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|Friday, May 18, 2012|
BY LINDA BAKER
Five lessons from the Portland Webvisions conference held at the Oregon Convention Center this week.
1. Baratunde Thurston is a genius
The director of digital for The Onion delivered a hilarious keynote describing how the satirical publication is extending its brand across multiple media platforms.
• “I do a lot of service activities. Like live hate-tweeting all the Twilight movies. I live hate-tweet the movie in real time, with hatred in my heart.”
• After the Onion published the article, “Planned Parenthood opens $8 billion Abortionplex,” readers took the story and ran, eventually launching a Yelp site of the abortionplex. The site now boasts 273 reviews, including, says Thurston, a “pro and con discussion of the rock climbing hall… people were very excited about the salsa bar, one person was just frustrated because there were too many stairs. “
• Thurston’s new book, How to Be Black, features a video trailer in which he asks “experts who had been black their whole lives…critical questions about identity," such as "when they first realized they were black" and, "can you swim?”
2. Not all social media futurists are so ironic
Alessandro Madeddu and Miquel Guri, two earnest-looking Barcelona natives, talked about The Love Comes, a foundation that works with corporations to develop socially and environmentally responsible marketing and branding campaigns.
• “There is a lack of love in society, a lack of love in communication and marketing industry so we try and put some love into it,” said Maddeddu. In a previous life, the pair deployed their communication smarts “to help companies to sell soup and cars. But maybe you realize that’s not so ethical, or you can use your knowledge… to ensure everybody on this planet has a future.”
• “The key is to apply creativity. Everything is happening through social networks, the Occupy movement, Arab spring. If people can turn out a dictator in North Africa, what they could do to a brand?”
3. The user experience dominates, except in health care.
Today's consumers have access to restaurant reviews, hotel reviews, even reviews of people's homes and living rooms (on couchsurfing.com and airbnb.com). Meanwhile, customer oriented companies such as Nordstrom and Southwest Airlines soar, while Netflix, tone deaf, says presenter Peter Merholz, falters.
Then there's the health care industry, where, mired in the 20th century, it’s next to impossible to get reviews of physicians, hospitals and health care services. “There’s still a cultural context where the doctor can do no wrong, “ said presenter Peter Jones, a faculty member at Toronto's OCAD University and author of the upcoming Design for Care.
4. Lectures about sex and technology are not always sexy
Interaction design experts Chris Noessel and Nathan Hedroff delivered the afternoon keynote on sexual interfaces in science fiction.
Their presentation featured clips of “sex-related technologies” from Star Trek, Logan’s Run and other television shows and movies.
The presenters, authors of Make it So (sexy), identify four patterns: “augmented coupling, sex mediated with technology, sex with technology, and matchmaking technologies.”
The conclusion: “What we’re seeing in this category is there aren’t a lot of expectations about having sex with technology that aren’t moralized. It’s kind of a shame…there is a lot of opportunity to extend some interesting explorations. Could you have sex with a computer? Could you have sex with a network?”
Inquiring minds want to know.
5. Techies are too white, except for Baratunde Thurston
“The world doesn’t look like this room.” In a rare serious moment, Thurston said technology companies need to do a better job recruiting minorities into the fold. “It doesn’t have to do with being good or doing the right thing; it has to do with being smart. It’s just good business. To not have a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives makes you less relevant.”
Linda Baker is managing editor of Oregon Business.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Remember the naysayers? Those who called the South Waterfront aerial tram a boondoggle? Those who rejoiced at the massive sell off of luxury condos at the John Ross and Atwater Place?
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment.
Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR
Dress for Success Oregon promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools.
Monday, July 07, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
Named after the 2010 experiment by Thomas Ryan, "Robin Sages" are fake social media profiles designed to encourage linking and divulging valuable information.
Monday, June 30, 2014
Oregon Business magazine won two silver awards for excellence in writing in the National American Society of Business Publication Editors Western region competition.
Friday, June 27, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS | OB BLOGGER
Over the last several months we have seen a wave of cross-border acquisitions, primarily U.S.-based companies looking to purchase non-U.S.-based companies. There are a few reasons for this, but the main culprit is the U.S. corporate tax system. The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.
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Barran Liebman is proud to announce that Andrew Schpak, a Partner of the firm, has been named Chair of the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division for the 2014-2015 bar year.