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Posts from September 2009

Get Good Ideas from Nokia

Good ideas

I like Jan Chipchase - he does what I like to think of as 'investigative ethnography' for Nokia - a gig which takes him all over the world looking at how people use phones and that.

He also has a great blog - Future Perfect - and we share a name.

[Jan is my middle name. Although I'm not sure we pronounce it the same way. Then again I never really say it out loud, so its hard to know how to pronounce it. It usually has a soft J, mine has a silent J-A-N.]

Jan [however you choose to say it - well however he chooses to say it I guess] is speaking at a PSFK Good Idea Salon on Thursday 1st October in New York.

You can get tickets here.

However, one of you lucky lucky TIGS readers can go for free - as I have a free ticket to give away.

Just leave me a GOOD IDEA in the comments - and I'll pick one, seemingly at random, and put you on the list.

Deadline is when I leave work tomorrow [tuesday 29th Sept]

To Tweet or Not To Tweet

Tweet or not admap

That is NOT the question.

Which is the really quite long title to this piece I wrote for Admap this month.

It riffs off the cultural latency thought I've been developing, and tracks the rise of twitter along Gartner's Hype Cycle.

Then it goes here:

The most interesting effect of new communication technologies is, perhaps, not how we use them, but how they change how we use everything else. An addition to the communication ecosystem does not simply increase the number of options – it changes the system itself.

The emergence of the internet as a content distribution channel changes what television is for and how it should be used, regardless of whether or not a TV campaign has a digital component – the world does.

Which pretty much sums up how I feel about the impact of 'digital' on 'traditional' advertising - although I'd like us to stop using those terms now please because they aren't really helping. Thanks. 

You can read the whole piece here: Download Admap - To Tweet or Not To Tweet - Faris - let me know what you think.

Robotic for The People

The Voicebot pt 1 from sidekick studios on Vimeo.

Robots are awesome.

I just got a Roomba. I can't believe how cute it is. It genuinely seems to vacuum stuff as well, but mostly I love my anthropomorphic interpretations of its cleaning pattern algorithm: it seems curious and cheeky and playful and lots of other things that it isn't really but that my brain likes to think it is.

This robot is less cute but is trying to help bridge the divide between the government and the governed.

Young people are encouraged to submit ideas about what's important to them on the Voicebox site [in 160 characters or less], then the Voicebot will transcribe them inside the Houses of Parliament in the UK so that MPs can see them.

The dudes behind is - SideKick Studios - have some thoughts about the needs for more open democracy that this robot represents here and you can see some of the messages on flickr.

I like the fact that the have an API so anyone can use the data the robot gathers - because:

'this isn't our data; this is your data'

Well indeed.

Having an XYZ Affair

I saw the XYZ Affair play on Saturday - at the NYC Twestival Local - [unfortunately I couldn't really get involved in the organising this time around] and they were impressively awesome.

They sounded a bit like early Weezer to me: like the Beach Boys blended into the Smashing Pumpkins.

Or something.

[There's probably a reason my music journalism career was cut short...Actually I know the reason: I ran out of ways to describe drum noises and bass noises, after using the term 'rolling thunder' way to often in countless jungle reviews]

I love their DIY first music video above - fan as I am both of cultural re-appropriation and the endless discussion of how television shows and cartoons of the 80s and 90s are the undisclosed foundation of 'generation Y not''s cultural sensibility.

[get a number of people of the same ish age together, give them drinks, see how quickly cartoons from childhood spring up. I think it's because they represent pre-fragmented media and culture, so they provide mutual referents for othewise disparate groups]

This video features lots of the actors from Nickolodeon shows from that time [we got Nick in the UK too] - who they just found using the internets and asked them if they wanted to play. I love that.

The XYZ Affair have just kicked off a kickstarter project to fund their album - go get involved and maybe  they will tell you why they are named after a French diplomatic scandal from the 18th century.

A Few Favourite Mobile Things

Adage mobile favs

Adage asked a bunch of smart people about their favourite mobile type things - and kindly solicited my opinion as well.

I said foursquare - here's why:

What are you most excited about in the mobile space?

The technology/app/behavior that I've been most excited about recently is Foursquare, in essence because it is all those things. As a believer in combinatorial creativity, Foursquare is exciting precisely because it combines elements of 'geotility' [location-based usefulness], gaming, social networking, manufactured serendipity and more. By using a gamelike set of incentives to create a new kind of behavior -- checking in at a venue when you are out and broadcasting that check-in to your network -- they are creating a rich source of local data and delivering on some of the promise of the location-based social web.

[UPDATE: Fourquare for Business just launched and is strong indicator for how advertising as geotility is going to work]

They actually asked all of us two questions - here was my unpublished response to the other question, which I thought was funny...

What mobile efforts have impressed you?

*Don’t say an iPhone app, it’s too obvious..although should probably try to slyly mention the one we did for don’t do that it’s lame...what about being contrarian and saying some SMS coupon campaign...or is that too obvious...maybe I should just google ‘best mobile marketing’....oh I don’t know...did anything mobile win at Cannes? That would be a safe bet...maybe that thing about Nokia making netbooks, or is that too clever clever....*

The Zippos lighter iPhone app!


There's also a good, more in depth, piece on how location changes digital experiences that touches on geotility.

Watching Paint Dry

Watching Paint Dry from Faris Yakob on Vimeo.

I'm off for a while - I'm doing a labour day long weekend one and then I'm doing a guest lecture spot for Henry Jenkins' new transmedia course at USC.

In the meantime I've made this little film for you.

It's called Watching Paint Dry.

There's a surprise at the end.

In return I ask only that you look at the post below and please vote on the SXSW panels.

I thank you.