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Archive for August, 2013

Park. Place.

Friday, August 30th, 2013

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Round and round we go, to where, nobody knows!

Shot on an iPhone by Jon Keeling.

“It’s My News, I Can Do What I Want To”

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

There has been no shortage of publicity and out-cry over Miley Cyrus’ scandalous performance at the Video Music Awards (VMAs) Sunday evening. The aftermath has included stories on social media networks, countless distraught parents, and frustrated Americans over not just her behavior, but also the ‘top news’ categorization of the story.

Facebook and Twitter have been fueled with performance-related posts covering teddy bears, hairdos, tongues, and many more bizarre elements of Miley’s performance of ‘We Can’t Stop’ and ‘Blurred Lines’ with Robin Thicke. Buzzfeed, a popular technology platform that captures viral and editorial features making news, produced a sea of Miley Cyrus posts including: ’22 Things Miley Cyrus Looked Like at the VMAs’, ‘The 15 Weirdest And Craziest Moments From Miley Cyrus’, ‘Taylor Swift Couldn’t Handle Miley Cyrus And Robin Thicke’s VMAs Performance’.

Parents who have spent years watching Hannah Montana with their children, were absolutely horrified that the Disney star could have turned so erratic and raunchy. Many parents (and children) were unaware of MIley’s new transformation; appalled to see the child star ‘twerking’ half naked on stage. Many parents fear this performance will be damaging to females and are outraged that Miley didn’t seem to think how her actions might tarnish her image, but also how her behavior may affect her younger fans. The Parents Television Council, of which Billy Ray Cyrus is an advisor, was just as unhappy with both Miley Cyrus and MTV. The Council criticized the performance as being filled with adult-only material, ‘marketing sexually charged messages to young children using former child stars’while falsely rating this program as appropriate for kids as young as 14’. MTV claims that the LIVE performance was not seen in rehearsals and caught the production team just as off-guard as the rest of the viewers.

What has disturbed many Americans, regardless of their opinion of the performance, has been the prominent featuring of the event as a top news story. Miley garnered the top spot in CNN’s Monday news, beating stories like the California wildfires, the 50th Anniversary of ‘I Have A Dream’, and international unrest in both Syria and Egypt.’ The Onion, a satirical news organization, took a stab at CNN by publishing an article with Meredith Artley,’s Managing Editor about the placement of the VMA performance as top news. The Onion presents a case that this story will generate more clicks, in turn, earning more advertising revenue – a win-win for CNN and its editorial team. No longer does ‘hard news’ seem to be a reality. Artley did not write the article and has addressed the situation via Twitter; however it does give readers plenty of room to consider what’s classified as news’and why.

At a crossroad.

Friday, August 23rd, 2013


Left or right? Up or down? Who will decide?

Shot on an iPhone by Paul Bell.’

Beauty-full Future

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Every month, nearly 400,000 male and female subscribers receive a plain brown box that contains a plethora of high-end beauty, grooming and lifestyle samples, all of which are customized for each individual based on their online profile.

Launched in September 2010 by Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna, Birchbox is the leading discovery commerce platform that is redefining the retail process. The company started as a unique way for women to discover new beauty products, but has since expanded to include men’s products. In September 2012, Birchbox acquired Paris-based copycat, JolieBox. This acquisition granted Birchbox international expansion with business units in France, the UK, and Spain.

Birchbox content ranges from well-known brands to newly emerging products. The women’s subscription includes anything from skincare to makeup, as well as non-beauty extras like headphones. The men’s subscription contains grooming products in addition to lifestyle accessories like socks or ties. Each package also provides a guide with information and tutorials for users to test their new products.

Although shipping boxes full of samples for $10 each is ultimately not profitable, Birchbox claims that their e-commerce sales are on track to triple this year. According to an article in Tech Crunch, both subscribers and non-subscribers are able to purchase full-size products directly from the Birchbox Shop. The company says that more than half of their monthly subscribers purchase products online from the e-commerce store.

Unfortunately, All Things D predicts some barriers as Birchbox becomes more popular. If the beauty category subscribers continue to grow, brands will not want to produce samples because the trade-off is not equivalent to the cost. There has also been discussion of expanding into new verticals like home goods, but those brands would have to provide full-priced items and take a leap of faith that consumers will become brand loyal.

While the future of e-commerce and Birchbox is unclear at the time, the company has built a strong foundation as a platform for big change.


In your face.

Friday, August 16th, 2013

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Rich, red and shiny. Sculptural and memorable. Are you in love?

Shot on an iPhone by Jon Keeling.