Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

28 February 2013

And for tonight's insomnia-fueled reflection...

It sometimes freaks me out when GDocs says someone else is looking at my doc ... and that other person is me.

21 February 2013

If ever you're tempted by such an offer... deserve what you get: bought friends* with zero investment in you.

Seen on.


*Probably just robots, actually, mixed with a couple of mercenary guys that nobody can make any sense of.

09 February 2013

Content: The King that's Usurping You

How many of these do you actually need more context for?

Today I had a conversation with my boyfriend about Pinterest. We were discussing it in the context of the idea that the US is the only place in the world where companies consistently blossom into million -- or even billion -- dollar entities without making a dime worth its weight. This isn't something that really happens in Europe. Part of it is culture but a lot of is also comes down to lack of a unified market of US proportions and lack of an ever-replenishing investment ecosystem.

This isn't to say it's altogether great to throw money at companies that don't make any back. Most such investments end up duds (consider all the hyper-funded Twitter spinoffs), but many -- Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flipboard -- flourish until they're fixed utilities in the culture -- and then they have to learn to make money. But learning to make money once you're flush and loaded with employees and resources is very different from learning to make money when you're living on ramen and coding in the dark.

When a crazy-sounding valuation claim gets made, people naturally start thinking about the company's roadblocks to market stability. The Man pointed out that one annoying problem Pinterest has is dying links. Pinterest has effectively made it so that the image -- a single piece of supplementary content pulled out of its natural context -- becomes more powerful than its source site. Pinterest sends piles of clickbacks to the parent sites that host its images, which increasingly benefits e-retailers -- but in the end, click-throughs happen way less often than shares of the image they're hosting. Indeed, the image can go on being shared long after the site's gone dead, even if it was only meant to be a teaser.

Of course this is problemic in the sense that it makes Pinterest host to what are essentially dead links -- pretty ones, but nonetheless non-functioning. That can be really disappointing when you've Pinned a recipe, and, once ready to prepare it, click through to the site only to discover that the page is busted. Something should be done about this -- maybe a little red flag in the corners of images that can show you with a quick skim which host sites are no longer functioning. But in the end people don't really care about most of the host sites that kindly provided all that eye candy.

All this speaks to a phenomenon that's way more interesting. I don't think Pinterest is worth $2.5 billion, but I will say this: along with Tumblr -- which did for written content what Pinterest does for images -- Pinterest effectively proves that content can live on and bring people value independently of its host.

Once you've published an article and the image that accompanies it is Pinned, the image suddenly carries a shareable value that supersedes your written work -- and your site -- entirely, even if it continues to send you traffic and readership. In the universe of Pinterest, the image no longer needs you: it can live on, getting discovered again and again, while the rest of you can be taken or left.

05 February 2013

#AdBowl Winners + Losers in 5 Short Paragraphs.

Find my above-mentioned Super Bowl recap here. (Sorry, I know it annoys you to click through one more time, but I really want Google's spiders to love AdVerveBlog as much as I do. So there.)

I feel guilty about posting it so late, especially because so many ad pundits -- who stayed up all night and published way earlier -- shared my same views but with a lot more detail. (Token mentionables: TheSkimm's roundup and basically everything Adfreak's doing.) But it's kind of a bitch to do the live #AdBowl from abroad: it's a 6-hour time difference and for obvious reasons I can't actually see the commercials on TV -- which was my favourite thing about doing this in the first place. My main shtick now is sitting around online and furiously hitting "refresh" as other people Tweet and liveblog the event from the comfort of their chicken wing-infested living rooms. So I sat this one out, watched The Hobbit with a giant plate of brownies, and revisited all the ads after the fact.

Last night I played with the idea of going Hardcore Purist and just skipping the whole damn thing. Actually, I'd been thinking about it for weeks. In the end, I couldn't. The Super Bowl is the one time in the year when rowdy, drunk family members are as into the ads as I am, and I miss that rare sense of community that wed us, like the pigskin itself.

When you're an expat you take what you can get from afar and sometimes you just have to sit stuff out. But that doesn't make me forget how much I love being in on this, and how badly I want the ads to be good.

Aaaand I'm not really sure what I'm trying to justify so I'm gonna go ahead and stop writing. Catch you guys later.

03 February 2013

Super Bowl Ads are 'Cheap'.

By designating the Super Bowl as the Super Bowl of advertising, Madison Avenue has created something utterly unique: A national media event where people beg the room to quiet down so they can hear branded messages brought to them by multinational corporations.

At $4 million, that's not a rip-off. It's a steal.
- Derek Thompson, "Super Bowl Ads Are Still Super Cheap: $4 Million for 30 Seconds Is a Bargain", The Atlantic

However you justify this cost, and there are many ways to justify it, I still think it's irritating and irresponsible to insist a price as dramatically inflated as that of the Super Bowl is bargain-bin cheap. It's irresponsible in the same way adults used to tell us college is cheap when you consider the reward, even though the United States suffers the world's most inflated and unjustifiable university costs, and living rooms across Manhattan are littered with babysitters bearing law degrees.

I love college and the Super Bowl; there are immense benefits to both if we invest in them wisely and thoughtfully. But to call them cheap, to suggest we should be raring to throw our cash onto the table and partake willy-nilly in some kind of once-in-a-lifetime bull's harvest? Let's not get drunk on our goddamn Kool-Aid. This assertion -- that they're bargains -- makes the expense sound less like a calculated risk, which merits strategic reflection, than an aggressive jeer against those too stingy, too poor or too stupid to leap facefirst into boiling water.

But whatever. Justified or not, for $4M a :30 pop I better have sponsored sparkles in my eyes by the time tonight's game is over. Which is pretty likely, if only because of this: