Instead of thinking of chatbots as digital assistants, we can use the tools at hand to be better humans.

There’s a very narrow gap where we can utilize chatbot logic with machine-learning and AI to augment our social interactions. To remove the guilt of not texting our mothers back, letting down job applicants, blowing off that cold-emailing salesguy, stringing along vendors, or even staying in touch with acquaintances enough that if they have a BBQ — you’ll be invited.

The Poison-to-Proactive line

In every human exchange, there’s an imbalance of power. The person initiating a request is showing that they have a need, and the recipient is automatically placed in a position of strength. …

The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friendly Fact Checking.

One of the main problems this election is fact-checking the hyperbole and outright lies of the candidates (mainly Trump). Responsible organizations provide their own fact-checking as part of the article write-up (or as a sidebar information) — but this relies on the writer and staff to work this into the article and have the copy-length fluidity to do so. Secondly, it should also lead users to assume some natural bias on the part of the organization.

Third-party organizations, such as PolitiFact, provide a valuable service to allow for people to…

Welcome to the You’re Fucked Index.™

In case you’re not familiar with the Trolley Problem, it’s an ethical thought experiment that puts a third party observer in the uncomfortable position of having to save a person (tied up or stuck on tracks) next to them by derailing a trolley full of people. There’s no right answer. Either way someone dies.

This has been an experiment because it’s such a rare hypothesis — except thanks to self-driving cars, it will now become a very real problem that has to be designed for. Tesla is already dealing with it thanks to the…

Look at this SoHo hipster wizard.

Introducing Struck’s extensible hyper-local persona for brands.

Social media has introduced several opportunities for people to have interactions with brands. The affinity that we feel for a brand can be directly shared with others, and we can even start a dialogue with that brand. There are still a lot of brands that haven’t exactly figured out what that dialogue is like, but on a whole, it comes down to brand persona — the combination of your brand values with a tone & voice exercise (not to mention a social media team and a response playbook).

We found that a challenge arises as social media matures and megalithic…

It’s time to fix tequila’s perception problem.

I’ve discovered something as I try to tell people why tequila is good: Most of their first experiences SUCKED. How you’re expected to drink tequila SUCKS.

Almost universally, it’s on Spring Break, with cheap stuff, drunk to excess. The smell alone, people tell me, is enough to trigger sense memories and make them want to throw up. Shot. Salt. Lime squirt. Wince. Again?

Tequila is the ‘dangerous’ spirit. The one you remember having a worm in the bottle, or the one friends warn you about because you’ll do some crazy stuff, and then you’ll throw up.

The archetype for first…

Pickles are terrible, and they shouldn’t be the super-majority of a fine sandwich.

A Cuban sandwich, or Cubano, is a delightful concoction. It’s fried cuban bread, pork, ham, mustard, and cheese then smashed into a pleasing flat shape. They also typically come with pickles, unless you think pickles are terrible — in which case you get them without pickles. A problem arises when you get a Cuban sandwich without pickles at work.

“That’s not a Cuban sandwich. It doesn’t have pickles.”

Now normally, you’d be like, “Well. of course, it is.” Apparently, this is a really heated topic, specifically with…

Trying to hide or kill advertising doesn’t actually do any good.
It might do more harm.

Google recently launched their new Contributor service, which allows for users to suppress ads in exchange for monthly payments to the sites (something that Slashdot and other sites had done for years), and the internet today is hooting about this as being the end of advertising and the rise of micropayments. There are a few problems with that.

First though, most ads suck. I work in advertising, and most advertising sucks. It’s fine, let’s say it. …

Butt-focus in music videos seems to be reaching critical mass. To what end?

Take out the anti-feminist/post-feminist argument and let’s look at the videos as the viral headlines of the music industry: crafted for maximum exposure and traffic.

I’m by no means a music critic, though I do listen to music — and I do spend a lot of time online. If you do as well (you do), then you’ve undoubtedly seen an uptick in music videos of late that all seem to celebrate the female form in ever-increasing visual fronts and reductionism. This seems really weird until you look…

It’s time for everyone to realize that it’s not the vertical photos or videos that are the problem, it’s us- the snobs.

Is there anything as annoying as some clueless rube, be it a friend, a neighbor or a relative that uploads some cumbersome video to Facebook in portrait format? I used to think so, but then I started doing it too — inadvertently. You have too, admit it. Even though it’s wrong.

Why is it so annoying though?

Your first argument might be because of the fact that traditionally photos and videos are shot in landscape format, for a…

A somewhat non-timely discussion on what the real value of going to a technology conference is.

Is CES worth going to? Yes. Why? Well, precisely because it is a terrible conference to go to.

I hadn’t fully appreciated this point until recently. I’m somewhat busy, so I apologize for the lateness of a ‘CES post’—dangerously close in its tardiness to being irrelevant. But if I’d written this post a couple of weeks ago, or even two days ago, I would have written a rather unflattering post on CES—but I’m writing it today.

You see, my favorite author is Neal Stephenson and I frequently re-read his books. So recently (right before this blog post, in fact) I…

Dustin Davis

I’m a Creative Director. Meaning I think of crazy ideas dumb enough to work. PDX via SLC via DTW.

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