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You’re invisible now August 17, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in creativity, digital strategy, technology, work/life.
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I was going to title this “Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people” but that was too obscure, even for me. 5 bonus points to the person that picks the song without using “The Google“.

So my motivation has been a little lacking lately (alliteration = triple word score), and try as I might I hadn’t been able to rekindle it. I chatted long into the night with your friend and mine Matt Granfield who pointed me to his recent piece on sourcing the appropriate place to express a particular thought. I read it and it rang true, though it uncovered another thought of mine, that being a general wondering how long we will maintain digital identities we segment into neat boxes as if our own lives existed in a similar fashion.

And that’s when it occurred to me that something had recently clicked inside my head, and all of a sudden I realised that even using the word “digital” felt utterly redundant. When it permeates so much of what we do on a day to day basis it ceases to make sense in drawing any distinction. Having an afore-mentioned neat little box for it has worked until now, because for a long time it existed in a way we could separate and escape from. Now however we’re in a place where it no longer makes sense to segment it, and to not include some sort of digital element to a campaign, a product, a service, whatever is to commit commercial suicide (extreme viewpoint I know, prove me wrong!).

While this thought was buzzing around my head I swung by TIGS, as Faris had posted plenty while I’d been sunning myself in France. He, of course, had gotten here a little bit before me but along the same line of thinking, having said

Increasingly I’m finding the work ‘digital’ more of a hindrance than a help. It’s too broad to mean anything.

in the same post he linked a great Slideshare presentation from Helge Tennø, Strategic Director of Screenplay, an Oslo, Norway-based agency. Helge’s presentation is simply titled “Post-Digital Marketing”, and while I’m loathe to attach a new name to it, it seems to make sense. Have a look at the deck, it’s really quite lovely.

Of course Iain Tait beat us all there, telling me early in ’08 “digital is not a thing anymore”. I didn’t get it at the time, but I do now. My only concern is having canned UGC, social media, and now “digital” itself, I’m going to need to invent some new things just to shit on them.

And I’m quite OK with that. And I’m OK with not writing about “digital”, in fact I’m excited about it.

“You’re excited by a blog ostensibly about nothing?”


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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.

10 reasons why digital is better than advertising February 5, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in industry news.
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One of the most fundamental rules of blogging is someone has probably said the exact same thing you did, only much, much better. After writing my Us vs. Them post, I went over to CrackUnit and dug up one of Iain’s pieces from last year; 10 reasons why digital is better than advertising. For anyone wanting a basic course in the key differences between digital and other disciplines, or if you’re on the digital side of the fence and just want to read the writing of someone who Gets It™, it is well worth your time.

I want it ’cause I want it ’cause I… October 29, 2007

Posted by David Gillespie in digital strategy, web 2.0.
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I have sometimes enviable, sometimes not enviable position of being THE digital guy in a small start-up dominated by traditional media folk. The ridiculous thing about the situation is it is a web-based business, and as such you would think the place should be flooded with people who live and breathe this stuff; the reality is the CEO, from a traditional media background has mixed feelings about online, even if he himself can’t deny that it is the future, the whole future (and nothing but the future).

Being the Lone Ranger though does have its advantages. For example, I’m always the guy who finds the cool new thing to show. I run our weekly WIPs each Monday morning and always make sure to show people something they haven’t seen before. The role is part educator, part evangelist, and if I wasn’t the guy who people stared at when there were site errors, it would be perfect. They haven’t quite gotten their heads around the fact that you can be the digital guy and still not know how the code actually works; telling them it’s about understanding the philosophy behind coding more than knowing the code itself is an exercise in futility. Plus, I have guys who are good at that, and there’s no room for doubling up.

This morning I showed them a great video titled “The Machine is Us” (found via Ian Tait’s CrackUnit). This lead immediately into a conversation about YouTube and the web and how we should be more involved. Now, this should excite me, the fact that the company I’m trying to inspire to do things differently gets animated and discusses the medium’s potential.

But it doesn’t.

And it doesn’t because instead of talking about how our company can get more involved, how we can talk to our audience and even what we want to say to our audience, people get bogged down on the medium. My company wants to be on YouTube, FaceBook, MySpace etc. because it is web 2.0 and we should be doing it. Not because they’re excited about the conversation, they’re excited about the medium. And if we have learned anything, it’s that mediums are the least important part of the conversation.

Or, as was stated much more eloquently on Gaping Void, “The main thesis is that it’s not the wine per se that is interesting, it’s the conversations that happen around the wine that is interesting. And that is true for all social objects. People matter. Objects don’t.”

Until my company figures that out, the conversation is going to be decidedly Web 1.0. Of course having said that, that’s why it’s also an enviable position that I have. I get to focus that conversation, it’s my job to make people excited about that. I have the good fortune to make a living by getting people turned on to possibilities they weren’t aware of before; I don’t know too many people who can say that.