Facebook Credits: Getting Paid to View Ads and Creating an In-Platform Economy

Facebook MoneyAttention, our free time, is the only scarcity online. With so many pages, videos, and podcasts to experience, no one wants to waste time on ads—unless it pays. Let’s say the advertiser pays people to view an ad. Currently advertisers pay Facebook to get their ad in front of customers. What if along with the standard ads and Friend updates, there appears a narrow white bar with a button you can click to unfurl an ad, crediting a dime to you. That ten cents would be an in-platform digital currency.

To seriously consider this scenario with its attendant why-nots and impossibles, let’s attempt to answer: what is the purpose of our economy? With the billions in advertising revenue Facebook collects annually, it might seem the economy works best when money is extracted from an ecosystem and converted to share price and ten-figure entries in the company’s bank account. It’s easier to measure and make sense of the accumulation of money, watching the scoreboard in a global economic contest, than measuring the velocity of flow. But what if the economy actually functions better when money circulates more? Continue reading


40-Second Elvis Movie

At a party convened to celebrate poetry, If Not For Kidnap, a guy introduced himself and said he’d perform an Elvis song from an avant-garde French movie in which Elvis played an ornithologist. James Okubo, a filmmaker based in L.A., was at the party with me and I said let’s make it—the Northwest Film Center had an upcoming 40 second film festival.

Here’s a sample of the storyboards I made for this project: Storyboard

Illustrated History

My senior year at the University of Oregon a visiting professor looked at my painting and asked what I wanted to do. I said, “History painting.” The art department in the 90s was like experiential art history, learning to do what artists centuries ago had accomplished. I lived Impressionism. It was like acting the part of an artist, packing my easel and going out to the field. Then I got into Cubism. And the Romantics, their grand canvases. But I had come to school wanting to be a comic book artist, and that strand wove itself into the picture.

Abraham, Don't Kill a Man Continue reading

Graphic Design for Oregon Environmental Justice

OPAL is a nonprofit in Portland doing advocacy for environmental and social justice. I volunteered to help out and they asked for some graphic design: new business cards, letterhead, MailChimp header, social media templates, Thank You card, and a poster.

OPAL Business Card

My first task was to create a vector graphic of their circle logo, name, and tagline (what you see on the back of the card) from a 74 KB jpeg file. OPAL needed the vector logo ASAP because they didn’t have an .ai file on hand for the logo and it looked fuzzy on their social media (74 KB is small!), and especially when sized up.

OPAL Back of Card

On the business card I used curves of light and dark green circle within circles as a design element to echo their logo. The curves seen on the back of card became the visual motive that integrates their visual communications. We used that on the letterhead, MailChimp header, and Thank You card. The social media template allowed OPAL to have volunteers insert photos and quotes to create a unified campaign. I experimented with color halftone on the photo for visual style:

OPAL Social Media

OPAL asked if I could create a graphic from one of their student volunteer’s drawings to clarify the image while keeping the spirit of the original. I made the poster as a vector graphic with Illustrator so it could be scaled to any size.

YEJA Poster

Youth Environmental Justice Alliance. Feel it! To experiment with the animation feature inside Photoshop, I made a GIF for social media. Here’s a quick-assembly limited animation:

Bus Riders Unite GIF

OPAL is a great place to get involved with your community!

Chapbooks: Dreams, Poems, and Statements

So many notebooks! Yes, I still keep a notebook with me, with real paper. This is utilitarian (notes!) and a place to create. From those pages I’ve put together a few collections. Here are the covers I created for each chapbook; and I made the photo taken at Mt. Tabor with some help from Photoshop. Please click the covers to read my back-of-book descriptions:

Freedom of Sleep

Around the turn of the century I began a dream journal and found that writing them down upon awakening helped with recall. That was fun. At the time I also did creative writing and would type my poems and stories from my notebook to a word processor. I decided to type the dream entries and they turned out to be more creative and interesting than the writing that I was doing consciously. So that propelled me and I had the dream journal going for a few years—it’s a discipline because one really can’t wait to write them in the morning. Get up and the image dissolves.

What We Have In Common

My intention with What We Have In Common was to articulate true statements. A series of headings and statements where I wrote an observation about life needed a occasional breather, so I came up with a concept for illustrating the book with human figures (like you see on the cover). They increase exponentially as the statements increase in number until the figures just run for pages and pages to the end. Given that, it’s like an art book. Concept being: we have a lot of people!

Open Book Society

The poems in Open Book Society are of a wide variety so I was happy to land on a way to describe the collection (click the back of book). Some were composed with a guitar and those have an almost architectural soundness. I observed that all the poems in the collection are more abstract than naturalistic or confessional. But I saved these poems for so many years that I finally decided to rescue them from the hard drive (bit rot). It was going to be a two-part book, with the second part being more recent poems—that was far too long so the second part will be another book.


Oregon Geothermal Tapping the Earth’s Power: Industry Insights with John Lund

The earth’s crust is in pieces. Huge continental-size plates. The heat from inside the earth flows closest to the surface where these plates come together. Along the seams, the crust thins and fractures. Mountain ranges form. Volcanoes erupt.

A ring of 452 volcanoes defines the geography from the southern tip of the Americas, up and across the Bering Strait, all the way down to New Zealand. Mount St. Helens is just one volcano in this Ring of Fire along the periphery of the plates beneath the Pacific Ocean. Plate movements atop the earth’s mantle create tremendous energy. Oregon’s place on the Pacific Rim assures a resource of geothermal energy that can find its way to human use. Groundwater that flows into cracks and fissures of hot rock can carry the heat to the surface. A geothermal resource has three distinct applications: direct use of hot water, ground-source heat pumps for heating and cooling of buildings, and electric power generation. Continue reading

Informational Meeting about Land Bridge over 405

Portland’s West Quadrant Plan

Land Bridge over 405

8:00am Thursday January 29th

Continental Breakfast Meeting at ProspectPDX

434 NW 6th Ave, Suite 302 in Old Town Portland

 Join us for an informational meeting about Portland’s West Quadrant Plan. This is a social mixer with business owners and everyone who cares about getting around in downtown Portland. We’ll be talking about the potential to build a land bridge over a section of 405. Architecture journalist Brian Libby has written about capping 405 and will speak at the event along with Dan Friedman. The access to 405 is the same, the freeway just goes into a “tunnel” underneath the cap that spans the two sides of the canyon. The land bridge would connect the neighborhoods west of downtown to the city center and create new space for parks and development. What could be built atop the freeway that will make this project most compelling to Portlanders?

autobahnGraphic from Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment in Hamburg, Germany

The City of Portland West Quadrant Plan includes Freeway Capping in its twenty year plan. A public hearing on the plan happens February 4 and Prospect PDX will host an informational meeting 8am Thursday January 29 to discuss the potential for a land bridge over 405. We’ll review structures built over freeways in other cities around the world, and Dan Friedman will present a slideshow of the retail cap built over the I-670 in Columbus, Ohio.

It’s inspiring to remember Tom McCall Park began as a citizen driven initiative and the potential for a cap over 405 was studied by Mayor Vera Katz’s administration. We’ll talk about what we’d like to see built and creative ways to finance a structure. We anticipate Karl Lisle and Mark Raggett from the City of Portland will be at the meeting to answer questions and provide perspective as we look into the conditions that make the freeway cap a practical solution to the demand for new space.

With a twenty year plan, it’s possible to place the freeway capping in the context of a realistic timeline that prioritizes the most needful projects in the West Quadrant and projects a tipping point when it makes sense to create a land bridge over 405. We’re going to talk about where on 405 and what could be built on a land bridge that will make the project most practical, and possible. You’re welcome to attend! If you’d like to join the conversation, please RSVP: arthur@prospectpdx.com