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10 things I didn’t know last week #206

1. In the 1800s, a man was convicted of murdering his wife because her ghost “visited” her mother and accused him. The ghost’s “testimony” was used in court to show the jury that the mother was crazy, but she was so convincing they found him guilty.

2. There’re hundreds of different card’s suits. Thanks Thomas B.

3. What do dictators like to eat.

4. People who grew up without colour television have different dreams. In the 1940s, 75% of Americans claimed they “rarely” or “never” dreamed in colour.


5. In the mid-19th century, inventors began experimenting microphotographs. It was all the rage to insert tiny photos into everyday objects.

6. There’s actually seven North Pole.

catopia dogistan

7. If all the world’s cats and dogs made their own countries.

8. The average AOL Dial-up customer has been paying for 14 years. Thanks Thomas D

9. The Vagina word historically used to describe a sword sheath. Thanks Clodie.

Bonus: watch the weird vagina popularity during history.

10. Xmas and Christmas are equivalent in every way. The “X” is indicating the Greek letter “Chi”, meaning “Christ”.

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When expertise is freezing creativity: is jargoning a sign of desperation?


Cross-fertilisation of ideas within science is hugely important for innovation. The problem is, the more specialised we become, the more disconnected we become with other scientists outside our field.

Excellent article by Ben McNeil.

Does it ring a bell?

I guess this is human nature to tell our expertise through marginalities rather than commonalities. There’s an identification issue.

But when it stops us to collaborate, that really sucks.

This is when people working in advertising agencies feel like don’t understanding their fellow working in digital agencies. Where medias guys jargon so much we couldn’t picture they’re working for brands.

Hey ho guys, let’s focus on parities point. These are 80% of our jobs. Let’s work together. No one believe in jour jibbering.

We’re all designing lolcats contents for people who just care about watching TV and Youtube for free thanks to ads.

No one buy your differences. It’s just a pain in the ass.

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The web is basically now behaving like a huge TV


Yesterday we talked about the inability of brands to have conversation with their customers. As one reader noticed it, perhaps 100% of brands could boast talks after all, but only towards a very little amount of people.

And so I red again the Cluetrain Manifesto.

This is still a monument of digital mythology. Most of ideas are still up to date. 15 years after its releasing, you realize the influence it had. Basically the whole Internet 2.0 seems to be born out of it.

Yet, as for every prediction, some are horribly wrong:

16. Already, companies that speak in the language of the pitch, the dog-and-pony show, are no longer speaking to anyone.

17. Companies that assume online markets are the same markets that used to watch their ads on television are kidding themselves.

18. Companies that don’t realize their markets are now networked person-to-person, getting smarter as a result and deeply joined in conversation are missing their best opportunity.

What a perfect illustration of the inner libertarian mythology understating the digital world. I hope they don’t feel disappointed. Even if a few start-ups slightly disrupted industries (take Napster, AirBNB or Uber), corporate ideas are still here.

Take for instance the myth of virality, which helped thousands of advertising agencies to jump into the digital wagon. For a couple of years now, not a single eyeball isn’t paid by advertisers (sometimes they even pay for humanoid impressions).

I wish Cluetrain predictions could have switch the corporate order yet as a sign of faith, the digital market became so cluttered by conversations that it’s now used as a huge TV.

Because video banners generate a better revenue (despite a lot of fraud as well). Because targeting is too expensive. Because time spent now trumps impressions as the ultimate KPI, because the best producers of content comes from telly or Hollywood.

And we are again. Long live the media planning.