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July 14th, 2017

Broadband and Economic Opportunity

Excellent Insight from Dr. Gallardo's final project in Mississippi. I've called Dr. Roberto Gallardo a "rock star" of the rural broadband world. Dr. Gallardo started Mississippi's chapter of the Intelligent Communities Institute out of the Mississippi State Tech Extension Service, and has spent the last several years educating rural areas and small towns about the potential benefits of broadband internet. Dr. Gallardo has relentlessly hammered the economic...

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June 14th, 2017

Interview: Matt Richardson, Executive Director, North America, Raspberry Pi Foundation

Matt Richardson is a creative technologist, maker, author and the Executive Director for North America of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The Foundation provides outreach and education to help people access computing and digital making using low-cost, yet powerful, Raspberry Pi computers. Since the release of their first computer in 2012, more than 11 million Raspberry Pi units have been sold. Products include the Raspberry Pi 3,...

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June 12th, 2017

The weird, hilarious, and surreal moments from 18 years in this job.

This year officially marked by 18th year with my creative agency - Maris, West & Baker. Since my MWB tenure is now eligible for Selective Service I thought it would be a good time for some reflection. First I thought it would be nice to list the accomplishments of the campaigns on which I’ve worked over the years. It’s been quite a ride - from anti-tobacco...

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May 26th, 2017

MWB’s Spark-O-Matic: The great digital arts melting pot

Well, a whole school year's gone by since we started the marvelous mayhem that is Spark-O-Matic in early September of 2016 at Medgar Evers Library. And fittingly enough, it's been most educational, both for mentors and for students, in the exciting months since. [gallery columns="4" ids="6631,6622,6624,6607"] Together, even without a bright, shiny digital creativity lab, we're exploring how to design websites, make videos, produce soup commercials, delve into logo...

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April 27th, 2017

The new “advertising” construct

How today's news with ESPN, Ai, and WPP is indicative of the death of "advertising." Sports entertainment goliath ESPN has laid off approximately 100 people, with about half of them being on-air talent. Amazon is introducing a new feature via their Echo that will help you choose your outfit of the day. Multinational advertising conglomerate WPP Group reports exceedingly slow revenue growth as clients "spend less." These three seemingly unrelated stories de jour actually are...

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April 21st, 2017

What, Exactly, Is This “Brand” Thing?

MWB CLASSIC Originally published 2013 A colleague of mine and I were recently having "shop talk" over the weekend, discussing various marketing campaigns that we've developed over the past few years. The conversation eventually turned to the concept of branding.  We compared products that have a brand, those that don't, attributes of a brand, etc.  As the dialogue became more and more abstract, my colleague finally said,...

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April 11th, 2017

Why story and narrative matter…even in marketing

My wife and I have just settled down for the long evening's nap. When what to my wondering eye grabs my vision, But a true crime story on television. Alas it was one my wife had watched hence, And she spilled the "whodunit" just 10 minutes in. Angry was I, and rose with a burst. Why would she tell me??? That is the worst! I turned off the set, and laid...

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January 11th, 2017

What does success look like?

Obvious...and overlooked We conduct these things we call "Brand Impact Sessions" for companies and organizations. We invested some grey matter into what to actually call these sessions, but really the name isn't that important. We've called them three or four different things over the past few years. Most agencies have their own "proprietary" brand planning process with a tre-cool moniker. One large agency titles their process "360-degree branding."...

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December 2nd, 2016

Interview: Ashton Zeller, Director of Research at Algix

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t associate algae with cutting-edge technology. The thought of algae may call to mind things like pond scum and oceanic dead zones. But, contrary to their lowly reputation, algae are among the most diverse and widespread organisms on the planet, and algae research is fueling some very exciting new research and applications. Based in Meridian, Mississippi, Algix is one...

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December 1st, 2016

For re-invigorating your creativity, nothing beats letting your freak flag fly.

"You have a freak flag, you just don't fly it." -- Luke Wilson's character Ben in Family Stone With the holiday season upon us, it feels fitting to start things off with a good quote from a nice, cockle-warming holiday movie. At that particular moment in Family Stone, Luke Wilson as Ben is offering advice to Sarah Jessica Parker, whose character Meredith is so tightly wound...

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