May 2012


“Bill Nye never explained science. He got on camera and told the universe how things should work.” -Me

The spinning head in the opening sequence was created by having Nye wear a green spandex suit in front of a green screen and kneel on a spinning office chair.

May 21 I got a chance to listen to Bill Nye speak. Yes, the Science Guy. He knows a lot. The Ohio Union Activities Board in conjunction with a few engineering clubs at Ohio State brought him here and gave out free tickets to students. Quite the deal.

I wasn’t just there to hear him speak, though. I went to live-tweet the event. I arrived 40 minutes early, and rude people already took the good seats. I say rude because they didn’t save one for me. While waiting for the man of the hour, I began tweeting a few random thoughts to build up to the show. I thanked OUAB, tweeted that quote at the top, and mentioned some facts about Nye. You can find cool information on his Wikipedia page and the page for his show.

He spoke about many things from space missions to the energy crisis and made-up words and sundials. I tweeted. Alone.

Well, not completely alone. Using the hashtag #OUABillNye (created by OUAB for the event), I encountered 6 other people who were tweeting. Live-tweeting did not prove itself to be an effective way to connect with others. I was retweeted twice, others were retweeted sometimes and none of us interacted beyond that.

Maybe OUAB didn’t promote tweeting during the event enough for people to get involved. I think social media is limited to the same rules as face-to-face social interaction. If you don’t know someone, you’re not likely to get involved in a conversation with that person. Social media will cause more interactions like that than face-to-face because you can hear everybody, not just the people five feet away, but I believe human nature limits its effectiveness.

Another rule of social interaction is that scientists aren’t very good at it. A lot of science majors went to hear him speak.

Not many people followed me, either. Granted, I don’t have many followers on Twitter, but the few I have said they weren’t paying attention throughout the event. For live-tweeting to work, it needs lots of hype, but I still didn’t find it very effective, just trendy.

What do you think about live-tweeting? Does it work? Let me know in a comment. Also, follow me on Twitter so that sad little birdy can smile again. While you’re at it, click the button on the right side of the home page to follow my blog. And this link lets you check out some other cool posts that have happened or are coming soon.

Peace. -Matt

“The good is the beautiful.” -Plato

Brochures. They still exist. Businesses started using print advertising around 1910 when printing became more efficient and economical. In the 50s and 60s, companies added more color as the cost for ink dropped. 50 years later, we still have brochures, and they come in all colors and designs.

Are brochures outdated? Can they still grab attention, make a sale?

I think they can, but it depends on the design. If you want me to read the writing on the piece of paper (and I’m not an avid reader), it’s going to take a lot of work. As soon as I see that brochure I need to be interested, and words aren’t going to cut it.

The triangular-folding pamphlet probably grabbed your attention. You wanted to read it without knowing what was being sold. That’s the power of a good design.

When it all comes together, there are a few key elements that need to be involved:

  1. Colors. Bright colors. – If I don’t think, “Ooooohhh, shiny…” I don’t want your piece of paper. I have too much other junk to throw away.
  2. Interesting architecture. – Unless it’s a topic I know and care about, it’s hard to change my mind with words. Let me play with the brochure. Be new, innovative and intriguing. If I’m in a positive mood, the product or service or whatever will be more appealing.
  3. Minimal words. – When do you receive a brochure? It’s probably at the entrance to a store, walking on the street or heading toward some other activity. You don’t have time (or the ability, necessarily) to read what’s in your hand. Tell a story with the pictures, supplement it with the information.

If a business does these things, I (or anybody, really) am more likely to read their brochure. I don’t think print advertising is dead at all. With the right material, it can be a powerful persuasive tool.

I’d like to hear your opinion, though. Do you think brochures and pamphlets are a waste of money? Leave a comment below. If you haven’t yet followed me on Twitter @IllusionofMatt, you can now save a starving child on Mars by doing so. If you like reading my blog, check out some other awesome posts that are soon to come. And you can follow my blog via email. There’s a button on the right of the home page. That’s all for now.

Peace. -Matt

Dear World,  I know you’ve been wondering about the future of my blog. Where is it headed? What life mysteries will Matt elucidate? I’ve got a lot of ideas for future posts, so I wanted to get information out there on what you can expect coming up in the near future:

1. Brochures – Print is far from outdated in business and advertising. Companies are constantly putting out brochures, pamphlets, fliers, etc., to get your attention. I’ll be taking a look at some cool brochures, what works and what doesn’t. I guarantee there will be neat pictures. This will be posted on Sunday or Monday.

2. Live-Tweeting – Twitter is being used in new ways every day, it seems. Live-tweeting events has grown significantly ever since Charlie Sheen’s ego trip trended across the world. In this class assignment, I’m going to be tweeting from an event on campus Monday. Follow me on Twitter @IllusionofMatt, and hear some insights about the world from… Bill Nye the Science Guy. I’ll then put up a post within the week about how efficient and effective live tweeting is, and how businesses make the most of it.

3. Nonverbal Communication – One of my primary goals when creating this blog was to talk about how nonverbal communication in advertising can persuade and transmit messages beyond words. I’m even writing a thesis on that starting in autumn. Unfortunately, I’ve been busy with other projects for class, so I haven’t been able to write as much as I’d like. I alluded to writing two posts in one of my first articles on physical appearance. Look for the expansion pack within these next two weeks.

Edit: I’ve finished them. Check out my simple tips to get better-looking hair for girls and for guys.

4. The Superbowl Archives – I love watching the Superbowl and the commercials that come with it. Every year I make a list of my favorite commercials, so I figured I would put those on the blog. (Hopefully all the videos are on YouTube. Other sites don’t seem to embed videos well.) I’ll then talk a little about why they’re such great pieces of work.

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