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Bright + shiny = We need a strategy!

Bright + shiny = We need a strategy! published on 1 Comment on Bright + shiny = We need a strategy!

If you’ve been hauled into your boss’s office and handed a business magazine with some new social network splashed across the front page – “Flegmar: The hottest thing since GorbMeSilly!” – and told, “We need a Flegmar strategy right now!”

…then this cartoon’s for you.

And so is this blog post about life at Weneda Communications.

Yeah, you’re a real riot

Yeah, you’re a real riot published on No Comments on Yeah, you’re a real riot

Cartoon originally posted to ReadWriteWeb

Last week’s post-Stanley-Cup riot in downtown Vancouver was devastating to the city’s spirit, but there’ve been some bright spots – not the least of which was the number of people who came forward the next morning to help with the cleanup.

But there was also some online cheer to be found, some of it from the people closest to me. Here are a few examples:

As someone who tweeted my share of smart-ass comments over the course of the night, I’m acutely aware that some very serious stuff was unfolding. But all of this reminded me of the role that humour can play in keeping emotions from boiling over, and helping us cope with the ugliness the world sometimes throws at us.

2010 in review: Gamification

2010 in review: Gamification published on 5 Comments on 2010 in review: Gamification

In these early days of 2011, I’m going to be posting my cartoon retrospective of 2010 in social media. Buckle up – that’s 14 cartoons headed your way in the next few days!

Apparently, we DO need these stinking badges

Apparently, we DO need these stinking badges published on 5 Comments on Apparently, we DO need these stinking badges

Originally posted on ReadWriteWeb

I’m suddenly seeing badges everywhere.

Location-aware apps like Foursquare and Gowalla award them for things like visiting more than four venues in one night (the “crunked” badge) or checking into the kind of venue known for a particular personality type (the “douchebag” badge).

And now I’m getting badges in nearly every game and entertainment app I use, often with oddly low standards and notifications like “Award: Launching-the-App-for-the-First-Time Badge!”

This goes back – as all good things do – to video games; badges act like little food pellets that help keep you motivated in between levelling up and winning extra lives.

But there’s no question they work, so don’t be surprised when they start popping up in more mainstream applications. The Inbox Zero merit badge could well be built into the next version of Outlook; PowerPoint users (at least the ones I’ve been seeing lately) could be unlocking the “20 bullet points and 16 fonts in one slide!” badge.

Those badges seem to fill some deep-seated craving from our inner Brownies and Cub Scouts. All that’s missing is a proud virtual parent to sew them onto a digital sash for us… and I’m pretty sure that’s coming, too.


Mayor-iage published on 3 Comments on Mayor-iage

(I originally posted this on ReadWriteWeb.)

I’d like to think that becoming a Foursquare mayor means something. And something more than just the achievement itself (which is, let’s face it, a grade based 100% on attendance).

Let’s give the Foursquare mayors real power. Not mamby-pampby discounts or free bellinis, but something meaty, like – I don’t know – say, search and seizure. Or union certification.

(By the way, I drew this at a branch of my local coffee chain, Blenz. And unlike some coffee chains that think a $1 discount on the cost of a Frappuccino is worthy compensation for their mayors, Blenz has the decency to award a $15 gift card to one mayor every week. Which is only fair: If you’re going to have mayors, you’d better pony up respectable bribes.)

So what powers would you grant to the office of Foursquare mayor? Pulling their own espresso shots? Free hits of nitrous at any participating dentist’s office?

You just unlocked the “exterminated” badge!

You just unlocked the “exterminated” badge! published on 1 Comment on You just unlocked the “exterminated” badge!

Pay attention, social media marketers… insects are a massive untapped market segment. What they lack in disposable income, they make up for in sheer numbers. And many of them are inherently social. Like, say, ants. And their entire lives are spent performing mind-numbingly boring, repetitive tasks – they’re perfect candidates for a FarmVille knockoff.