Will Taking the Moral High Ground Make Ello the New Facebook?

In the wake of controversy over Facebook’s real-name policy emerged the noble, altruistic social network, Ello. The artists and designers who created Ello rode in like hipster- knights in shining armor and declared their valiant manifesto; that those wanting to maintain their identities of choice and who don’t want their social activity to be bought and sold for the almighty advertising dollar need look no further.

Ello’s invite-only platform became impossible to infiltrate overnight. It felt like a party at a hip Brooklyn art gallery where the guest list is kept secret. Motivated by equal parts FOMO and a mildly narcissistic desire to stay ahead of the latest trends, I began a frenzied search for an invite. Not-so-ironically, my bicycle-riding, beanie-wearing, graphic designer friend gave me the in. But after 10 minutes of wide-eyed perusal of the stark site, I was at a loss for what to do next. And to be honest, I haven’t been back.

Herein lays the dilemma: Ello just doesn’t give users a better alternative to what they already have. And while the moral high ground that Ello stands on is admirable, I have little confidence that Ello’s call to action will result in revolutionizing the ad-clogged social networks that we live on today.

Ello homepage

From first glance, the minimalist layout is beautiful, a welcome respite from the constant information that bombards us every day.


Should the NFL Abandon Pink?

For the past five seasons, NFL players have donned pink cleats, gloves, hats and towels in October to raise awareness for breast cancer. The league has been panned before for a perceived lack of transparency about how sales of pink merchandise fund breast cancer. This time around, however, the league announced that they would be dialing back on pink, perhaps as a result of backlash against its donation strategy in which a small fraction of the money from pink branded NFL products go to charity.

NFL Pink 1


Friday Five: 10/13-10/17

Happy Friday! Here’s a roundup of industry news for the week.

What Retail Stores Want to Do With Your Consumer Data – Mashable

Tracking a customer’s shopping behavior is simple in the e-commerce space, yet not as easy for brick-and-mortar stores. Retailers are now tracking in-store behaviors by looking at credit card payments and encouraging customers to download their mobile app. While these tactics may seem a little intrusive, they can benefit the customer by providing retailers with the right information to offer personalized ads. An Opinion Lab study found that while 77 percent of customers find this type of tracking unacceptable, 61 percent of those customers expect to be compensated for being tracked. So where do you stand? Are you okay being watched or do you want retailers to back off?


Making “Fetch” Happen: 6 Ways to Make Your Ideas Catch On

By Theresa Ianni and Jennifer Mulligan

On October 3, Mean Girls fanatics wore pink, quoted the legendary movie and reflected on 10 years with the epic teenage comedy in support of National Mean Girls Day. But while the movie surfaces memories of sleepovers and teenage drama, it’s possible that there’s more to Mean Girls than The Burn Book, Coach Carr and army pants and flip flops. In fact, it’s possible that Mean Girls can teach marketers a thing or two about igniting great ideas.


Inspired by the month of Mean Girls, here are six ways to make “fetch” happen:


The Cyber-security Commandments

By Will Kruisbrink and Alex Mamach

In honor of cyber-security month in October, Walker Sands’ IT Kaizen put together a list of “Cyber-security Commandments.” Following these rules will help you avoid most cyber-security problems. They’ll also keep your technology running smoothly.


1.     Never Trust a Link. Know where a link is taking you before you click it.

You can always hover over a link and look at the bottom left of your browser to see where the link is directing you.

2.     Know Your Sources: Understand the difference between legitimate sites and shady dealers.

Sites for fonts, stock photos, and song lyrics tend to have lots of malware. Look for authorized sources before clicking through to any sites. Try the “Web of Trust” Google Chrome extension.

3.     NEVER plug in a USB stick you don’t know

4.     Always ask an IT department member before downloading anything.

5.     Always Update Windows (or Mac OS)

It’s not your iTunes update. On the second Tuesday of every month, Microsoft releases an update to Windows. Always download it and let it finish installing.

6.     Lock Your Phone

Password protecting your phone should be the first thing you do when you pick up that iPhone 6.

7.     If someone contacts you on a social network whom you wouldn’t text, be wary

Create a high standard for interaction on your social accounts.

8.     No legitimate person at any company will ask you for your log-in information

9.     Permissions: When an app asks your permission, less is more.

Don’t blithely click through all the pop-up screens when you install a new app. Read each and reject most permissions.

10.  Identify, then Open

Figure out where a file came from before opening it. If you can’t remember or don’t know how you got that file, delete it.

Are there any commandments that we missed? Tell us in the comments below.