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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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If you don’t know me by now August 13, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in marketing, philosophy, technology, Video Games, web 2.0.
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This is Toad. Toad belongs to Nintendo.

This is Toad. Toad belongs to Nintendo.

I’m working my way through a great article by Marcus Brown, a guy who has clearly been doing this for a while, though I’ve only just found him. The article, If I Were A Client Today is actually on a blog he was previously writing and now has left behind called The Kaiser Edition where he would write from the point of view of a handful of personas (as far as I can tell, I’m still figuring it out as I’m not actually all that bright).

The piece is part analysis of where we’re at in agency-land, part retrospective of his time client-side at either Nintendo or Sony or Microsoft (if he reveals which one I’m not there yet, but I have a hunch based on the litany of characters sporting mushrooms on their heads). One of the more curious revelations thus far is the Internet Department he was hired to be a part of didn’t get placed with the Marketing department or the IT guys but in their R&D labs.

This is curious but also brilliant, an early realisation that the Internet and technology in general is good for more than just spitting out new kinds of ads. For me it naturally harks back to Iain Tait’s 10 Reasons Digital is Better Than Advertising, in particular his first point in that series, that you don’t have to do advertising.

When Iain says advertising there though, what I think he means is you don’t have to do something that lacks substance, you can do something with balls, that means something and actually impacts people’s businesses long after a campaign has finished. I’m not saying this is unique to digital, Droga 5’s Tap Project is evidence it can happen anywhere. But I think there’s a greater propensity for it to happen online, it moves things from distinctly separate operations closer to functioning as a single organism – and that’s where things are going to get really interesting.

It doesn’t have to be anything June 5, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in digital strategy, marketing, philosophy.
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Brainstorming ideas for a clients impending product launch, a gun account manager (as in she’s great, she doesn’t manage a client who manufactures guns) and I came up with something that was largely experiential, nailed the target market, and delivered on the promise of the brand all in one. Good idea we said. Great idea we said.

It’s not digital we said – but does it have to be?

When I was thinking about the first column to write for Marketing Magazine, I kept coming back to this notion of what digital wasn’t as opposed to what it was. I canvassed a few opinions and was bemused by Iain Tait’s cryptic reply; “Digital is not a thing anymore.”

Some time after that, indeed quite recently, I suddenly realised what he meant. It reminded me of something Dr. Michael Hewitt-Gleeson had said to me a few months earlier: “The second you try to think outside the box, you’re disregarding a lot of really good, valid stuff.”

A good idea is a good idea, and as long as it delivers for your audience, and it doesn’t have to be anything else.

Image courtesy of NMCIL, with thanks to compfight.

Tweetwheel; the hits keep on coming May 20, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in web 2.0.
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Scoble? FTW?Turned onto a cute little Twitter visualisation via Iain Tait called Tweetwheel which lays out up to 100 of your followers then shows you who among the people you know are also connected.

I was just about to close the window when I noticed Robert Scoble sitting on the page with no connections. You may say odd that Scoble showed up with no connections (surely a first..har), but the mystery for me lies in the fact that I don’t follow Robert.

Perhaps the creators got so used to loading up his name he just defaults? Who knows =]

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).

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.