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Jan 2

Miniature Street Art by Slinkachu

I love Slinkachu’s miniature street art - check out his blog and enjoy!

Dec 9
Life in a Nutshell — Animated Gif.

Life in a Nutshell — Animated Gif.

http://t.co/By8UmoEZ

http://t.co/By8UmoEZ

http://x.co/oxmb

http://x.co/oxmb

luminousenchiladas:

Olympics vs Mars

Geeeeeeze!

luminousenchiladas:

Olympics vs Mars

Geeeeeeze!

Nancy Sinatra

Nancy Sinatra

Whoa. Ok.

Whoa. Ok.

Jul 4
Dec 9

Marketing to American Muslims: The Largest Untapped Consumer Niche

Originally from the Expose Yourself! Blog.

The American Muslim Consumer
The Muslim population of the United States represents a niche consumer group that is largely untapped, proven to be loyal to brands, generally well educated, and best of all for marketers, it represents annual disposable income of at least  $107 billion according to a new study by Dinar Standard (JWT estimated disposable spending at about $170 billion in 2007).

Communications directed at these consumers doesn’t necessarily mean Arabic headlines and Hijab-clad women on every ad. At the very least, the consideration of basic sensitivity factors would ensure better response from Muslim American consumers. The market is garnering more attention as of late, with advertising giant Ogilvy recently rolling out its new Islamic branding consultancy Ogilvy Noor and the annual American Muslim Consumers conference garnering increasing attention every year. Pew just published a report that should help allay some brands’ PR concerns by finding that there are “no signs of growth in alienation or support for extremism” among Muslim Americans. Let’s get into it a bit…

Unique Communications Factors: An Example
There are many unique factors that could go into a brand’s American Muslim-targeted communications campaigns, here’s an example:

Modesty. The concept of modesty encompasses every facet of life in Muslim households, with varying levels of intensity from household to household. After all, to Muslims, Islam is not just a religion, but a “way of life,” and religious materials as well as cultural norms have a lot to say about maintaining modesty and humility.

  1. Modesty of Appearance can be as strict as full body coverage from neck to toe (and head to toe in smaller populations) to as liberal as allowing exposure of the legs below the knees. These rules apply to women just as well as men, in fact, even for men a revealed chest is likely to be viewed as immodest [see: aura]. For example, ads that reveal too much of the body (whether clothes are form-shaping or skin is bare) will definitely reduce Muslim American brand sentiment.
  2. Modesty of Actions is an important trait in Muslim households. Violations of modesty can be a cause for ostracism in the more strict households; nevertheless, even in the more liberal, assimilated Muslim American households, immodest behavior is easily detected and shunned. Most important behaviors to watch include the consumption of alcohol, pre-marital relationships (platonic or not)

Brand Loyalty
The American Muslim consumer market has proven to be quite loyal to brands with 70% of Muslim American respondents to JWT’s 2007 study claiming that “brands play an important role in their purchasing decisions, compared to 55%  for the average American.” The flip side of this brand loyalty of course is the boycotting of brands, something that Muslims worldwide have done more notably with Coca Cola (several times) and Nike for varying reasons.

Brand Neglect
When it comes to food products though, it’s the lack of information provided by brands that deters many Muslim consumers from buying their products. For example, most of the products on our supermarket shelves don’t disclose the sources of ingredients like monoglycerides (which can come from vegetable or animal sources) and gelatin, which is always sourced from animals but the difference between pig-based or non-pig-based gelatin could mean that less strict Muslim Americans are still potential customers. This lack of information gives rise to misinformation as consumers attempt to educate themselves, the longer this misinformation continues the more difficult it becomes to rectify the information. Many Muslim households have learned to read the Kosher symbols found on many food packages to decipher the product’s content…but this can only help so much – at the end of the day Kosher isn’t Halal so Kosher Gelatin might be okay for less strict Muslims (because they know it’s not sourced from pigs), but those that eat strictly Halal won’t settle for less than Halal.

Homogeneous Religion, Disparate Ethnicities
Muslim Americans are also easy to accommodate in terms of language. While 1st and 2nd generation immigrants are likely to speak the mother tongue in their American homes, English is highly likely to be spoken outside the home so English is the natural language for communications to Muslim Americans, who may be homogeneous in terms of religion, but quite disparate in terms of ethnicity. This brings up an important note in the Muslim American market – diversity. Just as well as Muslim Americans are able to identify with the global Muslim population in terms of religion, they are likely to have largely varying sets of cultural norms and ethnic traditions. Major cultural differences across Muslim American households to consider when developing communications campaigns include varying perceptions of colors, music, and gender-mixing.

How niche can you go!
Once we start diving in to any niche market our passion for high ROI communications campaigns drives us to fragment the market even further, calling for more research and understanding at more granular levels. In fact, because consumer profiles can vary so much in Muslim American markets, one can easily come up with primary sub-niches based on country of origin or level of religious adherence – but right now, this is a red herring until brands start marketing to American Muslims at the population level.

Dec 9
pdtglobal:


This was taken on World AIDS day in Jamaica on Dec 1, 2005. The students made posters then had a parade down the street and through the main square. The posters encouraged people to get tested and be accepting of those with HIV/AIDS. - Peace Corps Information Technology Volunteer Logan Steffens

Powerful sign, and not said enough.

pdtglobal:

This was taken on World AIDS day in Jamaica on Dec 1, 2005. The students made posters then had a parade down the street and through the main square. The posters encouraged people to get tested and be accepting of those with HIV/AIDS. - Peace Corps Information Technology Volunteer Logan Steffens

Powerful sign, and not said enough.

Mar 4

(advance to 6m 10s) Jimmy Webb, Age 16, an African American Protesting with class and dignity in Selma Alabama when ethnicity defined how human you were in America (and it still does RE: Tea Party)

(Source: facebook.com)

Mar 3

Life’s Realities – Satirical Illustrations by Pawel Kuczynski

Pawel Kuczynski creates amazing illustrations that cleverly highlight life’s realities in a way that is quite unique. He brings out the good, the bad, and the ugly juxtaposing innocence with ignorance, irony with poverty, and hypocrisy with truth.

The images below provide a snapshot of this modern artist’s immense talent – there’s something very special in his ability to synthesize the human condition, into clever illustrations that leave an impact on the viewers mind. You can find many more of these images on our Machete Mag Facebook page, as well as Toonpool, where you can also interact with Pawel.

Each illustration makes me think, twice, about life’s realities – and I’m sure different people will have different interpretations…whatever your interpretations are, enjoy.

These two photos below contrast the neediness of impoverish children with those that can afford to be worry-free.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 3

Man as God? Five Percent Nation of Islam | Nation of Gods and Earths

Five Percent Nation LogoThe Nation of Gods and Earths (NGE) is a religion that was started in 1964 which borrows ideas from traditional Islam.  The NGE is also known as the Five Percent Nation of Islam, which refers to the NGE’s explanation that 5% of black people are chosen ‘Gods’ of the world and Islam is the black man’s natural culture (but not religion):

The 5%, who are the enlightened divine beings, the poor righteous teachers, having repossessed knowledge of the truth regarding the foundations of life and of oneself, and seek to liberate the 85% through education. (Wiki)

The Conflict with Traditional Islam.

In traditional Islam it is the worst form of blasphemy to liken any thing or being to God – so the teachings of the Five Percent Nation are viewed as condemnable heresy.  Five Percenter men refer to eachother as ‘Gods’ and women are called ‘Earths.’  This concept is explained by the above passage that states that 5% of black men are “enlightened and divine beings,” but is made convoluted by turning the Arabic name of God, ‘Allah,’ into a simple acronym…according to the Five Percent Nation’s official website:

[…] the blackman is god and his proper name is ALLAH. Arm,Leg, Leg, Arm, Head.

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Mar 3

The Web as the Wild West: Lose one password and you risk everything.

Gawker Hacked on TwitterThe password fears that have been floating around the net for over a week are a very interesting case study for the history of the internet.  When hackers exploited a security hole in the Gawker Media network’s servers they came out with a huge list of user credentials.  So anyone that has a “commenting account” in one of Gawker Media’s websites (i.e. LifehackerGizmodoGawker) has had their username/password combination released to the public at large – by the way, we’re talking about 1.3 million registered users – this is serious enough that the FBI is on the case.

The reason I’m writing this is because the implications of this security breach go far beyond the Gawker Media network and stand to ruin operations for most of the web’s largest operations.  It’s a shame that this happened all because of Gawker network’s websites, dutiful contributors to the net’s infoglut of cheap information – nevertheless, it happened.  Especially shameful is that Gawker CEO Nick Denton asked for it…literally – in an internal Gawker message he challenged the infamous internet god/vandalism website 4Chan tobring it on.

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Mar 3

Large-scale Public Social Networking Websites are Long-term Risks to User Safety

Large-scale social networking websites like Facebook and MySpace are long-term threats to users safety.  I love social networking…don’t get me wrong, this is not an Orwellian conspiracy theory – I just see a lot of potential dangers to personal safety and violations of privacy – which would be totally fine if users knew what they were getting themselves into…but not fine at all when they don’t realize what is out there.

In a nutshellAs a user of social networking websites you make available information that will likely be used by businesses for their own revenue-driven interests – the same information can also be used by malicious parties to cause harm to you.  The information you provide comes in the form of status updates, photos, contact information, and location data.  This information is already being exploited to establish your user profile – not the profile that your friends see on the web…but a user profile that is more like a target profile – as in marketing target.

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