Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What's in a Name?

We are in the process of adding a lot of new work to our website, including this fun little piece that we did during the last football season. We're hoping to find a home this fall for our "What's in a Name?" campaign to promote NFL games throughout  the upcoming season - assuming of course that the NFL actually has a season, and not a strike.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Gannett Case Study

We wanted everyone to know that we just did a complete rebrand for Gannett - logo, tagline, digital, website, print, the works. To learn more about our work for this Fortune 500 media and marketing solutions company, just click the "Gannett Case Study" link below.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Shiny happy people are just better for you

People who spend time with happy people are more likely to become happy themselves. That’s according to a July 2010 study that examined how emotions spread contagiously.

David Rand: The more friends you have that are content with their lives, the more likely you are to become content. And the more friends you have that are discontent, the more likely you are to become discontent.

David Rand of Harvard is one of the study’s authors. He said this study was designed to understand how changes in long-term emotional states – meaning, whether you consider yourself a happy or sad person overall – are affected by the people you know.

We found that sadness is twice as infectious as happiness.

Rand and his co-authors compared emotional states of groups of friends, families, and coworkers to models of how infectious diseases – like the flu – spread. Then they looked at the probability that a person would become happy or become sad, based on the number of happy or sad people around them.

One aspect that’s new is that we showed in a formal sense that these long-term emotional states really are contagious. Which is interesting, and it’s important for trying to understand why people feel the way they do about their lives. Rand said that understanding the “contagious” aspect of emotions was key to the study.

A contagious process is something where your probability of contracting it--if it’s a disease--depends on whether your friends are sick. If you think about your probability of catching the flu, the more sick friends you have the more likely you are to get the flu. That makes it contagious. So we find that same thing with happiness or sadness.

Rand and his co-authors used data from the Framingham Health Study, which has been collecting health and social information from the community of Framingham, Massachusetts, for the past 40 years. They deduced the real-life social networks of the town based on information the study participants filled out about their family, work, and contacts. The information about emotions came from a standard 20-question psychology survey that categorizes people as happy, sad, or neutral.

In order to ask whether the process is infectious or not, you want to know, if you are in a “neutral” state, is there a probability of switching from neutral to happy increasing in your number of happy friends? So we took all the people who were neutral, in the first measurement wave, and we asked how many of them had zero happy friends. We looked at all the people who had no happy friends, and asked how many of them switched from neutral to happy. Okay, what about all the people had one happy friend, two happy friends, and so on.

They found that, like the flu, the more friends a person had who were happy, the more likely the person was to become happy themselves. Additionally, they found that sadness was more transmissive than happiness – meaning, it takes fewer sad friends to make you become sad. But Rand added that people recover from sadness more quickly than they recover – or change states – from being happy.

So dump all those sad sacks, and get on the Happy Train, folks! Happy Holidays...later Scrooge!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Law and CLE

I am in the middle of listening to some incredibly boring talk about how lawyers can use social media. Why do lawyers have to be so boring when they are talking about technology? Do they hear that no one is listening? And, yes, I'm a lawyer...barred in New York and Virginia. I know, kind a similar shock to folks that I am also a high school seminarian. More on that later. --John Anderson

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11 Day of Service with Denis Leary and The Farm

Nine years today, 9/11 still feels like yesterday. Here's something our director, John Anderson, shot with Denis Leary of F/X's "Rescue Me" TV series to hopefully turn a very big negative into positive change. Please sign up for your good deed to make 9/11 a Day of Service. And let's remember all the 2819 people who died today. 911 Day of Service

Monday, July 26, 2010

Our beloved Kurt Braunohler

We are so fortunate to have had such talented creative folks work for us over the years at The Farm. Here's one of them - Kurt Braunohler- who came to us first as an office manager, and who is now one of the funniest folks in show business. Right now he's doing awesome work with Kristen Schaal who've you've either seen ("Dinner with Schmucks") or heard ("Toy Story 3") everywhere.

Here's a bit from their critically-acclaimed BBC show "Penelope Princess of Pets."