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  • nmw 11:26:52 on 2014/06/04 Permalink
    Tags: brand, branding, brands, container, , espionage, externalities, externality, governance, government, illiteracy, industrial espionage, , language, , privacy, , , spy, spyware, trademark, trademarks, , Wisdom of the Language, World-Wide Web   

    “As long as the secret courts are making sure the secret police obey the secret laws, our democracy is safe” 

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    That quote is from a wonderful and entertaining presentation recommended by Matt Mullenweg. Some more “quoteworthy” quotes:

    • The only way to keep user information safe is not to store it.
    • These are all situations where users who were rigorous about keeping their online and real identity separate found themselves kneecapped by a service that suddenly violated its promise of privacy.

    However, the conclusion is unfortunately weak. I would call this problem “Schrödinger’s Web”: You cannot measure, assess, or correct the failing vitality of the Web on the level of content — you can only do this at the level of the container… and IMHO the problem at the container level is mostly down to the widespread illiteracy among users (which providers such as Google and Facebook actually aim to exploit). My campaign slogan for a better fix (or rather against this crappy fix) would be: Don’t even attempt to solve externalities from “thinking inside the box”.

  • feedwordpress 19:00:18 on 2013/11/19 Permalink
    Tags: , bottega veneta, brands, , muji   

    Brands Everywhere 

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    louis-vuitton-monogram-canvas-dog-bag-40-brown-women-softsided-luggage While brushing my teeth this morning, which is usually when my mind wanders, I noticed that just on the counter everything I was looking at had a brand or logo of some sort on it. It’s usually invisible to me but once I noticed it became garish as Times Square.

    I counted 11 brands on the counter at that exact moment: Dr. Hauschka, Orabrush, Common Good (soap), Kohler (sink), Bongio (faucet), Philips (toothbrush), Rembrandt, Royal Velvet (toothpaste), Sonos, Neorest (toilet), and Tom’s of Maine (mouthwash). My iPhone was on the counter but the Apple was covered in a WordPress iPhone case, I guess a 12th brand, but the only one I chose to be there.

    None of these labels are easy to remove either — the Common Good, a liquid soap dispenser, looked like it was going to be easy but as it started to peel off lots of sticky residue was left behind. I’ll try soaking it later. For most of the others, including the sink and faucet, the brand was embedded in a way that would be impossible to remove without switching the contents to a different container (toothpaste, mouthwash, or moisturizer) or sanding something off (toothbrush, Sonos…).

    Earlier this year I attended Burning Man for the first time, and one of the things you notice after a day there is the complete absence of brands — it’s considered gauche to have visible branding there, some people even cover up small logos (Patagonia, the Polo horse) on their clothes. As much as the rest of the experience was bizarre, living a few days in the absence of brands and advertising makes it as alien as anything else.

    I don’t think you can call it a trend, but it is interesting that brands like Muji or high-end fashion like Bottega Veneta distinguish themselves as much by the absence of branding as their product quality, the visual antithesis of Louis Vuitton luggage. It’s like the first level of affluence is about broadcast, and then the ultimate level is about (apparent) minimalism.

    But for regular, everyday goods, how can we get all of the advertising off them? I don’t need my sink telling me who made it. If there’s a brand around me, I want it to be one I choose. I think this is one reason people appreciate the ability to 100% customize WordPress, and counter-intuitively why most choose to leave the “Powered by” somewhere on the site, because they have the choice.

    Take a look around you, how many visible brands or logos can you count?

    Update: Om writes on An Unbranded Life.

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