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In Antigua

I'm going to John and Christina's wedding, so posting will be light for the next week or so. Hopefully, I'll ride horses on Valley Church beach.

If not, I'm sure there is a bar somewhere ...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Sunday reading

London feels like this these days:

So, it was really nice to have a day to chill out, do some paperwork and other assorted bullshit, and enjoy some downtime.

I started with a selection from the Sunday Magazine's cover story, "How we watch stuff."
Every fall the magazine publishes a special issue about Hollywood, a celebration and investigation of that unique experience called moviegoing: sitting in a dark theater for two hours with a few hundred strangers and being entertained by flickering lights and amplified sound. This year, we’ve stretched the issue to reflect a new reality: when you watch moving pictures these days, a theater is the last place you are likely to be. Cable, YouTube, DVDs, DVR, news briefs in the elevator and cartoons on your cellphone — through a variety of media, we now consume fragmented narratives on multiple screens. From a 16-second panda-sneeze video to 60 straight hours of “The Wire,” this is the way we watch now.
Screen Goddess
NYTimes Magazine: Interview by Lynn Hirshberg: Jennifer Aniston could watch herself on a TV, a movie screen, an iPhone or a laptop. But mostly she tunes herself out — while everyone else tunes her in.

Multiscreen Madmen
NYTimes Magazine: Moderated by Jack Hitt: Three gurus from the next generation of advertising debate how best to sell soap in a post-TV world. Benjamin Palmer is the C.E.O. of the Barbarian Group, an Internet advertising and marketing firm based in Boston. He helped create the ‘‘Subservient Chicken’’ online campaign for Burger King. Lars Bastholm is a chief creative officer at AKQA, where he has worked on campaigns for Xbox, Coca-Cola and Motorola. Robert Rasmussen is the executive creative director of the Nike account at R/GA, an agency that specializes in digital media. He has created campaigns for ESPN, Sega and JetBlue.

On the Madmen article, Stowe Boyd adds: The words just jumped on the page this morning: The End Of Flow. "The end of flow?" I though, "But there is more and more flow. More people moving into a flow experience of the wold through new media." And then I read on, and saw that what the various participants were saying was exactly that: They are leaving the flow that advertisers want to lay down, and into their own. Blodget has a few comments as well.

The Screening of America
NYTimes Magazine: A.O. Scott: Will all the new digital devices kill cinema?

If You Liked This, You’re Sure to Love That
NYTimes Magazine: Clive Thompson. Basement hackers and amateur mathematicians are competing to improve the program that Netflix uses to recommend DVDs — and to win $1 million in the process. Plus, Search Engineers video.

From there, I clicked on a nice MPU on the Times homepage and checked out AMD's "The Future is Fusion" campaign. Clever sponsorship of a section of the NYTimes archive and a very clean microsite. That's one of the first ads I've clicked on for other than research purposes in a long long time.

Went to memorandum to catch up on the political buzz du jour.

Hillary plays hardball
The Independent, by Leonard Doyle in Washington: The first sign of friction in the Obama camp as Mrs Clinton demands - and gets - a purge of her critics before accepting Secretary of State role.

A Letter to My Brother Newt Gingrich

Candace Gingrich on The Huffington Post ... LOL funny. Fcuk you Newt.

Then, I went over to techmeme for a main course of tech news and buzz ...

Live in Air: 10 Things You Need To Know About In Flight Wi-Fi
Engadget. Brian Lam reports live from Virgin America's Beta run of their Wi-Fi service over San Francisco. "There are a few things you should know about how its going to work when most airlines go live in 2009. And yes, I am posting this live from 15k feet over the Pacific Ocean."

Facebook’s Project Palantir: Beautiful Visualization Of People Connecting
On Facebook, via Mike Arrington on TechCrunch

YouTube Live
No, I did not watch it. But 700,000 people did, all at the same time. TechCrunch reports that YouTube opted to partner with Akamai for the streaming. There are a few interesting comments as to why they went with Akamai intead of other solutions like Mogulus, Ustream and The Guardian tech blog has some good comments.

Citigroup Pays for a Rush to Risk
NYTimes: An in-depth look at just how bad Citigroup has fcuked it up.

A Lost Decade - But not for everyone
Some financial insight from Fred.

Read an interesting post on Dave Amano's blog about a bunch of moms up in arms about a Motrin ad. I'll probably write more about this in a separate post.

Stopped by Iain's blog. He's been at a conference.

Watched Bruce Lee playing ping-pong for the Nokia N96 via Rubbishcorp and others.

Apart from some time on Facebook and some music from Hype Machine, that's it so far. Now, I'm off to Homebase to get some firewood and pick up some dinner with K.

Sunday, November 23, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Pete Drake, Forever

I'm not going to blog about Jerry Yang's resignation from Yahoo!. There are plenty of people talking about it, and I don't feel I have anything really valuable to add that isn't already being discussed elsewhere.

Instead, check out Pete Drake:

My friend Andrew Baron pointed this out, and after a long day it was a nice 2m34sec break.

enjoy it, and let's all wish jerry best of luck.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Take-Away Shows

Top 10 reasons why I love Take-Away Shows from La Blogothèque:
  1. Unexpected
  2. Fun
  3. Spontaneous
  4. Honest
  5. Genuine
  6. Fairly unknown
  7. A look all their own
  8. Bite-size
  9. Distributable
  10. French, but yet global
I got hooked on La Blogothèque in sometime in early 2007 when I saw The Shins give everyone "an hour of pure and simple enjoyment", and I can't believe it has taken me this long to write about it. Here's a snippet from the Bloc Party show above:
We cut, during the editing, because it took us 25 minutes to talk them into doing it. Just enought time to stop him from running away, go get Russel, decide what song they were going to play. When Kele eventually started singing, Colin was pressed against him, and it felt like he was jumping from a diving-board too high for him... He caught us off-guard. Everyone was speechless. There’s nothing more to add. Five minutes of rare sincerity, two artists doing something with no safety net and without really understanding why. They took that risk, and that’s what we thank them for.
In addition to Bloc Party and The Shins, other not-to-be-missed Take-Away Shows include Beirut (plus 12 videos for The Flying Club Cup), José Gonzaléz (Storm is incredible!), The National, and Arcade Fire who do Neon Bible in an elevator.

Gives me goosebumps ...

Sunday, November 16, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

iE goes GLOBAL

Loving this!

iris Experience
, affectionately known around the Towers as iE is going global! Here's a snip from Ian Millner's email to the Nation:
By ‘joining up’ our discipline expert agencies we can provide strength and depth to all iris agencies all over the world (wherever they are)...which will make investment easier, and allows us to be more competitive in every market quicker .... This will align iris Experience New York with iris Experience London, and allow us to start to operate as an international experiential team that works across all iris agencies ... This also leads to further investment, as our experiential skills start to broaden into things like sampling, branded content, conferences/exhibitions ... The first agency to globalise in this way is iris Experience.
Their company page has been nicely redone, and they've taken over the iris homepage with a cool video you can check out.

Congrats to Nico, Henry, Cameron, Rich, Craig and the iE team!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Highfield hops to Microsoft

Ashley Highfield, who has been CEO of Project Kangaroo for just 4 short months, will leave the venture to join Microsoft as managing director and vice-president of consumer and online UK.

Project Kangaroo was originally meant to launch later this year but has been delayed, until mid-2009 at the earliest, while the implications of the venture for the burgeoning UK broadband TV market are investigated by the Competition Commission. That's from the Guardian.

From the FT: But the move is a further blow to the Kangaroo web service, which is embroiled in regulatory hold-ups. ITV has already had to delay its online revenue targets, in part because of the slow progress of Kangaroo.

Isn't it interesting that in this week's Campaign, there's a Media Forum piece on p12 asking, "Are Kangaroo plans sound?" They asked some folks supposedly in the know for their opinions, and here's how they voted:

Ian Twinn, dir of public affairs at ISBA :: Yes
Jim Marshall, chairman of the IPA Media Futures Group :: Maybe
Jean-Paul Edwards, the exec dir, futures, at Manning Gottlieb OMD :: Yes
Neil Jones, md of Carat :: Yes

I wonder what Ashley Highfield's departure says about the future of Kangroo and if the others would change their votes in light of this news.

Seems to me that Highfield is voting with his feet.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Relax, it's only Monday

Is it just me, or is it a bit of a manic Monday?

Trust me, the squirrels help.

Monday, November 10, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Signal-to-noise and Zuckerberg’s Law

Photo: Craig Ruttle/AP

At the Web 2.0 Summit on Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave what NYTimes columnist Saul Hansell has dubbed "Zuckerberg’s Law of Information Sharing". Here's how it goes:
I would expect that next year, people will share twice as much information as they share this year, and next year, they will be sharing twice as much as they did the year before. That means that people are using Facebook, and the applications and the ecosystem, more and more.
It is a safe prediction, and many are comparing it to Gordon Moore of Intel, who famously predicted that the number of transistors on a chip doubles every two years.

Nick O'Neill points out that the "idea is simple but powerful. Users continue to post more photos, upload more videos, write more status updates, connect with more friends, and ultimately are spending more time sharing their lives online."

But I'm not entirely sure I'm happy with the implications of Zuckerberg’s Law. The signal-to-noise ratio is already on the edge, and with Twitter and plenty of other short-form sharing platforms on the rise, are we all going to drown in a sea of tedium? Do people really need to know all this stuff? Are we being digitally bombarded?

Don't get me wrong: I'm enjoying contributing to the flood. Amongst other things, I blog, send photos from my phone to Flickr, tag stuff on Delicious, scrobble stuff from my iPod and other players to ... and all of it gets aggregated on FriendFeed and Facebook.

But is this a good thing? Does it mean anything? Are we witnessing singularity or crapularity? Ever the cynic, Nicholas Carr asks, "Shall no fart pass without a tweet?"

Actually, I think this is all incredibly positive. The fact is, the more we share, the better we will become. Call that the "First Law of i-boy".

Cory Doctorow writes that "Content isn't king: culture is. Culture's imperative is to share information: culture is shared information". Read that again. Isn't that excellent? His post "Why I copyfight" is certainly worth a read.

But I also think that we need much better and simpler ways to control all this information. Right now, there are tons of sources, and more new stuff comes out every day, yet there isn't a truly clever control panel to deal with it all. FriendFeed,, all the RSS feed readers, 2.0 platforms like Netvibes, iGoogle, Pageflakes along with old-school stuff like My Yahoo!, just aren't good enough. I don't think any of them are robust enough, and they're all too geeky, not very user friendly, and in Yahoo!'s case incredibly outdated.

For now, it's like trying to manage a Sky+ HD box with a Zenith Space Command. Surely, this can be better.

Sunday, November 09, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

AAR @ Bam-Bou

Thanks to the fine folks at the AAR, a bunch of us got together at Bam-Bou for a very nice night out.

I met up with some people I know and met a whole bunch of folks from the digibiz here in London.
  • Had a great chat with Mark Hancock about US politics, doing digital the "right" way, and our shared obsession with client evangelism and education. Mark recently left Proximity for to join as their new strategy director in the UK. Bravo Mark!

  • Fresh from her return from the States, Dare's Lee Wright is getting married! Lee has been in Philly taking a course at Wharton. UPenn is a fab school, and it was cool to hear that my old mentor Pete Fader is still at it. More importantly, we got to hear all about the proposal on the beach. We're all thrilled for Lee and know it will be ... a Grand Union.

  • Had a spirited and gossipy session with Raz Embleton and Gia Mills about a Sherman. 'Nuff said.

  • Hooking up with Nigel Vaz was a lot of fun. The man behind Sapient's 600-person team is out from behind the developer integration curtain! Amongst other things, we geeked out and talked about Jersey City in the late 90s, Tibco's first XML feeds, Clement Mok, and Alan Wexler. London is a better place with this guy in town.

  • Meeting and hanging out with Tom, Ellie, Andrew and Ali ... and the foggy haze that still hangs over my head as a result ... was a nice way to end the night. Must. Repeat. Soon.
News from the AAR: The evening kicked off with a short talk by Paul Phillips and Juliet Blackburn who gave the group a heads-up on all the wonderful goings-on at the AAR. They've redesigned their website (Paul was like a proud papa telling us about it), and they've also re-branded themselves as "The experts in client:agency relationships."

In addition, they've launched a new service off the back of some research they presented last year. Centered on "keeping the relationship successful", it is basically a honeymoon and annual review service. Both clients and their agencies pay for the service, so everyone has buy-in. I'm guessing they spoke to someone at Sotheby's, as they're very good at generating fees and commission from both art buyers and sellers. Smart.

I think it is a pretty good idea, especially for what my friend George Parker would term BDAs. Most next-generation agencies focused on delivering best-practices to their partners already have this built into the relationship, so it may have less appeal to them. At iris, we call it "All Ears", our annual, formal, transparent, and confidential way to listen to and understand our partners.

Those agencies who don't do something like this should really consider it. I'm sure we'll check it out as well.

Let's see, what else? Well, here's a tip: If you're clever, you'll find a way to get invited to Albion's 6th birthday party later in November.

Don't hold it against me if I missed something. If you were there, it would be great to hear your thoughts on the evening. Just add 'em in the comments.

A big shout to Juliette and Nisha at the AAR for making it happen. Those AAR folks really are good at bringing people together, aren't they. ;-)

See y'all at the next one!

Friday, November 07, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     1  comments


Front page images from Newseum.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     4  comments

There's nothing like a landslide

Looks like the electoral count will end up at 364 to 173.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

McCain and Tina Palin do QVC

McCain: This past Wednesday Barack Obama purchased airtime on three major networks. We, however, can only afford QVC.

The two sell McCain FineGold (ouch) and offer people the chance to collect the 3 Joes: Joe the Plumber, Joe Sixpack and Joe Biden.

Tina Palin: OK, listen up everybody, I’m going rogue right now, so keep your voices down. (Then, selling "Palin 2012" t-shirts, she adds a real gem.) Just try and wait until after Tuesday to wear 'em, because I am not going anywhere. And I am certainly not going back to Alaska. If I'm not going to the white House, I'm either running in four years or I'm gonna be a white Oprah. So, I'm good either way.

McCain: Look, would I rather be on three major networks? Of course. But I’m a true maverick – a Republican without money.

Fay is at her best, and you gotta give some credit to McCain for playing it straight. One must wonder, however, how he decided to leave the campaign trail for comedy TV. Another "mavrick" move, I guess. The NYTimes puts it this way: "Doing the show kept Mr. McCain overnight in New York, away from the swing states or a Republican ones that he hopes to lock down, but beamed him into living rooms of potential voters across the country."

Given the dialog between the McCain and Tina Palin (that you know he approved), I really get the impression that McCain and the real Palin must not be so chummy these days. Even Palin's gestures referring to her pricey outfit really sting.

The script cuts deeper than comedy.

Hopefully McCain's SNL performance will distract people long enough that they don't see Dick Cheney's timely endorsement. Obama said, "I'd like to congratulate Sen. McCain on this endorsement, because he really earned it. That endorsement didn't come easy."

He added that Cheney "knows that with John McCain, you get a twofer: George Bush's economic policy and Dick Cheney's foreign policy. And that is a risk the American people cannot afford to take."


Sunday, November 02, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

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