We have some new faces in the Havas Discovery office, and we would like to welcome our newest employees Matthew Broome, Dale Case, and Matthew Whittemore. All three newbies have specific areas of interest and talent that will help add to our full service digital agency.
Matthew Broome: Matthew joins the team as a Helpdesk Analyst. Before coming to Havas Discovery he was at the Maryland State Department of Human Resources working as a Network Analyst for their Baltimore City facilities. Prior to his work at DHR, Matthew worked in the private sector for the US Department of Health & Human Services and the US Department of Justice. In his spare time he likes to watch movies, is a big sports fan (Ravens/Orioles/Lakers), loves music, and also coaches youth football for the Baltimore Terps as well.
Dale Case: Dale joins the team as a QA Specialist. Before coming to Havas Discovery he was at Zenimax Online Studios doing QA for their new MMO game. Prior to Zenimax, Dale worked at e4e doing QA both on console and online games for multiple big game companies. On the weekends he works at a bike shop selling and fixing bicycles, and is an avid rider and bike enthusiast. He's a self proclaimed music nerd and enjoys playing his guitar and taking in the local music scene in his free time.
Matthew Whittemore: Matthew joins the team as a Application Developer. He has spent the last two years developing an ERP for a B2C in Atlanta. Before that, he aided a NYC based Education Non-Profit in designing its student tracking system as part of his year of service with AmeriCorps Vista. Outside of programming he pursues creative writing and has been lucky enough to publish a few of his poems.
Imagine you’re waiting for the bus, and the side of the shelter reads “In a hurry?” followed by a URL. Intrigued, you interact with the ad using your smartphone. Within a moment, a dog sled is there to pick you up! Out-of-Home advertising is no longer simple, static billboards and boring bus wraps showing merely a phone number–it is transitioning to an even more digitally-capable medium. And it isn’t the only outlet developing with the times. There are banner ads on your tablet that you can simply click to “Like” a brand’s Facebook page or pay a visit to their website. Entire cities are jumping on the digital bandwagon, too. NYC Mayor Bloomberg recently announced eight initiatives aiming to strengthen and grow media and technology in the city.
I'm an early adopter. A gadget guy. And I work in the space, so it's my job at Havas Discovery to not only watch the trends, but to participate in and shape them. So it's natural that I'm a big fan of mobile commerce. The idea that I can roll around and pay for things with my phone is more than intriguing -- I want to do it. The trouble is, there's no clear leader in the space with enough penetration to get over the tipping point. My recent experiences went like this.
There are already high expectations for what 2013 will bring to the marketing industry. A lot of these concepts follow the pattern of 'data matters', 'the consumer is driving', and 'smart content'. New information and technology will help shift the advertising industry to new heights in building a better and more focused relationship with the consumer.
Marketers have provided insights into what they think could happen. I kept a close eye on sources like Smart Insights, Business 2 Community, HubSpot, SeoMOZ, and our parent company, Havas Worldwide that go over these ‘prediction’ topics every single year. Some trends, such as mobile and big data, are continuing from 2012 but there is always the hope for progression within the industry. ...
I stopped reading newspapers when I lived in Atlanta. The sheer volume of typos-per-article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution made it impossible for me to pay attention to the content.
Those unfortunate souls who found themselves in my vicinity while I ranted wildly and gnashed my teeth over an offending article no doubt thought of me as a nudge, at best, and an insufferable, rhymes-with-witch at worst.
As a copywriter by trade, and the daughter of an English teacher by birth, my grammar-spasms are all but involuntary. I have an unabashed love of words and language. To see both treated as carelessly as they are these days saddens me in a way that is inconceivable to most. Words are thrown around without thought, bastardized and then pounded into the vernacular (the loathsome “conversate” springs to mind here).
Even such websites as CNN and The New York Times have their share of daily typos. But there are scant few of us who notice, much less care. There are, of course, a few and most of them would chastise me for starting sentences with prepositions (originally typed “propositions,” oops), and writing in a conversational tone that breaks at least a few of the golden grammar rules.
I guess that makes me both a renegade and an anachronism, and I’ll accept that. But as they say, you have to know the rules before you can break them. I had also accepted that typos are now part and parcel of reporting. Then, a couple of weeks ago I read an article that made me think I might not be alone in fighting for the words I love. Its title, “Why 'Amercia' needs copy editors,” set my cold, dark heart aflutter.
Because it’s true. And it’s long, long overdue. I currently have a proofreader sitting just a few desks to my right. And before this piece goes anywhere else, it will go to him, for scrubbing and a general once-over to make sure any mistakes are caught, corrected and/or debated.
Sadly, however, I am not a journalist. Nope. Not me. I am an advertising copywriter for an interactive advertising agency. And the fact that you will find far fewer typos and basic grammar mistakes in ad copy than you will in any article is pathetic. (The, mercifully, now defunct tag line “where you at?” notwithstanding.) To be clear, none of my vitriol is aimed at the journalists themselves. I understand that they are caught in a ruthless 24-hour news cycle, and it is almost impossible to accurately copy edit your own work.
Many of you, if you’re still reading this, are thinking “So what? Everyone knows that ‘ur’ means both your and you’re.”
Well, I’ll tell you what.
Today’s middle and high school students have a terrifyingly limited knowledge of basic language, and, worse, they don’t care. I have received resume cover letters that employ “text speak.” A candidate’s sign off on an otherwise unremarkable cover letter was, “I’ll call you 2moro to discuss.” The hell you will. Call all you want, there is nothing to discuss.
Our marketers are being held to a higher standard than our journalists, or at least given more grammatical support. If you don’t find that scary in and of itself, then, I fear, all hope is lost. It could be that I am the equivalent to those in the Victorian-era hearing “could not” as “couldn’t” for the first time and fearing the end of the world, and civilization, as they knew it.
But I am of the opinion that if we can’t, or won’t, hold our professional journalists to even the basic rules of writing, then we can’t possibly impart to our students that there’s more to writing than Spell Check. While Spell Check will ensure that you spell “pubic” correctly, it offers no port in the storm if you actually meant to thank a “public” official. Something to think about.
Language is both beautiful and powerful. There’s a running joke in the industry that no one reads copy anymore. My question is this: Is that because they don’t want to, or can’t?
P.S. As always, I asked Bill, our steadfast proofreader, to take a look at this before it landed in your inboxes. There were eight things that jumped out at him. And, I daresay, he was right eight times.