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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.
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Oregon already ranks as the nation’s second largest generator of hydroelectric power. (Washington is No. 1). Now an elegant new installation in Portland is putting an unconventional, sharing economy twist on this age-old water-energy pairing. The new system, launched this winter, uses the flow of water inside city water pipes to spin four turbines that produce electricity for Portland General Electric customers.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
BY DAN COOK | Photos by Jason E. Kaplan
An alliance of developers, academics and timber industry executives wants to position Oregon as a front runner in the glamorous new world of wooden skyscrapers.
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY ROBERT MULLIN
A new energy-sharing agreement sparks concerns about independence and collaboration in the region's utility industry.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Baseball is returning to Portland and city officials are hoping economic opportunity comes with it.
Friday, March 06, 2015
BY JEFF DELKIN | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
As a local business owner, I believe it’s important to build our economy on a platform of conservation values.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Everyone knows cell phones and driving are a lethal combination. The risk is especially high for teenage drivers, whose delusions of immortality pose such a threat to us all. Enforcement alas, remains feeble; more promising are pedagogical approaches aimed at getting people to focus on the road, not their devices.
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | Photos by Jason E. Kaplan
Pacific Seafood, one of the world’s largest processors, is rebranding as a more transparent and consumer-friendly operation. A controversial CEO and monopoly accusations from coastal fishermen complicate the tale.
|The Good Hacker|
|Downtime with the director of Barley's Angels|
|It's a Man's Man's Man's World|
|Fighting Fire With Fire|
|Shades of Gray|
|Comcast reaching tipping point in Internet subscribers |
|SurveyMonkey CEO dies|
|Labor groups hope franchisees will join fight against fast-food companies|
|Special fee to ship oil proposed|
|Jeff Bezos launches spaceship|
|General Motors pledges $5.4B in US plants|
|Under Armour innovation chief alive after Everest avalanche|
New conference aims to solve challenges, quell fears amid regulatory changes.
Tourism marketing supports entrepreneurship by attracting visitors to all corners of the state.
Beaverton firm's business intelligence platform rivals that of industry heavyweights.
Earlier this month CEO of Gravity Payments, Dan Price, disrupted the payment inequality discussion worldwide by compassionately raising the minimum salary for each one of his 120 employees to $70k and cutting his $1M salary down to $70k.
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