Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
October 20, 2014 8:50 PM

The New iPads Will Force Us To Redefine The Screen

Every Monday morning at 7:10 am, I am a guest contributor on CHOM 97.7 FM radio broadcasting out of Montreal (home base). It's not a long segment - about 5 to 10 minutes every week - about everything that is happening in the world of technology and digital media. The good folks at CHOM 97.7 FM are posting these segments weekly to SoundCloud, if you're interested in hearing more of me blathering away. I'm really excited about this opportunity, because this is the radio station that I grew up on listening to, and it really is a fun treat to be invited to the Mornings Rock with Terry and Heather B. morning show. The segment is called, CTRL ALT Delete with Mitch Joel.

This week we discussed:

  • Apple is at it again. A whole new slew of iPads were announced. It was semi-leaked the day before, accidentally, by Apple. I don't think that is the real/big story. Sure, this is typical Apple stuff: thinner, lighter, faster, etc... but is there something more? I think there is.
  • Many people are dismissive of Snapchat. I'm not. We are entering into a new age of Internet Culture. It's something I called, The Impermanent Internet. This means that everything that we do will not be archived and accessible by all. Some of it, will just disappear. Skype is now going to let people do video messages that disappear. It's called Qik.
  • Do people really want to follow brands on social media? The answer is a resounding: yes. But brands need to be good at it. Consider what Chanel pulled off on Instagram this week. 1.8 million followers in one day.
  • #gamergate - originated as a story about journalistic integrity, the definition of video games and the identity of those who play them. It has become a massive mess with death threats against female game developers and lots of other ugly stuff. It's something we all need to understand (and help to put a stop to).
  • App of the week: Houzz.

Listen here...

By Mitch Joel


October 19, 2014 7:12 AM

First There Was UnMarketing Now There Is UnSelling

Episode #432 of Six Pixels of Separation - The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

Scott Stratten is back with a brand new book, UnSelling, that he co-authored with Alison Kramer. Over the past short while, Stratten has gone from trying to accumulate as many followers as possible on Twitter, to becoming an internationally sought-after writer and speaker on the topic of changing how businesses interacts with human beings. Seems simple enough, right? It isn't. Alison has been writing with Scott for a long while. They worked together on all of his  bestselling business books: UnMarketing, The Book of Business Awesome / The Book of Business UnAwesome, QR Codes Kill Kittens and their latest, UnSelling. Does the world need another book about sales? Scott and Alison believe that it does. Mostly, because these books are all about extracting money from customers. They believe that selling is so much more in a world of social media and connectedness. As usual, we try to make some sparks fly. Enjoy the conversation...

You can grab the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation here (or feel free to subscribe via iTunes): Six Pixels of Separation - The Twist Image Podcast #432.

By Mitch Joel


October 18, 2014 8:58 AM

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #226

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist's Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person "must see".

Check out these six links that we're recommending to one another:

  • Eggcorns. "The most useless piece of information I learned today is the eggcorn. So, naturally I shared it here. An eggcorn is a misspelling or misinterpretation of something which still makes sense. You might be 'curled up in the feeble position' or provide me with 'antidotal evidence,' for example. I suspect people who refer to Ellen Degeneres as Ellen The Generous because of her penchant for gifts are committing a similar eggcorn. So, here is a database of them for you." (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Underworld: 'Rave was more punk than punk' - BBC. "My favorite band in the world is a British duo/trio called, Underworld. They've been the soundtrack to much of my life. After flailing around as a bad pop band for years, they released an album called, Dubnobasswithmyheadman. It was probably the album that made electronic music accessible. Every EDM artist today owes them their day job. So, imagine my delight when they released a re-mastered version of it, along with a flurry of posts, concerts, and articles like this one that chart their unlikely rise." (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Watch A Hornet Be Cooked Alive By Bees - IFL Science! "Ahh, nature. The hive of the sweet little Japanese honey bee can be victim to attacks from giant hornets, which invade in groups and can destroy a hive, chopping up and chowing down on bees with their big mean pincers. Usually hornets send a scout to find tasty hives - the scout reports back to the hornet hive, and the invading army comes seeking destruction. Only these Japanese honey bees have other ideas." (Hugh for Alistair).
  • How The New Yorker Finally Figured Out The Internet: 3 Lessons From Its Web Redesign - Fast Company. "The New Yorker recently revamped its website, with a focus on mobile phone and tablet readers. The lessons here are simple, but powerful for anyone producing content that goes onto the Web." (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Why Are Americans So Fascinated With Extreme Fitness? - The New York Times. "I blew my knee out several years ago. I had to shy away from mixed martial arts training and running outdoors, to walking and stationary bicycles. Don't feel bad for me. I'm also getting old ;) That being said, I still follow the fitness space. When I see things like UFC gyms being opened all over the US, and the meteoric rise of Crossfit, I do stop and wonder why things have become so... extreme. This isn't about breaking a sweat and getting into decent shape anymore. It does feel like people have something to prove. It does feel like people don't just want a tough workout, but want to be tough. What gives? This article takes a shot at it." (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Hemingwrite Typing Device Aimed at Distraction-Free Writing - PSFK. "A long time ago, I asked Hugh what the point was in buying an Amazon Kindle to read ebooks on? Why not just read them on a tablet or smartphone? He made a fairly lucid argument, that it's nice to have a device that is used, solely, for the quiet of reading. Not Web browser to distract you. No tweets or Facebook updates to take you away from the words on a clear digital screen. With that, we see the rise of productivity apps that will lock you out of the Internet, so that you can focus on doing your work. It makes sense. I read most of my books on my Kindle app, but it's on my iPhone. With that, I am often distracted. So, when it comes to writing, why not create a device that just lets you write? Pretty interesting idea, right? Say hello to Hemingwrite. It helps if it looks like an old-school typewriter as well. Especially, if you're like Hugh and I... and you have a thing for Typewriter Porn." (Mitch for Hugh).

Feel free to share these links and add your picks on Twitter, Facebook, in the comments below or wherever you play.

By Mitch Joel


October 17, 2014 5:43 PM

Content Is Not King

It's a pretty bold statement, isn't it?

Are we making the wrong assumptions about content? What works? What doesn't work? What makes something go viral? Do you think that BuzzFeed knows the answers to these questions, better than anyone else? Last month, I had the honor of leading a very in-depth conversation with BuzzFeed founder, Jonah Peretti, at an exclusive retreat for senior marketers. He was fascinating (and, I do regret not being able to record that session and turn it into a podcast). While we were hanging out and waiting for the session to begin, I remembered having a very interesting conversation at this past year's TED event with Ze Frank. Many know Ze as somewhat of an Internet legend. He was making videos go viral long before this thing called YouTube was popular and, more recently, he became the President of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures. Based in LA, his division of BuzzFeed works on all aspects of video creation... and distribution.

What does Ze Frank and BuzzFeed know about making your content work?

It turns out, that Ze knows a lot about what works. His finding will - without question - surprise you. Ze visited the Paley Media Council in Los Angeles last week for a live event moderated by Re/code senior editor, Dawn Chmielewski. Ze speaks about what brands must do to succeed in a world where the consumer has so many content choices. Personally, I started watching this conversation and wondered if I would hear anything new. After about five minutes, I found myself hitting the pause button and scrambling for my Moleskine to take notes. Ze is an amazing presenter and storyteller. He's also very calculated and date-driven, when it comes to figuring out what works (and what doesn't).

You have to watch this: BuzzFeed's Ze Frank talks to Re/code's Dawn Chmielewski.

By Mitch Joel


October 16, 201411:33 PM

Our Digital Lives

Don't blame technology. Technology is ambiguous.

Yesterday, I blogged about a new documentary that was being aired on TVO titled, Life After Digital. The documentary depressed me on many levels. Yes, it's a dystopian view of how bad people seem to be doing terrible things online, while the culture of rubber-necking is pushed further ahead by other bad civilians hiding behind their keyboards and screens egging these terrible things on. It's sad. In fact, in many instances, it's tragic (as the documentary displays). It also depressed me, because I don't believe that this is the right way to portray technology, social media, the Internet... or our society. It would be easy to create a documentary on any city... maybe the city that you live... and highlight everything negative (the murders, rapes, burglaries, poverty, Governmental scandals, injustices, etc...). My guess is that the negative probably accounts for only a small percentage of the entire quality of life that your city provides. To think of the Internet as anything other than a new type of city, community... or whatever would be a mistake. The Internet will have many bad seeds in it... just like any other community (unfortunately).

With all of the bad, there is plenty of good. 

Tonight, TVO invited me to take part in a televised panel to discuss Life After Digital, and just how scared we should really be of technology, our data/information and the new culture that we are creating. It was on The Agenda With Steve Paikin and the show was called, Our Digital Lives. Yes, there is - without question - a cost to all of this connectedness that we are all experiencing (especially as it all becomes more and more mobile, and in the palm of our hands). Yes, there is a need for us to create a new value system when it comes to understanding the types of relationships that we now have in both the digital and physical world. Yes, there is going to be a loss of privacy in this new world (especially when we have yet to redefine what we mean when we say "privacy"). Yes, there is a significant price to pay for staying globally connected. I believe that none of this is a zero-sum game. We must be vigilant with all of this technology, and we must also stay positive and do our best to self-educate ourselves about what it means to be putting all of this "stuff" out there for the world to see, share and comment upon.

This is my side.

I had the chance to present my side of the story. It is below. I'm hopeful that you will watch the forty-five minute segment and add your own thoughts about this. Do you think that technology is eating everything - including you and your family - for breakfast, or do you believe that we all have to think very differently about who we want to become in a connected society?

Over to you... Here is Our Digital Lives:

By Mitch Joel


October 15, 201411:25 PM

Life After Digital

Social media and digital technology are ruining everything. Is the selfie the end of civilization as we know it? Have we become heartless meme generating morons that are tearing apart the moral fabrics of our society? Has digital technology and... Read more

By Mitch Joel


October 12, 2014 8:03 AM

Advertising Week With Joseph Jaffe

Episode #431 of Six Pixels of Separation - The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to. This is also episode #29.20 of Across The Sound. Joseph Jaffe is widely regarded as one of the... Read more

By Mitch Joel


October 11, 2014 1:37 PM

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #225

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see? My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete... Read more

By Mitch Joel


October 10, 2014 9:26 PM

Loving Your Boss

Everyone hates their boss... or do they? This isn't Apple. This isn't Facebook. This isn't Google. This isn't Disney. Think about the vast majority of the jobs that everyone has. It's not glamorous work. It's hard work. Long hours. Tough... Read more

By Mitch Joel


October 9, 201411:27 PM

What Disney Can (Still) Teach You About Getting The Best Out Of People

Disney is the most wonderful place on earth, right? Or, is it Google's office? Maybe Facebook's new campus? To this day, when we think of corporate culture, it's hard not to think of Disney. The stories of how Walt Disney... Read more

By Mitch Joel