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News and Trends

A new age of transparency

The Brilliant Blog is not a place for political commentary. We've got lots of opinions about politics, but we try to maintain a rigorous separation between business and state here. That said, I'd be doing a disservice if I didn't write about President-elect Obama's website, www.change.gov, which represents a revolutionary step toward transparency like we've never seen from our government. If you haven't yet perused...

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First newspapers, next books?

With the increasing popularity of online news sources and the slow, downward spiral of newspapers, can we assume that online content is about to kill print books, too? A lot of people think so, thanks to the success of Amazon's electonic book, Kindle. At the end of November, Amazon was apparently telling customers it would take 11-13 weeks to fulfill...

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Read all about it

It's now official: the internet has surpassed all other media except television as a main source for national and international news, according to the Pew Research Center. For younger generations, the internet is in a dead heat with television as a main source of news. Check it out: Internet Overtakes Newspapers as News Source...

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Web writing made easy

Here are some great pointers on how to write for the internet. I found point #7 particularly interesting, as search engine optimization is all the rage right now. I think the key is to first think about your business and your potential customers - how do they find you now? If internet searches are yielding lots of business for you,...

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More evidence that “green washing” can backfire

According to a recent survey conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association and reported on by The New York Times, more than 50 percent of consumers think companies overstate the environmental friendliness of their products in order to sell more, a practice sometimes referred to as "green washing." The study also found that 38 percent of consumers were confused by...

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Do people really want to be Facebook friends with your brand?

It depends on your brand. That's my answer, although a recent NY Times article takes a more skeptical tone. The article examines Procter & Gamble's social advertising efforts in support of two products: Tide and Crest Whitestrips. While the Facebook promotion of Crest Whitestrips yielded 14,000 fans, P&G offered thousands of free movie promotions to sweeten the deal, which makes...

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The Internet Revolution, Part I

Earlier this week Tribune Company, owner of the Chicago Tribune and the L.A. Times, filed for bankruptcy. The news immediately took me back to 2001, when I worked on communications for the merger of Tribune Company with Times-Mirror, then the L.A. Times' parent company. ...

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What do you know?

I'm not the only one who hates "at the end of the day." Thanks to Matt for calling my attention to today's Wired blog posting, which lists the 10 most irritating phrases in the English language according to University of Oxford researchers. Topping the list? "At the end of the day!" Check it out:http://blog.wired.com/underwire/2008/11/oxford-research.html...

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“F” is for Fast

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently published a fascinating article about the way people read web content. Among some of the findings: People tend to read in a pattern similar to a capital letter "F" - they'll read the first couple of lines vertically, but as they continue, they begin to scan vertically, "the lower-right corner of the page largely...

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