably awesome, but it's also true that sinking a bunch of cash and time on something grossly over-hyped like Sony's MiniDiscs could be a failure of Y2K proportions.
-Obviously aesthetics play a big role in tech products these days, and especially with anything promotional, but nothing is more important than functionality. As evidenced by the Wired article, the frustration over a product that just doesn't work will occlude even the prettiest product.
The last two links are blogs from Psychology Today. The first little blurb is about coping with recession-induced stress. It might seem a little new-agey (and consequently highly irritating if you're anything like me), but despite that I liked the article. Plus it's written by someone in the Harvard Doctoral program for psychology, so that lends a little credibility in my book.
The second is somewhat similar, being about the benefits of laughter on health, and written by an art therapist.
Until next week!
CHARLES PLYTER FACT OF THE WEEK: Charlie could use some good laughter therapy today, since newsletter day has lined right up with him finishing up a huge project for Napco. Luckily, we keep some emergency Mad Libs around the office for just such occasions. A few sentences of "The apricot went sobbing down the stinky mountain of tax returns" should do the trick.