Tuesday, January 27, 2009

there's probably no bus

thank you B3ta

Monday, January 26, 2009

anti anti-social media

I'll try to say this with suitable brevity.

I hate the term 'social media'. When I hear it (and sometimes, it comes from my mouth too) I want to hold my breath until my cranium explodes.

Other reasons aside, I'll give one explanation of why I think this term is not just annoying but restrictive. And I'll do this in an irritating sound-bitey way, like this:

As Clay Shirky said, humans are social animals. We simply have the tools, finally, to connect in ways we are programmed to do. So social media is really 'anti anti-social media'.

Rather than see our digital tools as adding new channels, it makes more sense to see them liberating us from channels at all. The old tools essentially forced us to cram our full-colour, spirited desire for communication into a a finite number of very limited, black and white outlets.
We - sophisticated, complex beings - were forced to exchange very basic streams of information.

This distinction is really important; between the addition of new options vs the removal of barriers. It's the difference between thinking: 'We can now use channels X, Y and Z to communicate this' and 'we can now say this where we like and how we like'.

We can finally behave and communicate with a fluidity that matches and even exceeds our primal instincts. Just remember that, next time someone says "shall we do a facebook app?"

No pictures, sorry. If it helps, try imagining my cranium exploding and seeing vivid colours falling all around as communication is freed from its shackles :)

hot black desiatio

Never before this weekend had I been stopped in my tracks my a 'For Sale' sign. It was black, from edge to edge, with the words "Hot Black Desiato" printed on it.

Intrigued, I popped my head into Google and subsequently Wikipedia to find out what was going on.

From Wikipedia:
"Hotblack Desiato is the ajuitar keyboard player of the rock group Disaster Area, claimed to be the loudest band in the universe, and in fact the loudest sound of any kind, anywhere. So loud is this band that the audience usually listens from the safe distance of thirty seven miles away in a well-built concrete bunker. Disaster Area's lavish performances went so far as to crash a space ship into the sun to create a solar flare."
Wow - so it's a Hitchhiker's Guide thing. But no - it was actually an estate agents first!
"The character is named after an estate agency based in Islington, with branches throughout North London; Adams said he was struggling to find a name for the character and, spotting a Hotblack Desiato sign, liked the name so much he "nearly crashed the car" and eventually telephoned to ask permission to use the firm's name for a character."
Why have I never heard of this before?
I want to sell my house just so I can have one of their 'After Eight-esque' signposts in my garden.

little big jealousy

LBP Tips Special: Survival Challenges from Media Molecule on Vimeo.

Why have I still never played this??

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Daniel Tammet is a rather famous and inspiring autistic savant. I had come across him before in a documentary in which he learned Icelandic in 7 days:

He just plopped into my lap for a second time in the form of a New Scientist interview. In it he gives us a teasing glimpse at how he sees the world, makes sense of numbers and information in ways that are both exciting and fascinating. In fact - thank you internet - here is the interview I just read. So I won't bore you by explaining what you can enjoy yourself.

There is one bit I want to extract and drop into my blog though: A word belonging to Tammet's made-up language, Mänti. The word is 'kellokult', as Daniel explains, it "means 'clock debt'. It's a way of emphasising that when you are late for something, it incurs a debt, you owe someone that time." Nice.

I just ordered a copy of his new book Embracing The Wide Sky.

Tammet also has a blog, which I'm going to subscribe to.

One thing's for sure, I don't think any of Tammet's material will result in kellokult. It will all be time very well spent.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

when quick isn't quick

I just attempted to read an FT article online.

After the first couple of sentences it told me:
To continue reading this article, please register – it’s quick, free and without obligation...

So I tried. And I was shown this:

Perhaps I'm slow. Maybe I'm too lazy to read much, but when I see a page like this, it aint "quick".

It's paralysing. I feel like eating my laptop just to make the noise go away.

It's easy to rationalise that something is quick. But if you're going to put a biblical feast of information between me and wanting to read the next paragraph of your article - you're missing the point a bit.

You could also argue that it took more energy to write this post than it would have done to read that page. But writing this is doing things on my terms.

Effort isn't directly proportional to the amount of work that needs to be done. It also concerns that individual's desires and expectations.

Moan over.

To continue reading this blog, please count the number of vowels in this sentence and email me with your answer.

nearly impossible

You should check out The Impossible project.

Even if you don't like it, you might like this:

phone tag brag

Phone Tag turns voice mails into text messages on your phone. Which is nice.

But I particularly like this:

Accumulative, distributed benefit isn't really relevant to an individual, but it is a smart way to dramatise the appeal. As well as being loaded with a social backdrop that makes you feel like it's something you should be a part of. Sort of.

Just getting the brain warmed up. Thanks Wris/honey.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Feel Earth - Meet Nilesh

I thought I'd explain a few things about this before we get caught up in the details. That comes later.

First, meet Nilesh and meet our new blog (which will get redesigned at some point, promise)


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

hobo horror

Last night, a friend was saying that the only way to watch a horror movie is on their own in the dark.

I contested, saying it would be much scarier to find a hobo/tramp and get him to sit in the corner of the room looking at you in silence. That would be much scarier.

And he really would have to be quiet. Maybe he could mumble every now and then, but you pretty much want to start wondering if you're imagining him or not.

Reminded me of Bumillionaire too.

All this led me to find this post which could have started the logo design process for this business proposition. Oh and Hobos for Hire is also a band.

Anyway. Much less cruel than hunting hobos down for sport. Not that you were thinking of doing that. Hmm.

Monday, January 19, 2009

double irony attempt

It's a brave man that attempts to describe a moment with two layers of (actual) irony. Here goes:

This morning I placed my fresh mug of coffee down on my bedside table. To arm myself for the week ahead I began to gather up the things I needed, including a "get one free" card for my local coffee shop..

My tired fingers fumbled and the card plopped into my mug coffee.

Irony 1: My coffee was ruined by the ink on a card that existed only to provide me with coffee
Irony 2: The card was ruined, by the very beverage it had worked so hard to represent, thus rendering itself incapable of replacing said coffee.

This was not very interesting. I apologise.

Friday, January 16, 2009

durex outtakes

Get it on. Awesome.

Some better ones here

found by Nicky

p.s. 400th post. Woo! to me.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Behold the Overnote!

Wrisley just sent me this. I quite like it:

damn you words

Words are amazing. Once they're set free, they not only retain the thought you intended, they steal it and give it to other people.

At the weekend I put up a note on I Feel London telling people that a new version of the site was coming soon and to click the note to request an email when it goes live.

I decided to pre-populate the email subject with what I imagined people would be thinking. It reads:

"ok, I'm interested - it's about time you improved this thing" (I'm a real card)

What I didn't expect though, is how I felt when the first few emails started coming through. 'How rude', I thought.

Despite rationalising that it was me who wrote the words and these nice people merely clicked the button, my pride took a subconcious hit.

What was I hoping for? That they might change the subject to read:
"Are you kidding? This thing's awesome. You're awesome! I'm going to go and tell my kids that they have to move out so I can turn their bedrooms into I Feel shrines."

After a few more emails this embarrassing angst left me and I returned to being normal human.

I might leave a note by my bed tonight saying: "Don't bother getting up, loser" - see if I take it personally in the morning.

Monday, January 05, 2009

dear me

This post is really aimed at me. It will probably bore you to death.

Over the past year I've gone from passionate and opinionated to passive and unengaged. This is down to a few things:

1. I moved from a Creative Director role at a small company and was driving its creative culture and company philosophy (sounds pretentious I know) to a larger company in a less central (comparatively) role.
2. I got engaged and my ambitions and interests started to shift as I peered ahead into my thirties
3. Ifeellondon.com started to become a really exciting prospect (more on this later) and I began to care more about this than other things I was working on (sorry everyone involved)

This is a note to self to re-engage with all the things I used to be passionate about and to start treating this blog as a place to explore ideas that are half-formed at best.

This is my resolution.
Now stop blogging and do some work.