Sunday, April 26, 2009

Project II: Co-Modify - May 3-9

Blank Billboard
Photo by mediaboytodd on Flickr

I've been thinking a good deal about the ubiquity of advertising on the Internet, but also the uniqueness of this particular type of advertising. The way it grabs from the context of your social life and presents messages catered to your likely lifestyle and interests. In marketing, there's this notion of finding that segment of one, i.e., catering to the individual, rather than broad groups. It's more of a theoretical ideal, like the horizon or the perfect circle.

And yet, embedded, contextual advertising is bringing us closer to that reality. All the data about ourselves that we upload to Facebook and blogs, everything we type about ourselves in Gmail, the little quips and jokes and flirtations and family photos and comments between friends--all these little lifestreams can be aggregated into a picture of who we are and, importantly, what we might spend money on.

These new directions in targeted, embedded, contextual advertising represent a striking new direction in Internet marketing but also in the way we live and experience the world.

Times Square Looking Uptown
Photo by Stuck in Customs on Flickr

Project II: Co-Modify
In this vein, are excited to announce Project II: Co-Modify. Project II will be a commentary on and exploration of the commodification of social media and, by extension, the commodification of our social lives in general. As with Project I, this will be a statusing (online happening), a free-form public art performance that anyone is welcome to join. However, this time around, we want to span multiple social media streams, including but not limited to Twitter and Facebook.

The performance will be the week of May 3-9. We’re asking our performers to use any or all of their social media networks to enact a fictional "sponsorship" by a company. For instance, I personally plan to be sponsored by Pepsi, and my profile picture on Facebook for the week will be me drinking a can of Pepsi. Every now and then, I'll post a status update like "An is sitting in Central Park and drinking some Pepsi Zero."

Not every post, of course, will be sponsored, but, as with celebrity endorsements, our sponsored actions will be embedded seamlessly with our regular activities. The idea is that, via a collective online performance, we'll be enacting a world where everything we do has monetization value and a world where, more and more, marketing and advertising have become part and parcel with our daily lives.

Pepsi - It brings color to life
Photo by tojosan on Flickr

How to Participate
Interested? Anyone, artists and non-artists alike, can join. Here’s how:

1. Pick a brand or megacorporation.

2. In the comments section of this post, post the following:
* Name (first name or pseudonym is fine)
* The company you've chosen (sign up quick for first dibs!)
* The social media account (or accounts) you'll be using (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, blogs, etc.). Select at least one, but feel free to use all of your accounts.

If you run into an error in commenting, feel free to send an @reply directly to @Platea on Twitter with your info, and we'll post it here.
3. Follow @Platea on Twitter and/or join the @Platea Facebook group. We'll be posting thoughts and ideas for inspiration in preparation for the week. Feel free to share your own, and we'll retweet or repost them.

4. Add the members of our Steering Committee. We’ll be documenting and writing up the goings-on throughout the week, so you’ll want to be sure we can see your performance in action. We are @eroldan, @innym, @jenniferwyng, @joanie_s_c and @printgirl08.

5. By Friday, May 1, we’ll be posting a running list of who’s performing and where. Be sure to sign up by Thursday evening to ensure you’re on this list! However, don’t sweat it if you miss the date: we can always add you in afterward.

6. On May 3, start performing! You can “embed” your advertising as much or as little as you like. It could be one post, it could be many. Your entire Facebook profile could read like an advertisement. It’s up to you and what you imagine the level of sponsorship your company has asked you to participate in.

7. Keep checking back to this blog throughout the week of May 3-9. Our Steering Committee will be posting updates each day with goings-on and documentation of performances. Feel free to take your own screenshots and post them to our Flickr group for possible inclusion in a future blog post.

Questions? Ideas? Thoughts? Send an @reply to @Platea on Twitter or leave a comment here.

Tiger Woods in the Hole
Photo by ATIS547 on Flickr


  1. Name: Pete Newcurator
    The company you've chosen: Red Bull
    The accounts you'll be using: Twitter, Facebook, newcurator blog.

  2. Name: Joelle Held
    Company: Microsoft
    Accounts: Twitter, Facebook,

  3. Name:Jorge Alvarez

  4. Nikki aka Runefox
    Company: Twinings (
    Accounts: Twitter, Facebook and probably LJ.

    Not exactly a megacorp but a well known UK brand.

  5. Name: Sarah Timson
    The company you've chosen: Diet Coke
    The accounts you'll be using: Twitter (sheepwithblogs), Facebook

  6. Name: Ingrid Murnane
    Company chosen: Sirdar Knitting Company
    Accounts: Facebook, Twitter (@InnyM), IngridNation blog on, Flickr: for 365 project (InnyM)

  7. Name: Marin Cordero
    Sponsor: Diet Coke Plus (yes, with the vitamins - I'm the only person who drinks it!)
    Account: on Twitter as CobwebsStir. :-)

  8. Name: Keith Malloy
    Company Chosen: KFC
    Accounts: Keith Malloy on Facebook, and kurometarikku on Livejournal, Flickr, Twitter, and why not, OKCupid.

  9. Name: Edgar Roldan
    Company Chosen: Honda
    Accounts: Facebook, Twitter,

  10. Name: Ali Gordon
    Company Chosen: Tampax
    Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

  11. Name: sw00p
    Company: JT's Stockroom
    Accounts: Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter

  12. Name: Sophie
    Company: American Apparel
    Account: Twitter (@canker)

  13. Name: neene
    Company: twitter
    Accounts: twitter, facebook, flickr (365days), blogger & i'll feed them all to a tumblr

  14. Name: Sarianna
    Company: Converse
    Account: Twitter (@prologi)

    I really wanted Twinings, but I see someone beat me to it. :P

  15. Name: Hazel
    Company: Sharpie
    Account: Twitter - buddhagirlAZ

  16. Name: Jennifer Ng
    Company: Pringles
    Account: Twitter (@jenniferwyng), facebook,

  17. Name: Helen
    Company: Adidas
    Account: Twitter (@rainghirl), Facebook & rubbish blog I hardly ever use.

  18. Name: Hrag
    Company: Marshmallow Fluff
    Account: Twitter (@hragv), Facebook,, Flickr, YouTube

  19. Name: GinaS
    Company: Samsung
    Account: Twitter, Flickr, Myspace (maybe)

  20. Name: Joanie San Chirico
    Company: Target
    Account: Twitter, Flickr, Facebook

  21. Name: D.
    Company: Borders
    Account: Twitter (@sortingtrolley), Wordpress (, Tumblr (, Flickr (

  22. Name:PG Stonefly
    Company:Lucas' Papaw Remedies

  23. Name: Barry Jones
    Company: Starbucks
    Accounts: twitter (@barryRjones), facebook

  24. Name: Courtney (court)
    Comany: Burt's Bees
    Account: Twitter (@printgirl08), Facebook (Courtney Loe Bryan)

  25. Name: Micrathene
    Company: Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream
    Account: Twitter (@Micrathene), Insanejournal (

  26. Name: Tiffany
    Company: Dr. Pepper
    Account: Twitter (plotbunnytiff)

  27. Name: Laurel
    Company: In-N-Out Burger
    Account: Twitter (laurel43) and FB

  28. Name: C-Monster
    Company: Microsoft Vista
    Account: Twitter @cmonstah

  29. Name: remaerdyaD (Daydreamer)
    Company: Amazon
    Account: Twitter, (I use as a soc-net)

  30. Name: el celso
    Company: Facebook
    Account: Facebook, Twitter, myspace, Flickr,

  31. Name: raggedj
    Company: Aussie (probably instant freeze hairspray)
    Account: Facebook, Twitter (@raggedj), Flickr (raggedj)

  32. name: carse
    company: apple
    account: facebook, twitter, myspace

  33. Name: jjcasey
    Company: New Balance
    Account: Facebook(44406202), Twitter(@jjcasey)

  34. Is there a site that's going to aggregate this and try to get into a feedback loop with contextual advertising? I don't think FB or Twitter pick ads based on keywords, but Gmail does it pretty aggressively and I think anything with Google AdSense will tend to do it to the point if overreaching ...

  35. if it's not too late...
    Name: Cheri Robinson
    Sponsor: Wonderbread
    Accounts, twitter facebook

  36. name: rubaiyat
    sponsor: Blizzard Entertainment
    accounts: twitter, facebook

  37. Me too?
    Name: Johanna MacDonald
    Sponsor: Nike
    Accounts: twitter, facebook,, flickr

  38. me too?

    Name: Johanna MacDonald
    Sponsor: Nike
    Accounts: jaiku, twitter, facebook, blogspot, why not flickr too

  39. Name: Jonathan Gray
    Company: Adobe
    Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

  40. Name: Taina
    Company: McDonalds
    Accounts:Facebook, Twitter

  41. Name: Jonny Gray
    Company: Adobe
    Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

  42. Name: The Composters (Mary Mercury and Glenda Greenhouse)
    Company: Miracle Grow
    Accounts: Facebook, Twitter