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September 2010

Posts from August 2010



My mate Ahra is involved with a charity called Skatistan that runs a co-ed skate school in Afghanistan.

They are auctioning off skateboards that have been beautified by a number of modern artists - including heavy hitters like Olaf Eliasson - to raise funds for the charity.

So, if you like skateboarding, and modern art, and acquiring the combination at a steal AND helping people, head over and BID NOW!

The auction is coming to a close soon.

SXSW Panels - Please Do Voting

Panel picker

It seems like everyone has a panel in this year's Panel Picker for SXSW, which is awesome and daunting in equal measure.

I have a few I might be involved in - and a bunch more I'd love to see - so if you have some voting left in you here are my pimp and picks.

Genius Steals: Remix Culture IS Culture

Remix culture is simply an higher order expression of how all culture is made. Culture is inherently recombinant - it is an unending process that creates from pieces of itself, across a spectrum of representational complexity. In fact, recombinant processes are the only source of novelty in the world, from sexual reproduction, to the creation of ideas, to technology.


[The panel / talk of the blog if you will]

The Death of Viral

If you’re not living in a cave, you’ve probably heard someone refer to a ‘viral video.’ But is viral really the right word? Media that spreads quickly isn’t usually self-replicating. Instead, people tend to be involved in sharing content. How many times have you heard a brand (or your boss) ask for a viral video? How did we get to the word ‘viral’ in the first place? This session will explore the very nature of what makes content likely to spread across cultures (and across the internet.) By looking at the history of videos deemed ‘viral’ and examining case studies of ‘viral’ successes, we’ll share tips and tricks on how to create more spreadable content and how to avoid the ‘v’ word in upcoming meetings.

Your UGC Resume

User generated content has exploded in the past decade, blah blah blah. Here’s the other side of the scoop, UGC is a legitimate venue to get discovered as a talent. Whether network effects cause the best content to bubble to the top or serendipity works its magic and Ashton’s tweeting your latest video UGC is a big business. In this climate, there is often a traditional media endpoint for UGC. It could be TV show (@shitMyDadSays), huge record deals (Beiber & legaci), books (Julie Powell), brand sponsorship (kevJumba), and jobs (Oprah’s TV contest). As an agency we are always looking to capitalize on these trends for our brands, and we’d like to discuss with people who have made it and those still on the way motivations, tactics, serendipity, etc.


Overcoming the Innovator's Dilemma: Internal Start-Ups

How to create a technology start-up inside a large organization - based on how we are doing it right now We'll look at different SkunkWorks models, looking at companies we have started inside larger parents. How do you leverage the resources of a large company, but maintain the agility and efficiency and passion and motivation of a start up?

Creating an Effective Interactive TV AD

Imagine watching a commercial for Pizza Hut, and then pressing a button on your remote control to have discount coupons for pizza mailed to you. Or watching an ad for the New York Times, and then clicking your remote to start a subscription, using payment information that the cable company has already stored. This presentation describes the process used to create an interactive TV ad using the Tru2way platform, and provides tips for creating an effective ad. Interactive TV will allow advertises to display targeted ads on TV, and meaure the response to an ad.

And I add my backing to AdBroad's Excellent Picks.

Vote my friends - exercise your democratic fingers.

The Age of Media and Why Phone Calls Are Rude

This is a 3:42 film interview thing of me talking to the lovely Marla from the IAB that I filmed just after the IAB Mobile thing.

I talk about how I'm mostly interested in how the different pieces fit together, what the system looks like; why I think making phone calls is, in general, rude; how what communication media you default to tells you about how old you are, or what generation you fit into, or something; and why I'm pretty excited about what happens from here.

All in a highly snackable 4 minutes morsel. 

Let me know what you think, especially if it gives you indigestion.


This is really nice.

[Full Disclosure - my lovely lady works for Cake. It's still really nice though. Hey - make your own mind up.] 

I have always believed that advertising can be a force for good in the world. 

That perhaps what we should focus on doing is making people's lives better. 

Maybe just in little ways. 

Maybe by guiding some of that 400 billion dollars or so that are spent every year around the world into "GOOD THINGS."

Not just because I'm a hippy [sih] but because it's perhaps more likely to embraced and effective.

It makes sense. 

Reciprocal altruism and generosity and understanding what people need or want are in some ways the foundations of any relationship. 

Either way, you earn the fragmented attention that it's no perhaps longer realistic to buy in an infinite media space, and the actions indicate the nature of your point of view as a company and how you choose to behave in the world, and therefore the kinds of customers that give you that attention, because they echo those values, are perhaps therefore likely to perceive some additional, intangible value in your products, based around that alignment, that might help eleviate issues of choice in a parity marketplace, and create price elasticity of demand over time. 

You know, brands and that.

Cutting Clippings and Musings on The Same

Page Mag
[I don't know what the above says. I'm trusting the editor/sub-editor on this one.]

I remember many years ago interning at a PR company, where a big chunk of the intern work was to help out with the press clippings.

For those of you who are post analogue, this basically involved going through every single publication, every day, looking for client brand names, and cutting out those articles that mentioned them.

I imagine this industry still exists in some form, but Google Alerts would cover off 90% of what you find, with a dramatic reduction in man hours needed. 

I use TIGS for a lot of things. To think. To solicit thoughts. To aggregate fragments of myself. To distribute the same. 

So here are some digital clippings.

Here's 1:

An article from AdWeek by the lovely and laconic Benjamin "Barbarian" Palmer, about the challenges of resolving different needs and points of view, specifically the distance between clients and agents. 

The very first thing I was taught in this industry we aren't certain we should call AD anymore, is that the client doesn't spend her whole day thinking about the tiny part of the marketing mix that your agency's discipline represents. 

They don't know what you know, that's why they hire you, and they spend a lot of their time justifying marketing spend to financial people that consider it discretionary.

It's worth remembering.

But, to my point in the piece. 

One of the biggest hurdles to interesting, or integrated, work, whichever you prefer, is structural. The more complex things get, the more disciplines or departments need to be involved, the harder something is to orchestrate. 

Personally, I think we should try to extend ourselves out of our specifics, as I've said before, a strategist needs to understand business, brands, behavior, media, and digital. 

Strategy demands holistic thinking. 

Everything is a system of inter-operating parts. Some of the biggest challenges we all face are created because everyone focuses on, and is therefore biased towards, what they do every day.

[When you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail.]

So I said:

"Ideas that don't fit neatly inside 'advertising' boxes," he said, "may require [those] clients who reside within marketing to orchestrate a program across innumerable departments, which brings its own set of complications."

But the same structural difficulties lie on both sides, of course, in the obvious divisions between 'media' and 'creative' and 'digital' and so on. 

A separate P&L, a set of cognitive blinkers, vertical jargon: all these things prevent us from understanding that the system is more important than ANY of the parts. 

So it behooves to understand how what we do fits into the system, and try to learn the languages of the other parts. At least conversationally, if not fluently.

Here's 2: 

Speaking of languages I don't speak...

For any readers that do read German, there seems to be something I said in this article from Page Magazine, but my German only extends to Entschuldigung, so I have no idea what exactly I'm being quoted as saying.

I suspect it may be related, since my thinking tends to be contemporaneously self similar. 

Should you be interested [and, ideally, speak German] you can get the whole article:

Download Page Magazine 09.10 FY

Download Page Magazine 09.10 FY 2

Here's 3:

Last night I was invited to the Mashable SummerMash thing by Watchitoo, a new livesteam/social collaboration platform. I did a little microinterview, and during it there was some excellent live chat commentary:

21:21  guest_av1adt: he's a brit!

21:21  Nyle: He's my vanillia twin

21:21  guest_av1adt: hahahahaha!

21:22  guest_BAN0wr: this dude is keeping it real

21:22  guest_av1adt: he's had a drink for real!

21:22  Nyle: lol

21:22  guest_BAN0wr: vans and t shirt and baby dread

21:22  Nyle: not baby dreads

21:22  Nyle: like teenage dreads

21:22  guest_BAN0wr: Nah....If he's a Rapper we'd call him Baby Dread!!!

21:22  guest_av1adt: oh wow... is he on drugs? he's talking kinda fast!

Time Shifting Now

That's what he said. 

Specifically that's a portion of what I said at the aforementioned IAB Mobile Event.

So now you can see if you were right about the slides might mean. 

Did you guess I was talking about the Constant Now that mobiles operate in? 

And that they let you timeshift your NOW? 

And that phones allow you to play games in the real world and that some of those games could create positive externalities that make society easier to use?

You did? 

What about the bit about passive participation, which I suspect will be very important?

Oh. Well. Good for you then. 

Well, here's an update - the @GEHEALTHY twitter account just thanked me for mentioning MORSEL. 

So that's nice.