BlookUp turns your social media updates and blog posts into books

(This is not an ad.)

When I was looking for a way to make a photo book out of some of my photos, I came across BlookUp. The project, created by Philippe Bruno, allows you to upload your tweets, blog posts, Facebook posts, or even Tumblr posts and create books for anyone who wants them.

This can work for people or companies who pride themselves on their social media presence or want to reset online but keep some of their favourite thoughts and memories in physical form. The main reason I wanted to make my own photobook was because Sean Brown did the same with his book, In No Particular Order (available at the Curves Shop and Selfridges if you’re in the UK). The ethos behind it was this: “don’t delete your old work”. Services like BlookUp help you from throwing that work in the digital trash.

9/21/21

I’ve been waiting months for this and it’s finally here. So sad that it’s the last one but what a send-off.

For those who don’t know, Demi Adejuyigbe has been making videos to commemorate 21st September, the date Earth, Wind & Fire sang about in ‘September‘, and to donate to various charities over the years. They’ve become more elaborate as time has gone on and today’s was his last.

This year’s charities are

  • West Fund – a west Texas abortion fund that uses collective resources to uplift border communities.
  • Sunrise – a climate change advocacy group
  • Imagine Water Works – a Mutual Aid Response Network in New Orleans that helps people during floods, storms, and other natural and manmade disasters.

You can donate to any or all of them using this link and watch all 6 of his 9/21 videos on YouTube.

Language without emojis

Clo S. of This Too Shall Grow went two weeks without using emojis and chronicled her experiment:

On the first day of my experiment, I was already worrying that I wasn’t warm enough, or wasn’t conveying my reactions well enough. On the second day, I missed using emojis. It hadn’t even been 48 hours, but the good stuff comes when you push through, so I kept at it. On the third day, finally, I started feeling good about this. I wrote:

“This is actually cool, I don’t know if I want to get back to emojis. Maybe I just needed to get the habit out of my system.”

No shit, Sherlock.

In the first few days, I did have to edit emojis out of my messages, as I was using them reflexively. During this experiment, I pondered about the importance of emojis to convey banter, being concerned that without them, I’d simply come across as mean.

I could probably do two weeks but it’d be tough and I’d worry if I was coming across as cold and distant. But if you asked me to stop saying “lol” and “haha” at the end of sentences? Big struggle. I was talking to a friend the other day who’d asked me how I was and we talked about how we used “lol” to cushion the blow of expressing less-than-pleasant feelings. It’s a crutch, for sure, and emojis add a certain flavour to our digital conversations, for good or bad.

Japanese culture related: ‘Repro Japan’ and how Japanese culture has influenced the rest of the world, ‘I’m just experiencing Japanese culture’, and Fumi Ishino’s ‘Index of Fillers’

25 of the worst branding fails from 1995-2020

Fast Company looked at some of the worst commercial mistakes of the last quarter-century. Microsoft Vista made it in which, in retrospect, seems a bit harsh. But Calvin Klein’s controversial jeans commercial showing questionably-aged models rightly appears (I’m not gonna say outright what it appears to depict because I don’t want those words on the site). And who remembers Flooz? Or that Folgers commercial? Or the Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad?

What are some of your worst branding fails since 1995? Let me know in the comments.

Scott Seiss's retail TikToks (compilation)

Scott Seiss Retail TikTok Compilation FULL

Get ready for 5 minutes of belly laughing (and flashbacks if you’ve ever worked in retail or customer service). Scott Seiss is a writer and comedian who took to TikTok to make these grouchy retail meme videos. He is tired of your mess and is ready to tell you about yourself.

TikTok related: Gav – the huge TikTok baby and the cutest duck TikTok

An oral history of the weird Folgers "incest" commercial

Folgers Coffee Brother & Sister Home For Christmas 2009 Christmas TV Commercial HD

Living in the UK, I never got to see this controversial Folgers coffee commercial. But I found out about it through this oral history by GQ:

“Coming Home” opens with a taxi dropping a young man off outside a snow-covered house bedecked in Christmas decorations early one morning. A young woman excitedly opens the door and establishes that she’s his sister by pointing at herself and saying “sister!” He’s weary, having just returned from volunteering in “West Africa,” and the two share a cup of freshly-brewed Folgers coffee while their parents are still asleep. (In some versions he even says “ah, real coffee,” as if he didn’t just come from where some of the best coffee in the world is produced.) He hands her a small present, but instead of opening it, she peels off the red bow and sticks it on his shirt. “What are you doing?” he asks. “You’re my present this year,” she responds. The camera zooms in on her shy glance, then cuts to his furtive, flirty smile. Those three seconds sealed its fate forever.

When I first saw the ad, I thought: wait, are they fucking? (Then, every time after that: okay, they’re definitely fucking.) As I would come to learn, I was hardly alone. The reaction to the ad was an example of the internet at its most fun—the phenomenon of collectively realizing that the specific thing that you believed you’ve singularly noticed is actually a widely-held opinion. Memes, articles, and parody videos abounded. It even inspired a genre of vividly-rendered fan fiction known as “Folgerscest.”

It is weird and does give off incestuous vibes. But the people behind the commercial didn’t feel that way:

Jerry Boyle (SVP and executive producer at Saatchi & Saatchi): You kind of get sucked into the story, which is nice. It was all very, very innocent. Obviously what’s happened since then has been a real … something that nobody imagined happening. And our client is so wholesome. It was, we thought, emotional.

What people read into it—once that took off—was just insane.

This was my favourite reaction, and the first one to notice the strange vibe between the brother and sister:

Alexa Marinos (corporate communications manager): I’m a marketer by trade so I always pay attention to commercials and ads, particularly holiday ones because I’m always curious to see how brands flex and adapt their marketing for the holiday season. I used to do all my writing in front of the television. So when, I’ll call it, “Peter Comes Home for Christmas 2.0” aired I was sitting in front of my laptop. And I just remember immediately critiquing the spot in my head as a marketer. Particularly the casting, the casting seemed off to me. I was like “why is Peter’s little sister 22 instead of four? And why is Peter, like, vibing on his little sister?”

I hope nobody ever puts a gift bow on me.

Non-creept commercial related: Commercial Break: a YouTube channel for archiving commercials

Famous people solving Rubik's cubes

Argentinian capybaras reclaim their land; are called 'invaders'; memes ensue

There’s a gated community of rich people in Argentina called Nordelta. It was founded in 1999 and lies in the north of Buenos Aires, home to luxury homes, sports facilities, even a shopping mall. However, Nordelta also encroaches upon the Paraná wetlands, which is already under pressure from overfarming, and the extraction of natural resources. And capybaras live in those areas.

So what happens when humans build on or around animal habitats? The animals fight back and a group of plucky capybaras (known as carpinchos in Argentina) has been tearing through Nordelta, destroyed lawns and infrastructure, causing traffic jams, and even attacking pets.

So what happens when animals try to reclaim their homes that humans built on? They fight back with guns. According to The Guardian, some residents have brought out their hunting rifles to defend themselves and their property.

[…] But many other Argentinians have taken to social media to defend the rodents – known locally as carpinchos.

In politically polarized Argentina, progressive Peronists see Nordelta as the enclave of an upper class eager to exclude common people – and with tongue only partly in cheek, some have portrayed the capybaras as a rodent vanguard of the class struggle.

And that’s where the memes come in. I found these on a Tumblr post that brought the whole capybara story to my attention:

They’re magnificent and they warm my heart. As for the plight of the communist capybaras, it remains precarious but campaigners are still trying to pass legislation that will protect the wetlands from further development:

“Wealthy real-estate developers with government backing have to destroy nature in order to sell clients the dream of living in the wild – because the people who buy those homes want nature, but without the mosquitoes, snakes or carpinchos,” he [Enrique Viale] said.

Here at Cultrface, we are in full support of the capybaras. Solidarity with the rodents!

Related to animals in South America: Are Pablo Escobar’s hippos good for Colombia’s ecosystem?

Cory Etzkorn on that little green dot and being online

The term “always online” describes the idea that we’re online all the time and never log off. This could be literally (sleep is for chumps anyway!) or figuratively (i.e. never logging off). In my experience, I’m more figuratively “always online” but during periods last year, my sleep patterns were messed up thanks to the allure of the internet.

Cory Etzkorn examined a visual representation of that phenomenon: The Little Green Dot and its meaning in our online lives:

The Little Green Dot is a leash. It is a surrogate for trust and thrives in low-trust environments.

The Little Green Dot is anxiety. It is there to remind us that we’re not working as hard or as long or as consistently as others. Presence favors those who can effectively sit in a chair all day, not those brave enough to step away for a walk and take some time to think.

But the reality is that The Little Green Dot also has real utility. When something important breaks, we need to see who is online to fix it. When we have a pressing question, we need to know who is available to answer it.

And so The Little Green Dot persists, despised, but understood.

Etzkorn’s final line asks whether humans should be “always-online” or whether a semi online existence would be more beneficial. I like the latter even though I’m closer to the former. I work in digital marketing so onlineness is important but I also blog and that requires research and Wikipedia rabbit holes. There’s no let-up unless I make it so. We should all learn to log off once in a while.

(via HeyDesigner)

That time Bully Maguire went on Family Feud

Bully Maguire on Family Feud

I’ve already shown my love for Steve Harvey memes but I’ve recently got into “Bully Maguire” memes, involving clips of Toby Maguire’s rendition of Peter Parker in Spider-Man 3. This one is expertly crafted, showing Parker trying to win a staff job with double the money. Look out for special guest star Harry Osborne.