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Radiohead to Coldplay: Your move April 29, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in digital strategy, marketing, music, work/life.
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In case you haven’t heard, Coldplay’s new single is available for free download from their website as of right now (actually as of about an hour ago). I’d share my thoughts, but the email they’re *apparently* sending doesn’t seem to be coming through…

ANYWAY, the song is called Violet Hill. A 7″ version will be available with this week’s NME, but rumour has it there are no plans to release it as a paid-for single. This comes on the back of recent efforts by Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails to innovate in the distribution of (and subsequent financial compensation for)
their music.

Look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts – as well as my own if the email ever arrives…=]

Hope and Value April 29, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in marketing.
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A couple weeks back I had the pleasure of speaking at an off-site day for Hippo Jobs where I am currently earning a crust heading up their product development and online strategy. I’d been banging on so much about value recently that I thought I’d subject my co-workers to it.

Along the way I had an insight though; what we were referring to as “value” internally was actually a price point, and value was something intangible; it meant something different to every person you could meet. Value was in fact set by the end consumer and not by the producer! I don’t know about you but that completely flips my thinking on it. So along the way I diverged from my original thoughts and tried to explore that idea a little bit more – thank you to Tara who clued me into the “willingness to pay” idea.

I don’t think I quite nailed it (nor do I think my presentation makes a whole lot of sense without me talking), but I’m not done thinking about this. I could be overstating it, but I think drilling down deeper on this notion of value is worthwhile, and it’s going to consume my thinking regardless. You’re already along for the ride, so you may as well get involved. What’s something that’s been genuinely valuable to you irrespective of the price point?

*Complete aside* – first time using Slideshare. I like it for the most part, and though Arun (who works there) took me through a few of the decisions around functionality, I still think it should load faster! =] Cheers mate.

Social networks and anti-social activity April 29, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in digital strategy, marketing, web 2.0.
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A few weeks back I posted that I’d been invited by Marketing Magazine (Australia’s most widely read advertising and marketing publication) to contribute regularly to their magazine and blog on their newly-revamped website. My first post is up, looking at social networks and why they’re not the digital wet dream marketers are hoping for.

What people fail to understand is the activities carrying the social media boom have always been social. Music, movies, fan clubs, photos of friends, staying in touch, whatever. Technology has facilitated a new means for those things to take place but it hasn’t changed the core motivation.

Read the whole post (no registration required).

Hey I just found this… April 29, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in work/life.
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In a world where man-crushes are entirely acceptable Andrew Cafourek and I would be the best of buds. The fact that I’m pointing people to his site while he sleeps having been unable to complete his update I’m sure he won’t find remotely amusing…we’ll deal with that later.

Andrew uses Tumblr, a service I have signed up for but not slotted into my daily routine yet. These are direct from his Tumblog which is equal parts entertaining and…well…entertaining.

This is a brilliant commercial for the Discovery Channel:

This is a fantastic note on customer service:

Customer Service

This is a wry if pessimistic view of the future:

In the future...

This is Andrew’s Tumblog.

That’s too big to be a space station April 24, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in digital strategy, marketing, web 2.0.
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Earlier this year I decided I was going to make myself into a morning person. See I’m really not a morning person, I’m not even a mid-morning person. I only really wake up around 6pm, which explains why I’m up so late, get so little sleep, have a hard time getting out of bed and subsequently ensure I remain “not a morning person.

Garfield doesn't "do" mornings...

It was going to coincide with joining a gym, getting in shape, a bunch of things, as if simply being glad to get out of bed each day wasn’t going to be hard enough. Simply put, the bar was set too high; impossible to achieve based on my world view at the time, and too much to deliver real motivation to change. All it really did was show how little ground I was gaining.

One of my best friends Ian works for a Big 4 accounting firm. He is an endless source of good advice on finance (one would hope so), and has been a really great friend in terms of teaching me about money and setting reasonable financial goals.

Because Ian knew my natural tendencies, he knew I wouldn’t spend less time with friends, in bars, seeing bands, generally living life the way I enjoy it. So while I don’t put as much into my savings each week, what I do put in stays in because it is a measured and achievable goal; when I check the balance of that account I get a sense of having accomplished something rather than being disappointed with myself.

As marketers, we tend to do the same. A client wants the biggest and best of everything; they’re a traditional brick and mortar business, but they want the most innovative social media strategy we can possibly concoct, in fact why don’t we just go create a new start-up with a silly play on words, invent some tech nobody needs with a catchy name so the client can pull off a world first in this space and get kudos if not customers, right? Right. And so very wrong.

We need to be partners, not providers. If a client says they want to talk to their audience but isn’t sure how, don’t tell them they need a Facebook application and a UGC-driven promotion and a new micro-site when you know they don’t (by the by, if you’re not sure what they need, see Forrester’s POST Methodology). If they really want to talk, make them understand what that means. Explain the true nature of corporate transparency, explain what being in that conversation is all about, give them the upshot as well as the potential to take a very public beating. Partner with them, show thought leadership and a willingness to walk the road alongside their efforts.

Most of all set achievable goals, they can start a WordPress blog for free. They can set up a company profile on Get Satisfaction. They can do a wealth of zero dollar marketing exercises that tests the water for them and for the people they answer to. Get that right first; a senior executive’s ego will drive the headline grabbing stuff anyway. Show them genuine value. Or they will eventually show you the door.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get up for a run in 7 hours.

Mental Detox Week April 22, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in work/life.
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Caught this over at CrackUnit.


The idea is simple: take your TV, your DVD player, your video iPod, your XBOX 360, your laptop, your PSP, and say goodbye to them all for seven days. Simple, but not at all easy. Like millions of others before you, you’ll be shocked at just how difficult – yet also how life-changing – a week spent unplugged can really be.

Iain’s latest post shows handwritten notes taking the place of his blog. My regular Tuesday night however has made sure my week so far amounted to a thoroughly plugged-in and monumental epic fail. If it wasn’t for band practice, French lessons, and an overt desire to conquer the world keeping me unplugged the rest of the time, I’d be somewhat concerned.

The Next Creative Revolution April 22, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in digital strategy, web 2.0.
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I wish I could remember where I dug this up but I can’t, and we’re all the poorer for it. The Next Creative Revolution is penned by Nick Law who is the chief creative officer of R/GA (an agency I don’t know enough about agencies to have heard of). That glowing endorsement aside, it is a great piece and well worth a read, though it does lean a little too heavily for my liking on the “Ain’t digital great?!?” side of the bridge. On the back of my post about the divide in “integrated” agency offerings and Iain Tait’s 10 Reasons Why Digital is Better Than Advertising, it is well worth your time and lays out a road map that may not be perfect, but at least gets the conversation started.

And (all together now), markets are conversations. Right?


8 for ’08 – Random Bio April 22, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in work/life.
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So I got tagged in a meme that circulated the web back at the beginning of the year. It of course went completely over my head and I didn’t realise I’d been tagged, even as I watched it pass from site to site thinking “Hey that looks like fun!”. Chris Wilson over at Fresh Peel is the culprit, he and I got talking on LinkedIn one day, amazing how these things start. Chris, thanks for the tip!

Without further ado, the much-belated eight facts about me that weren’t common knowledge:

1. The first game I produced was an ice skating game called Barbie’s Sparkling Ice Show. Obvious drug/bling references aside, it did quite well, and was a great lesson in brand management and dealing with third-party IP.

2. I grew up in Hong Kong before a short stint in the US rendered my well-spoken Queen’s English accent marred with rolled Rs and “mom” replaced “mum”. It’s much softer these days, though I still don’t sound remotely Australian.

3. Basketball was the only sport I was ever any good at, but I was quite good at that. I once single-handedly scored more points on my own than the opposing team did in the entire game. It would end at that if there was a legend to be made; sadly the other team only managed 13 points, so a Herculean-effort it was not.

4. My first guitar teacher refused to teach me on account of being left-handed. I subsequently stopped learning guitar with him…

5. The first song I ever performed live was The Doors’ Roadhouse Blues. I bought a harmonica the day before to play the solo in it. That was 13 years ago, I am a marginally better harmonica player than I was that day (suffice to say I’m crap).

6. My first girlfriend’s name was Clare Darby. To the best of my knowledge I cannot remember holding hands or even speaking to her one on one. We were five of course, so I think a little slack can be cut. Funnily enough I never went through a stage where I was bothered by girl germs, though girls seem to remain bothered by mine. Hello to Clare if she is playing at home.

7. In Hong Kong all the grass had signs saying “Please keep off”. To this day I have never been camping and have absolutely no desire to. I’m as big a tree hugger as the next guy (unless the next guy is one of the ones that boarded the Japanese whaling ship, in which case I look like a carbon-positive, nature-hating, tree-felling, seal-clubbing, ice-cap-melting capitalist), but to quote Minnie Driver in Grosse Point Blank, I say leave your live stock alone.

8. British GQ is my favourite magazine on the planet. I wish it was something like The Economist, but it isn’t. I love fashion even if I can afford none of it, the writers it has are extraordinary, the whole thing is endlessly entertaining. Unlike Australian GQ, which is fucking awful. If you’re reading Grant, call me – 0404078686, I can save your terrible, terrible magazine.

So, I now have to tag 8 others in this wee game. I am keeping it very close to home and hitting up Stuart McPhee (the best music writer I know), Scott Drummond (the most insightful person I know), Alysha Sandow (the best dressed person I know, she’s a pretty good graphic designer too!), Simon Chen (he’s at the Web 2.0 conference right now, so won’t reply; odds are he wouldn’t anyway), Andrew Cafourek (smart and unafraid of getting his hands dirty in addition to being an incredibly nice guy), Iain Tait (who no doubt got tagged several times with this while he was in India), Laurel Papworth (I’ve only had limited interaction with Laurel but I like the cut of her jib…whatever that means *Update* Laurel has already done this, hers can be found here) and Skelliewag who I don’t know at all but I really like what he does, and so he deserves more of your time and attention (because I say so).

Dear Facebook: DO NOT WANT April 15, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in marketing.
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Dear Facebook,

Facebook unfortunately thinks I am interested in this


If I would like to meet a girl, I will leave my computer and do that.

I’m going to go do some research and see if the ads change based on me altering my sexual preference and/or relationship status. I shall report back… In the meantime, marketers who’ve arrived looking for some tips on how to market on Facebook are decidedly late.

The Tap Project April 15, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in branding, digital strategy, marketing, philosophy, work/life.
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Murphy’s law: just as you’ve finished bitching about the value you get out of your facewash something like this will come along; nothing like saving lives to put notions of value into perspective. I don’t care what you’re doing, take five minutes to watch this incredible video now. If your boss complains, tell them I sent you.

With thanks to CrackUnit.