Digital Presidents, Skeuomorphism, and Commerce With a Side of Content – Episode 7


This week, Melanie and Emily offer their opinions and insight on a variety of topics, including the ousting of Apple iOS miracle worker and polarizing executive Scott Forstall, the design debate over skeuomorphism, presidential campaigns and voting in the digital age, and commerce as content.

I. Adventures in Mobile Payments Part 3: SUCCESS
Melanie and Emily offer a happy update on their ongoing pursuit of mobile-friendly vendors. Square and Level-Up

II. Apple Kicks Scott Forstall to the Curb; Skeuomorphism

thermo app thermometer skeuomorphism design
Skeuomorphic design

After refusing to sign a formal apology for Apple Maps, among other things, iOS chief Scott Forstall was ousted from Apple. Em and Mel discuss one of his Jobs-like signatures, skeuomorphic style (replicating the shape of necessary parts of old forms in a new medium where those elements are no longer required). Forstall was a mobile software leader and prolific inventor but also a divisive figure. “Forstall’s name is second on the patent that lays out exactly how the iPhone and iPad work. The first name on that patent is Steve Jobs.”

III. Commerce as Content (and vice versa)
Pinterest, Fab, and Shopkick

IV. Digital Media and the Presidential Election
Electronic voting, ballots, and recounts. Security and hacking at the polls. The future of voting.

Show Notes:

You can download or stream this show at or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please subscribe and leave us a review! The Digital Dive Podcast is on Stitcher, the best free podcast streaming smartphone app.

Hear us on Stitcher Smart RadioFollow us on Twitter @thedigitaldive_ and Like us on Facebook.

The Digital Dive PodcastTM: Get the most out of technology… without ever fully giving in

4 Replies to “Digital Presidents, Skeuomorphism, and Commerce With a Side of Content – Episode 7”

  1. Emily and Melanie:

    It was another great episode of the Digital Dive.

    I was happy to hear that you had success with mobile payments. As you point out, 4G might be the answer to the problem.

    Also, I’m glad to hear that Emily has started using shopkick. I love the app. In fact, I wrote a blog post about why I think the app is good for consumers, brands and retailers. “In the Spotlight: Shopkick” on

    What you might not be aware of is that the app uses sound waves to activate the app and give you kicks when you enter the store. This is similar to the technology that Shazam and IntoNow are using. I think that this is a technology that can and should be used by more brands in the future. If you get a chance, you might want to read two posts that I wrote earlier this year, titled “Beyond the Check-In: The Sweet Sound of Location-Based Marketing” and “Smartphones Are Changing the Way We Shop.”

    Finally, you brought up the topic of using Twitter to make predictions. Although I have heard about the study that you linked to, I still have some questions about using Twitter in this way. This is something that I need to study a little more, but just the fact that only about 13% of Americans use Twitter is enough for me to question whether you can use it to predict outcomes that involve the rest of the population.

    And, yes, I remember the 2000 election all too well. My name became a joke for a long time.

    Finally, in the last episode, you recommended the Dolphin browser for the mobile phone. I gave it a try, and think it was a good recommendation.


    Chad Thiele

  2. Chad, thanks for letting me know about the Shopkick technology. I checked out your 2011 post on the app and your Strategy Essentials article. What is involved in becoming a Shopkick retailer? Does each store need to add a device somewhere that sends sound waves?

    Location-based absolutely needs things like commerce as content and kicks to incentivize check-ins and physical purchases. A successful mobile ad that gets a prospective customer into your 95% conversion rate grocery store is probably a better investment than a PPC ad that gets a click to your website.

    1. Emily,

      I’m not sure the exact process involved in becoming a shopkick retailer. I will let you know if I find any info.

      However, I do know that retailers that want to offer walk-in rewards do have to add a device that sends the signal to a user’s smartphone. TechCrunch reposted this demo video on YouTube. It explains how the technology works.

      As far as I know, shopkick only offers walk-in rewards. However, they have a vision of making the whole shopping experience sort of a scavenger hunt, where they tell you to go to a different department within the store to get additional kicks.

      I think that this use of the technology has a lot of potential. And, it wouldn’t need to be limited to the shopkick app. As I mention in a post, retailers could alert customers about specific products and sales, and offer special coupons to customers who opt-in. The possibilities are endless.

      The cool thing is that they would just have to move the transmitter when they move the product to a different location.

      Other companies are working on similar ideas. I look forward to seeing retailers put these ideas to use.


      Chad Thiele

Comments are closed.