Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

The Best (And Worst) Marketing Gimmick in Austin

As I walked from the Austin Convention Center, I noticed that nearly every car had an envelope under the wipers, marked “Parking Violation.”

Suspecting this might be a South by Southwest gimmick rather than meter enforcement, I grabbed one of said envelopes.

Indeed, opening the envelope revealed a postcard with a quarter taped to it and a pitch for a start-up called ParkMe.

“Download the Parkme app today,” the flyer said, in all capital letters, below the also fully capitalized “Parking violation warning.”

I wonder how many car owners fell for it, and just how forgiving they were upon learning they had been played.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald