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Posts from June 2007

To Interesting and Beyond

[Image by brianarn]

TIGS is going off the air for a couple of weeks, while I'm on holiday.

"The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one's own country as a foreign land." -G. K. Chesterton

I don't think I agree entirely G.K., but I definitely dig the latter part - after a while it gets hard to see the wood for the laminate without some cultural punctuation.

I'll be at Interesting tomorrow - see you there if you are too - otherwise I'll catch you when I'm back in July.

Rock on.

People are Always in Beta


I think one of the reaons that Russell's Always in Beta resonates so strongly with people is because people are always in beta too.

People continue to make mistakes and learn from them and [hopefully] get better all the way along and I think we respond to brands that make mistakes, and apologise, better than those that deny they ever mess anything up, because they feel more like us. They're more real and nicer.

There are few things more annoying than people who claim to never make mistakes and never say sorry.

When brands are making mistakes and learning from them, it gives the impression that they are constantly working to make things better, rather than resting on their branded laurels.

Toyota calls it Kaizen, or continuous improvment.

I'm not sure if I learn from all my mistakes, but I'm still intending to make another.

Romanian Rumination

[The People's Palace, Bucharest. The second biggest building in the world, after the Pentagon, built with bad karma.]

I've just flown in from the Idea Forum in Romania and, boy, are my arms tired.


Anyway, it was a really interesting experience. Whilst I think there's a real hunger for new ideas out there, there's also a feeling that they are somewhat removed from new stuff that's happening.

I think Iain captures it really well here - it was lovely hanging out with him and Russell. I'm a big fan of hanging out, as I may have mentioned previously.

Everyone was very nice -  particular thanks go out to Bogdana and Christian for taking excellent care of us, and to the lovely planners of Leo Burnett Romania who let us play in their office for a bit and were generally very nice. Thanks also to everyone in my seminar for making the experience very pleasant and not too scary.

Stencil grafitti is huge in the city, and I loved the fact that they stencil up the faces of their greatest writers and their poet laureate. I doubt Banksy would immortalise Andrew Motion but you never know.

Although the screaming kids were still hunting boyband.



Gareth and Charles have suggested via a blog link meme that TIGS makes them think, which is groovy of them.

So now I have to nominate five other blogs that make me think. But the meme doesn't stipulate what they should make you think about so, whilst there are tons of fantastic planning blogs out there, let's see if we can't push things a litte bit further...

Let's start close to home with Planning for Fun.

Then move slightly out, into South America, with Everything Communicates.

Then move laterally, to the very useful pen portraits of Ruby Pseudo Wants a Word.

Then jump all the way out of the park into The Virginity Project.

And finally land in the genuinely salacious, with Sleeping Around, that inspires entirely different kinds of thoughts.


And, as my taggers cheated on numbers, I'm going to as well. I'm a strong believer in William Gibson's now famous aphorism:

"The future is already here - it's just not evenly distributed."

The digital generation can show us the way things are going to be for everyone in the future. So thoughts like those on Digital Rain are worth thinking about.

Thinking Outside the Window


My mate Anders sent me in the direction of this smart website, the denizens of which attack the boundaries of their world, pushing them open from the inside.

Being contextually relevant and playing off the environment you're in has long been a way to add  impact to communication - it can even turn urban spam into something quite charming. Sometimes. Great to see people doing it online with the browser window.

The window is only a metaphor so there's nothing to stop you mixing it with some others, once in a while.

Apart from a pedantic adherence to the classical rules of literature.

Metaphorically speaking, as we're talking about a different class of metaphor here.

I mean metaphorically writing.

Best leave it there.