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Do you remember? March 31, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in technology.
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When Firefox 3 launched last year, I said to Scott Drummond “There goes the URL!” and thank God. While it still recognised the cumbersome string of letters aligned for a seemingly ancient protocol, it also now recognised the names of sites. So after closing the tab containing a story on Bit.ly raising $2 million in funding, I decided I wanted to reference it and ponder in some fairly semantical and tangential fashion about these further steps away from URLs. I forgot what site the story was on though, and so just typed in “bit”. Lo and behold:

Bit.ly raises a round of funding and I find my way back

Bit.ly raises a round of funding and I find my way back

We’re seeing the same thing on our phones, where we no longer dial numbers, we call people. I don’t know the phone numbers of any of my friends, hedging my bet on always being able to find them in some fashion. Skype takes this one step further with the complete absence of numbers. I can imagine explaining to children one day how you once needed a number to find someone, and having them say back to me “Why didn’t you just call their name?”

In one simple update, amidst what were I’m sure hundreds of more important features, Firefox 3 relegated the URL to history. The phone number is well on its way, and I’m wondering what other staples of life are due for a swift Darwinian exit from our technological lives?

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Up where we belong March 30, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in creativity, digital strategy.

Since the demise of social media (in my head) I’ve been struggling to get excited about something again. I was sitting thinking about opportunities for a client this morning, and I was reminded of the enthusiasm I talked about the potential of browsers with. This stems from a beautiful execution last year by Poke London on behalf of Orange called Balloonacy, which purported to be (and who is going to argue) the first Internet balloon race (I just noticed they won an award for it too, as it should be!).

The (thoroughly sexy) idea here is Balloonacy didn’t quite exist anywhere, rather it played out over the pages of people who took part, and, flying left to right over the screen you would land on new web pages when you went off the right-hand side. It was an app that didn’t require Facebook or an iPhone, it was a campaign that didn’t require a media buy. It was in fact an execution that could only have been done online, and there is so little work out there we can really say that about.

I don’t know if I’ll actually be able to get something in the browser off the ground for this client, let’s be honest there’s a barrier to entry, not to mention compatability issues, but in the same way processing is getting faster, the walls around technology are getting lower, which means more people participate, which means we get where we’re going faster than we did before.

As I said over at Socialized when the web was abuzz with Skittles nonsense, we’re all leveraging each other’s work, and getting there together.

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Do androids dream of these electric sheep? March 19, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in conversation, creativity, Viral.

Just found the below via Crackunit, which is a lot of fun. Watch.

Your friend and mine, Julian Cole, said the key to going viral is friendship. Which is nonsense. Even if Jules and I are friends (which we are).

The key to going viral is having something interesting to share, and finding it interesting or amusing regardless of whether you’re somehow attached to it or not. And as we all find different stuff amusing and/or interesting, that is harder than it would seem.

For instance, if you had told me yesterday I was going to blog about sheep with LED lights strapped to their backs, I would have assured you you were quite mistaken.

And there you have it.

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I’m a New York City man March 17, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in intent, storytelling.

“I am trying to draw every person in New York.” – Jason Polan.

A few thoughts:

  • I love a big, hairy, audacious goal, and this is exactly that
  • Faber Castell, Caran D’ache, Canson, etc. should be all over this
  • It’s a nice extension of Jason’s own brand as an artist
  • This feels like a visualisation of Hemingway’s “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
  • The trick is going to be in catching the moment rather than the person, the intent rather than the outcome.

Found via Andrew Cafourek’s tumblog. I struggle to think of a better way to pass the time.

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The end has no end March 17, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in creativity, social media, web 2.0.

If you haven’t seen the incredible work of Kutiman yet, make it your bid-ness to do so today. His remix of not only music but words and vision, all taken from YouTube clips is nothing short of amazing. Faris dropped some science around this the other day, delivering the following quote which sums it up (equal parts nicely and awkwardly):

It’s because media has become much easier to reproduce thanks to the radical decentralisation of the economics of cultural production [which is the phrase I’m backing as a substitute to social media – I’m not very hopeful it will catch on.]

We all know how I feel about social media. I think Faris “radical decentralisation” is more easily summed up by simply stating it is now as easy to create content as it is to consume it.

Perhaps we need to extend that to being “recreate” content?

I’m a faker March 16, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in branding.
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From the “You know better than to eat those” department.

Chewy Chips Ahoy!

Chewy Chips Ahoy!

Wait, what does that say at the bottom?!?

Made with real chocolate chips!

Made with real chocolate chips!

Real chocolate chips? Picked by immigrant-labour hand fresh from the chocolate-chip tree? Flavouring rabbit droppings and mixing them in would make a more natural cookie for God’s sake!

Can you tell it’s Monday?

Intent = stuff white people like March 13, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in digital strategy, intent, philosophy.
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“People have a really good  ability to see through you projects on the Internet that are just done to try and make you famous.”

Great quote. This is why I bang on about INTENT!

Watch this Google talk, from Christian Lander, author of brilliant blog Stuff White People Like.

Give me gin & tonic March 13, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in branding, storytelling, work/life.
A Most Unusual Gin...

A Most Unusual Gin...

I’m not a big spirits guy, but I love gin. My favourite, Hendrick’s, is by it’s own admission “Not for everybody.” This little booklet that comes attached to every bottle I adore. It is of course sperfluous to the gin, but extends the brand beyond a drink. You could argue it shouldn’t be about more than the contents of the bottle, but that wouldn’t help explain why Coke’s market cap is valued at only $60 billion in assets, but $120 billion when you take brand into account (thank you The Brand Gap).

Hendrick’s also back it up with a great product site, which moves over into something a bit more experiential with The Unusual Times.

I love this because:

  • I already dig gin, so I’m predisposed and biased
  • It doesn’t take itself seriously, therefore digs into Mr. Ries’ law of candour
  • It makes itself a social object, and larger than the drink
  • Like the Nike’s and Apples of the world, it loves something above its product, in this case the peculiar, and expresses that in the form of a drink the Wall Street Journal named “Best Gin in the world” in 2003
  • The story around the drink makes it tribal and is a clear distinction between those who drink Hendrick’s and those who ask for Tanqueray or Bombay Sapphire. That connectedness is crucial in this day and age.

I think it’s about G&T time…happy weekend everybody.

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I send a message March 9, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in blogging, social media, technology, web 2.0.
Image representing Posterous as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

Those who know me know getting under social media’s skin is one of my pet projects, only because the current discussions (I feel) miss the point, which I believe is the democratisation of platforms from which people have the opportunity to speak on a mass scale. More simply put, with the advent of easy blogging tools (like WordPress which runs this site), I get to spend my time thinking about what i want to say as opposed to how the infrastructure underneath it all works.

I wondered aloud last August when and how this sort of thing might come to impact the creation of music. Along came MelodySphere which had a simple shot at creating loops collaboratively but in a browser. Nice, but awkward to use. While the newest kid on the block (my block anyway) doesn’t get us there, it takes us one step closer to the removal of publishing barriers. Posterous allows you to email text, video, music and pictures to an address and then automagivally does the rest. You don’t even need to sign-up as you can see from my simply created Posterous page. It gives you a URL (which you can alter later if you wish) and instantly publishes whatever you sent. In my case, I shot them an MP3 of a song of mine and a minute later got a reply with the URL.

I love this, seriously love the removal of yet another barrier to people raising their voices, and while the geeks out there might bemoan the approach of the madding crowds, I believe the revolutions that will lead us out of economic nonsense will be born of the work being done by folk who are trying to make it easier for ideas and thoughts to be spread, and taking down anything that might stand in their way.

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Treetop Barbie March 5, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in branding, marketing, philosophy, politics, work/life.
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On the subway this morning I was watching the below TED talk by Nalini Nadkarni on her work as an ecologist, studying life in the canopies of rainforests. It’s a great talk which i recommend you check out, my favourite part though was her institution’s appropriation of every girl’s favourite doll, Barbie.

They buy them from thrift stores and other cheap outlets then hand-sew costumes for them and send them out. They’re also available for purchase which makes me wish I had cousins who were young enough to get one for!

A few thoughts:

  • I love the appropriation of a classic symbol, recast with new meaning in this day and age
  • Is this brand-jacking? Maybe, but not in a way that casts the original in a bad light
  • If I were Mattel I would be all over this. Nalini’s group send a booklet out with each Barbie on the work they do, Mattel could release a whole line of eco-warrior Barbie, created entirely from renewable materials in a series of different guises. Sea-Rescue Barbie, Treetop Barbie…Ivory Coast Barbie? (ouch!)

I’m wondering about other campaigns, brands, products, services, whatever. Major symbols like Barbie that can be given new purpose in an eco-aware age. There’s a lot of chatter right now on how green issues will be cast aside as people just try to hang on to their homes, I’m hoping initiatives like this might manage to keep it front of mind for people.

This post is also a special dedicatuion to Alex White, one of my best friends and a tireless eco-warrior himself. He gets married to an extraodinary woman (hi Fern!) tomorrow, a wedding I am sadly not in Australia for. Mate, I love you to absolute pieces and am sorry I can’t be there to share your special day. I cannot wait to hear about it, watch the videos and catch up when I’m back home at the end of the year.

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