Digital 101: The List

October 5, 2010

If you can't see this image, your phone or computer sucks. Just saying.So, you wanna know what’s going on in the world of digital advertising, eh? After talking to a couple people here at my new digital agency, I created this list of blogs and websites to check on a regular basis.

I’ve officially now been on the digital side of this business for a full 91 days. And one thing I can tell traditional copywriters who are aspiring digital copywriters… it doesn’t hurt to be a bit of a geek. It helps if you understand web design to some degree. It REALLY helps if you’re extraordinarily organized. And it also helps if you can separate folly from function. (i.e…. Online consumers aren’t as likely to jive with your apps if they’re just “fun.” They need to be impressive, well-developed, functional, and creative in their functionality.)

At least that’s my impression so far.

Anyway, here’s the list. I’m finding it very helpful so far. So, I figure I’d pass it along.

Mashable: the self-dubbed “Social Media Guide.” Lots of good stuff here.

Mobile Marketer: if you’re really getting into mobile, here’s a great place to check out what’s going on.

Mobile Awesomeness: great little site for looking at what mobile sites are going up. Wonderful place for seeing design possibilities… what works, and what doesn’t.

Banner Blog: whether you like it or not, banner ads are still a big part of online advertising. See some great examples from all over the world showing how it doesn’t have to suck.

TechCrunch: focuses more on the business of being in mobile. They define themselves as being “dedicated to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news.”

Engadget: Gadgets and everything that goes along with em.

Gizmodo: more gadget and tech geekery.


It appears that American Airlines is attempting to speak directly to African-American travelers. This attempt is wrapped in a neat little bow called the Black Atlas.

If you're not black, DON'T click here.

Ok. I get it. They’re trying to push a segment that may not think about travel as much to travel more. Or something.

But then… what about the Jewish Atlas? Gay Atlas? Woman Atlas?

It seems a little odd/uncomfortable to me that they are very directly talking to one cultural group only. It very glaringly says “Hey! Black Folks! We want more of your money!!”

While the travel suggestions are good and the overall thinking is interesting, I hate pulling a demographic aside and saying, “hey. We’re talking just to you. The way we think you’d like to be talked to.”

Any thoughts..?

By now, you’ve probably seen one of the many stories about the iPhone 4. How some young engineer from Apple got shitfaced in a bar and lost it. And then some guy found it and sold it to Gizmodo. And then Gizmodo did a whole spread on it. And then how Steve Jobs blew up and called Gizmodo himself, demanding it back.

Here’s some of the coverage:

Gizmodo’s Expose

Article about the Debacle

After reading all this and discussing it with my coworkers, we were on the fence. Was this a stunt for free PR? Or real?

Would the kid who lost the phone have to move to Micronesia and live out his days fearing the wrath of Steve Jobs? Or was this all planned?

If Gizmodo really DID buy “stolen” property for $5,000, then… how does that reflect on them as journalists? Or, well… bloggers?

My gut reaction is this: Apple didn’t need this stunt. Sales of iPhones had no sign of slowing down — only increasing. Apple has a cult-like following of fanboys, and frankly, a stunt like this seemed almost BENEATH them. They just don’t need it. The new iPhone would sell itself.

If we find out that it was a PR stunt, I’ll be pretty disappointed in Apple. I like that they’re a class-act (for the most part), and a shameless ploy like this would just make them seem kinda… base. Ick.

Anyway…  just in case you have ill feelings about Gizmodo after reading this, consider this article.  After reading that, how can you not still LOVE them?

This new viral spot from Diesel is mind-blowing.

As one of our interns said to me, “I don’t say this very often, but I wish I’d thought of that.” Amen, brother.

Visit this link to YouTube to see the video in action…

Ok. First of all, I know it’s been a while. I moved to Dallas. It’s been busy. But now I’m in my groove, and I’ll be sharing my adventures in advertising from down here, y’all. Should be a trip.

Anyway, this line is probably one of the better ones I’ve heard in a while. Came from this video from Current.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Basically, my friend down here sent me this video when I started obsessing over missing Pinkberry. There are a few knock-offs around Dallas (I’ve only tried BerryBerry so far… too creamy. Kinda gross. I need icy, tart, intense. I soldier on…)

Am I one of the many stereotypes? One of the women who can’t live without yogurt?

Do I care? No. But I have come to the conclusion that the gayer-sounding yogurt shops are probably more Pinkberry-esque. At least, I’m hoping my theory is correct. Gal needs her tart yogurt with strawberries, blueberries, and fruity pebbles, dammit. There’s only so many weeks she can go without it

I must be the last person to know about this site… which KILLS me, because I have a personal vendetta against stupid people. All of them.

I don’t mean people who are medically mentally retarded. I mean, people who have no common sense. People who use the words “irregardless” and “acrossed.” People who never bothered to familiarize themselves with basic math, geography, and grammar.

C’mon. You hate em too.

The site is called “The Darwin Awards.” Basically, it covers stories about people who die in really tragic and idiotic ways. Is it mean? Sure. Is it deserved? Absolutely.

Smart people get a good chuckle. Dumb people should use the site as a “don’t do this, mmkay?” guide. Either way, it fully supports Darwin’s theory about “survival of the fittest.”

I’ll admit. I’ve been one of Paris Hilton’s biggest nay-sayers for a very long time. I remember being at NYU, way back in the late 90s/early 00s, and hearing about this little rich girl who only had any kind of notoriety because of her name and wealth.

Then she became unnecessarily famous and iconic. And part of a trend that probably has influenced more young women towards materialism, shallowness, over-sexualization, and plain old sluttiness.

And then McCain called her out on it. And frankly, his comments were pretty much right. She’s not a good influence. Maybe that makes me a red-state, old fart fuddy duddy too… but c’mon. She has made no positive contribution towards humanity. With all that money and free time, she could be trying to pull an Oprah or Angelina or Madonna. Even if half-heartedly. She’s got the money and visibility to do it. Instead, she follows her rocker boyfriend around on tour, makes crappy CDs, and lives off a fortune she never had to earn.

The American Dream.

Anyway, this rebuttal surfaced today on And frankly, she could have just ignored McCain’s comments… brushed them off like everyone else’s… but she’s obviously a part of Generation Obama (wooohooo! Gobama!   …ahem. Sorry. Little editorialism there.) And rather let a candidate she doesn’t like just trash her… she made this video:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

In it, she thanks the “white-haired dude” for his endorsement… as a presidential candidate. It’s hilarious. It’s smart. It’s a smack in the face to McCain. Something that really shouldn’t have backfired on him JUST DID. And, frankly, I gotta give her props for having a good sense of humor about how she’s perceived. She says, “I’m a celebrity, too. Only I’m not from the olden days, and I’m not promising change like that other guy. I’m just hot.”

“Olden days.” God… the last time I heard that annoying phrase used was by Tara Reid during an interview. And she used it, like, five times. ::shudder::

Give it a watch. Then go vote for Obama instead of that “wrinkly, white-haired guy.”

Just to prove there’s no right answer for this, check out two consecutive questions I just saw on Yahoo! Answers.

Rather telling, don’t you think?

My partner made me hip to this website, My Open Bar. Basically, it tells you where all the open bar events are in your city on any given night.

So, maybe your favorite production company isn’t having a shindig this week. Boo-hoo. Go find your own free vodka.

And you know these events will indirectly be great for networking… where there is free booze, ad guys will follow.

Illegal music-compiler/DJ “Girl Talk” is all the rage. He takes various artists clips and slaps them together in weird, wonderful, surprising concoctions that make every workout a totally entertaining experience. He’s fucking great.

In fact, I’d also say his label is fucking great. His label, Illegal Art, has just posted his new album “Feed the Animals” on its site for purchase. (He doesn’t get any of his samples approved by their artists… so they can’t sell the album legally)

Anyway, here’s the brilliance: there’s no set price.

Illegal Art lets you TYPE IN WHATEVER PRICE you feel like paying… and you get a high-quality download of the album. Pay $5 or more, and you also get the options of FLAC files, plus a one-file seamless mix of the album (good for homemade raves). And $10 or more includes all of the above + a packaged CD.

This seems like a really great way to sell music. Granted, some people won’t be able to pay much. But some will give more because maybe… just maybe… they got his last albums for free. And it’s good to support the artist.

Anyway, I applaud this not-so-greedy innovation. It acknowledges that some money is better than NO money… which is what he’d get if everyone just downloaded his music from Limewire.

Way to go. I hope we see more of this kind of $-for-Art exchange in the future.