BY RAFAEL PERDOMO
This analysis may serve no greater purpose than just a simple musing in trying to define what the Apple Watch is — or is not. It may cause more questions than give you answers. It may be completely off base and very telling of my beliefs towards technology. What it will definitely show is that Applehas once again garnered free publicity in the wake of introducing a revolutionary product.
What makes the Apple Watch difficult to define is how it completely lacks definition. In the past, Apple created technology products. They served a clear purpose and solved a specific problem.
In the field of wearable technology, or wearables, this definition is blurred. Apple prided itself as being at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts. Now that it’s taken an Uber ride to 5th Avenue.
In its strictest definition, jewelry is a durable ornament. As such, it serves as a symbol, heralding your wealth to the world. A timepiece by Rolex serves two purposes: telling time, and informing people that you have money.
By introducing manufactured obsolescence into the timepiece, the Apple Watch now redefines your level of wealth. No longer can you invest heavily in a timepiece, pass it down from generation to generation, and it still have social worth decades after its purchase.
Now you need to have the latest iteration of the AppleWatch. Your investment in the Apple Watch becomes a throwaway after Apple Watch 2.0 is introduced. Gone is the possibility of handing down your Apple Watch to your grandchildren upon their high school graduation. The Apple Watch is consumable luxury, a fashioned piece of metal that can’t stand the test of time.
There’s no bus stop at the intersection of technology and high fashion. Wearable technology doesn’t get off there. The computer revolution promised us equality. It promised us freedom from menial and oppressive tasks. It promised us empowerment.
In heralding all the design aspects of thewatch (the high-end model features 18-Karat gold) and by discussing its utilitarian purpose as an afterthought, this wearable is clearly not intended for a common man. Apple has traded the powerful hammer itwielded in 1984 for the trappings of aristocracy.
MIAMI – Florida International University (FIU) graduates Michelle Donovan and Melissa Montero have opened Calle Ocho Books & Press, an online website. Their goal in launching www.calleochobooks.com is to give up-and-coming authors and publishers of Cuban and South Florida fiction a place to promote and sell their newest works.
“Fans of Cuban literature will find captivating works at Calle Ocho Books with modernista and ‘boom’ authors,” said business development director Donovan. “We devote a main section called ‘Caliente’ to works from emerging writers living in South Florida. They write in English and Spanish about life in the region.”
The name “Calle Ocho” pays homage to an important street in a historically Cuban community in Miami. Known to be a hotbed of political discussion amongst the elders, Eighth Street, or Calle Ocho, serves an important role in keeping the community connected through its smattering of coffee shops, bakeries and most importantly, “Domino Park,” where Cubans congregate over ivory domino pieces and trade stories from their youth.
Donavan and Montero, both Miami natives, are bringing a little piece of the Calle Ocho community online. By publishing blogs and a Facebook page about new titles, authors and upcoming literary festivals related to Cuban and South Florida literature, the two engage their audience much the same way patrons of domino park do. In addition to news from the literary community, Calle Ocho Books & Press post news about Miami life, culture, dining, arts and entertainment.
ABOUT CALLE OCHO BOOKS & PRESS
Calle Ocho Books & Press is a Miami-themed online bookstore where commercial fiction and literature about the Cuba and South Florida intersect.
It carries non-fiction regarding South Florida history, the Cuban revolution, immigration from Latin and South American countries, the Mariel boatlift, Cuban politics, baseball, international politics and economics, and a full line of cookbooks and coffee table photography books.
Calle Ocho Books carries fiction titles about South Florida. Its breadth of media also includes a selection of movies on DVD, audio books, music CDs and downloads. Kindles, lap desks, bookshelves, desks, are also kept in stock. For more information, visit www.calleochobooks.com
A contributed article to Harvard Business Review’s blog says that it’s easier than ever for companies to go global. The Web has closed distances and influenced tastes on everything from Burberry raincoats to iPads.
“In today’s digital age, people in faraway places can find your website, learn about your company, and have an experience with your brand,” writes Nataly Kelly, vice president of market development at Smartling.
True, but is it the right strategy for your professional practice? If you are an attorney in Palm Beach Gardens, should you think more about Tianjin, Tijuana or Tequesta? You may not be able – or want – to serve many of the people and businesses that contact you online.
Consider this: Because your website has a high ranking in Google, you receive an inquiry via your website from a potential client in Montana. In all likelihood, the best you can do is refer the case to an attorney in that state.
Or, an individual in Pensacola contacts you. Is it worth your time to drive eight hours if the client won’t pay for travel? Probably not. Again, you’ll send business to a local attorney.
That raises the question: Is your online marketing helping you practice law or play legal matchmaker? You’ll have more inquiries from Palm Beach County if you focus your online presence about the area you serve.
Correspondingly, you should direct your social media messaging to the best prospects for your practice area. That way, you’ll spend little time responding to inquiries about wills and trusts when your area is immigration law.
It may be cool to tell your friends and colleagues that your website is in Mandarin and Portuguese. And it’s flattering to Google your type of law practice and find that you’re one of the top three results. However, you’ll enjoy greater financial rewards when you attract the clients you want and can advise.
The New York Times reports that of the 500 million-plus Twitter accounts, “some researchers estimate that only 35 percent of the average Twitter user’s followers are real people.”
How do you know if a follower is a real person? The Times says that the bots “have sleep-wake cycles so their fakery is more convincing, making them less prone to repetitive patterns that flag them as mere programs. Some have even been souped up by so-called persona management software.”
Fake people with seemingly real lives. Crazy and creepy.
I decided to inspect my Twitter follower list. The process is simple. Log into your Twitter account, go to the “Me” page and click on Followers. My list breaks down into groups for which I am certain the people or organizations exist:
- Former journalism colleagues. Robert Barba (@Barba_AB) and Mike Graham (@TCPalmMGraham) are two of the people in the largest group. I broke bread with these people.
- Current colleagues. Boardroom Communications (@boardroompr), the best PR firm in South Florida, and Raul Reis (@raulreis2001), the dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at FIU. I have been to their offices.
- Former students. Mariella Roque @___mella), a recent FIU graduate, and Betsy Soler (@bsoler), a social media maven in her own right, are just two examples. I know they exist because I taught them at FIU.
- Journalists. They include Brian Bandell (@BrianBandell) of the South Florida Business Journal and Julie Pearl (@juliepearl920) of WPTV-TV. Her husband is a White Sox fan, but I like him anyway.
It’s clear from scanning the list several times that I am not being stalked by social bots. That’s good; it’s better to have an honest number of followers than an inflated figure that’s a third junk.
Keep that in mind when building your Twitter list. Bots are there to use you: to build their following; to support a cause that you may oppose; to sabotage discussion of public issues; to steal money from you; or some other underhanded purpose.
Keep your list of followers clean and you’ll have more success with Twitter.
When Publicis Groupe and Omnicon Group announced in late July that they were merging, they also publicized the launch of a division that turns brands into publishers.
“‘We will be looking to help brands produce content to put on their own channels,’ like a Web site or social media,” division chief Mark Himmelsbach told the New York Times. “‘Instagram, Vine, Twitter, Facebook, each channel requires something different that must resonate with consumers.’”
The idea is hardly new. A PBS blog post from Jan. 25, 2012, labeled the phrase “We’re all publishers now” a cliché.
Let’s turn the clock back further to Jan. 6, 1963, when “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” first aired. “Wild Kingdom viewers witnessed exciting stories and learned about wildlife and conservation,” according to the show’s website. The show aired until 1987, first on NBC and then in syndication.
Marlin Perkins, the best-known host, was a zoologist, not an insurance salesman. Mutual of Omaha also created interactive — another cliché — elements such as a kids summit, an adventure tour, and personal appearances by hosts.
Other brand-publishing successes include “Maxwell House Coffee Time,” a comedy-entertainment radio show from 1937 and 1949, and “Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre,” a variety TV show in the 1960s.
Today’s most successful publisher is probably Red Bull, which has social media, an action-driven magazine and an adrenaline-driven TV channel. And that’s not much different from producing a TV show about wild animals or a radio show with George Burns and Gracie Allen.