context marketing

anonymous asked:

I keep seeing people place communism on the authoritarian-left part of the political compass, but isn't that wrong? I would consider myself an anarchist with belief in communist ideas and hope for communism, and I'm under the impression that it's anti-state. Right? There's no place for government in communism (right?) so it couldn't be authoritarian.... is this because society's linked the idea of communism with evil, totalitarian, forceful government-controlled socialism?

This is a complicated question, because yes, communism is a classless/stateless social arrangement that very much goes hand-in-hand with the grand majority of anarchist ideas, but for the full context it’s important to acknowledge the authoritarian-left points you’re talking about. Point aside of whether or not you agree with them, the authoritarian-left argues that communism cannot be created without concentrating power into a “people’s state” following a socialist revolution – this is to prevent capitalist/imperialist/fascist influences from interrupting the transition into socialism (something that has historically been a huge problem when trying to build socialism). The concentration of power is also typically advocated within the context of a country that has not undergone a period of analogous late capitalist development (Russia and China were mostly feudal at the time of their revolutions, for example) – many variations of Marxism argue that socialism (and subsequently communism) is only possible after building up the economic infrastructure and the social welfare to the point where worker self-management becomes a natural byproduct of advanced technology and an educated population.

I think that there’s some truth to this idea, though I disagree with the conclusions. I think self-management from below can be possible in most circumstances, even if the exact self-management form may vary depending on technology, infrastructure, and other outside factors. There have been attempts at self-organization within a market context (cooperatives, mutualism, etc.) just as there have been attempts at self-organization within a more feudal context (Silvia Federici’s Caliban and the Witch dives into this a bit). I generally believe that analogous, horizontal versions of each historical economic epoch could have been possible had their been the right circumstances.

(This graph is a very simplified and shouldn’t be taken as an inflexible map to explain all class-based social phenomena. There’s a lot to be desired, in other words. It is merely a basic theory of parallel historical materialism that considers a largely “what-if?” scenario. We have reached the point where only capitalism, mutualism, rentism, and communism have pressing relevance to the conditions of today.)

Also important to acknowledge is the idea that communism can really only take hold after a domino effect of revolutions happens throughout the world. This was the case for the transition out of feudalism and into capitalism as well. These revolutions need to coalesce to the point where the rules of the dominant economic system can be sufficiently challenged; otherwise you’ll keep ending up with unwieldy state capitalist bureaucracies that are forced to work on capital’s terms. Full communism requires that we build international solidarity and abolish nationalism. 

There’s a lot to unravel when it comes to what we learn about the anti-capitalist left. Socialism is not viable when it is isolated in a sea of capitalism – the latter will force the former to work within its framework or, worse, actively sabotage the attempts altogether. That’s what reactionaries need to understand – socialism can’t build itself as long as world superpowers have capitalist economic incentives and the profit motive isn’t transcended. We need that revolutionary domino effect (especially in first-world countries that have historically sabotaged attempts at socialism) if we want long-term hope for the communist project. 

I hope this answered your question in some capacity, even if it did go all over the place. There’s more to the issue that I left out, but I hope you might be able to learn more by asking other comrades for their perspectives or by searching the “ask” tag on here!


Anthropic evidence that you are living in a post-apocalyptic scifi story


One conceit in science fiction that always appealed to me is the idea of civilizations that have inherited technologies that they no longer quite fully understand. H.G. Wells was probably the first to explore this theme, but it runs through many different strands of speculative fiction. A Canticle for Leibowitz was maybe the last great novel to do it.


Folks in programs with names like “Science, Technology and Society” like to remind us that there are social technologies too. Democracy is a technology for conflict resolution in the context of a state. Markets are a technology for organizing production and allocation of scarce goods in super-Dunbar settings. In fact, I’d say that STS types tend not to take that point seriously enough.


If you buy (I) and (II), the obvious next step is to put them together and consider social technologies that have been inherited by cultures that no longer understand them. AFAIK the first to make this argument explicitly was Chesterton but, again, I would not be surprised if someone could locate a similar statement in the ancients.

The more I think about it, the stronger my suspicion that my tribe might be like a band of scavengers that survived some cataclysm ca. 1960, and now regard any enduring antediluvian social institutions with bewilderment and loathing. Not merely in the sense of considering and rejecting them on the merits (as often we should), but finding them literally incomprehensible. What is marriage for, except a contractual bundle to arrange health insurance and hospital visitation rights? What was the point of the prohibition of no-fault divorce? How on earth did people get by before ubiquitous contraception and the sexual revolution? What was up with everyone participating in religious life with apparent sincerity? How did anyone manage to survive without a modern welfare state?

When I listen in on conversations among my friends on the left about the bad old days, the consensus is not even that these institutions were bad and worth abolishing, so much as that they were inscrutably evil in their lust of oppression for its own sake. Which is weird because these are the same people who nod approvingly about the idea of “social technologies” and especially about the hidden wisdom of various cultural practices of indigenous groups.

To be clear, I’m not endorsing conservative answers to these questions. Chesterton’s fence proves too much, and sometimes we are right to tear it down. But I do think it strange that so much of past social life seems totally alien to us, just fifty years out.


This post is a little different from my usual stuff, but it’s still important, and I’m sharing it with you guys, here, because…it’s our weird little life, and you’re a part of it.

For context, I work in marketing. Specifically, in social media. Yep! It’s my job to connect with people online. I love it. I love it so much because the Internet is my hometown. I love you guys. You humans are the best thing the internet has to offer.

I have done a lot of marketing using “user generated content,” but I always, always got consent before posting anything on behalf of a brand that was not created for the brand itself.

Sure, what we post on social media is public, but a user should know that the “content” they “generated” is being used by a brand to sell something.

In all the times I asked, I think my “yes” rate was 99%. Because I was asking the right people for the right things, and they felt respected and invested in what we were doing.

Does it take time to actually get consent from people? Yeah, and most of the time doing things the right way is not the same thing as doing things the fast way. Let’s be okay with that, okay, marketers?

Why am I talking about this? Because you know, if you’re reading this, that I live my life in public. I do that with a certain amount of trust in the world that what I put out there will be treated with respect or at the very least, not exploited.

Last night, right before I spoke at the American Cancer Society event, I got a link on Facebook to a Nissan article on BuzzFeed. I’d link to it but they don’t deserve all the views, it’s a really rubbish article.

It was about “pranks every dad should do,” and right at #4 was Ralphie, with eyebrows that Meghan and I drew on him when he was just a lil guy. They cropped us out, because having two moms in a dad article? Not on message, folks!

Then they used his photo to drive clicks to this piece. They had credited Meghan with taking the photo, but had never bothered to tell either of us it was being used to promote the new Nissan campaign (inexplicably called #withdad).

Now, removing the painful irony that Ralph doesn’t *have* a dad anymore, what in the actual f*ck was their team thinking?

I tweeted at them dozens of times, but their team didn’t have time to reply all day. You know, because they were keeping on top of pushing their campaign during the Super Bowl.

Look, I put it out there, I know. Our child. Our marriage. Our life. And trust me, I take the good with the bad. Usually, the good shines so bright I can’t be bothered to pay attention to the ick. 

But this is different. This is my life, taken out of context. I am not a collaborator here, I am just a “user”, making “content” to “engage consumers." 

The problem is, that’s not what my content is for.

The problem is, they didn’t bother to engage with me at all. And that’s a damn shame.

purityimagines  asked:

What is a good way to title your stories/novels? I don't want them to be so cliche or cheesy or just too boring!

This is a tough one. I often actually come up with a title and write a story based on it, not the other way around!

Some books are titled by a relevant phrase or concept in the story. Take a look at the important themes or any quotes that stand out as interesting writing.

A helpful thing to remember is that it shouldn’t misrepresent your story. You shouldn’t call it, say, “True Love’s Kiss” if there’s no romance in it.

I like to also think of it in a marketing context. Write out a description of your story as if it were going on the back cover, to entice new readers. There may be some useful terms and phrases in your description.

When you’re first starting out, mimicry isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you see a title you like or have one that’s always stood out to you, then you can mimic its style in the terms of your own story.

Rachelle Gardner has some more ideas for working toward choosing a title:

First, make sure you know the genre of your book, and identify what kind of feeling or tone you want to convey with the title. Write it down. This is important, as I’ve seen humorous books with dead-serious titles, contemporary books whose titles say “historical romance,” novels that sound like self-help books… you get the picture. Be clear on what your title needs to instantly communicate.

Time to start brainstorming:

→ Find twenty books on Amazon that are in the same genre as yours and whose titles you like. Write down their titles. Try to get a feel for what works with your genre. What do you like about the titles? What don’t you like? Then put the list away for awhile.

→ Sit with a pencil and paper (and maybe your critique group and a white-board) and free-associate, making lists of words related to your book. Put them in columns: nouns, verbs, adjectives. If it’s a novel, list words that describe or suggest the setting. Then think about each of your major characters and write down words that relate to them. Think about the action in the story and write down verbs that capture it. If your book is non-fiction, list words that capture what you want your reader to think, feel or do after reading it. And words that describe what your book is about.

→ Nothing is off limits—write down anything you can think of that conveys anything about your book. Use visual words that suggest a scene. Other words that evoke an emotion. A sensation. A location. A question. You should have at least 100 words.

→ See if any of the words would work as a single-word title. Then start experimenting with different word combinations. Adjective-noun, verb-noun. Keep a thesaurus handy and look up other words. Write down as many word combinations as you can. Try not to self-censor at this stage.

→ From these lists, come up with at least 20 possible titles. Then put them away for 24 hours. Two things will happen: your subconscious may still be working on it; and when you come back to your list, you’ll have fresh eyes.

→ Go back to your title list. Add any new ideas you’ve had. Then narrow it down to three to five possibilities. Run them by a few people. (This may or may not help, depending on if there’s a consensus or the opinions are all over the map.) Take a little more time before narrowing it down to one. If you can, wait another day or two.

→ Remember your list of titles from Amazon? Go back to it. Ask yourself if the title you’ve chosen would fit the list—without being too similar or generic.

A few more questions to ask about your title:

-Does the tone of the title match the tone of the book?
-Does it convey the right genre (including time period if applicable)?
-Would it attract attention?
-If the book were spine-out on the shelf (so the cover and sub-title were not visible) would it still attract attention?
-Would a reader have any idea what the book is about just from the title? (Sometimes important for non-fiction.)

You can also look at GoodReads’ voted “best book titles” for some inspiration.

So there’s no one good way to choose a title! It just needs to fit your story and what you want to convey about it.

I hope this helps!

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3 Millennial Marketing Tips From Taylor Swift

There’s no doubt that 2015 was the year of Taylor Swift. Building off the success of her 1989 album release, Taylor’s world tour generated over $4 million per show – a small piece of her current empire. And that success rolls on: As the highest-earning musician in the world, Swift makes more than $1 million per day in revenue.

The success of the singer-songwriter’s endeavors comes as no surprise. Beyond her musical talent lies a business acumen that knows how to market. You would have to be a marketing connoisseur to do what she and her team have done: bring back CDs and sell $280 million in tickets worldwide.

Suffice it to say that Taylor Swift is an under-30 marketing master, with plenty to teach. Here are some helpful T-Swift takeaways:

1. Use FOMO for good.

FOMO, otherwise known as “fear of missing out,” is a powerful force for millennials and stems from the creation of a meaningful community. As with any force, FOMO can be used for evil or good: It can make consumers feel special or it can prompt feelings of isolation and weakened self-esteem.

For this reason, marketers need to be careful of how they use FOMO to sell their brands. Creating limited-edition content, for instance, can provide consumers with a common ground to form community; but if that content is unreasonably inaccessible, it can create exclusion and hard feels.

Taylor Swift demonstrates the effectiveness of FOMO for fostering consumer engagement and loyalty. Considering the $5 million in albums she’s sold to date, FOMO is a definite factor in the marketing and success of Swift’s CDs. Each album sold includes personalized photos and messages for fans; and, in addition to receiving one of five exclusive polaroid photo sets, fans also receive a special code they can enter to win a personal meeting with Swift.

Those who do not purchase the CD miss out on this extra personal memorabilia that they can share with their friends.

FOMO-induced marketing therefore can produce social buzz and free publicity as excited fans share their exclusive purchases on social media with their friends. This side effect is crucially important among the millennial crowd, with more than half of them admitting that it is easy to feel left out on social media.

In fact, 70 percent of young male consumers (65 percent of young females) said they could “relate” to that fear. For this reason, limited-edition products and special offers are an effective way to invite the younger consumer segment to join your own community, to feel special and to strengthen their bond with your brand.

2. Take the time to appreciate your consumers.

Taylor Swift is known for her strong relationship with fans. She respects them and often goes out of her way to interact. Before she released 1989, Swift personally invited 89 fans to each of her homes to pre-listen to her music and provide feedback. In addition to this strong application of FOMO, the hospitality she offered recognized fans for their loyalty and support.

She continues to show those fans gratitude through other one-on-one opportunities. For example, two of her biggest Tumblr fans experienced this love firsthand at the 2015 iHeart Music Awards. Swift took the time to meet them and invite them to her table.“Taylor talked to me like she was my best friend,” one of the fans shared, “It’s amazing how I can play a part in her happiness when she’s always played a huge role in mine.”

While special gifts and opportunities are always a bonus, time is still one of the best currencies for appreciation. Swift’s fans love her not for the exclusive memorabilia she gives so much as for the time she invests in speaking with them, learning their stories and responding to their needs.

Her fan-love demonstrates the incredibly strong role emotions play in a consumer’s actions. A consumer is more likely to purchase from a friend than a stranger. That’s why opportunities that foster personal interaction with and appreciation by consumers will strengthen their emotional bond with you, create trust and, in some cases, foment a level friendship that goes beyond a sale.

An empowered consumer who feels a connection with you and your community can then create a ripple effect. These fans often become authentic brand ambassadors who will gladly share your message. And, with 91 percent of the under-30 generation willing to make a purchase based on a friend’s recommendation, this ripple effect can be a powerful force in your favor.

3. Create special experiences.

Swift’s 1989 World Tour, which ended in December, was special for many reasons, but her mystery guest performers were a stand-out, if you ask her fans. Marrying FOMO with fan appreciation, Swift’s concerts created the ultimate sense of exclusivity and community. With over 38 different guest performers, including pop star besties like Selena Gomez and industry veterans like The Rolling Stones, Taylor successfully made every concert unique: Each event left fans who attended with an exclusive memory.

In sum, Swift understands the millennial generation’s appreciation for special experiences. She knows her fans crave meaningful experiences and memories more than they do possessions. In fact, a Harris study showed that more than three in four millennials (78 percent) would choose to spend money on an experience or event over a purchase.

That makes sense because the novelty of a new possession fades fast, but a memory to share with friends remains special. It brings a community of like-minded people together for a common purpose or cause. In other words, the act of creating an experience sells a vision.

Fans don’t buy just a concert ticket from Taylor Swift, they buy into her world. They join an inner circle of like-minded peers who share in a unique experience they can always look back on.

What’s more, the best part about special memories is sharing them with friends and family, another shining aspect of Swift’s marketing strategy. Fans feel empowered and excited about their special experiences with her and spread the word on social media.

And that brings us back to FOMO. Some 56 percent of social media users of all ages surveyed told that they were afraid of missing out about an event or important status update if they don’t keep an eye on those platforms.

In sum, marketers need to consider how they create similar, meaningful experiences for their own consumers. This doesn’t require being as ambitious as Taylor Swift, with her A-list guests! But consumer appreciation luncheons, movie screenings, invite-only game nights and family events are all great ideas.

Think of ways to connect your consumers with one other and build a like-minded community. There is a reason people like inside jokes – only those who share the memory truly understand them.

As the power of FOMO demonstrates, community has a strong influence on a consumer’s buying decisions and his or her motivation to engage with you. Taylor Swift strategically uses these qualities to create shared memories with her fans and entice the rest of the world to join her community. By taking a page from her book, you can – in a smaller context – do the same.
Target will stop labeling toys for boys or for girls. Good.
Yes, your daughter can play with blocks, and your son can play with dolls.

For every progressive parent celebrating the demise of the pink and blue aisles, a conservative parent is furious that Target has taken the other side in this culture war. Their outrage seems to stem from a widespread misunderstanding of the concept of “gender neutral” in a marketing context.

Content and Context

For 2013 there appears to be much ado about the changes in SEO becoming more unified with the social media direction of a given company.

The shorter version = social & SEO will be joined at the hip. And it’s about time.

Content will remain king, which means SEO is crucial but still clearly favors websites deep in content. But social plays a huge part in delivering the context & style of the website with all that great content.

Social is the voice and personality that’s intended to bring consumers off social networks and into the website’s buying cycle. Therefore if the context of social isn’t compelling enough to pull consumers away from their Facebook addiction long enough to see a great content-rich website then the social context is failing.

See why and where social media must be considered at least as important as SEO?
Social is the compelling conversation to attract consumers where they’re mingling, chatting, hanging out w/ friends, killing time. If the context of your message is interesting then you get clicks. If its not, well…you get the picture.

But take caution: consumers have and continue to become very savvy to the social marketer who’s marketing and not engaging.

In Space, Nobody Can Hear Your Whiteness

I’m tired of stories about the lone, white guy surviving against all odds, especially in the face of uncaring nature. Really bored with it. It’s a fiction that serves the interests and investments in a social order I’m otherwise entirely focused on struggling against.

I know people love The Martian as a novel. It’s full of technical details and genre gimmickry that insulates the old survival narrative. Genre fans were bound to appreciate it. I’m not knocking an entire genre, though this aspect of it annoys me. I’m annoyed that we tend to like these narratives. On the other hand, we tend to like good-spirited survival narratives for good reasons. We want to root for survival. I don’t necessarily see anything wrong with encouraging struggle. In context with the market, technologies, patriarchy, education, industry, nationalism, imperialism, empire, and a whole host of other issues, in context, I find it hard not to look around me and wonder why nobody feels like they’re being fed a nasty bit of propaganda about human endeavor that we would otherwise give the old side-eye treatment.

The poster for the film says it all, sad and haggard Matt Damon needs you to root for him. The trick of this fiction is that without us, he doesn’t exist. That’s the psychology behind it. And The Martian has a crew that will struggle to rescue The Man. He is the most important thing, the mission. He must survive.

I don’t want to root for this character anymore. Capitalist patriarchy manipulates endeavor and survival to promote a well-composed nobility in individualism that forgives all sorts of social problems that require special men to be recognized at all. The noble character, the one who’s truly virtuous, always survives. His survival forgives all the ugly, anonymous death in our lives. I don’t know how people can be tricked into catharsis with this anymore.

I liked Matt Damon’s character in Interstellar much more. That guy, I buy. The man who’s been stranded by objective science and business goes space bananas and will do anything to survive. He’s opportunistic and utterly loveless. That previously privileged intellectual scientist is now willing to kill his new colleagues so that he will survive alone. He cares about nobody but himself. He’s on an individual quest to struggle to get off his fucking planet. Of course, he’s a villain because he lacks nobility. The noble survivor is generous. I don’t buy this noble Matt Damon growing potatoes in poop, or however his botany ed saves his ass. You know he will survive anyway, so what does it fucking matter.

I admit I’m cynical about the whole thing, but I know when I’m being fed capitalist virtue ethics and nobility narratives. I know when I’m being sweetened up for a helping of bitter whiteness. I want better.

Why do we always want to rescue this character. He’s not a man. People forget this is a fiction worth critically examining. The pop music soundtrack helps. This character represents much more than an individual does, say the worker down the street who makes your morning coffee. That’s an actual person struggling to survive. People want Stranded Space Damon to survive, but they are willing to ignore the homeless family living in their own desolation, out of their car, on the outskirts of town. It’s the fiction of survival that distracts from everyday, daily struggles and for bad reasons. We can always watch the character be saved. We are permitted this entertainment. We can’t save our fellow workers because it is forbidden. It’s often illegal.

onshuu1-2  asked:

I was really hyped to find out the "truth" behind Innistrads madness and I was REALLY into the story right up until Imprisoned in the Moon was spoiled. I have not kept up since. I assume curiosity will get the better of me and I'll read them at some point, but I REALLY don't like getting key story elements out of context. Where in market research do my feelings fall?

The story team has made a lot of changes in the last few years about how we tell story, so it’s tricky tracking the impact of individual elements.

Here’s what we do know. Story is up. *Way* up. A lot more people are both paying attention to story and are aware of the story. I think your issue has to do with the latter.

For many years, we pulled the story out of the cards because we wanted the story to not be spoiled. The end result was that most players simply didn’t know the story.

Since we’ve put it back in, awareness is significantly up and we attribute a good portion of our current success to the fact that the players are now more aware that the story exists.

So, to answer your question, to the best of our ability to interpret the market research and other data, yes it is working and working very well.

Batgirl Variant Cover

There has been much hoopla in the comic book circles revolving around a variant cover of Batgirl #41, all part of a DC promotion to feature the Joker on various variant covers. The image, which can be found online pretty easy, knock yourself out, is an homage to the graphic novel The Killing Joke, which came out twenty-seven years ago, in 1988. That’s right, people that bought a 1st edition copy off the news shelf at cover price, you’re fucking old.

The Background

The Killing Joke was written by comic legend Alan Moore and is considered one of the definitive Joker stories, winning the Eisner Award the year it came out. It has been reprinted numerous times and many of the elements presented in it have entered Batman mythology as canon, despite the graphic novel originally existing outside it. The interesting part of this is that not everything in the book became canon (for example, there is strong evidence that Batman kills the Joker in the last couple panels), just the most controversial element of it.

While The Killing Joke has had a fair amount of praise from comic readers, severe criticism rose around the treatment of Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl, in the book. In the story Joker ambushes Barbara, shoots her in the spine, then strips her naked and photographs her, all in an effort to drive Commissioner Gordon (her father), insane. This was an early example of what comics writer Gail Simone dubbed “Women in Refrigerators”, a trope in which a powerful woman character is killed, mutilated or depowered, to further a male character’s story arc (so called from an infamous issue of Green Lantern where he finds his girlfriend murdered, mutilated, and stuffed in a refrigerator.)

Barbara Gordon became paralyzed in the story (though eventually rescued by Batman) and that element was carried into DC Comic continuity. Critics hold this up as a prime example of inherent misogyny of a male-dominated comic industry and it’s a hard charge to refute. Alan Moore himself has found fault in the decision, saying in an interview that he had asked Len Wein, the editor, whether he could cripple Barbara Gordon and Wein replied “Yeah, okay, cripple the bitch.” Moore goes on to say it was an area they should have “reined me in, but they didn’t.”

Gordon went on to become the hero Oracle, the Batgirl mantle was taken up by several other women over the course of the next 20 years, then she was retooled back into a fully functioning Batgirl for DC’s new 52; which, of course, DC got flak for robbing the comics world of a handicapped hero. Can’t win for losing sometimes.

So, now we’re back to the present.

The Hoopla

Twenty seven years later artist Rafael Albuquerque creates the above mentioned variant cover in an homage to The Killing Joke and all hell breaks out. Several websites catering to women comic readers, run mostly by women comic readers, complain that the cover is misogynistic, triggering, and in poor taste in context of the modern Batgirl book, an extremely important point which I’m going to spend time on in a moment.

The movement spawns a twitter hashtag #changethecover and gained momentum quickly. Supporters of the cover stepped up to say it was a homage, it was an important part of Batgirl’s legacy, etc.

Albuquerque then requested that DC pull the cover, and DC, in support of its artist, complied.

Then some supporters of the cover lost their fucking minds.


Okay people, neutral history lesson over, here’s where the opinion starts. An artist requesting a piece of art of his be pulled, is not fucking censorship. DC Comics does not publish political cartoons or satire aimed at exposing the larger forces of evil in our society or whatnot. They publish super-hero comics and they are in business to make money. Let me repeat that, because it is the single most important point of all of this:

DC Comics is in business to make money.

No government is telling them what to print, no radical forces are threatening to kill them (more on that, later), there is no pressure on DC Comics to do anything else but make. Money.

Which, ironically, is the argument some of you are making.

“Let the market sort it out!”

The market already has, you knucklehead, and we’ll talk about that in a sec, too.

So drop that whole censorship bullshit. It’s an insult to people that have died defending censorship, it’s an insult to media in countries being threatened for death if they publish a picture or write an article.

Fucking Stupid Red Pillers

The only people being threatened with death are the fucking people criticizing the cover. Yes, read that again. The people complaining about the cover, are being threatened with death over it. Not DC, not the artist, the people criticizing the cover.

There’s your censorship example, Captain Irony.


I know it’s hard for some people to understand context in internet arguments. Context is the thing that puts a small issue in comparison to a larger issue that it’s a part of. For example, if I told you a man died because he ate a chicken, you might think the chicken was poisoned or he choked on it. It would be hard to fault the man or make any decisions at all involving the chicken.

However, if I had told you a few days ago that I knew a guy that was 600 pounds, with a weak heart, that loved fried chicken, and loved eating it all day, and after each piece of chicken he did 5 jumping jacks, because he called it “his exercise”, so it would be the excuse in his mind for eating more fried chicken… that’s context.

A normal conversation would go like this:

“Remember that guy I told you about, the dude that eats all that fried chicken?”

“Oh, yeah, the big fat guy with the weak heart.”

“Yeah, dude was eating a piece of chicken and he dropped dead.”

“Heart attack?”

“Oh yeah, that dude was fat.”

See how that works?

In context, DC has a long history of being tone-deaf with regards to  growing their audience past mid-teen to 20s white males. They have been  fucking horrible at it.

The  rebooted Starfire in the New 52 is the prime example. They had an  audience of *millions* of pre-teen and teen girls who’s only exposure to  Starfire was the Teen Titan cartoons. Instead of tailoring the  character to that model, they catered, again, to the thousands (not millions)  of horny young males that read comics. They had an opportunity to bring a boat-load of new readers to that comic and flushed it away. Because DC brand managers are bad at their jobs.

Well, slowly, somehow, like a heroin junkie on his 4th rehab, DC Comics is trying to come around. The current Batgirl comic is designed for younger readers and female readers. It features clean art, inspired by the current Anime craze sweeping through that demographic, and Batgirl is a hip, modern chick in her early 20s, struggling to have a life and fight crime.

Those readers have not only never read The Killing Joke, but they have no  interest in reading stories like The Killing Joke. Otherwise, DC would  have millions of girls reading The Killing Joke and this controversy wouldn’t have  happened. Surprisingly, I say facetiously, most young women don’t want to see images, no matter what the context, no matter how good the homage, most young women don’t want to see images that remind them what it might be like to be assaulted or raped.

The writer of the current Batgirl book, Cameron Stewert, has gone on record that the creative team was uncomfortable with the cover because it’s not the right fit for the book they are producing.

In that context, the market has spoken. And DC ignored it with this cover.

Maybe  that cover was a good idea on another book, or as a special give away,  or, even better, as added content on a special addition of The Killing  Joke.

It was a dumb move, from a  marketing/branding/IP standpoint. It was a case of someone in brand  management being bad at their job. Period.