Saturday, April 25, 2015

Advice from a Spanish satirist: "Don't open a bullfighting school in London"

Eduardo Galan, "Emperor" of Revista Mongolia

BURGOS, Spain -- Eduardo Galan is a bundle of contradictions. He has a Ph.D. in psychology, specifically the psychology of marketing.

(Versión en español)

He has a background in online business marketing. And he speaks very seriously about business models for marketing a media product.

Yet he has the playful air of an adolescent who delights in mocking the pretensions and hypocrisies of Spain's political, business, and religious leaders, which he does in the satirical monthly Revista Mongolia.

Onstage at the iRedes Iberoamerican Conference on Social Networks, he delighted the audience of several hundred with off-color jokes and humorous asides. In an interview with me afterwards, though, he sounded like any other media executive struggling to make a buck amid fierce competition.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Deal with the Devil: Facebook, Google, mobile apps

A deal with the devil.
Versión en español

It was the science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke who wrote, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." And clearly many people think that way about applications for smartphones.

Mobile apps can show us detailed maps of most places on earth. 
They can read QR codes that tell us when the next bus is coming to this stop. 
They alert us to the scores of sporting events we care about. 
They allow us to send text messages, free, to billions of people anywhere in the world (WhatsApp and WeChat users alone account for nearly 2 billion).
So we willingly give ourselves over to these services that do all these amazing things for us. Often we sign in to them using our Facebook or Google or Twitter accounts, thereby giving those social network platforms access to information about our preferences for products, who are friends are, where we are dining, and how we are amusing ourselves.