Saturday, June 28, 2008

I Feel Overwhelmed

Crikey. My newest personal project, I Feel has gone crazy.

I Feel NYC has gone particularly bonkers, being covered by Black Book Magazine, Thrillist, Creativity Online, Google Maps Mania and too many bloggers to mention.

Although I sincerely thank the first few to cover it.

Thursday alone saw 4000 unique visitors, over 200 invite requests and an email from a radio station in New York. Eek.

This is all very exciting, but has also surfaced the problems with having a half-arsed site that you scramble together in iWeb. I'm struggling to keep on top of the invite requests, but I'm too nervous to remove the need for invites. I actually think these barriers do the project a favour. I've been impressed by the quality of entries and the care taken to customise the icons.

Anyway, while I work out what the hell I'm doing with this thing, I thought I'd celebrate with two new moods/mind-states: I Feel Girly and I Feel Manly. I've added a couple of rubbish ones to get things started, but I'm sure you can do better.

Personally, I just like the meat on a stick. Hell yeah. Gonna go rub petrol on myself and roar for a bit.

If you want to edit the I Feel Girly and I Feel Manly maps, just let me know and I'll send you invites. As always (for the time being) these invites have to be sent to the email address associated with your Google account.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

wordle on politics

This is McCain's policy on the American Economy:

And this is Obama's.

Thanks Lauren for the (many) wordle tip-offs.

race day

You may have seen this when you arrived here today:

Balloonacy is live. Now!


Friday, June 20, 2008

I Feel London video tutorials

I've started adding a couple of short instructional videos to the I Feel London and I Feel NYC sites. Editing using Google Maps is actually really easy, but a little fiddly if you've never done it before. You can find them on the sites, but here they are anyway:

Getting started.

And this makes things even easier.
But don't forget to personalise it.

Let me know if you want any tutorials on anything else. Or have ideas to make this better. I'm bumbling through ;)
I was thinking of doing one for adding shapes and journeys to the map. When I find time...


tim key twitters

My good friend, Mr Tim Key is a poet, comedian, writer, actor - all that kind of stuff.

I've written about him before here.

Well you're in for a treat, because he's just started Twittering. His poems are perfect for the 140 character format. Here's his first twitter:

If you like the cut of his jib, I suggest you start following him. You'll get little bursts of Twitter poetry.

P.s. This is my 300th post. Woo.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

I Feel

I Feel is an idea I had a long time ago and just got round to doing something with. It was inspired by Musicovery, along with my desire (at the time) to try to remember my favourite places in New York.

Musicovery got me very excited when I first saw it about three years ago. Making decisions based on your mood is a powerful idea. It seemed crazy to limit that to just music.
Although it's tempting to focus on how technology can enable new behaviour, I'm more interested in how it can remove barriers to behaving in ways we are programmed to do. Mood - or state of mind - seems to me to be the most fundamental trigger for human action.

So I introduce (in very rough, beta form):

I Feel London
I Feel NYC

Navigate your city by your mood.
Share with others things you like to do depending on how you feel.

It's the beginning of something, although I'm not sure where to go from here just yet. Hope you like it. Do get involved - request an invite, stick on some placemarks. Invite someone else. You get the idea.

A few things:

1. You can only add things from within Google Maps
2. Invitations can come from me or anyone else that is already a contributor
3. Check out the Help videos if you have any problems

This is a real work in progress - love to get any thoughts, input, advise etc - just bear in mind I can't do really clever things like, er, programming ;)

If just a couple of hundred people put one thing on each map it would be a great resource for all of us. Fingers crossed.


P.s. I should do a shout out to my brother who very kindly did the complicated (to me) part between making this in iWeb and it appearing and working properly in its correct URLs. His description of the project is also interesting. Thanks Tim!


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Nike+ Human Race

Saw this in the Metro last night. I love it.
You know when brands ask for a big idea? This is what they mean.

It's HUGE.
It's something only (fairly) recently possible, which means it's a new experience.
It's Nike through and through.
It will be fun and epic.
It will be interesting.
It will recruit a LOT of people.
It will raise money for charity.
Nike sits at the centre of it.

So why, why, why did the Nike chap have to wrap the 'article' up with this:

"It's an unprecedented way for us to bring an entirely new running experience to consumers around the globe."

Ugh - it was all so perfect and then you had to use the word 'consumers' and talk about the company as though it was releasing a new brand of toothpaste.

The story and the experience are both magnificent. And only Nike could have done it. That's your marketing.

Monday, June 16, 2008

battle of the brands

I feel like I'm on the Noah Brier PR committee, but the leaderboard on the battle mode on Brand Tags is quite fascinating. Check the current top ten:

be brutal

I just tore apart something I'd been working on for six hours and completely reworked it. After 24 pages of ppt, I shut my lid, got a pen and re-wrote the whole thing in three simple points.

Is it good because I was brave enough to demolish my work, or is it bad because I was too dim to do it properly to begin with? Who knows. Lessons learned.


I like things like this.
The video was projected onto the guy's T-shirt for an interview. Try doing this with Powerpoint.

From Nicky

Saturday, June 14, 2008

the evolution of ideas in our social soup

Never had I come closer to yelling Eureka than when my nose was vacationing in Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene a number of years ago.

Not only did he put knowledge in my head far too complex to get there without his translation, but he linked his ideas of biological evolution to the evolution of ideas - 'memes' - in a way I had never considered. (This - I think - was the original use of the word meme; a shorthand for a stable 'cultural unit')

I've since been fascinated by the concept that memes/ideas are the new replicators; propagating themselves via the minds of people. More and more, I see exciting similarities between Dawkins' description of the earliest molecular evolution (in a "thickening broth") to the way ideas spread and evolve through social media. And when Russell initiated a debate on originality the other day, it sparked the whole thing off again in my head.

Evolution shows us that the most 'stable units' are strengthened over time by accidental mutations.

I see social media not as 'more channels' but as a total meltdown of channels, derailing ideas from previously straightforward lifespans and instead boiling them down into a meme soup, not too dissimilar to the one described by Dawkins at the beginning of his book. Whereas the molecules in his primeval soup had external influences like gravity and ultra-violet light to affect them, memes in our social soup have us; the words and pictures we use and how we share them.

Russell devalued his articulation of a thought he now realised had already been in existence. But my view is that by filtering the concept through his own brain, down through his fingers and out into our meme broth, he helped it to replicate, evolve and by the very nature of the stickyness of his words; become more stable.

No one owns ideas. We might scrabble to express them in a way that feels different enough to create the illusion of absolute originality, but really the creation of stable ideas is by definition a communal job. This post is a good example. It's a little clumsy in places; it's not a new thought, but it's helped push a few meme fragments around in the hope that others can reshape it. It's in their minds, and subsequently their words and actions that potentially more stable ideas might be formed.

We are the soup. Who knows what will surface next.


The above was mostly referenced from chapter two in The Selfish Gene: The Replicators. If you're interested in ideas and how they spread, The Selfish Gene IMHO is necessary reading. Actually scrap that. Everyone should read it anyway.

You can read it online here.


Friday, June 13, 2008

obama's on my back

thought this was quite amusing.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

BMW GINA - Flexible skin

This is fantastic.

More here.

Spotted by Marc, who has an excellent eye for things

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Found it!

No words necessary. (Although you can get the karaoke version here. Seriously)

fight for freedom

This is amazing. I was half expecting Team America to be dangled in from above. I'm actually looking for an even more cheesy rock video with this blond rock dude and lots of American flags. Any ideas?

give it to me quick

This is really well made. And relates to what Tim was saying the other day. When there's people giving you such a digestible shorthand, what's the incentive to delve deeper?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

UK brand tags

Noah's Brand Tags just got local.

tweet show

I'm going to do a little experiment. I was thinking a while ago that the best person to get twitters from would be Jeremy from Peep Show. His internal dialogues are dark and twisted.

Now if you happen to follow my tweets, please don't be freaked out. They're not my thoughts.


Monday, June 09, 2008

oh god, it's happened

I joined Twitter. I joined it partly because of this. Partly because it's my job to know about these things. Partly because I secretly yearn for more outlets for my senseless blathering. Partly because it's a Monday - and it it feel like a Monday sort of thing to do. Partly because it's sunny and MGMT is playing in the background. And partly so I can have an opinion about it beyond: Meh.

Hello world.


seen from NYC

We arranged to meet some friends from New York via the Telectroscope yesterday. It was fun. There was a bit of a delay between the visual and the audio on the phone, but still worthwhile.
This is us as seen from New York:

Yes, it's just a giant web cam. Shows how important the right gimmick can be.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

the best of network premieres, now on iPlayer TV

As we wait for people and culture to catch up with technology, we find ourselves in this strange middle-place where ideas either seem too new, or not new enough, depending on your outlook. In the last few days I've been exposed to some very strange messages.

On Wednesday I saw an ad on a bus saying: "BBC iPlayer, now on TV"
I can't even bring myself to try to get my head round that one. I think it will confuse different people in very different ways.

Then two nights ago I heard the following two messages on TV, in adverts:

1. "The network premiere of [such and such movie] coming soon"
2. "Best of Radiohead - out now"

The concept of a 'network premiere' seems so irrelevant it's almost funny. Exclusivity, when it comes to movies, ends about 24 hours after they appear in theatres. And a Best Of album has its obvious flaws too.

I have a feeling we're in store for a lot more of this kind of messaging while we slowly move away from the Internet, TV and other flashing screens being 'things' we need to differentiate between.

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more nude cleverness

Radiohead started it.

This guy, James Houston then did this:

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Big Ideas (Don't get any) from 1030 on Vimeo.

Iain describes it here.

Friday, June 06, 2008

280 slides

280 slides is a fantastic online presentation software.

Thanks Knotty; Dave explains more

Thursday, June 05, 2008

disinformation something-or-other

My brother, Tim discusses what 'research' really means in an attention-scarce economy.
My complacency was such that I was willing to accept or refute the existence of Jesus Christ after 5 minutes scanning Wikipedia entries.
Obviously I only skim-read it. But someone sent me this. What was I supposed to do?

rationalising the irrational

Russell wrote a great post (how many posts begin that way, I wonder) called The Point of Pointless. It came to mind on something I'm working on at the moment. It was only when I applied the thinking practically that it struck me what I like so much about it.

I'm a very rational, logical person. I suspect most people that do similar jobs to me are the same. When I was about 20 I was at the house of an illustrator friend of mine. He showed me a very drawing of a girl with a green star on her cheek. I remember clearly how I felt. I thought: That star looks right somehow - and yet I never would have thought to put it there. There's no reason.

That's the thing. I like reasons. They help me choose what cocktail to have or which train to catch. The Point of Pointless is a dream come true to rational people like me. Because it provides the illusion of reason that makes it ok for me to do something without. It's a phantom framework that lasts long enough to facilitate something fun - and perhaps, pointless. Before you know it, the fun thing you've created is its own justification for existing. Hooray.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

who wants gattuso?

I mentioned the other day that I got myself a sticker book for Euro 2008. Well, I've got my first swapsie. Gattuso.

What can you give me?

P.s. No printing this jpeg off and gluing it in. That doesn't count.


spot the camel, dolphin etc

I'm starting to think my new colleagues have a thing for beasts. Balloonacy is the world's first internet balloon race; made by Poke for Orange. And very impressive it is too. Even though it wouldn't let me name my dolphin War Bastard.

Take part in the race or submit your site/blog to host a leg of the race.

Over to helium correspondent, Iain for the details. Next up, sport.