Friday News: Bezos, Mills & Boon, Barbie, and bullshit
Under Bezos, the Post has ramped up its technology to allow its website to perform better, with improved analytics which gauge how readers are responding and deliver relevant advertising.
It has also made its articles more widely available through social network news services operated by Facebook and Google, and boosted its own social media efforts.
Post publisher Frederick Ryan said the Post was now “a media and technology company” and that Bezos “has given us runway to experiment with new ways to engage with readers and the resources to expand our newsroom and our engineering team.” – Yahoo!
Mills & Boon enters adult colouring-in market – The cynic in me is amazed this didn’t happen sooner. I also wonder if the next product is going to be crayons for adults. Bring on the Mills & Boon pastels and colored pencils (they can be packaged with Harlequin wine – drink and color!).
The colouring book will record the most iconic Mills & Boon moments since it was founded in 1908, documenting “the history of romance, fashion and social change across the last century”. – The Bookseller
Can Barbie shake the very branding that made it successful in the first place? A brand so powerful, even preschool girls can recognize it on sight? And, more to the point, should it? Mattel, obviously, is hoping they are nimble enough to ride out changing tastes. But maybe Barbie has outlived her usefulness. Maybe girls are more interested in, and better off with, the myriad of other toys available to them: Action figures and American Girls, Legos and GoldieBlox, My Little Pony and her filly friends.
Then again, there is the case to be made that by creating more variety among the dolls, Mattel is bringing Barbie back to its roots as much as it services modern sensibilities. In Handler’s 1994 autobiography, Dream Doll: The Ruth Handler Story, she wrote: ”My whole philosophy of Barbie was that through the doll, the little girl could be anything she wanted to be. Barbie always represented the fact that a woman has choices.” – Think Progress
How a Clean, Tidy Home Can Help You Survive the Atomic Bomb: A Cold War Film from 1954 – You can’t make this stuff up.
Selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by The Library of Congress, the short documentary makes the ultimate case for cleanliness. Bringing viewers to the Nevada Proving Grounds, the 12-minute film shows what happens when clean, white houses are subjected to heat waves from an atomic blast, versus what happens when a dingy, ill-kept house goes through the same drill. It turns out that neat people can not only claim moral victory (as they always do). They also get to live another day. Consider it proof of the survival of the tidiest. – Open Culture