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Last update: 2015-04-03

The Changing Desks Edition

Length: 22s


Businesses are slowly starting to embrace - or at least consider - the idea that it’s not enough to know how your own job works. To be great, you have to understand other departments, functions, and industries.


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The Comeback Edition

Length: 23s

According to LL Cool J, don’t call it a comeback. But what if it is? What does a successful comeback look like, even if you’ve been here for years?


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The Big Event Edition

Length: 22s

Deciding whether to plan, sponsor, or even partake in a big event? Wondering if it’s worth it? We discuss how to decide and what to do to make sure it’s an opportunity and not a liability.


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The Storytellers Edition

Length: 22s

There’s a reason the saying is “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” Stories create connections in a way that stone cold facts can’t.  


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The Generous Edition

Length: 23s

Blogger-of-his-time Khalil Gibran wrote, “Generosity is giving more than you can.” What does generosity look like in today’s economy? How can businesses be generous in spirit while also making money?


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The Being Boring Edition

Length: 21s


Congratulations, everyone! We’ve won the war against boredom! No longer is there an idle moment you can’t fill with some kind of digital distraction. But what are we losing when we lose our bored moments? Are we really winning?


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The Trade Up Commodities Edition

Length: 25s

Trade up, now tell me, do you really want to be a commodity forever? With apologies to Paula Abdul, we discuss what happens when innovation pushes a product beyond its commodity classification?


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The Social Contract Edition

Length: 28s

Even in disgrace, Brian Williams makes us think about important issues. This week, we dive into the social contract and what happens when it’s broken.


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The Dashboard Edition

Length: 23s

Data without insight can be lethal. This week, we sort out what’s useful and what isn’t.

Put down your spreadsheets and give a listen!


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The Brand BFF Edition

Length: 24s


That brand is my Best Friend Forever! Look at all of the special things it does for me to remind me how important I am! Look at the little secrets that only I know about them! We’re inseparable! How do they make me feel so loved?


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The Big Reveal Edition

Length: 25s

Cut the ribbon on this episode and hear what we’re revealing:


The idea of the Big Reveal, in which a product is incrementally dangled before consumers but not available until The Big Most Important Release Date, is entrenched in our cycle of product development. In the digital era, is The Big Reveal still a good idea? Is it a realistic goal? Are the chances of leaks worth the hype build-up - or do companies sometimes intend for things to be leaked? Is it better to have a transparent development process, in which the Big Reveal becomes obsolete? SPOILER ALERT: We don’t all agree on this.

Brian offers an example of his ideal roll-out: Belle & Sebastian’s new album Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance. Bonus: The subversive cover art.

PJ questions LG’s decision to use almost the same name for two very different products with very different audiences.

Matt struggles to reconcile Google’s expansion into the mobile provider world with what is generally referred to as “business sense.”


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The CES Awards Edition

Length: 31s

As promised, we're ready to announce our own special CES awards. We each picked our own categories before CES began, and this week in Episode 39, we reveal the big winners! Pour yourself a glass of champagne (a mimosa if it's early) and listen to the episode that some have called "better than the Golden Globes."


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Bonus Material from the Magic 8 Ball Editions

Length: 8s

A little extra from our beginning of year coverage.


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The Magic 8 Ball Edition - Part 2

Length: 21s

Yeah, we’ve got a podcast that considers trends in business, marketing, and technology, and it is a new year. The universe demands some kind of year-in-review or “what’s coming” show, and as much as we fought it, it had to happen. But we’re not cliche! No way!

This is week 2 of our 2015 predictions show, taking a shot at what we might see in the new year that will surprise us, including the companies that will most surprise or disappoint us this year.

Check out episode 1 at the website, or just listen to this one, which stands on its own. Once you’re done, let us know at the Facebook page or at @TherePodcast on Twitter if you think we’re geniuses or crazy people. Probably both.


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The Magic 8 Ball Edition - Part 1

Length: 23s

We talk about new trends and predictions for 2015. 


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The Annual Edition

Length: 30s

It’s that time of year when everyone grits their teeth for yearly reviews of budgets, marketing, and even employees. Graphicmachine does its own review of whether the a once-a-year focus on crucial issues model makes sense, or whether it just causes people to cry into their eggnog.

Plus: Cards Against Humanity demonstrates why humans are awful, we’re building a non-park for dogs, and Wisconsin roots out which women can be trusted to have eggs, babies, etc.


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The (Meta) Podcast Edition

Length: 31s

This week on KCUR’s Central Standard, our very own Matt Staub weighed in on podcasts and the cultural phenomenon of the podcast Serial. In honor of his appearance, this week’s podcast episode is about… podcasts. What makes for a good one? Why do we listen? Are there new podcast frontiers to be explored, or have we exhausted the medium? Friends, Romans, podcast devotees, lend us your ears!

Plus: Google says “no más,” Gawker’s Defamer turns the Sony hacks into a story about business, and a PR firm learns the hard way that “lynching” is not a good brand identity.


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The Collegiate Edition

Length: 32s

Scientist George Washington Carver said, “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” Is that heart-swelling statement still persuasive today, or have mounting student debt loads and a hyper-competitive global job market made it more difficult to convince people of the importance of a higher ed degree? Does marketing an education make it more or less attractive to applicants?

Plus: Laptop batteries are reincarnated, Christopher Nolan spearheads a global experience, and Matt reminds is that there’s something good to be found in Twitter.


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The Black Friday Edition

Length: 15s


BLOW OUT SALE!! Happy Thanksgiving! Because we know you really need to get back to debating politics with your distant relatives, or camping out to buy a stack of $3 televisions, this week is a special, shorter holiday edition. We debate the merits and terrors of Black Friday, explore new ways retailers can approach it, get a little slap happy before the long weekend, and still leave room for pumpkin pie. Happy episode 33 to you and yours!


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The Stereotypical Edition

Length: 26s

Boys like cars, people who live in Brooklyn are hipsters, and people over age 65 are out of touch and concerned only with imminent death. Or so goes the world when viewed through the shorthand of stereotype. Do stereotypes serve any useful role in today’s marketing? How are they different from the ever-present “market segmentation”? And does their use limit growth, or direct it?

Plus: Bloody good photographs, a mirror that could cure narcissism, Google advances the mobile ball, and Ashton Kutcher’s at it again.


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The Dr. Science Edition

Length: 36s

This is your brain. This is your brain on marketing. Any questions? As a matter of fact, YES! We bring in an actual scientist to explain neuromarketing and how it can be useful - and not so useful - to marketers and brands. How does it work? What can really be measured? Will everyone know what's in your brain all the time?

Also on our minds: The Raiders of the Lost Ark gets a radical makeunder, Italy decides who gets to have parents, and “Too Many Cooks” won’t spoil the broth so much as curdle it and bury it deep in your psyche forever.


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The Get Out The Vote Edition

Length: 29s

Rock the vote! Do something with the vote! The constant struggle: how do you get citizens -- particularly younger ones — to turn out to vote?

Also in America: Google unveils a sexy new and revolutionary version of Android, viral sensation #AlexFromTarget is marred by #LameOpportunisticCompany, and architects descend upon Chicago for a first-of-its kind design Biennial. Beyond America, aspiring reality stars are signing up for certain death on Mars, and South Koreans don’t want Irish folks to teach them English because they’re all drunks. Sober up and cast a vote for episode 30!


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The For Immediate Release Edition

Length: 32s

Quick! Something important has happened! Write it on a piece of paper and fax it indiscriminately to some press outlets! Or is there a better way to communicate news and events? This week, we discuss the stalwart press release and its relevance to the modern world.

Plus, shady PR tactics, Walmart’s Mean Girls approach to Halloween, and some shameless promotion of a certain baseball-related project.


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The Going Dark Edition

Length: 33s

In a world where upsetting things are happening at a rapid pace, how do you make sure your marketing isn’t tone deaf? Do you stand down? Pivot? Ignore? Grab your face mask and your duct tape and find out!


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The Keep It Up Edition

Length: 31s

Congratulations! You have a new marketing initiative/website/social campaign! Days or weeks from now when the excitement has worn off, will it die from neglect, or will it be serving you the way you thought it would? How do you make sure your efforts are sustainable?

Plus, trains are the new trains, Facebook has a change of heart, a new product will help manage instead of create stress, and a certain someone has a meltdown over debate rules.


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The You Say It's Your Birthday Edition

Length: 34s

It’s ITTT’s half-birthday! Birthdays used to mean cake, paper cards and maybe a party with your nearest and dearest. Does the modern birthday, complete with digital greetings from friends and retailers, change what it means to celebrate the day you were born?

Plus, camels show us the way, 
The Atlantic has an unauthorized Ello page, David Bowie transcends time, and okra is a gateway drug.


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The End of The Job Title Edition

Length: 30s

Does a rose by any other name do the same job function? This week, we look at how employees and clients use job titles and the pros and cons of that reliance. This week’s guest, social media strategist Alyssa Murfey, joins us in asking: As the world becomes a more expansive and interdependent, is the job title going the way of the dinosaur?

Plus: An illustration of humanizing vs. dehumanizing, the Inter(dependence) of Everything, the Golden Creme Puff Awards, and flammable pornography


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The Story of... Edition

Length: 34s

Our story begins with three intrepid explorers searching for answers to these questions:

What does effective brand marketing have in common with A Tale of Two Cities? We explore the role of story-telling in marketing and brand identity.

If a Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid were to race an Amtrak Acela Express from Boston to DC, who would win? (Spoiler alert: Amtrak.)

Can a self-proclaimed “ass grabber” ever really be shamed on social media?


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The If You Build It Edition

Length: 31s

Let’s build something that 40% of people hate. That was a project strategy for this week’s guest, Kansas City real estate developer Chris Sally. The lesson for marketers: when pushing the envelope with a new kind of product for an emerging niche audience, don’t dumb it down. When you’re ahead of the trends and innovating, it really is “build it and they will come.” Chris tells us about his projects, how marketing ideas play a role in the development process, and indulges Matt’s questions about bathroom maintenance.

Plus: A German astronaut’s video shot from the International Space Station is oh so German, major Internet players throttle the speed of their services to draw attention to the drastically important battle over net neutrality, and yet another brand embarsses themselves by being clumsy on Twitter. Should we be used to it by now?

Here are the keys to the new podcast we developed for you. Move on in!


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The Private Parts Edition

Length: 31s

The Great Cloudtheft Panic of 2014 has everyone freaked about about technology. Should you stop using the cloud? Should you stop taking pictures? Should you drown your mobile device in a river?

Plus: the internet helps you watch what people are doing, decide whether to rent or buy, and solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; both Malaysian Airlines and Spirit Airlines might be embracing truth in advertising; and supermodel Karlie Kloss is everywhere at once.

Password protect your anxiety for the next 30 minutes and listen!


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The Ice Bucket Edition

Length: 36s

The Ice Bucket Challenge. How did that happen? Brilliant marketing scheme, or viral Internet accident? Raising all of that money is nothing but good, right? Should ice buckets have this much influence? We carefully poke at the opportunity costs question to try to decide if the world is a better place because of all of that cold water, how we can strive to do the most good, how we should think about charitable giving, and how charities should approach situations like this in the future.

Plus: we’re racing a train against a Porsche in Road vs Rails 2, a cool new web app is making music from the sounds of the US Open as it happens, the Chinese government says men can’t endorse tampons, a tech agency buys a billboard targeting just one company, and getting a cat rental with your mortgage in Russia.

Cold, refreshing podcast. Dump it on your ears!


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The Shareholder Values Edition

Length: 32s

In a marketplace where awareness is growing, and companies are people thanks to the Citizens United case, companies are wearing their values, political or otherwise, on their sleeves. Is it good for business? Some companies are using social good causes to differentiate themselves and create a whole new market niche, but when consumers flock to a brand because of its values, is the trap set for when that company can’t live up to the expectations it set in consumer’s minds?

Plus: Researchers use artificial intelligence to draw stylistic links in artwork, attempting to identify the specific influences that inspired an artist. What can it teach us about the creative process? Apparently, it is easy to hack traffic lights. Who cares? A museum responds to being ribbed by The Onion, Facebook experiments with a way to remove the last bits of critical thinking from the user experience, French chocolatiers are crying foul (presumably in French) over a new government health effort, and a viral video takes a hilarious look at the phenomenon of Facebook’s parade of happy people posts.

Take a stand! Listen to episode 20!


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The Be Our Guest Edition

Length: 31s

With more and more experiential touchpoints, whether it be product and service delivery, personal conversations, or brand and personal interaction online, we all welcome others as guests into our businesses, conversations, content, and lives. That means we’re all in the hospitality business. We explore that idea with guest Carolyn Anderson, Social Media Manager with VisitKC, asking how a city uses digital assets to promote and deliver great experiences, and what that thinking means to other people and industries.

Then, we chat about designer Marc Jacobs turning to social media to find real life fans to act as models for his latest product line, people politicizing tragedy on Twitter with epic tastelessness, an online directory of logo cliches, and choosing your battles when people say stupid stuff on social media.

Episode 19 is ready for you! Are you are ready for episode 19?


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The Celebrity Edition

Length: 33s

Hi, Major Celebrity here to endorse an amazing new podcast episode from Graphicmachine!

Celebrity endorsers used to be squeaky clean, bound by morality clauses to be on their best behavior. These days, nobody likes a lovable celebrity. What does this mean for the future of celebrity endorsements, if there even was one?

Plus, is Trader Joe’s famous “Two Buck Chuck” wine really so cheap because it is full of rodent blood, as was “reported” by an article passing through social media? Should a movie director’s style evolve to stay relevant? How can we build buildings that can be adapted with changes in the economy and market. Take a trip around the world with your ears, check out some crazy T-Mobile CEO tweets, and check out a new personality profile that isn’t necessarily about you directly, but how the world sees you at your best.

That’s right, folks. I’m here to tell you that you can find all of that in Episode 18. I know I did!


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The Have It Your Way Edition

Length: 33s

The consumer’s dilemma: in a world with so many options, how can we ever choose? Is choice necessarily a virtue, or can companies better serve customers by making choices for them, effectively removing choice in an effort to make it easier to choose. Happier consumers may result when purchase choices are made for them, with their problems solved with less thought required.

In addition, we talk about the Warby Parker of mattresses. Try a $1000 mattress at home and send it back if you don’t like it? Really? A Turkish Deputy Prime Minister tells women it isn’t ladylike to laugh in public, and women respond with a hearty dose of laughing on social media. An architecture firm creates an uplifting website that has little to do with their business directly, and little promotional effort -- and its a great example of content marketing and taste-testing that is great for business. An Amazon Prime streaming show called “Bosh” is stuffed to the rafters with smoking, calling into question the role of product placement. Finally, using ride-sharing services like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar vs taxis as the example, can disruptive entrants into established markets overcome the tremendous lobbying power and incumbent advantages of the behemoths they’re trying to unseat?


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The 18-24 Edition

Length: 36s

What do Darth Vader and episode 16 have in common? They’re both more popular than any of the prospective 2016 US Presidential candidates. We talk about that. And this stuff: Is age just a number, or is it still the most useful way to slice and dice the marketplace? In thinking about office spaces like neighborhoods, maybe somebody can finally get the office right. Matt reads the accidental (and somewhat hilarious) poetry of SEO-driven link building spam blogs; a not-so-magical ice cream sandwich that doesn’t melt still makes a defensive PR department melt down; old school images of NYC get the View-Master treatment; and a Southwest Airlines gate agent goes a little overboard during boarding, but the customer was a definitely a jerk.

Print out your A-group boarding pass and come aboard for Flight 16.


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The Full Disclosure Edition

Length: 40s

When Ashton Kutcher -- or anyone else, for that matter -- tweets about his new favorite app, does it really mean he likes it? Or is he posting because he stands to make a lot of money off of it? Is there a difference, and should he have to disclose his financial incentives? We discuss how disclosure should apply to maintaining trust in social media.

On top of all of that business, Brian talks about rammed earth construction, using the material at a building site to build the building. Proctor and Gamble introduces a $500 machine called a “Swash” to fancily Febreeze your clothes instead of actually washing them. Can we try one, P&G? SEC College Football programs facing dwindling attendance take a look at Major League Soccer to try to copy the secret growth sauce.

Also, we giggle like schoolboys at the new AirBnB logo, consider how to shake up the fact that smartphones are increasing wait times and distractions at restaurants, and getting low-cost technology in the hands of Ghanaian women is saving lives.

It’s a good show. You should listen to it.


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Length: 46s

When companies need external work that isn’t always “standard,” and since the nature of business is always evolving, does a rigid sourcing process make sense? And can this process be humanized while remaining disciplined? Plus, the CIA is following you…on Twitter. And they’re funny! Are faked YouTube videos ruining the magic, or is gaming virality just a new form of talent on display? We also discuss the Thai military’s “tactic” of using Facebook (or a simulated version there-of) to control people and how threatened pick-up truck drivers are modifying their rides to be extra polluting in a crazy phenomenon known as “rolling coal.” Plus, real-time hotel demand pricing: fleecing, or economics at work – or both? Could it be a door opening for disruption in the hospitality industry?


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The Disruption Edition

Length: 38s

“Disruption.” Does this buzzword mean anything, or does it mean everything in defining the state of innovation today? Might it be the most exciting annoyingly overused buzzword of all time? Speaking of words, do we need a new, more meaningful word for design? The gang preaches the gospel of design at every step of a product or experience, and laments the state of design criticism. Plus, Facebook again tests some ethical boundaries, and a new fashion accessory delivers notifications right to your finger. It’s Episode 13! Take us with you on your July 4th getaway!


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The Who's Your Daddy Edition

Length: 39s

A record breaking show! An unprecedented number of rants! A record amount of gadget and smartphone talk. Even more Apple and Google than usual! And far more of the word “Yo” than you’d ever want.

This week: More than ever, people are defining their families differently. Are marketers keeping up with the evolving concept of family? Also: Matt recaps some of the gadget news from Google’s big developer conference, the gang loves all over Netflix and its continued reinvention, PJ introduces the idea of “brand tourism” and how it adds value to exclusive brands, Brian laments that cash-rich brands are recycling the same ideas instead of using their position to innovate, and Matt talks about the bold new smartphone app called “Yo.” Take a listen, yo!


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Problems For Sale Edition


When new marketing channels emerge, so do hoards of so-called experts that focus on these very specific tactics. Whether it be social media consultants or search engine optimization experts, is there a place for these specialists in a strong marketing strategy? When this much focus is turned toward individual tactics, how do you make sure you’re seeing the forest from the trees?

Also this week: Adobe updates the creative suite with some promising features, YouTube undermines its ideals for the sake of negotiation, PJ longs to move into an expensive Japanese windowless room forever, and the team revisits the Washington NFL team naming controversy to consider recent news.


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The Betamax Edition

Length: 32s

As rumors circulate that Apple might be ditching the standard headphone jack in favor of a proprietary connector, we talk standards and interoperability. Plus, CIA research show that people with nice traits have magical prediction abilities, a new device gives you at-home health data, the Koch brothers make an ad, Panera Bread and their agency have a public lovers’ quarrel, TweetDeck hack gets artfully explained, and the Washington NFL team needs to change its name.


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The Ask For It By Name Edition


What is the meaning of customer loyalty in today’s market? Can urban transit take a tech-enabled lesson from services like Uber? The Secret Service needs some help picking up your sarcasm on social media. Google offers e-mail encryption. We welcome a special guest. Episode 9 is where it’s at!


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The Responsive Edition


What is the meaning of customer loyalty in today’s market? Can urban transit take a tech-enabled lesson from services like Uber? The Secret Service needs some help picking up your sarcasm on social media. Google offers e-mail encryption. Digital Personhood explores robots that mine data about you in real-time and interact with you using it. We welcome a special guest. Episode 9 is where it’s at!


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Just The Facts, Ma'am Edition


Do we live in a post fact world? How do marketers convince the unmovable masses? Is the European Union ruining the Internet? Can tiny payments pay for amazing new content online? Will a new Swedish town be as cool as the old one -- or even better? Should MLS reconsider its expansion approach? Do we ask too many questions?


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The Fortune 1,000,000 Edition


Does the mega-corporation have a future in an economy of constant disruption? How is retail evolving with technology? How will we feed a growing population in the future? What will an overreaching social media policy mean to academic freedom at Kansas universities? Where will millennials move next? All of this and more on the latest episode of "Is There There There?" from the Graphicmachine studio!


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You Changed the Logo Edition


Netflix changes it logo. Everybody freaks out. Why? What’s in a logo? What is a logo’s role in telling a brand’s story, and how can brands not piss off everyone when they redesign their visual identity?

Just how visionary was Steve Jobs? A look inside his 1985 brain gives some hints.

The FCC poops the bed on net neutrality. Is the battle for the truly open Internet lost?

A New York party promoter gets a primer on the 17 years of changes that happened while he was in prison

Is Nintendo homophobic, stupid, or both?

Buy carbon credits or you’ll drown. A bold campaign from CarbonStory using Google Streetview to imagine draconian climate change impacts.

Thin skinned Hootsuite CEO is not a big fan of competition.


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The Resuable Edition


Fresh for your weekend, we bring you episode 4 of the world famous Graphicmachine podcast!

On this edition:


The massive implications of the collaborative economy, and who will be ready to profit The Department of Homeland Security has an opinion on your Internet broswer choice Foursquare. They're messing with it. Why? And will the strategy work? An experiment where Internet connection lags were experienced in real world situations A solution for archiving URLs for historical purposes Crappy, weird Photoshop compositions …


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The Let’s All Go To The Lobby Edition


This week, we discuss:

The future of the movie theater Facebook as a continuing source of frustration for marketers What do outhouses say about marketing? And America? PJ's fear of the impending robot apocalypse The new Pono music device and its impact on high-fidelity music distribution Michael Bloomberg's Facebook oopsie AND MORE! …


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The Fine Print Edition


Episode 2! In this tasty treat, we debate the merits of 3D printers, lawyer PJ analyzes the General Mills terms of service fiasco, and we discuss the possibility of a devious scheme behind the US Airways infamous pornographic tweet. Plus: Audi is shopping for a new digital agency, waking up with the world, the story of the most viewed image ever, and a very vague reference to our efforts to make the world a happier place.


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Is there there there? Episode 1


In "Is There There There?," the Graphicmachine partners discuss topics on the following themes: 

Is there there there?: Debating the merits of a big idea, trend, or technology to see if it has substance and staying power. Their there: Recommendations of cool stuff we've seen There there: Condolocences for missteps and things that could have gone better Our there, out there: Stuff we're involved in, or projects we're doing, that we think are cool

This week: Wearable technology, Facebook, Amazon Fire TV, various Google things, an elaborate publishing inside joke at the expense of Hillary Clinton, and bidet toilet seats. Among other things.


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Is there there there?

Is there there there focuses on the changes occurring in the digital and not-so-digital world and how we experience them as marketing professionals.

Is there there there?

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