Tag Archives: Digital Rights Management

#HistoryOfHashtags

I am amazed at how many people in my millennialist generation do not actually know how to use the common #hashtag. For those of you who know what the #hashtag is, you are well aware of the delight of feedback it offers to you when you use social networking such as Twitter, Instagram, and now Facebook (much to their users chagrin). For those of you who are not familiar with the #hashtag I have found this somewhat boring video that is a visual understanding of the #hashtag:

If you are less visual and more musical, here is a catchy, cheesy, and friggin nerdy little ditty about the history of #hashtag:

I certainly hope you are sitting embarrassed in your office, school, or home because some geek with a trombone just sang to you about #hashtags. It brings me great joy to think so.

There are ways to use #hashtags to build a campaign or brand online as well. Many sites offer the ability to see how popular certain #hashtags to group info relevant to an advertising campaign or certain entertainers on social media. Sites like HashtagIg.com  show you how many photos have a particular #hashtag as well as the top trending on Instagram. Another similar site is HashAtIt.com helps you search certain #hashtag conversations online to follow and you can refine your search by social network. Twitter offers you trending #hashtags on the left sidebar of your account admin homepage while also making it easy to find conversations similar to those you have already tagged in their “#Discover” navigation on the top left.

#Hashtags are important to help you build a Follower base, it is important to choose your #hashtags accurately and wisely. Here is a great visual provided by Twitter to help you choose a #hashtag for your comments, statuses, and images:


A Must Have Resource: Louder Than Words

Recently I was looking up interesting design and business marketing books on my iBooks app. I came across this little gem…and it became a cave of wonders (yes, that was a blatant Aladdin reference…don’t judge me I’m a 90’s kid). It was a campaign project produced by OgilvyAction that showcased some of the best of the best in “new approaches to the art of creating purchase behavior.” For a free iBook I was beyond impressed and  enjoyed every case study they threw at me. This book gives excellent out of the box insight for everything from using social media to dust (literally…like sand, dust, and dirt) to help change the purchasing behavior of a localized area…and in some cases some very difficult to reach cultural groups. Hats off to OgilvyAction for their collection of the best of the best, and I really hope you enjoy this free resource as much as I have. To read Louder Than Words please click here.


Verizon Phones and Big Brother: How “We The People” Let It Happen

As posted this morning by none other than British News The Guardian, the United States is up in arms about finding out that Verizon has been providing cell phone call information to the Government for a few years now.

The Verizon order was made under the provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Fisa) as amended by the Patriot Act of 2001, passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. But one of the authors of the Patriot Act, Republican congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, said he was troubled by the Guardian revelations. He said that he had written to the attorney general, Eric Holder, questioning whether “US constitutional rights were secure”. -The Guardian

He said: “I do not believe the broadly drafted Fisa order is consistent with the requirements of the Patriot Act. Seizing phone records of millions of innocent people is excessive and un-American.”

Another article I found says a bit more on the subject:

In 2006 USA Today reported that the NSA had a similarly expansive database of cellular data, not only from Verizon but also from AT&T and BellSouth. That program was launched as part of the push for tighter security and surveillance in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Despite public uproar and several lawsuits against cell phone carriers following the revelation, the NSA never officially announced that the database was shut down. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a lobbying group that promotes digital privacy, still has pending litigation seeking to curtail the NSA’s practices. – Time ; 7 Things to Know About the Government’s Secret Database of Telephone Data

Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/06/05/7-things-to-know-about-the-governments-secret-database-of-cellular-data/#ixzz2VT7atHbQ

May people think this information is new, but it really isn’t. It’s ages old, and without this scandal we still know that it was bound to happen sooner or later anyway since the Patriot Act after 9/11 was voted in. I had personally figured this had been happening much longer than these articles had allegedly stated, perhaps even before 9/11. In fact I just assumed I was being “followed” since the day I bought a cell phone, got an e-mail address, or even joined Pinterest, that someone out there was collecting my information. How? Because I signed a contract that said my information might go elsewhere for any undisclosed reason beyond my knowledge. Why? Because everyone else was doing it.

The issues we’re dealing with are ones philosophers and average Joe’s’ and Jane’s’ alike have been concerned about for some time. Though newer generations don’t mind the subject so much. Our personal information has been able to be tracked sine we checked the “I Agree” buttons on Facebook , Google, Yahoo etc… Terms of Agreements. The issue is not really “Can the Government do that?” The issue is…we let them by giving our information away. Authors Hal Abelson, Ken Lendeen, and Harry Lewis sate in their book Blown to Bits:

We lose control of our personal information because of things we do to ourselves, and things others do to us. Of things we do to be ahead of the curve, and things we do because everyone else is doing them…We give away information about ourselves — voluntarily leave visible footprints of our daily lives — because we judge, perhaps without thinking about it very much, that the benefits out weigh the costs.

Ever bought a grocery club card, joined a social media group, paid taxes, walked into a store with security cameras? Then you should know already that you’ve been watched. To be fair not every surveillance camera is owned by Big Brother, and not every grocery store is selling you a card so some creep can know what kind of turkey you buy, but with each of these actions we are continually handing over our rights to privacy and offered limited control over it to make us feel a little better. We’re offered the incentive of a lower price for getting a grocery card so we can be statistics on consumer reports. We’re keeping in touch with our friends on social networks in exchange for having ads targeted at us. We’re willingly walking along the street allowing cameras to look at us, keep track of us, all for the sake of feeling a sense of security without a second thought. We pay money and give information to a government, with the mindset of patriotism and the idea that they’ll keep things running so we can live our lives feeling safe (though lately I’m not sure many feel this way anymore). We are willingly handing over our privacy. Or are we? Has the idea of privacy changed since the dawn of the technological age? It’s hard to say. All I know is privacy doesn’t seem like it means being left alone.


Priorities…I’m not so sure we have them…

Found this image going viral on Facebook. Makes one wonder what our priorities really are…and where I may or may not want to invest for my retirement. Then again there isn’t much information to say what all this really means other than to say we use more ink than we do human blood…which may be a good thing. Maybe it’s a good thing that blood doesn’t cost so much? What do you think? Are we as human beings be being taken for granted by the cost of ink? Again I don’t know the context or the research behind this infographic…but it certainly gets you thinking.


The Facebook Copyright Hoax

I don’t know about any of you, but I saw this on one of my dear friends facebook statuses today and it caused me to get a little nervous:

In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, professional photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention).
For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!
(Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place
them under protection of copyright laws.

By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook’s direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).

Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates.

Being an artists, graphic designer, and photographer, I know better than to post any of my most personal info and artistic content on Facebook. Having a healthy caution of putting things on the internet is the first step to being a responsible patron of the online community (and respect of yourself). However, whenever I heard of things like this I always tend to get a little paranoid. So, I do what I do best, and take a little peek at the online news to see if I can find enough reliable resources to validate or refute the statements. Turns out this whole thing is a hoax and honestly, you cannot refute the contract via facebook status. That’s not how the law and copyright works friends (and if anyone seriously thought that it did then you’ve been seriously uneducated). Also how can you refute facebook’s ownership with a status when they own the statuses you put up?
If you are interested in legally putting your work under Copyright then please visit the U.S. Copyright Office website for more information on going through the proper channels. For more info on the Hoax and facebook policies read your Facebook Terms of Agreement, and view these helpful articles:

How Creatives Work: Issues of Technology and Graphic Design

I came across this article today on my Twitter feed about the ways that Design Creatives are working and the difference it’s making in the design industry. What this article comes down to is this: we’re wasting an awful lot of time. This article from the 99% website offers an insight into how creatives have become distracted and removed from personal creativity because of access to so many other great (but unoriginal) ideas. Not only that, but communication technologies themselves are actually taking us away from our work as creatives such as e-mail (said to be one of the biggest distractions).

Again we see another issue with our ability to use technology actually taking away from our ability to work. According to this article the average Creative works 9 hours per day, but only 3.5 hours of that is considered productive time. Now I understand that statistics can be misleading, but being a college student as well as a creative intern this isn’t too far fetched from my own experience. The internet is distracting and people are distracting too.

The article goes on to talk about “open offices” which is a set up with an open floor plan that allows employees to have face time, and over all improve community in the work place. The problem is, we’re human. We’re easily distracted from our work, and once our train of thought has been broken by something interesting enough (and people are interesting), we lose our ability to create in a timely manner. In fact, most of our productive time is being done on a laptop in the comfort of our own homes. Even more is getting done when creatives sketch it out on paper (an important point to note).

Perhaps the technology we’re seeing regularly isn’t actually helping us. In most cases, one can’t help but realize how the technology that once helped us “get it done faster” is actually taking up more of our time. As Creatives, we can’t allow this to happen, because it leaves rooms for creativity to get sucked out of us. We often fall prey to sites like Pinterest (wonderful site) that give great design ideas…but they’re ideas already thought of.

Let’s be original and good at what we do. Not too much to ask I think.


Brown is Nothing but Dark Beige

Brown is Nothing but Dark Beige

Let’s combine nerdiness and design! Marketing departments always have long discussions about color, and Dungeons & Dragons is no exception. Check out Jon Schindehette’s article about the color design of the franchise and the difficulties of dealing with period items.


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