Tracking a new media artifact

How was I paid by British taxpayers to be in an ad for an American bank?


Modern digital multimedia has given way to a whole new world of digital scrap-booking* and record keeping, but in a digital world where some memories are video, images, audio and text n digital form. These artifacts are then used to make great creations, presentations or web experiences. Digital hoarding* is another thing many of us do without even noticing. I started digital hoarding way back in the days of BBS* and still have the burned CDs to show for it. What about that book review I did on Amazon in 1999? It's still there, but sadly m Geocities* site from the late 90s has been tossed.

Dave Olson's podcasting talk, Fresh Media Conference 2009.
I am constantly inspired to do amazing digital scrap-booking by two friends of mine. Dave Olson* is a classic northwest storyteller: think Jack Kerouac + Hunter S Thompson + Walt Whitman, that's Dave. Rick Chung* is a classically trained web savvy journalist. Dave is more of an old school storyteller and creator. Rick has a journalism background and writes and uses photos is such an amazing way to tell real his stories.

Digital photography will ultimately change childhood as photography had previously. Now instead of a few shots of us as babies and kids; parents, relatives and the internet will already have a thorough record of our early days. When generations change their practices somethings are forgotten only to be repeated.
photo by: iciskaye. used under creative commons license.
I am referring to the great depression* and the modern great recession*; both resulted from overreaching on behalf of financial markets. Modern banking is a game of measured risk. Players act in the interest of profits and revenues. Sometimes at the expense of those they serve. This photo contrast below demonstrates how prosperity can't last forever and the only constant is constant change. In the 60s the US made the vast majority of motor vehicles sold within it's borders. Today that is no longer the case and this has effected major economic centers that once depended on the auto industry.



This is the same neighborhood. Note the square building in the lower center of both photos.
(Detroit 1961 and 2006)


Economic devastation runs deep these. So how did this happen? Think of globalization and international trade as the ultimate long term equalizer. As much as the emptiness of Detroit is a tragedy, somewhere else in the world auto workers are making cars and creating prosperous cities to support those efforts as Detroit once did.

What happened? How did this occur? We hear a lot of different things about Credit Default Swaps and Collateral Debt Obligations. If you seek answers to these questions this video is a well done explanation of the current financial situation.


The Crisis of Credit Visualized* from Jonathan Jarvis*.


Early this year I received a strange call from a representative of Charter One Bank requesting my approval for them to re-air an ad from 6 years ago, a smart and cost saving tactic. Thanks to Google I was the first one she found. I waited a few months for them to contact the others from the video and decide whether or not to proceed with re-airing the commercial. I was happy to receive a cheque in the mail for three times the amount I had originally been paid in 2004. Catch me in the blue jacket and green hat at 8 seconds.




I was part of this commercial because at the time I was a volunteer with the VON's Meals on Wheels a program that produces and delivers healthy meals. The commercial was made in Canada but for a bank in the US. The video is meant to highlight the ways the bank helps in their community as each program is something that the bank contributes to.


The commercial was created when Cleveland-based Charter One Bank* was taken over in 2004 by Citizens Financial which has been owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) since 1988. In 2010 when I received that phone call the British Government was a majority stakeholder in RBS due to bailouts in late 2008*

Billions of pounds of “toxic” sub-prime mortgages were bought by Royal Bank of Scotland traders in a spree that was not disclosed to the bank’s board. -March 2009, The Telegraph*.
Charter One was one of many banks born from the US banking system*. The realities in a 50 state nation meant that system evolved as was necessary to enable a balance between competition and stability. The Free Banking* era in the mid 1800s and the deregulation of the 1980s have helped lead to today's situation. This deregulation was dangerous in a nation where barriers to entry were low and the market increasingly unregulated.
Critics have pointed out that the federal government's attempts at deregulation granted easy credit to federally insured financial institutions, encouraging them to overextend themselves and fail. -Wikipedia*.
As the British government is a majority stakeholder in the Royal Bank of Scotland which owns Citizen Financial Group which is represented by Charter One Bank it can be inferred that I was paid by British taxpayers to appear in a commercial for an American bank. Did I really get paid by the British taxpayers to promote an American bank?


No the cheque said Charter One Bank on it. Tracking a media artifact can lead down interesting paths and should be done more often. Digital scrap-booking? What's that? It's exactly what we do everyday we use or input information into anything digital. Now the real challenge is what's better than a blog to organize that content? How will we curate our digital content? How will we allow access to it? What are your thoughts?

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