Examples of digital marketing fails (broken windows)

The last time I gave a workshop on the Broken Windows Theory and how it related to marketing, a participant gave me feedback that I needed to include more web-based and digital examples. And, she’s absolutely right.

So to fix that, I’ve started collecting digital examples of broken windows. Taking inspiration from one of the blogs I read for fun, McMansion Hell, I’ve added parody comments to the photos.

Without further adieu, enjoy!

Priority Pass website with residence spelled incorrectly

Another fun fact about this one: I was nice and emailed their support department over a month ago and let them know about the typo. I got a standard, “thanks for your feedback” macro response. But did they fix it? Nope.

Cooking light recipe missing ingredients

So much for wanting to make this recipe

Branding to millennials web banner where millennials is spelled wrong. It also shows only white men and they are using their technology in ways that looks like work. There is only one woman in the photo. She's white, and taking a selfie

Thanks to a friend for sending me this one. Beyond the typos, my friend pointed out that the graphic is also problematic; it only shows white millennials even though millennials are incredibly diverse, and the only woman depicted is using her technology to narcissistically take a selfie.

Linked in notification, saying I haven't connected with a coworker for 2 years, even though I work with him every day

Let’s be real here for a minute: We really know why this came up. Phil hasn’t had a need to get on LinkedIn in a few years and they want him back, because eyeballs mean ad revenue. So it’s more about getting him back than doing to me a favor. But to me, it feels like that ex who tells your friends to tell you that they “just hope you are well” in hopes you’ll take that as a cue to contact them.

To give LinkedIn credit, this may be helpful at a large organization where you don’t interact with almost everyone every day. So, for this one, it could be a simple change to the algorithm; only show these messages if it’s an organization of x (200?) employees or more.

Screenshot of a law firm website where the photo of the lawyers is pixelated in a way that gives them a weird halo/aura around their heads

Two ideas of how this might have went down:

Option 1:

Web designer: Can you send me a high resolution version of the photo of you in the courtroom?

Lawyers: Sure. Here you go.

Web designer: Um, that’s low resolution. Can you send me the high res file?

Lawyers: We sent you the file.

Web designer: Yes, I know, but you sent me the low res file

Lawyers: We sent you the file!!!! Just do your file.

Web designer: (sigh) Fine. I give up (or a stronger version of this)

Option 2:

Web designer: We need high quality photos for the website

Lawyers: How much is that going to cost?

Web designer: (gives number)

Lawyers: What?!? That’s too much money. Ted’s kid does a great job taking photos. We’ll just have him do it with his phone.

Web designer: Those won’t look good

Lawyers: They’ll look fine…

On another note, the reason I ended up on their website in the first place is because of some entertaining billboard replacement.

A billboard for a law firm that represents drunk driving cases. Below it is a billboard for Miller Lite

Moving on…

A screenshot of an email promotion from a gym advertising a pizza and beer party after a new workout class

I don’t think I’ll ever tire of the hypocrisy of gyms serving pizza and beer. This one is especially fun because the fitness center is tied to a hospital.

An iphone screenshot of Jason's Deli's website with the words "Access Denied" when I tried to click on their nutrition information

Actually they are right, I don’t want to see the nutrition info. I’m happy being blissfully unaware in this case.

iphone screenshot of a website with an error message that says "email not exists"

There, I fixed it.

Fair use disclaimer

All screenshots are used in this post under fair use for the purposes of education, satire, and parody, consistent with 17 USC §107.

Creative Commons Licenses 101 openly-licensed PowerPoint slides

Creative Commons Licenses 101 (openly-licensed)

As part of the Creative Commons Certificate for Educators, I developed the above set of PowerPoint slides covering the basics of Creative Commons Licenses, including the three layers of the licenses, the four license elements, the six Creative Commons licenses, how the licenses interact with exceptions and limitations of copyright, the licenses and public domain, and more.

Please note that the simplicity of this design is intentional; I subscribe to the Presentation Zen philosophy of presentations, which includes not putting a lot of words or clutter on slides. However, since I won’t be presenting this slide deck in person and to make it as useful to others as possible, I included more wording than I normally would.

Copyright law 101 openly-licensed PowerPoint slides

Copyright law 101 openly-licensed PowerPoint slides

As part of the Creative Commons Certificate for Educators, I developed the above set of PowerPoint slides covering the basics of Copyright law, including how to obtain copyright, copyright holder rights, fair use, public domain, and more.

Please note that the simplicity of this design is intentional; I subscribe to the Presentation Zen philosophy of presentations, which includes not putting a lot of words or clutter on slides. However, since I won’t be presenting this slide deck in person and to make it as useful to others as possible, I included more wording than I normally would.

Jennifer Lopez’s Dinero music video: Product placement to the extreme

What struck me as over the top this time in her music video, however, was the level of product placement.

I have a confession to make: I’m a Jennifer Lopez fan. I don’t listen to her often, follow her career much, or really know that much about her. I usually have a very rational reason for liking someone, but JLo is just….entertaining. She’s so over-the-top so much of the time and I find it hilarious.

And she didn’t disappoint in her new music video for the song, Dinero. Walking an ostrich, roasting marshmallows over a fire made of cash, spray painting a luxury vehicle, etc. What struck me as over the top this time in her music video, however, was the level of product placement.

A breakdown of product placement in Dinero

(intentionally not linking these to product sites)

Mig Vapor e-cigarette – :28 (product use) :30 product use + hat

Jersey Mike’s Subs – 1:40

Lyft – 2:06-2:18, 5 times

Time magazine – 2:21

New York Yankees – 2:32. Although this might just be her fandom coming through. She is, after all, “Jenny from the Block.”

Jennifer Lopez in a mansion with high end clothing on, but has a Jersey Mikes sub in her hand.
Copyright Disclaimer: Screenshots are used in this post under fair use for the purposes of education, satire, and parody, consistent with 17 USC §107. Manipulated screenshots are considered derivative work and are Copyright © Nicole Finkbeiner, openly-licensed under CC-BY 4.0.

Of course, this is just the obvious. She also wore $4.5 million worth of diamonds in a partnership with Tiffanys and every outfit, accessory, etc. was more than likely carefully selected for maximum commercialization.

But, it’s just this level of ridiculous that keeps me coming back (and snickering as I write this in an airport, annoying the people near me).

JLo, I heart you, but next time, go back to being over-the-top without so many product placements, ok?

Further reading:

Would you rather product placement be obvious or not obvious?

Leah Remini Is ‘Grateful’ for the Support She’s Received from Friend Jennifer Lopez Since Cutting Ties with Scientology

 

 

History of Creative Commons Powerpoint slides (openly-licensed, of course)

History of Creative Commons Powerpoint slides (openly-licensed)

As part of the Creative Commons Certificate for Educators, I developed the above set of PowerPoint slides covering the basics of Creative Commons’ history.

Please note that the simplicity of this design is intentional; I subscribe to the Presentation Zen philosophy of presentations, which includes not putting a lot of words or clutter on slides. However, since I won’t be presenting this slide deck in person and to make it as useful to others as possible, I included basic wording.

 

 

Recommended additional readings to understand copyright and Creative Commons

As part of the Create Commons Certificate for Educators, I will be highlighting resources that build upon the course content.

Due to the grading rubric for this assignment, I’ll distinguish North American sources and Non-North American Sources.  This page will be updated regularly for the duration of the course.

North American Sources

Reading 1: “The Commons, Short and Sweet” by David Bollier is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Annotation: Unit 1 Additional Resources

Relevant content in the unit: Unit 1.2, Creative Commons: The Licenses, Paragraph 2. However, the reason I highlight this resource is that I think the below is content that needs to be added to the course.

This resource is very helpful in explaining, in simple and short word paragraphs (short and sweet, it is), the full context of the commons:

“The commons is not a resource. It is a resource plus a defined community and the protocols, values and norms devised by the community to manage its resources. Many resources urgently need to be managed as commons, such as the atmosphere, oceans, genetic knowledge and biodiversity.” (emphasis added)

Emphasizing the social norms and community accountability aspects of the commons are key to truly understanding the commons, it’s role in society, and how it can be sustained.

Reading 2: “Copyright Basics” by U.S. Copyright Office, all rights reserved.

Annotation: Unit 2 Additional Resources

Relevant content in the unit: Unit 2.1, Creative Commons: Acquiring Essential Knowledge – an Overview, all paragraphs.

I prefer sources that are short and to the point, with links allowing me to explore various topics if  I need to.  This piece goes over all of the basics of creating and maintaining a copyright license. While that is not the objective, typically, of someone taking a Creative Commons course, it helps to see this information from a pro-copyright perspective to understand all sides of the issue.

It’s also a primary source, meaning that the department issuing the copyrights in the United States also wrote this piece, which means it should be as accurate as possible.

Reading 3: 3 Steps for Licensing Your 3d Printed Stuff by Michael Weinberg. CC BY-SA 3.0

Annotation: Unit 3 Additional Resources

Relevant content in the unit: Unit 3.2, Acquiring Essential Knowledge, What types of content can be CC-licensed, suggested additional content (related to both paragraphs in current content).

While the primary purpose of this paper is about 3-D printing, this resource is a great overview of copyright law related to electronic files, whether they be photographs or the files for a 3-D printing project.

This is an especially good resource for those interested in specific examples of the delineation of the functional, non-copyrightable aspect of a work and the artistic expression, copyrightable aspects of a work.

 

Suggested additional North American Sources

Suggestion 1: “What does copyright protect?” by U.S. Copyright Office, all rights reserved.

Relevant content in the unit: Unit 2.1, Acquiring Essential Knowledge, numbers 1 and 2.

This resources is a quick FAQ of what copyright does and doesn’t protect, which can very helpful in understanding the most common instances of protection and the questions most people will ask regarding what is protected and what isn’t.  It’s also a primary source, meaning that the department issuing the copyrights in the United States also wrote this piece, which means it should be as accurate as possible.

Suggestion 2: “Educational Fair Use: A flow chart for teachers” by Lisa M. Jorgensen, all rights reserved.

Relevant content in the unit: Unit 2.4, Acquiring Essential Knowledge, paragraph 4.

This flow chart helps visualize the fair use elements of utilizing a copyrighted resource within an educational context. Considering the course I’m specifically in is for educators, I think it’s a natural addition. Note: I reached out to the author to ask if she will license the work CC-By.

 

Suggested additional Non-North American Sources

Another part of the suggested readings project is to suggest three additional resources to be included in the Creative Commons Certificate Course that come from non-North American sources.

Suggestion 1: “Benefits of an Open Access Policy” by Rhodes University Library, all rights reserved.

  • Country/Region: South Africa
  • Suggested unit of the course: Unit 2, no specific place because this is a section I’m recommending adding.
  • Why add: I struggled with the readings and additional readings of this unit of the course because none gave concrete examples of  how public domain, open access, and open licensing can impact the public. What I liked about this resource is that it gave specific examples of how an open access policy could benefit the university, the government, and the public.

Suggestion 2: “Why Australian Schools Need Fair Use” by COMMUNIA is in the Public Domain, CC0

  • Country/Region: Australia
  • Suggested unit of the course: Unit 2
  • Relevant content in the unit: Unit 2.4, Acquiring Essential Knowledge, paragraph 4.
  • Why add: This article provides an excellent overview of the challenges that copyright causes within education and Australia and how fair use could impact education in the country.

Suggestion 3: “Case Law” by from Wiki Creative Commons is licensed under CC BY 4.0

  • Country/Region: Varies
  • Suggested unit of the course: Unit 3
  • Relevant content in the unit: Unit 3.4, suggested new section of content
  • Why add: The current content is very theoretical and gives a great overview, but I think it’s conducive to retention of the content to read about actual cases where the CC License played a role in the cases. This page provides a summary of case law related to the CC Licenses.

Featured image: “Reading” by Marco Nürnbergervia Flickr Creative Commons is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Creative Commons License
This blog post is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise noted.

What knee surgery taught me about access to education

Unplanned additional costs and complicated, unexpected additional steps are issues in both healthcare and education. Instead of finding ways for people to navigate these challenges, true change will come when we find ways to eliminate them. And, when we can’t, finding ways to ensure they aren’t unplanned or unexpected.

About six months  ago, I had knee surgery to correct the damage done by years of athletics.  I anticipated the issues that come with any surgery, but what I didn’t realize was how closely the process would mirror the experiences of so many in the United States attempting to access education and afford educational necessities like textbooks.

The “hidden” costs of surgery, college

Luckily, I have good insurance, so the surgery itself only cost $200. A good deal, right? It is, but what you don’t think about is all of the additional costs that no one tells you to plan for, such as:

  • Special soaps and bandages
  • Special food/drink
  • Ice for an ice machine
  • Prescriptions for after the surgery
  • Over the counter medicines for after the surgery
  • Physical therapy and follow-up visit co-pays

These “unplanned costs” totaled over $2,000.

Often in the Open Educational Resource realm (OER) we hear the argument, “Tuition is the huge cost, so why not work on that instead?” Indeed, tuition is a huge cost and does need to be addressed. Thankfully there are groups that are addressing this very thing.

But the students that get past the tuition hurdle find themselves facing unexpected costs that can make or break their success. The College Board does a great job of estimating some of these, but so many people just look at the bill from the college or university and think “this is the cost” when in reality, it isn’t the cost. They’ve planned for that big cost, some saving for years to afford it, so while a $100 extra may not seem like a lot, when you find yourself in a position where “I have no money left” and someone says “here’s another $100 you need to spend,” all of a sudden $100 is the straw that broke the camel’s back and causes someone to give up.

When I was working at a community college, I saw how quickly an unplanned, hidden cost of college could impact student enrollment. The state I worked in passed a law requiring each community college student to get a meningitis vaccine before coming to college.  But here’s the kicker, the shot was $125. And that was the last straw for these students. They’d given all they had to give, paid all of the other fees, there simply wasn’t $125 left. And so, students started dropping out in record numbers.

Hey look! More hoops to jump through

If there’s one complaint I have against doctors in general, it’s that they can be notoriously bad about communicating all of the steps and expectations of something like a major surgery. Or, as some have posited, this may be intentional to keep you from backing-out, but I digress.

Major things my doctor missed telling me:

  • There’s a pre-op appointment you must attend, during working hours. In total, this’ll cost you an hour of driving (and gasoline) and 2 hours at the appointment, for a grand total of 3 hours.
  • You can’t drive for at least 10 days after the surgery. To really get the context of this shock, we found this out about 20 minutes after I came out of surgery. Imagine someone walking up to you right now and saying “Starting right now, you can’t drive for the next 10 days.” But wait Nicole, you say, shouldn’t that have been obvious since there’s crutches involved? Not really. I’ve been able to drive with a right foot injury and crutches before.
  • You’ll be averaging 2-3 follow-up appointments per week for 4 weeks. All must be done within normal working hours.
  • You’ll be averaging 2 physical therapy appointments per week for 12 weeks. Each appointment will take 1.5 hours plus 60 minutes of driving, for a total of 5 hours per week.

I’d like to take a moment to especially focus on bullet points two and three above, I couldn’t drive and I had to go to four appointments per week during working hours. This meant that my now-husband would have to take off from his work to drive me, or I would need to incur ride-sharing costs. On one hand, this really made me grateful for the flexibility in both my and my husband’s work, that we were able to do so many things within normal working hours with no issue. But it also left me wondering, how do people manage that don’t have someone who can do this for them and don’t have the money to pay for ride sharing?

This reminds me the processes that a student has to go through during higher education.  When I was the marketing director at a community college, I asked a friend of mine, who was enrolling in college, to let me shadow her during the whole process.  The first appointment to get her enrolled took 4.5 hours, the second one took more than 2. Orientation was a third night (did I mention she has 3 small children?) and was another 2 hours, which culminated in us both staring at a computer screen, trying to figure out to build her class schedule, at a total loss. I can see why so many give up.

tl;dr (in summary)

Unplanned additional costs and complicated, unexpected additional steps are issues in both healthcare and education. Instead of finding ways for people to navigate these challenges, true change will come when we find ways to eliminate them. And, when we can’t, finding ways to ensure they aren’t unplanned or unexpected.