I discovered Think with Google a month ago and I’m extremely happy reading all the infos they are providing for us. The Creativity issue is brilliant and inspiring. Take a look at some Quantify: Creativity.
Posts tagged ‘creativity’
Today I found the wonderful story of emoticons from Mashable.
Did you know the emoticon is almost 30 years old? Twenty-nine years ago, Scott Fahlman, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, first proposed a colon, hyphen and bracket as a way of conveying emotional meaning via plain text.
Fast-forward and the simple smiley has evolved — some might say mutated — into various, and very varied, multi-colored, animated characters leering at you from your computer or phone screen.
To mark this anniversary, we’ve taken an abridged look at some interesting moments in the history of the emoticon. Have a look through the gallery and let us know in the comments your thoughts on this form of communication.
1. The Olden Days
Using symbols to convey emotional meaning was not a 1980s concept. A hundred years previous, the “letter-press department” of satirical magazine Puck jokingly created typographical “studies in passion and emotions” so as not to be out-done by cartoonists.
It has since been suggested that one very early use of an emoticon can be credited to none other than Abraham Lincoln. In the original New York Times transcript of an 1862 speech by Lincoln, the symbol 😉 appears. There have been interesting arguments put forth as to whether or not this was a winking face, or (as we suspect) simply a typo.
Various reports (that we’ve been unable to verify) suggest that in 1979, an ARPANET user called Kevin MacKenzie, inspired by an unidentified Reader’s Digest article, suggested using punctuation to hint that something was “tongue-in-cheek,” as opposed to out-and-out humorous.
Apparently, MacKenzie throught a hypen and a bracket — -) — would be a suitable symbol: “If I wish to indicate that a particular sentence is meant with tongue-in-cheek, I would write it so: ‘Of course you know I agree with all the current administration’s policies -).’
However, as we now know, it wasn’t the tongue-in-cheek concept that took off, but the smiley-based emoticon. Although the classic yellow “smiley” design existed before Fahlman got creative with his computer keyboard…
2. The Smiley
The yellow smiley face symbol pre-dates and was developed independent of the emoticon, although now it could be argued the two symbols have merged in the general public’s conciousness.
Back in 1963, a freelance artist called Harvey Ball designed a yellow smiley face to be used on a button to try and boost morale at a recently merged insurance company. Ball netted $45 for his design and by all accounts it was a success for the insurance company, but it wasn’t until the 1970s when it became more widely known.
Bernard and Murray Spain, two brother from Philadelphia, saw the symbol’s commercial potential, adopted it, added the phrase “have a happy day” and churned out millions of buttons, bumper stickers, t-shirts, mugs. Thanks to the Spain brothers, the smiley as a symbol of ’70s hippie culture was born. Later in the ’90s, the symbol was used to depict another counter-culture — the acid rave scene.
Today, Ball’s smiley is celebrated on “World Smile Day,” the first Friday in October, when folk are encouraged to “Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile.”
3. A Proposal
Credited as containing the first modern emoticon, Scott Fahlman’s original suggestion proposing punctation-as-symbols was posted on a Computer Science community message board at Carnegie Mellon in 1982.
Fahlman has since explained why he felt such symbols were required. “The problem was that if someone made a sarcastic remark, a few readers would fail to get the joke, and each of them would post a lengthy diatribe in response. That would stir up more people with more responses, and soon the original thread of the discussion was buried. In at least one case, a humorous remark was interpreted by someone as a serious safety warning.”
“This problem caused some of us to suggest (only half seriously) that maybe it would be a good idea to explicitly mark posts that were not to be taken seriously.”
“After all, when using text-based online communication, we lack the body language or tone-of-voice cues that convey this information when we talk in person or on the phone. Various ‘joke markers’ were suggested, and in the midst of that discussion it occurred to me that the character sequence 🙂 would be an elegant solution – one that could be handled by the ASCII-based computer terminals of the day. So I suggested that.”
Interestly, Fahlman explains that the unhappy face symbol evolved further than he meant it to: “In the same post, I also suggested the use of 😦 to indicate that a message was meant to be taken seriously, though that symbol quickly evolved into a marker for displeasure, frustration, or anger.”
So what does Fahlman think about how the emoticon has developed? “It’s interesting to note that Microsoft and AOL now intercept these character strings and turn them into little pictures,” Fahlman says. “Personally, I think this destroys the whimsical element of the original.”
If you agree, then we’ve a tip for you. Take a leaf out of Mashable European Editor Stan Schroeder’s book and type your smilies backwards: (:
“When you type it backwards, scripts don’t recognize them and they don’t get turned into yellow ugly ones,” says Schroeder. “They stay old school. (;”
4. Evolution & Easter Eggs
Text-based emoticons fast developed from the simple happy/unhappy face. Other characters were introduced to suggest further emotions, and even crude depictions of famous people/personas. Fahlman says this happened within months of his original post.
“Within a few months, we started seeing the lists with dozens of ‘smilies’: open-mouthed surprise, person wearing glasses, Abraham Lincoln, Santa Claus, the pope, and so on. Producing such clever compilations has become a serious hobby for some people.”
When chatting on the internet became a serious hobby for the general public, emoticons evolved even further to be shown on screen as tiny images. Services like ICQ, AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, MSN Messenger and later MySpace started offering a wide range of emoticons that could be generated at the click of a mouse, rather than memorizing the charcaters needed to create them. These then evolved into animated versions.
There were also many “hidden,” or “Easter egg” emoticons not shown on main menus that could be generated if you knew the correct character sequence. The emoticons shown here are the hidden emoticons available for Yahoo! Messenger. While Skype and MSN have their own versions, Facebook’s “Chris Putnam” emoticon, depicting the designer, is a famous, although ultimately useless, hidden option.
In 2007, Yahoo! Messenger carried out a survey about emoticons. With 40,000 respondants, we think it’s safe to say the results were a decent snapshot of how the average Messenger user felt about the medium.
82% of those who use Yahoo! Messenger said they used emoticons on a daily basis and 61% felt that they “best expressed themselves” in IM using emoticons.
5. The Future
Today, the iPhone’s text messaging function does not automatically support emoticon graphics.
Gmail Chat’s default emoticon setting is text-based with simple animation.
Have we gone past the elaborate emoticon phase in our ever-evolving history of digital communication?
Should recent calls to stop using emoticons be heeded?
Has the smiley become a tired cliche, soon to become obsolete, or is it still useful in the emotionless medium of SMS, IM and email?
What’s to do when press releases aren’t fashionable anymore ? Some tips here from Claire Celsi via PR Daily.
1. Pitch email. More than 90 percent of reporters claim they want to receive pitches via email. Given that you’re already emailing, just put your pitch in the form of a story, with bullet points emphasizing the most important details you want the reporter to know. Here is the key to a successful pitch email:
• Google the reporter’s name. After ensuring that she still writes for the news outlet, click on one of her recent articles. Make sure it is within the same genre as your pitch. In other words, if you are pitching a health-care story, make sure she covers health care.
• Write a one-paragraph personalized intro for every email you send. “I read your series on health-care abuses in the nursing home industry…” Show some interest in the reporter’s work.
• The remaining portion of the email can be the same for every reporter. This is your brief opportunity to capture the reporter’s interest with your pitch. Make it short, and make it interesting.
• Write a subject line that gets attention and describes your pitch. “For your information” is not a good subject line.
2. Make a website posting (preferably a blog post). If your client has a newsroom or a blog, post your pitch material in the form of a Web article or blog post. Use story-telling language, not a standard press release format. Tag the post with keywords, and link to the company’s website or to other information, if possible. You can start a new blog on Posterous in less than 15 minutes.
3. Send a Tweet. Turn your key idea into a tweet. With a little practice, you’ll be a pro at getting your message across in one or two tweets. Ideally, it would be great to send these messages to a reporter as a direct message, but if all else fails, go ahead and say: @JeffZeleny, did you know that the most outstanding pork tenderloin sandwich in Des Moines is at Smitty’s?” (Of course, you’ll want to come up with your own tweet material.) If the reporter does not respond, follow up with an email pitch.
4. Send a Facebook message. I’m friendly with a lot of local reporters on Facebook, but not so many national reporters. Even if you’re not friends with a reporter on Facebook, you can still send them a message. Attach a link or photo if you have one.
5. Pick up the phone. Sometimes a quick conversation to gauge a reporter’s interest can save you a lot of time, especially when it seems as though a reporter is no longer covering that beat. If you keep your call brief and courteous, the reporter will be happy to point you in the right direction. If they don’t answer or are on deadline, follow up with a pitch email.
6. Offer to meet a reporter for coffee if you’re both in the same city. Sometimes reporters are looking for any excuse they can to get out of the newsroom for a while.
Maison Moschino is situated in the beautiful city of Milan, Italy, one of the mode’s capitals. Each room has a story – “Alice’s Room”, “Life is a rose-bed” or “Sleeping wood” and every interior is designed specifically as the room name. Also, the furniture has particularities such as collars for chairs, sleeves or a dress-bed, as you can see in the images.
The restaurant has two Michelin stars, which means that eating is also a heute couture experience. You receive your breakfast in a shoe box with four, six or eight different dishes.
Delicious, tasty and wonderful. A place for your list of must-visit destinations indeed!
Source: Hotel Philosophy
We have to agree that it is not easy to get a job, especially when you are a recent graduate student with little or no experience in the domain you want.
Dear Evil HR Lady,
I’m a recent college graduate and have been actively job hunting for about 6 months. As the number of resumes I’ve sent out approaches 300, I’m trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong and how I can stand out among the hundreds of other applicants I’m competing with. After Googling “creative ways to get hired”, I came across the idea of wearing a t-shirt with my resume on it. My dream job is to do PR in the racing industry. I’m attending two races in the coming months and I am contemplating doing this in order to get the attention of some race teams and potential hiring managers. Would you recommend wearing a resume t-shirt or does it come across as too desperate?
What do you think ? Would you hire her ?