Pimping ain’t dead… it’s just gone digital

29663215.047Who said pimping was dead? The pimp game has only reinvented itself in the digital world, disguised with selfie pictures as the new bait.

The line gets blurry between prostitutes, call girls, or girls just wanting attention (who later accept a proposition). Electronic Hoes, or ‘eHoes; as they are referred to, are using selfie pictures and can be found randomly on internet sites.

Pimps, escort services and call girls all using selfie pictures to lure in prospective clients, while social media sites such as Instagram and Twitter provide free ways to effectively advertise and promote an array of sexual services.

A simple search for escort girls on Twitter returns hundreds of tweets. On Instagram alone, you can easily get drawn into a world of illicit selfie photos with links to websites showcasing an abundance of pornographic content.

“The pimp game was a thriving business in the 1990s, from the ‘track’ to the hotel lobbies; pimps was getting it in,” says DeeMack of Las Vegas.

“Today it’s no longer out in the open. Digital technology has made things more personal, intimate, and fast moving. Instagram is the new ‘track,’ This iPhone I own has the power; with broadband, I’m managing the game using Facebook, tweeting, and if need be, texting. I don’t have to worry about being busted by the law like I did back in the day.”

In San Francisco, tech savvy pimps are tweeting in 140 characters or less, posting on Facebook, or Instagraming: “#Girls Girls.” Selfie pictures are bait and hook to reeling in a prospective client. Taken from one’s smartphone, a selfie picture is the easiest, most convincing way to entice and reach a “trix” (or customer) immediately.

In shows of brazen boldness, there are numerous pimp clubs on Facebook and on Google Hangout. It’s here that pimps give shout-outs, share stories, and even rate each other’s selfie pictures.

Pimping is big business, especially during commercial events such as the Super Bowl, the Kentucky Derby, and tech trade shows in Las Vegas. These events attract thousands of visitors with money, who want to party, and pimps with eHoes are on the hunt to cash in.

“Ironically, some of my best trixs are at CES Show and some of the other tech shows that come to town,” says Passion, a call girl from Las Vegas who lets her clients know using social media and text messaging both her availability and her pricing.

Police officers are now up against a new kind of criminal; one that is digital. “It’s challenging at times to patrol social media and the world wide web for illicit acts. We are constantly striving to stay two steps ahead of those doing illegal activities,” says Yoshi Gotto, a cyber crime detective from Colorado.

Tech-savvy pimps are fully utilising all aspects of digital technology from mobility, social media platform, to accepting payment via credit card, Paypal, and even Bitcoin has now been embraced. Pimping ain’t dead, it’s only gone digital…

Great ideas, great design, great name… Great Fridays

matt_farrarI am very fortunate to work with global businesses, and more often than not with executive teams who have been locked in a world ruled by writing systems and books for their entire careers.

It seems incongruous that working in design generally means working with a rectangular shape that is either used to write on or look at. Mobile phone and tablet design, as I saw from Mobile World Congress this year, isn’t moving forward.

The team at Great Fridays, on the other hand, has grown up in a world centred around design. We communicate at an optimum level with a whiteboard and a pen, because we know that we can visualise the challenge rather than giving our audience something to read, and for them to formulate their own view.

This simple approach has proven invaluable, and a methodology in which we have built our business. Taking complex business challenges and using our design approach to articulate, and play these back to executive teams so that they consume and understand rapidly.

There is so much data in the world, and business really doesn’t know what to do with it or how to connect it. There are so many digital and electronic channels, and so much personal and business information now.

The successful businesses will learn how to harness and present this information. I am sure you have heard the phrase that ‘data is the new oil’. I agree but only if you have the capability to, make sense and refine it (excuse the pun).

For Great Fridays the design process starts with the data, the insight and the research. Not only do we consume and understand this data, but more importantly, we are able to interpret it and present back to our clients as a clear pictorial story.

This is a very different approach to the way in which more traditional business consultancies work, and their allegiance to the writing systems of the past.

This design-led visualisation process is truly transformational, as we engage disparate and sometime cynical teams quickly and effectively, because we are able to communicate the challenges in a way in which nothing is left open to interpretation.

The great pioneers of data visualization such as the UK data journalist David Mccandless and Eric Rodenbeck from data visualisation agency Stamen inspire us. They are evangelising about the power of data visualisation around the world, and showing the impact it can have when interpreted.

I urge you to look at David’s TED talk and Eric’s talk from the Bloomberg Business Week Design event last year. Also the Information Is Beautiful book by McCandless is a great addition to any Design library.

So imagine that future where the rectangle screen isn’t a prolific part of our communication ecosystem, a future where data can be visualised in real time. Augmented wearable technology is commonplace, but more importantly it has become more concealed. I would suggest that the written language no longer plays a leading part in our evolved way of communicating, but more of a supportive role.

Great Fridays have become a pioneer of this revolution, using visualisations of data to interpret complex business challenges and to get buy in from disparate stakeholder teams.

The impact that this has in the first phase of our service design process has been transformational and so we now call it transformational design, I believe a lot of other companies are going to be following our lead.

LinkedIn is a better (and cheaper) way of dating

Woman Student with laptop on legs typing keyboard
LINKEDIN: THE NEW WAY TO DATE ONLINE

From nightclubs, to bar scene, to blind dates, and even to scared spaces of worship, these were all once traditional watering holes of those seeking meet and date someone one on quest for true love.

However, now that we are firmly entrenched inside the digital age, times and the people who inhabit them have changed. Young 20-Somethings are turning to none other than the Internet and frequenting online dating sites such as eHarmony, Match.Com, ChristianMingle.Com as online dating becomes the new normal.

After all, when opportunity meets need, innovation and improvisation are guaranteed. In just a few short years after online dating officially hit the scene, there is an online dating site for everyone—and we do mean everyone. 

According to research done by a University of Rochester psychologist, online dating is now the second most popular way to start a relationship, coming in only after meeting through friends. As a result, research group IBIS World projects that revenue from online dating will hit a whopping $2 billion by the end of 2013 ().

COMPANIONSHIP AND CAPITAL

Let’s take a minute and breakdown the numbers for a pair of the highest paid sites. The cheapest month-to-month subscription on Match.com is $18 for six months (or $108) and that’s just the basics. Want to try out Match.com for just a month? That’ll be $36, thank you. Or you can spend a month checking out eHarmony’s 20 million registered users for $60. Otherwise, the site’s value plan, a 12-month subscription, will set you back about $240.

LINKEDIN: THE NEW ONLINE DATING ALTERNATIVE?

LinkedIn, the premier social networking website for people in professional occupations, has become the newest sanctuary for finding compatibility and security. The biggest ‘hookups’ can be found among those who work in entertainment. A musician hooking up with publicist or a striving actress with a film producer is not uncommon.
 
“I must confess. It’s a turn on to find a guy with a good job. You can see his whole bio and get a feel for what the person is about using LinkedIn. It’s easy to connect with the opposite sex when you’re working in the same profession. I never saw so many hot chicks that work in technology,” says David, a Social Media & Digital Content Strategist.  

“You can find the hottest chicks on LinkedIn, it’s better than paying into an online dating site,”says Jasmine, a regular who a marketing and media specialist in New York.

LINKEDIN VS. THE REST (TRADITIONAL ONLINE DATING SITES)

The #1 thing LinkedIn has going for itself is the client’s ability to see a potential match’s profession and bio. If the potential match has other social media plugged in to their LinkedIn profile page, you can get an even better view of the person.

And, while online dating sites rely on complex compatibility algorithms, LinkedIn plays by the age-old rules of the hunt—like an ultra cool virtual game of “Hide and Go Seek.” Meanwhile, online dating sites things are almost entirely, everyone who pays a monthly fee to find love knows what they’re there to do. I’ll take true love; hold the mystique, please!

LinkedIn reports more than 225 million acquired users in more than 200 countries and territories—each of them eagerly waiting to meet you. Yet, what makes LinkedIn revolutionary is its ability to provide a user-friendly platform and anonymity. With relative ease, any of us can make contact with people we don’t know without so much as a hint of pretense. Just log on, search for your significant other on the sly, and watch one thing lead to another.

“LinkedIn holds great promise for helping adults form healthy and supportive partnerships,” suggests sex expert Leigh Van Der. “It’s the adult version of Facebook.” 

With a name like LinkedIn, it’s got to be good.

Clear speaker system makes a noise through Kickstarter

FH Speakers 1[2]UK ‘audio pioneer’, Ferguson Hill, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund a ‘clear speaker system’.

As can be seen from the accommpanying image, they certainly look the part and are designed for music and TV sound, as well as the sound from the internet via a TV. The press release says it is ‘loudspeaker technology to satisfy all the audio and design needs of the contemporary home’… as well as a large number of other adjectives to describe the product.

There are/will be three systems available with a price range from £895 to £1,395: the Primary System (two horn speakers and one bass sphere); the Deluxe System (two horn speakers and two bass spheres); and the Deluxe Surround Sound System (four horn speakers and two bass spheres).

Moreover, the speakers will also be featured this Saturday over several episodes of The Voice UK, that appalling programme my wife likes and is watched by more than nine million people (bring back The Generation Game).

Guys, girls don’t want you to send those types of pictures

ku-xlargeOf the many things that social media has changed when it comes to social interaction between the sexes is the manner in which a woman discovers what a man is ‘packing’

For thousands of years, the level of a man’s sexual prowess remained a mystery until that special moment when he and the object of his affection decided to become intimate with each other. Continue reading