List of 20 Ways To Bring The Wire To Your Office

Here’s Oliver Willis with 20 Ways To Bring “The Wire” To Your Office. My favorites are:

2. Whistle “the farmer in the dell” as you walk between cubicles.
3. Show pride in your job via bad grammar
eg. “I’se real web developer.”
3a. Lament the lameness of your office in comparison to everyone else.
eg. “I wish I worked for a real accounts payable department”
20. When in doubt, just kill someone. That always seems to work.

Plus here are 3 links about actor Michael Kenneth Williams who played Omar Little. He’s in ‘The Road’ which appears to be apocalyptically awesome. A profile, A Q&A, and a handy post summarizing both of them.

Thanks Karmie and Kerry.

List of 20 Ways To Bring The Wire To Your Office

Mad Men Season 3 Preview Roundup

Mad Men Season 3 starts on Sunday and I am…excited. Here’s a round up of some of what’s been said about the show in the last couple weeks.

-Like cocktails? Here’s a Mad Men Cocktail Guide.

-Lots here from Vanity Fair, including a word on their obsession with set design:

A scene-setting anecdote everyone in the Mad Men orbit tells is how Weiner came onto the set one day and focused on some pieces of fruit he said were too large and shiny and perfectly formed; produce in the early 60s—period produce—wasn’t pumped up. Get smaller, dumpier fruit, he ordered. (Depending on who was telling me the story, from cast members to network executives, the offending produce morphed from apples to oranges to bananas, but Amy Wells, the set decorator, said definitively: it was apples.)

HuffPo’s take.

-The New Yorker on advertising Mad Men:

The theme of season three is change. “We wanted our key art to be more high-concept,” Schupack explained, unveiling the new poster, which hits this week: Draper is sitting in his office, looking nonchalant, as water rises up to his knees.


-From Esquire, Christina Hendricks and some other female players.

-Story about the real life person Don Draper is based on.

In the 1960s, Draper Daniels was something of a legendary character in American advertising. As the creative head of Leo Burnett in Chicago in the 1950s, he had fathered the Marlboro Man campaign, among others, and become known as one of the top idea men in the business. He was also a bit of a maverick.

Playboy is getting Madmenized for the next couple weeks.

Interview and podcast with Jon Hamm.

-Talking with the Mad Men costume designer:

Bryant mixes original creations with vintage pieces for the principal cast’s wardrobe, which is designed from scratch, starting with sketches. Her use of kaleidoscope colors, sparkling jewelry, brilliant prints and florals can be deliciously distracting.

-New York Magazine got into the act with a profile of Christina Hendricks

Which is kind of the point of Mad Men. Bad is sexy. And then just very, very bad. The show lures you in with a glittering surface, but just below is a hothouse of homophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, and a more general and crushing sense of isolation.

and Pete Campbell whom everyone hates except Matt Weiner apparently:

“I went to an all-boys school, and Pete’s like the kids I went to school with. He could have been Holden Caulfield’s roommate, who borrowed his coat and didn’t bring it back.”

and a handy Guide to the First Two Seasons.

-Finally here’s the Wall St Journal on the story, which seems to be getting a lot of play this year, of the writing staff that is mostly female:

The story centers on Don Draper and his shadowy past, but a key part of the series, the writers say, is its complicated female characters. “It’s less skewed than it appears,” says consulting producer Maria Jacquemetton.

Mad Men Season 3 Preview Roundup

The Business Of The New York Times

Here’s a New York Magazine article about the nerds at The New York Times who are doing extremely nifty things with their website. (The Year In Ideas 2008, the chart they put together for movie earnings, and to a lesser extent the galleries (like this one of Obama’s People) come to mind.)

What they’re doing isn’t earth shattering web design, but it does seem to be far and away above what other newspapers are doing and, frankly, how any other websites are presenting news.

I have little faith in web advertising as a sustainable revenue model capable of supporting a website (actually supporting an entire company, print media is circling the drain) like over the long term. The Times released earnings yesterday showing digital ad spending down (“Digital ad revenues, which grew at a rate of 15 percent in the year-earlier quarter, were down 3.5 percent in Q4 2008.”) (Then again, Twitter says media is thriving, so who knows.)

I was talking about this with friends and suggesting in the future we might see “ Presented by Apple” (or by Google, or by Microsoft, or by Coca Cola, you get the idea). It’s a destination on the web for people, but in order to keep presenting the news in new and innovative ways, they’re going to need CPMs that just aren’t attainable. Being owned and presented by a company not in the news business seems to me like a very viable option.

2 questions for you:
I’m more fascinated by the melting down of the traditional media than in the auto industry, am I alone on this?
Is the above paragraph completely crazy?

The Business Of The New York Times

Harold T. P. Hayes – Editor of Esquire

I’m not sure where or when I got the link to this (I’m just starting to clean out some old links), but it’s a gracious and fascinating profile of Harold T. P. Hayes, editor of Esquire. Published in January 2007 – in Vanity Fair, no less – this article is fitting now as Esquire rounds out its 75th anniversary. The article is heavy on the stories from the 60s and includes Hayes’ successful battle for power with Clay Felker, the mastermind behind New York Magazine. Check it out.

Harold T. P. Hayes – Editor of Esquire

Publishing is Changing

A couple weeks ago, there was a long article in New York Magazine about the end of publishing. It was interesting in the way that watching a car accident happen is interesting, only this is a car accident that you could have predicted was going to happen 20 years ago. You simply can’t keep paying a lot of money for something (in this case a book) that’s not going to make you a lot of money.

Last week, the author of that article tied it all together with another short blurb comparing Random House to General Motors, the only difference being Random House’s back list has some value.

It got me thinking a couple things:

It’s not that publishing is over, or banking, or auto manufacturers, or the music industry. This isn’t a coincidence. These are all businesses that haven’t evolved from where they were and they’re getting punished for it.

Why do e-books cost as much as an album? The article above has the price of ebooks for your Kindle at $9.99 similar to a price for an album on iTunes. Maybe iTunes has kept the price of an MP3 low, but a song or album you can listen to over and over and over again, while a book…how often do you read a book? Even your favorite book. If publishers agree to lower the cost of ebooks to $5, they’ll sell more than twice as many. Mark it, dude.

Oh, and the NY Times Magazine says journalism has to change, also, or they’ll be dead, too.

Oh, and James Surowiecki says Newspapers are toast, too.

Had the bosses realized that they were in the transportation business, rather than the railroad business, they could have moved into trucking and air transport, rather than letting other companies dominate. By extension, many argue that if newspapers had understood they were in the information business, rather than the print business, they would have adapted more quickly and more successfully to the Net.

Publishing is Changing